Travels with Bambi Fall 2018 Tour
Woke up before everyone else, despite being the last to fall asleep. I don’t know why I couldn’t just turn down; sometimes my sleep is like that. The “joke” is that “sowley doesn’t sleep” which isn’t the case per se. I just sleep nice and sound in maybe three beds across this country. In those beds, I sleep a full eight hours, easy. Sometimes ten. I’ve done twelve before but there’s a certain crossover after that length of time where my body just feels like shit for sleeping that long.
I was kind of a feral child; my parents separated when I was young. My mom took on the lions share of custody of Katie and I; at this time, she was also running an ER and going back to school to further her education. Her sister, Carolyn, lived with us; she had some sort of mental health issues and mom took her in after our dad moved out. Carolyn kept guard over Katie and I but also didn’t really have any experience with children, so Katie and I just sort of ran amok, all the while not really gaining any sort of education from either of our parents. I had to learn on my own. I honestly only learned how to properly shave my face maybe three years ago. Why I’m bringing this up is to discuss sleep. I never had a parent or guardian say “okay, this is a general healthy guide for sleeping,” It was always “it’s bed time” and then I’d be laying in a dark bedroom for hours, either wondering about death, or listening to tapes—bird calls, mostly. Sometimes that first Tribe Called Quest tape. Maybe a comedy record. But the bird tapes were crucial…sounds of North American Birds in their natural elements, interspersed with a calm, masculine voice introducing each bird. I didn’t really nap either as kid. I rarely nap now. In the whip, I nap all the time, but that’s often related to the womb-like nature of the whip as it rumbles down a highway (even now, I’m managing to close my eyes while typing.) It didn’t hit me that this might be a problem until a week after graduation. I spent the previous three years in close proximity to my college campus, often working very late hours on laying out newspaper sections, or writing album reviews for radio/adjusting the programming playlists for DJ’s. The latter was easy, but the former was incredibly time consuming; many cigarettes and coffee cups to keep it moving. Oh I was also working full time, while going to school full time. At no point did anyone pull me aside and ask “are you sleeping?” and somewhere I embraced it, making it a point of pride that I could do all this shit without much of a wink. Then, about a month after graduation, when my only responsibility was reduced to a full time job (and whatever dumb bullshit I was doing in my spare time—unknowingly playing in a Dead C cover band, trying to date gay girls, buying records, smoking dope etc) I found myself laying on a couch at three in the morning, while infomercials looped on a television asking “why can’t I fall asleep? OH RIGHT, you’ve been burning hours on school for like three years straight.” Then I’d be awake five hours later. So really, sleep has never been big on my list of things to do, with the exception of three, maybe four beds in North America. When I’m in those beds, there’s an embrace, a warmth, a comfort that’s unprecedented. It’s so safe. It’s so easy, to just sleep comfortably. Its really simple, if I’m not comfortable, then my sleep is brief. I’m rarely comfortable, but it’s also “sleep” so who cares? It’s not like a party, or a gig, or whatever where my comfort zone needs to be addressed in order for me to not freak out. It’s sleep—go lay on the ground and try to forget it all for a couple hours.
We’re all milling about in the lot, trying to figure out what to do. Cheyenne is learning how to skateboard, and Marissa is even taking a few shots at it. I’m sipping a hotel coffee, still in the green bicycle slacks and my Hector LaVoe “El Cantante” t-shirt. Breakfast is the topic, and our options are extremely limited. So limited that I’m about to walk into my first ever Waffle House. Four to a booth, and the cook keeps staring at us. I forgot we were in Mississippi. Anyway, the experience was awful. So many people warned me “don’t mess with waffle house” and I thought “It’s waffles, how bad could it be?” Now I know.
It’s an extremely short drive to Birmingham, maybe two hours? First time here, and I’m excited. I’ve met a lot of freaks from this area, but have never seen the land itself. It’s where Sun Ra is from, the “Magic City.” Well, not from; Sun Ra is from Saturn. He landed in Birmingham. Then Chicago, then everywhere. Philly. That house is still there. I’m 90% certain Marissa lives near John Coltrane’s house now; I hope I get to see it someday. I’m certain I’ll cry at it’s steps. First time I heard JC I cried. Never heard anything like that.
We get to the venue, and I immediately order a coffee from the cute coffee shop, and take some selfies in the photobooth. The layout of this place is a trip. The walls are lined with nintendo game consoles, kitchy ephemera centered on space travel, and portraits and records of/by Herman ‘Sonny’ Blount; the Arkestra must play here, right? Following a guide to our green room, I encounter Brian from Man Or Astro-Man. I haven’t seen him over a year, last time being the Electrical 20th anniversary party. I figured—given his history of booking in Alabama that this was one of his projects.
The green room is massive, and I immediately remember a video Alicia from the band Bully once sent me of this well decorated, sunny, flat somewhere in America and sure enough it’s this place. “Are you sleeping in the pods?” she texts? The pods will go to Kitten Forever, but we all have spaces to crash tonight. Bunk beds, long couches, multiple showers, a rooftop deck, racks of books, games, a sprawling dvd collection (no “Belly” though) an old school billiard table, and a hi-fi with a batch of records. I immediately put on John Coltrane’s “Love Supreme” and get a game of cut-throat going between Jarrett and Mike. What a wild concept, a grip of musicians create a space where artists can be made to feel as close to at home as possible. To treat traveling musicians humanely instead of simply a point of profit. Records that will get played today and tonight: Jay-Z’s “The Black Album;” “Paul’s Boutique;” Husker Du—“New Day Rising;” Black Sabbath’s self titled album; several Sun Ra joints (of course.)
The set up tonight is on the floor, in the middle of the live room, under a big parachute that will be illuminated by various lights and effects. It’s a really beautiful and intimate set up. “We should have whales projected on there” Mike will remark later. I get the merch set up, and get my laundry going. What a relief, we were sneaking up on another two weeks without doing laundry and my unders were getting ripe; definitely want everything fresh and clean before we enter the cold front of the east coast. Today, we have no rain chasing us or sneaking in. It’s a clear and beautiful day Dinner break, and everyone either goes to a vegan food truck or a neighboring BBQ house. I chose the latter and it was delicious. Sweet tea fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese and fresh tomatoes. Spectacular. Walking back in from the BBQ spot, there’s a projection of Minnie Riperton on the big screen. Bless. “Fuck this punk shit, I wanna listen to Minnie Riperton.” Though I do appreciate the flex in the punk-bootleg-tee world of embracing Sade, DJ Screw, Albert Ayler, et al. Radical black music will always be more in my lane than some twerp from Crystal Lake, IL who hates his parents.
