The Sweet Smell Of Success (chapter two)
By Sara Century
Alright, well, I’m leading up to leaving on a tour, which means I’m not on tour right now, and so I have no current stories for the internet except, “I just took a shower”, “I’ve been drawing comics in my underwear trying not to leave my bed for three days”, and “Gee, I can’t wait until the end of the month when I leave on tour again”. I’m going to do a “Best of” tour stories as the time for departure draws nigh. Let me tell you about something called “The Terminally Sketchy Tour”.
There were three bands on this tour, or, rather, two bands and myself, aka our protagonist, solo no-wavey guitar-playing superhero Sara Century. One band on this tour was Lust-Cats Of The Gutters, which is a two-piece guitar-drums combo that is sometimes campy and sometimes… kind of… scary. The other band, equally as frightening, with more of a hardcore twist to their brand of dark punk rock, was the three-piece known as Night Of Joy.
This tour occurred in the last 2.5 weeks of April, 2011, and we went to a lot of cities on the West Coast, but the only one you need to know about right now is Seattle.
The first thing we did that I can remember in Seattle was go to visit Kurt Cobain’s old house, which is apparently some kind of weird tourist destination despite the fact that you can’t actually get a tour. Cobain’s house is in a very nice neighborhood, where we six dirty musicians and our one roadie couldn’t help but stick out like sore thumbs. The most humorous part of this trip was that, when we were staring at one house to find the address to see if we were there, an old woman came out on her porch, waving. “NO, you’ve got the wrong house, it’s down the street!”
We played a show at the Rendezvous Jewel Box Theatre, in “The Grotto”, which is a shady basement bar with an interesting atmosphere combining dim lighting with awkward conversation. Basically, it felt sort of like a bar in a David Lynch movie. Before the show, my tour-mate and friend Valerie and I were sitting outside in the back alleyway. I banged on an unplugged guitar and she, who had decided to fill in on drums on my set about halfway through the tour, banged on various cans as a “rehearsal”.
The show came and went with little mention. I’m sure I played a strange set in a ripped Black Flag shirt, yelling my head off in this weirdly lit basement bar to the other bands and a bunch of men in their 30s drinking scotch. Everybody was dressed with a lot more class than I, that much is for certain. TacocaT played, they’re a rad party band in Seattle who are all super nice. They’re really fun to dance around to, but in this atmosphere, dancing felt odd.
The girl whose home we were staying in that night led us to a giant, 10-bedroom house, and showed us the floor to the living room, which was our home for the night. She quickly retired, and we all got comfortable in our sleeping bags, shut the light out, and tried to fall quickly asleep.
One of her roommates left a record playing on the turntable in his room, and then fell asleep. This wouldn’t be that bad, but it didn’t automatically stop. The needle just kept thumping on the edge of the record. “BUMP. BUMP. BUMP.” For, like… eight hours.
Before any of us had fallen asleep, about five people came into the room, possibly roommates, turned on lights, and started a coke party. By which of course I mean a, “They were drinking Coca-Cola party”. Um, through their noses. There was an 18-pack of Olympia beer in it for us if we would get out of our sleeping bags and socialize with them, it was announced. It was announced to us about 40 times, actually, like this: “Are you SERIOUS you girls don’t want a beer? WE HAVE 18 BEERS HERE! … So, you’re from Denver?”
Let me say one thing, snorting soda drinks doesn’t make people one bit smarter. It doesn’t make them have interesting things to say, and, in general, it leads people into the kind of behavior that makes me sort of feel like punching them in the face… and I like to say I’m a pacifist, so it’s really at conflict with what I like to say I believe in. Cola is evil for many reasons, one of which is that it makes people say really stupid shit. When you’re trying to fall asleep at 2am after a full day of weird thrift stores, and weird parks, and weird alleys, and weird basements, you are not going to find satisfying conversational material coming out of the faces of a bunch of cola-heads. So I put ear plugs into my ears and retired from reality, cos, well, ain’t nobody got time for that noise.
Sometime about an hour later I woke up to my tour mate Alex screaming, “OH FUCK OFF!!!” and throwing a pillow at someone. Apparently some random guy tried to climb into our friend Val’s sleeping bag… while she was in it!
The next morning, our bleary-eyed hostess descended the stairs, surprised to hear of these antics. “I slept through everything!”
Seattle isn’t all bad. It’s really pretty. The folks in TacocaT are the coolest. Some guy made dreamy eyes at me and gave me weed in exchange for a CD, which was really awesome (if you can’t give me a bunch of money, I can promise there will never be a time that I will not need weed… except in, like, Texas, where the sun is hot, but the hands of the border police are so cold).
But, still. DRUGS ARE BAD. Just sayin’.