Notes From the Road: March/April 2016

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I used to write these more frequently. Probably cause , when I’d tour I’m be surprised by something or weird things would happen on occasion. Well, that hasn’t been the case the last few times i’ve hit the road. The Song remains the same. Airports are still airports. The lifestyle of “drive/fly, hotel, soundcheck, eat, wait, play show, back to the hotel, sleep, repeat” is pretty much the gold standard for my touring life. It’s not glamorous. It’s lazy and , somehow, exhausting. I’m not complaining, of course. It’s always fun performing for fans, meeting the people from all over who have been effected by your music. That’s the good part. It’s certainly better than having a real job. I think , all I’m saying is, my lack of “notes from the road” write ups has more to do with the monotony of the lifestyle. It doesn’t help that I barely drink when I tour and I don’t party at all cause sleep is so much more crucial. All that said, I was reflecting on a recent tour I was on with Eliot Lipp (We’re hitting the west coast for 4 dates in early may , btw. Check http://blockheadmusic.com/ for more info) and a few interesting stories…And they both take place in the south. My apologies if anyone involved in these stories read this and feel slighted but, you know what? You’re were fucked up and out of line so perhaps you earned this one. No names were spoken…cause i don’t know your name. So, hey, it’s all good.

The first story takes place in Lexington, Kentucky.
I had never played there before. It was a tuesday night so , in all honesty, expectations were low. Not cause of lexington but cause of the day of the week. Well, around 9 pm, I pop out to man the Merch booth (I work my own merch cause it’s more fun than sitting alone backstage and, also, it helps sell stuff better). Sitting there, watching the early crowd I notice that this crowd is unusually drunk. It’s 9pm…on a tuesday , yet, it feels like mardi gras in this bitch. I have casual chats with a few people. The typical “Hey, man, you know where the coat check is?” interaction comes cause people don’t know what I look like and need to check their coats. But, I’m also chatting with fans, taking pics, signing stuff. Business as usual. Eliot Lipp goes on and he’s doing his thing. during the middle of his set, an older women walks up to the merch table. She’s probably in her early 50’s. Not your typical Blockhead/eliot Lipp fan. Within moments , i can see she is very drunk. Wasted. All kinda of fucked up. She’s also got a somewhat unhappy look on her face. “I need your help!” huh? She proceeds to tell me about her son. He’s 17 or 18. He’s a budding musician who plays many instruments and lives in her basement. “I want you to talk to my son!” So many questions are racing though my mind. WHo? Why? Where? When?
Before I can ask one, she swivels her head towards the stage, points at Eliot and says “He can do this!”. She pauses…” I mean…I know he can do that!!!”
Okay.
So I ask “Well, is he here?”
“Noooooo! He’s at home but I need you to talk to him!”
“But….why?”
“He needs someone to tell him how to do this! He’s so talented but he needs guidance!”
Bear in mind, this is all said in the form of screams and in a the form of an argument. She seemed livid by the whole interaction. I calmly replied “Well…here’s the thing…if he’s not here, I can’t talk to him”
“No, give me your number and you will call him!”
“I’m not doing that…besides…I’m not one to teach anyone anything. What kinda music does he even make?”
“He makes shit like Sparklehorse but I want him to do this kinda music (pointing at Eliot once again)”
I had no idea who Sparklehorse was but, later when I looked it up it became clear that this woman just losing her mind in thinking , even though her son does one thing, he should focus elsewhere. She kept coming after me about “helping” him, Like i’m some sort or successful record label A&R man and all I could tell her was “Hey, you just gotta support what he does. Keep having his back…but a talk with me? That’s not gonna help anything…” this conversation kept devolving until she was pretty much ice grilling me from across the merch table. Furious. She slammed her fists down on the table and walked away as if I told her we didn’t accept food stamps. As she walked away, I just sat there, somewhat befuddled by what had gone on. Did i really just get yelled at by a mom at my own show? Like…it didn’t even make sense. Her rage, the fact her son makes an entirely different genre of music and plays instruments and she was talking to me like I was fucking Quincy Jones with the key to the secrets of success. Had she forgotten I was playing in Lexington on a tuesday? Who knows. Anyway, I let it go and it was now my turn to play. I was doing my set per usual. At one point, I look down towards stage left and see this woman, leaning over the barricade…motionless…staring a hole in my head. The only way I can describe the look on her face was that of the evil old woman from the Goonies. There was just…visible disdain shooting right at me. I just kind of ignored it and kept going. A little while later, I check down, and she’s now seemingly fallen over the barricade. It’s possible she walked around it and then fell down…but…I dunno. That’s a whole lot of work. Someone in the crowd noticed and the security picked her up off the ground and carried her away. I later heard, she had driven there and the people from the venue , wisely, wouldn’t let her drive her car. After all, she was as drunk a 14 year old girl. I guess she put up a stink about it and was eventually arrested.
The next day, i receive this message in my facebook music page inbox
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The punch she’s referring to is one she exchanged with my tour manager…who she thought was me before she even met me. Clearly, it was black out city after that. I’d be willing to bet she doesn’t even remember the merch booth exchange.
I think the moral of this story is this…Don’t pre game too hard. If it’s 9 pm and you’re already sloppy, you’re night is as good as over. Also, be good to your children. support them in their art. And if their art doesn’t happen to be the kind of art you want them to do? Tough break. It’s not all about you. Let them breath and find their own direction.

