Posts tagged hot dates
Psychics, stolen cars, lying receptionists, and Gold Bond- This is my account of 2012′s SXSW. If you’re in a band, work in the music industry, live near Austin, or watch the news a lot, you’ve probably heard of South By Southwest. If not, here’s a brief summery… every bar that has live music in the live musical capital of the world has live music all day and night for five days while every other imaginable space in town is turned into a temporary live music venue. Then hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians, and other weirdos descend on Austin to feast on the insanity that ensues. So, naturally, I show up as well. This is what I remember.
I had the distinct pleasure of riding down in a van with Savannah Smith and a new band called Enemy Planes. I’ll tell you more about them in another post… But, any intense event should begin with an equally intense journey. A two hour plane ride is not enough to transport you into the alternate universe that Austin becomes in March- a Twenty hour van ride on the other hand? With one lay over for a Radiohead concert? Perfect.
We arrived in the Lone Star State late Monday night and then first had to drop a few stragglers off at a ritzy subdivision of a swamp of some sort. We took a wrong turn down a gravel road, and didn’t know if we’d be able to back out or turn around with the trailer in tow. The headlights of the vehicle did a poor job of lighting the dark and foggy terrain that sloped unevenly down and out of site in front of us. We all sat motionless in the van while trying to decide what to do. Naturally, sleep deprived and delirious, I presumed this was the end and we were going to die here, so I volunteered to leave the safety of the van and scout ahead on foot. There are alligators in these parts of Texas, vicious nocturnal hunters that are hard to see during the day, let alone at night! …I mean, I presumed there were alligators anyway. It made sense at the time. There was a lake for sure, and where there’s lakes, there are alligators. Long story short- I didn’t get eaten. But I did find a spot for the van to turn around. …I guess this part of the story isn’t exciting at all… but pretend you think there were alligators too- then it sort of is. Anyway, I would soon find out that many more dangers awaited me in the heart of the city.
Tuesday morning we all rode into downtown Austin early. The city comes alive around noon with day parties, some sanctioned by SXSW, many more sanctioned by no one in particular, but all luring pedestrians in off the street with free food and drinks. My primary goal in going to SXSW is always to network. My secondary goal is to see how much free crap I can get- weather I need it or not. My first official stop of the day as at a Mexican restaurant called Casa Chapala where Savannah was playing. After eating some free things and watching Savannah play, I went to catch up with the rest of my troupe including Craig (if you’ve been following the last several years of posts you know him) at Club Deville. I like this place a lot only because it’s built like a fort into the side of a hill with steep rock faced walls surrounding it’s patio.
It was while I was photo bombing a group of individuals by this very wall that I met Mimi. After the snap of the flash her friends all scattered, but Mimi stayed, transfixed with the dashing and mysterious stranger who had just jumped into the photo and into her life. At first she seemed like an ordinary drunk who was likely unstable to start with. She stated that she also liked the wall, and that she could climb to the top, twenty feet up, with ease. Given her current unbalanced state, naturally I encouraged her to try. She got a foot off the ground before she realized this was a mistake. But, upon turning from the wall she looked at me as though seeing me for the first time, and grabbed my hand. Trembling she told me that she was a ‘Ren-rat’ and had special powers. Ren-rat is a slang term to describe the hordes or goths, larpers, and other unfortunates who participate in the Resistance Festival on an annual basis. She described growing up at the Renfest in Shakopee- which is a suburb of Minneapolis, because her parents were also dorks. She had gained acute psychic abilities while she grew up- more than likely in a vain effort to wish herself somewhere else.
It didn’t all add up to me- after all, she was dressed like a normal person- but she was intensely concerned for my safety, and I was intensely amused, so I heard her out. She proceeded to tell me that I had great powers myself. Perhaps this was why I was able to foresee I couldn’t climb a sheer rock cliff without trying. She grasped my hand and gazed at my palm and bit her trembling lower lip. I was in danger. I helped people, but I may soon help them so much that I hurt myself. My fortune line also didn’t follow my life line. She said that I would earn lots of money, but for other people, not myself… Stupid clients! I thought. Soon I grew bored with Mimi and made my departure. It was only a few hours later when we would meet again.
Bar close released mass of zombies on to the streets of Austin. Our van arrived out front and I got the call that it was now, or never if I wanted a ride to the hotel. As I exited the club some explainable force made me look to my right down the street. There was Mimi… sort of crawl-walking around. I went over to assist her. She was on the phone with someone.
“Hey Mimi, need some help?” Mimi just looked back at my with that all-knowing drunk stair. ”It’s David, the guy with super powers, remember?” I asked. Recognition crept into her eyes.
“Oh yeah, here, talk to him,” she said as she thrust her cell phone at me.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Damn it, is she loaded again? Is she just totally bombed?” a gentleman asked on the other line. I glanced at Mimi.
“Yes,” I answered, “she’s gone.”
After a few more expletives he asked if I could get her into a cab. Asking someone to get a cab at bar close in Austin during SXSW is sort of like asking someone to go find the Ark of the Covenant real quick for you. But, it appears I have special powers- so I actually did find one quickly. But my powers were no match for Mimi’s. The Cabby refused to drive her anywhere in here inebriated state. I took her back to our van to freak out the boys. We offered to give Mimi a ride to where ever it was she comes from, but she wisely refused a ride from five weird looking dudes in a large nondescript white van. I left her peacefully curled up on the sidewalk, and I have no notion of what may have become of her. God speed Mimi, God speed!
With knowledge of the future and what Austin had in store for me looming ominously in the back of my powerful mind, I headed back to the hotel room for much needed rest. Soon the morningafternoonish time would be here, and we’d need to wake up and head back into the belly of the beast.
To Be Continued…
Day one free items collected: Taco platter, four shots of tequila, psychic encounter, two dozen vitamin waters, and two boxes of cereal.
