Archive for the ‘Weed Hounds’ Category

weed hounds southern tour, pt 10 – austin / denton / fini

Monday, August 30th, 2010

i had wanted to get this all off my chest right quick when i got back but it was tough to do all the scanning and find time to recap all this stuff. this is going to be a long entry because it’s gonna be the last one so bear with me. where’d i leave off? i’m guessing we had just played houston and left to get on the road

so first off i drove on the biggest highway ever. it was about 12 lanes on the one side alone. this is one of the smaller parts too. people were saying that the traffic is so bad getting out of houston they made this enormous highway to reduce it a bit

it wasn’t the worst drive getting out to austin and we left pretty early. we pulled up to the venue to check it out but it was closed . so at this point we had all decided it was time to do some laundry but earlier that morning though nick and pat decided they didn’t need to do laundry and could continue to stink. psych. i think they just didn’t feel like shelling out the quarters.

so me and laura hung in the local laundromat for a bit freshening up our clothes. that place was really huge inside, but weird and empty

didn’t take many self portraits on the trip, so here’s one in the laundromat’s door. it was hard to focus because i was seeing through the door but it came out as i envisioned it

after the laundromat we drove over to this place called toy joy which laura had staked out before hand because it was supposed to have something like vegan treats and hello kitty? did i get that right? i dunno, i popped over to so-it’s-bye-bye-to-rita’s-then across the street to get me a “warter” ice. i went inside toy joy after which reminded me of a bigger toy tokyo and found some stuff for charlotte. a bender keychain and a dinosaur ring. i found out later laura bought a dino ring too

we went into a dvd rental place across the street that served beer and saw a flier for the show. coolness. also picked up a copy of austin’s the onion, which we found out we got a mention in

i liked their little comic about how to rent a dvd. we popped into a few more stores. i copped an aerosmith home video for matt because she really likes aerosmith.

we drove around the city a bit trying to find this spot that was supposed to be like austin’s version of barcade. it was pretty cool in there but lots of lame folks. i killed it on the skee-ball

that’s it over there on the left that laura is standing in front of. we then headed over to this spot called veggie heaven. i forgot to bring my camera in i think but it was filled with college kids. it was an asian themed vegetarian restaurant. i got a giant bowl of brown rice, tofu, fake chicken, carrots, bok choy, broccoli, onions and a bunch of other shit i bet with a spring roll for 6 BUCKS. DEALS GALORE. i was so filled after that. the other thing about this place that i remember was that they had a HDtv with a dvd advertisement for this chinese ballet / dance extravaganza thing that played at least 84 times while we were there. it was mesmerizing. i hated it but i couldn’t look away. and on the last page of the menu there were graphic images of violence against a chinese sect or something. very appetizing. they even featured someone in flushing, qns in the menu who was beaten. read more about it here! (on their menu website!)

headed over to club 1808 to see if it was open yet but no dice. peaking in we noticed two potential stages so we didn’t know if it was two different clubs. either way we were bored and wanted to hang somewhere so we took our chance at the “no one under 40” club

also known as club 40. (this is jenny‘s pic – i totally forgot to capture this amazing sign) so i think pat made his way in first but i was talking to some of the folk leaning on a car outside to see if i could get in regardless that i was turning 27 that night. they agreed that i was ok on the dress code and since we were from outta town we could be an exception. we walk in and the needle skips a bit because we’re the only white folk in there, but if they’re cool with us we don’t care… we’re from new york and used to seeing diversity, not like some of the weirdos out there in the south. anyway they were having a pool tournament. we met a lovely lady named vivian who had some ties in new york and went to a church conference out in long island once. we were getting along so nicely that we lost track of time a bit and eventually realized we should head back inside the venue.

the venue was cool and a really sick crowd turned out. we found out the neighborhood wasn’t the nicest place in austin so the tension was a little high around the venue. i met some dustheads outside asking me shit like “where the hallucinogens at? i’m talking pcp, shrooms, blah blah” me and the club workers were just like “……..we don’t know man” staring at this jacked out of his mind dude fearing what would happen if he found what he was looking for. the first band played, then we did. i would have to say this was our tightest set of the tour. i felt like this was our crowd for the first time, people who got us and we had something to prove. our superfans were there a second time that night. jenny’s shot! we dedicated “best friends” to girlfriends because it was our last night with them…. sadnessssss

now i think it was as we broke down that benny offered his birthday present to me, which was a descendents pin he had found earlier. i was stoked he was nice enough to grab me that! what a guy! now for GFs my camera jammed my film!!!! ARGH! I only grabbed these pics of them setting up in front of the flags

the sound guy was really nice and reminded me of someone who i couldn’t figure out. i think girlfriends must’ve gone on at about 12:15 because at a certain point benny paused the set to make a point of announcing my birthday to the room, which always embarrasses me a bit because i don’t make much of them but again, what a guy!

after that cowabunga babes went on. a surfy little diddy that relied pretty heavily on their hipness. i wasn’t the biggest fan of their music (because it seemed like none of them took the time to master one specific instrument) but i was a real big fan of how much fun they were having

it truly seemed like they were just playing on stage together and didn’t realize that there were people in the room with them until the song ended. they were really nice folks too (one offered up her place to us). i did have to laugh though when the guitar player asked for the houselights to be turned back on because he couldn’t “see the dots on my guitar without the lights” – dude, just take off the thick ass sunglasses!

after their set the folks grabbed some records, i was given a free coke or two for my birthday and theeeeen the crackheads started rolling in… shoeless. first demanding we give them free money…

then singing and dancing with us! makes sense to me.

though nick and i got spit at by what i’m pretty sure was 3,000 year old mummy. she phhheeaaehh’d some breathe at us and when we didn’t understand the little dry flecks of spit flew three or four inches toward us. not hitting us, but still. we then did a giant group hug with the girlfriends and wished them well as they would continue their quest across the states for at least another month. it was super sad. i miss seeing them and hangin.

we went to stay with these really nice gals, martha and maggie. one of them said that she falls asleep to weed hounds with her boyfriend every night. an exaggeration but a really nice thing to say to a band. they were really awesome and set us up well in their house. they had an are you afraid of the dark bootleg so we decided to party a bit more while debating which episodes are still scary at this age

the next morning nick, pat and i got to hang a bit more with their pooch, dixie, before everyone else slowly woke up. it was nice to be able to sleep in a bit.

we went to the tamale spot where i had my second helping of texas breakfast tacos… these were even better than the last ones!! plus they were “the fastest tacos in texas,” you’d order them and they’d be done by the time you finished paying. i got guacamole, rice and potatoes with cheese or something with a giant lemonade. man i wish i could be eating that stuff again

after eating we got our oil changed at  a jiffy lube and headed back to maggie and martha’s to pick up dixie. we were headed to something called the greenbelt, which i guess is a natural spring that runs through austin.

apparently there is a more tourist friendly spot somewhere closer to the center of the city, but they took us to the one that the locals go to. after a short hike we made it to a semi isolated spot and dixie was right in!

i still had black and white in the old camera but it wasn’t gonna do this place justice, so i clapped off a bunch of shots quickly so i could go back and change rolls

i was kind  of creeped out by getting in the water until i got in the water. it was so refreshing and beautiful in there. only problem was the slippery, mossy rocks that lined the floor. i was holding an expensive camera and didn’t want to take a dive

dixie was soooo cute!

she kept patrolling everywhere like a good pup aught to

my roll finished off and i went back to grab some color

theeerrrre we go

this is such a better representation of how beautiful it was

when i grabbed my camera they went a bit further along to go to what i guess were some sort of natural hot springs, i said i’d be right there in a minute but then i realized i didn’t want to leave my camera behind and couldn’t swim/walk over through the deepening water with it so i kicked back and relaxed in the mini water fall

the flowing water was so calming. i was staring at the way it formed lines around this rock as it passed by

the crew came back and we hiked up the hill towards the automobiles

the water was so green!

this is the kind of stuff i was excited to see on this tour so i was really thankful the gals took us out there to see it

we said our goodbyes to martha and maggie and took off for denton, texas but as we were getting on the highway pat realized he didn’t have his shorts with him… the shorts that contained his wallet. we all got bummed for him while we turned around and retraced our steps. it was sort of a difficult task remembering exactly what route we had taken because we were unfamiliar with the area but sure enough a few minutes later we rolled up on what was either road kill or a pair of punk rock cut offs. we were all incredibly relieved, but pat was drying off the bullets. back on the road. the trip to denton wasn’t too rough, passed a few shoney’s, got some crap food.

