1995, May 30-Jun 04

Back on the road again..

  • Tue May 30: WPGU PlanetFest Champaign!
  • Wed May 31: En route to Connecticut
  • Thu Jun 01: Danbury CT - airport show!
  • Fri Jun 02: Boston AGAIN - Mama Kin
  • Sat Jun 03: Port Chester and Bridge Port
  • Sun Jun 04: Northhampton MA


Tue May 30th: WPGU PlanetFest Champaign!

Week Off!

You do not know what weird is until you go away on tour for 2 1/4 months and then come back for a week to your house and then have to leave again. We plugged our refrigerator back in when we got home and bought some groceries, but not enough condiments to be able to make "real" dinners, and everyone had vacated Champaign because it was Memorial Day Week. Even La Bamba (cheap food and lots of it) was closed; Sunday night, we drove around for 2 hours looking for a place to eat dinner and I almost starved to death. Rick correctly ridiculed me for not being able to survive for 5 hours without food. We finally ended up eating at Li'l Porgy's BBQ, "incrediby Good 'cause We Cook On Wood." I bought 5 packs of Ramen noodles the next day In Case Of Starvation.

So what did we do this week? We tried to clean up our "Bummer CD Pile" which had a lot of CDs we never listen to anymore, by bands who broke up or who have a new record out that we "traded up" for. We got some new great CDs; Rick bought one that said "Cluster" on it, one of mine said "PJ Harvey." I made the same meal 4 times.

Rose's Favorite Meal- I didn't invent this, by the way.

You Need:

* 1/2 lemon or more to taste

* at least 3 pieces of garlic

* 1 thing of Broccoli

* 3/4 or more of a box of Shell pasta

* about an inch or two of butter

* a handful or less of Olive Oil (3 TBSPs?) (get the "extra virgin kind" cuz it won't kill you as fast)

* some red pepper (the vegetable)

* some ground red pepper (the flakes) and black pepper and a little salt

This gets sorta hard near the end, but it's a really simple recipe. You break up the broccoli and steam it, cook and drain the noodles, and then stick noodles and broccoli in a bowl. At the same time as you are doing that, cook the olive oil, butter and garlic and red pepper for like 5 minutes or 8 minutes, but don't let it burn. (That's the hard part.) Then stick pepper flakes and a teeny bit of salt in the butter sauce, and then pour it on top of the noodles and broccoli, with the lemon juice. Mix, then eat! Goes good with bread and coca-cola!


So would you like to know what goes on "Behind The Scenes" in a big festival like the one in Champaign, IL? There are always a bunch of idiots who call themselves "sound crew" who wear bad metal band t-shirts and they are always meaner and lazier than anyone you've ever met in your life. If you are part of a festival sound crew and are not like this, I compliment you highly and I hope we get to work with you sometime. Everyone I've ever met at these concerts on a sound crew has been extraordinarily lazy and mean to me.

I should mention that the promoter of the show was a terrific person who tried as hard as he could to get things working the way they should have, but it was no use; it was one person against a bunch of butthole-lazy soundguys. The WPGU people (it was a WPGU festival) were more than kind to us, also. It is wonderful to hear some local music on the radio, and I can't lie; I do smile when I hear our own song on the radio! A lot of the radio people came up to me all night and said they wished they could play more local bands; I wish that too, but I know they are not funded by the University, so they are NOT a college station, and because of this, they need to make money! In order to make money, they have to adhere to strict guidelines; this is what the people want. They told us a long time ago that they would start taking more chances in the future on local music, and that is exactly what they are starting to do. At any rate, they are one of the most supportive stations that we have right now, and we are thankful! Incidentally, the college station that is funded by the U of I is an all-classical music station. Not classical like Journey; classical like Bach. Do you students approve of where your money's going?

Back to the soundguy story. We were very explicit about our needs for a soundcheck, because of the last radio festival we played, a week ago. So the promoter told us to be at the show at 2:30pm in order to soundcheck, and we were there about 20 minutes late. When we got there, Shudder To Think (the 2nd band) was setting up their equipment and did not look happy. I remember something The Figgs said a couple of weeks ago about The Caufields (1st band)- they said that The Caufields had refused to move their drums at the Khyber Pass when they played with them. If you've ever seen the Khyber Pass, the stage is about the size of a drumset plus a little bit of extra room for some guitarists to stand. The club is one of the smallest we've ever seen; a band refusing to move their drums when playing there is absurd. But The Caufields had the gall to do that to The Figgs, and The Figgs seemed like nice enough guys, so we were sort of on the lookout for any bad behavior from these guys, but they would be INNOCENT until proven guilty. Who knows; maybe The Figgs "sported a Tude" (attitude) towards them that night.

