After an unfulfilling experience at the Fashion Square food court in Scottsdale (Johnny Rockets, anyone?), we proceeded on to Tucson.
We were supposed to play at 36 Chambers, but somewhere, someone got rubbed out, and we were double booked with three thrash punk bands. But don't worry, they were on top of it- instead of our intended engagement, we were relocated to a house party. And not just any house party..."The Ramp House" party, (dubbed so, on account of there being a skate ramp in the backyard). At this party the bathrooms are off limits, and the kids look very young but act fully-grown. Making out in bedrooms with bottles of hard alcohol bedside... Good Lord. Did I ever look like that?
The kid in the white t- was telling us about his relatively long history of drug and alcohol abuse. He seems at peace with it.
I think we all viewed this show as a challenge to overcome-- we had a disinterested and remarkably drunk crowd, 1 microphone, and very little space. Zac was in top form that evening, having a surplus of piss -n- vinegar, and 1.5 Blue Sparks in his system for good measure. One ruffian really wasn't feeling his hands-on stage bit, and took it upon himself to shove Zac around a bit. More man-handling occurred later, when a street thug bumped into Matt and was so angry about it, that he turned around and roughed him up by the shirt collar (glasses broke). I don't recall anybody threatening Brenna and I-- except I suppose, the guy who yelled in my direction: "You guys STILL suck!", as he was getting into what appeared to be his mother's SUV. But I should mention the very nice girl who soberly approached me afterward, asking if we could hug on account of her enjoying the show so much. Also, there was a respectable young man who came just to see us, so thank you Tucson. Zac recalls, and I tend to agree, that Tucson was the most important show of the tour. And oh yeah, turns out that nobody played 36 Chambers at all that night. Thrash punkers got relocated as well-- hope their time was as triumphant and self-reflective as ours.
News came in Tucson that our much-anticipated Pomona show had fallen through, and after taking our time departing, we arrived in Los Angeles very late the next night, having driven all day. Our tour guide David took us to a 24 hr. Jewish hot-spot called Canter's, where we mostly just took photos of the cathedralesque ceiling, but also managed to ingest, collectively, bland macaroni, potato latkes, and pesto pasta (those aren't Jewish foods, are they.)
The next day we mostly just spotted (and tried to get spotted) on Melrose Ave. (I honestly stand by my Nicki Hilton sighting.) Zac got a few "...is he famous?" glances, cause his glasses are so damn conspicuous. LA had me raise my voice to a stranger for the first time ever that day. "I WAS ON THE PHONE." I said to the man who was incessantly tapping my shoulder. Sorry.
And oh yeah, we played a show. The Il Corral was great, my 2nd favorite venue of the tour--in spite of the somewhat terrifying rope-swing moshing scene. Ritchey and Andrew were there, and here is what David and Matt bought with their small-time lottery winnings:
"photo by D. Horvitz."
Perhaps you're wondering why we played in Merced, CA? Well, maybe it's because nobody else but the Mainzer Theatre could promise us this:
And you did read the sign correctly—we headlined an Open Mic that night. And we are the "Parenthical Girls".
Highlights of the OM included: penis poetry comedian, a couple of amateur hip hop acts, Ren Faire lass reciting Lewis Carroll poetry (complete with British accent), and lastly, Matt—with his offbeat and refreshing routine, covering the intrinsic differences between men and women, rape victim sympathy, and a whimsical oration on Reindeer/Tiger Team's stage performance.
"...you see, it's just that men are much more reasonable than woman..."
RTT played my favorite set of theirs that night, but by the time they finished and we had set up, open mic crowd had all but disappeared. I discovered that it's one thing to have no crowd at a bar, but playing to a large, empty theatre is another thing entirely. We turned the strobe light on full blast.
Closing time approached, and the dreaded inevitable occurred... we had no place to sleep. Not even Jeff Bob could offer up floor space. So we did what any lost souls would do in our position—we snuck our party of 8 into one ratty motel room.
Greg and Eddy are ready for beddy. Oh my God.
The next day, we caught our second totally mediocre, if not awful, major motion picture of the tour. Defying standards to beat the heat.
And so on to Davis. I was bracing myself for a similar experience in this neighboring city, but you be might be glad to know that I can conclude this entry on a positive note.
We picnicked at the park.
And then, (face it guys), RTT sort of kicked our ass at soccer.
That night, we played our show at a small cafe on the UC Davis campus, where the kids were very nice and seemed interested. Anyhow, compared to the night we'd had before, Davis felt like nothing short of Shangri-La.
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