around now i stopped taking pictures because it was a short night and we had a lot to do. i’ll try to keep the writing brief because without visual aid it’ll bore ya. we got to the house of a band called teenage cool kids, who are on the same tape label as the hounds. they prepared us some vegan chili and cornbread… a massive meal that filled us up in a major way. i got my first and only mosquito bites, i think because i smelled of river. the other touring bands on the bill were also at their house so it was a big gathering. pat played some halo on og xbox. we got to the venue a little bit after which was a bar connected to a practice space. this was when my focus became fuzzy. i couldn’t think of anything else that night because i knew what was sitting only a few hours ahead of us. THE LONGEST DRIVE EV-ER.

we knew that once we were done playing we had to get back on the road towards new york in order to return on time. this drive was such a daunting task i couldn’t think about anything else the entire night. i took solace in setting up my drums for an extended amount of time because it distracted me but it wasn’t much help. we played after a while and weren’t our best. we did “in the afternoon” and dedicated it to harris and luis the superfans who were there to see weed hounds for the third night in a row. they had requested it in houston but we didn’t really play it much anymore. of course that was one of the two that got videotaped. laura even said “we haven’t played this in a while, it’ll probably be rusty” or something but it still found it’s way onto the web! ugh.

after we got off the cool kids took the stage for what seemed like forever. we had to get on the road right after we got paid and drive alllll the waaay baaackk to new york. i don’t think anyone can understand how terrible that feeling is until it’s in front of you. they sounded cool i guess but i couldn’t even listen. when we got on the road i took the night shift. holy shit. THE WORST THING I’VE EVER DONE. lc stayed up with me and we jabbered about who knows what to keep ourselves sane and awake. i’ve made a mock up of what i stared at for hours on end:

my eyes were getting so tired and my brain was literally going insane. i felt so fucked up on this road i couldn’t believe. no other cars except the occasional high speed 18 wheeler. i would get excited by the prospect of an exit because it would mean about 12-18 street lights lining the ramps. it was so pitch black all you could see the other 18 wheelers parking lights all lining the sides of the exits because they had all quit for the night, AND WE WERE STILL DRIVING!

i reached the end of my rope and pulled off to a burger king parking lot to try and rest. fuck it. i slept for maybe 26 minutes in the front seat of that armpit of a van even though we parked for maybe 2 hours. i was relieved from driving but couldn’t manage to fall asleep at all because nick and pat slept most of the time i drove, so of course they were up and energetic. this furthered my dementia.

the whole reason we had to be back was because nick started a new job before we left for tour and promised to return to work friday morning at 9am… it was pretty stupid of him to assume it was possible but miraculously we got it done after a few hiccups. i won’t go into further detail about the drive because i might have a nervous break down remembering it.

in the end i was a zombie when we rolled back into long island. (see entry from july 17th) my brain was so fried from two nights of not sleeping. have you read reports about sleep deprivation torture? i feel so much more for those victims now.

one of the only shots i snapped on the road. a kitty ridin shotgun

and some of the hills on the drive

i was officially out of the weed hounds when i boarded the long island railroad and i did feel a bit relieved. i love that band and what they’re doing and i wish them well in the future. we had a pretty amazing adventure together that we’ll all remember for years to come. i just know that if i do another tour like it i’ll schedule in a few off days to relax because i slept for about 20 hours when i got home to my own bed. nothing felt better than seeing my gal and petting my kitties. and that’s the end of the tour recap.

weed hounds southern tour, pt 9 – houston

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

alright, going back in  time a little more our next travel destination on the tour was to be houston, texas. texas seemed exciting. my television, 80’s kid brain thought of things like pee wee shouting “the stars at niiight are big and briiiight” CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP “DEEP IN THE HEEEART OF TEXAS!”, scenes from king of the hill, tumble weed, wile e. coyote and the road runner amongst other things. of course i expected to see similar scenes all over the state.

we started our really long haul across louisiana for what seemed like 18 hours

a lot of texas was just flat. this is a slight incline. they didn’t have much of these

we passed through some other cities.. i think that was dallas off in the distance?

