6/6 day one: 666

finally, kg is on tour again!

i set my alarm for 7 am today. i wake up at 845 to katie knocking on my door, asking if i’m almost ready to go.

we arrive at joe’s around 10, only to discover that he isn’t awake yet either.

eventually, we’re ready to go pick up mandy, and katie realizes that she’s forgotten her backpack at our house. so she goes home to get it, and we go to get mandy. we get on the freeway, and notice that our fuel gage is on “E.” so we get off the freeway to find a gas station. i’m a little nervous about our lack of gasoline, and then my phone rings. so i don’t notice the red light until i’m in the intersection.

fortunately, no one is coming the other way, or it would have been a real short tour.

we get gas, then pick up mandy. we go to pick up katie. as we pull up, i honk the horn repeatedly, in an attempt to get katie to come out of the house. i don’t know if i’ve mentioned this before, but we live across the street from a graveyard. when i stop honking, mandy points out that a funeral is going on RIGHT NEXT TO US.

against my better judgement, i stay behind the wheel for another 150 miles. but nothing else goes wrong. mandy gets us the rest of the way to pittsburgh.

the rest of the day is all right. we have dinner with katie and joe’s grandparents. we get lost on the way to the show, but when we call the promoter for help (his dirrections got us lost in the first place), he’s like a mile away, and he comes and finds us. we almost run out of gas again. i meet a girl with more nintendo tattoos than i have. we get married. not really. the show is small, but better than last time kg was here. we get a full tank of gas out of the deal. we get home not too long after midnight, and i find a wireless network in the neighborhood.

i’ll try to post updates as often as i have internet on the road…

6/9 days two and three: nothing much happens

with a title like that, how could you not read this blog?

wednesday, we slept in, had breakfast/lunch (i guess you’d call it brunch) with the grandparents, and drove to cincinatti. about two hours out of cincinatti, the weather got nasty. i don’t know if you’ve seen our van, but one of our windows is held on with tape (the result of a previous “mishap”). so we spent a good portion of the drive blotting water off the window frame, and hoping the tape would hold.

the show was pretty terrible, which seems to be typical of cincinatti for us. we did manage to sell 3 cds to the 4 people that watched our set. we stayed the night with garry from fizzgig, and then we were off to kingsport, tennessee.

in kingsport (which is in eastern TN, if you were wondering) we played at The Fire Escape, “the tri-city area’s only christian rock club.” thanks to our friend anthony for setting up a great show! a good number of people watched us (we played in the next town over, johnson city, on our spring tour, and it was a very good show. a bunch of the same kids came to see us last night), and we exceded our modest goal of selling 5 cds.

an overnight drive to nashville (we got in at about 230 local time) brings us up to the present. house party today, a show with second saturday and fizzgig tonight, and probably the usual nashville craziness (of which i have heard much, but witnessed little) should make for a more interesting weblog tomorrow.

6/11 days four through six: alcohol happens

so as predicted, nashville was a big party. margaritas with lunch, beers before the show, beers during the show, and all sorts of craziness after the show. the show itself was pretty good, around 40 or 50 people there.

saturday, we drove to starkville, mississippi (where wyatt and venom of second saturday are from). we played on the back patio of an italian restaurant, and it was awesome. pretty much every college-age kid in town was there – free show on a saturday night in a small town, and it was another big party.

now we’re hanging out at wyatt’s parent’s house, about to leave for jackson, MS.

6/15 a bunch of days

day six:

while loading the van to leave for jackson, mississippi, kto realizes that shes left her bag in wyatts car, which is well on its way to nashville. not much we can do about that…

sunday night we play in the one of the sketchiest (sp?) venues i’ve ever been in, for about five people. wc don’s, which is apparently a bar, hot-dog restaurant, catering company, band practice space, and “rock club.” rock club is in quotations, because i think of all their various endevours, it’s the one they pay the least attention to. the venue is in this basement, with a bunch of couches and other assorted old furniture everywhere. the sound guy shows up about 5 minutes before the show is suposed to start. the pa isn’t set up. we use all our own mics and stands. one of the other bands doesn’t show up. the other band that does show up tells us to “get the party started,” by which they mean get drunk with them. they try to get us to throw dice with them. they brag about how many drugs they have in their van. they brag about how they just got signed to Peppers record label. they tell us theyre on their way to meet up with pepper in arizona, and that when they do, theyll be playing to 1200 people every night, and that they usually sell around $1000 in merch at every show. they say they’ll watch us play if we promise to watch them.

