Remember – Staff means no fun!! I am writing this entry on my laptop in our stylin’ and profilin’ black Chevy Trailblazer on the way to our nation’s capitol.
I started my day earlier than when I usually start my day – at 6:30 am!! It was brutal, but I remember why I set my alarm clock so early – Lloyd Dobler Effect, Pat McGee Band, and Vertical Horizon in Towson for Tiger Fest! Oh so fun, I have seriously been waiting for this day since it was announced. Most of you loyal readers know how important and influential PMB has been in my life, how much I adore VH, and of course know my crazy antics with LDE throughout the past two and a half years. The only thing that could make this day any better is to have Ryan Adams added on the bill. Oh, by the way, Judy informed me that Ryan and Parker have split up, which totally means he is on the market. He could be my boyfriend if he wanted. Or we can just make out, I would settle for that.
We were all supposed to convene at the Holland Tunnel Dunkin Donuts, but due to one ways, we went to separate DDs for our coffee, OJ, and bagel fix and met up at a rest stop. Judy, Anna, Starr, and I cruised in our snazzy SUV complete with red fuzzy dice and our bling bling from our VA trip. Morgan followed and passed us and went straight to Fetus’s. We jammed out and tried to stay awake as we drove to Morita’s. Before we left NJ, we had to stop at Wawa for our ATM and caffeine fix. I <3 Wawa coffee. 20 oz, dark roast, vanilla creamer, and three blue sugars. I am so OCD. I think I became silly after that point. Anna, Morita, and I were in the back seat and Anna asked about Chris’s siblings. Chris said that he had a brother and a sister, to which Anna asked which one was he, meaning birth order, but I think everyone else initially thought brother or sister. We saw the beautiful Philly cityscape and made great time into Delaware, where we met up with Nate and the rest stop. The boys tried to counteract our estrogen with talk of tools and beer and sports. All aboard! We had the guys in the Honda and the girls in the Chevy, and the PMB crew already blazing down 95 to Towson.
I think we are bad luck to the road. Every time we take a roadtrip, we always pass really awful accidents. Not fender benders, but real bleeders. The first one was on the Jersey Turnpike and though there was probably no real injuries, a truck had jackknifed across the lanes. On 695 we must have just missed witnessing an accident since there were no emergency vehicles present yet. A car totally got stuck under a tractor trailer. Crazy! Shortly after, we were in Towson, only after Anna awesomely navigated her way around the tricky Charles Street circle.
I am now writing this in our hotel room. I think this is the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in all around. Granted I love the Marina Suites in Dewey because they always hook us up with rooms with two rooms, two beds, a pull out couch, and a fridge. Plus we always have the best parties that last till daybreak there. But the Renaissance definitely kicks major butt. There are real plants and candles and fountains in the lobby. Total three star hotel and it is fabulous. We aren’t afraid of the sheets and the towels actually covered our bodies. Judy and I were the first to enjoy the room as the crew parked the cars and she exclaimed from the shower that the soap smells like roses. There is also a shoe polishing kit in the bathroom. Nate said that that is what he is talking about. Ok, back to the Tiger Fest activities…
The girls called me the band mom when we were on our way to Towson because with all of my MirandaBands, I try to take care of them. I think this came after I was talking about JJ and Akiva being in Newark on Sunday and how I kept checking in and whatnot (more on Friday later). Whether it is obviously promoting, booking, or just being there as they vent...but also in addition to bringing edible and drinkable goodies. I don’t know how it started, maybe back years ago when Aurora and I would always sneak in booze to venues cuz we were broke and Rusty and the Godinez brothers would always partake in such activiteies. Now it has progressed to pretty much all the band except for Chris, but of course moreso Johnny and Rusty. Morgan and I prepared six Sprite bottles, spiked with watermelon vodka, and two water bottles full of watermelon vodka to bring in to make this school event have a bit more pizzazz. The girls and I enjoyed trying to down as much as we could, which was like five gulps since it was ony noon and we were tired. We were totally denied at the door. No outside bottle. Damn them. Judy asked about her “water”, but that was still not a go. So we drank them as we walked back to our banging SUV. Oh well, we have the beer garden…or so we thought.