Okay, so the second story is more an explanation…
When i saw the tour dates of where I was playing, I was happy to see Atlanta on the list. I love Atlanta. I have great shows there. The people are great and it’s just a fun city in general. The club I was playing, Iris, was not a familiar name to me. I figured, hell, what do you I know. I’m not from ATL so it’s probably fine. The first day of promoting shows , I start getting an immediate influx of “Why are you playing at the Iris!?!?” from people on facebook. I’ve literally never seen such a negative response to a venue before. In my mind, how bad could it be? It’s got good sound and place for people to stand? Seems like that should be enough. I went back at forth with some of the complainers trying to explain that but, the more i did that, the more other people would add on “nah, man…it’s really the worst…”.
So, what would normally be a highlight show for any tour down south was now under the black cloud of doubt. It didn’t help when I saw how it was being promoted. It was a rave, basically. They spoke of giveaways, bottle service and “the iris dancers”. To be clear, all this is fine and dandy. It’s just soooooo not the scene I’m in. I make hip hop beats with weird samples and limited 808’s. No triplets. Not bass drops. It’s just not my style. So, this only made me more anxious heading into ATl.
We finally get there and I see exactly what I’m dealing with. It’s a club. Like a straight up club. I got thoroughly frisked walking in…DURING SOUNDCHECK. Literally the first time that’s ever happened. The dj booth was on an extremely high , multi tiered stage (which was cool for me cause I didn’t wanna be stuck on the floor level in a literal booth). Everyone who worked there was nice. The promoters were nice. Honestly, as much as the room felt “wrong” , part of me was relieved that maybe this wouldn’t be that bad cause all the involved parties were seemingly into what was going on.
WHELP….nah.
When I got on, this dude was just playing a set of some heavier bass music. The room was pretty packed and very excited. I look down into the crowd and see a sea of young ravers…there’s all sorts of raver balloons and glow sticks being handed out to the crowd. That’s odd. I get on, take the mic and greet the crowd. Typically , if I’m headlining a show, when I do this, I am met with some sort of reaction. After all, People are there to see me, right? On this night…I’m met with a quiet murmur. Okey dokey. SO, I start my set. Within moments I see the floor start to clear. There were two other room of music going on. I can only assume they were the correct kinds of music for such a venue cause that’s where everyone went. Looking into the crowd, there were some people into it. People who knew my music. But, for the most part, it was confusion. About 15 minutes into my see, I see a bunch of girls on the side of the stage. I assume these are the “Iris girls”. From what i can gather, they are hired to dance there, dressed in lingerie. Umm…okay. So they saunter out on stage and start attempting to dance to my set. Here’s the thing…I don’t think they know how to dance to something in the 95-100 beat per minute range. They looked noticeably uncomfortable. The stuck it out for a song or two then retreated, exchanging looks of “wtf is this shit?!!?”. It was fine with me cause, honestly, scantily clad dancing women and my live set don’t make much sense. I’d be better off with a crew of break dancing midgets. My set continues on and the crowd is thinning even more. All I can think about it “Man…I’m in ATL and this is the show I’m playing…” and it’s bumming me out. At some point, the Iris girls come out again but this time they have bags of balloons. The throw them into the crowd and the crowd seems to love it. In fact,the love it so much, they just start loudly popping the balloons at a rapid rate. So that sounded cool. Much like the firecracker scene in “Boogie nights”.
The peak moment during my set soon followed. I looked down at the front of the stage and I caught a glimpse of this one girl. She was literally sitting there frowning with her arms crossed. Like…who took your teddy bear?
I guess at some point, this inner rage boiled to the surface and she felt it was time to take things into her own own hands. I’m actually happy I got to see this all happen as it unfolded. I saw her, barrel roll onto the first tier of the stage (it was about 4 feet off the ground) and, like a zombie in world war z, jump into action, climbing a second tier on the stage to get to my level. She had a look on her face. It was just pure anger.She got up to where I was, ran around the booth and I felt a firm tap on my shoulder. I turned and saw her eyes shooting death into mine but before she could get out a word, the bouncers grappled her up and dragged her ass off stage. It was nuts. So much fury, in the name of bass.
My set finished in like 10 more minutes and went out with a whimper. I said thank you to the crowd and the response might as well have been me asking if any one has seen a blue nissan parked in a tow away zone.
As i walked of stage, i was bummed. It was a waste of a chance to play in ATL. I ran into the sound guy and he was very kind about it. “Man, i like what you did up there but I have no idea why you played this place”. I agreed. He went on to tell me that, typically, no matter who’s playing that main room, it’s packed to the gills. So, I basically did the impossible and cleared the room of people who are not discerning at all. I then ran into one of the promoters and kinda was like “ooof…that was rough…” He was understanding and explained they were trying to do something new and perhaps open me up to a different fan base via this crowd. Cross branding. Which, in theory, isn’t a bad idea. I mean, shit, If I can come away with 5 new fans from that crowd the next time I do a show down there…that’s not a bad thing. But, still…it felt like a waste. I don’t play that area much and, when I do, I wanna do it for the people who actually wanna see me. Not a bunch of 20 year old ravers who only wanna hear bass drops for 4 hours. But, hey, i got paid so I can’t really complain.
But, yeah…ATL…Hopefully I’ll be back in the right place next time. I look forward to seeing you guys.

That’s all I got. i had a great time otherwise and I can’t wait to hit the west coast with Lipp. You guys never disappoint. See y’all soon!

Notes from the road- Tel Aviv

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Last Week I covered my european dates while on tour and this week, I wanted to talk about my brief time in Tel Aviv Israel.

I gotta lot to say about this.
First off, I wanna point out the opposition I received on Facebook concerning my trip to Israel. As soon as I posted that I was playing in Tel Aviv, A handful of people started bombarding me with “Boycott Israel” memes and basically telling me I was a piece of shit for playing there. Well, let me explain.
I’m a musician. My job is to play gigs. i don’t pick where I play and , for what it’s worth, this is how I make my living. Beyond that, I’m not at all informed of any political dealings in or out of Israel.I have friends who both support and do not support Israel but that’s the extent of my knowledge. I simply don’t pay attention to much news. I’m half jewish but I feel but I feel no deep bond to people in Israel. To put it bluntly, I don’t give a fuck. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way. I simply don’t think about that kinda stuff. Perhaps I’m a shitty person because of that but I tend to only worry about what’s within my control. I’m speaking of any political aspect to any country I play in. I’d play Palestine if they asked me. So, when people started coming at me on some “How dare you!” shit, I was shocked. The idea of me playing a show anywhere angering people had never for a moment crossed my mind. Once the backlash started coming in, I was like “Oh shit…” but, you know what? The show must go on and, fuck it, I wanted to see what Tel aviv was like. People on Facebook were acting like I was performing for the fucking leaders of the country and not some regular young people who simply enjoy music and going out. I think that’s what gets lost in a lot of political bullshit. Yes, there are some shitty people in many places. Some more than others. But the second you think a whole country is evil cause you don’t agree with their leaders policies? You’re really not being fair. There are good , kind, normal people everywhere. In fact, a decent amount of the Israeli’s I spoke to were adamantly against what was going on in their country. It reminded me of the first time I went to the UK and I struck up a conversation with my cab driver. He started going in about how great G.W. Bush was and I was like “uhhh….fuck that guy”. So, to the people who had an issue, I respect your right to feel some sorta way about that country. You’re obviously more involved and informed than I am…but I’m just a dude who makes music and plays shows. I have no dog in this fight and really don’t care to. Also, taking firm political stances on the Facebook pages of niche underground hip hop artist is fucking ridiculous. Go find a message board or something. Better yet, talk to a friend.

