BLACK PUSSY - ON TOUR FOREVER

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     Dean woke up crazy early to get the van in the shop by 8 AM. I however did not get up at 8 AM. Fuck that noise! We were pretty much at the mechanic’s mercy. However, Chief’s dad is friends with him and went down and let it be known that it was his son’s band van and to see if he could extend a bro-hookup. We got the call later that it was indeed a spark plug issue and that we would change them all out, plus a coil, plus the rear differential was leaking oil and the alternator was going bad. Damn! All of these cross-country antics of ours are indeed taking a toll on the van. Better now than on the side of the road in Texas though. We left the trailer at the motel and walked to a sweet Taqueria that Chief knew about and made our way into downtown Bend. We walked by the Source’s office that was vandalized earlier that morning with soap and talked to Bri. She’s a staff writer and a staunch supporter of Black Pussy. It was the same girl, or girls, that were picketing outside Silvermoon the previous afternoon. Apparently the staff knew who did it because they got an angry email or call the last time we were featured and called her to ask if she did it. She said no but she called back later and confessed. Funny, in all the places we’ve played it’s Bend, Oregon with the win. I love the haters. I love that people have the time to go out of their way to crusade against rock and roll. I don’t think they get the fact that all they’re doing is helping our cause; exposure. So please, keep it up!

     We stopped in Ranch Records and drooled over some delicious vinyl. I saw Jailbreak. I almost bought it. We hung around a coffee shop for a couple hours and I worked online. Then we walked back to the motel where Chief’s dad had his truck waiting to take our trailer to their pad. It was actually a great night. The van was finished just after 5 and the dude hooked it up. Rick at Northgate Auto is the man if you’re ever in need of car service in Bend. We had pizza, salad, beer…caucasions. Not us, the delicious after dinner beverage I made for myself. I was tempted to use the bacon vodka for bragging rights but opted instead for the classic and went standard white russian. I forgot how fucking good those are. The Dude abides.

     They have chickens in their backyard and they’re a hoot. Cooper, the young Australion Shepard, loves to fuck with them and try to herd them around. Chief’s dad found an old box of Chicken in a Bisquit and we all took turns feeding bits of chicken flavored crackers to chickens. Awesome. We drank Coors light, smoked a doob, and hung around the fire pit chatting under the high dessert’s night sky. Chief’s parents are great hosts and we fell asleep for the last time in Oregon on this leg of tour.

…’Till Next Time!


- ryan | No Comments

I awoke with fuzzy memories of the end. The end of the last night that is. Dustin and I shared a bottle of Chardonnay and Dean rolled two joints. The dude that doesn’t even smoke weed rolled not one but two joints. He smokes Newports and never rolls anything. They were almost probably too amazing. A little too close to the edge. That was the catalyst into sleep’s oblivion and the next morning’s hangover was mild but acutely present.

The van was acting strange when we arrived in Bend the previous day. While it idled at stop lights you could feel a strange vibration. I actually had never felt it before. So in the morning Dean and Scott went and had diagnostics done and found one of the cylinders was misfiring. So our Motel 6 morning experience consisted of Shark Week and calling auto mechanics to see who could take us in the earliest and fix this fucking issue that should have been fixed before we even left. (I’m looking at you Suburban Ford in Sandy, OR) We had a slow pace to the day. Chief and Aaron were somewhere we knew not and the rest of us hung around the over-priced Motel 6 room all afternoon (Bend). We finally confirmed our appointment with the van for 8 AM the next day so we would now be shelling out who knew how much for engine repair. Sam and Alex were kind enough to have us over that evening for burritos and chillaxing. Their daughter Parker was there and she freaking loves sand. In her hair, her hands, moving it from one place to the other, dumping it in things, spreading it around. Almost eating it. It’s fascinating to watch babies in their lack of concern for dirt, germs, and hygene. They may not have the mental faculties of a grown up yet but their freedom is inspiring.

Aaron bought a half rack of Rolling Rock bottles. Dean bought a Viso. I didn’t buy shit. Rose brought a half rack of PBR so I just drank hers. (Thanks Rose) And then the cards came out. I’d say the band’s favorite game, besides the Anal RV game, is Rummy. Dean usually wins but that’s just because he plays it every night in Portland. And he’s a badger. Dustin bailed and we ended up down by the river drinking 40’s out of brown bags. We were “brown-bagging.” Did you know that the word brown bag is trying to be banned by the city of Seattle? Isn’t that fucking nutty? Legalize weed and have prohibition on words. People are strange.

After some more late night frolicking and star gazing we eventually made it back to the motel. Dustin and Scott were already asleep so we did our best to keep it quite while we made our way back “down.”

Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

 


- ryan | No Comments

Nice to be back. Last place we left off was quite a while ago, and as such, much has happened in the mean time. What you ask? Well we recorded our upcoming full length with Brant freaking Bjork in Joshua Tree, California. We did two more legs of touring across this vast terrain of land we call America. We’ve spent some time in Portland rehearsing, screen printing, getting vinyl out into the world. Some of us made the rehearsal space a defacto apartment during our stay while others lived off the generosity of girlfriends and lovers. And yes, all of our wallets have EBT cards in them. But where does that leave us now?

On Tour Forever part IV, that’s where.

Technically, this isn’t day one. It’s actually day four. Friday we played our kick off show at the “world famous” Kenton Club with Hobosexual and our current tour mates Heavy Glow. If you’ve ever had the chance to visit the KC you’d know why we started it all of there; the pool table. Just kidding. It’s because the Kenton Club is one of the best dives in Portland. It’s the kind of place where the beer flows like wine. It’s the kind of place you’d take a girl on the first date to let her know that you party and if you’re too drunk to drive home the number 4 bus stops right out front. The bathrooms are small and the patio is big. It was nice to see the friends and family who came out to wish us off.

The next day we drove up to Seattle for what was to be Hobosexual’s record release show but they had technical problems and it was, alas, just a rock and roll show. It was our first time playing the Columbia City Theater and we were all beyond stoked on the sound and aesthetics. The talent buyer said the building is super haunted but unfortunately I didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary. Well, other than sales tax. Playing venues where all of the band members can fit on stage and monitors are adjusted correctly is something we all could easily get used to. Hobosexual ended their set playing White Christmas. In August. Those dudes rule, check ‘em out if you haven’t already.

We drove back to Portland that night and got a few hours sleep before we left the city for good and trekked off to Bend. We arrived at Chief’s parent’s house late afternoon and got in some serious snacking and sun tea. We sat out on the front porch in perfect high desert weather talking out this and that, relaxing before the show at Silver Moon later that night. Sundays are strange. Especially in Bend. There’s no guarantee that people will come out. And apparently there were two girls picketing outside the brewery earlier that day with signs that said “Respect Woman and African Americans. Say no to Silvermoon.” But all in all, it was a good turnout with good people having a good time. Concrete floors are scary because of reflection and PA feedback, but surprisingly there was little funny business with the sound. I did however see the sound guy with his hands covering his ears. And a guy told me after our set that it was the loudest show he’s ever seen there. He was very excited.

We got a pretty sweet write up in the local mag, actually a couple, but I’ll end this with a quote from the Source Weekly; “Remember the last time the Source picked Black Pussy and really offended some of our readers? Well, sorry, squares, we’re picking them again. Not because their name is border-line offensive (careful when Google-ing) but because their throwback ‘70s hard rock and extra short cutoff jean shorts will melt your face off.


- ryan | 1 Comment

     We left San Diego in the morning and headed back to the majestic desert of Arizona, only this time it wasn’t for a show. We decided to drive and spend our day off in the high altitude and clean air of Flagstaff. Dustin lived there in a previous life and knew of some good spots that we could visit, maybe refresh our souls a little bit.
     We arrived after dark and the cold was instantaneous when we opened the van doors. But the air smelled amazing and the stiffness in my joints that was so omnipresent along the coast was surprisingly absent. We piled into the motel and got into the usual routine. Dean made an outrageous chili and egg noodle dish that would definitely get a blue ribbon if it were entered into a white trash food competition. Normally my hunger is tapered but that night I ate more than my fair share. Sublimity from food, friends. We drank some white wine and cheap beers, watched Louie and tried to pass out. It was late but I wasn’t quite in a sleep space yet. Now I rarely approach the edge of madness and suicide but not being able to sleep because of snoring is one instance that I would choose death over the psychosis of insomnia. Snoring sounds like choking. It sounds like death, only louder. Death seems cunning and ninja-like. Snoring is the rock music of death and Badgerfield was rocking hard. A couple times we elbowed him to lay on his side but after he would unconsciously rotate back and let it rip. I thought about going to the Denny’s or I thought maybe I could sleep in the bathroom. I wished I had my stolen earbuds back. I wished I would have ponied up the dough and had custom earplugs made for me back in Portland. Any of those solutions seemed like the answer but were all so far out of reach.
     Needless to say I was not well rested in the morning. I showered first and walked to the Starbucks a half mile away to get a bite and some coffee. Chief showed up, then the rest of the dudes in the van, minus the trailer. We took a gamble, a big gamble, and left it at the 6 so we would have an easier trip that day when we drove into Oak Creek Canyon. Both our back van tires were on their way to male pattern baldness so we stopped at a tire store in town. It was a cluster fuck of idiots so we had to make an appointment for later that day. We headed out into the scenic wonderment of Sedona.
     The area in general is very reminiscent of Bend. The high desert air and shrubbery feels like eastern Oregon, but all that changes once you descend into the canyon. The sandstone walls slowly started to reveal themselves and the strata was like a psychedelic geology exhibit. Making our way through the curves, the epic cliffs stood like giant fortresses in Middle Earth. Our lives are but farts in the wind compared to the time scale that was taking place all around us. Maybe it will all end up under water or maybe the wind and sand will erode all that beauty to a flat and benign surface. Who can say?
     We pulled up to Red Creek Bridge, parked the van, and gawked. Dustin knew about this spot because he and his buddies would illegally repel off it. We walked out to the edge underneath the span and took in the views. There were a couple different trails that went in different directions so each of us explored where we wanted to. Separately, Pete and I made our way to the bottom of the canyon to where Oak Creek was flowing peacefully. Aaron found a secluded spot to sit while the other guys went to the other end of the drop off. The area reminded me a little bit of Zion National Park only on a smaller scale. I think we all got a little bit of that spirit juice to refill our centers; I know I felt better after leaving.
     We had an hour to kill so we went to Alpine Pizza in downtown. The place was empty and rustic as hell. The wooden edges of the tables were long ago carved by patrons forever putting their marks and initials into the history of the restaurant. We only ordered slices but what came out of the kitchen was amazing; almost whole pizzas. Apparently, when you order a slice you really get two. Our server told us it’s the best deal in town. I would concur.
     At the tire store everyone took advantage of the free coffee and when we were leaving someone said, “That was pretty good coffee for being free.” “Well, it’s more like five hundred dollar coffee,” Dustin rebutted. Touche, my friend, touche.
     Our evening consisted of watching Cabin in the Woods at the 6. Holy fucking shit, what an amazing and game changing horror movie. It was like the Matrix of scary films. Peter kept on saying how impossible it will be to ever make another scary movie because the bar has been set so high. I totally agree and can’t recommend it enough.
     So we have two more weeks out here. The easy drives of the west coast are long gone now and the burly drives into and out of the rocky mountains are about to begin. The next two shows we’ll be playing with Antique Scream so that is something to look forward to. I think everyone has now acclimated to the reality of driving hundreds of miles and sleeping in strange lands but there is still an element that is draining even if we only have to sit our asses in the van all day. The only consistencies are the six of us, gas station bathrooms and Motel 6 comforter patterns. Well, that and the unknown. Let the strange be our compass and if we don’t see you in this world, we’ll meet you in the next one…and don’t be late.

