As is usually the case with these journals I do, I reflected on each show post-tour, instead of keeping notes the whole time. Being that I believe diaries are supposed to be private, I would consider this more of an impression of each day and city. Enjoy.
10/17 Cleveland, OH - Now That's Class
Our good friend John, from Murdered Man/Clan of the Cave Bear set up this show for us. There was an earlier all-ages teeny-bopper punk show going on before our show, which ran late. I don't think we got out of their until around 3am. Murdered Man, and Megachurch both played, and ruled. Two ladies were trying to dance during our set, and then gave up about half-way through. I applaud their efforts.
Save the drama for yo momma.
10/18 Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
John took us to Melt. Check out that menu below. Jeff got some sort of fried jalapeno-stuffed grilled cheese. Ace of Clubs is a newer venue in Columbus, and one of the nicer ones we've played. Their band-room had some interesting decor. Small turnout, but good-times (a common theme for this tour). We crashed with my friend Krista and her boyfriend, Judd, who made us a seriously tasty pizza. Their cat was giving me some intense death-stares.
10/19 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
Got some breakfast tacos on the way out of Columbus. Once in Chicago with met up with our good buddy Bruce Lamont of Yakuza (who were holding their record release show tonight), and loaded in, while a country band played and a square dance session was in progress. To no surprise, this show ended being one of the best of tour. Chicago rules.
Just some truck stop souvenirs
Bruce and I, post-show drunkeness
I don't see any empty bottles, yet.
Indianapolis, IN - The Hoosier Dome
We stayed in Chicago with our friends in Guzzlemug. Shane from Guzzlemug gave us some CD compilations of comedy and weird music, for the road. We stopped for brunch at Empty Bottle before leaving town. The Indianapolis show ended up being the worst show of tour. But when I say worst, I just mean in terms of the turnout. Coffinworm were playing down the street with a bunch other sludge-metal bands, and the doom is a bigger draw than the prog in these parts. The promoter ended up being a stand-up guy and still paid us what was promised (without even a negative attitude about it), while others in the past would've run for the door during our set (ahem... Kimra... Boise, ID... 2006).
Colin has the early morning blues.
Colin and Jeff contemplate the brunch at Empty Bottle
A lone audience member with a sombrero, watches the first band of the night.
This Charley guy looks like an asshole.
Speaking of assholes...
10/21 St Louis, MO - Fubar
We had a lot of time to kill in St. Louis. We don't know the city that well, and none of us own smart phones, so we weren't sure where to hang. We went to a sports bar for lunch. Part of someones credit card receipt was in my burger. Tonight's show was most notable for the presence of one Ken Nardi, of the classic St. Louis progressive thrash band Anacrusis, one of my all-time favorites growing up, and still today. We used to write to each other in the 90's, but it was cool to meet in person, finally.
Dysrhythmia only stays in the finest hotels.
Enormous highway cross.
10/22 Lawrence, KS - Replay Lounge
A man named Wayne, and his son Sam who have traveled many hours from Nebraska to see us before in various states, sent me an e mail saying they were driving to the Lawrence show tonight and wished to treat us to dinner. In general, on our own US tours, we don't get free meals, so we took them up on their very generous offer. We hit up a Vietnamese place across from the venue. It was also connected to a Fried Chicken joint, and the little Asian woman working there said she also made the fried chicken, claiming it was the best in town. I got to catch up with my old friend "Mean" Dean, who used to work radio at Relapse Records back in the day. His band Wrath and Ruin were on the bill, and though plagued with technical problems during their set, he handled it like a champ. I'm not always so smooth with that, so I try to learn from others when that occurs.
10/23 Denver, CO - Lion's Lair
We stopped along the highway somewhere in Colorado at a place called Loaf 'n Jug (this name makes me giggle even more than Kum 'n Go, for some reason), Colin and I went to get coffee but then noticed there were flies in the pot, after we poured it into a cup. Tonight's show was at a notorious dive bar called Lion's Lair, a place we knew best previously only from this
. The show went well, and afterwards we closed up the place with some of the Cephalic Carnage dudes, doing shots and telling poop stories.
Sorry, but people need to see why sometimes band-dudes are forced to used the woman's room, or walk around town hoping to find a cleaner bar, gas station or hotel!
