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2000 Tour Reports Index


DDD Tour- March-May

Mar 14-18- SXSW-Austin:
pools of water reflect the sky like mirrors

Mar 18-23 The Southeast:
kiss the ground in Baton Rouge

Mar 23-31 The East Coast:
"just tell me, is this still part of the game?"

April Week 1 - NorthEast Coast:
what can make a towel smell like bacon?

April Week 2 Midwest Datest:
crying to the music of the Doors

April Week 3 - Go West:
It's so exciting when people beat the crap out of each other!

April Week 4- West:
That West-Coast, I-5 feel

May Week 1 - End:
"I'm a Man and I Have Needs"


(pictured: Boston Audience)

4: The Northeast: What can make a towel smell like bacon?

Friday, March 31 - Philadelphia, PA - the Upstage

A million stairs and then here we are at another 2nd floor Philadelphia show. All I remember about this show is being terrified that no one would show up. Last time we played Philly, there were a lot of people. But people began filing into the room around 11pm, and the band who played before us played a Gang of Four cover and people loved them. I think they were called Panama, and they were good. They had a female bass player that played really interesting bass parts; definitely added a lot to the sound.

I'm very sick now. I feel tired and my chest is killing me; it's hard to breathe. Why do I have to get this EVERY time we go on tour? Rick seems to be sick too. I just lay around all day until it's time to explode on the stage. At night I'm almost too weak to brush my teeth - I have to prop myself up with my arm again. It's too much trouble to hold up a book, so I just lay around and sweat.

Saturday April 1, 2000 - Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ

Woohoo! Fastbacks!

We sleep almost all day in the Motel 6 room in New Brunswick, New Jersey, our designated Motel 6 for New York City and Hoboken. This must drive Howie crazy. He is so bored he actually takes a bath. But I need to just sleep - if I get any sicker I'll end up in the hospital and screw up the rest of the tour. And that would be bad.

Today was the Fastbacks' last show of their tour - we're happy to be able to play with them again - and Maxwell's was crowded with people. I really love playing with the Fastbacks because 1) They are older than us 2) They are at least as good a live show as we are, 3) They play happy punk music also, 4) They know that they will never get famous too, even though they totally deserve it, and 5) they are really, really nice people! I think we would have a blast on tour together. Their new record is on spinART also - they sound like an old-fashioned punk band, like the buzzcocks or the Jam, but with really happy little-girl and little-boy vocals. It's really something to hear - I suggest you go scouting around for their music on emusic.com because it's not something you hear everyday.

The lights at Maxwell's make it impossible to see the audience, so you can't see if they're having fun or not. I saw heads bobbing while we played, but I swear, I worked my ass off on that stage and there was just some polite clapping when we finished. Then we got the "I was very impressed!" people back at the t-shirt booth. Should I really be complaining about this? We're in New York City area now; everyone's a musician. I should be happy we're playing here. And I am.

Gosh- the Fastbacks' drummer told me the best tour story I've heard yet - they went to eat in Laurel, Maryland (Motel 6 town!) at an Olde Country Buffet - they'd never been to one before. We screamed with approval - we LOVE Old Country Buffets!! Then the drummer says, "well, in between the dinner and the dessert, I went into the bathroom and found a dead guy in one of the toilet stalls." Apparently the guy had a heart attack whilst on the pot, like how the King died. That's one hell of a story - better than the time a little girl threw up right in front of me on the floor of an Old Country Buffet. It takes a while before you can actually enjoy eating at one of those places again, when you've had a bad experience at one of them. It's probably going to be a while before the Fastbacks can enjoy their $6.59 all-you-can-eat supper again. Too bad. Although their tour's over now so they can just go back to Seattle and hang out at their coffee shops.

Food in New England

Sam Ash Hell Hole

Earlier today I forced us to go to Sam Ash, one of those Musician SuperStores, because I have almost destroyed yet another guitar strap. Howie and I prepare ourselves mentally and physically, once again using the eXistenZ model for our visitation metaphor for this part of our game. Jim and Rick won't go near the store, being way too cool. Howie quotes that he "feels the need to kill someone in this store," and we walk in and are immediately whooped in the face with black-wearing, tattooed, long-haired Musicians wearing Zildjian, Fender, or other logos on their bodies. Let me just tell you, if you are one of these people, you are NOT cool. Take the tank top off now. You look silly. Cut your hair.

