March 14 So we're in our rental minivan on the road to SXSW in Austin, Texas. So far we've stopped 8 times in 5 hours to pee and shop at the swell Yankee truck stops. My big beef today is the damn TD bank where we opened our new account for all of our band business. A bank employee calls me Ralph when she leaves messages telling me that she doesn't know how our account will work if we want to deposit cash and cheques in the green machine. I asked if they had humans opening the envelopes 'cause they could likely tell the difference and know when to put holds on the cheques and let the cash go through. She said yes they were human but they couldn't do that and I'd better come in so that we can see what exactly we need. I didn't remind her that I explained all that when I opened the account with her. I also didn't mention that my name is not Ralph. But on the music side of things we're on our way to the big festival to play hits from our new cd "Rebuild the Wall". Olesh is flying executive styl-ee on Friday while we work the city for a few days and prepare for our two gigs on Saturday. The afternoon show is at the Continental club where we're playing Mojo Nixon hosted 'vintage cars, hard liquor and handgun' show. We hope to wow'em with those great Pink Floyd numbers and our own hurtin', hillbilly honkers.
March 15 Memphis, Tennessee. We stopped for lunch on the banks of the Mississippi after making the morning haul form Nashville. The Smokey Mountains of Tennessee were inspiring enough to listen to the 25 years of Bluegrass on Rounder records compilation cd. Just mentioning this as Sarah and the Cash Bros. are playing the Rounder showcase tomorrow at the festival. Hopefully the president of Rounder will come to our afternoon show and pull out the chequebook after our set. Otherwise it'll be dishwashing jobs in Austin until we rustle up enough dough to get home-such is our circumstance.
We are outside of Waco, Texas where Bill Clinton showed those Branch Davidians a thing or two some 6 years ago. Weeping Tile played SXSW soon after that and they had a seminar called "what happened at Waco" which was the only panel that I attended. It was horrifyingly real complete with slides and two of the survivors of the explosion and three people who lasted a goodly part of the siege only to be drawn out by the authorities with threats of harm to their families and promises of fair and humane treatment. They all talked of being physically abused within sight of the others that stayed behind. Bizarre tales of David Koresh confused the audience. An ole woman said, when asked if it was true that Koresh forbade everyone but himself and some chosen few (sometimes mothers and daughters!) from having sex, that he was a great man and the bible says it's okay for children to have sex if they consent to it and bla, bla, bla we were all satan, etc. Freaked us all out and I'm not sure what to think other than all parties were fucked up and the government is evil anyway. Well, how about that? We are going to be interviewed by Much Music tomorrow at the NXNE barbecue. They are in for an ear-full if I can get my mojo working in time. Olesh is set to come in in the afternoon and Harmer is meeting up with us in the evening to go see Lucinda Williams and Ryan Adams.
Sunday March 18 Well we sure had a rip snortin' good time!! Played two smashing shows and saw a pile o' great bands. Lets just review the events as they unfolded-After fridays freak show giver'fest, morning's brutal nudge sent us a tumblin' down the interstate a bit too late. Captain Cam Giroux took off with the Cash Brothers for breakfast at 11 am and when the pick-up and pack-up time came, Cammy was running a little behind schedge. Well this led to a minor panic thing in the van as we tried in vain to race along the highway to the legendary Continental club where we were set to play at 3 pm for a bar full-a-locals in the Mojo Nixon hosted par-tay. Yee-hawin' down the road I got slightly distracted trying to swat Cam (affectionately) and rear-ended a truck. No apparent damage so I peeled off with a van full of screaming Sean Kelly. The irate woman tried to catch us but I was determined to lose her. Speaking for me, there is something oddly liberating about running away from someone in a place that is far from home. I felt inspired to give'r at our show that day. The vintage cars were lined up in front and the gin & tonic I had before our show was noticeably light on the tonic. Americans sure like to give the booze away, eh? So to make a long story boring, we arrived at the gig in time and I think we made what I hope is a lasting impression on the good people of Austin.
Later that day Cam and I chose to hang out downtown while the other fellas retreated to the hotel to freshen up for the night-time show at the NXNE showcase. We saw in the Austin Daily paper that we'd been chosen as one of three picks not to miss that night. After dinning on some killer-diller Mexican stylee seafood we hooked up with Ms. Harmer for some pool playing and Guinness drinking (St. Patty's day eh?). Our show was at 9 and Sarah's was at 10 so it worked out that we got to catch 1/2 of each others show. Luckily for us the boogie was in our woogie and the place was full of David Geffen's. I think I really pretty much guaranteed us a lucrative American record deal when I introduced of one our songs with a "welcome to all the movers and shakers, we're taking on all comers and we're cumin' on takers!".
Sean, Cam and I joined Carolyn Mark and Neko Case for Carolyn's last song of her set then it was off into the night to see 'the Butchies' and a couple of other great acts. So much fun. As a note, the New Pornographers are excellently wonderful. We wuped it up good at the Village Voice after hours shin-dig on the Friday night with them folks.
March 19 on the road home and we didn't time it very well. We're now faced with the reality of 16 hours of driving to get to Kingston where I have to meet our web dude so's 'n our LW and the W's site is up for our release day of our cd-which is tomorrow- and there's only 22 hours between now and then. Is there any point in stopping at a hotel for five hours sleep? Do you care? Man I could marry me one of these southern girls just to hear her talk. The waitress at the bucket o' blood bar and grill was as sweet as pie! Not much else to report from the road. The big release show in Kingston on Thursday is the next big thing. We have lined up 50 bales of straw for the stage and a quarter mile of burlap to wrap the club in, a la Cristo. This will be the first and only full performance of the cd with all the production we can muster on a budget of ten cents. I vow to do my best and not make the goofy faces that Carolyn claims to see me do.