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Twin Town High (vol. 8)
Askeleton Tour Journal
Contributed by Anonymous on: Thursday 03 June @ 12:09:18
Tuesday May 18th 2004. Des Moines IA
We left for tour @ 1 pm. We were planning on leaving at noon. Got the mini van packed with our great the night before. Everyone got dropped off at Jacy’s house. We all milled around for a while then kissed our loved ones goodbye and left town with a quick stop at the UHAUL for a pad lock for the trailer.
The drive to Des Moines IA was about 4 hours long. We took it slow to get a feel for the mini van and trailer action. She runs a little hot but seemed to be ok. Hey, free van.
We mostly listened to music and ate cookies the whole ride down. Eric slept the whole time. Jacy drove.
We got to Des Moines around 5 and sat outside the Mews in the van for a while. Ellen did some roller skating. Super cute. All the creepy old people drunk in the streets liked her.
We went into the coffee shop next to the Mews to get some food and check the internet. Chatted with Celeste for a while. Do you remember her? She did that channel 45 clothing and hair thing at Moxie. We went to that fun clothing swapping party at her old Uptown house. I think you never liked her. Jacy, Eric and Billy started some beer drinking in the van. Brad the bartender got there and said we could load in at any time.
We loaded in after hanging out for a while. There was a slam poetry reading happening at the coffee shop next door and lots of people were coming out for that. Eric (I think) talked to some girl about coming to our show and she said she was going to go see that old Clutch band across town at some other club but would come back afterwards. I got a very weird vibe from her.
The first band started playing after we all have a free round on the house. The first band was called 12 Canons. Awesome kids., very young. They used banjo, drums, piano, bass, acoustic guitar, sax, among other things. The singers/banjo player looked allot like Anna’s little brother. I swear to god. I sat up front during the whole set.
The second band was called Envy Corps and had members of the first band. They were also very good. They of had the vibe of that Umbrella Sequence band from home. Much calmer then that though. Also a Sigur Ros kinda thing as well. Super good.
I talked to people from both bands after their sets. They were very nice people. We played a terrible show. Something was just very off. I don’t know if it was nervous energy gone bad or just us sucking because of only practicing once before the tour. Either way, we sucked. I had some fun though. I ran up the stairs of the club and out in the meager crowd and played the percussion and yelled some things.
After the set talked with the other bands and had some things to drink and wondered what the hell went wrong with us. That girl that said she was going to the other show came back and was so fucking trashed. Ellen and I hid from her in the van and talked about love, loss and if vibraters and pocket pussys were the same thing. We asked the other guys to find us a place to stay. I thought maybe she wasn’t that drunk to be able to stay with her. I was wrong. She went to try and buy shots for the guys but I guess her card wouldn’t go though. Billy, Jacy and Eric put down something like $8 on a 26-dollar tab and left.
They tell stories about the girl getting up on the bar and talking her shirt off. All I know is Ellen and I saw her falling out of the bar and rolling around the sidewalk with some girl. Bill kept coming back to the van to give us a really great drunken update on what was going g on with this drunk chick and where we were going to stay that night.
This girl tells house we can stay at her place but is way to drunk to drive. Eric say he will drive her car and Bill will go with. Jacy follows her as she takes us all over the frinkin’ city. Eric is driving way too fast. It’s very hard to follow someone in a mini van while pulling a trailer. Bill makes a drunken call from his cell phone and I can’t tell what the hell he is saying. I tell him to tell Eric to slow down. Bill is just yelling about how some “crazy shit is happening in here”.
We pull up in front of the god damn club that she was at during our show. She wanted to get more drinks. She has no money. It was a wild goose chase. She is trying to get us to go in this place and we say we have no money. She dips in for a minute and comes back out and says that we can go in but they serve her anymore. No shit.
Once again we say we have no money and she tries to go back in the club again. We just say were are gong t leave town and sleep somewhere on the way to Lincoln but we all feel bad for this poor crazy drunk girl and don’t want her to drive her truck. She comes back out again (got kicked out, I’m sure) and says she will take us to her house but it’s out in the country. So we give the house stay another go. Eric takes off again and they lose us. I call Bill’s phone again and Jacy talks to Eric and to find out where the hell they went.
We find them a second later and Eric is out of the car yelling about how this girl took off her clothes in the truck and was trying to get with him. He was NOT having it. So once again we talk about getting the fuck out of town and what the hell are we going to do with this crazy drunk girl? I go over and get her keys and toss them in a parking lot while she is not looking. My thinking is that she won’t find them till morning when she is sober. The band thinks that was a bad idea so instead we toss the keys into the back seat of her car and say goodbye. We wait for a few minutes to see that she hasn’t found her keys and we find or way to the freeway. I sure she just passed out in her car.
Eric and Bill (who is drunk as a skunk) tell us stories about what the fuck was going on with that girl. After a while Bill puts on his headphones and starts air drumming in Ellen and my face. He falls asleep after a while and so do I. I wake up as we are pulling off at a rest stop. Jacy say we will sleep here tonight and that is just fine. Bill flops onto the floor of the mini van as Eric and Jacy grab some sleeping bags to sleep under the stars. We talk for a while about what the fuck could have been wrong with that girl. Everyone has theories. My favorite was resent brain surgery. There was a weird sort of bald spot on her head I guess.
I crawl in the front seat and go to sleep.
Wednesday May 19th 2004. Lincoln NE
Woke up at the rest stop. Drove to a little place to get breakfast that cost way too much money. Took some pictures of a old empty café that looked really cool in the middle of Iowa somewhere.
