5/7/04 7:17 pm CST Suburb of Indianapolis
Tonights show has been moved yet again, to the garage of some kid’s house which we were told was "150 capacity". The decorating scheme of the house is entirely hxc flyer wallpaper and mid-80’s Playboy’s. There are maybe 38 people here, counting the bands. The kid said that he has never done a show before, and despite all of his neightboors being elderly, that he is under a belief that if the show is over by nine pm, no one can legally complain. The first band has been playing for 40 minutes despite the show needing to over in about another hour and 15 minutes, they are some crust punk kids in black hoodies, and they play black BC Rich guitars that have no cases. Everyone is so positive that the cops will show momentarily that none of us Jade Tree bands have "loaded in" to the three car venue. Our time here so far has been fun none the less – I jocked out with Breather Resist and partook in some whiffle ball – until too many cars were parked on the lawn to play. The highlight though was watching Matt Smith and Thomas from Strike learn songs for the accoustic show they are doing –they were learning "Guns of Brixton" and Replacements "Bastards of Young" – from tab they printed off the internet. I feel like I am in a really great movie about punk rock sometimes, tonight is one of them.
Last night was St. Louis, and was our best show of the tour. After we played Al said "I think we’re finally starting to be a good band." It was about 95 degrees on stage, and I felt like I was in Fugazi I sweat so much.The flyers, tags and stickers for bands in the club were incredible: Anal DEA being the clear winner. Desacrated Pussy, Pissing Razors, Feable Weiner, Menstrual Tramps (with anarchy signs in the A’s), The Irate Omish, Pat Sajak Assassins, Chaw Bacon all coming in tied for second. Also a startling conglom of eem poemic names: Scars of Tomorrow, Once a Hero, Remebering Never, Leaving Autumn and lastly (cringe here) New Autumn Morning Weather, which actually sounds like a soothing sounds workout tape for old people that power-walk. (Also, addendum to the Iowa show, where Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes was playing the next night with local stalwarts Flaccid Trip.)
The club is situated amidst the heart of downtown. Downtown which is all ornate turn of the century 4-story brick boom and ancient industry headquarters gone Beirut. The industry used to be the river, then the breweries, and now – judging by the fact that all day parking down town is a mere $4, and half the buildings windows are knocked out, open, stained by fire, patina or rust, hemmoraging bricks from it’s fronts and sides; there is nothing. St. Louis felt like Detroit, but Detroit seems to have accepted it’s post-boom decline as perma-steez after the last 30 years of continual economic death smear. St. Louis seems like one day someone will just buy it up and bulldoze it and it’ll be nothing but silos billowing mysterious smoke and piles of ruble patrolled by gov’t manufactured rat/robot hybrid machines. It will never rise again as a city.
In other news, we have been rejoined by our Teutonic cameraman, Sebastian, who is making the euro-DVD. Turns out he does not hate me. In Albany, he set the camera up inside the door way of the hotel room, and left and got coffee, taping us as I made fun of his baffling choices regarding what he shoots (20 minutes of establishing shots outside the club, soundchecks, traffic from the van, us sitting in silence) and what he does not (the shows, anything funny) – he says that me making fun of him, then realizing that the camera is on, is actually the best footage of tour thus far, and so he cannot hate me.
5/8/04 11:23 am CST Backyard of Indianapolis hostess
Al just told us an amusing story: in high school he worked at a movie theatre in South Square Mall in Durham. His co-worker was a hip-hop enthusiast who went by the name Tha Funkee Phantom . Every shift they would argue aboout what the best drum beat ever made was.
Last nights show was the punkest show of the tour. Everyone ended up playing, no cops came, there were about 100-plus kids packed into the garage -- during From Ashes set, the windows were steamed up. There was a kid with face tattoos in the front row while we played, super enthusiastic, who had ridden his bike 50 miles to the show. It made me think about if there were any bands, people or ideas I would ride 50 miles to partake in or witness. After last night, I am wishing the rest of the tour was house shows, basements, garages, VFWs. It was still kind of weird through, with all the colorful multitudes of merch piling in the drive way. Strike have nine shirts, Breather have six, FAR has I think five, we have one design in two colors. Darren from Jade Tree slapped the big Jade Tree banner to the side of the kids house. That seemed wrong to me.
I sat on the pool table and read Kissing in Manhattan and was mad because I did not like "The Smoker" like I thought I should. Went back to Adria's house, sat on her porch, rolled cigarettes, drank tea, read most of her Karen Finley book, talked on the cell phone with the love of my life until the phone died. I had horrible dreams all night, one where Darren who owns jade Tree was my pimp -- except as a prostitute, I did not have to sleep with men -- just acquiese to them, just play dumb, play shy, quiet and pliable. The only way out of it was an arranged marriage with Dan Yemin, the singer from Paint it Black. He said he would do it, so I could be free. The other possible way out was for me and Al to buy this house, this huge house like a German castle, and hide away from all of it - the marriage, the servitude. Karen Finley was the real estate agent, and she was beautiful and graceful like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. I ran after her and asked, but she would not tell me how much it cost to live there. She was topless and incredibly free.
