1/16 – chicago

i realized i forgot a bunch of shit from cleveland. rather than explain it to you, i’ll post some supplemental pictures and pretend youre smart enough to figure out the rest.










okay, enough of whatever the fuck was going on there.

we left cleveland. on the way out there were multiple mentions of how we wished we weren’t leaving cleveland which were immediately engaged in combat by common sense.

“wait, cleveland fucking sucks. that town is horrible.”

we went to a starbucks off the highway. obviously there was a mutant working there. she was strange. i bought tea. she was strange. who gives a shit. another pimply dipshit in another giant pimple off the side of the road. you get the idea yet? at least when you tour the south there are crazy drunk people everywhere. in the midwest everyone is just kinda gross in a way that’s not even worth remembering. it was another snotty person that kept throwing out this, “i’m much better than this job, show me respect” whatever, wahtever, wathvere.

fucking asshole beef jerky

fucking asshole beef jerky

we went through a toll booth with joel driving. he drove past the toll booth to where the back seat passenger on the left, me, had to present the money.

“the guy driving teaches college kids. he teaches them mathematics. he studies theoretical mathematics and is highly regarded in his field.”
“oh, so he’s book-smart then,” asked the toll booth operator who looked line a mannequin thrown in a wood chipper.
“he’s nothing-smart, ma’am.”

after that we blasted some megadeth because it’s my fucking ipod and that’s all i’m good for. cro-mags audiobooks and megadeth. and making fun of the way people look despite the fact that i look like some sort of troll myself. brad pitt after a pie-eating contest and a near-fatal dose of radiation.

“can i do something stupid,” questioned Andy as he turned down the music
“what, you mean other than turn down megadeth?”

suddenly fireworks shot off in the car. apparently Andy had made it into his own glove compartment and was determined to relieve his boredom at the cost of our ears and whatever us dipshit frozen reptiles had fashioned into human skin at this point.

we stopped at another gas station where i watched a man enter the bathroom with two young boys. they all lined up to the urinals while i was staring at blackheads in the mirror. i overheard the man say,

“i swear to god, this thing just took a picture of my package!”

the boys remained silent. sometimes i wonder if there are horrifying things happening all around each and every one of us but i am just the one who notices. is that a talent or a curse?

we got to chicago and arrived at the neighborhood of The Juicer – our most feared show yet due to it’s sober implications. the neighborhood seemed fairly small and somewhat isolated for our impression of chicago with nothing near by but a high class bar and a set of gas stations off a large road. we found a place to park about a block away and stomped through cold and wet snow and down an icy set of stairs into an alleyway. coming through the back of the brick building, we had to ask some guy up a few flights of stairs on a deck where the hell we were going. we found ourselves at the bottom of a building, banging on a door.

we went inside and it felt like the place we played in New York, the other sober venue. not because it was similar, because it wasn’t – but because we had this fear: this giant looming fear that at least three out of four members of Brain Tumors have. this devastating thought of, “oh fuck, you can’t drink yourself stupid to disguise your insecurity.”

we walked into an area with a large hallway that led into some sort of hardwood floored area with a kitchen, then opening up to a larger area with a carpet laid out and some microphones. there was a bit of an pc/art school vibe, but i was determined to shrug off my bandmates’ anxiety and make the best of what was going on and not be the shitty old dudes who are worrying about getting fucked up. for shit’s sake, they were making food for us even!

we walked to a gas station and grabbed something. i can’t remember, but i know i picked up a root beer or something for a tall fella who arrived in winter biking warrior gear. oh yeah – wait, i bought cold medicine as by the time we hit chicago, i had discovered that excedrine sinus medicine fixed my illness and gave me an odd rush. by the time we got back, the tall man had made spaghetti and Ryan Lowry showed up.

i don’t know shit about Ryan Lowry. he’s in a band called Raw Nerve that whenever i think of, i hear Nerveskade songs in my head. so i always remember liking them but i’m not sure i actually do. i know he has a haircut of some sort and some black clothes. maybe like the kind of dude who has sex with human females without having to wander around advertising himself. i can respect that. i can also respect that because dude put together a fucking hell of a show for us at this fucking hardwood-floor sober house where every single person i met was nice and some were even fun to talk to.


more people showed up including some fairly innocent and lonely looking kids who stood on the side of things as awkward observers. after sitting on the floor and talking to joel and pat and dan and whoever about whatever, i went over and talked to one of the kids. i thanked him for showing up and assured him that being young and feeling alone and out of place was necessary and that he is far cooler than nearly everyone else around. i felt good about that because i wish some bald fuckhead said that to me when i was younger and afraid of everything.

