June 19, 2004


First, an item of business. I had already been stopping my use of the word "retarded" as a perjorative after years of sad use. I used it in a recent blog item and was offered "eight-bazillion dollars" by Texan compatriot Joe Gross to stop-up my deployment of it. Says he: "It goes a long way to sinking lots of your other arguments about equality, fraternity, sisterhood, respect, support and such." -- And so, I offer up to you what solution we've sought in the last few weeks as a replacement word to ween us -- as per my boyfriend, Sean: WHITE. We've been using white for weeks, because, as Al pointed out, no one is going to go "hey man, you know, my cousin is white..."

I am in a living room in San Diego, where we played a house show about an hour back. The house is called "The Moustache House", and the house band is called The Business Lady (best band name ever!). We were the only band, we played at 7 pm and at the door they took donations in a coffee can. The flyer advertised us as "3/4th of milemarker and hit it or quit it editor/staff" -- I love it when I get on the marquee as well. The house-hosts made enough vegan mac & cheese for everyone at the show. Dave and I raided the house's laptop and illegally file-shared and I filled my ipod to the bursting point with hot hot hits like Hawnay Troofs "Who likes ta fuk (I like ta fuk)", and the likes of Deee-Lite, Deerhoof, Dinah Washington and Son House. Every band that they had that i had never heard of, I took two songs. The next six days of this tour, the headphones are not coming off. The curiosity is already killing me.

Our show was fine. I enjoyed looking up and seeing kids rocking out in the kitchen, in the bedroom, on the stairway. I thought of every house show I loved, I felt connected into the larger fabric of punk life young America. Which is strange, surprising, rare -- CONNECTION writ large -- ten days into tour, I have found that I start feeling as if I cannot truly relate to other people unless I have known them for eight-ten years or more. Old Love and history over-rules the van-life imposed core-disconnect. When the disconnect-emotional drift hits, it is rough as it is releiving -- constant motion and tour is overwhelming -- the disconnect hits the lights, mercifully, and locks you on an ungreased axis between lucid and zombie, which lasts until you've been home for about a week.

The downside is that all you can do is nod and smile and have base conversations about the tour, lobotomized by the white lines dividing lanes; there is no crying, there is no elation, sentiment is marginal, there is some memory of Before Tour lingering. Barely. Everything is the same importance and all animal instincts sharpen -- sleep/eat/load/play/unload/sleep/wander around the aisles of Exxon wondering who buys those pork rinds (repeat). This is the verse chorus verse of the day.

Los Angeles PART II:
I spent the day riding around with my friend Cali, running errands, who was driving a car he recently purchased, a tore'd up 72 Cougar in dirty banana color schemes - previous owner: Leonard Cohen. It was hot and my legs stuck to the nogahyde seats and I wondered if my leg sweat was mingling with the ancient smoke and germs and leg sweat of Leonard Cohen. (I tried reading his book last year, but after the seventh chapter about drugs, Canada and blowjobs, I was kind of like "peace out" -- but I also think I was weirdly ashamed, since I was reading it at my grandmas house.)

Our show was with Passage, Restiform Bodies and Broken Spindles. They all had triggered drums and lots of clicking, synth mind meld all night through. We hit the crowd with roughly 120 dBs of midwestern scree. Fill in the blanks on that one. I spent the rest of the eve hanging out with my dad, old friends, my lawyers, high school friends from MN who are gunning for world-wide celebrity in their underwear. Dave and I were having a post-game wrap up after the show on the curb, and someone from one of the other bands came and sat down and said "I hope you do not think any less of me, but do you know where I could get some (whispering) coke." I told him no, I have not done anything harder than asprin since 1995. I have never done cocaine, because I prize my sanity and health. Meanwhile, I am getting the feeling I am the only person on the West Coast who is not doing bumps in the bathrooms at our shows.

The kids who live here just suggested we start a danceparty, which are the magic words. All the windows are open. People are partnered up in corners splaying anecdotal. This is how it is supposed to be.

Posted by Jessica at June 19, 2004 11:39 PM | TrackBack