Monday, March 31, 2008

Standard Operating Procedure

Just barely there.

All of this travel has just blown me sideways. I've been back in Australia for five days, seems like an hour, seems like a week. The weather has been redeeming, and I'm down here with the hippest band that I know. Things could be worse.

The shows, although only a few so far, have been really good. I do my best work in broad daylight sometimes.

It's been a good bunch of festivals with some decent bands. Last night I watched Queens of the Stone Age terrify about 15,000 people just before The Smashing Pumpkins went on. Modest Mouse has been pretty decent as well. It's starting to get pretty communal after a good few shows. All of the bands are in the same hotels and travel in tandem as well. It's like doing the big day out festival down here (another summer traveling festival). It all deteriorates into a kind of traveling circus, and you leave three weeks later having become friends with nearly everyone on the tour. I remember stumbling onto the plane several years ago mumbling 'I think I really like the Black Eyed Peas' to no one in particular. Last night the after party turned into a back-handed display of good will as everyone continually bought drinks at the hotel bar for each other. As a consequence I went to bed after having 2 or 3 really poor Aussie beers that tasted not unlike salt water with a bit of lemon, a glass of champagne, a glass of scotch, and a peach schnapps. Suffice to say that I woke up this morning feeling like I had eaten an entire birthday cake and washed it down with peroxide. We had a pretty nice ride from the Gold Coast up to Brisbane for a day off today, which is well-earned after our show in some sort of Mad Max-esque mud pit yesterday.

I really do not love mud.

And I was obliged to leave a pair of shoes behind mostly because they were thoroughly caked in mud, but also because they smelled not unlike a pig's rear end.

It's been a different experience this time around. We now have four young children in tow (band babies). I can relate it to having a dog on tour, in the sense that there is always something innocent and pleasant to be near even when things get rough, if that makes sense. We have our first of three club shows tomorrow. Everyone is optimistic. Everyone is excited. Then another festival, and back to Sydney where we will, no doubt, make a mess of ourselves in Newtown.