i want to sit here and do a post about how a bunch of bands are overrated, but instead i think i’m just pissed that i’m broke and that Brain Tumors never earns any money. basically, being in a band sucks but it is the only thing worth doing.
instead i talk to Mark from Negative Degree over the internet about how i dont like a bunch of shit. the truth is, we are all broke and these other bands never earns any moneys, neither. either. the shit dont happen. the shit dont happen. and thats probably for the best so none of us get cool.
cool is the enemy of the weird
i am housesitting in a place called Coon Rapids. when i moved to North Carolina, people frequently asked me about this city. they laughed at it because of the racial slur connotations of the city. if they had been here, they would laugh at it for being a dumb shithole. when you have to drive into Coon Rapids, you can tell because everyone is tailgating you. i respond to tailgaters the same way every time – slamming on the brakes and then preparing to jump out of the car and use joel’s broken bass neck to pummel someone.
ah shit, what a good song. anyway
we woke up in Davis after a relatively restless night on the floor with a dozen other dorks. fairly sure we got a case of the fuck its and then fucked off out of Hatem’s house in search of dumber pastures. we wound up in the downtown district of Davis, CA, watching fit joggers and early risers enjoy their morning routines. as you probably know if you are reading this blog, there are few things as demoralizing as watching seemingly happy and seemingly healthy people trot around while you slump over, exhaling beer fumes and pulling crust out of your eyes.
i walked to a coffeeshop and got a sizeable breakfast burrito. i was later told that it is a local lesbian hangout which would explain why i felt so comfortable there. i dont mean that in that shit way where dudes always say, “huh huh im totally a lesbian in a guys body,” but in that way where i’ve honestly felt comforted by being around lesbians. so hats off to you, lesbians.
my uncle lives near Davis so i called him. he arrived and we hung out. he had lost weight from reading some book. we talked about how everything is made in china. my uncle is an extremely interesting person and one time wrote me a long letter about how i shouldnt experiment with drugs after my parents found out i smoked pot. i did not listen to him and kept experimenting with drugs and things have worked out fine, thus far.
he also told me about a time he took acid and a limousine carrying the devil pulled up and beckoned him to come along over and over again. i wish i knew more of my uncle’s stories as i’m fairly sure they’re fascinating. he is also a guy who landed a job as a project manager at Johnson & Johnson after working some sort of administrative assistant temp job. he quit and cited the reason of, “they are destroying the earth and do not care”.
we went to a farmers market and bought strawberries. he ate the strawberries which clashed with what i knew about his dietary restrictions. somehow the other guys met up with us. then we went to Oakland, the punk rock land of hopes and dreams.
we landed after a short drive and went to 1-2-3-4 Go! Records where i dont think anyone bought anything. i did marvel at a few of the pictures on the wall and assessed the place as a great place for punk. we also sold a few records to them and were told to play a good show. we played a decent show.
our love for San Francisco and Oakland is stronger than dirt.
after the record store, we ended up at a bar called The Kingfish where we drank numerous tall boys. we played shuffleboard and some of the guys talked to a local or two about who cares. i can’t quite recall because for some reason i was having problems with my anxiety – something that happens after living in a van with the same people for a while for the purpose of playing personally destructive music. but i took pictures and the awesome Dan G03tz met us up there.
across the street was some fried food joint that i struggled with the idea of eating at. after Dan showed up, we hightailed it out and ended up in some graveyard. Joel disappeared, maybe on the phone, and the rest of us walked around and made fun of dead peoples names. at some point, Dan wound up with an American flag – undoubtedly taken off of a grave. probably a grave of some brave american soldier who was now dead along with some brave american factory workers, brave american factory owners, and brave american douchebags of all sorts of historical irrelevance still important to someone only when they’re drunk, yelling at a bar like the Kingfish.
that gravestone American Flag would stay with us to Denver where it met a sordid demise.
our show in Oakland ended up being one of our favorites. not because it was some sort of stellar success, but because the mood was right. and all the bands with we played with were good. except for Become who were simply decent. probably the kind of thing that is better recorded or heard in a “sophisticated” live setting. in other words, i cant fucking remember why i didnt like them but i hope the feeling was mutual. nice guys, though. just like every other band we dont dig.
we got to The Swamp and realized it was basically the SF version of Minneapolis’ Rathole. to put it into simplified terms, the Rathole is the best place to play in the city. cops don’t fuck with it, it looks cool, and it sounds great. it’s a pleasure to play.
Hunting Party played after Become. the singer is also in No Statik which should tell you the quality of the band – it’s real fucking good (edit: their singer, Booboo, is married to Ruby from No Statik, i am a moron but i thought i remembered seeing him with them in Minneapolis however it was dark. or maybe he was there just traveling). add to the fact that the dude is one of those long-armed, nimble fuckers who you can imagine biting your face before punching it into your neck and you’ve got yourself a bonafide rocknroll band. great shit.
then Stressors played. they were an intense bunch of young lads. ive drank almost a whole bottle of wine so all i have to say about them is that three of the guys bought shirts of theirs. they have a song called “Stuck in the Desert” which is incredible but sounds nothing like the rest of theirs, so knowing my luck and the general framing of this statement, it’ll be the one song of theirs that’s a cover that i’m praising.
a quick internet search turns up this song as the closest result:
we played. it was fun although most people had left to go see some Arizona bands play which i believe was also a benefit for someone who recently passed away. i felt like everyone was missing out but later found out that the singer of one of these bands smashed a mirror and rolled around in the broken glass. so i just kinda sat there and said, “oh, i see.” the show was:
i have read a recent backlash to supposed “masochistic” or “scary” punk bands in a few places. citing it as shock or…well, i’m not sure. for me, this is a bit of a personal topic. i am the guy who smashed a bottle over my head. granted, i did do it in an attempt to upset a lot of people, but i also did it out of a strange personal sense of satisfaction.
so to people in bands that do “crazy shit”, the real question is:
“have you ever intentionally hurt yourself when no one was around to see it?”
anyway, here are some pictures of us hurting ourselves in Oakland:
the notes are scant on the rest of the night but i remember we drove to downtown Oakland and on the way, someone leaned in our window and gave us a bunch of cupcakes. Pat and I ate a hamburger and fries at a posh bar called Flora then later ate a hot dog. Flora was okay but nothing you couldn’t waste $60 at in Minneapolis. i recall the burger being tasty and the drinks being overpriced.
i think at some point we thought we were going to get into a fight with jocks but that could’ve just been me. everyone else got tacos and pat felt bitter that he missed them to waste money with me.
i wonder how bitter pat will be ten years from now after wasting so much money with me
my last notes of Oakland are:
“passed out covered in grime. dreamed of violence. Dan dreamt of hot dogs. kept hitting my head on the doorway.”
this Easy Living band is great.