Tour Diary: Day 9, Los Angeles (pt. 1)

Say it out loud, I dare you.Hello from sunny, sparkly Los Angeles!  Today is our only true, don’t-have-to-drive-anywhere day off.  We are staying at the home of legendary drummer Frank Briggs who has been kind enough to put us up at his lovely home, replete with recording studio and bubbling fountain.  Who could ask for more?  Being on the road rules.

Yesterday’s fuzzy morning led to a questionable choice of breakfast spots – the Denny’s at the corner of University and Fairmount.  For some totally unfathomable reason, they provide you first with a three-panel laminated nutrition guide.  Did you know that you can feed yourself for a week on a Cheesy 3-Pack?  At least, that’s what my napkin calculator told me.  Seriously, it was scary and enlightening.  No wonder the country is expanding rapidly.  I opted for a balance of health and name quality and got a Moons Over My Hammy.  I only ate half.

It was fun to get back on the road with the whole band, until we hit traffic in the middle of LA.  I love parts of LA, but not the traffic.  If I lived here I might become a road rage statistic.  Arriving at Frank’s house, we were treated to a delectable dinner of spaghetti and turkey meatballs and got to converse with a jet pilot who used to play guitar for Lou Reed.  Seriously?  Yes. We are nobbers of hob.  Take a number, please.

We came here to play music, though, so we hopped in the van and drove to Mr. T’s Bowl, which can only be described as bizarre.  It is an old bowling alley which has been converted into a rock club, but which (sort of) maintains two lanes so that, when the situation requires it, bowling can occur.  We did not witness any.  What we did witness was an awesome onslaught of killer bands to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for inspiring what I think was our best show of the tour.  I broke some pink lights!  Now that’s raw.

The bands were: Wrong Way Driver, Republic of Letters, Modern Time Machines and Nightmare Air.  It is hard to describe them all since they were all different and fantastic, but here are some trivia bits to keep things interesting: Wrong Way Driver is from Fresno and has played Audie’s Olympic, the last spot on our tour.  We are now scared of Fresno.  The bass player from Republic of Letters was working at our breakfast spot in San Diego when we ate there.  Weird!  They have also played Audie’s Olympic and have frightening stories.  A big shout-out to Chanda Dancy of MTM for setting up the videocamera, which once again failed to record our first two songs due to my, er, not turning it on or putting it in front of the band.  When she’s not getting psychedelic with MTM, Chanda is scoring films and videogames.  Go Chanda!  MTM also has the best merch – little fluffly cloud pins.  And finally, a big thanks to Swaan from Nightmare Air for eschewing hipster protocol and standing in the middle of the room to watch us play.  OK, another thanks to NA for being so over-the-top energetic that we had no choice but to rock the @#%$ out. (I’d curse, but my mom reads this blog.)

Our set!  Normally I don’t go into detail, but this time I will, sort of.  The energy of the set was different from the other shows in a way that I can’t explain except to say that nothing mattered but the music.  We were plagued with technical difficulties, including the power cutting out of my entire rig (which takes 2 minutes to reset) at the beginning of “Socks” and Paul yanking the cable out of his bass and amp simultaneously at the start of “Candyman” but none of it mattered.  We were as tight and engaged as we have ever been and the audience appeared to really dig it.  I just didn’t want to get off of that stage.  Did I mention that we went on at 1am?  Thank you Mr. T’s Bowl and the youth of Highland Park for making our first LA engagement so fucking rad.  Oops!  Sorry, mom.

After loading out, sluggishly, we drove home and stopped at Del Taco for another USDA-approved helath injection.  This time I got a Double Del, which was surprisingly the smallest burger they had.  What happened to the Single Del?  And why did I get a burger at a taco joint?  These questions (and more!) may never be answered.

Our next-to-last gig is this Saturday at the Bootleg Theater, which I have heard is an awesome venue.  If you live in LA, you have no excuse not to be there.  We go on at 8pm.  Until then, be well, and count your calories (in thousands).

One Response to “Tour Diary: Day 9, Los Angeles (pt. 1)”

  1. Paul

    I have followed your commentary and find it wonderfully entertaining. Your writing is nearly as good as your music – which is great!! Hope your last two gigs go off well. Continue to enjoy and experience the tour.