Friday, July 31, 2009

West Coast Tour - Day 6

We woke up at Adam's around noon, I think. One can never really be too sure of these things. He took us to this really rad place called Vita. The food was ridiculously good. They had a vegan reuben, a vegan club, a vegan steak sandwich, a vegan caesar salad, and so on, and so forth. We went back to Adam's, and a few of us got some more sleep. After a while, it was just Kellen and I still at Adam's, deciding to sleep pretty much forever, since neither of us really slept during the drive here.

Jay came in around five or six (one can never be too sure) and asked who wanted to go check out some nature. Of course, both of us were in. Adam took all of us, sans John, to Multnomah falls. Just like the last post, words don't do it justice, so I'll just post photos. (Click to enlarge.)

Our pal, Emmett.

The drive back was also gorgeous, and amazing, which is good, because it also caused us to be late to the show.

We got back to Adam’s and grabbed whatever random stuff we needed to really quickly, then went to Laughing Horse Books for the show. Fortunately, the show was on “punk time”, so it started a little late, and we all managed to get there in good enough time. Ben and Jesse gave us a crap ton of vegan treats from their workplace, which I think was called Sweet Pea’s, but my memory sucks, so I’ll have to remember to ask one of the guys when they’re not all asleep at 4:36 AM and I’m sitting here typing, like a fool.

Carnitas and Carrion Spring opened for us, and we played a short set since, again, it was hot as balls and Jesus. It’s pretty funny that we go from Phoenix to Portland to end up there during a week when they’re having weather going quite a few degrees above 100. I think it’s pretty far to consider it the ultimate irony that this heat wave has somehow followed us up the coast. Fortunately, from what I’ve gathered, it’s going to break now, and the rest of tour won’t even make it over 90 degrees. And, actually, today wasn’t all that bad, compared to the weather I hear they’ve been having here.

After the show, we all kinda split up for a bit. Jay and I ended up at Zack’s Shack, where they have sweet hot dogs. There is an ungodly amount of good vegan food in Portland. Can I seriously go get a veggie dog until 3AM in this town? Unbelievable.

Jay and I had some sweet conversation there that extended into a walk down the street from Adam’s, where we met up with the rest of the band, and continued to have some sweet discussions until we all went to sleep. Or, until they all went to sleep, and I stayed up until almost 5AM, typing nonsense, because I am a moron.

West Coast Tour - Day 5

We woke up, sort of feeling like we didn't want to leave, and managed to make some time to spend with Joe and Mary before we did. We were served some delicious fruit, some of which came from their garden, and there was coffee and tea available as well. Seriously, these people rule. And so does their son, who everyone seems to call by his middle name, Danger, which seems pretty awesome, to me. We went to a sweet diner across the street to grab a substantial breakfast before we hit the road to Redding, then said bye to everyone, which was a little sad, because Reno was a huge amount of fun to be in.

The road to Redding was incredibly gorgeous, and I really have nothing more to say about that, so here is an example. (Click it to enlarge.)

We pulled up to Champion Tattoo in Redding to meet up with Kurt and grab some food. He and John went to pick up the PA for the show while the rest of us sort of farted around, then went to the show. It was going to be at Deville's, but apparently the place was shut down the night before, from what I understand, so it ended up at a random house. I guess the kids were moving out in the next day or two and didn't have any power. They ran an extension cord from the house next door to power the show, which was awesome. There was no AC, which blew balls, but it's not like we're Freddie Fucking Mercury, so who really cares? The coolest part, for me, were the two ginormous black widow eggs that were under the "secret panel" on the wooden porch.

The show was hot as balls and Jesus, to put it lightly. Everyone there was super awesome, but I'm quite sure that everyone there was ready to be done with the heat. It's pretty much a miracle I didn't pass out during our set.

After the show, we took the drive straight to Portland which, like every other road on this tour, was full of construction. Kellen did most of the driving (in the van I was in) for the long-ass night-drive, because he rules. We stopped for about a half an hour at a random rest stop where I got a break from everything and sat in a forest, staring up through the trees at the stars while talking to someone who is very close and important to me. (Awww, look at that. Jeffrey has a personal, emotional side.)

We got back on the road and, somehow, with only 30 minutes of sleep, Kellen managed to make it all the way to Adam's at about 7AM, and we had left around 10PM. And, of course, at that point, it was straight to bed.

West Coast Tour - Day 4

Let me just say, right off the bat, that this was easily the best day of tour so far. We woke up at Joe and Mary’s, and Joe promptly made us some fucking amazing pancakes. We hung out there for a little bit, then headed about 20 miles down the freeway to go to a small lake for some sweet cliff jumping.

