Monday, October 01, 2007

Ela Tour Journal #4

Check the deal guys. Still on tour with Minus the Bear and Subtle. It feels great. I haven't written in a couple days and Pittsburgh is a bit of an alcohol/deeesh/hand rolled cigarettes mystery. Mysteries of Pittsburgh is a great book by Michael Chabon. Check that situation out brother. We drove for fifty-thousand miles. On the morning of Tuesday the 25th we got up in the morning and started driving vaguely towards Detroit. The whole first day was just long ass. Long long ass. We watched the entire film "The King of Scotland" with Forest Whitaker on the computer that I now type on. God bless that man. The movie was great in my opinion. We ate at the Olive Garden. I ate so much of that fucking salad and soup. I did the deal where all you get is all you can eat is those two and fuck an entrée. It was more like "all the waiter will bring you cause he's ignoring your ass." Everyone is familiar with the salad, I got zuppa Toscana, and the one with vegetables, what the shit is that one called. Maybe Olive Garden's myspace page will comment "it's minestrone, bitch."

We slept in Dickinson, ND at a Super 8 maybe? I think a Super 8. I sat on the internet forever and wrote the last blog you read. And then I just kept on sitting there and I could not stop looking at the dumbest shit on earth. Every photo of any band I've ever played in on flickr. Fuckers who I don't even like on Facebook. Shitty message boards. Porn. Including that fake ass Meg White video, which is definitely in the "spank bank" as our friend (and occasional Ela bassist) Mike Gunnarson refers to it. I can't believe it excites me to look at a girl who is definitely not Meg White having sex more than just looking at a girl who is having sex. The video has taken on a Blair Witch like place in my mind. Who are the people in the movie? Was the guy thinking, "this girl looks like Meg White, I'm about to get paid." Or was the Meg White vision manufactured after the fact? My mind reels as I take a trip around myself. I'm trying to be less misogynistic, and I have proofread this, and I don't think it is. I don't think. I'm going to post it on bell hooks myspace and double check though, better safe than sorry.

So, Dickinson fuck you, let's keep driving. Peter drove in the morning I believe and we stopped accidentally at the place that Heiruspecs got into a big ass van accident at the end of 2005. My emotions and skin feels strange to see the Subway we sat at, the hotel we stayed at, and to actually pass the little piece of real estate that I rolled our van over on. We think we have the spot placed exactly cause they haven't replaced the little metal pole we knocked the shits out of. So that happened. And then we drove right past the fucking Twin Cities. It stung. It really stung. But the real fuck you wasn't driving through, it was stopping at One For the Team's rehearsal space to pick up 13 Ela CDs. When I was parked at University and whatever the fuck profile music is on I was just thinking, "if I ran right now I could be eating an awesome granola from Espresso Royale in 11 minutes.. .I could be looking at cute girls at the University of Minnesota in 6." And no amount of waiting in the world will make cute girls show up in Pittsburgh. I mean, it's been a city for 185 years and not a cute girl has ever lived in Allegheny County. The shit is a law. If you do see a cute girl in Pittsburgh, I demand you make sure she is not trying to figure out where the airport is to go back to the University of Minnesota or the cute girl factory (if I knew where it was, I still wouldn't tell you). For real.

We stayed the night in Madison, WI to get closer to the goal of Detroit. We stayed with Bill's sister who has a big old family. And Bill's mom was there. I parked like a jackass and hit a ton of branches and crap. We were celebrating Bill's birthday and we had a little bit of champagne with Bill's mom and caught up. I slept for the first time on this tour in a bed and it felt just fantastic. But I felt guilty moving around because the bed creaked super loud and I didn't want to wake up the people we were staying with.

