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SPRING TOUR 2007 - "Jenny"
Eric
As a new feature for this tour journal, as per Danís request and the utter boredom at being stuck in a van for eight hours a day, I've taken the time to document what we listened to (and to the best of my memory, who requested it), what we watched, how much money we made, how much money we spent and how many miles we traveled for each day. So here we go...
Dan
Although it seems a distant possibility, some of you reading this may, in fact, be interested in some of this band's operating procedures and I feel compelled to explain a few of the more relevant ones before we get going. I myself am somewhat obsessed with learning about how bands operate on a technical level (e.g. gear, van, entertainment, etc.) and on an interpersonal level (e.g. who does the booking, who snores, who has the worst gas after eating eggs, etc.). To wit, here are a few little details that should help to explain how we go about touring as an unpopular, small-fry rock band.
Tech:   Like many bands, we travel with a laptop. Unlike many bands, we do not use this laptop to "lay down fat beatz" or trigger beeps and clicks or participate in the music-making at all. It is basically the entertainment hub and is wired directly into the van's stereo and can be used to listen to music (we've got about 500 records on the hard drive), watch movies, figure out where the hell we are (thank you, GPS) or check to see which of our next shows got cancelled using the various Wi-Fi equipped rest areas that now dot the country.
DJ:   If you are ever around a touring band and have run out of coversation topics, ask them how they decide what to listen to in the van. This will tell you a lot about the way the personalities of the band members and about how they self-organize. We operate on a strict rotation. Turns are forfeitted if the person is sleeping (note that Nate has very few selections) and any selection can be vetoed by the rest of the band if it is deemed too heinous for consumption. The day's initial selection is often given to the driver, but is usually ceded to whoever has the strongest desire to hear something in particular.
Roles:   Dan drives, Nate sleeps, Eric talks about movies and Chris fumes.
NOTE - You can find more pictures from our tour on our photos page.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - Driving
Eric
Day of driving. Eastern Washington never ceases to amaze me with how boring it is, even at night when you canít see anything. No bad weather and so far the only eventful thing that happened is that we discovered that Nate forgot his briefcase full of his pedals and cables. Dan called Hilary to have her Fed Ex it to Grand Forks, so we should have it in time for our Grand Forks show. Until then we will have to improvise.
Dan
The initial plan for the day was to take off around 4:00 and stop for the night in Couer d'Alene. We got out a little early and made good time so we bagged Cd'A in favor of staying in Missoula. After a few missed exits, we finally made it into the Motel 6 and slept the sleep of guys too cheap to pay for a better motel. The weather was a little rainy and windy and the van (even after having most of the front end replaced before we left) is handling a little skittishly. Like driving a billboard at 75 mph.
Nate
See the MySpace blog.
This is always death - somewhere outside Moses Lake, Washington
Listening Material
The Kinks - Arthur (Eric)
The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed (Chris)
The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (Dan)
The Jesus Lizard - Down (Nate)
Led Zeppelin - II (Chris)
Racetrack - City Lights (Dan)
Silkworm - Blueblood (Eric)
Sonic Youth - Evol (Dan)
Viewing Material
The Civil War - Episode 1
Money
Made: $0
Spent: $46 (gas), $70 (motel)
Miles Traveled
481
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - Somebody's garage - Billings, MT
Eric
Finally hit some bad weather near Big Timber, nothing very bad, just some blowing snow. The show tonight is apparently in a garage, hopefully it will not be in an ďunheated, uninsulatedĒ garage since it is both cold and snowing. The show was fantastic, turns out that the venue was in a garage, but the weather magically cleared in time for us to play. There was heat, put out by a space heater that looked like a giant lipstick container on itís side. I noticed more than a few people burn themselves on it. This place had their shit together - monitors, mics, and the show had to end at 10:00 because that is when the cops can bust shows. The show was loud, and not a cop in sight. Great audience response, The Bismarck were in full "selling it" mode. After the show we went through a small blizzard to get to Miles City which was harrowing, ďwhere did the road go?Ē was asked many times.