‘Till next time!
   


- ryan | No Comments

     All apologies for the lack of updates, dear readers, but you must understand; it’s hard out here for a pimp. I mean, it’s hard to keep current while on the roller coaster of tour. I think I might be better at it if I had my own computer, those thieving bastards. And nights get a little sloppy. And mornings are slightly jagged and foggy. But rest assured, concerned loved ones and friends alike, we are all better for the wear and most of our brain cells remain intact and functioning.
     We left Blythe in the morning for Tempe. Per usual, we arrived pretty much at load-in at Plush, a sweet ass bar / venue. It was one of the most aesthetically pleasing place we’ve been lucky enough to play on this trip. But when we were getting the night’s info, we learned that our only opening and local band had dropped off the bill and it would be only us entertaining that evening. It was going to be a crapshoot if any people would come out. Again, per usual. We ended up playing almost two hours and there were a couple of energetic lads in front enjoying our musical vibrations. Towards the very end of the set we got a couple stragglers in. All in all, for us onstage it was great but it’s always sweeter when there’s an audience feeling what we’re feeling.
     Another Motel 6, another morning when all of us could sleep longer, another day, another dollar. Or lack of dollars, rather. Our show that night was in Scottsdale at The Rogue. It was also located directly next to a liquor store. Trouble. We got in pretty early and had copious amounts of time to kill. Sometimes that’s one of the worst things about the lifestyle. The phrase “hurry up and wait” is incredibly accurate. Our bro Chris from Antique Scream happened to be in town visiting his parents and he came down to hang with us. It was nice to see a familiar face. Plus he loves to get down and drink. Beef Supreme was the first rock band to play that night and their name looks perfect next to ours on a flier. We ended up playing last that night. It was a little brutal, but the people who stayed gave us good compliments and the weekend booker happened to be running sound and told us the next time we come through he’ll hook up a great weekend show. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
      Chris’ childhood friend put us up that night in a super spacious suburban two story house. He had a pool table in the living room that Dean and Chief started getting serious on. He also had a couple sweet dogs that provided a good amount of entertainment. But he also had a vaporizer in his man layer, a bedroom essentially dedicated to gaming. We took off for space and started in on a mean streak of Tetris. I can’t remember how I did. The night ended rather well as we all passed out in various places to lay our drunken bodies down. I awoke in a barcalounger in my stage clothes with bloodshot eyes and dying for some hydration. I slammed 12 ounces of tap water and then found a couch that was unoccupied. I thought it was early, but it was closer to noon and half of the dudes had left to go grab some coffee. They’re arrival back home was not much appreciated. “Get up!” they shouted at me while high on caffeine. Dicks! We left for Chris’ mom’s house, our destination for the day. It was Thanksgiving and I was hung over.
      We pulled up in front and piled into their humble abode. It was beyond amazing that they had us over for the day and were willing to feed our traveling souls. There was a 30 pack of PBR, a fifth of Jager, and dinner was almost ready. There was also another treat I was able to indulge in; Thrasher’s website premiered the new Baker video. PBR, pie, and an hour of fresh skateboarding. It was grand. Chris and his mom made us feel right at home and we didn’t have a show until the next night so the day was made for relaxing. We spent quite amount of time playing Wii, watching the Chapel Show, smoking on the back patio, and talking about his mom and step dad’s time in Iraq. God bless America.
      The next day we had homemade biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs for breakfast and Chris made some of the best spaghetti I’ve had, maybe ever, for lunch. More time to kill until that evening when Chris hooked us up with their show at a super dive in Tempe. There were only 2 bands on the bill so it was pretty easy to throw us on. I would much rather play a show than not. Isn’t that the modus operandi of us even being out here? Rhetorical questions aside, Antique Scream graciously let us play 2nd before our long drive to San Diego that night. We played, packed up, watched Antique’s kick ass set and then got in the white beast and got the hell out of the desert. I let Chief have the bench seat to sleep horizontally on and Aaron and I stayed up bullshitting until close to sunrise. Dean is a freak of a driver and made it to “a whales vagina” around 9 in the morning.  I was already passed out as we drove through the Arizona / California border, but Arizona border agents are fucking Nazi’s when it comes to marijuana laws. They had a German Shepard walk around the van hoping to get a scent of the sticky icky. But alas, we are smarter than those fascists and didn’t carry any. 1984, meet police state.
      We pulled up to the beach and those who were awake went down to catch a peak of the surf. Peter met a couple nice dudes who hooked him up with some smoke, a piece of bacon, and maybe even another snack. Then Dustin went to a co-op and got us goodies to make veggie wraps for breakfast / lunch. We checked into the Motel 6 and after eating everyone got ready for bed. Keep in mind it was 1 in the afternoon. The plan was to try to sleep until 5 when we had to get ready to go. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep so I set out on a walkabout adventure. Lucky for me, a half mile from the motel was the Mission Valley Preserve that coupled with the San Diego River Trail. It was about the best thing I could have found, so I spent the afternoon watching amazing wildlife do what they do in the river and avoiding the bums and miscreants under the overpasses, drunk and stupid. The bums will always lose!
     Later that night we played a stellar venue in San Diego called Eleven. The name might first appear to be hipster chic and non-representational of anything substantial. But no, it’s a genius reference to the rockumentary Spinal Tap. “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?” asked the director. “…These go to eleven,” said Nigel. After you get done reading this do yourself a favor and watch the entire film. Twice. We loaded all our gear in and back-lined cabs and amps. The drummer from Pheasant, the night’s headliner, came up and said, “Damn, that’s a lot of gear!” We’ve heard that a lot on this trip. An SF band named Black Cobra Vipers were on tour as well and opened the evening’s show. Stylistically, it was an interesting choice, but I personally like eclectic bills and they were really good. I’m not even sure what I would compare them to. I think that’s a compliment. Portland would eat the shit out of them. We played second and the crowd was a strange read. I suggested we open with one of our poppier songs because it seemed that’s what the people would feel more. Then we made our way through the rest of the set we’ve been playing most of the tour which is heavier and more psychedelic. Everyone was really attentive, but slightly standoffish. It reminded me of Portland in that respect. But the sound on stage was amazing and everyone felt like it was one of the best stages we’ve played on. We’ll be back, Eleven!
     I’ll close this post by letting you all in on a secret; we have a pretty fun game going on while driving in the van. RVs and campers all have pretty funny names. But there’s a way to make them even better; just add the word ‘anal’ to the beginning. So then you’ll have “Anal Adventurer’ and ‘Anal Charger’ and ‘Anal Shockwave’. It’s hours of laughs. Try it sometime with grandma. She’ll get it.

“Till next time!


