10/31/17—The Pinhook Durham, NC: Screaming Females, Street Eaters

Again, I’m the last one to wake up, but it’s okay since my hair is all clean and curly and I smell nice. I slept like a cat in sunlight, all stretched and happy. Pack up and roll out to “Sweet Melissa’s” a simple but solid breakfast spot in Decatur. They have a decent amount of vegetarian options and are playing all sorts of classic jam band/hippie material. At one point, the song “Melissa” by The Allman Brothers comes on and we wonder if everyone who works there has to take a break and sing along. Then, “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds comes on and we talk about how that’s one of the best guitar sounds in rock history. Coltrane inspired shit. Decent meal. One of the better fruit cups I’ve had in over a year—kiwi, grapes, strawberries, pineapple. Most fruitcups come with a melon which is probably the weakest fruit to choose from.

It’s about a five hour drive to Durham from Atlanta so we hit it quickfast, and thankfully there isn’t much trouble. I spend a chunk of the time listening to my friend Vish’s podcast and then we swap in some Misfits because it’s halloween and we should be in that kind of mood. I don’t really celebrate Halloween; I’m not against it, but the process of coming up with a costume, creating said costume and then being confident in wearing it is just a goddamn pain for me. I’m never ever happy with the denouement—my brain is bigger than my skill set. I think the last time I wore a costume, I was ReRun from the show “What’s Happening?” My partner and I have always talked about dressing up as Big and Lil Enos from “Smokey & The Bandit” but getting cowboy suits fitted for people 6’3” and 4’10” is a costly project. Working at a bar has it’s limits too; I usually work on Halloween or Halloween weekend and working in a costume that’s gonna get splashed with beer, liquor, lemon and lime juice is also a drag. When i was a kid I loved it; one year I was Harpo Marx. Another year I was an egg.

The Pinhook in Durham is a tight, small venue that is very queer positive and couldn’t have been a better place for a Halloween show. We load in and I make I wonder aloud how far the venue is from Carolina Soul, which is a fantastic record shop in The Triangle. After bringing everything in I learn it’s a mere four hundred feet from the venue, so I take a quick stroll over. I said I wouldn’t buy anything else, but I just have to look. They have a tremendous selection—when I was here last year, I found like five disco 12”’s that were on my want list for a long time. Alas, nothing this time, which is good. If I mention a record store in this diary, it’s worth your time. Not bragging or nothing, but I fuck with records and I’m more than willing to share my info.

Back to the venue, and Screamales are finishing their soundcheck. Jarrett’s parents live outside of Durham and meet up with us for dinner; they’ll also provide lodge for us for the evening. Both of Jarrett’s parents are musicians, which explains where he got so much of his talented skills from. Jarrett’s mom is a radical free thinker and his dad is a passionate inquisitive soul. They are a total joy to be around while we talk tour and life over empanadas and side dishes. It’s so nice to see these two people who obviously love their child and what he’s doing. Not everyone understands punk and the need to play 100 shows a year, but they clearly do, which is evident in their love and adoration.

Two band bill tonight, so we have a lot of time before the doors open; my merch station is an elevated plot along one of the walls, with a lot of floor space but limited display space. It’s fine, but as the show gets more packed (and eventually sells out) I gotta worry about people knockin records off the display table. We make it work though, and thankfully there isn’t too much trouble. Lots of costumes coming though: a LaCroix Can, a Darth Vader, A Beetlejuice, a “sexy antifa” which definitely had me swooning. The place is packed, everyone is looking good and excited; only thing left to do is rock this place to the ground. Street Eaters waste no time, clearly riding the wave of the night before, they turn in a pummeling display of solid True Wave. People are going ape, I don’t think a lot of people here have seen them before. It’s now hitting me: This is the second to last Show, and I don’t know when I’ll see this band perform again, and I’ve seen them do thier thing for 33 nights, and goddamn how lucky am i that I get to watch a band that good do what burns in their hearts? Same with Screaming Females, who turned in an incredibly powerful set—opening with a barn burning “Normal” into “Criminal Image” into “Starving Dog.” That’s a 1-2-3 punch you can set your watch to. The crowd isn’t daft either, they’re eating it all up reveling in the sonic wallop these three friends are creating. At some point, Marissa mentions its the second to last night of tour and thanks Street Eaters, and then calls me out; I try to run away, but John and Megan pull me back. Marissa says something about how I’m available for hugs and I yell “ALRIGHT, LETS GET ON WITH THE NEXT SONG.” I get so shy when she calls me out. I’m not worth of attention. I am just a dummy. Closing with “Hopeless” it is clear they should do an encore. Mike is clapping along and encouraging it, I’m screaming for twenty more songs. The band comes back, and encores with “High.”

We drive back to the Dougherty house and I fall asleep on a long and comfy leather couch. All is well in the Triangle.