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6/9/02 - Atlanta, GA
We played on Georgia-Tech campus. We're staying with Chris's cousin and her husband - wow! What nice people! They are just nerdy as we are. Llu, thanks for waking us up. haha At dinner, we discussed the merits of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Star Trek, including a discussion as to whether Deep Space Nine was any good.. Not my favorite, but I only watched a few episodes. Haha My nerdom revealed!! Not that it was cleverly disguised, anyway... at this point I embrace my dorkiness, though I don't have as many outlets for it so the extent to which it can go is often hidden behind all this rock and roll business. Here are some favs of mine, for example: Outer-space - huge fan of space. I can expound upon all sorts of arcane trivia regarding the composition of various planets' atmospheres and geology. Speaking of geology, I'm a big fan of road-side strata... you know, when you're driving on the highway and you pass by an area they had to blast to keep the road going... I really like looking at the type of rock it is and how it's piled or tilted. Nerdtastic. I think it's interesting how people are born with certain attractions. I remember in Kindergarden how the first book I bought at the in-school book-sale thing was a book with a picture of one of the Pioneer space probes. My cousin was born with a love for golf. He was a golfing todler. The show tonight was a great one. We played well, had a great time, people were really into it, we sold a bunch of stuff We spent the whole day before the show in an area of Atlanta called, "5 Points", a really bohemian strip filled with amazing girls, I mean, cool stores. A bunch of people we met that day came to the show and made it really great for us. Thanks, guys! See ya again!
6/8/02 - Anniston, AL
This place was a punk-rock venue with a good little sound system in a small town in Northeastern Alabama. We've been opening for Legends of Rodeo the last few nights. Tonight we played first and I think it went very well. I met some really interesting people that night. A lot of kids that are looking forward to getting out of town, which I can understand having grown up in a small town, myself. Beth, hi! That was a fascinating conversation. I'm glad we can keep in touch. Everyone, it was great to meet ya'll. Thanks for introducing, "ya'll" into my vocabulary. What a time-saver! haha Malia, I keep forgetting to call and do that station id thing... I have a bad memory. I will, I promise!! Oh, and sorry I called you by accident the other day... I was trying to call Legends of Rodeo and I went into my call-log and dialed you by accident, then my cell went out of range. That must have been weird.
6/7/02 - Myrtle Beach, SC
Tonight we played at The Lazy-I, a cool little hole-in-the-wall record store, full of obscure indie records. We arrived and set up in a little cement performance-space in the back. There was a little crowd and we did our best to rock out in the tiny room. Right before we played we met two really talented girls who played a song for us on my acoustic - they sounded really, really great. Brett, nice to hear from you! You guys rocked out, big time. Afterwards, folks we met at the mall earlier that day (we were kicked out for soliciting) showed up after our set so Aimee, Brett, and ourselves did a little acoustic show for them outside in the parking-lot. A real pleasure to meet you all!
6/6/02 - Wilmington, VA
Uh oh, I'm in a thoughtfull mood again - beware! On the 6th we played at a cool little pizza joint/performance space called, "Man-Freddy's Pizza". Did Fred need to verify he was a man? Like "Boy-George?" haha The south has been really kind to us with good little crowds on all the early weekdays with kids that come to see us. It's been awesome. I had a nice conversation with Olivia on the phone. Our T-Shirt manican is starting to look pretty hot. The constant bombardment of stimuli from steady travel makes me increasingly open and fluid, bringing out all sorts of burried and often quirky elements of my personality. Hard to write about, you kind of have to be there. I'm getting a kick out of it, though. I've been having a hard time sitting still. For those of you that are reading my diary (thanks, by the way, I hope it's not too boring... I ought to be setting more hotels on fire in true rock fashion, eh?) For a little background, I've been a classic 20-something and becoming increasingly interested in Buddism. I've been practicing casually for about a year, but latley I've been having trouble sitting and meditating because of all the stuff swirling around. It's both an asset to the practice and a challenge. We met a band from Chicago - sounds like they're doing great, as well as some other musicians in the audience with whom we had some cool conversations. Good times!