By now you’ve all heard about the ancient Mayan calendar that predicts that Jerry Bruckheimer’s movies will all be so bad by December of 2012 that even just seeing a billboard for one will kill you. (Amazing information to glean from a calendar written by people who have been dead for over a millennium!) But, maybe you haven’t heard about some of the other dumb ways people think our planet may plummet into a bizarre Mad Max sequel. Solar flares. These could come and wipe out all the electricity globally. How about the super volcano? It’s right underneath YOU Wyoming. Good luck with that. Or, what about the next animal flu? Birds and pigs are one thing, but what the hell will we do when we get something REALLY bad, like Shark Flu?
Now, I agree with all the naysayers- I’m going to die. I even agree that the world will end sometime. AND, I’m not even worried about that one. I know some dead people already, it will be nice to catch up. Plus, if we all die, I’ll know a lot more dead people. Also all the people who have had near death experiences say really nice things about being dead. …Except for the ones who say they went to hell… So, what AM I concerned with here? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve seen some of these movies. The Road?! …thanks for that one Cormic- what a great combination of boring and morbidly depressing. The Happening?! Sometimes when I see M Night Shyamalan’s flicks I think he puts crap out, sits back, waits, and then says “What, people still came out to see this one? Really? Ok, ok, I can still do worse.” (Rather than link you to what ‘The Happening’ really is, I’ve embedded a video by the same name that you will enjoy more.)
Folks, what scares me more than anything is being trapped in a boring post apocalyptic world, watching the world blandly expire. Barf.
So, what’s the solution? How can you stop the inevitable? Can we really launch Bruce Willis into space with a nuclear warhead every time an asteroid comes by? Not realistic. But maybe, just maybe, if we’re all going to die anyway, we can have a little bit of fun with it. Eh? So, I’m sure you all know what I’m thinking of- Zombies AND Dinosaurs. Duh. Can the Gub-ment stop the massive tidal wave of destruction? The guys who try to fix a leak of harmful oil in the ocean by dumping more harmful chemicals in on top of it? Ask any of the guys who helped clean up the Exon Valdez spill- oh wait, they’re all dead now… Nope, not likely. But, as always, I’m sure they’ll know all about it before some terrible, terribly boring disaster takes place. So, all I’m asking for, is for them to implement my simple Zombie/Dinosaur plan of action about… lets say, one year before things get really crappy.
Where will they get Zombies and Dinosaurs? Well, I would like to think that first we would try Zombie viruses, and Jurassic Park style DNA experiments. But, if all else fails, we could always go animatronic. Once they’ve figured out the ‘how’ they just need to mass produce both, and then release the Zombies and Dinosaurs into the unsuspecting populous. Now granted, some people won’t like this. Maybe some people don’t even know how to kill a zombie or out smart a velociraptor, but I think we can all agree they would be the minority. They would also be the very first to die, leaving behind a wealth of firearms and canned goods for the rest of us.
Now, of course, none of us would be able to survive forever with millions of zombies swarming and a hundred deadly species of dinosaurs roaming around, thirsty for blood. However, the fast paced thrill ride would be just the shot of adrenalin we need. And the colorful sights and sounds produced by the new monsters would keep our imaginations preoccupied and, dare I say, enchant us, up until the quick-ish painful end- Eaten alive in an entertaining, honorable, and fulfilling death, long before boring natural disasters ravage our already lifeless planet. I guess it would suck to be the Dinosaurs in that scenario though… back on top… for a second, and then boom! Another boring asteroid extinction.
I know what you’re thinking- WTF?! Why hasn’t anyone else thought of this yet? I have no idea. I can only hope that Uncle Sam already has and they’re just waiting for the right time to surprise us! Lets all keep our fingers crossed!
Ok, so my last blog was about Priscilla and I getting attacked by bears in South Dakota- AND LOVING IT! …that was about six months ago. …or eight. And, it seems as though I’ve gotten pretty bad at updating this blog. I promise to try and do better… but, in the mean time, he’s what I’ve done the last- I don’t know, year or so.
In September we went down to Winona for the fifth annual Zombie Pub Crawl. Unlike some more normal cities zombie crawls, in Winona you get a good feeling for what a real zombie attack would look like. People stop traffic, climb on cars, projectile vomit all over, and even chase unsuspecting college kids who don’t know what’s going on. One high schooler tried to start a fight when his daddy’s Chrysler 300 got a little bit of puke and blood on it… what a wuss. The only zombie he attacked was a girl, and his opening line was, ‘you can’t hit me, I’m a minor.’ Then he promptly tried to strangle a girl zombie before the rest of the angry mob of drunken undead gently removed him and told him to go home. This boy will be a huge douche bag one day…
Also, Priscilla launched Pirk, a soap and beauty company. All natural, organic when possible, soap and face scrubs and bath bubbly salt junk, all that sort of crap. People have been liking it so far!
In October, Maudlin and our agency Green Room Music Source, went to New York City again for the CMJ music festival. I was very disappointed by the fact that we didn’t steal any mannequin body parts this time. We did eat a lot of food, and get a better understanding of how the Russian Mafia operates.
Then, in November, Maudlin welcomed a new band member into our wacky fold. You may remember Nick from last years St. Patrick’s Day adventure.
December was a time for holiday magic! Maudlin hosted our second, kind of annual ‘The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever’ at the Hexagon in Minneapolis. Discribing this event isn’t as much fun and just listening…
January was cold. We don’t do anything in January here because it’s just too cold. When the New year is over we turn in to primordial cave people. …We also make ice sculptures though.
February has Valentines day in it… Weak. I got Priscilla a pan for Valentines day. Yup, a nice pan. I thought this was probably not the greatest gift I’d ever come up with for Priscilla. However, after seeing her reaction to getting a very nice pan, I’ve decided that she only gets pans for gifts from now on. That’s your relationship advice for the year- Pans, chicks dig them. Or, at least, Priscilla does…
That’s about it… Oh, and George Clooney, STOP making movies. Please. The glory days or over my friend. Speaking of people who should stop doing what they do, I found this website recently. What a beautiful charity! www.killlilwayne.org Hopefully someone will make a similar site for Weezer soon. They must be stopped!
