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Untitled Document

1996

Feb - Apr
Poster Children in Europe
with Steel Pole Bath Tub
1- England
2- Germany
3- Germany, Denmark, Switz
4- Italy-Switz
5- Italy
6- Austria
7- France
8- The Netherlands

April
Norse Raider Tour

Jun
East Coast
w/ Cows!
Cows 1
Cows 2
Cows 3

Sept
Ohio

(we worked on RTFM for the rest of the year)

 

 

 

The Norse Raider Tour

Beloit Wisconsin, April 17th, 1996

Back in "America"

It is so nice to be back in America, even if it is Wisconsin, and we may as well sort of be in Germany. Wisconsin has a lot of Germans in it, except they are happier. Wisconsin always seems very green to me, whereas Germany is grey.

The t-shirts the Beloit college people have printed up for this show say "An Alternative Wet Dream" or something like that, and they list the bands on the back: Seam, House Of Large Sizes, Silkworm, Versus, and Poster Children. Don't think for a minute that we are not all proud to be on that lineup! But we spent all last night printing up our own t-shirts (and paying someone else for them.. can you say, "SIMP?") so we knew we were going to be late for seeing House Of Large Sizes, a fantastic band from Iowa. We were sure we were going to see Seam though; and when we drove up, they were putting away their equipment. They told us that Silkworm had forced themselves on after Seam. That was hard to believe; and different Seam people told me different stories; Sooyoung told me that they had requested to go on 3rd, and that Silkworm had wanted to go on 3rd. I didn't care anymore; I was mad that we missed Seam. It was bad enough to miss House.

So we sat through Silkworm and then Versus, who were very good, watched kids lay around and dance to the music, and it felt very good to be home. By the time we got on the stage, a crowd had gathered around it, and kids were dancing and laughing and smiling while we played. They pounded on the stage for more after we finished. Beloit is a great town to play in. I think we put on a fine show, too.

Cibo Matto Blues Explosion!

Then we raced 4 hours home to Champaign to catch Vineland, Jon Fine (guitarist from Bitch Magnet)'s band, (funny, we just spent all day with the bass player from Bitch Magnet, in Seam!) and got to Mabel's just in time to have missed C-Clamp, but Vineland was setting up. They are a good segue from Bitch Magnet. They just recorded with Albini in Chicago and are looking for a place to put their tape. Excitement mounted as Cibo Matto set up on the stage, and the two girls got up in front of their keyboards and were charming. They played a couple of songs; it's very weird to hear so much music coming from a stage with two small Japanese women on it. If I had such rich samples coming from a keyboard, I'd probably have more people on the stage just pretending to be playing instruments, just so it looked right.

But THEN...

So two guys are walking around Mabels who are not from Champaign; you can tell. Jon Fine had told me that Sean Lennon, yes, of Beatles Descent, (he said, "Fuckin' Sean Lennon" because he's from New York and swears a lot) was playing bass for them, and Vineland's bass player seemed very proud to be lending her bass as a backup for him. I didn't believe them, but I saw one of these outsider guys looked a lot like he could be the spawn of John and Yoko. The other guy looked terribly familiar though, and trying to figure out why I recognized him was driving me crazy. Finally the two guys got on the stage and I went up to Jim and said, "Do we know that guy on the drums?" Jim says, "It's Russell from the Blues Explosion." OH!!!! DUH!!! and then Jim says, "and the guy on bass is Sean Lennon." Since Russell is like God of the Drummers to me, I marched up in front to watch him play. He pointed to me from the stage, too, I guess he figured out who I was by then, and I turned around to look behind me to make sure he was waving to me; I didn't want to be wrong and have someone really famous standing behind me. Classic Rose. He shook his head and pointed to me. Man, did I feel great. After the show, even Rick got up the guts to go up to him and say, "Sir, let me just say that it is always a pleasure to watch you play."

I followed Russell backstage to meet the rest of the band, and there I got to shake hands with John Lennon's offspring. I probably ought to keep my feelings about the Beatles to myself here; I'll just say I have plenty of friends who like them. I myself don't really know any of their music. But Sean was really, really nice, he had a nice handshake and a sort of a higher voice than you'd expect. I didn't want to hang around backstage; I was completely worn out from playing earlier in the day. We are playing with Cibo Matto in a couple of days, (with Guided By Voices) so I guess I'll get to see them again. Drove with Vineland back to our house and let Jon check his email on our computer. Man, he types faster than I do. Geek.


April 18, 1996 - Champaign, IL

hm.. not a lot of people at this show. We are trying to figure out if people think we're playing BandJam, a free show on the Quad next week (we're not), or it's a Thursday, or it's crappy, lightening weather outside, or people don't know about the show. The worst case: People don't care! But there are good shows going on all week, and we didn't advertise the price on this show. Yes, we'll keep telling ourselves that.

