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Thoughts and musings by members of the Arrogant Worms

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Pre-election Tour Part Three - Staten Island and Berkeley Heights 

After a great time we finally had to leave Cambridge and hit the long road for Staten Island. We hit five states - Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. States are smaller than provinces.

We eventually made it to Staten Island. We think we took the long way but we got there safe and sound. We played to a fairly small crowd but a very chatty crowd. A couple talk-backers which is always a bit odd but fun nonetheless. The crowd was great and in the mood to have a good time.

After the show, we drove to our hotel in New Jersey. It took a lot longer than we thought it would to get there what with using the wrong highway and all. We eventually made it, cranky buggers all around. It's always nice to stay in one hotel for more than one night. You really get a feel for it. The room can start to take on your smell too which is very important.

After a day of wandering, we were ready for our last show of the tour. It was in a beautiful church. A great singer named Greg Alexander opened the show on his birthday no less. The crowd was awesome and many of them knew the songs. We weren't too far from Bethlehem, PA where we have played many times. The cookies they gave us in the greeenroom were outstanding. We were very well taken care of in Jersey. It was great. We won't soon fugghedaboudit. Sorry.

And then Sunday meant the long drive home. No trouble at the border. There were more open lanes than cars in Buffalo. Then again, who'd want to escape Buffalo on a Sunday afternoon. They're all watching the Bills lose another game on TV. Oh those Bills.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Pre-election Tour Part Two - Boston 

I have a new favourite city and it’s called Boston. I had been to Boston before but only for less than 24 hours. We were all pretty excited to go and we were even able to stay with friends who had just moved to Cambridge three days before we arrived. We folded Mike up and he slept in a box. We drove over from Dallas, PA and eventually got to our destination in Cambridge after a few wrong turns and a lost map. Turns out it was under Trevor’s seat. We didn’t find it until three days later.

You may recall that October 20th was game seven of the American League championship series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. We were pretty happy to have this night off because the city pretty much shut down. And the Sox were victorious. The game itself was a bit of a bore but the excitement in Boston was amazing.

On the day of the show, we got to do a bit of sightseeing with our hosts so we went to the JFK Presidential Library. It was a very cool place and had a great exhibit that focused on his campaign in 1960. After a bowl of chowda, it was time to head over to Club Passim for the soundcheck and show. Opening the show was Paul and Storm who used to part of a very great group called DaVinci’s Notebook. They are a very funny duo now. It was nice to finally meet them and they do a great show. Our show at Passim was pretty darn good too. It was our first time anywhere near Boston and the club was packed. Mind you, it only holds 125 but it is THE place for folky types in Boston. We were delighted to have so many people there and many of them knew every word to every song. We rocked and folked and joked about the flu vaccine. Fun night. Thanks for the memories, Boston. We’re glad that our good Canadian karma was enough for the BoSox to win the pennant. We left some karma behind for the World Series too!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Pre-election Tour Part One - Dallas  

Another weekend in America. I’ll divide this weekend into a few entries so as not to make the posts too big.

Trevor and I took a train to Kingston to meet Mike and make our drive to Pennsylvania. I like the train. It’s nice to kick back with the new Sum 41 CD in the headphones and just relax for a couple of hours. The CD rocks by the way. We made it to Kingston and then took the very familiar drive down Interstate 81 through New York and Pennsylvania. We were playing in Dallas, PA which is quite near to Wilkes-Barre. We stayed in W-B across from an insanely huge mall area. There must have been 100 big box style stores there and more parking than you’d ever need. The show was a lot of fun. We played at an old college in a really nice theatre. The crowd was very enthusiastic. Some of them had gone to see John Kerry speak earlier in the day down the road. Bush was coming later in the week. He wanted to wait until we were out of town, I guess. Gotta love those swing states. I was able to find the transcript online for Jon Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire. That was some good comedy.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Vitamin C for all my friends... 

Good to be back on the Prairies. We had a few shows and few drives. We flew into Saskatoon and it’s nicely renovated airport and then made the quick drive to Prince Albert. This was our second time in PA and the folks there did not disappoint. It was a rockin’ show. There were Keel fans there. Heartening to be sure. We watched the third debate in the green room before the show. We think John Kerry won.