Dan
As Eric noted, tonight's show was in a single car punk rock garage. We played second on a six (!) band bill that got going around 5:30 PM. To kill time before the show, we ate some rather questionable Irish food (i.e. lightly seasoned meat wrapped in dough) at what is presumably Billings, Montana's best (and worst) Irish pub. We also parked in the lot of the Rimrock?/Rimview?/Rimjob? Inn and stole some Wi-Fi. A final jaunt was made to the drug store so Nate could buy some Nyquil (apparently his cold was preventing him from sleeping every single minute of the drive) and some homeopathic orange spice/ginkgo biloba/tea tree oil/koala spunk anti-snoring votive candles or something which I think we all agree will not work. Returning to the show, I was baffled by the fact that, despite the staggering volume of the show and the throng of kids milling about in the alley smoking and drinking Mickey's tallboys and literally *cups* of tequila, there was no trace of authority. I guess those meth labs outside of town don't bust themselves. Met a lot of nice folks although the number of kids younger than me with missing teeth was a little jarring. Billings is not for the weak. I was on the phone with my dad after the show letting him know that there was a very important package en route to his house (Nate's pedals and cables) and some kid stumbles by and yells "you guys rock - I'm fucking wasted!" I guess he was unaware of the case and effect relationship between those two statements. We took off early to make for Miles City to sleep (and cut down tomorrow's mammoth drive) but ran into some seriously shitty whiteout conditions on the way. For those of you unaccustomed to driving in blizzards, I have one piece of advice: never - EVER - pass the plow. Just cool out, Miles City isn't going anywhere.
PS - The anti-snoring hippie meds did not work. Luckily, slugging Nate with a pillow every 90 minutes did.
Nate
See the MySpace blog.
Eric mixes with the locals - Billings, Montana
Listening Material
Robbie Fulks - Country Love Songs (Dan)
The Pixies - Come on Pilgrim (Eric)
The Replacements - Let It Be (Dan)
A Minor Forest - Inindependence (Nate)
Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (Chris)
Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska (Dan)
Bob Dylan - The Freewheeliní Bob Dylan (Dan)
Viewing Material
The Civil War - Episodes 2 and 3
Money
Made: $51 (door), $10 (merch)
Spent: $122 (gas), $48 (motel)
Miles Traveled
512
Thursday, March 29, 2007 - The Loading Dock - Grand Forks, ND
"You will be kicked in the nuts until dead."
Eric
The snow was replaced with extreme wind instead. Our van is like a giant wind sail. Fortunately we have four people and about half a ton of equipment to keep us glued to the road. We stopped in Bismarck to get some gas, meet Chrisí dad (briefly), and have Nate get a fax of the contract that apparently we need to get paid for tonight's show. Nateís briefcase showed up at Danís parents house, so there was one less thing to worry about. We played at the Loading Dock at UND where apparently they forgot to mention the show in The Dakota Student or anywhere else, it felt like I lived here all over again. Played with Kentucky Sound Arsenal, Vulcan Mindmeld, and June Panic (who did an acoustic set). Got to see Brian Schill for a few minutes, but he was not able to go to the show, but everyone else was there, Katie, Big Nate, Jason Lay, and even Kristin from Fargo showed. We were loose and goofy, but I think that people seemed to like it. We sold a lot of shirts and CDís, and we are supposedly getting $400 from UND tomorrow. Went to Mikeís Pizza afterwards for some badly needed Dakota sarcasm and beer, we had to sit through open mic night, so we had plenty to bitch about.
