Friday, July 27, 2012

Canada/West Coaster: Part II

7/23: Seattle
After a footed van chase down to the US customs checkpoint due to a hold up of sweet booze dealz at the duty free shop we had arrived back in the land of fountain soda and cheap beer. With freedom ringing in our ears we celebrated our mother land with a Seattle $8.99 all-you-can eat vegan buffet at Araya’s Place. After packing our gullets full of creamy peanut butter sauce drowned pad thai and green curry saturated tofu we thanked our founding fathers and God even though we were unable to pray over a forty-five degree angle. We laid down in a park on the other side of the water providing a beautiful panoramic view of the industrious shores of the city.
Heading over to El Corozon, a rad all-ages club complete with a dirt turkey infested alley and piss soaked carpeted floors, we were greeted by some amazingly helpful and friendly stage and sound folk.  We were also introduced to a heavy handed bartender who felt the need to wish us luck by mixing us cocktail glasses of whiskey. With encouragement and gifts from our new found friends Elway took the stage with mediocrely executed licks and banter equivalent to a high school mall hang after getting your older brother to buy you a 6 pack of mike’s hard cranberry. Dopamines did okay too. TBR followed with clever techniques to rouse audience participation that erupted in pogoing circle pits and projectile beers.
And the make up for 3 days of not drinking $6.50 Molson Canadian cans continued. We were bought beverages from old and new pal’s, including Toby Jeg’s brother who eerily sounds just like him, and Erin and her boyfriend celebrating 11 years with excessively loud eighth notes and conversations carrying globs of spit infused booze. A $100 torso sized bottle of Jamison entered the scene introduced by the Dopamines complete in silver tilting receptacle that served directly into our mouths.
I apparently stole some girl’s cigarette (sorry whoever you were) and continued to dart back and forth yelling over stranger’s conversations as if I were a 6 year old on Christmas morning. I also ended up sitting with a woman who explained that my misunderstood fascination with bodies of water had to do with detachment issues from my father – a conversation that I had almost entirely no part in besides head nods and maybe a few tears. The night ended crashing into the bench seat of the van and waking up to a 7am sun in the shittiest Tacoma motel parking lot.

7/24: Portland
Our day in Portland started off right with some pretty epic vegan BBQ that our buddy Ben hooked up.  We then sped our way over to the Backspace, passing Crome-bagged, sideways haircut bo-bos along the way.  Load-in, coffee, and beer happened before we found The Dopamines geeking out at this rad arcade bar called Ground Kontrol.  Don’t judge the place by the unforgiving use of the ‘K’ – the place had mad pinball machines (including a Will Wheaton signed SNG) and a timed NES emulator machine.  I (Brian) used my 90s talent to immediately destroy Mario 3, a feat that is apparently crazier the younger you get.  I was also able to get TKOed by Mike Tyson in the second round after remembering the password (007-373-5963).
Back at the venue we watched some rad openers and played to a group of people working on their bored expressions.  We covered Minor Threat’s “Straight Edge.”  The Dopamines changed their name to The Vegan Cheesesteaks for the evening and TBR followed with clever techniques to rouse audience participation that erupted in pogoing circle pits and projectile beers. Courtesy vegan sandwiches from the backspace were had, more arcadage, and then we proceeded to get the fuck out of Oregon. 

7/25:  San Francisco
We left Portland right after the show under the assumption that our overnight drive wouldn’t be a big deal and that at a lean-compared-to-Fort-Collins-to-Edmonton 650 miles, we would be able to knock it out without issue.  Although our GPS is a lying British accent-having piece of shit that insisted spuriously that it would take us 10 hours (it took 12), we arrived shortly after noon in beautiful San Francisco.  The first stop was at Golden Era, which is among the greatest Vegan Chinese restaurants that exist in this fading republic.  Check it out and get the sweet and sour chik’n.  We followed up lunch with a stroll down Baker Beach for the ultimate in dichotomous vistas.  You really get a sense of the big picture of life when your view of the magnificence of the Golden Gate bridge and the hills of Marin is punctuated by an old creepy dude’s dilapidated nutsack draped down from between his sun-crimsoned thighs like a gunny sack full of ham cubes.  Breathtaking.
Our next stop was the Fat Wreck warehouse/record store, where Teenage Bottlerocket was to do an in-store record signing thing with some exclusive colored vinyl.  We showed up right when we were expecting that it’d start to the news that both Bottlerocket and Dopamines had stopped in the night and would be various degrees of late, citing fatigue and weakness of character respectively as an excuse.  No matter, we drank a bunch of beers and thumbed through the collection of rad shit that Fat has sitting around.  Some notable Elway blog alumni showed up too, which was rad!  Dennis and Erin, our buddies mentioned in a previous blog about Sacramento, showed up to hang with a baking sheet packed full of mini red velvet cupcakes with icing pentagrams on them and a clutch bottle of Maker’s Mark.  Best people ever.
I can remember being a young idiot listening to NOFX records and thinking that it’d be amazing to play Bottom of the Hill someday.  Now that I’m an old idiot, I am pleased as piss to report that actually playing there was just as rad as my constantly-masturbating former self imagined.  Bottlerocket obviously has a storied history of killing it in San Francisco, because the venue was packed.  This show was far and away the best show of the tour so far and the best show on the West Coast.  Sing alongs, high fives, and a good old fashioned circle pit!  Dopamines (sincerely) played a great set and got people stoked.  Just about every friend we’ve ever made in the bay area was in attendance and we made a couple of new buddies as well.  Special thanks to Ramona, Skyler and all of the rad people from the Bottom of the Hill.  We retired to super bro Jay’s abode for nightcaps, illicit substances and sleep.

The Dopamines bought this enormous pig at the Canadian border.
Joe has nicer legs than your girlfriend.  Sorry, but he does.



Dude bought an Elway shirt and immediately cut off the sleeves.  Goofball.

When not doing his best Kid Rock impersonation, Ben serves rad Vegan BBQ in Portland.

At the Fat Wreck Record Store in SF.

Bottom of the Hill show.

Clutch Christian rock band-style photo

More from SF.

Success Brian.  Reference:

Bad Luck Tim.  Reference:

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