Friday, August 18, 2017

NARCO STATES' Tour Diary Part 2: Shitty snacks and gallons of coffee.

Michael Meyer and the Narco States continue their journey across America's Rust Belt. What? You don't know they have a new album? Well, you silly thing, please buy one!

Day 2 

A rad dude from the band The Pukes let the band crash at his house in Milwaukee. I slept in the van to keep guard over the gear. 

The morning sun stabbed brain like a sacrificial dagger. 

Still we made it on the road early. 

We followed our GPS to find the club. It took us down an industrial alleyway. We thought it was taking us to the wrong place until we heard loud music blaring from an open door in what looked like a small cinderblock warehouse. 

Great times. We played a punk as hell little hidden bar called Tree Bar. Named this because there is literally a giant tree stump coming up through the floor in front of the stage area. Made it kind of awkward but I felt a strange kinship with the log. It was out of place. It shouldn’t belong there but it does. It may be long dead but it’s roots are still firmly anchored in the ground as it protrudes through a giant hole in the floor like a monolith. It was so strange having nature sharing the same space as the manufactured artificial world of a rock club. 

The opening band was KILLER!!! They were called WATER WITCHES. Definitely one of the best bands we’ve played with. A surfy punky style that sometimes went into reverbed out psych and sometimes to velvet underground style anthems. Way cool. And Very hip dudes. 

We played great. Nate had his family come out to see us. It was cool meeting them! 

I thought I’d hold back because of this, but before I knew it I was writhing on the stump. Spinning off of it and crawling on the floor. At some point I smashed a beer with my hand and soon found that the floor had a pattern of blood droplets and my hand looked like I had stigmata. Oops. All the while, the band played like pros. No mic-ing the equipment and still it was huge and commanding. Pounding with fury and thunder!

The last band was called Apnea Effect from South Carolina. Young guys playing a mix of Screamo and modern hardcore. A strange fit but definitely made my night to see such enthusiasm. Not sure how I feel about the LIT cover though!  :D

The end of the night was very celebratory back at Nate’s Mother’s house. Pizza, Beer, Tunes…etc..I hung out with his brothers listening to records and talking poetry, Tom Waits and literature until 3am when I was the first one to retire to dreamland. 

Day 3

Day off in Buffalo. The city is basically dead on Sunday! We ate at a nice restaurant and then Robb drank Mad Dog 2020 and lost his mind in our shitty motel. 

Day 4

The drives although the same lengths are seeming further and further…stretching out into endless passing trees and traffic. Still there is a simultaneous calm and excitement. Lots of laughing, music, reading, eating shitty snacks and drinking gallons of coffee. 

We arrived in Saratoga Springs. Beautiful architecture. A fun vibe. We stopped the van in front of a head shop and decided to go in and look at the silly bongs and instantly the keys were locked in the car. Luckily we have AAA. Ten minutes later we were unlocked and free to explore. 

On our way through the streets we were asked if we were “Mods or Rockers”? I can honestly say I’ve never been able to answer that question and it strange to be asked. We found the club One Caroline to be a swank hip little underground joint. Jazz photos on the wall, Edison lights hanging from the ceiling. I can say…it was SWANK. We met the booker of Dark Mondays named Shane. Who was bartending. He gave us a free meal and again free drinks! It is strange to feel so special when usually bands get to feel almost like a nuisance. 

Its possible this show is the highlight of the tour. Great people, lots of enthusiasm and energy. We played the best we could and they responded by dancing and being awesome. A really great time. We even got to hang out with TOM who booked our tour and he let us crash at his place. 

Nick and I slept in the van. Not together silly!