Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brick

We've had a pretty easy today. The drive was only a couple of hours. Felt good sleeping in a real bed last night, even if me and Johan were pretty much ass to ass.

The weather is starting to resemble the summer as you'd expect it. Blue skies, hot in the shade. We picked up some breakfast from a local diner in Milford this morning. Two eggs, sunny side up please. The lady who served us was a pretty sweet woman. It's always embarrassing going through the motions when they clock you're a band, not that hard I guess, and then they start asking you what kind of music you play and what the name is and all that crap. It's the same expression on the face every time when you tell them...vacant.

We've been listening to some good stuff in the van these last few days. Tom Petty, Maiden, Roky Erickson, The Police...who the fuck needs to listen to hardcore in the van all day when it's all you here all night? Not me. Funny though, for the most part Andy sits in the back with his headphones on.

We've only got a couple of hours drive today, so of course, we're going to an outlet centre. Johan and Andy really like to shop! After that we'll head on over to the venue for around six pm. We're right on the coast tonight and there is talk of crashing at one of Matt's friends places near here tonight and then spending a few hours at the beach of the Jersey Shore tomorrow. I'm hoping this is going to happen.

Matt has just let it slip that he has to take his shirt off when he takes a shit, no matter where he is. I almost just coughed up a lung when he let that one go! Upon obvious further enquiries he told us that the reason for this strange behaviour is that when he was a kid growing up with his sisters, he used to wear their long night-shirts around the house a lot since he didn't have much of his own stuff. Once when he went to do a shit the night-shirt he was wearing dropped down into the toilet and he shat all over it, although he didn't realise this until he'd walked out of the bog. Since then he's had a mental barrier when it comes to dropping his guts that means he has to take his shirt off. Superb.

Later:

We went to the outlet store. We were there for a few hours shopping. No, let me correct that. Johan and Andy were. I picked up a pair of Vans within ten minutes, looked at a pair of jeans, decided I would save my money on tour for records and leave the shopping until Jenny comes over at the end of this tour when we have a few days in New York, got some fish and chips from a cheesy food court, took a couple of turns on a rather brutal massage chair, and then headed back to the van with Matt, Jon and Meghan forty minutes later. We sat around on the tarmac by the van in the half empty parking lot for an hour or so. It was actually really relaxing. I restrung my guitar and then we lay around, using bags as pillows, chatting away about everything and nothing.

We've just turned up at the venue. Strange place. The sign at the side of the country highway the venue is just off of says The Loyal Order of the Moose. It is decorated with numerous American flags and there are two old bearded guys loitering around on the porch, looking over at the van. Fuck knows what this gig is going to be like.. Never played a veterans lodge before. It's not that uncommon though, according to Matt. Matt knows the promoter tonight and tells us he always puts on good shows. That is definitely reassuring! If we didn't know anything about the promoter tonight I'd be worried.

Since we're a bit early, Johan has suggested we go do some shopping at the Target that we passed just down the road. There actually is fuck all to do so we may as well. I think I saw a liquor store somewhere too...

Later:

This show was how last night's show could have been, should have been maybe. The promoter, Mark was a really funny guy, looked like he could have been in Annihilation Time. He must be one of the few people on this planet that has a moustache that Matt actually trusts. There were a few other people involved in the setting up the show who were all really enthusiastic, doing their best to give the kids here some shows to go to. It's so good to see young people involved in keeping the scene going in these remote parts of the world.

The show was set up in the back room of the bar in the lodge, just a square room with bare walls, kinda looked like an empty classroom. There was probably around forty to fifty kids at the show, which was more than enough to make fill the room out nicely. Not bad for Brick, New Jersey. Anyone here tonight would have had to have got here by car since it's in the middle of nowhere.

Out the back of the venue was a parking lot and some beer garden type area. We spent most of the night either hanging out by the van, drinking a some pre-show beer or in the bar playing what I can only describe as table-top curling. Above it was a huge mounted moose head which was a bit strange. The game was good fun, although the bar was a bit shady. The bartender was a large, jock looking guy who barely registered my presence when I ordered a couple of Yeungling's for me and Johan. Ignorant cunt. Do you still really have to tip for that in this country? Even when the service is that piss poor? I left him a couple of dollars tip and immediately hated myself for doing so when he just snatched them up from the bar and threw them in his jar, not a thank you in sight. This guy either hates us punk kids or maybe he doesn't like foreigners. Mark the promoter told me that the people at the lodge are always really cool with them putting shows on here but this bartender guy isn't convincing me.

