Sunday, October 02, 2005

My Posies tour- One day at a time...

Wow- The last five days are going to be really hard to write about because it felt like we squeezed in five weeks in that short time frame.

Day 1-
Arrived in NYC early in the morning. Got to the hotel and found out that check in time was not until 3PM (It was 7AM) we had requested early check in but there was nothing available yet. They suggested that I leave my luggage up in the closet and check out the neighborhood. I decided I would change and then give up my bags and head to a nearby diner that looked promising.
After beautifying a little I went to the diner. A lot of suits there on their cell phones eating alone. I was feeling quite conspicuous with my bright red hair and sparkly scarf.
I sat down at a kitchy little booth and started looking over the menu. A man walks up and leans in and says, "Here, breakfast is on me." and hands me a gift certificate for this place. I say- Wow! Thanks! and he vanishes.

The waitress comes up and informs me that this paper will get me anything on the menu and a coffe and OJ. She says, "What a nice man!" I say, "Indeed!"
I have an omlette toast OJ coffee and leave a huge tip. Welcome to NYC!

I then set out on checking out every store on our block, figuring out the best places to shop when Jon gets to town, pinpoint all of the nearest espresso serving coffee joints for the next morning and a nearby bakery to get Jon a piece of birthday cake the next morning.

I check back in with the hotel, still no room open. Bah! So I decide I am going to get my nails done. This was a BRILLIANT idea! I go to this place and get the best manicure I have ever had. they soak my hands in real rose petals and spring water. I get a hot towel treatment and while I am sitting at the dryer she gives me a full neck and shoulders rub!!! All for the measly price of $8!!! Seattle could learn a thing or two from NY!

Try the hotel one more time, the nice lady at the desk does have a room for me! Yay! I am so happy!

Jon checks in by phone, tells me to take a nap and then go to the venue to meet him around 6PM I think this is a fine idea. I decide to take a bath first. I strip down and am jamming to the MTV tunes. I am dancing around my little room when I realize there is a small crowd forming at the window directly across from mine in the next tall building. I guess dancing around naked on the 25th floor didn't seem like a problem to me. Well, that was a mistake. I was in NY for 5 hours and I already managed to flash at least 6 unsuspecting business men! EEK! I closed the shades and took my bath and fell straight to sleep.

When I got up and got ready for the show, I went to the front desk and asked them about getting a decent priced cab to take me to New Jersey. They set me up with a $40 town car. Nothing like cruising through the big city in a little limo! Woohoo! I felt like rock royalty. (It doesn't take much to get me excited)

Jon was standing outside waiting for me to arrive. I planted big old kisses on him and we went inside. Maxwells was a super cute little bar/club. Pretty small, but totally kitschy. I was told the first ever baseball game was held outside the club. interesting. The place seemed to have a lot of history.

They served me a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich and fries. Nummy! They were not even on the menu, they made them up special for me.

Then we went down to TBD Tunes for an in store. It was a really cool little venue all painted silver. They sang without mics and played acoustic guitars. I was blown away. It has been a long time since I have heard them like that. I was so impressed I almost got choked up. (It was probably the jet lag) They played about a half dozen songs and plugged the show and new record. We hung out for a while, got some CD's and then headed back to the venue. I insisted we got a cab since the hike to the CD store was a lot longer than my 4 inch heals were going to replay after walking all over the city that day already and only getting about 3 hours of sleep. It was a $5 cab ride so I was cool with it.

I love the Deathray Davies! They have been opening this leg of the tour and were such a fun band! Their songs are super catchy and they are so cute! Much love for these texas boys, you must check them out sometime. I know they are on myspace!
Next was Oranger ( also on myspace). I have never seen them live and was very much looking forward to it since I have known Matt for a while now and I really like the CD. This venue was a little small for them as they seemed a little loud for me, but I have to say I was impressed with Matts vocal abilities as I never really heard him sing until these shows. Also a cute band and totally good mesh with The Posies. Really they had a perfect bill with these three bands traveling together!
I only caught a few songs of each set this particular night because I was so tired and there was no place to sit in the band room. Jon and I snacked on french fries and many people were buying us drinks. I was ingesting many stoli vanilla cokes. Yum.

