Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Woe is Uh Me Bop: Tour Post Number Two

On stage in Austin, Texas -- photo courtesy of Todd V. Wolfson

In order to get my creative juices flowing, I decided to put on some Captain Beefheart! "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" is long out of print, but if you can find a copy I suggest you get it immediately. A masterpiece for sure.

Tour Date Number Two: November 2nd. 2006/Cactus Cafe

Today's blog post takes us to the cold winds of Austin, Texas. Yes, I wasn't expecting it to be cold but as our luck would have it, it was. The drive wasn't as taxing as I thought it would be and so getting to the Habitat Suites hotel was a piece of cake. For those who travel frequently, the Habitat Suites is like an environmentally safe zoo for humans. Solar panels grace the rooftop, the rooms are entirely water efficient (imagine toilets...without water!), and the free breakfast is organic/macrobiotic (compare THAT to our favorite Holiday Inn egg patties).

I've decided to call this tour, "The Drum Nightmare Extravaganza".

In the last post I mentioned that my drums were excruciatingly out of tune, largely due to the lack of fresh drumheads. I also was sans cymbals for the first gig because mine were forgotten in Nashville. The cymbal bag also held my lovely tambourine which added colorful spices to songs such as "Of Bow and Drum" and "Young Lions". Adrian agreed to drive us to Guitar Center so I could pick up my drum paraphenalia but being the genius that he is, he stayed in the car. If I were Adrian, I would not want to go to a Guitar Center anytime soon. Way too tempting. We ran in and out and as fast as we could, kind of like being on "Extreme Shopping".

I bought a futuristic tambourine from Factory Metal Percussion. It looks like a Celtic cross with jingles on it. It does the job though. I was also then told that master drummer Pat Mastelotto from King Crimson will be attending the show that night.

It's safe to say that I was nervous.

We relaxed for a while back at the hotel to reminisce about our youth by watching episodes of "The Wayans Bros." on BET. After a few laughs we went to the minivan and told "Genie" to direct us to the Cactus Cafe, which is somewhat located on the campus of the University of Texas. I've learned by now that "Genie" and Texas do not get along. Maybe it's because of the constant road detours, or maybe "Genie" is a Democrat. It's the bane of my existence and I should figure it out sometime.

So, "Genie" could not find the Cactus Cafe. It was hilarious. Driving around in circles, freaking out, laughing because of how bad these directions were. We asked everyone in sight how we could find it and few people seemed to know. My favorite part of this particular adventure was when Adrian didn't know where he was going and started driving onto an open food court much to the horror of the student body.

I live for this stuff!

Finally, we found a parking spot and rushed a soundcheck. Unfortunately, my double pass drum pedal did not survive in the car and somehow the durable aluminum body was ripped in half. Thank you Pat Mastelotto for being generous and lending me your bass drum pedal for the entire tour. It's holding up just great.

After scarfing down the best local falafel Julie and I went downstairs to our backstage area. I can't wait to post some pictures. it was like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory basement. I soon discovered that striking the metal poles down there created some interesting sounds so I recorded a short video of myself playing Radiohead's "Idioteque" that i'll post when I have access to a Firewire cable. Adrian came back from the hotel and we did our normal exercises and went onstage.

I would say it was a fairly decent set, there were some guitar and monitor troubles but I think this was the show where we worked out all of the kinks. The crowd in Austin was loud and fabulous, and if we packed an arena with these people the walls would shatter. Again, thanks to Pat and Co. for being supportive.

Now we drive off for two days in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prepare for painful red chile burritos!


Blogger Steve Luckett said...


I'm following your and your Mum's blogs with great interest from the safety of my workplace desk here in England. I've just read that you stayed at the Habitat Suites in Austin, a place I always stay at when I'm over in Austin. It really is a little haven isn't it and Donald, on reception one hell of a nice guy!
Keep up the good work boy!

Steve Luckett

6:46 AM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

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5:36 PM  
Blogger WaLL-eYeD said...

it was beefheart that first brought me to austin in 1978.
you were not even born.
i came to see him at the armadillo world headquarters, and fell in love with austin.
two years later i would get to hold court with frank for like 20-30 minutes and take two portraits of him
(one your mom posted)

i keep watching a vid on youtube of adrian/bozzio and frank....
what shows those musta been!

i hope you are having a great tour...


11:43 AM  

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