Until next time…
Some of you stalkers may remember the recent trip Priscilla and I took to Denver Colorado for UMS. After getting in the car at about 10PM, Priscilla and I drove out of Denver, and didn’t stop until we’d reached home, sweet home, St. Paul, MN. I was getting out of the car, and decided we’d better get the guitars before we went inside to collapse and sleep for a day. I opened up the back of the Element and there was only one guitar. “Oh, we don’t have my bass…”
Priscilla broke down crying, which was very sweet of her. My Rickenbacker, 4003 bass is my most prized possession. Aside from the fact that, that’s just an awesome bass, mine was made more awesome by Frank Black when he signed it. He was a complete dick the entire time I interacted with him. I approached him as he was clearing some things off the stage at a small show at The Warehouse in LaCrosse when I was still in high school.
Me: Um, Frank?
Frank: *sighs* Yeees?
Me: Can you sign my bass?
Frank: I’d need a marker
Me: *waves hand already holding out marker*
This was probably the most pleasant of the three brief conversations I had with him that night. Despite him being a jerk, AND his musical downward spiral (I was quite found the the FIRST six solo albums. Now he’s got, like, forty or something- each progressively worse from what I could tell. This was on the ‘Frank Black and the Catholics’ album tour. That was a SWEET album.) it is still my favorite memento. But as Priscilla cried, I was far to delirious from driving 15 hours to care about anything at all, and I stumbled inside.
Grief stricken, but determined, Priscilla went online to try and find what might have happened. As luck would have it, a local Denver band found it and had already sent us an email. When I woke up, we had to figure out how we were going to get this bass back. I couldn’t ship it, because it was just in a gig bag, and I wouldn’t trust shipping it anyway. There was only one thing to do- journey back west.
Our good friend Steph went and got the Rick from the Denver band and took it home for safe keeping. Then, on one fateful morning in September, we both set off, from opposite ends of the Earth, on a mission to reunite me and my bass! Where should a historic reunion like this take place? In the place the Natives believed was the sacred center of the Earth, and the white man marked as his territory with four famous severed heads, like some overly artistic dog peeing on a fence. That’s right, Mount Rushmore!
Actually, that’s a lie. We did go there because Steph brought her friend Brittany along, and she’d never seen Mount Rushmore. But, we actually met beforehand at the hotel where we were staying ten miles away… Which is where I got my bass back. After that though, we did go to Mount Rushmore. And once I had my bass back, what more could I ask for? More bears please. That’s right, back to Bear Country USA!
So, it just so happens that we hit a ton of bugs with our car on the way to South Dakota. It also happens that bears actually like to eat bugs. …I didn’t ask them why. But this combination turned out to be interesting. We might as well have strapped a dead deer to our car as far as one hungry bear was concerned. After he was done picking the grill of our car clean, he got up on his hind legs and plopped himself on top of the hood of the Element and began chewing on our windshield wiper. It was probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me… THEN, Bear Country USA came to our rescue by sending a scrawny teenage worker to chase the bear away from our car by clapping his hands and saying, “Shew!” They apologized to us, and gave us out money back because there were scratches on our car. …I didn’t tell them I would have paid extra to have a bear chew on my car…
People have asked me if I was afraid after seeing these photos. …seriously? As if! I’m not afraid of this little guy- it’s not like its a maneater like… oh say, a killer whale! *drum roll* But, what happened next scared the crap out of me. After the ride through the park we got out and walked through baby land. (The part of the park with all the baby bears and other little critters) When, out of nowhere I felt something hit my chest hard, like some punk five year old whipped a pebble at me. …but it wasn’t a pebble, it was the scariest bee I’ve ever seen. If you can identify this thing then I owe you a beer. Remember when I was getting attacked by horse flies that I thought were bees? This was like some sick joke by mother nature.
I grabbed my shirt and pulled it away from my frail human body, and out of range of the massive stinger on its butt. Then I worked up the courage to try and flick it off of me. Just when I was about to make my move, Priscilla freaked out and told me not to- clearly afraid of what this thing would do to retaliate. Just when we thought all hope was lost and the bee would have to ride home with us we heard, “Oh for Pete’s sake…” Some small children’s mother walked over and fearlessly shewed the bee away. I was surprised when it didn’t kill her. I went up to the little boy she was with and told him, ‘Your mommy just saved my life, isn’t she brave?’ And he looked at me like I was a freak. After that adrenaline rush it was time to go to Deadwood and ‘heckle’ pedestrians. At least that’s the ‘official’ story of what happened…
Anyway, it was a weekend of triumph and knowledge. I got my base back- that was great, but I also learned some things. Some hotels charge by the person. But when someone asks you why you need three keys when there are only two people staying in the room, keeping a cool head can save the day. …that and using the back door the entire time you’re there. I also learned that you can blow out your rotors really quickly in the black hills. What I haven’t learned is what in the hell landed on my shirt.
All for now!
As some of you devoted blog reader(s) might remember, we have a good friend in Denver, and we like to visit her. We also like playing rock and roll and viewing bear attacks. So, when the oppertunity came for Maudlin (That’s my, quote un-quote -cool band) to play at UMS we said, “yes please, and some bears with that!”
There are two ways for people who haven’t discovered planes yet to get to Denver: the evil, endless farmyard known as “Nebraska” or South Dakota. Now, some people might not like all things to see in South Dakota, but we can all agree that there is nothing to see in Nebraska. (I hate you Nebraska! I hate you more than bad whale analogies!) …Anyway, there’s this place called Bear Country USA in South Dakota, next to Deadwood. There are bears there. You can pay fifteen dollars and the let you drive around in a big back yard with sixty bears- it’s basically like swimming with sharks. …except the sharks are furry. So… we did that.
(There are lots off really bad family videos of Priscilla and I driving around here that rival the Blair Witch Project, but I decided not to include them.)
After Bear Country USA, we headed on to Wyoming! …Not much had changed there since the last time we passed through. We did meet a gas station attendant who had never been pulled over by the man before. Never. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been pulled over. I must just look like trouble- trouble with a burnt out headlight.
