(Part eight of a sequential tour narrative. Go to April, 25 2009 to start at the beginning)
I don't remember the drive to NYC but I'm sure it was raining because the second leg of our tour was covered in precipitation. We had a 4:30 load in and miraculously, we made it on time. It was miraculous because instead of taking the Holland Tunnel straight to the Mercury Lounge, we took the Lincoln Tunnel to midtown and stopped by the Gibson Guitar showroom for some hollow body hook ups. Also, Tim wanted to get his Tele's string breaking problem fixed, but that's another story. We then headed south to Chelsea where we found a PRIMO parking spot right in front of Joey Cases' Dirty Bird To-Go. Fried chicken, cornbread and roasted beets. Damn fine cooking! Joey C then took us around the corner to Chelsea Guitars which is located in the front of the Chelsea Hotel. I had wanted to see the Chelsea Hotel for a long time so I'm glad we made the short trek. Richard Lloyd, Dee Dee Ramone and thousands of lesser known degenerates did a lot of bad shit in that place. These days though, it seems like it'd be a even tougher to give it away on 7th Avenue.
I must take moment and say that the newest Mastodon record is fucking phenomenal. It got a hold of a copy right before I left Austin and I am totally hooked. Also, I heard the new Dynamite Brothers and Birds of Avalon records today. They rule as well.
Right now I am sitting in the hotel room in Athens, Georgia waiting on a load of laundry to dry so I can head over to the 40 watt and load in for tonight's show. Cameron is coming to town and we're gonna have a grand old time, I guarantee.
My cousin John got to the Mercury right after soundcheck and we went for Thai and beer. Great to see him again. The show had started when we got back and Bartow was there too. We went on at 8pm and rocked out. Aaron sounded so good on lead guitar and that just made us sound more phenomenal as a group. It was a shorter set than usual but that's New York. Get on, do your thing, get out. We all headed back to Brooklyn in the pouring rain after load out. Bartow, Tiffany and I went back to their house for a quick beer and beddy-by. The next day I picked up the boys in Park Slope and headed off to Philly where we got lost again, thanks to the iphone, which has now been dubbed the liephone. We got Tim to whatever radio station it was he had an interview on and the rest of the brodeo had beers in the cafe. I ran into an ex-coworker on the street...small world. Before we got to Johnny Brenda's, we passed The Fire which instantly worried me that we were playing in a shithole part of town. When Grand Champeen played the Fire four or five years ago, that part of town was awful. As it turns out, the neighborhood is up and coming and Johnny Brenda's is THE place to play. We were all extremely happy with the whole night. The owner greeted us warmly, the soundguy was behind the board the ENTIRE set (I'm looking at you Continental Club), the food was good, the bartenders were nice and the room itself was unique and warm. The other night I told Kevn Kinney that we had a good show at a great venue in Philadelphia and he didn't believe me. We proceeded to swap "New Excuse" stories and let me tell you, he had some good ones. The point= Johnny Brenda's rocks. We went back to Brooklyn after the gig and crashed at JP Olsen's house in Park Slope.
I slept extremely well but when I woke up at noon, I got outta there and took the F train to Bartow's where I took a shower and changed clothes. I got back on the F train to Broadway-Lafayette and Bartow at his office around 2pm. We had great Vietnamese sandwiches, went browsing for mothers day gifts in SoHo and checked out a new coffee shop called La Colombe he had heard about. Then, FINALLY, I walked the brooklyn bridge. It was a beautiful day and I took some great photos from and of the bridge. It was a great walk and I'm so glad I did it. Bartow and I freshened up and then went back into the city for pizza at another new place he's heard about, L'Asso. It was good pizza and a bottle of shiraz. Then we cruised over to the venue of Tim's artwork showing for margaritas, wine and a brief solo acoustic performance by Tim. Bartow and I then headed to the upper east side and met Tiffany at some restaurant/bar called Southern Hospitality. Ha! It seemed like they were trying to emulate the style of a southern restaurant like Lupie's. The only problem is that when it's filled with yankee goombah fratboys, it ain't gonna be a southern restaurant. Why don't they keep their own lame New England style instead of ripping off that of the South? Whatever. We left there and went to some other bar that was filled with lame music and people. The bar itself was cool as shit with the majority of the patrons in the basement catacombs. Screw that, back to Vinegar Hill.
Bartow and I got picked up for our scenery homo event of driving out to the tip of the northern fork of Long Island in order to take the ferry from Orient Point to New London. We had lunch in Westhampton at a cute little diner called Eckert's and saw the beach nearby. It was after lunch that people start admitting to illness and our van becomes knowingly inflected with swine flu. Great. The ferry ride was nice except that there was a thick fog on the sound and we couldn't see anything once we got past Plum Island. Oh well, no big deal. We were out of the van and having nice bro time. Once we got to New London the liephone deceived us several times before we made it to the hotel, only to go straight to the club. I was behind the wheel and I don't like getting lost so I was a little aggravated. So much so, that Bartow and I did carbombs immediately after parking the van at the Oasis. That's better. Sean and Shannon at the Oasis were terrific, feeding us and plying us with libations. The opening band, Tommy McLiketohearmyselftalk went on later than scheduled which put us on later than we wanted and backed our set right up against last call which always sucks. It was a dick move by a bush league local band who wanted to hoard the stage instead of acting professional and being considerate towards the out of town band/headliner. We had a great third show with Aaron and due to he and Sam having watched the new Wilco film before the show, their performances were a bit more inspired from having seen the movie. It's kinda what we used to do back in the days when we skateboarded. We'd watch the Search for Animal Chin and get all psyched to go out and try kickflips for two hours.
Back to the hotel where sickies Aaron and Sam shared a room while Bartow, Tim and I had another. Since this was the last show of Phase II, I will end this post before it gets any longer. I mean, does anyone have enough time to read this shit?