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Day 6

Day 6

The weather is strange in Texas and the road we are traveling on is even stranger.
A cracked and tarred two lane highway that that takes us through small forgotten towns with a constantly varying speed limit. Speed up. Slow down. Speed up again…
Portions of the drive are rainy and flooded, other portions are hot and humid. I keep wondering if we are on the right highway or even headed in the right direction. I have always pictured Texas being like a dry, hot desert so I am surprised to see the color of green grass sprawling out below the contrast of the dreary grey sky.

Everyone is asleep in the van and I see a sign for a rest area so I pull off and park the van. The rest area consists of two large, newer looking buildings with aluminum siding, a playground, a picnic area with picnic tables and a field for dog walking. It is exceptionally nice and clean. It also seems fairly vacant.

I walk around and explore the place and see that one of the buildings is a weather information center where one could go inside and access computers that are linked to different weather resources. All of the computers are offline.

I use the bathroom which is incredibly spacious and lonely, and walk back outside to see others have awoken. At some point Patrick had called a friend in Houston to inquire about the hurricane situation and the friend informed Patrick that the city was encouraging people to evacuate. DRIVER X is looking for Wi-fi and makes some comment about needing to find "accurate" information about the hurricane in an attempt to either insult Patrick or to make himself look like he is in denial.

DRIVER X discovers the weather center and angrily informs me that the computers are offline. I patiently take the information I already know as DRIVER X rants and raves and throw it right into my mind's trash can. DRIVER X goes on to tell his hurricane/drinking beer story and spouting off over and over about how ridiculous of a statement "evacuating Houston" is. Things are tense. There is obviously a huge hurricane on its way towards Texas but DRIVER X won't believe it until he sees it on the internet or on the news. We are totally cut off from the outside world and have no way to get any information that will appease DRIVER X
and make him stop ranting.

I would like to interrupt this story to talk about a theory I have about touring. People go crazy on tour. People are homeless and stuck in close quarters on tour for long periods of time with no access to any alone time. I am only saying this because it is a truth: men masturbate and are used to having this basic stress relieving activity available to them at their leisure. Healthy people who don't have any sort of sexual release or repress natural sexual urges go insane (male or female).
Do you disagree?
Tours (or at least uglyhead tours) are not glamorous and do not involve hotel orgies or even back alley sexual favors from fans...
I won't go any further with this but I want you to be on the same page as I am when analyzing the tension of the situation. It is day 6 with a bunch of
males stuck in a van together who have had minimal sleep, are in high stress situations and have had absolutely no time to themselves at all...)

It is clear that there is some tension building and DRIVER X's ranting is not helping. I listen to DRIVER X spouting off for a while as I snack on some handi-snacks that I had packed. The crackers crunch and the cheese coats my tongue and gives me some relief. I space out and try to enjoy the dreamlike situation of starting my day off in a grey skied Texas. Eventually we get back in the van and head towards Dallas.

The weather starts to get hotter and hotter and by the time we arrive at the venue we are sweaty and stinky and ready to be out of the van. The venue is closed and does not have any uglyhead tour posters up (a bad sign). The only windows give view to a small reception area but it looks like the club has potential to be a quality venue.

Wanting to take a walk I separate from the group and tell them I am going to look for a back entrance. We are in a very old part of Dallas called "Deep Ellum" which appears
to be in a strange state between disrepair and remodeled hipsterville.
I sweatily wander around the block and do not find an entrance. Instead I find a 7-11 across the street so I stop in, grab a drink carrier and buy everyone slurpees.
I walk back to the group and in an effort to separate DRIVER X from the rest of us I tell him that I think I saw a cafe with wi-fi a few blocks down. DRIVER X grabs his computer and we don't see him for a long time.

Patrick, Brian and I sit in the sun on the curb outside the venue and talk about how we are going to solve the problem with DRIVER X being such an asshole. Eventually Johnny Macho from Aspersion pulls up in a pick-up truck and sits there with his window rolled down, wearing a cowboy hat and dark sunglasses and silently listens to us talk our way through our problem.

Eventually Johnny macho steps out of the pick up to reveal that he wearing black tights.
The venue employees show up and let us in and we are pleasantly surprised to see that the Prophet Bar is a really nice venue and has a really good sound system and green room.

We meet the rest of Aspersion there and they are nice people. I accidentally trip over the drummer's kick drum about 5 times in the green room and feel like a jerk. Aspersion is a 4 piece group with a female drummer and vocalist and a male synth/programmer guy and a guitar player. It kind of reminds me of down-tempo trip hop with goth style guitars. They seem friendly but don't really talk to us.

We meet the band Red Pyramid who is a 5 piece rock band with an attractive female synth player. Once again they seem friendly but don't really talk to us at all. I feel kinda alienated but I set up merch in a good area and watch Aspersion play and like their set. We play and do what I would consider, a really good set and two women are thrown out for doing weird sex things on the dance floor while we are playing.

Red Pyramid sound checks and I think I hear the keyboard player play a line from the uglyhead song "River full of parasites" (a song I play keys on) for her soundcheck (although I am probably hallucinating). I have a special place in my heart for women who know anything about synths and the flattering gesture makes me develop a crush on her. Eventually someone tells me that she is under 18 so I don’t even try.*

Red Pyramid plays a pretty good set :). DRIVER X returns and starts drinking and informs
us that he looked on the internet and there was nothing about evacuating Houston and makes snide comments about us being stupid to think that they would try to evacuate over something like a pussy little hurricane. This makes everyone mad but we bite our lips to keep the peace.

We start looking for a place to stay and find out that the programmer/synth guy and the singer from Aspersion are a couple, own a house and would be happy to let us sleep at their house.

We enter their address in the GPS and load out. While loading out the guitar player from Red Pyramid asks if he can have picture with me and the keyboard player manages to get in to the picture. I am too shy to talk to her. We eventually drive down some insane toll freeway in Dallas to get to where we are sleeping. We arrive and it is in a really nice neighborhood and the house is really nice and everything there is really clean. The singer gets towels for us to shower and offers food and the synth programmer guys orders a sandwich after we all decline. Places like this are rare to encounter during tour and I am thankful and amazed but the contrast of cleanliness with my extreme filthiness make me feel awkward. They end up being really friendly. I take a shower, finally get to attend to some "business" (sorry Aspersion), dry off, unroll my sleeping bag and give the others access to the couches by sleeping on the floor. I analyze the day and have strange feelings of a forbodeing doom when I realize that the situation with DRIVER X is only going to get worse and we are about to get closer to where the hurricane is going to hit. It all feels like a dream and eventually I fall asleep trying to think of solutions to the group problems we are going through, how much I like Dallas accents and how hot the keyboard player for Red Pyramid was...

to be continued...

Uglyhead at The Prophet Bar Dallas TX 2008

*she ended up being over 18

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