The drive was about 3 more hours to Lincoln. Jacy and I flake on getting off downtown Lincoln and drove about 10 miles past Lincoln and found this weird little place called the Peace Farm or something. The signs they had said they had been written up in some U.N. booklets. Weird place.
There was no one there so we hopped the fence and took a look around at the strange pieces of art, mazes and information they had about the things wrong with this planets and it’s people, industry and technology.
We got back in the van and headed towards Lincoln again. We found some local radio that was playing my brothers band (Minus The Bear). Things were going to be awesome in Lincoln.
Drove around downtown a bit to find a parking spot and a coffee shop with free internet. I called Andy, the kid that set up the show, and he told us about a little place downtown to Wi-Fi out. We set up shop in the coffee place and Jacy and I started interneting. Ellen started sewing and Dickie and Billy went to look around after getting kicked off the coffee shops computers.
Billy called the cell phone and said Eric was getting his hair cut at some vintage/retro shop around the corner. We packed up and walked over there. It was a cool little place with a little salon upstairs. We could see Eric getting his famous “Brohawk” hair style from the street looking in. We walked upstairs and hung out with the cool girl that cut Eric’s hair. We invited the girl to the show. She didn’t charge Eric for the haircut.
We walked to get some food after Ellen bought a couple killer bags from that place and Andy found us on the street. He is a really nice kid and reminds me of Andy Warhol and Andy from the Vets wrapped into one young man, Personality and looks.
Cheap tacos happen and we head to the house that the show is taking place.
The house is in a funny little neighborhood with lots of children running around. Or hosts Billy and Nate are super nice guys. The run a little internet message board about the local music. We hang out at the house for awhile until people start to show up. Eric makes a beer run with Nate and we just chill with the kids from the other band playing that Andy is in called Mr. 1986.
We set up our stuff and the P.A. that Andy rented. Ellen, Billy and I walk to get more beer. We come back and play a really great show in the basement. I play around with the only light source in the basement that is a little light hanging over Eric. It was such a good feeling playing in the dirty, spider filled, dripping wet, packed basement and really “rocking” for the people. Last night sucked so much that we needed this show.
After we played Mr. 1986 rocked their instrumental set. Andy does this really cute thing were he puts on his glasses when he fucks around with his pedal board then puts his glasses back on to rock the guitar.
We sell some CDs and Eric and Jacy talk to girls as Ellen and I sit in the van and talk them talking to girls. The party goes on for a while and we get Bill to round up the dudes to get some food and go to sleep at Andy’s house. We say our goodbyes and go downtown to Jimmy Johns and Andy buys us all sammies. What a killer bro.
We roll back to Andy’s parents house and he has it all set up for us to sleep in his basement with awesome couches, blow up beds and the whole works.
Good night Lincoln. Thanks for the killer show with the spiders.
Love lost but not forgotten,
Thursday May 20th Denver CO
We wale up at Andy’s in the morning to some fresh Donuts and towels for showers. Though we have only been on tour 3 days I feel so nasty as everyone else seems to as well. Do you remember when I used to come home from tour without taking a shower for like 2 weeks? Killsadie tours were stupid and dirty and jay and I never showered. Of course we would try but the tours were so spastic and weird that we hardly ever got the chance. Of course Bob wouldn’t shower even when he had a chance. I remember the time on the first or second Killsadie tour when Bob smelled so bad in that damn Slayer shirt that never left his body that he started to smell like Stove Top Stuffing. Sickly sweet.
We hang out with Andy for awhile and take showers and eat some donuts. Jacy makes some coffee and we pack up and load our asses in the van. Andy tells us how to get the hell out of town while Ellen plays with a cat.
It’s about a 8 hour drive (in our van) to Denver. We take it slow and low. Pretty boring trip so I won’t bore you with the details. We did how ever get some fun little sucker gun things when we were about an hour or so out side of Denver. Bill and Eric love them.
We get into Denver and find the “club” were are playing at. The guy that is running the show named James comes out to tell us that the show that the promoter hooked up for us fell through because of “a bunch of crap” and we can play this “street punk show” instead and they will give us gas money. It’s cool. The headliner is this band called the Independents, which has ex members of the Misfits in it.
I have a really weird vibe loading in the to unfinished club. Everyone seems like they don’t want us there. Jacy seems happy about it anyway and I guess I’m glad we are at least playing. The whole set up is weird. I’m not sure what gear is the clubs and what gear is the other bands. We slowly kind of get things figured out and do a half assed sound check. We go chill outside with some of the other bands for awhile. I talk to this one guy and we somehow get on the subject of how the show will suck and next time we are in town he can hook up a proper show for us. I ask about some other clubs there because I want to know where Minus The Bear is going to be playing there. .He said some club and that sounded right from what I remember Erin saying and I tell him my brother is the drummer of that band. He says that Erin is awesome and of course I agree. We get on the subject of Killsadie because of that and once he finds out I was in that band too he seems to be impressed for some reason.
We play to the other band and some of their girlfriends. We played just fine but it was really hard to put on a good show in such a big empty echo chamber in front of people just standing there. The whole crowd did come up front which was nice. We played a good show, it was just hard to really rock out. The sound was awful. Ellen was a little bummed about it. I was ok with it. We sold a CD and got 50 bucks so it was cool, I guess. Everyone there was really nice and next time we play Denver it will be better.
