Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lost Horse

5'4". Brown. Responds to 'Joel'

It has been a while since I've broken this out. Can't say that I've missed it. I am now officially on tour again.

I flew to Montreal on Monday. I also got a really swank shoe shine at the airport.

What a lifestyle. It's so easy to lose yourself here.

So, after a long flight I waited for a few hours to meet up with the rest of the group who was also arriving. Were it up to me I would have taken a cab to the hotel and been halfway through a movie and a glass of pino grigio by the time the rest of those monkeys turned up, but as it was day one I decided to wait. I hate meeting new people. I hate having to convince new bands that I am good at what I do. I hate having to convince managers that I am trustworthy, guitar techs that it's a good idea for me to put a big, bright thing in their way, sound guys that my job is more valuable than theirs. Luckily enough though, this is a pretty decent bunch. Everyone is an all star, everyone is pro. People have come from tours with Tom Waits, Bjork, Sigur Ros and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It's a nice thing to be considered among an elite, for what it's worth. The drummer evidently called the Death Cab guys a few weeks back looking for crew suggestions. They all said that if I was around that he should insist that I do their tour. He insited, but I had already been hired a month earlier. Maybe I should have held out for more money. So, I arrived to this. And it is no joke. It is f-ing cold here. I am suggesting that Montreal change it's motto from 'Montreal, we think that we are French, but we are actually Canadian, yeah we're confused too,' or whatever it is now to: 'Montreal, this is some bullshit.'


Really Cold

Let me also say that I sometimes hate being in foreign countries. It can be an endless struggle to communicate basic human needs like what to eat and where to poop. It can be pretty miserable. I didn't anticipate these problems in Canada. Montreal is some place else all together. A fair majority of the population speaks little or no English at all. Not that it's a problem, but I find it strange that in a country where 98% of its inhabitants speak English there is this weird little foreign enclave. It would be like going to Detroit and being unable to read the menu at a Pizza Hut because everyone spoke German. What? I have just been hiding in my hotel room for the last few days.

I have been watching cars slide down the hill outside my window. Someone was telling me about a suburb out here where its progressive residents voted against the use of road salts due to their environmental impact. The roads were basically unwalkable, not to mention undriveable for six months out of the year.

I am back in my little fish bowl of touring life. It's hard to find newspapers. The internet is often an impossibility (I am in le Cafe du Starbucks right now trying to get some work done). At least I have a phone that works here. Hopefully someone will come by and drop some food into my bowl.

I have been doing these Arcade Fire shows at this weird little Ukrainian church.

The promoter said that the neighborhood is predominantly Orthodox Jewish so they book a lot of shows on Friday because the local residents can't pick up a phone to call the police because of the Sabbath. Funny. They have been packed because this is home for the band. It has been pretty great. The first night the band dove into the crowd and played an acoustic song as their encore. Last night they had a six year-old girl, all dolled up like a ballerina, read a story in French to introduce the crowd. Magic. I have had very few resources, but I think it's been looking alright. I managed to project a video on to the ceiling, and hang a huge neon sign from the rafters.

Here are some shitty pictures that I took while working. What an amazing band.

I have never in my life seen so much crap on one stage. There are ten musicians, seven keyboards, a cello, a baritone clarinet, a xylophone, 3 marching drums, a pipe organ facade, a huge neon sign and a few bullhorns on stands. Jesus wept.

The good news is that I am swamped with work for this upcoming , as well as a few design projects for bands that I think are amazing. Both Spoon and Ratatat have tracked me down and asked me to design their upcoming tours. Hell yes. Life is grand, although I miss my home.