tom watson, tony maimone, mike watt and raul morales (left to right)
friday, may 1, 2009 - lancaster, pa
pop and hose off upstairs - find the blue brighton flannel all washed in the machine here, thank you much, brother raul! I don't put it on though, I'll wait for the gig tonight - we're heading north past the mason-dixon to play up in lancaster up in pennslyvania. brother kyle wakes and starts cooking up some breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. I get some new chonies out in the boat and notice it must've for sure rained last ngiht... the sky's still gray and there's wet on the boat and the road... hmm... our first rain, yes - but not a heavy one. hey, look at that!!! wow - I see the brightest cardinal ever - brother kyle says "vibrant" but damn if I'm too slow on the draw to snap a picture of it w/the digicamera, damn! it is in my mind though... I've said this before - along w/fireflies, crabapples, honeysuckle and other stuff I remember when I was a boy here, strange underneath feelings come up inside me, it's trippy. man, that was a beautiful bird. brother kyle's chow for us is real good and I get eiko-san on the skype to show him how it's done and prac the english-go... little maddox trips on her showing her nekos (she has three cats), him kind of having get his head around actually talking to someone in japan like he was kind of part of a tv show - I have to explain to him it's more like a telephone and not a tv show though I can totally see how he's a little confused, I see the attention on his face absorbing something like this for the first time... brother kyle's kind of tripping on it too! here we go again w/that aphorism: "the only thing new is you, finding out about it!" damn. how many times has that happened w/me?!
we take pictures and say bye to our righteous hosts, the garmin crazy-voice gps navigator guiding us pretty much north through what's left of virginia and into that thin westward arm of maryland and into southern pennsylvania - oh yeah, that name's like a town we passed on the way, spotsylvania which is a trip cuz of our old buddy spot who recorded many great albums by black flag, meat puppets, husker du, minutemen, etc... brother spot's been in austin a long time now, can't wait to see him again. oh, another thing - I wheeled the boat on a little detour - how many times have I passed this sign saying "stonewall jackson shrine" and I've always wondered about what it is and just who goes there and fuck, just whatever - anything called "shrine" for a war person, whatever side whatever - aaahhh, I wish d. boon was here so I could talk about it w/him... I wish I could talk about so many things w/him... anyway, we take a wrong turn so it turns out to be a little longer but not too much longer and it is beautiful country and we finally come on this road that goes to this old white house (I guess it's the plantation office where he died after being hit by "friendly fire" - what a weird oxymoron) and there's a gravestone but we don't get out and actually I feel like laughing about the whole thing - my guys making jokes and man, it's all so - well I guess whatever you wanna make but I'm glad whatever mystery that sign on the freeway had is now a little less in my mind as "what the fuck is that about?" but actually on another level it's still about "what the fuck is that about?" and maybe always will be cuz I can't figure our human whatever-I'm-supposed-to-get-all-figured-out and burn-my-ass-jumping-through-hoops-of-fire mind dance (or flit and prance? get serious, you god damn son of a bitch - c'mon!!!!).
the navigating machine puts in the center of this old town - there's amish round here too but not in town, they have thier own smaller villages. I've only played lancaster once before and it was nine years ago w/j mascis + the fog - same club too, the chameleon. old tin roof and like three tiers up... we here the gig's clean (sold out). it rained lots of our dive up but not too heavy and it's pretty now. we chow across the street at a pad called "senorita burrita" (sic) and I get the "fuego" but it's not too fuego if fuego means fire - maybe it's my tolerance, I don't know. it's more about the internet connect so I can get the diary up and answer kristin - she finds out what her baby is gonna be soon (boy or girl)... I wonder if I would wanna know? hmm... my songs are my aka-chans... I wonder if they're boy or girl? soundcheck w/soundman evan and monitor man bradley goes good, these cats are into what they do - young guys but focused and nice natured, arigato. we're to hit at nine bells. I go sit on the steps outside the back where no one is and just think about stuff, alone-watt-thinks-about-stuff mode, it's a good moment, reminds me of pedro. these young man come by and one stops to talk w/me - I said something silly to one I didn't mean say and he kept walking but he comes back later - in the meantime this early twenties guy matthew talks up so really interesting stuff and when his buddy eric comes back (I apologize to him right away), they both engage me is good spiel, a vairiety of stuff - eric knows about walt whitman but him and matthew didn't know about vincent van gogh writing his brother theo and telling him his "starry night" was influenced by "song of myself" which was whitman's lead-off poem in his 1855 "leaves of grass" book. matthew has much knowledge too, lots of it musical. I have great faith in the next shift after talking w/these two young men - "the next shift" meaning when it's their turn. I do not fear the younger generations but embrace them. they are a trip and a way give me focus cats my age can't, sort of like older folks do in their way... everyone's got something to teach me.
