I didn't want to go home before the show. I am not sure why. Not ready? Didn't want to be teased? Didn't want to find out any problems? Actually, our gas was plugged up so we couldn't light our pilot light tonight - Rick spent a couple of hours de-clogging it with a pin.
This is the first time that Poster Children have played a proper show at the High Dive, the new club in Champaign. It's nice - big and long, good sound system, and Jimmie Soundguy is the sound guy there, so I am sure we sounded great. People in the front row jumped around and danced and I'm sure they weren't from Champaign - I know a bunch of people drove down from Chicago and others came in from other towns, Carbondale, DeKalb, other Illinois Universities. It's so nice that people care about us around here! I'm really looking forward to the Chicago show now. And I suppose it's nice to be home.
We went home tonight and I saw the guys watching eXistenZ. I think they watched it in French.
Not a whole lot of people showed up tonight, but the people who did show up were very, very loud and enthusiastic! I slept in the van until the show, I think. I'm really tired again, and the weather outside is disgusting.
The door-lady keeps asking if I'm in the opening band, then she asks if we've played already. Then she says, "It sure is a slow night, isn't it?" I keep walking in and out of the club for different reasons and she stops me each time.
Magic Stick club is really beautiful.
Club Soda loves us, and we love Club Soda. Everyone in the club knows my name! 80 people showed up tonight, late Monday night, and it's SNOWING out - it's like half-raining and half-snowing, terrible, terrible weather outside. The club is complaining that Citizen Fish just played here a couple of weeks ago and no one came to the show. Poor Citizen Fish. I am starting to wonder if it looks bad when you play a show to no one - do people go home and think, "gosh, that was a lame show, there weren't any people there" and then do they not come the next time you play in the town?
The crowd that comes to Club Soda for us is so fantastic - it is so varied - in one moment a really raucous, loud guy who was screaming in between songs came up to us after the show and screamed, "HEY! I LOVE YOU GUYS! I'M A TRUCK DRIVER!" and we were like, ready to worship this guy - our voices got really low and we were in awe - WOW - a TRUCK driver likes us! Because you know, Truck Drivers are the Gods of our road, they are the authorities in our world. They are allowed to go in the special rooms in the truckstops that we stop at every day, those special rooms that we, mere mortals, are not allowed into. They can go anywhere they want - they are the royalty! And one of them LIKES us! He was great - "I LOVE YOU GUYS! What's that one record of yours - I LOVE THAT RECORD - what's it called, 'ATF' or something like that?!!!" The guy was AWESOME.
People from Lafayette were there too. People drink a lot at this club. A band called Pinebender opened for us tonight - they were very good.
We are driving home from Columbia, MO - it's after the show. It's gorgeous outside - nighttime, the windows are open and the wind is blowing through the van, 65 degrees, fresh outside, except for about a 60 second stretch of road along I55 which smelled like a mouth with braces and bad breath. The guys are laughing at a jazz player talking on the radio about rules for playing music. Each time he says a new rule, Rick says "why? why?" Rick is so punk rock.
Nothing bad happened at this festival, except that no one came. It was a beautiful, sunny, 75 degree weekend day today and we played a festival with The Sugar Hill Gang - and no one came, because who wants to go sit in the Blue Note, a dark, smoky club, in the middle of a beautiful spring day? Oh well! Even though it was a free festival, pretty much no one came. I think the people who put the show on were kind of depressed about that - and some of the people at the show were complaining to me that the show wasn't well promoted, but I think there are lots of other things going on outside today on the campus - in fact, I had heard that the people in charge of this show wanted to get an outdoor area but couldn't for some reason. Howie is joking that there is a "Barney Live Webcast" on the internet today and that's why there is no one at the show. All the other bands, bands whom I've never, ever heard of - Orange Tree (from St. Louis), Ensign (from New Brunswick, New Jersey - what the hell is with that town?!) and The Reggae Cowboys (From Toronto, Canada!) and Sugar Hill Gang, from NYC, played their asses off, to an almost completely empty, huge venue - it was so nice to see bands playing so well, even though there were no people watching - I guess it happens to the best of us. Even Sugar Hill Gang, who came on after us, announced from the stage that they had played "all across the US and Europe, sometimes to 5 people and sometimes to 300,000" they said - "and no matter how many people are in the audience," they screamed, "we're gonna put on a good show for you all!" The 40 or so people in the audience cheered politely, but by the end of their set, they are just 3 huge black guys with big black "Sugar Hill Gang Anniversary Tour" shirts on - three guys with wireless microphones and a CD player - no musical instruments in sight! - by the end of the show, they had half the audience dancing on the stage with them, and I swear to god it looked like a Gap Commercial. It was absolutely wonderful. The rest of my band was outside by this time, eating their food. I had a great time today. It's a great break from touring.
So far this week I've just basically been sitting at the computer nonstop, catching up on this incredible job that I have at the University of Illinois here. But I've been so worried and intense about the whole thing I've nearly gotten myself sick - I really need to take it easier. By the time I got into the van I was breathing shortly and had my old chest pains back, and couldn't think or sleep all night the first night. I need to make sure that shit doesn't happen to me again. I'm taking on too much work again when I'm home. Didn't I promise myself to be nicer to myself?
I'm trying to be good. I just forget all the time.
Also while we were home, Rick visited Matt from Hum's new studio - he's building one out in Tolono, about 20 minutes away from Champaign. It's gonna be really, really cool. Rick seems ultra excited about it. Howie said he was just going to go home and stand naked in his new apartment with a big bottle of Jack Daniels and scream, or something like that. I think that's what he said. Something I can see Harvey Keitel doing in a movie somewhere. Think of us as Martin Sheen during at the beginning of Apocalypse Now, during our 10-day break here. We're drinking wine, we just turned 40. We're waiting to get back into the war again, stinking, lying in bed with a ceiling fan blowing over our heads. We're crying to the music of the Doors, we just smashed a mirror, Francis Ford Coppola's camera is in our face with a bunch of crewmen breathing into our face, watching our most intimate moment, as we wrap our bleeding hands in the bedsheets.
Both Jim and Howie got haircuts.
It's nice to be here, on I55 west of Springfield, driving on the open road, 11pm, lights and trucks and farms and billboards passing us by.