We got there just in time for Lloyd Dobler Effect. Rocking out, we have: Anna, Judy, Starr, Morita, Nate, Epler, Janene, Jackman, Aurora, and myself – woohoo. The other week, Anna, Judy, Angela, and I came up with the idea to make shirts and through brainstorming, Anna made an awesome shirt design. It’s totally awesome as you can see from the pictures. No doubtedly the guys took stage with their usual passion and energy. Judy busted out the swim gear for “In the Water” and Anna and she totally rocked out. They tried to pin the goggles on me, and I obliged for a picture. I’m just a generally shy person who strays for most attention haha. Some random people took pictures of us/them. They sounded good, they had a small crowd who braved the early afternoon sunshine, and looked good on stage. I noticed Phil took the opportunity to button. I see our Starbucks talk was heard. Well, he was in the van, I was at Starbucks. Their set was abruptly stopped and LDE had to remove themselves from the stage – to which Phil had a bitter goodbye heard on the mic. They planned to end with London instead of Radio, but come on – the Towson dance team had to perform, not some original band! Sigh. I’m glad they tossed off LDE to see orange blubbery girls gyrate and kick on the grass. Needless to say we just made fun of them, and told everyone around us how U of DE beat them in some dance competition.
After LDE, Morita and I decided to meet up with Morgan and the boys in the beer garden. Denied! Apparently you need two forms of picture id to drink at Towson. What the hell. We both had credit and debt cards in addition to our licenses and they wouldn’t let us in. I informed the woman that when you are out of college you don’t really have another picture ID, but she wasn’t taking it. Grr! So instead we walked around with Aurora and Jackman then Nate, Morita, Judy, Anna, Starr, and I played bouncy volleyball. There was this inflatable volleyball “court” set up and we totally ruled at it but we lost the game point. It was fun bouncing around regardless. After our strenuous game we got lunch and busted out the blanket on the grass and socialized with whichever random LDE boy graced us with their presence.
It’s been two years since I have seen PMB play outside (May 8, 2003, and I also saw LDE that day too though on a different stage, weird) and the difference between the two shows was phenomenal. Two years ago it was spectacular, this year, not so much. I just wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t the sound, maybe it was the crowd. Or maybe because I have seen them play way too many great shows and I have higher expectations for them. I was surprised that they played a mix of old and new stuff, and was of course thrilled when they played Passion. You and I obviously made me think of the October 8 2003 show in Boston – every time I hear that song I just remember being surrounded by so many friends from so many different places, the impromptu arm waving, and the passion that filled the room so much that they played the song twice. I’m definitely digging Crix. I don’t think Chris Williams should sport the tie, too unnatural. And of course Todd always gets a thumbs up from me.
Staff still means no fun, even in Towson. In addition to having the crew with the Staff shirts regulating on the fun, we also had a S.A.F.E. posse – which consisted of old men and fat women. Naturally we made plenty of phrases that S.A.F.E. could have stood for. One S.A.F.E. guy was not abiding by the rules when he totally bumped and grinded with two chicks. Seriously, it was really dirty, but I think the two girls were too drunk to even realize. And speaking of the dirty dirty girls. What happened to clothes?! Seriously. My mindset isn’t conservative at all, but I was really surprised! Plus it looked like the entire chain of American Eagle exploded onto campus. So pretty much during the hip hop between the PMB and VH set, it became a preppy dry orgy on Burdick Field.
Next on the bill: Vertical Horizon, another one of my most favorite bands. Now VH is a band that I haven’t seen enough of, last time being with Tim and Andre at the beach last summer. Like PMB, their performance was less than stellar, but I may have been distracted by the sex that was going on in front of me. I still like how open they are about their disdain with RCA. I knew about most of the drama while it was happening and its good that they are being vocal about it. Naturally they played tunes in support of the re-release of Go, and I was quite pleased with Sunshine and Forever. And we flipping got Santa! Oh how wonderful and such a great great song. And We Are. All and all, an excellent setlist, but again, I’ve seen them play better shows. I blame the open air and disinterested crowd who love radio hits.