I'm ready to play now! man, that pad is backed and I don't think there's air conditioning - it's a shvitz in here. it's a blast gig though, a real good one and our lancaster soundmen brothers evan and bradley do real REAL GOOD was being the transmission for our motor - wow! tom and raul play real good - tom even moving better than last night, I saw him cringe last night - wince in paid and he had to scale down his dancing some. tonight he's all out and playing great, raul too. much respect for my men... and the lancaster gig-goers, they're righteous w/generous sharing of good feeling - thank you so much! it is tough w/the air filled w/so much moisture but at the same, I'm w/my guys and they're w/me and we pull and push together - it is a trip and my mind gets a little blown and I'm also laughing a lot. I wish my voice was stronger but I was baka and fucked that up at the beginning of the trip. hopefully, it'll come back after the three days in the studio. anyway, the gig is very emotional - I like them that way so blowing clams have maybe a better chance of happening (and do!) but maybe it makes each gig more singular which is important to me. lou does a righteous take on "black sheep" and pours all his heat in it - wow! to get to play w/lou barlow on an old minutemen song is a total mindblow for me, BIG mindblow. I see he's got words written on his arm - I thought for a moment maybe a tattoo? murph can't play "fun house" w/us cuz the stage is too small but I see him back there watching so I play much of the gig to him like he was w/us. we finish up - trippy looking up at the balcony and then balcony above that plus the cats on the deck - I'm trying to do that more and more - not be such a scardy-cat, you know? a little... much gratitude to everyone helping us do this gig.
we finish and there's the delaware connection, brother chris lausch - alright! and he's got a skateboard w/us three minutmen names on it and art designs and... it's an "econo" skateboard, ha! big resepct hugs for him. I ask lou about the writing and congratulate him on great job - I recognize the words as "black sheep" lyrics georgie wrote so long ago, damn! I tell him it's like that was his crutch (when eiko-san uses her electronic dicitionary, I call it her crutch). there's some cats here from around sixty miles away that are very cool... they got a band but they're also involved w/a label called blind pigeon records that seems to share some of the ethics that I've been trying to do for 'pert-near thirty years. brother bill is also an art teacher for high school and wants me to do some kind of hook-up live where I can talk w/his students - maybe I can get raymond on board too, that'd be neat. we'll work out something cuz I feel a real inspiration from these cats. and look who's here - it's andy wendt from constableville, ny - he was the very kind man to give the 1969 gibon eb-3 bass two days after my little gibson 1963 eb-3 and the rest of the stooges stuff was stolen in montreal last august. man, he is a great cat. w/him too is sonia who's very sweet. the andy bass is back in pedro w/a broken nut that's gotta get fixed after I got too wild w/it... I sure wish I could had it to work for andy - damn it. aaaaaarrrrgggggghhhhh. it happened right before bailing and was actually during recording - not a gig! I was doing a bass part for me and sam's cuz proj - the fist time I recorded w/the andy bass was a for a cuz song, one called "spinning basket net" (please see the "hanzo" trio of movies shintaro katsu made in the 70s) I wrote for petra to sing and play violin on after sam asked me to.
big love to andy. he invites to konk at a 'tel he's staying at we follow him north (some funny wander to keep things from being too boring but we eventually find our way) out of lancaster a little bit and damn, if he ain't got rooms for us - what a kind and generous man, truly amazing. much respect to brother andy.
Early show for us. Ate a burritto from across the street while we wait to do our check. Not a bad taste, kinda of a hippy hybrid thing with a black bean tortilla. Not so good later on though, hurled half of it, but not sure if it was nerves, to much coffee or the food. Watt tells me j. got sick sick too, so maybe the chow! Sold out sweat box tonight. Three level club, two upper levels are for the under twenty one crowd. Very cool, and there are some younger people who come to see the show. Before we play there was a kinda art walk going on. I walked around a bit, and found a watch shop that was able to fit the band on my watch and replace it. Finally some luck with errands. Great too, cuz this band was shredded, and i've been waiting for it to fall off, never to be seen again. Very neat old architecture here, so i hoof on the side streets away from the crowd. Got some cool shots to show the friend back home. People at he lancaster gig ruled.
our morning is spent with kyle and his son maddox, and we have a little time to eat some breakfast with them before we have to get on the road to lancaster, pa. the trip north has some rainy clouds and we watch the landscape change as we cross the border into pennsylvania. the chameleon club is in the arts district and it turns out that the galleries have some kind of open-night thing, so i walk around to check out some of the local creations and pick up some habanero infused pickles. in the club we get ready to play and lou comes up when we play black sheep to sing. it's great when we get the other bands to join us when we can, it makes it feel like more of a show for the people watching. dinosaur jr. kick ass tonight. after we load up we followe a couple friends of mikes to a motel outside the city to stay for the night. strange not to be sleeping on a floor, and sleep comes quickly.
