BOB’S BLOG 11.26.2007: Nashville!

Techmonkey Noah has been slacking like only a monkey can do. Eating Thanksgiving dinner and enjoying time with his family, instead of working 27 hours a day and only sleeping when the sickness finally takes it toll. So don’t blame anyone but him for the lack of Bob’s Blog for the last four days. He’d apologize, but to you it’d only send like primate hoots and hollers.

Anyways, Bob and The Blakes escaped somewhat unscathed from the swampy grime of the south and have now struck out for Nashville and beyond. Mr. Husak, the floor is yours.

We made the drive to Nashville the next morning and got to Grimey’s, the record store we’d be playing that day, sometime that afternoon. Grimey’s is a very cool store. The staff moved some vinyl racks out of the way and we set up for a full rock show. They started giving away beer to patrons shortly before we played. We had some fans turn up and we put on a great set for about thirty people, which was probably past capacity for the venue. Country music star/songwriter Jimmy Wayne was present for the show and he had nothing but praise for us. JW’s a hell of a guy. I purchased a Serge Gainsbourg CD for Snow as a replacement for the one I broke earlier in the tour by slamming the glove compartment door on it. The store sold out of our albums and we sold them more.

We later went down to that section of Broadway downtown where country bands play in bars from morning ’til night. We drank beer and watched some hacks play country covers. I got separated from the group just as a Predators game got out across the street and it took me about forty minutes to find them again amongst the sea of hockey fans. We drove out of town and slept in our favorite tin tube, the van. We made the very long drive to Chapel Hill, NC the next day and arrived at the venue, Local 506, feeling fairly exhausted. Nice town, Chapel Hill. Solid venue too. This was the first show booked by Patrick at Monterey International (aside from Reno which was last minute) and we were treated much differently here than we were at most of the self-booked shows. They had an upstairs green room for us with veggies, beer, cold cuts and even a shower (!). We played with a pretty accomplished local act called Red Collar. A very good crowd turned out for a Sunday and we played a nice set although the drum riser was way in the back of the stage, which was big, and I felt kind of isolated. We slept at Red Collar’s drummer’s place nearby. We tried to get out early the next morning to make an in-store in Baltimore but we were pretty sluggish. Talks persisted throughout the day of getting a hotel room. We made the record store–the Sound Garden, located in a nice part of downtown Baltimore–a half hour late but we set up quickly on their tiny stage. It was so small that I couldn’t fit my floor tom or ride up there and Garnet and Snow used their small solid states normally reserved for acoustic shows. For some reason the sound was fantastic and Garnet and Snow made the decision after the performance to switch permanently to the smaller amps. I tried to get some kids onstage to sing Soulja Boy but the sound guy shut me down. We high tailed it to DC to make the evening’s venue, The Red & the Black, which was a very small place in a somewhat rough part of the city. We had to lug our gear up several flights of creaky stairs. The staff treated us somewhat shabbily (big surprise–we booked this one). Red Collar came up and opened for us again. We had a lot of press for this one, including an article in the Washington Post, and it paid off for us; considering that it was a Monday show with no local support, quite a few people came out and danced along. It was really cool. My friend Nhi, who’d relocated to DC from Seattle, came with her boyfriend and another friend, and we slept on the floor at her place in Arlington.