We leave and go to where Jacy and my friend Jenny works. We go to downtown Denver and find our way near the 15th Street Tavern and park the van. We all get some taco bell in shifts and then go over to the bar. Jenny bartends and books the place but there is some really bad metal coming from the bar. Glad we got in for free. Jenny hooks us up with some drinks and we chill out. Man, everyone is tired from the Taco Bell and little sleep. Good to see Jenny but we need to hit the road. Say good bye and get in the van and go.
Jacy drives us through some crazy construction and we get about 3 hours out of town while listening to some AM coast to coast. We pull over behind some gas station and head to sleep for the night. Jacy sleeps on top of the van.
From a van,
Friday May 21st 2004. Albuquerque NM.
Tour lingo so far:
1 “Do God’s work” or “I’ve given birth to a food baby” = take a poop
2 “Jimmy Reardon” (with Luda voice) = Motha fuckin’
3 “Oh Gawd” (in a high voice) = “A Caperton”
4 “A Capterton” = anything Bill says.
5 “A Natty” = booze
Woke up behind some trucker stop. I am covered in dirt. Jacy, Bill and Eric ate breakfast for cheap at the truck stop. Ellen and I sleep a little longer. Everyone does some of gawd’s work cept’ Ellen. I get some coffee for Eric and I and we hit the dusty trail.
The drive today is about 4 more hours. The wind as soon as we hit New Mexico is crazy. At least 30 mph and it’s sucking the gas right out of the van. After we drive for about 2 hours we are trying to find a gas station. We pull off and it’s 3 miles to the west to get gas. I say we could get gas a little further down the road closer to I25. I was wrong. Today we learned the limits of our gas tank. When the Starship Drake says empty it means it’s Jimmy Reardon empty. We sputter out of gas and pull over on I25. Fuck. No one is too surprised that we are out of gas. Eric and Bill start holding their thumbs for a lift 8 miles to the next place to get gas. Sure enough about 5 minutes later a guy with Minnesota plates pulls over and Bill and Eric jump in.
They come back about 10 minutes later with our new friend named Juan. He is from Mexico but works in Minnesota doing construction. Super nice guy. Bill and Eric got a little gas can and we pour it in as Juan fixes the chain on the trailer. I give him a CD and he asks me to sign it. I hate doing that but what a killer guy. The whole thing was way too easy. That should have been a much bigger problem, I guess. We say goodbye and hit the road.
The drive through northern New Mexico is full of very long inclines and too short drop offs. The van is not digging that. Pulling too much wait and heating up a ton when we hit them hills. It’s kind of scary.
We make it though the mountains and past Santa Fe onward to Albuquerque. We find the place we are playing right way and park the van and start walking about. It’s downtown and is pretty nice. Last time I was here was in a different neighborhood and it was nasty.
Do you remember last time I was in Albuquerque? I called you on the phone and wanted to come home when Jay started drinking again. He turned into the biggest asshole in about two minutes time. That was the last Killsadie tour I did before they moved to Seattle.
I take a little Europe style shower in the bathroom of some upscale coffee shop and Bill says he needs to find inter and we had toward the public library. Downtown or wherever we are is nice. Little shops and stuff. The library is kind of funny. Some weird lady is getting in a fight with the person at the information desk. Ellen and Bill both pay 3 dollars to get cards to use the internet. Jacy, Eric and I go try to fond a place with free internet. We find a little coffee shop that not only has free wireless internet but huge 20 ounce iced coffee for $1.50. We sit around there for a while and the rest of the dudes find us and everyone except Eric and I get some food.
We go over to the club and load in. It’s about 7pm at this time and nothing is going to start till at least 10 so I go fond some pizza and Anna calls me. It’s nice to talk to her but she is happy doing fun stuff at home and it made me a little sad and homesick.
We wait around and wait around some more. A friend of Che Arthur (who has dropped off the shows with us because he is sick) named Luis comes and hangs out with us for a while. He is working at some big jock rock show down the block but wants to catch some of our set. Super killer dude. We wait around again for what seems like forever until the first of a series of two soundmen shows up. We do a half ass line check then sit around some more. The bartender is a fucking jackass. We do another half ass line check with another soundman that turns out to be part owner of the bar and is a cool guy. He get us some more drink tickets and we sit around for another while until about 10:30 and decide to play.
I think everything that could have gone wrong in a set did. Jacy’s bass was crapping out, Bill broke a string… ok, not everything that could have gone wrong went but these things just happened right away and the bass was cutting out during the whole set. We still played pretty good.
After the show we just hung around the bar, 1: because there was nothing else to do and Downtown was getting scary. Eric almost got his ass kicked because he smarted off to the wrong dudes in a truck. And 2: We have to wait around till 2 in the morning when the bar closes to get paid the $45 we ended up making.
BANDS: Don’t play the Atomic Cantina in Albuquerque. Play Launch Pad.
So after some drunken talks about our playing, performing and what I think was a conversation about egos and love plus Eric and Jacy going with Luis to check out the club he is booking for, we loaded up the van and get the hell out of there.
Another over night drive. Jacy drives and I sit shot gun while trying to find Coast To Coast AM on the ole radio.
I think I fall asleep around 4:30.
Saturday May 22 2004. Trust or Consequences NM
I wake up at 6 am to see Eric and Jacy dicking around under the hood. I can’t at this point tell if it’s a dream or not. I go back to sleep.
I wake up again and they are still under the hood. Now I know something is up. I put my shoes on and asked the Jimmy Reardon hell was going on.
It seems a ratater hose got fucked up and was leaking. Jacy tried to tape it up but it was just getting worse. We loaded it up with water and drove to where some local person said we could get a new hose. It was at 7 am and the place was opening at 8. Jacy got the old hose off and a face full of anti-freeze. We have an hour to kill so I’m writing this.
