Thursday, March 1, 2007

I forgot how hard it is to find internet on the road.

Working Backwards from 3pm, 2/26

Passing over the Rockies… Its annoyingly still in the van – a concentrated sort of still, like we’re in a classroom during a test. It got a little scary for a second there over Vail Pass. A vehicle like ours is more vulnerable than most in icy situations, especially while descending steep grades in high winds and snowfall. Now on the other side of the range it is once again sunny, and great cliffs are rising on either side of us as we twist our way back west.

Some of our friends brought us this awesome statue of a hand giving the thumbs up last night. They also rolled up their shirtsleeves to unveil the very first STN tattoos! – Our hummingbird logo and the red bird from the cover of charmingly awkward, in full color. I get approached every now and then to design tattoos for people I know, but I think these are the first pieces of my art that have been realized in ink and skin. Quite the compliment. …later on, standing outside the venue, joking around, we all decided to adhere the thumbs up to the hood. Now it is leading us towards Vegas.

Last night we played at Colorado State University in Boulder. Nice big college auditorium filled with people, a good sound system, full stage lighting and a smoke machine that, despite the best intentions, just made everyone cough. The show was scheduled for Saturday, but a blizzard closed I-70 and we checked into a Holiday Inn Express with State Radio at the last open truckstop on the highway – Colby, Kansas. Colby consists of two hotels, a few fastfood restaurants, a truckstop with a starbucks and a couple steakhouses. We stayed in our room watching the Back To The Future trilogy, playing dominos, poker, and wandering aimlessly around the internet while high winds kept the snowfall horizontal until darkness fell and it finally passed. Will and I walked out of the hotel and found the streets and parking lots completely sheeted in ice. Opting not to drive on such slick roads to get dinner, we figured we’d just take the opportunity to bundle up and walk across the closed freeway. Unfortunately a patrol car edged out of the darkness as we ascended the embankment, wielding its blinding searchlight at us. We got the point and made our way under the overpass and across a snow covered lawn, the frozen blades squishing delightfully beneath our feet.

That morning, I had awoken on the interstate to the van shaking unnervingly in the wind. We were powering towards the storm and I could sense that we wouldn’t make it. The show at the Bottleneck in Lawrence the night before had knocked the wind out of me, there had been so much leading up to it – so much driving, so much pre-tour anticipation, in addition to a couple drinks on a stomach I forgot was empty. After loading out our gear, I laid in the back bench of the van and made a phone call that reminded me once again of how few real and good people exist in this world. I took in a great breath, filling my heart and lungs with an overwhelming pity for those that are human through and through, those that thrive in a climate of genuine kindness and love, that are forced to live in a habitat polluted with creatures that seek only to take advantage of such noble and vulnerable attributes. I released the breath and felt a surprising relief come over me. Rain pelted the roof in a soothing rhythm and I fell into a beautiful sleep.

I’m sorry we had to drop off the Tempe AZ show scheduled for tonight, but it would have been too risky to try to make it all the way there considering the way the weather has been acting. I’m getting a very clear understanding of why we were advised not to tour until late February. In any other season, you take for granted the ability to get from one show to the next without braving serious delays or sketchy situations. I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it: No show ever is important enough to risk our lives for. We can be of better service to the disappointed if we reschedule and keep our bodies intact.