January 19th – Ottawa, ON – SAW Gallery w/ Anamanaguchi

Jacob picked me up in a rental car because he had totaled his Volvo earlier that month en route to install at the “Born Digital” art show in Raleigh NC. I served him a cup of cold brew coffee and then we were on our way. Driving upstate is quite desolate but we found a Panera to stop at for lunch. We crossed the border without any problems. We stopped at a Wendy’s for an early dinner and they had poutine. Everybody kept asking us if we had poutine. Jacob laughed at me because I looked around the restaurant as I dipped my French fries in my frostie. Did you know they have vanilla frosties now? That’s just wrong.

We got to the venue and loaded in to find Anamanaguchi sound checking. I wish I could say we were joyful but we must have looked to be in quite a sorry state since we had been driving all day. We sound checked and then I worked the merch table for the ‘Guch guys. Wow, they sell a lot of merch! This was the only all ages show on the tour and their younger fans really came out and represented.

After the show a woman told me to “be assertive” and asked me if “this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.” I was like wow are you my parents? Just kidding, my parents aren’t that rude. I signed a Gameboy which was funny and weird but sweet since the girl who I signed it for must have been negative 10 years old when the Gameboy first came out.

We ended up staying with a friendly stranger named Joe who missed the first half of our set because he had a British Cinema class. When we walked in his house someone was talking about how they had tried salvia for the first time that day. They were smoking a hooka. Another girl had just ordered a dominos pizza with DOUBLE sauce. On the couch a young woman was doing her Spanish homework and looking at videos of sloths. Jacob recommended his favorite sloth vid which had to do with the sloth pooping ☹

Learned about Canadian metal band called protest the hero. Our hosts were such huge fans that they had the tablature (by the way, Fortress of Amplitude book coming out late 2012 at a Guitarcenter near you). I was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch in my denim jacket.

January 20th – Montreal, QC – Il Motore w/ Anamanaguchi & Moon King

Woke up and watched this really inspiring video:

We ate breakfast at a pub and then headed out to Montreal. Wow, it was substantially colder there. Got in some traffic but made it on time to comfortably sound check.

We went to this Vietnamese restaurant across the street that was delicious. I got vegetables and tofu with curry in a fried noodle bowl and an iced coffee. Went back to the venue and played a short but sweet set. The green room was red, wow trippy! Anamanaguchi won the crowd over with some hilarious in between song banter about Nickelback, Canada’s no. 1 Republican band. The audience waved glowsticks through out their entire set.

We stayed at a young filmmakers house. There was talk of country music and Canadian politics before I fell asleep on another couch.

January 21st – Toronto, ON – Wrong Bar w/ Anamanguchi & Moon King

We woke up early the next day because we had a long drive ahead of us. Montreal to Toronto is at best 6 hours and there were threats of snow. Luckily we didn’t hit anything but that is again quite a desolate and flat drive. We got to Totoronto early and unpacked.

Everything was going smoothly in our set until we knocked the mixer off of the table. Whoops, awkward! After we finished played we were ushered out in quite a hurry because German minimal tech DJs were getting paid to rock the crowd. It’s a crazy world. We went to our friends dance party at another club, I ate dumplings but was exhausted. We slept in a loft.

January 22nd – Rochester, NY – The Bug Jar w/ Anamanaguchi & Revengineers

Woke up the next day and Jacob had a photo shoot. I didn’t mind, this gave me plenty of alone time. I got back in touch with my tweets. It felt like we had been going nonstop like Juiceboxxx in 2009: long drives and late nights. I didn’t want to go into the darkness either. Apparently Jacob almost passed out in the photoshoot because he hadn’t eaten anything that day!

We crossed the border with ease and immediately started jamming on our smart phones. Jacob bought a nice bottle of scotch from the duty free – JEALOUS. At a reststop we saw this cool kid wearing a neon beanie with the Monster Energy logo on the side. Jacob discreetly tried to capture the look but all of the photos were blurry ☹ Another kid had a #goodlook: red onsie with pink uggs.

Got to Rochester early so we went to this bar and restaurant around the corner called the The Owl House. It was great to end the tour with a nice meal (seitan meatball sandwich!) and good beers. Very relaxing, they even let me charge my phone behind the bar, booyah.

We sound checked and then went to dinner no. 2 with Anamanaguchi at this gnarly wings joint. I got a giant plate of curly fries and dipped them in Ary’s blue cheese.

Ary (seen above) was kind enough to share his blue cheese.

We went back to the venue and rocked the troll. There were a few rows of kids in the front watching the videos and then a mini pit in the middle of the room. Best case scenario?!? They requested slayer and pantera. This was the only show on the tour where it was actually hot (temperature-wise) on the stage so it was fine with me when we unloaded out back in the snow.

We packed up and said goodbye to our tour buddies. Jacob drove me to the Rochester Amtrack station which was closed from 1:00AM to 5:00AM. Whoops, didn’t anticipate this! Luckily the greyhound station was across the street so I just hung out there for 4 hours before I caught my 5:30 AM train back to NYC.

What a fantastic tour. Thank you Anamanaguchi for inviting us along. :)