- ryan | 1 Comment

     Dustin came in and roused us in the morning. Too early for my tired body but that’s how it goes some days. We packed up and said goodbye to Robbie. He gave us hugs and told us where the nearest Starbucks was. We’re spoiled in many ways, one of them being that living in Portland affords the average person access to extraordinary coffee at a reasonable price. On the road such luxuries are inconsistent at best. Usually it’s Holocaust coffee at gas stations. Dean always gets the Badgerfield size…giant! You should see him slam coffee. He’s out of control. Anyway, we drank and ate some goodies basking in front of a giant and beautiful desert mountain. Whoever built the Vons at the base of this miraculous piece of geology sure had the right idea. We headed back to Bakersfield, land of oil wells and lost children.
    We pulled into Kay’s again and settled in for a little while before we had to leave for the venue. Showers, food and naps, then it was time to get our asses back into downtown and dodge all the drunken douchebags and whores. Ok, they’re not all whores. We were playing at Riley’s which is a rather strange venue. I’ll explain; one half of the bar is basically a nightclub on the weekends, complete with loud dance music, laser lights and Joey’s galore. The other half is the rock venue. We had the same situation we had at Sandrini’s where one of us had to man the door and take the cover charge. I played door man again and pulled up a seat with one of the best vantage points in the entire club where I could watch all the debauchery happen on the club side and hear and see the rock side. Very interesting juxtaposition to say the least. There was a bachelor and a bachelorette party happening simultaneously, which seemed rather odd. The bride to be started freak dancing with various other dudes on the floor. It was amazing. Lots of high heels and excessive make up and bloated man chests and testosterone dancing to obnoxious house music. Dean used to bartend there when he lived in town. His stories about the fights and stabbings that took place in there are over the top. Oh Bako.
     The Volume opened the show. It was good to see those guys again, nice chaps they are. Then, lucky us, Biblical Proof of UFO’s played their second and final show with Black Pussy. Dustin went on stage for a minute to sing during one of their songs. Pretty sweet. They are some of the nicest dudes ever. We talked about doing more shows in the future, possibly even a tour. Hopefully the Gods are with us on that one. During our set and when the band was playing at a softer dynamic I could hear the bass thumping from the other side, which threw me at first. “What the fuck is feeding back,” I thought to myself trying to troubleshoot onstage. Then I realized it wasn’t us. It was Moby. After we played and started loading up our gear, Chief walked out back with 4 bottles of beer, 2 in each hand. One of the security guards, a stout man with a shaved head, asked him where he was going with said beer. “Oh, it’s cool,” Chief said drunkenly smooth like. Only it wasn’t cool like at all. “If you don’t go get the bartender who gave you those, we’re gonna have a problem.” Chief went back in, minus the beers that he stashed in the van. The girl that gave him the bottles had already left and he was dodging the security and their questions. Dean was made aware of the situation by someone who told him that if shit wasn’t made right, there was going to be an ass kicking. It became the drama of the moment with a slew of giant dudes looking for blood. Dean helped calm the situation but he said there must have been a guardian angel who also helped diffuse the time bomb. Dean grabbed the beers in the van and returned them. All was back to normal and Chief escaped a Bakersfield spanking. Maybe it was because it was his birthday. Or maybe it was because the beers were returned. I’m going to guess it was the latter.
     We had the next day off so we naturally spent it hanging around Mom’s house. Peter and I vacuumed out the van and washed it and the trailer. Just two weeks in and it was a fucking mess, inside and out. It doesn’t help when I eat a whole can of Pringles drunkenly in the middle of the night. Or rolling tobacco, that shit goes everywhere. Dean saw family, visited Lauren, and bought copious amounts of malt liquor for his night cap. Honeybadger don’t give a shit! We ate pot roast and fell asleep watching movies.
     The next morning some of us went out to see Lauren one last time before we left town. We made breakfast with homegrown chicken and duck eggs. It was glorious! Egg, backyard tomatoes and avocado sandwiches. It was one of the best meals I’ve had all tour. We hung out watching Pawn Stars, a reality show about a pawn shop in Vegas. It’s addicting and they just kept playing episode after episode, sort of like feeding a crack addict a new hit every 3o minutes. Before we got in too deep and got so high that we would start feeling withdrawal sickness, we said our goodbye’s and went back to Kay’s to chill out a little before we left for AZ. We drove the 6 or 7 hours to Blythe, our home for the night. Motel Burritos were served by master chef Aaron and we fell asleep to Louie.
     So far so good. No one hates anybody yet. No one’s gotten into a fight with a band member or drunken asshole. We might even be in the black. Minus the laptop setback in Oakland, we’re playing well and feeling good. But maybe I should knock on wood. We’re always dancing with the uncertainty principle by sticking our necks out to do what we love so much; ROCK! This whirlwind adventure should provide some good stories for the grandkids later on. Thankfully I’m trying to write it all down ’cause most of us probably wouldn’t remember.

‘Till next time!


- ryan | No Comments

    The day had come for us to finally leave Hollywood and make our way to the desert, birthplace of an entire genre of music. Amazing music. We loaded up and tried to clean as best we could. The guest house was having some plumbing issues to say the least. The kitchen sink was clogged so we would do our dishes and then scoop out the grey water and dump it down the toilet. Peter really cleaned up around the house. Take note kids; being aware and respectful will take you far. Don’t want to burn any golden bridges.
    We made coffee before we left and decided to forgo food until we were close to our final destination. We ran into that little whore again as we were driving out; LA traffic. She is a vengeful remorseless bitch that will castrate you while laughing maniacally. If you only knew the power of the dark side! We had to go all out Yoda on her to escape without mental or physical injury. We made it out of the worst and got on the fast track towards Palm Desert. Peter found a cheap Mexican joint in some strip mall and we had breakfast/lunch/dinner on the label’s tab. Not bad either. Dean pulled a honey badger and got a bunch of napkins and rolled them around salt, pepper, Tapatio and ketchup packets to take with us. Road life.
    We pulled up behind the Hood and went inside for the details. Our friend Brandon basically hooked up the show with an amazing band Waxy who are from the area. Also playing was the Border Liners from Austria and Tater Famine was added at the last minute to open the show. They were a stoner/prog version of Mumford and Sons. Not sure if that’s the best analogy, but they were rad. To help illustrate how small the world truly is, while we were in Vegas for our Double Down show we ran into Mateo, the mandolin player. He stood out, being a tall long hair in a Sword shirt. They had played the previous night and had a day off so he came down to see what was going on. “That name, it sounds familiar,” he said. He had been seeing our stickers on their tour and it clicked that we were sharing the bill at the Hood. This dive circuit that we’re playing is funny. You see a lot of familiar band’s stickers up in each venue. For instance I’ve been seeing a lot of Serial Hawk stickers, our bros from Seattle. Little markers along the way saying ‘we were here.’ It’s also interesting to see how many truly awful band names there are and just how many bands there are/were in general. The ‘were’ is important here; each venue is covered in broken hopes and lost dreams. Most of the bands who put up those stickers probably aren’t bands anymore. Sort of like visiting a used record store, it can be a humbling experience if you’re a musician. And if I may, some aesthetic advice on sticker design; there is absolutely no reason to put a web address on a band sticker. If people give a shit, they will search for you. They will not write down or remember your Reverb Nation URL. Let’s get serious.
    I think most of us had some anticipation about the night’s performance. We really wanted to bring the hammer considering where we were at. Even if some of the patrons didn’t give care about the area’s musical legacy, we sure did. Waxy got on stage and proceeded to tear shit up. It was a treat to finally see the boys live. We met guitar player/singer and all around awesome human being Robbie when White Orange played there last year. They broke down and we had to set up fast as the music cut-off time was approaching. Another super amazing dude, Mike, was running sound for us. It was the best stage sound I think we’ve had all tour. It was a blast!
    We got off stage and mingled around. I went right backstage to collect myself. I pounded a beer and closed my eyes. “We were totally not expecting that,” a girl said to me. It seemed the sentiment of the night. There were a lot of people there who deserve respect for the music they have contributed and are still contributing, so to receive so much love from the community felt amazing. As we were loading up I asked Peter if we could still get a pizza and he said the kitchen was closed. Balls! But then I found out Dustin ordered us a pizza in the middle of the set. Always thinking, that guy. We weren’t going to go to bed hungry and Robbie offered to put us up in his studio. And holy shit, what a studio! It was huge and awesome with a kitchen and multiple rooms and a bad ass tracking room with a pool outside to boot. Him and his friends were beyond hospitable, offering us food and drink, getting our sleeping situation set up, and just being cool as cucumbers. I had a hard time going to sleep when I laid down because my body was still buzzing. All I really wanted to do was jam in the room not 20 feet from me. But at after 5 in the morning, I guess it was time to close my eyes and let nature take over.

“Is pimping easy?”  … “Hell yeah!”

 

‘Till next time!

   


