Friday, February 20, 2009


Played last at L’Abordage in Evreux, FR, a small night club within a youth center. Drinks were served. We were well provided for here, as we have been everywhere in France. In a room upstairs we were served a full vegetarian meal, Indian food, from a woman who later said, “I know how it is to be traveling and to have no nice things to eat, but you have good food and drink and then you are happy, and you play a better show.” There were even some leafy greens, and at least I was happy to have the fiber after having eaten nothing but bread and cheese for two days. Also in attendance for the devout gormandizers were bizarre green vegetable cakes, cold boiled carrots, and shredded cabbage.

Drunk kids with studded belts thronged outside before but were weeded out during the show, leaving an older crowd than we are used to. Nor snoots nor farts nor codgers, they were an assembly of enthusiastic and kind people. The stage and room are small, and we were expected to play for an hour and a half—we only know an hour’s worth of songs, so when, for perhaps the second time in our careers, the small audience demanded an encore, we asked “Connaissez-vous Les Misfits” and “Aimez-vous Weezer” and played songs by each of those bands. Poor Bo’neil has been working (not working) with a busted Marshall valve amp that blows out each time the fuse is replaced and was forced to leave the stage in shame before the final song, “Undone.”

We have still had some fun trying to communicate with folks here. When someone last night asked “How did you get to French,” I responded “en avion” which I thought was the answer to their question, “by airplane” and the whole group shared a laugh. Real cute. Someone who had bought an LP later asked if we could sign the sleeve for his friend Frank, who is “The ODB of France.” He had something better to do that night.

A taste of tour’s naggy bits. I found myself briefly at odds with my friends when I noticed they tend to ask what X is like “out here.” To say “out here” is to suggest, boy, here we are in the middle of the fucking desert, I’m dying of thirst and civilization is a thousand miles away. Everybody believes it is an acceptable phrase, which is fine, who am I anyway?, but have since switched to “over here,” which in my estimation is better.

Four hour drive today from Evreux to St. Malo on the northwest coast of France to play the Route du Rock festival with such bands as Women, The Magnetic [wait for it] Friends and Chairlift, who through a strange series of events we played with at a wedding party at the Lit Lounge in New York. Not a moment ago we were at the Esso station when my internalities were goaded by last night’s fiber and this morning’s cafĂ© long, and I was forced to, as the French say, faire caca. I had to consult Bo and Jack re the geometric realities of my b-hole vis-a-vis the lidless & rimless toilet, but the situation resolved itself before I crossed emergency’s filthy threshold. I grabbed the coathook before me and bent like a praying mantis and voila!

A motif: French are not puritans like we Americans. We saw a durex dispenser in the street in Montbeliard, tampon baggies beside hotel toilets in plain view, and the club in Paris even had a unisex bathroom. Point taken, mes amis. Why hide it?

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