Fall Tour 6

Mon Sep 29 - Drive to Colorado

from rose

I went into a store today and bought some folk art from a guy who may have been at our show last night! The guy at the store said the artist went to see the opening band.

I don't think anyone is too depressed anymore. Last night and a little this morning I was really feeling bad, like I wanted to go home. I want to get a programming job again and sit in a cubicle all day and come home and have enough money to buy happiness, instead of having to find it everywhere. It's hard work sometimes. Back when I was a programmer, all I had to care about was doing my best work for someone else's dream. Now it's all OUR dream, and it's scary sometimes when it's not working out.

But it's hard to stay depressed because I know that if our little 80 people had shown up last night we wouldn't have been sad at all. And they would have come if that damn Pavement hadn't played two nights ago. It's Pavement's fault!!

Jim bought some of those poetry magnets and the inside walls of the van are metal, so we are surrounded by poetry. Here is Jim's poem:

a child in the melon pool
ferocious like fever
brilliant as fire
will as cold as marble

hand picked to devour
the crap of the universe

drinking life from a
poison hole

And here is some of Jimmie Soundguy's:

to be me is not to

and here's another:

how may I wet my lips
sex or champagne

smoke grass or breathe air
pie or cake

I only saw the first two lines of Jimmie's last poem and thought they were beautiful and then laughed when he added the "smoke grass" part. Rick says that is part of the Duality Of Jimmie.

Tue Sep 30 - Boulder, CO

Jimmie's Report

A Visit to the Nikola Tesla Museum -or- "How I spent my Fall, part IV"

We had a day off yesterday, and went to see the movie, "L.A. Confidential", and the general consensus of everyone was, I think, two thumbs up. After a good night's sleep we went to the Tesla Museum, where we met Dan, the proprietor.

The museum was in the process of being updated and renovated, but there were some really good displays of Nikola Tesla's work and equipment, as well as "new" technology being developed based upon his ideas and inventions. There is also a small laboratory with several working models of some of his inventions, including the Tesla coil, plasma tubes (the precursor to fluorescent light bulbs), a Jacob's Ladder, and a high-velocity disc-based pump.

The museum's bookstore and gift shop is full of books on everything from Tesla's life and work, electronics and math, to fringe-science subjects such as anti-gravity, government conspiracies, and over-unity/free energy devices, among other things, in addition to International Tesla Society magazines, t-shirts, and a bunch of other stuff.

The laboratory we got to see was not Tesla's actual lab, which is located off-site and is actually a residence (I wonder who gets to live there?), which is only open on Saturdays, but a large class-room sized room where various "toys" are shown and videos can be watched.

*- Some of the things we got to see in the lab: -*

* We were shown how to make "colloidal silver" water. This is a process that takes two strips of silver, held apart about 1-2 inches and submersed in water. An electrical charge is applied which causes positively charged silver molecules to be emitted into the water. You can actually see the silver molecules in the form of a small cloud around the positive electrode and bubbles around the negative electrode as the electroplating process takes place.

The application of this is that, in the old days of Edison and Tesla, silver was used as a medicine or antibiotic, and is still used today in some alternative medicine, since silver is (according to Dan) non-toxic and a required mineral. The water can be used as a drink or to cleanse a wound or infection.

* Dan had some home-made plasma tubes. You may have seen these in novelty stores as a small globe or alien head with "lightning" in it when you touch it. Dan's were made by using a color t.v. flyback transformer, which will generate between 30,000 and 50,000 volts (at a very high frequency... 100 KHz or so I think) depending on the size of the t.v. it came from. The output of the transformer is connected to an electrode suspended inside a tube which has been evacuated of air and sometimes a little gas may be added in it's place. There were three 5-gallon glass jugs connected, and one had a small leak so it actually had some air inside so the plasma arcs weren't as bright in it. Enough energy is transmitted from these that a small fluorescent bulb could be held in the hand and illuminated from about 1 - 2 feet away. The arcs appeared blue-white.

This Tesla invention is the basis for neon signs and fluorescent light bulbs used everywhere today. The gases used in neon signs are used to determine the color of the plasma light. Argon, helium-neon, and other gases are commonly used. In the case of fluorescent lights, a phosphor coating on the inside of the tube is what gives the soft white glow when the photons strike it.

* The Tesla coil. This thing scared everyone (but me). I love these things! Heheh! It was pretty loud though. This coil was 1.5 million volts, and had lightning arcs between 3 and 4 feet long. Dan used to have longer arcs (up to 8 feet) but the room was too small and it was hitting the walls. Rick and I each held a large fluorescent bulb from about 6 feet away as the coil was turned on, and sparks flew and the bulbs illuminated at about half-brightness. Rose stood farther back, as she had the digi-cam in her hands. Dan gave her a shielded lab-coat with which to cover it, just in case, while she took pictures.