- ryan | No Comments

     “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong.” Aaron told me a story that Mountain Dew put up a web page to have the public at large vote for the name of their new flavor. And by a stunning margin that was the name that won. Tastes like hate! Glad to know that our public’s sense of humor is still intact. I think if our band were going to have a soda flavor it would be “Booty Sweat.” Kickin’ names and taken’ ass! Maybe we could franchise with the Juggalo soda Faygo. I think that might be a good target market for us; the inbred white trash of ‘Merica. Somebody put our people in touch with their people.
     I’m not going to lie, LA in the winter is a wonderful place to be. It’s sort of a big fuck you to Mother Nature. We get to have prolonged warm and sunny days as opposed to the usual soupy grey that the Northwest is so infamous for. Living in Portland, by the time February hits, I feel a suicidal desperation for some hint of blue skies and spring. But all that can be avoided by doing as the birds do and head south. The only thing you have to add to this equation is, oh, the 12 million angry and pissed off people around you at all times. And the smog. And how expensive everything is. And the traffic. And the poverty. Hmmm…
     Our show that evening was in Santa Monica so we had the whole day to chill out in Hollywood. Dustin put it to good use by getting some jamming and writing time in. The jam room is awesome! Dean and Peter walked down the road to the store and got eggs, sausages and potatoes. Breakfast would be served proper that day. Actually, there’s not a lot to say about most of our downtime. I could list for you all the small and trivial activities that comprised our afternoon, but then that would be like reading American Psycho without the payoff of gruesome and gory mutilation. I will say though that we met Levi that afternoon. He’s a time traveling mad scientist of a dog. He speaks 13 languages and will never die. His continually blood shot eyes make you wonder about his drug usage. But seriously, he’s a sweet heart and wears a pink collar. He doesn’t give a shit!
     Peter, from his time spent living inside the beast, had the knowledge of how to best navigate the insane traffic so we left a little later to let it die down. A short drive and we parked in a red zone in front of Trip. We unloaded merch and Chief and I went to Taco Bell for dinner. Not too many options for poor bastards on the road. Peter was setting up merch so I brought his broke ass a burrito. I think Chief bought Dean a bean burrito, no onions. Wise decision. They put way too many onions in their bean burritos. A friend of mine turned me onto the Mexican pizza with no beef. Sweet glory! Sara met us while we were having a Jager subcommittee in the van. She always has amusing stories about her crazy life as a Director’s assistant. She actually has a lot of stories in general. She should be writing a blog. But I digress. The venue was too small to bring our shit into so we had to unload it on the sidewalk and pre-setup outside. We were sound checking and the sound guy told us we had to turn down. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I would have…a lot of dollars. We told him our usual spiel about a certain loudness our amps have to be to sound correct. And we usually just pretend to turn down or say fuck it, we do what we want. It is a filling and intense sound, but it’s quality. We’re just loud. After our set the sound guy, who was actually really nice, came up to me and said, “Holy shit, wall of sound!” and smiled. Yeah dude. Yeah.
     We rocked, loaded outside and then got ready to get Biblicalled. It was our first of two shows with Biblical Proof of UFO’s. Not only is that one of the best band names ever, they are fucking awesome dudes that play fucking awesome music. And one fucking awesome drummer. Yeah, that good. It was a real treat to be able to enjoy their music after we played, something I wish would happen more on this trip. MR. D.C. was kind enough to come down for both our sets. He brought Julie with him and Chief had a bro there, plus with Sara, who actually might be two or three people in presence, we had a sweet group of radness hanging out. We made our way to another bar at the advice of one with “inside knowledge.” Once there, a man asked me what I wanted to drink so I answered honestly… “Well, whisky sounds really good. But so does Jager. I don’t know.” Soon in front of me I found one of each. That sounds good, I’ll have that. Back at the house we ate the twenty or so food truck tacos Dustin picked up on our way out of the bar. Valentina really does make everything better. I opted for sleep earlier than most. I felt great. And full. And a little drunk. I passed out into complete and solid black unconsciousness. It was grand.
    
    ‘Till next time!

PS. The most packed rock club in LA didn’t even have live music.


- ryan | 2 Comments

     I did not wake up to the smell of breakfast on our last morning in Bakersfield. I probably had various bizarre dreams about drugs and sex and weird locations like I’ve been doing this whole trip. I should keep better track of my dreams, sort of like receipts for taxes. We would be on the move again that afternoon, destination Anaheim. Our other band White Orange played the Doll Hut about a year ago to the sound guy and our bartender Melissa. Despite the obvious lack of audience, it was a really fun show. That place is an institution dripping with history. We pulled up in front, parked the bitch, and went inside. Low and behold our girl was working again. Ironic considering she only works one day a week there. She let us in on the sad news that the Doll Hut would be closing down. I’m unclear if the building will be demolished but the plan is to build a mariachi bar, or some shit like that. The building is really old and it officially became the Doll Hut in the 50’s. Melissa told me some good stories about it being haunted and that they even tried to coax some of the spirits to play this last Halloween when they turned out the lights for 30 minutes and sat at the bar in the dark. No dice. I guess spirits play according to their own rules. I sat in the back and tried to write but her boyfriend asked me if I wanted to burn one with him. Sure I said. We got to talking about prison and the politics of Californian jails. It was an enlightening conversation about the realities of being imprisoned and institutionalized. We loaded our gear in and waited. Same old routine of hurrying up to wait. It helps when the bands before us are good and does not help when they suck. Not too many people there on a Tuesday night but we didn’t expect anything different. We played solid and at one point Dustin got up on the bar to sing. He said he could hear vocals better up there than anywhere else the entire night. Figures.
     We are fortunate enough to have some amazing friends in Los Angeles. One of them being a supremely benevolent benefactor who shall be kept nameless, but I can offer a hint. He’s the best rock drummer in the best rock band in the world. And no, it’s not Dave Grohl. But I can say that the Stump Sisters rule this planet so hard and Sara arranged for us to stay in the guest house that night. Ironically, Rynne was in Portland and would return on Thursday. A lot of really awesomely talented bands stay there and to be part of that community is quite humbling. They always say don’t meet your heroes, but this is too good to pass up. That night Sarah came with tons of beer and a friend who had other green goodies. There is a great jam room in the house and an amazing bass playing house guest Julie who got down with us on some jams. We probably stayed up past our bedtimes that night.
     We awoke in Hollywood and Julie got down on some serious breakfast for us. Gotta start the day off right. Our show that night was in Santa Barbara so we didn’t need to leave that early. Chief spent a lot of time on the grand piano that’s in the main living room. Napoleon may have had nunchuck and computer hacking skills, but this man has some serious finger skills. (Ladies!?) There’s a Ms. Pacman machine in the entryway that Aaron and I put some major time on. Gotta get close to that damn high score! We left for the North 101 around 4 PM and got right into LA traffic. What a fucking whore she is. Not really spending that much time here, it’s always an amazing sight to behold some guy on a crotch rocket flying in between lanes going 80 MPH while you’re driving 55. Fuck LA! (not really, but maybe.)
    We pulled up to Muddy Waters and got a nice spot. Love those spots right in front of the building. Makes everything easier. White Orange played there on one of the last tours, so most of us knew what to expect. Chief started laughing, “Is this a coffee shop?” Yeah! It’s actually awesome, just need to fill it up with people. Cat from Electric Sex Enterprises put on the show and it was a really fun line up. Most people slept on it though, shame on them. Missing out! The Dogons opened and were insanely obtuse. All dressed down with lyrics that Grandma would not appreciate, they got the evening started right. Easter Teeth graciously let us go second. Thanks dudes! We did our thing, Dustin put his mustache all over some cute girls that were sitting down in front, and then we cleared our shit out. We shared the bill with Easter teeth the last time we played Muddy Waters and also ran into them at the Ella St. Social Club in Portland while they were on tour. They’re really funny guys. I told the drummer they should do stand up. “Like the Smothers Brothers? Do some comedy and then play a ditty or two?” Yeah! Exactly! There was an after party but we opted to head back to Hollywood and stay at the guest house again. It’s a pretty tough choice between that and a Motel 6. I guess Motel Burritos would have to wait until we’re out of LA.

‘Till next time!
    
   


- ryan | 1 Comment

    I woke up again to the smell of breakfast. Kay was killing it on the food front. I was not in my usual bed, nor did I remember even going to bed. My wallet, phone and other pocket items were on the dresser next to me though. Glad that even in drunken states my muscle memory and reptilian hindbrain still remembered my routines. I went out to the kitchen and got down on some homemade hash browns and pancakes. I also had found some Cran-Grape juice the day before and had been steadily annihilating the container. Our next show was in Vegas so just after 1 pm we headed out into the great radioactive desert.
    Normally I hate Nevada. Well, hate is a strong word but I always get anxiety when crossing the border. It’s strange because the geography is beautiful. There is a lot of photogenic scenery but feelings of panic would always creep up my spine. Maybe it’s the nukes’ aftermath and I have radioactive allergies. But as of late we’ve been playing quite a bit in the Silver State. Driving into the city, observing the giant hotel fantasy land of New Vegas, I almost felt at ease and comfortable basking in the neon distraction. What the fuck?!
    We pulled onto the side of the Double Down after 7 and went inside for the scoop. Dive city man! It was empty but it looked awesomely seedy. Stickers and grime everywhere. Gambling at the bar and a small stage in the corner. Playing these kinds of places, you get an appreciation for even an ounce of spoiled. The bar tender told us we had some time to kill so we went looking for food and found a New York pizza joint in a strip mall. Everything is in a strip mall. Vegas is a giant strip mall. Much to my surprise, it was amazing. So amazing that I said we should make it our joint whenever we’re in town. The dude at the front was a goofy character, complete with ridiculous humor and a self-deprecating yearning. I may be reading into his personality too much, but his banter with us and other patrons made the shitty pop music on the speakers overhead a little more tolerable.
    Back at the venue it started to get popping! Apparently there was a beard and mustache show in town where dudes from all 50 states competed in what I would assume would be a ‘who had the most badass facial hair’ competition. The first band started and was a lot of fun. “All these amazing twirly mustaches,” I thought. It was becoming a giant shit show. The merch table was under attack by drunken fans and bathroom waiters. There wasn’t really a safe place to put it so various members were in charge of it’s safety. Then the second band, a punk band from Long Beach, started and the majority of people were still there. This was basically their show. A lot of dudes looked like they were in the same gang. It was getting late and we hoped to keep some of the audience by the time we went on.
    We loaded out at 3 AM and got on the road by 3:30, destination Bakersfield. We had a day off before Anaheim and had some chores to do in town. I was glad I wasn’t driving. Peter and Dean kick ass! I was awake and bullshitting with Aaron and got to watch the sunrise in the desert. It looked like the opening sequence in “No Country For Old Men.” The crescent moon was directly above the glowing mountain range. Very classy. I passed out and we got to Bako around 9 in the morning. Everyone filed in and went to sleep.
    Later in the afternoon, Dean and Aaron went on a mission for back-up fuses and 2×4’s from Lowe’s. The plan was to build a wall in the trailer to act as a cage for our luggage and miscellaneous belongings and separate our actual performance equipment from things we only need at night. I chilled and showered, did laundry and wrote a blog entry while Aaron and Chief manned up and took care of business. I came out at the end and saw the work of art. Nice job boys!
    The day off was much needed but at night there’s almost an anxiousness you feel when you don’t get to play music. It felt like when I was younger, living at home in the suburbs, watching TV and snacking on various shit. I felt restless and tired at the same time. Nothing to do but wait and try to go to bed sort of early. That night I slept on the floor under a 5 year old’s pink blankets. Thanks Nevaeh!