KinZie kick the night off with some righteous rock, but I’m distracted by a couple technicalities that need to be worked out with the house, so I keep running back upstairs looking for the production manager. That’s when I see it—little Marissa Paternoster on Jarrett’s skateboard.
“I GET IT NOW! LOOK AT ME I’M A SKATEBOARDER!!” she says as she coasts back and forth from one end of the loft to the other. All these weeks of shaking her head and muttering under her breath how it’s not safe, and now…NOW she’s coasting across the room. It’s really cute and she’s giddy, and happy. It’s quite a beautiful scene.
I’m extremely excited for Kitten Forever’s set tonight; I feel confident that the room and the display will provide a certain kind of wild energy that will result in an inspiring set. I take my place along the side of room where I can concentrate. They really murder it tonight, but there’s something off; I don’t know if it’s the sound or being under the parachute, or what, but something feels light. Every set they play is a massive bombast, but tonight it sounds (SOUNDS, not how they played. They still play with utter abandon) like it’s pulled back. The crowd is timid too, which happens in some cities, but I was really wishing for more. People are about it though, handing them compliments and pounding out bread for them in exchange for goods.
Screaming Females set was a rocker. Heavy jams and stretchouts, proof in that pudding being “Halfway Down” where Mike slowed everything, well, halfway down and really gave each of them room to breathe. Truly inspired stuff. After the show, everyone takes turns skateboarding around the smooth floor of the live room before retiring upstairs.
I don’t know how to explain the Shame Parade, but it marched right through my brain as everyone was rounding up to watch “Green Room.” I made a particularly crass joke based around my need for privacy, it bombed tragically, and I ran my crossfaded ass (and it was exceptionally crossfaded between some fancy local brews, cheap tequila, and some tight ass grass) back to my room. That was the plan all along. I really don’t like horror/torture porn movies, so the plan off top was to not partake in “Green Room” but I didn’t expect to feel horrible, horrible embarrassment in advance. And that’s part of getting crossfaded sometimes. That’s part of partying too much, sometimes. The vulnerable serum of alcohol and the dreaded fear that can be embedded in some kinds of grass, and gurl….well, Shame Parade. I just hide. I make notes to remember to pick things up left around the flat so I don’t have to talk to/look at/engage with anyone at this point. I just want to fold my clothes, and listen to some dumb comedy and take a long hot shower. I pack up my clothes in a manner that would make for efficiency: shirts on one side, underwear/socks on the other, all the way to the base where the pants and button down shirtreside. It felt good to get it in some kind of order, so as not to completely disrupt/undo the order when a piece of clothing needs to be retrieved.
That’s when I looked at my pants to discover a horrifying realization: my earplug container has gone missing. “NOOOOOOOO” Now, ear plugs are easy to replace, but custom molds that take months to make, and upwards of three to four hundred dollars? No. Not that easy. They’ve been crucial for jaunts like these. They’re also clear, so if they fall anywhere, there’s a very good chance they’re not coming back. I start retracing my steps “okay, we played cornhole on the roof” go check the roof. I step out into the cold air in my underwear and tanktop, running a flashlight all over the deck. No dice. “Maybe they’re on the floor, where you made that stupid joke, you stupid fucking idiot. Well, you’re gonna have to look there tomorrow cuz you’re not going to look right now.”
You ever want to disappear completely? That’s where I am right now.
I take a shower…I brush it off. “It’s okay, you cant afford to replace those, so…this part of your life is over now. You can’t tour with anything else because your hearing will just go away quick. So you don’t go on tours anymore. It’s okay! You’re just finished is all.” Is this some curse from Sun Ra? “Discipline No 27?” Chaos elements of Scorpio season?
I hear the pitter pat of people getting ready for bed, and I figure “okay, maybe I can just look around in private and not talk to anyone. Maybe I’ll find them but probably not.”
I run into Marissa.
“I feel like a stupid idiot for some dumb joke I made, I want to die, and I lost my earplugs.”
“Oh! Nope. You didn’t!” and she grabs the capsule off the table “I figured those were yours.”
“Thanks for saving my life, again” and the Shame Parade bundles itself in a springy bunk bed, wrapped under all the blankets possible. Maybe I’ll sleep for a while.
Woke up early, and for some reason didn’t shower but that’s okay. I put together a new outfit for the day: olive green slacks, and a button down shirt (Blue with white dots, buttoned to the top collar.) I feel confident in my look. Step outside with all my baggage (yeah right, a lot of that will never go away) and check in with my friend Danielle back in Chicago. Her cat is going through some issues that can only be contributed to “age.” I help her process that and she helps me process some bullshit that’s going on in my head. She’s the best and I miss her terribly.
We set an early van call as todays drive will take up the better part of the day, but we really need breakfast too. Sunday in Baton Rouge, whatever could that look like? We drive to the two recommended spots and they’re slammed. We check a coffee shop, but alas nothing to eat. We finally settle on a spot that we thought would be an easy fix. Instead we were stuck in a line for an easy 30 minutes. I absolutely refuse to make any sort of complaint on a service industry member’s work. Its part of the code of being in service: be polite, be empathetic, 20% tip mini-mum for even the worst service, do not criticize. So I won’t say what was going on, but from the outside it all looked unnecessarily complicated, and we were all so hungry, and already chasing daylight that Marissa and I started laughing to keep from fully freaking out. Thankfully, the breakfast was delicious.
We got on the road and it was a pretty straightforward drive. I made the mistake of looking at the news and reading the Times’ report on the Trump Administration’s effort to roll back a bunch of protections on Transgender’s peoples protections under Title IX. Cowardly shit. State sanc-tioned violence. Violence to people that deal with violence on a regular basis, be it micro or mac-ro. I’ve said it a thousand times here: I am never happy with the fleshbag I was given. I have a battle with it on a daily basis. I would really love it if I was never read “male” again, I would really love it if I wasn’t misgendered by my fellow queer people. I would really love it if someone could walk away from any average conversation one could have from me and realize “huh, they aren’t at all what they look like” or rather not discount my statements, my expressions, my everything by assigning “guy” to it. I’m not male. I was dumped in a male flesh bag, at a birth i didn’t even ask for. My agency? Fucking laughable. Why do we do this? Why do we make such a big deal? Because we have to. Because I have passing privilege, and with that privilege I am not subject to the level of violence some of my loved ones are subject to, but it’s assumed that I’m “one of the guys” and being let into that cabal of toxic language/ideology has always been something I’ve never enjoyed. I am something else. Some gurl brain that dates/partners up with lesbians. Some gurl brain that has more dysphoria about my body, my presentation, my “look”, than they do actual skin cells. Hard themme/soft femme. That’s where I am, and the moments that that is seen, honored and respected are so few and far between that when it does actually happen I want to burst into tears of gratitude. I want my loved ones to be safe. I want my friends to be safe. I want my crushes to be safe. I also want the strangers I don’t know to be safe. I want the people (namely people of color, indigenous people, sex workers) whom the measures of Title IX weren’t even extended to to be safe. In safety comes accountability, recognition, advocacy and respect. Violent acts against fascist aggression IS self defense, and we aren’t going to go any other way with it.
