Friday, January 12, 2007

so we picked up a hitchhiker. he was probably in his mid 50's. i think he just goes from town to town working at bars until he feels like moving on, like a christian jack kerouac thats not as smart. after we dropped him off, we saw a beagle on the side of I-65 outside of decatur, alabama. we turned around and pulled over, and three of us got out of the van and tried to go get it. it took us about 15 minutes to get close enough to touch her, because she kept barking and running a few feet back whenever we got within 50 feet. finally she lay down and let me go up to her and pet her. we carried her back into the van and started driving again. she had a collar with the name "gulley" and a phone number, so we called. it turned out that she was a run-away hunting dog and they didnt even seem to care, so we decided to call them back and tell them that she escaped when we pulled over. we felt vindicated when the owner said that she didnt care because they got a good year of hunting out of her and they were probably going to just let her loose anyway.
we drove the rest of the way to nashville, but we werent able to get on the show, so we hung out at danny's friend's house and made buttons out of random things we cut out of magazines. then we drove to bowling green to stay with nathan's friend. i like to town there; it has a cute town square and an organic fair trade coffee shop with delicious soy chai latte.
on to lexington. dirty punk house, rad kids. the kids there are sort of like hardcore kids that found crimethinc. or something, but totally legit. we played a rad show at an infoshop to a small but very appreciative audience, and then drove to louisville.
we built a fire and stayed up late playing uno and "never have i ever". the next day ben and i checked out the local skatepark and it was totally awesome. it was a free outdoor concrete park with lights at night. we both wanted to go back after the show, but it rained.
the show was ok, i liked the space and there were a few really cool kids there, including the ones that we stayed with.
we also got into a fight, which was about the most fun id had in years. this mall-metalcore band that played was drunk and acting shitty, and lee put a kingdom sticker on the back of one of their cabs when the house lights went out so they could do their light show. later on when we were packing up, one of them told davin that the person who did it had to come outside and apologize for being disrespectful or they were going to fight us. i mean, of all of the reasons to get mad at a show, a fuckign sticker. they peeled it off and it didnt leave a mark. shit, attrition and kingdom have done way worse to each other just about every night. i went outside with a big group kids and saw the singer of their band in a shouting match with ben. the details arent important, but it ended with ben telling him to go home, him telling ben to make him, and ben saying ok and laying him out with one punch. he could have said it to just about anybody else (if he told me, i would have walked away), but he picked the wrong guy. then everyone jumped on everyone else... it wasnt a big fight and it was over quickly. no one really got hurt. it was just plain fun, like a brawl in a saloon. i think we're going to put a sticker on the dudes car on the way out of town.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

after gainesville we played pensacola at this club called sluggos, which is a bar/vegan restaurant/hardcore club, and we had rad $1 burritos. the local band that we played with was a bunch of kids that recently moved from the dominican republic and played amazing fast angry punk. they threw tortillas at the crowd and talked about the way that multinational corporations have a monopoly on the world's supply of food and about the drug war. that night we stayed with our new friend ryan, who is totally awesome. hes an older vegan straightedge dude that apparently used to live in richmond and we played an epic 4-hour game of uno.
baton rouge sucked. some kid said that we were gay because we talked too much, which pretty much characterizes the experience.
we drove to new orleans to stay the night, where we played scrabble, watched hgtv, and stayed up late telling ghost stories and talking like a middle school sleepover party. the last of us to go to sleep were mikey, davin, shiela (kingdom's roadie with a wicked new england accent) and me, around 6:30am. the bands had some much needed bonding time together. i feel like if you go on tour with a band and dont become good friends with them by the end, you've done something wrong.
the next day we spent 4 hours trying to eat and it was really irritating. we walked miles down the road that we were staying on trying to find a place to get vegan po boys but everything was closed, so we drove downtown. we parked on burbon street next to about 30 topless bars and wandered around into the french quarter where, around 4:30pm, we found a middle eastern place with mediocre falafel.
the new orleans show was rad; we played at a collective art/punk space and ate the most amazing vegan chocolate cake (thanks jen!) and vegan gumbo, which i've never had before. the last band, we need to talk, was badass. also, this guy called jesse camp who i apparently should have recognize was there heckling, drinking, and loved our band. he was visiting from new york and promised to come to the show at my house in brooklyn. we took a group shot with all of the bands and jesse.
that night we stayed at the same house and again stayed up late talking about anarchist politics and sexism in the hardcore scene.
on an hour of sleep, i woke up at 6:30 to drive 9 hours to nashville, which was the first drive that really felt like being on tour, because we were in the van so long that i stopped caring.

in my next entry: attrition picks up a hitchhiker and steals a beagle. to be continued...

Friday, January 5, 2007

charlotte, charleston, daytona, gainesville. we've only played one show since i last wrote, but we've been skipping from town to town. nothing interesting to write about. just hanging out, seeing old friends, eating vegan pizza on the beach, and driving. this tour has been much slower than last one, with more time to hang out and more asking the question, "so what do you guys want to do?", which we didnt really have time to do last time. the frenzied pace combined with the newness of it all made for an experience that was too much for me to keep up with, but this time it feels different.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

so its day 4, our first day off. like last time, i had pretty low expectations about a lot of these shows, and each time ive been completely wrong. we were 4 hours late leaving for richmond, but it turned out that the permanent, army of fun, how we are, blacklisted show that we wanted to go to started late and the first band was going on right when we got there. lee and i watched the first band, the name of which i cant remember, and permanent, while the rest of the dudes made themselves sick eating at panda veg. then we got a call that we were wanted at the house where we were playing. 4 hours later, it was finally time to play in a beer and mud soaked basement. my shoes and drum rug will never look/smell the same. still, we played pretty well, and people were into it. we got some donations from the door and sold a few things, so we still had enough to pay for gas. house show in greensboro on new years: rad younger vegan straightedge kids played political hardcore, lots of root beer, and the first new years that i actually enjoyed in a long while. charlotte suprised the hell out of me, because we were expecting the house show to be full of conservative hardcore kids, but it turns out that people were really into what we had to say, picked up a lot of zines from our distro, bought merch, and actually moved around for our set. also, it was the first show in a big enough space that people were really moving around for kingdom, and i had a great time.
we were worried about having to pay for gas out of pocket to get down to daytona because we were only playing 2 free shows on the way down and had 2 shows cancelled, but it turns out that we are doing really well.
there is something relaxing and theraputic about sleeping in the back of a moving van. the motion of the van calms me, and the knowledge that with each second im putting more distance between myself and the last place i was is meditative.
unfortunately, i still have a thesis hanging over my head, and reading that i should be doing. man do i not want to worry about that shit. i want to stay on tour. i wonder, however, if i will eventually catch up with myself, because as fun as this is, i think part of the allure is that everything changes so fast that i dont have time to feel stagnant and bored. as quick fixes go, this one is pretty rad.