We decided to stay for a few songs and endured the longest break ever. During that time I said some choice things about the people around us, to which Nate replied that the field was just going to open up and drop me right into hell. Oh and what was up with the crowd surfing!?! And I swear - if that guy who was on stage was any more of a tool…um, yeah…then he’d be a megatool. He could have made light of all the crap being thrown on stage, but no, he had to be an ass. Of course people were throwing stuff, 3EB took FOREVER. Of course he threatened that the band wouldn’t come out, to which Nate and I went on with, “if you don’t stop throwing shit, I’m gonna turn this stage around!” That would have been hilarious is 3EB didn’t play. We kept getting distracted by the two chicks in front of us. They were ALL over each other, and one of their guys was so into it. It was one of those things that you just couldn’t help but watch. I turn around to see how crowded it had become when I saw the greatest things ever: a guy sitting on another guy’s shoulders. Oh it was so hot and wonderful and flamboyant. Most of you know my penchant for gay guys, so naturally I thought it was awesome.
Another one of our deep and meaningful conversations while on the field is the essence of the “woo” at shows. I think it may have began at the Logan House when some band, prolly LDE since that’s the only time I hang out with Nate at the LoHo, and of course the frontman asks “how ya doing?!”, probably Phil, and Nate responded with “I’m fine! Thank you for asking! How are you doing tonight?” Instead of the usual “woo!!!”. Since then we have analyzed crowd/band banter. Too much to even write about, and most of it will only make sense to us. Woo. Woo with just a period, not an exclamation point. We will come back to Woo.
We’re sitting here in the room debating on where to go for dinner and waiting for showers to get done. Judy exclaimed that “we have a vegetarian and a Chinese hater, so food choices are a bit limited.” We just watched the results of the derby and Morita just said that if you picked the trifecta, “you’re either the smartest person ever or down with god or something.” I seriously think I am sitting in the most comfy hotel chair ever. Dude, the chair material matches the tubular pillow on the bed. We just decided that instead of meeting up a Nottingham’s tonight we all may just stay in and enjoy the comfiness of room. We brought up “woo” again and tried to think of t-shirts (can you tell yet that we like t-shirt design?!) about the essence of “woo”. Judy and Chris said that commoners may confuse “woo” with their last name if it was on the back of a shirt. HAHAHA!! Ok, I am seriously crying, Tears are running down my face. This deserves a new paragraph…
So for about a year and a half I think Phil has promised Morita that he could play Two Step with them at the Logan House. It hasn’t happened yet both or either party has been too drunk. While Phil, Beth, Morita, and I were talking, Phil said that it will happen next week. Phil told Morita that it’s time for LDE to either put up or shut up. Nate had thought Phil was talking to me, so when he asked about it just now and I told the story, I had relayed it as Phil saying, “put out or shut up,” which of course brings a whole new meaning to the situation! That progressed to that phrase being a great pickup line. “Hey baby, put out or shut up!” Imagine, it would save a lot of time, and for most twentysomething bar dwellers, that is the ultimate goal. Nate challenged Morita to use it at Nottingham’s tonight. Ok, they are all going to gather their belongings and I am going to go downstairs and figure out the parking garage situation and chill in our gorgeous lobby.
This is now being written as we leave DC and head to Annapolis. My computer says that I have wireless access on Mass Ave, but I can’t check my e-mail or log onto AIM. Liar!
We wandered into Chinatown (a block away from our hotel) and ate at California Tortillas, while in line Nate and Starr went next door to Five Guys Burgers. After this meal we decided that it’s dangerous when we all eat together because someone is going to end up choking to death. We contemplated on the various spellings of “woo”. They played an interesting mix of music as well as a myriad of hot sauces to pick from. As our mouths were burning, Nate tried to stop the disco. Some disco song came out, and he tried to stop dancing, he tried to hold his arm down from doing the Travolta move, but you can’t stop the disco! I was laughing so hard I almost peed myself, so I followed Judy into the bathroom. I was intercepted by one of the Tortilla workers. Weirest encounter ever. And Judy and the other guy in the bathroom took forever as I endured five minutes of this guys shameless flirting. At least he didn’t tell me to put out or shut up. I returned to Anna totally beating Chris to the eating of the burrito. He couldn’t finish his and she so showed him up. Denied! Phil called as we were gathering our belongings. He needed to give me direction and of course the only paper product in front of me that wasn’t messy were the receipts. I fit the directions, complete with water towers and fire hydrants, to Nottinghams on two receipts – and we were off.