saturday, may 2, 2009 - baltimore, md
pop and look from window - no andy vehicle... damn, him and sonia must've had to bail early - safe seas for them both - I think it was his pop's b-day or something... so great of him to get us that jim beam but memory's a tiny bit blury. we drive a collection of roads (sorry, blurry a little bit on this too and not such a straight shot) to make the hour and half journey to balitmore, maryland's big town and home of john waters. we stop on the way to get subway sandwiches - they got a powertrain assembly line going and are just blowing them out - sometimes these pads can be pretty slo-mo but this strip-mall one is moving. my guys are completely shocked that I'm getting tuna, onions, pickles (sour ones), olives, salt/pepper, jalapenos and mustard. we arrive early to the ottobar, maybe three pm and find choice parking right in front of the hatch.
I've played here before, nice nice cats - baby leg in fact was tending bar and let us konk at his pad the first time I was here - w/secondmen, I think? I could check the diaries but let me keep chimping here (actually I'm playing catch-up cuz of recording the third opera wailing up so much focus from me)... bossman ted shows me the side-hatch they've installed to let you up to the chillpad next door, an apartment acutally. the dinosaur guys are you and I spiel much w/them - it's our last gig togehter, damn. and j is full of interesting thoughts - well, he always has them but is putting them into many words (tom watson later comments "j was big time chatty cathy") - of course murph is cuz he's good and brother lou is conversing on good things too, all three cats talking us up and of course we're just as engaged if not more so - it's just a great thing to be w/our dinosaur brothers... and the helpermen too, brothers noel, ryan and rob - we play this ninth and final gig for their team. for chow, I just ask for some of the salmon these cats have provided on their rider (how much can get stuffed in a tour bus) and pile a tiny bit of cheddar on it - that's enough for me. we do quick sounding w/soundman brian and then I chimp diary 'till done and then konk out front in the boat.
we play at ten pm, damn - only damn cuz we're driving right after to brother tony's, 183 miles north... I never NEVER drive after gig unless I absolutely have to and hell, we got only three days for tom and raul to get their guitar and drums on thirty little tunes making up this third opera (entitled "hyphenated-man") of mine. the gig goes great, good vibe galore from the very kind bal'mor cats... lou does his best yet "black sheep" though all of his have been righteous and for "fun house" we got murph on his floor tom right behind raul but also behind me is j w/one of his stacks (the hiwatt one) on - this is not enough to put enough real brain floss on me so I flip on his plexi stack - I tried to also to power on his marshall pa too but he stepped in the way which tripped me out a little bit - like he wanted to hold back??!!!!! he played great though, wow. earlier he said he wanted to do sax - he had some sax in junior or high school so we had laura king (remember her in chapel hill? former grand national drummer for edward) search but then today he said he couldn't remember enough of what he learned on that. the thought of j mascis doing a coltrane trip on sax sure is an amazing thought for me - ain't it?
we finish our set and gotta load up quick-like, of course - the hellride awaits. I get sweaty picture w/my dinosaur brothers (thank you, tom) and then big hugs all around before we shove off. an hour into our ride, we gotta get gas - the freeway sign taunt takes us like twenty minutes away to a "sheetz" - is the name for gas pad/convenience trip or what? seems like a new chain, we're seeing more and more of them... anyway, raul gets me a tuna sandwich which ain't anywhere near the subway tip (plastic rap premade nitrate tasting) and we hear the first wipers album then silence 'till we need something to get us that last hour's w/of attention-expanding - tom says to bring on the first suburban lawns album and we're laughing in tears as we make our final road hops through the nyc metro area to the williamsburg part of brooklyn (metropolitan and union avenues) where brothery tony maimone's studio g is. he's there to meet us at 4:30 am, damn! I think he was konked w/the phone by his head. we unload our stuff to keep things safe and the boat empty, there's parking right close (lucky!) and we also got some beers so we talk at the g - everyone excited but after an hour or so, we're thinking maybe we konk so we can start getting sounds and record around noon or so. man, are we excited to be brother tony or what?! and we made it safe after the hellride - two things to be so so SO MUCH grateful for so I pause a moment to give thanks... then konk like neon forest taking a power failure.
Last gig with the dino guys tonight. It's been great to play with them, and i'm very appreciative that we were able to go along with them. Good for us to get to play for a different crowd than we normally would. Not much to do befroe the gig, so i take my time getting all the trash from the boat, and sweeping out all the crust from the floor. Also get all the shirts outta the boxes, and put em' in big trash bags to save space. While getting food at the paper moon, i find out that the charm city bakery is close by. Easy walk, but unfortunately closed by the time i get there.
