Tag Archives: entertainment

My Self-Righteous Solution

I just figured out what the problem is with my generation.  We are obsessed with television the way that the previous generation was obsessed with music.  We have HD televisions, inDemand, DVR, Netflix and all this bullshit that I can’t even, nor do I want to, keep up with.  This craze is how our parents were about music.  Well, the cool ones anyway.  They had PROPER speakers, nice record players, and followed bands obsessively the way that my peers follow Game of Thrones or the lives of the fucking Kardashian’s or the Hogan’s or whatever rich family is the flavor of the week.  It’s gross.  The former generation waited hours in lines to go to a concert and drove across state lines.  Now people do not go to live music events because they’re lazy and would rather spend the night watching The Walking Dead and then hashtaging about it on twitter.

One of my favorite past times is listening to music with my Dad.  I have OFTEN blew off my friends to hang out with my Dad at his house, drink rum and listen to The Beatles and Tears for Fears on his sweet stereo system.  You are simply not listening to music properly if you’re listening to it off of your fucking laptop or iPod or whatever mini device you have that will be out of date in four months.  When I was growing up, my Dad had floor speakers that stood a good two and a half feet tall, and I believe they were the same speakers he had had since ’75.  And my God, do they sound beautiful.

I was recently at my Dad’s house by myself and decided to put on one of my many CD’s.  While I am probably the youngest person I know who has a real CD collection, I only had a few handy because the hundreds of others were at my place.  I was stoked to discover that I did have a Sunny Day Real Estate album with me, so I put that in, and literally started laughing out loud all by myself when I heard the first note. It sounded so goddamn different from what I am used to that it was comical.  Jesus Christ I have been missing out.  I laid in the middle of the room, and let the vibrations of the bass coming from the floor penetrate my heartbeat, and I let the melody fill the room and devour all sense of time and space.  I think my life changed.  At least a little bit.  I’ve listened to music on these speakers plenty of times, but maybe because I was completely alone and feeling particularly susceptible, this time it was just different.

I left the room for a moment to grab my water which was in the living room where I had left the television on.  With the music in the background, it was now being poisoned by the sounds and images of some drama that was on cable.  In that moment, I was revolted by the TV.  I don’t own a TV, but I don’t have disdain for it either, I just prefer to not have one.  It makes me read more.  Anyway, in this moment, with the beautiful sounds behind me, and in front of me, bright colors and fiction discharging all over my face, I had a revelation.  My generation has it all wrong.  We don’t listen to music properly, and we’re not as die-hard for it as the children of the ’60s and ’70s and it is drowning us.

To further my self-righteous music rant, I truly believe that world peace could be obtained with a happy song.  If everyone in ISIS would just shut the fuck up and listen to “Tiny Dancer” things would get better.  During diplomatic discussions of drone warfare and economic stability, I think there should be a mandatory twenty-minute musical intermission every two hours.  You’re welcome, UN.

I know that I sound like a hipster right now, (which is something that I get made fun of daily by my tour manager who thinks that pumpkin patches are the demise of the society in the same way that big oil companies are), but I’m fine with that.  What did the hipster’s ever do except for bring us craft beer, great coffee, a mini revival of vinyl records, the expansion of Vice magazine and made it acceptable for me to wear fake glasses?

I just like this picture and it's one of my better iPhone photographs.  Wouldn't you rather be there than in front of the television?

I just like this picture and it’s one of my better iPhone photographs. Wouldn’t you rather be there than in front of the television?

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 14

I am sitting in a dirty hotel room, on stained bed sheets, my teeth not brushed, my hair unwashed and on top of my head like a gypsy whore, crumbs stuck underneath my fingernails, a bloody knuckle, smeared eyeshadow and wearing an over-sized, wrinkly band t-shirt.  I have not done anything to change this situation because the last twelve hours were dirty, so I want to stew in the filth of last night so that I can properly account for the events that took place.  If I shower away the grime, I’ll shower away the grimy details.  There’s something about being shower fresh that makes last night’s memories seem cleaner.  No, I want the dirty truth.

Last night was roadie Friday, which just means that it is the night before a day off while on tour.  The day started as normal.  We did a show at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City.  Great venue, sold out show, and I got my New York bagel and cream cheese that I had been eagerly anticipating.  Coffee, found a book store, annoyed my tour manager, set up merch, sold merch.  Normal day except that it was the last show that the two other bands on the tour package would be playing with us.  These days are always a bummer because you almost always become friends with everyone, so the day the tour package breaks up is always characterized with heavy drinking, heavy hugging and hopes that paths will cross again.  One of the drummer’s and I started a cute, flirty tour courtship.  He was the only member of his band who had a beard, so OF COURSE he was the one I ended up getting the closest with.  My curse of the bearded boys.  Him and I would pass notes to each other during the show (because it’s always so loud, it’s difficult to talk), and try to steal a few minutes here and there throughout the day to have a real conversation and maybe take a hit from his pipe.  The point is, that it always feel like you are saying goodbye all too soon in this industry.

Back to the last twelve hours.  Things started going downhill when the lead singer of one of the bands hit on me.  Hard.  It wasn’t cute or flattering, it was demeaning, uncomfortable and dirty.  Him and I had got along great, and found ourselves in deep conversation on occasion, despite everyone telling me that he generally keeps to himself and doesn’t talk to anyone.  When we did speak, it’s always during the day, and I never saw him after the shows.  So last night, I made a point to find him to give him a hug and say goodbye before he went on stage because I knew I wouldn’t see him after.  He suggested that we exchange numbers.  Okay.  I’m fine with that.  He’s a cool guy and maybe we can work together again in the future, or at least send each other funny pictures of people we see at Walmart every once in a while.  I am so hopelessly naive because he then got weird.  He started speaking really low and saying things like, “I’m not going to pretend that I’m not attracted to you, and that I wouldn’t tear your shit up.”  I’m nice, and I don’t like embarrassing people or rejecting them, so I just tried to change the intent by making a joke about it and then saying I had to get back to merch.  That didn’t work, because he then grabbed me by the back of my hair and pulled it HARD, (the way you would to someone in bed) and brought my face into his chest so that his mouth was touching my ear and said, “I know you like that.  Don’t act like you don’t want it.” Um actually bro… no, I don’t want it.  He then went on to say that the next time he sees me he is going to “punish that shit,” as if I don’t have a choice in the matter.  The notion that I may not be into him didn’t even seem to be a thought in his mind.  Lead singer syndrome.  So that was shitty and was a bad last impression, and what started the grime of the night.

The second disaster happened a few hours later when the guitar player of the band I work for went Italian mafia on our driver.  It was epic and I was secretly hoping for blood to be spilled.  Very long story short, our driver pulled a little bitch, diva hissy fit and literally, huffed and puffed and slammed one of the inside bus doors, breaking the jam and essentially turning it into a swinging door.  If that wasn’t already bad enough, he continues slamming it over and over again, looking like a fucking idiot.  He failed at failing.  We were all just staring, open-mouthed trying to decide if we should laugh or yell or help or look the other way.

The guitar player stands up and is calm at first and says with his Italian accent, “what’s the problem, man?”  The driver explained, but that made it even worse because he was completely in the wrong.  Apparently, our guitar player had these same exact thoughts times a million because he lost his goddamn mind on our driver.  He was an inch away from his face, and screaming at the top of his lungs.  He then goes on to smash things and break things as well, yelling, “I’m mad now also because you disturbed me and my guest CAN I GO AND BREAK THE FUCKING BUS TOO YOU FUCKING BITCH?!!”  The “guest” was our guitar player’s flavor of the night, and I felt bad that she had to awkwardly sit through this ugly affair.  This went on for a good twenty minutes and spilled out onto the New York streets.  Our guitar player threatened to slit the driver’s throat if he ever disrespected him like that again, and the driver, just crumbled as he was being shoved and yelled at.  I felt like I was watching The Godfather.