We waited around until the store opened and Jacy took went in to the store and got a new hose and made a new friend, the store manager named Tim. Tim was an older, funny local guy that came out and smoked cigarettes with us while Jacy poured water and coolant into the car. Tim bought a CD from us and had us sign it (urrg) and told us of a lake to go swimming in.
The lake was in a little park called Elephant Butte. Eric tried to talk the girl at the gate to let us in to the park for free since we were “poor traveling musicians” but she said we would get busted by the park police, fined and through out. We ending up paying $5 out of the money we got for the CD we sold to Tim and drove up to the lake.
The lake was this super huge, nice little piece of heaven in the desert. It took 5 minutes to walk down he sandy beach and we stripped off down to our underwear on the walk down. Eric brought some soap and all the guys in the band had a nice little freezing cold bath in the lake. Ellen came down latter and snapped a few pictures.
We dried off on the walk back up to the car. We striped down to some van clothes and hit the dusty road.
Saturday May 22 2004. Phoenix AZ
We drive through some total b.s. driving conditions to head to Phoenix AZ. The wind was headed against us at at least 30 MPH the whole way. Bill and Eric were going to split the drive in half to let Jacy sleep. Bill took the first shift and went crazy in the sun and wind. After a few hours Eric took over and we made it out another hour before the car just stopped about an hour outside of Tucson AZ. At first we thought maybe we were out of gas the gauge must just be reading wrong because of the strong winds and such but then Jacy opened up the hood and saw that the distributer cap was cracked and all messed up. Nobody wants this shit to happen. We try hitching a ride for a while. Eric and Billy stand out on I10 for a long time, no one will stop. We try calling all kinds of people. Someone on the phone say we should try the local sheriff so we call them and they say they’ll send someone right out. About 45 minutes later someone pulls up and says he’s a cop but off duty but if we called that a cop will show up, “we don’t leave people out in the desert”. This was a lie, a cop never showed up.
I call the club and say we most likely will not be making it to the show. She seems nice.
After another hour or so this car reverses back down the ramp we were pulled off on. Jacy explains the situation and the guy gets out of his car and heads right to the engine with his pocket knife pulled out, opens up the cap and says he can give us a ride the nearest parts store 30 miles away and fix it. He wants 30 bucks though, sure.
Ellen, Bill and I sit around for almost two hours while Eric and Jacy go with this guy to the nearest town.
We have been sitting in this van for years. I will die here in Arizona. I have given my sold to the desert and my eyes to the dirt. Let the black birds and vultures eat my flesh and turn me into a skeleton. I will walk the mountains free of the clothing and flesh that bind me to this evil world. I live here now. Free from worries and bank accounts and my past. I live here now free of people and cities and cats. I live here now.
Jacy and Eric get back with our new friend Jerry. Jerry and Jacy tear into the engine and start trying to start it. It’s not working. Fuck, I live here now. I will have to move in with Jerry and eat dirt. They keep working on it and bam…it starts. Holy crap. We pay Jerry his 30 bucks and he says to remember that “Jesus loves us” and “if you’re not wasted it’s a wasted day”. WOW.
It’s not 9:30 at night. We wasted about 10 hours today fixing the van in all. We decided to try calling an old friend in Phoenix and see if we can drive a couple hours to his house and stay the night. We need a air conditioned house so bad right now. Our friend is move than happy to have us. Awesome. Jacy takes the wheel again and we go west.
The drive from where we are to Phoenix is about another 2 hours or so. It takes us about 3 to get there because of some crazy road work and even crazier drivers. We get to our friends house at about 1:30 am. He’s waiting up for us to show us around his new house and studio, what water to drink and where to shower. We hit the sack after some quick 40 oz drinking.
I will not live here.
DAY 6 Sunday May 23rd LOS ANGELES, CA @ SPACE LAND w/ The Living Science Foundation The New Trust, The C.
Dear Ghosts in here,
This is jacy. I have been quiet. Quiet and driving. Many Many Miles. This morning, I woke up on a futon, in the darkest of rooms, with a large black Great Dane staring at me. Smiling at me. (Great Danes are the size of small pony’s.) I guess Max, had gotten used to my presence in the moments before we had all gone to sleep. He asked me if I was interested in a cup of tea, perhaps a game of chess. I told him that I thought I’d stay put for a while, to let my heart pump some blood back to my still sleeping extremities, so as to not endanger myself again with sudden movement (like that morning in Iowa.)
My body was in no hurry to move from it’s position due to having been up the previous day for over 30 hours, fixing Starship Drake twice, and piloting our way out of the wicked desert’s vice like grasp. I knew the drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles all too well, and was not very excited to do it. However the thought of getting to go back my previous home of almost five years, gave me the obsessive nostalgia addicted motivation to get us on the road by 10 AM. I drove us all day long in the obnoxious spring heat and gas mileage reducing head winds. Past retirement communities, wind farms, weak roadside attractions, sand, and most likely countless small animals and insects one normally can’t see when driving over 70 miles per hour in a mini van. We hit some of that good old-fashioned traffic somewhere around San Bernardino, which put us at the venue, Spaceland around 6 something. Driving cars is very boring.