none of them watch us. then they tell us how awesome we were. so we load our van and leave before they play. approximately zero people watch them play. (of the five that were there, three drove down from starkville to see us, because they are the most awesome people in the universe. one of them was in a band we played with on saturday, who i neglected to mention had a big banner on stage that said marry me KTO. they also covered one of our songs (knocked flat). they, as i was saying, are the best people in the universe. sorry, everyone else.) maybe two people stayed? i dont know, but they give us shit for leaving, which normally id feel bad about, but theyre idiots. so we drive two hours back to starkville to stay at wyatts parents house, which is sort of on the way to atlanta.

day seven:

no show! we sleep all day, mess around on the internet (but not post tour blogs…), and watch lord of the rings. later we go out to celebrate Mappys birthday (a friend from nashville whos hanging out in starkville for the week). the bar we go to has mouse racing. you pay a $3 cover, and you get two tickets with names of mice on them. every hour or so, the mice race, and if your mouse wins, you get a free drink. only in mississippi…

i win the first race. kto wins the second race. five people at our table win the third race, and give us their winning tickets. also: beer is $1.25. suffice to say, we were somewhat intoxicated. did i mention it was also open mic night? so acoustic KG happens. i forget how to play guitar, sort of. no one seems to notice. a good time is had by all. me (drunk) and joe (sober) get destroyed at foosball by josh and paul, twins whose names i can only keep straight by the hats theyre wearing.

we get home, i watch the first 20 minutes of return of the jedi, and pass out.

day eight:

we drive to marietta, georgia (just north of atlanta), only to discover that our directions are only to the city, not the venue. after a bit of searching (read as: driving around randomly), we find an unsecured wireless network, and get directions. unfortunately, googlemaps directions are god-awful. so we call the venue and get better ones.

as soon as we arrive, one of the guys from the venue hands us $50 and says they wanted to make sure we got some money, because the show probably wasnt going to be very big. which it isnt. we play in between two high school hardcore bands. a few people come out to see us, which is awesome.

after the show, we hit a grocery store and have a taco party at our friend kevins house.

day nine:

another off day. as usual, we sleep most of the day. eventually, we get up and go out for pizza. we come back and watch the next lord of the rings (were gonna watch return of the king on our next day off, which is sunday). that pretty much brings us to now.

6/16 days ten and eleven: it’s a rough life (happy birthday mom!)

day ten:

thursday morning, we wake up at kevin’s house again, and drive to Mobile, Alabama. we’re on an early show, playing fourth of five bands. we play to a good crowd, sell a bunch of merch, and have the van loaded by 930. we don’t really know anyone in mobile, so we ask around for a place to stay. we get three offers, the best of which involves being out of the house by 730. but then a guy who works at the venue offers his place. it’s about 45 minutes away, but it’s on the beach. and he’s willing to give us his key so we can go before he gets off work (after a late show at the same venue). sold.

it’s early, so we decide to grab a bite to eat before going to the beach house. the parking lot behind the venue smells amazing, so we go to the place across the street that the smell seems to be coming from. this turns out to be the best decision we’ve ever made, as the restaurant (Picklefish) is incredible. everything we get is delicious, particularly the fried pickles (my new favorite food). we head back to the venue, have a couple more drinks, mandy inadvertently puts her hand in dried vomit, and we get directions and head out.

an hour later (a wrong turn adds time to the trip) we arrive at the beach house. turns out it’s on an island (dauphin island, for the geographically inclined), and it’s awesome. we drop our stuff in the house and head for the beach. joe and i proceed to get very intoxicated, and kto and mandy talk to their boyfriends on the phone. there’s also a pool, so we go for swim and then head for bed.

day eleven:

kto and mandy wake up early and go to the beach (kto also borrows a bike from our hosts and goes on a “graveyard-i-win” reconaisance mission). joe and i sleep ’til 1 or so, then head down to the beach too. the water is incredibly warm, and there are starfish everywhere. the girls (with the help of some random little kids) catch a bunch of them and put them on joe’s face. another dip in the pool, a round of showers, and we’re on our way to pensacola.

a quick hour-and-a-half drive, and we’re there. our friend chris cooks dinner for us, and we watch the worst movie i’ve seen in a long time. the “director’s cut” of bloodrayne. apparently the only reason uwe boll continues to make movies is a loophole in german tax law, where if a movie made in germany with german investors paying for it gets released in foreign markets, the government will reimburse any money the movie loses. so get ready for lots more bad video games getting made into worse movies. the best part of bloodrayne? instead of editing all the new footage that makes it the “director’s cut” into the film, they just stuck it all into a montage at the end. but i digress…

the show is awesome. some crazy locals (that i don’t feel like going into detail about right now) make for an interesting evening. one of the bands drops off the bill, so we get an hour-long set. we play to an even better crowd than last night, meet a bunch of awesome people, and drink free pbr. a friend of the promoter lets us stay at his parent’s house (who are out of town), where there is wireless internet.

this isn’t so much a tour, as it is a vacation.

