That’s right, this is a topic that requires not one but two columns of material. When last we left Get Set Go and New MaximumDonkey, they were leaving Seattle, city of rain and hamburgers, and driving inexorably east into the gathering storm…
Missoula, Montana: Hoagieville
In high school, I had friends who worked at Hoagieville, so it was a frequent lunch destination for a doe-eyed, scrawny, slightly less cynical Eric Summer who had a complexion like undercooked lasagna. I never had much money for lunch, so I had to restrict myself to cheese fries most of the time. But the world-weary, adult (strictly in the physical sense), gainfully employed version of me, revisiting the old hometown, was delighted to see that not only was Hoagieville still standing right where I left it, but that I could now afford to eat a Steak Like Nick Likes and some cheese fries! And maybe a milkshake! How is it that I don’t gain forty pounds while we’re on tour?
Arvada, Colorado: The D-Note
This is where we played most often in the Denver area. It’s a restaurant-bar that hosts live music, perfect for our needs. The Brick House Pizza is excellent. It has, like, BBQ sauce and bacon on it, which are two of my favorite food groups. The beer selection is totally decent, and there are richly deserved drink tickets for the band.
In discussing our Colorado shows, I’d be remiss not to mention The Mumbles, with whom we nearly always play when we’re in the area. They’re a great XTC-and-Elliott-Smith-influenced power pop band. Really nice guys. Our shows with them are always among the best-of-tour.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: J’s Steaks & Subs
As everybody knows, Philly Cheesesteaks are the perfect food. Though we’ve never played in Philadelphia, to my recollection, there was a tour in which we played at Musikfest in Bethlehem. Jeremy from New MaximumDonkey is from Bethlehem (he also has a beard—write your own Jesus joke here: ________________________________________) (also, his dad runs Musikfest), so he’s pretty dialed-in as to where the good cheesesteaks are. Both times we went to Bethlehem, I had some sort of pizza cheesesteak from J’s Steaks and Subs. I tend to pick one thing I like and stick with it. The pizza steak thingy is goooooooood.
I’d also like to note that I don’t give a tinker’s damn about the “authenticity” of a cheesesteak. Food regionalism has always seemed like bullshit to me. Just cook some steak, put it in a bun, and put some cheese and onions on it. What’s the big deal? I don’t care if it was notarized by the mayor of Philadelphia or not. It tastes good.
New York: That Deli Right Around the Corner from the Knitting Factory
Yeah, I don’t know the name of this place. Can’t be bothered to look it up, either. But this is where we usually eat when we play at the Knitting Factory in New York. You can’t miss it. You know where the Knitting Factory is in New York City? Just go down the street, turn one direction or the other, and it’s right there. It’s a beautiful combination of proximity, sandwiches, and $38 packs of cigarettes. Well, that last bit is slightly exaggerated. They probably aren’t more than about $25 per pack. But the sandwiches are really good. They have different kinds of mustard and everything. I think one of ‘em has sun-dried tomatoes or something. Just trust me; the sandwiches “rock,” in the parlance of our times. OK, this entry was quarter-assed at best, but this place deserves at least a fractionally buttocked mention just because we’ve been there so many times.
The South: Barbecue
You know how sometimes if something goes badly, people say “and that’s when it all went south”?
Yeah, there’s a reason they chose “south” for that expression and not, for instance, “northwest.” It just happens that every time we go to the southern states on tour, that’s when the shows start not being very good anymore. This is a generalization; there have been some southern shows that have been a lot of fun, but generally, once we hit Florida, the shows trend suckward. I don’t want to insult or offend the people of this run-down religious-themed amusement park of a region (because I’m too tired)—good honest hardworking people, salt of the earth, blah blah blah. Whatever. The people are fine, and some of them are even really cool; they just don’t go see live music. I’ve lived in Kentucky and Florida long enough to know that there’s one thing that saves this draconian backwater hickhole: the restaurants here specialize in the barbecuing of various meats and the slathering of them with sundry tangy sauces. I can’t really narrow it down to one restaurant; they’re all over the place, and they all help get us through this Tennessee Williams-Deliverance portion of the tour. Again, I have no idea what the hell Dylan eats for this 2000-mile stretch.
The South: Waffle House
OK, two things save the south. The first is the barbecue, and the second is Waffle House. It’s not necessarily that the food is great (although some of it is; I really loved the chocolate chip waffle with chocolate syrup and whipped cream on it); it’s that it’s everywhere. Whenever you need food in the south, even if it’s at 3 a.m., and the van’s broken or stuck in the mud, or someone in one of the bands has just killed a prostitute or a hobo, there’s practically always a Waffle House around. And there’s something about chocolate waffles and bacon sandwiches and hash browns with all sorts of onions and mushrooms and jalapenos and junk all over ‘em that makes it seem like everything’s gonna be just fine. Even when it clearly isn’t.
