So, it took me awhile to finish this. I had to process all the shit that happened across a two-month period, and, let me tell you folks, it was not easy. So much adventure, intrigue, lust... well, not so much lust, but a lot of action. Here's the best I could come up with for the second leg of the RJD2 tour:
Day that we take off for Philly. I woke up around 7 A.M., flight takes off in 14 hours, meaning we have to get to the airport in 12. Tons of stuff to get done today, so let's get crackin'!
Gotta empty the old clean dishes, put in the new dirty ones.
That tub's not gonna scrub itself, Mr. Grimey!
It's my kicks tracking all that dirt on the carpet, so I should probably vacuum.
Next, I got one of Bussie's famous work CDs to pick up. Glad he lives close by!
Boobie and I hit Doughboy's for a bit of breakfast. Can neglect your loved one's the day you leave!
It's almost 1 P.M., and we're off to Mush to grab a few CDs to sell and load up boobie's iPod. Goon Magazine, a pretty hip and cool German mag sent us over a couple of issues. One has a feature on me that I never was interviewed for, and the other has some stuff on Bus. Yeah!
Next, we head out to the Valley so I can spice up some of the tracks for playback. Fortunately, traffic was manageable. We're getting close to 3 P.M.!!!
On the way back home, my buddy Geoff at the WeSC store draped me down in some sweet new pants to wear on tour. Grey denim.. the wave of the men's fashion now!
Man… time is tight… getting close to 4pm and the good buddy Cody from GrnAppleTree wants me and the god Them Jeans to come through and select some new duds. So I gotta cruise out to Silverlake (the worst part of LA, by the way, no matter what anyone says) and scoop him up. Dude is permanently glued to his lappy toppy.
The GrnAppleTree main dude use to run a little company called Gypsies and Thieves. Holy smokes that takes me back. We grabbed some new pieces, including a hoodie for the little woman, and perused the next couple lines they had coming up. Fashion is fun, ya'll, but I have a plane to catch!!!
Bus didn't have a ride, so we had to pick him up. It was close to 7 when we got him, and he was making contingency plans in case we missed our flight. Little did he know, my lady knows all the ins n' outs of the city, and got us there in record time. Settle down Bus!
Now that's low budge touring! No assistants, no limo waiting, no one holding our flights. One stop on the way to Philly, and it had to be Vegas. I made Bus hold all my money so I didn't piss it away in the terminal.
Finally! The tour can begin. The Avenger we did the south in was pretty sweet, but this time the shady folks at Dollar really hooked some players up and sent us out in a Charger. Man, I never want to tour in a van again. Or a bus. Or even a spaceship. I'm all about the Charger. Luxury, speed, style. The system cranks.
Our shower didn't have a step and angled into the room, meaning any stuff left on the floor got drenched. However, the chair for the shower made that relaxing post-flight wash-up. Thanks to the Hilton for giving us the handicapped accessible room. Lord knows, emotional cripples count, too!
These guys were painting live for the whole show, snapping pics of each other and bigging each other up the whole time. I don't think they sold anything, but they had a good time, and it was kind of interesting how they didn't interact with anyone from any of the bands all night.
Power being discussed. Busdriver and Diplo chopping semi-serious game after the show. I gave dude a copy of my CD, so if you hear a weird punk influence on his next album, you know what that's all about.
The Northeast is like one big suburb for New York City. It's gorgeous in places, but kinda homogenous. You get outside of Boston or Philly or New York City, and you get like 20-50 miles of these little rustic hamlets and stuff, but every part of the Northeast identifies itself in relation to NYC.
As we entered the vast expanses of Long Island, or Lou-Wong I-Lind, we headed to catch 300. After much indecision about what to see and what time our sound check may be, we got tickets and headed back to the venue to make sure we weren't needed. As we walked out of the theatre, the ticket slanger woman called Busdriver “OJ.” WOW! It's like the South, but with an even worse accent!
These Jack Daniel's statues had been “pimped up” to celebrate the cultural diversity of Lou-Wong I-Lind.
White people are obsessed with pimps. But like, y'know, cartoon pimps. I could imagine that when these statues were painted, people thought it was the most culturally relevant thing out. Pssssshhhh...
