Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fort Myers/Knoxville/Savannah

Two cool things that happened in Fort Myers were that Kate came to visit and the Steelers stomped the Ravens.....

Our trip to downtown Fort Myers was uneventful. We did take a trip to check out Sanibel Island and managed to hit the bridge right at sunset. By the time we got to the beach though t'was dark. It was still cool though as I saw more stars then I've ever seen before. We also tracked a couple satellites (not sure what else they could have been) making their way across the sky.



On the exceptionally long drive to Knoxville from Fort Myers I managed to hit a few chunks of wood that were conveniently located in the middle of my lane. I heard them slam up under what I thought was the truck and thought nothing of it.

However, when we got to Knoxville not only were they experiencing record low temperatures (which we felt all the more having been in Florida since Dec 16th), one of the wood chunks managed to smash right in to the trailer below the front storage compartment and left a nice gaping hole in its wake. The OTHER chunk I found stuck between some metal cross bars under the trailer where it became lodged after smacking the corner of my black tank leaving a slight crack in ITS wake. Perfect. Of all the places.....

I kind of fixed the hole in the trailer using some silicone repair stuff and a caulking gun. The black tank I refrained from repairing in Knoxville since it was freaking freezing. I bought a fiberglass repair kit and am planning to patch it up after the sewage crew comes through this week. NOT what I singed up for but a problem that needs to be addressed nonetheless. Yeehaw.

Knoxville is a really neat city but the frigid conditions prevented me from exploring too much. The rents drove down from Pittsburgh to catch the show and hang since Knoxville is probably as close to the burgh that we are going get this year. T'was loverly to see them and catch up a bit.

We still don't have a confirmed time frame for Puerto Rico with regards to when we fly out and when we fly back.....and some of the hotel reviews are....well ATROCIOUS. Gems like "we smelled the place before we saw it" and "this hotel isn't bad........if you don't have any money". Can't Wait!!!

We're supposed to have 10 days off upon our return before heading to Augusta. Brian and I were really hoping to use that time off for a trip to Brazil to hang in Rio and see Iron Maiden. B used to run sound for the drummer's solo band and there's a good chance that we would be able to hang ON the stage during the show. I'm hesitant to drop the $$$ for the flights as even though we have 10 days off, we have no info as to where the 10 days are going to be spent. The trailers are staying in Tifton, GA but we don't know if we're there the whole time or if we get a few days off in Tifton then have to move the trailers to Augusta for the remaining time off. Gah. Details.....

On the plus side, Savannah is a suepr rad town. Much fun has been had thus far and much more is to follow I'm sure. Full update upon our departure.

Savannah pics

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hipster Bingo in Tallahassee

So a recurring trend of this tour is to send us to what could potentially be really cool towns 3 days.....and stick us in towns that are horrendously lame....for a week plus. Gah.

Tallahassee had a lot of potential to be bad-ass. A 24 hour local coffeeshop and dirty dive hipster bar right next to the arena, Kool Benaz Cafe (stiff competition with Prejeans for best restaurant ever), and very scenic college campus = cool town.

However, we weren't allowed on the lot until Tuesday coming from Sarasota. That evening, we were treated to a (way) late night rehearsal to get the music for the Magic Act together. The next day was 9-4 rehearsal with opening night following right after. One show Thursday, one Friday and we peaced out after the show Friday night for Sarastoa (arriving around 4am). The show stayed there Satarday and left for Fort Myers on Sunday. Gah. Would've been nice to just stay in Sarasota since we don't open here until Thursday, but so it goes.


We rolled into to the tiny area the arena decided to pack us all into without any problems. Steve and lucked out with pretty easy spots to get in and out of. We got our laundry did at the most reasonably priced place yet. 60 cents a pound! Not too shabby.

The late night rehearsal went well enough. I never dreamed (well maybe had nightmares) that I would have to play 'Harder to Breathe' by freaking Maroon 5 for this show. Oh well. The Act is coming along well enough and the dude's a really nice guy so that helps.

Nonetheless, all I can picture ever time the Act comes along in the show is this.

Back to Tallahassee radness....

All Saint's Cafe
is a rockin' Green cafe that stays open 24 hrs. Highly recommended should you find yourself in the area.

And that Kool Beanz place.....holy schnikies. Go there every day 3 times a day. N'uff said.

Based on a recommendation, we headed out to this dirty little dive next to the coffeeshop that was having a DJ night. Now, I was expecting a Hipster Parade.....but holy shit. Really? This place made the Brillobox look like....I dunno....Jack's or something. We were nearly choked from the hovering cloud of irony hanging in the air. Free PBR cans after paying the cover. Enough said.

