Bend to the End

Loyal readers, I apologize for the unsatisfactory updates for this past week.  Since this was our last batch of shows for the foreseeable future I decided to occupy my free time doing other stuff.  And now I’m headed out on a 6 week trip sans computer.  So, I guess this is it.  Thanks for coming to the shows, checking in here, etc.  I’ll start this back up when I have some news.  For now, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and hope to see you later…..

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Eugene

The last time I was in Eugene, OR was with my old band Canyon when we learned a painful lesson in karma.  After finishing our set at the crunchy, whole wheat crust pizza joint, our guitarist went to collect our $100 guarantee from the promoter.  This being Eugene, the promoter was quite high and said, “Uh, so what are you guys supposed to get, $200?”  “Why, yes!”  We hightailed it out of there back to Portland laughing all the way about the silly hippies only to wake up in the morning to discover that ALL our money was gone.  Somehow, the Canyon stash was left behind along the way.  That was a depressing ride back to Washington, D.C.

Well, that was 8 or so years ago and it appears that drugs are still REALLY popular in Eugene.  In fact, I believe someone offered to sell Mark some meth outside of the WOW Hall where we played.  Then we played the show.

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I don’t know how we’ll fit this in the van

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Bellingham

Many owners of music clubs make short cuts or fail to spend enough money when it comes to bettering the sound of the venue.  The Nightlite in Bellingham is no different.  The stage is in the corner which is usually a bad idea only made worse by the surrounding stone walls.  Instead of draping a curtain across the back of the stage to prevent the sound from bouncing all around, they’ve hung foot-and-a-half wide burgundy curtains at intervals.  Not only is this pointless sound reinforcement, but it gives off a Medieval Times vibe.   An incompetent monitor engineer didn’t help matters but we put our heads down and powered through.  Jay worked out some of his frustrations by going into a spontaneous take on The Stooges “TV Eye” at the end of the set.  At least I think that’s what we attempted.  I couldn’t really hear.  Before the show, I went to the massive Fred Meyer store across from our hotel to get some coffee.  I walked what seemed like 300 yards to the other side of the store only to find the Starbucks closed.  All was made right, however, when I turned around and saw a vision in blue coming from the opposite end.  As she neared, I realized that this woman was wearing a Snuggie.  You know, just throw on a Snuggie and hit the Fred Meyer on a Saturday night for some holiday shopping.  Weird.

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Seattle

While Jason and Scott had to drive the van from St. Louis to Seattle, finding a new bond along the way,the rest of us flew out there on the 3rd.  James and I shared a Jet Blue flight from Boston pretending to be interested in “Funny People” to avoid conversation.  Actually, aside from my dislike for Adam Sandler and the silly cringe inducing Wilco references, we quite enjoyed the film. I was hoping for a Top Chef marathon but no dice.  We all met up at the hotel to discover that Jay had a little domestic dispute over the holidays.  I don’t know how he managed to keep this out of the papers.  No, it wasn’t a heated Thanksgiving argument and it didn’t involve a golf club.  It seems that he was attacked by a Radio Flyer wagon and sustained an injury to his nose.

Jay is not phased, however.  Let’s not forget that he hails from St. Louis where bandages are fashion statements.

We had a considerable amount of time the day of the show to wander around Seattle and I made a pilgrimage to a place that has been closed the past two times we’ve been there: Amandino’s Salumi. Amandino is the father of celebrity chef Mario Batali and he specializes in cured meats.  There’s usually a line out the door but it’s well worth your time for cased meat heaven.  Since it was a cold, misty Seattle day, I opted for the warm Porchetta sandwich and a glass of wine.

In addition, I purchased a Mole Salami to take home (which has been keeping quite nicely in the van thanks to the freezing temperatures) and some sliced Finocchiona.  Being that it was sliced, the Finnocchiona didn’t fare so well in the van and the smell offended some of the dudes.  Except for Scott, that is, who loves all things meat.  I admit it wasn’t the most pleasant smell but it still was better than the jar of preserved garlic that Farrar bought in Texas.  That smell woke me from a deep slumber:

Neumo’s is a fine rock club with the excellent Pike Place Fish Fry next door.  We played a decent show despite having to go on at 10:30 which was a little late for us East Coasters.

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Blue Must be the Color

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BFF’s

Scott and Jason have the undesirable task of driving the van and gear from St Louis to Seattle to start the mini-tour.  Let’s keep them in our thoughts and pray that they are not sitting on the same side of the booth at the Waffle House.  That just makes me uncomfortable.

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