The English Hooligan (our Tour Manager) came back to deal with the situation because what a TM really is, is an adult babysitter.  I regularly whine in a little girl voice at him.  Just two days ago he gave me a pair of his own socks because I was bitching that my feet were cold and my socks kept falling off of my ankle.  This took place only hours after I was claiming to be low maintenance.  Bus call was at 2:00am but obviously, we were not going anywhere at 2:00am as it was already 1:50am and there was a chance that our driver was going to be murdered in the next ten minutes. The English Hooligan basically ordered everyone to go to the pub and drink until 4:00am.  He had some problem solving to do, and was trying to make everyone happy again, so he handed me a 100 dollar bill and told me to buy everyone a round.  Word.  Between us crew, the band and their guests, we were an entourage of 14 people and we took over that bar until we managed to stumble back out onto the New York streets at 4:00 in the morning broken and better for it.

That would have been enough for one night for any sane person, but me, the Hooligan, 0069 and the Jackhammer are not sane.  We went on to have what we call, “a punk rock party.”  This title came to be LONG before I started working with the band.  I believe it got its’ name because the tour manager is from Liverpool and is a true punk rock hooligan at heart, and this side of him tends to come out when he’s drinking.  When we hear “London Calling” come on the bus stereo, everyone knows to run because a punk rock party is about to occur.  I didn’t run, and neither did 0069 or the Jackhammer, so we basically had a four man mosh pit at 5:00 in the morning while the bus was in route.  Twirling ninja kicks were involved and somehow I feel like I crowd surfed a couple of times with only four people.
This is what it looks like after a roadie Friday…

Hung over.

Hung over in a hotel.

I had fun during this punk rock party, and managed to get through it with only one cut and mild bruising.  However, things took a bad turn when Joe got a hold of my phone.  He knows my password to unlock my phone because I was stupid enough to tell it to him some other night, thinking a.) he won’t remember after this one time, b.) I don’t give a shit if he goes through my phone and c.) we are good friends and although he is out of his mind and known for playing practical jokes, I don’t think he would ever do anything with my phone that crossed the line.  I was wrong.

In the past, he has stolen my phone and done ridiculous things like pretended to be me while texting some boy, and then take a picture of his own ass, and sending it… that kind of thing.  Even though I have to do damage control after, it’s still a little bit funny and I usually don’t care.  This time though, he crossed the line.  The bearded drummer boy, who I mentioned earlier, and I were texting.  I made the mistake of telling 0069 that I kind of like this guy.  This is not something any of them are used to hearing.  They’re accustom to me having mild crushes on boys, but they know I’m an asshole and I usually just do it for my own personal entertainment because it makes the days slightly more amusing.  I typically find some shallow reason not to like someone after a few nights of flirting with a guy will say, “I don’t like him anymore because he pronounces library, libary,” or some reason equally as inane, and the Hooligan will roll his eyes, 0069 will exploit it, R-dizzle will say, “he seems like a nice guy,” (R-dizz is always the voice of reason) and Wolfgang will start singing show tunes.  So when I didn’t do that right away with this boy, I think it took 0069 off guard and he didn’t like it.  Like I’ve said before, I don’t do tour romances and Joe knows this.

He took my phone and started texting bearded drummer boy, pretending to be me, and he wrote some awful script.  After an inappropriate comment about “swallowing,” he then went on to text, “Listen, it was really nice to know you for a moment.  I don’t do tour hookups or after tour hookups.  Have a nice one.”  It went on.  When I saw this the next morning I was really upset, mostly because I was imagining poor drummer boy, who was nothing but nice to me, being humiliating by 0069.  If Joe hadn’t already crossed the line that night, he then crossed so far over that the line was not even in sight anymore…

Post punk rock party, while the four of us were just sitting now, beat up and drunk, Joe decided to bring up a lot of personal stuff that he is very well aware of that I don’t want to talk about because I have told him this on more than one occasion.  It annoys him that there are things he doesn’t know about me, so the interrogation ensued.  After Johnny and Joe made it to their bunks, the emotional onslaught that 0069 had blindsided me with caused me to have a crazy Caitlin spell, with the English Hooligan holding my shoulder telling me that, “everything’s all right, chuck.”  Chuck is a name he sometimes calls me.  Like I mentioned, he’s English, so he’s always using foreign words that I can only guess their meaning.  I assume that chuck is the equivalent to “sweetie” or something like that, but for all I know, chuck could be the equivalent to raging cunt.  Sometimes when I really can’t understand him I yell, “stop speaking British!”  This always pisses him off which always makes me giggle with delight.  One of my favorite things is listening to him and Wolfgang, our LD and also an English chap, go back and forth.  I call this, “British banter.”

I got myself together, patted Gus on the shoulder with a “thank you,” and passed the fuck out.  I woke up four hours later and walked out to the front, being welcomed by the morning light and the pure calamity of the front lounge.  It looked like five Cookie Monster’s on crack had come through during the night.  There was not one thing in the proper place, couch cushions were on the floor, coffee grinds spilled everywhere, and there was at least three bags worth of chips crushed up on the ground and everything was broken.  Tight.  Back to bed.

Now here we are, twelve hours later, and doing absolutely nothing except for dying in a hotel room.  Fucking roadie Friday’s.

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Next Time, I’ll Just Sleep with Him

I don’t know if the city of Los Angeles is a disaster, or if I am the disaster and that town just brings out the worst in me.  There I was though, back in the city of demons, having yet another head on collision with Hollywood after only being back there for twelve hours. Let me begin this tale by letting you all know that the whole reason that I was going back to the city that murdered my soul, was to spend two days with a guy that I had only known for two days because clearly, that sounded like an excellent decision.

It was at the end of the last tour that I was on and it was just me and the Tour Manager left on the bus, as the rest of the crew and band had already left.  We started the trek westward from Indianapolis, which for some stupid reason is on Eastern time and for some stupid reason it bothers me when states that are not in fact located on the East coast, are on Eastern Standard Time.  Also, in my educated opinion, I think that we should just get rid of Mountain time because there is only like nineteen people in that time zone anyway, and that’s where all of the irrelevant states are except for New Mexico which I exclude from the list of my “irrelevant” states because it has exceptional beef jerky.

We drove non-stop for 36 hours, from Indiana to Los Angeles and it was excruciating because we were heading West, so the days were getting longer.  We had two drivers, Gary and Lady Gary.  Lady Gary was our driver’s girlfriend who came onto the tour later, as an “assistant driver” (which is very unusual but I won’t bore you with the reasons why that happened), so we never learned her name and instead, took to calling her “Lady Gary” to her face because we’re assholes.  Because we had two driver’s who alternated, we literally only stopped for gas and so that I could buy $35 worth of beef jerky.  At one point during this agonizing ride, which I am surprised that we all survived considering that we had no drugs and no alcohol, (I don’t even do drugs, but if someone would have handed me a mystery pill that had a smiley face on it, or even a skull and cross-bones on it, I would have gladly accepted it and chased it with an overdose of Robitussin  just to cure the boredom), I began running up and down the length of the bus, attempting to sing rap music (which is always a bad idea in my case because the only rap that I’ve ever been exposed to is one Eminem song that came out in 1997), and stopping every few laps to breakdown into something that resembled jazzercise.  Rhett just stared at me with his mouth open because he was now used to my ridiculous behavior that he had been dealing with for the past couple of weeks, which I chronicle in Adventures of Touring Part 13. The moral of this part of the story is NEVER take highway 40 across the country because none of the truck stops sell alcohol.  They seem to think that Native American snow-globes are an adequate substitution.

