Monday, September 11, 2006

A rather belated post dealing with all manner of Birdmonstery goodness; from Kirk Gibson to Canada and ports inbetween

So. Zach's sidekick, the portable internet, palm
sized Ms. Pacman portal from which I usually send
the blog has been having...issues. Like the lack of a
working "j" or "t," for example. Or the fact that
when you press the enter button it starts ringing,
lighting up in perplexing, epileptic ways, then spits
out a stream of jibberish where the line break
should be. Rather infuriating stuff, honestly. That,
coupled with the fact Dave's sidekick has actually
been installed inside his brain has prevented me
from posting recently. However: here I am. How
you may ask? Dave's brains are splattered all over
the ceiling, Pulp Fiction style. It was an accident. I

Much has happened beyond that oopsies homicide.
Hands have been run over, girlfriends have visited,
Canada has filled our bellies with blueberry crepes.
In fact, why am I dilly dallying? Let's go state by
state, leaving out the sometimes drab personal
show revues and focusing only on the weird, the
tragic, and the weirdly tragic. And whatever other
crap I feel like yammering about. As usual.

North Carolina.
Remember that year the Dodgers won the World
Series? It was when they had that unfortunately
named pitcher, Orel Hurschieser, whose moniker is
trumped by only a select few sporting figures,
most namely Dick Butkis, whose name alone
warranted the immense meanness he emmanated
at all times. What I remember was Kirk Gibson:
gimpy, improbable, totally clutch, coming up at the
bottom of some ninth inning, hitting a game winning
homerun, and struggling around the bases like a
geriatric weekend softballer. Well, the Sammies
have their own Kirk Gibson. His name is Bobby

See, their original guitar player was AWOL, sick,
totally unable to complete their tour past their
hometown of Charlotte. This information came in
tandem with the unfortunate accident of their
bass player's hand getting run over. By a car.
Great night for them, right? Put the whole Patrick
Stewart debacle in perspective. That perspective:
it was still horrendous, but at least we're in it
together, without throbbing personal injuries.

Enter their buddy, off-again-on-again tour
manager, grad school TA Bobby Freedom. Rather
than touring as a three-piece, Bobby learned songs
in the car, note for note, with impressive
precocious skill, and finished out the tour. I had to
give him a shout-out for that. In fact, I did every
night. By the end, he was dangerously close to
headbutting me. I can be annoyingly repetitive.
Annoyingly. Repetitive.

Washington DC.
By far the sweatiest show thus far. I left a
small, fetid puddle onstage. But one of, if not the
favorite show since we were home. DC is a weird
place: it's not really a state, it's filled with
enormous and completely useless patriotic pap, it's
where all my taxes go to die, and yet, it's always
been home to really good music and great venues. I
always find that odd. I want to go back very soon
and I will forever have happy DC memories. I may
even start smiling at C-SPAN, which is the
televised equivalent of a meat thermometer

Also, I finished Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on
the way there, winner of the Best Book I Can't
Believe I Hadn't Read By Now Award. Thanks to
the esteemed Gasoline Hobo for loaning me his
copy, which I shall return with a couple creased
pages and a big fat smile.

Oh, and Steve Irwin died that day. We dedicated
Resurrection Song to him. By the way: most
hardcore death ever. Stingray to the heart? I defy
you to pick a more manly way to go out. Brain
failure after a headbutt contest? Not even close.
At any rate, rest in peace Croc Hunter. You were
good-crazy, lovable, ridiculous, and too too young.

New York. New Jersey.
We next moseyed to Jersey, home of a really
menacing freeway, the Boss, and the butt of
many, many unfair jokes. It was our first evening
with Catfish Haven and Someone Still Loves You
Boris Yeltsin, who shall henceforth be abbreviated
in a variety of ways I find amusing. Both are
thoroughly pleasant, fairly soft-spoken, easy to
deal with bunches of gentlemen. Catfish is mostly
bearded, bespectacled, and have a moritorium on
multiple shirts. I've seen them in a grand total of
one each. If I tried this, the van would smell
vaguely of corpses. They play quality, American
rock and roll and sound like no one else I've ever
heard. Boris and Natasha are a quintet of less hairy
men with lots of harmonizing, dynamic changes,
and more clothing. They were once named Satan's

And you think I'm joking.