Now that that’s out of the way, lemme talk about my trip there. It started rough. I arrived in the Tel Aviv Airport around 12:30 am. People had warned me that they were tight about letting people in. Obviously. It’s fucking Israel. So, I was mentally preparing myself for some bullshit. So, I walk to the passport inspection line. It’s a mile long. Not only that, it’s not moving. Each teller is taking 5 to 10 minutes with EVERY person. It might as well have been a doctors office but with like 200 people in it. So, I’m waiting on this line and theres a group of russian women get in line after me. i notice them hedging to cut me. The line is so slow that it’s very clear to spot. With every half step forward, this dumpy one slowly angles her body to be a centimeter ahead of me. I’m watching this happen and trying to figure out what kind of argument I’m going to get in once the line gets shorter. At this point, we’re so far away that it doesn’t even matter. I simply must stand my ground. I notice a teller walk into an empty booth next to the one I’m waiting for.. He’s an angry looking bald man with a flack jacket on. He’s taking his sweet time setting up , turning away people who think they might catch a break. Like I said, the line I’m on is very long. Looking into the booth of my lines teller, i see a girl who could literally be a sports illustrated swimsuit model. No joke. She looked almost exactly like Claudia Shieffer. Suddenly, the angry bald teller start accepting people. I have to make q quick choice. Do i wait on this never ending line and deal with the pretty woman or do I leap into action and jump on the short line with the angry bald guy. As I always do, I impulsively go with the quicker choice and get on the line with the bald guy. For better or worse, I’ll take slight discomfort and speed over luxury and waiting. I”m now behind 3 people, as opposed to the 35 on the previous line. The Russian lady cut squad is now definitively behind me and they can’t do shit. So i’m feeling pretty good about that. Waiting for my turn, I look at the bald guys body language as he deals with people. Unlike the other tellers, he’s standing. He’s obviously very much on a power trip and looming over all those before him is a big deal. His face scrunches up as he asks questions. Grilling 75 year old women and making their husbands wait their turn, instead of taking both at the same time like the other tellers. At this point, I feel as though I fucked up. I coulda just waited and dealt with an angel who probably just wanted to get off work so she could go meet her hot friends at a hookah bar but, instead, I got a guy who probably resents his penis and takes it out on any and every person he comes across.
Finally , I get to his booth. He looks me up and down with a somewhat disgusted look on his face.
“Why you here?”
i tell him I’m a Dj and I’m playing a show. He asks where and tell him. he then asks “Where are you?”
I give him a confused look and say “Israel?”
He responds, “No! Where are you!?” I pause and ask him to repeat the question. He does and it make just as little sense as before. I say “RIght here…standing in front of you?” And I was not being snide. I literally didn’t understand what he was asking. This exchange goes back a forth a few more times and begins to feels like a “who’s on first” routine but with an angry israeli dude who wants to strangle me. Turns out, he wanted to know what part of Israel I would be staying in.
“ohhh…Tel aviv. I’m sorry I was confused”
He does not accept my apology and asks me if I’m getting paid for my gig. I sheepishly say yes , now realizing that I might be missing a work visa. I’m kinda shitting my pants. He then snatches my passport and says “Go to passport room…wait”
I ask if I can get my passport back and says “I bring there. You wait”.
And wait I did.
I went to small room where others like myself were sent. It was a room full of frustrated people literally holding their heads in their hands. Women with babies. Sweet old ladies. Rude eastern european cunts who refuse to sit quietly. I’m waiting there and unsure if my passport has even made it into the room. Not having my passport with me in Israel is definitely stressing me out. So, the waiting continues. Everyone in this small room is cursing every passing second. It’s seriously one of those moment where every five minutes pass you just sit there and say “Fucking motherfucker…” to yourself under your breath. As the herd thins out, people who who came in much later than I did have come and gone. At about the 2.5 hour mark, I’m finally called into a room. I sit down, the woman takes a look at my passport, asks me two quick questions and lets me go. Fucking motherfucker…Let this be a lesson to you all. When faced with a fork in the road, even if one side of the road is longer, always take the one with the hot girl at the end and not the angry bald dude.
Side note, the people in general who worked at the Airport were all attractive. Not only that, they girls dressed up a little. Wearing fancy shoes and tasteful make up. I saw them all getting off of work and I don’t doubt they all went straight to the club.
So, I’m finally in Tel Aviv. it’s about 3 am at this point. Thankfully, the promoters are still at the airport waiting for me. I was definitely worried they might have bailed after the second hour of waiting.
They are two local guys where are awesome. friendly and accommodating. They take me to my hotel and I sleep my dick off. The bright side of this late arrival is that I have an entire day to check out the city. I wake up and go get lunch with the promoter. The food is great. Like the kinda shit I could 5 times a week no problem. I walk around most of the city and it’s just a really cool place. old and new. A much wider variety of people than I expected. The one downside is that the city is infested with stray cats.

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If you read this blog or know me, I fucking hate cats. So, to see them by the dozens everywhere…not my shit. Apparently, the city was over run with mice a long time ago so they bought in 1000 (or so) cats to handle that business. Well, they handled it…but then bred like the animals they are, leaving over a million stray cats roaming the city. Fuck that shit. So, all you cat lovers? Go to Tel aviv and eat your fucking heart out. It’s crazy to say but I’d rather have the mice.
So, yeah, Tel Aviv is beautiful. The weather, the beaches and buildings. And I don’t even typically care about shit like that. But I do appreciate a good city and Tel Aviv is one of those without question. The people I met were awesome and it might be the “straight men dancing with straight men” capitol of the world (refer to last weeks “Notes from the road for what that means). It’s an ill sight to see so many swarthy dudes sweating and in motion and for it to be completely heterosexual.
So, my show ended at 3 am and I had to be at the airport around 6 am. Why? Cause you need to be at the airport 3 hours in advance. Why? Cause it’s Israel, that’s why. I get through the first part of the airport pretty smoothly. There’s a whole lot of Passport checking and question asking but it’s much less intense than the way in. I get to the bag x-ray portion of the trip and this is where things hit a wall. Keep in mind, there are people LEAVING the country. They make you take everything electronic out of my bag (which is quite a few things as I’m traveling doing music). After waiting for them to meticulously check the peoples bags in front of me for 30 minutes, it’s my turn. I strike up a friendly conversation with the security guy as he asks me question about the equipment I have. He’s a drummer and is curious about the launchpad I use. The conversation somehow angles into us talking about the movie “Whiplash” and how he felt the scenes where the lead actors hands are bleeding were bullshit. Hey, he’s a drummer, he’d know better than me. I feel as though this friendly rapport might speed my process through the bad check. MMMMMMNOPE. They send my shit through the x-ray machine and focus on my backpack. This is a backpack I carry all my equipment in and pretty much any important thing I need when I travel. It’s also where I stuff random crap. Papers, cd’s, stickers, loose change. It’s got all sorts of nooks and crannies , which I had honestly never considered until I saw israeli security go through it. They plucked every loose coin and painstakingly looked at each one. Every old gum wrapper. A box of pepto bismal. It took about 40 minutes of them removing things, rubbing some electronic stick on everything and re-running my bag through the x-ray over and over again. They even went through my dirty cloths. Lucky for me, they had no idea i was keeping a tiny bomb tucked under my nut sack. SUCKERS. Nah, but seriously…feeling secure is cool and all but…jesus fucking christ Israel. Relax a tiny tiny bit. I Know you’re a target bit the tired american hip hop producer with the jewish last name , who is on his way out is not a threat.
So, even though it was one day, it felt like more. I would have loved to say longer and actually gotten to party there. It’s a great city and despite the haters, I’d go back in a second. I just wish the getting in and getting out parts weren’t so fucking awful.

Notes from the Road- The European edition.

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It’ s been a minute since I left the US of A and did some dates overseas with DJ Cam. In the past, I’ve done little rundowns of my trips and pointed out the “quirks” of places that aren’t where I live. To be honest, I could do this kinda thing within the US but it’s generally more glaring on another continents. Thing is, I’ve covered most of these things. yes, the beds in some european hotels are seemingly built for Jockeys. Yes, the food in some countries is fucking weird. Yes, being in a place where you’re unsure of peoples ability to understand english is stifling for a dumb americans such as myself. These are all givens. So, with those out of the way, let’s take a look at my trip to Europe…and Israel (I’ll cover that later).

