Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Porch'n - Week 1; Tires & Reststops

So it has officially been a week, calendar-style, and we just made it over the North Carolina state line last night around 11:00 PM. Here is Weston in the parking lot next to the Garage, where we played with the Jew(s) and Catholic(s) and the Winter Sounds.

This was our first show (our first actual stop was the screening at Guildford) and I kinda felt like we were heading off to our first day of school when two of the Midtown Dickens and two-thirds of the soon to debut Pinhook bar showed up to send us off proper Durham-style. It was comforting to have them out there, and we shared some of Shirle's “nice people” cookies with them after the show.

The cookie tin opened its lid again for the Jew(s) and Catholic(s) later.

No offense to future people we met who did not get offered nice people cookies. I think we ate them all. In fact the cookies are so good that we might even have to dip into our “go back to durham” cookies even though we don't need to go back yet. But so far we've controlled ourselves.

Weston's First Boo-Boo

We were hoping it was the truck driving past us, but it was in fact Weston's rear foot we heard, which got slashed on the road. Here is Rob changing the tire. Lucky we had a spare but it was not in great shape, so we found a tire shop. The tire shop (Goodyear, for gawd sake, the very God of Tires) told us they haven't made that kind of tire in over 20 years (the tire is designed to carry heavy loads). They called the VW dealership, who didn't have them either. We began to worry that we'd have to hitchhike the rest of the tour, when we found TIRE KING (the King of Tires). These folks were able to special order a tire so we had one by the next morning. We drove on the spare over to Snug Harbor where we played with the Future Kings and Charlotte's LA Tool & Die. Here is LA Tool & Die during my favorite song.

And here is one of the Kings, our new shirt model.

Before picking up our tire the next morning, we went to this lake, where Syba begged, swam a bit, and ate tree branches.

I also made a tofu scramble so we could have a picnic.

Here we are ensuring no scramble appears post-picnic.

At this same park we stumbled upon another dog park, where Syba did dog-park things like run, smell, and socially interact with her peers as well as those she considers inferior.

There was a loud cell-phone talker dog-guardian, and, of course, this person's dog was also barky, and if the dog had a cell phone, I'm sure he'd be using up his minutes at the park, too.

I think my next documenary will be about rest stops. I realized somewhere in the past week that I love them. It might have been my insistance that we pop the top and sleep at a rest stop any chance possible, or it might have been this creme-de-la-creme of rest stops that we stopped at on the way to Asheville.

It has recycling.

Biodegradable bags for your dogs.

Even a freagin' fire hydrant in case the dog isn't inspired enough by the trees!

And this here is a picture of the area surrounding the rest stop.

Shangri La, or what?

Then of course there is the fabricated comfort inserted by Rest Stop Authorities. Picnic benches, BBQs for veggie burgers.

Actually, I'd be curious to know whether these rusty BBQs had ever experienced the sizzle of a veggie burger or veggie dog.

Really, what else do you need during your rest? Today's stop even had WiFi.

Well, reststop people, if you are reading my blog, I guess showers would be nice. And vegan cake.

Our first night in Asheville we played at the Rocket Club. Here is a picture of it, blurred and freshly painted in the rocketship color (silver, of course!).

We played with Charlotte's The Houstons and Asheville's Sophisticated Chimps.

One of the owners of the club had a dog who hung out with Syba most of the time. The Rocket Club is huge and the stage is made for a 30 piece orchestra. The lights were bright and unwavering, and we couldn't see a thing. The sound was pretty good though.

We found a local park by the French Broad River and popped the top there. We were not disburbed at all, and even made breakfast (pancakes and hash browns) & washed our dishes the next morning.

I must admit that Weston gets a lot of stares. Many people stop to talk of us simply because of him. If I might borrow/paraphrase a line from Katherine Dunn's book Geek Love, Weston is like a confession.

Driving around in him is an open invite for people to relate to us through their own history with a similar van, their own past travels, or their natural curiosity about what the heck we might be up to.

Especially with that container of literature bungy-corded down on top (BTW – don't try to park in a garage with 7'2” limit with such a container attached. A big bumpy noise will happen and you might break your container).

We spent some time driving around trying to find a spot to park. Weston is very handy for naps, as evidenced here on the sidewalk.

Check out our compadre behind us...this person had a dog as well. Seems to go along with the whole thing.

Post-nap we went on the air on WPVM...big thanks to Kym of Midtown & Pinhook for recommending the Siren's Muse show. You can hear the broadcast here (for a little while).

The next day we were gig- and screening-free. Rob leafleted, and also found another dog park for Syba. I spent about 10 hours in the public library booking & promo-ing. If this were really a job, this touring thing, I'd be accummulating a wealth of overtime dollarage. I'd have to sue myself for making me work without pay/recognition.

There was a storm that night, but Weston stayed pretty dry. I'm still not sure how he'll be in the snow blizzards. I do know I'll make snow soup.

Last night we played for Warren-Wilson in Swannanoa, NC. Amazing place where it seems like you have entered an alternate reality. The emphasis of the school is on service, and students are required to work 15 hours a week. This includes farming, gardening, cooking, and helping BB set up and making the documentary happen. The students were very kind and thanked us for coming out to play there. I was told the school was founded long ago as a way to empower the surrounding empoverished community through local farming. After we played, I screened my film.

Then we set off toward Kentucky. After about four hours of driving, we finally made it to our temporary destination, a rest stop! Yeah! Here is Weston the next morning. As a tip, if your refridgerator is on the kabootz, tempeh and Silk Soy Creamer keeps for days.

As another tip, don't look yonder while Syba is one foot away on her new extendo-leash. She might chew it in two. After you knot it back together, she might bite it in 1/2 two more times until you realize that maybe she isn't through with this thing yet.


Anonymous said...

Awesome bloggggg. Does Weston take tapes? I bet you guys need a fresh helping of roadtrippin' tunes.

OxOx - kym

Anonymous said...

I played at Warren-Wilson years ago in an old band of mine. It is an alternate reality in the middle of the mountains. The guy that invited us to play was the campus "postman" at least, that was his part time job.

Paul G.

kim said...

ohhhh...Syba! She is going to keep you on your toes. Sounds like she found a new form of doggie dental floss.

edge said...

wooooo!!! wow! yay! i had two nice people cookies. im sorry to anyone i deprived. we love you!!

Eleni said...

kym - Weston currently accepts tapes, but unfortunately his little speakers are hard of hearing...and play little whispers. We hope to finance a CD player/radio soon so we can keep up with storm warnings and NPR!

Hi Paul ... the postman, that's too awesome. I didn't see any students performing mail activities but I can imagine this must be one of the jobs.

Kim without a Y, you are right, she certainly is 'testing' us. Getting back into the van is a really big challenge for her. Even when I give her Shirle's dog cookies. She's quite stubborn.

ms. Edge. Why can't I access your blog?? You were fully deserving of nice people cookies, and even cakes, so I'm glad we got to share them with you.

Anonymous said...

Missing you guys so much BUT am so glad to have this blog to keep "tabs" on ya'll. So much road ahead, and so few cookies....a new batch will be heading your way soon.
The food looks AMAZIBG and is getting me ready for the Amy Ray tour where I will be bringing a crock pot that plugs into the Van lighter. I am gonna name the crock "Barack-Crock". Go here to check out if we are playing any of the same places...I REALLY hope so!!!

(((HUGS)))& ***KISSES***

Sequoya said...

Great blog thanks!
I'm glad they were able to get Weston the new tire and I hope you got an extra (just in case). It sounds like Syba is having the time of her life and I'm glad you two are as well. :)