I woke up from my other dreams, clapping, in hopes of getting someone's attention so they would wake me up. I had been crying in the dream and could not wake up.
5/9/04 10:24 am EST, 3rd floor of Ryan Patterson’s house, Louisville KY
Last night we stayed with Ryan, who runs Initial. His house is three floors of pristine new construction condo styles with a daring mix of weight benches and pastel-pillowed ratan couches and hardcore posters.
Last nights show was at the old Keswick Democratic Club, which now is used to primarily host a bi-weekly Chicken Fry, some bingo and the plethora of loud as fuck post hardcore bands that constitute an industry here. The kids in Louisville all look like Breather Resist, shoulder length mop, lite bearding.The women of Louisville are exceptionally foxy, across the board.
The show was pretty fantastiic. Collisuem opened and they were a wall of bristling post hardcore. We played and some kids danced. Not like punk-style, but rather a formalized swing, a little side to side, a little intentional steps of the feet, with partner – after Al talked about being 22 and giving himself over to being in a touring band as long as he coould, thinking he could make it to maybe 25, and that he will be 33 this year, and dedicated "Unemployment" to the young hopeful and old stragglers alike. Noah also did a minute long drum solo to honor the passing of Elvin Jones, his favorite drummer, and he got on mic and explained that Jones great was not just in his playing but in his philanthropy. I played a little sloppy because it was so hot, the sweat made my hands stick and my fingers slide wrongly. Al played a solo while walking on his knees – amongst the dancing people. There were a lot of girls at the show, a lot of girls in the front row, all smiling at each other. Last night felt like giving back. Club shows feel like being on TV.
I sat outside after our set, watching the teen-kids make out on each others, boys gossip about bands, girls gossip about drugs. I read Karen Finley’s memoir until the sun went down and it was too dark to read. I missed most of Breather’s set, which was intense, as Steve, the singer, dedicated the set to talking about his father’s attempted suicide, the suicide note that blamed him, and also blamed him for his mothers death, amongst some other things that were gutwrenching to hear. Dedicated the set for everyone else that has survived, been through that, is hanging on. For me, up til now, maybe even for some of the other folks in the bands on the tour, we liked Breather and just assumed they were just young youth making rough noise with an army of Sunns and Marshalls behind them… and here is this kid turning himself inside out, screaming, plowing into the floor, doubled over, screaming, screaming, plowing into the audience, screaming. And now I think "yeah, of course that’s what he is doing." It choked the rest of the bands up, and everyone put on incredibly intense sets, to honor what Steve said, to honor his honesty…
After the show, the Patterson brothers, some of Strike, all of Challenger and some stragglers all went to dinner. I sat between Pete, our roadie and Thomas, the singer from Strike while they discussed the addition of the CrimethINC table to the bevy of politico tabling happening at the shows. CrimethINC seems to be built around a magazine called Harbinger, and the cult of personality around it’s publisher, Brian. It’s percieved to be a fashiony-lifestyle version Americanized French Situationism, rather than a responsible response/introduction to anarchism/radicalism/revolutionary lifestyle – that it’s really just about taking, using and stealing. There was a lot of discussion amongst all the bands last night about people’s feeling about them tabling. I do not know enough to have an opinion – I gave up on Anarchy in 10th grade, when I realized all the bands sucked and anarchists have no sense of humour, as a general rule.
My only issue with materials on the CrimethINC table was one that was an article by a woman, advocating self-defense in order to feel safe in the world, advocating retaliatory violence as empowerment. Learn how to break someone’s nose = feel safe walking alone at night, that learning self-defense is ultimate resistance. I am pissed at anything that puts onus on victim, so I am hoping to hit a kinkos by tonight and jam out a "Don’t Rape" pamphlet for men, to balance things out. It will have a bolded headline: RESIST YOUR CULTURAL IMPARITIVE OF EXTREME PRIVILEDGE, BOYS! It will say: STOP THE PROBLEM BEFORE IT STARTS! And it will conclude with THINK ABOUT ALL THE THINGS YOU DO THAT MAY KEEP WOMEN FEEL UNSAFE AND SMALL IN THE WORLD! RESIST SO THAT WE DON’T HAVE TO!
It may not be a pamphlet, it might be a sticky note, it might be 31 pages.
There will be lots of exclamation point and strongly worded declaritive statements.
Tonight is Columbus.
Happy Mothers Day.
I wish my mom was on this tour. I could use some girl-company.
Week three with all the dudes, most of whom are deep-conversation, non dick-humour southern gentlemen –kind, smart and polite… none the less, I want some girlness around. The way I get that currently is hanging out by myself.
Back in to the Space Shuttle.
XO Baby Girl
Posted by Jessica at May 9, 2004 11:05 AM