Meanwhile, I am dressed in all black too, with my new "Death Metal" shirt on with the silver sparkle lightning bolts down the sides. I look ridiculous. A thin heavy-metal-looking woman with long blue-black hair, black tank top and tattooed arms sits at a shiny black piano near the entrance of the store, emoting wildly, swooning back and forth to her own music-making. I can't quite hear what she's playing, too absorbed with the 40-something black-wearing Guitarists standing next to me talkin' about giggin'. Howie races back to me while I stand in this line, eyes wide, and announces loudly, "Rose, Rose - we have to get out of here - I have just killed someone in the Drum Area. The police will be coming soon! Hurry!" and I tell him "I have to wait and pay for this guitar strap." The people near us now have quieted down enough so that I can hear what song the heavy-metal woman near the front is masturbating on her piano - it's "Imagine There's no Heaven" by the Beatles. *gag*.

Sunday April 2, 2000 - NYC

Howie and Breakfast in a New Jersey Diner

Driving to New York City

As we wait for the Holland Tunnel, we sit on the brink of the number 1, most awesome City in America. We make up statistics and each call out the following:

  • At least one person is killing another person right now.
  • 100 people are shooting up heroin right now!
  • One person is beating another person into a bloody pulp right now
  • Someone is crapping on someone else's face right now
  • Someone is ODing right now
  • Someone is killing themselves right now

and Jim says something like,

  • and right now, a little girl is sitting in her room, petting a cute little puppy dog

to which Rick replies,

  • and her dad is breaking down the door to her locked room, to grab the puppy dog and stuff it into a plastic bag and drown it.

We go on like this for quite some time. The wait for the Holland Tunnel is very, very long.


Brownie's Sunday night crowd, New York City

I don't feel so well, but it's ok, I guess

Well... I guess the show went good, although it seemed really, really quiet to me on the stage. The really fun part about this show was I heard people laughing as I did funny things on the stage. I announced that I had just been informed that someone had peed on our van, and that I had thought that was illegal now in New York. Then I mentioned that perhaps the man was trying to clean the van; perhaps it was too dirty for the city. That got a chuckle. I even made some sort of connection between Giuliani, saying that perhaps it was the mayor himself that peed on our van to clean it, and still people laughed. You have to be careful with your midwestern sarcasm in New York City, because many times the people just don't get it at all. Maybe the audience was giving me the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, it was nice to hear laughter.

Our crowd in New York City seems very warm and nice, contrary to what you'd think. (Someone even brought me some kleenex, which I am using right now in the van, thank you!) And, for some odd reason I feel really safe just leaving stuff lie around in Brownie's, the club we played at tonight. New York City seems cleaner than I remember it - there were only a couple of spots where I smelled urine, and one of them was on the stage. The area around Brownies was so scary a couple of years ago here that I remember having to wait for Rick to pull the van around, and as I waited on the street, I pretended I was on drugs so no one would bother me. Tonight, the street is full of little old ladies with bright lipstick on, coughing and hobbling around, and here and there a lonely homeless man looking like a movie extra, cowering in a corner or timidly asking for change. The little old ladies look more menacing than the homeless extras tonight. Rick tells me that the people of NYC are trying to get Giuliani out of mayor's office by making him into a congressman, and when I ask why, Rick says that bad things are happening. I think in order to clean up the city, they are making drastic changes each week and not following through the next week. I hear that one week they ticketed double-parked cars along a street for the entire week, but didn't continue doing that after that week. And Rick says that the police are just starting to shoot people. And they're not supposed to do that without getting in trouble, I guess. It actually sounds a lot like Los Angeles - maybe that's why the New Yorkers are getting mad.

After I finished changing my shirt in the van I looked out and saw the face of Shannon from the Cows staring back at me - I screamed and opened the door and threw my arms around him. "SHANNON!! Hi!!!" I knew that he had moved to New York, but didn't think I'd actually get to see him! That was ultraCool. He is looking to start an acting career. That sounds very, very difficult to me. But, tonight, he says he was just walking by Brownie's and saw me in the van and then noticed we were playing! So he stayed for the show, and I gave him props from the stage, saying he was my Rock and Roll Teacher - apologized to him afterwards in case I embarrassed him on the stage and he said, "It takes a bit more than that to embarrass me." Oh yeah, I guess so.

