Fall Tour 1

Wed Sep 3 - CMJ Shmooze Fest

For those of you who still don't know, CMJ is a conference in NYC for all bands to go and play in front of important people; radio people, record labels, etc. For Salaryman, it was a chance to get even more quiet record label offers. (Since we are all in Poster Children, Reprise gets first right of refusal on us, so offers are quiet.) It was also a chance to play in front of a bunch of Warner Bros. marketing people, and then to hear them complain about not being able to sell the Poster Children records. They are all so sweet; and they care so much; I feel bad for them; I mean, I know we should be frustrated but hell, but at least we're having a wonderful time driving around the country and performing; we're doing ART for a living! What could be better than that? How can I complain? They are frustrated though. They have theories on why people aren't buying records anymore; too expensive, too many, etc. All I know is that people buy the records at our shows!

Anyway, our whole musical life passed in front of our eyes tonight. Even the guy who signed us to Sire so long ago showed up. I thanked him for signing us. Our manager was there for a while before she had to go to the Hum Festival (Hum has loaned her to us for a while!) We made her wear a shirt and tie while Salaryman played; we Have a Dress Code you know. Hum's new record is going to be out at the beginning of next year and I guess promo work is being started on it already!! Our booking agent was at our show. Our ex-A&R person was there! It was fun to see everyone again. I don't know what any of them thought about Salaryman.. I can't tell what anyone is thinking anymore....

The Knitting Factory

The Knitting Factory, while being a terrible physical place for a band to play, (thanks to a grand piano taking up half the van-sized stage and a room that virtually swallows any low-end noise) has so many good points to it that we'll probably be back next month as Poster Children. First, there's a computer IN THE LOBBY with telnet on it that is always online. Any time you are bored, you can just go and telnet anywhere. They also of course have Netscape. Second, the people in charge are always really nice to us, which freaks us out a little. Why are New Yorkers, and especially the Knitting Factory (VERY elite club!) Staff being so NICE to US?


Thu Sep 4 - Boston w/ Silver Apples and Spectrum

Waking up here on Andy's floor on the border of NY and Connecticut, I feel really cozy. This is the same Andy whom we kidnapped and made write tour reports a couple of tours ago. I'm wrapped in my sleeping bag and there's a cool fall breeze blowing through the window. We've slept here so many times, but this is the last time we'll see this apartment because Andy is moving to Cincinnatti for a new, great job, and we'll see him again when we swing around Cinci this tour - and hopefully there are some Poster Children fans that he can meet and become friends with. Think about what a change that will be; we're all really excited for him, moving from the East Coast to Cincinnatti, right on the border of Kentucky! The friends we meet while we're on tour are so great.

Salaryman

Playing Salaryman shows is hard and disorienting and another problem has sprung up because of it; we are not used to the huge amount of equipment we have and we're leaving parts of it in places. This is bad news. We're going to have to drive back into New York tomorrow to pick up all of our keyboard stands which we left at the Knitting Factory.

Elvis, Jesus, and Coca-Cola by Kinky Friedman

Howie is giggling very loudly in Andy's kitchen, reading this book. The book is about the author, who is the star of his books, Howie sez; and in this case is a Jewish Texan Country-singer/self-styled detective solving crimes. I'm attempting to read Godel Escher Bach (which is about math, art, and music) again; for some reason this book makes me really violent. I can usually read about 10 pages and then I put it down and want to punch someone. Rick is plowing through the new Pynchon book, Mason & Dixon, which I have decided not to read, and Jim is reading a sci-fi book called Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem. I asked him what it was about and he said, "Space."

After the Show

Look! It's the Silver Apples loading their equipment out

Man... well, we got to play with Silver Apples! They are an old electronic band from 1969! That was great! Our show went off pretty well I'd say; it was actually nice sitting on the floor playing again, without keyboard stands. I wore my Silver Apples shirt in front of Simeon, the old hippy Silver Apples' brain (oscillator player) and flashed it at him; he smiled. Then I felt bad about not having a Spectrum shirt; Spectrum was headlining.

It's so weird, before the show, I really, really wanted Simeon to like us. It's been a long time since I've felt like I wanted someone famous to like us. I guess you get over that feeling after it's been like, 10 years, and Sonic Youth has never "invited" you to play with them. Actually, some of my greatest heroes *do* like us, and in response to that, I just spend hours wondering why... Anyway, Simeon said that he enjoyed our show, and to get in touch with them later on and we could see if we could play together again. I don't know if he was sincere or not. I guess that's why I don't care too often if famous people like us. Most of the time you really don't know how sincere they are being. (Unless they are known for their honesty.) The other guys in the band were really really nice too. I suppose I wanted to see if some "real" electronic rockers would like us too; then I would know how legit we really were....

