Our pals Memory Map are out on tour, and have so graciously agreed to document their color coded adventures for us. The third entry comes to us from Mr. Green, Josh Morrow.
Hello, the green one here. Sorry for the delay on this entry, but I’ve been really busy sleeping and eating beef jerky in a variety of
flavors including K.C. Masterpiece, teriyaki, carne asade, peppered, and of course original recipe. The Holidudes and I are currently
driving out of Philadelphia, Buffalo, NY-bound. We are driving atop trolley tracks, so it’s difficult for me to type. It’s kind of
annoying, but you’re worth it.
Last time we left you, we were exiting Athens, GA listening to Neutral Milk Hotel, reminiscing about high school, and farting a whole bunch. En route, I awoke parked in what seemed to be another dimension, which really was South Carolina’s visually stunning and slightly racist tourist attraction South of the Border. Its Mexico-themed grounds were sprinkled with large sculptures of gorillas, dinosaurs, wiener dogs, food items, and a stereotypically Mexican amigo named Pedro. All of which had a color scheme that looked as if a clown on acid puked on the blacklight décor section at a Spencer Gifts novelty store.
An important note on South of the Border’s history: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake worked here when it was a measly beer stand to pay his way through Harvard. They must have paid really well. And yes, we Wikipedia-ed South of the Border, as should you. We all bought trinkets of varying degrees of uselessness (including fireworks in which we unfortunately have yet to set off), Mike B. ate a tamale (which according to Dixon, a singular tamale is pronounced tah-mall. Get it right, or he will correct you) and we said “Adios” to Pedro.
Our next show, which was to be in Knoxville, TN, was canceled the day prior, so we were scrambling to find an alternative option. I have some friends in Wilmington, NC, which was slightly on the way to DC (our next booked show), so I figured I would holler and see if there was any chance of making something happen. I ended up getting a hold of Steve Vineis, a dashingly handsome young man (they call him Mr. Attractive at the bar we ended up playing, seriously) from a great band called Blacks to see if he or any of his Wilmington cohorts could throw us on a bill. He did us one better. Homedog set us up a show literally within an hour with his band and DJ Ghosttracks. And not only that, but since Steve works at a Marriott hotel, we were treated to a free room. What a guy. So once we arrived in Wilmington, I recommended that we eat at local burrito palace Flaming Amy’s. I had traveled here before, so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. We met up with my good friend Eric Riffle and went to town on the salsa bar. One of the many pluses to eating at Flaming Amy’s is that they seem to regulate their cutie-patooties with cool tattoos quota quite sternly. One of these fine ladies said she’d come to the show later that night, but she didn’t. Don’t fucking tease us, goddamnit. We all scarfed down our burritos (Dixon had nachos the size of two newborns) and regretted eating so much. Then we headed to the venue. We played at Reggie’s 42nd St. Tavern, which had a pleasant divey/townie vibe. We played first to about fifteen people, which was actually not too much of a disappointment considering the extremely last minute construction of the show. The crowd seemed into it, and we sold some records and such, so that was nice. Post-show, I hung out with the locals on a darkened back patio while they got really, really drunk. One guy, Dakota or Darryl was his name I believe, gave an in-depth description of why Blacks (ahem, the band) made him want to fight somebody, even at his ripe age of 35. I told him I’d punch him in the mouth just to alleviate this physical yearning, but a pretty lady caught his attention and he stumbled on his merry way. During this duration, Matt was Skyping with his homegirl, Dixon was getting walked in on whilst dropping a Deucifer (this happened to me as well earlier in the night. Reggie’s, get a freaking lock on your bathroom door), and Mike was having a ball playing bar game Text Twist. Eventually, we loaded up and sadly parted ways our friend Eric, heading back to our honeymoon suite at the Marriott. Dixon, Mike B., and I went for dip in the hotel pool. Dixon then pumped some iron as Mike and I tried to do handstands in the shallow end. We thought the acoustics in the pool area were pretty wild. Dixon was unimpressed. Then we went to bed. The next morning, we woke up, had our free continental breakfast, watched some Party Down on Netflix and set sail for Washington, DC.
For some reason, I was feeling like Zenning out for the six-hour haul to Obama’s hood, so I drove the whole way there. I listened to a few my favorite albums from my high school days (Doves’ “Last Broadcast”, Kings of Convenience’s “Quiet is the New Loud” and Sigur Ros’s “Takk”) and thought about when I got in-school suspension and how much I hated school spirit. We also listened to a portion of Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” audiobook. I will never find a perfect woman because no one is capable of fulfilling the Tina-quality standards I have instilled in my brain. We entered into DC through a long, ill-lit tunnel while listening to Air’s “Talkie Walkie”, which was rather mystical. Soon after, we arrived at the house in which we were to play music. Our host that greeted us with delicious chili and cornbread was a jolly fellow named Carni. He was very nice to us, as he threw us on the bill days prior. We hung out for a bit before we set up, and I received a quality massage from a stranger. She had a tattoo of a fairy and large hands. We were first to play that night. It was an early show, starting at eight, and contrary to my personal experience playing early shows, people actually showed up on time. It was nice to see a scene that set aside the fashionably-late mindset that all-too-often impedes on touring bands success and enjoyment on the road. The set was fun, as it was cramped and intimate, just the way I like it. Young folks were spilling in from the kitchen to our left, adjacent staircase, and side room to our right, giving an interesting perspective from the band’s point of view. I picture fell off the wall while we were playing and it hit me in the arm then shattered. I laughed, then apologized. We completed our sweaty set and loaded out.
