Friday, December 2, 2011

The Hot Mess Express Tour: Part IV (The Voyage Home)

11/21:  El Paso, Texas.
Our tummies rumbling across the dry and desolate vistas of the southwestern borderlands, we made our first stop in Texas a Souper Salad in suburban El Paso.  Our journey through Texas for the next 5 days would mean nothing if it wasn't kickstarted by a buffet of some sort.  What followed was one of what would be several episodes of crippling -itis that would pepper our evenings here in the lone star state.  Yuckers.  We showed up to Lip's Lounge, which is a gay bar, methinks.  We played with a hardcore band that was pretty legit, barring the inarticulate Jesus rant near the end of the set.  A singer-songwriter guy played an interesting couple of songs as GB and Joe went out to the van to learn "Wolf Shirt" for our set.  Our set was short and fun, and I went on probably too many rants about religion and gender identity, but such was the nature of the night.  A few people showed up who were already into us, which was a nice surprise.  The bulk of the audience was younger kids stoked on the music.  All in all, a pretty cool night.  Kudos to Victor for setting everything up!  We split after the show on an overnight gallivant to Austin, where a veritable bounty of amazing vegan food awaited.

Souper Salad sesh
Christian hardcore bands are lame
Sorry but it's true

Garrett, what are your thoughts on straight-edge, Christian hardcore?

11/22:  Austin, Texas.
We haven't been to Austin in over 2 years.  The overnight commute, rest stop sleep-a-thon, and early morning approach drive were all spent anxious in antici......pation for Veggie Heaven, which was naturally our first stop.  Believe me when I say this place is delicious as all hell.  After stuffing our faces with mountainous piles of vegan greatness, we headed for the local Hilton hotel, where we pretended to be the kind of band that could stay at The Hilton in order to con our way into a much needed pool/spa/sauna/shower sesh.  We rocked that shit like 1%-ers and headed to Beerland for the show.  We were playing with our good friends in The Anchor, a band called Dahling that was super rad power-pop/punk, and a band from Ft. Worth called Special Guest.  The show was sparsely attended, but we played well, had fun and met a bunch of cool ass kids.  Seems like a success to me.

Heed my words, vegans
Go to veggie heaven.  Get
Protein 2000

Garrett and his one true love: Protein 2000!

GB is straight up occupying the Hilton's rooftop pool.

11/23:  San Antonio, Texas
House party!  YES!  We showed up to the small house in some very random (and apparently sketchy?) part of San Antonio just in time to realize that we totally fucked up and didn't grab beer first.  Upon returning with some ungodly amount of high life, we started drinking and I think we played a show.  I remember the microphone shocking the living shit out of me every time I'd touch it.  We played in a room packed with kids alongside some pretty rad local bands.  Well done, San Antonio!

Worst blog entry yet
Drank too much, don't remember
Hence the shittiness

Photo by Lee Caldera.

This might look like a boring picture to you, but I am WAY fucking proud of that parallel park job!

It sounds like a terrible idea doesn't it?  Nobody wants to go see some shitty punk show in a living room after they're stuffed full of greasy Thanksgiving fare.  "This show is gonna be a dooooooownnner," we thought as we used Garrett's food stamps to buy a sumptuous feast of various add-water dishes.  We made haste up the surprisingly traffic-free I-35 to Arlington.  Once we arrived at the house we wasted no time and immediately began preparing what was sure to be a gargantuan colossus of a shitty Thanksgiving dinner.  It turns out the day was full of pleasant surprises, though, as the dinner turned out pretty fucking good and the show turned out even better.  We didn't get started until about 11pm, but the show was packed and we had a god damned blast.  We found out about 10 minutes before the first band was to go on that we didn't have the proper cables to run a mic into the PA, but luckily there was an ex U-haul wiring mechanic at the show who spliced together two other random cables to make a ghetto-fabulous makeshift mic cable.  This fucker totally saved the day!  We made good friends with Avery, who put on the show for us.  Thanks dude!  We spent the next day watching Wonder Years episodes, making spraypainted Elway shirts to replace our completely depleted t-shirt supply, and dining on a Texas-sized vegan bounty at a punksgiving party.  A fun couple of days, indeed!

