In Fort Frances Ont., we played at a place called The Rainy Lake Hotel. There were ashtrays in the rooms, paths worn on the “carpets”, and the tv had a broken converter but also a pair of broken rabbit ears. Our audience, when they weren’t ignoring us, got up and line danced to Shaggy tunes in between sets. Mike leaned over and whispered to me “did you ever think that you would see something like this?” as 8 drunken middle aged humans gyrated rather uncertainly in questionable unison carefully turning left, then right, then unsteadily raising one foot off the ground to begin the cycle over again.
The sound guy was a total pro, and told us that he used to work for Larry Gowan in the 80’s. This was very exciting to me as I well remember the joyful pleasure I felt bellowing along to Strange Animal and Criminal Mind on Video Hits, which I raced home to watch after school all during grade 1. Whatever ever happened to Video Hits, anyway?
So we played our show, managed to sell a couple of cd’s, and even got an encore at the end of the night. But not because they really liked us, I don’t think. More because some crowds just like to tell a band what and when to play. This was one of those times. We were finished our sets and wanted to get off the stage and the crowd sensed this so they hollered for us to play 1 more so we would know who was boss. The sound guy mentioned that he would in in Thunder Bay the same day that we were going there.
On we went to Thunder Bay, another lovely drive. Very humid in Thunder Bay. The club was nice, and we played a very good show. There was a small group of hipsters there, and they immediately recognized that their leader had come to them at last in the form of Keith Grief. Their collective hipster vibe caused his hipster antenna to tremble, slowly at first then with ever increasing throbbing intensity until his whole countenance shone, a beacon of hope and harmony for all the hipsters everywhere. They were helpless under his thrall, wanting to please him as he wanted to please them. So he leapt up on the monitors and played a guitar solo behind his head. There was a roar of approval as both sides recognized the solemn beauty of the meeting ritual.
We sold a couple of cds and had our first groupie encounter – well, it was directed at K. only. I guess we better get used to that as his raw animal magnetism starts the girlie’s hearts a-throbbin from coast to coast. The next morning, we were in our rooms (above the club where we played, only accessible by an unmarked door on the street which we had left open a crack so Ferdy might find his way back form getting the van fixed. It was 9:30 am, we had stayed up very late the night before. I was folding laundry, and little Michael was sleeping oh so peacefully on the bed. A quiet scene of calm domesticity, except I was folding underwear for 3 different men. I don’t know how this happens, but I do find myself in some alarmingly traditional female role every once in a while in this band, which is always disturbing to me as I worry that I’ll have to turn in my Feminists club card if anyone finds out that sometimes I have folded the band’s laundry.
Into this calm oasis of tranquility burst the sound guy from Fort Frances. He had come up stairs into our rooms. He hung out until it was time to go – about 3 hours later. The Feminists are not anti social. We are nice and kind and polite. But moments of calm and quiet are so precious these days that we tend to withdraw from bustling busyness whenever possible. And somehow, call me crazy, I think that when you’re in your room sleeping and folding laundry at 9:30am after yet another night of not enough sleep in another strange bed – at least there was a bed – that is a clear signal that you do not wish to socialize. Ah well. At least he bought a cd.
We lost our tour book/diary in Thunder Bay, very unfortunate. It wasn’t put back in its place, so I had to start a new one and now I have to keep it in my bag, guarding it jealously from the boys who are starting to realize that everything must have its place.
Must go. We played in Ottawa last night, and are off to Toronto. It was a good show, more about The Soo, Sudbury, Montreal, and Ottawa next time. Check out our new video of Sudden Departure of T on the blog, beautiful footage lovingly captured by our great friend Stokely who came to our show in Nelson.
bowls smoked: still sticking to the 2 a day limit
cds sold: because I lost my tour book with the inventory, I’ll have to say about 35 so far.
vehicular malfunctions: 3 with another one to deal with on our next day off
finances: bleak. Due to continued vehicular malfunctions we are paying for travel expenses with our own money. We may be able to get out of the hole once we play the shows where we actually get paid. Right now we are playing shows where we don’t get paid. Yea. All for the glory of rock and roll.