So we get up to the stage, assuming that since we were 2nd-to-last, (Wax was last and didn't want their soundcheck) and we figured we'd set up first. But there was already a drumset up on the stage, and an unhappy Shudder To Think repeating, "The First Band gets to soundcheck First??" over and over. "What kind of place is this?" All we did was go up to the Head SoundGuy and say, "Hello, we're Poster Children, the 4th band, and we were told to be here now in order to soundcheck." The Head Soundguy told me we weren't getting a sound check. We explained nicely that we needed a soundcheck because we haven't touched our equipment in 10 days; we don't know if it's out-of-whack or not; (we have no guitar techs, remember?) - plus, it's a huge outdoor fest - our soundguy needed to get acclimated to the stage. Besides, we had called the promoter to make especially sure that we *would* be getting a check.

The Sound Guy told us that ALL THAT HAD CHANGED and WE WEREN'T GETTING A SOUNDCHECK. So we got the promoter over to speak with him, and everything got settled. Shudder To Think had to leave the stage at this time, getting madder and madder (and rightly so) because they were told that it was time for The Caufields to soundcheck. In a NORMAL situation, the FIRST band soundchecks LAST, for pretty obvious reasons. You can leave the equipment up after they check, and the channels are set at first for the last (headlining) band.

So The Caufields went on the stage to soundcheck, and were told they had 15 minutes. About 45 minutes later, I realized what was happening. The Caufield's drums were set up on the drum riser, and they weren't going to move them. We were told we had to set up in front of their equipment if we wanted a check. Then we were told that we should have been their earlier; they got THEIR check first because they were at the Show FIRST. (Which was false, I found out later; Shudder had been there earlier.)

After fighting for another couple of minutes with the soundguys who were now saying "We don't want to do the same job twice, (another soundcheck for another band) why should we have to work twice as hard?" (I wanted to ask, "Are you getting paid?" - especially later, as they were sitting around doing drugs instead of when they could have been soundchecking us) we decided to give up and bother The Caufields' Tour Manager, who really should have known better than to set his drums up on the stage before anyone else soundchecked. That was a terrible mistake on his part, and Joe Soundguy (our Good Soundguy) let him know that. I even know that if I'm first, I soundcheck last, and I don't get PAID to tour manage.

He was just as stubborn as the sound guys; he said, "I was here first, and no one else was here - [untrue] - so I set up the drums on the riser." You know he/they were just pissed off because they were going first, and because of their bad band karma (yes, it's real!) I'll bet no one watched them. And Shudder To Think owes me a glass of ice, cuz we bet a glass of ice earlier that day that The Caufields wouldn't move their drum kit. Boy were we right on the money.

The worst thing about the whole evening was how rude the soundguys were. Even on stage, they stood on the side, pretending to cut us off as we played, and I watched an overgrown bully bouncer throw a kid off the stage during our set, and I ran after the bouncer, yelling at him as we played, "DON'T YOU HURT THOSE KIDS!" One of the soundguys actually came up to me and said, "I hope you're not mad" and when I decided to explain to him that I was mad and that he should be doing work that he is paid to do, he listened for a while and then as if it was a bet or something with his friends, he pointed to me and just started laughing and walked right past me towards the rest of his friends, yukking it up, right while I was still talking to him. I have never been treated so rudely in my life.

The worst thing is, we encounter people like this at every outdoor fest.

The audience was really great, though. Hum was fucking AMAZING. They seem to have gotten VERY, VERY popular while we've been gone on tour all this time!!

Oh- and the soundguys cut us off before we finished our set. And I guess the police ended the whole show, although I didn't see any.. They should have come up on the stage.


Wed May 31st: Drive all night to Connecticut

We figured we had a 17-hour drive ahead of us, but I think that wasn't including the drive from Champaign to Chicago, which is another 3 hours. Anyway, we left at 4pm from Champaign, much later than we thought, and drove all night. We got to Danbury CT at 3pm EST, which is exactly when we were supposed to SOUNDCHECK! We were told we HAD to be there at 3 or we wouldn't be able to soundcheck; there is a restaurant above the club that you can't make noise at after around 5pm. So what do you think happened? Of course,

the soundguy didn't show up until 5 and we couldn't soundcheck again. *sigh*.

