Tuesday, September 30, 2008

manifest destiny

this morning we left the charming city of atlanta, GA to head westward towards the mighty pacific. we spent 2 delightfully relaxing days in HOTlanta, enjoying some home-cooked dinners, some interactive theater and the undisputed highlight: a bonafide drive-in movie. and yes, to address the elephant in the room and because i know you're all wondering, we did neck through all of 'lakeview terrace'. there's nothing quite like a painfully mediocre social commentary to get those hormones going!

we played saturday night at a place called 'smith's old bar.' the funny part is, smith didn't even remember he owned a place in atlanta! to be fair, the new bar is much more memorable, but still - it was funny. we opened there for a group called 'soup', a local favorite that gets together once a year for a reunion show. the room was full of their die-hards, who've been following them since their heyday in the '90s. it was a great room to play for and we were having a blast...until we had to lug all our gear down a staircase that made 'the exorcist' stairs look like a child's stepladder. luckily we fared better than father karras, and had only our pre-existing ailments to worry about - a swollen ankle for smith and bloody knuckles for heather.

on sunday we enjoyed a home-cooked dinner of grouper and squash, compliments heather's family friends, and caught a show by atlanta's illustrious OUT OF HAND theater called 'meds.' to our dismay, we failed to find a place to go paintballing on monday, which had been james cleare's birthday wish; apparently monday's not a good day to go paintballing in atlanta. so instead we spent the day relaxing and exploring little 5-points. when night fell, mike wowed all of us with his lasagna-making-MAD-SKILLZ and we feasted at the drive-in as samuel l. jackson argued that the only thing more annoying than snakes on a plane is a bi-racial couple next door. huh? ahhh hollywood.

needless to say, atlanta charmed all of us and it was hard to say goodbye - but birmingham calls, and so to birmingham we will go.

Until we meet again,
lead sled said

Friday, September 26, 2008

Last night we played in one of the neatest-named cities in all of America - Chattanooga, Tennessee. I hope I spelled both of those right...double consonants and vowels all over the place. We played at a place called rhythm & brews (cleeeeeeever) with a singer-songwriter out of Nashville named Katie Herzig and a Knoxville-based group called the Everybodyfields. It was an amazing night of music.

We packed sandwiches yesterday, which was cute. We put the sliced tomatoes in a separate bag so the bread didn't get soggy. We're cute. And ugly. And cute. But pretty ugly.

We like packing lunches because we can afford it, unlike gas, which, with the state of our current economy, is getting hard to find in certain cities, making it more expensive. Both Nashville and Chattanooga have more roped off gas stations than a green bean farm has caterpillars (which makes traveling a whole new kind of adventure). $700,000,000,000? hm... interesting...

And now going back to food (truly the most interesting topic on the bill), we had the extraordinary luck of having food prepared for us today by our friendly cabin neighbor "Dee Dee". It was incredible to have home cooked food out here on the roO-Ad. Fried fish, beef, fancy mac 'n cheese, green beans and turkey bacon and a nice tall glass of ginger ale to finish it all off. What.....a.....feast...
It was the four of us and Dee Dee sitting at the lunch table with some uninvited guests hiding out in the green beans.

And just in case you were wondering, yes that is a caterpillar.

All told, the cabin was a relaxing rock n' roll time filled with life giving life juices.

And now... onward and upward... (or downward and sideways if you are looking at a map of the nation) towards Greenville, SC.

Until next time friends,
~The Lead Sled

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

sitting in a tin can

After an intensely dream-filled night of sleep, we awoke in Heather's family cabin (except Mike - he slept in a tent outside). Conditions in Tennessee are absolutely beautiful: 72 degrees, clear skies, and no plans at all until tonight's show. We started off with a much needed grocery store run, after which our fridge was crammed with tasty breakfast foods. Then the great omelette feast of 2008 began, with Smith at the helm cooking up some brunch goodness. Cleare and Mike helped out while Heather, in true defiance of traditional feminine kitchen roles, elected not to participate in the culinary revelry. Okay...she made the toast, but really, how hard is that?

The feast was over and we headed down to the lake for some fishing and funness. There were lures, jigs, frisbees, soccer balls, fake worms, and some quality time spent on Heather's neighbor's dock. Though no fish were actually caught, and the frisbee accidentally found its way into the lake, it was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon.

After chilling-out/maxing/relaxing-all-cool for an hour, it was time to head off to Nashville, the location of tonight's show. We managed to avoid all speed-monitoring aircraft as we zipped down the highway. Due to Mike's unfamiliarity with Tennessee geography, we unknowingly crossed into central time some time during the two-and-a-half hour drive, landing us at the venue an hour early. The time was well spent on a trip to Grimley's, a fantastic record store above the venue, followed by some scootin' and rock in the van. This is how we did most of our promoting today:

Now it's time to load in the gear and get our sound-check on, so off we go...

the lead sled

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We are starting this blog on September 23rd 2008. Cleare is in the driver's seat doing what drivers do, Heather is in the passenger seat guarding the safe, Mikey and Smith are in the back being downright intelligent all the time and I'm barreling down I-95S like I own it. We have mobile broadband, drinks in the fridge, and lanterns hanging all around us (thanks to the newly-wed Ethringtons).

The first show of our first national tour is tomorrow night at a spot called 'The Basement' in Nashville, TN. After 11 short hours on the road today we will crash tonight in a cabin that Heather's great-grandfather built back in the olden days where everything was black and white and people walked like charlie chaplin all the time. There are fish heads on the wall and we will probably find a cute fuzzy animal in one of the cabinets. The cabin will serve as our home base for the first few days before we begin the couch-surfing adventure that will dominate the rest of this tour.

So far today we have eaten subs from capriottis (a delaware sandwich spectacular), purchased a spare tire for our trailer (better safe than sorry) and started this blog. Pretty darn productive for our first day on the road if you ask me.

So on and on we shall go, into the urban/suburban/rural wilderness of this country where our adventures shall unfold in directions not yet known. So friends, check yourselves before you wreck yourselves and we shall do the same.

Until we meet again,

~The Lead Sled