I spent most of the ride enraged over what I read, but I kept quiet. I reached out to some loved ones/freinds/crushes/strangers and made sure they were okay or offered an ear if they needed it. If I was a rich gal, more people would be getting money from me for their re-assignment sur-gery, or rent, or a meal or whatever they need that can lift some worry from their life and make them feel safe. “SAFE.” That’s what we keep coming back to, because it’s a basic right to feel safe, and I can’t convince you to actively care for someone you don’t know, but when a group of people are saying they don’t feel safe how the fuck are you going to talk them out of it? How are you going to do that without actually listening? Why would anyone choose to behave this way? I grew up in the house of a nurse, a woman that oversaw an ER for decades, a woman who—while incredibly flawed—taught me to care for people, to not let cynicism get the best of me, to not be so calloused. I can’t teach how to be that way if you are going to not listen to/talk over victims or marginalized people.
We got to Hot Springs, Arkansas as the sun was setting. The temperature dropped drastically and for the first time since being back in the bay, the scarf was let out. Quick and efficient load in/check. We have tomorrow off, so we will crash in Hot Springs. The plan is to get adjoining ho-tel rooms with Kitten Forever, spend some time around Hot Springs, hopefully get into some sort of water, and then drive halfway to Birmingham.
We have a couple hours until showtime so everyone kinda breaks off on their own. There’s been a lot of good camaraderie between both bands. It’s nice, but I still keep to myself. “Tallboys are for drinking, not talking” as the adage goes. I prefer the anonymity. Van Dyke Parks once said “when I saw someone blow Jack Kennedy’s brains out on national TV in the name of fame, I learned there was a lot of safety in anonymity.” I feel that; I’m a nice moment to visit, but not something you wanna keep around the house. I love hosting a party, but I’m better if I can leave a party when no ones looking. I absolutely abhor any sort of compliment because that all feels like lies/consolation prizes for some other flaw I have in me. That’s how I am on tour. I keep it mostly to myself. I only feel safe in the whip, and even then I’m mostly keeping it to myself as that’s where I do all my writing. Tonight is an after party for a ten day film festival in Hot Springs, that happens to be on day three, hence the late start time. Even the promo poster for the night says “somehow we’re going to get through this.” I appreciate your optimism, Hot Springs.
Moments before Kitten Forever take the stage, Cheyenne informs us they are going to get a dif-ferent hotel on the other side of town. Turns out some guy was following them around, and con-fronted them in a very creepy way. Like FOLLOWED them, and figured out where their hotel was. People: don’t do this. Don’t do this ever. And you fuckers wonder why I get bent out of shape over my gender/presentation…you think I want a seat at that table? Plan is that I’ll ac-company Cheyenne back to the hotel so they can cancel their room and get a refund while en-suring that our room is not canceled. But first, we should watch some of KF…I’m pretty sure they fed their nerves right into their instruments because they gave one of their heaviest perfor-mances of the entire tour. We all took to the front and freaked out/danced as a measure of de-fense for I was ready to fight any sketchball that got close to them. Fire set. Screaming Females followed through with an equally strong set of heavy rock/solid jams. The sound was spectacu-lar, and the band totally fed off it, particularly in “Triumph” which turned to a stretched out explo-ration of the cosmos through instrumentation. It’s one of those moments, where I’m floored by watching my friends whom I see do normal ass friend shit all day, step out of that dynamic and turn into the greatest band in the world for an hour a night. Truly inspired set tonight. Real magic. We pack up, dance around to songs by The Clash and The Velvet Underground while loading out into the cold Arkansas night.
We get back to our hotel, and throw ourselves unto the beds while falling asleep to some bi-zarre cop show from the ‘60s(?) featuring an incredibly young/moonfaced Burt Reynolds. The title of the episode “Love and A Nickel Bag.” I hear that, Burt.
Woke up a bit before everyone for a quick shower. I’m really not sure why I didn’t shower the day before especially when I’m switching up uniforms, but no matter now, for I am one clean ba-bine. I’m back in bed, shirtless, in my underwear. Everyone starts waking up when there’s a knock on the door. No one gets up. It’s housekeeping. It’s so early. Another pound on the door.
(“is anyone else going to get up and tell them to beat feet? No? Ughhhh, okay.”)
as I’m walking, again mostly nude, to the door it opens.
“NOOOOOOOOOPE. We are still sleeping.”
This amuses Jarrett, who is well awake and laughing. “Noooooooope.”
“No, don’t get up” as I plop my body back on the bed.
We all take our time getting dressed and watch some really bad “Final” “Nightmare On Elm St.” There’s a cameo from Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold, whom I proclaim are the Jay and Bay of the ‘90s. Checking out of the hotel, I encounter a ghoul who’s been roaming the hallways of this hotel since well before Bill Clinton was born. He has a pink shirt on and he whispers “hi” as I walk by him to Marissa, gesturing that I quickly get in the Elevator.
We walk down the street to a lil cafe where we meet up with Kitten Forever for breakfast. I have a yogurt with fresh fruit and granola, a croissant and a coffee. Delicious. From there, we went to get the oils changed on both vehicles. Then we finally vacuumed the whip, which is something Marissa wanted to do for well over a week. It was disgusting. I did find a ton of bobby pins though, which I must have lost when I slept in the whip while we were in San Antonio. Feels good to have a clean home again.
Jarrett and I broke away from Marissa and Mike. They wanted to go to Planet Fitness, while we met up with Kitten Forever and hit the spa. The initial plan was to find a trail to hike that could lead us to a hot spring, but alas those actual springs are too hot to soak in, so a spa will have to do. The spa is heavenly and it’s super nice to hang around Kitten Forever (as usual.) From there, we went back to the coffee shop, where seemingly everyone got stuck inside trying to ex-it. We go to a pizza joint called Squeezbox which surprisingly had delicious pizza. My expecta-tions for pizza are low if I’m anywhere but NY or NJ. It’s all just bad in comparison, but this was pretty good. Plus they had garlic knots. Mike and Corrie coordinate a halfway point between Ar-kansas and Birmingham, Alabama where we’ll crash out and have another hotel party. Did you know that in Tennessee there’s not a law against passengers drinking a beer in the car? I didn’t know this, but the band makes me aware of it. Naturally, I have to partake in this novelty, name-ly for shits and giggles, but Mike presses Jarrett to do it too so I’m not alone. We grab some beers from a gas station that sold SINGLE trojan magnums. Who’s that confident? Who DEFI-NITELY ONLY needs one condom? We are in Tennessee for a total of ten minutes before we hit Mississippi, so we chug these beers quick. It’s juvenile, but we aren’t working, we’re on tour. We are allowed to have stupid fun if we want to.