The girls listened to the old school hip hop party mix in the Chevy on the way down. Uhhhh push it! Push it real good! The bar was seriously in a corporate center. We grabbed some drinks and ran into Mandy and Donnie and found a table outside. I saw Brad, damn I remember when Brad and Chuck were at all the shows, and we caught up in 5 minutes. I was super tired. Chris joined our table and we taunted him for his interview skills, or lack thereof. It’s just teasing. Johnny and Rusty also came, oh fun. It’s odd, so all of us music people that I’m associated with – well, hard to explain, but we all know each other and hang out and go to each others shows, etc etc etc…it’s like a huge east coast spiderweb of friendship, collaboration, and networking, and LDE is the one band that isn’t as deeply involved as the other bands are, but they all know who they are. For example, I know Morita and Maryellen thru GTT, and of course we all hang out. We’ve got Dan and Chris and Tanya and all the Newark girls with the Marlon Spike Crew, Matt Winn and Mike with the Omniguy, Chip and Akiva, and of course Morgan, Fetus, Avi, Steve, and boob with the PMB posse. The list just goes on and on, but they’re the one band who I don’t see aside from anything show related – they work too much to socialize that much with other bands or collaborate or gig swap or support. But see them outside of the bar that they just played was really fun. Reminded me of oh so many East End nights hanging out with Chris, Dan, and Tanya. And of course the Logan House reunion shows were we would ALL go whether it was MS, Omnisoul, or Ike. We have an awesome group of people. Yay us J Ok, back to Nottingham’s….
Dan called me a few times from Ocean City and I talked to him and Tanya. They kept asking me if I was drunk and I know that they were. Aw, yay I miss our antics! Dan kept saying, “I heard you’re in DC as is PMB which means your drunk!” And I have no idea what that meant! At the table, we’ve got Mandy, Starr, Anna, Judy, Morita, Nate, and Bruno. They were all fielding questions to Chris about gigging or creating or the label and I was just bored. I blame my tiredness and ADDness and that I have heard it all before. No offense to any of them, but I was bored, or maybe it was because we were out, time to have fun, no band stuff, no thinking! So I got up and found Donnie, Jackie, Rusty, and Johnny and decided to go join them and dance. The Reagan Years were playing, a local 80’s cover band. I wasn’t drunk, I just wanted to be silly and have fun. We were on the edge, and Mandy and Starr came up to join me. So I grab them and the guys and there we were front and center just enjoying the night. Oh so fun. It reminded me of Saturday night’s at Kates. Yay for carefree fun and singing to embarrassing songs. I was hoping for some Mellencamp, but it never came ;-).
We left after 2AM and Judy manned the Chevy. I think this is where I lost my voice, from the cigarette smoke and the singing. I really had to pee and didn’t think I was going to make it back to the room. I almost collapsed and died in the hotel parking garage. We took showers and crashed around 3ish. I slept like a rock on the beds of heaven. I did awake suddenly to a weird dream. I was dreaming that I was at work and I had to keep blowing my nose, then Rich brought me into his office to talk. He said he was bothered by four things I was doing. I don’t remember the first three but the last one was getting yelled at for writing personal e-mails at work. I would never get in trouble for that, but for some reason I was really bothered by it in my dream. Haha. Funny that I am on “vacation” and I have work dreams. We woke up and saw Morita on the deflated air mattress – poor guy! At least the floors were clean! We watched “Bend it like Beckham” in the morning, then checked out and wandered around town till we found a Cosi for fulfill our coffee and breakfast needs.
We met up with Judy and Anna’s friend Ryan. Ryan lives in DC and works in politics. Hearing him talk about his job and environment reminded me of what I wanted to do with my life five years ago. I never thought I would be in NYC, check out most of my blogs from Spring 2003 and I was almost certain I was going to be in DC. (such as the post on this page , or the bottom entry here )-I just love it there. Not that I don’t like NYC, but it’s still weird for me to be living a life that wasn’t according to plan. After chatting in Cosi for a while, we went to get ice cream and headed to Adams Morgan.
