the long weekend with the Muccas…

A week ago today, I was on a converted mid-sized areotech shuttle bus on my way back home from Tennessee. As you’ll recall, I spent the weekend touring with Mucca Pazza.

Started off well, leaving Thursday morning to do a show that night in Louisville, Kentucky. There were a good handful of stops on the way… even one that resulted in us Greg deciding we didn’t need most of our tail pipe (it was dragging, so rather than attach it better, it was sawed off).

But we made it to the venue in good time. I have to say, I do like Headliners even if the owner got all huffy with me. Apparently I taped up my signs on their amazingly old murals that had just been treated with polyurethane. The tape did no damage at all (I wouldn’t have put them up if I thought that it would) — but I was told to remove them immediately. It was an amazing show. Smaller crowd than I would have expected, but it was an energy I haven’t seen in Mucca for a while. Loved it.

That’s Rabbits in Trees from the Headliners’ show. It’s written by Dave Smith (the sax player in the red), and was stuck in my head the entire weekend. It’s quickly become another favorite song of mine from Mucca.

From Headliners we drove off to the funeral home for the night. Yes. Funeral home. We spent the night at a funeral home. Or, well, the (really super awesome) apartment/recording space above the funeral home. The bus got there last, so there was basically no room in the one room with air conditioning to sleep when we got there. I snagged a spot in a corner in the room right off the back porch with two of the guys. There was a ceiling fan. Smart move as I actually got chilly that night. But prior to bed there was lots of relaxing out in the drizzly rain on the back porch. One of my K12 friends, Larry, gave me a sip of the bourbon that was going around. Holy crap did that burn.

These two cats were just hanging out in that back room I slept in.

With Louisville done, it was time for Tennessee.

I could keep give a play by play… but really it’d never do it justice. It was a lot of drinking and good times. Hanging by the pool, and pool races. “I have one speed: slow.” — Larry still let me win despite this confession of mine. The Muccas made up a new frisbee game, a cross between bowling and sharp shooting, and probably a handful of other things. Started as a drinking game, but it’s more of a game to play while drinking. It’s either called Shark Attack, or maybe Lobster Dog.

The game never finished because we were called to the house party we were playing. House parties can mean a lot things, but this was a true house party. They cleared out some rooms, invited a ton of people over… it’s all about sharing music (not necessarily this, but I love the Ellis-Dorff duet). So, yeah, how is a roughly 30-piece marching band supposed to fit into a living room with who knows how many college kids trying to dance? It happened. I stuck through for three songs before I had to flee the room. I heard there was a mosh pit that started, and Jay Funky Sax got a good part of his tenor down his throat. No injuries though. Luckily.

We had an 8am call the next morning. (So much for no more play-by-play.) Saturday was Tour de Fat. A long ass day under a tent. Completely worth it though. If I could drink beer I think I’d like New Belgium a lot. I’ve heard good things about them. And frankly, I love tdf. We need more bikes out there. (Hell, I need a bike, but that’s a different story.) If tdf is going near your town, you should definitely check it out. Beer. Bikes. Great shows. I can’t really recommend one show over the others, but I’ll do a quick shout out to Steinomite & Ssssnake, aka the Rhymanese Twins, as well as the Hot Peppers (Tim & Vanessa).

Final show was at Exit/In. Told it was a dive bar, but there’s been some big names through there… and now Mucca.

Again, the show wasn’t packed as I thought it would be. Talked to a lot of folk at tdf who seemed interested in going. (OH! Yeah, gotta say, before this show we stopped by a friend of the band’s for dinner. Best food all tour. Possible ever. The family’s moving back to Chicago, and yes, I totally want them to adopt me through school.) With the Exit/In show relaxed, I got to leave the merch table a bit and just enjoy the show. Like old times.

What did I get a way from this entire weekend? Despite the close proximity for 4 days, I still love these guys. Maybe even more-so. It was four days with my friends. Goofing off and having fun. These are memories I’ll keep. And I’m looking forward to all the others I’ll be making this summer with them. Yesterday was the Chicago tdf, and next weekend is Minneapolis. Various videos will be up on the YouTubes,they’re just slow uploading.

And one of these days I’ll find my camera/get it fixed so I’ll have something better than my cell phone for pictures…