Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Morehead City Experience

Tomorrow the Port of Morehead City will see three ships, and the Manic Americans will eat five lunches.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Waiting for Dan in the Airport.

When I couldn't sleep, I thought about Kansas City. We met in the MCI airport before 9am central and scared the shit out of everyone on the rental car bus. Middle-aged travelers stared nervously at the airplane vignettes embroidered into the fabric of the bus seats as Dan, dressed as a Motley Crue groupie, and I, dressed as myself, rained verbal shock and awe upon the bus from its backmost compartment. We were stoked. We retrieved our MAGNUM LAND BARGE and laughed about it. We drove to Joplin, met our friends from the Near South Tour, ate BBQ and drank Michelob AmmberBock until we passed out in an alcoholic food coma, then woke up and ate Midwestern pizza until we passed out again, then ate the cold pizza for breakfast on the front porch as the Saga of the Headless Mannequins heated up.

It was absolutely fucking awesome.

Last night, anticipating further awesome, I passed out for three hours, took a cab to Logan, flew to Charlotte, flew to Wilmington. Haters in NY and Boston assured me I was flying into a hurricane and would be delayed all day. Absolutely not.

I had great seatmates. The first guy, a very burly and footballesque southerner, told me he could make a proton stop wherever he wanted it to inside my body. The second guy told me that his brother is making a killing as a hairdresser in Wilmington. His wife doesn't work, and he's raising two kids on cutting the hair.

Who the fuck marries a male hairdresser?

Anyway, here I am. Waiting for Dan in the airport once again. It's later in the day, but once we get some cue in us, the energy levels should be up, and we should be terrifying beachgoers, the elderly, and our friends, as usual.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

LBRDY: almost!

No matter how poorly today goes, tomorrow is the LBRDY beach retreat/road trip/bbq the middle of nowhere, NC. In 24 hours I'll be in the air and I won't look back for at least eight days.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

So far, Master Reset seems to be working.

Someone must have really messed with this phone in the store. Now I need to get some sleep so I can do 14 weeks of expense reports tomorrow. The days before going on vacation always feel like finals.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

myTouch Fiasco, Day One

I'm generally a supporter of opensource, and I'm creeped out by the Apple-AT&T hegemony, so I decided to buy a T-Mobile myTouch 3G after the first 12 hours of my workday today.

It took two very dedicated Radio Shack reps an hour, plus half a dozen phone calls at 9pm, to work with T-Mobile and their home office to update my account and get the phone correctly priced.

The good news is that the internet and voice service work great. The bad news is that those are the only things that work. I can't add contacts from the SIM or manually without the device crashing. The much-touted Gmail integration? It also freezes up the phone.

Three reboots have done nothing. I'm trying a master reset, and then I'm bringing the phone back.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Icon of the American Roadside, Exit 34, Gulfport, Ms. (DS09)

The title should really be "Wafflehawks." The full size photo is amazing in that it captures so much detail inside the restaurant. But if I post that, assholes will steal it and post it on their blogs--or, worse, news websites--and not credit me or even ask permission.

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Cover Band between Sets during a Crawfish Sunday, The Garage, Mobile, Ala. (DS09/DH09)

Wintzell's Oyster House, Mobile, Ala. (DS09)

Wintzell's Oysters Monterey, Mobile, Ala. (DS09)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Night Time is the Right Time (To Be on the Way to Savannah) (DS09)


The Rural East (Near Lyman, N.C.) (NCBBQII)

It's been so many thousands of miles and so many thousands of shots since I took this one...that I can't even remember if it's the shot I wanted. It's close. It'll do.

This is from May or June of 2008. Rob L. and I are coasting through half of N.C. on our second and better-planned bbq expedition. We've just seen the Chinquapin Gas Station for the first time (please click for story) and are about to discover the beach at Topsail Island.

Dan and I are going to Topsail next week. We're meeting Sandy and Michael there. We cleared out the week and rented a recession special beach house for half off. We're going to work on things that aren't our jobs, such as photos, music, and ourselves.

Of course, there will be barbecue as well. Do we call this trip LBRDY or BAR-B-BRDY?

I don't know. We sure do take a lot of trips.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Entering Mobile (DS09)

World's Most Disgusting Snack Food (DS09)

Louisiana Dash Ornament, Seen on the Florida Panhandle (DS09)

Friday, August 21, 2009

I am on the 7 in Queens and have rehearsal at noon in Boston. This dual mode shit is tiring.


More to come.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm on one of the first Southwest flights out of Logan, and it's PACKED. It's no wonder the legacy airlines are terrified.

Mad Men Premiere at Noir, Harvard Square

Complete insanity! The house was packed with people in period dress, some of whom admitted they didn't have cable at home. There were many more attendees than seats, and those seated kept whining that they couldn't see.

Downing Old Fashioneds and watching this show with dozens of fans who laugh at even the driest jokes is a great way to spend Sunday night.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

I wonder how much money I've saved and how much pollution I've spared the world

by being car-free for the past three years.


