Bangor, Bill Watterson, Brunswick, Bull Moose, caribou, Connecticut, Evil Dead the Musical, flea market, Freeport, Fresh Bananas here, John Hodgman, Judge John Hodgman, Kenebunk Maine Southbound Turnpike Service Plaza, live art, local theater, Maine, Manchester, New Hampshire, PETA activist, Pocket Vinyl, Pogo, sleeping in the car, the Jam Factory, the Rock and Art Shop, Torrington, vinyl record
Even though we don’t go on actual tour until November (tour dates here) since coming back to the States we have and we will be keeping up with shows in the New England area. Our next couple of shows happened the first week of October, starting on the 4th with a show in Manchester, NH at the Jam Factory. The venue was a little odd. You had to go through a sports bar/billiard room into a separate room with a small stage, and although the bar area was fairly busy, the venue room was sparse. Also, you had to try and ignore the pumping music coming in from the bar, and I think there was another live show happening through the wall opposite from the bar. It was alright though. We played our set along with a couple other singers. Also, the sound guy recorded a couple of our songs, so you can watch those if you like here and here.
After the show we continued driving north until we reached a Walmart along the highway to spend the night in our car. Oddly though, this wasn’t a 24/7 Walmart (maybe because it was in the middle of nowhere?). We arrived at the sane time as a truck driver and both us and the truck driver walked up to the Walmart door, only to discover it locked and dark. We used the facilities at a near by gas station, but returned to the Walmart to sleep in the shadow of the 18-wheeler.
On Saturday October 5th we had a show up in Bangor, Maine, at the Rock & Art Shop again. But we had a lot of time to kill, the trees in Maine were already beautiful colours, and we love Maine in general. Our first stop was in Freeport (where the big L.L. Bean store are, along with a ton of other designer shops). We wandered all around, just for the sake of stretching or legs. Watched a bunch of PETA activities protest the dismemberment of live lobsters, wandered through a clam chowder festival, and poked around the L.L. Bean stores.
From Freeport we headed next door to Brunswick, where we’ve been many times for Bombshelter shows. Unfortunately the Bombshelter no longer exists, but we still love the area. Eric talked about wanting to move to Brunswick. We of course stopped at Bull Moose and drooled over the large record collection and ridiculously reasonable prices.
We’ve had to tighten our belts even more since coming back from Korea. Our Kickstarter, we discovered, didn’t quite cover the complete costs of our new album (Death Anxiety, out in a week at our Halloween party in New London! You should come), and since my brother is no longer living with us there are a few bills and costs we used to split with him that we now need to cover completely ourselves. So we’ve both started being a lot more strict about non-necessity expenses, allowing ourselves each a very small amount per month, and doing without more than not. However, it’d been so long since either of us had bought any new vinyl, that we decided to use a bit of our monthly allowed non-necessity money to pick up some albums. And just so you’re aware, with the discount stickers Bull Moose added to three of the above albums, we picked up the entire lot for a whopping $35 total! What-th-what? Worth it. (Oh, and that Cake album is seriously pure quality. Can’t get enough of it.)
From there we headed over to the very large fleamarket on the edge of downtown and I picked up a Pogo book for only a $1 (fun fact: Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes, claims Pogo as one of his biggest inspirations. Tough to read at times, but I highly recommend checking out some of the comics.) Also found that sweet poster of Khan, but did not pick it up.
Once our legs were thoroughly tired out from walking, we got back into the car and continued northward still to Bangor. Hung out in a Tim Horton’s for a few hours, I read while Eric caught up on booking emails. In the evening we headed over to the Rock & Art Shop for our show. Seriously, if you get the chance you need to check out this shop It’s so crazy and awesome! Our good friend from college, Dan, showed up, along with a small handful of other people we’ve met on tour previously, and a bunch of locals. It was a really awesome and fun show, and included a small child dancing to some of the songs.
The couple that own the shop (and hosted us for the night as well as an awesome tour around some of Bangor’s awesome bars and an amazing brunch the next morning) won the bid on the painting for the night. Also, I seriously love that last photo, from the back room of the shop where I set the wet painting after the show.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take up their offer to stay for the night again. We had to be in Torrington, CT by early afternoon the next day, and had a 6 hour drive ahead of us. Instead we decided to begin driving south soon after the show, saying our goodbyes and thank yous.
We finally pulled off at an early morning hour into the Kenebunk, Maine Southbound Turnpike Service Plaza. Yes, the same one made famous because of John Hodgman’s Fresh Banana Man. (Listen to “Judge John Hodgman Episode 121: So Help You Pod, or Whatever” to understand our excitement to be at this location.) However, our hopes of getting to meet the Fresh Banana Man were fairly low. We were there so late at night that the fresh food stand was closed up. We slept in the parking lot of the service plaza for the night, and did check the next morning, but again, we had to hit the road so early that we really didn’t have the highest hopes. Plus, I found out later that the Fresh Banana Man doesn’t even work on Sundays. Oh well. Some other time. We did see some fresh lobsters though. Apparently you can buy Maine lobsters at this service plaza. Neat.
We arrived in Torrington with a bit of time to kill, so we wandered around the quaint New England town until the show started. See, the reason we were even in Torrington in the first place was because Keith, who’s helped us get a couple shows in Western Connecticut (including the last one we did before going to Korea), directed Evil Dead – The Musical for the local theater department in Torrington that year, and he gave us a couple comp. tickets! During all the showings the theater had been sold out, and we got in to the very last showing. Keith met us beforehand and warned us that, with this being the final showing, his stage hands had informed him that they had a lot of extra fake blood. We had to sign a release saying we wouldn’t sue if we happened to get drenched in blood, and before the lights went down a couple people handed out ponchos…
Well, as you can see, we didn’t exactly get drenched, but we were sitting 7 rows back from the stage, so image what the first couple of rows got! It was a good time. A good whole weekend, in fact.