The place was damn near filled to capacity by the time the guys went on stage. Ken convinced me it was a good idea to run the merch table. I said only if I got a chair out of the deal which Jon arranged. I was happpy to see that when the guys played songs off of older records people would come up and ask me what record it was of of and see if they could buy that one! Yay! Too bad the stuff from the Geffen days wasn't available. Told them to check out Best Buy.

Sold a few shirts and CDs. I got to meet Ian and his wife Cait in person. They are such a pretty couple. We didn't get much of a chance to talk this particular night, but I totally chatted them up the next night. Hopefully they will be coming to Seattle soon for a visit! Yay! More on them later...

They sang Happy Birthday to Jon right after midnight and we snuck out shortly after the show to go back to the hotel and passed out. Oh beautiful sleep! How I love thee!

Day 2-
Jon's official birthday! I woke up earlier than Jon and got dressed and out the door before he was up. I went to Starbucks and then to the Bakery to pick up a slice of cake for the boy. I brought this all back to the room and woke him up and said Happy Birthday!
He was a little bleary eyed but smiled and worked his way out of bed. I waited for him to shower and get dressed. We drank our coffee and shared the cake and headed out. We revisited the diner that I had been to the morning before and ate lunch. I ordered a burger this time. The thing was the size of my head! I could only eat half. Jon had a very nice looking BLT.

After filling ourselves up I took Jon to see the store that sold designer men's shirts for under $5. It was some form of close out store and on the same block as our hotel. We found some great shirts for Jon as well as picked out some really fun ties. I have one favorite in particular, it is a tie that looks like a peppermint. I will post a photo of it soon!
We then traveled down to a shoe store where Jon bought a new pair of black converse with red stitching. Super cool. and then to my new favorite store: H&M. I bought some pretty cute stuff that I will have to break in at upcoming Posies shows.

By the time I made my final purchase at H&M we had to get to the Bowery Ballroom for load in and sound check and then off to NYCD for an in-store. The Bowery folks were nice enough to reserve a table for the show, so I once again managed to avoid having to stand in my very high heels.

We had some time before the in-store and Ken said he was going to find coffee. I told him I would go with him. We ended up walking REALLY far and only finding a Starbucks. Ken didn't want to drink their "burnt" coffee. (I tend to feel the same way, but noticed Starbucks was the only espresso choice many times in NYC) I finally told Ken that I was not going to keep looking and I was heading back to Starbucks, burnt or not. He gave in and went with me. We picked up the coffee for Matt, Joe and tea for Jon and headed back. Ken wanted to stop off at a wine store and pick up a nice bottle of champagne to toast Jon's birthday with. Then we went back.

We grabbed a cab to NYCD. It was a pretty long trek and our cab driver apparently just got his license. I was writing my last will and testament in my head as we were narrowly escaping death over and over again as he cut across roads and so on.
We got to NYCD and the place was quite packed. There was even a very large dog in attendance that ken kept going on about. The dog was loving all of the audience attention. Jon made a joke about how the second they started playing the dog was trying to head out the door. Too funny. We got more CD's and I got to meet the owners, very nice people. We had to take off to make the Ryko dinner at a place called Mexican Radio. (I had that song stuck in my head for 12 hours at least due to the unfortunate name of this place!)
We got there and they were serving the best Sangria I have had in a while followed by pitchers of margaritas! I started with two glasses of the Sangria and matched that with two and a half glasses of margarita while nibbling on a very salty chicken enchilada. needless to say by the time we finally arrived at the show I was already pretty toasty.

The show started up and everyone was having a great time. I went up to the dressing room to find a computer so I could send a little happy birthday greeting to my friend Chris. and then Jon checked his email. Our old friend Sean Haskins showed up and I got to catch up with him a bit. It was great seeing him! I love that guy!

