a great destructive fire; conflagration.
2012-08-19; Day 9; Wisconsin is the devil. Destroyed our trailer; our intestines; our spirits; hopes; dreams; energy. Josh accidentally figured out how to play a Goo Goo Dolls song. That’s how bad it got.
KFC; don’t do it in times of stress and despair…
Long story short, trailer ripped off our car because the Uhaul place put it on wrong. We waited like 5 hours for the whole procedure of getting it fixed and/or getting it replaced and then the waiting and the approvals BLAH BLAH BLAH. We ended up missing our show in Madison with 2 bands we really wanted to play with. Control we’ve been trying to play with forever and Giant People hosted us last time through. They just played their last show.
We saw a few UFOs on the drive home. Then the interior running lights and the rear lights all went out for the last 1.5 hours of our drive.
We slept black sleep. Thanks to everyone that came out every night. A lot of people we met through this trip were out incidentally. A lot of bands fell through on a lot of bills and a lot of people were just out by chance. It’s really great to see there’s still people out there seeking something foreign or random. We’re also really grateful to the people who gave us somewhere to stay, some friendship and possibly some food and drink:
ALL the cats at The Soundpony (MANHAMMER)
The Servus/Timecat kids
DAN ZAPPONE DAN ZAPPONE DAN ZAPPONE
all the Red Fox Grey Fox kids: Pete, Jer, Ben and Stephen
Thank you all so much, we’d never have made it through this entire thing without you guys.
2012-08-18; Day 8; Swip your card.
Playing with Red Fox Grey Fox is ALWAYS a treat. PLUS this was their FIRST show in 2+ years! Honestly one of my favorite shows I’ve seen this year. Easily. Here are some meaty-ogre pictures of their awesome set. If you haven’t yet you should seriously listen.
Me and my Arrow were also pretty spiffy
We raged pretty hardcore that night after the show down at the Bro Dojo/Red Fox Half house. Next day was our ritualistic visit to Matt’s Bar.
2012-08-17; Day 7; The drive from Denver to Lincoln is one of the most desolate, boring drives of all time. I think in the whole 5 years of the band this is probably our most consistently traveled route yet. We always, without fail, listen to Wilco RIGHT smack in the middle of the trip. The sunset isn’t terrible and at least the sun is no longer pummeling the poor Vanaesthetic. About 3/4 through the trek we all feel about how Dan looks here.
Knickerbockers is very long. We reached out to a lot of bands in the area (or, I guess, the few bands we KNEW and/or had played with) and no one could really do it. The show was a hodgepodge of 3 genres: whatever the fuck we are, a Panic! At the Disco/Angels and Airwaves hybrid and a post…jam…hip-hop…collective? I don’t know how to describe it. Chris at Knickerbockers was extremely nice though and obviously had tried all the same bands we tried to get (not a lot of bands to reach out to in Lincoln, apparently!) and they got us some money for the trip to Minne-hoo-ha which we were grateful for!
The next morning we left and on the way through Omaha (er, back through) we stopped at Cracker Barrel and absolutely gorged ourselves. Saw this old sign for bath salts. Chewed on some dude’s face.
2012-08-15 + 16; Day 5 / Day 6; Both days we’re in Denver. We get to our friend Dan’s house at like, 10? I think. It was a long night. Long drive. Uphill both ways. We went right to bed for a few hours. Dan (Zappone, our friend…not the guitarist in the band) got home and we had some mexican food. Because we could. We went to Dan’s (the guitarist in the band, this time) wife’s Dad’s house for some epic pizza time.
On the way back to Zappone’s we got some beer and some Kentucky Deluxe. Why?BECAUSE YOU CAN TASTE THE DELUXE! And the savings. Altitude and alcohol: yikes.
Next day is the show at Old Curtis St. Small but cool place; and they gave us free food of…the Mexican persuasion!
We were talking about a sticker for a band named Adai and how we were listening to them our last time through Denver and the guy running sound/production ended up being from the band. Awkward, tiny world. Looking forward to hopefully playing with those guys next time we go through CO for SURE.
Daggermouth Spectacular ended up being super rad dudes. By the end of the night we were just all calling each other names. This guy had to have had 10 amp cabs too.
Orphans are always bad ass. We played with some of the cats from this band back when they were in Solarbear. In fact, last time we played Denver, we were supposed to play with Solarbear but Marcus was out of town so they had “Solarbear-eoke” with people filling in for Marcus. Such awesome people every time we’ve met them all. And a hell of a show. People started throwing chairs in to a pile in front of the band while they played….?!
We didn’t get to talk to the other band very much because they left pretty early on.
2012-08-13+14; Day 3/Day 4; There weren’t a lot of pictures from Kansas City or Omaha. Long, warm days. Kansas City was the first show of tour where just, no one even showed up til 10pm or something like that. Bands…bar patrons…no one. My ol’ buddy Klem ended up coming out and it’s always glorious to see him! Him and his ladyfriend also let us crash all the hell over their place; we now owe them one sacrificial murder in their honor.
