saturday, april 10

Only had to drive as far as NYC, but it was an early soundcheck, so we didn’t get to have a leisurely morning before getting on the road.

Our morning routine: Me and Xmas internetting in the lobby, waiting for Bananas and Jason to make it downstairs.

Made one last Wawa stop for breakfast, while we were still in that part of the country (forgot to get a photo though, oops). We had one more person in our van for this drive, this girl Faith, a friend of Jason’s who is learning all about What It Means To Be A Tour Manager. We are probably like tour managing training wheels since we are generally pretty docile and easy to wrangle.

We got to the Mercury Lounge and loaded in, and I have to say that we have had good luck so far this tour with soundguys being nice and/or competent, but this dude was amazing! He was so fast! It was so easy! It sounded so good! Damn, if we had money to bring a soundguy on the road with us...

After soundchecking, Sean and Xmas and Bananas and I went to a restaurant nearby to meet up with friends and have a tasty lunch. Plushgun Taylor joined us when they were done soundchecking, and various NYC friends showed up, our plan was to kinda hang out most of the afternoon while people dropped in, but the waiter was totally hustling us out, even though the place was so not busy and we were ordering lots of things, but he was stressing us out so we left. I went to the rice pudding restaurant with my friends Heath and Heather, oh man, I love that place so much! It’s so Freezepoppy too, all with the space agey orange-and-white decor.

After that we took a brief detour into Topshop, the clothes inside kinda blew my mind. Everything was so aggressively, authentically mall-1988. Not really in a good way though. Like, pastel flowered jeans, and peach ruffly shirts and stuff. Stuff I remembered from the first time around, and was in no hurry to repeat. At least the last time I shopped there, everything was slutty 1989 Club MTV-style, so it was more entertaining. Eh. Oh well, I should not be spending money anyway.

Then we went on to our friend Rick’s (of Archenemy and Barbarian Group and taking all of our early photos fame) loft, which I’d never seen before, and it is AWESOME. I got to see our old Care Bear collection on display (oh yeah, we used to be roomies too, and started a Care Bear collection together). Emma was there too, and we were eventually joined by more and more friends, and it was just what I needed, a happy day surrounded by my pals. And then, Rick puts on some instrumental “early Freezepop demos” he had in his iTunes. I remembered the first one as something we’d tried to put lyrics to, and had returned to a few times over the years, but it never came together. Then was one that became “Vacation”, and then were several that I totally had no memory of! Which is pretty crazy! Here I was thinking that everything from back in the day had gotten used. They were definitely more aggressive-sounding than the rest of the album, which is perhaps why they never came to fruition. I’ve gotta get those tracks from him. I’m glad we have a guy who archives everything.

I walked back to the Mercury Lounge with Heath, and the night was chilly, and I started noticing along the walk that I was getting quite hoarse! I guess a day of talking and laughing with my friends was taking its toll. This made me pretty nervous, so as soon as we got to the club, I sequestered myself downstairs in the green room and kept my mouth shut. It was extremely frustrating, as more and more of my friends were arriving upstairs, and I wanted to enjoy the music and have fun. Booo. So I missed basically all of Plushgun’s set, and luckily Rick had gotten a sample of “Entertainer’s Secret” throat spray in his SXSW goodie bag, which was delivered to me, and man, that stuff is NASTY (which I guess means that it works).

Then it was time for our set, and I was a little squeaky at first, but singing actually got easier and easier over the course of the set. Maybe it was the sauna-like conditions in the room? Whatever, it worked. And what an awesome show it was! Playing to a sold-out crowd, and a combination of excited fans and old friends, it was definitely my favorite show of the tour. It was the cathartic, fun night that I totally needed.

These pix are all by Jesse Chan-Norris.

We hung around for a very long time after the show, catching up some more with our friends, and celebrating with the Plushgun boys, oh it was so excellent. We finally rolled out of there at some wee hour of the morning and got on the road to our hotel in Newark. We were staying in some airport Holiday Inn or something, the rooms were kinda cruddy, but we did get the most humongous cruddy suite, so the beds were nice and spacious.