“Yes please, and some bears with that!”

13 08 2010

To keep healthy in the wild, bears will do countless sets of sit-ups.

As some of you devoted blog reader(s) might remember, we have a good friend in Denver, and we like to visit her.  We also like playing rock and roll and viewing bear attacks.  So, when the oppertunity came for Maudlin (That’s my, quote un-quote -cool band) to play at UMS we said, “yes please, and some bears with that!”

There are two ways for people who haven’t discovered planes yet to get to Denver: the evil, endless farmyard known as “Nebraska” or South Dakota.  Now, some people might not like all things to see in South Dakota, but we can all agree that there is nothing to see in Nebraska.  (I hate you Nebraska!  I hate you more than bad whale analogies!) …Anyway, there’s this place called Bear Country USA in South Dakota, next to Deadwood.  There are bears there.  You can pay fifteen dollars and the let you drive around in a big back yard with sixty bears- it’s basically like swimming with sharks.  …except the sharks are furry.  So… we did that.

Highly paid bear models will starve themselves to stunt their growth and maintain a desirable figure.

In captivity, bear models will starve themselves to stunt their growth and maintain a desirable figure.

(There are lots off really bad family videos of Priscilla and I driving around here that rival the Blair Witch Project, but I decided not to include them.)

After Bear Country USA, we headed on to Wyoming!  …Not much had changed there since the last time we passed through.  We did meet a gas station attendant who had never been pulled over by the man before.  Never.  I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been pulled over.  I must just look like trouble- trouble with a burnt out headlight.

So, just when I had made up my mind that the only way I would ever get out of the car was  to veer off the road into a tree- when ever I saw one- we reached the mile high city.  We showed up at Steph’s several hours late- which surprised no one, and promptly went to sleep.  In the morning we presented Steph with a traditional travelers gift: a wolf hat.

Um...

The next day we performed the first of our two showcases at UMS.  In our haste to get to the bear yard, we forgot Jason back in Minnesota, so our agent, Craig Grossman, was kind enough to sit in with us.  Big thanks to all of our new friends in Denver!  We had a blast playing!

Later someone in the crowd made me take off my sunglasses.

And then I forgot my bass… my Frank Black autographed Rickenbacker… I am an idiot.  But, the good people of Denver didn’t steal it, and arrangements have been made to meet at Bear Country USA again and get it back… Good fun, lots of forgotten things, and lots of bears… That’s about all I’ve got for this blog.  FAIL.  Le sigh…

In Brief: I hate to keep ragging on Ben Stiller… but did anyone see Greenberg?  It’s the dramatic tail of a suicidal washed up musician, who sexually assaults his brothers barely legal housekeeper.  It’s ok though, because after he assaults her, then verbally berates her, she realizes that she’s actually in love with him, and he’s not such a bad guy.   He finds out that being a douche bag always gets you chicks, even if you’re a complete loser.  I hope everyone who routinely takes all of their social cues from poorly dramatized realism is paying careful attention to this film.

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Maudlin Takes Manhattan

5 12 2009


david.and.seth.underwear

Getting things off with a bang! (or a wtf) David with friend and guitarist Seth on the mean streets of New Jersey

This picture kind of sums things up.  New Yorkers are the nicest people in the world, they didn’t even kick us out!  We were invited to play the CMJ Music Marathon, and braved the long bore of the Ohio Turnpike to see what the Big Apple had in store for Maudlin.  Well, it had great food, kidnapings, vandalism, and grand theft mannequin, that’s what it had in store.

Musicians flock to free things like deer flock to ...deer parks.

This is where it all started.  Downtown Manhattan, in some club somewhere, they had created a ‘musicians lounge.’  This lounge had free booze, free food, free haircuts, free massages, and free interviews with Walter from Stabbing Westward.  …So we ended up hanging out there most of the time.

Priscilla has some lady cut her hair for free.

They spared no expence with the accomidations. Nothing was too fine for the honored musicians who had traveled to New York!

While all the New Yorkers we met on the street were fantastic, we soon found out that most of the 1200 bands from all over the world who came to New York were made up of boring people.   As we tried to live it up, they mostly stood in tightly nit groups talking to their own bandmates.  Then one really stupid chick I was talking to tried to argue with me about the size and danger of moose.  WTF?!?!?!

I was telling a story, I could tell she really wanted to hear, about my family camping trip to Superior National Forest, and I mentioned that a big moose walked out on to the road.  It was huge!  We were driving a little Focus, and I said the thing was nearly three times as tall as we were. Then she was all like saying this really stupid crap about how moose aren’t that big, and I was full of it, and that they were like big deer and couldn’t hurt anything.