Dan
There is nothing like driving across half of Montana and all of North Dakota in a day to get you totally psyched to play in a coffee shop in the deserted student union building at the university in the town you grew up in. We did not blow the doors off the place but we didn't completely derail either. I am still extremely skeptical that we will actually get paid for this show as it's all still in vague terms. As is usually the case with GF, the most enjoyable part is the after-show get together with the peeps at Mike's Pizza. Big Angry and Lay were in full effect and was pelting us with beer, pizza and Jager shots. I'm usually reluctant to consume any beverage served in shot form but, afraid of looking like a total pussy, obliged. Well, I wouldn't want a bowl of it. We discussed The Hold Steady (which I somehow haven't heard but am curious about) and the Zune (which I am considering purchasing). We also veered into a lengthy discussion of sausage manufacturing after I complimented the pizza we were eating. Before leaving, we wished Big Angry well on his upcoming gastric bypass surgery (on to the era of Medium Angry, I guess). For about one night every year, this is the best place on earth.
Nate
See the MySpace blog.
Big Angry Nate holds court, possibly about Frank Viola - Grand Forks, North Dakota
Listening Material
The Band - The Band (Chris)
Wilco - A.M. (Dan)
The Beatles - Rubber Soul (Eric)
Faces - Best of (Chris)
Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West (Dan)
Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (Dan)
Viewing Material
The Civil War - Episodes 4 and 5
Money
Made: $400 (door), $150 (merch)
Spent: $194 (gas)
Miles Traveled
537
Friday, March 30, 2007 - Turf Club - St. Paul, MN
Eric
First thing in the morning, Nate collected our payment from UND today, $400, woo hoo! Minnesota drivers are still the worst in the country, we saw an Oldsmobile in the right lane with its right turn signal on for the entire 20 minutes we were behind them, when we finally were able to pass them, they still had it on. Got to St. Paul in typical Bismarck early fashion, we ended up going to the same internet cafe that we went to last year when we played here and I swear that I saw two customers that were there last year. A lot of familiar faces showed up to this show, Polly, Greg Maselko, Jason (Danís brother), Tanya, and even Jackson and Lynn (two friends of my parents) were in attendance. It was a great show, we played with Botomless Pit and a band called The Chambermaids, both of which we are also playing with tomorrow in Milwuakee. At the show were three guys who were at our show in St. Paul last year, does this mean that we officially have fans that are not already friends of ours? Polly put us up for the night which was greatly appreciated.
Dan
While Eric and Nate were off getting our check, Jury and I did the pawn shop run. Ran into a Peavey Roadmaster for $299 at Kenny's (the same place where we got Jury's '71 Bassman for $199 last year). I've been eyeing one of these but I literally cannot figure out what we'd actually do with it so it stayed put. The drive to the Cities was rainy and uneventful. As we approached the unending series of suburbs with their noise-blocking walls next to the highway, Chris and I were engaged in a long conversation about urban sprawl and what effect the growth rate of nascent cities and old schools of thought on city planning had when there was a pause and, from the back seat, we hear, "You know what would suck? Being the bottom zombie in the pile." This became a running joke as did the later comment "There are really two schools of thought on zombies..." Being who we are, we arrived in St. Paul with a few hours to kill and we wandered back over to the flossy, Wi-Fi-enabled coffee shop where we went last year to kill time. I took this opportunity to play my favorite Twin Cities game - reading the City Pages and trying to figure out the worst band name. This year, we had two co-winners: A Stock Car Named Desire and The Good, the Bad and the Funky. Brutal. There also appears to be some sort of Class B blues circuit throughout the suburbs and you can sort of track these JV, Clapton-loving douches as they make the rounds. Standing outside the club, I saw a homeless dude get nailed by a car at the corner of University and Snelling. Man, when they say don't walk, they mean don't walk. Inside, I got to see my brother, his lady friend and his non-lady friend Scott and shoot the Family-Guy-reference-laden breeze. Also discussed DVDs. Labyrinth: Special Edition? No commentary. Lamez0r! Some other familiar faces (The Classical, etc.), too. Cut the shit out of my finger on the cheese grater metal grill of one of the bass cabinets before we played. Both the 'Pit and The 'Maids were great. All of a sudden, it's like a real tour. Even the freak job, Tank Girl extra looking sounds guy couldn't ruin things.
