subject: Wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago...
Posted on May 31, 2004 at 10:09 PM

Let me just state for the record that I love New Orleans. Lisa and I visit this city often, and have pondered moving here several times, to the point of looking for apartments even. I like the weather, I like the look of the town, I like the people.

I don't like the tourists, but you take the good with the bad, and I know that the chickenshit bastards can't stomach the more extreme conditions here year round like I can. And (taking that rough and tumble piece of February out of the picture) for the most part the tourist plague here is mild compared to, say, New York City.

Anyways, our last day off for a while, so I took special care to enjoy myself. Went to an excellent seafood restaurant, and spent a little too much money on dinner, but it was well worth it. Oysters Rossini so good I about passed out. Best I've ever had, truth be told. I generally don't frequent these sorts of restaurants when I'm here with Lisa, as a place that specializes in lobster and steak isn't exactly vegetarian-friendly. But when the cat's away, the mice will play, as the saying goes. The irony here is that, in a situation like this, I spend the entire meal talking about how Lisa couldn't eat here, and there's nothing on the menu Lisa could eat, and this place would be so much cooler if Lisa could order something besides the garden salad, &c., &c. So, it really kind of defeats the purpose for the other people that share the meal with me, as apparently Lisa's eating habits aren't a subject they really find interesting in the same way I do. Well, that's their loss.

Walked around the Quarter as always, went to the same stores and bars I always go to, did the usual things I do when I'm in New Orleans, and had the same absolutely awesome time. I fucking love this town. (Did I already say that?) The show is tomorrow, and while I'd like it to be off the hook, it's okay if it isn't, because, well, this is New Orleans and it's so fucking easy to have a good time here, I'm all good. I'll let you know either way, of course. This is our last Southeast show; our Tour Of Texas starts in two days, and we're back in to the core of the SMG fanbase. (There is only one state with more SMG fans per capita than Texas, and that's Illinois.) So, while I really like the South from a personal standpoint, from a purely business aspect I'll be glad to get in to Texas.

subject: Whip it good...
Posted on May 30, 2004 at 1:56 PM

Well, that was a fun start to Memorial Day weekend. Met some fun people last night in West Palm Beach. The show was part of a larger Fetish event, and as such, there was much latex and leather in attendence. Everyone on the tour that needed a firm spanking got one, best as I can tell. Thanks to Joseph and crew for the hospitality both at Respectable St. last night and at Sonar in Ft. Lauderdale the night before.

It should be mentioned that I very nearly killed B. McDaniel and Vincent on the way back from clubbing in Ft. Lauderdale. I-95 is like 10 lanes each way in this part of Florida, and I decided to take a little nap on the way back from Sonar. Unfortunately, I was the one driving. I woke up going diagonal across the highway. A glance in the rearview of our rental car showed a Brian McDaniel Classic Look Of Shock And Awe. He was, it seems, so fucking scared he couldn't make any sound that might be loud enough to get me out of REM sleep.

The look was worth the trip.

So we're en route to Orlando right now, where we will play then motor to New Orleans for some Memorial Day festivities. The show last night was the Official Half-Way Point for the tour. We're now done heading south and east, and are today beginning our trek north and west. The main difference (other than the scenery) is that the drives will be significantly longer. It's really fun sitting in the van with 2nd degree burns on my legs. Happy days.

subject: I'm burnin' up, feel my fire...
Posted on May 28, 2004 at 8:48 PM

There's nothing like following up a hard run of shows with a really good day off, and today was the exemplification of a Good Day Off. We left Talahassee after the show at about 3 in the morning, drove all night, and rolled in to West Palm Beach at about 10 in the morning. My Day Off didn't start out too good, truth be told. Cranky after a relatively sleepless night in the van, I was confronted with the complete and total stupidity of The World's Dumbest Hotel Clerk. I'm sure she was trying her best, but unfortunately her best wasn't exactly up to snuff with anything that would generously be termed "below average" in others. To make a very long and drawn-out story much shorter, in order to get two rooms for two nights I had to check in four times. In my sleep-deprived state, this was an excrutiating process, and that's 45 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

That done, Vincent and I rented a car (a story unto itself), and proceeded to Find A Beach. Luckily, this isn't too big of a problem on the Atlantic coast of Florida. The day was beautiful, the ocean was warm and clear, and I proceeded to do the same dumb-fuck thing that everyone does at least once on tour. I fell asleep on the beach after an hour and a half of swimming. I had coated everything north of my waist with SPF-5,000,000 sunscreen, but unfortunately my dumb ass forgot to do my legs. So while I napped away the afternoon, my legs got par-fucking-boiled. I am now Cap'n Red Legs, Master Of All I Survey.