Well, I had never punched a girl before, and I didn’t think now would be a good time to start, but I really wanted to.  Instead I found the first woodsy looking guy I could- some dude in a wolf mural sweatshirt.  It was ugly as sin, and clearly a joke, but something told me- this guy knows his animals.  Turns out he used to give wildlife tours in Alaska.  They would scare off black bears that had come on to the resort with golf carts, because, as we all know, black bears are the nancys of the large predator world.  He told me they received special training on what to do if you ran into a grizzly while hiking- but if you ran in to a moose up close… you’re just screwed.  I lost track of that chick… but someday she’ll get hers…

Anyway, then Jason drank way too much and took over an entire sofa by himself after a lunch stop in Little Itally where he managed to smash a framed picture of James Gandolfini in his inebriation.

He was like this for no less than three hours, with a hoard of people milling around looking for a place to sit.

Eventually, we found a band that was not boring to chat with, Robotanists.  They hailed from LA, and had a bizarre fetish for mannequin hands. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due- they were the first to steal a body part off the mannequin.  But Maudlin is not a band to be outdone.  Who would be stupid enough to put a bunch of designer clothes on a mannequin and then leave it in a room with musicians and unlimited free alcohol? Yeah, exactly.  We plundered the mannequin for clothes and limbs like it was 1725!

Me and Priscilla with Walter of Stabing Westward

Maudlin is papmpered by local servants

As an after thought to all the shenanigans, Maudlin also played a showcase at the Lit Lounge which was great…

Bars in New York stay open until four, and music only went until one.  The Lit neglected to let us know that the “green room” became the “smoking lounge” after two… So we had all over our gear spread out when hooligans began to flood in all over everything.  Poor Jason ended up getting stuck watching things and was whiteness to several prostitutes haggling with people about ‘jobs.’  Eventually we had to make an escape before Jason was thrown into a deal as a bargaining chip.

We got back to the lovely Wendy’s place where we were staying in the East Village, and I realized I had forgotten the Green Room banner.   Green Room Music Source is our booking agency, which I also now work for.  I was entrusted with the safety of the banner, and I wasn’t about to lose it, so I told Jason and Priscilla I would be right back and I darted out to hail a cab.  It was 3:30 am and I had half an hour to get back to Lit Lounge, but it was only ten blocks, so I wasn’t worried.

I got into a cab and said ‘Take me to 93 2nd Ave”  I think the guy said ‘ok’ in some language, but I’m really not sure.  Pretty soon he turned onto the freeway, and I quickly tried to explain that I was only trying to go to 93 2nd Ave, which was only a few blocks away.  The driver reassured me he know where he was going.  Then he told me he was trying to avoid bar traffic because it was dangerous… (as he did 90 on the freeway, slamming on the breaks several times, very nearly rear ending other cars…) When the drive continued I began to argue with him.  “I’m trying to get to 93 2nd, it’s ten blocks from where you picked me up, this is not the right way!” He finally exited onto 93 street and told me that 2nd ave was just a few blocks away.  This is important.  In New York they use intersections as opposed to street addresses.  93 2nd Ave is in the East Village, 93 AND 2nd ave is in East Harlem.  He pulled over and tried to kick me out… What a d-bag.

Finally, after a shouting match with this guy, we were back on the way to the East Village, and my four dollar cab ride turned into a thirty dollar cab ride.  I was able to get the sign though, so it wasn’t all bad.  It was no surprise to us when we hailed a cab the next morning to take us to Seth’s place in North Arlington, NJ  that this cab driver was also retarded.

Driver: Where are you going?

Maudlin: North Arlington, NJ

Driver: Ok, fifty five bucks plus tolls

Maudlin: Ok (we load in and start driving)

Driver: Where is North Arlington

Maudlin: *le sigh*

Later we realized he had pee bottles in the front seat …if only we had seen them sooner…  But, all and all, it was a fantastic blast of a time! The locals were all great, and far better looking than the locals anywhere else- and therefor better. We can’t wait to go back!

In brief:

I just saw 100 Feet, which is a movie about a successful actress who takes a terrible role in a crappy horror flick just to see if she can do a Jersey accent.  She finds out she can’t.

See you guys later!

David





Stuck in a room full of naked girls …again.

28 07 2009

WARNING: HARRY POTTER SPOILERS WITHIN

There are somethings that everyone experiences once or twice in their life; getting trapped in a room full of naked women is one of these things.  I clearly remember the first time it happened to me.  I was eighteen years old and employed as a pizza delivery boy.  I was on a routine run out to St Mary’s University in the mutant little town of Winona, MN.   It was the summer time, probably in July- on a day not unlike this day.