Nate
See the MySpace blog.
God, we look like idiots - St. Paul, Minnesota
Listening Material
The Sonics - Here Are the Sonics (Eric)
The Jesus and Mary Chain - The Sound of Speed (Chris)
The Rolling Stones - Singles Collection (Eric)
The Advantage - Elf Titled (Dan)
Silkworm - Italian Platinum (Nate)
Viewing Material
American Roots Music - Episodes 1 and 2
Money
Made: $200 (door), $56 (merch)
Spent: $106 (gas)
Miles Traveled
343
Saturday, March 31, 2007 - Circle A - Milwuakee, WI
"He was clearly a casualty of the drug war."
Eric
Off to an early start today, 11:30 instead of the proposed 12:00. Nate showed me his electric toothbrush that his girlfriend gave him, it plays "Rock and Roll all Night" by Kiss when he brushes. This is possibly the most Nate invention that I can think of, the only thing that would make it better was if he had toothpaste that tasted like bacon. The weather here makes me feel like we never left Washington, it is cold and rainy and on the way to Wisconsin we got caught in a terrible rain storm that slowed progress a bit. When we got to the club I was a little worried because it was so small. The seating capacity was only 25. When we set up, we took up half of the bar. When we played I was right next to the door so every once and a while I would feel a tug at my shirt or a poke in my ribs when someone wanted to get in, and to think, Nate gets distracted by Chris and I yelling during ďYou Will Not Survive.Ē This was easily our best show of the tour, everything seemed to fit right. We played with two great bands, (Bottomless Pit and The Chambermaids again), we got a great audience response, we got paid $100 (part of which was Bottomless Pitís take), and we sold a lot of shirts and cdís. After the show we went out with the members of The Chambermaids to a bar waaaaayyyy out away from where we were playing. Chris and I were taking a break from drinking, but Nate and Dan were in full bar mode. Nate even managed to find a woman who actually was interested in everything that he had to say, much to Danís astonishment. There was a person at the bar who was also at the show who told us that we were "stupidly good" which I think defines us entirely.
Dan
Sometimes you get the bear. After the rain-soaked drive to Milwuakee, we wound up with (shock!) a few hours to kill so we drove around a questionable part of town and decided to get some groceries and replenish our supplies (we're stocking sandwich-making stuff to avoid the expense and horror that is Upper Midwest fast food). Nate bought me a pack of Luden's black licorice throat drops (a tour staple as I tend to blow out my voice on Night One) and, as a thank you and in honor of our rather "urban" store selection, I went in and bought him a four-pack of grape soda. Good times. Got back to the tiny confines of Circle A and proceeded to discover the joys of $1 cans of Blatz. Played "Thunder Rolls" and some 60's garage hits off the jukebox and generally relaxed. The show itself was packed (not shocking) and fantastic (also not shocking). We played well, though an attempt at "All Missouri, No Compromise" turned into an abortion. Damn you, Blatz! Got to meet a number of folks from the Electrical Audio board - Racheal, Chris Dragon (owner of the "stupidly good" comment above) and Tom Stack (who made some downright swell posters for the evening). Load out was husteld along by "Ween Night" courtesy of the DJs. Yowza. Proceeded to hit some bar in the hinterland with The 'Maids, Stack and Co. Had maybe one or two more beers than was advisable and became rather more gregarious than usual. Jury drove us to North Chicago to our pre-arranged motel and apparently I ranted on for a good hunk of the drive (which Eric filmed) before passing into slumber (which Eric also likely filmed). Hey -- at least one of us was trying to keep it real, alright?
Nate
See the MySpace blog.