Once we finally got to LA, it was 1:30am and we then moved all of the gear from the bus trailer to another trailer.  Don’t ask.  This ended up being a fairly painless, fast and efficient process because Mexicans were involved.  We then drove all of this gear through the Hollywood Hills as one of the Mexican’s was speeding us down Mulholland Drive like he had a death wish, but at this point, I didn’t care.  We arrive at M’s house which is the size of my hometown, unload all of the gear again, and into his garage.  It’s now like 4:00am, but Rhett and I decide to do about 15 shots with M’s roommate, anyway because we felt so deprived from our road trip and because it was the irresponsible choice to make.

The next morning is when I am supposed to meet up with Dan, the boy who I was staying with for the next two days, and the whole reason I suffered through the last 40 hours.  Being in Beverly Hills, staying at M’s house with a zip code that is literally 90210, you would think that some of these motherfuckers would petition for cell phone towers… or at least buy their own.  I’m sure that the owner of Verizon actually lives in that neighborhood.  Regardless, I couldn’t get any service, and all I knew was that my destination is somewhere in Silverlake, which is on the clear other end of town.  Remember that line from Clueless, “I expect you home in twenty minutes!  Everywhere in LA takes twenty minutes!”  This could not be further from the truth.  It takes twenty minutes just to back out of your driveway in Los Angeles.  I estimated that it would take 50 minutes to get to Dan’s house.  If he was someone who I had known for longer than two days, I probably would have made him pick me up, but since I was determined to come across as self-sufficient, and because I hadn’t yet decided if I was going to sleep with him, I thought it best to rely on my independence that boys so much loathe.

A straight cab ride would have been too expensive, and I don’t like Uber because I am like a drug dealer and only deal with cash.  My plan was to take a cab ride to the nearest metro station, then take the metro to the stop closest to Dan, which was then, just another quick cab ride to his house.  Of course, this is not what transpired. M’s roommate had even offered to drive me part of the way, but because I am a masochist, I thought it would be a better alternative to purposely inflict a painful day upon myself. More importantly, I just didn’t want to put anybody out.

Like I said, I had zero cell service where I was, but I welcome these first world complications, I see them as a challenge and a way to practice my anti-technology problem solving skills so that I’ll be the one everyone is following when the Apocalypse occurs.  Rhett was going to the airport, so he used his Uber app to get picked up.  I figured that I’d hitch a ride out of the neighborhood, into downtown West Hollywood where I would at least get cell service and a coffee, and be able to asses my current situation with more mental clarity.  I asked the Uber driver who came to get us, to please just drop me off at a coffee shop or something that was on the way to the airport so as to not inconvenience Rhett.

Apparently the Uber guy’s sweat that was dribbling down his bald head had drowned his brain because he was fucking retarded.  He immediately gave me anxiety when he pulled the car over after we had only gone a half of a mile down the road, and started screeching, “Do you see me?!  Do you see me?!” over and over again while Rhett frantically fingered his Uber app.  This guy was on more cocaine than Andy Dick at a drag queen show.  I choose to ignore the world of technology, mostly because of situations like this. I barely understand what apps are, so I was able to just play dumb in the backseat.  The driver was having a meltdown because something in the app wasn’t working (due to the lack of reception) so he thought it would be best to stay parked in one spot and repeat the same obnoxious outcry 508 times while I stared out of the window wondering if this guy was going to a.) have an aneurysm, or b.) kidnap us and sell our organs in exchange for the $1.50 he MIGHT miss out on due to Uber malfunctions in the 90210 area.  I told him that Rhett would give him a hand-job on the way to the airport if he would just continue driving the damn car.  I suppose it was cruel of me to volunteer Rhett, but I was in the backseat, so it just didn’t make sense for me to be the one to perform the sexual favors for the driver.

Ten minutes and a few miles later, and it’s not fucking funny anymore, this dude is seriously freaking me out.  I have no idea where we are, but I ask him to pull the car over and let me out.  Both guys looked at me perplexed, but I didn’t have the mental power to explain myself, I just needed to get out of that car.  So they dump me off on the sidewalk with my two suitcases and a giant backpack.  I put my over-sized sunglasses on (because in LA, even if you look like a sweaty homeless girl who is carrying everything she owns down Sunset Boulevard, if you add over-sized sunglasses, it makes it chic) and began walking through the glamorous part of West Hollywood where you would find the type of celebrities whom have purse dogs and are getting brunch and sporting their over-sized sunglasses.  Basically, I looked like a fucking idiot.  At least now I had cell phone reception.

I called Dan and decided not to tell him about my current predicament, and instead, tell him that all was just swell and that I’d be there in an hour.  I then heave my 200 pounds of luggage up the steps of “Urth Cafe,” a place that I already hated because misspelling words for the sake of marketing annoys me.  Thank you Dunkin’ Donuts, now the entire world thinks that you spell doughnuts, d-o-n-u-t-s.  This bougie cafe had at least 150 people in it, all wearing over-sized sunglasses, but all lacking 200 pounds of luggage.  At this point I am literally laughing out loud at myself as I am trying to find a place to park my suitcase so that I can order a damn green tea before these people think that I am a bum looking for air conditioning.  Actually, that is exactly what I was at the moment, but I was frantically trying to solve that problem.  So I grab a business card with the address to fucking “Urth” cafe, and call a cab.

The cab driver shows up in a timely manner, and he is a chubby, friendly, little Armenian man with a lot of arm hair who I was so grateful for because anyone was better than the coke-head, organ stealing Uber driver I just experienced.  The chubby Armenian informs me that I can smoke in the cab, but I explain to him that I don’t smoke.  For some reason this blew his mind.  Really dude?  Of all of the things that I am sure you have seen as a cab driver in Hollywood, me not smoking is really the most surprising?!  No one in LA smokes by the way.  They all even do that pretentious thing where if you’re smoking outside, even during a goddamn wind storm, they’ll still fake cough and wave their hand in front of their nose and give you and your cigarette a dirty look as they walk by.  That type of behavior actually makes me want to take up smoking.

Chubby then asked me if I’ve ever smoked an Armenian cigarette.  When I said no, he seemed even more shocked at this notion, because clearly, it’s alarming that someone who doesn’t smoke in the first fucking place, has never smoked an Armenian cigarette.  After turning down multiple offers to try one, I finally accepted the cigarette just to shut him the fuck up.

I drink coffee like it’s my job, so I consider myself immune to coffee caffeine, but for some reason, a single caffeinated tea feels like I just injected cocaine straight into my bloodstream.  So, I was already shaking from the tea I just had at the cafe that doesn’t know how to spell Earth, and jittery from the series of events which had just transpired, and now I’m adding this damn cigarette to the mix which is only heightening my anxiety.  The way Chubby was selling this thing, I was expecting it to have magical powers, or at least be laced with some hardcore narcotics that made me see Unicorns.  Nope.

