Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Put your face in the flowers

"Ok, so I'm really worried I'll ruin this because I suck at drawing ears." - Brennan Wall, 2013

I think it turned out just fine.  

Hello, America.  Finally we are across the border.  We are merchless, but we are here.  It feels really scary to have our cash making mechanism taken from us.  The tour isn't in jeopardy, yet, but if we don't start getting paid I'm afraid I'll have to make some phone calls to family members who are willing to loan me some money.  Again.  I'm so tired of borrowing money.  I know this is the investment period, but I'm really tired of not having anything to invest financially and asking for help.  Thankfully I have an amazing support system and help is never far away.

We spent 25 hours trying to figure out how to get the merch across the border legally and I never want to see Woodstock, NB again.  It's situated in a small valley surrounded by larges hills and small mountains, and the land is beautiful, but we felt like we were in Groundhog Day and we would never be able to leave.  It was our purgatory.  We had died at some point before climbing where we weren't supposed to climb.  I broke down after being threatened by US customs officers with jail time and seizure of goods.  I put money into a hotel room and decided to crash.  It was the right move.  While I was getting room key it started to pour.  We could see the clouds moving in, we could hear the thunder and see the lightning in the distance and the storm came quick.  It was vicious and incredibly loud.  I wanted to have a shower so much.  I could have done that in the rain but then I would have been soaked and I could not get my luggage from the van or it would get soaked too.  So we all just went inside the hotel room, opened out laptops and shut down.  It was the right move.  Sleep came quickly and the next morning I was feeling a little more optimistic.  We tried getting the merch across again by hiring a broker, but that was going to take too much time and money, so WE DROVE BACK TO WOODSTOCK and I mailed it back to Winnipeg.  All of it.  It was the cheapest option but it sucked to pack up all these beautiful things that I could not sell to people and send it back home.  And to loose that revenue stream is not so great.  I made peace with it, then made for the border.  

The customs officers were a little nicer this time around.  I assured them we had no merch, they checked and confirmed, then the processed our visa and we started hauling ass to NYC to play Oldfolks Home's first American gig at Piano's.  We drove fast to try to get there on time, but we were late.  This meant that we basically had to pull up to the venue, load in, setup and play within 20 minutes.  We did it, and we did it well.  We made some friends, people liked out set and we had a chance after to drink some shitty beer and relax.  We also got the chance to see some NY bands.  Take note bands that are not from cities like this - if you want to make a mark, you need to be better then New York good.  We were all blown away by this one band that would have had Winnipeg at its knees, but they're probably nobodies in New York.  We got New Yorked.

We drove to Long Island after hanging out to sleep at my families place.  I haven't seen them in almost ten years probably and it was a pleasure to spend time with them.  My aunt loves to eat out.  My uncle washed our van.  My cousin just had a baby girl and named her Olivia.  We spent some time in their hottub.  I watched the lasted Game Of Thrones.


Then we made for New Jersey.  I spent the drive finishing the Spartacus saga (personally rating, 6/10.  The entertainment value is high, but its super violent and very porny with little as far as substance.  A great distraction if your trip is a little harder then you expected it to be.) and then POOF we arrived at the venue.  On the drive out we ate pupusas too.  The guys had never eaten them before.  We had horchata, which is my favorite drink in the world.  At the venue we had a very experienced sound tech greet us.  She was so helpful and our soundcheck was splendid.  We walked to the beach.  My feet always need to be close to the beach and although I've confessed to wanting to move to Montreal in a few years, the ocean is always calling me.  It was the saltiest smelling ocean I've put my feet in on this tour and the water was a little warmer too.  We walked back to the venue, listened to the solo guy before us and then played a great set.  EXCEPT that I later learned that THE CLICK TRACK was blasting through the PA the whole time.  I was mortified.  It was probably my mistake because I've been sending it to the bass player from the mixer we use in a way that I shouldn't be and people told me they could hear it loud and clear tonight.  That is a thing that should never happen - lesson learned.  I also had to do something I've never had to do, which was to ask on stage for a place to sleep for the night.  The kindness of strangers will never cease to amaze me.  Cook, a local musician/producer is putting us up.  He is hilarious and the coolest dude.  So I'm going there now to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

 Warning - never eat here unless you want THE MOST GIANT FRIED ICE CREAM EVER.
 One of these items doesn't sound at all appetizing.  Can you guess which one?
 TWO FISTS.  The size of this fried ice cream.  I ate it all.  I didn't so great after, but I was already feeling horrible from the border issues.
 The view from our motel just after the storm.
And the other side.
 The view of a very frustrated person before he had an amazing time in the motels sauna.
 The storm that started after I got back from the sauna.
 The next day, in the US - our catch of the day.
 Can you find 3 difference between this picture and the next?

 Live free of die.
 Brennan has his first road pee.  It didn't go so well.
 My families amazing backyard.
 My aunt chillin.
 The band has breakfast.

 I love this picture.
 And this one.

 My uncle washes our van of insect insides.
 This is cat has been the first cat ever to hiss at me.  I don't feel to bad about it.
 This guy.
 My cousin, Yanin.  We had an awesome talk and it was wonderful to get to know her as an adult.  She is rad.
 A handsome family.
 I thought Pollo Campero only existed in El Salvador.  My jaw dropped when I saw this.
 Here is the band eating their first pupusas.  Such adventurous eaters worthy of the name The Hang Squad.

 Cool tree in Jersey.

 Cool beach in Jersey.

This post feels different and bare and not exactly like I wanted it to turn out, but I haven't really had time to do anything but drive and play shows.  This isn't a bad thing, but I will try better next time.  UNTIL NEXT TIME.  I just proof read the post and it started laughing so hard because it reads like a teenagers journal.  I will do better.  

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