On the way here we finally found the same everywhere chain music store in a town right outside of baltimore called townson. I hate having to buy from here, but i couldn't get what i needed anywhere else. Normally i'd just order from alva's in pedro and wait the week, but we got recording coming on tomorrow, and i needed this shit. Counter guys were snotty tattooed pricks, and of no help at all. Got what i needed though, and spent about a month's rent doing it... aarrgghh! Lesson learned get everything done drum wise before i leave pedro next time! Bailed two songs in to the dino set, got 184 miles to studio g, and it be good to get there tonight. Be ready and have more time to prepare for tomorrow.
Watt's ready to do the night drive, we load up quick and bail town taking the hood scenic route, thanks dr. nightmare. One more go at the tard parc demo to make sure it's melted it self fully to the mind. Then lots of early wipers on the way up. I catch a bit of sleep while the there guys keep each other awake going fully mental. One stop at sheetz, some rain, and some really bad drivers on the road. Hit n.y. about 3:30 i think. So brooklyn not to much further. Give tony a call when we're on the williamsburg bridge to let him know we are close. He's is at the studio waiting for us. A mess trying to find parking, but we get pretty close. Which is good, we have to load the gear out to a safer spot.
Tony is a great guy, very easy going and way comfortable to be around. He lets us know that we should make our selves at home since it will be for the next three day and nights. He also tells me that they spent five hours already doing drum sounds. So cool of him. We had talked a couple of days ago, and decided that i would use bits and pieces of drums he had there. Told me he knew em' well, and that i should'nt worry because they sound great. Two matching birch pearl rack and floor tom, and an big old slingerland kick drum. Have not decided on the snare yet. After Tony gives the tour of the studio it's time for some rest. We got a big day tomorrow, and i don't want to get into it totally useless. Tony shows us upstairs to his apartment that he'll let us crash in for the next few days. By the the time i hit the sack, it's past 6:30 a.m., and we got studio call at 10:00 a.m. aarrrgghhh!
raul and i go for the complimentary breakfast downstairs and we make waffles. tonight's the last gig with dinosaur, our time together has gone by really quickly. our day begins with a drive through amish country, the skies are moody and wet. it's a nice trip through this part of the country, one of the perks of tour, and we listen to the practice recording of the tunes we need to record. we begin our time at tony maimone's studio tomorrow and we have 30 songs to get down in 3 days so we focus on our the plan for awhile. when we get to the ottobar in baltimore we have some time to think more about our recording. raul and i do some diary in the backstage area and j joins us while he eats some mu-shu, we talk about amplifier's, one of my favorite things, and it's nice to hang with him for a bit. there is a big crowd and we do a good show, but it's a hurry to pack up and load out before dinosaur start to play because we need to get on the road to brooklyn. we have a few minutes to say goodbye and then we roll.
on the dark highway north i feel the fatigue, we aren't used to driving after gig's, that's one of the rules, and i feel bad that i start to dose off. at one of the stops for gas, i buy one of those wake-up things and drink it. it says "5 hours of energy", that means i'll be up till 6. it actually works, but i think it's just sugar water. we do find a second wind while listening to the suburban lawns record. when we finally pull up to studio G in brooklyn, it's 4 am and tony comes out to greet us. i'd met him before while touring with the red krayola, we played with him and fellow ubu, scott krause in their band "home & garden" a few years ago. what a blast to know that we'll be hanging with him for the next three days. we load in our gear and get the low down on how things run at the studio and then he shows us his apartment where we'll be sleeping right upstairs. we finally get to bed at 6.
wednesday, may 6, 2009 - cambridge, ma
ok, time to re-engage tour mode. the three days of third opera making are over and we gotta kick back in to the tour's second half, the part getting us back to cali. we still got a little more east to d though - four hours of interstate worth in the boston area, a college town part called cambridge, right near the charles river. the "magic book" navigator man gets a little lost in the bronx though so we have a little scenic tour of some for a bit - oh, shit, I'm ahead of myself... of course we had to clean up tony's pad (the one above studio g where we stayed) and then get the boat loaded up w/our gig we had stowed in his konk pad's hallway. I had to get all twentynine gigs of the thrird opera's drum and bass put to a firewire drive in the safe. all three of us had to hug brother tony up big time for all the hard work and love he put into the proj. anyway, the rain we had for all three days of recording but didn't notice much cuz we holed up in the studio has relented to make the ride up through western long island (other name: brooklyn/queens) to connecticut along I-95 and then north via I-84 to the mass pike and then off before the big dig in cambridge to where I've played maybe ten times or more, tt the bears is smooth going... we listen to yumi yumi's only album and stop for subway sandwiches (surprise: it's tuna for watt!)... oh, we did start the ride of w/tripod jimmie's "autumn leaves" and tom herman's "steve canyon blues" but for the first time all tour, no 'tard prac pad demos of the third opera! a parking place opens up right in front of tt's - what luck! tom holds, risking insulft from someone trying to swoop (years ago secondmen jer trebotic was 'pert-near run over by a prick who hollered "eat my balls" to jer when he asked what the fuck?) and this is a great thing. an old-time gig-goer greg coms by to tell me hi... it's his twentyfifth year of seeing watt-associated shows. much respect to him. the gigboss kevin makes everything nice for us - the folks here are always nice. eolo (hope I got the spelling right) does soundcheck w/us. he's buds w/the band going on before us, kentman who are very nice when I introduce myself and thank them for sharing the stage w/us. there's a band called am stereo set to open but I don't see them here yet. I go to the boat to finish an interview w/radio whrb kelly-jo who's very cool people and then I konk really deep.