Berlin

I’ve played Berlin a few times and it’s a city I tend to enjoy. For some unknown reason, I always end up eating mexican food while I’m there. Of all the places on earth to eat mexican food, Germany makes no fucking sense. But, honestly, I’m a creature of comfort and when I see a genre of food in a foreign country that I can immediately recognize, I go for it like the pussy that I am. German Burritos are odd. Like lots of more “americanized” foods, european places tend to make the food as if their recipe was based entirely on a photo of that food. This burrito looked like a burrito. it didn’t taste bad or anything. It was just…off. Like the meat was minced into a pulp and served with an ice cream scooper and they used curried rice. Again, it wasn’t bad…it’s just wasn’t really what I expected. This same thing would occur again when I ate hamburgers in Kiev. They were cooked well done, had a tiny piece of meat and a bun big enough to make love to with a few friends on each side and never have your dicks touch. But that’s Kiev…This was Berlin. Anyway, I always like my time there but there was nothing out of the ordinary to discuss about the show or time there except my weird ass burrito.

Kiev

Going to Kiev I had a few reservations. I do not keep up on current events and , apparently, i know some people who also don’t keep up on current events but still feel compelled to let me know what’s going on in the Ukraine. From some people (european people) I had heard the warring had moved out of Kiev a long time ago and it was totally safe. From other people, I heard I’d be walking into a scene of “Call of duty” but with more Borsht. Turns out, the euro’s know best. Kiev was fine. Not only was it safe (My hotel was 2 blocks from where all the shit went down and that area literally looks like midtown manhattan during christmas) but the people were awesome and friendly. Aside from the questionable burger I mentioned above, this night and show were awesome. In my experience, Eastern European crowds go hard. All night. They dance. They yell. They’re drunk. That’s fine with me. It was here that I noticed a trend that would follow me throughout the rest of my dates overseas. Men. Dancing. Lots of men. All men. It’s the strangest thing. In the states, when i have people dancing, I’d say it’s generally 80% women and a few guys going in. Out here? It’s the opposite. The men of europe (and Tel aviv) get the fuck down. Sweating all over each other and dancing from beginning to end. It was insane. I’m not gonna lie. i’d much prefer to look down off stage and see a bunch of tits flopping around but I would never knock the dedication and exuberance of these fellas.

Linz, Austria

Linz is a small town an hour or two outside of Vienna. It’s adorable. The people are awesome and unlike many of the austrians I’ve met in VIenna. They’re a looser breed. That said, it’s still austria and it’s pretty mellow. It’s more of a “smoke a bowl and ride a bike” kinda place than a “Go see a show and have fun” kinda place. The hotel I was at was a few feet away from this statue. It was commemorating the bubonic plague that historically fucked europe in the ass many centuries ago.11043088_10152617316566781_473730357376188957_n

A plague statue is pretty real. It’s like a really ornate AIDs quilt or something. Oh, a highlight of this visit was talking to the girl who drove Cam and I around. I was telling her about to US and what cities to visit. Somehow, Baltimore came up and I was like “Well, it’s kinda dangerous” and she was like “Well, that’s okay though cause doesn’t everyone in the US have a gun?” and she wasn’t joking. That was precious. We really gotta work on our image.

Prague

Prague is pretty cool but I didn’t really get that much time there. It’s another one of those eastern euro countries where you routinely see 9’s working shit jobs and you can’t help but think there must be more in this world for a girl so pretty. Not that i would ever even consider doing so, but it’s places like prague where I get why a financially stable American would live there for a period of time, find his wife and take her home with him. Then, when they moved back, the wife would be a year or so into her marriage when she realized the dude she married is a fucking loser and every guy in the city she lives in would be willing to date her. Her street value would be realized. She’d eventually leave the guy who bought her to the states or just divorce him as soon as she had citizenship and live the life of a queen. She’d probably just be a waitress but whatever…it’s better than working in a toll booth in Prague.

Brussels

I love Brussels. Not much to say about it beyond that. Everything was good there. I’d say, of all the places I played, the men danced the hardest there.

Amsterdam

I hadn’t been to Amsterdam in over ten years. Not much has changed. It’s still full of bikes whizzing by you at every corner. Full of tourists and kinda filthy. I’m into it. I almost got hit with about 4 different types of wheeled machines at various times. It really keeps you on your toes. Anyway, I could go into the show and talk about that. it was awesome. The crowd was great and it made me feel good to be back there after all those years , knowing I still have love out there. But, I’d rather talk about the red light district. Dj Cam and I took a daytime stroll through it cause, why the fuck not? Now, I’m not sure what the hours are like for those ladies but I assume the more desirable women work the night shifts. These day shift hoes, though? Esssh….Now, to be fair, i saw some bangers. Legit hot girls with insane bodies, standing in windows waiting for any dude with 50 euro’s to fuck them. It’s really surreal to see as an outsider. You probably know what I’m talking about though cause I assume anyone who’s ever been to amsterdam has done this exact same stroll. But I wanted to bullet point a few things about the red light district.

1- The sad hookers As you walk down the skinny side streets, you see some girls standing, giving eyes to anyone walking by. They’re selling. But every 3rd or 4th girl will be sitting there looking like she’s completely miserable. Probably cause she’s a hooker. Just a guess. But it got me wondering if there were creeps out there who specifically went after the sad ones. The poor girl slumped over on her little stool, frowning as she sadly texts someone from her phone. I gotta think , without a doubt, that is some guys turn on. Man…guys are the worst.

2- Variety! From the looks of it, certain alley ways specialize in certain kinds of girls. There was the Fat black woman section where no lady was under 200 pounds and the skimpy lingerie they were wearing was being devoured by every crevice of fat their body created. I had the urge to wait to see a guy actually go in to one of those rooms and watch him come out. Just to see what his head space was like. Would he be proud? Ashamed? Relaxed? the whole thing was very curious to me. Aside from that area, there was Asian alley which was unfortunately placed right near transexual way. So close , in fact, it had Dj Cam and I questioning who did and did not have penis for the rest of the day. Lady boys can be quite confusing and I’d imagine there are more than a few drunken frat boys who have been out there looking for some asian girls and were surprised with a dick. Jokes on you, brah!

3- The prime spots Location, location, location! The hottest girls I saw where the ones on the main walk way. These girls were legit gorgeous. Like on some “WHY ARE YOU A HOOKER??!?!” shit. Seeing them, i assumed they were very busy. Do you think these ladies wish for busy days? Also, what’s the after sex cleaning ritual? I have so many questions that it would almost be worth it to pay the 50 euro’s just to interview them about it all. But, i’m cheap and fuck all that.

Just a few random thoughts about europe in general…

Why do all the street names have to be like 15 syllables? Getting directions is like entering a spelling bee. “Take a right on hieffwenenger then turn right brukenstrussel and you’ll see flurganwetzalnien road right there.”

I used to always think Americans held the title for being fat sacks of human garbage (and , to be clear, we do still hold the title) but don’t sleep on europe. It’s not all fashionable , lean people. Taking the trains exposed me to a different side of the people in certain areas. The Jerry Springer cast member looking side. It was actually nice to see.

Do you know how weird it is to not see a black person for a week? It didn’t even dawn on me until I was in brussels and noticed a few black dudes and I was like “holy shit…I forgot that this continent is white as fuck…”. It’s obvious but something that just sorta popped out at me.

I’m writing this on a train to Hamburg, Germany for my final show. in a day, i’ll be home and most likely sleep for about 48 hours. It’s been fun, europe…but, goddamn, you’re exhausting. Also, I’ll be doing a whole write up about Tel Aviv cause that trip definitely needed it’s own post. Stay tuned next week.

