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Monday, April 2, 2007

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

posted by on April 2 at 9:38 AM

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Basement shows tend to unleash our spirit animals.

I am going to blow you away. I don’t give a fuck about your brother, either, I’ll blow his ass away after I blow your ass away, motherfucker. That’s the theme of our third week of tour. From Chatanooga to New York, we got our assholes rocked by a jumble of crazy folks, crazy shows, and crazy parties. Chattanooga, Tennessee, much to our surprise, was filled with sympathetic scum who were out to party on a Tuesday night—apparently getting fucked up during the week is what the South is into. You can’t get trashed every night when you’re on tour—your body just won’t put up with drinking 27 beers a night, bong rips, and seven hour drives everyday. Your shit will break. Luckily, we are able to get the occasional fifth of whiskey to split before we play, and Chatanooga was one of those nights.

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Chatanooga knows how to party.

By the time we went on, we’d already played intense games of Frisbee, drawn marker masks on our faces, and told some local friends that we were going to blow their asses away if they didn’t get us drunk later (by this time that was already a moot point). Somehow after the show we ended up at some crazy Southern Sparks and Thin Lizzy-fueled punk rock porch party that raged on until the wee hours of the AM. You know you’re in a town you’ll remember and love when an awesome topless dreadlocked hippy chick with her floppy pancakes hanging out who won’t stop telling you “I’m a dyke, I eat pussy” wakes you up by blaring Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak while trying to figure out if she should kill her dog and eat it.

On the road from Chatanooga to Asheville, NC we saw plenty "Southern mountains" and had a good chuckle at the teeny little hills—the Appalachians look like a series of anthills compared to Rainier--it's sad. Southern hospitality was real in that town. We got lots of delicious collard greens, mashed potatoes, and amazing tofu amalgamations after we played. Contrary to our roadies advice, we played a bar show in Charlottesville the next night, rather than going to Richmond, VA, and luckily we did the right thing. When we got to the club, Atomic Burrito, they gave us delicious East Coast yuppie burritos and tons of free beer. It wasn't too much trouble to hang out there all day, especially considering we met up with our buddy Justin No Bunny from Tucson. He is a definite warlord of the highest ilk.

There was one stupid thing about Charlottesville and that was that the local band, the one that's supposed to draw people to the show, played second on a three band (two touring) bill. That is an awful idea. If you're in a small band, never do that--you're screwing the third touring band over. The show turned into a pretty ragecore tribal blast at the end, and we met some nice folks who took us to their house on the way to Baltimore in the middle of assfuck nowhere, which made us convinced they were going to murder us in some sort of witchcraft ritual, but luckily we just went to bed.

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The Trashies celebrating American freedom as usual.

On our way to Baltimore, we stopped and bullshitted around DC for a bit to pay homage to our reptilian leaders--it was a very corndog-filled excursion. In Baltimore an odd thing happened: We totally randomly got ourselves booked onto the same show as our friends from our onetime hometown of Longview, WA, who play a totally different style of less "shitrocky" music. So of course we knew we'd probably end up taking a dive, and dive we did. The keyboard had been totally broken beyond repair the night before in an Asheville free booze rage-haze, and we couldn't get our shit together in the five minutes before we played (professionalism is crucial for us), so we just played songs that Jesse-Cody sings and told him to just sing. The Thrashies are the Trashies sans keyboard, and every time we've played a Thrashies set, we’ve just sped up all of the songs and totally bit the dust. It's pretty awesome (in the sense that you are definitely in awe when you see and hear such tomfoolery).

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Sticks and duct tape—the best way to fix a keyboard.

It was still a nice little relaxing Friday with some old buds in a loft drinking beers and catching up. There's not much better than getting something familiar in your life when you’re on the road in a mystery zone. We took our time hanging out in the morning before we took off to Philly, and we even managed to stop in a park and fix the keyboard with some duct tape and sticks before we met a bunch of rad dudes who were a bizarre mash up of grindcore punks and dirty south rappers. Apparently the combination of hiphop and punk culture is pretty common in the South, but these dudes totally ruled and blew us away when they asked us if we wanted to "go look at chick’s asses on the strip, buy some bangin’ sneakers, and score a gram." Seriously, who the fuck does all of those things casually and for fun with strangers on a Thursday? We, being the gluttons we are, ate cheesesteaks instead of hangin’ and bangin’. Ricky wanted to blow up Gino's Cheesesteaks after seeing all of their crazy "you're in America now speak English" banter.

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Cheesesteaks for cheesedicks.

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A basement show gone right feels oh so good.

The Philly show was at a fancyish venue with the Black Lips and the Ponys on a big ass stage, so in regular form we took another not so shocking but oh so glorious dive. Wolfman broke four strings on two different guitars within the first five songs and the set ended on our fifth when he smashed his cheapo loaner replacement guitar in a rage. Then we got wasted for free and chilled with some super cool cats. We couldn't really expect anything better. We tricked Freedom School records into putting out a split 7" with some friends in New Jersey in the awesome band Hunchback and were all revved up to play three shows in a row with them on our first trip to New Joizee and the Big Apple. It was totally rad to be in Jersey and New York with our friends in Hunchback, Broadway Calls, The Ergs, and Nobunny all hanging out in one place, especially when the place was the Parlor House basement. Best show of the tour! Apeshit people drinking whiskey straight and pogoing around like a bunch of pilled-up magic beans--basement shows are truly the root of all that is great for music like ours and this one was a doozie. We met some amazing new friends, hung out with plenty of old friends, played a shitload of Ms. Pacman, ate one too many pizza slices, and got far too many parking tickets while we were in New York. It was amazing headache angst in our pants.

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Nuthin’ like taking a dive and breaking some cheap shit.

Being in a band that books tours yourself, you never really know how much financial security you are going to have on the road, so it was definitely amazing to see how appreciated we were in the New York area and how well our friend’s bands from there do—a very cool life experience. And what more is tour about than blowing someone's ass away who you’ve never met before? It's a great feeling. What was most mind-blowing was how close all of these great cities are on the East Coast. Touring out here is a breeze. The longest drive is three hours, which is unheard of on the West Coast, where every playable city is six hours apart (minimum) so all of the bands we'd played with had spread the word far and fast. It was pretty interesting. Another good part about not having to drive a bazillion miles a day is that you don't have to hang out in a fart-infested van spewing eight hours of bullshit into a nonstop nonsense conversation. Time apart is good on the road--if you spend too much time with your bandmates you will undoubtedly want to blow their asses away, and so far we haven't had to worry about that at all.

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