Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chapter 3: Landlocked Insomnia

The past couple of days have been blending together. Such is the unfortunate cycle of anxiety-driven insomnia. It all started in Lester Pennsylvania. We had a nice day off between Washington DC and Philly where we took time to work out some major kinks in our marketing. Namely a merchandise display. So we took a few hours, at a random Target in Maryland, and now we have a beautifully colored picnic basket filled with goodies. The best part is the frog-shaped stationary we are now using for our mailing list, leading to the new and effective mantra: Sign the frog. (see diagram 1)

So we were feeling good in Lester Pennsylvania, a brand new merchandise display, a frog to sign, and parking-lot wiffleball. Yet for some reason that night, I was completely unable to turn my exhaustion into sleep. The running narrative in my brain just would not stop. I had "Don't You Want Me" on repeat somewhere in the iPod of my frontal lobe, splicing with a sci-fi story I plan on never writing. Perhaps it was the anxiety of a 6 month tour ahead of me, or the excitement of having signed my first boob. (see Diagram 2)

So many things go wrong when you get no sleep. Feeling hungry and cold then nauseous and warm within a matter of seconds. Moments of drunken ecstasy followed by an envious hatred of those who were able to shut off the night before. Our second night on the tour was at The Northstar Bar in Philadelphia , and despite being absolutely loopy, I decided that it was a good idea to engage in conversation with other life-forms; this dialogued appeared to be more akin to a spoken-word mad-libs than any normative sequence of syntax.

I was lucky enough to get sleep that following night. We are now driving en route to Lancaster PA from Columbus OH. Matt is exchanging sweet nothings with Nuvi, our Garmin Navigational personality. Their relationship started rocky at first, sometimes we take familiar routes for granted, but once Nuvi proved herself right (after we tried to check into the wrong hotel despite her constant "U-Turn Here. U-Turn Here. U-Turn Here. ..... Recalculating.") Now Nuvi and Matt have developed a creepy symbiosis. She knows exactly how fast he is driving, and when we will exactly show up to our destination.

The show tonight rocked. I loved that our audience members danced with us and had a good time. And an awesome amount of people signed the frog. Adding to the list of first-time autographs, tonight I signed a pack of birth control and a beer. Two of the world's best inventions. Hopefully the hotel we get to has internet, so I can finally post this, and get much needed rest. Lansing is next.

Sign the Frog.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chapter 2: In Cold Water

The van we rentedwas supposed to arrive at 10 am today. But, this is the music industry so we should have assumed that it would arrive at 11:46, which it did. Our goal was to drive to DC, despite traffic, within 5 hours (insert 24 style clock ticking now)

1:15: We have picked up all of our merch from various, GTA-mission-style locations, and are stuck in Jersey City. How do we get back to the highway? Don't worry, I have invested in a Garmin to help us out. Problem is, apparently garmin's personality is that of a passive aggressive 2nd-phase-feminism-gone-housewife dominatrix.

"Turn right twenty six seconds ago."
"I told you to keep right"
"There were five possible rights"
"Sure there were, just like there were five possible nights of the week we could have gone to see Star Trek. I still have a life you know." (paraphrased)

2:25. Dialogue, as remembered by me:

Taylor: "there was a clear presence of toilet paper between my ass and my hands."

Matt: "But you still have to wash your hands."

Me: "Toilet paper is slightly between jello and solid substances. It flushes."


me: "Ni Hao?

everyone: "what?"

me: "oh, I thought you were speaking mandarin"


we arrive to our location, set up, play an awesome show with Brian Bonz and Nightmare of You while I continue to drink. As we are loading, Taylor takes a moment to jam, dissonant jazz style with a street performer, catching the attention of natives waiting for a cab.

1:45 am we leave for our out-of-the-way hotel that charges lower fares for smoking rooms. Immediately upon entering this smelly locale, we regret saving the extra 12 dollars.

3:36 am

I am sure there is more to report but right now I am more psyched to sleep than report. So have a good night. Tomorrow, we will be rocking out in Delaware. Or at least catching our barrings.

Rocking in Delaware. A dream come true.

In and out. See you in Philly

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chapter 1: Packing.

It has become apparent to me that preparing for a long tour is a bit like packing before summer camp.

I hated summer camp.

But at least this time around, the big scary kids are bouncers, who need legal recourse before torturing their victims with worms, projectile fruit boxes, and toppled over porta-potties. Except maybe in Dallas.

So I find myself here, in front of a smorgasbord of relatively useful crap that I may or may not use. So what does Dan from Plushgun pack? In no significant order:

7 pairs of socks.
10 pairs of underwear (re-using socks; not nearly as big of a sanitation folly)
2 black shirts. Because they are slimming
2 button-ups, for shows
3 skinny ties.
2 pairs of sneakers
1 pair of running shorts
1 pair of swim trunks.
200 condoms (for the great condom-water-balloon battle of Lawrence)
1 female condom, passed over from Freezepop, to be handed over to Nightmare of You.
14th century Spanish Short Sword
FIFA '05 for PS2
Portable fan
Tennis Racket
Wiffleball set
3 pairs of jeans
Treasure Map
Floss, which has yet to be opened, despite being purchased 3 tours ago.
2 Nerf dart guns
Season 3 of Six Feet Under
1 copy of the US Constitution
toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant.
3 ounces of dignity
and one pint of shame.

I suppose I need more than the average person for a cross-country quest, though it is not because I am high maintenance, but just in general, a quirky man-child.

Lets see who's laughing when I find that treasure...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Prologue: The calm, unrequited.

Very shortly, we will be shipping off to tour the country for about six weeks. This will, by this point, be considered the longest "on the road" experience we will have had. As much as I am slightly nervous about the expectations, and unable to navigate the uncertainty of the events that lay ahead, I am also keenly aware of the literary opportunity that is presented in front of me. Or at least a voyeuristic insight that is rarely if ever truly seen: the touring life of a baby buzz band in the national sphere.

This is not a tour with buses and laminated passes. We are stuffing 4 guys and gear in a van, to drive state to state, stopping at standardized highway rest-stops to pile on top of the already-liver burning fast food. The glory of a touring band is highly assumed and misrepresented. Glory days are over for the music industry, and we are working with what we have to get by and spread our sound.

I am going to be using this blog to give you a candid glimpse in our lives in the next month.5. Names will be changed to protect the innocent, but let me be blunt: this is no typical tour diary, where bands present how fun their lives are and what sights they see: if I inexplicably wake up in Vegas wearing a cheerleader outfit, you will know. Perhaps not why as I may not know either...

As we embark, the Plushgun pirates on a concrete ocean, I invite you to join our adventures.