Hello Music Fans! Hey remember about 4 months ago when Thee Oh Sees toured Australia and wrote a tour journal and there was no final installment? No? Me neither, but here is the proof it exists, rescued from the netherworld of my computer I barely know how to use. Better late than never? Or better late than ever? You decide... Read Part One Here; Read Part Two Here
PERTH We gotta get up hells of early for our flight to Perth today, and I am starting to get sick. But at least the weather is perfect for cold, humid, and sticky... and 100 degrees. Our hotel has a hot tub in it so me and Shoun relax to the max. The original drummer from the the Scientists, the Saints, the Victims and Beasts of Bourbon is playing tonight but I feel like hot garbage so, I just moan on the hotel bed and take the short walk to the club and get there five minutes before we play and as soon as we're done (after I eat some sliced fruit that must have been cut with a knife soaking in onion juice) and walk straight back to the hotel. My sweet Lord I wish this was an option every night.
Baller Style (kinda...)
ADELAIDE We fly into Adelaide and get picked up by Tim and Nick and it feels good to have the gang back together. We stay in a cool lil' hotel with five of us in one room bunk bed style. At one point Dwyer comes in and notices the tangy foot smell we've been dealing with for a while, and when I point out the source (some slip-on vans somebody don't wear no socks with) he names them "pickle barrels." I have a nice walk around before the show and it's a beautiful night and city. But we're also playing on a kinda skanky street, so I see about 14 butt cheeks poppin' out of teeny miniskirts from bachelorette gals pukin' on white stretch hummer limos. The show is fun. A sweet girl brings me a bag of records by bands from Adelaide and, I walk home early and try to sleep out the rest of my sickness while mosquitos bite me all night.
Healthy choices at the gas station
DEANS MARCH On our long drive to Deans March, where we have two days off at Nicci's bad ass dad's (see toilet pic) house, we stop to see some albino kangaroos and I steal Shoun's Ipod and listen to a bunch of things I haven't heard like the Jay-Z and Kanye LP (mindblowingly good), Kurt Vile Smoke Ring for My Halo, and the Beets Let the Poison Out. We spend the next tow days BBQ'ing and surfing and swimming with our pals from Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Boo Hoo.
MELBOURNE Tonight we play with our favorite band Total Control. They are great blah blah blah.
MELBOURNE DAY 2 We have a lovely day off today and we get to walk the streets of Melbourne, check out our friend Kyle Ranson's art installation, eat some middling asian food, and Shoun....drumroll please...(keep going)...(longer)....(longer)...(longer)...(LONGER).............BUYS!... NEW!... SHORTS! (Insert slow golf clap here). After dinner (why 2 dudes from California are eating $10 burritos is Australia is a mystery) we go watch some local bands, and since Nicci is a bigshot in this town we get to stay after hours and have a dance party and Brigid crowns me her third favorite dance partner ever. Choke on that.
The extROADinary tour manager Nicci Reid
MELBOURNE DAY 3 Today we play an early afternoon rooftop show with the great band U.V. Race. They rule, it is sunny, people are stoked, I meet some real special people, and I have no complaints, so I am at a loss for something to write here.
Auckland Space Needle
AUCKLAND My family lived in Auckland for a year when I was seven, so my main memory is my mother forcing me walk to school with the extremely polite kid named Shawn, who would very sweetly ask her each morning "Good morning Mrs. Finberg, I would love to accompany Lars on this walk to school today if that's all right with you," while I would cower behind the door whispering/begging "no no no no no." She would push me out, then he would beat me with a large palm frond for the half-mile walk to school. Also being the "yank" and the only kid in school who wore shoes, I would find the contents of my lunch sack mashed into a perfect tennis-ball size lump of peanut butter sandwich, animal crackers and fruit, and I became so accustomed to it that I smash all my food up into a ball to this day. Anyway, it's neat to be back, Auckland is very lush and damp, kinda like if Seattle forgot to mow the lawn and was too lazy to develop its serial killer vibe. Due to miscommunication, we get picked up in a small mini van (we have eight people, suitcases, and a mountain of gear) so I get kicked out of the band, Brigid quits, we tie Shoun to the roof, Petey in the glove box and Dwyer squats like an egg on the dashboard to fit. We are so wiped from the early wake up and flight I just hang at our promoter's house weeping in the shower until it's time to play. The show is very crowded and dancey, but I notice a bored-looking girl right in front with one hand holding onto Dwyer's mic stand for balance and texting with the other, and I long for a rusty pair of hedge clippers.
WELLINGTON We came, we saw, we played, we left.
The "Inedible"l Mke Shoun
WHANGANUI We play a little basement tonight that smells so gross I'm afraid of growing mushrooms in my nostrils. After the show a friend has brought us roman candles to shoot off, and Nick lights it upside down like a bottle rocket and inadvertently points it directly at his chest, bursts into flames and dies. Just kidding, Dwyer saves him and then we go to the house, and line up on these little cots in the living room like the 7 dwarves (Wheezy, Coughy, Snorey, Chokey, Twitchy, Wiggly, and Night Terrory).
WELLINGTON We have two glorious days off at a cool little rental house with a beautiful view, and I luck into my own room, or, more accurately shove my way in front of everyone and find the first empty room and throw my dirty underwear all over the bed, lick the outside doorknob and drag the dresser in front of the door. Brigid and Nicci cook wonderful meals and it is a very pleasant rest for the "adventure" ahead.
HOME The flight home is a little rough. We have a 3:30 am wake up call, get to the airport at 4:30 for our four-hour flight to Australia with a 13-hour layover. Before boarding we have a 20-minute argument with the ticket counter lady who claims we don't have Australian visas. Hmm, we did a week ago. Oh they've expired, and since we have an eight-hour layover, we need one. (So you won't illegally get a job at a Cinnabon in the airport and work for 1 full shift before your flight) We just incredulously blink at her until she decides to do a "government override" (which means pressing the F7 key) and lets us through. Then as we are boarding, the attendant asks if we've paid our "exit fees," which means we have to go back through the airport and pay $40 a pop to leave the country. WORTH EVERY PENNY. As you can imagine, the Sydney layover is boring and full of screaming, frustrated tourists fighting over $400 Dr. Dre headphones. In a secluded corner, Dwyer notices a burt out cigarette butt smeared across the carpet where someone had just had enough and said "fuck it." For some reason this brings me joy. I do the same thing, only with some carcinogenic garlic bread from "Pizza Johnnies." Dwyer tells me "I'd pay at least $750, or basically the same price as a used Toyota Celica, for an upgrade to first class." After our 13-hour flight to San Francisco, I have a 5-hour layover before I fly to L.A., strange, as there are flights leaving every 20 minutes, but I decide not to pay the extra $80 to get an earlier flight because I am a tightwad. I will really regret this when five hours later the plane is delayed another 2 hours. Other highlights include the customs agent throwing away the snow globes I bought (FROM THE AIRPORT) and watching a dude WASH HIS FEET IN THE BATHROOM SINK. It's not all bad though, I get a row to myself on this flight. It's the little things in life you know? Too bad it's only 45 minutes.