Silverlake is rarely ever boring when ones fridge has bottled beer in it. From two blocks away I could see my close friends, and tour mates for the next week, the New Trust. (Half of whom I’ve known since the mid nineties. The other half, almost as long, also cute as buttons.) there glowing like a waterfall of love. My heart flew out of my chest, hit it’s head on the hollywood sign, coughed smog, and then immediately felt better upon hugging them all in a row. Important Medical Fact # 7: The best cure for Van-tardation. Is hugging Josh, Sara, Julia, and Michael, In no particular order. We sat at a small café across the street from the venue, doing group stretching, sipping teas and espressos, catching up on what everyone has been doing since august, where I had last seen them all together at an end transmission show in Chicago, Ilinois. Mike, who used to play the bass in the Askeleton band, came down to the café, from his funky pad in the Silverlake Hills to meet up with us. After Loading all of our musical equipment into the venue, we left to eat some of the fastest moving burritos in the town, purchased bottled beers and went to mike’s house to kick it. We went back to the venue, where the entire night was like some sort of odd class reunion seasoned with famous people. The C, who consist of Frank, from my old band Siren Six, and Montey Billings who single handedly made L.A. a place that never stops rocking, played their amazing super pop with computers and ipods. Then the New Trust blew the stage up with music that is so amazing, they have earned the title "My favorite band". Just before Askeleton went on stage Knol and Billy’s girlfriends walked into the club and surprised the boys, which I had known about the whole trip, and was able to keep a secret. We played really well and the sound was great according to the 3 long island iced teas I had inside of me telling me what to think. After we finished, the Living Science Foundation whom I had never gotten to see live before played an amazingly intense set, that made my me tremble.
Since a large portion of the audience was somehow from Minneapolis, not a lot of people watched them, which I thought was somewhat rude, but understandable due to the excitement of
everyone being in L.A. at the same time. John from LSF dedicated the set to Minneapolis saying that if it wasn’t for them, we’d all be speaking German. After the show Knol and Billy split to different locations near hills and beaches, with their visiting lady friends. Ellen took off with jack black in a green Porsche. Rumor had it, there was a huge bag of cocaine and some guitars envolved. Eric and I went with the new trust to my friend Nate (who was also in siren six) and his girlfriend Jordan’s house in Hollywood. We stayed up late and conversed about factual matters over bottled beers. I slept in my cloths again, shoes on, so I could rise in the morning and move the van from a ticketing zone.
Day 2, Los Stangeales.
Hello Queen Lady. I don’t know you at all, I know what you’ve done. I forget where I’ve been.
Los Angales reminds me of shanghai. Black Lung, stank street, lost mind. Fortunately for me, I wake up in the only bed to ever be in the glorious dying world. Next to me is my warm girlfriend reminder of life and not orbiting and Minneapolis watertrees living. We are in her brothers house, in the hills above the Hollywood bowl. There is a lemon tree in the back yard with fruit sweet enough for eating. My old dog-friend Terrence is in the house, licking my face with warm dog love tongue.
Abby and I walk down the hill to find coffee. We end up on Hollywood boulevard with the tourists and would be actors. We walk on stars with names(is this bad luck I still wonder?) I see a spray painted picture of James Cagney, and Ladies and Gentleman let me just say the our good and fearless boywarrior Knol Tate certainly bears a striking resemblance. Abby and I find coffees and begin walking toward a street she remembers from years ago. We are definitely the only people walking in Los Angeles. Cars everyeverywhere. We stumble for about 40 blocks and find a little taco shack on the side of the road. Most amazing 1 dollar taco ever. We finally find the street we were looking for, and look in some LA shops. Shoes made of nets, books on hipster pregnancies, and that one awesome song that’s all over radio k that sounds like electro metal. I talk to Captain Tate’s who is spending the day out by the Pacific in Santa Monica. Beautiful. We take the bus back to the Château, for rest sweet sweet long lost lover rest.
At 6 o’clock I head back down the hill for the short walk to the venue. We are playing the Knitting Factory tonight which I have some trouble finding, as it is in what looks to be a mix between a Mall and Disneyland. The venue itself houses 3 or 4 separate music rooms, which are nearly impossible to navigate between. I meet up with the rest of the skellys, who seem equally confused by the setup. Ellen is feeling really awful. I diagnose tour-pre-death-microphonelips, with a slight smogfever. She goes to lie down in the awful cavern. We live in caves now.
Again with the load in, set up, waitinggame dance. Again I sit in a chair and feel the terror come in. Since the second desert breakdown in Arizona I have had ballast in my chest. Unable to breathe, terror sweat, the fear, dark blossoms on the sidewalks. I am lost and alone and 5 years old.
The show is good. The show is OK. More friends come down…Dru and Sven from San Fran, my bunk mate from 4 months at sea Matty G on business in LA. I once again realize the dual sword of touring. Great great to see people you haven’t in months, and then so frustrating not being able to really talk as there is music and organizing and always always moving on.
We get out of the venue allright after some guy who looks like Billy Idol behind the venue tries to get swammy knowledge with us, talking about ups and downs, some good some bad, and all I can think is I wonder if this guy has really ever left LA. Terror spine makes a mean Billy.
To the streets again. Head to a dark bar in Hollywood that reminds me of Swingers. Gloriously empty except for a couple of older guys who don’t look like they’ve left their barstools in 5 years. Meet up with Dirty Preston and Lucky Jeremy more familiar st. paul face. Sip white Russians while enjoying a great and mellow juke box. Home to the hills for body repair, mending, and who-knows-where-the-next-bed-is sleep.
Goodnight Queenie. I hope in the end we can be friends once more.
May something-or-other, 2004. Los Angeles, city of mystic tan.