10/24 Salt Lake City, UT - Shred Shed + Burt's Tiki Lounge
We ended up agreeing to do 2 shows this night. First was at a new art space/venue called Shred Shed. We have a history of dismal shows in SLC, but tonight was different. Shred Shed turned out to be fantastic. Sometimes all it takes is playing the right venue with the right bands, to change your outlook on a city. The 2nd show of the night was at a place called Burt's Tiki Lounge. Dysrhythmia had one of our worst shows ever there in 2004, after we had driven 10+ hours to the venue inhaling gas fumes the whole time from our leaking van. To add insult to injury, our old-bassist's amp died after the 2nd song, and I had to dodge people coming and going through the front door, as there was not enough room for me to fit on stage. Tonight at Burt's was not quite as bad, though not as good as the earlier show at Shred Shed. SLC you've been redeemed, overall.
Colin's apple gets stuck in the cup holder. Various items are used to pry it from its grip.
This procedure calls for more than just 2 hands.
If you know us, then you'll understand.
Suddenly, we've entered Winter.
Sub Rosa at Shred Shed
Burt's Tiki Lounge
One of the other bands had the same van as us, which caused momentary confusion at load out.
10/25 Utah/Idaho/Washington - Drive Day
Drive, drive, drive. truckstop, drive, drive, drive truckstop....
10/26 Vancouver, B.C. - Ironroad Studios
We stopped in Seattle first at our friend Asa's house, to drop off most of the merch before crossing the border into Canada. To our amazement, the guard simply waved us through after showing her the paperwork for the show. They never do that, they always make you pull over, and search the van. It was our lucky day. The venue tonight was in a pretty scummy part of town. One of the first things the promoter said to us was that if anything "happens" here, the cops won't come out. Sounded good at first, but then made me wonder. There were prostitutes milling about, and people pissing wherever outside. The space itself was filled with rehearsal rooms, but we played in what seemed like the live room of a recording studio. We didn't go on until 1:30am or so. Apparently, this is when things just get started, because there was another show in that room after ours that started at 3am! Some girl told me at the merch table that she had ridden 17 hours on a Greyhound from the middle of Canada to see us play tonight. That really shocked me. It was here at this point, that I truly started to realize how dedicated the people who come to our shows really are. Though not large in number, they are enormous in appreciation and support! Our set went well but loading out was a nightmare. A million drunk punks stood in our way as we shoved our gear through the narrow hallway, down an elevator that let you out into a garbage dump. I wish I had taken more pictures that night of the chaos, but I was too distracted. Once loaded up, we headed straight to Bellingham, WA to crash with one of the guys from Dog Shredder, who we would be touring with for the coming week. Mercifully, we were able to shower and get a decent night's rest.
10/27 Seattle, WA - Highline
This was Halloween weekend and I guess there were a million other things going on that night as well. Despite this, and the large size of the venue, it was still a very successful show. Highline treated us better than perhaps any other venue on this tour. We were shocked when we arrived and they showed to a back room filled with beer, whiskey, snacks, sparkling and regular water, towels, and a killer bar menu to order free food from. These are the kind of things that make you feel like you've had a good show before anything even begins.
Just give a band whiskey, hummus, and beer, and they'll be happy for the night.
Insane pedal boards courtesy of the opening band.
10/28 Portland, OR - Rotture
Crashed with our buddy Asa in Seattle, who had a nice clean apartment. Not that you can be picky when staying somewhere for free, but it's always a relief when you go back to someones place and it doesn't smell like vomit and cat piss. Asa and I got up early and went to Trader Joe's for breakfast supplies. We made a mean scramble that probably weighed 20 pounds. We arrived to Portland in the pouring rain. Rotture has a brutal load in, up a huge flight of stairs. We played with my friend Ryan Miller's new band U Sco, who were fantastic, frantic chaos prog-rock or something, it was great. I thought the turnout was pretty good, but pay was weak tonight after the door cuts. The bartender felt bad for us and handed us a case of PBR on the way out.
Trying out some new fashions.
Ryan of U Sco
10/29 Arcata, CA (aka "The tip of a nipple of another planet") - Jambalaya
Stayed with Ryan in Portland, and had planned to eat at Mother's for breakfast. This was a place I had eaten at a few months prior, while on vacation with my lady. I was hyping it up all morning to Colin and Jeff, but alas it was closed on Mondays. Entering Arcata, CA was like entering an alternate universe. First, it was covered in a dense fog, straight out of a horror movie. In addition, everyone I saw appeared to be transient and tripping on acid. The show went better than expected, being that we had no expectations at all for tonight. Probably the strangest thing I witnessed around town were the number of people just sitting in their cars alone, parked, with the engine off. I saw this everywhere that night, and the following morning. The above quote came courtesy of the bartender at Jambalaya, after I told him Arcata was the weirdest place I've ever been too.