Ouch.

So, Vincent, Brian and I are going to drive down to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up a new stock of t-shirts (we ran out of DT shirts last night). I'm going pawn-shopping tomorrow before the show, and will hopefully replace my keyboard that has been broken since the Atlanta show.

subject: I-75
Posted on May 27, 2004 at 7:05 PM

Sorry I missed a day or two, but it's been one of those weeks. Very hard driving this week, with not much proper sleep. We drove the 330 mile stretch of I-75 between Atlanta and Gainesville three times in three days, which would have been funny but for the fact that it just wasn't, like, at all. By the time we rolled in to Jacksonville, I'd all but forgotten what a hotel room was for, and what they looked like.

So let's see what we haven't talked about. At the Birmingham show I was sick as a dog with, like, a 6-hour flu or something. I fell asleep in the van after soundcheck totally on accident, and got par-boiled. I woke up about ten minutes before we were supposed to go on, drenched in sweat and completely unable to talk. A somewhat truncated set resulted. Despite my personal condition, I just want to say that the soundman and manager of Nick's in Birmingham are the shit. Incredibly nice people.

Next up was Jacksonville, last night. Some nights we're just "on," you know? Everyone had a good set last night, but when I was on stage we were really popping, for whatever reason. Miguel was down to two strings on his guitar by the end of "Sins," from playing so hard. I must have sweat out whatever shit was in my system, because as soon as I walked off the stage I felt a thousand times better. Big thanks to Tim and all the staff at Jack Rabbit's, because they went way above and beyond the call to make us feel at home.

Now I'm sitting in the Beta Bar in Talahassee. Sound check is done, and they're getting ready to open doors. I think tonight will be pretty damned good, as this is more of a normal venue, as opposed to a bar that has live music. To the best of my recollection I've never been in this town before, so I really have no idea what kind of audience will be here. But the club is like a small Metro, and soundcheck went excellent, so hopefully it'll be good. Big day off tomorrow on the beach.

subject: Time to make the donuts...
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 1:23 AM

Man, I was tired for tonight's show. Just beat to hell from the drive and the weird sleeping schedule and the hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold of walking in to and out of buildings in Florida. I actually got a little loopy by the time Crackhead came around, and when I stood up too fast in the transition from the first verse to the first chorus, I 'bout passed out.

But them donuts got made. Karlos had to sit the show out due to a bad case of bronchitis, but we took him to the shop and got him a tune-up. He'll be sitting out Birmingham as well, but should be back in fine form for Jacksonville on Wednesday.

subject: Tricksy Hobbits hid the Flying J!
Posted on May 24, 2004 at 2:22 AM

Some states have, like, the blue signs that tell you there's shit you might want to stop at for a given exit (e.g. Flying J, TA, BP, Bob Evans, et al) but don't necessarely put the shit actually near the exit. The net result is that you end up driving for miles through East Bumfuck, Georgia before you figure out that there actually isn't a Flying J at this exit, despite what the blue sign said.

Ranting aside, an excellent day in Atlanta. The promoters were fantastic, the club's PA excellent, the house sound guy absolutely top-of-the-line. Spending a hazy tired day in Little Five Points drinking iced-tea and people watching wasn't so bad, either. On the scale of Shows So Far, I'll give this one a 4.5 out of 5. We're grading on a bell curve, though.