Thanksgiving itis
Makes for a sluggish house show
There's no room for beer!

Tofurky, cranberry sauce, stuffing, biscuits, potatoes, veggies, Lone Star.  Perfection

Spraypaint thriftshore shirts: DIY til we die!  Or until we get more shirts!

By far the coolest ghetto-rigging I've ever been privy to see.  1 xlr cable, 1 quarter inch, 1 solution.

11/26: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I am in no way exaggerating when I say it's quite possible I may have cut several years off of my life in the 2 days we spent in Oklahoma City.  We left Arlington early, anxious to hang out with our super-buddies in Red City Radio.  We arrived at The Hi Lo Club (which, by the way, may just be the best bar in the country) and promptly started drinking hard.  By the time we played (11:00pm or so) all of us were something in the neighborhood of too drunk to be left alone in a room with hard surfaces.  The show must go on, though, and on it went!  OKC is without fail one of the best places to play in the country.  These motherfuckers get rowdy.  We ended our set in traditional Oklahoma fashion, covered in beer and sweat, and needing another shot of peppermint schnapps.  We spent the next day hanging out with notorious professional drunk Garrett Dale of Red City Radio and coupling $7 all you can drink draft beer with various illicit substances.

Two Cow Garage sings
About how lame OKC is
Seems like they are that

Look, we were drunk, but it is UNTHINKABLE to imagine how the even-more-drunk Glenna Pendley managed to take this picture without falling the fuck over!

11/28:  Santa Fe, New Mexico
En route to what is without argument the Mecca of Mexican food, we met up alongside the I-40 with Ryan Weber from Spanish Gamble, who was traveling the opposite way.  We decided to celebrate the random coincidence of our paths crossing by enjoying a couple delicious cans of Fort Collins' own Fat Tire, when all the sudden fucking Serpico (actually just some dickhead cop) comes rolling up to crash the party.  He administers roadside sobriety tests, gives us shit about how he could totally just take us all in RIGHT NOW, and repeatedly insists that we take our hands out of our pockets because he "doesn't trust any of us."  Luckily enough, we all got out without any tickets or charges, but man what a prick!  Not the greatest start to this entry, but the mood that we were in after this encounter with New Mexico's finest contrasted with the mood we were in after we ate the world's greatest burrito at Horseman's Haven in Santa Fe is a perfect testament to the healing power of burritos!  If you fancy yourself a burrito enthusiast, or even an armchair burrito enthusiast, you simply must eat at Horseman's Haven.  The green chili is good enough to solve the euro crisis, mend broken marriages, and bring back Arrested Development all in a single bite!  Oh!  We also played a show and hung out with our good buddies from As In We.  It was pretty good night.  We fell asleep with fiery capsaicin churning in our stomachs and an eagerness to traverse Raton pass back into Colorado the next morning.

Level 2 green chili
Is hot enough to melt tongues
Don't try level 5

Is the reason you can't really see what's going on here the flash reflecting off the grease or is it the divine light the burrito itself exudes?  I think you know the answer.

12/1:  Denver, Colorado
Our homecoming show.  The day off we had before the show ended in a spectacular snowstorm that left 6 or 7 inches on the ground in Fort Collins.  It was the perfect reminder of all that we had missed while we were out on the road.  The show was at 3 Kings Tavern, which is without a doubt the best venue in Denver, and perhaps in the state of Colorado.  We played with Arliss Nancy and Sour Boy, Bitter Girl: two bands with which we share a practice space and an entire mutual network of friends, most of whom came out the show.  It was one hell of a drunken, sentimental evening.  Great sets, great friends!  It felt truly great to come home to  such an amazing show!  Thanks to everyone who made the icy voyage!

I can't believe it
We wrote a dumb haiku for
Every fucking show!

I'll make this quick, because I am about to go get waaaaaaay drunk.  We met so many amazing people, played with so many amazing bands, and saw so many amazing places the past 5 weeks.  We just want to sincerely thank everyone who had even the smallest part of The Hot Mess Express!  Let's do it again soon!