tom gets me right before gig time, popping the hatch and shaking my leg. whoa... shake off the konk watt and get the shirts to sling after. friendly folks say hi - the gig flannel for this tour (brighton, england blue one) is still soaking wet from washing it in brother tony's studio g sink w/dishwash soap. it was stinking so bad from being in the boat for three days, fermenting (I fucking spaced and forgot to wash it when we got in from baltimore on the first day) and though it don't stink, the sleeves won't staying rolled up worth a shit, damn, they're too heavy. I even forget to put on my coltrane pin (it's been on my ronnie jacket the whole time recording since I olny wore that) 'till after first five tunes, the part where I introduce my men... man, am not too together - acutally the whole band's havin a little bit of a problem w/getting back into gig mode some but the cats we're playing for have so much spirit, we gotta try and dig down deep. I miss words and blow some clams - I tget the order of the minutemen songs all screwed up (we ain't using a set list for this tour since we pretty much got the set itself burned into our brains!), tom doing all of "black sheep" w/out his guitar on. it might be our toughtest gig of the tour but I don't think it's a disaster. I know tom feels better - whoa, what a trough of chowder he served up in the middle "little johnny jewel" but I hug him big time to let him know in the big picture, he did way ok and so did raul - just a hiccup sort of... and look at all the hard work they put into recording the third opera! lots of kindness when we get done, lots of kindness shared by the gig-goers, much respect to them. two different cats offer up konk pads - this is why I try to have everyone going through tom about that cuz I can't keep track while slinging and the worst thing in the world is accidently accepting two pads and then having to tell someone no cuz of that kind of a fuckup. well, both alex and dan ask us - I realize after settling up w/randi (great to see her again - she asks why she don't the kaulster on the phone anymore... I gotta do soemting about that) - oh, I got to rap a bunch w/michael fourneir, the cat who wrote the 33 1/3 book on the minutemen's "double nickels on the dime" - so great to see him again (had to say that cuz it's true, good man) but anyway, I ask dan to come along w/us to alex's pad cuz I guess one was closer than the other... we have a good time shoitng the spiel - alex has two bottles of wine (damn, wax on the top - what?) and some "sipping cognac, $150 a bottle" - his words but too late cuz I just threw it down. I can't remember his budy but I think he was from maine and a nice cat but I'm think he gives too much credit when I run down my 60s souteast asia analysis, d. boon and ronnie asheton were the history men - me, I'm a tripper but I'm sure I wanted to make a point about some kind of humanity and he sure was kind to hear me out. of course that suff leads to the tangent ricocheting I get going too. sure was nice of dan to be there too, he bails and the couch alex said was too short is just fine for me to start snoring from at around three bells.
damn only a two-paragraph diary entry for watt? well, I guess now it's three.
before we bail tony's place, i make one more stop at the market next door to have them make me up some juice for the road. A maimone blend, kale, ginger, lemom, one green apple and one red mac... tasty stuff. Tom and i got our parts done for the record in three days time. Tom did a great job the last day, doing all but one of the thirty tunes in a little under eight hours. He plowed thru hard on that work. Also big ups to Mr Maimone, he put in some time with us, and had such a positive energy doing it, so thanks again and again. Okay, back to gig land. Three days off, but with something to do. So first things first, tripod jimmie doing autumn leaves, which has become the tour tune, and to follow, steve canyon blues from tripod/ubu man Tom herman. I had pulled this picture of early ubu out of a book i brought on tour, and when you see what Herman looks like, you wouldn't expect these sounds to come out of that man, very trippy. On the way up we make one stop for gas. A sort of all purpose staion with a "food court" Whatever. The smell on the outside was so rank that we decided to keep moving, and cross our fingers for something more our deal.