So Chubby drops me off at the Metro Station, and I get onto the train with relative ease.  There is a nice looking black man a few seats from me who smiles sweetly and I consider for a moment asking him if he’d like to stop whatever productive task that he is in the middle of, and get a drink with me because I definitely need one.  I refrain however when I realize that a.) it is only 11:30am and b.) I am currently on my way to seeing another boy whom I have already forgotten about because of this disaster of a day.  I closed my eyes and pictured Dan’s cute smile and told myself that everything would be okay once I got to his house.  I then opened my eyes, only to witness a schizophrenic playing with fire.  One of the crazy’s on the train took out a crack lighter and was just keeping it continuously lit for absolutely no apparent reason.  At first, I thought he would just flick it on and off the way that people do when they’re fidgeting.  When that didn’t happen, I decided that he was going to light a bomb, so I came up with a ninja-like exit strategy in my mind, which included me and the hot black guy next to me busting out some tae-kwon-do and escaping just in the nick of time.  When the bomb had still not detonated after the schizophrenic kept the hand lighter lit for a straight five minutes, I thought it best to not test my luck, and got off at the next stop even though my stop wasn’t for another few miles.

I was about to call a cab to take me to Dan’s once and for all, but decided that it was not a good idea to let him see me in my current state.  After this fucking catastrophe I was definitely suffering from PTSD and determined that I needed to get a margarita, or six, to calm down and get my life together before seeing the boy whom I currently had a crush on.  I knew of a nearby Mexican joint, and impressed with my memory of the LA streets, found myself walking with 200 pounds of luggage down the sidewalks of Los Angeles yet again, but this time content because I had margaritas in my near future.

I sat down and ordered a 20 ounce margarita which I drank in 17 seconds, then called a cab.  The new cab picked me up and safely brought me to Dan’s house, and that is the last time that I will ever think it’s a good idea to act like an independent woman.  Next time, I’ll just sleep with him so that I don’t feel bad when I need to ask for a ride.

 

 

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 13

It’s times like these that vitalize my “yes” policy.  I just worked on a short tour for a band whose lead singer, B, I knew from doing Warped Tour back in 2010 with her.  She asked me to do this run with her new(ish) band.  I almost said no, because they weren’t paying my normal rate, and you don’t want word to get out in the industry that you will work for less.  B’s my girl though, and I have a personal policy, which is that I say yes to every new opportunity, even when it seems scary.  Especially when it seems scary.  I am so glad I said yes because in only two weeks I fell in love with everyone and the world seems a little bit more colorful right now.

At first, I was having some anxiety (for reasons that I won’t bore you with), but in only a few hours, all became well; as it always does.  The first circumstance that calmed me was, “could you take my picture?  ‘Cuz I won’t remember.”  You know the song.  It was a hit in the 90‘s.  I was doing my merch girl thing, selling during the set, when Filter, who was the headlining band, started playing “Take a Picture,” a great guilty pleasure song and I took a deep breath, let the song penetrate and everything felt in balance again.  Music has magical powers.

The venue that first night had a bar area upstairs that was designated only for band and crew members.  Even though I was exhausted from traveling that day, I figured it would be a good way to break the ice with everyone and get to know the people I was about to live with for two weeks.  B and I caught up over a couple of drinks, and I remembered all of the reasons why I love her.  She is just an interesting person and talking to her doesn’t feel like talking to a girl.  We absolutely have girl talk, but we also talk about music and pooping and fucking and politics… conversations that you don’t always get with another chick.  The next thing I know, B and I are on Filter’s bus partying while simultaneously trying to be diplomatic and not get sexually harassed.

When getting to know the other bands on the tour package, you have to realize that you represent your band.  Even though I’m not a band member, when I meet the crew or musician’s of the other bands on the tour, I understand that I am, in a way, an ambassador to the band that I am working for.  It only takes one shitty exchange or incident to put a bad taste in one’s mouth, so that’s where the diplomacy comes to play.  To the not getting sexually harassed part… I’ll start by saying that there is an art to being a girl on a tour, and out of a four band tour package, B and I were the only girls amongst 24 guys.  Being a female crew member is tricky.  You need to be likeable, but professional.  You want these guys to remember you because this is how you get new gigs.  It’s all word of mouth.  I have a strict, no tour romance policy.  No romances with anyone on your bus, or with anyone from any of the bands that you are also touring with.  This can be difficult, because you meet a lot of cool boys.  However, that would get complicated VERY quickly, and it adds to reasons why being a girl on tour is an art. If you start hooking up with one of them, (there is absolutely no way of keeping that a secret) you go from being a crew member, to the girl.  That is not a good place to be.  You need to be one of the guys, but flirt enough so that the guys want you around… but not enough to where they don’t take you or your position on the tour seriously.  I suppose it’s like that in any male dominated profession.  It’s a balancing act to be well-respected and get people to take you seriously.  The whole reason I began this rant, is to say that B and I ended up on Filter’s tour bus, and we played the game, and played it well.  She is in a different position than I because she is a musician, not crew, but I’d imagine that she has the same obstacles, just slightly different circumstances.  She needs to flirt a little bit, but also be taken seriously.  An art.

The rest of the tour went something like this…

Wake-up.  Truck stop poop.  Coffee.  Read.  Walk.  Work.  Drink.  Party.  Drink.  Sleep.

It was beautiful.

One of the days they played early at a music festival, so we had the majority of the day off and went to a mini theme park in some irrelevant town outside of Houston.  We got our ass kicked by a wooden rollercoaster, drank margaritas and watched a swarm of catfish slaughtering each other.  It was one of the most primal things that I’ve ever seen.  I should have taken a video.  Later that night, I developed a crush on our guitar tech, played cornhole (until Christian gave our TM’s girlfriend a black eye with a bean bag) and got to wash my hair (a rare opportunity).

Little Rock, Arkansas.  Downtown Little Rock is always a good time.  Who knew?  I didn’t think anything relevant happened in Arkansas except for Bill Clinton.  However, each time I pass through Little Rock, I have a good experience.  They have a great book store, exactly three cool bars, fucking weird 3D art along some sidewalks, a river and a bunch of bridges.  I am a big fan of heights, so I find myself walking on bridges a lot.  Christian, the guitar tech, and I discovered that these bridges serve as a make-out point after 9:00pm, for kids under the age of 21.  No, we didn’t make-out (no tour romances, remember) but we did find a rainbow bridge!

 

I always take pictures when the person is not looking.

Rainbow Bridge.  I always take pictures when the person is not looking.

Finding bridges became a tradition with Christian and I.  We named them all.  There is Suicide Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Horror Bridge.

Nashville.  We were homeless for a day in the city.  We had to get off of the bus at 8:00am, so that it could be fixed, and we didn’t get it back until that night.  We got breakfast and were like… now what?  We roamed around some souvenir shops, entertaining ourselves with bedazzled shot glasses, and ridiculous bumper stickers that say, “Kiss me!  I’m from Nashville!”  Then we had to find somewhere to shit, so we ended up at Hard Rock Cafe, because that was the only place open, as it was still before 11:00am.  If you ever go to the Nashville Hard Rock, just know that all of the members of the band shit in that bathroom.  Bloody Mary’s?  Yes please!  Another bar?  Yes please!  I think we were all buzzed before noon, but B and I took the rest of the afternoon to sober up.  I know that I can be quite the drinker, but I never drink before a show.  I’m dealing with a lot of cash, and a lot of mental math and I try to be at least semi professional.  So B and I walked around a Barnes and Noble and goofed around in the “As Seen on TV” section of a nearby Rite-Aid.  I think the rest of them continued to drink because we walked into the venue to discover this:

PASSED OUT!

PASSED OUT backstage.