Then it was time for The Posies to go on. I went up to the reserved seats for the first half of the show. The set was tight and I was a lot more awake than the night before. The crowd was a pretty good size and everyone seemed to be having fun. People kept buying Jon shots for his birthday but he has sworn off the hard stuff on this tour to save his voice. He is a strictly white wine guy right now.
At the halfway point the guys got on the floor to play a few rockers, I decided to go down to the front of the stage at that point. Everyone was dancing around and stuff. Great fun. The guys decided they wanted everyone to get up on stage for the last song. Jon insisted that I get up. Trust me, nothing sounded better than bouncing around in high heels after walking around all day! (sarcasm intended there) But when Jon said "It's my birthday!" I had to give in. How could I say no to my boo? So up on stage I went with about 15 other people. as soon as they started playing and everyone started bouncing around I managed to sneak to the back and watch from just off stage. Joe gave me Jon's guitar to give him for the changeover. At the end of the song I brought his guitar he gave me a big kiss. Awwwww....

After the show I got to talk to Ian and Cait more. I was already pretty tipsy and they made the mistake of asking how Jon and I met. Man is that a long story and they managed to stay awake through the whole thing! (kidding) they were actually super sweet about it and both got really excited about it and said it was a great story which made me even more warm and fuzzy. We chatted about all sorts of stuff and it ended in me inviting them to come stay with us in November. I hope they come! I love them! Cutest couple ever! (Ian is also a fantastic musician, I will have to find a web addy for him and post it so people can hear samples!) *edit*

Ken gathered everyone over at the merch booth where Jon was winning salesman of the year awards. Then he ran and got the fancy champagne he bought and passed out teeny glasses full to everyone to make sure they had enough to go around. he poured Jon, myself and himself pretty good size cups full though and then he made a very sweet happy birthday toast to Jon and said, "We have now officially known each other for 23 years!" Jon looked very moved and he gave Ken a big kiss on the mouth and they said happy birthday!. It was really pretty moving, too bad I had run out of film in my camera!

The champagne pretty much was the last thing I could consume for the night. I can't be held responsible for anything that came out of my mouth at that point. Luckily Jon was smart enough to get me out of there and back to the hotel. I was having giggle fits in the cab back and at some point around 4AM I thought it was a good idea to try to find an Internet connection. Instead I just sent drunken texts to Jeannine and passed out shortly after. No more tequila for me!

Day 3-
I woke up early with a fantastic hangover. I slipped out before Jon woke up again under the guise of “getting coffee” I thought the Macy’s next door opened at 9AM so I was out the door by 9:30. I wandered over to Macy’s and was very sad to find out they didn’t open until 10AM so I decided to go to H&M one last time (twist my arm) I tried on a few things that I didn’t the morning before and found two great tops and a bunch of really cute socks in fall colors.
I wandered over to Macy’s when they opened. I picked up the Ralph Lauren Silver cologne that Jon loves. They had a special going where I got the spray, aftershave and deodorant as well as a free Ralph Lauren travel bag. I had them wrap it and brought it back to the hotel with a couple of Lattes, vanilla for me Soy for Jon. He woke up to gifts being spilled on him. He seemed delighted.
We got our stuff together and headed out. We had to meet the rest of the guys at their hotel about 6 blocks away.
We hung out and waited for the guys to show up, one by one they filed into the hotel all looking not quite awake. Then Joe pulled up outside with the van and trailer. I was pretty impressed that he was driving that thing through the city! I would have never been able to do it! They were getting things situated and we all ran down to the hot dog vendor for breakfast. Yummy.
We were off, on our way to Northampton, MA. It was a beautiful drive, lots of great East coast scenery. I would say it was about two hours but I wasn’t really watching the clock so I could not tell you for sure. I napped a little and just watched out the window the rest of the way.
As we rolled into town I could not help but notice what a picturesque place it was. Very ideal in a lot of ways. I had to giggle when I realized we were driving down Pleasant Street and every other place was called Pleasant Market or Pleasant Deli and so on.
When we arrived at B-side records everyone woke up and poured out of the car. The guys there were super sweet and very welcoming; they gave us all t-shirts right away. (In fact I am wearing mine as I type this!) It was going to be a little while before they did the in-store, so I decided to take a wander down the ideal streets to get a feel for the place.

I went into quite a few little stores, picked up some coffee and then wandered into a store called Faces. I loved this store, it was a cross between Urban Outfitters and H&M but super inexpensive. I bought a great top and sweater that I ended up wearing to the show that night.
Jon called my cell to ask where I had wandered off to and told me they were about to play so I went back up the street and found my way back into the store. It was another remarkable acoustic set by the guys.

