Southeastern Summer Tour 2005

Dudes. Woah. I can’t wait to go back out on the road. What an insane country we live in. We just spent the last 7 days with white line fever. “White Line Fever” was my favorite Flying Burrito Brothers song when I was a young lass. So, Will Taylor drove the van w/ u-haul trailer the ENTIRE trip. He didn’t want anyone else to drive. I am unsure of how he pulled it off, since I got sleepy just watching from the back bench. So, this tour came together at the very last minute w/ much help from Heather McIntosh, expert cellist and owner of the van we borrowed. We thought we could buy a van, but it turns out we we’re too poor for that. And now, after touring, we are DEFINITELY too poor for that. Also, Jimmy Hughes booked almost the entire thing and deserves a pat on the back and some money. 
So after petrol expenses and investing in a CASE of wine, our first stop was:

6/3/05 Temple Ball (Carborro, NC)

Take note fair musical travelers, tis best to imbibe after making your first impression on the town of Carborro. Our soundcheck went well, and the venue is rad, but spending an hour in the van drinking wine before the show was immensely bad form, and in poor taste. Yup. We needed a chaparone. Anyhow, after royally wasting the time of the good folks in Carborro (I knocked over the same mic stand twice), we were lucky enough to score some empty beds and a place to park the van at David's house. I am pretty sure his name is David and I feel like an ass for not remembering. But right now my brain is lame. Anyhow, he opened the show in a duo. It was very beautiful music and also was a very ironic situation because Page was pissed at him for blogging that he didn't like our vocals when we played a show w/ his other band earlier this year in Greensboro. Whatev's. That was a sentence that sounded totally nerdy and hipsterish at the same time. Page and Deb slept in the van that night. I slept on the bed of an unknowing absentee roommate. Jamie and Will stayed up late doing secret things that I cannot reveal to you in a public forum. Very esoteric and mystical. Honkies. Next we went to... 

6/4/05 Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar (Charlottesville, VA)

There was supposed to be an opening band, but they never showed. Let me just tell you about Charlottesville. That town RULES. It is just like Athens except they did the smart thing and shut off all the downtown streets. We met a great many characters. The venue is badass. Everyone who works there is foxy and sweet. They fed us a giant platter of cheese, dates, dried fruit, nuts, hummus, pita, etc. We were surrounded by giant couches covered in Indian silks with larger than life pillows and hookas hanging everywhere. At this place you can order a pot of some rare, exotic tea, and they'll send you, a hooka, and your pot of tea to the back room. So, we played. It was so fun. The stage was tiny,Page and I sat on the edge of it, and we ran two mics thru the PA and nothing else. Actually, we ended up using that set up for every show on the tour except Temple Ball and Tonic in NYC... Then the people took us to a party many blocks away where someone had just purchased a huge army vehicle that got about 1 mile to the galone but could allegedly run on kerosene or piss. The best of all was that the club gave us a key since they wouldn't be open the next day, and we slept on this awesome Indian pillows and couches and came and went as we pleased. Then, after Will maneuvered the van and trailer out of a very slim alleyway, we ere on our way to:

6/5/05 Galaxy Hut (Arlington, VA)