After the show tonight I kicked a bulkhead wall and destroyed my back, like a moron.

Monday Morning, 3am, New Jersey

We wander red-eyed and sober through a hidden 24-hour A&P city-sized grocery store at 3am in the New Jersey suburb of East Brunswick and run into a short, stocky drunk guy with a New York accent wearing a bicycle helmet and biking gloves. He decides to follow me around the store and talk to me about music. He asks, "What was the last record you bought?" and I say, "It was 10 years ago, I believe." He says, "how can that be?" and I say, "I hate music." and he says "How can you hate music?" and I say, "I'm in a band."

Then it all comes apart, he's heard of us and is friends with people in Karate and Jade Tree label, and then it all hits him and says, "What the HELL are you doing in East Brunswick if you played in New York City? You're 45 minutes south of the city!" and we explain that if you look up New York City in the Motel 6 guide, it tells you to stay in the Motel 6 in East Brunswick, New Jersey. (I should also note that this suburb is unbelieveably hard to get around in - there are huge cement barriers between up and back lanes of the roadway and if you want to go somewhere on the other side of the road you have to drive past it and then find a U-Turn street and turn off from the right lane and swing around - if you miss it you have to go around in 2 U-turn loops again.)

Our new friend is incredulous - 45 minutes south of the city and out of our way seems ridiculous to him. He's laughing, and also apologizing for wearing the helmet. He introduces himself - "I'm Andy." He says, "If I wear this helmet and gloves for 24 hours I get $200 - it's a bet." I don't know if he knows it or not but his friend, Big John, has been telling everyone that it's not a bet, and that Andy has to wear the helmet to protect his head so he doesn't get hurt when he falls down. The white lights are blaring down in this grocery store, and we can't find anything to eat. Andy and Big John tell us, "We are going home now to barbecue, smoke some joints and watch Rodney Dangerfield's 'Easy Money.'" This is the fun of touring. The woman at checkout counter turns out to be loopier than these guys. I make a mental note not to drink any water around here.

Monday April 3, 2000 - The Ugliest Drive In The US

We now embark upon the absolutely ugliest drive in the country, the drive from NYC to Boston. We pass the Throgs Neck Bridge Exit. Gorgeous names. The sky, buildings, road, and trucks that we pass are grey, absolute grey, with an olive-colored tinge. It's actually quite warm though, (or I have a fever) and the air smells like the sea. The van is dry and comfortable and rings out with alternating stories about LBJ from Rick's new book "Taking Charge, The Johnson White House Tapes 1963-64" and stories about the making of Blade Runner from my new book "Future Noir, The Making of Blade Runner." Howie has stayed behind in the city of New York to visit with his uncle, and the Jim, Rick and I are driving to Joyce Linehan's house (what used to be Subpop NorthEast) up in Boston to stay for 2 days. To provide us with a house to stay in and beds to sleep in is such a service beyond what you can imagine; we are grateful to Joyce for doing this for us and other bands for all these years.

Last night I took a bath and took stock of my body - I have a lot of black and blue marks all over my legs, can barely talk, and can hardly stand up now because of that kicking the wall. This is how I know it's a great tour!!

Tuesday April 4, 2000 - Boston

We get to play with Ultimate Fakebook, from Kansas, again,

We get to attempt to pull the van out of Joyce's locked-safe-cage - you'll never sleep sounder than when you know your van is locked safely inside Joyce's outdoor cage, and you are tucked safely inside Joyce's beautiful Boston house.

Great Boston show, although I felt as though I could barely move on the stage. Everyone else seems to have had a good show. I must be recovering from an illness, and forgetting that I am recovering. The audience seems happy. Afterwards a girl named Chelsea shows us an awesome film she made to the soundtrack of an old song of ours, "She Walks." I am reminded that we have to repress the record that song is on.

I am feeling a bit sad that the east coast part of the tour is now over. It's almost half-over. It's way too easy and way too fun. What are we going to do when we get home?

