Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TVD | The Caribbean - A "Discontinued Perfume" Tour Diary


Post-40 Watt show, it was clear that Polk and I were in hang-out, drinking mode and Matt and Dave were in "sleep would be cool" mode, so the guys went to a local Days Inn and Polk and I stayed at the 40 Watt until they kicked us out. Caught a lift back to Polkie's with Jeremy (bass player from Venice is Sinking) and his wife Anna (with whom I bonded over our common Russian backgrounds). Did I mention I was vodka-drunk? The vodka analogue to whiskey-dick is vodka-smarts. Much is said that sounds intelligent, penetrating, and sensible—only to crumble in light of daylight sobriety (see the Athens entry of the tour diary). Crashed at Polk's on a futon—periodically roused by the 170-car CSX locomotive that barrels through Polk's living room, but slept quite well. Polk and I awoke to hangovers nonetheless. Even feeling like he had a javelin lodged in his head, Jon was witty, mellow, and generous—offering me coffee, juice, a shower, newspaper. What an asshole.

Soundcheck, Atlanta: Matt attempts to turn down the blinding red sheen of our gear

Met up with Dave and Matt, ate a terrific brunch at the famous Grit, bopped around Athens, record shopped, souvenir shopped. Took Hipstamatic pix. Drove to Warmlanta in the afternoon (Polk to catch ride with Venice folks).

Much of the weekend, I had a very confusing text dialogue with DC's own Dave Mann—he of Mittenfields and Twins of a Gazelle, DC indie scene mover and shaker, and all around nice guy. He asked about our touring and why we weren't coming to Atlanta. I told him we were, indeed, coming to Atlanta. He didn't appear to grasp what I was saying; I figured it must be me being obscure. The odd dialogue continued every once in a while and I would comment on it to Dave, Matt, and Jon: "Either Dave Mann is drunk, thick, or dyslexic or my texting skills have really fallen off because we seem to be communicating in different languages."

Michael post-show (Atlanta) all walk-of-the-cock

Get to Warm . . . well, let's call it Hotlanta. Unload, meet up with some old friends at Moe and Joe's in the Virginia Highlands. Our friend Anthony Fernandez just moved to Atlanta from DC last week! It's like we never left home! Go the club, The Drunken Unicorn, which is unmarked, grungy, and dark. I'm getting a good vibe. The bar attached to the club is playing songs from Face To Face, one of the first great Kinks records. I have a Ketel One on the rocks. Happy, right? All of a sudden Dave Mann plops down next to me and goes, "What's up, bud?" He'd been playing me like a Takamine acoustic-electric all weekend. He was visiting a friend (Patrick) in Turner Town, opened up Creative Loafing, saw we were playing and couldn't believe his timing and luck! When he said, "I can't believe I'm seeing one of my favorite bands in the world out of town!" it meant a lot to me. It's like we never left h...

With that DC energy and good liquor, we played the kind of set we've come to expect from ourselves: dark, mean, smooth, swaggery, and with a healthy pinch of sugar to make it all down like pink lemonade. It was a blast. Relaxed, great sound, and a really nice, buzzing audience. Venice is Sinking also seemed to thrive off the vibe (read: chilled-out) and played a lovely set. Both bands were happy with the evening.

Dave and our friend Anthony Fernandez

Marketing note: we play a new song called "You'd Smile Back," which was going to be on Discontinued Perfume before my February mental breakdown stopped progress on that song. Polk's like, "I love that song; I can't believe it didn't make the record!" To show my own marketing savvy, I look right at my man and go, "Jon, two-and-a-half words: post-album single." He smiled and nodded. Our hangovers were gone, it was 138% humidity outside, and we had the world by the shorthairs.

The drive back to DC was pretty smooth, except the part in North Carolina where, as we were pulling back onto 85 N, and Dave's hatch flew open (I'm talking about his car) and spewed a guitar, a bass guitar, and two pillows onto the ramp. Dave rescued the guitars, me the pillows. Everything was fine and we had a good laugh over it once we got our heart rates back down to 115 bpm or so.

This Sunday, we stick at home: Galaxy Hut on Sunday, July 18.

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