Road Diary Animal Guts for the Dog to Eat: The Trashies Tour Diary, Week Two
posted by March 28 at 13:20 PMon
This is what freezers look like in hell.
In the dark of night we left Las Cruces, NM and headed for a hotel somewhere in West Texas so as to ease the brutal drive through that Horrordome of a state. All was well until around 1:00 am when we approached one of the fucked-up middle-of-the-road border patrol stations and got told that our van was going to be “randomly” searched for drugs by dogs. Obviously we were profiled as being dopers—a van full of tie-dye clad zoneheads from Washington with music equipment in the back is constantly suspect, and they were right to profile us as such because we were holding onto a few marijuana cigarettes. Needless to say we’re all shitting our pants. We didn’t have time to eat it, as any smart touring band should do, because we were all asleep except for the Wolfman, who was driving (never carry more than you can eat, or you’re fucked).
The border patrol dudes asked us if we had drugs and so we figured it’d be easiest to just give ‘em the stuff. It wasn’t much, and we thought they might just kick us in the ass and let us go. Instead we got fucked. There were four Adderall in the weed bag and we ended up having to sit in a cell, waiting for the sheriff who didn’t show ‘til three in the morning, and then took the Wolfman to jail for the pills after writing weed tickets to some of the rest of us. What a fucking nightmare. We had to go to the neighboring town, which probably had the most (too much) character of any place I’ve ever been. We got a $30 hotel with a door that didn’t close and slept until 8:30 am, when we went to the jail in hopes of this whole thing blowing over and getting straight to Austin (the only beacon of sanity in all of Texas) but we needed to get the Wolfman out of jail first. Little did we know we’d be in for trouble.
This is the desert hellhole hotel we stayed at. Seriously, it’s right out of the shining.
The town of Sierra Blanca is a jail town and they take their time with everything, no matter what, always, forever. We were told by the border dudes that it wouldn’t be a big deal and we’d be out of town by 10:00 am, but when we got to the jail (which had inmates in those hokey black and white movie-joke jumpsuits sweeping the grounds) we were told that it was going to take a long while and it could take up to 72 hours! This news was crushing as we’d already missed a couple shows and we had $800 worth of wristbands waiting for us at SXSW in Austin, so we kind of started to lose our minds. We scrambled to the courthouse, coaxed the judge into seeing the Wolfman at 1 pm, called the SXSW people and found out that we could pick up the wristbands until midnight (thank ‘bob’), and found a local bail bondsmen to help us get our shit together. Then it got really interesting. Andy’s Bail bonds in Sierra Blanca, Texas is one of the craziest places I’ve ever been to. We show up and the dude, Johnny, offers us beers, within seconds pulls out a giant rifle and aims it out the front door at a stray dog (he called this gun his “nigger shooter” and didn’t blink when pointing it right in front of our fucking faces), and then starts talking to his lady roommate about how she gets loose when she’s liquored up, which is constantly (she’s drinking vodka straight at this point, it’s 11 am or so).
Johnny, the bail bondsmen, with his Trashies CD. He's our target audience.
It took some time to really get our bearings at this place—tank shells mounted on the wall, all kinds of dead animals hung around the room, stories about shooting handguns naked (Johnny told us he owns 57 guns that the government knows about), a freezer full of dead bobcats, cougars, and birds, bowls full of animal guts for the dog to eat… fucking insane.
Johnny and his dinner.
Needless to say we wanted to get the fuck out of dodge, but there wasn’t shit we could do until the Wolfman got his bail set, so we just had to wait and drink and wait while every second that ticked by slowly crushed our dreams of a killer tour. Somehow the lords of scum ruled in our favor that day, though, as this guy Brian (who was a total Burning Man freak, fire artist, glass blowing, burner who’d been caught with four pounds hidden in his door panels at the same border patrol stop) offered to give Wolfman a ride to Austin when he got out. So, we made the choice to leave all of our money with our roadie and power drive like bastards to Austin. At this point it was 3:29 pm, and as I got the go ahead that this was going to work I was doing the math to figure out that at an average of 70 MPH we could go 560 miles in 8 hours. We didn’t know how far Austin was, but we knew we had to be there by midnight to get the wristbands which were worth $800 and were, at this point, the only thing that could keep us going since we’d put all of our money toward the Wolfman’s bail bond. We sped. 80 MPH power driving for eight straight hours was pretty tense, one three minute stop for corndogs and gas, then just lots of road and listening to lots of Minutemen records.