‘Till next time!
   


- ryan | No Comments

    Whoa. What just happened? Oh yeah, three days of life just happened. And rather quick, too. Our last show with Dark Earth was in San Jose at Johnny V’s. It was one of the best crowds we’ve had thus far. Those guys played last and I don’t know why I hadn’t realized it earlier, but they fucking slay! I was seriously impressed, and considering their age, the potential they have is awesome. James, who mans the axe and vocals, broke his high E string half way through their set. Then he broke his B string. Two incredibly valuable strings if you’re soloing. But unless you actually saw the dangling strings, you would have never known. He just kept on ripping. What a badass! I would have cowered in the corner, looking for strings or at least a back up guitar. I asked him later why he didn’t grab another guitar. “I didn’t have one.” Those dudes rule, keep an eye out.
    Apparently San Jose has a large homeless population. Now, not that I can confirm their housing status, but a game of craps erupted in between our van and trailer with black dudes shooting dice, gettin’ paid, hustlin’. We were keeping an eye out while we weren’t onstage and the door dude told us he’d watch while we played. We came out to the vehicle fully intact, so right on brothas! Play on playa!
    More Motel 6’s, more awesomely patterned cover blankets, more plastic cups wrapped in plastic. We opted against the Motel Burrito and made corn and clam chowder and passed out watching Louie. Thank God Aaron still has his laptop otherwise we’d be screwed on visual entertainment. We woke up not far from Santa Cruz where we’d be having lunch with Aaron’s Dad.
    We pulled up close to the wharf and fed 5 dollars or more into the meters to park. We only got 2 hours. Fucking Santa Cruz. But it was beautiful out. The night before it rained so to get a clear day was great. Everyone was hungry for deep fried freshly caught fish. When in Rome. We sat next to giant windows along the sea, basking in the blue glory of the sparkling ocean, watching various winged and water dwelling animals go about their daily routines and we all plowed through the delicious aquatic protein. Aaron’s Dad graciously picked up the tab and right before we were about to leave his Uncle Stan came by to say hello. The word on the street is he’s a badass bass player. Aaron told me he dodged the draft by touring Europe playing bass in blues bands. That’s rock ‘n roll!
    I had mentioned to Peter that Carmel was really close to Monterey, our gig for the night, and that we should try to go but didn’t really think we would. So much to my surprise I woke up in the van a block away from Pebble Beach. We rolled a joint and walked down to the sand, taking it all in. The sun was close to setting so the scene was even more surreal. We watched a couple surfers try to grab some waves, but the dolphins really showed them who was boss. One wave in particular we saw five or six of them. It’s hard to have any negative emotions in such an awesome place. Standing there, bearing witness to the moment, you feel the vibrations of serenity moving up your spine. The flux of energy dancing in the water, creating swells, pushing and pulling. Everything was in it’s right place.
    We got to Jose’s Underground after 6, loaded downstairs and I wandered off towards the water. Monterey is not very ethnically diverse. It reminded me of a coastal version of the Pearl District back in Portland. I imagined their police department trying to find entertaining things to do to pass the time like maple syrup chugging contests. I found a spot to watch the ocean, letting my mind wander some more. Just breathing in the air was like therapy. We all met up at the Mexican restaurant above the venue and ate. Dustin bought a round of what he thought were relatively cheap pints of Pacifico. I guess nothing is cheap in that town.They were about double what you’d pay in Portland. Always learning lessons out here. It was a 4 band bill and we were headlining so we had some time to kill. Chief found a liquor store and bought some Jager. Good and bad idea. I don’t think he got much. The band killed most of it, both on and off stage.
    Our next show was in Bakersfield, so after we loaded the trailer up The Dean drove the 4+ hours to his Mom’s house. Most of us were pretty drunk when we left and I woke up when we were backing into her driveway at 7 AM. Awesome! It felt like time travel. Kay always puts us up when we’re in town. It’s literally a home away from home. I found some OJ in the fridge and passed out again in a bed.
    We had the whole day to kill before the show so we all slept in. I think I got up close to 2 and made my way to kitchen. The smell of breakfast had woken me up earlier but I tried to sleep as long as possible. It’s one of the most valuable commodities out on the road. Everyone ate and showered, some did laundry. I mean, hey, we’re at Mom’s house.
     Dean’s cousin Lauren was involved in a head on collision three blocks away from her house the night before. I think the 911 call was placed at 11:59 PM. She turned 21 one minute after that. She had been planning on coming out to our show, legally this time, and then partying with us afterwords but the universe had decided otherwise. So Dean, Peter, Kay, and myself went to the hospital where she was being treated to say hi and give her some love. Last time we were in town we went and ate Mexican food with her and her family before our show. This time she would only be drinking fluids and broth. She was sleeping when we got to the room. There were already a lot of people in the room with her. Her mom woke her up and she seemed happy to see everyone. She was in a morphine haze but was cracking jokes and her spirit seemed well. She didn’t really have any memories from the accident, but a drunk driver about her age hit her head on, then pulled her out of the car because she was screaming and he thought the car might blow. The paramedics found her kneecap on the sidewalk when they arrived. That was the worst injury, her right leg. She already had emergency surgery on her knee and was awaiting another for her broken leg. Some more family came to visit, including Dean’s feisty-as-hell grandma. I would love to get drunk with that woman. Pure entertainment. Anyway, we talked with her some more and then said goodbye. She threw up the rock horns when we left. Get better soon, Lauren!
    We got the van and headed to Sandrini’s. When we arrived and were getting the details one of the guys asked us, “Did you bring a door guy?” Huh? Did we bring a door guy? I’ve never been asked that question before. So I manned up and sat at the door, taking 5 bucks a head while the first band played. Peter stayed with merch and Dean made the rounds with all the people who came to see him. When we went on stage Kay sat at the door. You can always trust Mom.
    Bakersfield is a strange place. There’s a grittiness to it. It’s almost a tiny universe in and of itself. While Chief and Aaron were driving the van around the block for load out they heard gunshots ricocheting from around the block. I was inside at the time and a whole slew of people who were outside smoking came rushing into the safety of downstairs. Within minutes there were three or more cop cars outside questioning people and collecting evidence. No one that we knew was hurt but it’s always a little unnerving. Gotta love Bako!

‘Till next time!


- ryan | No Comments

    It seems like popular culture is in love right now. In love with the romanticism of our species’ extinction. Like a well produced porn flick, we have Hollywood churning out films glamorizing the planet’s peril and our own demise. It’s almost like a nihilistic feedback loop inspired by that ancient of calendars that the Maya so conveniently left behind or maybe it’s a product of our own subconscious intuition. Is the end nigh? Personally, the mantra that the ‘end is the beginning’ holds more truth in my mind, but as to our fate only the angels can see the cards at play.
    I awoke in the van, having slept there with Peter. Generally that spot is reserved for Dustin who feels more at home slumbering on the back bench seat but he passed out early and hard in the motel and I didn’t feel like hearing the snore chorus all night long. So we decided to head out and hold down the fort. In the morning I still had the theft hangover from the night before. The clouds had moved in on the bay and the sky was overcast. My phone was dead and I didn’t know what time is was, only that I still felt like sleeping. Sometime after noon, Aaron came and told us that oatmeal and coffee would be ready soon so we got up and headed back to the room the hit the restart button and try again.
    We went to the grocery store for lunch and I picked up a new phone charger. I feel that might be the fourth one I’ve had to purchase. Someone is getting rich on that shit. We had an early load in so we were on the road back into Oakland by 5pm, destination Eli’s Mile High Club. It wasn’t that far away from the Stork Club, place of the previous night’s shit show. We illegally parked and unloaded our gear on the sidewalk and then reparked the van across the street. It would be the second night playing with AntikYtherA, some local bros from Portland. Bay area band Dark Earth, who also played the previous night, would be joining us again. We loaded inside, Dustin set up the projector, and we went out to the van to eat and make sure nobody was interested in fucking with it. The show started early because the venue had to basically shut down by 11pm. Why? I have no idea.
    People were slow to arrive, but by the time third band Wild Eyes set up and started there was a decent crowd. They were rockingly awesome and really helped lube the audience up for us to go on last. We got onstage and The Dean’s high hat stand sort of fell apart. One of the drummers (sorry, forget who) was kind enough to loan us his for our set. And speaking of failures, the floor tom’s leg came loose during a song, the bottom head of the snare exploded towards the end of the set, and before we even got onstage one of the rides fell to the floor, landing directly on it’s edge and giving the cymbal a nice curvature on the end. Sweet. But all things considered, it was a fantastic show. We met some really nice people and had a good old time.
    While loading out I was lucky enough to see a black sports car speeding down the road and screeching it’s tires into a hard right turn onto a side street while a squad car sans sirens was in hot pursuit. I figured it’s all par for the course considering where we were at. There are a lot of genuinely really awesome people in Oakland and the city seems ripe with culture and possibility. But there’s an undertow that is present as well. Some might use words like “poverty” or “racial divide” or who the fuck knows what else. Even though we got jacked the night before, it’s hard to draw strong conclusions about a place we know very little about, other than awareness is the best asset one can have. Lesson learned.
    Later on we got the bad news that Wild Eyes, some of the sweetest people we’ve met so far, got in an accident while returning to SF. Originally, they wanted to party with us but the driver stayed sober to drive because he had to work early in the morning. We waved goodbye to them when they left, having already talked about returning to the Bay in the future to do another show together. No one was critically hurt other than the van itself. We wish them a speedy recovery and hopefully the van Gods are feeling generous.
    The overarching emotion on this trip thus far has been highly positive, but the more we travel, the more we recognize the knife’s edge we ride on. At any turn, on any corner, anything can happen. Hopefully our intention is benevolent enough to help carry the torch into prosperous waters. Is the winter’s solstice, just a little over a month away, really as the paranoid would claim as prophecy of the end? I suppose we’ll have to wait until that fateful day in late December when the sun is at it’s lowest point in the sky. Maybe we can all score some DMT, get out of the city, and make the best of an unpredictable situation by traveling the 4th dimension and dancing with the aliens.

