Notes from Das Boot 215

Saturday 2/7/15, somewhere in Switzerland

Contents: 2 half baked stories, a picture of a dog and hopefully a Flipagram describing one of the almost stories

We had stayed at an Ibis Hotel in Vienna. Spartan would be a charitable way to describe this chain. Breakfast is a cheap spread as well and it’s not included but it’s usually crowded and most of the breakfast crew usually don’t care, so most times you can grab breakfast for free. Therefore saving/stealing 7€. Yesterday morning as I was eating a small bowl of muesli and some off brand yogurt, “room number please?”…and then reader boredom set in…zzzzzzzzzzzz

We played the Szene in Vienna, we usually play The Arena which was the home of the “if you smell weed, you will not succeed” crew, aka “the vanishing crew” and I would always bemoan playing there. Well, the Szene has a solid house crew but the load in for the lights is a little bit of a work out. Out the back door, and then up either an aggressive set of metal stairs or a lazy ladder (it could be described as either), onto the roof over a metal walkway, and then though some back rooms. It’s only rough while lugging gear, pray it’s not raining or snowing…and then reader boredom set in…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Souza from The Szene, the best crew guy on the tour

Bad news, The Flipagram didn’t make it. It really would have brought this whole blog together. Oh well. Check my Instagram @feedtim to see it or not.

Notes from Das Boot 214

Thursday, 2/5/15, Vienna Austria
Day off today, so it was alright. Went back to the Leopold Museum (caution: falling names) where I saw a bunch Egon Schiele, paintings along with some Klimt, Magritte and a bunch of other artists I wasn’t familiar with. A good day.
I have been growing a beard since the beginning of the tour and I wanted to tighten it up today. I have grown tour beards in the past that have failed spectacularly. One year I tried a neck beard and another I just grew a mustache. With both of these I looked like something that would be found in a mad scientists book of failures, “these experiments didn’t work out, I’ve only taken pictures of their shadows, their actual faces would be too much to bear”. So this time I was just going to go for a normal everyday beard. But the tour beard is a harsh mistress and I kept trying to even it out until I was left with more or less what I started out with, a chin curtain. What’s it hiding? A double chin? no chin? Mmmmmm…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Tomorrow we are playing The Szene. I’m not a big fan of the venue, the only way up to the lighting desk is to go outside behind the club and climb a series of fire escapes and ladders with my gear. I hope it’s not snowing.

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This sad wordless story is a fixture in every car of every public transport in Vienna: a woman gets pregnant, has her baby who suffers a debilitating accident and dies alone and old. The end

Notes from Das Boot 213

Wednesday, 2/4/15, Munich Germany
It’s 4:30pm here, I’m sitting in catering having a cup of coffee and listening to the latest podcast of The Best Show with Tom Scharpling. The Best Show podcast is a nice little piece of home that makes the tour easier. We’re just outside of Munich in an industrial-ish area. Munich’s version of Secaucus NJ. The Backstage Werk is a place we’ve played a bunch of times before. It’s a solid place, the gear and crew are good. There are two house lighting guys today and they are kids, one’s young enough to be my son and the other is young enough to be my grandson. Both of them know more about lights than I do.
I had mentioned earlier about pointy-jabby things on the bus. The worst one so far has been a stair that has so far jabbed me in the knee a few times while walking upstairs in the moving bus. My natural stumbling ability (I was an all state stumbler in high school) is really coming in handy.

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Ye Olde Knee Killer

Notes from Das Boot 212

Monday, 2/2/15, Lausanne Switzerland

Flew into Frankfurt and got all our gear with a minimum of hassle and got to our new bus. It’s standard euro double decker. 12 bunks, two lounges, bathroom. I always forget just how low the ceilings are on these busses. I’m so hunched over I look like an overweight Nosferatu when I’m walking through it. There are also a few pointy things especially on the stairs that I’m sure will jab and annoy most everybody on tour.
The Greek shows were great but it’s like a play opening in New Haven. We have all our regular gear now and the bus, so it seems a bit more official. Also Paco our merch guy and voice of reason is back now as well, so it feels like the tour is starting for real.

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What everybody kind of looks like when walking through the bus

Notes from das boot 211

Sunday, 2/1/15, Thessaloniki Greece
Rain, and gloom and more rain on Saturday. The club (Fix Factory) unexpectedly had their shit together, making it two for two in Greece. Greek shows are usually a crapshoot, the crew at the clubs work their asses off but the lights and sound are subpar or in disrepair but these two shows had solid gear and good crews, so it was alright.
I’m not much for Greek food and neither is Danny our sound man. When food is a little sketchy a good move is Italian food, it’s kind of hard to ruin spaghetti. Of course in hindsight getting cheap Italian food in Greece makes no goddamn sense. I ended up getting spaghetti bolognese and it was like an open faced grilled cheese sandwich but instead of bread, substitute dense over cooked spaghetti. It was odd.
At the airport waiting for our flight back to Frankfurt where we get our bus (home for four weeks). Flying with a shitload of gear, which means we’ll be straggling thru Frankfurt airport like a bunch of hoboes dragging a ton of shit

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One of the best things in Greece is the coffee frappe

Notes from das Boot, 210

Saturday, 1/31/15, Athens

First show went well, a couple of small hiccups but really solid. The Gazi Music Hall is probably the best place we’ve ever played in Greece and the house crew was really good. The only thing that was a little squirrelly for me was the smoke machine here. There wasn’t much control over it, it was feast or famine. The smoke vacillated between Rollins Band (no smoke) or Sisters of Mercy (all smoke, no breathable air), so it got a bit dense in some parts of the set. The promoter here is a really good guy who I’ve met about a dozen times but always forget his name ( as I forget most people’s names), Bob had a good fix, “If you call any guy Nick or Costas, you’ll be right most of the time”, it was Costas.
Up early to fly to Thessaloniki this morning for our second show

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Notes From Das Boot 209

Friday, 1/30/15, Athens

Wednesday afternoon thru Thursday afternoon were mostly spend en route. Rest of Thursday spent regaining human form. First of two shows in Greece today. Athens is cool and it’s laid out like spiderweb made by a spider who was dosed
During the layover at the Frankfurt airport, I was somewhat dozing on a bench by the gate. A woman and her two kids were there as well, the kids were throwing newspapers around and generally acting like hyperactive kids in the midst of travel. The woman barked out “Sally!” At one of her kids. In my semi awake state, I thought she said “sorry” and I mumbled ” no, no that’s cool, don’t worry about it” for which I got the stink eye. I went back to Snoring Droolsville (my sleep town) and shortly after “Sally!”, again I mumbled that the perceived apology was unnecessary. I got another stink eye and they left.
I am also posting tour stuff on Instagram @feedtim

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street map of Athens as done by a dosed spider

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