Somewhere in Kentucky I believe, is where I fell in love with M.  Not in a romantic way, but in a, I officially respect and appreciate who you are and you are forever cool in my book, kind of a way.  He is the guitar player of the band, and he actually started talking about music.  That never happens.  You would think, that traveling with bands, music would constantly be a topic of conversation, but it’s quite the opposite.  This is the first band that I’ve been out with where the band members discuss other bands and their love for music.  We were all (minus B and the bass player who went to see a movie) at a Bar Louie, enjoying the late night happy hour with the band’s manager when I noticed that M was starting a conversation about music.  It took me a second to realize what was going on, but once I did I was ALL in, taking full advantage of the rare occasion.  Him and I were stimulating the conversation the most, so we would name a band/artist, and go around the table, making everyone disclose their opinion about it.

M: Bob Dylan.  Go.
Dave: Big yes.
Christian: I get the appeal but it’s not something I listen to.
Me: Great songwriter, but other people perform his songs better than him.
D: Overrated.
And so on…..

We discussed everyone from Blink182 to Bob Marley, and talked about which album we would bring with us to a deserted island if we could only choose one. We told stories of the best live show we have seen and confessed what bands we would love to play in.  It was so refreshing to hear people in the industry still being passionate about the industry.  I know so many musicians who never listen to music.  It’s strange.  So that conversation is what made me fall in love with them as a band, and especially M since he was the most fervent and I think was the only one who wasn’t simultaneously on his phone.

At the end of the tour, the band left before the crew did, so me and the three other crew members had the bus and no work for three days.  This turned into what was essentially a 72 hour bus party.  Fellow touring folk understand what that means, but I will explain.  A bus party starts with an iPod being hooked up to the bus speakers.  Generally there is one person who is sort of designated as DJ, but we all take turns playing whatever we want.

Side note: Kyle, the drummer for the band Helmet, might take first place as bus party DJ in The Caitlin Awards.

Anyway, for a good bus party, I recommend Katy Perry.  I thought I was a hater, but Christian, Drew and Rhett made me realize the error of my ways, and we danced for hours to Katy Perry.  Best idea we’ve ever had.  The bus was parked in a mall parking lot, so from the outside I’m sure it looked like a war was taking place because of how much the bus must have been shaking.  On the inside, just imagine four adults, jumping up and down, using hand-held lights to create a strobe light effect, playing lots of air guitar, and climbing on seats.  Bus party.  Oh, and of course add extreme amounts of Jameson.  In three days, I’m sure that between the four of us, we must have done close to 100 shots of Jameson with a pickle back.

Bus party.

Bus party.

 

Air guitar.

Air guitar.

In between bus parties we spent hours in a Dave and Buster’s, literally had to walk a half of a mile every time we needed to shit (I know I talk about pooping a lot on these touring adventure stories, but I want everyone to understand what a goddamn ordeal it is.  Don’t ever take for granted the luxury of always having a toilet handy), woke up screaming at each other from our bunks that it smelled like balls in bunk alley, found a laundromat and Iced Drew three times in one night.  He was a trooper about it and took it like a straight up All Star.

Drew getting Iced.

Drew getting Iced.

I will conclude this with saying that I fell in love with Christian when I played “Cry Little Sister” the original, by G. Tom Mac, and he immediately knew it, and we bonded over our love for that song and our love for The Lost Boys.  I am such a sucker.  However, because I remember what Ms. Distler taught me in high school English, one must always conclude an essay by repeating what we just learned, which in this case is, I have my “yes policy” to thank for those two weeks.

The crew.

The crew.

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Songs from my Basement

This isn’t my typical subject matter when it comes to this blog, but it is a subject that I probably speak about in real life (because I don’t credit the digital world as being real life) more than anything else, and that’s music.  One of my favorite quotes is, “Music can define the soul of a generation.”  I can’t say if it has defined my generation, but it has definitely defined my soul.

When I was 15 I thought I was punk rock and cool, and spent a lot of time listening, or pretending to listen to music that really didn’t speak to me.  I want my money back for the MXPX and New Found Glory albums I purchased.  So embarrassing.  I abandoned those bands when they became uncool, and turned to the next new trend in music which was “hardcore.”  This genre went on to have 1.4 zillion sub-genres that I can’t keep up with and don’t even know what they mean.  The same unforgiving cycle happened with those bands, they became uncool to like, and I quickly abandoned them for a more mature music taste.

The next “cycle” that peers seemed to be gravitating toward was the whole singer/songwriter movement.  Is everyone still orgasming over Bon Iver?  Don’t get me wrong, there are few things better than a raspy voice over an acoustic guitar, but I am VERY picky within this genre, and I think that most of it is boring and over produced.  If you’ve heard one Ray LaMontagne song you’ve heard them all.  I suggest John Moreland’s, “In the Throes” album, Will Quinlan and the Diviner’s “Navasota,” and  Sarah Jaffe for some good americana, singer/songwriter music.  I could name a bunch more, but I’m digressing.

I wasn’t finding new bands to love and this was not okay.  Music is an integral part of my being, my ultimate muse, my guide to life, my rock, and I was falling apart because I didn’t have new inspiration.  I discovered The Dear Hunter’s “Act III” album just in the nick of time, and it reminded me of what it feels like to feel music.  Casey Crescenzo is probably one of the most underrated songwriter’s out there right now, but I digress again.  See what happens to me when I start talking music?!  It just spirals out of conversational control.

The point is, when new music wasn’t coming along, I went back to my roots and rediscovered some old music.  So without further adieu, here are some bands, albums and individual songs that I abandoned for years, but just rediscovered and believe that they sound as good now as they did fifteen years ago when I first heard them in my mom’s car.

These are in no particular order.

1.  The Deftones- I would put “White Pony” in the top ten (possibly top five, but I’d have to really think about that before I can fully stand by such a momentous claim) of best rock albums of the last two decades.

2.  Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary (full album)- Same claim as above.  This is not an opinion.  It’s fact.  So if you disagree with me than you’re simply wrong.  It’s amazes me that this album was released in 1994.  It sounds 100% relevant to today’s rock music scene.

3.  The Smashing Pumpkins- Siamese Dream (full album)- This album is art.  Listen to “Mayonaise” on PROPER speakers and let it take you on a ride.  You’ll come out of the 5:49 song slightly different from how you went into it.  How did I ever forget about this album?

4.  Jimmy Eat World- Bleed America (full album)

5.  Silverchair- “Emotion Sickness”- This is a song that I’m more obsessed with now than I was in 2004 when I got the album just because I had a crush on a boy who liked the band.

6.  Sparta- Porcelain (full album)

7.  Modest Mouse- The Lonesome Crowded West (full album)- Just shut the fuck up if you don’t like this album.

8.  Alkaline Trio- They’ve never stopped being cool in my book, and they’ll always have a spot in my heart because of that particular show that I discuss in Adventures of Touring.  They do something that the other bands of that time and genre couldn’t/can’t pull off.  They write great lyrics, they’re tight (musically speaking), not every song has the same exact chord progression and their sound has depth.

9.  Norma Jean- “Memphis Will be Laid to Waste”- Fuck yeah!  So hardcore and awesome.

10.  Thrice- A friend sent me this video not too long ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=949X-FHj62k (careful females… you’re about to get wet) and this is the video that got me to dig up my Thrice albums that I hadn’t listened to in probably a decade.  A true rediscovery.  Now I love these albums as much as I did when I was 16 wearing converse and studded belts.