When I pulled on to campus there weren’t any people around, which made sense because school wasn’t in session.  I made my way to the dormitory on the pizza order; it looked deserted.  I rang the buzzer and then waited.  Nothing.  Just when I was going to take off, something magical happened.  The door was pulled open by…  a hot chick in a bath towel.  She was very excited to see me, and lead me into the dorm hallway- and there they were- dozens of other hot chicks wearing nothing but towels.  (I know that many of you already think I’m full of it, but, I’m totally not.  Why God let this happen before the invention of the camera phone, I don’t know; you’ll just have to take my word for it. )

I look a little awkward there... I had no idea how bad it would get.

I look a little awkward there... I had no idea how bad it would get.

Now, the normal reaction you see when some random guy walks in on a herd of feral women running around mostly nude  is pretty negative. Guys, am I right?  But, these where no ordinary feral women.  They were a giant troupe of all girl soccer players staying on campus all weekend for an all girls soccer tournament- meaning there weren’t ANY dudes there at all.  They were like starving derelicts attacking me like I was the dumpster behind a Perkins.  “Oh, Mr. Pizza Boy, came hang out with us!”

“Pizza Man, get your picture taken with us”

“Over here, us too Pizza Inferno”

“No, pay attention to us! Pizza Stallion!”

“We hunger for your loins Darth Pizza Boy- Take us now!”

I’m pretty sure I started crying at some point, weeping tears of joy.  They were all hot like Hermione, and I could tell they were interested in my magic wand.  But then, like always, some uglies ruined it all.

Creepy Miss Hermione trying to freak us all out with her 19 going on 11 body...  *shudders*   -Picture curtesy of the internet

Creepy Miss Hermione trying to freak us all out with her 19 going on 11 body... *shudders* -Picture courtesy of the Internet

“Blarg narg ahooga, Pizza Guy! Get over here now- We feed now!” …I kept crying.  Three breasts from down the hall forcefully dragged me away from the sirens like some horrid high school soccer version of Cerberus into their hellish dorm room. They took their pizza, tipped me poorly, and kicked me out.

Later that evening, another call came in from the same address for more pizza.   I stole the order from another driver, desperate to recreate the magic.  It was no use, even the Half Blood Prince couldn’t have conjured that moment back up, not even if he was wearing his prosthetics from Galaxy Quest! More ugoes had ordered this pizza, and they met me outside the building. I would have to wait ten more years before this would happen again… (foreshadowing)

This is the owl bra.

This is the owl bra.

So, for those of you who follow my sweet band maudlin, you know that we like playing bizarre shows. The more weird the better as far as I’m concerned. (As long as the weird part has nothing to do with the compensation…)

We were asked by Donette, a peach of a  young lady who claims to wear one of our buttons on her lapel, to play a show to help raise money for Susan G Komen Breast cancer research. Charity and flattery both go a long way for us, however, throwing in a boob themed “Racktacular” with burlesque show and an art bra contest really pushed us over the edge.

It was a great show, and things were going well.  We were hanging out, we were talking it up, and then we decided to go into the green room.  When you’re famous you’re probably hiding  there from fans, when your us you’re down there looking for free things.  Sure enough, there were beverages and snacks… and changing girls.

The next girl actually bit her finger instead of the glove and had to go to the ER

The next girl actually bit her finger instead of the glove and had to go to the ER

The burlesque troupe from Lili’s Burlesque were also using the space for their costume changes.  There was a little partition between the cookies and liquor and the area where the girls were getting read for their show.  There wasn’t a whole lot of space and I just kind of tried to not look past the cookies.  Jason snapped a picture of me with the ladies, and then went upstairs to get ready to take more pictures of the art bras.  Priscilla and I sat downstairs in the green room a little longer… which turned out to be a little too long.

Before we had thought about when we were going to leave, it was time for the girls to start.  They all filed up the stairs and waited in line to model the art bras.  The way the club was set up, we’d have had to walk right past them and the stage to get back into the audience, and it didn’t seem like that would be appropriate.  Priscilla said she was going to try it anyway.  She deceivingly said she would go up the stairs and see if there was a clear path and then come and get me if there was.