There’s talk of stick n poke tattoos tonight, and I put in a request for one. It’s a definite “sex ha-ver” tattoo (but a tribute to the only boss from Ohio, Chrissie Hynde) and I want it in a questiona-ble area, but Cheyenne says they’re game to administer. Thank gawd that beer in the whip gave me the courage to ask. Good plan, but Marissa has to get one first. So while the adjoining rooms watched “Jeepers Creepers” and “Gremlins” respectively (before we both watched “Joe Dirt”—a Masterpeice!) Marissa get’s “Thunder Road” zapped on her arm, in tribute to the only boss from New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen.. It’s beautiful. Cheyenne has great handwriting. It did take a while though, so I go to bed without getting zapped.
“We’ll make it happen! You want it, you put it out into the world, so we have to do it” assures Cheyenne.
It’s not going to happen. It’s been a gag I’ve been chasing since the beginning of the year, and so far no takers. Oh well. I’m too wired to sleep, so I stay up until 4am watching music videos and youtube clips of baseball fights. What can I say, I like a trainwreck.
“It’s usually somewhere in the third week, where someone starts talking gibberish”—Jarrett, 2016
“Third Week typically has an unravel”—Mike, 2018
I’ve always made it a point of pride in these journals to write about every show. That every day has a bright moment, even if there is muck or difficulty. To be honest and vulnerable about the difficulty, be it personal or professional, to offer some transparency to the reader. If Joan Didion can write about her marriage falling apart (and later, the mortality of her family) then I can surely write about the minutia of a miscommunication, or my own dysphoria in an unforgiving world. I can and I often do.
This time, gentle reader, I am going to pass. You’re going to miss four days of this journey and to be honest, it’s for the better; because this is a public journal and there are other people’s lives involved in it. Some people prefer privacy and that needs to be respected. This isn’t to say there were four hellish days, that need to be skipped over; there were some real bright moments con-tained therein. There was the post show hang in Bryan where we all stayed with the tremen-dously kind and righteous power pop rockers Cheer Bomb. There was the beautiful drive to New Mexico—painted mountain ranges, breathtaking sunset, brisk nighttime air. There was the after hours altoids tasting competition between Jarrett and Liz. There was the kind hospitality of George in Phoenix whom provided us with giant shelter, a sweet cat, a wild n’ goofy dog, and a late viewing of “Hellraiser,” a film I still don’t really understand (Thank you for the only bath bomb I’ve been gifted on this tour.) There was also the guy at the Mexican restaurant whom had the biggest wallet I’ve ever seen in my life (seriously, it was a Costanza wallet that looked like five Moon Pies stacked on one another.) There was the awesome band Death Cult in San Anto-nio, delivering some righteous subversive hardcore to the masses. There were also plenty of jokes, laughs, and clinks of the glass.
But, there was also an unravel. Which happens. You get the same people moving through the world in a little box every day for over a month, something is bound to pop off. Something is go-ing to run through the air, like a cardinal pushing through tornado alley, that will set a person off. An unravel, only this time it was like a cluster of unravels, all either too complicated, too un-known, or too stupid to even warrant getting in these pages. And even writing about this day, en route to Baton Rouge is going to be truncated because the unravel did’t mend until we got to the city itself. There’s really no point in reliving the bad. It’ll save all of us some time if I didn’t. Bad things happen, mis-communication happens. What is critical is that you move through it, shake it off, and remind yourself that this is still one of the greatest privileges in the world: that this isn’t a job, but a joy. Sure, there are small moments that make it feel like work but where are we? We are in the United States, and we are traveling around playing music, connecting with nice people, and without any pressure from a label or a manager or a publicist to “do the right thing.” Because what’s not right about being honest, being economical, being kind to the people that take time out of their day to listen to your songs, and share a space with you, to engage in the art you’re cre-ating? N-O-T-H-I-N-G.
I wore shorts, but not flip flops in honor of the god Bryan Funck, singer for the righteous band Thou, as we are en route to their hometown of Baton Rouge. Bryan is a shorts and flip flops per-son; the only day of our tour together in April where it was warm enough to wear shorts was our last night together in Gainesville, Florida. In the three weeks were out together, I hadn’t seen them happier than that moment. It’s something I truly understand and empathize with, as I am generally only happy in sweltering weather and as little clothing as possible. When we were out with Thou and HIRS in April, we—three car collective of guitar dominance, queer rage, blood curdling vocals, fancy footwork, and maybe the slightest bit of optimism against a cruel and op-pressive society—brought a cold front with us to every city. We never once got ahead of it until Florida, and from there it was gravy. Sunshine, inner tubing, grazing in the grass. What joy. This tour, we’ve been carrying a strange rain/cold front with us to every city, and Baton Rouge is no different. What IS different though is we are in the swampland so there’s also a thick humid stick-iness to the whole affair. Shorts weather for sure, but it’s certainly the end of shorts season here. Make the most of it, gurl—dark blue shorts, vanilla colored Kitten Forever t-shirt, red adidas—definitely feeling like I’m exploiting something. Maybe I’m trying to will something into my life—an extended warm front, or an opportunity to get roughed up. Neither will appear, but they can’t say I didn’t try.
We had quite the time trying to make this show even happen; originally it was booked at Spanish Moon (great Little Feat song) but something happened that required “renovations” (still not sure what. Bad plumbing? Did a floor or ceiling collapse?) so then it was moved to a theater, which then accidentally double booked a reggae show for that night, leaving us with three options: a) book a matinee show at said theater b) book at midnight show at said theater or c) find a new venue all together. This was somewhere en route to San Antonio, so it’s not like we had a ton of time to pull it off. Again, the Funck came through and passed along a contact for the Arts Center, which enthusiastically offered their space to us. Took 10 minutes, three texts, and one phone call. Refund all ticketholders, get them the new show details, and do a donation/pay what you can at the door. Again, luxury of being a band and doing whatever you want so long as it’s not fuck people over.