So, just when I had made up my mind that the only way I would ever get out of the car was to veer off the road into a tree- when ever I saw one- we reached the mile high city. We showed up at Steph’s several hours late- which surprised no one, and promptly went to sleep. In the morning we presented Steph with a traditional travelers gift: a wolf hat.
The next day we performed the first of our two showcases at UMS. In our haste to get to the bear yard, we forgot Jason back in Minnesota, so our agent, Craig Grossman, was kind enough to sit in with us. Big thanks to all of our new friends in Denver! We had a blast playing!
And then I forgot my bass… my Frank Black autographed Rickenbacker… I am an idiot. But, the good people of Denver didn’t steal it, and arrangements have been made to meet at Bear Country USA again and get it back… Good fun, lots of forgotten things, and lots of bears… That’s about all I’ve got for this blog. FAIL. Le sigh…
In Brief: I hate to keep ragging on Ben Stiller… but did anyone see Greenberg? It’s the dramatic tail of a suicidal washed up musician, who sexually assaults his brothers barely legal housekeeper. It’s ok though, because after he assaults her, then verbally berates her, she realizes that she’s actually in love with him, and he’s not such a bad guy. He finds out that being a douche bag always gets you chicks, even if you’re a complete loser. I hope everyone who routinely takes all of their social cues from poorly dramatized realism is paying careful attention to this film.
Some time ago I unwittingly typed my most controversial post. I said some things that the internet just could not forgive about Killer Whales and Neko Case. As many of you may know, Neko Case is a famous marine biologist and singer/song writer. Now, I have to admit that I have never seen Neko Case, nor a killer whale up close, however, I did read a motivational book about training killer whales. I also watched about five minutes of Free Willie II once, so I think I have a reasonable idea of what a killer whale is. They’re black and white and they swim. They’re also not actually whales, rather, they are part of the dolphin family. I learned that from a children’s book on sea predators- I don’t remember what it was called or I’d reference that as well.
Anyway, even though they call them “killer whales” and their scientific name was derived from the name of the Roman god of the underworld, these animals are not considered a threat to humans. Still, Neko Case calls our underwater pals “man eaters” in her famous song “People Got a lot of Nerve.” In this horribly titled diddy, she suggests that if a Killer Whale dragged you to the bottom and ate your leg, you shouldn’t be surprised, because, after all, they are called killer whales. Then she goes on to talk about eating people herself, which is, I guess, a hobby of hers. I retorted that Killer Whales don’t eat people and that it might have been more appropriate to use an animal that does actually eat a people in a ‘man-eater’ analogy.
This spurred on a plethora of comments calling me a douche bag to attack pour Neko. Very few people noted that neither Neko Case, nor many killer whales, actually read my blog- so its sort of a victimless crime. People tried to explain to me that she has poetic license and can write whatever she’d like to, whether or not it makes literal sense. We are talking about a lady who compares herself to a tornado, and then depicts herself riding on the hood of a muscle car wielding a sword… So I’m gathered that there was a little bit of poetic license involved. I, however, got the same go ahead from the internet to write whatever I want, even if it offends killer whales or tornadoes. And, this whole blog is intended to be humorous, even jerky… and if you’re not seeing that by now, you really need to find a new blog to read.
This is all similar to when people pointed out that none of the “examples” of irony in Alanis Morissette’s song Ironic are actually ironic situations at all. So she either wrote an entire song about a common word she couldn’t define if her life depended on it, or she thought that writing a song about irony using all examples of things that weren’t ironic, would, as a whole, create a situation of irony. Either way, that song was awful. She still has poetic license to be an idiot- but it doesn’t change the definition of irony. Clearly Neko Case is not as retarded as Alanis, and her music doesn’t make me want to stuff firecrackers in my ears, but I’m sure you can see the comparison. Making fun of stupid lyrics should be good fun for the whole family.
Now, in the mist of this entirely unentertaining altercation between myself and the internet, some killer whale murdered a trainer in cold blood. This prompted about a thousand people to tell me that I was completely wrong in asserting that killer whales were no threat to humans, and not man-eaters. All I can say to that, is that I, myself, do not kill people. However, if you kidnapped me and put me in an oversized bathtub and made me perform dog tricks for several years, I might kill you too. Now, killer whales actually can’t be forced into doing much, because they’re too big. So you have to train them with positive reenforcement, and get them to the point where they want to perform. But, apparently even then they may harbor a grudge and just be waiting for the perfect moment to kill you in front of a few hundred children. Also, as it turns out, this particular killer whale was a bad seed in the first place. He’s the first serial killer whale. Why they overlooked that on his resume and still let him in the show at Sea World, we may never know. I seriously hope someone in HR got canned because of this. Also it’s important to note that this actually did surprise everyone quite a bit. …because killing people is not normal behavior for killer whales.
Regardless of how many people one whale can kill, they still aren’t man-eaters. Primarily because they don’t eat men. And, maybe if the song was about man-drowners this whole thing never would have happened, because, as it turns out, that’s much more plausible. I still stand by my previous statement that killer whales do not eat people. I also still think that song is dumb regardless. I don’t wish Neko any ill will, and I do sincerely hope she doesn’t fall off the front of that car she rides on, but I’ll probably never be a fan of her lyrical work. And I think that’s ok.
I hope this clears up any unanswered questions from the last post. If not, I suggest either talking to Ms Case about the situation, or your local killer whale population.
Priscilla and I just finally watched James Cameron’s Ferngully Two to see what all the talk was about. Sad to see that Robin Williams wasn’t allowed to reprise his role an annoying fruit bat, but it was good to see Sigourney Weaver is still acting. She portrayed one of the Thunder Cats in the film. All in all our cats and I enjoyed all the bright colors and quick movement, but Priscilla got a headache.
This picture kind of sums things up. New Yorkers are the nicest people in the world, they didn’t even kick us out! We were invited to play the CMJ Music Marathon, and braved the long bore of the Ohio Turnpike to see what the Big Apple had in store for Maudlin. Well, it had great food, kidnapings, vandalism, and grand theft mannequin, that’s what it had in store.