‘Till next time!
   


- ryan | 1 Comment

     I was looking around the back room of the Stork Club, checking out the various posters from over a decade worth of shows. I was finishing my bottle of beer when Aaron came up to me and said, “The van just got broken into, I think they got Peter’s keys.” I didn’t really conceptualize what it all meant, I just followed him back out to the van which was parked a block away on 23rd and Telegraph. Walking up I could see the driver’s side door was open and walked around to the other side where Dustin and Dean were standing. I looked inside and saw the flat screen TV that Dean was transporting to Bakersfield still there but in a different position. He had been keeping it in between the two front captains chairs, usually uncovered. I looked for my backpack which had been directly behind the driver’s seat. It was not there. Neither were Peter’s or Dean’s bags. I got out and tried to re-boot my mind. There was a continual error sign that kept flashing and a voice saying, “Does not compute.” I came back to the van to do a better search. Maybe I missed it. Maybe it was just hiding under some of the other stuff. Maybe we just got totally fucked.
      The day had started off nice enough. We had leftover Motel Burritos in the morning and Chief and I did some pull-ups on the outside stairs to help keep our muscles from atrophied. After showers and coffee we were ready to make our entrance to Oakland. We drove right to venue, I guess to check it out. I had played there years before while in a previous band Precursor. The Stork Club is on Telegraph, a particularly idiosyncratic street. You could see the ugly past meeting up with the gentrified future. We found a Motel 6 off Embarcadero, right on the water. Peter, Dean and I went to the Safeway to grab lunch/dinner. Went into Trader Joe’s for free coffee and to grab Dustin a tuna wrap. He loves those things. We were waiting to take off while Dean finished his chicken enchiladas when we saw a lovely black woman in a long Hawaiian dress waiting in front of the bank. “She’s a whore, you watch,” Dean said. To our left was a rental truck with a greasy driver waiting outside. We watched her walk over to the side and approach him. They hung out for a minute, then she got in the passenger side and they left together. “See!”
      Back at the motel we ate and chilled for a couple hours. I watched the sun set behind the water and breathed in the fresh air. I felt great. It seemed like a vacation. I walked back in and found Chief taking apart his laptop. The grey screen kept flashing file folder icon. “That’s the worst one, I think it’s the hard drive,” he said. Little did we know what kind of omen it would prove to be.
We left around 7 and drove the short distance to the club. Not very good parking in front so we parked a little distance away. We unloaded and trekked everything in. We were supposed to play third so we had a couple hours to chill out. Arron went to market on the corner and grabbed a six pack. We drank it in the van, just hanging and talking about the election. We would do our usual routine of some of us coming and going randomly with Dustin trying to lay down and sleep a little in the far back. We opened a bottle of white wine and drank that. I made my way back to the club to hang out, check out the next band, get a drink. I was playing free pool by myself, checking out the graffiti, stickers, and posters when Aaron came up with wild eyes and told me the news.
      Dustin had been in the van when it went down. They probably cased it first, saw the TV and various other things. Since we had been coming and going all night, the van was left unlocked. Dustin woke up hearing a commotion in the front. As he came to he shouted, “What the fuck is going on!?” and tried to get to the front but the two of them were gone. And fast. After realizing what was taken Dean and I walked around the entire block looking in bushes and dark corners to see if they might have stashed the bags or dropped them. We looked everywhere but to no avail. I called the cops and reported the robbery and was told to wait for a squad car. This was pretty low on the list of important police matters in Oakland so I found myself waiting on the corner of the road lost in numb thoughts of sadness and anger. I didn’t give a fuck about playing the show. All I wanted to do was report what had happened in the hopes that something might turn up. I felt disrespected and violated. But it wasn’t the fact that my backpack was expensive or the two books that I lost were important to me or even my laptop. Those are replaceable with cash. The thing that hurt the worst was the White Orange art for the next album that I’ve been working on for the past 6 months was on there too. I stood around for over an hour. I called back twice asking if I could do the report over the phone or expedite the process somehow. Nope. I got word that we were going to perform anyway. I knew that I would probably miss the squad car but went in and set up anyway. I just sort of went through the motions, unattached. Dustin and Dean were drunk, well, probably everyone was drunk. And angry. After two songs the sound guy came up to us and said, “Last song.” Sort of the perfect night cap of shitty dicks. We unloaded out into the sidewalk under the Oakland night sky. We had just met Terren, a guy that came out for one of the other bands and stuck around till the end. He had rolled one of the most beautiful Haze joints we’ve seen, complete with hash and hash oil. After loading and other shenanigans we were just about to leave when a squad car came up. Under other conditions this would have risen my adrenaline levels considerably, but this was actually some luck. Officer C. Espinoza was very helpful and considerate. She took down all our information and wished us luck. We needed it out here on the battlefield.
      Chief was driving us back to the Motel when he came across a sketchy driver who was originally gonna turn off but eyed the van and trailer and came back on the road, following us on the freeway while we slowed down to 45mph and he still didn’t go around. We came to a stop and he pulled up next to us, got out of his car and pretended to look around the his back seat for something. The light turned green and we went first and he followed. By this point everyone was very well aware of what was happening and on high alert. “Is he still behind us?” asked Chief. “Yeah,” Peter replied. We came to a funny part of the freeway and we got over to the left quickly and he didn’t have time so he merged right. We found the Motel 6, parked the van, and breathed. Shit could have gotten even more real.
      In the end, Pete lost a macbook, a nice rain jacket and a wallet. Dean lost a laptop, a bunch of clothes and a sweet bag. I lost a macbook, my backup hard drive, and an expensive backpack, all among other things. The van’s roof and seat had been gouged by the TV as they were trying to take it out. All that notwithstanding, we were fine.
      So what is the lesson to be learned here? Always lock the van doors? Don’t keep flat screen TV’s visible in the front seat of the van? Always keep important bags on your person or well hidden? Don’t maintain an attachment to physical items? Is this some sort of spiritual test placed upon us by the Gods or were we victims of circumstance in a chaotic world. It’s easy to dismiss it all and say, “Fuck Oakland.” And while that sentiment might hold some weight, I think it’s all just part of this journey into the unknown where all of us as individuals and family will be tested. I’ll leave you with a quote from a book that is inspiring some of us right now…

“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

‘Till next time!

ps. Dean found the following photo ID ten feet away from the van. We gave it to the officer in hopes that it might lead to something. I found him on Facebook and left a message. We’ll see what he says.

 

The mystery deepens…

 


