Road Blog: Thursday October 16, 2014 - New Orleans, LA
Tour Blog – Day 8 – New Orleans
We left Houston at 10am, heading east on Highway 10. The city is just massive and it was well over an hour before we started to get away from the sprawl, and then it was an extensive spread of distant refineries and oil fields. I was a little in awe of the expansiveness of it all. We eventually hit the Louisiana state line and started seeing the swamps and causeways that make that state unique. Pat saw an alligator at one point, and we stopped at a sorry-ass truck-stop whose claim to fame was Tony The Tiger – a real live tiger caged into a spot a little bigger than my living room. Apparently there’s some public outcry to move him to a more humane setting, and the proprietors are taking donations to fight that. We looked but never even saw him, and questioned if there even is a tiger, or just a ploy to lure tourist in. On a side note, they may have had the most disgusting bathroom we’ve seen on this trip – and we’ve seen some!
We drove through Baton Rouge and I hummed ‘Greenville to Baton Rouge’ by DBT to myself as we passed. We hit NOLA at the beginning of rush hour and made it to our hotel around 5. We’ve stayed at some dives, but this place takes the cake. I could describe the smells coming from the walls and floors, and I could probably post some photos of the filth, but I’ll spare you that and just say that we chose to head into the city hours early rather than enjoy some rare downtime before the show. We started at Euclid Records, exactly 1 week later than our visit to their sister store in Saint Louis on the first night of the tour. Friendly dude working there, and a cool store, but not quite the selection of the STL location. I bought a Mountain lp and Gabe and Pat bought a couple things, and we headed out on foot to explore the Bywater neighborhood. It was a cool area with typical New Orleans looking houses and corner bars, people milling about, and amazing-smelling food being prepared everywhere. We settled in at a local bar, ordered up a couple pints of local brew and some nachos, and watched a few innings of the NLCS. I’m not a fan of either team, but the competition was good, and the place was full of colorful characters so we had a good time. We headed back to the car and took a quick spin downtown, across Bourbon Street, and though the French Quarter so Gabe could at least see the spectacle, as it was his first time in NOLA. We agreed that we had no desire to dive into that mass of humanity and headed up to the venue.
Siberia is a really cool, dark rock club just a few blocks north of where we were. We got rock-star parking and went in to get some Slavic soul food (basically New Orleans stuff with spicy cabbage in it) and loaded in. There was a dude from San Diego playing solo-acoustic as part of the early show, and we chatted for a minute – and it turned out he’s great friends with a great friend of mine – Jimmy Jazz Ayala, who was a Michigan dude who moved to SD and played in The Deterants and Ghost Town Deputies, and was an original member of my Clash covers side-project Clashback. Small world! We never had a chance to get a pic or chat more, or even catch his name, but xo to him, Jimmy, Kathy, Ian, Star and all my SD pals!
Our set went well, to small but attentive bunch, and the place slowly filled up through TCRs set and was pretty packed by the time locals The Colossal Heads hit the stage. TCR is sounding great, and I think Wednesday and last night are the 2 best sets I’ve seen from them. The Colossal Heads were nice dudes, younger, full of rock & roll and spirit. That kid could play – and his rig sounded fantastic. Plan to spin their CD soon!
A couple more beers and back to the hellpit hotel. We walked into our room and looked at each other and had a brief moment of silence, then grabbed our shit and left. The place was that foul. I complained at the front desk after waking up the dude who was sleeping on a couch (I can’t make this shit up) and he wasn’t too accommodating, but I think we’ve got a refund coming. 30 minutes later we were crossing the Mississippi state line and not long after that we splurged on a “nice” room where we had a great shower (I mean, not together, we don’t shower together) and about 5 hours of sleep on a really nice bed for the first time in a few days.
So we’re heading towards Alabama now, playing Huntsville tonight, and it’s my first time really seeing Mississippi. I’ve been to this state, but just a quick dart in once when I was in Memphis. We’ve got 2 shows left and the TCR guys have been warning us to get our livers ready. This is the home-stretch folks. We’re feeling good, up for the challenge, and ready to bring it tonight!