Notes from the road: Europe 2013 edition.

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Every time I take a trip to europe, I tend to think to myself “Surely, this trip will leave me with nothing to say”. After all, touring is the least exciting way to see places known to man. Unless I’m writing hotel reviews, it’s pointless. However, because being in foreign places is so…well…foreign to me, I still manage to find some things that need to be addressed. Well, they don’t NEED to be addressed. Not at all actually but , hey, why not?
As you may know, this trip to europe was a debacle due to some passport issues, more about that HERE. That aside, I did salvage the last four shows and I had a good time. So, these hear are my notes from the road.

*While in Paris I literally saw multiple people walking around the street , eating whole baguettes as if they were apples. Up until viewing that , I had always assumed that was just a jokey stereotype about french people. Like they all were berets and smell…but no. I saw it with my own eyes. I asked DJ Cam about it and he said it’s really not a thing but…I dunno…I saw two motherfuckers chowing down a full baguette mid stride down the street within 2 blocks of each other. Can a french person please shed more light on this for me? Did I just happen upon two four leaf clovers or is that actually a real thing french people do?
Regardless, I’m a huge proponent of eating while walking so I’m not mad at this practice. If it were up to me, most of my meals would be consumed during a speed walking session. I might need a trough for that though…

*I signed a mans ass in Brussels.
I was selling cd’s and signing autographs after a really fun show in Brussels when some dude pulled his pants down and asked me to sign his ass. He was hovering over the Records and cd’s at a level that made me consider possibly sterilizing the whole table. Being a gentleman, I extended my arm out as far as possible and signed “BH” on the top of one of his butt cheeks. I’ve signed arms, legs, stomach and tits before…but never a man’s ass. Let’s just not make this a thing, okay?
Although, I was talking to a friend yesterday and he came up with the idea of signing my full name on a persons ass and making that persons asshole the “o” in “Blockhead” . Theoretically hilarious but far to intimate to actually ever do. I’d need like a 5 foot sharpie for that.

*Every time I got to europe I feel like I’m in an alternate universe. It’s like the planet I live in but slightly off. It’s as if some parts of it are in the future and some are in the past. There are some aspects of european culture that make so much sense that it’s crazy we haven’t adapted it over here. Like , when at a restaurant, the waiter comes to collect your money on the spot. Gives you change and all right on the spot. If you’re an impatient asshole like me, that is heaven. Or how they run airports. It’s just more efficient.
On the other hand, some things just feel like a time warp into the 80’s.That kinda stuff is mostly visual though. So many things just look dated. From store fronts to advertisements.
Whatever the case, when I’m in certain cities out there I feel as if I’m on the set of a movie that supposed to take place in a particular city but it’s clearly a sound stage. Does that make sense? Who knows?

*European bottled water tastes like shit.Did you even know water could taste bad? Well, it can.
No clue why. Don’t yall got those good alps? It kind makes sense though cause Avian water tastes like shit too. Conversely, the tap water in Vienna is some next level deliciousness.

*I killed lots of time on this tour watching the Sopranos. i had never seen the series before and went through the entire 6 seasons in about a month. I ended up finishing during my last day in europe. The shittiest part about it is that I have so many jokes and comments to make about the show but, because it’s so far past the point on being something people wanna talk about…I just gotta keep it to myself. I was considering writing a whole post about my reaction and observations to the show (which i enjoyed greatly, btw) but…fuck it. Too late now. Truth be told, I could probably write a 30 page thesis on the miking capabilities of the breathing and chewing habits of James Gandolfini though.

*While waiting on line to board my flight home, I was behind two young girls who were coming home from schooling abroad. They were typical long island Jappy types and they got in a conversation with some arm band tattooed ultimate fighting type of bro. HE was grossly hitting on them (he must have been 15 years old than them) and started his conversation “I’m so happy to be leaving France…Can’t wait to get back to the states and have a real burger…” which then led to a discussion of how shitty the cuisine of france is. OF FRANCE. All three involved agreed and the two girls even remarked that, while the pizza in Florence, Italy was good, they missed Domino’s. The guy even added “You heard of Del Taco? Now that’s some good stuff…”.
Listening to this conversation, I was bummed out at humanity but also reminded how shitty some americans are. It’s easy to forget that, when you visit another country, you’re th guest. They don’t have to adhere to your lifestyle. It’s the other way around. Same thing goes for when europeans come here.
Listen, I’m clearly not a beacon of open mindedness myself but, in this case, it just struck me that taking trips to europe is wasted on people like these. Hell, it’s wasted on most people. I’m reminded of that Soprano’s episode (it’s fresh in my brain, yall) where they all go to Italy aka the homeland and everyone pretty much hates it because it so far out of their comfort zone even though they’d never admit it. It’s like a vacation that a lot of people do just to say they did it. As someone who never travels for pleasure, I have a different take on it. I hate going anywhere. Mostly cause traveling is the bane of my existence. At the same time, I can’t really speak on most of the places I’ve been to because I’m typically in that city for a half a day. But it seems that, even with my limited scope of what I see when I do these tours in europe, I got more out of it than some people who spend thousands of dollars just to fly over the ocean and complain about the fast food they miss. Now, this is certainly some “outside looking in” shit but it would be cool if people who have this mind set just saved themselves the trouble. If you’re an american and you get weird going to other american cities, trust me, europe is not for you. If you generally don’t have an explorative mind and interest in other cultures, don’t waste your time.
I feel as if , much like having kids and getting married, americans are tuned to think traveling to other countries is a given. While the option to is, realistically, the desire is something far less people truly have. For every 19 year old girl who goes to the south of france and discovers herself over the course of a summer there are like 40 obese midwestern house wives taking trips to places like Russia and wondering why no one can speak english well. They’re walking around , taking pictures of shit they could care less about. They might as well just look at postcards and save all that money.
It seems too obvious but I’m willing to be over half the people who travel for pleasure to other countries are happier to go home than they were to arrive in the first place. I know I am. But I also don’t go to these places under the guise of getting life experience and culture. If I did, I’d imagine I’d approach it all differently. But, it’s a sad state of affairs when I’m feeling like the cultured one on a place full of shit bag americans , impatiently waiting to get back to DVR’d episodes of Duck Dynasty.

Notes from the road: Euro edition

european vacation
So, Last week I did a bunch of shows in europe. As an ignorant american, these trips are always an experience for me. I’m a man of convenience and regiment so going out of the country to mystical far off lands definitely removes me from my comfort zone. While , in the overall scheme of things, this is a positive thing for my life, it’s still fun to keep tabs of my fish out of water experiences. So, this is that. Keep in mind, I’m openly not cultured. I mean, I’m cultured in the sense I grew up in NYC and have seen a lot of shit all over the world but I don’t know anything about anything. College drop out like Whoa. So, take all i say here with a grain of salt and understand it’s coming from a good place…well…at least an honest place.

Teen tours
My trip began with a flight to Germany. These long flights are what they are but you know what kicks them up a notch? being on an 8 hour flight with 50 midwestern teenagers. Holy shit. After this ride, I felt an urge to make an earnest plea to all people my age with no kids to continue to not have kids. Teenagers are the fucking worst. I had on headphones the entire time but it still didn’t stop me from overhearing multiple conversation that would make a fertile man forcefully remove his own testicles. What i did find interesting was to admire the high school caste system at work. The dorks, the jocks, the pretty girls, the art people. That kinda shit is fascinating. If i was a slightly more driven person I’d maybe look into studying that kinda thing but, then again, it means I’d have to be around a bunch of teenagers all the time and fuck all that noise.