Three indicators that you will have a successful show in Lou-Wong I-Lind. First, test tubes for serving drinks. Second, the stage has a bar directly in front that may or may not be covered, depending on if you're a puss. Finally. An autographed copy of Ratt's seminal 1985 album, Invasion of Your Privacy. Bonus points if it's Out of the Cellar.
While we were playing, Bus had to avoid tripping over the taps that were sticking up through the floor of the stage. I imagine old hair metal bands (a la Ratt) pouring themselves beers as they totally rule in Lou-Wong I-Lind.
I wish someone would call me this once in my life. But sincerely, not just because I'm asking for it now.
We jetted to New York City to catch the Klash, Pase Rock's West Coast vs. East Coast DJ no-holds-barred Battle Royale. My dude Jason “Them Jeans” Stewart and DJ AM took down DJ Roctakon and Stretch Armstrong. Yeah, I said it, they took those dudes out real ugly.
My buds in New York City. L-R Haldan Blecher, the king of Palms Out Sounds, Lee, Danny Miller, painter of the It's Free, But It's Not Cheap album artwork, among other things, Leon Michels, head of Truth & Soul Records and the El Michels Affair, and Toby who doesn't have a last name, organist for the Dap Kings, Amy Winehouse, and more. Get the word out, we gonna nerd out!
I always crash at Danny's when I'm in NYC. This is the view I wake up to. If I didn't know that LA was the best city on Earth, I'd really love to live in NYC. Sorry James Murphy. It is a truly wonderful city, but second to LA.
Nu-Rave coming to life in Cambridge, MA. When I asked if I could take a picture of the glow stick, she posed in some weird water-dance tableau, and I was like… “Nah… never mind.” I turned back around, and she really was water dancing. Hey RJ… cool fans…
This is the thickest air mattress ever. I slept in a friend's living room, and this is what was provided me.
Seriously. An air mattress with a built-in air box spring. I mean, I guess it was comfortable, really, beggars can't be choosers. Thanks for putting us up!
But the real hospitality was the next day, when we left Boston with a bag of sugar-peanut-butter-Hershey Kiss cookies. Diabetes… HERE I COME!
Backstage at the Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton, MA, the batteries on my camera finally died. Bad news, I had no more batteries for it. Good news, I'd just gotten a new phone with a pretty gnarly camera.
And you, dear readers, are all the luckier for it, because the backstage graffiti was of such a high-caliber that I had to share it with you. I like when bands are bitter and let other bands know it.
Man. Snow. I hate that shit. We got outside of Northampton and it was crazy. Once we got to Montreal there were snow banks on the street like 1,000,000 feet tall.
Our good buddies from Islands came to the show and were hanging out backstage. L-R Sebastian, Patrice, Busdriver, Alex. Seb and Alex are the Chow brothers. They were the first brothers to win the Nintendo
World Championships in the ‘80s. These dudes' Dr. Mario game is sooo focused.
Alex loves cheese, loves dark chocolate. The result… Swiss n' cocoa. Ewwww. This is how much of a rut you can get in on tour. This was the wildest thing I saw all week. We talked about this for days afterwards.
Quebec=Racist Snacks. Try to sell these south of the border… of Canada. You get where I'm going with that. They weren't even good.
OH SNAP!!! You looking at this Clue to Kalo?!?!? Junkies in Montreal will take your shit. All they got was Busdriver's vocal effects pedal, which was in a backpack. Nothing huge. But, as they say: C'est principale!
I hope I butchered that.
So like, I don't want to be a dick. But I was kinda pissed when I saw this. I was just like, you know, our stuff got stolen, in a nice neighborhood, meaning a junkie probably grabbed it, and like, here's this needle drop in the bathroom of a gas station. I know, I know, it helps to stop the spread of AIDS, Hepatitis, and all that, and like all that kind of stuff. But I was just like, stop making junkies' lives better, they stole our shit and fudged our car up. After musclin' some premium junk, I mellowed out. J/K! ;)
Staples Kragen when it comes to finding things to fix your busted out windows. Some trash bags, a roll of packing tape. And don't even let Busdriver loose with some double sided adhesive. Any problems with this quick fix were more user error than a problem with the materials.