The next day we got an early start after some cereal at the house. We stopped at an internet café to send some time sensitive material via the interweb (we are also counter-terrorists). Our van decided to take a break from working in Belvidere, IL. On an earlier Ela tour one of our van tires got the bubonic plague and birthed a huge bubble. We stopped to get it looked at at the same cursed rest stop. If you've toured for awhile it starts to feel like hanging out with the ghost of Christmas past as you drive. In that spirit Peter spent a good amount of our time on University Ave in Madison trying to remember which corner I puked all over the night after I broke up with my girlfriend on tour. Peter finally found a corner he felt was right and we smiled. I had no fucking idea. None. We got our van to work basically by locking the car, unlocking it and starting it again. Caravans are known for having kind of questionable electronics. We were running late and kind of stressing it. And the thing is, running late heading towards Chicago means you won't really have any idea how late you'll be til you have gotten into lovely Gary, Indiana.

Even though we got to the club late Minus the Bear was still soundchecking so all was good. We brought all our shit in just in time for the paid loaders at the club to show up and go "anything need to be moved?" But, thankfully, we have the smallest amps in the world so everything was straight. I spent a ton of time counting in merch and just acting stupid at the table. Then I grabbed an antipasti type of salad from an Italian place down the street. The rest of the night I was really just working merch and trying to get shit together for my brother's bachelor party. After the show I was beat and we headed to the hotel pretty quickly. But, at the hotel I lived the dream. The dream is a swimming pool that effortlessly flows between outside and inside areas. But the real dream is to swim with two of your best friends in the world at 1 in the morning when the pool should be closed but the lady at the hotel is super nice. Bill is blissfully drunk and Peter's a bit drunk and we are swimming in this pool in the dark doing handstands and sharing one pair of goggles. I felt so happy at that moment. Just swimming and laughing and talking and being part of a life where this is my Thursday. Granted, I'll have horrible Thursdays, and everyone will. But right now, we are stomping around a hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan soaking wet.

In the morning I got salad bar from a granola ass grocery store and then we drove on to Cleveland. I hate Cleveland. It's been the capital of shitty shows for me for a really long time. Now this show in Cleveland had a lot of people at it but we still had a tough show. And the club was great, everything could have gone right. But the cost of the beauty of playing live music is that sometimes things conspire to really head the other way. And tonight, well shit, they did. Kids were gently heckling us but we couldn't figure out if it was really heckling or not. And I think the kid who was mainly doing this got that. He yelled, "Billy Joel" at one point. And understand, we didn't start the fire but that certainly can't be a fucking compliment at a hipster as fuck Minus the Bear show. But then the guy was like "I mean cause he's about to play piano! Whew!" I think the kid was just kind of socially awkward. Actually, really socially awkward. It would be semi awkward if it wasn't a show with a shit ton of people. We didn't sell much merch and then we dipped out early to get to Pittsburgh. The 2 hour drive was turned into a 3 hour fiasco because of some construction worker just parked in his big bulldozer blocking the one road out of Cleveland. Cleveland's motto should be "you're fucked, really fucked." We finally found our way out and arrived to stay with Bill's friends Matt and Jess in Pittsburgh. Regardless of all the no cute girl talk Ela loves Pittsburgh, we have friends there and it's great. But tonight we basically just go to bed because everyone is tired. Except for me, so I sit on the internet, watch not Meg White and write shitty trivia questions for the trivia night that I run. And then I hit some sleep on their basement floor.

I wake up in the morning just freezing my ass off. I slept in the basement on the floor and at 7:13 I wake up because the urine has frozen in my ball sack. Does your urine even go to your ballsack when it's not freezing? I got up and got back on the motherfucking quicken and started figuring out how much money we're making/losing on the tour. I am pleased by this work and was very proud when my accountant said that I am the best quicken band boy she's ever worked with. After that I decided to go on a run and listen to Lil' Wayne because it's the only record I have on my ipod (long, shitty story). I am listening to Lil' Wayne like usual but I am also trying to think about not saying misogynistic things anymore. Lil' Wayne could use a bit less misogyny but his poetry is still strong: ) paraphrased, no headphone: "my momma's bitchin' got to stop calling women bitches, but she ain't really trippin' cause the pots is pissed in." He's a strong writer, misogyny or no. And I think he is the best rapper alive. Jay-Z was. And I know he's still alive, but the spark is gone.