I spent most of the day today and last night answering email interviews and fan email, so I'm gonna put something I wrote for Minneapolis 1st Ave In-House magazine up here:

We have one day off after two and a half straight weeks of touring, so I have a bit of time to reflect on this tour. It has been absolutely wonderful, even though there were a couple of oddly-played shows, and a couple where no one showed up to watch. Travelling around the country, playing shows each night has always been the goal of this band, and we are still living out our dream each night, playing songs from our new album. We are free, roaming around the country, living out of our van, hunting for food like predators in an urban jungle every day and night. My body is covered with bruises from banging my bass into myself, and my throat is so raw I can hardly talk. It hurts to stand; in a fit of fury last night I kicked a cement wall with extra pent-up energy after the show in New York City. Everything seemed too quiet.

Bands continuously ask me "How Can I Get Signed?" "How Do you 'Make it?'" I have no answers to these questions, except that you are looking in the wrong direction if you want to make money in music. Being in a band and writing music is about the performance, it's about the art. If you are trying for money and fame, you are setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment. Money doesn't equal happiness, and neither does fame. If you want money, go work at McDonald's. If you want fame, go kill someone.

Our band is content with the fact that we are able to roam around like this, play music that WE have written, no compromises, we recorded this in our basement, we take no tour support. We sleep on peoples' floors.We watch the sun set on cactii, highway 10, the southwest. We drive through lava fields, golden, in Idaho. The sky in Seattle is bluer than anywhere else. Montana is mostly dust, rocks, and writers. We feel hot breezes in the desert as we drive overnight, van windows down, through Arizona. We starve, driving through west Texas after the taco shoppes close. We freeze to death playing an outdoor show in Vermont. We get food poisoning in Tallahassee. The entire western half of the state of Wyoming is closed due to snow.

We visit the balloon museum in the middle of Iowa. Our idols come visit us and sit on the stage as we play in Washington DC. We stop the van in awe at the number of stars you can see at night in New Mexico. We laugh at the faces carved in a stone mountain at midnight in the moonlight in South Dakota. We drive I-35, top to bottom, I-80 side to side, through miles of nothing and nowhere. Highway 666 goes over the continental divide, New Mexico, through Silver City. We leave New York intact. We kiss the ground in Baton Rouge. We swim in oceans, coast to coast. We love our Minneapolis crowds. We are the happiest and luckiest band in the world.

-rose marshack, written for the Minneapolis First Avenue In-house Magazine

Wednesday April 5, 2000 - drive

WE ARE GONNA BE ON MTV!!!! WE ARE GONNA BE ON MTV!!! OK, MAYBE WE'RE GONNA BE ON MTV!! Brendan from our label spinART just called and said, "Rose, I have some good news." and I went, "ok, lay it on me," thinking, the newly pressed CDs are gonna be ready for the rest of the tour (the label has run out of the 1st pressing) and he said "Your new video's been accepted to MTV - 120 Minutes and M2!!!" and the entire world stopped for about 30 seconds while I tried to connect the words to meanings in my head. WE'RE GONNA BE ON MTV!! Again! It has been years since they've played our videos!

Rick spent days awake, right before we left for this tour, finishing this video we made in our living room and outside in our yard. It's a very, very funny video and I'm gonna post it up on the web as soon as we get home in a week. We used a big green sheet of paper for a blue-screen and wonderful Final Cut Pro and a couple of digital cameras - the FUTURE of indie rock is INDIE FILM! Anyway, we got it output and Brendan sent it to MTV - and has been calling and calling with no answer, and then finally today some kid called him up and said, "Hi, I'm *** from MTV - is the Poster Children album 'D -space- D -space- D' or just 'DDD?'" and Brendan said, "DDD" and the kid said, "great, thanks, bye" and Brendan yelled "WAIT A MINUTE! I haven't heard anything about what's going on?!!" and the kid answered, "Oh, I think it's been accepted to M2 and 120 Minutes." So Brendan called again and there's people moving around in different jobs over there, so that's why he couldn't get a quick answer, but they confirmed that it's been accepted to 120, and that it's gonna be in rotation on M2!!!

