Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Desert Session

The road home began with a 30 hour drive from Vancouver to Indio, CA.

I watched the sun set on the Oregon skyline...

And rise in the desert.

It was a long, hot day, but we kept it up.

I spent a good part of my day staring at the stage, typing away at a lighting desk, as usual. I looked up occasionally to see an old friend or two, or to watch The Jesus and Mary Chain play their reunion show.

Among the many that I ran into while frantically scrambling to put a show together were 2 pals from Mexico, an old roomate, a couple touring crew guys, all of which I hadn't seen in ages. My friend Mark (who had been in Australia for what seemed like ages) took these:

It wasn't my finest hour, but I pulled it off under duress. The real winner was the show the following night in Vegas (you tube it, for real). That was the best in a very long time. Also, Lexi flew out and surprised me. Everyone on the tour, bar me, knew about the sinister plot, it would seem. With friends like these....good for nothing.

I won some money...

Just kidding. I lost $60, went home the next day and ate cheese and drank wine in the comfort of my living room. That just about brings us up to speed.

Photo Booth

I have no explaination for my actions other than this is representative of where modern technology has gotten us. I can only apologize for being a woman who makes Margaret Thatcher look like Heidi Klum.

I Love The Smell of Commerce in the Morning

Right in the middle of my Canadian vacation I stopped at the West Edmonton Mall which is, as far as I can tell, the largest indoor monument to commerce on the face of the Earth.

I walked for miles until I was quite literally exhausted and found that I had only covered one level of the massive structure. The thing had an indoor water park,

a full-size skating rink,

a shooting range, an aquarium a skate park, flamingos,

a music venue and a huge arcade. We made Bobby (an actual professional, touring drummer lampooning as a drum tech) play the ultimate drummer game. It was hilarious watching him smack the pads with one hand as the screen lit up with 'excellellent!', 'perfect!' and 'tommy lee!' scores. (Just kidding about the Tommy Lee thing. No one thinks Hepatitis is funny.)

It also happened to be Carlos' birthday. Carlos can be at the receiving end of a good deal of torment, and has been over the years so his birthday is a pretty special occasion. There was a wealth of possibilities in the largest mall on Earth. I had already found this pair of pants (they were on sale too):

But then I read the tag which explained they were for extreme lifestyles ONLY. Close call. I almost wore them to the indoor flamingo exhibit.

I also found this here dinosaur. It was pretty wild...

And this magnificent work of public art in front of a Mc Donald's (no one could work out why anyone would want to sit opposite a big, brass guy on his lunch break).

That said, there was no shortage of amazing birthday presents about for our pal. I think we really scored when Harley and I stumbled on a life-size cardboard cut-out of a wrestler.

All it took was a towel and a banana.

And a well thought-out sign, and it was officially a birthday present.

I also scored with the 2nd best purchase of the day. A DVD copy of Wrestlemania III. It was a good night in the front lounge of the old bus that night.

I caught this out of the corner of my eye in the mall parking lot and managed to take a quick picture. The girl in the car stuck her head out the window and shouted 'why you taking my picture?' Clearly she hadn't seen the other side of the mirror that she was staring into. I spoke slowly and clearly: 'see, the thing about it is...'

We continued our tour of North American truck stops.

Marshmallow Cheeseburger.

This is what happens when Ally gets a Canadian Visa...

And realizes that it states his country of birth as 'England' instead of Scotland. You thought Mel Gibson was mad.

I spent our entire day off in Vancouver locked in my room with a lighting desk programming the Coachella show.

It was like this weird alien that followed me into my room.

I managed to work myself blind and at some point in the wee hours of the morning I tried to unwind by watching some TV. Terrible, terrible idea. I had to document it so that I would know that it wasn't a hallucination. There was some sort of softball game on, narrarated by Bronson Pinchot....

Michael Jackson was playing left field...

Elvis was at shortstop...

Tina Turner was pitching...

and Stevie Wonder was catching.

He would yell 'strike' at random, even when no one was pitching or batting. I think I am dumber for having witnessed it, but I feel as though I have a deeper understanding of my fellow man.

Part Time Lion Tamer

That's precisely how I feel these days. I spend weeks at home as the most well-adjusted young man I've ever heard of, but occasionally I dip out for a week or two at a time and temp wild animals for rent money. I'll laugh it up while I can. It has been a few weeks, maybe, since I've had the time, patience and worthy internet connection to write on here. This last jaunt was mostly a couple weeks in Canada. It was the start of Interpol (curse you Google for bringing the unwashed masses here by name recognition alone), the start of something new and big according to most people. It was back to this sort of thing for me only on a much smaller scale, which is sometimes a good thing. It's like starting over.

We started this all off in some really small rooms. It was a method for seemingly easing a band back into playing live after a nearly two year break. The build up was all for Coachella where they were to play for close to 30,000 people. We began in places that looked not unlike my living room.

One of them was even jovially called The Cowboy's Ranch. The night before saw a decent turnout for a Keith Urban cover band. I believe they were called 'Keith Urban Experience.' I could be wrong.

This was me getting into the spirit of the rodeo. No one thought it was funny.

I couldn't resist filling one of these out and stating that the mechanical bull had touched me in an entirely inappropriate manner as the Keith Urban look-a-like watched.

I have toured with lots of bands and lots of crews, some good, some not so good. This time out it has been the dream team. From top to bottom I think this is the best bunch out there. It would kind of be like the A-Team only if that Face guy were replaced by Macguyver. Here they are at the very beginning and the very end of the tour; relatively unfazed, totally unfuckwithable.

We started in NY with a handful of rehearsals before heading off to Canada. The new songs are beasts, more delicate at moments, and overflowing with drums and electronics in others. So far the band has worked out 3 or 4 new ones for these early shows. They are well-placed in the set and seem to be just enough of a departure for people to be interested, but not so much that they can't dig in on the first listen.
Our first show was in Ottawa. The temperature dropped as we drove North from NY. The rain began to fall, and quickly turned to snow.

It was mid-April.


It seemed that we had lots of time to ourselves on this one. The band was caught up doing lots of press-related nonsense so when we weren't driving across Canada for days at a time we were left on our own with a day or two off. A few of us took to skateboarding around town (when it wasn't raining and/or snowing) or just taking in the local culture. We found Bobby's exact wig model in this store.

We also found these in an art supply store and proceeded to scare the absolute shit out of one-another for the next hour or so. There is something very daft punk/futuristic rapist about them.

Many a late night traversing the country with little respite but a truck stop here or there.

It's rough when CB radios start looking like the sort of thing you should own, or when you get really excited by products that you share the same name with. Small pleasures.

The weather remained cold and snowy.

The sun peered out from the clouds in Calgary (for long enough to witness hoards of angry hockey fans beating eachother in the streets after the flames lost) and Winnipeg.

Blurry recollections from too many shows with no idea where or when. It was bright and loud, I know that much.

And then things got interesting...and by interesting I mean like Canada interesting....sorry.