Our New York shows were, yet again, a blast. Our
girlfriends were in town, which was fantastic on
about seven million levels, and New Yorkers, yet
again, rocked out fitfully, sang along, and fed us
cat-sized sandwiches that led to the innevitable
meat coma. Pete's Mom brought us some movies
for the backseat and Pete's Dad slapped me,
twice, for no discernable reason. I'm pleased to
note Tango and Cash is now among our library,
which is one of the great goodbad movies of all
time. Gymkata and Demolition Man: shaking in
their boots.

The Mercury Lounge, by the way, is a fantastic
venue. Great stage, nice sound, free drinks out the
wazoo. I have nothing bad to say about it. Very
much a rock and roll club, without frills, with
money spent on all the right things. I mention this
because I'm about to heap copious quantities of
praise on the Union Hall and don't want it to get
jealous. I still love you, honey. Put the corkscrew

If you live in Brooklyn, go to Union Hall. In fact, if
you live within six hundred miles, you owe it to
yourself. It's got a formidable library, comfy
couches, and gigantic boche ball courts. That's
right: plural boche ball courts. It's like finding out
you have a sophisticated Italian gentleman for an
uncle who has you over and makes you pay for
drinks and food but you don't care because his
house is way nicer than yours. You probably steal
some of his silverware, just for the hell of it
though. That'll teach him.

After bidding adieu to NYC, feeling pleasant but
admittedly hung-over, we trundled off to
Massachussets, land of drunken way-too-serious
baseball fans, roughly nine hundred thousand
colleges, and the Middle East, a labrinthine venue
we loved, beyond the horrific service while we ate.
Our waitress gets an F plus. I'm just glad there
was no mucus in my humus.

We weren't in Boston for long though. Long enough
to come up with another awesome side project,
Lord Bicep and the Distended Estomagos, but not
long enough to do much more than live in the
venue, nurse that aforementioned hangover, park
at a Masonic Lodge, see a few old faces (one who
came out of faaaaar left field, is studying biology,
and made me feel like a genius for remembering his
name after seven years), and roll out of town to
some really soft beds and a really bad Jet Li
movie. But damn, we enjoyed ourselves. Except
during Unleashed, which just made us sad.

French! Corn! Politeness! Kilometers! A far superior
national anthem!

We're here now, actually, somewhere between
Montreal (home of bowel-clenchingly horrific
Chinese food) and Toronto (home of...well, I've
never been. The Blue Jays are from there though).
Yesterday was Montreal, after a lengthy but
successful stop at the border. We had to decline
payment for tonight's Toronto show since we
were sans proper paperwork, but a free show in
Canada is much better than a free night watching
bad television in Rochester. After a long series of
rowdy and sold-out east coast shows, we were
due for a weird, sparsely attended show in a
dungeon in a foreign country, right? I think so.
Last night's venue was somewhat like a stone
tube. I couldn't really stand up straight onstage
without a high chance of a self-inflicted
concussion and, well, I'm 5'7". In other words, I
hope the National never plays there. They'll end up
bruised and loopy, with lots of perplexing coinage.

But, hey Canada: you're pretty fantastic. We left
some laundry in our hotel and the desk lady hunted
us down at breakfast to give it back. Quebec...ers
have great accents. Your countryside is gorgeous.
Just close down that restaurant we ate at last
night. "Bog Goop" is not an acceptible sauce.


Anonymous said...

Greating fucking you, babe
;P ~~~<======8

Sindre Pedersen Bjørdal said...

If I was Canada I'd let you in.

miss mctitit said...

Long live Lord Bicep and the Distended Estomagos!