6/4/02 - Roanoke, VA
Yesterday, James Dean fell in love at the mall. James Dean, Aaron and I did some promo at the mall in town while Chris and Mark did some work at Kinkos. While we there James kept telling us about how he was all mixed up about a girl that was working in a shoestore. Finally we got to stop in and it turned out that she has the same tatoo as James Dean's on her chest. If that wasn't enough to crush James, they start to discuss the merits of tatoos and she grabs a tatoo magazine and exclaims, "oh, I happen to be in this issue". Sure enough, there she was, topless *clutching her bossom* to display her tatoo. I could hear James Dean being put through the playdoe fun-factory of love. One minute, stalwart roadie, next minute, a pile of spagheti. It also turned out that this girl is best friends with a band we met at a gas station outside of town, which was amusing.
The show was a real surprise. It was our first day with Legends of Rodeo from Orlando. Their bass player left the band recently so they pulled off a really great acoustic set. My favorite song is "The Devil Started Rock and Roll". For a Monday we were astonished. Many people stayed and we had a fun and captive audience. Made some good friends. I just woke up at Karen's house, the promotor. I drank a few beers last night for the first time on tour. Surprisingly resilient. We've had a few shows lately that just made me feel so lucky. Not just shows, but whole 24 hour periods. Camping, shows, parties, some nice girls (I miss you, Liv!), I even found a cool book on the floor.
6/3/02 - Crossing a new line of latitude
Kinda fell off the wagon with the tour diary, eh? Must remember to write. So how do I gloss over May when so much happened? I'll give you the highlights reel... Okay, this is funny: after Parkfest on the 5th we went to hang at the hotel the promotor was staying at and ordered Chinese food... Chris stepped out to make a phone call but pops his head back in a moment later and says, "guys, there's a homeless guy outside who is really hungry - do you think we can spare some food for him?" So we say, "sure, let him in" and then in steps Chris Carraba from Dashboard Confessional! haha... It was cool to get to know him a little better. We all played on that stage that day. It was an amazing festival. I thought Dashboard sounded pretty great. Weeks earlier, Mark and I met him briefly in Orange County and I guess he's been listening to our record quite a bit which was nice to hear. So we all hung out and ate Chinese food and my bandmates insisted on my displaying my "unfunnily-funny" spectrum of bad celebrity impressions... Dashboard is a softspoken fellow so it was cracking him up a bit. Goodtimes. The show was a lot of fun too. We had a crowd of about 2,000 kids.
Tour is interesting because it's both random and routine. On one hand, you're in a new place and playing for new people everyday; and on the other hand it's very much routine... wake up, pack the van, look at the map, drive, unload the gear, meet people, play, pack, eat at a dinner or sleep. The stability my personality needs to remain socializied and normal lies in the fact there's dependable routine and new people you meet (to help keep my social graces in effect) , and my wanderlust is satiated by the new places and people. I don't think I ever want to give up travelling. Although planes freak me out. I'm simultaneously awed and terrified by being thousands of feet in the air totally helpless to do anything usefull in the event of an accident. I do love to drive though. Driving is great, though not over oceans. Planes for trans-oceanic voyages only if I can help it.
Our journeys through May have taken us all over the Northeast: Syracuse, NY to New Hampshire, Mass, Maryland, NYC, CT. I've met so many great people. It reminds me that people who cut me off in traffic are the same people that feed us and follow us from show to show and put us up in their homes. The average American's day-to-day interface with people is so superficial and rushed that when I hear folks around me say, "man, I hate people" I want to go through the limitless list of generous deeds strangers have dealt us. Truly magnificant!