For the remainder of the night, we mostly porched it out front, as the renters of the house locked the front door, vanquishing any effort to reenter to watch the next bands. I had fun drinking Budweiser and Jameson playing ninja tag (thanks Rob Woodworth) and Face Me!, Matty’s invention that is a chicken-esque style game in which you must enter into battle if an opponent looks deep into your soul and cries “FACE ME!” He’s really good at Face Me!. Eventually, we ventured back to Carni’s house about six blocks away to settle our belongings for the night. The gang, excluding myself but consisting of some newfound friends, went to an Ethiopian restaurant and apparently had a splendid time. Here’s some visual representation of what I missed out on…
So back at Carni’s all by my lonesome, I got really high (on life), and walked around his hood for a bit. There were literally no people
to be seen, which was pleasant and creepy at the same time. I got back to the house, thought I was going to throw up, didn’t, and admired the abode’s giant unicorn rug in the front room. I really wish I could get one of those for a drum rug, or as a tapestry in my house, or maybe even just as a normal rug that people would walk on. But I don’t know if I’d want people to walk on it, because it was truly beautiful and majestic. I digress; I went to sleep on a love seat that did not help the ever-increasing back problems I’ve been experiencing lately. But either way, I was grateful to have a place to lay my head for the night. We awoke the next morning, had some killer coffee and bagels at coffee shop that had “Bear” in the name, but I can’t remember the rest. We loaded our personal belongings into the van and headed back to the South, eyes and GPS set for Durham, NC.
Yes, we realize the inconvenience of heading from Wilmington to DC, then back down to Durham. But hey, any chance we get to elongate the stimulation of our senses with the flurry of smells including hummus flatulence, pee jars, oregano oil/apple cider vinegar health drinks and my fermenting sweat soaked clothes in a van with the Holidudes shan’t be passed up. We drove for approximately 4 ½ hours and arrived in Durham, NC at our place of performance, The Pinhook. Before we exited the van, we noticed a man outside the venue doing a double take at us and the poster of us behind him, as we were dressed in our respective colors. I couldn’t tell if he was thinking “Oh, they dress in their colors on the road too, that’s fun” or “Oh, they dress in their colors on the road too, that’s fucking lame,” but he ended up being one of the owners and really nice. His thought process was the former of the two options I was speculating about. We loaded in to the hip-looking, collage-covered, cool-back-smoking-patio-having bar and went to eat food at Whole Foods with a high school friend of Dixon’s. Her name was Fumiko and she gave advice to Mike B. about his hernia. I offered to punch it for him, you know, to get his intestines back up in their proper resting place, but he declined the offer. Why won’t people let me punch them when it truly is the cure to their immediate problems? Geez. My meal was $10, so I decided to never get the hot bar at Whole Foods again. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but $10 for a meal that got me averagely full? Nah brah. We went back to the venue and I hung out on the back porch with Mike B. and Dixon as we made some friends who refused to refer to us than anything other than “Hey Mr. Blue” or “Hey Mr. Green”, but that’s the way we like it. The opening and only other act of the night was J. Kutchma, an incredible solo act full of soul and passion. I mean, this dude was awesome, inspiring even. His songs were full of heart-felt content about women, death, and loss and he represented this content through his spur-havin’-boot-floor-pounding, perfectly gruff vocals, and raw drop-D acoustic guitar accompaniment. He raved about seeing Good Luck at The Fest, and Matty’s noodly guitar dexterity. He finished his set, we all sincerely portrayed our appreciation for him and his music, and we played to four or maybe five people. Ironically, this was the first night we played through an actual high quality sound system with a front of house engineer that we knew. His name was Evan and we stayed with him, his wife, and sweet Husky named Laika that night. Although our aforementioned friends from before we played did not come inside to listen to our set, they were awfully gracious in donating money to us with no request for merchandise, which Mike forced upon them nonetheless. We left the venue, following our sound engineer and house host on his 695cc (I don’t know anything about motorcycles, but that seems like a lot of cc’s to me) Ducati crotch rocket. We told him to do a wheelie, but he was much too modest. We arrived at his place and lounged in the backyard, as Mike B. delivered his half-hour long monologue about his former studio space in Nashville, IN being haunted by a ghost. It was a very entertaining story and increased my belief that Casper’s buddies do truly exist. Mike made a penis joke, we laughed for a while, then fell asleep.
Memory Map play rock and roll and are on tour for the next few weeks doing just that. Check their dates below to see if they are coming to your town, be sure to check out the first part of their tour diary here, the second part here, and grab the new album here.
May 28Chicago, IL
May 29Grand Rapids, MI
May 30Milwaukee, WI
Jun 03Dubuque, IA
Jun 04Carbondale, IL
Jun 06Bloomington, IN