It sure didn't matter though, because when we went on the stage today, even though I noticed little technical mishaps like there was terrible feedback through the montors during a couple of songs and the kick-drum mic had fallen out of the drum during some part of the show, we had full Bathtub-damage, Howie said. We were all inspired, and had a lot of fun on the stage. It helped that our friends in the crowd were talking about that Show we all saw of Steel Pole, years ago, when they blew Nirvana off the stage, back in Champaign, when alternative meant underground. Guys, you should come to Champaign... people are waiting. (And bring my watch while you're at it, Dale.) Tonight *we* wrote a song on the stage. It's been an awful long time since we did that. Nothing is better than fun on the stage.


April 19, 1996 - Notre Dame, IN

Full Metal Grouch

Today I walked grouchily around all day and thought to myself that everyone in the world was a dork. (Everyone who I didn't know.) People were driving me crazy, and I finally got so sick of it that I went to hide in the bathroom, and then, standing in front of me as I ran water over my hands, distraught, I discovered the biggest dork of them all, staring straight back at me in the mirror. Did you ever have a day like that?

Flip-Flopping to Happiness

The first thing I noticed about Notre Dame was that everyone was wearing white shirts, and I was wearing punk rok black. The promoter had a white Grateful Dead shirt on. (actually I like it when people with Grateful Dead shirts like our band). There was a group of 4 very alternative-progrok looking kids with crrraaaazy hats, and it turned out to be Hummer, from Chicago, one of the opening bands. By the time we finished soundchecking, my mind was doing cartwheels again, I'm just trying to convince myself that I have no reason to be so grouchy, and people were still trying to talk to me and be nice to me. I wanted to explain to people that my brain was just not in the right state to be able to talk rationally to them; I have an image of a state machine in one of those states that it's not ever supposed to get to, and that's where my mind is right now. I'm trying to flip-flop myself back into happiness, but I'm getting more angry as the day goes on, for no reason. This is a problem, because everyone at the show either wants to befriend me or wants to make sure everything is ok. The promoter, especially, kept coming up to me and asking me if everything was ok, and everything wasn't OK, but there really was nothing he could do about it, unless he had an electro-shock therapy machine. He was so efficient and friendly he probably would have had one, too, had I asked.

Harrison Ford, Mr. Wok, Dick Van Dyke

This is a terrible problem I am starting to have; I want to be nice to everyone and be friends, but sometimes I just sort of feel like shit. We listened to a radio show the whole way here, people calling in to talk about "Brushes with Fame" and people always have the same stories about meeting someone who was An Asshole. Can you imagine if you are sitting on an escalator in Northbrook Court Shopping Mall, on your way to Sam Goody to buy the new Oasis album, and you look behind you and see Harrison Ford, standing on the step below you, looking dejected. He's just had a terrible fight with his wife over long distance phone lines for an hour, and his rental car broke down outside the Wendy's, his shoes are too tight, and he's looking for a new pair of pants or some Thai food or something, and he's not going to find it in this mall. He's in a terrible mood, and he's stuck on an escalator on the North Shore of Chicago, behind you. You go up to him and say, "Man, you were great in Star Wars," and he just cracks. His little Han Solo brain quietly explodes inside. He doesn't smile when he says "thank you," and then doesn't even talk to you the whole rest of the way up the escalator to Sears. You notice he's a lot shorter in real life than on the movie screen. At the top of the stairs, he quickly bounds away from you, towards Mr. Wok in the Food Court, and you decide, "Man, that guy's an asshole."

I don't want to be like that, but sometimes I just don't want to talk to anyone; I say really weird things when I'm in a bad mood. And then people think I'm crazy.

Hurray for Infinity

The only thing that cheered me up before we went on the stage, and then I was manic for about 30 minutes straight, sitting at my little t-shirt booth, was that I'm reading this book that proved to me that I don't really have to believe in "God," sitting in the Union of Notre Dame University, of all places. I was upset because I wasn't sure what to believe happened before the Big Bang; and I was going to have to call whatever it was "God." This book states that time can be looked at as a line with an open circle on the left side; which, as we all know, means that the beginning point is not included, but there are an infinite amount of points coming after it. There is just no starting point, but for every time t, there exists a t/2 that happened before it. Bingo! Who needs "God" when you've got Infinity? Woohoo!!

Shooting up with Dick

This was a pretty ok show, but there wasn't a lot of room on the stage. Afterwards, some poor kid asked me what we were doing after the show and I said, "You know, Rock Band Things, shooting up heroin and partying." We went back to hotel rooms the college bought for us and watched Dick Van Dyke.


Allendale, MI - April 20, 1996

We're all worried about Dr. Ruth

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the Sex Doctor, was giving a speech last night at Notre Dame, and it said in the school paper that she had been asked by the Student Union Board to please respect the fact that Notre Dame is a very conservative college, and to please not talk about anything uncomfortable. She had answered that she "would try, but couldn't promise anything." We're sure she was thrown out on her ear.

The temperature dropped about 30 degrees when we crossed the border into Michigan; it's 2pm now, around 40 degrees, and we're playing tonight outside at about 8pm. Cibo Matto and Guided By Voices are playing after us. I hope they have coats. It'll probably be snowing by the time they go on. I hate outside shows when it's freezing.

Later....