6/17 napping by the highway

he last few days have been so vacation-like, something was bound to eff it up eventually. three hours into the drive today, one of our trailer tires exploded. normally, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but we don’t have a spare for the trailer. but we’re only half an hour from talahassee, so it’s only a minor delay. except that we don’t have a key to unlock the trailer hitch (did i mention that joe’s keys got lost three days into the tour?). we thought we still had one, but no dice. so we can’t change the tire because we don’t have one, and we can’t go into town to get a tire because we can’t un-hitch the trailer.

so we call triple a. we ask if they can come cut the lock off the trailer hitch, but they “don’t do that kind of thing.” fortunately, we know some people in talahassee, so we make some calls. eric (or is it erik? the guy who designed our new t-shirt) offers to come get some of us and take us into town to get a tire or bolt cutters or whatever. instead he stops and picks up the bolt cutters for us, and we get the lock off easily. after unloading the trailer, un-hitching it, and taking of the destroyed tire, the girls head into town to find a tire shop that’s open saturday afternoon.

this proves more difficult than expected, so joe and i roll out the drum-rugs and take naps on the side of the road (which is actually more comfortable than you might think. a couple of hours go by, and finally the girls return with a new tire. we put it on, re-hitch the trailer, load up, and we’re back on the road. total delay: almost 4 hours.

after a quick food stop at moe’s (where we get the best tasting burritos of our lives), we get back on the road. at this point, it’s nearly 8, and we’re supposed to play at 1030, in gainesville, which is three hours away.

we make it in two and a half. the band before us is just getting started, so we load to the sidewalk, set up, and are ready just in time to play.

next stop: kto and joe’s mom’s in columbia, for a three-day pool party!

6/20 days thirteen though fifteen: pool party!

ittle of note has happened over the last few days.

sunday, we drove to columbia. pretty much all we’ve done since we got here is swim, eat awesome food, and drink beer. katie and mandy went on a bike ride today, and we got new tires and brakes for our van and trailer, but that’s about it for non-lazy activity.

oh yeah, we played a show last night in charlotte. all of five people watched us play, but the people running the venue were super cool. we just hung out at the bar with the soundguy and the bartender, who proceded to get everyone (except me – my turn to drive) absolutely smashed. if you ever have a show in charlotte, play at the milestone (apparently a lot of our friends already know this – we saw stickers from AVEC, the ergs, jinxed at twelve, and a bunch of other friend’s bands all over the place).

after the show, we came back to columbia (only about 100 miles), and today has been more of the same. we spent most of the day in the pool, and we were supposed to have a show tonight, but we found out sunday it wasn’t happening. it was a house show, and those can be somewhat un-reliable. so instead, we’re gonna finish our “lord of the rings on our days off” trilogy tonight. also: swimming and food.

did i mention there’s a pool here?

6/23 the last couple of days: homeward

day 16:

before leaving columbia, we go out for indian food. it’s delicious. then we drive to raleigh, where we are playing a show with the sibling project. for a very long story about the last time i drove to raleigh to play a show with the sibling project, see my plus ones tour blog. this time, it went smoothly. except that mandy can’t find her wallet. more on that later. the show was alright, the sibling project was awesome, and the pizza we got from the place next door was delicious. our friend tim puts us up at the home of some friends who he is house-sitting for.

day 17:

we sleep very late, watch shaun of the dead on a ridiculously large television, and head for fredericksburg, virginia. in keeping with the pattern of the tour, kto leaves her keys in raleigh. (they have since been found, and are en route to baltimore as we speak). mandy’s wallet turns up, at the club we played in charlotte. they’re mailing it to her. so the only permanent loss ends up being joe’s keys, lost three days into the tour at a gas station in tennessee. after a little confusion regarding the address of the venue, we find it, park in the middle of the street, and load in. jenn comes up from richmond for the show, and we have whatever it’s called when all the members of a gang are in the same place at the same time. i think maybe it’s “party.” i haven’t broken a guitar string on stage in a long, long time, not since joining the band. during our half hour set, i break three. mer loans me her guitar for the last song, and thankfully, i don’t break any of hers. pash rocks everyone’s socks off, and it’s time for the last van ride of the tour. a lightning storm slows us down, but we get home around 3 am.

so now it’s just a couple weeks of work and a show at sonar on june 30th, and we’re back on the road again, heading north with avec.

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