Colin of The Chambermaids at Circle A - Milwuakee, WI
Listening Material
Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand (Dan)
Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism (Dan)
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped (Chris)
Silkworm - Chokes! (Dan)
Oneida - Come on Everybody Letís Rock (Nate)
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced (Dan)
The Fleshies - The Sicilian (Dan)
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me (Chris)
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (Dan)
Money
Made: $100 (door), $60 (merch)
Spent: $126 (gas), $56 (motel)
Miles Traveled
426
Sunday, April 1, 2007 - Kraftbrau - Kalamazoo, MI
Eric
We had a temporary respite from the terrible weather, only to have to deal with crappy roads in Chicago instead. I donít understand how this could be seeing as how we had to pay at least three tolls. What are they spending that money on? We accidentally skipped one and went through the I-pass. Letís see if we get a letter in the mail a few weeks from now, I can just see it - The City of Chicago v. The Bismarck. Good to see Ike, Melanie, their child, and Shawn Ghoman. The Turners made us pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, and salad - an actual home cooked meal! The show went well, we played our loosest set yet, but we seemed to win over the audience with our sharp wit instead of our sharp playing. Wishek, however, have gotten way better since last we saw them. Dan put it best, "They turned into Crazy Horse." True. We got to stay at the Turner residence for the night, but when we got there apparently the stove was left on so Melanie was airing out the place, it was a little cold that night.
Dan
Ah, Kazoo. The Sean Gohman was in town for the show and there was much NoDak rejoicing. Ike regaled us with stories from the Touch and Go festival including a perfect Sally Timms-ism ("Hello, men and woman") and the story of Bradley Weissenberger asking Agnostino of Uzeda (muse of The Fake Italian) about how he gets his guitar tone ("Oh, my god, Brad..."). Gohman waxed rhapsodic about The Hold Steady, describing them as a "beer bottle in the back pocket" kind of band. Now I have to check this out. The Turner-Crow Alliance cooked us dinner and made us feel downright welcome. At the show, we made a big ol' mess and I bashed the living shit out of my hand, opening up all the cuts I'd accumulated thus far. A scary-looking dude said we reminded him of '78. As I was thinking "Foghat?", he said Chairs Missing. High praise, indeed.
Nate
See the MySpace blog.
Kraftbrau - Kalamazoo, Michigan
Listening Material
Bruce Springsteen - Born in The USA (Dan)
AC/DC - Highway to Hell (Nate)
Viewing Material
The Civil War - Episode 6
Money
Made: $55 (door), $20 (merch)
Spent: $65 (gas)
Miles Traveled
184
Monday, April 2, 2007 - Uncle Fester's - Bloomington, IN
Eric
OK, first things first, what are with all of the hot women here? I swear, there is a factory or something. Show 101, nothing eventful or profitable about this show, oddly enough we played the best show of the tour here, or at least the tightest. Afterwards someone came up to me and said the phrase that always makes me cringe: "You guys sounded like..." this sentence usually ends with "...MXPX and Gumball" or something horrible like that, but in this case it ended with "...Mission of Burma and Sonic Youth." Well, OK, Iíll take that.
Dan
Got an oil change on the way out of town. The van is still driving pretty shaky - feels like the alignment is wonky. Upon arriving in Bloomington, we find ourselves in a college town on the first nice day of spring. Dear lord. For a bunch of dudes who've been farting into the same bucket seats for 2500 miles, it is a little slice of heaven. Clearly, no one wants anything to do with us, so most of the pre-show time is spent in the conveniently-located public library checking mail. Uncle Fester's seems like a great rock venue but the reality of a Monday show will make itself plain. Got to meet Mike N. and Mike B./MTAR from Push-Pull (and the EA forums) - very nice fellows. The first band-ish thing was the classic "dude from punk rock band whose drummer just quit so they couldn't play but can't see fit to turn down a chance to be on stage even if it's just him playing shitty long songs he wrote for his girlfriend" scenario. I can't believe anyone is having sex with this submoron. The other band was a pretty decent punk rock band (young!) who did a cover-heavy set including selections from Operation Ivy and Rancid (which, at their age, I adored) and Fifteen (WTF?). It was like a time machine to 1995. I half expected a J Church cover. But we got paid and, for a Monday, that's a feat. Crashed at a motel in Terra Haute, home of the Terra Haute Sound.
