Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tour 2011 Eve

Tomorrow, IfIHadAHiFi and Zebras depart for a 16-day trek through the Southeast and Eastern United States. It's the eighth tour of at least a week that the HiFi have gone on in our 11-year history and the first tour that i'm doing with Zebras. We're not exactly road warriors (although we've gone out enough times to convince people that we are), but it's the best we can do as a bunch of folks with day jobs (ostensibly).

Preparations of the most unglamorous sort are underway: acquiring fresh-from-the-plant Nada Surf +3 CDs, stocking up on toiletries, packing, buying Triple-A coverage online. It's the van stuff that, of course, is the biggest pain in the ass and the most stressful. Dealing with my own car's issues is my least favorite stressor as it is; being the guy in the band that has his name on the title (which is the way it's been since we bought our first van in 2002, ugh) is a whole extra level of bullshit. Insurance, oil change, cleaning the sucker out before we leave...all of the fun gruntwork that people who have never been on a tour tend to not think about. Oh, how romantic! Piling into a van with your bandmates and hitting the road, bringing the message of your rock and rolls musics to the awaiting throng! Uh, yeah. If only you could see with my eyes when we're loading out after a show at a Brooklyn bar while the booker explains "well, sorry, you can see here on the tally sheet that no one came to see you, so you don't get any of the door money," spurring Yale to beg $20 off the owner because thank god that he at least liked us and feels bad. (Since we're playing with friends in Brooklyn this time, that shouldn't happen. But it has.)

This time out we'll be relying more on the kindness of strange bar patrons than ever, as our band fund was exhausted on Monday by an adventure involving unpaid parking tickets and the City of Milwaukee tow lot. Our registration sticker was stolen from the van back in June; two months, four tickets, and plenty of scatterbrainedness later, Yale was driving me to the tow lot on Monday to get our precious tour van out of hock. $105 tow plus $20/day storage just because we spaced on paying parking tickets. If this were a political post, i could say plenty about how many of our governmental institutions exist to keep poor people down by piling bullshit fee on top of bullshit fee, but let's not get into that right now. What's pertinent is that our little van adventure on Monday drained the rest of the band fund that we had, along with $50 of my own money in a tow out of the lot (the passenger side front tire was gashed, which the city tow truck guy swears happened before he got there, and his report says the same...whatever) and a friendly mounting (heh) of the spare tire by a helpful mechanic. IfIHadAHiFi would like to extend their sincere thanks to the Bottom Lounge in Chicago for financing our vehicular incompetence.

Amusingly, a friend on Facebook joked that it was time for us to try a Kickstarter campaign to offset this minor disaster, but i think he knew that my response would be "i was just joking to myself that we should do a 'pay for our tour!' Kickstarter campaign, except that we find the idea of 'pay for our tour!' Kickstarter campaigns totally fucking gross." It'd be especially gross in this situation--"hey, we fucked up and had to blow our whole band fund on City of Milwaukee BS; give us money to go on tour!" It may sound like dick-wagging braggadocio, but i really feel that adversity like this is what makes my band strong. It has always bonded us on the road in an us-vs-the-world way. Our shows on tour are blistering and urgent because, well, there's a real urgency to our being on stage. I feel that would be lost if we used something like Kickstarter to give ourselves a cushion. Fuck that. We're flying without a net big time on this tour, and really, i wouldn't have it any other way. The tour stories are better that way.

So, hey! East coast! Please come see us sometime in the next 16 days. We promise that we will play violently loud, abrasive and thrilling music in an oft-times dangerous manner, and i personally promise that you will bear witness to a mind-fucking drumming endurance contest for the ages. For the next two weeks, Martian Dance Invasion! and IfIHadAHiFi's website will be cross-posting tour reports whenever we can. Also, be sure to follow the Twitter accounts of IfIHadAHiFi and me, as they'll have plenty to offer as well. See you out there!

FRI 8/12: Chicago, IL @ Quenchers with The Cell Phones
SAT 8/13: Bloomington, IN @ Gay Dudes Annex (Rob's House) w/Bad Creeps
SUN 8/14: Nashville, TN @ Springwater Supper Club w/Gnarwhal and maybe Deluxin
MON 8/15: Knoxville, TN @ The Longbranch Saloon w/TBA
TUE 8/16: Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge w/Easter Island, NEVER
WED 8/17: Wilmington, NC @ Reggie’s 42nd Street Tavern. W/ BLACKS
THUR 8/18: Durham, NC @ The Pinhook w/Maple Stave
FRI 8/19: Washington, DC @ Everlasting Life w/Cephalopods, Night & the City
SAT 8/20: Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery w/a bunch of bands
SUN 8/21: Brooklyn, NY @ Don Pedros w/We Ride, Bombshell
MON 8/22: New Brunswick, NJ @ house show w/The Silent Way - message us for details
TUE 8/23: Pittsburgh, PA @ Gooski’s Bar w/Dwarf Fortress, Lightweight
WED 8/24: Cincinnati, OH @ Southgate House w/Swear Jar
THUR 8/25: Detroit, MI @ Small’s, in Hamtramck w/Telecollision & Damn Near Killed ‘Em
FRI 8/26: Lansing, MI @ Mac’s w/Fun Ender & Dr. Device
SAT 8/27: Ft. Wayne, IN @ the Brass Rail w/TBD

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