Thursday, March 22, 2007

2007 Spring Tour Day 2 and 3

posted by Majestic Ape at 7:45 PM

“Youth is a bitch,” says Erick.

We arrive in Nashville earlier than anticipated and embark on the search for food. We pick a Mediterranean hookah bar over a nicer sit- down Indian place. The waitress is sweet but is very slow. After a long, small meal, Jeff and Breck split and head to Checker’s. Jeff wants a chemically flavored Banana shake. Erick and I head toward the club. He decides he wants coffee from Krispy Kreme. I pee. When I come out, he is waiting by the counter, eating a donut.

“Look Kleiny, they gave me a donut, just because I have to wait for the coffee to be brewed.”

He looks extremely pleased. The lady behind the counter walks toward us with his cup of coffee and hands us two more free donuts. Good God. They push this stuff like drugs. Addicts. They want to make us all addicts. More sugar! More flour! Eat it! Eat it! Eat it!

We walk back to the club and head for the entrance. There is a larger man sitting in a pick-up truck outside the club.

He says, “Hey! Can I help ya?”

We meet the sound man, Brad. After we become acquainted, he launches into stories about doing sound in Nashville. He tells us he was just doing sound for a rave until 7am, this morning. He has been doing for The End every night for the last 31 nights. It’s consistent, he tells us. It’s easy, too. It’s the soundboard that runs itself.

“I get levels then I read in the truck.” No wonder he works here.

There is a long line at the club across the street. RJD2 is playing tonight and the kids are lining up down the block in anticipation.

Our venue is empty.

After load in and sound check, I sit in the little dressing room, drawing pictures. Erick enters. I announce that I will not be wearing the white overalls from Gap Kids. I will wear the white dress I purchased before departure. I think it should look good with red tights. I display the dress for Erick. He disapproves.

“It’s not white, it’s flesh colored,” he declares, “and I don’t like it. The overalls are cooler.”

“The overalls don’t fit,” I reply. “The overalls are made for a child.”

“Whatever dude,” he retorts, “you better make sure you are loud enough. Yeah, and don’t fuck up on Practice Hiding.”

Some members of the other bands come into the dressing room while I am changing. We meet the members of Monotonix, a 3 member band from Tel Aviv, Israel. We are both booked by Michelle from Panache and will be playing 4 shows together. We are introduced to Ami, Yanathan, and Ran. We also meet their American manager, Kevin Guthrie.

A woman comes back stage. She is shrieking at the guys in Monotonix.

“Let me come on stage with you guys! Let me come on stage and play an instrument! Look, I can play the clit!” she proclaims. She reaches between her legs and strums her vagina.

It’s Apes time. I go out alone. There are a few scattered people far to the left of the stage. I focus my dialogue toward them and they ignore my requests to come closer to the stage. In fact, they don’t really look away from their conversations. One nice girl, named Elle, touches my knees. I hug her.

I realize later that my failure to interact with the people in the room (not that there were many), throws me off for the whole set. I just feel weird and detached. I also feel like I am watching myself play and I don’t approve. I hate this feeling. But then a real sensation brings me back into my body. My broken toe is screaming at me to stop pounding my feet. I broke the 2nd toe on my right foot back in January. It doesn’t heal. It just swells and recedes, gets purple and fades.

After the show, my spirit sinks. Some annoying internal voice keeps pestering me.

“You are tired, your body hurts, your toe is broken. Why do you this? Why? Why? Why?”

No answer. Nobody’s home.

I draw pictures of the people in the second band while they play.

I don’t try to draw Monotonix. I watch them instead. Ami, the vocalist, starts the show with a long, slow, limping walk toward the drummer. Then the three of them (guitar, drums, vocal) launch into song. The drummer, Ran, lights his cymbals on fire. Chaos ensues. I like many of their songs but midway, leave to sit in the van.

Kevin the tour manager lives in Nashville and has offered to host us for the night. While we are loading out, he asks if we want to go to a bar.

“NO,” I declare. I sound like an ungrateful bitch and immediately regret my tone.

We get paid $50.

Back at Kevin’s bachelor pad, we pile in his crowded living room. Jeff opts to sleep in the van.

The next day consists of a quiet drive to Atlanta, back to the Drunken Unicorn. This is our 3rd time playing here this year. But this time, we are without the draw of Liars or Slits to fill the room. Perhaps the 4 bands-bill will entice at least a few people to come out on a Monday night.

Jeff drops us off at Whole Foods. He is driving over to the Earl, alone, to get a black bean burger. He has been missing them for a long time. We are shocked. When Jeff finds something he likes to eat, he truly commits to that food. Erick, Breck, and I wander around Whole Foods. Breck is excited because he is going to get a Kombucha. We have been enjoying this fermented mushroom tea since last summer. Breck likes to drink them as often as possible and he hasn’t had one for several days. Erick selects a ‘day old’ discounted quinoa salad and struggles to pick a hot food topping. He finally decides on the African greens as they have peanut butter, and they are sure to have a little flavor.

I choose an odd assortment of tiny little things that neither go well together, nor taste good. Breck wisely gets supplies to make wraps for several days.

Back at the club, we sit outside for a long time. The weather is perfect, cool and clear. I feel no urgency to sit in the dark, smelly bar.

I talk to a friendly fellow named, “Bobbie” who is writing a book about the Slits. He wants to interview us because we toured with The Slits back in Oct.

The show is okay. The crowd is small, but sweet. When the night is over, the manager finds me outside.

“Sorry dudes, you get $40. But you can have anything from the bar you want-- drinks, cigarettes, waters. I love you guys!”

We are the band that is loved by sound men, bartenders, and club managers. Erick takes 12 bottles of water to roll around the van floor.

We drive to Breck’s mother’s house. On the drive, we discuss the various people we have met that evening.

Jeff reports, “This girl came up to the merch table after the show. She kept repeating over and over, ‘when you go to south by, you better be on.’ I had no idea the hell she was saying. At first I thought I couldn’t even hear her. But then she literally repeated herself 5 times. Was she trying to tell me that we better play great at SXSW? Is it that hard to add the words ‘southwest’?”

This statement, ‘when you go to south by, you better be on,’ would be repeated in our van over and over, for the entire length of the tour.

Back at Breck’s mom’s home, Breck makes wraps for everyone. Laundry is started. I have only brought one bra on this tour. I wear it all day and play in it every night. Yummm…….

I sleep in the scented room. There is a plenty of potpourri, scented oils, and candles, to mask the stink that Erick and I are probably projecting.

In the morning, Jeff takes many photos of Breck with dolls.


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