Woke up this morning with my head on my laptop. Then I realized that I was sleeping on the floor of a stranger’s apartment, and had been very ill the night before, and maybe had eaten some tortilla chips in an attempt to be social. I was sweaty and breathless, but only because I had sweated out a fever. Showering is nice when everyone is still asleep, coiled around each other in sleeping bags.
Half of Askeleton was hanging out with friends and loved ones, so Jacy, Jordan (our hostess) and myself brunched with The New Trust kids and the Qui boys at the H.M.S. Bounty in the Gaylord hotel. It was someone’s birthday, and the restaurant was appropriately unique, kind of like a turn of the century ship. Very dark and dank, and I swear it was rocking. Or that could have been my omelet. There was much discussion of same-sex marriage, since the N.T. was filming a PSA that afternoon on the subject. I think the crusty barnacles at the bar were frowning upon our robust liberal hollering. Ahoy!
After mealtime, Jacy, Jordan and I decided to hit the MOMA, since I’m art schoolin’ and haven’t looked at a painting since the tour began. Unless sun blasted billboards in the middle of the desert count, which they kind of do. Lots of driving around, joking about parking and rotten directions, then as many dimes and nickels as we could round up into the meter. We staggered up a flight of stairs, past MOMA sticker collages and monster trucks to find that the museum was closed. Oh. But we took a long tour of the gift shop (which was still open? Why?) and I bought some art-junk. Talked briefly with the cashier girl about birds, and where is the nearest bathroom? In the hotel you say? Thanks. Our trio somehow snuck into the buffet room, where I scored a box of granola (with raisins) and would have stocked up on ridiculous individually jarred jellies had security not been alerted to our presence. Do all hotels in L.A. use whicker laundry baskets for trashcans?
Jacy wanted to visit with an old friend of his in Silverlake, so we drove around the blossoming hills for a few minutes till we found the house. Some catching up happened, while Jordan and I sat cheek to cheek on an ottoman, not knowing how much to contribute, and enjoying the décor. There was a pair of witchy-looking heels hanging from the spine of the vaulted ceiling and a map of the world in front of us. There I am, is what I thought.
“Wanna go get a drink?” Common enough question for tour, or any time for that matter. So yeah, let’s go get a drink at one of the million bars in this city. The first choice was too crowded, too damn dark (I wasn’t going to relive the H.M.S. Bounty again, my sea legs were still wobbly) and too full of hostile Lakers fans. The second bar was some kind of German joint, not as elaborate as the Black Forest back in Minneapolis, but with waaaaay cooler uniforms for the busty servers. They were full-on schnitzel hot. Bill and Eric showed up as well as Matt from Qui (who was the birthday boy I mentioned before) and another guy whose name I couldn’t remember but whose band we had played with 2 nights previous and were selling buttons that read “Nice Fucking Pants.” There were beers and sausage platters and potato pancakes for me, and we tried not to get beaten up by more hostile Lakers fans. I think one man nearly karate chopped the bar in half in his basketball excitement. Hey guy, the team CANNOT hear you, ok? Relax, have a latte or something.
By this time, we were ready to head downtown to The Smell, where the show was. The Smell was a fitting name, not that the place was especially stinky, but it was crumbling and sketchy and run by nice kids (one boy looked dead on like Mike D. from about 12 years ago. I was back in high school.) There was a huge pile of rubble in one room, and stencils of animals and pop icons and graffiti everywhere, which was more fun than the crack addicts prowling (and apparently defecating) in the alley where we had to load and hang out. We got some “take out” beer from a bar around the corner and watched Halloween Swimteam (adolescent gross-out rap) and Qui finally.
Those guys were amazing. Drums and guitar and weird singing. Really freaking loud, good and sweaty. The drummer was wearing air controller headphones with a mike taped on. Finally Askeleton got to set up, and deal with the not-awesome sound girl. There was a kind of shoulder-shrugging helplessness happening with that chick, like she may or may not plug crucial cords in, she may or may not check levels. I was stoked to see that there was a big rusty screw sticking up right were I was going to play, and since I dance a lot I was pretty sure I was going to the tetanus clinic after the show. Knol hammered it down with the mike stand and we were ready to go. Rock, rock, rock, with a ton of feedback.
Suddenly, my dreams of being in My Bloody Valentine were being realized. Turns out my mike was super hot, so the rest of the set had Jacy and I passing the mike back and forth, with Knol holding a mike up to Jayce’s face at one point that wasn’t even plugged in. The kids were so close, it didn’t matter if we sang or just shouted the words at them, which I ended up doing. The sound of my Yamahas was fading due to the sound-dunce, so I just pretended that I knew exactly which knobs to turn and that everything sounded great. Fury and frustration can make for a fun performance. After our botched set, The New Trust played, without feedback or screws, and was awesome as always.
The hour had grown late, and we all loaded out, got cheap pizza on the Sunset Strip and headed back to Jordan and Nate’s. As we pull up to a stoplight, we spot a perfectly blonde male Los Angeles specimen in a convertible listening to “Hey Ya” just a little too loud. Jacy poked his head out and shouts, “Hey man, say…what’s that you’re listening to?” Blondie turns to us with teeth too white to be human, and says in a soft Austrian accent,” Ooot-cast,” while turning up the song even louder and smiling sheepishly.
Two bands sleeping in a living room is not unlike a slumber party. Amazing how many bodies can fit on a living room floor. I think I was so happy to not be sick anymore, so happy to have seen so much in one day that I couldn’t fall asleep. I stayed up talking with Michael till light was trying to creep through the blinds, but not before the saxophone-playing neighbor started her early morning jam. I was reminded of the scene in “L.A. Story” where Victoria Tennant’s character calls to see when it would be appropriate for her to practice her tuba….” Deep sustained booming sounds.”