On one of our drives, I queried Mike and Trevor about what cows think about. They didn't know either. They must be thinking about something. They have four stomachs so maybe they think about that. Do they realize that they are grazing in front of a McDonalds billboard? I didn't have the heart to tell them.

Yorkton was next and it was a first for us. We had a nice crowd there and we even got some free stuff. The school colours of the high school are orange and brown. Nice, huh? We got T-shirts and an orange cowboy hat that fit Mike’s pointy head the best. He then became the Citrus Cowboy, saving the world from scurvy with vitamin C. Not the greatest superhero ever, but pretty good.

Then it was on to Danceland where we entertained a conference of Parks and Rec. folks from around the province of Saskatchewan. Danceland is in Manitou Beach, which is a little resort town in the middle of the province. Who knew? Salt lake, mineral spa and all the trimmings. Cool.

And we wrapped up the tour in Brandon, Manitoba with a show for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Brandon. It was a fun show and the Citrus Cowboy made an appearance as well. We may have trouble getting that hat off Mike’s head. He really likes it.

Off to America tomorrow. More on that later.

Monday, October 11, 2004

America the Beautiful 

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone. I’m stuffed like a turkey right now and I hope my fat fingers can type out the touring update.

We had a great weekend with two more show in new American towns. Friday was Clinton, NY at the Kirkland Arts Center. Every once in a while we get a gift from the comedy gods and we got a bunch of them in Clinton. The show was in a hall that had many paintings on the wall. About one third of the paintings were nudes. We are nothing if not immature little dorks and the paintings provided us with a whole bunch of comedy moments. It was like three nine year olds looking through a National Geographic magazine. It was a very fun show with a fantastic audience. The place was full and many of the folks there knew a lot of our stuff. Lots of great laughers including our friends Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman, awesome performers who we’ve met at festivals over the years. It was great to see them and play in their neck of the woods.

Saturday was a spirited game of mini golf followed by a rather stunning drive through the mountains of Pennsylvania to a town called State College. It’s the town where Penn State University is and they had a home football game the same day as our show. 108,000 people went to the football game. We had a good crowd too. It was a very fun show complete with several references to Scrapple, the official meat product of Pennsylvania.

So now we are off to Saskatchewan and Manitoba for a few days. One more presidential debate is left on Wednesday. I’ll be taping it for sure.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Michigan and Ohio 

Okay so there seems to be an election going on in the USA. It sure is more interesting than a Canadian election. The debate between Kerry and Bush was on Thursday and then we had shows on Friday and Saturday. People seemed to have watched the debate because any mention of it would garner a response.

We had a great time at the Creole Gallery in Lansing, Michigan. It’s the capital, just so you know for when you’re on Jeopardy. It was a sold out house, which delighted us to no end because we’d never played there before. Thanks to everyone who came out and especially those who drove in from other places. We had some technical problems in the first set but the crowd was patient and the whole show was a lot of fun. Funniest line of the night goes to Trevor. We decided that people who live in glass houses need a lot of curtains but Trevor followed it by suggesting that if you want privacy in your glass house, just breath on it to fog it up. Maybe you had to be there. It was funny though. I think other funny things were said but as usual we forgot them. The rest of the comedy came from the Fox News Channel. The election has inspired some pretty fun graphics and sound effects. I love 24-hour news.

Saturday night was Boston Heights, Ohio. We played at the visitors’ centre of a National Park. A very fun show. We were up against a lot of competition that night. Just down the road in Cleveland was Bruce Springsteen et al in their Rock For Change concert. James Taylor was playing too and a bunch of celebrities were going door to door in Akron for John Kerry. And to top it all off, Dubya himself was a few miles away speaking at a rally. We don’t generally have the same crowd as him so we did just fine. Must be fun to live in a swing state like Ohio. You sure do get a lot of attention.

I now have a cold and that show really showcased my head full of snot. I found myself sneezing and blowing my nose during the show. Not to worry, I was appropriately mocked by my co-workers. Then I licked their microphones. Not really. After the show, we met up with our friends Brian and Jodi and their posse for some karaoke. The house shook when Brian became Whitney Houston. Magic. I did Kiss, Trevor did Whitesnake and Mike did some Manilow.

Thank you America. See you next week in New York and another swing state, Pennsylvania.

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