11.  Nine Inch Nails- “Something I Can Never Have”- I have never been a huge fan of this band, but I liked this particular song when I was younger and again, after years of abandoning it, I listened recently and I still think it’s gorgeous.

12.  Brand New- I never gave them a true chance back in 2003 when all of the “emo” kids were wearing Brand New pins and t-shirts, but I shouldn’t have judged the cover because now I think that they are great.

13.  Vaux- “At Your Will”- Songs that sound like they’re going to build up to something epic can be either hit or miss.  This one is a big hit.  It forces you to feel.

14.  Yeah Yeah Yeahs- “Maps”- There was a sliver in time when everyone was in love with this song.  It still holds up.

15.  Finch- What it is to Burn (full album)

16.  Chevelle- Wonder What’s Next (full album)- When this album came out, I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I liked it because it was too “mainstream” to be cool.  It stayed in a box, hidden away with a bunch of other CD’s that I was embarrassed by because I was a teenager and for some reason gave a shit when a peer said, “you like Chevelle?” with a superior tone.  Fuck that.  This album is so good.  Sorry, Chevelle.  You deserved better from me.  I’d like to add that their new album is fantastic as well.  Probably their best since this one.

17.  Neutral Milk Hotel- “Two Headed Boy”- Nothing you nor I ever create in our entire lifetimes, will even rival the brilliance of this song.  Sorry.  I may have just killed a dream or two.  Consider it my bold statement of the month.

18.  Recover- EP- I always liked this EP because it sounds like they recorded it with four tracks and in someone’s living room (which they probably did, come to think of it).  It does have a slightly immature sound, so I wouldn’t say that it’s timeless, but I think it holds its’ own within the genre.

19.  Underoath- They’re Only Chasing Safety (full album)- Again, it became very uncool to like Underoath, and I’m okay with that.  I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan, but I think that this one album is fun and it does something for me.

20.  Dinosaur Jr- “No Bones”- Listen to that little guitar lick that repeats throughout, and tell me that that’s not timeless.  This band is sexy.

21.  Fiona Apple- Tidal (full album)- You simply have poor taste in music if you don’t like this album.

22.  Iron and Wine- “Jezebel”- I’m WAY over the Iron and Wine craze, but this one song will never get old.

My homework to everyone is to go have an epic music session alone tonight, and get back to me on some bands/songs that you have rediscovered.

 

 

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 12

I’m sitting in the jump seat of the bus, admiring as the soapy water cascades down the giant windows, and enjoying that deep, rumbling sound of a pressure hose against the exterior body, and contemplating if I should go with a coffee, soda or Vitamin Water to ease the hang over.  Let me tell you about the events leading to this, the tour bus getting washed.

We were having a drink on the bus, after playing Rock on the Range music festival.  We were all done working, Guns N Roses was the headliner, so we decided to go catch the show.  We got to the stage, and I was standing next to Dan, one of the members of Nothing More, which is one of my new favorite bands, and the members are some of my new favorite people.  We listened to two songs, and then both looked at each other and were like, why are we watching Guns N Roses again?  Good conversation over a mug of whiskey (because mugs are the only glassware we have on the bus) sounds much better than listening to obnoxious, no longer relevant, shit music.  So Dan and I turned right around and got down on some Jack Daniel’s, which we both agree is the worst call whiskey, but when it’s free, you don’t complain.

Good times rolled on, and Joe and I (one of the other crew members) hopped a barbed-wire fence into a salt barn.  I love Joe.  He’s been beaten and worn, but he has the heart of a lion.  He’s always up for an adventure, and we all know that I’m always up for a potentially hazardous excursion, so you’ll often find him and I doing something thrilling and mildly illegal together.  Last night’s Cait and Joe adventure was investigating what was inside this huge barn-like structure that was just outside of our bus.  We used his denim jacket to blanket the barbed-wire (thank you Levi’s for still making quality denim that will withstand even barbed-wire) and made our way into the dark structure.  Inside was slightly eerie, and we discovered mounds of what we think was salt.  I took it in, because that will probably be the only time in my life that I will have mountains of salt towering above me.  It was oddly beautiful.

Back on the bus, and we are joined by Maus, the bass player of Lacuna Coil, the band I’m working for right now.  I love Maus too.  He’s a party.  The three of us are probably the biggest “drinkers” on the bus, (in our defense, the other’s don’t drink much at all) so when you put the three of us together with no chaperons… I haven’t decided yet if this is a brilliant idea or vastly unwise.

We go on to be terrible people, and turn people watching into a sport.  Who can spot the strangest looking girl (which is everyone at a music festival) and then debate on whether or not  they would still fuck them.  I would agree or disagree, pointing out these poor girls’ attributes or flaws.  Hashtag going to hell.  A couple more birthday shots later (it was Joe’s birthday) and pants start dropping.  Next thing, threesome.  Just kidding.  That wouldn’t be rock and roll.  It’s rock and roll for the boys to climb up onto the counter while you’re in the bathroom, pull down their pants, and tuck their dick and balls so that when you walk out, you’re greeted with the horrendous sight of full ass, and gross, manipulated genitals inches from your face.  Then I’m pretty sure a lot of windmilling while literally galloping up and down the front lounge of the bus took place.  Last night I learned what windmilling is.  If you’re unfamiliar with the term, I would tell you to look it up yourself, but since the Urban Dictionary has such a hilarious definition, I will take pleasure in relaying the meaning to you.

windmilling- the act of spinning one’s penis around in the fashion of a windmill, usually with the intent of hitting someone in the face. Sometimes done while urinating.
“Mr. Bean was windmilling the school children.”

Enough said.

So I’m eating oreo’s, trying not to get assaulted while watching Maus and Joe windmill up and down the bus.  I will say, I was laughing my ass off because then a name calling game between the three of us seemed to develop, which was basically, who could come up with the grossest insult.  “Discharge licking, dirty foreskin face” I’m sure was thrown out there at one point.  We’re yelling this out while chasing each other, climbing on things in the bus… if you were to see a video of us, with no audio playing, I’m positive we would look like a bunch of cavemen during mating season.  And this is tour life.  Way less sex and glamor than people think, and much more of…. this.  Whatever you’d like to call it.

Then Trent, our bus driver, wakes up, and the poor guy is immediately greeted with penises in his face, and Maus biting his nipple.  Of course urine needs to become part of this story.  Trent is about to start driving, and Maus sticks his dick out of the window and pees all over the outside of the bus.  Let me point out, that we DO have a toilet on the bus.

And here we are.  These were the events leading to why we’re now at a truck wash, getting Maus urine cleaned off the Jefferson (the name of our bus), and Maus has now risen from the grave, and is currently puking in the bathroom.  Fuck yes.

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Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 10

A very wise person I know, while speaking of life while touring, once said that days off are for laundry and pretending like you have friends.  Yes, sir.  He is absolutely right.  As I have stated many times in the past, everyone who makes their living by being on the road is an absolute lunatic.  I blame laundry for part of this.  Fuck laundry.  Things like laundry, brushing your teeth and changing clothes, which are simple tasks in the normal world, are a goddamn nightmare as a roadie.

Depending on what type of tour you’re on, some of the venues provide laundry machines, but if you’re at a venue, that means you’re at work, and laundry gets skipped on the priority list.  So, when we have a day off, a “shower room” is booked.  All this means is that we park the bus at a hotel, and use one of the rooms to take turns showering.  I’d like to add to my friend’s wise words, that days off are also for pretending like you know what’s going on in the world.  During my few minutes of privacy for showering, I also take advantage of a functioning television (bus tv’s seem to be non-functional half of the time.  I’m not complaining however, I live at home without a tv), and flip to CNN or MSNBC (because Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow are sexy) and attempt to catch up on current events.  Oh!  We’re still talking about the Malaysian plane?!  Fucking sweet!  I haven’t missed out on much!  Anyway, we also use the hotel for laundry amenities but why… I have no idea.