This is where it all started. Downtown Manhattan, in some club somewhere, they had created a ‘musicians lounge.’ This lounge had free booze, free food, free haircuts, free massages, and free interviews with Walter from Stabbing Westward. …So we ended up hanging out there most of the time.
While all the New Yorkers we met on the street were fantastic, we soon found out that most of the 1200 bands from all over the world who came to New York were made up of boring people. As we tried to live it up, they mostly stood in tightly nit groups talking to their own bandmates. Then one really stupid chick I was talking to tried to argue with me about the size and danger of moose. WTF?!?!?!
I was telling a story, I could tell she really wanted to hear, about my family camping trip to Superior National Forest, and I mentioned that a big moose walked out on to the road. It was huge! We were driving a little Focus, and I said the thing was nearly three times as tall as we were. Then she was all like saying this really stupid crap about how moose aren’t that big, and I was full of it, and that they were like big deer and couldn’t hurt anything.
Well, I had never punched a girl before, and I didn’t think now would be a good time to start, but I really wanted to. Instead I found the first woodsy looking guy I could- some dude in a wolf mural sweatshirt. It was ugly as sin, and clearly a joke, but something told me- this guy knows his animals. Turns out he used to give wildlife tours in Alaska. They would scare off black bears that had come on to the resort with golf carts, because, as we all know, black bears are the nancys of the large predator world. He told me they received special training on what to do if you ran into a grizzly while hiking- but if you ran in to a moose up close… you’re just screwed. I lost track of that chick… but someday she’ll get hers…
Anyway, then Jason drank way too much and took over an entire sofa by himself after a lunch stop in Little Itally where he managed to smash a framed picture of James Gandolfini in his inebriation.
Eventually, we found a band that was not boring to chat with, Robotanists. They hailed from LA, and had a bizarre fetish for mannequin hands. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due- they were the first to steal a body part off the mannequin. But Maudlin is not a band to be outdone. Who would be stupid enough to put a bunch of designer clothes on a mannequin and then leave it in a room with musicians and unlimited free alcohol? Yeah, exactly. We plundered the mannequin for clothes and limbs like it was 1725!
As an after thought to all the shenanigans, Maudlin also played a showcase at the Lit Lounge which was great…
Bars in New York stay open until four, and music only went until one. The Lit neglected to let us know that the “green room” became the “smoking lounge” after two… So we had all over our gear spread out when hooligans began to flood in all over everything. Poor Jason ended up getting stuck watching things and was whiteness to several prostitutes haggling with people about ‘jobs.’ Eventually we had to make an escape before Jason was thrown into a deal as a bargaining chip.
We got back to the lovely Wendy’s place where we were staying in the East Village, and I realized I had forgotten the Green Room banner. Green Room Music Source is our booking agency, which I also now work for. I was entrusted with the safety of the banner, and I wasn’t about to lose it, so I told Jason and Priscilla I would be right back and I darted out to hail a cab. It was 3:30 am and I had half an hour to get back to Lit Lounge, but it was only ten blocks, so I wasn’t worried.
I got into a cab and said ‘Take me to 93 2nd Ave” I think the guy said ‘ok’ in some language, but I’m really not sure. Pretty soon he turned onto the freeway, and I quickly tried to explain that I was only trying to go to 93 2nd Ave, which was only a few blocks away. The driver reassured me he know where he was going. Then he told me he was trying to avoid bar traffic because it was dangerous… (as he did 90 on the freeway, slamming on the breaks several times, very nearly rear ending other cars…) When the drive continued I began to argue with him. ”I’m trying to get to 93 2nd, it’s ten blocks from where you picked me up, this is not the right way!” He finally exited onto 93 street and told me that 2nd ave was just a few blocks away. This is important. In New York they use intersections as opposed to street addresses. 93 2nd Ave is in the East Village, 93 AND 2nd ave is in East Harlem. He pulled over and tried to kick me out… What a d-bag.
Finally, after a shouting match with this guy, we were back on the way to the East Village, and my four dollar cab ride turned into a thirty dollar cab ride. I was able to get the sign though, so it wasn’t all bad. It was no surprise to us when we hailed a cab the next morning to take us to Seth’s place in North Arlington, NJ that this cab driver was also retarded.
Driver: Where are you going?
Maudlin: North Arlington, NJ
Driver: Ok, fifty five bucks plus tolls
Maudlin: Ok (we load in and start driving)
Driver: Where is North Arlington
Maudlin: *le sigh*
Later we realized he had pee bottles in the front seat …if only we had seen them sooner… But, all and all, it was a fantastic blast of a time! The locals were all great, and far better looking than the locals anywhere else- and therefor better. We can’t wait to go back!
See you guys later!
…I mean, just the fact that there are still some open demonstrates that… It’s like, in begining there was K-Mart and Shopko, you know? But then came along Walmart and Tartet, and there could be only one! …or two. Originally the marketing was simple. K-mart: We sell utter crap for less! And Shopko was all like: Hey, some of our stuff is “hip” enough to fool parents into purchasing it and utterly disappointing their children. Also, the retard step child that no one talked about was there too… Pamida. And then, out of the blue, Walmart stormed in with it’s K-mart-on-crack, Nazi style, no one sells worthless garbage for less approach. At the same time Target walks in and is all like “What’s up bitches? Ever heard of advertizing? I will make your kids think this crap is cool!” Then they all drew swords and went at it Highlander style, at the end all that was left standing was Conor McWalmart and Dunan McTarget. And then, like a bad sequel that doesn’t even make sense, Kmart kept coming back even though it was beheaded and the quickening had happened, and the Queen theme had played…
But, what actually prompted me to say that was my visit to one their behemoths mid death rattle. All I really want is some lawn furniture. I don’t actually have a lawn, but that’s besides the point. I want to buy some lawn furniture. This guy I know says, ‘Hey, there’s a K-Mart going out of business in Richfield, try there.’ (actually that’s not exactly what he said, more of an example of what someone might say, were they some guy I knew trying to give me bargain advice) So we went out there, and a block away there are K-Mart guys holding huge GOING OUT OF BUSINESS signs. We’re thinking, this is going to be sweet. Piles of crap for pennies. This was, of course, not the case. As previously stated, they can’t even figure out how to go out of business right…
Upon entering the store we realized that something was terribly wrong with this store that had been “going out of business” for a month. The signs all read, ‘All items 10-30% off!!’ …um… that’s really not that much. That’s like a sale. Also, all of the stuff there really was crap. They didn’t just lay down when Walmart entered the ring, they just competed in the wrong area- who’s crap can be more offputtingly unpurchasable. And, they may have actually won that campaign. More like ‘trying to go out os business’ sale.
