Hello friends... Your humble narrator, Nick, is currently busy making the world a more tolerable place through the art of grammar correction... He's fighting the good fight, as it were, so I've been tasked to sum up week two for you... I'm not as swift with my wordage, so I'll keep it brief...
Saturday 4/22, Seattle... Or Ballard, really... Lovely neighborhood... We played at this place called Substation... It was a decent show, and we got to hang with a bunch of friends from back home who have begun relocating here over the past few years or so... Very nice to see some old (or not so old) faces... There was no show on Sunday, so we were able to break apart and do our own things for a while, do some exploring and what not... The van needed some love, so we gave it some... I ran off to Capitol Hill for brunch with Jared and Preetma from Vomitface, then reconvened with Lysa and Nick at our friend Carolynn's birthday party at her home in West Seattle... We all sort of love it out here, it's definitely more our speed...
Monday 4/24, Olympia... Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh... Olympia kinda sucked... Bad vibes from the second we rolled into town... Le Voyeur was the venue... There was an early show which ran super-late and we ended up not being able to load in until 11... I won't go into details, but the vibe just worsened and worsened, so we packed up and headed off to Salem... Next time?
Tuesday 4/25, Salem... Salem was a good time... Basically spent the day walking around, going to record stores, guitar shops, coffee places, etc... I holed up at Coin Jam for a bit and played some Ms. Pac Man for a bit... It sort of rained all day, but it wasn't too bad...
We played The Space that night... The Space is one of those places that I can't recommend highly enough for other bands who might be making their way out there... The staff were all friendly and welcoming, as were the folks who came to see us, and the place itself has a real speakeasy vibe that I like... I really loved the other band, Homatawk, a fun, sludgy trio with sort of a Caustic Resin/Oxford Collapse thing happening... All nice dudes, and they make a great sound together... Fun night...
Thanks, Tom! Nick back at the helm here. I'm sure everyone appreciated Tom's succinct rundown compared with my usual wordstew ramblings. He is the Minutemen to my Yes.
So, yeah, Salem ruled. We had a supremely easy hour or so hour ride into the next city, Eugene. We were able to actually stroll around the town, hit some stores, drink some beers, etc. We played Old Nick's that night, the first of 2 venues named after me. (Stayed tuned for The Nick in Birmingham.) Old Nick's had a gnarly punk/metal vibe to it with very friendly people hanging out and working there. We played with a good band of youngin's called Hostages.
Much thanks to Josh, who booked the gig and offered us a place to crash. Definitely want to swing back through town again.
The next day, we were California bound. We shot down I-5 to Sacramento, marking my first venture into California, which is as exciting as it is embarrassing. Like, 38 years and I've never made it to the other coast? Kinda dumb.
We played a pretty cool spot called Starlite Lounge with 2 very good bands, Soft Science and Burning Landscapes. Pretty decent crowd for a Thursday and all 3 bands played great sets. The next night, we trucked down to Los Angeles for my birthday show! We played this cool, gritty spot, 5 Star Bar. We're weirdly playing a lot of metal-friendly venues. There's way more of them out west than back home. We had a bit of an early show that we got last minute, so we played to some billiards revelers, Lysa's high school friend Jason, and Quinn from Bank Robber Music. We then absconded from that joint and went on an accidental walking tour of DTLA with Jason trying to find a decent watering hole for post-show combustibles. We attempted to hit a secret bar located in a parking lot (which now sounds even more ridiculous), but there was a line. It was a 5-minute line, but we're not wait-on-line-for-bar-in-parking-lot people. So, we wandered through town, passing bar after bar with massive lines outside of 'em. Our judgment was palpable. We at last landed at Jason's friend's bar, Wendell. As if on cue, X's "Los Angeles" started playing and we were where we should be. Tom grabbed a slice around the corner and we parted ways with Jason and did some night driving to get a head start on our next 8-hour jaunt to Tucson.
Club Congress was fun! Weird gig, but the place was so friendly and accommodating. We were comped a room at the adjoined Hotel Congress, were paid, provided drink tickets, and opened (first) for the very cool NE-HI. People starting piling in toward the end of their set and it was soon clear why: as soon as NE-HI finished their awesome, high-energy set, rock venue became dance club. We loaded out our gear as fast as we could to the room and got the hell out.
I'm burying the lede here, though. Last night's gig marked the arrival of one, Stacy Barrett! After 2+ weeks in a van together, it's nice to have Stacy along for the ride on these endless stretches of highways, freeways, or whatever else they're called out here.
We had a fantastic brunch, just hit up local tourist trap, The Thing? (don't worry, I spent nearly $40 on crap), which is kind of the Southwest version of South of the Border.
We're now en route to Las Cruces, NM, for the night, a recommendation from our good friend, Bryan Rackleff. Also, like 3 people said to stay the hell away from El Paso, our original destination. Our next gig is May 1 in Austin. Suddenly, the East Coast is somewhat in sight!