Playing tt and the bear's tonight, i've been here once before with mazich and watt on a secondmen tour. We got the same sound dude too, eleo. Maybe two L's, not sure. Regardless he's good, and does me a big fave and helps me fix the busted washer on my hi hat stand. Gotta get some good glue to do the job right though. After a quick check i go out to make a call to kevin back home. Let's me know that everything is going good back in pedro. He's very psyched on the studio too. He got the recording done for the new house band, pressing charges, and three of the reactionaries tribute tunes recorded. While i was talking, i was walking not really paying attention to just how far i was going... took me a about a half hour to get back to the club. Also talked with paloma, she's way excited on the new bass she's got, and the new yoga classes going on. I think when i get back, drummer jerico will move in to the house, so they'll be able to do a more consistant prac. She just got a new drum kit, but has nowhere to set it up and play it yet.
Whew! playing is tough going. After only three days of not playing these tunes, i can feel the early rust stages. Movable, but not with the quickness just three days prior. Crowd is very understanding though, and let's us know we did an okay job for them. After the gig i kinda fucked up and excepted a spot to stay after watt had talked to a gig goer named dan. I talked to guy named alex, and right after i tell him he goes out to get some wine and three falaffel wraps for the band. Oh man, when he gets back though i explain the fucked situation to him, he's way understanding, and so is dan. He ends up going with us to hang at alex's pad just a few blocks away. Man, i was beat. I sometimes wonder how mike does it. I know back at home he sleeps early, but on tour he becomes nocturnal, and can keep it going late sometimes. I had a little bit of wine. But was so tired from the playing and gear schlep i found the bed quick and crashed. Maybe the long walk had something to do with it.
we head out to boston at noon, packing and saying goodbye to tony is a little time consuming because we've been out of practice for a few days while we were recording. we got most of the recording done and i feel pretty good about it. it was alot to complete in a little time and the focus was getting getting good takes, not really developing parts. my guitar is all just learning parts anyway, not adding. so, i got most if it done in a few hours. our time in boston is fine, but i feel really bad about my playing and it bums me out. i find myself apologizing to everyone afterwards and that makes me feel even worse somehow. i kind of go into a a shame spiral. though, i know that i am far harder on me than anyone else would be (i hope.)
raul and i sleep together again, but this time i have the wall side and add bruises to my shins trying to get to thee bathroom in the dark. by the way, this is just the important stuff that i'm writing about, there's a whole bunch of other mundane bits to our day that i'm leaving out.
thursday, may 7, 2009 - hoboken, nj
pop w/the sun at alex's - hey, that couch was long enough... no prob - I had good konk if even for short. we get to meet alex's roomie kale, I think they've been buddies since they were like in second grade and she's tripping on the weird so cal sailors but very kind and alert - alex is kind of hefting some weight of hangover... sorry, brother. he does give me the same anchor I got after a tt the bear's gig in 1998, someone just handing it to me when I walked out the hatch after the final tour of my first opera ("contemplating the engine room") and that's a trip. I actually had lost that somehow after the first dinosaur reunion gig I saw, it was in london back in 2005... I found one on the internet kind of like it but this is the same baby, damn! some english-go prac w/eiko-san and the skype before shoving off westward, whence we came. big thank yous to alex.
while doing skype-spiel, raul had gotten me a egg sandwich where there was coff I guess close by but damn, was that tiny or what? however, no subway today. the sun's out but gray on the way, fog rolling even over the woods we pass on the mass pike (richie blackmoore freeway), then I-84 and through hartfored before hitting the coast road at new haven - where kira was born in 1961 and returned to for an internship for a couple years at yale after graduating from ucla in 1985 (I'm so very proud of her and like to let folks know a lady could get an engineer b.s. while touring full time w/black flag) - around that time is when we started our two-bass-only band dos also. I play some trippy roky erickson king koffee flow me, it kind of drives tom and raul insane a little, about two hours of some trippy "recording session" or whatever - it was good brain floss I think and anyway, I just love love love roky erickson, he's the best. there's "the holiday inn 1987 sessions" too, they help the time in the plug nyc traff go by a little less painful though I have to say we lucked out from the nightmare I have experience trying to get across the bronx to the west side highway. a little rain starts up as we take the lincoln tunnel under the hudson river to new jersey and as we get into downtown hoboken not too far from the tunnel's exit, wham a huge cloudburst open up and I mean it's feirce - holy moses! I luckily find a parking spot in the angled spaces in front of maxwell's - a pad I've played since the old days, since yo le tango frontman ira was gigboss here! same nightmare w/parking but like I said, I lucked out. my men go into the pad while I hoof like five blocks south to get two slices of pizza at benny tudino's - love it!!! and the slices are huge, I ain't kidding you, rally huge. look:
I did get soaked though and it's humid, you know? I take this fucking wet socks off - I'm going like I used to before that sickness that 'pert-near killed me in 2000, what I got into when I moved from viriginia to cali: no socks! yeah, freedom - am digging it. the pizza too, man, what a crust - what a fucking crust... lovin' it big time! the rain breaks somehow, just shuts off which is good so we can load in w/out a fucking gear-soak. soundman carson does a soundcheck while steve shelley and sandy yang watch (they just got here). yeah, that steve shelley - the righteous stickman for the sonic youths and he's also a part owner of this maxwell's pad - ain't that a trip! sandy yang is an incredible person too and we do blue oyster cult's "the red and the black" for them. I tell brother of my third opera content and recording strategy - he just recorded new sonic youths matador (yalbum not too far away in their new studio (he says lee likes to call it "echo canyon west") but I can't hear it yet cuz labele
ah, no more geffen!) won't spring a leak. I then do phoner spiel w/utah writer linda and then head for the boat to konk - I konk really deep and hard. for some reason I pop (I got the mask on and the ronnie coat off) and w/in seconds, the leash goes off... it's thurst! what a trip. he's in him and kim's nyc apartment - one they're never at cuz of the pad in west mass but he said he saw I was playing my third opera in the village voice. I hip him to the fact we recorded the guitar and drumsa few days ago w/tony maimone but we're not playing it at the gig... he wants to come anyway and drives over... in a few minutes he's pounding on the boat hatch so we go into maxwell's and shovel a salad he picks out - one w/a lot of chickpeas... this cat comes up behind me and thurst don't recognize him but I do... it's dezo! now thurst does! dezo now plays in a robo and jerry w/him version of the misfits (trio) and lives out here w/his wife in brooklyn. dezo was my konk dude when I first went to europe w/the 1983 black flag/minutemen tour but I thin I first met him in 1979. he's a great cat. he said his ma is continuing on w/the music his pop ozzie cadena was so happening w/and man, do I miss - he was a great man. a big reason I think dezo is so happening. well, mad-happy finishes up - looks like mike's lady's very well underway w/a new shipmate coming aboard, maybe seven or eight months pregnant?! much respect.
I bring the dan bass and the shirt sack up and get out of the rain soaked ronnie jacket and into the brighton blue flannel I stunk up last night and forget to sinkwash - fucking baka watt. good crowd, lots of spirit - we're hoping to do better than last night ourselves w/playing better. I think we do - I forget some words some times and hit some clams but I'm more together and the fact I can get behind raul is kind of neat too - all three of us can be right there - especially when it's tom's turn to sing. the monitors ain't even there for me, shit but I ain't gonna moan about it - feels like they got air conditioning blowing now actually on the stage. usually this room w/folks in it could be good for losing at least thirteen pounds from swelter. it's really a fun gig for us three, I am so proud of my men. a couple of times there's some dynamics things and of course like a baka, a space on some words or clam some notes but lots of the gig is maybe kind of tight and like I siad, it was some happening fun. I think the rustiness we had the cambridge gig is now gone. oh yeah, I hit the 'd' string tuning peg on my cabe and it was flat for a couple of minutemen tunes, whoops. I did kind of help raul w/drums on the "little johnny jewel" encore, just slapping at his cymbals and drums from behind him - hell, once near the top of the set I tried some hair yanks but couldn't reach... right behind him though I held back but there it was very doable.
I sling many shirts and talk w/many kind folks. r. stevie moore's here - whoa! he tells me "my daddy's a bass player" - damn right, a great one! me and stevie collaborated on a tune called "sackful" and then I just gave him a bass line for chords he flowed me. can't wait to hear what he did w/that. this photographer lady asks me if I liked t-rex (first concert I ever saw!) and if I did, maybe I'd like to write this man and gives me a card w/an email address of tony visconti - whoa! tom's girl caroline came from so cal so thurst is gonna take them closer to brooklyn where they're staying. hey, there's danny for new jersey! great... and timmy again - he was at the baltimore gig... and I meet a cat named ryan who saw the last ever gig I did w/ronnie, in ljubliana (slovenia captial). we load the boat - staten island john tries to help but then tell his he hurt his neck bad - there's even gonna have to be surgery... damn. staten island john is a good man. so is fred - damn, no beard on him! he tells me tonight is his eightyth watt trip he's seen... big BIG respects for him doing something like, what a brother! another sonic youth associate - knobman john agnello (also has worked much w/j mascis) is here and I probe about new album listens but it's a friendly no-go... hell, actually it's so great to see him again after so many years - yes, we agree it's been many years and that is just too damn long... it is! jimbo and cameron came - and they brought their little girl lili-kate, it's her first rock gig ever! first one too for her buddy eva came w/her pop. we're konking at jimbo's but this pad is being bailed on so only me in raul will be there. jimbo's waiting for us as we use the george washington brdige to make our way up to 218th street and seaman (love that address). man, it was hell w/parking but then I found this lot that would take the boat - twenty bucks for overnight but at least she's safe. it's a shlep to jimbo's and yes "our limbs became bloody stumps" and of course no lager (one bottle of harsh ale rationed) but I am most grateful forever for jimbo and his infinite generosity. the pad is pretty bare - no curtains near the couch where I'm planting myself so I apply the mask and konk quick.