As long as we were there in a store, Priscilla needed to buy somthing though, so she went off and came back with several nail polish bottles. They were marked at a dollar each. …but rang up as 30% off two dollars each. Being the passive aggressive Minnesotan that I am, I didn’t argue, I just blogged about it later.
The Salt on the wound? We were in a K-Mart that was still intending to stay in business later that day and we found some of the SAME items we were browsing at the dying store… for LESS. WTF. W. T. F.
Pee on your head K-Mart!!!
What else… we did all sorts of shows and wild parties and rock star crap… it was great. I have no pictures to prove any of it and I’m too lazy to look now… so it’s 100% K-Mart for you tonight!
Ok, lets see… I watched ‘New in Town’ with Renee Zellwigger. Don’t ask me what sadistic urge prompted me to do that. But, wow, taking crap to new heights. It was filmed in New Ulm, MN. Some hillbilly from there rear ended me while I was at a dead stop once… so there’s already bad blood. After this… I don’t know. I mean, there was one scene in the film shot in Minneapolis, and when I saw that I beat the crap out of myself Fight Club style. If you’re from New Ulm you should probably take the respectable way out of this one and perform the ol’ Seppuku.
um… all for now. bye!
WARNING: HARRY POTTER SPOILERS WITHIN
There are somethings that everyone experiences once or twice in their life; getting trapped in a room full of naked women is one of these things. I clearly remember the first time it happened to me. I was eighteen years old and employed as a pizza delivery boy. I was on a routine run out to St Mary’s University in the mutant little town of Winona, MN. It was the summer time, probably in July- on a day not unlike this day.
When I pulled on to campus there weren’t any people around, which made sense because school wasn’t in session. I made my way to the dormitory on the pizza order; it looked deserted. I rang the buzzer and then waited. Nothing. Just when I was going to take off, something magical happened. The door was pulled open by… a hot chick in a bath towel. She was very excited to see me, and lead me into the dorm hallway- and there they were- dozens of other hot chicks wearing nothing but towels. (I know that many of you already think I’m full of it, but, I’m totally not. Why God let this happen before the invention of the camera phone, I don’t know; you’ll just have to take my word for it. )
Now, the normal reaction you see when some random guy walks in on a herd of feral women running around mostly nude is pretty negative. Guys, am I right? But, these where no ordinary feral women. They were a giant troupe of all girl soccer players staying on campus all weekend for an all girls soccer tournament- meaning there weren’t ANY dudes there at all. They were like starving derelicts attacking me like I was the dumpster behind a Perkins. ”Oh, Mr. Pizza Boy, came hang out with us!”
“Pizza Man, get your picture taken with us”
“Over here, us too Pizza Inferno”
“No, pay attention to us! Pizza Stallion!”
“We hunger for your loins Darth Pizza Boy- Take us now!”
I’m pretty sure I started crying at some point, weeping tears of joy. They were all hot like Hermione, and I could tell they were interested in my magic wand. But then, like always, some uglies ruined it all.
“Blarg narg ahooga, Pizza Guy! Get over here now- We feed now!” …I kept crying. Three breasts from down the hall forcefully dragged me away from the sirens like some horrid high school soccer version of Cerberus into their hellish dorm room. They took their pizza, tipped me poorly, and kicked me out.
Later that evening, another call came in from the same address for more pizza. I stole the order from another driver, desperate to recreate the magic. It was no use, even the Half Blood Prince couldn’t have conjured that moment back up, not even if he was wearing his prosthetics from Galaxy Quest! More ugoes had ordered this pizza, and they met me outside the building. I would have to wait ten more years before this would happen again… (foreshadowing)
So, for those of you who follow my sweet band maudlin, you know that we like playing bizarre shows. The more weird the better as far as I’m concerned. (As long as the weird part has nothing to do with the compensation…)
We were asked by Donette, a peach of a young lady who claims to wear one of our buttons on her lapel, to play a show to help raise money for Susan G Komen Breast cancer research. Charity and flattery both go a long way for us, however, throwing in a boob themed “Racktacular” with burlesque show and an art bra contest really pushed us over the edge.
It was a great show, and things were going well. We were hanging out, we were talking it up, and then we decided to go into the green room. When you’re famous you’re probably hiding there from fans, when your us you’re down there looking for free things. Sure enough, there were beverages and snacks… and changing girls.
The burlesque troupe from Lili’s Burlesque were also using the space for their costume changes. There was a little partition between the cookies and liquor and the area where the girls were getting read for their show. There wasn’t a whole lot of space and I just kind of tried to not look past the cookies. Jason snapped a picture of me with the ladies, and then went upstairs to get ready to take more pictures of the art bras. Priscilla and I sat downstairs in the green room a little longer… which turned out to be a little too long.
Before we had thought about when we were going to leave, it was time for the girls to start. They all filed up the stairs and waited in line to model the art bras. The way the club was set up, we’d have had to walk right past them and the stage to get back into the audience, and it didn’t seem like that would be appropriate. Priscilla said she was going to try it anyway. She deceivingly said she would go up the stairs and see if there was a clear path and then come and get me if there was.
She went up the stairs and never returned. …but the Lili’s girls did- and in a frantic hurry. One by one they came running down the stairs, some starting to shed the little clothes they were wearing as they went. They went towards the cookies and then came running back with new lingerie on. I was feeling awkward long before this, but now I was feeling really awkward. I positioned myself facing the stairs with my back to the cookie/naked parts area. I was pretty sure that they were all probably thinking, ‘why is this douche still here,’ but I could really find a good opening to run up and escape. Finally, I mustered the courage to ask a woman sprinting past undoing her bra.