This invention was the basis for Tesla's work on wireless power transmission, which eventually evolved into what we know as radio. It works by taking a small voltage and amplifying it using transformers until the desired voltage is reached. As the voltage is increased the current is decreased, making the voltages "mostly" harmless (unless you happen to be a sensitive electronic device).

After the "show", Dan gave us some catalogs and I bought a t-shirt and some electronics magazines I haven't seen before. Then we ate some really good chinese food then drove to Boulder for a show at the Fox Theatre, narrowly missing an overturned truck carrying a uranium ore shipment.

--end of Jimmie Soundguy's report!--

Rose's Report

Today I went into the record store across the street from the club and bought every Poster Children CD they had so I could sell them at our shows. It'll be a cinch for us to sell those at a show, but probably impossible for the record store to sell them, buried in with the rest of the million bands. Ha! We have completely run out of a couple of types of CDs, especially the new one. I found 2 Flower Plower CDs at the store! Those are out of print, so that was really exciting! We're still waiting for a shipment of CDs from our label.

Tesla Museum -

Also today we visited the Tesla Museum in Colorado Springs, CO. It was awesome. It's a couple of rooms in a building, full of old electronics stuff that I don't know what they are. Big huge coils and capacitors and "over-unity" machines which is the new name for a perpetual motion machine (a machine that puts more energy out than you put into it; something that's not really supposed to exist). There was a glass of water with a silver-shedding device in it; you put this battery attached to 2 strips of metal and the silver one flakes off silver into the water and then you drink it. It's supposed to be healthy. The guy showing us all this stuff, Dan, said he dranks the silver-water whenever he feels like he's coming down with a bug. He looked very healthy.

The best thing in the Tesla museum was a huge 6-foot tall coil that I guess was used in the Frankenstein movie! This was connected to a capacitor the size of a kitchen stove. Dan had Rick and Jimmie stand about 5 feet away from this thing, each holding a flourescant light bulb, and as he charged it up the light bulbs began to glow. I was scared of it, so I stood back with the camera. "There's 1.5 million volts coursing through your body right now," he told us. You know exactly how that made me feel! eek!! I tried to snap a picture of it, but there's no way to explain how awesome it was. The discharge made such a loud noise, it was incredible, and lightning flew all around the room. Totally amazing! After this we ate at a huge, empty Chinese food restaurant and then took a huge side-road curving around the city back to I-25 to get to Boulder. We found out the next day that we accidentally missed a huge uranium spill - a truck carrying aWHOLE lot of uranium turned OVER on I-25 and it was closed for miles and evacuated as firemen sprayed water on the dust, attempting to keep it down on the ground so it could be cleaned up. We just missed this by accident.

Boulder Colorado - Fox Theater

I wish I could say something nice about this show tonight but I can't. The club and audience are nice. I wasn't. I got my hair all chopped off today and I'm really sad about it. I wanted the purple to go away.

Wed Oct 01 - drive to Texas

It's about time for a new month!

I can't remember what happened today. We drove a lot. We slept in Wichita, KS. It's nice to be back in the midwest.

Thu Oct 02 - Dallass, TX

Ok, this club really made me mad today. The guy in charge actually stood over me and counted in EVERY piece of merchandise we had and then on top of it, WENT OVER AND LOOKED THROUGH OUR MERCH BOX to make sure I wasn't hiding some from him. This was after I suggested to him that instead of counting all our crap (we have tons of stuff) he just count our money we made from selling our shirts at the end of the night and take 20% of it. I told him I am honest to a fault and promise I wouldn't screw him. After that is when he decided he had to go through all of our stuff. That really made me mad. I really wanted to just not even sell our stuff tonight, but that would have just hurt our fans I guess. So the club made $23.75 off our our merchandise tonight. And it's not LABEL merchandise, it's f&*ing merchandise I designed with my own hands and we bought with our own money.


And even though this guy in charge seems to be a really, really nice guy, this club pisses me off. Whoever was in charge of us last time we played here with Failure made us go on like, 2 hours before Failure, with an hour between our ending and their beginning, thus insuring that no one would see us with Failure. Too bad for them, because if they had let us play right before Failure that other night, more people would have seen us and probably would have come to this show.

But you know who did come to this show? A bunch of people drove down here from Norman, Oklahoma! Now that's devotion! That's damn cool! There was about 60 people in the audience tonight at its maximum.

And we got to sleep in a beautiful, cathedral-shaped house of our good friends Greg and Sandy. I guess the guys stayed up all night watching "Killing Zoe." (Thanks so much Greg and Sandy!)