All 4 of us drove this drive, and it was completely uneventful. It is getting to be a challenge to stop at a gas station we haven't already stopped at. We are starting to get very familiar with all of I-80 to NY.


Thu Jun 01st: Danbury Airport - Moondance Club


The club we played at tonight was really beautiful - it is at the Danbury Airport! It is a very small airport with little teeny F-27s, each plane holds from 3-7 people probably. I saw one take off that held 3 people. The little food place above the club is very hi-fi; they have good food there; not regular airport fare. "Another Airport Show," we said, laughingly. (It was our first.) There were about 60-70 people there, and this place was about 2 hours from NYC. It always amazes me to find such beauty so near a big city like NY. The audience was very pleasant, and the people who ran the club were very nice. I think we were still a little out-of-practice from our week off, and it really felt weird to play. I would have loved to do a soundcheck this night, just to play my bass again for a while. I don't ever pick it up when we are home.


Fri Jun 02nd: Boston - Mama Kin Club!

I had heard rumors that this was Aerosmith's Club, but I wasn't sure I believed it until we walked in and saw the inside. The brass "Aerosmith" door plate in front of the entrance was a dead giveaway, and the club is beautiful inside. All red, green, and purple, pictures of Aerosmith all over, a great sound system, and the monitors are the cleanest monitors I've ever seen in my entire life. One of the other bands, "The Flying Nuns" commented that the dressing room is much nicer than their home; I can state that too.

I am sitting in the dressing room now, on a lime-green velvet couch, amidst pink pillows, and there are matching green chairs and the walls are painted sort of raspberry-pink colored. The room is illuminated by 2 matching pink poodle lamps, the 50s kind, on top of matching ornate gold tables with glass tops. There are mirrors in gold frames hanging on the walls, and the table has an array of fruit and smokes.


Tonight on Lansdowne Street, where this club is, we are playing with The Grifters who I have only heard wonderful things about, and The Flying Nuns who just signed to Matador, and next door to us, The Orb is playing! We had to find a way in to see The Orb show, so I asked the stage manager of this club if he could get us in, and he said "yes, all we need are our laminates!" So we have to go digging around for our laminates, but at least we'll see a little Orb! Yay!! Theoretically, The Orb goes on at 8pm tonight, and then the bands here start. The only bad thing about the whole night is that Helium is playing at the other club; I think The Middle East. Bummer for both of us. I wish we all could have played together.

The baseball field is across the little street here, and there's a game going on right now, so there's just electricity in the air. Rick went outside and said there are just people milling about, drinking beer and hotdogs and waiting for the baseball game and/or a fight.


Sat Jun 03: Port Chester and Bridge Port

Last Night's Orb Show

So we did get to see The Orb last night! It was pretty great, although I liked the show we saw at the Cabaret Metro better. This was a crowded room, much smaller than the Metro; and people were butt-to-butt, shoulder-to-shoulder. I thought I saw some people dancing, but where we were standing, it was a bunch of people who were probably thinking, "I know how to program computers; I could do that!" Boston.

There were DJs on before The Orb, and I wasn't sure exactly when The Orb took the stage, but Rick pointed him out; the balding long-haired guy behind the computer. During the show The Orb would jump around and sometimes dance a little, and sometimes be too busy twidling knobs to dance. There was a tremendous light show, and the beat was hypnotizing.

After a while, I sorta got bored; (after they played the one song I recognized) and I decided to go back and set up our t-shirts; The Orb started at around 9:30 I think, and was playing until 12pm; I wanted to run back next door to watch The Grifters.

The crowd tonight at both The Orb show and ours seemed really nonplussed; no one really seemed really "into" either show. I thought The Grifters were really great, it seemed like sort of really intense punk-country music. I hope we get to play together again.


Two shows in One Day!

So we drove to Bridgeport CT today to Secret Sounds, an AMAZING record store. I now have 4 copies of our SubPop single - the 1990 one - This store had vinyl of so many records - it even had Daisy Chain Reaction on vinyl; that would be only Twin/Tone that put that one out. It cost $9.99. I almost bought it, but I'd worry about it melting in the car. Anyway, we played an instore, which is when we set up all our equipment in a store and play for free, and it was packed with people - little teeny kids, too! That's the best; playing to young kids! It was so hot that drumsticks kept flying out of Howie's hands, and I was completely sopped by the time it was over. The people at the record store made us lunch and were so nice to us. We are having such a good time on the East Coast that I may have to re-think my whole attitude towards it! Tonight we play another show in Port Chester; 45 minutes away. We'll have plenty of energy; the worst part is usually the loading-in and out of equipment. One day, maybe we'll have people to help us with that sort of thing.