10/30 San Francisco, CA - Elbo Room
We hung out in Arcata for a few more hours the next morning, after crashing with a nice fellow from the band Ash Borer. The bizarreness continued with a man who stood in place on the sidewalk, in front of a chalk-drawn arrow, not moving for almost 3 hours. In the park was a shirtless man doing martial arts by himself, while a fat kid played accordion on the bench in front of him. Where was David Lynch? After some hippie breakfast food, we continued onward to San Francisco, taking the scenic route through the Redwoods, and making many stops along the way. Tonight's show in San Francisco was a particularly awesome line-up. The first band Dimesland, featured members of The Residents, and had an evil, warped take on technical thrash metal. Next was Burmese, a dual drums and dual bass band with a very demonic-sounding Asian woman fronting them. Our buddies from Dog Shredder tore it up as usual with their energetic performances. John from Hammers of Misfortune was running sound tonight and let us crash at his place. We drank beers in his kitchen until the wee hours and passed out on his floor.
This man didn't move for 3 hours.
This picture fails to really capture the surrealness of the scene. A shirtless Manson-looking man doing martial arts, while an accordionist on the bench provided the soundtrack. The kid on the bench spotted me taking the photo and turned his back.
Jeff and Colin make a new friend.
Golden Gate fog
Please don't shit, cut your penis off, or set your hair on fire.
10/31 Los Angeles, CA - Halloween (day off)
Party at Sasha's place.
11/1 Los Angeles, CA - Boom Tomb Room
Sasha, from Intronaut, took us to this cool cheap breakfast place called Hearts. Tonight's show was moved at the last minute, from a bar to a VFW Hall. Despite the last minute change, many people still made it out, including a lot of friends we only get to see once a year. We stayed with a guy named Sam, who turned out to have a lot of mutual east coast friends. We stayed up late dorking out on music and drinking tequila.
Math Rock breakfast at Heart's Diner in Van Nuys, CA.
The ladies were getting a little annoyed with all the dudes mistakenly walking into their bathroom, at the show.
11/2 Tempe, AZ - Tempe Tavern
Sam had hooked us up with some CDs to jam in the van, the best of which being some uber-obscure Japanese dark eletro-prog band called Mongol
. Before leaving LA, we went for some traditional Mexican breakfast. Wasn't sure what to expect for Tempe. We've played Phoenix a bunch in the past, and it's always been hit or miss. The best shows being the ones we did in the basement of our buddy Shane's house years ago. Tonight was a pleasant surprise though. Cool opening bands, and a packed and appreciative bar to play to. We crashed with Dylan of the band Landmine Marathon, who warned us his annoying, bimbo neighbors might wake us up in the morning with their obnoxious jibber-jabbering. He was right.
Blow your lunch
We have found Jesus, and he lives in East LA.
11/03 Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
Another last minute venue change, from a DIY space to the much bigger, standard rock bar, Launchpad; a place we've played many times, and is always fun. Tonight was also our last show with the guys in Dog Shredder. We certainly enjoyed our time with them, and were sad to see them head off. Check them out here
. We stayed with our buddy Joe tonight, who owned 5 or 6 cats. I'm allergic, so this frightened me. However, I was smart enough to bring Zyrtec this time, which really does work temporary wonders in such situations.
Saying goodbye to Dog Shredder
One of Joe's cats took a particular liking to me.
11/4 Midland, TX - Blue Max
Drove through a lot of ghost towns in New Mexico, and made a stop in Roswell, where they REALLY play up the whole alien thing. Midland, TX is just that; the middle of nowhere, Texas. Jeff had played here previously with his other band, Zevious, and said he had a great time and people there would be into us. He was right, the woman who helped set up our show, named Sheryl, was a sweet, uber-fan who brought home-cooked meals and desserts for us. The show itself was a little strange. We played in what I felt like might've been the only bar in town, in front of a barricade. The crowd was more reserved than I expected for Texas. Afterwards, we crashed at Sheryl's house. First thing we noticed was that she liked to listen to music LOUD. She had her stereo hooked up to PA speakers! She played us various obscure prog records until nearly sunrise. As fun as that was, I had slipped away into an empty bedroom around 3 or 4am to get some much-needed rest.
Allll Sup's y'all!?
11/5 Austin, TX - Hotel Vegas
Not many hours later, Sheryl was up and making us biscuits and gravy. She
noticed the cactus on the dashboard of our van, and asked if we wanted
to have another. Next door to her was another house that
functioned as a greenhouse of sorts, and we chose the weirdest looking
cactus of the lot. Austin is one of our favorite places to play and visit. We always know we'll have a good show here, and tonight was to be no different. Before the show, we met up with Jeff's sister and she took us to a bar called Liberty, which had an awesome Asian food truck around back. Our friend Jimmy Pancakes came out. We first met him over 10 years ago and he's been out to nearly every one of our Austin shows. At this point, tours are starting to feel like a family reunion, and that is a really nice feeling.