I'm in some kind of weird private hell, sitting next to a boom box blaring the Peter Gunn theme, surrounded by more friendly college students and bright young stars, in a college roomful of food, and again I don't feel like talking to anyone. I am going to have to spill a little info here: I am about to turn 31 tomorrow, and I'm going to be married in less than a month. So I sort of have a reason to be freaking out. I wish the music would end. The show is indoors, and most people are hangin' out here near the keg, talking, joking and listening to music. I think that bands are already playing and I sort of want to go watch them but it's so cold outside, I don't even want to walk out across the field to the show building. The show has been moved inside, hurray! So I'm trapped here in my private, angry, self-indulgent hell. My prospective groom, our guitarist Rick, is sitting quietly across the room, reading a Gore Vidal book which I'd like to rip out of his hands and read myself. I think I've figured out that I am agoraphobic? Or maybe I just don't like crowds. I'm sitting paranoid in the corner of the room, and everyone is probably assuming I'm an asshole. I try to smile at people when they walk by. I hope it's working.

I'm perturbed because last night there was a tornado in Urbana, and I missed it, being on tour! Worse yet, my friends saw it! If I was home, I wouldn't have seen it because I'd be over in Champaign, a mile or two away from it, anyway. But still, all the excitement would be there; the sirens would be going off and I'd be shaking in fear, cold sweat down in the basement, running upstairs every few minutes to check the sky.


Cibo Matto's Rhythm Section! Sean Lennon and Russell Simmons

After assuring multiple members of the staff here that everything is fine! we escape out to the building where the show is being held, realizing afterward that someone had told us they were going to drive us across the field to the show at exactly 7:30. It was all set up, and we probably scared the hell out of whoever was in charge of moving us over to the venue. People here are completely freaking out, worrying that something is wrong; a guy came up to Rick at least 3 times, asking him if everything was ok. I don't know why we are finding it so irritating; mostly, you just want to shout, "YES! Everything is FINE! Just leave me ALONE!" but you'd be a total asshole. So you just have to keep smiling and saying "yes, everything is fine," over and over again. Cibo Matto says they went and hid in their van after they ate. What a thing to complain about - people being too nice to you!

"Good Cop Bad Cop" went well.

The soundguy was in a hurry when we got on the stage, and also wanted us to turn our amps down, and sort of did it in the wrong way I think; threatened that we were't going to be able to hear the monitors if we didn't turn down our amps. I think personally that he could have turned the monitors a lot louder, but he was proving his point. There were a lot of people staring at us, taking notes as we played, Rick says. Some people danced, but to me, with lights shining straight into my eyes, it seemed pretty dead. I think I may be tired. It's hard to be grumpy for 2 days straight. "Good Cop Bad Cop", a new song, seemed to go well tonight.

I was hugged by the Offspring of John and Yoko

this is the weirdest picture i've ever seen of myself

Cibo Matto went on afterwards, complaining that they missed our set. (oh well.) They were great, although poor Sean Lennon (wow) broke a string on his bass, and then I remembered that he had to borrow the girl from Vineland's bass the other night, put 2+2 together and sped out to our van to grab my bass. I ran up to the stage and handed him my bass, completely de-tuned; ("is this bass detuned?" he asked and I became horrified; I had no tuner with me) and while he spent a couple of minutes tuning it, I restrung his bass for him. He was completely grateful on and off the stage, and hugged me and said, "It's like I had a roadie tonight!" He is very, very charming; he sort of has an 'intelligent Evan Dando charisma' thing going. I actually feel pretty special having hugged him. He's a great bass player, too. Russell was amazing again. I actually really enjoyed Cibo Matto today; I find it odd to be watching people play music that sounds like that.

More Short Stories

Whilst Peeing

Jim was recognized in the bathroom whilst peeing. He said the guy next to him looked up and said, "Poster Children, right?" and Jim said, "yes, that's right." Jim was proud, however he says that we are not big enough yet for people to be too scared to talk to us in the bathroom.

Sean Lennon has a Quadra 950

Sean saw my camera and asked what kind of computer I have, so I told him. He said he had a Quadra 950. "What do you use it for," I asked? "Photoshop."

"So, Have You Just Rolled A Big One?"

A policeman with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth came knocking on our van window just as we were about to leave the parking lot, and said like he was trying to start a conversation, "So, Have You Just Rolled A Big One?" into our van. Jim and Rick didn't even know what he said, but I yelled angrily as the police shone the light in the van windows, trying to figure out what I was doing (I was uploading digital images from our camera into the laptop), "He thinks we're doing drugs! Just let him look in here so he can see we're not! Jesus Christ!" He poked around more, asking Rick, "Well, then, what is that?" "It's the money from the show we just played." "Just let him in here," I kept yelling as I typed, pissed off as hell. I was starting to think about hiding our books, worried he'd force us to burn them. "Here, look in the ashtray," Jim announced, showing the smoking cop our pristine ashtray. "We don't smoke," Rick declared at the Cop, and then said, "And YOU shouldn't, EITHER. You'll get CANCER!" Poor Cop. He took off.

Then Jim said, "Maybe he heard our song."

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