Rain came back again. The three days we spent with Tony recording it poured in brooklyn. It decided to let up the day we had our drive up north, and now it's back with us. Once we got to hoboken it started to really come down. Lucky for us Maxwell's is open early, so we have a place to go. Tom's craving pizza, and decides to get soaked gettin' it. Thanks Tom for bringing me a slice back. Also got a call back from home. Paloma tells me that an old pedro staple called union war surplus is closing. Very lame, but she's gonna go there and called to see if i need anything before they're gone. Very sweet of her, she gave me a call back awhile later to let me she picked me up a couple of shirts.
Sound check goes quick, playing one tune for Sandy yang and Mr. Shelly, they're watching from the back of the club. Once that's done and i move the drums back to make room for the openers, i take a walk down to the hudson river about three blocks away. Hoboken is maybe two miles big, and i think i saw most of the city. Even walked up to Stevens to check out the campus... awesome views of Manhatten from up there. Back at the club, Tom, along with sandy and steve have just finished dinner. I join em late and order a tuna steak with some greens, Maxwell's has some good chow. And very cool getting to talk with steve and sandy a bit. Also got to talk a bit with John from staten island, man haven't seen him in a long while. He brought some movies to flow for me and Tom to watch on tour. Not really time for that stuff, but i do take the new spike lee flick, and Tom gets the wrestler. Thanks so much John, If we get the chance, we'll check em out, and if you shoot me a mail with your address, i promise i'll send them back k.
One opening band tonight is mad happy from n.y. , but now living in pensacola fl. After the gig we find that we have some folks in common down south. Very trippy band, well not band, more computer and a pregnant wife and husband duet... or three piece depending on how you look at it. Watt had told me earlier that they were glam... guess they've changed the sound a bit. Good crowd tonight at maxwell's, very positive people coming to these gigs. I was into the set, and i thought the guys played great, lots of energy all around. At one point we were so close together we maybe took up about five feet of the stage, with both watson ans watt leaning there heads in on my shoulders. I know, sounds very hetero right. After multiple trips to the van to get shirts and loading the gear, i got a chance to say hi to both dez and thurston. Dez let me know that the set was great, but that we played little johnny jewel a bit fast, do better next time dez. Wow, almost forgot to mention that tom's girl showed up too. Great to see caroline, and i know that Tom is psyched.
After the gig, me and watt make the drive to jimbo's place way up there in manhatten. On the way he hopped outta the van to get some shots of the city at night. After that, fun is over. Once there, it's a total nightmare to find parking, auctually impossible. First we spend twenty minutes doing circles, then say fuck it and go a few blocks down. Then we wait for a transit worker to leave her spot, which takes about another fifteen. She's very bust talking and snacking, but finally leaves. Here's were it gets even shittier. We get all our shit out the boat, secure everything, and double check right. At the top of the block there's a fuckin' sign telling us we can't stay parked there... yep, eevrything back in the boat. After one denial from a garage with a kinda tripper at the staion, we finally find a place that can fit the boat. By now it's already three in the morning. The one positive thing about this whole deal was that it didn't start raining until we reached jimbo's front door. I crashed pretty soon after, long day.
our trip to hoboken brings the anticipation of seeing caroline. she flew into n.y. last night, and she'll meet us at maxwell's in n.j. we get on the road and as we enter manhattan we hit a bit of rain, it only gets worse once we get to hoboken. the minute we get to maxwell's it starts to pour, so we wait inside till we have the chance to load. i get a text from steve s. and he and sandy come to the bar early to hang out with me. it's great to see them and then we do sound check and then get some food before the gig. when the sun goes down caroline shows up, she had an opening to go to in manhattan first. it's great to see her, there isn't too much time to hang before we go on, but i have another energy while i play because i know she's there. the shows is fun, i think we do good. i'm glad because we have a lot of friends there watching. dez is there and i meet his wife, perla for the first time. i show dez my jacket, which i think was his and he had left at my house 15 years ago. at the end of the night caroline and sadny and i hitch a ride with thurston back into manhattan where caroline and i grab a car to brooklyn to stay at mindy and john's place. it's all a bit of a process, but it's so nice to end up with caroline and we fall asleep together sometime around 2.
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