Friday, March 23, 2007

Sunday leaving Austin

posted by Majestic Ape at 11:59 PM

On Sunday morning I wake up at 9:30 am. Several events take place in the next few hours that most humans would consider somewhat disturbing. If I ever write the unedited Apes story, I will remember to write about Sunday morning. But for immediate practical purposes, and the family nature of this story, I’m going to omit all of it. I will share this. Around 11 am, I clean Adam’s kitchen.

It is a long standing Apes tradition that our last meal in Austin be at the Star Seeds Café by I-35. Today would be no different. Adam and his roommate Erick join us for our final meal. We all pile in the van and head over. I am not totally listening to Adam as he gives me directions. When I miss the first turn, I throw the van in reverse and go all the way back down the one way street the wrong way. I don’t feel that I have put anyone in danger. I watch the mirrors carefully.

At the café, we sit at a corner table. I ask each person what they are ordering. There are no surprises. Erick orders migas. He always does. A few minutes into the meal, Kevin Guthrie calls. He wants to drive with us to Denton, TX. He needs a break from his band. We tell him that its fine and he meets us at the Star Seeds. After breakfast, I go outside on their porch to stretch my legs, and I see my friends Josh and Evan, in a rental car on the corner. I run over to say goodbye but I will see Evan in Denton. He is riding home with Chicago band ‘Chin Up, Chin Up,’ and they are also playing tonight in Denton. We thank Adam and Erick for the extreme generosity and I give Adam my leftovers. There is so little the Apes can do to show appreciation. Leave food and a clean kitchen.

Before we leave town, we make a final stop at Whole Foods to say goodbye to Michelle. I run into Mary Timony, a friend from home and fellow musician. More DC crew representin’! We had seen her van several times the day before. Each time we wanted to leave a note for her on the windshield but somehow never had a pen. I carry a giant backpack full of shit, everywhere I go, and yet, no pen.

On the drive out, we stop at Guitar Center and a discount book store, both per Jeff’s requests. Jeff needs a chain for his high hat and more cheap books to read. Guitar center has no such chains. Jeff rejects the offer to special order the part.

We hit a massive backup in the exodus from Austin. The congestion easily adds an extra hour or more to the length of travel. The boys, with Kevin, are packed sardine style in the back, with Erick sitting on the luggage between the captain’s chairs. When I take a quick look behind me, all of their heads are flopping to the right, like little droopy babies.

We are playing another house show and I believe that the show is supposed to start early to accommodate another later starting house show in town. When we arrive, Monotonix are already there. This is our last show with them and of course, I’m sorry to see us part ways. The bonding between us was solid and brother/sisterhoods have been formed. We see Meggie, a super fan, whose band is going to play first tonight. We also meet Jonah, the promoter and primary renter of the house where the show is being held. Jonah hops in the van with us and takes us to Taco Cabana for dinner. Over dinner, we ask Jonah about holding house shows. He tells us that he hasn’t really gotten any complaints from neighbors as nothing could compete with the noise of the trains. He lives directly across the street from railroad tracks. Trains go screaming by about every 30 minutes to an hour.

When we get back, Monotonix are starting to set up. They offer us the opportunity to play before them but Jeff needs time to change his drum heads. When they are ready to start, Yanathan, the guitarist starts screaming, “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” He does this most nights. I must admit that I’m not crazy about angry loud voices. Call me a pussy. I am one.

I vacate the basement. Ran is about to set his cymbals on fire. My dislike of fire AND basements is enough to prompt this hasty departure.

When Monotonix emerge from the basement, they are pouring with sweat. I go in to survey the damage. The floor is wet. There is trash everywhere. A trash can is laying on its side. The air smells of burning plastic. Jonah sweeps up and we proceed to set up. When we are about ready to play, the kids gather back in the basement. They are a very supportive and rowdy bunch. These are my favorite types of audiences. It’s totally motivating and encourages us to basically, rock the fuck out! As soon as we’re done, a long-haired blonde lad approaches me. He states stoically, “That was the best show I ever seen. I have been looking forward to this for two weeks.” Thanks, Aaron. Seriously, dude. Thank you.

When we are done, I get a text message from Evan. They have arrived at Rubber Gloves, the club down the road. They are running very late and I change clothes quickly to run over there. Erick and Breck join Jonah and some of the others to go check out the Norwegian metal band playing at the other house. I take the van alone.

When I get to Rubber Gloves, I immediately see Evan. It’s not hard to find him as the room is pretty empty but for a few scattered youth. I am so glad we played at Jonah’s house. I have had a few very dark nights at Rubber Gloves. I remember going outside alone and sitting near the train tracks after we played to 10 people. I remember staring up at the sky and the stars and feeling completely and utterly dead. I think that feeling started during our set when Paul, our first singer, started yelling at a kid in the audience to shut up and stop talking. I think he said something to the effect that since we had driven hundred miles to be in Denton that night, the least they could do was shut up and pay attention. The kid was a huge fan and was only talking to express how excited he was about the show. Paul apologized later but that was an extremely unpleasant display. It made me question how much longer I could keep going on the path that we had carved out for ourselves. But that is in the past. And right now, I’m here with my friend. Evan and I watch The Narrator play and get a drink when they’re done. It’s good to replace a dark memory with a positive one.

Erick and a local guy appear at Rubber Gloves around 2:00 am. They escort me over to the other house show. I can’t believe it’s a Sunday night, and at 2:00 am, there are still people out partying.

Eventually we make our way back to Jonah’s house where we are staying with Monotonix. The Apes have claimed Jonah’s bedroom. Erick gets good and comfy in the closet.

The next day, both bands venture to the Denton town square for food and coffee before parting ways. Ami and I have a excellent bonding conversation over coffee. We discuss marriage, soccer, the state of America, the state of Israel, and finally we learn that we have something unique in common. We both love kids with mental retardation.

Erick and I jet off to the health food store/café a few blocks away and it is there that we bid Monotonix farewell and good luck on their long tour ahead. We also run into a few of the show goers from the night before. I am shocked when I met one guy’s baby. I forget that young people can and do have children.

After an hour of used book store wanderings, we get in the book-loaded van.


Blogger Unicorn said...

This post has been removed by the author.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Unicorn said...

that luggage Erick was sitting on actually contained me.. in spirit, at least.

i'd have to agree with the stoic long blonde hair kid. when i saw you play here in Arizona last year i believed the apes and liars combo to be mind blowing. definitely the most memorable night of my life.

depressing to hear about band members lashing out at big fans, but stress can get to the best of us at time, i suppose.


12:44 AM  

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