I actually have only been cliff jumping once before in my life and it was somewhere around ten to fifteen years ago. This is, mostly, because I’m a total pussy. I didn’t plan on jumping at all, but when we got up on the rock and I was the only one left to jump, I decided it would be a bit of a mistake not to do it, so down I went, shouting, “HAIL SATAN!” (Though not that loudly, because I was sick.) Sure, it was only a twenty foot drop, but that’s twenty feet more than I thought I would ever be doing. We waded around for a bit, letting the current take us where it wanted, did a little more jumping, then went to grab some grub at Pneumatic Cafe.

Pneumatic was super awesome, and had some really good vegan garlic cheese bread, amongst many other things, like some tasty smoothies and great pasta dishes. Who knew there was such great vegan food in Reno? I wish I would have known that last time I was here, but now I’ll know next time!

After eating there, we went back to Joe and Mary’s place and got some much-needed rest in before heading to the show at The Henden. Last time I played Reno, it was at The Eyeball, and that was easily one of my favorite venues I’ve ever been to. The Henden may as well have been the exact same venue, for how awesome it was. I guess there are just a bunch of amazing basement shows in Reno, because that’s all I’ve experienced there, thus far. Joe’s band, Contend, played first. It was their first show, and Joe had only picked up the bass three weeks earlier, for the first time, but you would have never known. After them was Crime Time, who kicked some pretty good ass, just like Out of Reach, who played right after that. Basically, the entire show kicked major fucking ass, and Reno is the kind of place where a punk can feel at home, no problem.

After the show, we hung out at The Henden for a little bit before heading back to Joe and Mary’s for another evening. Joe made us some fucking AMAZING dinner. Some “sausages” and awesome potato salad and some tasty-ass beans. Basically, none of us ever want to leave Reno, after how well we were treated there, and how much fun everything was. I mean, not that the rest of tour hasn’t been awesome, but there’s just something about Reno.

We all capped the night off watching Zohan, projected onto the wall. I hadn’t seen it before, and I guess I can’t honestly say I’ve seen it now, since I was falling in and out of sleep while it was on, but I caught enough of it to know that I need to watch the whole movie. Yup.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

West Coast Tour - Day 3

We woke up in The Oven and slowly pulled ourselves together to face the day. Once we were ready, we headed into Roseville to get a little taste of culture, and by culture, I mean the same corporations you see all across the country, so not really culture at all. Though, Olivehurst, CA is supposedly the “Meth Capital of the World”, so it was really a tough choice at that point, what was the better option. And besides, we had to get to Guitar Corp. so Mark could return one of his drum heads. After we dicked around in their for a while (I always tend to gravitate toward the synthesizers), we went to go see Bruno. Some of us went to the movie while Mark, Adam and Kellen went to find some food. Yet again, I’m not sure what was the better option.

After the movie, we went to wrap up a few other things. Primarily, we got some wart medicine for the warts Jay has been getting on his hand, as a result of the curse that I apparently put on him. (I really need to start cursing people more often.) We had some fun with the wart medicine, pouring it on Emmett and my hands, and on the back of my neck, which left a huge red mark for about 24 hours.

We got back to The Oven about an hour or so before the show started, so I went and got some beers with some of the fine young gentlemen from Olivehurst (the non-tweeker kind). I decided that I’m going to drink before every show on this tour since the two shows before tour, I was a little drunk, and had a great time. We sat in the heat and were reminded of home, while waiting for kids to arrive. Somewhere around 6, the show started. There were a few bands, and they were all awesome. We got to share the bill with three phenomenal touring bands, Maladie from Mexico, Bokanovsky from France, and Drowning With Our Anchors from San Francisco. There's just something about playing in a tiny garage with good sound that really doesn't compare to much of anything.

After the show, we hung out for a bit with the dudes from Caulfield (who also played and ruled), waited for things to wind down, then hit the road for Reno. Somehow, there seemed to be construction and detours the entire drive there. The convenience store we stopped at had a guy out front that was looking me up and down, staring at my tattoos. I felt like I was in Deliverance, or possibly Hatchet. We managed to make it to Reno without being brutally slaughtered or ass-raped though, so that was good. We're at Joe and Mary's house. They are awesome, and sleeping is awesome, too.

West Coast Tour - Day 2

West Coast Tour - Day 2

We woke up around 9AM at Chris’s house, to get some things ready before we hit the road. The two vans went separate ways, John, Mark and Adam going to Mike Hartsfield’s place to get more copies of the 7” for the rest of tour. The rest of us went to an auto parts store to get a bulb for over the license plate. We popped the cover off and it turned out that the light was fine, it was just shoved up into the van a little bit, so we didn’t actually need to repair anything!