The van dashboard was getting a bit ridiculous
11/6 Houston, TX - Walter's
Crashed with Jeff's sister in Austin, and went for a satisfying breakfast at Kerby Lane. Before leaving town we stopped by her boyfriend's brewery called Circle Brewing, and got a tour of the place, as well as many tastings of their different brews. Really great beer, Austiner's look out for their selections in your local bars. Tonight's venue was in a different location than it was previously, which caused confusion and us getting lost on the way in. You see, we still use maps in Dysrhythmia, no GPS or smart phones allowed! Show was a good time, and we stayed at the door guy's house, who happened to own and operate an amplifier company called Steamboat.
Migas and sweet potato fries!
Jeff's sisters rabbit, given me a funny look.
11/7 Little Rock, AR - Downtown Music
Tonight was a megashow of sorts with Little Rock-based heavies Rwake, on the bill, along with A Life Once Lost, and Ken Mode. Our friends in the band Revocation, who were on tour as well, booked it from Texas to catch our set in time. We decided post-show to get a nice room that night and partied with Revocation in their hotel until noise complaints ensued.
11/8 Little Rock, AZ/Memphis, TN - day off
Originally, I wanted to play a house show in Little Rock on this day, but it was too short of notice to set something up properly. Instead, we took the day off and enjoyed relaxing at the River Market, then headed to Memphis to visit our friends at Black Lodge Video. Once there, we were in the mood for BBQ (Jeff and I mostly, Colin is vegetarian). Being that we've been to Memphis a million times and never had their BBQ, it seemed the time was right. It's not something I would eat often, but boy was it delicious. After leaving the place, I had the misfortune of being hit by a car... This woman was pulling down a side street and didn't look to the right when turning and plowed right into me. Luckily, she was not going too fast and I was able to hop onto the hood of the car. Still was quite shocking. She didn't try to run, and got out to see if I was OK. It's hard to tell sometimes in those situations if you're really hurt or not, when your adrenaline gets that kind of boost. I didn't see any swelling or damage, so I told her I was fine and to watch where she was going. She blamed it on my black clothing. We spent the rest of the evening drinking beer, and hanging at Black Lodge, watching movies all night. That place rules, it's one of my favorite tour destinations.
Enter the Lodge
11/9 Memphis, TN - The Buccaneer
People kept telling us positive things about tonight's venue, and it was indeed a good time. Probably only fit about 60 or 70 people, which was perfect for us. There was nowhere else for me to stand except in the way of the bathrooms. At one point during the set, a man in a wheelchair was trying to get past me without me even noticing. We played with Crowlord, who featured ex-members of other notable Memphis-based bands, and Jamie from Burning Witch. Not much else to say, the show was great and we went back to the Lodge again to party and watch goofy movies until we passed out.
11/10 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
We played with Jucifer tonight, for the first time since we last toured with them in 2005. If anything they are even louder now! Maniacs, they are, but such sweet people. Really was a pleasure to see them and catch up. The Earl has excellent food, and hooked us up with quality beer. A cool band named Lazer/Wulf played, and I was psyched to hear they would also be on the bill for tomorrow's show in South Carolina. We stayed with a guy named Eric, of the opening band From Exile. He had a sweet pitbull named Dio, that immediately culled up next to me on the couch. I mentioned the B-grade movie 'Shock 'em Dead' in passing, and soon it was on the TV via Youtube, and we laughed ourselves silly until sleep struck.
11/11 Columbia, SC - Cult Classic
I booked this show myself last minute before our tour started, and once again the venue was moved with only 2 days notice. We ended up playing at an auto shop garage, and I have to say it was a killer show! Perhaps the biggest surprise of the tour. Thanks to Ryan for hooking it up. One advantage of playing an auto shop is the ability to literally drive right up to where you are playing, and unload. We couldn't find anyone to crash with tonight, so we found a cheap motel instead. Jeff and I were quite hungry by the time that happened (around 3am or so), and were tempted by the Waffle House across the parking lot. We are more of a Denny's band, but Waffle House it was tonight, and I have to say it wasn't as horrible as I expected. But how bad can you really fuck up an egg sandwich?