- ryan | No Comments

    The scream woke us up. It was light out but I didn’t know what time it was. The Dean was sleeping next to me with Chief and Peter on the other bed and Aaron was on the floor. We all looked around the room unsure. There was running outside in the hallway and further down we could hear screaming and yelling. Someone started banging on our door yelling in a foreign language. Then he started saying “help, help!” in a thick accent. I got up and looked through the eyehole and saw an older Asian man looking to his left and right nervously. Then more pounding on the door and yelling from down the hall. He had something in his hand but I couldn’t make it out. “Do I open the door?” I asked the dudes. Peter came up to look and see what the fuck was going on. More yelling, crashing, banging. “There are other people running down the hall, guys with guns,” he said. We looked at each other and I unlocked the deadbolt and opened the thick hotel door.
    Reno, like other gambling towns in Nevada, is full of sadness. Sad people, sad animals, sad buildings, sad automobiles. It’s not even hiding in the dark corners, it’s right in front of you just off the strips. When you isolate yourself with the rest of the tourists in the bubbles of safety and distraction everything seems normal. But there is something sinister and desperate lurking and it can rear it’s ugly head in a moments notice.
    As I opened the door with caution the man pushed hard into Pete and I, knocking us backward into the room. Dean and Chief came from behind and tackled him onto the floor. He was yelling in the same unintelligible language from before, almost in tears. Dean held him while I yelled at him to calm down. There was still quite a bit of commotion in the hallway just out of our sight. I couldn’t understand what this guy was saying. I didn’t know what to do. Things were blurring together.
    Gunshots are unmistakable sounds, just like when you hear your neighbors fucking above you. The sound of a woman moaning as she climaxes and the sound of a bullet being discharged from a handgun are two things that, once heard, are never confused with anything else. The first shot rang out and all of us heard it. Then again. And again. We all froze, listening, waiting. Even our unexpected and immobile guest stopped yelling and struggling. I looked at Peter for a second. I stood up on my feet, walked to the doorway and looked left. There was luggage strewn about everywhere and it seemed hazy towards the end of the hall. There were broken mirrors with the glass shards reflecting the ceiling’s light. I looked back into our still and silent room, saw my friends huddled around our foreign intruder, then went out into hall.
    The casino’s carpet seemed even more psychedelic than normal as I slowly walked down. I passed closed doors with do not disturb signs hung on the handles. “Too late for that,” I thought to myself. Just in front of me the maid’s cart was sitting crooked and still. I walked around the spilt towels, sheets, and soap. I made sure not to step on the broken glass as i passed the remanence of floor to ceiling mirrors. Then I saw a lump of something closer to the elevators, but the acidic smoke obscured the details. I cautiously approached it when a voice shouted at me from behind. “Get down!” I hit the floor not knowing who was yelling at me or what to expect. I looked back down the hall and saw Dustin high jump the maid’s cart in a pink robe with a Glock in each hand. He ran up to me wearing his Crocs, smoking a tailor made and asked, “Which way did he go?” “Which way did who go?” I asked. “The bald man in the suit! Where did he go? Someone just robbed the trailer and they’re staying on this floor! The bald man is buyer, they’re doing a deal with the Asians for our shit!” I looked towards the elevators at the ambiguous lump, only now I could make out what it was. A navy blue duffel bag lay on the ground with the zipper half open and spilling out of it was Black Pussy merch and records. He ashed his smoke on the floor, cocked his guns and pushed the down arrow on the elevators. “I’m gonna find this motherfucker,” he said and pulled a long drag off his smoke.
    I ran back to our hotel room and found it empty. There was blood on the ground. An empty Fritos bag lay next to the luggage. “Police, freeze!” I stood still and slowly raised my arms in the air. “Get down, on your knees, slowly!” I did as he requested and awaited my cuffing. A strong and fat hand grabbed mine and turned me around. If this was the police they sure dressed differently in Reno. In front of me stood a bulging man in a blue suit, shades, and a freshly shaven scalp. He pointed his pistol at my gut and said, “Don’t even fart.” I held my cheeks together and waited.
    “My name is Mr. Brownstone and I’ve been watching you guys for a long time. I’m quite impressed with the music. And your live tone that you’ve been refining, very classic rock.”
    “Oh yeah, thanks, we’ve been putting a lot of effort into that lately…”
    “Shut the fuck up!” he said rapidly.
    I held my cheeks together tighter as I felt what might be a fart or a shit or a shart making it’s way towards the exit sign.
    “I know all about your tour and your plan to record a new album soon. Well, you fucking long hair, that stops today. I have a new plan. I call it…Operation Stapp. You see, the Asians love Black Pussy. They love the t-shirts with the gold and silver sparkle. They love the name. They want the rights so they can start mass-producing products to sell on the internet. But I know what’s really at stake.
    “You do?” I asked.
    “Yeah, I do. We need things dumbed down. This rock and roll you’re playing, it’s too good. We can’t have you writing new songs and touring and making aesthetically pleasing t-shirts. So you guys are going to take a permanent vacation and we’re going to replace you with our genetically modified, asexual rock stars. You may have seen the first prototypes; Creed, Nickelback and Godsmack. But now we have new and better clones. And they’re taking over whether you like it or not.”
    “Why don’t you take this,” shouted Dustin as he busted inside the room and jammed a broomstick up Brownstone’s ass. He screamed a girly scream and dropped his pistol on the floor. I grabbed it and pointed it at him while he lay bent over on the ground holding the end of the broomstick crying.”
    “No one’s taking our shit. No one,” he said pulling the last long drag off his cigarette and put it out on his crisp clean head.
    “What the fuck, dude?” I said in a state of semi-shock.
    “Can’t trust anyone these days.”
    “Where are the others? Whose blood is this?” I asked.
    “Things got a little messy with the Asian. They took him down stairs for some medical attention. Turns out he was trying to warn us about the coup. Brownstone was going to fuck them over and keep the Black Pussy trademark for himself. They got hip and tried to snuff him out but things turned ugly. That’s when all hell broke loose.”
    “Fuck,” I said. “Are you alright?”
    “Yeah, I just need some coffee. Need to take a shit.”
    “I don’t think this guy’s going to be shitting for a while.”
    “Ha ha, neither do I.”

    As we were driving out of town on our way to Sacramento we switched on the radio. Pete searched through the stations and in between pop, country, and 80’s music we heard the distinct chorus that we’ve heard so many times before…
    “Can you take me higher?”

    I awoke in the Motel 6 bed half way between the Bay and Sacramento. We had a day off and had ate some oxycodone the night before. I felt nice and refreshed but man, what amazing dreams!

‘Till next time!


- ryan | No Comments

    We were waiting for the Motel Burrito leftovers to warm up in the middle of the night after our show in Arcata. I was laying in bed intoxicated on a couple different substances and the next thing I remember was waking in the dark to a silent room full of sleeping dudes.
It took more than a few seconds to realize what had happened; I missed dinner! I got up, took off my clothes, pissed, and punched Dean because he was snoring like a goddam jack hammer.
    We got up in the morning and packed up. We had to dodge the hippies in the parking lot who were letting their dogs play with an enormous piece of mangled plastic. They slowly grew in numbers, huddled in the middle of the parking lot and blasted live Pink Floyd. We knew it was now or never if we were going to escape without smelling like patchouli or something worse. They waved to us as we drove out. “Bye hippies!” we said and gunned it.
    Our next destination was Reno, about a 7 hour drive and one of the longer ones on this tour. But it was also to be one of the prettiest stretches of road traveled with the Redwoods in full blown Autumn orgasm. I think it’s one of the prettiest areas of the world. I guess that might hold more weight if I would actually travel somewhere outside of the states.
    Trying to sleep as much as possible made the day move by pretty quickly and we rolled into the “biggest little city” at 8pm. Of course we snapped a picture of the Reno sign as we drove underneath it, a tradition long held by millions of stupid Americans. Another couple miles down the infamous stretch and we pulled up to Shea’s, a legit dive. The Sunday regulars were a rockin’ bunch and consisted of heshers, skaters, punks, sleazebags, and skanks. Dustin and I introduced ourselves to the bar manager. He looked the exact opposite of his clientele but he seemed to know and like everyone. I think he forgot we were even supposed to play. He kept asking what sort of deal we worked out. Apparently Sundays are open-mic nights.
    In Nevada you can smoke indoors which gave Aaron the biggest boner so he started chain smoking as soon as we walked in to, as he said, “get it out of my system.” Chief snapped a photo celebrating his first time smoking in a bar. I just sat there grinning and bearing it while my lungs took in the glorious fumes. Also, there was no food at the bar so we ordered a large pizza from a joint down the road. I don’t know what kind of dick ran the kitchen but their large was more like an industrial size small. Then we saw a commercial on TV advertising the same place with a special of 30 wings and a large pizza for 20 bucks. We had just spent 20 on this shit and didn’t get any wings. Maybe the dude who took our order didn’t tell us about the special because Chief was sort of fucking with him on the phone asking if there was a Black Pussy discount.
    We sound-checked and got a pitcher on stage. First song went swimmingly but next song Aaron’s rig started going out. He unplugged from his pedal board and went direct but that too proved futile. The 2000 s was dead. Dustin hopped off stage and grabbed the 1200 s and we took a second to get him up and running. But after that we started wining the audience over. The bartender asked if we wanted another pitcher, then someone bought us a round of whiskeys. We got to the end of the set and started in on encores and soon another round of whiskeys made their way onstage and more beer. Apparently, my bladder decided to play “old man” and I actually had to get off stage and piss. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it all the way through the 12 minutes of Butterfly, our last song of the night. It felt good to turn around uncertainty into fans.
    I learned later on that a guy heard our sound check and was so stoked that he ran home and ate some mushrooms to help his enjoyment of our set. I thought that was awesome. I like the fact that people enjoy our music on psychedelics. As we were finishing load-out a drunkard tried to bribe us with weed to move the van and trailer so he could get his truck out. No dice. We had to finish the pack up before we could move. Sorry bro!
    Chief heard about a super cheap casino hotel that we went and checked into. For 35 bucks and change it was the nicest place we’ve stayed so far. I wish Motel 6 would take some notes. Aaron got dinner going in the rice cooker and then most of the guys went out to find a gas station, presumably for smokes and drink. Chief and I stayed behind watching Frontline while we tried to stay awake for their return and to get our grub on. But alas, and again, late night food was not in my future and I fell asleep. Peter did the same and when he awoke the next morning he let out a nice “FUCK, I was waiting all day to eat and I missed it!” I feel you brother.
I feel you.

‘Till next time!

 