We watched The Relic and then Arnold Schwarzenegger prank calls on youtube. I think we all died a little on the insides from all the laughter. Let’s not forget the next morning’s mini-marathon of House of Cosbys. It was great as we’d already been yelling out Cosby-isms the entire tour: CAMILLE!; YA seeee; RUdyyy; daaaooow. Then this got added to our repertoire. Always good times with Klem.
Afterwards we went to Denny’s where Bill proceeded to walk like it was raining and he had holes in his shoes. Because it was and he did. Many times we tried to capture the hilarity of Bill’s new-found rain dance.
Next day, in Omaha, Sam and Josh acted like teen girls at the Saddle Creek store. That picture is of a large, life-sized version of Bright Eyes’ “Fevers and Mirrors” album cover. As a mirror. /nerd. We went to the Slowdown to grab a beer and we saw the drummer from The Flaming Lips…that was rather surreal.
We met the kids who helped us with the show and were really awesome, generous dudes. Their band was Timecat (I can’t find anything on these guys but half of them are in the band Servus who also happen to be BADASS:
We also played with:
Andrew Jonathan who was one of the most genuinely nice guys we met this entire time on tour. Really earnest, honest singer-songwriter.
He was on tour with Remiss who I believe are also from Iowa. CHECK!
I can’t for the LIFE of me remember the other band’s name……
We drove all night from Omaha to Denver…
2012-08-12; Day 3; On the way to The Soundpony (in Tulsa…) we stopped at the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Giftshop.”
Lots. Of. Jesus. Stuff. And stuff with every variety of dog on it. But! ALSO! Lots and lots and lots of crazy flavored salt water taffy!
Seriously though…this place was gross. So many obnoxious kids and hill-jack assclowns. Josh thought it’d be hilarious to put our old bananas under peoples wheels and/or in their cars.
All the bands dropped off the show at The Soundpony. Yep. But the band Shake, Shake had just finished playing when we showed up (accidental early show). Nicest guys ever. Seriously. Had awesome conversations about black metal and Dio with everyone we met!
At one point when we were at the bar, a dude who had to be on SOMEthing came up to us. We said hi and asked him if he was there for the bands or just hanging out. He said “for the bands.” We thought this was a good thing. Dan asked him what type of music he liked to which he replied “I hate music” and put his head in his hands. He went outside and was licking the chain link fences…
That said, go look up the band Manhammer. Oh. MY. GOD. Manhammer. But yeah, never be in Tulsa after dark…just for breakfast.
I’d like to add it was over 100 degrees when we finished the night at 1am. Dumb.
When we got to our motel for the night we were pretty sure someone had been murdered in the shower by repeated blunt force trauma to the head and face. We watched Squidbillies and Bill giggled us to sleep.
2012-08-11; Day 3: The Sequel; We get to St. Louis and traffic SHUTS DOWN. They closed off an entire highway cuz they were busy taking a cross section of it out during the evening rush-hour.
We get to LEMP and some of the bands had fallen through (…all the bands?). We played with:
The Nightgrinder; 1 man; noise. He had the weirdest set up of a speaker with two wires shooting out covered in tin-foil…? They’d bounce of each other and create noises ranging from booming, epic, summer thunder to loud, aggressive, chaotic pistons firing. Insane.
Lions Eat Grass; if you ever have a chance you have got to see this band. It’s just 2 guys: drummer, accordion/singer. I have no clue what happened during this set. Seriously. Apparently, lions DO eat grass thought…for the health of their teeth.
[couldn’t find anything for these guys…:(]
We stayed with Dan’s ol’ friend Mark (who’s motherfuckin’ hilarious). Drank ourselves stupid and then Sam elbowed Josh in the face because he got scared…
2012-08-11; Day 2; We haven’t gotten any of our records at this point (this is the record release tour…). After finding out that 100 of the grey came in, we finagled a way to meet up and get them about halfway between where we were in Grand Rapids and where we needed to go (St. Louis). This just happened to be Sam’s hometown of Mokena at a gas station.
Look’it those beauties! We were pretty happy.
Then Sam’s mom showed up with a car full of food (this is completely normal for Sam’s mom; awesome). She then bought us a SHIT-TON of White Castle while we went to go get a new lock for the trailer…yes, the lock broke our first day of tour. She also brought us approximately 25 gallons of Lipton sweet tea.
2012-08-10; Day 1; we got to The DAAC too early (recurring curse)…it was raining profusely and 3 of us were wearing canvas shoes (at least 2 of us with holes in the bottom already…this is tour day one….). So within 3 minutes and 2 pbj sandwiches our feet are soaked. Except for Dan…stupid New Balances.
Abra was right; we should’ve brought our galoshes.
We played with:
The Abyss Gazes Also; simultaneous Watchmen + Nietzsche reference! Awesome dudes, apparently it was their first show too which was ridiculous! They’ve got some pictures of the show up here:
Between Brains; the first band I can recall saying “we’re going to be loud” and then delivering by pummeling the ever-loving SHIT out of my ears. Fuck yes.
After the show we went to a friend’s house (THANKS ABRA!), drank profusely, and ate pizza (of course). All while watching Netflix. Now if you haven’t seen “Fishing With John” you’re doing yourself a MAJOR DISSERVICE. Watch the one with Tom Waits and then you’re welcome.
Worst sleep ever. I swear to God, that damn cat…