Seriously. It's a good thing we didn't play hipster bingo....since everyone would've won within 30 seconds:

The place was loud, the DJ was not very good (although you could never tell by the ironic 'rocking out' face he was making every time he pressed the spacebar on his laptop), and the people were.....just.....well irritating. Oh well.

I planned on writing more about the Tallahassee experience but based on the potential of what could've been...tis best to leave it in the past and look forward to the sweet ass town we get to visit: Knoxville, TN. Rock.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


For those understand this summation of recent events, I'mapologize:

That is all

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Nine Packs and New Year's

I imagine there are quite a few really neat places tucked away in West Palm Beach that are worth exploring. Unfortunately, with the exception of a great Cuban restaurant, I'll never know.

You see, the show opened in West Palm on Christmas Day at 3pm. Then, for the next three days in a row, we had scheduled shows at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm.....hence the 'nine pack'. Granted I could've sucked it up and driven the 10 miles to downtown and done some exploring but c'mon.....I'm getting old now and 6hrs of hard drumming a day takes a little bit of the wind out of the 'ole sails.

One of the saving graces of a schedule like that was we the addition of a new act in the show. The High-Wire was out and the Urias Family Globe of Death Act was in. 3 Motorcycles + Tiny Globe Cage + Rocking Charts = Total Badass-ness.

After the nine pack, we still had two more one shows days to knock out.

The other saving grace was the fact the promoter for that string of shows delivered a pretty decent crowd for every single performance. That was a welcome surprise that that many people consistently came out to catch the show.

The night before the final performance, I received a phone call from my friend Measly who I had met in Atlanta. She had just made a move from there to Jacksonville, FL. That night however, she was calling from Boca Raton where she was visiting family.....which is like 20 miles away from West Palm. Very odd but very cool coincidence. She came and checked out the show closing night and we were able to catch up which was awesome. The other coincidence was that this is the second time she hung out the night of one of those "mysterious wind storms" like we had in Duluth, GA that only hit our lot, blowing over some things, but not affecting the trailers at all.

After the show, I took Measly back home then drove back to the lot. Steve had gone ahead and left so Ollie took me up on an offer of a ride to keep me awake since we didn't leave the lot until after midnight.



We rolled back onto the lot in Sarasota around 3:30 or so in the morning. The timing actually worked out really well as the generator showed up as I was setting up my trailer, and power was ready to go right after I was done. Most excellent.

My new friend Kate who recently moved to FL from Baltimore came to hang out for the NYE festivus. And holy schnikies it was quite a festivus to behold. A ginormous spread of food was laid out including quite a few interesting homemade Russian dishes and lots of libations.

I can't decide if I was just uninspired to play my usual photographer role or if I just wanted to chill and soak up the scene without being "that dude with the camera" for once.

I did managed to get some good video (some of which I'll post....some of which I won't to protect the "innocent" (and by "innocent" I mean "not at all innocent")).

There were a ton of new Russians there who are performers with the Red Unit. The one dude had this glorious mullet that he kept pulled back in a pony tail. We were all hoping and praying that at some point he would unleash that beast in all of it's feathery glory....but it wasn't meant to be.

He did live up to the "mullet guy with a Napoleon Complex" stereotype by getting up in some of the concession guys' faces and stumbling around a lot. He eventually staggered over to the bleachers where our group had converged. Robbie was smoking a pretty quality cigar that had been a Christmas gift. Mulletofsky comes right up to Robbie, mutters something or other while gesturing at his cigar. The dude then takes it out of Robbies mouth and take 3 or 4 puffs on it failing to realize that you aren't supposed to inhale a cigar. After hacking his lungs out for a couple minutes, he hand the cigar back and mutters something about "this not good for you health". He stares for a moment, grabs the cigar a second time, and whips it over Robbie's head behind the bleachers. Uh...WTF, mate? I think everyone kind of stood there trying to figure out if that had really just happened. Luckily, the cigar was retrieved relatively unscathed and Mulletofsky was escorted out of the party (unfortunately not dragged backwards by his ponytail).

The night wore one as did people's entertaining behavior. While things were happening I know I was constantly laughing my ass off. Unfortunately, I was more than a bit blurry with everyone so all of the details of the hilariousness are a bit fuzzy.....

I do know the night ended with a few of us sitting on the bleachers, listening to a couple dudes giving very heartfelt speeches passing a big ass baton thing back and forth and slamming it down on the bleachers every time they made a point in the style of Gandalf preventing the passage of the Balrog. Nothing short of spectacular.

It was definitely a quite enjoyable NYE and I'm really lucky to have scored this gig and met some of these people. Props to Panda Steve for dropping my name back in June.

I forgot my camera tonight so I'll have upload pics/vids some other time.