Now, you know I've been at this for a long time, right? You know I know better than to announce something that hasn't happened yet, and really, I do. But I have been around for SO long now, that I am realizing that sometimes, the entire FUN of something this wonderful is just in the actual realization - and so many things fall through, so many "SURE" things fall through, that I'm at the point now where the Finding Out is just as fun - or even moreso - than the actual event happening. So I'm announcing it. We don't even have an air date yet. I mean, hell, I remember hearing that "Junior Citizen" is going to be played on the radio - I think it was that - on The Chicago radio station - we had an air time and everything - and I actually heard the DJ say, "Well, I was going to play this Poster Children song, but I seem to have lost it all of the sudden, so I am going to play a new Filter song instead." And that was that. Radio and "The Big Fame" faded in that instant.

So we jumped around Joyce's house - ok, I jumped around Joyce's house, screaming - for about 10 minutes, and then drove with electricity coursing through my veins all day today. We're gonna be on MTV!! Who cares if something happens and it all falls apart? I'm pretty damn happy right now, just thinking about it. I'm not gonna be happier than this when I actually see it.

(ok maybe I will... yeah, I probably will... I think...)

This is all part of the virtual reality of touring and being in a band. None of it is real. It is all a game. It's all a dream. I can be happy whenever I want to be.

Today I listened to my favorite songs as I drove through upstate New York. Jawbox, Naked Raygun, The Clash, Archers of Loaf, Fugazi, Velvet Underground. I haven't been able to listen to music for years, (pretty much ever since I found out about radio payola) but little by little I'm becoming able to hear it again. Upstate New York can be quite beautiful and charming if you've got your favorite music blaring through your head. Grey as slate, hills and rocks and sky and grass and sticks and trees peel past me, and tiny white April snow flurries pellet the van like little christmas presents as I listen to 20 years of angst course through my head like electrons through a lightbulb. . I got some of those cool headphones that clamp onto your ears and when I listen to Sonic Youth with these on, I feel like my head is a big empty vacuum tube with a big jagged soundwave going through it, Thurston Moore exhales, "Expressway.....To Yr Skull" after "We're gonna kill... the California girls.. " and I know why I'm doing this, I know what I'm doing on stage, and I'm thanking whatever it is that lets me get on the stage in front of people and show them my insides.

And I promise I'll be more careful from now on.

And I think it just occurred to me that I don't have to stop, do I. I can keep playing music forever.

Thursday April 6, 2000 - Ohio - Cleveland

I can't believe how happy I was last night and how sad I am tonight. I actually thought about killing myself tonight. I hated the way I played. I thought we sucked. I thought it all went so terribly, but then I actually said, "I didn't think we deserved an encore" up on the stage when we were coming back for encore, and that was it. It was such a terrible mistake. I bumped my head on the hanging PA speaker when I climbed up on the PA, and then I pretended to fall on the stage and flipped Rick off while lying on my back on the stage, while he put his foot on my head. I thought it was really funny but then I had this weird feeling that maybe the audience didn't think it was funny. Maybe they thought I was really flipping him off.

So this is how depressing and stupid and mood-swingy I get. I feel like I didn't move well on the stage tonight. I feel old, like maybe I'm too old to move around well on the stage anymore. So I sat in the van and actually thought about killing myself, because I am too old, and then I thought that I'm too old to kill myself. I should know better than that. So then I started crying, because I'm so old. And then I realized that I'm too old to be crying like this.

I look back on this now and think that I should be happy that at least I get these 180 degree mood swings. I mean, maybe there are some people who go through life without these colors - at least I have these huge sine waves to ride every so often. It's like riding a huge rollercoaster. There's got to be some good in that. Maybe it can go in my playing.

Maybe I should write about what happened tonight. The opening band - there were 3 bands - and the openers came late - first I heard they cancelled, then at around 10:50 a band shows up and loads onto the stage and borrows some cables and a pick from Rick. They go on, and they are pretty good. They are a 3-piece, 2 basses with matching basses and cabinets, and a really good drummer, and they play really good, except it appears that their singer has some sort of weird attitude. He's dressed up a bit too rock, but it's ok, I guess. Anyway, they play 2 songs and then I hear the sound guy saying "This is the last song." It's actually too bad, because they're pretty good. Some people in the crowd start yelling, "ONE MORE SONG!" and the soundguy says, "NO!" and after their last song, 2 of the guys start packing up, while the lead singer, indignant, states, "I'm not packing up my gear," or something to that effect. I finally ask what the hell is going on, and I am told that this band pulls this sort of stunt every time; they show up late for a show and try to go on 2nd instead of first, and the 2nd band this time refused to go on before them. I thought that was pretty respectable, actually, the 2nd band holding their ground like that.