She went up the stairs and never returned.  …but the Lili’s girls did- and in a frantic hurry.  One by one they came running down the stairs, some starting to shed the little clothes they were wearing as they went.  They went towards the cookies and then came running back with new lingerie on.  I was feeling awkward long before this, but now I was feeling really awkward.  I positioned myself facing the stairs with my back to the cookie/naked parts area.  I was pretty sure that they were all probably thinking, ‘why is this douche still here,’ but I could really find a good opening to run up and escape.  Finally, I mustered the courage to ask a woman sprinting past undoing her bra.

Not sure what kind of bra this was... blue?

My mom is going to yell at me when she sees this one

“Um, can I sneak up the stairs to get out of here, or should I just wait here?”  I’m sure my voice was cracking like Harry Potter’s on a  first date. “No,” was the reply.  …Now, to be honest, I had no clue what that even meant.  I went back to my space on the couch and tried to focus on twittering on my phone. [mrmaudlin -follow me!]  Eventually, it was all over and I bolted back upstairs.  By then it was time for our set, so I went right into setting up.  Ironically, I didn’t even see most of the art bras until after the show when they were hanging up at the silent auction.  …I did see lots of girl butts running up stairs though.

Here are the bars without the hot chicks...

Here are the bars without the hot chicks...

Maudlin played a pretty hot set, and when it was all over we all decided we should end the night at Weber World.  …only Jason had decided it was time to let his dog out to pee.  So, he left the club with the only vehicle big enough to haul our gear fifteen minutes before the place closed and said he’d be right back when the dog was relieved.  So we waited.  And waited.  …and waited.  Eventually he came back and we all climbed around in the new fuselage room until like, four or five.

I have an art bra on too. ...but it's under my shirt.

I have an art bra on too. ...but it's under my shirt.

So now it’s time for a new part of my blog that I’m going to call, “In Review.”  …basically I’ll briefly review several things I’ve recently seen, heard or done.  Ready?

The Talented Mr Riply: Finally got around to seeing this one because Target has it on sale for $2.99.  …This whole movie is basically one giant documentary about how huge Matt Damon’s teeth are.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Wizard: Hermione still doesn’t get naked in this one, and Harry Potter hasn’t been killed, bludgeoned, or cruelly maimed yet either.  I’m hoping for the best with the next one.  Still, you can’t  really dislike a children’s movie where a goth gang throws and old man out a window to plummet to his death can you?  I can’t.





Three show weekends are always a hoot! …er.

10 07 2009

It started out where all great weekends start- Hooters.  I go to Hooters all the time because I love the taste of their wings!  …ok, that’s not true.  I don’t frequent Hooters, and the one time I ate there their food bit.   However, Jason and I were downtown Minneapolis at the 7th Street Entry for a last minute show for the United Way and we were hungry.  Jason claimed that the chili was good there…  I didn’t buy that, we went in anyway.  We ended up getting wings … they sucked.

"Sam"- Professional D-Bag Handler shown in a typical pose, pretending to be enjoying herself.  Me- shown pretending to look at the camera.

"Sam"- Professional D-Bag Handler shown in a typical pose, pretending to be enjoying herself. Me- shown pretending to look at the camera.

Our server, Samantha, (Who was a little under dressed I might add) turned out to be a professional douchebag handler.  …She didn’t tell me that persay.  However, I told her I was going to call her “Sam” and requested that she get her picture taken with me for no reason, and she pleasantly agreed, so I knew something was odd.  Normally I would expect that she would act all creeped out and then spit in my food, but, when I saw her move on to the next table I could tell she had been professionally trained.  The men there were all much older, and much, much more out of shape than we were, making jokes and comments twelve time as lame as anything we said.  And she pretended she enjoyed that as well.  That’s the mark of a bonafid pro.  Kind of America’s Geishas really.  Geishas in hot pants.

So, anyway, then we went back to the 7th Street Entry for the United Way show.  It was odd because it was a 5pm show.  Rock The Cause had asked us to play, when the United Way asked them for help securing acts for their happy hour show.  Also answering the call were The Notties.  It was a pretty standard deal, we got up there and figuratively showed people a little bit of our butts poking out from our musical hot pants.  The crowed figuratively leered at us.  …or something like that.  But, Maudlin was just getting starting on this fine Friday afternoon.

After we finished our set we raced across the metro to the mall in Minnetonka to the Hot Topic for the last in our series of Hot Topic shows we were playing all over the Twin Cities.  If you’ve ever been in a clothing store, and if you’ve ever seen a band play, just put those two things together.  All told, by 8pm we had played two different shows.  This is earlier than  we’ve ever been done playing one show on a Friday night, let alone two.  We decided to celebrate.