So yeah it’s an old carpark/auto repair center rebuilt as a cute all ages space. Econo as hell, no wi-fi, a makeshift green room, one bathroom for all, but still ADA accessible which not all DIY venues can brag about. Cait and Davey are very kind and accommodating, and really bless em for saving our ass at the last moment. We load in, and ditch out to get some dinner at a local thai spot. Incredibly strong and flavorful meal. Through the sudden and massive rain fall we high tail it back to our gig. Setting up t-shirts, I see a man floating near the table. “Not now, love” I think to myself and I think he can read that in my body language. “Just gimme a minute with these shirts and we’ll talk turkey after that’s done.” I didn’t have that luxury in Seattle. I had people shaking their money at me and door busting my shirts before I could even get them counted out. It made for a difficult scene (on top of an already catastrophically difficult evening,) which I combatted by ignoring everyones questions and obnoxiously singing “Vine St.” by Randy Newman out loud, much to everyones befuddlement. I didn’t want that to happen again so I nipped it in the bud by being matter of fact “I’m not ready, I can come find you when I’m ready” but he was chill. He doesn’t go to too many rock shows anymore, but he read about Screaming Females on some ultra left/radical journalists blog and looked em up. He liked what he heard, and then learned the band were coming to town so he wanted the full experience. What makes it better is he learned all of this two days ago. What lucky timing for this person! I’m excited to see what he thinks of Kitten Forever too. I hope they melt his brain.
The scene out front is classic diy stuff. Punks and weirdos milling about a lot, all making jokes and occasionally having a “fan moment” with someone. It’s cute. A guy brought his toddler with him, and she’s just so precious with her colorful boots, big blue air traffic controller ear protec-tors, and raincoat. She loves rock n’ roll and makes sure to tell Marissa she rocks. Good one kid. Mike and I are side of the car, sipping brews, trying to cop weed, and talking about “the un-ravel.” It feels good to dissect it, and safely talk about my own issues, and him to talk about his, and we chuckle through it and hear each other clearly. I truly love and am thankful for the space this band makes for me to be so vulnerable and not dismiss it. With them, I know I am heard, I am respected and treated equally. It makes five weeks together so much easier, it makes it all the easier to move through the unravel and come out the other side with more in-sight, more “okay next time I’ll remember this” in the filing cabinet. I don’t even have that with some people I’ve known since my bags hit a shitty apartment floor in the Edgewater section of Chicago.
Loudess Wars kicked the night off and it really caught us off guard. During their soundcheck, both Jarrett and I picked up on the lead guitar players McLaughlin’isms. He definitely had some right hand akin to the Mahavishnu shred. Where we were expecting some stretched out ascen-sion to the ozone layer, we were met with some fast and furious caveman doom stomp. It worked, they definitely kicked much ass. I was definitely excited for this Kitten Forever set to-night. It just seemed like a perfect space/perfect vibe for their magnificent cacophony. I figured that the tru freaqs/raw norms of Baton Rouge would eat up. I was right, as Kitten Forever had them eating out of their collective hand of bratty vocal play, fuzzed out bass and skittering per-cussion. Screaming Females didn’t disappoint either as their back and forth with the crowd and their righteous jamming only wound the people into a tizzy. So much that one person excitedly screamed at the opening notes of “Hopeless” which made Marissa lose her concentration and slip up two additional passes at the song.
When we were in New Orleans, a person came through with a gift for the baloney brothers. One gift said “let the ghost in” and the other said “cool cig.” Mike and I burned the “ghost” before bed and I had a slow motion panic in bed thinking I was gonna die. The fear is real, but the next morning I woke up like I had enjoyed it? A brunette, with long hair and a gentle delivery brought it to us, and they showed up tonight to give us another gift. Baloney’d, with our new Baloney breth-ren Cheyenne, we did not let the ghost in. It was more like a cool cig, which is exactly what we needed after such a day.
We searched for our crashpad, on a dimly lit street about three miles from the venue. It’s the dead of night and we are searching for numbers on houses. By “we,” I mean the editorial “we” as the Brothers Baloney are buckled into their backseats.
“This is how we die.”
“Oh totally, we’re the first to go.”
Marissa and Jarrett have abandoned the car, the car is running, and we’re both buckled in the back laughing at our inevitable demise. “This is how it is in every movie. We’re gonna get killsed and those two are gonna either run into the woods and never comeback, OR they’ll run to the church and never come back.”
Maybe we did let the ghost in.
Our crashpad tonight is a beautifully quaint lil cabin with a washer and dryer in the backyard, and all the old outlets. Deep reds, and forest greens adorn the walls, there’s an incredibly gen-tle cat that is skittish at first, but I’m zooted enough to spend all my energy on petting her. She falls right into my trap of, bird noises, head scratches and whispered words of affection. I curl up near a toy piano and gently drift into the night.
I woke up in the kitchen. It’s not like that wasn’t planned, that was definitely part of the plan. The space is definitely a cramped one for a party of eight. I had enough room to lay my pad down in the kitchen so everyone else had ample sleeping room. I managed to wash my hair before going to bed, and it’s just a big ball of frizz. I tamper it down with pins, and pack my stuff up while everyone sleeps. Running the stuff down the street (Jarrett had to park about seven blocks away from our pad) and the wind is blowing hard. So hard people are standing with their garbage cans while waiting for trash pick up, so as not to lose the cans to the wind (Which is happening a lot—there are a lot of trashcans and garbage flying in the streets.) I throw my baggage in the whip, and get a change of clothes. Walking back to the pad is like a Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd routine; wind pushing back hard, at some point I nearly fall over. This is really going to mess up with my mission to burn through the rest of my grass before we leave California. As a moving unit, we keep the whip crisp, never ride dirty, and given that we are about to head into a state where its a felony for possession, this jazz has to disappear before tomorrow morning.
I’m playing “Bags & Cans” by Spray Paint and Protomartyr on repeat in the wind, while searching for coffee and donuts. My heart is slightly sinking over the inevitable reality that tomorrow we will drive further from my newly minted “home” state and I won’t be back in the creature comforts of my bed/my bike/my wagon/my bathtub for three weeks. Really what is home though? Home can be so many places. There are a dozen apartments and houses in Chicago that are home. There are at least two in Oakland. There’s one in Philadelphia, one in New Jersey. For a while, there was one in upstate NY, but that disappeared when the willow tree got chopped down. There’s this metal box on four wheels that we keep turning to over this time, that’s definitely home. Each “home” has a meaning, a comfort and an item that isn’t at the other home, but they are all safe. They are a safe place for me to stretch my legs, and open the fridge without asking, and walk around in my underwear (although I do do that in strangers homes. Sorry strangers.) and I can be loud or quiet and I can stay up until 4am watching SCTV or reading a wikipedia entry on pro wrestling slang. Options are endless when you’re safe.
