music is the doctor

We arrived home from tour last night at 3am crawling through the front door sweaty and wired/tired. Our Maximum Mayflowers tour is over! We ate an entire bag of munchos on the drive from Lawrence to Shawnee.
Saw some lightning on the way home and also a deer. Luckily the deer moved out of the way. That 20 mile stretch of Hwy 10 is COUNTRY. Reminds me of my youth. You don’t want to break down cause no one is around to help you. The black night and zillions of stars and just you on the road.
Maybe it’s going away for a couple weeks and then coming back that makes this place feel more like home. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.
I felt myself exhaling the minute we got in and I slept really well last night. Our bed here is way more comfortable than I remember….the basement seems cleaner too. I just had breakfast in the backyard.  I must be a sight for the neighbors (and the neighbors really do look at you here) having coffee at the picnic table with my hair mussed up, my smeared mascara from last night’s makeup and my “nan and matt in cocoa beach” tee shirt and leggings. I just waved to them and grinned. I’m like Keith Richards in the suburbs.
Gummo is looking very healthy. His fur is softer than ever – I think it’s the water here. He met us at the door, gave a little chirpy meow, and proceeded to turn his back on us.  I think he had a good time with Harry while we were away. We are nobody to him now.

My tour cold is better. Turns out though that adrenalin is a great thing. While we were playing every night I would be fine and then the cold would come back post-show. We were able to eat pretty well on the tour – looking up Whole Foods on the gps in whatever town we were in and ransacking their salad bar. kale! We stopped at three whole foods: Ypsilanti (technically Ann Arbor but it’s always Ypsi to me…I love Ypsi!), Madison, and Omaha.  We stopped at two co-ops for fruit, coffee, nuts, and snacks: one in Milwaukee that was great, and one in Champaign, IL.  I think I ordered at least 4 spinach salads at various restaurants. Spinach is the key to health – popeye wasn’t wrong. Every other day or so I’d just shove leaves into my mouth. Like a deer. We also brought our own coffee and french press on the road. And you know we TOTALLY used it. Note to touring bands. DO THIS. Then when you wake up you can just make it – you don’t need to bug anybody, or wait for the rest of your band to wake up and forage outside for it. Also Matt brought steel cut oats and we cooked them at least 4-5 mornings. The one thing that sorta fell off my routine is exercise. The first week I ran/stretched a few times, and swimming in Peg & Geoff’s pool was awesome – but once I got my cold I just said fuck it to any exercise outside of drumming.
I learned to become a master of killing time pre show. Computers & coffeehouses make this easy. However I did not read a damn thing on this tour. Maybe a magazine once. My brain has atrophied a little, however I’ve become adept at talking to strangers and meeting people, and asking for what I need. What time do we have to be there? Where are we going to eat?  Do you have wifi? Can I use your shower? We once played with a band in France called “Smelly Shower”. I’ve thought about this name many times, perhaps too much. The contradictory nature of it kills me. smelly smelly smelly. In a shower!!?

Matt is still tripping out over the guy from Lincoln, NE who told him he looked like Roy Orbison. This guy was a correctional officer/secret drummer musician. He was so enthusiastic that I couldn’t help liking him. We had some big turnouts and small turnouts at shows and one thing I noticed again and again was that every time I would feel like “oh maybe they aren’t into it- what the hell” – someone would come up and tell us how much they enjoyed it – or if we had a so so show one nite – then the next show would be magical and validating. The process of touring really does teach you how to not cling to expectations…how to roll with things more….to be present in the moment more…because it’s ALWAYS going to be different than you expect it to be.

We met some amazing people and bands on the road. The kindness people have shown us melts my heart and breaks it and glues it back into little pieces. It makes doing what we love to do POSSIBLE and so much better. Thank you new and old friends.  I will be seeing more of you in days to come – and on future tours!

(short list though there are more i’m forgetting i’m sure:
thank you jim cherewick, max at halfway house & restless days, tedward from the whole shabangs, christopher the conquered, sleepy kitty, coed pageant, indy hostel, the rutabega and josh, peg & geoff in south bend, amy roth, landing on the moon, tenderness wilderness, island of misfit toys, shannon, warsaw vices, venus in furs, deco auto, the ants.)

Here’s some pictures. You already know by now Matt is the real picture taker of our band – but I got a few of em.

The wonderful band Sleepy Kitty in their art loft in St. Louis.

Jim Cherwick in his backyard in Ypsilanti.

A poem I spotted at a cafe in Ypsi:

Christopher the Conquered in Ames, Iowa (and his brass band! there is a girl sax player that i couldn’t reach with my ipod)

Lawrence, KS pre-show sky:

Chad of The Ants killin it (Lawrence, Ks show)

A couple notes:
For eyeshadow wearing musicians: Stay away from wet and wild eyeshadows. yes, they’re cheap but they fall apart cause they’re so cheap. smoky glitter eye dust exploded all over everything in my makeup bag. ew.

Our new car Waylon Jennings performed great on the tour.  He handled our gear like a zen master, got good gas mileage, and we only had to throw oil in him once.

*We are playing the best fleamarket I’ve ever seen in my whole life on Sunday May 27th at Cowtown Ballroom at 3pm.
*We are opening for GRASS WIDOW on June 4th at Record Bar in KC (9:00pm) !! We love Grass Widow.  I’m so excited about this. Found out their drummer Lillian is from Centralia, washington which is next door to Chehalis where I grew up. crazy!
*Our next U.S. tour commences June 21st! Dates/Info soon. We’re going out 3 weeks for the next one – including a 3 day stop in NYC!!

self portrait at coney island in february


About ntwildstyle

I am a musician, writer, singer, improv actor, dancer and a virgo. I live in Kansas City, MO after many years in NYC.
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