Frontalot Fall Tour 2011: Days 4-7, Dallas, OKC & Wichita

Windy are the Kansas plains / littered with the night’s remains.  So goes the famous poem “I Am Bored In The Tour Van” by reclusive indie poet F. Percival Spruce, author of such lesser-regaled verses as “The Window Defroster Makes My Butt Sweat” and “What Smells Like Pee?”  I can’t help but feel solidarity with the man as we travel from Wichita to Fayetteville, searching fruitlessly for a breakfast dispensary in what appears to be a tastiness desert.  But lo!  Our new Garmin has just found us the shiny and promising Penny’s Diner.  Thank you, Kendric Beachley, for saving us from hanger!

Betwixt past and present, three shows and one tasty home-cooked dinner transpired.  It all began at the curiously named Cool & Hot, a combination taco-and-snow-cone joint in Dallas with a curious assortment of flavors.   Then it was off to the Doublewide, where previously Front had perched on the brink of death (also known in some cultures as a ‘stool.’)  This time he shook his booty and rained down a vigorous, healthsome sweat as he regaled the crowd with nerdy rhymes.  The entire city breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Or maybe it was just windy.  Either way it was a blast, aided once again by the considerable talents of Doug Funnie and our own beloved Brandon Patton.  My search for delicious foodstuffs was aided by the women serving barbecued beef brisket right outside the front door.  OH HOW I LOVE BEEF BRISKET.

This post sure is food-centric!  Allow me to make it even more uneven by discussing the epic dinner I made in Oklahoma City at the home of our good pals and perennial hosts Eric Web and Stefan Morris.  I cooked up not two, not four, but ten steaks at once using my unpatented-but-still-awesome broiler-and-marinade technique.  This is a personal record.  Unfortunately my makeshift tin-foil steak tray construction was not up to code, because a bunch of olive oil dripped onto the bottom of the oven and caused the kitchen to fill with smoke.  Luckily it was the smoke of deliciocity.  I don’t really like to toot my own horn, you know, but it made me feel all warm inside to get glowing compliments on my steak from people who live in Steak Central, USA.  Top Chef, here I come!

Our two days in OKC were a busy time for the Frontalot crew.  Front did a spot on The Spy FM with improv duo Twinprov a/k/a/ the Doppleganstas on Sunday night and the whole crew joined him in a tiny van the following day to do a rousing, if cramped, version of Spoiler Alert.  Brandon, Mike and Eric went on a video adventure to photocopy lewd terms at a conservative Christian supply store.  I failed, for the second time in as many months, to go gokarting.  Many naps were also had.  Then, of course, there was the show at the Conservatory, featuring Brandon and Twinprov in the opening slots.  It was a hoot – we love OKC so much that Front decided to play Pitch Dark, Goth Girls AND Final Boss at the end of the show rather than making people choose.  OK, that’s not entirely true: he did try to force a decision, but his innovative “cheer loudly for the song you least want to hear” technique failed to produce any usable results.

The next day, after a trip with Eric and Stefan to renowned sauceatarium the Good Gravy Diner, we bolted like angry, mostly bespectacled hyenas for the fair hamlet of Wichita, KS, where Front did a meet-and-greet with MadHatter McGinnis at Wizard’s Asylum while the band (sans Brandon, who was – SURPRISE! – playing Magick) loaded into the Naked City Gallery.  FUN FACT: it was only two blocks from our previous venue Rock Island Live.  Thankfully nobody puked this time.  People did show up in costume, however, including one man in a full-body shark suit.  Opening that night were MadHatter, fellow ScrubClub artist StarF and mashup master DJ Carbon, who also spun between sets.  What a night!  I was particularly pleased because I finally had a good experience with my new Shure PSM200 in-ear monitors, due largely to the expert engineering of Mr. Mike Lombardo.  Many thanks to MadHatter for setting that show up and acting as MC, and to Naked City for hosting.

That brings us up to the present moment, at which we are ferrying ourselves toward Fayetteville, where we will play with The One-Ups tonight at Ryleigh’s Boom Boom Room.  Be there!  Also coming up are our show at Maxine’s in Hot Springs on Thursday 10/27 and a special opening slot with former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty at The Old Rock House in St. Louis, MO on Saturday 10/29.  We sincerely hope to see you – YES YOU – at one or more of the shows.  Unless you are the driver of the Suburban with the tinted windows and the curious license plate, because, man, you freaked us out.

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