Don't have time to type much else. Just a quick stop for gas, then it's on to Gainsville. Miles to go before I sleep.

subject: Take The Skinheads Bowling...
Posted on May 23, 2004 at 7:18 AM

(...and if you're lucky, they'll get in a terrible accident on the way home.) I can't stand skins. I especially can't stand the kind of skins that really have the full top-to-bottom outfit, and the ridiculous attitude that goes with it. The funny thing is that real skins will spend all kinds of time expounding their political views at you, while poseur skins will spend at least the same amount of time going on about how they are nothing like the first group. Wouldn't it really be easier to just not wear the fucking uniform?

So, our show last night was crawling with skins of the latter variety. They probably spent more time getting their outfit together than they actually spent at the venue. Both Wade and I have shaved heads, so we continually run the risk of these guys trying to identify with us, although any one of them would find out in about 15 seconds of conversation that other than the fact that we're white and have little to no hair, we couldn't have less in common with them.

Despite the preponderance of skinheads, there were still a good selection of the SMG faithful, and a lot of newbies. This is our first time playing Jacksonville. We'd played Myrtle Beach back in the day, but it was a Spring Break show, and thus incredibly stupid. The monitors blew up during the CA set, so I wasn't entirely sure if I was singing in key the whole show, but it seemed to go over okay, so I guess it was fine. I'm in a Flying J in South Carolina right now, about midway on our epic journey to Atlanta. Tonight's show should be off the hook. I'll hopefully be reporting same at some point in the near future.

subject: You win some, you lose some...
Posted on May 22, 2004 at 2:21 AM

Columbia, SC is now in the bag, as our complete carpet bombing of the Carolinas continues. We had an opening band tonight, whos name escapes me. Part of the Gother-Than-Thou set; I suppose they were good, as they had quite a few people there for them alone; however, not exactly my cup of tea, so I stayed away. (This isn't meant to be offensive, so save the hate mail you're already thinking of for someone that will give a flying fuck; I call 'em as I see 'em. If someone is looking for flowers blown up their ass, they've come to the wrong place.)

We had a reasonable sound check when we arrived, and I was fairly confident that things would go all right. However, that was long before the sound man proceeded to drink and smoke himself in to a stupor. A walking talking example of what 50 years of marijauna and alcohol abuse will do to someone. That guy couldn't hold a coherent thought in his head for more than a minute, let alone keep 4 bands lines and backline straight. That would be fine, and something I could probably deal with using minimum drama, except that he was comletely confident that he was, in actual fact, the best sound man ever. So there was, to not put too fine a point on it, a bit of a communication breakdown mid-show.

So all that bullshit aside, it was a show, taken for all and all. We've got one more Carolina show tomorrow, and then to Atlanta, which I'm really looking forward to. I like Atlanta any damn way, and the promoter seems like a really cool guy, so I think that the Atlanta show will be our next Benchmark Performance (along with Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and NYC.) I'm gonna get some sleep now, so I can get up early to get the continental breakfast, and get my swim on before we cruise to Jacksonville, NC.

subject: Disciplinary Action...
Posted on May 21, 2004 at 1:45 PM

Here we have photographic documentation of Miguel giving Jason from SMP/CA a little switching for having drank all the Micky's Big Mouth. Lesson learned.

subject: Beer ain't just for breakfast anymore...
Posted on May 21, 2004 at 1:37 PM

Charlotte was good fun. The club was excellent, and I got one of the better meals I've had on this tour courtesy of the venue's catering. Really nice people. Nothing special to report otherwise.

At the risk of starting to sound sappy, I have to reiterate that I really like the Carolinas. The people, the food, the weather, the scenery, all top notch. It reminds me of Eastern Oregon, only with more trees and less sand. I spent the entire morning by the hotel pool, thinking that there are certainly worse ways to make a living in this world. My throat is a little scratchy again, but nothing that will affect the show, I don't think. I got a little squeaky during "Better Than Me" last night, but it was minor compared to the Champaign and Columbus, OH shows.

So, Columbia tonight, then Jacksonville, NC, and our next Big show is Atlanta on Sunday, which I'm looking forward to. I'll post about the Columbia show tonight when I get back to the hotel.

(And on a side note, for those of you that are reading this that haven't yet come to a show, please stop offering to buy me drinks. I don't drink when I'm playing shows, and haven't for years. You can, however, offer to buy Miguel or Levi a drink.)

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