If you have never played the Galaxy Hut, it is kinda a rite of passage. Only one person works there. His name is Art. He simultaneously cooks the food, pours the drinks, and runs the PA from behind the bar. There is no stage. It is very crowded, very loud, very fun. There were former Athenians there, old friends from SC, and my cousin, John, and his lady, Cathy. We played after
Brice Woodall. Brice is a badass who uses looping and pre-recorded music along w/ live acoustic guitar and vox. We got his CD and you should check him out. I command you! So, we played our set and that was a feat in itself as we have never been more crammed than then... I think. Well, I'll think about it more and get back to you, but honestly, I had one hand on my guitar and my elbow was in Page's boob, and I was dodging Will's cello bow. Also, the audience was 3 feet from my face. After we loaded the van, we somehow lost Will, Shep and my cousin as they went in search of White Russians (drinks not ladies). Eventually we located them, piled into the van, and drove across to DC. John's house is amazing. Page and Deb shared a bed in the soon to be master bedroom. I slept on a giant leather couch. Will and Shep did their tour of duty watching over the van and trailer. Will comes in the next morning with a bag of trash from the car, goes to put it in their trashcan in the kitchen, and since it is full, leaves OUR bag of trash on the floor in the kitchen. I said, "What are you doing? You can't bring OUR trash into my cousin's house and just leave it on the floor." Will says, "But the bin is full." And Deb says, "That is such a male thing to do." Then we piled in and drove to Philly where we got a hotel on the river. We went out on the town, but a hurricane drove us to call the hotel shuttle. This guy was a card. He had other people already traveling with him, and as soon as he dropped them off at some ritzy club, he turns back to us, and in a thick Philly/NY accent says, "Those are the worst kind of people you'll ever see." Then he proceeds to charm us all the way back to the hotel. Then things got silly. I hooked the computer into the hotel's WiFi and was checking e-mail while bottles of wine were being handed around and Spiderman I was on cable. At one point I looked up and Will had his head laid flat on the complimentary ironing board and Deb was hovering over him with an iron, intermittently drinking and scalding Will's mohawk. Page took over the computer and began playing online Scrabble w/ Isaac. I drifted off to the delicate sound of a bandmate vomiting in the lavatory . We are a class act. We woke up, scoured the dirty city of Philadelphia, and drove up the Jersey Turnpike to...

6/7/05 Tonic (New York, NY)

We'd almost made it into the city when a cop flagged us over at the last toll booth and told us we had to go thru the Lincoln Tunnel since no trailers are allowed through the Holland. He sent us the wrong way and we were almost back to Philly when we realized it, turned around and hit NYC at RUSH HOUR. Holy shit that place is a living organism of chaos, filth, culture and attitude. What is that creek that runs underground between the subway rails? Where does it come from? Doesn't anybody want to pick up a piece of trash once in awhile? Yes, you've got the best chinese dumpling pot stickers I've ever had, but damn, take a bath New York City. And that's sayin a lot coming from me. So, we drove straight to the club, unloaded and caught the end of Edison
 soundcheck. This band must tour here and play with us at the 40 Watt. People will lose their minds. I can't describe how genuinely gorgeous their music is. Go to them. While we were soundchecking, my foxy friends walked in: Brain Petway and Justin. Damn. Ain't they cute? I had the pleasure of making out with Petway awhile back, and ladies, I highly recommend it. Also, they are both phenominal musicians. Petway plays upright and Justin plays kit. They also had a one-man horn section. They opened the show playing improv to Justin's prerecorded sound compositions. Petway's band, New Radio, was supposed to play but the lead singer is in Guatemala helping his Mom adopt a baby. Anyhow, the trio ruled. They don't have a name. We played next and I was SO frickin nervous because, hey, this is New York City, dudes. Oh mi gosh. Our set went REALLY well. The sound lady, Laura, is a gift from Heaven. She nailed it. Also, there were lots of former and current Georgians in teh audience and that helped a lot. Afterwards we ate food, Page almost passed out from heatstroke, and we slept in Petway's apartment. I woke up at 10am to Jamie lying wide-awake on the floor staring up at the ceiling. He had wanted to see the sun rise over the city, so he had stayed awake all night. He was loopy, but in a philosophical, introspective way. We took the train to Chinatown and tried to meet Deb (she'd slept at Cordero's house), but to no avail. Instead we founf Jamie's girlfriend, Rachel, who was on a layover on her way to Italy. We ate, shopped and then realized we needed to get the hell outta town before rush hour. We tried the subway, but our train never came. It took us 30 minutes to hail a cab. We get in and Jamie says, "Take us to so and so." The cabbie says, "Do you know how to get there?" And we are like, huh? Right then, this Jamaican cop taps on the cabbie's window with his billyclub and reams the cabbie for stopping at a green light intersection. The cabbie profusely apologizes, drives us to so and so, and proceeds to drop us off in the middle of NOWHERE amidst a hasidic jewish neighborhood. Apparently we arrived on the day of some important event because evryone was milling around totally decked out in the traditional garb and lookin' swank. We cell-phoned Justin. He had just moved to NYC from Alabama two weeks ago and didn't know jack, but he got out a map, and talked us through this neighborhood. Then he and Deb left the apartment and found us on foot. We piled in the van just in time for RUSH HOUR. It took us 1.5 hours to leave the city on our way to....