After the set Jon and I wandered through this idyllic town. We went from store to store, perusing clothes, books, shoes, jewelry and so on. Jon bought me a couple of really adorable scarves and a pair of earrings. We decided to try out a Tibetan food place as neither of us ever had Tibetan food before. We had chicken curry and a plate of dumplings. Everything was very clean tasting and really salt free, delicious. The dumplings were the best. They are something that I am sure I will find myself craving at some point. I guess I will have to see if there is a Tibetan food joint in Seattle someplace!

We decided it was time to head down to the show. I was getting pretty sleepy since I was still sporting a bit of a hangover from the tequila fest in NY the night before. I thought it would be best if I didn’t drink too much at this show. Jon bought me a Malibu and pineapple juice. That was a perfect chaser for the Tibetan dinner. We watched the Deathray Davies put on a great show and then Oranger went on stage. Jon told me he had to go do an interview so he left me at the bar with a fresh drink. Before he left he introduced me to the kind folks we would be staying with that eve. Ilyssa made sure to warn me that they had 4 Dobermans. But they seemed nice enough and I was certain that any dogs they had would be of the sweet variety so I was not worried. About half way through the Oranger set I decided I had to go outside to let the cold air wake me up a bit. I have never been happier there was an early curfew on a show.
I went outside and walked around the block. The temperature had really dropped. I was very happy I had purchased the cozy New England sweater earlier that day and decided to wear it!
I didn’t see Jon anywhere, I figured they must have gone to a coffee shop to do the interview. I went back to the club and ran into the singer Dethray Davies. He was sporting his hat and glasses that eve and I told him he had a Ben Folds thing going on. He was very sweet. We ended up gabbing about our significant others. Turns out he is happily married as well so we exchanged out “stories” the second time in two days I got to tell Jon’s and mine. I really enjoyed hearing about his as well. Don’t believe the hype people, there are happily married people in rock!
When I saw the Oranger guys coming outside I knew it was time to go back in and catch The Posies. They played a very short set. The club was right across the street from the local police HQ so they had a very strict curfew/sound ordinance.
After the show was over the guys went outside to sell the merch from the back of their truck. Apparently the club wanted a percentage if they sold it inside. Too bad it was freezing outside and the guys were wet with sweat! I brought Jon’s coat out to him and dug his scarf that I made for him out of my bag and wrapped him up so he didn’t get sick. There they were hawking their wears in the dark from the street. (I got photos to prove it)
We packed up and made our way up to Kurt and Illysa’s place, or at least we started to but Ken noticed his bag was missing. It turned out it was packed up in one of the other bands things. We tracked it down and went to the hotel to retrieve it. After our late start we finally hit the road. The drive was a little scary and dark with big trucks that didn’t like sharing the road, but we made it to our hosts place in one piece.
Their place was something straight out of a bed and breakfast catalog. They had even set aside a beautiful little room with a big fluffy bed for Jon and me to have all to ourselves. It was perfect and we both slept so well. I could have probably stayed in that bed for a week!

Day 4:
Woke up the next morning to a picturesque New England landscape. I was the first one up. I could not believe how it went from freezing to BEAUTIFUL in such a short span of time. The sun was beaming the place smelled of bacon and fresh brewed coffee. Sigh. It was totally vacation!
I got up and wandered out in my Powerpuff Girl PJ's and poured myself a cup of coffee. I found our host slaving over bacon and huge slices of French toast. I went outside to investigate the area a little more as it was pitch black when we rolled in the night before. They had the cutest painted pony that I paid a little visit to. So here I am, in my PJ's and slippers sipping coffee and petting a painted pony, not very Rock-n-roll but very cool nonetheless!
The rest of the guys wandered out not long after and we all took our turns checking email and taking showers. It was a truly rejuvenating experience. I kept telling them they needed to turn the place into a bed and breakfast. They totally could, but I guess it would be sort of weird having strange people stomping through your house all of the time. Regardless, I am grateful for their hospitality and hope we can take them up on their offer to visit again someday!
After my shower and third cup of coffee we all got in the van and hit the road. It was about a half hour drive before we rolled into Cambridge. I was expecting more from this prticulr city, especially after experiencing the beauty of North Hampton the day before, but I was very disappointed. I found the city to be ugly and dirty and not very friendly.
The first thing that happened was we got out of the van and stumbled right in the middle of a screaming match between what looked like a homeless guy and an Asian woman yelling at him in broken English about how she gave him food and then he came back and hit her friend? I didn't know what to think of it. Once we established that it had nothing to do with the club and the guys opened the back door for load in, i wandered inside to check the place out. The Middle East seemed like any other club in the daytime. Empty and smelling of stale smoke and beer. It had a nice look to it though and seemed to have a pretty decent sized room.
After doing my initial walk through I decided I would head down the street for my usual "check out the local stores/colour" walking tour that had been doing in the other cities. I step out the door and head down the street when Jon yells at me to "Get back inside."
I looked at him and asked, "What?" As my husband is not one to order me around I was pretty confused by his sudden command.
He told me again, "Get back inside now, go in and wait for me!"
Something in the tone of his voice told me I had better listen, but I also thought he better have a really good explanation for talking to me like that.
Well he did. No sooner did I get inside the club did he cell on my cell phone and explain that the guy who was fighting with the Asian lady when we arrived has started talking to the guys. He was hovering around or something and the guys asked him to take a hike. I guess as he was wandering and not leaving he pulled out a huge hunting knife. Darius called the police and the guy was quickly picked up. Jon just didn't want me wandering out there until the guy was picked up.
Once Mr Personality was taken away I got the green light to go check out the hood, so I did. The stores were dirty and unkempt. They had a thrift store which I noticed on the ride in and was pretty excited about checking out, but it was more like a shelter exchange than a thrift store. I didn't find anything there I would want to buy. One would think that being a college town there would be more, but really it was pretty scary. There was a shouting, spitting, or mumbling to themselves crazy person on every block! I made it about 4 blocks down the street before I decided it was not a neighborhood I wanted to be wandering around in on my own. So I went back to the club.
Seems I got back just in time because they had just served up Humus and Falafel and Pita, Yum! I snacked and then watched Sound check. The sound guy seemed really on task. he took a lot of time making sure the vocals were on top of the guitar sounds. I was impressed by how he seemed to take his job very seriously. It was a pretty live room, so it was good to see him taking his time.
After sound check Jon and I went out into the neighborhood for a little wander. We came across one store I missed on my initial investigation which turned into the only store we purchased anything in. I have a real weakness for cheap dangley earrings and sparkly scarves which this store had in spades. Jon bought me some goodies and a shirt for himself and then we went to find coffee. Starbucks again, and again it was WAY too hot and not done well. I swore that I would write a letter to Starbucks corporate office when I got home demanding a refund for all of the burnt Lattes I had on the East Coast. I still might. What a waste!
We took a short nap in the van and headed in to watch the Deathray Davies as it was their last show. Near the end of their set everyone got on stage and they had a 3 band Jam. The guys were hanging from the rafters (Literally!) It was pretty funny. The same thing repeated for the Oranger set as well as the Posies set.
This particular Posies set was probably the liveliest/craziest of the bunch that I saw of this leg of the tour. The guys literally trashed the stage and then Joe got it set back up so they could trash it all over again. There were several time where the guys defaulted to using Matt's Mic because they had knocked theirs into oblivion. They never missed a beat, and it was seriously some pretty amazing balls out rock-n-roll! It was the perfect show to leave on.
After the show the guys were being rushed to get out. Seems Cambridge has some law where everyone HAS to be out of the club by 2AM no exceptions. Everyone was trying to say good-byes and trying to get things out the door.
There were the usual hangers on. In fact I found a small group of scantly clad girls trying to hide away near the back door. I decided they were probably up to no good and took it upon myself to tell them it was time to hit the road. They looked less than pleased with me. Jon said it was because even though the words that came out of my mouth SOUNDED polite, it was very obvious they translated to, "Listen band hussys get the hell out of here!"
He was probably right, I tend to put the lean on people without even realizing I am doing it when I think they are up to no good. But they did leave, so I guess I had some effect. In fact they marched down the street in a huff. My heart was breaking for them, it really was.
In the van ride back to the hotel I got to sit in the middle while a drunk Matt and a drunk Ken volley really funny jabs at each other back in forth. At one point there was candy corn being thrown. It was all pretty funny, but in the "you had to be there" sense so I won't even try to go into detail about it. Jon said it was like watching a tennis match sitting between them.
We get back to the hotel, the guys to settle down for the night, and for me to wait about 45 minutes before I was off to the airport. There were moments on the trip that reminded me of being back in Alaska in the house full of men that I grew up in, the hotel was one of those times.
Jon was fading fast so we called the cab and said our so longs. I was already missing them all as the cab was pulling away and thought that was the end of my adventure, but much to my dismay it was not.

