ok. so. none of the stuff I predicted happened. however.
no one who bet me their life savings got it quite right either. so everyone wins? or… everyone LOSES, that’s the phrase I’m looking for.
but more importantly than who won what amount of money from bella’s bartok is this: we made it home from tour! alive! again! and despite the fact that many of my predictions regrettably did not come true, some OTHER, possibly even COOLER events did come to pass, and so it is with overwhelming humility that I here recount them to you, dear reader, to be handed down at fireside to your children, and to your children’s children.
first, for “scenic” buffalo did we depart. it’s quite a drive from quaint lil’ western mass, and as a general dictum we don’t listen to music in our van (since we have a van full of instruments, we just play those instead. makes sense, no?). HOWEVER: I smuggled aboard the only cassette tapes that I own, which are, you guessed it, the entire discography of “weird al” yankovic. did you think fancy kerrigan could even CONCEIVE of owning anything else? no. he cannot. (it is literally the only music I own, excepting my relatively-fresh-off-the-press copy of “change yer life” by some band no one cares about.)
anywho, it was a strange moment to arrive at the venue, only because there was a really big picture of a guy playing guitar that looked for all the world to be ME. I had a brief moment of “wow, they’re really big fancy kerrigan fans here” before realizing it was… some other guy. probably a long lost father or something.
the place got us a hotel which we, with much regret in our hearts, accepted (as you know, we prefer to sleep on floors and, sometimes, on stages.) but it must not have been a very good hotel, because there was a dead guy on the stairs.
we arose bright and early to head for fort wayne, indiana, but not before an earth-shattering feast of rubber proto-waffles, “coffee” in a styrofoam cup, and a pint of brandy. thusly were we ready to begin the day’s journey, and weird al’s “bad hair day” did our van’s speakers dutifully and powerfully emit.
the brass rail in fort wayne was a god damn BLAST. punk rock venue ’til the bitter end. we were at first apprehensive, having arrived early and in the midst of an unfinished dungeons & dragons adventure. (for those of you who don’t already know, spoiler alert: we play d&d in the van, because it’s FUCKING AWESOME).
so, apprehensive, because we had like five hours to kill and desperately wanted to finish our chivalric exploits, but kinda didn’t want the ostensibly too-cool-to-play-d&d staff of this amazing venue to think we were nerds (read: DISCOVER that we were nerds). in the end, we swallowed our pride and just went for it, and our bravery was greeted quite literally with applause from the mohawked and leather-clad bartenders. it turns out we’re all really the same, deep down.
we played with unlikely alibi, one of the best straight-up ska bands I’ve seen in a good, long time. real music rocks. then we played, I think. who knows, really.
we stayed with the proprietess, and spent the rest of our evening (well, it was more like five in the morning by this time) going through an italian cookbook and impersonating the food.
we arose once again, like ya do, and ate breakfast at a place that had a lot of hats on the walls. we have a whole photo series of me with different kinds of hats on. I’m wondering whether it’s worth your while for me to show them to you. hmm. how about this: if you want to see several pictures of me with different hats on, you can go ahead and email email@example.com. for now, we have STORIES TO RECOUNT! ON WITH IT!!
northward, ever northward, to traverse city, michigan, which is a funny, little, touristy place. another long car ride, another wierd al tape. plus whatever else passes the time in cars: sudoku, face-swapping, pretending to sing opera, “homemade ice cream” comprising objects found around the van, the occasional frolick in a field.
the weekend was overwhelmingly fun, for reasons the medium of the written word cannot convey. we met strange, new people, and played our strange, new music (for which they were not ready; a guy’s head exploded and they made US clean it up. the nerve!) but: the highlight of tour by a huge margin occurred during the second night of our traverse city shows. we were in the green room, about to take the stage. emotions were running rampant. the stakes were high. there was a certain je-ne-sais-quoi permeating the air. suddenly, in what can only be called an overwhelming display of unparalleled genius, dan, in a single instant, turned the world’s principal collective wish into a reality. yes, the rumors are true.
dan face-swapped with his taco.
take a moment to absorb that idea. breathe. come down.
ok. anyway, what are we again? a band? oh yeah.
we went on to play some of the best music of our young lives, our spirits being richly invigorated by the face-swap victory. we even took a bunch of requests (hall and oates stands out in my memory as particularly salient), because that’s just the type of good mood we were in. we proceeded to party long into the night.
then we had a day off! it was weird! we spent it where any self-respecting beer geeks who find themselves in michigan with spare time would: the founder’s brewery! it pleased the lord (it was a sunday) and the power vested in us by good beer allowed us to continue upon our adventures for yet another day. next stop: muncie, indiana.
and I know what you’re thinking. you’re thinking, “muncie, indiana? y tho? isn’t that place, like, the definition of banality? isn’t it, like, famous for its lack of fame? isn’t it, like, where america goes to die?” au contraire, hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frère! it turns out that muncie, indiana experience is one of the most fun times anyone could ever have in their life. who knew!
we played our show at be here now, another of indiana’s punk-as-fuck venues (“punk” in the sense that everyone was having a good time and jumping off stuff and making out and not judging each other’s grammar). dan got on a strange and uncharacteristic rumple minze kick that night and kept trying to get strangers to drink it from the bottle with him. I tried it. it was gross. we played loud and fast and did an hour-long podcast that I hope no one ever has to hear.
off to cleveland, ohio, folks. a show at the legendary beachland ballroom with pinch and squeal. I was called up on stage and likened to daniel stern (never heard THAT one before…) ah, but ’twas all in good fun! during our set, asher, in the heat of passion, tore my pants off my body while I was playing guitar. that was cool.
onward to akron, ohio. wierd al’s “off the deep end” plays. a concert is performed. dancing ensues. the recipe for medivka is discovered. afterward, at the bar, we play another mini-concert, acoustic, for people who wanted to see us but came too late. because we care.
to pennsylvania, gentlemen! specifically, the bullfrog brewery. yes, there was a performance, BUT, as is the natural wont of these tales, the more notable events took place, yes, after the show was done.
essentially, we went and stayed at luis guzman’s house and drank luis guzman’s v8 juice and luis guzman had a dog named rudy and a bathroom that looked out over an expanse (which was so cool that we all had to use it at the same time) and a pool table and cigars and then it eventually became time to say goodbye to luis guzman so we said “goodbye, luis guzman!” and we left luis guzman’s house but we hope, one day, to see luis guzman again.
then up to vermont for the hill to hill festival. nearly home! “alapalooza” sounds across the mighty catskills. I almost crash because face-swapping is JUST THAT FUCKING FUNNY. we also brought a really absurd amount of bubbles, which could be fired from tiny bubble-guns. that was fun.
and by now, dear reader, you must know the drill: we rocked out long into the night and partied long into the early morn, saving just enough energy for our final venture: lefty’s brewing spring fest! home at last!
I personally have not had so much fun in the daytime, ever. expect to see us attending more of their events, and drinking more of their beer. it was the perfect end to the, uh… “perfect” tour. I did a guitar cartwheel. asher did the worm. dan was eaten by an inflatable bear (check our instagram for video evidence). and, just like that, it was over, and we were home, exhausted, elated, and eager to do it all again. all that was left was to somehow consummate our collective experience. so what do you think we did, dear reader? duh: