Friday, February 29, 2008

Califor-ny-aye.






We're in the sunshine state, at last. We drove down yesterday morning/afternoon, and it was quite enjoyable. Northern California is like nowhere I've ever been. The vegetation, the landscape, it's like another planet. We stopped in the town of Mount Shasta, next to the mountain of the same name (pictured above). It's crazy seeing snow-topped hills when the temperature around you is a pleasant 65. Oh, did I mention that? Yeah, I'm in San Francisco and it's about 70 degrees out. Sorry to rub it in. Actually, no I'm not.

Right now APTBS is doing a session at Daytrotter studios, and are performing as part of the Noise Pop Festival tonight here in SF.

I've never seen the Pacific before, and I gotta say it's pretty cool. We've gone over 4,000 miles at this point, coast to coast. I don't know what to make of this place yet - everyone has a different opinion on California, and I always figured I wouldn't like it - but we'll see how it is after the San Diego show.

Coming down the mountain.






Descending from the highlands at the California/Oregon border looked something like this. The drive was pretty incredible, not Rockies incredible, but close.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You can still rock in America.





It's good to be home. I learned a few things in Canada:

1. The girls there are like American girls, except for the fact that they're unassuming and nice.
2. It's 40 dollars for a 24-pack of Budweiser. It's an import there.
3. Their currency SUCKS. Why they haven't come up with a 1 dollar bill yet, I do not know. Screw that change!
4. There's an A&W in every town.
5. I will never complain about the weather again.

Going there also reaffirmed my love for the USA. The first thing I did after we crossed the border (after playing The Star-Spangled Banner) was order a giant chicken sandwich and potato salad. No gravy on that!

We're in Seattle at the moment, as you can ascertain from the pictures above. How ironic, then, that today is the day there isn't an open Starbucks in the country. It was almost 60 degrees today, a far cry from the frozen blasts we encountered in Wisconsin and the Dakotas. I probably shouldn't have been reading this book while we drove through frozen wastelands, but it was good for a scare. And it's an awesome read anyway.

I've never been this far west; I'm looking forward to seeing the Pacific for the first time. The desert too. And maybe, just maybe, some Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. We'll see.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Canadia, you're crazy.













Road trips are fun. Tours are even more fun. Touring from Minneapolis to Winnipeg in late February? Not. Fun.

Let's tell the tale of the last 4 days in pictures, shall we? The band did an in-studio at a college radio station in Minneapolis, which was cool. Apparently people up there love salty nuts.
video The next stop was Fargo. Yeah, that's right. Fargo, North Dakota. Where ice forms on the INSIDE of your window. The clip above was from towards the end of the set. The sound is bad, but you can get an idea of what A Place To Bury Strangers do live. I also discovered other things. Like attractive girls exist that far out in the middle of nowhere. Also, they love SPAM. And people actually go to shows in -30 degree temperatures. And bands unload in sketchy back alleys too, apparently.

Then it was on to Canada. Land of cheese fries with gravy, mounties and badass biker gangs. In Regina, Bobby Orr's legacy is immortalized in falling over. There are giant ice mountains. And I heart this place. At least we're not dead yet!

We'll be up in the Great Whit North for a few more days, then be smuggling- I mean crossing back into the good ol' U.S. of A. on Tuesday. You might not hear from me until then, but don't be scared. I might just be snuggling with those cute polar bears from the Coke commercials. They love to hug! And by hug I mean this.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Who the hell lives here?


Seriously.



Wisconsin may have a lot of cheese, but they also have a lot of shitty drivers and horrible weather. I can't believe I'm actually glad to be in Minneapolis.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

So that's what a floodplain is.




Man, it is FLAT out here. And windy.

Last night was great. APTBS packed this place out. Locals Only is like your grandparents' basement, if it was a music venue. Dark, small and smelling of cigarettes and old. But it was cool.

The opening band had 2 girls in shiny silver unitards, and halfway through their set the redheaded one did some crazy stripper interpretive dancing with a hula hoop. I couldn't even tell you what they sounded like, that's all I remember.

The people running the show were very cool. I talked to a few people about Dudefest, which is looking pretty phenomenal this year. The sound was good, people bought a lot of merchandise, and they even had those warnings signs on the walls.

The RV is doing OK so far, but not having a generator sucks. Tonight's show at Schuba's is sold out, which is pretty cool. This is my second time in Chicago, and although I've only seen a little of it, I like it. The club is in a cool neighborhood, down the street from probably the best hot dogs I've ever had. Seriously.

We leave right after the show tonight to head for the cold, dark winter wonderland known as Minnesota. The band is doing an in-studio performance at a radio station before the show, so that should be interesting. If anything, I'll at least have some time to watch some Mystery Science Theater 3000 in its home state.

So I'm thinking we should name the RV. Any suggestions? We've been using "The Grand Ol' Traveling Party Palace", but I think we can do better.

Minneapolis, get ready!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ups and downs.





There are two kinds of people in this world. Those that brush their teeth in a Michigan Wal-Mart bathroom at 9 in the morning, and those that don't. Guess who just joined the first group? Yeah.

The generator on the RV has already given up, so we're running all our crazy electrical devices through a single cigarette lighter. It looks like something out of Tetsuo. But it's all good. Nice sunset over the Ohio landscape on the way to Detroit.

APTBS played the Magic Stick in Detroit last night, which is right next to the Majestic, where The Black Dahlia Murder were playing a hometown show. Kinda wish I could've seen that, but I'm not complaining. Detroit loves their rock, and I saw the first demanded APTBS encore of the tour.

We're sitting outside Locals Only in Indianapolis right now, and it looks like this place lives up to its name. It's in the boonies, and I'm not sure if the name implies we can't come in. We'll find out soon enough.

It's on to a sold-out show in Chicago tomorrow, and who knows? Maybe we'll burn it down again.