Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hot Mess Express Tour: Episode III

11/15: The Lament of Vanzig. San Francisco, California.
We awoke inside the smelly confines of Vanzig to a barely foggy and beautiful San Francisco morning. The communal mood of the band: hungover. We wandered the streets like too-far-gone Alzheimers sufferers until we found the nearest coffee shop. Later en route to meet our buddy Trevor in Chinatown, we noticed that Vanzig was making some awful noise whenever we braked. We took the van to a shop where we were informed that the rear brakes and differential were essentially kaput. An $800 dollar bummer. The mechanics at the shop were dicks in that totally rad way, where they give you shit about how awful your musical tastes/haircuts are, but they are actually completely reasonable. They said they would have the van ready the next morning, in time to make our show in Bakersfield. Good dudes, those dudes! Anyhow, we took the bus from the shop to an awesome, but creepily taxidermy-adorned bar called The Buckshot where we met Andy and Jay Nothington once more and began work on the sequel to last night's drunken blockbuster. Did I mention we hadn't eaten anything all day? So yeah, we got really drunk again. We stayed at new-buddy Sean's house after a night filled with the drunken revelry and whimsical romance that San Francisco seems to afford us.

Do we need rear brakes?
It seems like we don't use them.
Can't we just tape it?

11/16: Bakersfield, California
Excited to reach the outskirts of the much anticipated home town of Korn, we rolled along lengthy strips of neon lights and car parts retailers only to arrive at a venue tailored perfectly for us – an Italian restaurant named Sandrini's. Here we finally got what we deserved – zesty roma pesto pizzas and a selection of locally crafted beers. I chose the Belgian wheat (my personal favorite) that was delightfully served to us by a waiter that warmed the room with his smile. After our meal at this Sicilian palace we took to the stage where Bakersfield locals poured through the double doors and cascaded down the stairs complete with dazzling dresses and heals accompanied by slicked back hair and polo shirts. The audience sat in awe at our performance hanging on to every note; so moved and astounded by our musical prowess, most had to sit in the back in order to keep distance from what would surely result in tears. After each of our songs the audience, weak in the wrists from a near total collapse of bodily control, only gave a small smattering of applause. As we walked off stage the audience graced us with few compliments – obviously timid of our mind blowing performance that altered the very fabric of the golden paved, meth-free, and most musically inclined city in the world - Bakersfield, California.

This one time I went
to a Korn concert when young
Oh. Now I get it.

In-N-Out Burger.  Bittersweet grossness/awesomeness.

11/17: Los Angeles, California
After a comfortable night's rest at Matt's house in Bakersfield, we set our sights on the massive, sprawling urban bustle of Los Angeles. Before we left though, we needed to participate in a California rite of passage. I speak of course of In-n-Out Burger, where we weak-assed vegetarians enjoyed animal style fries and grilled cheese sandwiches while GB inhaled his cheeseburger with an efficiency that can only be aptly described as Wilford Brimley-esque. Mustaches encrusted with special sauce, we headed for Los Angeles. Our first stop was Venice beach, where exotic white guys The Outsiders were beside themselves in excitement to jump into the frigid waters of an overcast pacific shoreline. After watching the admirably encouraged but woefully misguided kiwis freeze their dongs off, we meandered about the totally unimpressive and hippy-stricken Venice boardwalk for a minute before heading to Neil from The Bombpops' house. There, we killed a quick case of PBR and three plates of delectable nachos before heading downtown to The Redwood for the show. The Redwood is a dimly lit, pirate-themed bar in the heart of LA's financial district. Pretty cool. Local dudes Benzene and Hands Like Bricks played solid sets, as did The Outsiders. Just before the show started, we went down to a CVS around the corner from the venue and bought about 3 gallons of various discount wine. By the time we had to play, I was a total class act. Our set went alright. About halfway through the set we were bought shots of Bushmills, which helped things on their way. The show ended well, I played a few acoustic songs in the van, and drank the rest of a 4 liter jug of wine before just totally blacking out on Kyle from Hands Like Bricks' couch.

Motherfuck this traffic
Let's go back to Venice beach
Sublime henna tats!

Kiwi dinguses Stu and Kitt attempt to swim back home.