Back at the beach house, Kitten Forever are about to bounce for a radio interview. Again, an answer to the question “are they taking calls” is being evaded. Marissa and I lounge on a bed and watch “Botched.” I’m putting my hair up, and Marissa is pressing her feet against my back…for some reason, she finds this amusing and sends me a video of it. We switch to “American Pickers,” which inspires a new bit between us. Down home hoarders whom—instead of having antiques—possess collections of of indie rock ephemera.
“I tell ya, ‘bout three counties over, a buddy of mine got a barn full of baseball hats from that band Snail Mail. I’ll get rid of em for bout fifteen hundred.”
“Tell you what, you know this band Modern Baseball? I got ‘bout three crates of promo posters from their last album. Pitchfork gave it a good review…I’ll give em to ya for seven hundred.”
“I know a barn part way up the road, got a whole box of them mix cd’s—you know that band Yo La Tango?—he got a box of them cd’s from them Chaunukkah shows they do….”
This goes on for an excruciatingly long time and it’s only amusing to two people.
Band has to go to LA for a meeting, so we mosey back into the city before heading to Pomona. I’m hoping against hope theres something I could do aside from sit in a waiting room—maybe go to a coffee shop, or a record store, or try to get into a fist fight with Marc Maron—but I have no idea where we are, so I’ll just sit in this office and listen to Alice Coltrane and type type type into this here journal for you, gentle reader. After the meeting, Mike has to go to the post office ship out a bunch of State Champion records to the people, while the rest of us crave coffee. I myself would love a smoothie, as I suspect my lack of fruits and veggies over the last day is affecting this cold. As we walk in, there’s a woman out front sitting with her dog. Marissa asks if she can pet the dog. All is fine in this interaction. Mike, and Jarrett get their drinks; before Marissa and I can place our orders, we hear a dog yelp and horrifying scream, followed by another horrifying scream. We step outside, and there’s the woman sitting with her dog, apologizing to another woman, who’s clutching her leg, crying and screaming. Cafe owner looks horrified and turns back inside. Now, the woman with the dog is doing absolutely nothing; she’s saying “okay, this is a service animal” (there’s no tag or collar or coat that confirms this) “and he’s had all of his shots.”
“YOU NEED TO TAKE ME TO THE HOSPITAL!!”
“Okay, I’m working right now? I’m a nanny and I can’t leave.”
There’s no one else around so I have to wonder who she’s nannying. Now, the woman who was bit by the dog, is holding her leg and crying and understandably traumatized. The woman with the dog, is still sitting down with her coffee and her dog and not lifting a finger. Finally, Marissa steps in.
“Okay, can you take a breathe? Can you sit down? Let me get you some wat—“
“I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS! I NEED TO GET TO THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE BOOKSTORE!!”
“Alright, but we should bandage you up, or at least wash yr wound.”
“I DON’T HAVE A CAR!!! SOMEONE—YOU!—YOU NEED TO DRIVE ME TO THE HOSPITAL!!!”
“Like I said, I’m nannying?” Lady with the dog pulls some adhesive bandages out of her purse.
“Okay” Marissa says “If you want to leave, leave but we should at least get that wound cleaned up.”
It was a puncture, but thankfully it wasn’t bleeding.
“I NEED TO GO! I NEED TO PICK SOMETHING UP AT THE BOOKSTORE!!!”
“Okay, but can we at least do this before you leave?”
“okay, I’m going to get you some water and a towel and some anti bacterial soap, okay?”
“NO JUST BRING ME A WET RAG!”
Woman with the dog still hasn’t done anything—hasn’t apologized for her dogs behavior, let alone stood up, or even offered to exchange information. At the same time, woman who got bit isn’t really adhering to the suggestion that she should get her wound cleaned or bandaged (But this is’t about blaming a victim.) Marissa comes out with a wet rag, and helps the lady clean her wound up. She’s crying, and quickly leaves—we just turn and look at the lady with the dog and she looks at us with this “some people huh?” look. It was a bizarre experience, and we left as quickly as possible, no coffee or smoothie.
“lets get the fuck out of here” I say, as we bid adieu to the shitty heaven that is Los Angeles. I love you, Los Angeles, even though you’re wild brayzzy and problematic.
We reach Characters—a sports bar—well before load in time, so we venture out to a vegan mexican spot for some delicious burritos. Top notch stuff. I was slightly hesitant a vegan burrito wouldn’t cut it for me, but it was rich, spicy and fulfilling. Anyway, back at Characters, we get it in and gather around a giant TV while the last inning of this Dodgers/Brewers play off. Apparently we are a sports band now. We are gathered around watching this bottom of the 9th/bases loaded inning with baited breath. Dodgers lose, but wow what an intense last inning.
Load in and get set up. The night is chill, and we are posted up outside in a giant courtyard, where we are encouraged to drink beer out of pitchers and smoke “whatever we want” out back. Tight. Clown Sounds kick the night off with some righteous hooky punk fury. So many sing alongs, so many anthems. Just spectacular. Kitten Forever follow through with their aggro dance party. The universal tour cold has now caught Corrie and her voice is shredded, leading the band changing their setlist just a smidge so she only has to sing two songs. Doesn’t seem to show a bit of weakness in their set as they rage right along, and throw an older number in the mix to take the pressure off Corrie’s voice. There’s an air of casualness to the evening, and with not too many people buying up Merch, I’m hanging side stage while Screaming Females are setting up and Marissa is busting my balls NJ style about my supposed “love” for the the Presidents Of The United States (not the band.) I’m making jokes right back, and it’s a good time. Feels chill. I check back at the merch area when all of the sudden a guy is moving our stuff around and laying out bags of bread and condiments. “I’m gonna fire this grill up here!” I turn to the promoter “Hey man, are we doing this right now? Do I have to move everything?” “Uhhhh, yeah you probably should.”
We’re back sidestage dancing it up Kitten Forever, and I’m running beers to JD before they blast into Lights Out (after a searing “Buried In The Nude”) and the “Lights Out,” “Agnes Martin” and “Ripe.” Barnburner set and everyone is high spirits. Even the promoter grabs the mic after to give an impassioned speech about scene unity while people queue up for hotdogs and hamburgers (to be fair, the burger this guy grilled up was ultra mint deluxe) and the bar is handing us more pitchers, while “Happy Feeling” by Frankie Beverly and Maze blares over the PA. Happy Feeling indeed.