We went to Scott’s place.  …and I forget what we did.  I think we went swimming there and listened to the douche from the spare room tell us his favorite vegetable was Cheetos. …I hear this weekend he left a saw on the ground by the pool and Scott stepped on it… Anyway, I’m sure we did some other fun things, and then moved on to the next day.  On Saturday we went to Debuque for our third and final show of the weekend.

Dubuque, a city in Iowa, a state ajasent to several other states no one has heard of.

Dubuque, a city in Iowa, a state adjacent to several other states no one has heard of.

Dubuque is Jason’s home land.  A vintage river town on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, she sports more idiots on water craft than imaginable, and we were three of them.  Jason’s mom was also turning 60, and we participated in a surprise party.  Our show was at The Silver Dollar Cantina.  The manager, Michelle is a kindly spunky lady who was desperately in need of smokes when we arrived.  I helped her out by running to the oke dokee- some kind of inbred gas station chain- I was instructed to by her menthols.  She smokes them, even though they’re awful, because then no one wants to bum smokes from her.  A wise woman.

Priscilla standing on Jason's parent's house boat

Priscilla standing on Jason's parent's house boat

Our pals in Little Man opened up the show while the staff laid gifts of fish tacos in front of us.  …it was a brave move to put fish in tacos, combining two foods that have the same sexual innuendo attached to them… When it was our turn to play Jason got a little nervous because his mom was there, but she loves him unconditionally, so he lucked out. He also performed a few rare Jason Nelson originals as an encore to our performance.

The following  day we went back out on the river.  Given my track record with watercraft, you can guess that I nearly died.  Fortunately you have to hit something harder than water to cause permanent damage.   Also, urine washes out of swim trunks quite easily, so no irrevocable damage was done to anything other than my pride.

Priscilla eating on Jason's parent's house boat.

Priscilla eating on Jason's parent's house boat.

Then we drove home.  That was two weeks ago I think… June  27th.  And the next week Priscilla and I were scheduled to take a trip to the wild west, which we did, but I need to start a new blog for that…

David

"I'll have the breakfast buffett and a quart of oil" ...only in Iowa.  ...This is a picture from the dining area of Marina Restarant.

"I'll have the breakfast buffet and a quart of oil" ...only in Iowa. ...This is a picture from the dining area of Marina Restaurant.





The Pool Party and the Diabetic Cat.

16 06 2009

Well the long awaited pool opener at the stately manor of Scott Herold came upon us a few short weeks ago. Naturally, not only was Maudlin attending, we were also planning on favoring our fans with a few songs while we were there. But first we had the first in our series of shows at Hot Topic.

Here I am getting to the Hot Topic, probably exactly on time too.

Here I am getting to the Hot Topic, probably exactly on time too.

New Maudlin fans.

New Maudlin fans.

This was one of those kind of deals where we needed to do some thing completely different from our normal stage show and, to prepare, we spent weeks creating a bold new acoustic set.  …course if you regularly read my blog you knew that was a lie.  We had no freakin clue what we were doing.

Anyway, after that pit stop, we were off to the pool party! Nothing at all could stop the greatest party of the summer! (So far. …I don’t want to limit myself.) But that total d-bag, Minnesota Weather, sure tried. (foreshadowing!)

mels

Pony and The Melismatics getting ready to play.

The first day of the party, the snots from the Melismatics took the stage and hoarded all the good weather. They did play The Jesus Mary Chain at my request though, and Pony also came to the defense of Priscilla ninja style when some creepy dude was hitting on her that night… so I suppose I won’t hold it against them. Naturally the show made me embarrassed to even tell people I own a guitar.

Then… I really don’t know what happened because I was mingling too much. I remember chatting with Ryan and then my agent, and then a few other people, and then the next thing I know there are a bunch of naked people in the pool, which means that all the normal people had already left. We stayed a little longer when Scott made biscuits and gravy… His biscuits and gravy are so good that they are going to appear in a cook book that Priscilla might make some time maybe. That’s good.

adam

Adam of So It Goes talking with Priscilla

ryan

Me talking with Ryan of The Melismatics. ...doesn't actually look like he wants to be there. Must be the camera lens.

party1

This is pool.

party2

These are people.

priscilla

This is Priscilla. She was there.

party3

john (2)

John. He beat anorexia and gave me lessons in what it means to be "rock and roll"

Revelation of the night? This guy is a douche.  Who would have guessed just by looking at him.  I would.  I did guess that.

Revelation of the night? This guy is a douche. Who would have guessed just by looking at him? I would. I did guess that.