Jeremy doesn’t like Waffle House. This is forgivable because he provides us with cheesesteaks (see above).
Honorable Mention: Convenience Stores
Of course, it wouldn’t really be a tour without stopping for gas. This provides me a time to smoke while everybody else runs off to take care of their various bodily functions. Also, convenience stores usually contain a healthy array of beef jerky (the underappreciated workhorse of the touring diet), jalapeno Pringles, and Chex Mix to give you that much-needed protein-and-saturated-fat boost necessary for good freeway driving. Actually, I’d postulate that maybe 50% of the eating on tour is done out of shiny cellophane bags and cardboard tubes.
For further information on GSG/NMD tour shenanigans, including why Dave killed the prostitute, Star Wars fixations, and Benny’s extraneous body parts, see the Tour Documentary DVD included with the fourth Get Set Go album ( Sunshine, Joy & Happiness: A Tragic Tale of Death, Despair and Other Silly Nonsense)! Or, to experience this enviable, glamorous rock and roll lifestyle firsthand, just stuff yourself into a van with seven or eight other people and drive around the country for a month!
Ever since I asked everyone else involved with TRAffIK to put together their playlists of what they are listening to each month I’ve been putting off doing my own.
Mainly for this simple reason…wherever I am no matter time of day music is almost ALWAYS on (well except conference calls and meetings but even then it might be on in my head) so I put it off because I figured there’d be no honest accurate way to really list what I’d listened to over the course of a month without making it up or having my playlists end up too tampered with.
Then I thought…ok Siria who cares what you are listening to just list every song that is playing at a certain time that you know you listen to music each day.
So below is a list of every song that has been playing for the past month in my vicinity Mon.- Fri. at 2:05 pm. Truth be told despite not being reflected by this list all March I listened to a lot of Psychedelic Furs, Modern English, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Country.
If you still need more of a guide to my playlists go here (warning! It’s a loooong read)
XTC – “Respectable Street”
The Service Group - “Last To Know Club” from Priciples of Electronic Circuitry
U2 - “War” from Seconds - parts of this song remind me of two different songs by two local bands Eject’s “Fight” and A for Attack’s “You’ve Got the Guns”
The Rolling Stones - “Too Tough” from Under Cover
The Psychedelic Furs - Title Track from Forever Now
Willie Nelson - “I Will Follow You”
Buddy Holly – “Maybe Baby”
Jay and the Americans – “This Magic Moment” – Does anyone remember The Sandlot? Maybe this is why I got into baseball?
The Bird and The Bee - “Polite Dance Song“ from Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future – I got this CD way before it was released and that was the song I was instantly drawn to
Dressy Bessy – “Second Place” from Electrified
Here’s a video from Dressy Bessy for Electrified’s Title Track
The Pretenders – “Time The Avenger” from Learning to Crawl
The Parson Redheads - “Punctual As Usual” - I am never on time I guess I can relate and this song makes me want to put on a cute dress (oh wait, I’m already wearing one and play the tambourine or clap or something)
Amusement Parks on Fire – “Venus In Cancer” – I have this placement… it makes me want to take care of everybody…I really like this song and video
R.E.M - “Pretty Persuasion” – Reckoning – I don’t hear this song enough or ever really. I forgot how much I like it.
Los Campesinos - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed “Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #1″
Chad Van Gaalen - “Traffic” – just missed him at Spaceland – have never seen him live, has anyone seen him live?…Saturday night shows are a no can do for me…if you want me to watch you don’t play weekends…
The Talking Heads – “Wild Wild Life” this is my absolute FAVORITE Talking Heads Song
Bad Brains - “Just Another Damn Song” from Black Dots – This song should be listened to super loud but unfortunately I couldn’t do that
The Format - “She Doesn’t Get It” from Dog Problems – this is one of my favorite Power-Poppy songs (I know it’s like I’m 12 or something but I find The Format very entertaining) for these lyrics alone “I thought your coffee table was more clever than that“…doesn’t that sum up a lot of conversations with people in our neck of the woods?
The New Fidelity - “33rd Sleepless Night” I think it’s from their Self Titled CD/EP - Speaking of Power Pop –Alright, I’m biased but this is one of like 20 local bands that I am always happy to catch live, if you’ve never seen them you really should. Great Cute Nice Fun Guys. I said I was biased right?
Here’s a video for one of their other songs “Second Once In a Lifetime Girl”