June 12, 2004

REGINA (CANADA STILL)

Regina is not pronounced like Orangina, it’s pronounced like vagina, or like North Carolina.

Regina is like the rest of Canada. Which is like rural Michigan, but less dense, less people infested and rolling madd deep with cow life. All of Canada, at least all the middle parts, the medium cities we are hitting thus far, it’s very plain. It’s all as new and backwater village fancy as say, a mall in Grand Rapids, or Grand Forks. Squat, square, low to the ground, primary colors, uniformed, no tags, no neon siloutting, and the vibeless sterility of a Days Inn lobby. I get the feeling that oppulence is not the Candian stee.

Right now we are seven hours into and eight – nine hour drive to Calgary, through, what the Candians we’ve met have called "wasteland" but is plains as far as they eye can see. Such a lack of civilization to it that it’s easy to think about Dinosaurs, Calvaries, and Settlers. From my vantage here in the backseat of the Econoline, on the Trans Canada freeway, which slices through two halves of infinite green horizon, I am almost positive I can see the curve of the earth, I can see so far. So much for my theories about the earth being flat. I imagine if you were a dinosaur or a native people inhabiting and stalking these plains, you could see your foes – toothy velociraptors, raccoon-hated white men habouring pox – you could see that shit coming from two hours away. You would not have anywhere to hide, but at least you could rest easy knowing yr 187 killometers ahead of them. You’d have to be really sneaky, perhaps employ tunnelling, to be sneaky around here. I can see the skyline of Calgary from here now, and we are 45 minutes away still.

To note: Our show last night was the smallest audience we have played to. 12, counting bar staff and opening band. I’m not sweating that, since even at our smallest shows, we sell about 5 times as much merch as we did any of the sold-out nights on the Strike Anywhere tour – meaning – the people who are here, they wanted to be here. And if that is only six people, then we are lucky. I barely give a shit about anyone’s band, let alone enough to drive down from Saskatoon.

Set was fine, though I kept being distracted by the videos on MuchMusic, as I do not have Tv, let alone any real access to watching videos, and am immediately sucked in as soon as any TV comes on. The fast editing ang titallation is like a vaccum into a shiny century of well scrubbed women with flowing tresses and, and I cannot resist, sadly.. BTW! I had no idea Hillary Duff had a singing career. What’s with the sapphic/Tatu overtones between her and her sister in the bubbling fountain in the video? Do you think they felt genuinely comfortable grinding and wiping the fountainy-foam all over each other, is that just how they are? Or how about that super quick edit to a shot of Hillary sucking/biting on her sister’s upper arm? I wonder if that was storyboarded? I find things like this curious, considering that Hillary Duff’s fanbase is a Disney Channel watching 13 year old girl, that in the video she is sexually marketed as if she’s Gina Gershon, come hithering with remarkable agency.

The only other distraction during the set was the pool playing dudes upstairs who during a tuning lull yelled "When does the girl get to sing?" to which I replied "The girl does not sing," – to which he responded, over our pre-song din – "Take off yurr top". We finished out the set and I went upstairs, took a seat on his pool table and asked him some questions. I let him know that if a woman looks over the age of 12, you should not address her as girl. He said if I was offended, it was my problem, he also told me I was crazy about five times, that he was just trying to advocate for me to be able to sing, trying to be helpful, so why was I making such a big deal about it? He asked me why I had come to talk to him, if I was so offended. I told him that I came to talk to him because the next time a band with a woman in it plays a show he’s at, I do not want him too be under even the slightest impression that it is funny or acceptable to yell things at her, or for him to diminish or unnerve her while she is on stage. His buddy implored that his friend was just a little drunk, to let it go, that they drove from two hours away because they love Challenger, and they do not want me to be offended or bummed or think they are assholes. He talked to me about the scene in Saskatoon for a few minutes, asked about our tour, and then during a break in the conversation, put his hand firmly on my shoulder, moved up next to me and said "But, you know, you gotta admit, girls in bands are sexy…" I got up, told him to fuck himself and walked away. They mocked me in incredulous tones, loudly, from upstairs until we loaded out. I can handle mocking – that sort of shit it old hat for me – but Gaslighting is my least favorite subtext, I gotta say.

Maybe next time they do the same thing, the next girl will crack em in the jaw, rather than trying to "dialogue" – and they will get it. I am not sure, quite, why I always act like Riot Girl Superhero, so stereotypical brustling-with-issue ballbuster -- avenging in the streets with my shiny cape on, thinking I have some words that could change someone’s mind. I know – I know I know -- that my wild confrontational style ain’t going to sway some dude in a bar at 1:30 am, who’s got his fist on his ninth LaBatt Lite and is talking to me like the mean step-dad on a Lifetime Channel movie. I guess I just don’t really have a better plan, I can’t access anything other than my most visceral fuck you instincts, for whatever it’s worth.

Posted by Jessica at June 12, 2004 08:54 PM | TrackBack