So, anyway, then we went home and slept for a long period of time.  At some point on Saturday we woke up and basically just went right back to the pool.  Only now, the weather sucked.  It was like 65 American degrees and raining all day. The only thing cool about that was that the pool was actually 85 degrees, so it was steaming all day.  Seeing as the weather sucked it was more of a regular style party rather than a pool style party.  One disgruntled party goer actually smashed the tank on one of the toilets.  (Probably the dude above.  …I mean, just look at him. Seriously.)  True to form, Maudlin played and brought the noise regardless of the weather.  Following the example sung by Queen and set by many a mailperson, Maudlin plays regardless of weather conditions. …although we did move things inside to the Rock The Cause world headquarters in a secret underground bunker below the pool.

After we rocked out, we were really hot, so we all ran out into the rain and jumped into the pool.  After that refreshing experience Maudlin actually started requiring that there be a pool in the green room for all of our shows.

Anyway, that was that.

The next weekend we traveled with our pals So It Goes down to our stomping grounds of Winona to play Rock Roll music.  I think Mr. Mike Minehart who came down to document has a short video up of this already, but I’ll probably leave that till next time.  …When we got home from Winona we had sad, sad things waiting.  Our cat, Ebony, couldn’t walk.  We tried to help her up when we realised she was having difficulties, but she couldn’t even stand.  We took her to this vet.  I’d recommend them, normal hours go till 9pm seven days a week.  Turns out poor little Ebony is diabetic.  So we have her on a regiment of pills to help her get on her feet, and daily insulin that she’ll probably need the rest of her life. 😦  The good news is that, as of today (I’m writing this at home from work cat sitting), she seems to be doing a bit better.  She is now moving from room to room with some effort, but unassisted.  We’re hoping she makes a full recovery… I’ll keep you posted…

David





I pooped at high altitude, and other adventures!!

7 06 2009

It started out like any Maudlin adventure; something went wrong.  Priscilla gave me a call on Thursday at work and she was having an asthma attack.  I’m sure that normally sucks, but it was a little extra sucky/odd because Priscilla didn’t have asthma.  I got worried and decided to leave work and go check on her.  Well, apparently, now ahe does have asthma…  So she wasn’t very excited about that, but she was ok.  To make things worse, we were out of cat food.  Both of our cats had already given us verbal warnings about the issue, and we decided that we couldn’t go out of town without getting more food.    Jason’s girlfriend of seven years had also just dumped him a few nights before.  (This didn’t really have anything to do with our departure time, but it’s a recent event that I thought should be added ) All and all, we got on the road for Chicago a little late.

We got off the road at about 1:00 AM in Dubuque, IA.  Jason’s folks have a house boat there and we climbed aboard and watched that horrible train wreck of a film about cheerleaders with Kirstin Dunst. This is kind of a traditional houseboat film. …if you’re not familiar with houseboats.   In addition, it is also unrelated to the story at large, which has to do with us going to Chicago to play a show.

Chicago is a big city.  Some people seem to think that this also means that it has strange and evil powers, like traffic the likes of which, no mortal has ever lived tell!!  …but, mostly, it’s a big city… so it has more cars.  Minneapolis sports fewer cars, but also fewer competent drivers, so we are able to create similar drive times with half the people.   No one striped our vehicle while we were inside a gas station and liquidated the parts in mere seconds while we tried to pay for gas… this is another urban legend.

But that doesn’t mean Chicago was free of crime- Not one bit.  They actually charge you to go up in the Sears tower to look around.  I kid you not.  They charge you to look out of their tall building’s windows… We didn’t figure this out until we were half way through the 45 minute wait to get to the elevator.  Once we were that far, we decided we’d better go all the way.

So we waited… and waited… and waited.   img033…and finally we got crammed into an elevator like sardines with about fifty other tourists and rocketed to the top.  …which wasn’t really the top… it was the 99th of 127 floors, which was as high as they would let us go.

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When we got out there were windows.  From the windows you could see the whole city, all fifteen dollars worth!  There was also a gift shop where you could buy a card board cut outs of Obama? …my guess is they based their selections for the gifts for the 99th floor after seeing the affects of high altitudes and depleted oxygen on the human brain; no healthy person would have bought anything there.  And then, just when I thought our lack luster journey couldn’t lack less luster, something awful happened-  I had to crap.

Now, we all know the value of the “home thrown advantage,” but, when you can’t be at home, you usually try to find a low traffic, a safe looking spot.  …this was not that spot.  Here, at the top of the western hemisphere, in a small bathroom where countless touring hoards had shat before me, I relieved myself.  Not much is known about the long term effects of high altitude deification, so I can only hope for the best.