Fri Oct 03 - AUSTIN, TX

Thank GOD for Austin TX, a little oasis in the south, where people actually know who we are. We actually had a show tonight with a lot of people watching! Yay! People even came to the Salaryman in-store we played. There is some sort of Independant Film Festival this weekend and Terrence McKenna, Dennis Hopper and Oliver Stone are in town. I think it was Howie who said Dennis and Oliver will come to the show and be punching each other out in the corner of the room.

Perhaps I should go into tattoo artistry? What a neat tattoo, huh?

It seems like there are a lot of people around here who love us, which is nice since we love the town so much. I'm sad that we don't get to spend a lot of time here this tour; we had to cruise in quickly from Dallas and then tomorrow we have to flee to get to Baton Rouge in time for our show!

Sat Oct 04 - Baton Rouge, LA

I don't know where to start. This was probably the highest point of this tour. The whole night people kept coming up to us and going, "Why aren't you playing New Orleans?" It became very obvious as the night went on.

I need to mention the dinner we had too; Gabe, the promoter, sent us to this incredible vegetarian restaurant named "Spanish Moon" that looked pretty terrifying from the outside. In fact, the town looked slightly terrifying to me right when we "landed" (it was dark) - there almost seemed to be a sort of fight getting ready to break out in the front of the bar, and I peeked out the front door and it looked like a wasteland, broken bottles and paper laying all over. I got kind of scared, but then looked out the other door and saw a GAP store across the street and a Kinko's. It must be a pretty good college town to have a GAP in the middle of it.

Anyway the outside of this Spanish Moon Restaurant also looked scary, but they were renovating the inside. There was a piano decorated with pictures made out of shiny Mardi-Gras beads glued to its surface. The menu was so hardcore vegetarian that it never even mentioned "Tofu" - these are REAL cooks who don't need to fall back on Tofu as a meat substitute. They can cook without meat! The meal I had was so good I wanted to fall asleep right at the table after I ate - corn and different kinds of noodles and tomato sauce and black beans. YUM.

The opening bands tonight were great - one was called Math, but had to change their name because of another band named "Math." They announced their new name tonight. I think they became "New Raised Spirals" but I'm not totally sure. This just shows the importance of having a memorable name for your band. Math looked really young for having such a good "groove." Their singer had a good throat.

I loved the next band. They were called "Propellerhead," and I heard a rumor that they were changing their name to PropellerSled because someone else was called "Propellerhead." That's kind of weird to have that problem twice in one town! When these guys started playing, about 2 songs into it, I joked to Rick, "man, these guys kind of sound like US(!) from a long time ago, back when we were 'good.'" A couple more songs passed and the lead singer said, "I hope Poster Children don't start demanding royalties from all the riffs we've ripped off from them." I laughed. I have never, ever seen a band that I actually thought sounded inspired a bit by US!! I've seen Superchunk-bands, I've seen Fugazi-bands, I've seen Sonic-Youth-bands, and I've seen a bunch of Slint-damaged bands, but I don't think I've EVER seen a band that sounded like us. I don't want to make it sound like they ripped us off, either, because they didn't at all, they just..... I don't know... it was some sort of influence or something. It was pretty neat.

Baton Rouge, You made us so happy tonight!

The audience was really into both these bands, too. It was a great scene! As I was watching the audience I couldn't help but think, Wow, if these people like THESE bands, they'll probably like us too!! And they did! We played and I guess no one ever gets an encore at this club but we got Two! After the show people kept telling us that something very special happened at this club tonight, like the very beginning of a scene or something. They said we were there for a very special moment. I felt so happy tonight! People just seemed so genuinely happy to listen to and watch the music, it made everything bad that happened in the last couple of weeks just melt away. I felt like Fugazi for a minute. Like royalty. Like there was some sort of underground again, like people who played music were special, the audience was special, we were all together in some magical, happy land. Like wherever we went tomorrow or next week, maybe we could take Baton Rouge with us.

Sun Oct 05 - Lafayette, LA

Tonight we played in front of 104 people who looked like they were angry at us for making them miss "60 Minutes." It's not the audience's fault; the lighting in the little skate-park room just sort of worked out to make it look to me and Rick like the audience was watching TV. It was a silent audience, too. I guess Sunday afternoon in a really hot skate-room is not a conducive atmosphere to The Rock. People sure bought enough stuff though. People wanted an encore, too, but the whole thing was just impossible. Rick's stuff kept getting uplugged because the stage was so bouncy - the stage was a skate ramp, made out of the same kind of boards we had to break back when I was in Tae-Kwondo class. I could have easily put my foot right through what I was standing on; that made it really hard to "rock."

Besides, we're still kind of reeling from Baton Rouge's crowd.