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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Beer, Corndogs, Emergen-C: The Trashies Tour Diary, the Final Installment

posted by on April 10 at 12:50 PM

trashies washington.jpg

Washington our home, wherever we may roam. It never looked so good.

The final week of tour is always the most bizarre as everyone has a pretty volatile combination of losing their minds, missing their friends, not wanting to go back to work, and needing to get sex. All of us were definitely feeling all of these things as we left New York on our way to a series of house shows on our way back west, and it showed.

Our first stop was Buffalo, NY, where it was colder than any of us had expected to encounter on this tour. Luckily the house we played and stayed at had great people, food, and heaters to keep our balls from freezing off. The folks we played with in Buffalo were also playing the same party we were the next day in Columbus, so we sort of caravaned down and made buddies along the way. After three weeks in close quarters with the same dudes it is pretty great to take a breather with some new friends, and Columbus was great for this. Right across the street from the Stink House (where are show was) there was a liquor store that provided us much ammunition for a living room love-in that really made us feel awesome. Whenever someone jumps off the trashcan to crowd surf and then comes back to drink spilled beer out of the top of it, you know something’s going right.

Grand Rapids, Michigan was the next stop, and we had no idea what to expect from this place. No one we know has ever played at the house we were headed to, but it turned out the place was packed with marginally interested 17-year-olds with spikes and crust patches. Although we’re not necessarily crusty McGrindcore and the Spiky Jackets, we do alright with that type of crowd, and after a cat gave birth to 12 kittens in the room where we were getting ready to play we played to what may have been the smelliest show of the whole tour. The reciprocal give and take between houses and bands in these smallish towns that don’t see a ton of groups coming through is pretty inspiring; there is a small network of degenerates around this nation that make shitrock bands feel welcome as well as worthwhile. This give and take is such a killer manifestation of exactly what want all of our tours to be like.

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If your balls turn purple see a doctor, not the Trashies.

Being on the road for weeks has it’s effects on your body too. When we arrived in Chicago the next day, the Wolfman had a herniated nutsack that had turned bright purple, Jesse Cody had multiple cuts in his feet from broken glass, Ricky’s hands had been torn up by broken sticks, and all of us were under the weather with some kind of throat affliction that not even the most complex combination of beer, corndogs, and Emergen-C could fix. When we arrived at the club some old friends from around the area pleasantly greeted us. It’s really nice to be on the road and see long lost friends, it gives you a sense of who your real friends are. The night was spent playing on a giant stage (always bad news for us) on a bill with the wonderful MOTO and Canadian Rifle, a band that features Burn Collector mastermind Al Burien, a man who wrote zines that had very profound effects on many of our formative years, so we were stoked to be playing, and even more stoked when Burien offered to put us up for the night. There’s nothing that strokes your fanboy boner harder than when an artist you love appreciates and supports what you do. It was totally sweet.

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Saying goodbye to our roadie Dan.

Milwaukee the next day was a big deal for us. We know lots of great people in Milwaukee; this was our last show with our roadie Dan. Last time we were in Millwilly Jesse Cody lost a tooth while we were playing and there were rumors of some sort of massive barbecue awaiting for us when we arrived, so needless to say we rushed to get there. Upon arrival we were greeted with new socks, the ability to do laundry, free homebrewed beer, food, and the glorious booze provided by Eric “spiritual adviser 6.0” Schultz. The show was a birthday party for three local dudes who we are buds with, which of course meant it was a rager. Milwaukee is probably the number one city in America that knows how to party and they truly brought it on this Monday night. By the end of our set there was so much collateral jammage that it seemed like pure chaos—three people playing drums, everyone in the basement banging on shit with drumsticks, two people in their underwear punching the trashcan into oblivion, blood, sweat, hair, and probably the most exciting show we’ve ever been a part of and there was still an after party after that! The only thing that was not great about Milwaukee was when the super rain thunderstorm rolled in at three in the morning and we had nothing but tie dye tanktops and shorts to protect ourselves from the elements on the wasted walk home.

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Millwilly BBQs are the sheezy fo' reezy.

Even though we had to give up our awesome roadie and scrounge up a keyboard before we split town (believe it or not, our five dollar Casio was destroyed in the basement wreckfest the night before) we couldn’t help feeling like we’d done something right as we left Milwaukee. That show was definitely the highlight of the tour, which of course meant that the basement show the next night in Minneapolis was not that great, but it didn’t matter because we were born anew at just the right time.

For touring bands from the Northwest, there is a weird problem on your way back home when coming from the east, and that problem is South Dakota. There is one bastion of sanity in that whole state, as far as we can gather, and that’s in Rapid City, a 5000-person town just outside of Mt. Rushmore. Unfortunately, though, it’s about a ten-hour drive from Minneapolis after you regain your hour in the time change. Driving this stretch is guaranteed to bore any human, as the only thing of interest on the entire route is the mind numbing amount of billboards for carnie museums and assorted knick-knack shops. That’s one horrible state. Luckily, though, the crowds in Rapid City are big sponges of young, music-loving kids who get really into it. It had never occurred to us before that our music might cause a circle pit, but sure enough in Rapid City the kids were pitting, moshing, slamming, and dancing as though they were having their minds blown in every way possible.

Billings, Montana the next day was the same way. Some dudes converted their friend’s garage into a venue, every high school punk showed up and just sucked everything in, seeming to love every second of it. At one point there was a circle pit around Jesse Cody while he played the trashcan like a drum and the rest of us jammed. We never thought anyone would react like that to our bullshit—it was so radical! The small scenes in the mountains of I-90 are amazing, pretension-free centers of music loving teens that borrow money from their parents who dropped them off at the show to buy whatever they can get their hands on. Shit like that really makes us realize how tired the 45-year-old recordhead burnouts at bars in big cities on tour can be.

