A necessary backstory is that the right-rear tire of the van was continually losing air. That morning, we found it was a bit too flat to go anywhere. So we called Triple-A hoping they would patch it up and pump it up. Instead the guy that came just put the spare on. It was a whole ordeal of taking the gear out of the back and putting it on the street. He didn’t really do anything. He was covered in confederate flags, so he was clearly a wife-beating piece of shit. Sam might have called in asking for a flat change, which isn’t what we needed. A Triple-A call wasted.
Josh saw us off with donuts and breakfast burrito in our hands. He was one of the most standup hosts we had the whole tour, I believe – or at least what I saw of it. We tried to get out of town but the GPS kept taking us in circles. And as we drove in circles, another dour conversation about the future was had. They were stressful affairs, full of a potential of misunderstanding and stringing-along. But we rode on, and found the Texas between Texarkana and Austin held some pretty grassy landscapes, some pretty weird towns, and a whole lot of nothing.
We drove into Austin drenched in sweat and listening to Louis C.K. and laughing hard. It was about 5 or 6:00, with the evening approaching. We found no one at the venue, Red 7, so we took a walk. We went to 6th Street where some kind of street fair was going on. It was annoying – we wanted a downtown unencumbered by people and bullshit. Some stupid bar had water and a broke-ass pinball machine.
We walked towards the river but never made it. We were by the creek that runs through downtown, and found a nice park with an amazing tree for climbing, and a bathroom that was a castle. I nodded as my own opinion formed – I’m not much for Austin. It’s like Portland, with all its virtues and misfortunes. The key misfortune being once it gets old, any town like it gets old also. An anxiety, similar to one I felt in Memphis, set in. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to get on the road again.
We went back to Red 7 and waited around a little while for some venue workers to show up. They eventually did, and we loaded in. We traded our drink tickets for buy out money and went two doors down to Koriana. It was delicious.
The show was fine. I think there was a decent amount of people and it sounded good from the outside. My problem was that I was outside – the merch table was in some weird annex where people were smoking. There was a big vibe of people not giving a shit about music either; there were a ton of people out there at all times. I sold some merch to a very enthusiastic fan though – a young lady that talked the boys’ balls off after the set. I was able to break up the monotony a bit with a call home.
I was feeling alright, but we didn’t have a place to stay. For the first time, we Pricelined a hotel and found a cheap room at the Omni in the southside of town. We loaded up and made our way there. There was trouble in the lobby when Max tried to check in. Since it was 2:00 in the morning, we’d made the reservation for that night; meaning the night to come.
While we waited, I went and looked in on a salsa dance in the ballroom, and stole a knife from the closed restaurant and made swandiwches of cashew butter and bananas and bread right in the lobby. It worked out eventually, though Max was on the phone for awhile and Sam fell asleep right in the lobby by the frontdesk. Our room was a three star hotel, nine stories up.
-for part of Sunday May 6th, 2012