Sunday, August 26, 2012

So I'm in a van again.

And I figured I'd write about it. I guess this is something of a tour diary, but really, it's just a diary. I'll be traveling through most of the country 'til October 1st, and odds are I'll find at least a few things worth documenting. Or not. We'll see.

I feel like shit. Waking up hungover is generally not something I’d recommend for the best of times, like those lazy Sundays spent naked in bed with your similarly-incapacitated significant other, slurping down lo mein and watching old episodes of 30 Rock. Waking up hungover when you have an actual thing to do and a set time by which said thing must be accomplished is an extraordinarily unappealing prospect, one that I’d hoped to avoid for this particular task, but these things have a way of spiraling out of my control once certain elements come into play. Well, just the one element, really. The booze. I don’t drink that often – I’m too cheap, and just don’t feel the urge, anyway – but when I do, and it’s a special occasion of sorts, I’ll fucking drink. My poison is bourbon; the honeyed sting of it, that peaty musky taste and feeling of slow, malicious warmth spreading down your throat is just the best damn thing. It’s funny, whiskey. Whiskey is one of those things that it’s sort of cool to say you like, right? That’s how it seems, anyway. Whiskey is tough, and manly, and just expensive enough to be a bit of a luxury. Well, unless you stick to the rail like I do. Like I’ve got ten bucks to spare for a shot of Maker’s? Fuck outta here, this is New York. I barely have ten bucks to spend on groceries, let alone indulgences. I’ve got more scratch than usual right now, but even that slight wisp of financial security, or at least my approximation of it, dwells within the sort of number range a lawyer would sniff at, and a Kardashian would equate to Somalian orphan’s level of poverty.  What I’m saying is, I’m not pinching my pennies as tightly as I’ve had to do before, but I still ain’t buying the good stuff. Anyway. A few Solo cups of cheap red wine, mixed with Coke of course – calimocho, as the Portuguese call it, discovered years ago when that one gorgeous, spectacularly dull Spaniard introduced me to it out of the trunk of his beat-up red car – were doing me just fine, but once Lady Bourbon swaggered into the picture, my dreams of a cheery productive morning went the way of the dodo in under five minutes. Hazy recollections of Axl Rose impressions and awkward water-under-the-bridge-so-why-do-we-need-to-talk-about-it encounters and new friends and falling on my ass whilst screaming Hatebreed lyrics outside some hipster watering hole in Williamsburg swam in and out of my consciousness as I woke up, groggy and headsick. Fuck, what time was it? Noon? Goddamnit, I had to meet the Hull dudes in exactly one hour, and all I wanted to do was turn back over, hug my shitty Dollar General-brand pillow, and go the fuck back to sleep. The show must go on, though, and tour vans wait for no man, especially on the first day, so I eventually, unwillingly, managed to haul my pathetic carcass into Sam’s shower and into my dirty cutoffs. A few moments’ worth of waffling – clean shirt? Worth it? Uhh – accompanied a dejected glance at the now-empty Styrofoam container that had once held delicious, greasy noodles and was now nothing more than a cold reminder of drunk me’s stumbly voyage into the kitchen and gleefully wolfing down cold sloppy Chinese at 4am before passing out. Man, I’d kill for some fuckin’ noodles right now, but no time – I was late. Time to hit the road.

The drive down to Annandale, Virginia took two extra hours thanks to various traffic snarls, but passed quickly and pleasantly enough. Hull’s van is huge, and the boys’ commentary and occasional bursts of song (Carmine brought along the ol’ acoustic, which is already proving to have been a wise decision) were bright spots in an otherwise dully misery-laced nap. I slept away most of the gut rot by Maryland, but am still feeling pretty low. I miss Al. He had a gig tonight, so we only got to talk for about five minutes this morning. The time differences destroys me when I’m traveling; it’s hard enough accounting for five hours, never mind pulling it off when you’re in a different time zone every day. I wish I was in Leeds watching him shred, but, c’est la vie right now. The house show environment isn’t doing much for me, either; everyone’s smoking, it’s loud, wah wah wah. I have to switch back into tour mode – I’m going to be living rough and dirty for the next month, and can’t allow that bitchy little princess that I am convinced every road dog keeps secretly tucked away for emergencies and week eight of tour to come shining through quite so soon

Aaron and Rob from Salome – well, ex-Salome, Salome is dead but dearly, dearly departed – are here. Rob’s new band is about to go on, and I should probably start making some kind of moves, to go and watch them if not load stuff. The “venue” space is smaller than our living room in Bed Stuy, and can uncomfortably fit about ten people and a band. Loading in and setting up is going to be hilarious, and fuck knows what I’m meant to do with the merch, but I shouldn’t be complaining so much. This is rock’n’roll. This is THE LIFE. Right?

We were meant to hit Richmond tomorrow, and I was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully getting Luna to pierce me, but the gig fell through, and no one’s really given me an answer as to what we’re going to be doing in its stead. I hope we get to RVA at least for a little while; I love that city, and am there so infrequently that it hasn’t gotten old yet. We’ll see. Tomorrow’s another day, and I haven’t had a single drink, so I’m pretty sure my perspective – and complexion – will be much brighter come morning.

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