“Um, can I sneak up the stairs to get out of here, or should I just wait here?” I’m sure my voice was cracking like Harry Potter’s on a first date. “No,” was the reply. …Now, to be honest, I had no clue what that even meant. I went back to my space on the couch and tried to focus on twittering on my phone. [mrmaudlin -follow me!] Eventually, it was all over and I bolted back upstairs. By then it was time for our set, so I went right into setting up. Ironically, I didn’t even see most of the art bras until after the show when they were hanging up at the silent auction. …I did see lots of girl butts running up stairs though.
Maudlin played a pretty hot set, and when it was all over we all decided we should end the night at Weber World. …only Jason had decided it was time to let his dog out to pee. So, he left the club with the only vehicle big enough to haul our gear fifteen minutes before the place closed and said he’d be right back when the dog was relieved. So we waited. And waited. …and waited. Eventually he came back and we all climbed around in the new fuselage room until like, four or five.
So now it’s time for a new part of my blog that I’m going to call, “In Review.” …basically I’ll briefly review several things I’ve recently seen, heard or done. Ready?
The Talented Mr Riply: Finally got around to seeing this one because Target has it on sale for $2.99. …This whole movie is basically one giant documentary about how huge Matt Damon’s teeth are.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Wizard: Hermione still doesn’t get naked in this one, and Harry Potter hasn’t been killed, bludgeoned, or cruelly maimed yet either. I’m hoping for the best with the next one. Still, you can’t really dislike a children’s movie where a goth gang throws and old man out a window to plummet to his death can you? I can’t.
Many and many a year ago a couple of outdoorsy guys named Lewis and Clark went from some place out east, west to Napa Valley and back looking for refined wines and tan babes. They had half of the dangers we have in the modern world, yet they lost half their party. Priscilla and I did almost the same thing last week and no one died. I can’t believe they got paid for that and we didn’t. Anyway, (que flash back music) it went a little something like this…
We wanted to go out to Denver to visit our good friend Steph. Since the government outright refused to commission us to do this, we decided to pay for it ourselves. After months of foreknowledge of the trip, we started planning on Tuesday night- the night we were leaving. We decided to drive to Sioux Falls, SD the first night. Our friend William Shatner helped us negotiate a deal on a room at the Sheraton last minute, which was nice of him. And now we just had to get there in one piece…
Looming over our heads was the bat-shit crazy prophecy of some lady Priscilla works with. She told her that she has a recurring dream where Priscilla and I die in a horrible car wreck and they also find that Priscilla is pregnant with our first child. She followed that zinger up with several other stories about how she’d dreamed things that had come true, concluding happily that she’s always right about these things… (I kind of feel like, if you don’t have anything nice to prophesy about, then don’t prophesy about anything at all.)
We arrived at the Sheriton at about 1am and we went to sleep. The morning had harsh news waiting for us. There was no continental breakfast. I know we only paid $50 for the room… but normally it was $129. I expect breakfast with anything I pay that much for. But, we didn’t throw in the towel- not on reaching Denver, and not on eating breakfast.
Before we continued on, we need to get a new camera, so we set out looking for a department store. The rural west is like some national park where endangered department stores like Pamida and Shopko hide from extinction. We came upon a Kmart in a desolate parking lot. We were able to get inside before it saw us and ran away. There amidst the Jacklyn Smith collection we found the stores remaining electronics and bought a camera. CNow wer were ready to face the long blah of South Dakota.
Here’s a red flag questions for states. Is everything valuable, desirable, or bearable significantly closer to an adjoining state than to the interior of the state itself? If so, it’s likely that state blows. Case in point: South Dakota. (For further examples please see Nebraska, Illinois, or Kansas. If you are unsure of where desirable parts of your state are, try googling your state. If you reside in North Dakota, then google the state you’re planning on living in when you move.)
To get to the ironically named “Bad” Lands and “Black” Hills of South Dakota you need to drive through several hundred miles of utter crap. Rolling fields of nothing. The only thing to do is just take the car to top speed and surf the Internet to stay awake while you drive. The best parts of the state lay on it’s meaty west side, close to the frightening Montana.
In the bad lands we took video on our cell phone of me running into a field of hundreds of prairie dogs trying to chase them, but all you can see is my blurry head moving back and forth with lots of ambient wind noise. I’m not going to include it. However, I feel it’s important to note that I did that.
After chasing prairie dogs, climbing out the clay edges of the hill things, and purchasing potato chips for an inebriated native who asked us for a ride to the next town, we’d seen every thing South Dakota had to offer. We were ready to get to Deadwood. Also Walldrug sucks- It just sucks.
We finally got to Deadwood and I won $100 from a dealer who was a jerk. Which was good because William Shatner was no help with the hotel rates in Deadwood. We payed $90 for a queen room. …this was the smallest hotel room I had ever seen; like someone crammed a queen bed into the bathroom. What’s worse? No continental breakfast. I was really starting to get irritated by that…
The next day we woke up and got ready to go to Bear Country USA! Bear Country is this zoo type place where all the animals roam free, and you drive through and look at them. They can walk up to the cars- I even heard that a few toddlers got killed there! We were pumped.
We exited Deadwood and were back on the open road. An hour later we saw a welcome to Wyoming sign. The realization that we’d made a huge mistake flooded over us the same way it floods over most people who find themselves reading that sign. In our case, the mistake was that we were trying to get over by Mount Rushmore, south east of Deadwood, and instead we went south west and ended up in another state. Fortunately, the road we accidentally took did happen to go to Denver, so we decided to keep going and leave Bear Country for another time.
Wyoming is big and it has hills. Hills kind of vary state to state. Minnesota has river bluffs, which are steep and cliff like. The black hills are pretty steep too, but they’re not following a river and there aren’t really cliffs. They are pretty much all pines too, where as Minnesota sports a greater variety of trees. Wyoming has these really slow slopping large hills with lots of scrub brush on them. I know this whole paragraph is really boring… this was the best I could come up with for the five hours I was in Wyoming.