Right now we're in our new van driving through West Virginia. We're pretty south of family and friends so that feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere has resettled. We had some really great shows in the Northeast and our average show is getting tighter. We spent some time in the studio with Chris Fisher who helped us demo some new tunes with the full band like "Arthur Nix" and "Virginia". Last night we went camping because our show got cancelled and it was a nice night. Little did we know, however, that we would be awoken by a mysterious wall of heinous-odor that was birthed from the Potomac river (which we camped next to)
5/4/02 - New London, CT
I woke up when we got there. We played basketball and met the other bands. James Dean is now on the road with us, which I forgot to mention. He's a huge help. And you can't beat the name! haha
5/3/02 - Auburn, NY
Yeah! This show rocked! We arrived in town and the promotor, a swell fellow named Luke fed us pasta at his house. We played in a gym connected to a salvation army. All the other bands were hardcore bands but the audience was just there to have a good time regardless of what the bands were playing... not to mention I bumped into an old friend, a guy named Ed who sings for Go for The Throat... when my old band The Orange went on tour last summer we stayed at his house and played Ms. Packman for 4 days straight. I'm a professtional now. A master of Ms. Packman. Hey, so thanks to all the kids at this show who we met and bought our record. We had a great time!
5/1/02 - York College, PA
Our drive out to York was from Las Vegas, NV! Rather than tour our way out to the East Coast we opted to play Vegas and then race out to PA to play a couple shows and then a festival with a bunch of our favorite bands like Dashboard, Piebald and Thursday. The drive over was extraordinary... I took a driving shift trough Utah at night. I was blown away by how other-worldly everything looked with the moonlight shining down on the strange desert terrain for a hundred miles in every direction. My inner space-nerd was stirred by how alien everything appeared - and it was nice to see that our country still has rolling wilderness. Truly awesome. Yes, so the show... we didn't play super-great after 5 days of cramped driving but we definitely made some fans. We're staying with some great kids, too. People can be very generous. Mark is sick so he's resting up. Despite a less-than-perfect show, it feels great to be on the road, again. We played some songs outside the building after the show and met some nice kids. Already I'm appreciative of being able to go out and meet people everyday - and be in a new place everyday. It feels great!
4/19/02 - I'm starting this diary now
For a very thorough account of Mark and my acoustic tour of the East Coast, check out Mark's diary which he thoughtfully recorded throughout our trip. In general, though, I'd say that past tour really gave me the confidence to press on without a band (at the time, I hadn't yet joined Jupiter Sunrise and was still performing with The Orange). When The Orange decided to go our seperate ways this past February, I thought for sure that a solo career would be my next thing until Mark invited me to join Jupiter Sunrise. Already I've been able to contribute some new material which we'll be performing soon so I'm very psyched, and I love the J.S. record and these bandmates, even if they smell funny at practice. My previous band, The Orange, were a great crew and I'll miss those guys.
So, yes, during that past tour all I had to do was to carry a single acousitc guitar - no amps (some of our old cabinets we nicknamed "The Neutron Star" or "The Widdow-Maker") and play! - sometimes with Mark - sometimes by myself. We got such a great response and so much nice email that I came to feel like the songs themselves were shining, and that I should continue to perform even if I wasn't sure if or when I'd have a band. I'd learned a lot and come a long ways with my last band (we had a national tour under our belt, a bit of Warped Tour, and we opened for some of my long-time heros, not to mention that I learned a lot from my bandmates who were mega-talented musicians).
So now I'm in L.A. There are palm trees. Just west of here I saw a real tumbleweed. I have a song which concerns tumbleweeds so I almost brought it home for a stage prop but it was a bulky tumbleweed. We're definitely settling down here in L.A. permanently after our next run of the counrty (starting in a week!). Things are frantic as we're trying to rehearse our new bass-player, Aaron, and getting ready for the tour but this is an awesome job and I never thought I'd have a new band to play with so soon. Especially with another songwriter, which gives us a lot of versatility. My new bandmates and great fellas. The sun always shines. Kids are always going out to shows. I saw Piebald the other night and it rocked me!
Okay, so this diary is now officially underway. We have a show with our new line-up tomorrow so I'll start with that - I'll try to write about Goleta, too - that was a bast (our first gig as a four-piece but don't tell anybody). A secret about messing up a part on guitar: if you do, just make a *weehhhrrgghh* sound by sliding up and down the neck really fast! weehhrrggghh! It just sounds like you're so into the rock you have to go weehhrrggghh!