11/18: San Diego, California
I'm just going to start this entry with a note of appreciation for the people at Bar Eleven, who must have realized at some point that drink tickets that only count for PBR or well cocktails are bullshit. These people gave us drink tickets that counted for absolutely anything at the bar. This is a great move on your behalf, guys. After some beers and hangs at Dylan from The Bombpop's abode and some seriously unfuckwithable burritos at La Casita's, we headed to the bar. I had a large glass of nice scotch and a massive grey goose and red bull while watching what was definitely my favorite lineup of bands on the tour thus far. The Getdown played a really awesome blend of Off With Their Heads and Propagandhi-esque punk rock that ruled hard. The Outsiders and us were greeted by friendly and energetic crowds that made for great sets. Madison Bloodbath closed out the night in style with their Dillinger Four/Jawbreaker styled punk. It was a very fun show. The next morning, we met up with the very friendly Davey Tiltwheel, who took us to a vegan mexican restaurant called Rancho's for a burrito experience that was mind-destroying. The vegan surf-n-turf burrito that Garrett, Joe and I ordered was among the best we've ever had. I've got a food boner just thinking about it.

Burrito's galore?
Awesome bands and nice liquor?
There must be a god.

Totally rad flyer for the San Diego show.

11/19: Tijuana, Mexico
Lightning tore the dark red sky of Tijuana touching down atop the pinnacles of evil cartel shanty castles that loomed over pharmaceutical shacks and donkey shows. As we crossed the border carrying only minimal gear one decrepit old Mexican with no teeth laughed maniacally while warning us of our impending doom “Eheheheehe, this city is no place for white boys like you! Eheheheheh!” Shivers ran deep in our spines as we cautiously emerged onto the streets – vicious cock fights in the middle of what once were streets, people keeping warm around flipped and burning school buses still full of children, cops huddled around and eating the entrails of the scavenged now cooked children of the said school bus. We set to walking to try and meet our promoter but were quickly recognized as the only white people in all of TJ. An abrupt frozen silence fell over the surrounding area as the dirty, eyeless, and mostly naked people sharply turned in our direction. The grunting instantly became deafening as we ran to avoid the wave of rabid Tijauanins. We darted through the needle strewn dirt streets chased by the creatures waving swords over their heads yelling “behead the gringos!” but our gear weighed us down so we had to trip Joe. Joe let out a deathly shriek as they grabbed a hold of his body, tore him open, and stuffed him full of cocaine. This only gave us a little bit of time but fortunately we had run all the way to the venue, which was a cave, so we had to do the only thing we know how to do – rock. We quickly set up our gear and began to play. The rabble was stunned by our slick riffs and impressive drum fills as they collapsed and exploded one by one. We barely escaped with our lives.

Just kidding. Tijuana was awesome and had some of the nicest and most helpful people we ever met. Both boarders took minutes to get through and we didn't have any of our gear searched. The craziest thing we did was sing karaoke at a bar and semi-accidentally eat pork rinds. $1 chile rellenos street tacos were a great compliment to all the $3 40oz mugs of Modelo. The show was in a freshly painted to be coffee shop and put on by a rad dude named Rene. Check out a band called DFMK. For any band or person out there debating the validity of the hearsay regarding Tijuana – people are idiots. Don't skip it!

bright hillside painted
with colorful sheets drying
in warm taco breeze.

Joe, GB, and Garrett stroll across the border into Mexico, rock devices in hand.

This was the opening band.  I believe they are called Radio Bastard.  Yunguns!

11/20:  Mesa, Arizona
Upon the realization that Mesa is in the mountain time zone and not the Pacific, we were roused from slumber at Dylan Bombpop's compound into a frenzy of "Oh Shit" style hustle.  We made haste across the arid landscape of eastern California and western Arizona.  Eventually arriving at The Nile Underground, we played to a thin but awesome crowd alongside rippers Come On Die Young and Bear Awesome.  We were treated exquisitely by the promoter Tim, the bands, and the surprisingly existent group of AZ Elway fans.  Among them was a strapping young lad named Chris, who allowed us lodging at his large and comfortable college party house in notoriously chlamydia-ridden Tempe.  He and his roommates had a party the night before, and the house was stocked to the ceilings with nice beer and liquor.  We got Arizona State fucked up (apparently several tiers above the meager intoxication levels of Colorado State) and did what naturally ought to have come next:  We got into the VIP section at the finish line of the Phoenix Iron Man competition.  We arrived in time for the final hour's worth of victors to arrive after a staggering 2 mile swim, 120 mile bike ride, and 27 mile run.  Professional jocks finished hours ago, what we were witnessing were the average Joes and Janes' triumph over what would certainly kill the shit out of me.  Highlights include:  Watching a woman with an artificial leg finish the race, watch another woman make it across the finish line with only 3 seconds to spare before the disqualifying 16 hour time limit, getting free beer, getting free wine, getting free chips and salsa, and getting free churros.  We returned to Chris' house and promptly and uniformly collapsed like it was the plan, all WTC7 style.

Nile basement ruled
I drank probably fifteen drinks
I'm an Iron Man!

Elway <3 sports!

 A sumptuous playground that leads to hangover city.

Pumpkin spice liqueur and whipped cream vodka.  Don't you dare hate! 
Go random lady, go!!!!

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