Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nov 6,7,8

posted by Majestic Ape at 8:43 PM

Nov 6

I need to add something to my lame entry for yesterday. I have to thank all the DC crew who came to the show. I can’t express how good it feels to look out into the crowd and see your friends. These people are there, with us, even though this over-priced show is on a Sunday night.

Big ups to Jayme M., Jamie C., Ginger, Iona, Casey, Chippy, Jeff, Matt, Paulie, Shamus, Jim, Mike, Reika, Jacob, Bob, Sonya, Ken, Nilay, Zack, and everyone I’m forgetting.

Sorry about all the whiney spiritual shit from yesterday.

Please forgive me for my inappropriate tense shifts. I have been writing this in chunks for the last few days.

On the way to Jeff’s, Erick lays into me. He points out all of my many inconsiderate behaviors from the last few weeks and tells me to knock that shit off. He’s right. I don’t argue because there is nothing to argue. He also tells me that I am stagnating. I think he means this musically, artistically, and personally. This is interesting. In many ways, he is right. I will think more about this one when I get home.

We leave for Charlottesville quite late and are in heavy traffic for most of the ride down there. Highway 29 South is mostly a 4 lane highway that runs through towns. There are lots of traffic lights to I try to keep the van under 75 mph. Jen, the tour manager for the slits, calls when we are about 50 miles away. She tells us we have to be there by 9pm if we want dinner. I step on it. My dudes need to eat.

Moments later, a deer runs across the highway right in front of us. I barely miss it.

The Satellite Ballroom, of Charlottesville, is located in an alley. We didn’t know this when we were looking for the club. I did a 3 point turn in an inappropriate location and then went into reverse in oncoming traffic. My band mates were cringing. But we arrived by 8:50 and they had their curries by 9.

Everyone at the club was very helpful and friendly. We had a dressing room of sorts. I set up the merch so Jeff could eat. The Slits arrive while the Rah Bras are playing. I visit with them a little bit. Ari happens to be wearing orange and brown and she is thrilled that these are the colors of University of VA.

We have a great time during our set. The people in the crowd are expressing some awesome energy and we feel it. We also are amongst friends. Our good friend Russell is here. Jeff and I lived with this very talented artist in college and he lives here. Also, other friends from home, James and Elise are here. They are musicians on tour right now, and they have 4 shows in VA. They were kind enough to come to ours.

After the show, we pack up and go to a sandwich shop on the college strip. In front of us in line are several rowdy frat guys buying giant sub sandwiches. They are rude to the lady making the food. They are also rude to the cashier. We walk out at the same time. The rudest of the fellows starts to get into a van and drops his sandwich. It explodes on the street.

We drive to Russell’s house and get a decent night’s sleep.

Nov 7.

It’s raining. It’s the first rainy day on tour so far. We leave Russell’s by noon as we have a 7 hour drive to Columbia, SC and we still have to get food. Erick is insisting we go to Whole Foods even though it’s somewhat out of the way and not in the direction we are driving.

I drive first. We are on the same little highway for 180 miles. The boys sleep and I rock the I-pod. The drive is really beautiful, even though it’s raining. The leaves are changing and the colors are glorious. Also, the whole ride is very much in the country and all the charms of country life are visibly obvious. There are many signs lining the road that express this sentiment—“God’s marriage—1 man, 1 woman.” It’s voting day.

We get into Columbia, SC around 7:30 pm. This is the first time Apes are playing South Carolina. We drive for a while in town and then end up in an odd little residential area. The venue is the Art/Punk Warehouse. It’s a funny little warehouse space that has sleeping quarters for bands. I’m so psyched. We don’t have to break the equipment down after the Slits play, no late load out, no search for a place to stay, no sleeping on wood floors.

Also, Jason, the promoter, has arranged for food to be brought from a veggie organic Mexican restaurant, owned by his friend Suzie.