There was another weird jock guy who was stoating about the room all night bothering people. He was either pissed drunk or a couple of sarnies short of a lunch box but either way he was getting on my tits. He obviously wasn't here for the show, I think he belonged to the lodge... He'd helped put up a tarpaulin over the veranda out back since the constant lightning flashing in the sky out over the ocean was threatening to bring a shit load of rain our way. Apparently whilst he was doing this he'd split his shorts right up the crack. He spent the entire night explaining this to anyone who would listen, and then when he was done he would ask for a safety pin. He was shocked that not one person there had a safety pin to loan him, since we were all punks and all. He must have asked me for a safety pin on at least six different occasions during the evening...

I only really saw the first band tonight, who were called Teen Wolves. They were pretty cool too. They had this girl screaming down the mic over some really fast, japcore/scando style punk rock. Good times. The other bands I heard from the parking lot out back. The third band did a lot of covers, one of which being a pretty good version of Police Story. Jon started giving me his usual bullshit about having no respect for Black Flag. Of course I bit. Of course he continued to bait until it got as far as him saying he actually hates Black Flag. He is so full of shit sometimes you just have to laugh at him.

Our show was a lot of fun. I love floor shows. We had all the kids crowded close in around us in a semi-circle and we blasted through the set. Before we started the set though, we had to wait for Jon who was posing for a picture Meghan was taking of him, licking his pick and doing his best metal pose. I look over at Andy who is just sat there shaking his head, “Fucking circus...” he grumbles. It was pretty fucking hot in there and my cold is still holding firm, meaning I had a steady mix of sweat and snot streaming from me the entire set. Didn't really bother me that much at the time though.

At one point during the set, I almost hit some young kid in the face with my guitar by accident. I just caught him out of the corner of my eye backing off mouthing, “Whoooaa!” I felt bad and whilst playing grabbed his hand to let him know it was an accident and I was sorry. He just held onto my hand, pulled his camera out with other and took a photo of us, both rocking out. It was a nice moment.

A couple of times during the show I noticed Andy kind of pointing one of his drum sticks in the air mid beat, almost like he was dancing whilst playing. Fucking hell, I thought to myself, he's having a good time! It was only when I belted the headstock of my guitar on the low ceiling of the room that I understood he was actually trying to warn me. My stomach balls jumped into my throat for a split second, but luckily the guitar was unscathed. That would have been a shitter!

After the show we chilled out for a while on the back porch/veranda area. It had just started to rain as we were thinking about loading the van. Big fucking balls of rain too. We decided to wait a while and instead hung out with Mark and some of the other kids at the show. I got chatting to a guy called Wes for a while who was really friendly. We hung out for a good twenty minutes talking about music and the scene. He was really interested in Europe, which I tend to find a lot of the people I meet on these tours are.

When the rain shower had subsided we decided to pack the and head back to Meghan's place in Philly. She needs to get home anyway and Philly is pretty much exactly half way to tomorrow's show in Baltimore, so it makes sense. We had toyed with the idea of staying around here and going to the beach tomorrow, which would have been nice but we'll have a day of in Richmond on Saturday and there will be plenty of opportunity to go swimming then since we'll be hanging out at the Best Friends Day Fest which on Saturday is at the lake.

As we were packing the van, the young kid who'd I'd almost hit with my guitar came up and asked for another photo. He introduced himself to me as Nishad. He told me he thought I was a really good guitar player, to which Matt and I laughed out loud. We got some more photos and stood around chatting for a while. Nishad was a funny kid, he just stood there firing questions at us as we packed the van. At one point Jon comes over, dressed in his new leather vest complete with side-laces that he purchased a couple of days ago, and Nishad just breaks off from whatever he was asking me at the time and tells Jon, “You look just like my dad, but skinnier and with better hair!” Matt and I almost fall over laughing.

As if just to piss on our onions, the miserable bartender comes over to us wearing a face like a smacked arse and moans at us, “Seriously guys, are you just leaving your garbage behind you?” referring to the two empty merch boxes still in the room. Matt curtly informs him that we're not done packing yet and that he should chill out. He just walks off, just as miserable as when he came. Andy walks into the venue, picks up the two empty merch boxes that are on the floor about one foot away from the rubbish bin and places them in said bin. As if that miserable bartender cunt couldn't have just done that himself! He'd rather take an extra two minutes out of his night just to come and complain. Some people have miserable lives.

Later still:

We just got back to Philly. Greg had been playing records at a bar tonight and we picked him up on the way home. If it had been earlier I would have been up for going in for a drink, but as it was I'd been sleeping on the back seat of the van and felt pretty groggy when we'd arrived. Nice to be in a bed again tonight. We got back to the house and a friend of the Greghans, a big guy called Chubbs, had turned up. Quite a fellow. Pretty fucking steamboats! Nice guy but my tired, groggy head couldn't handle it. I sipped on a glass of red wine that I really didn't need before sneaking off to bed. The air conditioning is in full effect tonight and it's wonderfully cold in this room. Three thirty am. Alarm set for ten. Looking forward to a good nights sleep.

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