subject: Does anybody have a lozenge?
Posted on May 3, 2004 at 8:30 PM

At this point in our saga, I'm reminded of the old maxim: "Join the Navy and see the world. Just remember that four fifths of the world is water." While spending two months driving around this great nation of ours might certainly seem like a reasonable way to spend one's time, one should keep in mind that driving highlights (e.g. Rockies, the various large bodies of water, other interesting things to look at) are actually relatively few and far between.

What you actually would see are lots of trees. Also an abundance of fields, warehouses, fast-food restaurants, and gas stations. The most omnipresent visual stimuli comes in the form of semi trucks. Right now as I type this there are 6 in my field of vision, without turning my head. If you really stop to think about it, there are a lot of semis in this country. I couldn't quote an exact number, but I think "a fucking gazillion" seems like a good estimation.

Anyways, to the matter at hand, last night's show in Champaign was excellent. I really didn't know what sort of crowd to expect for a late Sunday show, but it turned out all right. Miguel did the Mexican Hat Dance Guitar Solo in Addiction, something he rarely pulls out, so you know it was a good night. We had some problems with the video. Well, one problem, really. I left the power adaptor for the Lyra in Milwaukee the night before. Luckily, my go-to guy Carl was at the venue, and proceeded to solve the unsolvable through the judicious purchase and subsequent assembly of a chain of various adaptors, which ultimately resulted in a powered and working Lyra, and thus a video presentation.

The only real negative, other than the usual drunken antics, was the fact that I really killed my voice in Milwaukee, and it hadn't got back in to good form for the Champaign show. It isn't unusual for me to have troubles with my voice on the second or third show of a tour, and despite the fact that I have a much stronger singing voice than I did in, say, 1994, nothing has really changed. So I spent most of the night in extreme throat pain mode, and wasn't able to fully express my opinion about the aforementioned drunken antics after the show, despite my intense desire to do so. (I have about as much desire to put up with the idiotic conversations and actions of a drunk person as I do to, e.g. ram a hot soldering iron in to my right eye and wiggle it around a bit.) In short, I couldn't use the Big Voice. It's hard to take someone seriously when they're croaking at you.

But Columbusites have nothing to fear; today I seem to be almost back to normal. I imagine that by tonight, I'll be back up to normal performance level. So, I leave you here, and go back to counting the number of cell phone towers between Indianapolis and Columbus, as the fucking hooplehead in the driver's seat does his level best to make me really decide I hate Tupac for all time. Ah, the wonderful life of a professional musician.

subject: Van Style!
Posted on May 2, 2004 at 11:54 AM

If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to ride in a tour van, and don't want to take the drastic step of actually riding in the tour van like Brian McDaniels, this photo pretty much sums up the whole shooting match. Basically, you're either on stage playing a show, or doing one of these two possible things.

subject: There's no place like home!
Posted on May 2, 2004 at 11:51 AM

Just a quick one, because I have a shitload of stuff to do. The trip to Milwaukee was uneventful, unless you consider arriving on time and in one piece an event (and considering the last three days, I think that's a safe play on my part.) The show was absolutely stomping, though. This was my first time at Club Anything, and I'm now a big fan of the club. Despite the not-so-great PA and minor technical problems throughout the show (based largely on the fact that Vincent couldn't really hear the backing tracks, like, at all) we were most definitely able to get our rock on.

The drama started after the show; it seems Christ Analogue's drummer is a Special Needs person, who has serious back problems (which precludes sleeping in the van) and is deathly alergic to cats (which precludes sleeping at any of our apartments; we're definitely a van full of Cat People.) This means that, despite the fact that we were all staying in Chicago at our homes after the show, he needed to get a hotel room.

Now, anyone that knows anything about Chicago will understand that getting a hotel actually _in_ Chicago on a weekend is basically impossible. The result of this was that we spent an hour and a half of Home Time With Significant Others driving around Rosemont trying to find a hotel room that cost less than the Budget for the War. This, of course, left some (okay, let's go ahead and say "all") other members of the tour somewhat nonplussed. Charlie is now on a number of Shit Lists, and will have to work hard to extricate himself from same. I'm sure bribery will be involved.