I meet the guy who is opening for us. His name is Wendall, the Dubber, and he is from Washington, DC! I’m psyched! I love meeting DC people when we are far from home. Wendell used to play with H.R. He is cool as shit. We trade histories and then I set up.

We eat dinner with the Slits in our suite. I am really enjoying them more and more as we get to know each other.

I go out to the stage room to see what’s going on and I see a girl hoola-hooping. I join her. We chat as we swirl our hips. Her name is Brook and its kind of funny to talk to her while hoola hoping. A crowd gathers to watch. And Erick says I’m stagnating. Hah.

The Dubber plays around 10. He plays solo acoustic guitar and sings. The guy is awesome and I regret that I have no photos of him. Our set is pretty fun as well. I talk to a bunch of people before retiring to our ‘suite’. Erick brings in a gift package that a fan has prepared. It contains CD’s, artwork, and a GIANT gold watch. Breck sports the watch.

The Slits go on after midnight. I don’t really watch them tonight. I have decided to overdose on a combination of herbal and traditional sleep aids. I take two herbal concoctions and drink it down with “nighty-night” tea. I feel a little dizzy and a little nauseous. I eat dinner and wait for the blissful rest to arrive. Nothing. In fact, the longer I stay up, the more alert I become. By 2:00 am, I take 2 more herbal pills and one traditional. I put on the eye mask and insert the ear plugs. It’s like every other night of sleep. I’m up constantly and awake for good by 8.

Nov 8

The Slits return to the venue from their motel around 11:30 am. They are touring in a mini-van and have asked us to put their merch in our van. We try to accommodate them as they truly are squashed in their van like sardines. Around noon, Jason, the promoter comes and takes us to Suzie’s restaurant. She has prepared the most magnificent feast for us. The menu consists of white bean veggie soup, southern sweet tea, fresh fruit salad, grits, spinach quesadillas, and a whole lot of love. For me, she made a special chicken and bean salad. It’s awesome. She’s awesome. I tell her and Jason, over and over again, in 7 years of touring the states, this is the best treatment we have ever had. They will be remembered lovingly and I can guarantee that we will return many more times. While we are eating, Ari comments several times that Suzi didn’t know that Ari liked the sweet grits. She made salty grits. Ari has to add sugar.

We stand around in the parking lot and take lots of photos of each other.

As we are driving out of town, we are discussing something stupid and Jeff reminds us of the time that he was accosted by an aggressive panhandler outside of the old 9:30 Club. When Jeff explained that he had no money, the man said, “Well you betta shit it out yo asshole.”

We are off to Atlanta.

As soon as we arrive at the club, we split up. I go off alone and start walking. I call my friend Josh, of such legendary bands, as Angel Hair, The VSS, The Slaves, Pleasure Forever, and currently of Rabbits. Josh is a tour warrior and my West Coast super brother. We catch up while I wander around Barnes and Noble. I go find some food alone at Whole Foods. While I am in there, a man near the hot pizza bar starts bellowing in an operatic voice at the top of his lungs. It’s deafening. I’m not sure if he is crazy or if he is being paid to provide atmosphere during the dinner hours at Whole Foods.

As I walk back to the club, I pass a bus stop. There is an elderly white-haired pudgy man in a trench coat sitting on the bench, looking like he is waiting for the bus. I look at him for some reason. His eyes get this bright wet look and he says excitedly, “What’s UP!”

I keep walking.

Right now, I’m sitting on top of a table in the venue, The Drunken Unicorn. We just finished sound checking. Its 8:15. Doors open at 9:00. There is one plastic green chair. Breck is sitting in it. He is drawing covers for our demo CD’s. And here we wait.


Blogger WM said...

You apes are great. I'm from Columbia, SC and I saw you guys play last week at the Art Garage. I was the guy in the front row with the neat hat. I also got to see you play this summer in DC with Oneida, which was awesome. Thanks a lot for coming through. I'm glad to see you had a good experience. Please do come back when you get the chance.

4:38 PM  

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