There was so much posturing and airs about this first band that I didn't do anything. I just let them get off the stage. I probably could have told the soundguy to let them play more, but I didn't - I really had no idea what was going on. I mean, if that was our band and we were late for some reason, I would have told the audience that. I would have told the headlining band what had happened. No one said anything to me or the audience. I finally went up to find out why they were so late and one of the guys said, "We had to work." They were coming from like, an hour away, and couldn't get up here until 11pm? Fans of theirs stood indignantly around, and they all decided to leave in sort of a protest, so a handful of people who came lost $5 of their cover charge and left without sticking around to see the other bands.

I still feel badly, because I did nothing. This reminds me a bit of what happened to us with Pavement and Run DMC, when Pavement could have helped us but didn't. This band had a real attitude problem though, and so did their fans. But it still made me feel awful. The 2nd band went on, called Viva Caramel, and they were really, really good, too, and they even thanked both the first band and us for playing together. This is a very professional band. When I spoke to them after the show, they said, "You can't just be LATE for a show - if you're in a touring band, that's not professional!" They got it right! Even the promoter told me that she really likes the sound of the first band, but they're a pain in the ass, they're always pulling these weird stunts, and she's getting really, really sick of it. All I know is they are never playing with us again, I'll make sure of that. They didn't even thank Rick for letting them borrow equipment, and didn't even return his pick - said, "Someone stole it." So much attitude. Screw them.

We stayed at a beautiful loft in the middle of downtown Cleveland today, thanks to owners Frank and Dee for inviting us. They are really nice folk. And thanks for the color management lesson, Frank!

Friday April 7, 2000 - Ohio - Columbus

(pictures coming)

Do you think that James Woods have ever done heroin? I mean, he's in all these drug movies, and you know he's gotta be one of those "method actors." I wonder if he's done heroin. I'm sure he's probably done coke. I worry about him.

Tonight we had a lovely audience, a guy climbing on the ceiling as we played, hanging off the rafters like it was 20th Century Montana, back in the good old days. Guys screaming "HEY HEY HEY" while we played Revolution Year Zero. People jumping around like crazy, a guy taking off his shirt. I have to watch out that the microphone doesn't bang me in the mouth. I love this kind of audience. Oddly enough, tomorrow in our home town, I know we'll be playing to a much more sedate, bored audience. In our own home town. How funny.

The band who played before us really made my day - maybe my entire year. They are called "Kelly 18" and they're from Chicago. They should be signed to Touch & Go - they were incredible on the stage, the kind of incredible of a band that's on the edge of going out of their mind or something. This is the best band I've seen in 5 years, at least. The last time I saw raw energy like that was probably at a Big Black show - or maybe a Six Finger Satellite show. It was wonderful, and I'll never be able to describe it, except to say that it was the way a rock show is supposed to be. If more were like that, more people might come to shows. The raw energy wasn't the kind of tight, together energy of a group of bald, whining teenagers singing songs of love long lost, it was like terror and angst and hate and love all rolled up together. It seemed more real than anything I've seen in a long, long time. Thanks, guys.

This town is one of the gates to hell. I mean this in the best possible way, really. Please don't take it as an insult. It's just a town on the edge of chaos or something. Just go to White Castle here on a Friday night and you'll see why I say this. Kids dressed in all different types of costumes and uniforms meet here, in various stages of fucked-up-ness, and insult each others' haircuts, and they all look like characters out of a martian movie. Howie tells me that 3 college kids die here per month, from drinking themselves to death. I saw a t-shirt in the University Bookstore window that said, "You can always retake a class, but you can never relive a great party." And the club, Bernie's, is such an incredible dive, and it's such a great place to play. It's so unbelievably grimy, and I absolutely love playing here. This is what touring is all about, even if the whole town is probably going to sink into a huge gaping hole in the earth, like in Poltergeist.

The towels in the hotel room today smell like bacon, and actually, the room smells like an ass. "No," Howie corrects me, "it smells like ass." I can't even imagine what has gone on in this room before we got here. What can make a towel smell like bacon?