april 2002  "Good To Go!!!"
uncle tony and uncle ian showing us how to get home.
still the east coast tour.
Saturday, April 20th - Playing with Fugazi in Boston at Mass Art
And it's the dream day of playing with Fugazi.
I threw up anchovies this morning, and then Rick argued with me that they weren't anchovies. He said I couldn't have thrown up anchovies because they weren't the last thing that I ate. He thinks that my stomach is a stack, like back when we were 8086 assembler programmers. It feels kind of neat knowing that I am right and that I don't have to prove it. I know what anchovies taste like now, both directions. And I will never, never eat another one again.
We get to Mass Art in Boston, a huge gymnasium, Fugazi's type of arena, all-ages, no alchohol, no standard venue. Their equipment is in disarray, piled on the sides of the stage making room for us. They played here last night too, and probably aren't going to soundcheck.
fugazi takes a dryer on tour with them, to dry their stage clothes after a show. the dryer has been modified so it can plug into a regular electrical outlet.
I see Ian from Fugazi walk in and he yells "Get off the stage" so I do, I jump off and run towards him and tackle him. Joe comes and we all shake hands and thank them profusely for letting us play with them. Reminding us why we are doing this. It's like they are our fairy-godmother saviours of rock, appearing each time with a gift of an opening slot when we most need it, a power surge for us. Their audiences are always polite and intelligent and happy. You are about to see a Fugazi show. You are about to be blessed.
Our booking agent hangs with them and they stream politics in such a way that I am too scared to sit with them. I won't know something I should know, and then they'll figure out how dumb I am and they will not like me anymore. If you talk about math or computers or martial arts I can talk with you for hours. But politics, I don't know enough about. On top of it, Ian's throat sounds horrible and I don't want to make him talk to me before his show. So I hide in the big show room and watch their fans. Watch the youth. We have extra guest spots leftover so I go outside to see if there are any stranded fans out there with no tickets whom I could get into the show for free. No one is left. Everyone has tickets. My work here is done.
We get on the stage facing 1500 fugazi fans. "This is more people than we've played to in the past 2 years" I announce before we begin our noise. People smile. Then we pack 45 minutes of sound into 30 minutes, playing furiously and frantically. This is more people than Matt has ever played to. I forget that sometimes. If he is nervous at all, he hides it quite well. He's superhuman. I think we played quite well, but very fast. A lone girl glares at me jealously from the front of the stage, but I don't care anymore. Q: What right do you have to be up there? (A: what right do you have NOT to be up here?) I don't care anymore! For every one lone glaring girl, there are 5 that come up to me and tell me that I inspired them to play music. So I'm doing more good than harm.
I am told that they stood by the stage and watched us play and smiled. They are always so kind after we get off the stage. I remember being terrified on the stage. I didn't want anything to go wrong. But I also remember being very happy. This is the highest honor I can think of, the ultimate goal. Isn't it nice that I get to achieve it a couple of times in my life?
And then Fugazi goes on the stage and tears it up. [click here for fugazi quicktime movie]. I was only brought to tears once or twice during their show tonight. Afterwards we sit and talk with them. We are the only two bands we know of that started the exact same month and year, September of 1987. It will be our 15 year anniversary soon! They treat us like equals. We tell touring stories to them and they tell us some secrets. I want to know how they can pull off playing like this with no set-lists. Where are they going next? Ian doesn't like the word "fun." Never ask him if he's had "fun" on the stage.
Please let us tour with you again.
driving back through NYCity...
Sunday, April 21 - with Radio 4 at the Black Cat
some of radio 4!
I suck. I kicked a hole in the wall of the dressing room here. I'm sorry. I got mad at some stupid-ass band who has been bad-mouthing our band for 10 years now in print, just because they don't have any better story to tell. It's really irritating, because I believe that if you are going to waste space, especially in your own BIO, on another band, why not be saying something POSITIVE about another band? The worst thing is, the kick left a mark on the wall and I can see by the mark that it was a bad kick, too. Bad form. Plus, all that energy expenditure made me more tired for the show. Energy should only be saved for the show.
It's my birthday today! The audience sang happy birthday to me as I embarrassedly poured drinking water for the rest of the band. The Black Cat now has a nice tiny backdoor club, perfect for us to play a little show with Radio 4 on a Sunday, to a very nice, appreciative crowd.
In fact, man, the audience was in such a good mood today, they were laughing and laughing at our jokes, which is really bad because it just eggs us on. We will just sit and talk instead of play a show if they keep this up. I was commenting on how cool it is that Radio 4 can play a million Clash songs for their soundcheck and somehow we got onto the subject of whether or not I could play the Barney Miller theme, on the stage. Rick was telling me I couldn't do it. I could, if a gun was pointed to my head, but no gun was there, so I didn't want to waste time with it. Then I said to the audience that Barney Miller was not punk-rock, anyway, so why should I play his theme? How many people think Barney Miller is punk-rock? No one does. (This is still interacting with the crowd.) But how about Abe Vigoda? People cheer, because of course, Abe Vigoda is Very Punk Rock. "Ok," I said, "I got it. Abe Vigoda? -- PUNK ROCK. Barney Miller? -- New Wave. " People laughed more. See, that just eggs us on.
It's great when people connect with you. We were a nightclub act tonight that played two encores. Our friends Evil Beaver were at our show! They were on tour too, they are a fantastic band from Chicago.
Poor Radio 4. I love them so much, I know we will cross paths with them again. But they have had quite a tour with us. In just a day, they watched me kick a hole in a wall, and I almost walked in on one of them in the toilet.
Me: (knock knock)
Radio4: "WHAT?" (pointedly)
Me: "uh. Nothing." now, trying to be funny: "Can I come in there?"
Radio4: "I'm kind of busy..."
I guess one of them walked in on Rick while he was pooping, so it all evens out. At least we have given them some stories to tell.
We stayed at Uncle Tony and Uncle Ian's house tonight and I made my customary Ramen Noodles at their house. All is well. What a wonderful tour!
And now it's time to go home. We're going to record the first part of a new album.
And then it will be time to go to the west coast.