Goodnight Los Angeles, Goodnight Ooot-cast. Sleep tight.
Wednesday May 26th 2004. Berkeley CA
I woke at our friend Nate’s house where we stayed at 5 in the morning to do gawd’s work. I went back to sleep and woke up again around 10 pm. Jacy called and said him and Julia from New Trust were up at the coffee shop so I washed out my mouth with some of Nate’s tooth paste and walked up there. It’s right in Hollywood. I didn’t know that we went to sleep the night before. I waited in line for 6 hours to get a cup of coffee. Eric walked up there to meet us as well. We all got our crap and packed the van to leave this place.
My take on L.A.
by Knol Tate age 8.
Los Angeles is a city full of devils. There is a lingering ghost hanging over the city called smog. There is Marx’s worst nightmare everywhere. There are fake breasts and people and bums and shitting in alleys. There is plenty of good friends living there and I don’t understand how they live there. I got to see my lover here. I got to see my lover cry and in pain. L.A. made her hurt mentally and physically. We got down and we got up and we made a bell out of a cup. I saw nothing of beauty there.
As we were packing up to go meet Bill on Hollywood BLVD Eric came back from the coffee shop to tell a great story: He was staring in line and saw this kind of hot girl and asked Jacy if it was someone famous. It was Kelly from Saved By The Bell, whatever her name is. Eric went up to her and told lies. “I love your work.” he said.
Eric claims she was checking him out with her boyfriend standing right there.
We fixed the lights on the trailer and went to grab Bill. Bill was just walking down the street with Abby walking a dog. He hopped in and Abby didn’t say goodbye.
I turned on some Black Moon songs and we hit the road.
The drive up I5 to the Bay Area is so freakin’ boring. It’s got some big hills on the way out of L.A. that almost killed our van. It’s got a really long boring stretched that we could go 80 mph even with the load we are hauling. We had to ride with the heat blasted just to keep the engine cool. I sweat like a sprinkler. Jacy says it’s his second least favorite drive. The first being from Madison to Minneapolis. It’s soooooo boring. This drive is just as boring, just hotter. Jacy still hasn’t changed pants. I can’t imagine what’s it like in there.
After about 6 hours we roll into the bay area. From the first sight of a BART train we are still about an hour out of Berkeley. Will driving never stop?
We get into town after a while and Jacy drives around the town until we happen upon the area. The club is called Blake’s and it’s right on Telegraph by the campus. I find this area to be like an out of control Dinkytown circa 1992. There are weird bums, gutter punks, beggars, college kids, hippies, bangers and freaks everywhere. Some normal people too.
We park the van and walk over to the club. Eric finds out that we can load in and get half off food. Killer. Eric and my friend Ren comes rolling up as well as one of Bill’s old band mates Rita. We load into the club with Ren’s help and Rita goes to do some things.
The New Trust also show up and we help load them in.
There is a bit of chaos trying to figure out who is eating and not. The food is ok. Good enough for half off. I call Anna and she is sad. I call her back later after eating so we can talk further. I need to talk to her as much as I can. I miss her greatly.
We are having a very great time hanging out with the New Trust and all the friends they have around the area. They are some of the nicest kids around and a awesome band. They really have helped made some the crappy parts of the tour totally worth it.
The 2 opening bands play and are pretty good. We play a pretty killer set. I has feeling a little tired and kind of strange but had a good time and played quite well.
We sold a fair amount of CDs (for this tour, at least) and had a good time playing. There was chaos after the show though: Bill ran off with his friends, Eric wanted to stay there in town and Jacy, Ellen and I all wanted to go to Santa Rosa with The New Trust. There was some tense moments right before and on the ride to Santa Rosa but things got quiet and Jacy and talked about people back home and the negative attitudes some of them can have. I was bummed out about the fact that there is a person out there that thinks it makes him a big man to make other people cry.
The thoughts about the dirge of humanity that infest LA and the Bay Area (in different ways) make me ask why the people that were once friends of mine could be some kind of third dirge of humanity.
We roll into Santa Rosa about 3 am and settle down for the night. Ellen, Michael and I sleep in Sara and Josh’s office room with the computers and cats. I fall asleep almost right away just to wake up a few hours later not being able to breath. Michael is still awake and asks if I’m ok. I just needed some air I think so I go outside and breath for a little while. That does the trick and I go right to sleep again.
Thursday May 27th 2004. Sacramento CA.
Dear What’s Her Face, So & So and The Ugly One,
Woke up around 11:30 in Santa Rosa at Josh and Sara from The New Trust’s house. Michael and Josh were on their way out the door to sell their van to someone back in Berkeley. Sara, Jacy, Eric, Billy and I walk through the Garden of Eden, filled with birds to a lovely little café to eat. What a wonderful little breakfast I have had. Bill got fat on corn beef hash. Ellen showed up late and I smoke cigarettes with Eric back through the Garden of Eden (inadagadavida, honey) on the way back to Josh and Sara’s house to chill.
Everyone just loves it here at Josh and Sara’s house. They have three cats. Ellen loves cats. I hate cats. Hate is a strong word. I have a strange relationship with them. They make my nose red and ears itch.
I rip some music from the bro’s. A great Homestar Runner Strong Bad sings CD. A great Slick Rick CD, and some other things. Everyone seems to be relaxing so nicely. I think at about 4 pm I realize that we need to get to the show in Sacramento.
