Last time we were here, I woke up at a friend’s apartment on Prospect Ave. Took a wrong turn, and wound up trekking an hour long excursion to get back to our contact’s house. That’s how it works for us in Milwaukee, we all wake up in different corners of the city and convene back at Mike’s on Brady St. One morning after, I woke up on Prospect at my friend’s, skirted to Mike’s, picked up Linden, drove to Andrew and gave him directions to our next tour venue, and then rolled all the way to Wawautosa to pick up Pat and Todd at their friends house (totally misspelled that, but you’ll have to forgive me while I have no internet in this moving car). C’mon, let’s be adults for a second, when I say we “wind up in different corners of the city after the show”, it’s usually credited to an after-party, sleep deprivation, making new friends ("friends" I’ll let you figure that out), or an after party.
Homie… please… don’t get it twisted, absolutely nothing luxurious about life on the road, however it is humbling. You meet people you would’ve never met had you stayed in your bubble and kicked out the weekend within your usual parameters. Chattin’ with a gal last night about deal breakers in a relationship-
(Wow, just passed Tomah on this road trip. Totally told Lauren to stop when we get to Tomah, so I could get a hold of this badass cinnamon roll they make in Tomah. Just looked up from typing, “Hey Lauren, have we hit Tomah yet”? “Oh, yeah, we just passed it”, says Lauren. Again, wow, perhaps “stop when we get to Tomah” means something totally different to Lauren than it does to me. Perhaps she’s on selective listening mode, as if she completely screened what I said like a phone call from someone you have absolutely no inclination of talking to… nice, Lauren, nice.)
Anyways, chattin’ with this gal at the coffeeshop last night , we were talking about deal breakers. She slated a few, but one I’ve been thinking about for some time is a partner having a problem with me traveling, couch surfing, not showering for days in a row… and most of all having a problem with me not having a problem with toughing it out on tour. Something about being on your time, not having a day-job, providing for yourself without a boss to answer to, seems to freak people out… significant others included.
Last time we were headed in this direction, I was chunkin’ out 90 bucks-a-tank for gas, prayin’ the brakes wouldn’t give out, and an audience member to the addictive dice-rolling gamble game partook by the other bandmates. The short bus we used to drive around in, isn’t dead… yet, but it damn well can’t take the road like it used to.
Things are different now… to put it mildly. We’re working with different band members, long-term growth, and a goal. That’s not to say we weren’t dealing with some kind of long-term direction before, but it’s to say that things are different… for the better. Thought about contactin’ the old bass player. Shot a text “Hey, what’re you up to this weekend”, he hit me back, “Workin’ Friday, but if it’s something exciting then I’d be down”… meh, there’s your problem right there. Kid’s got hella talent, and doesn’t wanna tour unless it’s something within his standards of “exciting”. He’s totally justified and I don’t blame him, but in a group dynamic, that type of attitude is the kiss of death.
And here we are; Eli with camera in hand, Lauren dancing to Michael Jackson while driving, and my ass cramped in the back seat next to a box of t-shirts that’re ‘bout to sell like the dickens. There's only several places in the world I can step on the street and feel like dancing relative to a musical... one of those places is Brady St. When you walk down Humbolt Ave, take a right on Brady, the picture opens up like a pop-up book from 2nd grade. All of a sudden, I wanna grab the nearest dame by the hand and hip, begin fox trotting down the sidewalk and singing Jesus Christ Superstar (say "wow, he really is f----ng weird" here). While fox trotting the snow filled streets, folks enter from the side streets banging on garbage cans, break dancing, singing at the tops of their diaphragms, etc. Only New Orleans, Segovia, Sevilla, SanFran, and the city we're headed to have that affect on me. Beautious.
Yeah, just made that word up (beautious), and'll make plenty more by Sunday morning.
Kid please… I dare Milwaukee to be anything less than exciting.