May 10, 2004

PITTSBURGH

5/10/04 2:13 am EST , Pittsburgh PA, Noah’s dads house

This morning I was devirginized by Waffle House and it’s syrupy legazy. Waffle House, staple of the southern road diet, formerly just a curiousity to me, now sits at the top of my list for trash food. Al and I sat at the counter and watched a girl who was clearly, at one time, the most popular girl in her high school – wide set deer eyes fluttering in the grill heat, artificial blond mane ponytail hanging most of the way to her ass, lanky arms pressing the handle of the waffle makers dutifully. Her mom, maybe her aunt, cousin -–a woman who looked like a very tired version of the girl, she was our waitress. The girl sighed the sighs of someone who failed to get out. They floated to us over the jukebox’s strain of "House of The Rising Sun." She looked like a Disney drawing of a girl, but sort of sad and shunted and stunned. Al and I wished that we were Hollywood agents, modeling scouts – something, so we could fairy tale her – "Girl, You have the look we are searching for…" and take her from short order hell to some faraway from Kentucky heaven.

At the Waffle House, we met two Brooklynites who were make a documentary about our soon to be label mates, Lucero. Lucero are a fine fine fine band. I talked to them and watched the man with the glasses tell me about the shows while he mawed some sort of a breakfast steak that was the size and shape of his plate. Grey pink with ribbing down the middle. The jukebox played "Hotel California" and it felt too raunchy for even a 24 hour establishment.

Back into the space shuttle, and I rode shotgun. Kentucky is unaspiringly beautiful. I put on the goggles (a favorite van accoutrement) and stuck my head out the window like a dog. I watched for opposums in the trees and lady truck drivers and said a prayer for every kid that every wanted to go on tour, for every girl that wanted to see Kentucky, for every kid that ever wanted to get the fuck out of here. It’s really magical and green here, but it’s also the sort of place where sitting on a porch swing is a past time for a lot of people.

In Kentucky, I saw a lot of black barns. They were ominous and charred looking. I did not wanted to look at them, they were that sort of spooky, and I wondered why they did not make it to being red. I suggested one of the songs on the new ep be called "Black Barn", since my idea about a 14 minute epic about a world wide animal war will not happen because – get this – the last Milemarker record was slated to be that and it was Roby’s idea and if they did that without her, she would be pissed. I would hate to piss off Roby. Maybe "Black Barn" will just have to be an epic about the history of horses and two queer teenage girls that escape from their rural confines on stolen Appaloosas, never to be heard from again. Or maybe it will become the first Little Boy song. Little Boy, so far, is me and Julianne. Al said that the plot for "Black Barn" is essentially 100 different Team Dresch songs. Whatever. Ours will be an epic dirge, with lots of dramatic mid-song dialogue, like that one Runaways song where they escape from some sort of girls reform school and Joan ( or maybe Sandy) falls asunder, trapped and tired in some... tumbleweeds or a ditch and yells "CHERIE! I can't go on!" and she yells " You MUST!" and then someone, muted, quizzically says "But I can't leave you.. leave you... leave you.." into an echoplex abyss -- sirens begin to wail and the GALLOPPING GUITAR SOLO THAT SUGGESTS THEY ALL PERISH IN FIERY GLORY! If you would like to contribute dialogue, tympany or realistic horse samples to Black Barn, you, dear reader, are welcome.

I got to drive from Cincy to Columbus. We opened tonight, since Breather is regional. We played on a stage that was about 5’5 tall. Since it was 6:30 pm and I was not feeling particularly "rockin’", I just stared down the entire crowd, one person at a time. To reiterate, I do not willfully support or accept the heirarchy of the stage. Breather Resist set up on the floor, because the actively reject the stage. They were awesome. They sound like this - DUJJJJH DUHJJJJGGG RE-OOOH JUHD JUHD JUHD (pause) REOOOR - as loud as you can imagine those sounds. 3 speakers and 2+ heads a peice. I love that shit.

Steve, the singer for Breather, spoke candidly, again tonight before the last song about that the song was about enduring a lifetime of abuse, and advocated people in the audience, if they know someone who is being abused, if they know a child who is being abused, to call the authorities because chances are, that kid is way to fucking scared of the repercussions, of being beaten or whatever, to ever tell anyone what was going on.
I started crying on the spot. I cried for the rest of the set.
I cried for Steve, who is still so totally a kid, at 22, turning himself inside out onstage. For his merciless kid-life.
After they got done playing, he and I walked to get food and talked about it. Before Louisville, he had never said anything on stage, and now the floodgates are open. I told him that if he’s willing to open himself up, to take that risk on stage, to refuse to deny what happened to him, it’s going to impact the other kids in the audience who know that reality, kids that are isolated by the nature of their childhoods, by secrets and silence. I encouraged him to keep doing it, being as real as he needs or wants to be with the audience about all of it. He said he just does not want anyone to think he's talking about it because he wants attention.
That broke my heart.

This kid, he is all baby faced, shaggy hair and nervous smiles, endless waredrobe of black hardcore t-shirts. He smiles and laughs and jumps around on stage like the rest of us, I am in awe of his resiliance, because if I was him, I’d be in jail already, shanking my cellmates with a sharpened toothbrush just for the fuck of it, I think.

After the show, drove to Pittsburgh, the land of our drummer, Noah's people. Where we are now.

Posted by Jessica at May 10, 2004 01:14 PM | TrackBack