Loading out for the night
11/12 Raleigh, NC - Slims Downtown
Met up with my oldest friend, Josh, and his wife Rachel at the venue, had a few beers and caught up on life. The promoter for tonight brought us sandwiches, and said we got 21 whiskey shots (!) from the bar, if we so desired. Slim's was indeed slim on space. I couldn't really fit on the stage, so, much like Memphis, I was in the way of the bathrooms while playing since there was no where else for me to stand. It was a fun show, but we probably played our worst tonight of the whole tour. We sort of hit our peak about 2 weeks in, and then in the last week we inevitably start making stupid mistakes. Sometime I wonder, with music like ours, how many people really notice. After the set we crashed with the promoter, who bought us Chinese food for dinner. She showed me her roadkill art/sculptures, which were quite morbid, and quite impressive.
11/13 Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
We had been hearing lots of good things about Strange Matter, and when we arrived we realized we've played here many times before, when it went by numerous different names. However, it seems like they fixed up the place (except for the bathrooms). We got some free food and drinks, while an earlier hardcore show was taking place. Soon after, I got a message from one of my oldest friends, Karen, who now lives in Richmond, and we got some beers at a metal bar nearby. Colin and Jeff later joined us, then we headed back to Strange Matter to watch the opening bands. I have to say at this point, that I am very pleased to see as the years go on, that there seems to be a community developing of cool instrumental bands in every city we go to, and now we play with them all. It's so much better than suffering through all the nu-metal and fake metalcore bullshit we used to always get stuck playing with often in the earlier days. Tannon from Loincloth came out, and let us crash at his place. He's one of the funnest dudes to talk to about music. We could've talked all night, but after some 4am pizza and beers I needed some rest.
Colin with my old college friend, Karen
11/14 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West
We got some breakfast on the way out of Richmond at a place Karen recommended. Before hitting Baltimore, we stopped in VA at my parent's house for a quick visit. We ate again, once arriving at Golden West, which is a restaurant/bar that closes down and clears out tables to host shows after 9pm. We got to play with our old friends in Drugs of Faith, and the opening band Questioner did a Gorguts cover. We decided to make the drive to Philadelphia tonight after the show and stay at Colin's parents house.
Tannon's cat, LB, watches me drink coffee in the morning.
This really made me laugh.
11/15 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
I have to be honest, I wasn't expecting much for tonight's show. Our past couple of KFN shows have been small, and Philly is certainly a city that has had its ups and downs in terms of a good music scene, over the years. Tonight proved us wrong and the show was rather great. A lot of old friends made it out, which always makes me happy. We picked up some dinner at Johnny Brendas on the way back to Colin's parents house, but had trouble finding beer to purchase after 2am. These are the times I miss living in NY.
11/16 Long Branch, NJ - Brighton Bar
We got a very late breakfast with Colin's dad at one of my favorite places in Philly, Honey's Sit 'N Eat. I ordered the Huevos like I always do. All 3 of us were looking forward to these last 2 shows, namely because they were to be with the band Loincloth. We have been fans of them for years, and also huge admirers of their drummer's work with his band Confessor. Tonight was their first show ever, in their 13 year existence. They pulled it off with flying colors. It was also a pleasure to watch El Drugstore, another fantastic instrumental band that I think more people will be hearing about soon. There was some drama at the end of the night when the door guy handed us a measly amount of money for us to split with Loincloth, even though there was a full room of people there. The promoter had given him the wrong information for the show, and was not present that night. This resulted in me calling him at home and him admitting his error. He then said the soundman would pay us the remaining cash out of his own pocket. This did not go over well with the soundman, and it resulted in him yelling at me. I tried to remain calm and remind him that it's not my fault his boss fucked up. Then the owner started clapping his hands for us to hurry up out of there. Quite disrespectful, when considering we still hadn't been paid yet because of their negligence. Eventually we got our earnings and had the door slammed in our faces after loading out. A few minutes later, Colin and I were in a burger shop down the street, filled with the most horrid Jersey shore living-trash you can imagine, and in walks the soundguy, doing his best to ignore us, hurry up, get his food, and leave.
Huevos Rancheros at Honey's in Philadelphia.
11/17 Brooklyn, NY - Public Assembly
A triumphant end to tour. Tonight was packed. We made some goofy mistakes here and there, resulting in me feeling compelled to stop a song and start over. We still fucked it up. I think we were all pretty exhausted by this point of tour. It felt good to be home, see our friends and family, and to reunite with my lovely lady again. All in all, Brooklyn made us proud. It's encouraging to see how much stronger the support and interest had gotten over the years for our band, and for heavy music in general. I sure hope it continues that way for years to come.
The music of Loincloth sends Colin's body into bizarre contortions
11/18 Queens, NY - Home