Eventually we got to Colorado, and shortly after that we could see the Rocky Mountains. The looked just like the Coors can. Denver’s elevation is about a mile from sea level, so they call it the mile high city- not to be confused with the mile high club, which is something else. We found our friend Steph, and went out for fish tacos- the second time in a week. It made me nervous and awkward, but I did it.
The next day we set out on a mission to cross the continental divide and hike deep into the Rock Mountains. We drove for several ear popping hours west and up. One interesting thing we noticed is that all the trees were dead. Steph’s boyfriend Glen told us that some mutant beatle had been feeding on the trees, and due to global warming, it doesn’t get cold enough to kill them in the winter anymore. I suggested burning them out, but in retrospect I guess regrowing the whole forest after the fact should probably be a last resort. Anyway, I could the spirit of John Denver singing about planting trees all the way.
Steph and Glen like to go hiking, and they’ve both lived in Denver for years. So they took us to a mountain slope they knew and we stared up. I was pretty worried about cougar attacks because they are on the ‘remotely possible’ spectrum of things that could happen, and I’m on the ‘very much so’ spectrum of paranoid. It’s just like Kurt Cobain said, ‘Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean I’m not after you.’ …and in this case I think that applies to mountain lions.
I was watching my back pretty closely, and bravely refusing to let Priscilla carry up the rear. (Is that the correct phraseology for that? ’Carry up the rear?’) Cougars, as we all know, like to attack from behind and from above if possible. Naturally they also go straight for the jugular. If you see a cougar in the woods, the only reason you’re seeing it is because it’s stalking you. They’re a no nonsense killer. Not at all like the all too common brown bear, which is known to be pretty much a wuss.
As we hiked, something changed about my brain. I started to care less and less about the enormous killer feline that was probably right behind me. I started to feel a little woozy. My legs weren’t tired at all, but I was out of breath and my heart was beating a mile a minute. Priscilla must have been feeling the same way because she was complaining even more than usual. Steph and Glen seemed just fine. Then it struck me, we’d caught the Rocky Mountain High.
Aside from a pretty mediocre song, it’s also what happens to you when the elevation reduces the amount of oxygen in the air. Also known as ‘elevation sickness’ and ‘tennis elbow.’ Even though I diagnosed this, Steph and Glen kept right on moving at a normal pace up the mountain, presuming we were pansies. They’re like the creatures from Superman II who come to earth and find that they have super powers because of the yellow sun and their super dense bodies. …only it was like the reverse, and we went to their planet and could no longer use our laser eyesight. It totally sucked.
Eventually it started to get dark. We were at about 13,000 feet by then, only a few hundred from the summit. The trees were thinning and snow was on the ground in spots. We were on a clear mountain lake next to the ruins of a small encampment with log cabins that were probably a few hundred years old. The road to the summit started to switch back after that, so it would have taken too long to get up to the top and back down again before dark, so we decided to go home. And then, my phone rang.
Yes, at 13,000 feet, on the side of a mountain, my cell phone rang.
Phone: *ring ring*
Chris: “Dude, what’s up? We’re watching this video of this old show from high school for Todd’s band, and you were running sound. You totally suck at running sound…”
David: “I’m at 13,000 feet on the side of a mountain”
David: “On mountain, reception bad”
Chris: “You want to talk to Todd?”
David: “There are lions here.”
Todd: “What’s up man?”
David: “One ate my hand.”
David: “I’m on a mountain at 13,000 feet, I can’t talk”
Todd: “Yeah, we’re watching this video from high school”
David: “I can’t hear anything, I’m on a mountain.”
Todd: “So what are you guys doing?”
David: “I’m on a mountain, I can’t talk Todd”
Todd: “Ok, well I should probably let you go.”
Thanks Verizon, for letting me share that incoherent moment with someone 1000 miles east, and 12,000 feet down.
Anyway, we went back down, and no one was eaten. The rest of the trip I had a splitting headache, which I later learned was also part of the Rocky Mountain High. So, to combat feeling hung over, we went to a winery. I knew nothing about wines. I knew they were color coded, and that was it. The biggest surprise for me was that these little taste test things with wine and cheese and crackers are free. Free! Yeah, you go to the place that makes the wine, and they just give it to you. Then they serve you free snacks. I also learned I prefer Cabs to Shiraz and Merlot; and I prefer the cheese and crackers to wine.
After that we went to an art show, then to the obligatory performance. Jason wasn’t with us in town, but the good people of Denver still wanted a show. So Priscilla and I played a short acoustic set at The Hi Dive. When it was done, we promptly said our good buys to Denver and our friends, and hit the road. By the time we were edging dangerously close to Nebraska we decided to stop for the night. We went to this cheap joint that I’m positive several people were had been murdered in. And, wouldn’t you guess it, no free breakfast. I could have screamed. Instead I peed in the courner of the room.
We awoke with the heavy weight of the length of Nebraska in front of us. The first sign we see entering the freeway: DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS, FEDERAL PRISON NEARBY. Well. Ok then. We didn’t encounter any escapees that we know of, but we did encounter boredom. Can you imagine if you had to ride through that crap on a horse and it took you weeks? I’m sure that all the stories surrounding the loss of life on Lewis and Clarks trip were made up. They all killed themselves in the great plains. Again, I saved my sanity by surfing the net while I drove.
When all hope seemed lost, we reached Iowa. We took a wrong turn there and found a car turned into a spider. …yeah. We left pretty quickly. At 9pm central standard time we finally got home to St. Paul, MN. …and then had to go to work the next day. Puke. That’s about that. …also, no one really died on the Lewis and Clark expedition… one dude got sick and died, but sources say it was related to a methamphetamine addiction.
Oh, and when we got back we found a small pirate costume on our bed… We called Laurel who was appartment sitting for us, and she said she brought it over to try and put on our cat. …but it didn’t work out because Leeloo resisted. Well, Priscilla and I had a talk with Leeloo about how she treats guests…