4.18.2010 08:01 Boston, MA
I woke up a few minutes ago in Tim’s basement room. We were just here a few weeks ago recording a demo of the new material so at this point, it feels like a home-away-from home to me. I slept on a comfortable convertible couch, the windows are blacked out and it’s dark, it I didn’t have a watch, I wouldn’t know what time it is.
The show yesterday went off without any issues which is surprising because Boston is such a weird place for us to play; sometimes the shows are good and sometimes they aren’t. There was a lot of confusion about the show when it was being booked: venue changes, being moved to a matinee instead of a night show, etc. The people at the venue were cool and the whole show was managed really well. It was my first time seeing Ludicra, I’d heard a lot of great things about them and they lived up to it. They’re a totally solid band. John, one of the guitarists, had burst appendix early on in the tour and was down for six days. The band continued on with only one guitar as he recovered then he flew out to meet them.
We played almost all new material yesterday. “Filled with Secrets” was the only “Winter Hours” song we played. Other than some tuning issues, the set felt pretty good. It was the first time we played the song currently titled “Devil Wings.” Now that the first time is out of the way, it’ll be easier to play from here on out.
I had a chance to meet up with Thos briefly before the show started. He was eating lunch with his family at Le’s (formerly Pho Pasteur) on Brighton Ave. We were in the middle of loading in, parking the van and getting everything squared away but I was able to break away for a few minutes. It means a lot to me that he makes the effort to see me whenever I’m in town, so it was cool to hang even if it was for only a few minutes. He asked me to write piece about La Gritona for the upcoming discography that’s scheduled for release this summer. It would be an honor; that band was one of the most important bands to come out of Boston in the 90’s and only a handful of people even know about them. Back in the day, I would go see them whenever I saw they were playing, I must have seen them play about 12 times.
I’m still working through the news that Lee from the Communion is dead. Paul Delaney called me on Friday night and said,” I have some weird, bad news for you…” and then told me that Lee died in the hospital that afternoon. He went in to have an operation and there were complications. That was it. I’ve been getting calls and text messages from people either telling me that Lee is dead or that they want to organize a trip out to Long Island for his services.
4.18.2010 Burlington, VT 19:01
We’re at the venue. I haven’t been here since Anodyne played here with Dillinger Escape Plan about nine years ago. We got here early, hit a couple of record stores and met up with Phil, the promoter for food. I picked up a few used CD’s: Wrecking Crew, Flipper, My Dying Bride…all for about $4.00 or under!
The drive up from Boston was uneventful. We arrived early in the afternoon and milled around for a while, looking for something to do. There were a few head shops, comic book store, a lot of bars, beads stores and a few restaurants, the typical college town. I remember the first time I came up here to play in the early 90’s when my old band Otis played with Slush, who later changed their name to Five Seconds Expired. There was a small enclave of bands up here: Rocketsled, Drowningman, Non Compos Mentis and a few others. Plattsburg is close by so that was another regular stop back in the Anodyne days. The Dying Game Theory comes to mind, making me think of the night we played in a basement with them and Buried Inside. The Dying Game Theory were amazing that night, one of the best bands that I had seen that year but over the next few months, the band made some changes and it was never quite as intense as it was that night.
I got a message from Mike Scondotto informing me that Lee’s services are tomorrow, so there’s no chance that I’ll be able to make it. If it wasn’t for Lee, I wouldn’t even know Mike. I’m thinking about how the Communion were scheduled to play Maryland Death Fest this year. Life is so fragile. Some people go through their lives thinking that have an unlimited amount of time to do the things that they want. The reality is that at any given time, your life can be taken away from you.
The show is starting soon. I’m looking forward to playing and getting on with it. It was a rainy, miserable day that made me think about Seattle or Portland or any of those cities where the sun never comes out.
4.19.2010 Philadelphia, PA 17:30
The show was small but cool last night. Phil, the promoter, and I have been in contact for almost a year about having Tombs come up to Burlington to play but for logistical reasons we couldn’t manage it until now. We had been emailing and finally got an opportunity to meet and hang out. I had played 242 Main several times in my life over the last fifteen years. I realized that this is my life; I’ve gone too far at this point to give up and this is pretty much how I’m going to live out my days in this reality. It’s like swimming across a lake, you hit a certain point and then realize that you can’t turn back and you have to just finish the mission or drown.
4.20.2010 Philadelphia, PA 09:13
We drove for a few hours after the show in Burlington and got a motel room. It was a dark, desolate trip through the mountains in the middle of the night. At one point we pulled off to follow a sign for lodging, I drove for two miles and couldn’t find anything. Another time, I followed a sign for lodging off one of the exits, found the motel but no one answered the door when I rang the bell. As we drove south, we entered the more developed region of the state and we hit a Holiday Inn Express. I watched this show about the expanding universe and this one scientist said that the majority of the universe was comprised of “dark matter” which is completely invisible.
We spent most of yesterday driving and hit the Relapse office before heading over to the venue. I picked up the new Triptykon disc and some the other new Relapse releases. I’m ripping it into my laptop as I write this.
We crashed with Gordon and Betsey last night. The show was cool; we played all new material. I’m starting to feel comfortable playing the newer songs and I’m over those initial jitters. The whole show was good and everyone, Ludicra and Krallice, played well.
Baltimore, MD 18:00
We drove through what looked like the neighborhood where the “The Wire” was filmed. I saw a sign for Barclay Street and I knew we were deep in it. Baltimore is a hard town. It’s an example of where our country is failing it’s people. I had flashes of a possible future where New York City looks like Baltimore: broken, raped and forgotten. If you ever want to check out the Urban Reality, take trip through the more obscure neighborhoods in this city and you’ll get all of the reality that you need.
I spotted Ludicra and Krallice lurking around as we rolled up. The venue is closed until 19:00 so there’s a little bit of time to kill. It looks like we’re on the border of the Ghetto and a more gentrified, college district so it looks like there are a few food and coffee options nearby. It’s kind of tripped out when you consider that you can buy a $12 sushi roll about 200 feet from a spot where you can also buy crack cocaine.
4.21.2010 Brooklyn, NY 15:10
We split after the show and drove back to New York. It’s not a long drive, but as it got later and later, New York seemed to get further and further away. Somewhere on the New Jersey Turnpike, we changed-out drivers and I caught about 20 minutes of sleep in the passenger seat of the van.
Despite the fact that there was a competing Mastodon / Baroness show and a Shrinebuilder show, our show had a decent turnout. There was a situation with one of the local bands that created some confusion with the bill but at this point, that stuff doesn’t bother me anymore, I just want to get up there, do my thing and load out. The only issue I had was the lack of clear direction, there was a lot of shuffling about and lack of focus instead of clear decisiveness which is ultimately better for everyone and cuts down on the confusion. If you’re a local band and can’t get it together so that all of your members are on time for a show five blocks from where you live, that has nothing to do with me. I’m here to do my thing and get out of the way for the next band.
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