Nate
See the MySpace blog.
The sound booth at Uncle Fester's - Bloomington, Indiana
Listening Material
Jon Stewart - America [audiobook] (Dan)
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River (Eric)
Viewing Material
The Civil War - Episode 7
Money
Made: $87 (door)
Spent: $75 (gas), $63 (oil change), $70 (motel)
Miles Traveled
367
Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - Driving
"That, sir, was ungenerous."
Eric
Driving day. Our show in Lawrence, Kansas fell through, but luckily Dan had a friend that we could stay with for free. On the way to Lawrence we got hit with the worst weather yet in the form of a full-on ACT OF GOD torrential downpour. It was so bad that we actually had to pull over to the side for a little while.
Dan
As you already know, our Lawrence show never quite materialized but fellow Red River High Class of '94 member Kyle Schneweis saw fit to put us up in his fine home for the evening. He and I went our for beers with the local rock-show-and-biking contigent while Nate and Eric played Gauntlet on XBox Live Arcade and Chris doubtless masturbated to gay porn to get his hate back.
Making sandwiches outside a Motel 6 - Terra Haute, Indiana
Listening Material
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - This Year's Model (Dan)
Cheap Trick - In Color (Dan)
Gang of Four - Solid Gold (Eric)
Silkworm - In the West (Dan)
Wire - Chairs Missing (Dan)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold As Love (Eric)
The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope (Eric)
Viewing Material
The Civil War - Episode 8
Money
Made: $0
Spent: $130 (gas)
Miles Traveled
452
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 - The Roman - Kearney, NE
Eric
Kearney, Nebraska looks a lot like a small town in North Dakota, kind of a cross between Williston and Minot. The Bismarck train pulled in early so I gave my Dad a call (it was his birthday) then we all went to a steakhouse for some real food. The gas station food was starting to wear thin. We ended up playing a pretty demoralizing show - everyone was very nice, but it was that kind of nice that you just know means that they think that you suck. We seemed to lose three people per song. Our hearts just didnít seem into it, especially since we had to turn down fairly low, that is almost always certain death for The Bismarck. Whatever, we were due for a show like this and, I for one, am glad that it was at the mid-point of the tour instead of the end or beginning. Usually our first show of the tour ends up being the terrible one. The most memorable thing about this show was the band that played before us, Too Late The Hero, I could write an entire page about them, but I believe, Gentle Reader, that seeing is believing, so check out their MySpace page. Do I really need to say anything else?
Dan
Don't let Eric fool you. The aforementioned "steakhouse" was just some bullshit chain of fake Texas roadhouses with middle of the road man food (except that the side of grilled vegetables was a pleasant surprise). With this being the first heavy meal of the trip, I will no doubt decimate some poor rest stop in Wyoming tomorrow. The show is best not discussed although the intensity of the opening band's sucking was truly something to behold. They had it all: goofball emo hats, girls' pants, Guitar Center gift certificate gear, brand new van with trailer, pre-populated T-shirt stand with lights, repeated on-stage references to their MySpace page and, oh yeah, completely worthless music. They were Mother 13 incarnate. We have a long-standing joke about the Four Word Emo Band name phenomenon and will periodically brainstorm new ones to pass the time. From Wishes to Clover is still the all-time winner, but I am growing fond of Mesh Trucker Cap? Check.