German street names
Honestly, a german person telling me a street name might as well be telling me to read japanese. What’s with all the letters? Why does every street in berlin have to be a 2000 point scrabble word waiting to happen? There are only so many “Miester”, “hufffflughen” and “flurgan” suffixed names one can commit to memory. Walking around a German town , i felt very much how native american settlers must have felt in the sense that my whole way of getting around was based on sight. The same way I’d imagine an indian remembering a certain bush or tree as a marker, I was like that with bakeries and Kabab stands.

Euro people know their history
I don’t know shit about history. I took it in high school and immediately forgot about it once the test was taken. It’s clear that, in the US, knowing our history is not a top priority in education. Whether this is simply national apathy or cause our history is so , in actuality, fucked up that they don’t wan’t us to know how all this really came to be, remains to be seen.
In europe though? These people know their shit. not only that, but they talk about it…all the fucking time. Like , at bars. People get drunk and discuss history. Really makes me feel like a half wit when i consider what topics i cover with friends on any given night out. Best believe world war 1 is not on the menu.
I was in Vienna for 3 days and a common point of discussion was “Nobody here like to talk about our past cause there is so much shame about the nazis” but then that’s all we talked about. Being the ignorant person I am, I barely even connected Vienna with Nazi history outside of Hitler being Austrian but, boy did I get my learn on. Then…I forgot it all…cause I’m american and that’s what we do.

Tipping
Everyone knows that , in europe, tipping is minor. 2 euro’s at most for anything. This could be for a 200 euro meal or a drink at a bar. It’s kinda nice actually cause figuring out a tip in the states can be tiresome and it always drains your wallet. That said, that whole thing where europeans come to the states and “don’t know” how to tip is bullshit. I got to europe, I knew the customs were different. But instead of just tipping like an american, I asked people…cause that’s what you do when you’re in a place where you don’t know things. So, if you’re a european and you think that it’s okay to come here and tip 2 bucks on a $100 meal, you’re a piece of shit. Just accept that.

Limp Handshakes
Do children in europe (specifically in places like Germany, Austria and Switzerland) not get taught about firm handshakes? It’s bizarre. On multiple occasions, I’d reach out to shake a dudes hand and feel like someone places a dead fish in my palm. A grip so weak it compels me to squeeze harder. The strange thing is that the girls actually give firmer handshakes then the men. Which leads me to…

Things I heard about men from Vienna
I was talking to this girl from the US who had lived in Vienna for 5 years. She was complaining about single life in austria and how hard it is to find a dude there that isn’t…well..a total pussy. This is fine and all as I’m no stranger to bitter women who can’t find a decent guy. That’s a world wide trend. But she started dropping bombs on Viennese men in particular. The best one of all? Dudes from Vienna sit down to pee. Now, this could obviously be bullshit or simply a slight generalization. But her claim was that the men there are raised by particularly feminist minded mothers. Mothers who teach them “No, you sit down when you pee. Just like me”. While i get that being a taught practice, the fact it continues into adulthood for these guys is both hilarious and wildly depressing. Take a stand guys! literally. Your dicks like a hose for reason. Just remember to put the seat up.

Romanian Airplane food
just a heads up, if you’re on a place , flying to romania, you might wanna eat before hand. Halfway through the flight I was handed a foil plate of old ass cheese, unknown meat products and wilted vegetables as my “lunch”. They also had a “cake”. A “cake” that they somehow managed to fuck up. How do you fuck up cake? It was a simple chocolate cake with frosting but it tasted more like dog food that had been run through a homeless mans lower intestine.

My preconceived notions of who likes and dislikes each other is way off
My girlfriend is Serbian/Bosnian so I’m more aware of the weird beefs between former Yugoslavian countries than I should be. Because of this, when I was in Slovenia, I kinda assumed that even saying the word “serbia” might be a bad move. Well, turns out no one gives a shit. At least no one I spoke to. That kinda surprised me cause , earlier in the week, I had seen news updates about a pending soccer game between Croatia and Serbia that was a riot waiting to happen. They apparently had like 1,500 extra security guards there to keep the peace. Granted, I was nowhere near either of those places but i kinda assumed the other countries might take sides. I mean, if the yankees and red sox can’t get along, imagine how bad a place where legit conflict took place would be But, as far as I could tell, not a fuck is given either way in Slovenia. So, that’s nice.

Europeans who don’t speak fluent english are blunt.
It’s kinda great. The amount of conversations I had with people who were huge fans of mine but still found a way to tell me which of my albums sucked was incredible. I know they don’t mean anything bad by it and I’m never offended but it’s always hilarious. I suppose tact is something you pick up after years and years of perfecting a language. It’s was a constant barrage of well intentioned shots fired for me to endure. But, like I said, i actually kinda like that it’s like that.

Romanian women are surprising
So, I’ve been all over the Us and Europe. I’ve seen most major cities. I’ve been in model filled bars in NYC and clubs in Miami full of nothing but 9’s and 10’s.Montreal, Paris, L.a. ect…However, NO PLACE i’ve ever been had a higher percentage of beautiful women than my show in Cluj, Romania. This blew my mind for many reasons Firstly, I had no idea Romanian women had it like that. For some reason i was imagining uni-browed , middle aged looking house cleaning types with faces littered with hairy moles. No clue where that stereotype came from but , hey, it was there. Secondly, this was at my show. A weird, underground, niche instrumental hip hop artist. If that’s what my show was like, I can’t even fathom what a place where actual hot people go to would be like. Like, what’s the most exclusive high end club in Cluj looking like? I’d imagine It’s enough to make a dude consider just throwing his life away and moving to Romania for a year. The craziest thing about it was the variety. You had the expected beautiful eastern european girls with dark hair, you had hot ass blonde girls and then, outta nowhere you had some Lisa Bonet looking ladies who turned out to be part gypsy. Just fantastic.So, to all single men out there, you might wanna plan a trip. Just saying. I’d say the only downside of it all would be if you’re one of those creeps who only dates asian women. If that’s your bag then you might just wanna avoid most of Eastern Europe all together (russia got some asians though…). Also, you’re a loser creep.

Swiss people with their power outlets and money
For some reason, I forgot that Switzerland not only didn’t use the euro (Swiss francs) but they also have their own plugs for power outlets. This may not seem like a big deal but , considering EVERY other country in europe (aside from the UK) works with the same outlets, it’s mildly infuriating. Like i said earlier, I know nothing about history and I’m sure there is some sort of valid explanation but what gives, Switzerland? You too good for for regular european power outlets? Your power grid is soooooo fucking special you need to complicate things for every person that comes to your country? I mean, the whole “Not using the euro” thing is annoying considering your location but , at least, you’re not the only european country on that “I got my own type of currency” shit. But power outlets? Now you’re just being a dick.

