Saturday, May 17, 2008

On the road with Joe Lally, part 1

It's been a wacky week or so... Cameron and I got back from a trip to Egypt and Jordan with her parents. We haven't had time to go through our pictures yet... maybe I'll get to post some next month. After we recovered from the jet lag and various digestive difficulties, it was time to scramble to catch up on things before heading out for a two week tour. That was complicated by my granmother's passing away last Tuesday night. The funeral was on Friday morning. It was a nice service - short and sweet, and we had a nice chance to share memories of her.

Then I had to split real quick and get in the van. Which is, I guess, how this business works. I'm missing my other grandmother's 90th birthday party, which is taking place tonight in Boca.

I'm on the road right now with a rock band. How crazy is that? We had our first show last night in Pittsburgh. It was a little strange, it was an early show that was set up that way for kind of bizarre reasons... but the audience was enthusiastic and appreciative. It was honestly our third rehearsal more than our first show, but I felt pretty good about it. There were a few places where I felt like I was being a little tentative, but for the most part I was able to relax and let the music be. The drummer, Ricardo, is really fantastic. I haven't played with him before, so that's very cool.

I meant to bring a few things that got left behind. I left my camera at home, I didn't want to carry any more junk - so I don't have any photos of the trip. And I forgot to bring a towel. We spent the night yesterday with some college students in Pittsburgh. Very nice of them to put us up, but I would've enjoyed having my own towel. Lesson learned.

So the early show thing was because there was a big show that night, presented by the same promoter who put on our show but at a different venue. It was a reunion show by The Meatmen. There were two local reunited punk bands on the bill. I think it was a very good decision for us not to be on the same bill, although the money might have been better (but the crowd and vibe would've been wrong wrong wrong)... the place was packed. It was weird though, like it was suddenly 1981 or something. Most of the audience was in costume. Costume like they were at a punk show in 1981. That was surreal. I guess it's nothing new that punk rock is now a costume rather than a subculture, but it still makes me feel strange to see it that way. I was introduced briefly to punk icon Tesco Vee, which was also a bit surreal. Turns out that the guy who wrote "Tooling for Anus" is quite down to earth and used to live in the DC suburbs where he was an elementary school teacher. Wild to think that he still does his "act" and can draw a big crowd doing it. Or maybe that's not strange at all? Maybe being a normal guy and simultaneously being a raving madman is perfectly normal? Maybe just doing both in public is what's rare.

Tonight we're in Cincinnati. We'll see how things unfold. We talked in the van today about me adding some backing vocals. Hopefully we'll have some extra time during sound-check to practice that. Singing in public... yipes!

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