April 28, 2004


6:04 pm EST, Starbucks, Chippewa and Delaware, Buffalo NY


The loping, pristine, emerald hills that line the freeway on your way into Albany fool you into thinking it's all vineyard, and stone chimneys and that maybe the club will be housed in an "olde tavern" staffed by "townsfolk", or at least rugged people who look like they run oystering boats certain seasons. If that's what you assume about Albany, you have assumed far too much; Albany is a shithole.

When we arrived at the club, we stepped among piles of trash - ancient litter that had lived there for decades perhaps, a tiny swarm of people surrounding our van waiting to get out of it so they could ask us for 11 cents , an irate coupling of vets heckling the air from a bench and two dudes folding their laundry and having an animated convo about Dickie Betts. I told Al that I felt like we had driven into a third world country. He said "No, if this was a third world country they wouldn't be asking for change, they'd be trying to steal your shoes."

Our soundman looked exactly like Kato (as in OJ-Kato). He had a hemp rope necklace and a belly-shirt. When I took my sweater off during pre-sound check, he made a comment the raised my ire. We had some subtextual dialogues for the rest of soundcheck that put me in a punching mood. This has been the first real instance of this for me, this tour. Most of the promoters have been really great, soundpeople, door staff the same. If anyone is assuming anything, it's that I sing and do not play an instrument, or that I am traveling with the band, or that I cannot carry my amp head and try and pull it out of my arms.

Show was fine. Better. 11 women. Only person who would talk to me, other than the lady at the Planned Parenthood voter registration table (they have the best table at the shows: you can get free chocolate vaginas, travel paks of lube and brochures on new laws affecting your uterus.), was an ex-con who had just done a two year bid for drug sales, and was breaking parole to come to the show. Slept through the rest of the show, load out and woke up when we arrived at the hotel we stayed in.

Woke up at 6:24 am in the sort of dumpy motel where lonely high school teachers have affairs, with three of the five boys snoring as if to call God down from heaven. Plugged in the ipod, walked around the parking lot, watched a lady who was pumping gas with her eyes shut (she busted me staring), excitedly looked over into what I thought was a river, but was a trash-filled ravine, watched the sun come up some, retreated back into the dim solitude of room 107 to work.

Today, thus far, Weds. afternoon in Buffalo = eventless. The ladies room at the Continetal has some of the most explicit graffiti in the stalls ever seen by my eyes -- ie: some tome about having sex with twins, the commanding "Don't suck dick smaller than 7 inches," first hand accounting of impregnation by a club bouncer, a poem about "fingering". The sapphic sexual agency of the women of Buffalo is pretty intimidating.

In other news: Brad, From Ashes Rise gtrist, broke his ankle in a fit of jumping on stage last night, unsure whether they will mkae tonights show. Also, according to FAR -- they listen to all of Steely Dan's 2 CD best of most every day in the van. I might have to expatriate, as I have never felt so self-concious as when I tried to put the jazzbo-wonderfulness of Joni Mitchell Hissing of Summer Lawns on the iPod. Two songs into it, I switched to some Brother Ali, out of sheer discomfort.

Ah! Time for soundcheck.

Posted by Jessica at April 28, 2004 05:16 PM | TrackBack