I don’t know why that EVERY SINGLE TIME we stroll up to a hotel and I begin laundry, that I honestly believe that this errand will only take an hour and a half.  I figure 30 minutes wash and 45 to dry… plus in and out time.  This formula never happens.  Why I have not adjusted the formula… I don’t know.  I need to take 30x+45y=forever.  Basically, there is no constant in the laundry formula, only variables.  Hotels that state they have laundry, could mean that they have exactly one washer and one dryer and both don’t work.  We were staying in a hotel that must have had 1,500 rooms, I swear to God I’m not exaggerating.  It was huge.  And they had exactly one washer and one dryer.  I thought the Mexican Housekeeper whom I asked where more laundry was, just didn’t understand me, so like an asshole, I kept repeating, “No, where in the entire hotel is there more laundry?” ASSUMING that each of the six buildings on the property had laundry.  Nope.  Well fuck me.  I had to wait for some gross pre-teen traveling basketball team to get their nappy neon colored uniforms out of the wash before I could discover that the washer didn’t spin anyway.  It simply filled with water, and made the sounds like it was spinning, but didn’t actually spin.  Awesome.

I proceeded to rinse the clothes by hand out of a fucking garden hose that I luckily found outside, and then hang my shit to air dry on the bus windshield wipers and bay doors.  (Tip for fellow roadies!  Lay wet stuff next to the generator under the bus.  It dries in half the time).  If you pass by a tour bus that has a Deftones t-shirt, aerie underwear and levi’s decorating the outside, honk because it’s probably me and my bad luck.  I’ll be the girl outside, drinking a beer that I didn’t originally want, but now feel I deserve, due to this laundry fiasco that has turned into an entire afternoon.

To add to the days off quote, “pretending like you have friends” means, call all of the amazing people in your “real life” that have been trying to get a hold of you, but you have not been able to answer because the music is always so effing loud that there is no point in attempting a conversation.  Calling for casual conversation on the bus doesn’t happen either, because you’re then forcing everyone to listen to your talk.  But!  Calling on a day off, even though that is on the “things to do” list, it often get skipped because you had to take so much time doing bullshit like laundry, finding a nearby Wells Fargo and paying bills online.  This is no excuse.  You’re still an asshole because you probably could have called them on a working day when you had that free half of an hour… but you didn’t because you’re too busy going for a walk or grabbing lunch at a local place so that when someone asks you if you’ve been to fucking Paducah, KY  you can say yes and not feel like it’s a lie.  “Oh yeah!  Paducah!  I went into this coffee shop there for five minutes once.  It was great!”  When we get to a new city and I don’t leave the venue (which happens more often than not) I don’t feel like I have actually been to the city.

So, days off in the touring world are designated to laundry, current events, washing hair, not calling friends/family and inevitably walking around a mall because there’s nothing else nearby to do.

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Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 8

Back on the road, with a metal band this time.  Although it’s not exactly my kind of music, I am in love with them because they are just such good people.  We are the headliner’s, but there are three other bands on the tour package.  The second band on the bill, is a metal band from NYC.  After load out the other night, I was chatting with them outside of the buses, and they invited me onto their bus to smoke.  Mind you, I very rarely smoke weed, but I figured why not?  I can’t even remember the last time I did, and it would be a fun bonding session.  On to the back lounge.  If you’ve ever been on a tour bus, you know that the back lounge is a tiny little maybe 6×6 room.  There were seven of us crammed in there passing around joint after joint.  They also had some sort of other smoking contraption which they passed it to me and I was like, “I don’t even know what to do with that thing…” so I stuck with the joint.  I only took two hits because like I said, I don‘t smoke often so two and I am golden.  Well, being in that hot box… two and I was retarded.

Some sort of banter took place, where the word “fag” was thrown in.  I hate that word, so I may have literally cringed.  The lead singer (who is the one who invited me to this session) went along to say, “I’m just kidding… we’re LGBT friendly here.  He (pointing to the sound guy) is transgender and I’m post-op.”  WHAT?!  Now, let’s rewind and let me try to paint you a picture.  These are metal dudes.  Haven’t showered in days, silver rings on every finger, PBR drinking, buy coke from groupies, has a different girl everyday, DUDES.  So here I am, HIGH AS FUCK, trying to figure out if these two guys used to be girls.  They are all being fun high people, laughing… carrying on, and I am just trying to not to lose my goddamn mind.  I could not keep up with their conversation at all.   So now, along with attempting to not freak out and pretend to know what the fuck they’re all talking about, I’m also looking for clues.  I was checking for adam’s apples’, feminine hands, breasts, looking at their crotches, etc.  Like a total asshole, I was just sitting there staring, trying to decide if he was just kidding, or if they were actually born females.  Then, the most masculine looking guy of them all, starts putting his head on the [supposed] transgender’s shoulder.  Now I’m really confused.  That’s cool if some gay romance is taking place, but hold on, if he was transgender, he’d be straight!  He would be into girl’s!  Yet he was letting this guy rest his head cutely on his shoulder.  Maybe it was just simple band commradere?  Maybe they’ve just spent so much time in close quarters together that a head on the shoulder is not a big deal.  Maybe?  Maybe they were just retarded high too?  But regardless, they are all incredibly hospitable and cool cool people.  Bus call approached, and I walked back to my bus.

My tour manager began giving me shit about hanging out with the “support band,” saying rubbish like, “You were concerned about appearing to be a lot lizard* last night, and yet you’re going back to the other band’s bus.”  I played into it at first because I thought he was kidding, so I went with the joke saying, “Yeah… I took all of them at once.”  After a minute or so, I realized that he was fucking serious.  He was actually irritated at me for hanging out with the other band!  I felt like saying, “would this even be an issue if I was a boy?” but, I was so high, that I was worried I was being paranoid.  Instead of standing up for myself, and calling him out for being a dick (which would be normal Caitlin behavior), I awkwardly said NOTHING and went into my bunk.  I decided to asses the situation in the morning when I was of sober state of mind.  Morning arrived, and I decided that 1.) My TM was in fact annoyed, but I was definitely blowing it out of proportion in my high mind that night.  2.) I could not have been more off in my absurd suspicions about the metal dudes once having vaginas.  Now that I know them even better than I did that night, I laugh out loud at the thought of me actually taking that notion seriously for an entire evening.  3.) I suck at being high.

*lot lizard- noun.  Truck stop whore.  Literally.

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Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – The Advisory Edition

It had been a while since I’d been to a punk rock show.  I was volunteering at a local music festival this past week, and things have changed since my day of attending these increasingly gimmicky performances.  A real punk rock band is hard to come by nowadays.  I’m sorry, but Pennywise’s 11,632nd show you just attended, does not constitute as punk rock.  Although, I do have a pretty punk rock story about Fletcher of Pennywise that I will digress into, since erratic anecdotal accounts of past events are kind of my style.

While on Warped Tour, that one terrible summer of 2010, Pennywise jumped onto the tour for only a few dates.  The members now being in their 40’s, with their scorched voices, calloused fingertips, a beautifully adapted circulatory system that permanently has more alcohol than red blood cells flowing through its’ veins, functional clothing and zero self consciousness made these screamo, auto-tune, I-carry-a-flask-with-me-because-I’m-hardcore, tight-shirt/studded belt/make-up wearing bands that are so self-conscious they can’t make eye contact with anyone who might be cooler than them, look like amateurs.