Port Chester

7 Willow Street is a huge club! It probably holds around 600-800 people; and I really had no idea how big our audience was in Port Chester, NY! This town is a northern suburb of NYC I think; right next to the border of NY state. It's not too scary-looking like NYC, but there is still graffitti all over. I don't ever see graffitti in Champaign. I remember our A&R guy visiting Champaign once - he's from NYC - and he commmented that there's a lot of flowers around the city. It's true; there are flowers everywhere, instead of graffitti.

Anyway, I was really worried that this big place would be empty, but then I found out it was an all-ages show, and I felt relieved. We try so hard to play all-ages shows, but can't sometimes. You have to be a pretty big band to be able to do that, because on shows like ours, the club makes most of their money from liquor sales; at an all-ages show, they can't sell liquor.


There was a group of hyperactive teenagers at this show, along with our new friend Frank who we met a couple of shows ago who ONLY drinks Mountain Dew (he's even got a tattoo of Mountain Dew on him!), and an old friend Chris from Pennsylvania and a new one named Andy. The teenagers were so hyper and in-your-face in a white suburban rap sort of way that our friend Chris and I were fearing for our lives behind our little t-shirt booth. They wanted to go up on stage. They were really funny kids. They had heard our music on "Midnight Mosh" and were at the show to well, mosh probably. They asked me if people usually mosh at our shows, and I had to answer that sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. I was pretty sure there'd be no moshing at that show though; there were 40-year old-looking people at the show along with the kids.

At some point, these kids decided they wanted to sing the national anthem before we went on the stage and Chris and I felt this would be a great idea, so we had them practice once, as an audition for us, and they were pretty "ok." So I told them they could go on right before us! Right before that, a DJ from a local radio station who had been supporting us greatly was going on to throw t-shirts and hats out to the crowd. I knew it'd be one of those commercial-alternative stations that the indie-rockers hate so much, and that the guy would get some shirts thrown back at him. I felt bad. What can we do? There are people at the shows from our old "Indie Rock" days and new people who like us who have only heard us on the commercial stations. Who is to say which people are better? Of course we love our old fans but we love new ones, too.


We stayed at a guy named Andy's house. Andy is a friend of Chris, who runs the Self-Starter Foundation in Pennsylvania, and did a couple of shows for us at Lehigh University. Andy works for Maxwell house and had some great stories about having to dress up as Sugar Bear and The Kool-Aid Man at benefits!


Sun Jun 04: Northhampton MA

This is a pretty laid-back tour! 3 hours drives, and Jim and Howie have started doing some of the driving. There is only the 4 of us in the van right now - we have lost our soundguy Joe because he wants to be in a band of his own. Somewhere along the line we will have to find a new soundguy, but for right now, we hope to be playing in smaller clubs, so theoretically we need no soundman.

Now we are driving our 2.5 hours to Northhampton, the town where I think Sebadoh was born? I think they were at our last show that we played here; probably to see Red Red Meat. New England is a lot more charming than I thought it'd be. Actually, I find myself thinking about certain parts of Europe now that I'd like to experience again. I hope one day we get back there.


We have that one week off between this tour and the Lollapalooza shows, and during that week we are going to drive to Boston and make another video, this one for "He's My Star!"

What do we do on our DAY OFF?

Tomorrow we have a day off! Rick says we are going to spend it at Kinko's and the Post Office, but I want to see a movie, too. We have to get to Quebec City in a couple of days, so we have to go over the Canadian border. We are anticipating a slight problem because we have some t-shirts- enough for them to decide to tax us. I don't know how many we'll sell tonight and at the next show, but I hope it's enough to severly deplete our inventory, or we'll either have to ship some home or do something illegal, like try to hide some. (Bad idea.) Most likely, we'll just pay the tax and hope we can sell them in Canada.

Show Report from Northhampton

This was a huge room, but there were about 20 people there, and less after we finished. The audience sat on chairs against the walls of the room. It was very disconcerting. Apparently, it was one of the first shows this promotions company did in this room, and I guess it's hard to get people to come into the building. That's what I was told, anyway. The building is a non-smoking one, and there were no drinks or food being sold. One of the opening bands was playing another show down the street from us, right while we played; they had 2 shows that night! I have to admit, it was pretty depressing. I think the crowd enjoyed it, but for some reason, I was really depressed.