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Day 10

Day 10

The alarm on my cell phone goes off at 10:00 am. We have an 11:00 AM check out time at the Days Inn. I sheepishly tell everyone to wake up. No one responds. I loudly tell everyone to wake up. Brian strains his muscles and starts to make movement like he is rising but just collapses on the bed and lets out a strange snoring noise.

Giving up I take a shower, put on some clean clothes. Brush my teeth. Dry my hair and open the curtain exposing DRIVER X, Patrick and Brian to sunlight. No movement. We now have approximately 15 minutes to check out so I give a louder and firmer command to wake up and everyone painfully writhes around and slowly makes their way out of bed.

At this point I think everyone (except myself) has been drinking heavily every night for 10 days straight and today is the day that signs of hang overs and exhaustion decide to rear their ugly head (*tee hee*) for all three of my companions.

Coincidentally today is the day that we had our New Orleans show canceled and were saved by the absolute most generous and amazing DJ KatieTRON and the band Nadjia from Baton Rouge. Within less than 15 days notice KatieTRON found Nadjia, rented out a venue called the "L Bar," acquired a bad ass sound system, found a sound guy from New Orleans, got Martin Atkins to DJ and did a shit load of radio promotion and flyering for the show thus saving our Monday New Orleans show that got double booked and canceled (by some douche promoter).

Moral has never been lower and moods have never been worse. The group is at their most unsociable and a fairly tense and unenjoyable ride to Baton Rouge eventually begins.

We get to the venue at about 1 PM and it is closed. We were expected @ 6pm. Everyone seems mad at me that we are there early and are expecting me to do something about it. I text message one of my contacts in Baton Rouge and they say that the drummer from Nadjia is going to go pick up an employee from the L bar and make them open their doors so we have a place to hang out for the day. It seems a bit more effort than is necessary to put towards us but everyone seems to be mad at me or in bad moods so I agree to wait for them to open the venue.

The club is less than a block away from the shore of the Mississippi river and a huge bridge hovers about 60 feet above the L bar. The sounds from the bridge give the place a strange aural atmosphere. Eventually the drummer shows up with an L Bar employee "Amy" and they let us in the venue. It appears that the sound system is has already been installed the night before. Amy opens the bar and the drummer informs us that he is contacting the sound man who came up from New Orleans for the show and is getting him out of bed so he can come sound check us. Amy and the drummer order everyone 6 pizzas and get us beverages. They are both very friendly people but no one I am traveling with is very sociable and they unintentionally come off like assholes to these extremely generous people.

The show doesn't start until 10PM so there is a lot of time to kill. Brian and Patrick sleep on couches and I lose track of DRIVER X. I feel doomed, like everything is about to fall apart and decide to go take a walk down to the shores of the Mississippi to clear my head. I sit on a bench on the walking trail next to the river and listen to the cars clunking and klanging on the bridge and the faint sound of the passing murky water. I take a deep breath and decide that I won't let the others get me down and I will have try to have a positive attitude and be sociable no matter what happens.

I return and eat some more food and make conversation with Amy. The others start waking up and start drinking which I think helps cure their hung-overness and they start being a bit more sociable to our generous hosts which is a relief. Conversations are had we watch the movie "Shock Treatment" on the L bar's TV system. Moods start to improve and the sound guy finally arrives so we can sound check. The sound check is awkward as the sound guy is unfamiliar with the digital FOH board they are using but it eventually gets done and we are ready for the show.

Eventually the doors open and there is a decent crowd. The line up is:

DJ set by KatieTRON


DJ Set by Martin Atkins


KatieTRON spins a fairly darkwave-ish set and eventually Martin Atkins shows up. He gets swamped by some people so I don't make any effort to talk to him. He eventually makes his way over to my merch booth (which is unattended, yikes!). Seeing an opportunity to talk I make my way over there but am completely sideswiped by DRIVER X who is drunk off his ass by this point.

When I first met DRIVER X he gave me a card he had printed himself for his “record label.” Later on the ink on the card melted and stained my pocket and pants. He also tried to print album art for a cd he gave me of one of his old bands . The art work never dried and stained the upholstery of my car. Throughout the tour he has been giving people his cards (for what purpose I have no idea, the label has been defunct since like '91).