Culo showed up which meant Andy disappeared to get drunk in his car. Brian from Manipulation arrived with his special lady, Sarah. my friend Summer showed up with her boyfriend, who watched the bands and talked about wanting to start a punk house of his own. good stuff. a fucking dude named Tom that i knew from LIVEJOURNAL.COM from many years ago showed up, who i had never met. a bunch of other raggedy sideshows showed up, most of them wearing lace up boots and levis, which to me are a symbol of fucking bullshit of the worst kind. pull the red tag out if you wear those things – youre a paying advertisement of unethical horseshit that once meant something.

Brian and I drank a beer outside and walked around the block and eventually came across Andy and part of Culo and whatever remains of Joel in his car. I went inside and watched Kontaminat who killed everything. i think it sounded like Koro but i was sober so my judgment was certainly off. joel and andy came inside and got pissed after realizing they missed Kontaminat while Pat, Dan, and I laughed in their faces. then we decided to go across the street to this swanky bar that we certainly weren’t welcome in to get a few shots for ourselves.

have you ever walked into a bar that you didn’t belong in? not just because you weren’t dressed for it, but because it was clearly not for you. people were old. people were dressed up. we walked in and i immediately laid everything out for the person seating us:

“here’s the deal. we’re in a band and we’re playing across the street from out of town. we need to drink in order to play, however, it’s in someone’s basement and they forbid alcohol. we need shots, but we’re also very poor.”

somehow this worked and we found ourselves seated at a very nice bar with a man with a professional pony-tail serving us shots. after pouring the first round, we were informed that the gorgeous manager of the bar had bought us all a round of shots for absolutely no fucking reason we could discern. that’s why we missed SHIV, who i heard were excellent….some immaculate looking successful lady burning off karma from her past life of shunning guys like us who smelled of cigarettes back in high school.

Divine Right played. there were dudes there doing some heavy moshing – the kind of shit that scares aging men like me with male pattern baldness and lower back problems. people had a good time and i pretended i wasn’t too old to get it.

we set up and turned off some lights. there were a good 50-60 people milling around with a lot of bleed-out into the kitchen. i talked to a few kids standing in front about how this is the most sober we’ve ever played and tried to prepare themselves for something terrible or boring. the kids left over from Divine Right’s set were still lingering about, preparing me to get punched in the stomach by someone at least 8 years younger and less haggard.

right as we started “sound-checking” (whatever that means for a band like us), i noticed this tall kid with blonde hair. his name was/is Michael. it might even be Michael Angelo. he looks like this:

he is the kid on the right whose shirt looks like it’s 3d if youve done a lot of mushrooms before. anyway, i saw him and i remembered him from when we were in Chicago before when he smashed me against a wall and my arm got gouged open on a nail sticking out. so before we began, i pointed at him, waved, and started yelling,

“HEY! ITS THAT FUCKING KID WHO SMASHED ME AGAINST A WALL AND RIPPED MY ARM OPEN! HEY EVERYBODY, WE’RE BRAIN TUMORS,” or something to that effect. maybe it was funnier, maybe it was dumber. you won’t know and no one who would know will remember.

after that, some kid yelled “STREET SHARKS” at us, which is the name of Joel’s old band out in North Carolina.

street sharks

we flipped out and started interrogating the kid and later uncovered that he played keyboards in SHARDS back in NC! fuck! SHARDS! what a brilliant band. well anyway, the kid lives in chicago now.


we played and people moved around, even if they were whatever was left over to hurt people from Divine Right’s set. i flopped around and yelled in people’s faces even though i wasn’t drunk; even though i didn’t have anything to throw or harass people with. and people moved with me. i looked up and i saw a tall figure with dumb hair and knew it could only be our favorite little boy: Negative Kevin!