- ryan | No Comments

    I didn’t realize he had dosed, but the Dean got in the co-pilot’s chair just having eaten a mushroom chocolate. It was gifted from Chief’s lady-friend, who also bestowed Jager and bongrips in the mini-van before our set at Tiny’s. So the plan was to make it at least to Grant’s Pass to crash for the night before the final destination of Arcata, land of big ass trees and dirty ass hippies. “Everything looks so amazing!” pretty summed up the Dean’s commentary on the drive. Peter began the process of getting gacked out on cheap coffee to make the drive and by the time we pulled into the Motel 6 at four in the morning the two pilots said “fuck it” and Peter hit the gas. It should be noted that Peter is usually the driver of the night. He’ll stay sober enough to stay lawful and by the end of the night we’re all sleepy. The cheapest and most convenient upper is gas station coffee, but as Pete syas, it would be cleaner with Cocaine or Aderal.
    The drive from southern Oregon to Arcata is some of the gnarliest terrain that we have to traverse on this tour. We initially didn’t want to do it in the dark and late, but Peter was too high to sleep and no beds were open at the motel. Everyone was asleep and Dean was tripping balls in the front seat and Peter was in charge of our fate. I couldn’t believe I didn’t wake up when on some foggy stretch of road the van collided with Bamby. Deer were apparently everywhere. They said if they would have had ten or twenty more feet Pete could of stopped in time. There was no damage to the van, just that poor angelic creature of the night that ran off somewhere, probably to die. After inspecting everything, and not more than a couple minutes down the road, we almost hit another one. Jesus Christ!
    I woke up after sunrise hearing some sort of commotion. Out to the right were deer everywhere, grazing in the fall mist. The first thing I focused on was a tremendous buck with giant antlers like a shape-shifting shaman high on peyote. He stood looking magnanimous with stoic pride and purpose. I think he was the boss. I passed out again and by morning time we were in Arcata in an empty parking lot at a beach head. Peter and Chief went to the ocean and everyone else slept. We got a room around one and laid low before the show.
    All Motel 6’s have strange and bewildering characters that stroll around outside but the Arcata Motel 6 has some of the dirtiest hippies ever. It’s almost like the meth heads are dreaded and wear Birkenstocks.
There were cars blasting reggae and Pink Floyd and people stumbling and bumbling, smoking and playing with their all too numerious dogs. Our neighbor told Chief that the night before there was a fire and everyone had to evacuate, but they got a free nights stay. Pretty sweet. The remanence were piled up in a couple parking spaces just outside our room. We cleaned up and worked on the Web while Aaron cooked our first batch of Motel Burritos. I must say, they were delicious. We left at 6 and headed into the beast.
    Hippies! They were fucking everywhere and it’s trimming season in Humbolt County. The town is strange in that it attracts quite a varied sort but the majority are hand drum playing, dirty feet having, glazed eye peering, young and promiscuous hippies. Am I judging? We’re not exactly normal either but our freakishness is different. There were tons of them hanging around in the alleyway right behind the venue. We went in and got the scoop for the night and found ourselves with almost four hours before load. We decided to eat there, as a perk for the evening was half off food under ten dollars.
    Killing time I strolled around the little downtown square, looking into shops selling books, crafts, bongs, skateboards, hip-hop clothing, doughnuts and upscale Italian food. The other dudes hung out in the van until close to load in. The night crowd started coming into downtown and we set up our gear on the floor of The Alleyway, an awesome little bar White Orange played last year. The main dude Ian who books, runs sound, and works the bar was wearing a t-shirt he got from us last year. It’s pretty much the only and most consistent bar in Arcata that features rock and roll. It’s also a funny town in that we were the first of two bands and weren’t going to start until 11:45. Things get started later there.
    We were loading out in the alley after the show and a belligerent girl started causing trouble at the taco cart next door. She thought a guy who had been standing behind her the whole time was trying to cut. Then a guy started getting agitated at another dude for touching him and the scene was quickly building with tension. I’m not quite sure how it started, but the girl started hitting the guy. Then anther guy. Then another. One of them hit her back and that caused another guy to get mad at him for hitting a girl. Then she tried to hit another. It was like a merry go round of fists. Amidst the chaos, the taco truck owner said fuck this and started closing up shop and that bummed the whole crowd waiting for food. “You stupid cunt!” a dude shouted. “Now we can’t get tacos!” Finally her friend came and grabbed her and got her to get moving out of the scene. They walked away, her arm around her waist pulling, their dreads flowing into the night.
    We had a really good merch night and met some awesome people. A lot of compliments and 8 pitchers of beer later we made the drive back to the Motel 6 for sleep. Pulling in we saw more of the same…fucking hippies!

‘Till next time!


- ryan | No Comments

    Awoke in Eugene under the typical Motel 6 comforter. It’s a nice pattern that varies slightly from location to location, but there is a common thread (no pun intended). Most of the dudes showered but I decided against one. Baby wipes may have played a role in that decision but I felt pretty clean and my stink smells like roses. Anyway, we spent the afternoon doing errands. First stop was a Radio Shack to grab a new fuse for the one that blew in the S-100 at the Salem show. Take note bands; dirty power will fuck up your gear! Nothing compares to the sound of tube amplifiers but the upkeep on them can drive you and your wallet crazy. Next was the Trader Joe’s. Dustin bought out their entire stock of buffalo jerky and Keith & I made sure to take advantage of their free coffee. Free on the road is never to be wasted. Next was the WinCo. As I get older humans appear to get stranger and stranger and never was this observation tested more accurately than entering into the sweatpants vortex of this place. It’s a breeding ground of mutant Monsanto food and low IQ’s but we needed to stock up on canned beans and par boiled rice. We decided to try and eat as cheap as possible on the road while retaining some semblance of health. Thus, the Motel Burrito was born. Plus most of us are on food stamps so it’s a way for the State of Oregon to directly participate in the success of Black Pussy. At the checkout you could actually see people getting fatter and dumber by just looking at their grocery choices. It’s not a good place to go to test your faith in the human species.

    We found Tiny’s and parked out front. I remembered that I played there before and went in to check it. It is definitely the most thriving dive in Eugene with an entire front row of miscreants, bums and addicts parked at the bar. The video poker machines were all the buzz with an audience to boot. Found out some show details and went to a bakery for coffee and internet. Those two things are both inseparable and a must on the road. I don’t know how many times we’ll have to ask “What’s your WiFi password?” on this trip. The internet was so shoddy that work became almost futile so we packed up and went across the street for dollar chicken tacos from a food cart. I love food carts and Mexicans and cheap eats so it was a win all around. Even got the hook up on some guacamole and pico. Then Black Mike made our acquaintance while we were waiting outside next to the van. Moments before he almost fell over on his bike but he seemed relatively stable. He had a big junk yard dog chain around his neck which I assumed he used as a bike lock and was clad in baggy camo. He asked about the band name and was pleasantly surprised when we told him. Funny, most black men are. He told us about his time spent in Portland at the Satyricon and meeting Madonna at a gay club. I tend to believe the stories which seem too strange to make up. Then the most beautiful redneck truck pulled in with “cunt junkie” on the grill guard. We waited for the guy to go in so we could pose for a photo with the pickup. Epic.

    You learn new things everyday. Apparently the Dean is an architecture school dropout. Who knew! A girl that was in his class and now lives in Eugene found her way to the show. She brought a friend and told some other people to come down. Also, Chief’s friend drove from Bend to see us play so we had some heads in the audience. After the first song an older guy told me my guitar was too loud. By the third song he had come up to the front again with a smile and eyes of approval. Guess I won him over. The band was tight and Dustin was making sure to get in the girls’ faces in the front row, rubbing his mustache and mic spit all over them while making them swoon over lines like, “I could fuck you forever.” Who doesn’t melt over such poetry? We did two encore songs and packed it up outside while Red Cloud set up. My oldest childhood friend also made it by the time we were close to leaving. We were drinking a beer at the bar when a drunk and seemingly crazy girl started getting in his bubble. Then minutes later outside she got her target on the Dean and came swinging at him. At 200 pounds and six feet seven she didn’t really stand a chance and he entertained it for about ten seconds, then he let her know fun time was over. The manager of the place chalked it up to, and I quote, “She got raped not too long ago.” Good times in Eugene!

‘Till next time!


- ryan | 1 Comment

I awoke naked and next to a beautiful girl by a man opening my apartment’s door saying, “Oh, are you still here?” After a few seconds of cognitive dissonance I said, “YES!” “Oh, no worries, no rush,” and proceeded to shut the door. I shook my sleeping head at the absurdity of the moment and looked at the clock. 9:20 AM and I had about six hours until tour launch. As the hangover’s fangs slowly started inserting inside my head I pulled on the bottle of memory from the night before, our Portland tour kick off with the one and only Pierced Arrows. We opened the Halloween night’s show and killed. And it was also our last night inside the City Of Roses’ underbelly. A good friend offered me the best cocaine he’d seen in years (I declined) following a story about leaving the baggy in the bathroom and having a girl come out with it, one line less. Who the fuck does strange white drugs you find in a bar’s bathroom? Not this dude.

The daylight signaled the last day in Portland before we got “fuck out of Dodge.” Dean and I had to empty our studio apartments of what little we had left. Thank God for compassionate woman who bestow sweet sweet wheels to get our shit to proper places of storage, ie, basements, garages, the rehearsal space, etc. The other dudes had their own madness to get straight and then the whole band had pack and load the trailer. Getting ready for tour is hard enough, then compound it by printing your own t-shirts, getting art ready for various kinds of merch, learning three hours of music, figuring out tonal issues, learning to play with new people, fixing bugs, buying last minute shit… The list goes on and on. It became a mad dash for the finish line, with dropping off power drills and picking up freshly repaired amps (Thanks Brian Sours) and saying goodbye to girls with pretty and sad eyes. But once on the road the relief started to set in. Nothing we could do now but enjoy the jump into space and let gravity, intention, and the Gods take care of the rest. No homes to come back to. No jobs awaiting our arrival. Only ROCK!

We got to Salem over an hour late and had to scramble to set up. Without a sound guy for the evening Dustin played the role of genius audio engineer, working the board and setting it straight. We were originally gonna do three 40 minute sets but because of the time decided to do and hour and a half straight. 40 minutes in and I felt great, warmed up and ready make someone or something shake it. Now, this is a bar. In Salem. With a lot of neon and pool and blue collars. It’s not exactly fish in a barrel. But all in all I’d say we did pretty well. Actually made enough for gas and a room. Can someone get us a Motel 6 sponsorship already?

We drove the hour south to Eugene playing some Operators, drinking two buck Chuck and eating chicken strips and tater tots. Aaron may have rolled something green into thin sheets of paper, but I can neither confirm or deny that. First day completed, no flat tires, no loss of fingers or eyes, no helicopter looking for murder. I gotta say, today was a good day.

‘Till next time!


- ryan | 1 Comment

Black Pussy is heading out! We’ve setup a tour-specific blog, featuring all the sex, sex, and sex that you’ve come to expect from BP. Read it all here, grab the RSS feed here, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the BP Facebook page here!


- chief | 1 Comment

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