Also, in Chicago, we played a show.  I’m pretty sure that I plugged this website more times in one interview, than anyone has ever plugged any website in any interview. So, I’m really hoping that when they put the video up there’s something good on my front page.  Anyway, we sounded like ass I’m pretty sure.  Naturally people still said that it was great, and we took the praise, but it was a little sub par.  My friend Craig came to see us, and he said that we sounded good… but he’s a pastor, so I’m pretty sure that’s all he’s allowed to say.  I blame Jason’s girlfriend for dumping him and putting a kink in our normally rigorous practice schedule.   Normally when we’re feeling like pouty rock stars we like to throw TV sets out hotel windows, but we were staying with friends, and they did very specifically say we were not allowed to do that.

So, after Chicago, we were off to Green Bay- or rather, De Pere, a suburb of Green Bay.  After driving for seven hours in Chicago traffic we’d finally reached the outskirts of the metro area, where the McDonalds City is over the tollway.  I think it’s five miles from downtown.  We ate at KFC in the overpass land, because a recent news article had dared us to temp fate.

When we got to Green Bay we were welcomed by a kindly man with a jackknife tattooed on his neck.  He showed us to the complimentary green room foods where we awaited our performance.  This place was a riot.  I’ve never seen so many people who wanted a good time.  It was a great show, and, of course, we killed it.  (Like in a good way.  Not like we actaully killed anyone or the event itself; like we played well.) They made Chicago look pretty unhip;  it was very ironic.  Scantily clad women attacked me while I was playing, which was a rock star first for me.  …didn’t look like it was a first for them.  Anyway, great show.  Don’t underestimate the cheaderheads people.  After we were done our pals the Melismatics played and I showed Pony how to kill a man with my Tae Kwon Do prowess when the show was over.

Naturally, after we left, we were pulled over by the police for suspected drunk driving.  Now, even though Jason was taking us down a one way in the not-so-right direction, one look at him should have reassured them that he was not a raging alcoholic.  Wisconsin cops are all total d-bags when you’re from Minnesota though.  It’s an unwritten code.  So Jason had to do a field sobriety test.  …which he failed.  Sure that they had their man, they followed up with a breathalyzer. Jason scored a 0.0, which, for this game is high score.  Baffled by his lack of coordination, the police let him go.  …but not before harassing Priscilla for taking picture and trying to tell her that it was illegal to do so.  …It’s not.

COP: “Those better not show up one of those internet youtube sites!”

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Anyway. after that we went to a Super 8 motel.  We did this because Little Man’s wife had told us that this Super 8 was voted best in the country and had an awesome breakfast and such.  Well, with a build up like that we should have known something was wrong.  Super 8 doesn’t even track which of it’s motels are best, the actually just track least number of fatalities from the poison waffle mix.  It was awful.  Also, the guy didn’t haggle with me.  Hotels all haggle.  When you roll in at 3:30 in the morning, you don’t pay full price for a hotel room, that would be dumb.  You always say something like, “hey, it’s already 3:30, what could you do on a room till morning?”  If I learned nothing else from William Shatner, I know you can bargain with hotels.  Usually we get about 40% off with a line like that.  …this dude was like, “no.”  Then he later upgraded us to a six dollar discount which he seemed to think was pretty generous.  He looked like sloth.

Anyway, so after we left in the morning and found food that was edible, we returned to the land o lakes and then went to sleep.  Casualties?  One.  Priscilla’s green hoodie that had little ears sewn into it from when she tried to be Battle Cat ne Halloween.  Where it went, no one knows.  …but I think Sloth did it.

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David





If I asked to take you camping, would you go?

23 04 2009

…well, Jason would.

Almost three years ago, Priscilla and I met Jason Robert Nelson, who became the drummer for Maudlin.  He answered an add we put out, and we got together and started practicing and I set up the first show.  …I was still our booker at that point, and I kind of have this fascination with bizarre shows… I don’t think Priscilla or Jason do… but I do.

Sometimes my friends and I will go White Water Rafting in Wisconsin, and I thought, why not combine that with a show.  …So I contacted all the resorts until I found one that would have us play there.  Poor Jason didn’t really know any of us that well, and when we told him about my plan he went along with it.  …later I would learn he’s deathly afraid of water, but just didn’t want to say anything.