when we finally made it to houston we were stoked to see this wall with our name painted on it, but we were also incredibly famished. we spoke briefly to someone at the venue and they gave us the name of a local taco joint that should still be open. (keep it mind it’s only about 5 or 6 o’clock at this point)

we jump back in the van and head off in search of food

we drove straight through the downtown area of houston and back about 11 times trying to find this freaking place and it was nowhere to be found. when we figured out the venue fella had given us the wrong street name we pulled up to find it had been closed for 3 hours already. in texas taco places close at 3PM! what the shit is that about?! people wanna eat night time tacos too. we tried to go to the sandwich hut across the street and got sass from the lady running it that they just closed. fuck dat. we landed at a po-boy spot with semi-delicious food and terrible service. you seriously can’t give a dude a spare plate to split his salad up with? c’mon

after eating we felt a bit better and headed back to the venue, super happy fun land, which was quite a site. it was a converted warehouse filled with decorations probably excavated from the garbage and thrift stores, graffiti lined the walls and there was even a kitchen selling beer and snacks. there was movie theatre seating facing the huge stage and large sound system

the place also had a huge piano along with a bunch of board games strewn about. nick got on the keys and jammed some sabbath if i remember correctly. so this is the first time i have a copy of the tour journal to reference what went on. laura recently hooked up a photocopy of the whole thing for me. here’s a sketch i did while in houston of one of the games they had at SHFL

it was like two rails that went down on a slant. you had to direct a silver ball to the 1000 point mark without dropping it early. it was so fucking hard but i did it twice.

this is cliff, or at least i think that was his name. i’m mad at my camera for this shot. it’s not at all what i remember telling it to do. but whatever. he was the sound guy at SHFL and a pretty nice fella. he pretty much ran the operation but he was definitely shoeless at all times which was sort of strange considering how messy the venue was. he must have stone feet

the girlfriends arrived and hung with us for a bit while the crowd rolled in. during this time i rolled around on my own on the long board for a spell. the neighborhood around the venue was completely empty… just factories and train tracks. the board was super fun though

the first band, muhammadali, set up and began playing. the sound in the space was huge. the drums would bounce back at you while you played… it was the first time on the tour i could really hear myself.

muhammadali were awesome. they were super high energy with rock and roll tendencies, but more heavy on the quicksand / queens of the stone age vibes. i wish i had got a recorded copy of something

it felt strange sitting in the movie theatre seats, almost rude or something, but it was comfortable so i didn’t mind too much

after ali we set up and played. harris the super fan made his first appearance that night and was up front fist pumping and neaaaarly moshing for us the entire time. he would be at all three of our texas dates. he was friends with this guy luis (i think name?) who we met a month earlier in brooklyn. he was visiting from texas and told us we mailed him a shirt once. we remembered his name the second he said that! it was sort of weird meeting him in brooklyn, and then meeting him again in texas. i thought we sounded good this night but we had some big disagreements after the set. the bickering killed the buzz of the night for me in a major way but i tried to enjoy myself

girlfriends went on and did a great set. one of the highlights of super happy fun land was the industrial sized fan they had facing the stage behind the seats

i remember standing there being so happy when that breeze hit me

i should’ve shot some color of girlfriends but around this time in the trip i was running low on film

i don’t remember i might’ve shot some stuff with jenny’s cam? i dunno

we hung for a bit and chatted with the locals, sold some jazz and relaxed

everyone cell phoned quite a bit

girlfriends decided to leave their gear at the venue and pick it up in the morning when they had more energy. a definite wise decision

we then parted with girlfriends for the night. they had a really small one bedroom to stay in and could fit us there but we were welcome to stay at SHFL so everything was dandy

plus when the place quieted down the kitties started coming out! AGH! KITTIES!

this dude had HUGE ears! lc has a pic of me with one of the kitties on my shoulder. i need that pic. that night i grabbed the air mattress and started inflating it and walked over to where my bags were. i saw an enormous and incredibly fast, texas-sized bug doing laps around the doom bag. i was pretty freaked out about what it could’ve been so i decided to move my bed as far away from it as possible in hopes i wouldn’t wake up dead. they got scorpions in texas… shit. i slept fairly well in the fun land but lc had some weird stories to tell in the morning. stories involving men in the ladies room and some other weird shit. the next morning we opened up the giant sliding door to load out and THE WORST stench waifed in. it was the scent of the nearby construction site’s porter pottys baking in the sun. utterly gag inducing. with that scent fresh on our mind we got hungy! we headed over to the taco joint a second  time. we knew where we were headed this time and got some amazing food. breakfast tacos and myself had not yet become acquainted but i’m we got to know each other. after our meal we were back on the road headed toward austin. coming soon.