Who's got the Keyboard

And now comes the worst part of the night; as we were getting ready to leave, one of the Silver Apples comes up and asks us if we may have packed one of their keyboards by accident; a white one which looks nothing like any of ours. We don't have any roadies, and each of us has packed our own things, so I personally KNOW that the keyboard is not in our van. Spectrum has rented equipment and jet-lag, so I think either the keyboard is in their van, or it's most likely packed into Silver Apple's van and they don't realize it. Of course I guess there is a possibility that someone stole it off the stage. That would REALLY suck. They asked us twice if we perchance had it; I felt terrible driving away, because I really don't want them to think we took it. They have no way of knowing how trustworthy we are. We have their phone number so we can call later to find out if they found it. Rick is sad too, because one of the Silver Apples asked him if he'd consider doing a remix and he really wants to, badly - he doesn't want them to think we are robbers!


Fri Sep 5 - Drive Boston to Wash DC


Testing our relationship with Subpop

Once again we stayed at Joyce Subpop East's house, beds for rockStars, a fantastic bathroom, and bagels in the morning, and we wake her up at 3 in the morning to get in the house. I am really starting to feel indebted to some people. Joyce has a commemorative poster with every SubPop release on it (and now I have one, thank you Joyce!); our little single is there, SP#88, "sold out" like the rest of the singles of the month. I try to tell Joyce again that if there is ever anything we can do for her, (not that I can think of anything, but) it's done, just call us, and she assures me that so many people have put her up in the past, and it all comes back, "you know that" she says.

10 hour drive from Boston to Baltimore

It is not supposed to take 10 hours to drive from Boston to Baltimore, is it? I swear, we left at 1pm today and got to our Motel6 here in Laurel, MD, at 11:30pm. We stopped in NYC to visit the George Washington Bridge for 3 hours though. And to collect our keyboard stands at the Knitting Factory, and people there were still nice to us. I wonder how many people read this web page?

Tour Day #3?

It really feels like we've been on tour for about 4 months now. And this is only day 3??!! That is odd. Today as we drove we listened to the death of Princess Di and the death of Mother Theresa on the radio. Jim watched a TV show about linguistics with George Carlin and Noam Chomsky. Howie slept, Rick drove, and I complained a bit. My powerbook batteries are fully dead and unable to hold charge so I can't type these tour reports when I feel inspired... so I'm sitting on the Motel 6 bathroom floor trying to remember how I felt today even though it is 3am and the rest of the guys are trying to sleep as I type... maybe we'll splurge and get some batteries soon....


Sun Sep 6 - Washington DC

I am sitting here after the show, with that burning shame feeling from having a bad show. I am just going to have to let it pass. Today, Luna soundchecked until right before doors opened, so our soundcheck was terribly rushed. We had about a half-hour to soundcheck, and then we had to go on stage, and during that time, my amp, my 7-year old amp which has never broken, broke. It just stopped working. Rick figured out a way to tape the switch so it would probably last the entire show, and then we rushed on the stage. Half of my equipment fell off the stool while we played, and Rick scolded me for messing with it during the show; "People just sat and watched you messing with your equipment when you did that. Just leave it alone if it falls." (I talked back to him; 'what are people supposed to watch, anyway? we're just sitting there pressing buttons!')

I don't know if the crowd liked us. This was the biggest crowd we've ever played in front of, maybe around 400 or 500 people. Now that I hear Luna, and remember how much they kinda sound like The Velvet Underground and The Feelies, I can't imagine their crowd loving us that much. Oh well. I never thought I'd wish we were back in Europe, but I think I wish we were back in Europe. Sez Jim, ever the optimist, "Some people liked us."

9:30

Everyone here at this club is being really nice to us too. Maybe I should just start expecting it. We surprised the hell out of some of the stage guys when they saw us, "Hey! It's the Posterkids!" I guess they didn't know who Salaryman was! That's cool. We get the best of both worlds, because we're not some greenie, new baby-band here that people can be mean to; they're treating us like the 10-year old "veterans" that we are. (Even though we played like a greenie, new baby-band!)

TimmyB

One of the regulars of alt.music.posterkids, TimmyB is here in our dressing room now, telling us about his job. He wakes up at 3am each morning to go to work, to provide a weather forecast for traders! We're gonna sleep on his floor later tonight. Luna is still playing.



Howie Tour Report!

hi kids! my, what a day it's been. first of all, we ate at the old country buffet--all you can eat--and then we saw the movie 'mimic'. i thought it was really good, actually. the movie, that is. the buffet too, i suppose. and then we had a show, opening for luna at the 9:30 club in washington d.c. now the show's over, and we're all watching 'catch 22' on t.v. at our good friend tim bowers' house. oh yeah, i almost forgot, we stopped at taco bell on the way over here and i purchased 3 soft tacos which i ate with hot sauce. yummy!

we've played with some excellent bands lately: cornershop the other night in new york, silver apples and spectrum in boston, and luna tonight. hats off to ellen our booking agent for getting us these fine shows. congratulations to my friends jeff and blythe who got married last weekend--you guys are beautiful. oh yeah, this is a tour report. hmm... ***CENSORED***..

we've got one more show as salaryman, a couple days from now in baltimore, and then we enter a magical phone booth somewhere in michigan and transform back into that rock band, the poster chicken. oh, you know what i mean. anyone ever read anything by kinky friedman? he's this jewish country singer from texas who also happens to write very funny mystery novels. good stuff, it's got me laughing out loud all over the place. anyway, that's what's up with us these days, what's up with you?

