August 5-Seattle to Salt Lake City
Last week a mysterious doppelganger known only as “Dave Barlow” appeared in Los Angeles, where he proceeded to “reign supreme,” according to the LA Weekly.
While Dave Barlow’s origins remain shrouded in obscurity, it is reported that after splitting with a little known musical group led by “Jay Mascis” in the 1980’s he formed his own band which—
“…became a underdog indie group that gained serious street cred throughout the years…”
Picked up Swans new album & the Savages debut at Music Millenium in Portland before playing the Bunk Bar show. Became utterly mired in cords at KEXP. Playing with Dumb Numbers was great. Adam is like part of the family at this point. Octagrape is great. Looking forward to playing our next show with them in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City To Denver – August 8th
In Seattle the bass breaks, 2 Western Oregon Vistas , 4 gas stations and 2 full mini-van drive days later we’re in clean and monument friendly Salt Lake City ..
There I pull a corroded battery from the guts of the bass and put a freshy in it’s stead. Then the guitar amp breaks. There’s about 20 friendly people at the show, my guitar also breaks but a dreadlocked luthier fixes it after the show.
Next day 8 hours to Denver and the first show that I play well. Ironically, it’s not until we get on stage in Denver that I can sing the songs without gasping for breath. Breathing easy in the city of lung-compression the city of lung compression.
At the Merch table I use a credit card reader with my iPhone, still very, very excited about that creditcard reader. A depressed young man asks me if what I did as a teenager matters to me as an adult , I say ‘of course’. I’m not sure if that helps.
Next day Dino Jr is scheduled to play Red Rocks opening for Phoenix. Everybody is unusually excited about it, girlfriends and wives fly in , my seba-bandmates will resist the allure of their single hotel rooms . The Dino Jr management are aglow with a sense of achievement.. We don’t play Red Rocks. A phantom storm forces a venue change day of.. We play indoors at a basketball stadium.
Bob and Jake don’t go , everyone is disappointed..
My turn to drive. Gallup New Mexico to Phoenix.. 4 hours plus. From 6,000 feet above sea-level to 1,000. From cool, piney air ( 60º fahrenheit ) to the lovin’ oven desert (107º fahrenheit) …
The GPS sends us on 2-lane roads almost the whole way, i’m seeing vistas I’ve never seen. Arizona is astounding. As we descend from the mountains the landscape becomes a vast collection of enormous rocks and cacti.
I’m sure some conservative citizens of Arizona believe God placed the rocks there, one by one, 10,000 years ago. I, on the other hand, am wondering what the fuck happened. Was this the bottom of an ancient ocean? What happened to the ocean?
So, Phoenix: the Crescent Ballroom. The show is well attended..not sold out or anything ,mind you, but there’s a lot of familiar faces and dancing and, just…love.
Which is nice considering how angry the state of Arizona is these days.
We pay tribute to local heroes the Meat Puppets, Sun City Girls and the Feederz during the set. We also tune alot, hem and haw, crack jokes etc. But no one seems to mind. I decide, during my usual internal show-time dialog, that I need to sing more during the day so my voice in is stronger for the show at night (I learned this lesson long ago, why must i always relearn it?)
We do the first encore of the tour and I use the credit card reader more than any other show! Thank you phoenix, I will always come here, even if whitey is an asshole…
Phoenix to San Diego
The always interesting Phoenix to San Diego drive.
More interesting these days, as the Feds crawl the desert and set up roadblocks on
interstate ostensibly to catch illegal immigrants but also to bust
anybody carrying anything illegal…
That’s right pothead , you’re car could be torn apart! ..
But with bob at the wheel with his rugged Marlboro man looks and new york demeanor we are waved through.. though we had nothing on us just the presence of straightbacked soldiers
makes me feel guilty…
Anyway..out of the desert and into San Diego and the what is commonly
regarded as the most perfect weather on earth..
Here we are at the Casbah possibly the most perfect club in the country.
I have played here in every incarnation of every band I’ve been in -and- solo too
many times to count.. at least once a year since, say, 1994…
It’s small but not too small, the people that work there are ‘rad’ and it
always sounds good onstage… Tonight is no exception , in fact i think
it’s one of the best shows i’ve ever played here, from my perspective
anyway, but the crowd are a little sleepy so I tease them, a lot,
maybe too much..maybe they think I’m a dick now. Good-natured sarcasm
does not translate well from a stage, from an uptight looking guy
with glasses (me).