Dan and Chris witness yet another crime against music - Kearney, Nebraska
Listening Material
Shellac - [vinyl stuff] (Dan)
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Eric)
Superchunk - No Pocky For Kitty (Dan)
The Rolling Stones - Some Girls (Chris)
Scharpling and Wurster - New Hope For the Ape-Eared (Dan)
Limp Bizkit - Greatest Hitz (Dan)
Sonic Youth - Goo [demos] (Chris)
Viewing Material
The Civil War - Episode 9
Money
Made: $70 (door), $6 (merch)
Spent: $115 (gas), $35 (room)
Miles Traveled
391
Thursday, April 5, 2007 - Surfside 7 - Fort Collins, CO
Eric
Woke up to some cold, snow, and ice. We picked up a huge new crack accross the bottom of our windshield to go with the one that already runs accross the top. The new crack gained about an ince every 50 or so miles. Twice we had to pull over and scrape the ice off of our windshield and wipers. Midway into Wyoming the weather finally cleared and it was nothing as far as the eye could see, all we got was an unpleasant smell from time to time. Pulled into Fort Collins in typical Bismarck fashion and got our motel room BEFORE the show. We had about four hours to kill before the show so we all checked our email and wasted time on the internet. Right before the show we went to the Waffle House next to the motel for some grub. This ended up being a great show, people were really into us and even wanted us to do an encore, which for some reason nobody but me ever wants to do it seems. Had some free beer and pizza and went back to our motel to sleep. Rock and roll.
Dan
The drive was pretty tedious and we made lousy time but predictably still managed to get there way ahead of schedule. The place was great and the people were unbelievably friendly. Met Tree from the EA forums who had driven down from Greeley for the show. Greeley must be pretty damn dire. We played in a little corner of the pizza place and I had the three amps surrounding me. That was a little rattling. As we were downing some post-game pizza and beer, some local folks were entertaining us with stories of horrible local bands and new regional slang (Hugh Jackman = hand job, etc.).
The Berserkirs at Surfside 7 - Fort Collins, Colorado
Listening Material
Silkworm - Libertine (Chris)
Treasure State - Migration (Dan)
The Who - My Generation (Eric)
Led Zeppelin - How the West was won [Disc 1] (Chris)
Spoon - Girls can Tell (Eric)
The Ex - Dizzy Spells (Dan)
Money
Made: $55 (door), $42 (merch)
Spent: $75 (gas), $48 (room)
Miles Traveled
336
Friday, April 6, 2007 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT
Eric
Another day of crappy weather, at least the first part of it. We had to pull over and do the whole scrape the ice off the windshield and the wiper blades thing again. Our windshield wipers were so terrible that we actually decided to just get some new ones, naturally once we did purchase them, we didnít run into any more terrible weather. As we were pulling out of the Safeway in Laramie, Wyoming and started gaining speed - BOOM! our hood flew open, Dan quickly pulled over to the side of the road and we surveyed the damage. Not a big deal, but it did rip two nice gashes into the sides of the hood. It just adds "character" to our van. Glad that this happened when we were in town going 25 mph instead of on the highway going 70. We pulled over to get gas in Rawlins, Nebraska and when we filled up it was discovered that there was something wrong with the pump and that it only charged us .27 cents per gallon. Got to the club early and took it easy outside the van for a while because we finally go got some good weather and clear skies, we just had to go to Salt Lake City to find it. We jumped back into the van and were about to start it when we discovered that... it didnít want to turn over. Panic ensued. We just decided to give it a bit in case it was something stupid like dirt in the gas line. We went to a restaurant and when we came back it started right up, problem solved right? The show was a fine way to end the tour, we played very well and people seemed to like us, which is kind of a Bismarck mantra at this point. We were the only "traditional" rock band that played. The first band, Loom, had an electric violinist. The second band, Manofa (Spelling?), had an organ player. The third band, Laser Fang (yes, LASER FANG), featured a saxophone player. We were able to spend the night free of charge at Chris's brother Benís house.
