Dear Jay Leno,
First off, my intention is not to fight you on this. You have more cars than I have dollars, and so I know I don’t stand a chance legally, and on top of that, I don’t really understand how legal stuff works. But the truth is you kind of fucked up my shit and I need to talk to you about it.
In 2007 my good friend Travis Irvine was running for mayor of his home town, Bexley, Ohio. He asked for help making him a funny campaign commercial. So together, me and my pal Travis composed, performed and recorded an original campaign jingle onto my four track (we did, not you). Then, I directed and shot a silly music video for that song featuring Travis strolling about his town, looking patriotic, friendly and mayoral. Remember that video?
I think you might, because in 2009 Travis called me about it. He was in a frenzy and needed to know if I’d seen your show that night, which of course I had not. You see, Travis had received a call from a high school friend who claimed to have seen Travis on The Jay Leno Show. So the next day, we both watched your show on the internet, and sure enough our video was in a piece at the end. I remember it was at the end because I had to watch the whole show to find it and boy that is a long show, it felt like I was watching forever. How long was your show, like three hours? During the bit you played five stupid local campaign commercials and one of those commercials was the video I was telling you about earlier. After you played our video on national television, you said something like, “I love that song!” as the audience cheered in approval. So thank you for that. It was nice of you. READ MORE
The Final chapter of the Everything is Terrible tour diary, where we reflect, repent, deny and distort and say shit like, “Damn that awesome.”
It was a long journey. We were on the road for nearly three months. We played 75 shows. We had six days off. We drank a lot of beers. We made lots of wraps in the van. We unloaded the van and loaded the van and unloaded the van and loaded the van. We set up our stage and performed and took everything down and put it in the van and drove towards sleep. Over and over again. We woke up and drove and did it again. The tour is over and I’m exhausted and kind of crazy. I look to my left and my right and I don’t see van walls or six smelly and hilarious guys. There’s no specific destination or time I need to be in some random city, the dudes aren’t here, and I’m not asking one of them, “where are we going?” or on one of the more trying days, “where are we?”
I left off somewhere in Florida, and believe me there were more shows, endlessly there were more shows and crazy people, and gracious hosts, van problems, great successes, fear and loathing, pre-show butterflies, thrift stores and gas stations, fancy coffee and fancy beers, shitty coffee and shitty beers, great audiences, disgruntled hungry searches for decent food, old theaters and new theaters and rock clubs and art spaces, warehouses, post offices and kinkos, the work and the fun, all that shit kept happening. But how many times can a guy write, “We met some awesome people, and we did more shows,” before I start writing about the bottle of sprouts we dropped, the two sleeping bags we lost, the salad we made in a park that could have been anywhere because it happened all over the country and sometimes in Canada? READ MORE
All Dogs Go On Tour, Part 6: Where we battle Canada, Hank the III, and a bunch of auto mechanics, and finally our shoes get licked.
We missed our first show when we couldn’t get into Montreal. The immigration officer said, “If you try again to cross the border today, you will all be banned forever from Canada.” That seems like overkill for a bunch of dudes that dress like dogs, and being banned from a country actually seems much like an interesting braggers right. But despite the cool story I’d have to tell at American parties, we surrendered, turned around after two hours of waiting and arguing with Canadian customs and we drove a few yards over to the American customs officer and answered his questions. The only part of us that managed to cross the border and stay in Canada was our muffler that fell off while we were being interrogated. We sat in the van while the guy decided whether or not to let us back into America. He asked, “How long were you in Canada?” and we looked at our watch, “I don’t know, two hours?” We joked about the possibility of being stuck in no man’s land, unable to go to Canada, and unable to get back in to the States. Much like Tom Hanks in Terminal.
But I’m way ahead of myself. Last time we were headed to a state that is not to be messed with. Texas is much like its own country and I enjoy it quite a bit (although the Texas police have given me and my comrades much trouble on former tours). We had two shows in Austin both at different Alamo Draft House locations. If you are not familiar with this particular brand of theater, you will be soon. The Alamo Draft House is quickly taking over American cinema, which is, depending on your perspective, good or bad. No comment.
In Denton we played for very few people in a little rock club where you had to literally become a member of the “club” to drink in order to loophole around the dry county laws. The promoter put us up and did an excellent job as the tech for our show (despite falling asleep in the middle of the show), and all in all we had a great time, then moved on to Houston. READ MORE
All Dogs Go On Tour, Part 5: Where we get pelted with animal parts, feel at home in Cali, get the cops called on us at college, and get some peace of mind in the southwest.
It’s almost over. Just a matter of weeks. March has been a clusterfuck of exciting shows and hard work and we had zero days off. I wondered if I’d ever get a chance to sit down and finish writing this. Our one scheduled day off in the month of March was unfortunately spent in the van driving back to a theater where we left a box of merchandise. There is no rest for the absentminded.
Now, backwards to the past where we were driving down the west coast.