Nothing beats the drive through western Montana—that state is the only one that even compares to the beauty of Washington, and it’s truly a pleasure to travel through. Where else can you see a mountain goat chasing a deer as you swim in a creek of crystal clear glacier runoff? After seeing around 30 states on this tour, we all started to feel a lot of northwest pride. It’s amazing how shitty so many other states are and we all truly have a love for Washington after seeing all of those other dirty snorefests.

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The glorious Rocky Mountain rivers made us born anew.

A truly confusing set of feelings started to set in on all of us as we headed through the Rocky’s on our way to Missoula, Montana. This was day 30 of our tour, we were a mere eight hours from our beds, but as much as we miss home, none of us really want tour to be over because it’s so fun on the road. The dude who sets up our shows in Missoula is a really gracious host, though, and distracted our minds with massive amounts of amazing food and story telling.

The final day of tour was spent in Spokane, Washington, a town which has, to all of us, always been synonymous with awfulness, However this was not the case this time around. Our friends in the amazing band Hockey greeted us on the porch with big smiles that perfectly complimented the blazing sun beating down on a beautiful April day. The last thing we expected from Spokane was greatness, but our whole day was nothing but awesome. Sleeping on the lawn while sun bathing, catching up with long lost freakazoids, playing a crazy packed final show with three bands that sound nothing like us—everything went off without a hitch, and just like that it was over. 31 days, 9,900 miles, and a million memories later, it was all over.

Before we knew it, it was 2 PM on April 8th and we were arriving back home to the doors of the 24/7 Haus. Never has our dirty shithole looked so good as when we’d been gone from it for a month—the beds, the scent, the scenery, it all seemed new again. 31 days was not enough. Despite the exhaustion, hysteria, legal issues, sleeping conditions, health problems, and odors we were facing, this was a massive experience for all of us so it was not something we wanted to let end. It’s all a blur already; all that can be said for sure is that we all did something we wanted to, a childhood dream accomplished and another feather in our lifetime caps.

Knowing that all of us are under 25 and have all seen more of this country than all of our parents combined is a pretty great feeling of accomplishment. As much as we didn’t want it to end we all needed time to be away from each other and decompress. After 31 days of compulsive masturbation it’s needless to say that a little bit of time not hanging out with fartblasting dickdudes seems pretty exciting. After about three hours of recovery time, our friends in the Pharmacy and all of our other buddies greeted us with a welcome back kickball game that was a mighty fun time filled with a refreshing Seattle energy that we’ve all missed over the past weeks. Now we sleep. And sleep. And sleep. Then it’s back to the 9-5’s. We all have to let our balls, feet, and throats, heal, take a week off and then get our two shows in before Ricky goes back to Spain for a couple months.

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Kickball with the Pharmacy and friends.

Being home is beautiful, but being on the road was so much more beautiful and we’ll all surely miss it. We all feel so much younger and more alive after this experience. Touring is totally radikiller in every way possible. Keep your eyes peeled for the Trashies new reality TV show “Jammed” where we trick people into jamming with us and air the results. It’s coming to a TV near you. Et Cetera…

-The Trashies

The Trashies play this Saturday, the 14th, at the Comet with Whiskey Tango, the Black Fairies, and Clay Wheels. They also have an all-ages show Friday, April 20th, at Atlas Clothing and Music with White Nights and the Intelligence.

Get Trashed: The Trashies Tour Diary, Week One

Animal Guts for the Dog to Eat: The Trashies Tour Diary, Week Two

On the Road in a Mystery Zone: The Trashies Tour Diary, Week Three

RSS icon Comments

1

This is by far the best thing I've read. The Stranger needs to give these guys a weekly column...Think how awesome that would be!

Posted by blah | April 10, 2007 3:30 PM
2

uh, if you're playing house parties, you're hardly a real band. sounds like a bunch of children playing shitty music in disgusting basements. it was fun to read, but seriously, if you're not already washing dishes at a local restaruant or bussing tables, you guys should get jobs. it's not a tour if you're playing houses! seriously, how many actual clubs did you play? what was the ratio of clubs to house parties? any joker can set up and play in a basement.

Posted by porta_potty | April 10, 2007 3:46 PM
3

Sniff, sniff ... that was awesome. I got a li'l' choked up reading that. Well done Trashies, you just made me a fan.

Posted by Whatevs | April 10, 2007 3:54 PM
4

Truly a well told tale. You've written down what I've felt during and after touring but was too burnt out and lazy to write myself.

Thanks for dredging up some of my memories, and thanks to porta_potty for piping in with what I can only hope is a brilliant example of a tongue-in-cheek comment.

Posted by andy | April 10, 2007 5:15 PM
5

A well-felt and unique travelogue that should be published more widely, if only as a counterpoint to "Get in the Van!"

Sure our country's going down the tubes, but there's solid people and gorgeous scenery out there, each of which you captured eloquently.

Welcome home, boys, and thanks for the stories!

Posted by theejackalope | April 10, 2007 6:59 PM
6

Fuck yeah.

Posted by Schneider's Utility Belt | April 10, 2007 8:47 PM
7

Trashies...I will miss your excellent road stories, they really were entertaining. Please go on tour again soon so we can live vicariously through your posts.

RE: porta_potty....any place you can set up and have lots of people have fun or dig your music is a valid show. If you get in a van, drive all over the country and back doing it, it's called a tour.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 11, 2007 12:04 PM
8

wow, you guys are doing what many wish they could. I'm sure you met many interesting people and saw some wild times. When you can party and play music for a month and live in close quarters and not kill each other,thats a good thing.
GL 4550 b0b

Posted by 4550 bob | April 16, 2007 12:14 PM

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