Dan
Ugh. The drive to Salt Lake City was marred by some unbearable freezing rain and snow. Our wipers kept freezing up we accumulated a thin sheet of ice on the windshield that had to be scraped off every fifteen miles or so at highway offramps. The repair hijinks provided a some much-needed levity - it is always fun to think about spending a bunch of money fixing your van in the future. The van issues before the show forced us to cancel the Montana shows we had set up for the return trip. Too much risk driving that far into the ether. We were already a little on the fence about extending the trip out to Sunday since Chris has to work on Monday and it would have forced us into the obituary drive - an all-nighter from Montana to Seattle. During load-in we hear the one sentence sure to prick the ears any touring band, "Oh, another touring band was added to the bill". Great, now I'm mentally dividing in half the money I expected us to make. In light of the van warning signs, this is upsetting. The show went off fine - nothing remarkable. Ben's house was comfy and tomorrow we head for home.
Dan de-ices the window...again - somewhere in Wyoming
Listening Material
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away (Dan)
Iggy Pop - Lust For Life (Chris)
The Ramones - The Ramones (Eric)
Sonic Youth - Hold That Tiger (Chris)
Joel R.L. Phelps and the Downer Trio - Blackbird (Dan)
Viewing Material
Bob Dylan: No Direction Home
Money
Made: $57 (door), $20 (merch)
Spent: $25 (gas), $19 (wipers)
Miles Traveled
517
Saturday, April 7, 2007 - Driving
Eric
Well, we got to an early start, off to Wal-Mart by 9:30, on the road by 10:00 right? Not so fast, Bismarck. Our little van problem reappeared and this time it decided to stay. So, for the second time in Bismarck tour history, our van breaks down at the end of the tour. Nothing catastrophic this time, just the fuel pump. $400+ and six hours later, The Bismarck is off to a late start. We are going to make it from Salt Lake City to Seattle (and back to Olympia for me) in one continuous shot.
Dan
Unbelievably, we found some place that could fix our fuel pump on an hour's notice in Salt Lake City the day before Easter Sunday. We were on the verge of being stuck in Mormon-ville for two extra days and it was worth the $400+ to get out ASAP. The tow truck driver was an absolute piece of work. In the 2.4 miles drive to the shop from the Wal-Mart parking lot, I learned a) that he loves the movie Mad Max, b) he used to live in Kirkland, Washington, c) while in Kirkland he partied with the bass player from Queensryche, c) he spent six months in prison after stealing someone's boat from the Kirkland marina, getting drunk and driving it into the 520 floating bridge and d) he has Type 2 diabetes. I'm not sure I even asked for his name. Wow.
Today's jaunt set the single day driving record for The Bismarck - hopefully not to be surpassed for a good long while. I managed to hang in there for all but 45 minutes of it, somewhere in Southeastern Oregon. At about 4:00 AM, I pulled off at a motel parking lot near the top of the Snoqualmie Pass and slept for an hour or so. We were surrounded by snow so we didn't extend the stay too long.
The sun sets on another tour - somewhere in Idaho
Listening Material
AC/DC - High Voltage (Eric)
Van Halen - 1984 (Eric)
The Descendents - Two Things At Once (Dan)
Rocket From The Tombs - Rocket Redux (Eric)
(There were more, but at some point Eric fell asleep)
Viewing Material
Eurotrip
American Roots Music - Episode 3
Clerks II
Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
Loud QUIET Loud
Money
Made: $0
Spent: $110 (gas), $446 (repairs)
Miles Traveled
913
Sunday, April 8, 2007 - Home
Eric
Are we there yet? Nope, go back to bed. Are we there yet? Nope. I have to pee. Go outside. Where are we? Seattle. My car needs a jump. Crap. Drive. Time to get some sleep. Canít wait til' next year...
Dan
Time to load the shit back into the garage and get some sleep. Hello, wife. Hello, dogs. Did you miss me? No? Well, alright then.
Total Money
Made: $1439
Spent: $2044
Net: -$605
Total Miles Traveled
5459
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