Fall Tour 9

Sun Oct 19 - Boston MA

During this show I was about ready to drop the whole time. I felt terrible, all that kept going through my mind was "we are sucking, we are sucking, we're not giving these people a good show" and then finally we finished. I know we weren't that bad; it was probably all in my mind, but I was really so worried we were going to give these people a bad show that I just completely freaked out. When we finished, I ran off to hide in a corner and waited for people to leave, but instead they started clapping and cheering. I guess it'd be really hard to explain, but I thought the clapping was just a "sympathy encore" and people really didn't want to hear more. That's pretty stupid now that I think about it. Finally Rick stood over me and yelled at me, "HOW MUCH DID THESE PEOPLE PAY TO SEE THIS SHOW???" (it was a lot, in all our opinions) and I got up and got on the stage. People yelled, "What's the matter with you? Are you tired?" And I had to explain myself, right there, in that little room. "No! I feel like I've played too badly for an encore!" and everyone was like, cheering us on. Rick said, "Now you see what it's like to be in the van with Rose." Everyone laughed. I suppose we were probably pretty funny after that. Rick said out loud that he thought it was his fault that I felt bad about missing notes, but I explained (to the audience) that it was Ian from Fugazi's fault; he sat on the stage as we played in Washington DC and I kept messing up there too, and afterwards he said "Good show" and I said, "Oh, man, I played terribly! I missed a whole lot of downbeats" and he said, "YEAH, I KNOW." Everyone laughed.

Mon Oct 20 - Boston to NYC

Here's a picture of a really angry guy in his car

We've only been awake for 3 hours and so much has happened already today. First, as we were driving to this bookstore to eat breakfast, Rick stopped the car so as not to run over some pedestrians getting out of one of those Boston Trains. The guy behind us began honking his horn. Rick laughed, and after it was clear we wouldn't hit anyone, began driving again. The guy honked again after we started driving. This pissed Rick off, it was like a 'warning honk.' So Rick stopped again. Then the guy started honking again. So Rick decided to stop each time the guy honked, which as you can imagine drove the guy crazy. He finally pulled around us and started driving like a maniac, stepping on his brakes every few yards and changing lanes. I was laughing so hard and trying to get the camera out. He was screaming and flipping us off. I missed him each time he was close. Finally, in his rage, he had driven too far away from us and was waiting for us to catch up and so he got out of his car and came over to the window, a guy with really short hair and a leather biker jacket. He screamed at us that it is obvious we are from out of town and that people in Boston don't drive crazy like that. Then he spit all over the window. I was still laughing, but the damn camera was out of pictures. The guys in the back seat were scared.

The second thing that happened was that we said goodbye to these guys we ate with, Paul and Ryan, (actually we stayed at Paul's house, thanks Paul) and then walked to the van, got in, and found Ryan's backpack. We're totally late already for our New York show. And Ryan's not even from here, he's just visiting his friend Paul. So I get the brilliant idea of just dropping off Ryan's backpack at Trident Bookstore, where we just ate. Howie brings the backpack in the store and then comes out with the backpack. "They wouldn't take it." I grab the backpack, march back into the store, tell the asshole woman owner the story again, this time with Lots Of Charm, and she says "No, I'm sorry. We can't help you."

We just spent 100$ in their stupid store, buying food and books, and she can't keep a simple backpack behind the counter for this guy. The other woman behind the counter told me to look through it for an address, and I didn't want to go into it. I don't ever go through people's things. I finally looked in and found a phone number for "Paul's pager" which I called from a payphone, to no avail. I finally actually went back into the store and started screaming at them. "I HAVE TO GO TO NEW YORK RIGHT NOW" I screamed. "I JUST SPENT $50 ON FOOD IN THIS PLACE. THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS HELP ME." The owner finally took the backpack. I actually had to ask her for a piece of paper, and after rolling her eyes back and forth in her head a couple of times it almost seemed like the Boston Satanic Attitude in her subsided just for a second and she almost seemed like she would help us. Then we stopped somewhere else to try to find the phone number for Paul, which we couldn't find, and finally I searched through my email Trash folder and found his email address, called our manager and asked her to send an email to him ASAP. The guys are saying that the backpack is probably in the back alley, in flames.

And we're not even out of Boston yet. Why are people so mean to strangers here?


The NYC Salaryman show at Brownies went terribly. The soundguy was in such a rush that he didn't let us soundcheck all the way through, so half the PA wasn't working during the set. It made for a really, really bad show. There was supposed to be record-label people at the show, too, but I sure didn't meet any. I suppose that if they came, they probably left during the middle. The people who stuck around didn't say it went too badly, but it felt bad to all of us.