back to rose

Sun Sep 7 - Washington DC

We spent all day at the Washington DC Mall, I guess it's called. It's a huge quad and at one end is the Capitol building and the other end is the Washington Monument. All along the sides are awesome FREE Smithsonian museums! So we museum-hopped for a while. Howie went to the Holocaust Museum, Jim went to the Hirschorn Gallery, and Rick and I went to see some other art. There is so much modern art to see that I found myself getting irritated. I look at paintings, and sometimes I just get angry because I can't really remember the peoples' names who painted them, and sometimes I am not really sure what I'm supposed to get out of it. I came to the conclusion that when I get confused and angry like that, I just don't like the art. Because there was some there by a guy named Dubuffet that I liked a lot; it was this French guy who made some neato paintings with brownish paints and mixed small pebbles and sand in the paintings and carved faces in them. I found that pretty inspirational. But a lot of the pastel paintings that weren't completely covered just irritated me today. Rick didn't want to go to some of the floors of the museum because "Those are just a bunch of paintings of old guys in costumes standing around looking at trees."

As we went through the museum, I provided a commentary for Rick of which paintings I liked and which I didn't, for his enjoyment. He never complained. The irritatingest thing I found was after the whole exhibit of Dubuffets, which we both enjoyed, we came to the plaque explaining his work; we had walked in backwards so the beginning of the exhibit was the ending for us. I found the Explanation of Why Dubuffet Paints This Way, (provided by the artist himself) a huge letdown. I guess the emotions it invoked in me were better than his description of why he paints that way; a bunch of post-modern art garbage... I guess maybe that's why Rick doesn't want people to know what his lyrics are about.

The most amazing thing I saw was at the National Museum Of American Art - it was some folk art. A guy named James Hampton (who called himself St. James) had covered about 100 huge chairs (throne chairs, pulpits, altar tables, etc.) with tin and gold foil, attached foil-covered light bulbs to them, and added little plaques all around this huge room. God had spoken to him. St. James called his work of art "The Throne Of The Third Heaven Of The Nations Millenium General Assembly." It looked like one of the medieval galleries in the Chicago Dead-Buffalo Museum! Apparently this guy had been working as a janitor in Washington DC and had started building The Throne in 1950. All 180 foil-covered chairs and other objects were discovered in a garage after his death in 1964. Folk art is cool.


Mon Sep 8 - Baltimore, MD

Today we went back to the DC Mall area again. I got to see 3 Joseph Cornell boxes which I think are my most favorite pieces of art ever made. These are little boxes that have some disparate objects in them; his idea was to bring together objects that maybe don't have any relationship to each other to invoke some sort of emotion in the viewer. My grasp of the English language today ..uh.. SUCKS but I hope you can understand what I mean. There was a little box which had black crystalline sand in it and a little broken etched-glass goblet and a little plaster and gesso funnel above the goblet where the sands were supposed to run down. There was another that was made in memory of some princess who had died at age 5; that one was really beautiful as well; it had blue glass covering a picture of her and beads from her necklace.

Bohager's Food Festival

I am just going to put a bunch of pictures of all the food that was served to us tonight. Bohager's takes special pride in providing a huge quantity of food to the rock band o' the night. I have never seen so much food in one place before. See below:

Sadly, I don't think most of Luna's audience enjoyed our show tonight either. But that's ok. Anyway, Luna liked it. Rick says Salaryman is a very obtuse band. I guess that means it's greater than 90 degrees. Some people really get it though, and call it refreshing. There was a problem at the end of the night that the woman who was selling our t-shirts just sort of left and when I found the guy in charge who had been so nice all night all of the sudden he "Didn't know what happened to any of our merchandise." We "found" the rest of the merch in the office, where I basically had to drag $48 out of them for the stuff that had sold. I counted the t-shirts that were left (2) and noted that we had started with 6 - thank GOD I had it written right on the t-shirt box - and the guy said, "ARE YOU SURE YOU SOLD 4???" and I pointed to the math again. He looked at me really strangely, and then another guy in the office pulled one of our shirts out of his desk and threw it at me. "Well Gosh," I said, "Now it appears that we've only sold 3." Like I should have known that one of the shirts was taken by one of the employees?

It really sucked because they gave us so much food that night, but we can't give away our t-shirts. They cost us money. They were acting like $48 is nothing for them, but for us it pays for the t-shirts and CDs. We have to pay for them. We don't just get them free.


Tue Sep 9 - Drive to Ann Arbor

We are sleeping on Liz's Floor tonight with her cats!
Lunch at the "Take Your Life Into Your Own Hands" Diner

Shit. At 3:45pm, after driving about 5 hours at 80 mph, we approach the exit for Mill Run, PA where FallingWater, the most famous Frank Lloyd Wright House, is located. And closes at 4pm. I got really mad, but it's my fault; if I really wanted to see it that badly, I should have made us leave earlier. I'm a simp. I was afraid, for some reason.

It's really weird; right about then I noticed in the middle of Southern Pennsylvania, we were equidistant from Ann Arbor (where we were staying tonight) and Champaign, Illinois.

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