Full disclosure by Steve McPherson: Twinkie Jiggles is my brother, but that only means that I have a full appreciation of just how funny and entertaining his tour diaries can be. Any and all bands who tour are hereby invited to submit tour diaries of their very own to firstname.lastname@example.org, since I’m hoping to run them regularly. This is just a little taste; for the whole story, you’ll have to check out the Pulse Music blog at pulsetcmusic.blogspot.com. So now, on to Twinkie's latest from the road.
Thu., Nov. 3, 2005
Heiruspecs, in one sense, have been together for 8 years and one month. But, in another sense, we've been together for two minutes. We are maneuvering around St. Paul picking up the last member of Heiruspecs. We are leaving for a one-month tour opening for founding Pharcyde member Tre Hardson. The tour is called "Slimkid's Liberation Tour." In my world, the tour is called, "Hi, I'd Like To Request a Balance Increase?" 2005. Gas is expensive, these rap kids are cheap and I don't stay fat for free. Heiruspecs is about overnight drives, killer trips to Subway, drink tickets (not free beer), and we all think Jennifer Tilly is attractive. We will start this tour driving straight to Colgate University in New York State. Colgate is a magnet for polo shirts, Keystone Light and Saabs. We will be meeting up with Tre Hardson in Philly on Tuesday. But we're going to play this one without him.
get to Colgate on time, which I think shocks everyone at the college. As a 111
lb. male freshman plugs in a huge PA backwards, I get the feeling that we might
be on our own as far as audio fidelity goes. I've met very few bad fat soundguys.
The plot thickens as we learn that thousands of bands we've never heard of are
on the bill. But I've heard of Grand Buffet. Sick Pittsburgh '80s disco rap
combined with an Adult Swim sense of humor. Lord Grunge and Grape-a-Don [of
Grand Buffet] arrive in their nice-ass car and we cuddle and laugh.
The stage manager/sound guy/sole contact guy is everyone's best friend, which
means that we'll be going up super late. But honestly, what's late and what's
early? Lord Grunge, [Heiruspecs drummer] Peter Leggett and me go to the dining
hall and re-enact the Fat Boys all-you-can-eat Sbarro bonanza as seen in the
classically terrible film, "Krush Groove". Um, my brother's the music
editor of this paper so he'd take this out if it's not true, but I will eat
anything. But this food is crappy. Maybe the teachers [at Colgate] are good,
or paid well or something, but honestly, turn that grill on and let's see some
veggie burgers and patties.
Grand Buffet's music for me is secondary to the never-ending tirades they push
out of their mouths between songs. While accompanied by their sampler that has
famous DMX lines on cue, they explained they were honored to be playing at the
college where the Red Hot Chili Peppers went to high school. I am standing up
and laughing my half-clean ass off.
The night goes longer and longer and people who came to see us are starting
to leave cause they still like liquor more. By the time we get up, the hardcore
Heiruspecs people are here. They number about 18 and that's fine with us. We
put on a passionate show and have fun. Even though the college is paying us,
we all ask for places to stay 'cause Colgate leaves something lacking in the
affordable hotel realm.
New Rule: The girl on acid will say you can stay at her house. But you can't.
Sat., Nov. 5-Mon., Nov. 7
Saturday through Monday we are in Williamstown, Mass., where I was born. I spend
days listening to my iPod; walking around where my elementary school used to
be; looking at the first place I ever tried to smoke pot, third place I ever
kissed girl, best pizza place, favorite record store, field where I cried, house
where I lived, people I grew up with. I was raised in a town that made it real
hard to be an artist. It was sports, academics and maybe classical music. But
playing guitar in bands wasn't the social climb it was in the Twin Cities. Heiruspecs
went and played at my old high school on Monday primarily because I want to
communicate any way I can that you can make art of any kind happen no matter
where you're born. You might have to move, you might have a harder time than
someone born in a city, but everyone can try to make art. I see a bunch of my
old teachers and a bunch of my old friends who are now teachers here. I am weirded
out. I have a lot of hard memories of being a boy here.