Tue Oct 21 - Philadelphia, PA

We went to see "Boogie Nights" today, because we had about 5 hours to spare before our load-in up the huge staircase to the Trocadero Balcony. This movie was really great, it's about the 70s Porno film industry. It's a little bit like Pulp Fiction, at its worst.


We finally got to see Lexicon, the band of the smarty-pants linguistics students (cute, eh?) and they were really great. It was all texture, no vocals, a bass, a guitar, a violin and pounding drums! I am a terrible music reviewer, I always compare one music to another, so I'll just say that the music was somewhat of the same feel as the last side of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation. The band was really great to watch, too. At the end of their last song, they played a cover of the Close Encounters theme, which came off suprisingly well and not cheesy at all. We all really liked them a lot! They will hopefully go out on the road and tour. It sounded like that's what they'd like to be doing.

Wed Oct 22 - Cleveland, OH

Tonight was a great show, in my humble opinion. We played with Skeleton Key who are AMAZING. There was hardly anyone there, it was snowing and the Cleveland Indians were playing the World Series in town, a mile away from our show. But just hearing Skeleton Key play their weird Doo-Rag-ish junkyard mixed with a bit of Soul Coughing (Rick doesn't hear Soul Coughing in their music, and I'll bet Skeleton Key wouldn't like to be compared to Soul Coughing either, sorry) made me feel all funky on the stage. Woo! Fun show!

Where did we stay tonight? It was in Kent, with Vince who runs the Musician's Assistance Site on a beautiful new carpetted floor of his new house outside of Kent. We met his roomate's son, who is named Isaac. Isaac came right up to me when I woke up the next morning and said "What Have You Brought For Me." It's a good thing I had something for him!

Thu Oct 23 - Detroit Rock City

We pulled into the back of St. Andrews Hall, which is the load-in for the basement of St. Andrews Hall, where we're playing. St. Andrews Hall, itself, is a huge venue, one we used to play a long time ago. Tonight there was some guy on stage bellowing, it sounded like Pearl Jam or something. I walked into the main office and sort of looked quizzically at the 5 people standing in there, pointed at the main stage and then said, "uh... what is that?" And they all started laughing. "That's the best response we've heard to that all day!" they said. "It" was a band called "Type 0 Negative." They had really scary t-shirts, all black and satanic looking. Their show was completely sold out, too. We had to delay and play our show around theirs, because when they were playing, the ceiling of the downstairs shook and you could hear their music almost as loud as you could hear ours. Poor Trocar, who was opening, had to go on at 8pm, and there wasn't a lot of people there for them. And they are really, really great, I guess you'd call them Emo-core.

Here is a picture of "Type 0 Negative"'s fans waiting outside to be let into the show. The line stretched around the block. The picture below is after I said, "HEY KIDS! SHOW ME THE SIGN OF SATAN FOR my Photograph!!"They all knew it.

Well. I was a big butthead today on the stage. I just didn't feel like I was jumping high enough. I felt like I didn't play well enough. I felt like nothing was happening. I finally cut the last song, before the guys started I stammered something like "Thank you very much, that's our last song" into the mic and put my bass down and kept repeating "that's all. I can't play any more." Over and over. Then I tried to escape into the next room and finally sat under the bar and cried. I wanted to destroy my bass. I wanted to destroy the computer. I wanted to put my hand through a window. I can't believe how sad I felt, how everything could seem like the end of the world, and how I felt like nothing could ever be better again.

I'm writing this afterwards. Now I feel stupid, because I wasted one of our last shows. We played as well as we could, I know that. The rest of the band thinks I'm being really crazy. I got a pep talk from Rick, too. I'm not ever supposed to end a set before everyone else wants to again. I climbed out of my silly black hole and everyone else around was laughing and smiling and having a good time. And I had to worry about whether or not I had insulted people. That's not the way to be.

2 more shows.

Skeleton Key's Percussionist

And tonight we stayed at Brian R's house, warm and comforting, with a HUGE TV. I think we all slept really, really well.