Right after running, one of the housemates, Nicole, asks if I want to go to a donation only yoga class. My healthy ass is feeling it so I drop in and get to it. I was pretty into yoga a couple months ago but my ex-girlfriend got the access to the yoga classes we went to together in the break-up so I haven't done much of it lately. It felt great, I love the spirit of yoga and it is so different from what I do most days on tour (which apparently involves ranch dressing and some sort of complaining). After the class I felt blissful and I took a shower. It was beautiful. We went down to the Strip in Pittsburgh and I got an amazing salad and a Korean pancake. It was truly one of the most beautiful days I've ever had.

The show in Pittsburgh was at like a Miami Vice style cocaine friendly bar that was called Diesel. It felt like the place where a door guy was going to be like, "yins in for some yayo"?. Yins aren't. And "yins" is a term for "you" in Pittsburgh talky. The show is very well attended but we can't connect with the audience. Our soundcheck was very short and we sort of struggled through the set but we seemed to support each other. I needed a break from selling the merch so I went and ate some pizza. Knol called my attention to what I like to call "the vodka mishap of 2007". Minus the Bear drinks whiskey, not vodka. But they got a bottle of vodka. Subtle and Ela got drunk. I got real drunk. And I smoked a bit of a spliff. And I forgot just how great that is. I went up to the VIP area that we got for our Pittsburgh friends on accident. We said it as a joke to a guy working at the club and he hooked up for free. I walked past a whole crowd of people desperately trying to see every detail of Minus the Bear playing into a little VIP area with our Pittsburgh people just shooting the shit. Sitting there a little drunk and pretty stoned everything felt just amazing. And after a minute we let the super Minus the Bear fans drop in to our area and it was great. Somebody bought me a drink cause I let them in to an area that we didn't even really deserve to have. As Minus the Bear played I was again really glad to be on tour and sitting with friends. I ended up talking to the girl who bought me a drink for awhile and it felt really good. She worked at the Art Institute and we were talking and it was beautiful. Peter came over and started talking about the foundations of art and emotions and kept it real art school with her. I just didn't have shit to say. When the conversation got all deep I just dipped and went down to the cocaine filled bar and started dancing alone to R&B and letting the promoter buy me drinks. I felt wonderful. Later, Peter said to me, "I think I convinced those girls to stop sleeping with boys in bands and start making their own art!" Mission accomplished Peter, mission accomplished. And I was getting pretty fucking drunk. I recalled a famous story with the Pittsburgh promoter where De La Soul refused to perform without money in hand even though the ticket sales were all there. And they shot waterguns into the monitors and totaled them. What in the shit. Come on posdnous. Get serious. After I drank a kiddy pool full of drinks and danced to a ton of R&B songs I had a long conversation with Minus the Bear's soundguy about how I am able to wear my pants so low. I explained that all you have to do is be a complete idiot and want girls to not talk to you. Bill drove our van back to Matt and Jess's. We drank more and smoked some more deesh. And we talked and everything was beautiful. I wrote tons of numbers for pizza places down on my skin and then called them. And none of them would deliver pizza. None of them. We got into a really long conversation about class struggles and life and things. And for all I know a fucking bunny came up and started speaking in German, cause I can't remember a lot of shit. I slept in a chair with my pants on. But Peter put a blanket on me cause he cares. I woke up and felt like shit. Actually I felt like shit that got drunk and stoned the night before.

(Sean McPherson)

ela on tour with minus the bear/subtle

Oct 1 -- Toronto, ON -- Opera House
Oct 3 -- Cambridge, MA -- Middle East Downstairs
Oct 4 -- Cambridge, MA -- Middle East Downstairs
Oct 5 -- Brooklyn, NY -- Warsaw
Oct 6 -- New York, NY -- Irving Plaza
Oct 7 -- Sayreville, NJ -- Starland Ballroom
Oct 8 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Theatre of Living Arts
Oct 10 -- Washington, DC -- Black Cat
Oct 11 -- Norfolk, VA -- The Norva



Blogger April said...

The girl in my office with me thinks I'm nuts because I kept laughing at this entry.

2:34 PM  

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