New Orleans, early show at Siberia on a Thursday! Before getting to the gig we popped into The Boot, a bar by the Tulane campus where Andrew & Renée picked up some crepes; a chantilly, strawberry with whipped cream plus a bacon and Nutella one. Good thing because as soon as we got to Siberia they fed us plates of their delicious perogies, salads & stroganoff. Nick introduced our set, but he sadly opted out on using his regionally focused joke that he was “exTREMEly happy to be here.” Then it was time to hit the town. Bourbon St town! Home of the Sazerac, Daquiri buffets, Zydeco, Mardi Gras bead toting hunchbacks, the three Vs: voyeurism/voodoo/vomit, and death place of Johnny Thunders, who passed away tragically during a rigorous workout on his hotel’s treadmill. We got some big gulp street walkin daquiris wherein 4 out of the 5 of us immediately got either brain or esophagus freeze. We waded through thousands upon thousands of Midwestern tourists, four locals and one stripper who lived two towns over. Andrew and Al decided to go home early but not before one last picture of Al surrounded by the masses. As Andrew set up the shot, a friendly entrepreneur quickly interrupted and jammed an oversized sign into Allyson’s hand for the pic – a gesture which turned out, much like freedom, not to be free. A buck o’ five later they made their way back to our hotel. Renée, Flanagan and I decided to continue on in le Quarter. After a nice cocktail at LaFitte’s we were walking home when we noticed a 24 hour Chinese reflexology massage spot. Tired from the intense walking and hurricane pounding we figured a 30minute massage at 1am was the perfect end to our night. It was really perfect until we were all paid up, and I went outside to see Nick & Renée beside a large glossy pool of red daquiri dappled with chewed pizza. Coincidentally items that Nick had consumed earlier. Who knew Nick was such a dainty upchucker? Hotel time & sleep.
Up next we are off to Texas to play shows in Austin & Denton. Got to Hotel Vegas, unloaded and walked down to Liberty Bar to visit my pal Mike Sanchez who was bartending during the Jays game. My aunt & uncle who live in Austin popped in along with our friend Johnny and now the bar was infested with maple syrup chuggin Canadians! Back at Hotel Vegas we set up and again Nick introduced us, talking Texas Toast, dazzling the audience with his signature & much loved regionally based jokes. We played a fun set to a pile of our Austin friends. Post set I got into a lively & involved conversation with my friends Eyad and Johnny (likely Rush related), when what I’m assuming was a Juilliard Professor on sabbatical inserted himself into the gabs. Focusing on me he offered a one sentence compliment (“great set”) followed by the words, “can I offer you some constructive criticism?”. And of course, this coming from an interrupting stranger, I was all ears! I asked if he thought I should be slapping more. He said no, and that my picking style included too many up strokes, which was throwing off our drummer’s interest level while playing on stage. I’m not sure why he said that as Andrew only took two calls and sent out 8 texts from stage during our 23 minute set. Johnny and Eyad could only agree prompting me to call my bass teacher for a late night pep talk. Les told me that with only a few more lessons I’d be “back onstage sailing the seas of cheese!”. That really cheered up this here slappatista!! We headed back to Johnny & Erin’s sweet pad nearby to kick it and get some rest. We were all happy to meet their three pups Daisy, Mayor McCheese & Lolita. Daisy claimed me as her pillow and we snuggled all night. The next day we all did our own thing hanging with our Austin friends & fam before heading to our gig Saturday in Denton. Renée, Andrew, Nick, Johnny and their friends Dan & Ray went to Joe’s Bakery for lunch. Due to their general disheveled look and faint smell of alcohol (cause tequila sweats) they were assumed to be a band which garnered them a free basket of cookies after their meal! Yay food! We gathered ourselves and headed off to the next gig. We played a fun set at Rubber Gloves in Denton where to our surprise, two Scottish fans that had been at our New Orleans gig showed up. The happy hour bartender turned out to have been the singer of Denton’s Slobberbone – fun fact! Notably (to maybe only us) they had a drink special called The Norm MacDonald (Molson Ex & a shot of Jameson, neither of which he drinks). We stayed the night nearby at a Homewood Suites where we fell asleep to L&O: Criminal Intent – cause only option. Andrew & Renée woke early for the continental breakfast. From her perch at the waffle maker Renée noticed a basketball court onsite. Taking her State of Texas shaped waffle with her, she dragged Andrew to the basketball court for a wheezing game of HORSE… Which was immediately shortened down to a short game of PIG. We had a long drive day ahead of us, getting chauffeured by Renée to spend the night in El Paso, TX… Which we just couldn’t El Pass up! Stay tuned!