Next stop: Whole Foods. Actually, it was the biggest fucking Whole Foods any of us had ever seen in our lives. We went in planning to get a couple little tings, and most of us spent about twenty bucks in there. I could have spent a lot more, to be honest, so being able to reign it in on that one is pretty commendable, or at least I think so. I had a vegan tuna salad sandwich, which was good enough, some rosemary potatoes, which were fairly tasty, and some tempeh Chinese “chicken” salad, which was pretty goddamned amazing.

We managed to pry ourselves out and hit the road to Fresno. We didn’t think we would make it on time, but we pulled up to the Chinatown Youth Center a little early, which was a pretty good surprise. We played there in March and had a really god time, so it was nice to make it back there. As before, everyone there was really cool to us, and they even cooked us some pretty tasty pasta, which I somehow managed to still have room for after eating most of the stuff I bought at Whole Foods. Everyone started to show up and the first band, Necrowizard, took the stage. They were, in my opinion, the best Fresno band I have heard. They played a Slayer cover and a D.R.I. cover, and had plenty of sweet metal riffs. After them were The Bombpops from San Diego. It’s always nice to see girls in bands, because there is just an overwhelming amount of dudes rocking out. They were playing some pretty awesome punk in the vein of Op Ivy/Rancid and F-Minus (and, no, the F-Minus comparison is not just because there are women in the band).

After the show, a few of the guys were getting on me for not hooking up with any girls on tour. Specifically Jen from The Bombpops. It was a little bit funny, and I imagine I’m going to here about it the entire rest of tour. Actually, scratch that. I imagine I’m going to hear about it well after tour.

We drove straight to Olivehurst through the night. It was about a three-hour drive, if I’m not mistaken. We pulled up to the house we were staying at quite a bit before Adam, Mark and John, and since we’re wimps, we weren’t sure if we should just go up and knock, or whatever, since we didn’t have the number of the people whose house it was. After a while, we just drove there, and they came out front to meet us, were super welcoming, and showed us where we could crash, which was on the floor of the garage where we would be playing in the next night. This was no problem, so we al set up camp and went to bed as quickly as we could. This garage is awesome and I can’t fucking wait to play a show in here!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

West Coast Tour - Day 1

We hit the road after practice last night with Adam and Emmett, (Adam driving a second van) some time after 10PM. Not even 100 miles outside of town, we got pulled over. Jay got out all of the important documents and gave them to the cop who then said, "Step out of the vehicle." We all sort of thought it was weird and whispered to Jay to ask why we got pulled over.

"Can I ask why you pulled me over?" Jay said.

"I'll tell you when you get out of the car," the cop said in a pretty angry voice. Jay got out of the car and went to talk to the cop for ten or fifteen minutes while the rest of us sat there, wondering what to do.

"Um," I said, "should I get out and help?"

In unison, Mark and Kellen said, "No!" Then one of them, I think it was Mark, went on saying, "That's when they call in the friends and get out the tazers and nightsticks." A few minutes after that, Jay got back in the car and all he had was a repair order for the light over the van's license plate. I don't know why it took that long, but there you have it. We hit the road again, making a couple stops for a couple things, we arrived at Chris Rouse's place a little before 6AM, and we all went to sleep pretty much immediately.

We woke up around 10AM to go meet Mike and Ashley Hellfish at Mother's and have some amazing brunch, which was as worth it as was expected. A bunch of us had pretty much the same thing with some minimal discrepancies, which made it really easy for them to screw up our orders, but they did a pretty good job, and I think we all left super satisfied.

We then hit the road to go check out the twenty-foot plus waves that are hitting right now on Newport Beach, but the traffic was so bad that we just ended up driving around by the beach and ended up turning around. It was okay though, because we ended up having plenty of kid-like fun, chanting random things at random people as we drove about 5MPH down the road. By the end, Jay and Emmett were leaning out of the windows, giving high fives to people passing by the other direction in cars and on bikes. After a while, we decided that they should start fake high fiving people, like how you pull your hand away at the last minute. We got a couple people pretty good, and it was super amusing. Probably the best part of the whole drive was when a fifty-something woman was walking with four "McLattes" and Emmett shouted, "Yeah, nice lattes!" She sort of stopped, looked around, and approached a different car as we drove off, and she did not look happy at all. We were hoping she would throw one of the lattes at someone, but it didn't happen.

After all of the fun, we started heading to the show in Murrieta at Vic's Warehouse. It took a little bit to get there, but we managed to make it there a little early. The venue was super awesome, and it reminded me of The Chamber back home, but a little more official, I guess, which can be good bad or neutral, depending on your perspective. There was a decent amount of kids there, and I was pretty happy with our set, so I guess you could say it went pretty well. As we were loading our equipment into the van, we saw an owl fly overhead, a bunny run away, and a tiny little mouse running around. I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but it happened.

There's not much more to tell and I'm ready to go to fucking sleep, so yup.