Anyways, to make a long story short, the show was fucking great. There's not much in the world I like more than doing a good show in a small packed club. I blew out my voice, and was a little worried last night, but it seems to be okay now, so we should be in good shape for Champaign tonight, as long as we can get there on time and under budget.

subject: Hell In A Handbasket, Take Two.
Posted on May 2, 2004 at 11:30 AM

(Note: I wrote this yesterday, but wasn't able to put it up until today; thus the disparity in time.)

Wow, that was a long day. Pretty much every possible thing that could go wrong (short of either death or dismemberment) did. Trailer's wiring harness was made for a Chevy (our original van, taken out of action by a deer in an earlier episode); our current van is a Dodge. Pep Boys didn't have an adaptor so I had to McGuyver one out of thin air.

That done, we got rolling an hour or so late, but still well within the allotted time. That'll be the last time I can type that phrase in this post. Events continually conspired to keep us away from LaCrosse, with vim and vigor, and all sense of keen enjoyment. Some stupid-ass Wal-Mart truck driver managed to splay his truck and cargo clean across the highway right at one of those s-thingies where they're doing construction and the highway takes a jog. This double-whammy of traffic trouble put us in to a state that could best be described as "fucked for time," if I was a more vulgar person. Since my writing is the model of reserved language, I'll just say that I had some colorful commentary about those fucking cocksuckers at Wal-Mart, and the blight of stupid-ass mediocrity they've caused all across the face of this nation.

So, we were late but not _that_ late. I solved that particular problem by managing to get lost when we finally arrived in the vicinity of LaCrosse. Instead of going south on a particular state highway, we went north, and the net result was that we ran parallel to the interstate for 25 miles back the way we had just come. Double-plus-fucked at that point, and nothing else to say on the matter, other than that we actually did manage to arrive at the club _before_ doors were supposed to open, which is something, I guess.

Anyways, despite the fact that we didn't have time to set up the video (sorry, LaCrosse! My fault...) or sound-check, we still had what I felt was a pretty good DT show (although it's the only one, and thus a limited frame of reference.) Manufactura stomped through an excellent power-noise set, followed by CA's drum-destroying antics. We then had a relatively trouble-free performance, except the bit where I felt like I was going to die of heat stroke after the second song pretty much until the end. It's been a while since I've done this shit; gotta get back in shape.

Anyways, I'm writing this in the van on the way to Milwaukee, where we will arrive on time and under budget.

subject: Well, it's One for the Money and Two for the Show...
Posted on April 29, 2004 at 3:31 PM

Holy fucking shit, away we go.

SMG's last rehearsal is tonight, and then we'll pack it up and hit the road. My thinking is thus: if it's still broke by now, it ain't getting fixed. As far as I can tell, I've thought of everything that needs thinking of, and either dismissed it as something I shouldn't be worrying about, or made allowances. Of course, as we all know, no plan ever survives contact with the enemy. Since we're coming home after the Milwaukee show on Saturday, I get one last chance for a do-over, so we'll see how things turn out.

In any case, like I've said on the SMG blog a few times, I'll make every attempt to post here at least once a day; sometimes events just conspire against you, though, and there's nothing you can do about it. (I'm sure Wade would have some insight in to the nature of that statement right about now, as CA hobbles through Wisconsin in a rented van.) Anyways, here we fucking go.

subject: Hell In A Handbasket, Take One.
Posted on April 28, 2004 at 2:00 AM

Okay, kids. Since we like to think of this site as entertaining _and_ educational, I'm going to use today's entry for a physics lesson. Let us take a little journey through Newton's Three Laws Of Motion, illustrated via experimentation by Christ Analogue:

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

Now, this is a fairly simple concept. Say, for instance, all four members of Christ Analogue are in a van. The van is travelling at, say, 80 miles per hour. While the underlying physics behind the chain of events that keep this van going at 80 are vast and complicated, it really comes down to this: if the cruise control is set at 80, the van is going to keep going at 80 until an external force acts upon it. All that said, to be proper phsyicists, we have to do this in metric, so let's say that Christ Analogue and the Van are travelling at 36 meters per second.