Negative Kevin appeared and i ran and grabbed him by the collar, intent on throwing him at whatever and whoever was moving around in front of us. but he stopped me and yelled,


and brandished a saggy plastic bag at us. there negative kevin held our 20 our so tapes he had owed us for roughly a year. so i grabbed them, threw kevin, and threw the tapes at the ceiling. the bag split and our tapes, which we had waited to receive for nearly a year, smashed to the ground. cases split open and shit went everywhere. some were trampled but many an art school kid dove to grab a copy for a reason i still can’t figure out. even dumber than we are, i reckon.

in between song blocks, a girl yelled, “YOU GUYS SUCK”. i agreed with her and stared at her as she still didn’t leave the fucking room, so i guess we’re at least fascinating even if we suck. i heard later that people were questioning as to whether or not we were even a real band which must be just a testament to how remarkably talented we are. right?

we finished with a cover of “I Hate Myself” by The Offenders where John from Culo and a few kids ran to sing along. it was the first time anyone tried to sing along to something we were playing so i didn’t know the dynamic of how to hand the microphone to people and ended up getting smashed in the face, resulting in a bloody lip. it was uplifting although slightly painful.

we got a lot of “good job” comments and pats on the back from a bunch of enthusiastic kids with neat haircuts. saw some more people we ran into at our last show, including some kid who geeked out with joel over records who had a cool cross earring and glasses. i also talked to the tall kid that made us spaghetti and he told me that he just realized that he was the fucking dude who helped patch up my arm from when Nice Shirt Michael ripped it open when we were in chicago in August! bah!

then i talked to him and a few other people about how they read this blog which fucked my brain. my note in my journal actually says, “PEOPLE READ BLOG????”



Culo played a completely brain-dead set, which i somehow still enjoyed. joel mentioned to me that he overheard someone say, “that was a wipers cover they played last, right,” which we all got a kick out of.

Ryan paid us well and we left. i remember talking to some girl outside who i think was dating someone in Shiv and we talked about drugs – all i recall out of that was her saying,

“do you think i pay for drugs? shit, look at me.”

normally i am incredibly cruel to beautiful people but i was tired and she had a point. we nodded and lowered our eyebrows, letting her walk through the icy alleyway. as we started to leave, Negative Kevin, our precious little hardcore punk prince, looked at us with big sad eyes as we told him we were staying at Brian’s house instead of with him. we invited him along and left with a bag filled with 20 loaves of bread that the equally beautiful man tall bike dude who patched up my arm gave us.

then i have some note about a Whoopie Cushion, which i guess we acquired at some point on the way to Brian’s. i don’t fucking know. we got to Brian and Sarah’s house and hung out with John from Culo and one of his friends. i have a note about how i was still wearing my Wipers t-shirt and how i kept checking it for a breast pocket over and over again and at Brian’s place, surrounded by nervous dogs, Dan told us a story about his friend Mikey hanging out with Don Decker (from Anal Blast) and Dustin Diamond (yeah, from Saved by the Bell). pizza was involved somewhere and John gave me a massage.

Culo is good at massages.

i woke up sleeping on Dan’s socks, which i guess Andy had launched at me because i was snoring. i had a goddamn cold still! i’m not some oaf. i dunno what dan’s excuse is. Brian and Sarah made us coffee and John and his friend had left in the night. we went to eat at some acceptable bagel place after two of us struggled with the latch on Brian’s house fence having no idea how to exit the property. on the way we passed a place called Barnum N’ Bagel, which is the dumbest thing i have ever heard of.

it was at breakfast where we also heard the other dumbest thing i have ever heard of.

last night, i guess Culo hid their heroin in a 7inch and then accidentally sold it to some kid.


on the way out, someone punched Joel in the balls.

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