Some things in life are better left unsaid, so I'm gonna skip some stories from the last week. Let's just say we spent a week off in rural Pennsylvania with family. It's very interesting to see how at times things can be 20 years behind, and still effect how you approach the future.
Before our holiday we played two shows, one in Cleveland at a venue called Now That's Class and one at a town in upstate New York I'm gonna call UnNamed. The reason is this: The cops in UnNamed, New York have been very aggressively stopping house shows. Up until our show last year, there hadn't been a successful music event in a home for at least a few years. Apparently there was a death at a party a few years back (this was a frat party not a concert!) and the police responded by cracking down on all gatherings in homes. This effectually ended the house show scene in UnNamed. I was told that if the police hear about a gathering they send a cease and desist order, and follow up by showing up at your house. If they find a gathering or music they respond by breaking up the party and issuing a $5,000 fine. Last year when we played through UnNamed, we were invited to come back and play a “potluck.” This intrigued me and we scheduled a return date a few months later. At our show they requested we play “Jesus, Keep Us Safe From the Cops.” We played it and the cops never showed up. The show was wonderful and very fun. A few months later, I heard rumors that the house was still having successful shows, and they sang our song to start every show for the first 6 months. I even found a comic dedicated to the song. It was pretty neat.
This year we scheduled a show in UnNamed as our our only Upstate New York stop. The house has been dubbed “The Shark Tank," so this time through we played “Tanksgiving.” It was at times surreal, nearly 100 people came out to the house on a Tuesday night. Sing-a-longs and dancing about tested the stability of the living room floor. After our set the party raged long into the night. At some point there was a pretty intense wrestling match involving body slams in the kitchen. We were both feeling pretty low key so Tessa watched TV on my phone and I played video games with a straight edge guy. As the night wound down, I was sitting on the couch and watched a guy stumble towards the door. He managed to get the front door open and hurl over the railing, right on our car. Yuk!
Five days later
We stayed up late with Tessa's family until they went to bed and then we drove part of the way to North Carolina. About four hours into our drive we were one exit from West Virginia so we found a Wal-Mart parking lot. We're used to sleeping in our van (mostly in the summer) and we figured it would be a good way to shave some time off our 600 mile drive. As we were preparing to sleep in our van, a lady walked up and asked if we worked for Wal-Mart. We said no. She informed us that we were parked in “Wal-Mart employee parking” and that the security would soon tell us to move. We said we didn't see any signs and she walked away. Over the years, I've found Wal-Mart to have the best parking lots for urban camping across the country. I'm normally left alone and on this night we were one of about 20 vehicles spending the night. We finally fell asleep around 5:30 am. It was getting very cold and frost had forming everywhere. I woke up to use the washroom around 7:30. The cold took my breath away. I couldn't go back to sleep. After getting some coffee from “Go Mart” and eating a lame breakfast sandwich, I decided I'd start our drive south. As I went to scrape the ice off the windows, I discovered that the majority of the ice had formed inside our car. About two hours into our drive the sun came out, and it got hot to the point that we were covered in sweat, and shedding layers. After completing our 10 hour drive to Raleigh, NC, we arrive at Deep South, The Bar. I didn't know what to expect. The local band we had booked dropped off of the show early in the day, after one of there members hurt his foot. We ended up played to four people (including the bartender). That being said the show was fun. The three audience members were up for having a good time. Our show ended with everyone piling inside a small booth for an awkward singalong, while I climbed on the table.
Greensboro is a fun town. The folks are rad. Last year we played shows, this year we unknowingly got booked opposite two other (free) shows and night was low key. Most of the audience had seen us before but any energy in the room was drained by extreme humidity. The news was reporting a massive storm on its way and everyone inside was sweating by the second song of our set, due to the humidity. It was pretty hard to breath. We ended up going outside for the last song. It felt amazing to cool down.
After the set, we decided to drive to Tessa's dads house overnight and take on the storm. We drove 55 most of the way but fortunately the storm wasn't as bad as expected. We rolled in around 4 am and went straight to bed. Today we have a day off to visit family and then tomorrow we are on to Asheville, North Carolina. I've never visited Asheville but I've heard a lot of great things, so I can't wait!