Tue., Nov. 8
Skoro begins and ends Philadelphia for me. We will sleep in his house, we will
drink on his roof. He will sell merch for us. We are playing at a club called
the Fire that we have played at before. The first day of tour is always confusing
but this one trumps them all. On this tour we're opening for Tre Hardson but
they've opted to have us headline this one. We are told that Tre Hardson will
not have any equipment with him and they need to use ours. As we struggle through
most of this and are trying to figure out set times I am mainly just reading
an industry magazine that tells us exactly how many people paid to see particular
artists on particular nights. So, the truth is out: Dave Matthews Band is very
popular. Fat Joe, not so much. I do a lot bit of the starstruck thing when I
meet Slim Kid Tre from the Pharcyde. Classic. Tre Hardson is very nice and without
any kind of star-like pretension. We play our show and a lot of people actually
stick around for us and we get some props. We get dropped off at Rob Skoro's
and drink too much rum on the roof. It's windy and people without lighters are
kind of screwed.
Wed., Nov. 9
Ithaca, NY tried to ruin Slimkid's Liberation Tour. We got put up in this killer
bed-and-charge-you-extra-for-breakfast that this super-eager music-fan guy runs.
Pretty much from meeting this guy I learned tons about how he felt about everything
in regards to the funnest bands, the bunk he built for Antibalas and other stuff
that isn't on the iPod I was awkwardly holding like some sort of conversation
ender. We played to the nine people that were there and they were very supportive.
A girl talked to me for a long time and we were leaning into each other and
laughing. She mentioned she was dating the bartender. I looked over and he looked
as angry as a guy with a ponytail and a beard can look. He looked like the girl
version of Chuck Norris. I opted to pass on the rest of my drink and talk to
my computer instead. I slept in the weird house.
Thu., Nov. 10
New York City's best quality is being not Ithaca. Its worst quality is it being
pretty hard to park. At 6 p.m. we unload into the club and I meet the first
guy who ever booked a Heiruspecs show in NYC. He gave us the show because I
was honest about how many people I could get into the door. That's the first
and last time honesty has helped me in the music industry. The rest of the night
we're just dealing with finding places to stay and hanging out with all our
New York friends. Even if one doesn't have New York friends, you will, because
people move there every year. I probably won't move to a city where my rent
would triple and every salad bar would be pay-per-pound. But for two nights
I'm with it. Our set goes well and there's a bunch of people here to see us.
After that I pay exorbitant prices to drink little bits of liquor drowned in
soda water. In the end I work it out to stay at an NYU dorm with a girl we met
on tour in Champaign. I kind of thought an NYU dorm was a ticket to fun, although
it never was when my girlfriend went there a couple years ago. Turns out the
girl went home shortly after our set and was just down to let me into sleep
by the time I got there. We walked into her room and she asked me how I felt
about sleeping on the top bunk.
Rule 2 - Keep the fat, drunk guy on the floor or as close to the floor as possible.
She violated Rule 2 and parked me on the top bunk. I may or may not have woken
up and peed in the bathroom but not necessarily the toilet. I may have definitely
cleaned it up though. So be cool.
Sat., Nov. 12
Boston, Mass., is the blueprint for annoying white people. If they lose the
rest of us, they won't lose a beat. It's time for Boston to burn. It's been
around for too long. The club obviously hates the fact that our friends came
and we didn't put them on the guest list and that we have a draw in Boston.
We did an interview with Harvard radio in our van because we couldn't make it
to the station and the club wouldn't let them in cause they're youngins. The
club sounds great and I see a bunch of friends from my hometown as well as some
newly re-located Heiruspecs fans. Tre Hardson plays for a really long time and
people only get into it when they get really drunk and he plays Pharcyde songs.
Go Bruins. I buy chicken wings that cost $35 a piece and go to sleep in the
corner of a hotel room full of Heiruspecs.
Sun., Nov. 13
Hartford, Conn., is located right near places where people like good rap. But
Hartford is a pocket all its own. There are approximately 15 openers and with
the show starting at 6 p.m., we the tour openers don't get onstage until 9:30.
There are literally two stages going full of openers. And people are super-psyched
about them. Everyone's got their posse of friends and it means a well-attended
show but Heiruspecs plays to about 19 people. And this place can fit like 1400
people. I don't even think Hartford can fit that many people. The staff likes
us. We sell some CDs. A girl we know gives us flowers from the gas station next
door. It's too bad they didn't have cards that say "Sorry about Hartford".
And then my brother wrote me and said the Pulse needs an article and I started
cleaning all this stuff up so I can send it before I leave for Canada tomorrow.