Almost everything is bigger in California.
We pulled into Santa Barbara to play the Mercury Lounge. Think Regal Beagle of Three's Company fame. That's Orlando, I know, but this was it in shoebox form: a hamster coffin decorated like Jack Tripper's pickup bar. KCSB, one of the best college radio stations ever, broadcasted the show live (first time in school history) using the finest equipment and audio engineering techniques college radio has to offer: two mics at the back of the room. So really, they broadcast the audience live. It was awesome nonetheless. Special thanks to Ted Coe who set the whole thing up. We love you guys.
We played that night with Athens, Georgia natives Futurebirds, who are incredibly badass. An amazing, amazing band. The bass player looked like a fictional character; think fluffy-headed muppet with a huge mustache and deep Southern accent. He all but ignored the gorgeous girl hitting on him, and instead spent all his time chatting to me about wasted touring incidents. Man, talk to the girl -- the girl! Nope, just stories about illicit chemical balancing acts and anonymous romantic golden showers.
We left with a parting gift of 82oz Coronas from the bartender, and faded off into the night to sleep on a hospitable fan's floor. Little did we know we were staying next to a Navy basic-training base, and were woken up with the sun to the Drill Sargent hollering and a, "YES SIR! Stomp stomp stomp … YES SIR!!!" We've been walking in lockstep ever since, chanting: "Twenty bucks is on the line, says your cock is bigger than mine".