Back to Newport Beach for one more beach house sleep over. We grab some beers and some grass and head to the beach. The stars are out, it’s so pretty. The waves are massive and the sand is extremely cold.
“Hold my beer” says JD, and next thing we know, ol boy strips down to his birthday suit and runs into the water. PLEASE BE CAREFUL JD!!! Like skateboarding, both Marissa and I are yelling “COME BACK JARRETT!” before a wave takes him out at the knees. He’s back up, and running around like a kid in a candy store. Cheyenne, Mike, Laura and I commandeer a lifeguard station and gaze at the sky. It’s so pretty out here. I don’t want to leave. I don’t know if I ever want to leave California. Have I sold out? Probably.
Back at the house we take our respective positions, as I curl up in the kitchen. What a wonderful, bizarre, complicated nine days we had here.
10.14.18—Harold’s San Pedro, CA (Screaming Females, Kitten Forever, Clown Sounds, Treasure Fleet, Vacation, Rats in the Louvre, Weird Night.)
Woke up hours before everyone else, only to spend two hours expunging snot and mucus from my head, and also shit for what seemed like forever. Not the best way to wake up, but I’m trying to rally. After about two hours, I level out and feel kind of better? My nose is raw and tender from blowing, and my head hurts but I’m determined to make it through.
We break out of The Touchies crib, and head into the city for grub. Sunday brunch time, never an easy scene but we find some small coffee shop with enough amenities to keep us all happy. Today we have to get a reup on t-shirts, but that won’t happen until we are at the gig. With such a short drive, we have a lot of free time on our hands so we motor up to Newport Beach and go kick it with Kitten Forever. It’s sunny, and warm but not H-O-T; nevertheless, Mike and I change to our swim gear, and head into the ocean with Laura and Corrie and Liz. It’s windy and the waves are strong. It’s quite heavenly, even if the fear of being swept by an undertow looms over all of us. A wave takes me out and I land hard on my hip. Still no signs of bruising, but I’m expecting something big soon. Jarrett and Marissa take turns flying a kite. After, we mosey on over the Kitten Forever beach house, and I get to rinse the salt water and sand off me. We will sleep here tonight.
While the drive is short, I still manage to sleep on the way to Pedro. I’m only awoken when we get to Pedro because the band knows my favorite punk band The Minutemen are from Pedro, and maybe I’ll want to see the town where they group up. While, only 20-30 minutes away from Los Angeles, San Pedro is one tough town. “Still a pretty…heavy hood” as Mike Watt points out in “We Jam Econo,” the documentary on the San Pedro band, The Minutemen. I emailed Watt in advance of this show inquiring as to the whereabouts of the tree that D. Boon leaped out at him, mistaking him for another friend, and thus beginning a friendship/band/legacy that still rings today. No such luck, the tree was uprooted to make way for an irrigation system in Perk Park. Crumbs. Anyway, Pedro is wild—everyone we encounter either looks like or talks like a pirate. It’s a sailors town—Navy housing and lots of ports for international freights. Leaving Pedro, you ride over a bridge that looks down on the big shipping port. It’s pretty impressive.
I’d live here. I even text a friend and say “when we ruin everything else in our lives, I’ll meet you in Pedro.” It used to be Oaxaca, down in Mexico but today it feels like Pedro. My dude Courty, we’d spend endless hours either in his kitchen or his porch or the bar we both worked at—talking about John Coltrane, Can, The Minutemen, James Brown and the trees of art all those bands planted and bloomed with their first notes. Hours upon hours, sometimes forgetting that a sunlight would be approaching. I’m sure we talked in circles about Frank Lowe’s “Church Number Nine” or “Under The Cherry Moon” or D Boon’s solo in “Validation” or Jimmy Garrison’s bass solo on some Japan bootleg of Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things.” Endless. Keep the Mezcal close. We met at a record store we worked at. I had an extra ticket for a Jurassic 5/Dilated People’s show and no one to go with; he took me up on the offer. That was 2002, and we’ve stayed tight since—death, birth, divorce, marriage, we’ve lived through it all and that’s my mellow. My main mellow. One of the things I miss most about Chicago, rolling into the spot, and posting up on the subwoofer while my mellow just kills it on the records.
We roll into Harolds, and there’s already a gaggle of locals putting beers back. A silk screen portrait of D Boon is on the speaker, thank gawd. He really was the best and he died way too young. There’s a lot of Minutemen/fIREHOSE/Watt lyrics that cut the ‘G’ off in words that end in “ing” (ex. “something” is always “somethin’” and “Remembering” is ‘Memberin.’”) Carla Bozulich, a tremendous lyricist and singer, also from Pedro does this too in her interviews. (“somethin’ to do.”) So I shouldn’t be so shocked when I see a sign in Harolds that says “NO SITTIN’ ON THE SHUFFLE BOARD!” but here we are, Pedro town. There’s bad Chinese food and a guy fighting a tree on the street.
Seven band bill…jesus loard, put me to sleep now! Thankfully all the bands kick tremendous ass. Weird Night are a five piece of Pedro weirdos singing songs about getting fucked up, and partying, but not in that heavy handed way that feels like they could be a Burger band. No, these are sloppy tunes that sometimes sound like all five are in different directions. Rats In The Louvre follow up with some tremendous post-punk skree. Vacation—the finest band from Cincinnati—come through with a barn burner set. All of em are firing on all cylinders but Dylan is really pounding away on the kit. I’ve seen some great Vacation shows, and I’ve seen sets that would send me into sobriety, and this was definitely the former. Treasure Fleet hit it back with some super cool swinging punk. Mike from Rad Payoff is behind the kit with them, and it’s great to see him and catch up with him. The band I used to be in played some of our favorite house shows with Rad Payoff in Chicago. Clown Sounds—as stated earlier—is a supergroup between Toys That Kill and the Railroad To Candyland dudes. Everyone that is on the bill is in the room, singing along/occasionally air guitaring to classics from both bands repertoires. Kitten Forever get the rowdy room even more hot with their rhythmic pummel. Screaming Females round out the night with a crushing bar set. All heaters, and everyone is in the zone with it. Even the bartenders are dancing through their set. I look out the crowd and at one point, Marissa has the most blissed smile while laying out a solo. A rare look.
The bartender loaded the jukebox next to the merch area and told Cheyenne and I to pick some songs. I load up “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and Cheyenne picked “Creep” by TLC.
“I feel like I made the wrong choice for this bar” Cheyenne confides.
“Hey if they didn’t want that record played in here, it wouldn’t be in the jukebox.”
Sure enough the one two punch of said selections gets the stragglers dancing, even JD is like “goddamn this is exactly what I wanted to hear.” Vibe techs, we know what we’re doin’.
