Our first time playing in Kansas City was just as good as the BBQ. It was an early show at a really cool all ages record store and coffee shop. We played with Busey, of course, and Kill Vargas from Wichita, some kids touring on their new LP who weren’t even old enough to drink but had no problem with the rock ‘n roll. KC punk rock locals, VidCo Kult and Red Kate, filled out the bill. Definitely check out Sister Anne’s if you’re in the area. Not too many of these all ages venues out there. Shawn from Red Kate was a hell of a host and gave us the lowdown on lots of KC history. He even took us to a show later that night at miniBar to see the Hipshot Killer album release and drove us to O’Reilly’s when we were having trailer issues. We got it all ironed out and we’re back on the road headed to St. Louis.
We kicked off our Two Bands One Van tour with Busey in Iowa City at Trumpet Blossom Cafe. It was good to be back in America’s heartland and this time at a new venue that our old friend and fellow split EP mate, Kane, set up. Kane’s new band, Spider Magnets played as well. Iowa City noise punks, Zuul, were also there to lend their noise and close out the night. Someone left the van door open all night, but the next morning, we enjoyed a light continental breakfast at Alexis Park Inn & Suites and Todd knocked on the wrong door and an angry, half naked man did not seem very pleased.
Check out our Daze Inn tour video for “Highway 76”. It’s our first offish vid, yo!
This show was kind of bittersweet since it was the last stop on tour. But, of course, after 10 days on the road everyone is kind of ready to go home. We stopped at a Big Boy on the way there and it was delicious. Our server Ebony told us to “Tear up the club” before we left. Todd bought a Big Boy t-shirt and then realized after leaving he had left it there. He wanted to drive back to get it but that got voted down but I guess they’re going to mail it to him so it is a happy ending. This wasn’t our first time playing in Iowa, but it was our first time in Iowa City. We played at a place called the Iowa City Yacht Club and it was a very cool venue with two levels. They also have great rock ‘n’ roll themed grilled cheese sandwiches. It was quick sets (30 minutes) with 4 bands playing. The sound was great and we definitely enjoyed ourselves. The other bands were great and very friendly. Kate Kane from Maiden Mars set the whole thing up and we can’t wait to play with those guys again because they’re bitching and self-described Wiccan as Fuck. The ouji board part got a little freaky, but it was a tour first. The Daze Inn tour was—if I can use the words of Kate Kane—sick nasty—until next one.
It had been exactly one year since we last played at the historic Melody Inn in downtown Indianapolis. It’s definitely one of our favorite stops. We made it in time to catch the end of Hillbilly Happy Hour which got the patrons nice and rowdy before our show started. We always like to spot other MN band stickers at the Mel so we were looking for those as well as ours that we had stuck somewhere last time. Our friend Kat aka Das NastyKat Baller was there being the coolest. Not only is she in a sweet Indy (and I guess indie) band called manners, please—she’s a hunk of gold amongst a pile of pebbles and we love her. Without her there would be a lot less screaming during our guitar solos. We were very fortunate to have Oscillate TV show up and film our entire set. You will be able to see footage online very soon so check them out. The bands really kicked ass and Johnny Z, the bassist from Smokes, had a Sunn amp head luckily that he let Courtney borrow since hers had been having issues since the show in Louisville. We hope to get back to Indy soon.
Loo-a-vul or Loo-E-ville or however the hell Y’all pronounce it…you sure know how to throw a party. We would like to thank you for the first ever complimentary champagne brought to an Ultrasounds show, and permission to blow up the Tower of Doom in the back of the Magnolia Bar (eat. 1937) patio. We figured we’d light off the fireworks we bought in Indiana where it was most illegal. Beanie the bar owner told us to have fun with it and to come back again so I guess he wasn’t too mad at us. He was a sweet dude who peed in Bob Seger’s yard when he was touring with his band in the ’90s. The venue side of the bar had about a dozen sweet ’90s arcade games like Mortal Combat and Shinobi that surround you when you play. All the bands were fuzzy as hell and Danny and Jessica of Scuzz Master let us crash at their place after the show. They’re cool dudes and their band rocks. Cheers to our new pals in Louisville. Also we got to see Colonel Sanders grave on the way out of town because how can you visit Louisville without saying “hi” to the Colonel?
Columbus, Ohio is bigger than we thought…it is the 15th largest city in the nation but feels a lot smaller. I guess that’s why they call it the biggest little city in the world or something. Cafe Bourbon Street was probably one of the more divey’r dives we played. A young and angsty local female punk trio PMS opened the night. They recorded their demo on an iPhone which they were giving out for free with some hand-crafted buttons. There was a surprise local act that followed our set. Imagine Kurt Cobain giving less of a fuck…and that is Chuck. He started his set by saying “I don’t have a band but it’s Chuck the fuck hour. I’m going to make noise as long as you will let me and I promise I will behave.” He flailed around on stage and sometimes would whisper indiscernible words into the mic. He wanted Courtney to play bass with him and even offered to drive home to get his gear. We didn’t make too much money but we did get free Blatz. We also picked up our buddy Christ’s cymbals (from Morality Crisis) that he left at the venue months ago during their tour. Our gracious pals Blake and Megan let us stay at their place and then we spent the rest of the next morning getting Ol’ Whitey’s fuel injector fixed up. See you soon Louisville…hopefully.
We LOVED Pittsburgh! Our first stop, was a magical place called Randyland. We were crestfallen since Randy himself was not there but his artist informed of us that he was being recognized to possibly receive a grant to put towards his masterpiece that is Randyland. We were baffled that the majority of locals that we talked to hadn’t heard of it when we had heard about it online. Do yourself a favor and check it out…you won’t be let down. We were surprised to find out that most restaurants were byob and that bars allow smoking inside. We were transported back to the late 90’s when we saw a cigarette vending machine in some local dive bar.
We arrived at Howlers and were greeted by the infamous Manny. He is the guy who put the show together and who is a focal point of much Pittsburgh music scene lore including having Kurt Cobain crash on his couch. He was a character to say the least and a Manny of all trades. The locals we played with were rad and we danced a bunch. After the show we stayed with our good pals Jesse and Steph from The Lopez and their 4 beautiful cats. It was the closest we felt to home yet on this trip. They are great people and we are sure we will see them again very soon. Just when we thought Pittsburgh couldn’t get any better we found out that Pee Wee Herman’s bike was at a place called Bicycle Heaven, a museum of over 3000 bikes. They were friendly folks who then suggest we check out Get Hip Records, a large record distributor that is owned by Gregg from the band The Cynics. We met a guy named Jason who let us explore a bit. Even though there weren’t any statues, it was a monumental experience and we can’t wait to come back.
After tragedy struck when we got booked into a bed bug infested shit hole (University Hotel & Suites in Cleveland…never do it) and briefly lost the van keys it looked like our good luck had finally ran out and our first time in Cleveland wasn’t going to be great. Todd had to argue with an old Asian man at the front desk and Hotwire on the phone for around 10 years to get a refund. Here are some humorous and accurate quotes about the hotel we narrowly escaped from others online reviews:
“Like visiting the depths of hell.”
“Most dirty hotel in the USA.”
“Worst hotel on the face of the earth.”
“A stink hole.”
“Like something out of a third world country.”
But then we got to Now That’s Class and everything changed. The place was punk rock as hell and there were skate ramps in the side room. They even have a 40oz of the month club. The people were good and the drinks were strong. We loved the other bands and people showed up even though it was downpouring and a Monday. Next day we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because when in Rome, you know? I guess touring bands can get in for free. Too bad we found that out later.