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

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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





TV Shows, Videos and Milwaukee sea Legos…

22 04 2009

Hello again, hello again!!

So, as I was about to start to write this blog about some other things, we noticed that the local TV show we taped finally aired…or will be airing soon… it’s done though. Go check it out!!

Um, so this past week we had a couple of shows. The first one was in Winona, MN… this is the bizarre little city where Priscilla and I hail from. I mean that in a good way… the same way I like Bigfoot. We work a lot with this kid named Peter Boysen, who takes pictures that are sweet, and happens to like us.  (Maudlin likes minions. Really, who doesn’t. But, if you’re a person, and not an entity like a band, they are harder to come by without money. You need to be famous, or have really sweet hair, or something like that. Well, my hair probably isn’t the sweetest in the world, but my band is, therefore, we have a few minions. Peter is one of them. …more precisely, I think he’s the only one. ) We like having a photographer, but we also want a videographer as well, so we tried to con him into being both for a night. The result? Stop motion photography video. I know, I know, we’re sooo cool. So we went down to Winona Friday to make this thing with Peter.

Now, we kind of debated what song… cause, we wanted a cool one, but also one that could work well with stop motion… we settled on Infidelity. Now, seeing as we’re totally disorganized, and haven’t been caring lately, we didn’t do a story board… or even have any clue what we wanted. We winged it. Only Peter loves us enough to waste his time on to see if maybe something cool happens. But, probably some cool things did happen.

We chose Ed’s in Winona as the place to do it. He thought it was a good idea too, and we know lots of people in Winona, Peter lives there too… it all made sense. So, we drove down to Winona, found Peter, shooting pictures of girls as usual, and then we were off!!

…Four hours later we really hadn’t shot anything or come up with any good ideas. …Other than getting a hot and ready. Eventually we just got ready for the show. We decided if we were talking about Infidelity, girls should probably be hitting on me. …basically because it was a music video girls should probably be hitting on my anyway. There should also be a boat, gold bullion, and a sports car… but we didn’t have any of those things. …so we settled for girls who were willing to sit next to me. …movie magic will make it all look cool. It’s hard for laypeople to understand, so don’t try.

On way to video makingChicks dig me

                                                                                                                           

Priscilla giggles too much

Singing

 

 

 

 

 

                      Anyway, I think it went well. Winona was nice to us as always, it was good to be home and to see people singing along with the tunes. Our pals The Debut, and Jenny Dalton came down to Winona to play as well, and put on great shows.

So, afterwards, I abandoned Jason at Todd’s house and went to bed. In the morning we woke up and got ready for the road. Next stop MILWAUKEE!!

Milwaukee is a dangerous place to go to because it’s in Wisconsin. Most people think that, like other midwestern states, Wisconsin has corn, trees, cows, and people in overalls. While, many times this is true, Wisconsin is also home to more alien sightings and serial murderers than any other state in the union. Milwaukee is on the very far end of the state too, meaning there’s a lot of Wisconsin between us and the Brewers. So, we took a huge risk going out there.

When we arrived in Milwaukee, five hours early for our show, we decided to go to the lake. What lake is that you ask? The big one stupid. Milwaukee is on the coast of Lake Michigan, which is one of the Great Lakes. We have one too in Minnesota, and ours is better.

Avid explorers that we were, it took no time at all for Priscilla to find a fossil and some sea glass, and for me to find a sea lego in the sand. …ok, Priscilla found both, but she gave the lego to me… Then, to prove that we weren’t girls or anything, Jason and I climbed on all the rocks you weren’t supposed to climb on. The loons and children feared us.

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Throwing rocks into the lake...

Big Manly Men!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      Later that night we got to the BBC and demanded food for free which was provided for us. It was pretty ok. Then we waited another several hours to go on because we were so early. It was hard to tell if Wisconsin was ready for Maudlin or not, but we rolled around on the floor anyway, because that’s what we do. Then, even though The SaltShakers totalled wanted us to stay with them and hang out, because we’re neurotic and unstable, we drove home. You can’t predict what Maudlin will do, so stop trying. We drove home, and I only slept a little while I was driving. The fact that I’m here to write this, means it was the right choice.

That’s about it… This week? In store at Cheapo. Where we intend to block the exit, and awkwardly demand that people buy our CD if they want to get past to leave the store. See you there!

David

P.S. …Priscilla says that if they “answer a riddle” they can leave the store too…  It’s past her bedtime.








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