I began contacting friends I knew with bands- cause I didn’t want just us to play, I wanted a whole concert.  Naturally there were some goons in Winona who said they would do this.  Todd Hanson and We Are The Branches agreed to play, and they had a big van they were bring out with a bunch of people and gear.  We decided to split the load of gear, we would bring somethings, they would bring others, so that we didn’t all have to burden ourselves with so much crap.  This was all fine and good until… they all decided not to come.  …when we were already in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin on the way…  I was pretty pissed off.  Apparently I exaggerated how quick the ride would be, and when they all googled it they got cold feet.  But still, this was the day of and they were all planning on spending the weekend there.  Pansies.  Jason’s sister, and rap star Speshul K were dumb enough to come after a quorom of sane people decided against it.  That was nice of them.

At any rate, what ended up happening was Josh Lauer, who played with us at the time as an extra guitar, ended up driving out by himself, with all the gear we didn’t bring.  He drove four hours alone when he’d been up all night the night before… he was planning on sleeping on the way when someone else was driving.  Miraculously enough, he didn’t die.  So we got to the resort, went into the bar to set up.

There were like… five or six hill billies there, and the owners, who were kindly enough.  The “DJ” who brough the PA for us was spinning tunes and interjecting, “get ‘er done!” inbetween songs… and nothing else.  I wasn’t sure he knew any other words until we had to talk with him to get set up.

About this time we realized that Jason had no hi-hats.  …that’s not good. So he took his china and a crash and put them together.  -It was the worst sounding thing I’d ever heard.  Lauer opened up for us with some solo tunes by himself… the crowd wasn’t impress.  But, when Maudlin took the stage they must have been, cause the one hick got all rialed up and started to yell something about showing his penis.  I think it was a colloquialism of the area that we weren’t familiar with, but I’m sure it was a complement.  …So, basically, the show sucked balls.  Then came the part that would suck, but also try and kill us.

They call it the The Wolf River because it eats small children.  …actually I think it was the Peshtigo River… but they’re close to each other and the Wolf River sounds much more cool… No one knows how many people have died on the Peshtigo because no one can pronouce it well in enough to discribe where they are when bodies wash up.

Are convaences were Funyaks… which are like mini inflatable kayaks.  The water intructor guy was all like, “Ok, now on this first drop, you’re all going to get knocked out of your funyaks, so, what ever you do, don’t stand up.  That’s how you get your feet caught in rocks and die.  Just let the water carry you and float on.’  Then he did this odd acepella version of the Modest Mouse song.  It was weird.

Yes, we all fell out on the first drop.  …I also stood up after that and got yelled at.  But, the Wolf River was hungry that day, and wasn’t happy that even though we fell, no one died.  So it decided to call in an ARMY OF BEES!!

So, I’m floating along by myself, separated from the group, when this lone hornet looking thing lands on my boat.  It was huge. It was one of those dark ones the has kind of grey and black stripes.  This thing was out for blood.  I was terrified because I’m afraid of bees, and generally a wuss anyway.  So I started paddling to and trying to shew him away.  But then, another one landed on the boat.  And then another. Pretty soon they were all buzzing around my head and banging into me.  I could feel stings on my body and I started to panic.  I was swinging wildly at them trying to kill some, and paddling as hard as I could to get away.  The only thing I could think of was, ‘there’s so many of them, they must be swarming me.’  They just kept following me down the river, and I was freaking out hardcore.  I was ninja-ing my paddel at them ignoring the river, and my yak started going sideways.  I hit this giant rock slab and went flying out backwards and landed on my back.

Right about this time the intructor came paddling past and could see I was distrested.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m being attacked by giant bees!!”

“…those are horse flies.”

Oh. Ok. …well, I guess you usually don’t die from that sort of thing.  So I got back in my boat to continue on.  By this time, with all the flailing about, I had no strength left in me.  There was another big drop and the intructor guy was all like, “whatever you do on this one, stick to the right”  So I did.  …and I still wiped out. When I bobbed up at the bottom I saw Priscilla standing at the bottom of the left side of the fall, hyperventilating.  She was begging me to come over, but for the life of me, I was too tired.  (She still gives me crap about this… like, had she still been actually drowning, I would have.  Or if a bear had jumped in after her or something.  But she was clearly alive.)  She was pretty shaken up because she went under, and instead of floating back away from the fall, it pulled her under and sent her spinning underwater.  She used her oar to push off the bottom to get air.  The instructor later told us that that was the spot a lady got killed last year the same way.  So, Priscilla was terrified.  I was exhausted. And Jason who started horrified of water?  He had fallen out of his boat on every single rapid.

The entire thing was a total disaster and I haven’t actually gone back in the last three years, even though I used to go all the time.  To this day I still have no idea why Jason didn’t quit right there…

David








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