Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Hot Mess Express Tour: Episode II

11/9:  Missoula, Montana.
We started the brutal 13 hour journey to Missoula from Fort Collins at about 11pm on the 8th.  The wickedly cold temperature, close calls with deer and coyotes, and scary infrequency of gas stations along the Wyoming I-25 corridor all seemed somehow worth it as the sun came up over what has to be one of the most beautiful parts of this country.  A staggering, angular congregation of granite giants aptly called The Crazy Mountains jutted out of the Montana prairie as we made our way across the I-90.  We arrived in Missoula at 1pm and spent the next five or six hours exploring the small mountain college town.  We ate at a totally decent taco shop, scoped out a cool record store, climbed a mountain that overlooked the city, and did a small bit of video poker gambling.  The show took place in a screen print shop turned DIY space called Zoo City Apparel, and turned out pretty cool.  We were extra stoked for the show when we found out that we'd be playing with In Defence, who naturally didn't disappoint with their short and hilarious set that included a circle pit in the neighboring porn shop.  After show drinks took place at The Golden Rose, where we were told that in Seattle there's a vegetarian restaurant called In The Bowl that bests our current fav The Grasshopper in Allston, Massachusetts.  We shall see!

You simply can't have
Too many taco options
So quit complaining

We Coloradoans easily summited the meager peaks of Missoula.  JK, that shit was HARD.  GB is not pictured, he's at one of the bars down there in the background.

11/10: Seattle, Washington.
The drive through Eastern Washington had an unfortunate similarity to the drive through Kansas in it's mostly featureless wheat fields. Unlike Kansas though, the droll landscape in Eastern Washington gives way to some seriously gorgeous mountain vistas that made pleasant the long drive to Seattle. Once we arrived in the city, we drove straight to the capital hill district's In The Bowl, the vegetarian restaurant aforementioned in the Missoula entry. While it was a totally decent restaurant featuring convincing and flavorful meat substitutes, it certainly isn't better than our reigning champion The Grasshopper. The show was at a rad little bar called The Galway Arms. Local bands Ol Doris and Random Orbits both seriously shredded through their sets. Our set was pretty rad as well. We made a bunch of friends and drank tons of Olympia and Fireball whiskey. We crashed in Ol Doris' practice space on maybe the most comfortable mattresses ever made by human hands.

Fireball whiskey
and ginger ale with a dash
of bitters. Hooray!

 Who better to guide us through the hilly enigmatic gridwork of Seattle than Jesus?  Probably just about anyone...

Tour soup:  1 part oriental flavored Ramen coupled with 1 part canned vegetable soup.  Enjoy!

!!!11/11/11!!! Portland, Oregon.
Veteran's day in Portland brought more excitement than just free downtown parking. Tim, armed with an acoustic guitar and a knack for verbose blasphemy, soared over the airwaves of PSU's radio station and won the hearts of dozens. In the meantime, the remainder of Elway made a run across the river and conquered a bakers dozen of Voodoo Doughnuts. Not to be slowed by countless calories, Joe ripped it up (got in the way) at the world famous Burnside Skatepark. How could any day be better? Add booze and video games at Ground Kontrol, that's how! After defeating X-men, securing Area-51, and with a few Ms. Pacman high scores in tow we headed to our show at Fuckette's/Jurassic Park. The small, dirty living room was packed with kids eager to crowd surf, sing along, and dance. The show was testament to the energy, excitement, and inclusivity that DIY house shows bring to punk rock.

Portland is a town
Of unfuckwithable charm
And great vegan food

 As far as I'm concerned, if someone's crowdsurfing in a living room, you're doing it right.
Just imagine the smell!  It's a little like what I imagine the sewers in Friday the 13th part IV smelled like.

11/12: Berkeley, California
After a long day's drive down the I-5 through Oregon and northern California, we arrived in the bay area just in time for some hyper-shitty traffic.  All the same, the seas of tail-light red and the trammels of rush hour traffic couldn't derail our excitement to play at the legendary 924 Gilman.  Before we loaded into the venue, we ate at a truly amazing vegan soul-food restaurant called Souli Vegan.  Highly recommended!  Our buddies/label-mates/former label-mates Cobra Skulls and Nothington were playing across the bay at Thee Parkside, which left us with little hope for a decent crowd, but by the time we kicked off our set, there was a pleasant and sizable crowd of about 60.  We played on the floor in front of the stage and, after ironing out some microphone-related kinks, had a great time!  Great sets from Bastards of Young, Only an Island, and Build us Airplanes made for a really fun night. Super special thanks to Danielle for putting the show on!

Better than Green Day
Here longer than Op Ivy
Still somehow shitty

Demon eyed crowd attendees and a floating orb, perhaps the ghost of Jessie Michaels.  Oh wait, that dude is still alive?
We were the first band that a couple of Australians had ever seen at Gilman, that sits right with me somehow.

11/13:  Sacramento, California
After waking up to a delicious apple pancake breakfast and hanging out at a neat little flea market in Berkeley, we headed towards Sacramento.  The show was at a place called Luigi's, and was totally deece.  Free pizza, free beer, great sets from local heartthrobs Bastards of Young, a road-ragged The Outsiders, and especially Dead Dads, who put on a hell of a show for only being around a few weeks.  We got pre-show drunk with a couple of real nice folks named Dennis and Erin, who provided us with a flask of whiskey, all cloak and dagger style.  We were given even more pizza after the show, as we retreated to the Bastards' estate for some much needed drunken sleep.

Secret whiskey flask
Made for what I assume was
Our best show ever

Garrett Carr:  Working hard at hardly working hardly hard... work?

11/14:  Day off in San Francisco, California
To say merely that this day entailed getting astronomically fucked up would be the understatement of the year.  We arrived in San Francisco and hung out at Baker Beach for a short while before heading to our new buddy Andy's place to meet up with Jay Nothington.  The ensuing drink-a-thon carried on all through the evening until our stammering animated corpses for bodies found the comfort of Vanzig's sleeping quarters.  Andy's band does an acoustic night at a bar called Club Deluxe, just a half block from the intersection of Haight and Ashbury, and they were kind enough to let us play a couple of drunken songs.  Among the (very) few who were in attendance to see the shit show were a nice couple of folks named Jay and Shantay, who are opening a microbrewery called Pine Street in San Francisco.  Enough can never be said about just how awesome these people are.  We were wined, dined, chatted up, and all around made incredibly happy.  The night ended in what can only be described as a fog of stumbling, drunken lunacy.  Even as I write this, I feel like I might either throw up or... worse.

This is Asian Scotch?
Doesn't that mean it's not Scotch?
I really like Scotch.

GB tantalizes all the senses from this sexy East Bay perch.

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