We hit the road and get stuck in some nice traffic on I80. The drive takes about 2 hours or so. We get to Sac and roll up to a little BBQ/Cocktail party one of Jacy’s friend Amber is having for the show. We get there first and have some martinis. Some people from other bands show up and we start cooking up some corn on the BBQ. Jacy becomes the fire master. He squirts so much lighter fluid into that thing that is shooting many feet into the air.
We eat some food and drink some more things and leave to go meet up with the New Trust at The Capital Garage. They had borrowed and friend and his van to get to the show. There is some serious confusion about what the order of the band will be that night. I think every possible line up was going to happen at some point. We end up playing first. An old friend of mine Cory, rolls up to the show for some chilling.
Sara tells us to play a full long set because of the confusion that the stupid club has and for making the touring band play first. We play a really good set. The place has a pretty nice sound system for such a small little coffee shop.
The New Trust played and kicked ass. It’s fun standing right next to Julia when she drums. Watching her yell and scream at each change and rock part.
The local band played and I went out to the New Trusts borrowed van and chilled with them dudes. That local band played for easily an hour. Wow. Fully not cool.
The Woods from Modesto CA played last and were pretty killer. Fully a 70’s vibe with cool electric piano. They looked very cramped on that stage. I stole some cookies and a banana from the coffee shop.
After the show the New Trust, Cory, Amber and the Skellys all went to a little drive to find a place to eat. When ended up at some crappy Perkins/Denny’s type place. Bill, Julia and Eric all sat in the van drinking for awhile. Bill was fully drunk. Julia and Bill order veggie burgers and then left the restaurant for awhile. Their food come and both Josh and I took some bites of them burgers.
When it came time to leave we all hesitated a bit. None of us wanted to see the New Trust go back to Santa Rosa. We took some pictures and joked around. Hugged allot. Kissed.
I really felt sad as they pulled away. I think we all did. “There goes some amazing people.” Jacy said. Yes.
I got in the car with Cory to head over to his house. It was now 3:30 am. Cory had to get up at 5 am to go to the airport headed for Montana. We really should have stayed with Amber but I didn’t know that Cory’s girlfriend Nila was also leaving to drive him to the airport at 5:30 then to rice fields to study rice. We rolled into Cory’s about 4 am and tried to sleep. I think Ellen took a bath. I was chocking on California air. Bill, Eric and I tried sleep together on an area rug in the living room. Cory has a nice house. Too bad we didn’t get to really stay there.
Friday May 28th 2004. Redding, CA.
Dear sleep deprivation and tired hands.
Good Morning Van Hands!!! I’m taking a nap today. To tell the god’s honest truth, I have no idea where the days have began or ended for the past several Especially today. As we sat at Lyon’s diner, in the wee hours of the morning, we ran in and out of doors. Pounding Natty’s in the parking lot, eating french fries at the table. We said our temporary fair well’s to the New Trust. When the dust of "getting Rad" had cleared, The tab was paid. Hugs were had. We had somehow decided it’d be a great idea to stay with Knol’s old bro Corey, which would have been a great idea, had we not had to wake up minutes before going to bed. If one can call what we did, "going to bed". Next thing I know I’m on a floor at Corey’s. My eyes are closed, and then they are opened. And I am in the driver seat of the van again, at 5:30-ish AM. My clothing is still wet from sweat and rain. At this moment I am delirious, like in deserts. Knol and I are the only one’s who remain. awake so while the others slept in the van, we went to Starbucks like a couple of Hitler’s to write a bit, and drink more caffeine. A few hours later I called our friend Amber, who put the Sacramento show together, she says she was already awake, but I know she was not. She invites us over. A few hours later the kids wake up in the van and we all space out for a few hours. More caffeine. Billy feels awful today. I diagnose a case of Ultra Natty overload coupled with a severed New Trust. Eric massages his demons away. We later parted ways with amber to change the oil on the van, and to stopped back by Corey’s house to see if the Askeleton t-shirts that have been chasing us all tour, had showed up on the porch.
NOPE. So Eric took a pee there and we hit the road and drove north, to Redding. Seconds after hitting the freeway the reality of Memorial Day weekend became quite clear. Traffic was as thick as low rider cars in Albuquerque New Mexico, on Saturday night. I danced through trucks and cars that were pulling fun weekend things like boats, jet skis, cotton candy stands, and animals. Once I got us out of the "shit" I took a nap while Eric and Billy tag teamed us to Redding. We arrived at the Space, and all ages youth center, in the part of town where these things tend to be. We met Travis (the promoter) and the other bands Love Songs, from S.F. and High Speed Scene, from L.A. who’s singer adam used to play in this great band that I love called Deathray. There were lots of kids there. They were all very polite, and more excited than anyone I had met at the shows since Lincoln. I always have a great deal more fun at All Ages shows, because I like hanging out with young people who are there for music. Not Booze.
After we played, the locals teenagers Life In Vades played a fantastic set, which reminded Knol and I of some crazy good styles we haven’t really seen much of since the mid nineties. We called them "these arms are those guys" meaning that in the best way possible. Knol and I walked to by large cans of rice beer, so we could drink them in the parking lot. We hung out with a few kids, who were already starting to plan for our next trip through. We shot dart guns at one another. We ate cashews. Then we drove north into the mountains in search of a hotel where we could catch up on cell regeneration and wash our butts off. I slept in a bed next to Knol who must have been having pretty dreams. He giggled in his sleep and spooned me.
Download an mp3 of Askeleton’s song The Future (Single Edit).
You can find out more about Askeleton on Tate’s official website.
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