Fuckin’ up the wake up call
This really has nothing to do with europe in particular. It’s a trend I’ve noticed with hotels who offer wake up calls (though it’s happened to me in europe more often). It’s that thing where they don’t give you a fucking wake up call that you asked for. My last night there, I had just done a show in Wil, Switzerland (I haven’t heard of it either , bro). I had to catch a train to Zurich to catch my plane. Basically, i had to be up a 6:45 AM after getting back from the venue at 3. I’m a terrible sleeper and , when it comes to having to wake up for things like this, I tend to opt for the allnighter simply because trying to fall asleep for an hour gives me anxiety. So, I told them to give me the wake up call the prior day. I shut my eyes for a second but never fully fell asleep. 6:45 rolls around and I’m awake. No call. 7 am. No call. I bounce five minutes after that but…jesus…if I had not pulled the allnighter I woulda missed my flight back to the states. They would have truly fucked my shit up. The crazy thing is that’s the third time this has happened to me and each time I eked it out cause I was too nervous to sleep over the possibility of missing a flight. So, my advice to all of you who ever plan on relying on hotel wake up calls…Don’t. Especially in Europe. Placing an order for a wake up call in europe is like asking a waiter to make sure your french fires are “Extra crispy”. He hears you but he’s not listening.

So, yeah, those are all my worthless musings on this trip. All these things aside, I had a great time and shows were awesome. Especially the Eastern Europe dates. I continue to sleep on these places and they continue to blow me away with support and just genuinely good people. So, yeah…hopefully I’ll be out there again real soon. Till then, stand up when you pee. Always.

Notes from the road Pt. 7 (The ski town edition)


Ahhh….Back up in it. The last 3 days on tour have been in the lovely state of Colorado or , as I like to call it, the land of mountains and the white people who love them.
Let’s get into it:

The wonders of Ski towns

The first two dates of this tour took place in Ski towns. Aspen and steamboat springs. As a man who does not particularly enjoy natures spoils, I’ve never been to places like this before and it was very interesting to take in from an outsiders perspective. Perhaps the most interesting thing about them to me was how they made me feel. Tired. Short of breath. Constipated. Yes, the altitude seriously fucked with me. In aspen, they had an oxygen machine backstage which I routinely sucked on for 5 minutes at a time cause I felt like I was constantly on the verge of my lungs collapsing. I was told it takes about 6 weeks to fully acclimate to the thinner air. Well, 2 days in and I was still breathing like premie.

A few things I noticed about ski towns:
1)The overall vibe was strange.
The shows went off. Packed crowds of people raging but it felt as if no one really cared what music was playing. It was more they were happy any music was playing. As a performer (I use that term loosely) , it’s a weird feeling to see a crowd who’s obviously enjoying themselves but also completely indifferent to what you were doing. I could have easily spun late 90’s R&B tracks and got the same response. Also, can Dub step just go away already? I had way too many talks with people about this genre (they bought it up). If you ever wanna see me sign out of a conversation , say the words “Dub Step” and you can probably actually see my eyes roll into the back of my head and do a 360 as my mind visibly drifts to other plains.

2)Lots of people in casts
That’s self explanatory.

3)No one works?
Ski towns are funny in that they seem to run on the barter system or something. these shows were on a monday and a tuesday and fools were getting hammered (i mean, seriously shit faced) while staying out as late as they could. It’s as if schedules and responsibility don’t exist in ski towns. It’s actually kinda cool but it’s also responsible for 40 year old ski bum burn outs who seemingly emerge from the woods once a month only to purchase lip balm and red bull.

4)Where’s the crime?
I don’t mean, why is there no crime. I know why there’s no crime in ski towns. People are either rich or stoned and getting to these places takes a lot of gas and wheels that devious low lives just don’t have. However, hypothetically, if I were a thief of some sort, I would rent a U-haul and head up to any number of these ski towns (or places like Cape Cod) during the off season and just casually rob the entire town blind. First off, when it’s off season, only a small hand full of people actually live there. I’d imagine you could tell what house is filled by the car in front. No car out front after midnight = Free shit. Something I’ve noticed about small town communities with low crime rates is that people trust one another. Thus, while the door might not be unlocked (though that’s entirely possible), I doubt they’ve got an alarm system. In fact, I’d bet you could get in through any number of windows. Not to mention, these places are spaced out. A little breaking glass isn’t gonna wake up the neighbors. Once inside, I’d imagine all sorts of tv’s, dvd players and even furniture. Fuck it. Steal an ottoman. You got nothing but time.
So, yeah, I would never do this but I’m just saying, all you travel friendly crooks out there, get on this. It’s big business.

5)The hot springs
Continuing with my ever expanding horizons, I joined my tour mates in a trip to the hot springs. In the past, my experience with things like this don’t range far past sticking my head inside a sauna before deciding I’ll pass on that steamy hot room that smells like old ballsacks. This was quite different. It was an all natural array of hot pools of water you just kinda lounge in. It was like a huge community bath full of kids and hippies. That said, it was pretty fucking nice. My old joints felt great in the steaming water and losing toxins from my body in ways other then horrific dumps was a nice change of pace. We stayed in there for about an hour. I noticed my body was kinda freaking out at points. My heart was beating super fast. Almost in a panicked state. It didn’t dawn on my dumb ass that I was totally dehydrated cause , you know, I was sitting in a pool of water. When we got back to the car to continue our drive to the next location , I felt like I had a full blown flu. Eventually I slugged down 3 bottles of water and some coconut juice and normalized but , man, why does healthy shit always fuck me up? Well, not all healthy shit. The new age-ish stuff that people in Colorado do. I personally can’t blame them and should honestly lay the blame on my body being so unhealthy that any outside interference cause it to freak out. Awesome. Basically, I’d probably feel better eating fried chicken and donuts then I would after a steam bath in some hot springs and a full body message. That can’t be good.

6)Are hotel pranks some new things?
Two nights in a row, my roomie and I were awoken at 6 am cause some motherfucker had set the alarm on the radio clock the night before. In two different hotels! who does that? I’m all for pranks but where the fun when you don’t get to witness it. Serious cocksuckery , right there. Last night, we stayed at a hotel with paper thin walls. About an hour after our 6 am alarm clock wake up, the person in the room next to us put on their tv and turned the volume all the way up. The shit was blaring. I could literally follow the plot of whatever CSI they were watching cause I heard every word. This went on for three hours until the cleaning lady knocked on the door. Apparently, this unbelievable asshole had left the tv blasting right as they left the room. You know, just because. Infuriating.

Anyway, we played Fort Collins last night and it was awesome. Non ski-towns for the win! I got a whole separate blog i’mma write about a funny conversation I had with some drunk girl cause it really deserves it’s own discussion. Word.

Notes from the Road pt. 6

Ok…Let’s see what we got.

Buffalo- don’t remember
I’m sad to say that our show in Buffalo was so long ago, I’ve pretty much forgotten any interesting details. I know if was a good show. I remember that…but that’s where it ends. That’s kinda what happens on tour. All the dates tend to blend into one another unless something sorta crazy sticks out. I did eat some Buffalo wings while I was there though. That was good.