6/8/05 The Pontiac (Philadelphia, 

So, after leaving NYC, we were significantly behind schedule. I called the Pontiac to tell them we would miss soundcheck and they told me not to worry because there were 4 punk bands playing before our show. Sweet. So we all laid back and went to sleep leaving Will to man the ship. At some point I wake up to hear Deb say, "Is that a sign for Baltimore, Maryland?!?!?" Somehow, we had completely missed Pennsylvania and were 30 min. outside of Baltimore. Awesome. We made it back up to Philly 30 minutes after we were supposed to be on stage. The first act was still on, though, and boy did the sound system SUCK! Then Deb's good friends in Midnite Grace took the stage. That is an awesome band. Cooper rules school and sings his heart out. Then we played to about 17 very nice people who bought stuff from us. I liked the show except for the fact that Will complained in my ear the ENTIRE show about how tired he was. That pissed me off. Me n' him still haven't had the stage etiquette talk. You'd figure since he's a classical musician he'd have his poker face on at all times. The problem with me is that if one person on stage has foul energy, I can feel it real strong and it literally makes my throat tense up and it becomes hard to sing because I can feel that part of the group doesn't want to be there. Anyhow, we all went back to Matt and Heather's (from Midnite Grace) house. They took REAL good care of us. Got us late night bagels. Got us drunk. Got our dirty laundry. And got us on our way the next morning. So, wet headed Southbound to... 

6/9/05 Nightlight (Chapel Hill, NC)

This is a very cool spot that is a bookstore in the daytime and a club at night. The bookshelves are all built into the walls which is an interesting sound buffer. Jim of Racecar went on first. He told us his band had decided halfway down to quit the tour so he was going solo with two friends in tow (Keith and John). His songs rocked. Next up was local act,Mount Moriah. They had a badass lap steel player who builds all his own gear. Beautful sounds and they're total sweethearts. We played a short set because it was getting pretty late. Everyone was so kind to us and Seth the crew from Greensboro was there. Once again Will was all crabby and that pissed me off, but I just blocked him out and had a good time. The turnout was small because the owners of the club booked their own band to play across town, thus pulling the draw away from their own club. We walked away with enough $ to get a hotel between Greensboro and Winston-Salem. A hotel, sadly, without a pool. And without a Waffle House anywhere nearby. What the hell. Jamie and I went in search of food, but ended up at the 24 hour Subway with Will. We bonded over sandwiches outside the hotel at 5am. My turn to sleep on the floor... We woke the next day at 1pm and headed to... 

6/10/05 The Wherehouse (Winston Salem, NC)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this is my favorite place to play in the world so far (although now Twisted Branch is coming in a close second). We got there early and wandered around, played Yahtzee, Scrabble and read books. My roommate,Ben Roth (lyrical author of Malt Liquor and Love Like A Sailor), met us in Winston-Salem and we went for a walk on the railroad tracks. He is in herbal medicine school and we found huge mullien plants. We got the Racecar boys and drove to Whole Foods and the Dollar Store. Then back to the club. A local kid opened the show and like an ass I've forgotten his name, but he played a mean harmonica. Next up was Jim from Racecar. He played another rad set, and then cleared the stage for us. We played well, and this was by far the best sound system of the trip. I think the soundman's name was Steve. he ruled. Page and I did our new hand-clapping sond, Time Will Tell, and screwed that up a bunch. Then we loaded our gear. I said goodbye to the family as Ben and I were traveling to Asheville for J. Woody's wedding and they were driving the 5 hours home to Atlanta and Athens... All in all, we had a blast. I love the HFags. When I waked into my house, I felt lonely and missed them, so I am glad we have a show in 2 days. Now I am off to find my lover, Noel Johnson, in Alabama.

Page Campbell