Day 5:
The cab through Boston to the Airport was one of those moments in my life where I really thought there was a great possibility that I might actually die. After a few pretty frightening sexual harassment type experiences in cabs over the years I now always make sure to make a mental note of the cabs license, name and cab number as soon as I get in. This cab had none of these things displayed.
He asked me several very pointed questions about what I was doing in Boston, if I was visiting family and so on. All the while I was noticing just how dark the streets there seemed.
Just about the time I had started to realize this guy was giving me a hard core case of the willies, he jumps on an off ramp and tells me he wants to take me on a little diversion because "We have time"
I immediately whip out my cell phone and start dialing Jon, get his VM and proceed to pretend to be talking to him on the phone anyway.
I am trying really hard to see street signs in the dark so I can yell to the 911 operator where I am and I am having absolutely no luck. I am in a scary ass cab, on a very dark street in a city I know NOTHING about. I was mortified!
The cab driver starts telling me, "You know the old nursery rhyme Over the river and through the woods to Grandmothers house we go... Right?"
I say, "You know I really should be getting back on the main drag and getting to the Airport."
He says, "No, I want you to see this." and he proceeds to pull off into this dark wooded area. At this point my finger is hovering over the 9 on my phone.
He pulls up to this colonial style house and stops the car. He points to the river and explains that this is the house the poem was written about. he tells me there is a plaque if I want to get out and read it, it is just up the drive.
It is pitch black outside. I thought I was gone, that was it, start saying my prayers and preparing for the great beyond. I was looking up and down the street for any sign of other people and slipping my heels off so I would be able to sprint. I had my escape route mapped out in my brain and decided I would take chance and directly confront this guy.
In my best stern mommy voice I say, "Listen, I don't know if this is intentional but you are seriously freaking me out with this detour. Get this cab back on the street NOW and get me to the airport!"
I decided at the very least if he was some kind of killer, he would realize I was not about to be an easy victim.
Without a word he started the car back up and got right back on the road. I practically threw my money at him when we got to the airport. He told me to have a nice trip and that was that.
The rest of the day was uneventful, lots of sleeping on planes and so on. I got home hugged my girl, called my man and fell asleep for the next 17 hours.


Michael said...

I'm missing The Posies show in Toronto because I have a cold and I'm not physically up for a show tonight. Will they play "Golden Blunders"?

Hope the show goes well!

Michelle Auer said...

I tried to get them to play it every night of the tour. Jon promised they would have it worked up by the time they got back to Seattle. We will see. :-)

Sloop said...

Cool. I enjoyed reading this post; it's nice to get a behind-the-scenes look at The Posies tour. Looking forward to the Portland show!

captain feedback said...

Michelle rocks! : )
Glad you had a great time in New England - hope to see you & Jon down the road...cheers!


me, myself and I said...

Thoroughly enjoyable read, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you had a great time.

me, myself and I said...

The cab ride from hell sounds really scary. The voicemail message Jon received must have really freaked him out too.
I hitch-hiked once and ended up at some barns in the middle of nowhere, it was terrifying, and I thought I was in real trouble, but luckily nothing happened.
BTW - did Jon's card ever arrive?

Michelle Auer said...

yes! Got the card, but I got it just yesterday :-( I will give it to him to open when he gets back around the 18th! :-)

me, myself and I said...

Dang it, I posted that weeks ago. Bloody useless post.

You're gonna love it! It's one of my 'specials'. Took me literally hours to make.



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