Asheville

Asheville is a funny place. It’s as close as you can get to the northwest in the south east. In my opinion, it’s strikingly similar to Portland. Meaning, great food, tons of young people ,tons of hippies and a blind love of all things “Art”. I think what separates Asheville from a place like portland is the slight east coast influence that crept in. Sure, there are dread locked matzoh’s (I’d like to coin that phrase for rich white kids of possible jewish descent with dreadlocks) all over. That’s a given. But what about the super awesome old timey throwback Whigs? For a guy like me, it’s a breath of fresh air to see some kids in actual baggy jeans and a polo hat tilted to the side. It takes me back and asheville had a nice amount of them.
Another thing I noticed there was an abundance of hot tiny girls. By this, I mean packs of 5 foot tall girls who are all hot and partying hard. While this may seem great on paper , seeing these little crews bounce around really nailed home how old I really am. In the grand scheme of things, I’m still young. But in this world, I’m rip van fucking winkle. It’s sad to say but I’ve officially hit that wall where you see 21 year old girls and , while you wanna fuck them in the most broad sense, it’s just not something I could realistically do (if I were single, of course). I feel like an uneasy dad watching these drunk little things bop about the room. I bummed myself out just writing that but it’s the truth. Perhaps, this is what adulthood is all about. Who knows? All I know is this feeling certainly doesn’t carry over into the porn i watch so I guess it’s not that bad.

Charleston

I got a lot to say about this place. This one’s gonna need bullet points

1)Too many pounds
This isn’t just a Charleston thing. It’s actually a nationwide phenomenon. but I noticed it a lot while there. This is when, I’m chilling at the merch booth and some drunk dude comes up and chats with me. Very typical and totally fine. But what sometimes happens is said drunk dude spins out of control into a world where he feels like he much give me daps every 5 seconds. It goes like this:
drunk guy says something
I respond
daps
drunk reiterates what I just said
daps
I nod out of sheer confusion
daps
and repeat about 6 times.
That shit is tiring.
The biggest offender of this , however, is the drunken promoter. The show is over. It went well and this dude is acting like we just saved the world together (not this particular promoter in Charleston, I’m being general here). Pounds, hugs, deep emotional gazes. After a while, it honestly get’s really uncomfortable.

2) Charlotte?
There was a small controversy over whether or not I called Charleston “Charlotte” on stage. Apparently, I shouted out every one in Charlotte. Well, I didn’t. I swear. I actually made a special effort not to do that cause I was definitely thinking it. Unfortunately, I made matters worse when I got home an tweeted
“Hey Charlton , NC I definitely didn’t call you Charlotte today on stage. I swear.”
Oops. Oh well. Peace to Charlton. He was awesome on The Fresh Prince.

3)Worst crowd members ever

Every now and then, you get some real pieces of shit at your shows. The crazy thing is, I’m not talking about people who don’t like your music. No, I’m speaking of fans who simply don’t know how to act. At the Charlton show (Fuck yall, I’m rolling with that), there was a group of kids in the front row who were just fucking awful. In their defense, I’m pretty sure they were tripping on something but whatever. Master your high, dipshits.
Basically, it was three dudes and one girl in the very front row. The girl was the highest. Extremely high. The dudes were more just obnoxious. A word of advice to show goers: When watching someone perform , don’t attempt to have a conversation with them. I really can’t even wrap my head around this one but it happens every now and then. People literally asking me questions while I’m , for all intents and purposes, working. I get why a complete idiot might make requests. I’m on my laptop. You don’t know better. You think I’m DJing. It’s incredibly rude and annoying but I get it. However, the convo style is the worst. At one point, the drugged girl ran up on stage and sidled up to me. She said hi and asked me “What’s up?”
Oh, nothing, just performing in front of a crowd, you? She then asked for a kiss and get pulled of stage. I appreciate the enthusiasm but people need to refer back to the rules of proper conduct. You know, that shit you were taught growing up which let’s you know it’s not okay to shit in the middle of the street or punch strangers. The same rulebook has extensive chapters of interacting with other humans in all sorts of situations. I suggest you guys pick it up wherever thoughts are had.

That said, the actual show was great and it was a fun time. But, you know, writing about that shit isn’t entertaining anyone.

Athens Georgia

This is one of those diamond in the rough cities down south. amidst all the frightening southyness of the south (I’m a yankee, that stuff scares the shit out of me), some cities pop up and seem enlightened. Kinda like Austin in Texas. Basically, that whole stereotype just means “A city in an otherwise conservative area where people like art”. Well. Athens is one of those places. They’re always fun to play in. I really have nothing too crazy to report from here. oh wait…yes I do.
Winner for most shady bathroom at a venue goes to….ATHENS! The bathroom itself as fine. It was more the occupants that made it shady. Every time I went into pee, there was an assortment of dudes just chilling in there. In the piss covered, shit smelling bathroom. Now, normally, I’d just assume these were coke head types but they were not doing any coke. They were actually selling crack. At a fucking Emancipator/Blockhead show. These dudes were chilling in filth, offering up the lowest of low drugs to everyone patron who needed to pee. Motherfuckers need to figure out their demographics. Sure, people do drugs at my shows. People do drugs at all shows. But crack? Really?

Flo-rida

We hit up Tallahassee and Gainesville. I was fairy frightened of both these places as all I know of northern Florida is what I’ve seen in the movie “Bully” (was that even in northern florida?). I was expecting the trashiest meth head kids possible who would try and steal my Mac book while I was on stage performing. This is also partially due to the drive to Florida. When you see the places in between the cities, it’s really disheartening. I usually start getting skittish around the 3rd pro-life billboard. Or perhaps it’s the mystery hotel/eatery/who knows what named “The plantation” that kept popping up. “The plantation”? You sure you really wanna go there , Georgia?
That said, these shows were actually great. One thing I always forget is when you hit smaller markets, the people come out. Not only do they come out, but they are just happy to be there.
Tallahassee was awesome except for the smoke machines. I don’t know why people like things like smoke machines or strobe lights. I never will.
It’s like people want to smell like your grandma’s house and have seizures. Kids these days with the grandma smell and seizures!
Gainesville was a bit of a shit show. It turned out good but it was one of those situations where whomever put it together didn’t really plan very well. Thus far on the tour, we have been playing music venues with things like stages and a place for an audience to stand. In Gainesville, we pretty much show up to a nightclub with a Dj rig in the corner. It was a nice club that the owner assured us was high class and didn’t let in “Gangsters” (I’ll let you decipher that one yourself). After hours of figuring out how we’d stuff this large stage show into a DJ booth, we all just kinda shrugged our shoulders and hoped for the best.
Fortunately, it was awesome. Packed wall to wall with dancing kids. Very intimate. It played like an awesome house party. There were people just hanging over the booth while I played. No one got out of line though so it was fine. There was , however, one dude who stood motionless at the side of the booth , intensely staring at me the entire show. I mean, I feel like he didn’t break focus on me for more that 3 second of the entire hour. He was just sitting there, chilling in my periphery the whole time. I half way kinda thought he was gonna kill me , but only out of love and wanting me to be his very own personal musician. Luckily, that didn’t happen and he gave me a very normal pound at the end of the show. If that dude is reading this, I’d just like to say thinks for not killing me and in the future you should break your stare more often. I’m glad you like my shit but it’s a little creepy.

Also, shout outs to the guy who told me he reads this blog and the other guy who asked me if I was selling any Party Fun Action Committee Cd’s. Oh, and this crazy dude who got my old album art tatted on his arm:

That shit is ill.