One of these bands… that starts with an A found Fletcher on their bus at 3:00am.  Apparently he had drunkenly stumbled on, and I have no doubt, he was very aware that it wasn’t his bus, but just didn’t give a fuck because he wanted a goddamn sandwich.  Yes, when “A” band discovered Fletcher, the Pennywise guitarist demanded a sandwich.  Instead of doing the punk rock thing, and making this dude a sandwich, offering him a beer and a bonding conversation, they tried kicking him off the bus.  When Fletcher wouldn’t comply, they punched him and called the Cops.  To make it worse, Warped has its own security that you can call in situations such as these… but they called the Police.  “A” went through the rest of the tour being known as the band who called the cops on Pennywise.  Pussies.

Back to my point, along with the slow, ugly descent of truly raw shows, show etiquette seems to also be a dying practice.  A few things I noticed at this festival that I would like to address for anyone who attends such performances:

1.  Boys, take care of the girls.  This used to be an unspoken rule, a silent pact amongst the male show-goers, but it seems to have lost its significance.  I’m putting an end to that right now.  It is punk rock to be courteous of fellow listeners, especially the girls.  I’m all about jumping and thrashing and moshing and whatever else your music fueled body is commanding you to do, but if you accidentally hit a girl or run into her or knock her down, you stop what your doing, you turn around and look her in the eye you probably just bruised, and sincerely say, “I’m so sorry, are you okay?”  When I was a teenager going to these shows, they could be hazardous, but I was never worried or intimidated because I knew the guys had my back.  If I fell over, immediately a dude was their to help me up and take a few seconds of his time to make sure I was okay, before going back to full music immersion.  As a male at a punk rock show, it is your duty to look out for the females.

2.  If you’re in the pit, do not stop and look for something you dropped.  While watching A Wilhelm Scream, in the middle of a song, in the middle of a pit, this poser stopped moshing, turned on his phone flashlight and began looking for his dropped hat.  Are you fucking kidding me?  I wanted Nuno to call him out from on stage, but he’s way too sweet for anything like that.  The worst part was, other moshers’ started helping him!  Fuck this kid’s hat!  We’ve got a show to watch!

3.  Don’t throw elbows in the pit.  It’s just not nice.

4.  Don’t spit.  It’s just not nice.

5.  Border patrol!  This is important and very appreciated when done properly.  If you find yourself on the edge of the pit, it is your automatic duty to keep the moshers from infiltrating the borders.  Think of yourself as those cops at protests who wear the plastic mask things and sport shields.  And just like sitting at the emergency exit seat of a plane, if you’re not up for the job, you need to move.  At this past festival, during The Draft, I kind of fell in love with this kid whose face I never saw, I only saw the back of his head.  Despite my being right next to the pit, my full attention was able to be on the band because this guy was an expert at border patrol.  I didn’t have to worry about getting smashed into and losing my footing at all because he kept throwing those kids back in before they could do any damage to the rest of us.  Thank you, stranger.

6.  If the pit has ceased, fill that space back in!  As someone who has seen an inactive, empty pit from stage, it looks pathetic.  When the moshers are done, don’t be scared, just walk in and fill that space back up.  The others will follow, I promise.

7a.  If you’re going to attempt crowd surfing, please only do it when there is a crowd, you dumb fuck.  If you get your 110lbs. friend to try to hoist you up, don’t expect anything else to happen after that if the crowd is only three rows deep.

7b.  If there is a crowd however, and you’re going to crowd surf from on stage, you better fucking JUMP off of the stage.  One of the more embarrassing things I’ve ever witnessed (ranking right up there with the junior high talent shows) was this guy during the Audacity show, who got on stage, and then instead of jumping off, he SLOWLY, ass first, leaned back into the crowd, as if he was testing the stability of an old wicker chair.  I shook my head in shame.

That’s all for now!  Contact me with any comments or questions.  Thanks for listening and enjoy the show!

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 7

Two fun drinking games I learned while touring, that I encourage all of you to take part in.

First, the Buffalo.  Apparently, this stems from the gun-slinging days, which makes it truly badass.  When drinking alcohol, one must drink using only one’s non-dominate hand.  The reason, is so that your dominate hand, the one that you would use to retrieve your pistol with, is always free, in case you need to suddenly draw.

Notice how her left hand is the one she will be drinking with.

Notice which hand is being used for what.

Most people are right-handed, thus, you MUST always drink using your left hand.  If you are drinking from your right, and someone calls “Buffalo,” you have to chug the rest of your drink.  However, if someone calls Buffalo, but they are incorrect (for example if the drinker is left-handed, and the “caller” is unaware of this), then that person must chug their drink AND buy the next round.  The only way you are exempt from all Buffalo rules, is if you have a tattoo of a Buffalo.  The person I learned this game from, did in fact, have a tattoo of a buffalo on his wrist.  I kind of fell in love with him when I discovered this.  So he can drink from whatever hand he wants, and never needs to chug or buy drinks.

Though this is known as a “game,” it is more of a club.  It’s a lifelong commitment, that unites loyal, honorable drinkers.  I’m sure this is why it is popular amongst the “touring” crowd.  Every person I have met who is a member, has also been on a tour at least once.  A real Buffalo member will never dispute or whine about having to chug a drink if he or she is in violation.  Also, Buffalo members will never be “that guy” or “that girl” at the bar.  It’s for serious drinkers only.

BuffaloClub

One must be invited by a member to become one.  So, if you are not part of the Buffalo Club, you are not allowed to start playing now.  However, now that I have made you aware of its existence, if you hear someone calling “Buffalo,” I suggest you make friends with that person, and if he/she thinks you are worthy, they will invite you to become a member.  The American Buffalo Club website can further explain what it means to be a member.

BuffaloClub2

Second game, and my favorite, is called, “Iced.”  We did this a lot on tour.  Take a Smirnoff Ice bottle, (the most disgusting of all malt beverages) and cleverly disguise it so that the person you are trying to “Ice,” is unexpectedly encountered by the bottle.  For example, the best one that I witnessed was while I was on Warped Tour. Peace Tea sponsored Warped, so there was an absurd amount of Peace Tea beverage cans everywhere and they are delicious.

peaceOne of the guys cut the bottom out of one of these cans, and put it over a Smirnoff Ice bottle, completely covering it.  He then offered the tea to our Tour Manager, covering the open bottom with a napkin.  When our TM accepted the offer, thinking it was simply a tea, he grabbed it, removing the hollow can, revealing the disgusting Smirnoff Ice, which was now glistening in his face.  When this happens, you have been Iced, my friend.  And you must get down on one knee, and chug the Smirnoff as so:

37850_1414673161267_1065690146_30958727_567548_n

This is what followed the Peace Tea offering.  Epic.  …And Kyle MacDougall is hot.

It seriously sucks when it happens to you, but is seriously hilarious when it happens to someone else.  I put a bottle in one of the musician’s suitcase, because I knew he was about to go through it.  He lifted up a folded shirt, and instead of finding the clean boxers he was in search of, he was presented with a Smirnoff Ice.  If you fail however, and the person you are trying to ice suspects what is happening, or if your plan is unsuccessful (for instance, if my friend had not in fact gone through his suitcase) YOU must get down on one knee and chug.  A fun touring game that you can bring to the real world.  Because remember… touring life is not the real world.

Cheers!

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