We got off the freeway so I could make a pishie, and Blam! World Wide West Side. Inescapable. Even in rural Canada. Somewhere, a lone tear of joy is falling from WC's eye.
Yeah right this room went for $700. Wanna see what $700 will get you in the D, by the river? Of course you do!
The final iteration of Busdriver's engineering coup de grace. I don't know why we didn't think of this one earlier (other than that I've never really had my car broken into like that before), but the old handy dandy packing tape pseudo-window trick kept us safe and sound for the rest of our stay in Canada and into the States. Plus, with the twenty garbage bags we had used in earlier attempts to seal it up, our car was crazy insulated. Security, not so on smash, but… as long as we aren't spending the night in, like… Detroit, down by the river… oh wait… we're totally crashing in Detroit down by the river. We need a new car.
Yo La Tengo was playing at the venue next door, and Bus spent a bunch of time meeting and greeting with them. I personally hadn't heard much of their stuff, but he was super psyched to meet them. I got this really bad pic of he and the little homie from Yo La Tengo. That's right. I don't know his name. So sue me. Can you name all of the producers for CMW's first 3 albums. No? Interesting.
Finally, I wake up in the D, and we have a snazzy new ride. The Charger is God's gift to touring rap acts. None of the promoters or venue staff that saw in the car believed we were there to play. Far too stylin' n' profilin' to be a touring band. Psssssh…
Now this is what cool fans look like. This dude made this sweatshirt all by himself. Personally, I think it's a winner and should be the design for the next set of Busdriver t's. Kudos to you, whoever you are.
My new posse. Str8 gone off that Faygo. I've never tried it, but I heard in Detroit that it's amazing. Shaggy 2 Dope… Violent J... and the new homie Puzzla.
Ah… in case you can't read it, it says “Mush to their surprise, the Virgins awaiting Muslims in Heaven were not quite what they expected.” This was in an elevator in an office building in Chicago. It was like being in a tiny Cracker Barrel again.
This is tour fatigue setting in. Bus was trying to figure out the new vocal effects pedal he picked up after the old one got stolen in Montreal (thanks junkie!) and I'm just kinda tired. The Midwest really takes a lot out of a player. That Detroit-Cleveland-Chicago swing can be a beast if you let it. And, silly us, we did let it.
Prom night in MPLS. Fortunately that 17-18 year old demographic wasn't too busy that night getting drunk on cheap champagne and the show went pretty sweet.
As we were cruising the streets of downtown MPLS, who do we almost run over with the Charger than Minnesota's next junior senator (let's hope!) Al Franken! At first he wasn't too psyched on having his picture taken, but then he probably thought we may be young, hip kids with access to media he may want to get the word out on his campaign. How right you were Al! So… if you're reading this and live in Minnesota, vote for the dude. Just sayin'… look at the light surrounding him like Bruce Leroy.
Backstage at First Avenue, they've saved some of the set lists from shows past. A couple of my favorites were…
Metal bands are so much more deft with song titles than other acts. And the fact that Celtic Frost can time their set so impeccably is pretty impressive. Let's see the Dead try that one!
We called this one Bus faces down the Toll-Booth Mullet Troll.
Man, I'm the new flippin' mayor of this flippin' town.
Again, the Worldwide West Side is spreading. This time, rural Iowa has discovered the magic of Tupac and the wonder of cigarettes, and the amazing power that the two can have together.
A couple of serendipities the last couple days of the tour. Number one, the old school rap station on Sirius, and second, and probably most importantly, OJ's other glove stuffed under the passenger seat of the Charger. Fortunately, it didn't fit Bus' hand.
Almost home, and… DOH! Bus is black! We almost forgot until we got to the security check at the Indianapolis airport where it just so happens that any person slightly darker than tan bears a striking resemblance to Mohammed Atta. After frisking, wanding, stripping, and whatever-elsing him, we stepped onto our flight home. Another successful tour notched onto our belts. Understandably, we weren't trying to pose for some triumphant shot for you all when we landed.
Part Three: Hit the North!