Apparently when someone throws duck innards at me, I yell at them. I never expected to find that out about myself. Everything Is Terrible rarely has opening acts, but in Sacramento the venue decided to schedule us one, the band Mom, a G.G. Allen type chick that kept flashing her junk and dismembering a dead duck on stage to her brand of noise/pop. Shock rock isn’t really all that shocking to me anymore and Mom’s music didn’t do much for me, and I don’t really care for duck until it’s slow cooked, but though it’s not my thing, I respect Mom and the guts (get it…guts) it takes to be abhorrent on stage. The problems began in the form of a drunken heckler who in my opinion enjoyed the nudity plus duck insides a bit too much. There were still duck parts on the stage by the time I took it, and the guy was throwing gross shit at me when I stepped out to introduce the show. I made fun of him until he yelled, “fuck you!” and stormed out (right, I’m the bad guy here) and then went on with my intro. READ MORE
All Dogs Go On Tour, Part 4: Where we escape America, play our way down the coast, go to Hollywood in Portland, and the news is that local news sucks.
Every day I wake wondering, “Where the fuck am I?”
This tour is wearing on us. We are living off of coffee and beer and really need to make a conscious effort to eat right and drink lots of water, a boring liquid that keeps one alive and healthy but doesn’t contain chemicals that make one high and happy.
Touring is auto repair shops and truck stops with racist Obama T-shirts. Our brakes are making noises. Squeaks and screams that grow worse with each new mechanic. At home you can get your car repaired and if the noise returns or is worse, you drive right back the next day with a baseball bat or a lawyer. On the road, you have to look the mechanic in the eye and try to make him like you. It’s best to try and inspire empathy. “Yes you could easily fuck us over, and we will pay what you ask, but for the love of whatever bullshit God you believe in, please don’t fuck me…please.” READ MORE
All Dogs Go On Tour, Part Three: Where we forget stuff, prepare to die in the snow, dance the night away, fear and loath strip clubs and saloons, and sleep little.
Dear tour diary,
I have to go backwards. I forgot a day. I lost a whole day. A holiday even. Groundhogs day. I forgot to write about it and I can’t remember whether or not the damned dog-hog fled from his shadow. I’m losing holidays.
Columbia was somewhere between St. Louis and Wichita and also the first theater to put us up in a hotel. This one even had a pool! But alas, on Groundhog’s day we checked in with no time for a swim, and after the show the pool was closed and locked (really well). We hung our heads and wagged our tongues out of there. I don’t think the show was ultra memorable (obviously if I forgot the whole fucking day) but now I remember they had excellent beer, so perhaps that’s where the night went? I also remember being pointed in the direction of a guy with weed, who mumbled incoherently, and refused to state directly that he did or did not have drugs. I have much less patience while in this touring mode, and we gave up pretty quickly on the indecisive fellow and then crammed into our hotel room for sleep. READ MORE
Part two of Everything is Terrible's tour journal: where we travel from Minneapolis to Wichita, weird out middle America, steal bedrooms from children, ain't afraid of no ghosts, and keep moving.
California is home for half of us, and sitting on this familiar couch while sipping an IPA with my feet up makes me feel normal. This is me writing about two weeks ago, but it feels as if I’m writing about the ancient past. We are in the west coast now. We’ve driven through snow and mountains and deserts and though the country has been crossed, we’ve only just begun. We’re less than a third of the way through. Where did I leave off?
Minneapolis had a theater from 1949 waiting for us with Everything is Terrible bright across the marquee. The room was huge and though 80 people came to the show, it felt sparse and open. The theatre owner seemed unsure of us, and what was to come as is the case with lots of these theaters. Sometimes folks that are accustomed to showing Hollywood movies find it odd that people want to perform for the audience on top of screening a feature. The crew sometimes gets scared of the fog machine and lights and keyboard and amp and most intensely they fear what might be asked of them. These are projectionists after all, not sound guys. I like to think we win most of these folks over in the end and either way, we are truly privileged to perform in historic beautiful theaters across the country. READ MORE
"Terrible" is scrawled backwards in blood across the hood of our van. It’s backwards so you can see us coming in your rear view mirror. Still, as we drive, I can’t help but feel that the signature is not enough. On previous tours our van was decorated with a naked 1979 beefcake named Cobra, genitals covered only by a babe’s hand. Unfortunately, some Chicago prudes scratched him off with angry fingernails before we left and so for now we are feeling dangerously inconspicuous, boring even. This must not stand. Soon we will get some paint.
It’s hard for me to explain Everything Is Terrible and my part within this monster to my family and friends. The movie we are touring with is the third EIT feature, Doggie Woggiez Poochie Woochiez, a remake of Aleandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain, constructed entirely out of 3000-plus ultra-mediocre, soul-grating, VHS dog features. My cohorts have worked for over a year on this piece, and though my part in that process consisted only in my contribution of some original music and hosting a six-hour telethon for the DWPW Kickstarter, I am in the Terrible Van, four shows and four cities deep, cruising across the country, performing with my dogs (literally) and screening their masterpiece. READ MORE