Unbelievably, we made it into the parking garage of the convention center in Austin at 11:52 PM. We literally sprinted to the wristband pickup zone, had a friend meet us there to pose as the Wolfman and got the badges with seconds to spare. It was totally fucking glorious, a big cherry on top of a sizable pile of dog shit. We drank a bunch of beer, met with all of our friends at the Chamber of Chill house, and went on to go see Fucked Up play a pretty amazing generator-powered show on a pedestrian bridge at 3:00 am—we were free and it felt fucking great.
The next morning the Wolfman showed up, told us all kinds of horror stories about that nightmare prison and the seven-hour drive listening to nothing but Phish with that burnout dude Brian. (But seriously, Brian was an okay dude.) We missed our official SXSW showcase because of the jail situation, but to be honest we didn’t really give a fuck because at least we could continue touring. It was a pretty small price to pay. We scalped the wristbands to some 40-year-old brothers for 800 bones, which was a pretty beautiful sight at this point. They thought it was a little sketchy when we told them that we had to sew the then broken wristbands on with needle and thread so they’d pass the bar, but it worked and we both got what we wanted. After chillaxing all day we drove to the other sane stronghold of Texas, 1919 Hemphill St in Fort Worth to play a super fun show at this really amazing co-op all ages art space. The 16th was Snake by Snake Pit, a punk rock mini SXSW spin-off thingamajig weird-out zone with a bunch of bands who we’re friends with. The killer thing about that show was that we just got totally wasted, played last after the totally amazing and incredible set by Oakland’s Triclops and basically just got back into our stupidelic rhythm of bullshit.
Snake by Snakepit totally ruled.
After staying up until the wee hours partying the night away at SXSW (it’s kind of inevitable that this will happen at SXSW), we had to get up at 8:00 am and drive to New Orleans for our show at Quintron’s amazing Spellcaster Lodge. At this point in the tour we began traveling into unknown turf, popping state cherries left and right, which is always a great feeling. We all basically work so that we can travel and tour, so it’s pretty nice to be in your early 20s and traveling all around the country, seeing all kinds of shit your parents have never seen. New Orleans was a bit of a mindfuck though. Even though it’s been almost two years since Katrina, it is still very depressing—all kinds of boarded up buildings, huge trash piles, half knocked down houses and other random insanity that makes it feel like you’re in a different country. Quintron’s place was like a beacon of hope in the middle of all of this depression in the Ninth Ward though--we showed up and the place reeked of character, 100% amazing. We arrived to catfish sandwiches, red beans and rice, and beer, true southern hospitality from a total peer of our zoned out culture. It’s hard to describe how amazing the Spellcaster was. There were secret doors with drum buddies inside that had power tools as door handles, skunkweed a plenty, massive sound systems in an awesome basement bar that was all rebuilt by hand after Katrina. Possibly, for the first time ever, we were asked to do an encore at this show, which was a little weird, but it was so much fun playing we had to oblige those poor fools. And after we were done, a gigantic box filled with hundreds of cooked crawfish showed up for us to eat. How New Orleans and amazingness is that?
Memphis was the next day, we sold some record to the amazingly great Goner Records, ate world famous BBQ that was probably the greatest thing I’ve ever shoved in my body, and cooked a mean dish of hobo/broke band chili at our hostess April’s house. Things were back on track and in the ruling zone again. After this pickup there, of course, had to be a let down, and that was Jackson, Mississippi. This is where we got the South we expected. We were told our friends were PC punk rock faggots, we got harassed by police a couple of times for being weirdos, we were told our band is too emo, and we talked a lot about monster trucks. Don’t play in Jackson, Mississippi if you’re in a band. The only saving grace of this place was that we decided to just jam out at the end of our set for as long as possible (to ensure that we would forever be known in Jackson as that band of hippie PC punk faggots from Seattle) and somehow, magically, we got all of the rednecks in that bar to pick up drumsticks and bang on shit with us. It was a pretty magical turnaround considering the crowd. We had to stay at the bar until it closed because the folks we were staying with wanted to listen to their entire album (after they’d just played) and then drive home totally trashed to put us up, so we just played glow in the dark Frisbee in the parking lot next door (hippy bullshit, right?).
Huntsville is a place that exists. Let me tell you, that place was a definite ruler. Our friends there had a great house with tons of welcoming beers and BBQs waiting for us, we had a very relaxing porch sittin’ session, and went to the bar where we played possibly the best Tuseday night show we’ve ever been a part of. The Thomas Function from Huntsville are a fucking great band and great dudes, they put us in a great spot.
It was a pretty crazy week, but I’ve got to say it was 1000 times more fun than sitting at home and working. Tour was beginning to feel like a month long traveling party again, which was a super killer feeling.
10-hour drives are tiring.