A lesson in geography

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Our last chunk of the tour had us bouncing between Indianapolis and Chicago with a B-line to Boston and then back out to upstate New York.  Yeah, you try to figure that one out.

After our southern leg of the tour, we had a day off and we picked a spot to stop en route to our next show.  Indianapolis made the most sense.  We found a worthy sports bar and plopped down for a long day of Sox opening day and the NCAA championship.  We were lucky enough to meet Kim, who ended up hooking us up with a place to stay for the night, and then came out a couple nights later to our Indy show, and made sure we got everyone in the room on our mailing list.  Thanks Kim!  

So Tuesday landed us in Lake Villa, IL, home of the largest Six Flags.  Ben and I thought it would be a GREAT idea to have 3 HUGE tacos and a couple pitchers of beer before we went to the venue across the street, Swing State.  This place was very cool.  It was an all-ages hookah bar, lots of art on the walls, some funky looking pipes, and cool guys who ran the place and lived there.  New Chicago friends from the band Love & Squalor got things started off with some tight punk.  Stuffed full of tacos and beer, we put in our best effort and met some more people.  It was a Tuesday night after all, but we were able to win over some Illinoisains.  (is that even close to correct?)  Ian, Shauna and Nate (sorry, I forgot your friend’s name!) and our pal up front who had some VERY complimentary things to say.  Hey man, did anyone ever tell you that your speaking voice is EXACTLY like Penn, or Teller?  (whichever one talks)   We retired to the Grand Hotel, across from Six Flags.  It looked sketchy at first but turned out to be very nice.  The downstairs hallway was all decorated up for kids, with murals of Spiderman, Spongebob and whatnot, and black lights which gave it a bit of a creepy look.  We thought it was cool but it might scare the bejesus out of the little ones.  Maybe rethink that one, Grand management.

We arrived in Indianapolis on Wednesday and went right to the venue, the Melody Inn.   VERY cool place.  The bartender was wearing a Sterns hoodie.  In Spiccoli-ese, I told him, “I know those dudes.”  Old friend Dave Bik was in the house along with his college buddy’s new band People Vs. Radio.  By the time we started, the place was packed and this ended up being one of the best shows on the tour.  Ben and Evan were taking the first shifts of our drive home that night, so they steered away from the booze.  That’s right.  The DRIVE HOME.  We hung for a while, took some goofy pictures, chilled out to People Vs. Radio’s awesome set, caught up on old times, and then got on the road.  A couple snowstorm whiteouts and 10 gallons of road salt later, we knocked out 15+ hours en route to our beds back in Boston.  The hardest part was dropping off Dids and Cracker and then waiting in 20 minutes of traffic trying to get to my place.  Ugh!

After a couple days of respite, we had a bit of a homecoming at Harper’s Ferry for the BCN Rumble.  This night was a blast.  Lots of our friends came out to hang with us, and it was so very nice to be around familiar faces and places.  We have a TON of pictures from this show, many of which couresty of JustBill.net.  After our set, one of our best of the whole tour, we retired to the back bar area while the other bands played, and gooned it up something fierce.  Again, check out the pictures for evidence.  

After another couple days of rest, we headed back out for what would be our last 3 shows of the tour.  First stop, Albany.  We hit Bomber’s for a burrito and then rolled up to Valentine’s.  Tuesday nights are tough in any town, but the other bands brought a bunch of people, Cracker’s buds came out, and per usual, we made some new friends and fans.  I tried to jump on top of a 4 foot high speaker and I ended up landing on my shin, knocking a pitcher of beer onto Cracker’s buddies, and falling backwards.  Good times!  My eyes were bigger than my ups.  Got a sweet raspberry on the shin for my efforts.

Wednesday, we rolled to Rochester and found a good sports bar to watch the Sox.  The venue, High Fidelity, was real nice.  It recently reopened with a new name and they’re trying to mix it up a bit, and not have it be just a rock club.  They have DJ nights, comedy nights, open mics, etc.  It definitely have more of a loungey feel than a regular rock club.  Three plasma TVs showed concert DVDs and a photo slideshow of all sorts of performing artists and bands.  Much to our chagrin, during our set they, had a slideshow of US.  It made us squirm to see ourselves OVER and OVER.  The band before us, Hip Toss, were a great mix of funk, rock, progressive, with a very talented singer.  Towards the end of our set, I noticed there was another speaker I could mount.  It was a LITTLE shorter than the one the night before.  I decided against it.  After the set, we hung out with the Hip Toss guys, and ended up staying with the bassist and his roommate.  Thanks guys!

And that leaves us with Ithaca.  Let’s try something different on this recap.  Let’s try a little word association game.  Dids’ stomping grounds.  Child cookoff.  Buttermilk falls.  Gorge-ous.  Ass sliding.  The spot.  Ron.  Benchwarmers.  Sideline sauce.  Little Crackers.  Haunt.  Hi-hat help.  High stage.  Sick sound.  De La Garza.  Jeremy.  12 wings.  XXX atomic.  All I got was this stupid t-shirt.  ASPCA.  Animal in pants.  Dance.  Show.  More dancing.  Encore.  $7.  DP Dough.  The Aristocrats.  Drive.  Sleep.  

We didn’t know at the time, but the Haunt show would be the last one of the tour.  The Saturday show at the Uptown Tavern was cancelled because of a SHOOTING in the club the night before our show.  Apparently a dude got kicked out, came back in guns blazing, missed everyone w/ his gunfire, and got winged by ANOTHER customer that was packing heat.  Live free or DIE!

That’s it for the ongoing blogs.  We’ve got more coming in relation to the tour.  We have a TON of video footage and we’ll be whipping together some quick video blogs of the tour.  You won’t have to read anymore.  

Thanks for all
the support from everyone.  Time to take a quick breath.  

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