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Interlude | We've a pretty serious issue with our van lighting. While driving at night, the lights turn off as they please, and eventually return seconds/minutes later. It has become rather mechanical to simply flick on the hazard lights for enough light to get us through the dark time. Now, of course, this isn't horrifying in New York. The business and street lights alone are plenty of illumination, but once we get away from all of this.....hmm.

 

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We've a van blowing smoke and purring up and down the Eastern coast sans cresting class or swagger, if you will. En route as familiar as the voice of one's mother, we rattle toward destination numero uno via the footprints left in the snow from the previous week. Or so it sometimes seems. Now, you musn't mistake this as a complaint or even a humdrum-ish scratch of the pen whine...instead, it's intended to be more of a trip through a deja vu montage of Groundhog Day-esque events that have made up the past year or so of my personal life. The streamline to New York City, then the northern shot to Boston before dropping back down to Baltimore... You know, I enjoy Cracker Barrel's corn-bread as much as the next guy, as well as the psychedelic, black light curtains that one may find covering the walls at the midway, less than swanky, motel we're about to check into. It's just a rather head-scratching, and slightly comical realization that we've been checking in to the same motels, dining at the same restaurants, filling up at the same gas pumps, making small talk with the same receptionists, etc., etc. The corresponding elements between piling into a van and waking up in your own neighborhood are strange in their similarities. I'm still unsure of which is normal.

This cluster of shows is split up into two parts. As mentioned, the first chunk is being spent on the northeast coast, before coming home to rest for a few days and heading toward the Midwest.

page1New York City | I've never been to the city when it wasn't raining. Yes, I just had my forehead cut by an umbrella, and my soggy Band-Aid is shifting its way up and down the right side of my face. It looks as pitiful as it sounds, but I couldn't seem to stop the blood. Weird, yet seemingly par for the course. We're playing at the mercury lounge this evening, a place we've played once before with our friends, Canada. Tonight will be our first show with the Silversun Pickups. From what i understand, the show is sold out.

Brooklyn | Today was refreshing. Though the sun was working hard to melt everything below, we managed to find a cozy spot in a nearby park, where, I believe, everyone caught up on some snooze. Besides us, there was a group of older folks (mid to late 60s) playing a game of soccer. Now, this was very wonderful and refreshing to watch. Their unbridled excitement was unparalleled...and, of course, this group of kids in their early 20s were sleeping lazily beneath an apple tree. Tonight's show is at a new venue called Union Hall. It's an endearing space. Great vibe, great folks. Very quaint and comfortable. We feel very privileged to be part of the first show at the venue.

Interlude | We've a pretty serious issue with our van lighting. While driving at night, the lights turn off as they please, and eventually return seconds/minutes later. It has become rather mechanical to simply flick on the hazard lights for enough light to get us through the dark time. Now, of course, this isn't horrifying in New York. The business and street lights alone are plenty of illumination, but once we get away from all of this.....hmm.

Boston | Last evening, somewhere between Brooklyn and Boston, we stopped for a hotel. I approached the desk,asked how much money per room, and the attendant replied, "Well, how much do you want to pay?" I said that $15 would be great, and he said, "Alright, $15 for a room." This came at a wonderful time, as I had just spent my last few bucks on a box of candy and a mannequin.

page3Washington, D.C. | This feels like we're heading home, since D.C. is within whistling distance of where we'll sleep tonight. However, we've been stuck in traffic for hours. There are motorcycles squeezing between lanes, so a few jealous autos ahead have formed a barrier to put an end to the "cutting-in-line" option. Tonight was made up of friends and neighbors. Fun show, and we didn't play half bad, either. After a few off days at home, we head for Indianapolis. We all assume our roles as a part of a slightly dysfunctional machine. The Midwestern trek is one unfamiliar to us. Saucer eyes as the prices of hotels, cigarettes, and fuel slightly deflate as we move further west. The weather is beginning to chill a bit, too, following a nasty heat wave. One can really learn a lot about their irritability control, or what little of it they have, while being flushed sick by a red wave of heat and humidity. Some of our most memorable squabbles are set in those conditions.

We're spending some time at the Midwest Music Summit festival in Indy, which, until we were asked to play, was an event that I was quite unfamiliar with. I believe that we are one of the very few bands that are not from the Midwest, so initially I had a slight bit of sheepishness and a sense of vertigo, which I can so easily drop upon myself. The majority of the nearby restaurants, clubs, patios, etc., have been turned into a show space. There is certainly a peculiar conjunction of the regular, local club-hopping crowd, and those that are there for the festival.

Interlude | The weird thing about this second string of shows is that there is hardly any driving involved. Scaling Indiana within a 50-mile radius has left us with much time to "relax." Relaxation stresses me out, and ties my brain into an unpleasant knot, and it makes being around me difficult. Bless my friends.

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This is our final night. We're spending it with a few friends in Chicago, and we'll be waking to drive through the early morning hours toward home.

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