DRIVER X is drunkenly chatting up Martin about who-knows-what and I can't figure out how to interject. I cringe when I see him pass Martin Atkins a card. Eventually I cut off the conversation and say hi. Martin Atkins just did a second printing on his book "Tour: Smart" and was giving a lecture at Loyola university that day for some sort of music business class. I ask him about the book and make some small talk about the invisible records comp were on a few years ago. He picks it up from the merch table. The conversation gets sideswiped by some middle aged drunken ass-kissing behemoth-woman. I want to make a better impression so I go grab the king of schmooze (Brian) and get him to talk to Martin. His conversation goes better than mine and eventually Martin Atkins takes us out to his car to show us his book and gives us several copies as well as a bunch of free Invisible Records cds and dvds.

Martin Atkins tells us that we are stupid for trying to live on the west coast and attempting to tour because of the long drive times. He shows us a map in his book of how a band can spend like a 75% less on gas and hit twice as many cities on the east coast thus being able to tour more within a year. He urges me a few times to move away from Seattle and makes many good points why. He also points out that he won't even tour up there any more because it is so far out of the way and it is difficult to break even on shows because of the large amount of expenses.

I had dealt with Martin Atkins a little bit before when we were on the Notes from thee Underground comp and things went a little weird/bad with that and one of my previous drummers released a few albums on invisible records (SMP) and things went weird/bad with that so it was a bit weird hanging out with him but I do have to admit the guy has had a huge influence on my life. I think a pigface album was the first CD I ever bought. When I bought my first drum set I sat and learned a bunch of pigface songs. I have seen pigface live many times and have owned almost every album he has drummed on. It is weird to shake the hand of a person and talk to a person that had a huge impact on the path in life I am taking and I can't help listen to what the guy is saying. Seattle really depresses me and moving away makes a lot of sense. I kind of space out on the suggestion of moving to chicago or baltimore...

The whole situation is surreal. Standing under a weird clanking bridge in Baton Rouge, staring in to Martin Atkins trunk on a Monday night...

Nadjia plays a good set. After talking to them I find out some of them work for Presonus which is weird. I have met a few people online from Baton Rouge that work for presonus and I find out that presonus is based out of there. I take note that I like how the keyboardist's Roland Juno-G sounds (which is a board I didn't expect to like).

Martin Atkins does a really strange mash-up dj set that segues in to our set. The transition is cool but Martin Atkins leaves about 4 songs in to our set. I’m almost mad at the guy but what can I really expect from a person who graciously lent his name to the show and gave us a bunch of free shit. Besides we were going to see the guy again in Baltimore in a couple of days when we play the Baltimore music conference...

The set goes well and it seems like people like it. I go outside for some air feeling a bit happy and am followed out by DRIVER X. He is drunk and asks if Patrick has had him cut off from the bar. He explains to me that the bartender (amy) says that the drummer told her to not serve him because he is not in the band. DRIVER X has had it out for Patrick and we each had a $15 bar tab so I figure that DRIVER X just reached his $15 and got cut off because he was unwilling to pay. This isn't the first drunken delusion that DRIVER X has had. DRIVER X then explains to me that while we were playing, a girl (of whom he can't describe or identify) came up to him and said: "What else do you do for the band besides take shitty pictures!?!?! You should have just stayed at home and given them the keys."

DRIVER X is convinced that Patrick has told the girl this. DRIVER X is furious and in a drunken rambling rage. DRIVER X's eyes are wide and sparkly in the moonlight, as he loosely forms sentences about how he doesn't want Patrick to drive and criticizes Brian's and my own driving capabilities. I calm him down and am informed that Nadjia doesn't want us staying at their house for the night (i suspect DRIVER X freaked them out) but has found us another place to stay. I become aware that we might be making bad impressions on people because of DRIVER X's outbursts of belligerent weirdness.

I am introduced to a friend of Nadjia, a very awkward guy who has agreed to let us crash on his apartment floor. I drive us there and we fall asleep fairly quickly. I am surprised by how much fun I am not having. Drama is high and DRIVER X is scaring me. He is making me a middle man for his insanity and expecting me to communicate his crazy talk to Brian and Patrick so he doesn’t haven’t to confront them. We are only 10 days in and things are going really bad. It feels like Brian and Patrick are mad about the attendance of shows and DRIVER X’s weirdness and are expecting me to do something about it, DRIVER X seems like he wants me to do something about Patrick and Brian. Likelihood of mutiny seems high. Morale seems low.

to be continued...

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