Four of us got into the back seat as Anna drove through DC. I called Jen and we all convened at DuPont Circle. Jen and I played catch up while standing in line at Starbucks. I love how no matter how far apart any of us are, its all relative. The last time we saw each other was at the 9:30 Club, so almost 2 months ago, but it all stays the same. We rule. After we downed our caffeine, we were off the Annapolis. Oh by the way, I contend that I start my day at a negative three cups of coffee count per day, so I must consume at least 24 oz of coffee to even be on par with society. And me being on par with society is above and beyond normal people.
Now I write this from my bed…
We dashed to Annapolis and ate dinner at Pusser’s. Yes, Pussers. We scarfed down dinner then vroom vroomed it to Baltimore. Goodbye Annapolis, it was nice seeing you for two hours. Anna and Judy had friends from college in Annapolis, which is why we took the adventure down 50. Anna stayed and the rest of us headed to Ram’s Head in Baltimore. Chris and I were guestlisted due to the discmakers hookup, but the tickets for the show rose to $42.50, so Judy and Starr opted out, and Chris and I went in to see Honestly rock out on the big stage. We only missed one song and rest of the set sounded amazing. Hands down, Honestly is one fantastic live band. Top notch when it comes to enthusiasm and pure joy. Yes, they even beat out IKE, Omnisoul, and LDE when it comes to stage presence. Morita said it best when he simply said, “this band makes me happy.” That and we are wondering why the hell this band isn’t signed yet. I recognize half their thank-yous and their team, and they have an incredible one working with them. In good time, in good time. I highly recommend seeing these guys live. John Faye told Morita that he has to check out a band that the both of us speak so well of.
During 3EB’s set we went in search of the guys. Morita took the reins and tried to find them via the stagehands. He found Matt and off to the green room we went. We met Justin’s wife and enjoyed some downtime with the band. We talked of general travel, shows, other bands, and drinking red bull instead of alcohol when they perform. We said our thank yous and goodbyes and found the girls next door at Lucille’s. We said goodbye to Baltimore and headed to Sheetz for food, bathrooms, and gas. We got out of the Chevy and Carbon leaf was playing on the stereo – weird. I got OJ; an egg, cheese, and tomato sandwich on a pretzel roll, and coffee. What more do you really need for a long ride home ahead of you? As soon as he hit 95 again, Chris called from not a car to see if we were all heading back safely. We briefly talked about the night before and the day of and random things, then my coffee and food beckoned. Around Philly the car chatted about how awesome things have been going. We have such a diverse mix of friends who love doing things. But even the immediate friendship of Judy, Anna, and Angela is wonderful (oh you know you fellow roadtrip buddies are awesome, but I knew you before!). The past two months would have been so different if we didn’t have our random adventures across multiple states and our crazy jaunts in multiple boroughs of NYC. I’m so glad that I met them through LDE, they have definitely put a bright spot on my social life here, and we have developed a great friendship due to our shared craziness. Plus we all are in search of good clean fun! So yeah, on the way from Philly to NYC I did a lot of thinking of how everything has developed and evolved the past two and a half years. Funny I found this while feeling nostalgic today and going through my old blogs from 2003: “The band gave Aurora and I shit for not travelling to see them as we do for other artists. We never really thought of it, but we don't. And we should because we have the most fun with them and they treat us the best. So I promise, we will make it to a faraway state for you. Yes Phil, we'd go to Alaska. So we have these inside jokes with the band and everytime we see them, they must hint at our jokes with them on stage, and of course only two people laugh, Aurora and I, but it rocks. Again, I have to censor myself here because I am not sure who reads this and who may get offended, but yeah...good times.” I have known LDE the longest out of all the bands that I still communicate with on a regular basis and how it has gone so much farther than “the band that Mark knows” and have totally gone above and beyond just a normal “center stage band” that I just keep tabs on. Too much to even write about, so I will just leave it at that I had a lot to think about for our final hour home.
Get back to Hoboken, almost fall asleep in the shower, checked my e-mail to find quite a lot of work related things on my plate for Monday morning, pass out, and wake up with barely a voice. As always, let me know if I left anything out.