Channel, Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia (DS09)

Self-Portrait in Swampwater, Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia (DS09)

Rescue Boats, Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia (DS09)

Friday, August 14, 2009


I think I've finally started to figure this massive town out. Fulfillment must come in the form of a successful Infrastructure show here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I am grateful for the non-shitty people in my life. May the next 28 years...???

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Breakdown, Nameless Gas Station, Namless Town (DS09)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Deep South 2009 Crew in Alpharetta, Ga. (DS09)

Best trip yet!

We're working on our best travel idea ever, at the moment.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Yard Sale, Northeast Georgia (DS09)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Large Fiberglass Bulldog, Athens, Ga. (DS09)

Rob L. at Wuxtry Records, Athens, Ga. (DS09)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Why Boston Sucks, According to a Intercity Bus Line Employee

"Here come the drones," he says, watching an endless throng of blank-faced workers streaming through the Back Bay turnstiles at 8am. "Look at them. They're miserable. Every day, they look the same."

"You know why people are so miserable here? The public transportation is about ten times worse than it needs to be. In New York, the system is probably 30 times bigger and works perfectly, like clockwork, 24 hours a day. Here, it takes people 45 minutes to go six miles, and they have that stress to deal with every day. By the time they get to work, they're miserable.

"The roads are just as bad. I used to drive in from ********. It took me two hours to go forty miles. The traffic adds to the stress, too. People have to save all their errands for the weekends because they have no time during the week.

"A day doesn't last a day here. You wake up on Saturday, you buy your groceries, go to a function or whatever, and by the time you get there it's dark out.

"I'm from the country, the farms. We don't live like this"

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The double-deck Megabus to Hartford had reliable wifi (probably because the bus was only a third full). Now I'm sitting downtown in New England's Rising Star, which is still as segregated as ever. The insurance people are in the glass and concrete towers; the help is on the street transferring between city buses.

I am at once the only white person on the street *and* the only person using the city's wireless internet (also reliable, at the moment). The city's website claims that "two thirds of households lack a functioning computer and access to the Internet."

So, two questions:

1. If I can open up my laptop anywhere, and it can connect to the internet, why do I need to buy a USB wifi device?

2. Is it possible to fix the racial and economic divide in Hartford?

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31 minutes from Teele Sq to Back Bay on the 88, Red Line, and Orange Line. That must be some type of record.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Lawn Mower Man, Suburban Atlanta (DS09/DH09)

From the car.

Under the Smokestack, Dreamland BBQ, Norcross, Ga. (DS09/DH09)

Rib-Smoking Firewood, Dreamland BBQ, Norcross, Ga.


Sunday, August 02, 2009


is a really neat band from DC that I saw last night at Pete's Candy Store. They're playing in Inman Square tonight, at the Lily Pad. You should go.

Erich says they sound like a modest mouse, and so does their MySpace. Maybe it's the atypical rhythms. At any rate, there is some intriguing songwriting, musicianship, and instrumentation happening. I probably should have bought something from them.

It's hard to see bands from other cities that you've never heard of. Usually it's a gamble and it costs money. This is why places like Pete's and Toad (even though the latter books mostly local acts) are important. Fortunately, in these cases, the best way to support new music and local venues is by drinking beer.



In February of 2009, a halal food cart appeared on a certain corner in Jackson Heights. It never closed. In fact, it never left. Not even for a minute.

Where else in the city can you get a plate of cooked-to-order lamb with yellow basmati rice, salad, and fresh, sliced tomato...for $5? The "street meat" phenomenon is sweeping the city. Formerly the carts were scary, salmonella laden. Now they are intriguing, cool, hip. In Midtown the same meal would be $10, maybe more.

In Jackson Heights, the price is $5. At midnight, there are local drunks drinking locally, transient drunks arriving in yellow and livery cabs, and the cab drivers themselves, all queuing to purchase food off the griddle. Some are having the lamb over rice; some are having the chicken over rice. Those short on cash are having the halal hot dog: just "$0.99" as advertised on the cart's sides.

"Where else can you get a hot dog for a dollar?!" shouts the cart's owner emphatically. He's standing outside the cart, wearing a 99-cent short-sleeved plaid shirt and barking commands to the younger guy inside the cart in Hindi or Urdu or whatever the fuck. He's drinking a Schwepps Ginger Ale from a can and sweating profusely.

"We've been here six months," says the guy. "People complain. Fucking white people. Fucking fags. They complain that we are here! We are serving people twenty-four hours! What is the problem? The symbol of New York is twenty-four hours!"

We agree with this assertion and surrender our five-dollar bill. Then, with THANK YOU COME AGAIN bag in tow, we head down to the magazine shop that the guy also owns. We take a six-pack of Miller Lite out of the fridge, then realize that there are two deeply hidden six-packs of Sam Adams in another fridge. We atempt to put the Miller Lite back. "WHY ARE YOU PUTTING THAT BACK?!" shouts a voice. "We're trading up." "Okay."

In these exchanges, a primordial, undisputable truth of New York makes itself completely clear: the city is a pay to play place, no matter where you're from and as long as someone is taking your money.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Now stuck in New York vortex, making odd music.