We load out, Kitten Forever get a snack list going for the after party at their beach house. I slide back into the bar for one more tequila shot. Before consuming, I raise it to the sky.
“Hey Everyone? FOR D. BOON!”
One dude raises a glass in solidarity. Party with me, Punker.
Woke 8 bells to sound Tuesday heading out for a photoshoot. For all my joking—videos of me dropping alka seltzer and writing shit like “Los Angeles! Come Sneeze into my hands tonight!”—I now definitely have some sort of bug. It’s a bug that’s been going between both vans; it started with Marissa, and then Cheyenne got something, then Mike was working through some sickness, and now me. Great. This sucks. I’m sure constantly getting stuck in the rain last night didn’t help, nor did whatever cold air was blowing through the crash pad I take advantage of the early rise and take a hot shower, but not before texting Roxy for a potential breakfast before heading to San Diego. Shower is long and fruitful but I’m definitely sniffling. Roxy checks in and we meet up for coffee and breakfast. I’ve known her for years, but this is the first time we’ve met. I’ve always known she was a funny, brilliant maniac, but in her presence, I’m completely overwhelmed by how comfortable our rapport is. We talk about dating, complicated relationships, California living vs. New York living, comedy, and our network of mutuals. I’m pretty smitten. Like, I’ve always been fond of her, but in her presence I’m totally hung up on our rapport and would love to have more time to hang around them. I have no idea if it’s a crush or just a platonic hangover…they feelings are pretty synonymous. Whatever, I’ll never do anything about it because no one is interested in me, and no one wants to smooch Sowley (which is totally okay…it’s just facts) and I’m plenty fine with keeping things on a strictly platonic level; god forbid anyone have a crush on my disaster ass because if I find out someone has a crush on me, I will assume it’s a prank and do everything in my power to poke holes in the logic of someone having a crush on me.
The band is over at our friends Tara and Sara’s house. Normally we stay with them in Los Angeles, but they had a baby this year and babies and the late night lifestyles of rockers do not mix at night. In the daytime though they’re quite similar: someone needs to go potty, someone is hungry, someone is surely crying, and someone probably almost died in their sleep but isn’t going to talk about it. I peek over Tara’s shoulder and see baby Cleo. She has such a cute face and I can’t help but coo-coo at her and make goofball faces until she starts smiling and giggling.
“I want a baby,” I assertively mumble while looking up the nearest weed dispensary on my phone. Never let them say your gurl doesn’t know how to prioritize.
We say goodbye to Tara and Sara; gawwwd, what a cute and kind duo. I’m so happy they decided to build a family together. Nothing but a big heart of goodness for them. Dip into the dispensary to cop a couple grams for the remainder of our California run. Stoner Cold—I make so many jokes about the stoner cold while on tour, like I’m better than that, but clearly I’m not.
Short drive to San Diego, so it’s an easy haul down there. We pull off just outside of San Diego, and the gang hits up the planet fitness while I rest my eyes. “maybe I just need more rest?” No such luck. I feel like dogfood, and there’s no end in sight. Maybe my life is just *this* from now on. We make it to San Diego with a little time to kill. There are so many scooters on each corner. Stupid fucking things—“oh here’s some trash I can just throw anywhere when I’m done. I don’t need to do any sort of accountability within the confines of traffic rules on these things! I’ll just cruise around like a dipshit and maybe I’ll crash into a car or hurt someo—“ and wouldn’t you know it, Marissa has charged one up and is out on the town. She has the biggest grin on her face as she pushes away.
We find her about twenty minutes later and walk over to The Casbah. The Casbah is a sort of legendary club in the city. Certainly one of the longest lasting venues here. I’ve had friends that worked there and toured through it and they all had nothing but positive feelings toward the space. Very curious what tonight will be like. Part of the venue is outdoors, and we are directly under the flight path to the airport, so every five or ten minutes a plan flies frighteningly close to us.
We walk around and end up at a bougie mexican joint for dinner. The food is exceptional, the margarita, so-so. Marissa doesn’t know how to flirt, or go on a date. The subject comes up in a roundabout way, but we are at this point where Marissa doesn’t know how to talk on a date. “There’s nothing to it, you’re basically just asking questions and listening; but you have to listen, so you know where to go with the conversation. Here, try me.”
“Okay…hey Sowley, do you like punk music?”
“Do I like punk music? I do, but I like weird punk; I tend to get drawn—“
“Do you like guys screaming?”
“I don’t think so, I think I’ve had my fill of du—“
“Do you like Madball?”
“You aren’t letting them answer your questions” interjects Jarrett. “Give em some space.”
“Yeah, space, then let the conversation flow. I don’t really like Madball. Do you like madball?”
Then I started asking her questions about art, and her influences, really simple stuff I think anyone would want to learn about someone on a date. It really not that hard, you just have to come out of your shell a bit.
Back at the venue, Marissa takes a nap, and the remaining three of us play a couple rounds of cut throat. Corrie from Kitten Forever’s parents are in town for their second show tonight and are such nice, supportive people. They rented a beach house in Newport, about an hour away in any direction from our remaining southern California shows, so KF will crash there for the next couple days. People start milling in. I forget that there’s a lot of military in San Diego, which could explain the conservative streak that runs through this city. Mittens kicked the night off right with some cool and funky pop rock, not unlike B-52s. Super jangly and sassy. Kitten Forever blasted through their set hard. They are truly a force to be reckoned with. Screaming Females didn’t drop the ball either with a furious set of true rock. I peer in from the back where I’m stationed with merch; Marissa is letting into a heavy solo when she looks up, somehow sees me, and gives me a thumbs up. So strange but I’m amused.
The San Diego punk band The Touchies offered us their place to crash, but not before we hit a walgreens so I can score some nasal decongestant spray and some cold pills. Hate being sick on tour, and yet it almost always happens. I honestly can’t believe it didn’t happen during the spring tour because that bug was thick! Back at the house of Touchies, we settle around the living room, and play chess, drink beers, and gossip. Jarrett sets his sleep pad and bag along the floor.
“You’re sleeping there?” asks Mike
“Yes” replies Jarrett, already down on the mat and about to sleep.
“Cool,” and just as Mike says that he accidentally hits the air spout on Jarretts pad and deflates it. Total accident, but we all start laughing. Jarrett inflates his pad again, and we are all in our respective sleeping spaces. The lights are off. Jarrett gets up, walks over to where Mike is sleeping.
“Hey I need to grab that thing out of my bag,” and with perfect comedic timing (drummers) he opens the nozzle to Mikes pad and deflates it. Sweet revenge before a sweet slumber.