Fri Oct 24 - Athens, OH

Well, something exciting (almost) finally happened on tour! We were staying at a person named Benji's parents' house, and as we pulled into their driveway at around 3am, I was so worried we'd wake up the parents. Rick drove one of the back tires into the drainage ditch outside their house. The van was completely stuck. There were 5 police cars down the road, too, having some weird kind of pow-wow! We were pushing and pushing to no avail; (and all of us were taking pictures and giggling, too, all except Rick) and finally the police came by to ask if we needed help. I told them "no" and then they took me aside, "Miss, Miss: listen. I don't want to alarm you, but you can stand out here however long you need to get the van out of the ditch, but if you hear any kind of sirens coming, you must collect everyone and get them to go as close to the house as possible. Just if you hear sirens. There could be a potential dangerous situation." I freaked out - I was like, "BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR VAN??!!" And the police officer said, "you were supposed to be the one in charge, the least excitable?" and then everyone explained to them that I was the wrong person to tell.

Benji and I got spattered with mud!

That's the most exciting part of the story, alas. We unloaded all the equipment onto Benji's driveway, got spattered in mud, met a lost kitten wandering around outside in the cold, loaded equipment back into the van and then hung out at Benji's house, ate a huge vat of chicken soup and brownies his mom made for us and oogled at Matt Miller's (alt.music.posterkids) palmtop Windows 95 machine, all the time listening for sirens that never came.

Oh yeah, and the show was OK.

Sat Oct 25 - Cincinatti, LAST DAY OF TOUR!!!

waking up outside Athens

Man, Benji's parents are SO cool. They made us french toast this morning. We took up half their house with our sleeping bags! I am going to have to start grabbing people off the street and making them sleep in our house to make up for all the great band karma we've spent on this tour, we've met so many wonderful people and stayed in so many warm, beautiful houses. I hope we were sufficiently entertaining. And the kitten now has a home; the Benji Parents found kitten a half-mile up the road and took him/her (we couldn't figure out) in.

You wouldn't think that southern Ohio is that beautiful, but it really is. It's all hilly and green.

Last show. Sudsy's, the laundrymat/venue was pretty full of people - people even came from as far as Michigan for this show! I hope we played well enough for everyone. I believe we are all pretty tired of playing these songs. I put a request list up at the t-shirt booth for people to write songs down on, and ended up with about 16 different song requests - you know what? That's gotta amount to something, us having that many songs that people want to hear! We played all the ones we could possibly play.

There was a cake again, this time with a Salaryman picture on it and little sword toothpicks stuck all in it - the guys were pretty disturbed by that, actually, but Jon, who brought the cake, said there was nothing meant by it. The people at the bar, the promoter, and the soundguy seemed so geniunely happy to see us, and there were old Poster Children fliers up in the band room/office. There is such a difference between going to a club where you're loved and going to a club where no one really knows who you are. I really think it actually brings more people in to see the show when the promoter loves you; it's just a different feeling about the show. I think they give off "vibes" to people and those "vibes" spread. That's why we'll sometimes go to a show where it's obvious the promoter hasn't even listened to our record, play with some band who sounds nothing like us, and no one will come to the show. I think there is some connection between the show promoter and the actual show. Call me crazy.

Anyway. That's the last show. Well, not really; there's a couple more Poster Children shows, and Salaryman may be going on tour with Tortoise, Mouse On Mars, and Long Fin Killie in Europe in a month. We don't know yet.

In one way, our future is very uncertain. We don't know if we're going to be dropped from our label. There are many changes taking place there, and it's become sort of obvious to us that we're not a very high priority. There are many people who insist that we'll be better off on an indie label anyway, but we have no regrets for what we've done. When I do find out what happens, you can bet I'll write it up on this web page!

At any rate, Poster Children is NOT going to break up. We already have plans for a new record, a CD-ROM, no matter what label it will come out on. We've spent the last 4 years while we were on our major label making a fortress for ourselves; spending money on recording equipment and computers. If we get dropped, we'll record in our own studio, write the CD-ROM part in our computer lab, and put the record out on our own label. And we'll tour again; we toured before we were on the major label, during, and we'll tour afterwards. But I think the next record may sound very, very different!

And thus ends the Poster Children Official RTFM tour, which started officially in April. It ends on a happy and tired note for us; while I remember always being so flattered that we could be so far away from our home, playing a show, and there will be people there to see us (ok, with the exception of Albuquerque!), I also remember getting kind of tired of playing our songs, old songs and new songs. It's impossible to know what to play for people too, with all the different albums we have out and all the different types of songs. Also, one of the best parts of this tour was the meeting people and sleeping on their floors, being invited into so many different households. Bands who live in posh hotel rooms are missing out on something. You people whose floors we slept on, Thank You.

And everyone else: thank you for reading and for listening. Please keep in touch on alt.music.posterkids and the listserv, (and this web page, too!) because I still want these places to be for the exchange of knowledge and ideas and thoughts. Happy Halloween!

the end