Saturday, July 21, 2007

Plain Dealer

It's strange to think that less than a week ago I was back home in SF staring off into the Pacific without the slightest inclination to be in Cleveland at all, however that is precisely where I find myself today. Less than a week ago I was camping in Big Sur.

And watching the fog roll in over the Giants' stadium.

Waiting with my dad, behind home plate for Barry Bonds to strike out.

And doing lots of things that I often don't find myself doing in Cleveland. As an aside I am missing a Nick Cave show and a 30 person acapella choir performing Leonard Cohen songs at The Henry Miller Library to lie around the Ritz Carlton thinking of new ways to break into the mini bar.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em

Escape From Satan's Hollow

I'm in Virginia today, in the midst of our tour of all places bizarre. We started at a gymnasium in Rochester. Here's Calla, the support band (rad) going on in what appears to be broad daylight.

Then played a casino in Atlantic City...

... and now I'm lounging on a leather couch in a converted health club. It is an Interpol tour for sure. It rained.

And there were undiscernably odd things on the menu.

I have a pretty sweet bunk on the bus. It has a shelf, and a small window that actually opens. All thoughts of Cliff Burton aside, it's nice to see the sunshine in the morning and feel a cool breeze on my face at night.

It is, however, a bit of a comfort being back in the states. It got grim for a while. Towards the end of the last tour I was done with all the festivals and all of the flights.

By the time made it to the UK I never wanted to see another human being in a field playing a guitar ever again. It was a nice thing that we were playing The Astoria. Interpol and 'Gay,' totally unrelated.

We were then ushered into historic Ballsbridge, Ireland in anticipation of the Oxygen festival. The worst of the worst.

The road into the it comes.

The site.

Shit sandwich.

There was this guy, however, who was shouting drunken nonsense at us on the way in.

I thought his shirt was hilarious, only because he was wearing it.

I was also witness to a bit of traditional Irish folk art. Special, really.

En Masse

But the winner really is our escape from T in the Park, the festival in Glasgow, and the last before I flew home. After watching Brian Jonestown Massacre (great),

Mark Lanegan (hmmmm),

and Rodrigo Y Gabriella (also great)

We had until 10:45pm to make it through this little gate with our bus before they shut down the only road out to let 60,000 people file back to their campsites, holes, or wherever they planned on spending the night. We didn't make it.

We tried bribing the security guards with whatever we had, but to no avail. We ended up watching 60,000 people file past our bus before we were able to leave. Bob 'anger management' Lewis threw an entire wheel of Brie over the fence into the crowd in protest.

We made it to our hotel at around 2:30am. I checked out at 5. It was a magical day all around. Not long after it was back to California. Yep, California without a doubt.

Things that you do that can't be undone

I feel as if I've lost some momentum from the last run. I've had a busy couple of weeks what with the family in town, the travel, the camping, the driving, the luncay. I missed a good chunk of it all do to being a douche and leaving my laptop in a hotel room in Lisbon. It made it back though. In this:

A few days prior I had a package slip left on my door. I walked to the post office thinking that it was my computer. It wasn't, but it happened to be my new Turbonegro jacket. Things sure could have been worse. So, I had taken a ton of photos from the end of the Euro dates. It was a frustrating tour, but all of them have their moments. Here are a few:

There was the time in Norway when we watched TV on the Radio, who were missing a guitar player, play an amazing set in the middle of the woods (their guitar player turned up 5 minutes after they finished, guitar in hand, looking pretty bummed).

There were all of the times that we drove past flooded campsites and were at least a little thankful that we were on a bus, even if it smelled of burning sulfur.

Speaking of which, there was the time that Harley got caught taping the words 'are shit' in 10 foot high letters after the bus company's name on the side of the bus. I don't think they saw this one though.

Shorthly thereafter he was spotted on a ferry assaulting one of their 'dance dance revolution' machines.

There was the time when Ally drank too much Bishop's Finger on the ferry. I am aware that there are a number of unpleasant images in that sentence.

And the time that the British collectively lost their mind.

And the cup had AIDS.

Towards the end of the tour 'Smell the Glove' arrived. How much blacker could it be? None. I would have to say none more black.

There was also that time that Isis played before us in Sweden. It was really pretty amazing. Metal is loud, but this was intense. Before the first song was over (clocking in at 9 minutes and 120 db) every girl in the tent had left. By the end of the set it looked like people fleeing from a fire in an H&M.

And then the sun refused to set. Neurosis played in Norway at 1 in the morning. Apt says I.

And finally we did festival,

after festival,

after festival...

Until we were just about ready to break.

And then we went home.

Ham-fisted travel plans

Bad omens abound today. The first day back in the thick of it, and it's getting pretty thick. As a steady rain fell on the streets of San Francisco I waited for a car to the airport that never came. I hailed a taxi at 7:30am, and made it to the airport just in time to negotiate the pile-up at the US Airways counter due to a total collapse of the self service (the term just makes me think bad thoughts) machines. They all went the way of Skynet in Terminator 2 and rebelled against humanity. Shit. I managed to dodge every possible inconvenience, and make it to the gate in time to literally stick my foot in the closing gate door. The good news is that I'm settled into a window seat (having talked myself out of a middle), and I'm watching some movie about a dog that wins the Boston marathon or something as ridiculous. The bad news is that I'm flying to Charlotte where I have a 3 hour layover, and then I fly to Rochester. Also, they are sold out of shitty, $5 sandwiches on the plane so I am giving serious thought to eating one of my shoes, or the guy in 29A. I seem to be seated behind cousin it as well.

Have a nice day.

update: US Airways lost my bag and therefore are dicks.