II. The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma.

This is also pretty simple. Force equals mass times acceleration. Couldn't be easier. The van's gross vehicle weight is 3200 kg. Since it's also full of members of Christ Analogue and all their shit, let's just go ahead and call it an even 4000 kgs. Since we are conveniently located on Earth, that figure can also be its mass. We already talked about the acceleration; I know there are a pile of boring velocity equations to figure in to the picture, but for simplicity's sake, let's say that for an object massing 4000 kg travelling at 36 meters per second, built out of steel for the most part, the F is a whole fucking shitload of N.

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Ahhh, number three is the motherfucker, hey? Now, take your average adult male deer...

To make a long story short, in the epic battle of Van v. Deer, occuring on Interstate 90 in Western Montana early this morning, the score is Van 1, Deer 1. Much arm waving and running about ensues. Theoretically the Van has been replaced with another van, and Christ Analogue are now en route to Chicago. I'll believe it when I see it, but come hell or high water, SMG will be in LaCrosse on Friday, if we have to fucking take the god damned Greyhound. And Christ Analogue's drummer will hereafter be refered to as The Deerslayer.

subject: For Those About To Rock, We Salute You!
Posted on April 26, 2004 at 10:17 PM

Friday is the first show on the DT (which is how I will refer to the Domination Tour from here on out, so as to save myself what I foresee as a lot of typing) and things are really hopping in the Positron! Kompound. Basically, our entire front office is filled with boxes containing T-shirts and CDs. The day is filled, from beginning to end, with all the ridiculous work that is involved in getting a tour out the door.

We've ordered all the things that need to be ordered, and built all the things that need to be built, and rehearsed all the songs that need to be rehearsed. I'd like to say that we're in the calm before the storm, but in actual fact there is nothing calm about it. I have three days left, and I still haven't finished the video for the Christ Analogue set; that's only the most glaring example of all the dumb shit that hasn't been done. There are about ten thousand other stupid little things I won't remember until Friday morning when we're packing Trailer.

Ahhh... Trailer, Joy of Man's Desiring. The cockles of my heart warm at the thought of Trailer, basking in all her red glory, literally bouncing on her torsion bar suspension with anticipation in a Logan Square garage. I need to pick up Trailer's real license plate tomorrow. I am of the firm opinion that whatever else might go wrong on this tour, Trailer won't let me down. She's just like that.

I am a little worried that Trailer won't adequately contain all the shit I plan to shove in her, but that's a problem I can't really do anything about now, so I'm not going to sweat it. If it's a choice between leaving people here and swapping out Trailer for a model with more girth, well, sorry guys, but I have priorities. A four-piece band is just a three-piece with more notes, right?

Anyways, there is one thing that makes this tour different than all the others. Yup, you guessed right. Custom guitar picks. I am allowing myself very little in the way of personal pleasure on this tour (in fact, I'm not even playing guitar) but I indulged myself in the one thing that I've always wanted but never got. So, taa-daa...

subject: Welcome to the Domination Tour blog area!
Posted on March 19, 2004 at 7:58 PM

And away we go. The area you're currently in, containing blogs from myself, Miguel, Wade Alin (Christ Analogue) and KarloZ.M (Manufactura) will be updated every few days until the first show. Once we actually leave, however, it's a whole new ball of twine.

I can't speak for the other gentlemen, but as for me, there will be at least one, and probably multiple, entries every single day, wherein you will find my amusing road trip anecdotes you know and love so much from the SMG site, as well as pictures I've taken while travelling.

I will still blog on the SMG site while the tour is going on, but mostly about things that are related only to SMG, or to non-tour-related stuff (basically, the normal content of the SMG blog will remain unchanged). The twice-daily missives will occur on this site, however, along with commentary from the other four principle members of the tour. So you'll get to hear about every stupid little thing that happens from 5 different viewpoints, which should be enough for anyone. All that said, this will be a very well-blogged tour, and this site should provide an amazing insight in to what we go through every day while on the road.

You've no doubt noticed a shitload of TBA dates on the front page. Anyone that has prior knowledge of how SMG puts dates on the internet knows that we don't post dates until we have signed contracts. So as the dates come in, all those TBA stops will turn in to real shows.

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