These things always begin long before they actually commence. Hundreds of emails get sent, most of them like blind-date requests, to bands, promoters, clubs, friends…any entity that might actually help secure some kind of spot somewhere.
There’s maintenance to consider: any time six guys are going to be travelling over a thousand miles and playing nightly through large amplification units, there has to be some piece of mind that both ride and gear are going to hold up.
And commencement can’t come soon enough, until it does, and then it occurs without ceremony and an assurance that, no matter what happens, you can’t get any more ready than you already are.
Though the first show was in Collinsville, the first stop was in Livingston, IL at our friend Amy Costa’s restaurant, Gasperoni’s. Amy took care to feed us as if we might never eat real food again, a speculation whose potential was certainly healthily abundant.
Perfumed with anchovy and garlic, we made it to Johnny’s Sidebar in Collinsville where the drinks were cheap and our hosts DIBIASE bade us welcome with their mammoth onslaught of instrumental wizardry. The good people of Collinsville are a generous and discerning lot, and our first stop was a resounding success.
The Buccaneer in Memphis was our next target, where we were to meet with our brothers in arms ACROSS TUNDRAS, with whom we shall soon be sharing opposing sides of a split 12” LP out any day now on Cavity Records…look for it. The PA was superlative, the Buccaneer staff kept the Yuengling freely flowing, and things were Pryoritized as they should be.
Our dear friend Chris, to whom we owe an inestimable debt for his many contributions , good humor and wit chief among them, came loaded for bear with stickers of Richard Pryor’s head. Said stickers were just the right size to slip over a poster or pedestrian-crossing sign or any other Pryority as we saw fit. 309 represent indeed, and represent we did…if you’re south of the Mason-Dixon, look for it.
NOLA saw fit to welcome us with Ponchartrain vistas and hints of Mardi Gras to come. Club Siberia taught us that there are no basements in NOLA, and the Walmart parking lot taught us that our van is a serviceable hotel room in a pinch.
Houston was well-met with the fantastically surreal Super Happy Fun Land and Don, the awesome dude running the board with as much aplomb as could possibly be mustered for the task. Our sound that night?: imposing. Our new friends SMOKING SPORE were sonic cosmonauts of the highest order and gentlemen to boot.
Riding in to San Antonio and witnessing some serious tagging at the Ten Eleven club whetted our appetites for the Alamo…which is conspicuously tag-free (unless you happen to be Ozzy).
Sandwiched between new friends SLO-POKE and THE GRASSHOPPER LIES HEAVY, our combined sets created a deliciously heady aural oreo, and our efforts were deserving of a proper Motel 8 where the real star of the stop lay in wait: SHOWER.
On to Austin and the quest for barbecue; but first…records at End of an Ear. Austin is cool, this truth we hold self-evident, and if evidence were required, our friend Theron works on Robert Plant’s car…no shit.
He also slings bass in the majestically ballsy COMMUNION and hosts our ragged asses with dogs and a grapefruit tree. Evidence. Hotel Vegas was the place to be that night. Both VOID STRIDER and COMMUNION dropped bombs of heaviness on those within earshot, and we weren’t none too shabby y’all.
Ft. Worth and Lola’s Saloon gave us a family-style welcome. WIZARD’S WITCH were a blast and Amanda and Matt put us up in style…muchas gracias.
Up next: Texarkana. Ah, Texarkana. The wonderful ladies at King of Wings deserve accolades for just being that awesome, and Josh and Tiffanie Foster were such fantastically entertaining and accommodating hosts that we’re sure to return. It truly was wonderful, and SCHEMATICS FOR A BLANK STARE progged our brains well.
Our final stop was Little Rock. Vino’s Pizza saw Sam Adams Pryoritized, and CT from RWAKE was a great host. Good people, good rock, and Rally’s. Why they gotta make them Big Bufords so cheap? We could hardly help ourselves.
Thanks again to Chris Cowgill, and thanks to all that made this possible, may the Eternal Light grace your brow and illuminate all in your presence. Gods be with you.