Greetings from the I-80 W in Indiana!
We have been busy gigging around North ‘Merica, eh? Since our last entry we’ve played Indianapolis, Detroit, Tronnow & Hamilton. Tonight is Chicago.
Beginning chronologically, Indianapolis was a really fun show at the White Rabbit. Jacob was our host that set up the show. Jerome & the Psychics (from Brazil… & also Indiana) opened the show with a fun garagey set. The keyboard player set her keyboard up on two garbage cans which distracted Allyson because she kept wondering what the story was with all the food scraps in the garbage (Al is aka The Garberator®).
DMA closed the night off with an awesome and unique set – a really sweet band with a jammy rock vibe as well as loops & heavy effexxx. Czech em out!
We had a pre-booked hotel on the outskirts of town which we barreled off to post gig…
Ummm, please never stay at the Rodeway Inn off Shadeland in Indianapolis!!!!! The entire band agreed it was the hands down vilest hotel we’d collectively ever stayed in! From the stained chairs, foul reek in the air, the non-fitted sheets above the bare mattresses, to the abandoned mid lobby indoor pool & screaming high pitched progressively louder tv ringing noise, we opted to sleep above the sheets in double layered clothing to avoid potential bedbug medication expenses the next morning.
Thursday morning we were up early and could not get out of that hotel and on the road fast enough off to Detroit.
Our show was booked at the Lager House, where the last time we played there we had arrived at 8pm for a soundcheck that never happened, were put on 4th of 4 bands at 1am and told we had to hurry up and cut our set to 15 mins so the bar could close up in time. Needless to say, we weren’t in a huge rush! We were rolling at a leisurely and civilized pace, getting into our (comparatively five star) Dearborn Red Roof Inn in the early evening.
Ben decided to kick it in the hotel room, while Garberator® & I went in search for food. We had a nice meal and stopped by Miller’s Bar, a place we stopped at cause its sign was so cool. It was a super old timey bar & restaurant packed with post-work locals.
We headed to the Lager House and met the opening band, Bop Shop, who were kind enough to lend us some gear. They were a quirky art jazz five piece band ala Zappa/Zorn, complete with sax & music stands. There was a couple of bar dogs roaming around the venue that night, one of them was taken with the reflection of the guitar player’s pick guard on the floor, and put on his own show just chasing the reflection at the front of the stage.
Third band canceled, and we were up next. My good old buddy Tony Lima from London, Ontario had made the two hour drive to see us which was really nice, so we tried to put on a non-lackluster show! We hit up a McDonalds for a 2am cone for Garberator®, then it was off to bed!
Up next – Toronto on a Friday! Both Al & I previously lived in Tronnow, Al having grown up there, so we had a lot of friends and family to catch up with. Tutts, who is a psycho Rush fan, was lapping up his Caress of Steel & Exit Stage Left albs the entire Canadian portion of the tour. We got to the Baker residence late afternoon and we all #pigged super hard on the bountiful cupboards of Al’s parents’ kitchen. By bountiful I’m talking triple mega Costco sized Ruffles, french ‘nion dip, four tubs of hummus, three separate bags of different types of bagels (including smashed bagels: FLAGELS!), salad, olives, pickles, M&M’s™, veggie slices, peppermint bark, red wine, fruit baskets, Perrier, lox & cream cheese and other stuff I’m forgetting about!
We canceled the Toronto show and all died of food comas promptly after arrival. For real!
Then we headed to Parts & Labour for our show with Two Koreas, Nick Flanagan & The Men. I popped by my greatest old bud Katie’s new bar Thirsty & Miserable in Kensington Market where I got the a-list treatment from Kawie & her buddy Heather.
My Dad & I met for dinner down the street from the club & shared a large oversized plate of poutine with garlic cheese curds & mushroom gravy that we couldn’t finish. I packed up the leftovers for later inhalation by Allyson, then it was off to play gig live in concert! Our show was super fun, many faces from days of yore were present, including high school pals (Rohit, Erica, The Gans brothers, Adam Wygodny), as well as old bros Ben Playford, Jamie Rapkin, Max n’ Paulie, Mark Jarett, Sean Dean, Trevor Shaikin, Nick Sewell, D MAN, Marco plus also family (my Dad & Al’s folks!). Our old buddy Pesci (Mark Rodenhizer) set up the show and it was super fun filled & packed (thanks!!).
Our show the next night was about an hour away in Hamilton so we used Al’s folks’ place as our home base for the 2 days. Now I have stayed at the Baker residence many times over the years, and I’ve always wanted to do an exposé on their particular style of art collecting. I will be doing that right now with this new found blog power currently coursing through my blog related ego-maniacal veins.
I won’t qualify the art as “good” or “bad”, but I’ll provide a few neutral yet descriptive “adjectives”…
Colorful. 80’s tinged. Mardi Gras-esque. Zydeco. Beetlejuice. Canadiana, Spherical. Floridian. “Futuristic”. Zany. Golf related?
That will conclude the text portion of the Baker art part of this blog entry… Please scroll down post blarg text to peruse the heavily documented photos.
Ok ok ok, so our show last night was in Hamilton – not too far from Tee Dot. We spent the aft catching up with comedian Nick Flanagan, and metal maniacs D MAN & Katie Whittaker. Several overeating sessions later we moseyed on down to our Casbah show in Hamilton. Brody the booker kindly put us on the bill last minute and gave us awesome treatment (TWELVE drink tix!).
A neato two piece band called Mediocre opened up the show. The singer Sam prefaced their set by dedicating it to the guy who committed suicide by jumping in front of the train he was riding to the show. He also dedicated it to his father that had died that day. (…Eleven years ago).
He proceeded to perform shirtlessly, and later on, pantslessly, & the room had a particularly distinct scent while they were on stage. They did an acapella verj of Michael Jackson’s ‘She’s out of My Life’, a song about sodomy and some slam poetry!!! Take that WORLD!!
We took the stage next and had a fun punk set on the floor. Really nice crowd and staff, even had a pit for a few of our songs! Ben & I furiously blazed through our excess drink tix, and Allyson squired us down the QEW back to our Beetlejuicey digs.
Today there was a sad goodbye to the Baker family pet, Stolie the Golden Retriever. She’d been following me around while I was packing my suitcase, so I stopped to give her some attention before we left… she immediately gave me her paw to shake (Awwww! 🐶💕🐾👅) and I told her she was a really good Arf-Arf and I’d be back someday for more ball throws & paw shakes.
Fast forward to today! We drove from Toronto, home of Barenaked Ladies, all the way to Chicago, home of Da Brat!
We’re kicking around Schuba’s about to place our pick up order at Chicago Diner, before using our meal tickets for a full 2nd meal at this venue (#pigthemedtouring).
Yes, I slapped the bass really hard, but so far haven’t broken a flat wound. Yes, Allyson has eaten countless piles of more garbage (duh). No, Ben hasn’t forgiven himself re his attempted dog murder last week in KS, but the chickens are #pigging home to roost in Lawrence tomorrow, more mesmerizing blogging then!
Til then fwiendz!!
Xo Filet O’ Flerms