July 14, 2004

There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues, as the song goes. But then there’s also that song about there being hot fun in the summertime. Experts agree these are the two generally accepted angles on the whole summer situation, and we are no exception. Our May/June tour was hot hot hot like Suzanne Somers — Antietam were mighty every night, Bonnaroo was dirty and gritty (didn’t seem to be a shadow in the Bonnaroo), and our first-ever visits to Little Rock and Mexico City were insane and delicious. And the Lakers lost! Thanks to Marky, Gilly, Billy, Michael, and everybody who came – it was nice meeting you, if we met you.

Many years ago, Joni Mitchell drew a map of Canada and it’s a good thing she did. Otherwise we might never have found Vancouver, where we were thrilled to play with the Gay – their uniforms made ours look drab. In Seattle, we met up with Antietam and searched the Showbox in vain for Rick Nielsen guitar picks. Portland was rainy, making this nice poster an eerie coincidence.

Three nights in San Francisco, or “Frisco” as the locals call it, were awesome! We hung with local celebrities, played “Every Pretty Girl” and “Scissors” with Barbara and Terri Manning, saw the sights, and played “Shake Some Action,” “I Can’t Hide” and “Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown” with Cyril Jordan!

Around this time it began to get very, very hot outside. In L.A. – the city that never sleeps – we found that when one door closes, another opens and lets you hang with local celebrities. Tucson – too darn hot, still we we found the energy to hang with local celebrities. Albuquerque – also hot, compounded with the news that the M&J Sanitary Tortilla Factory had shut down, almost insurmountably so. But Georgia knows the show must go on!

Austin + 800 degrees + outdoor show + there’s a motorcycle rally 20 feet away = touchdown! Team players to a fault (just ask anyone), we didn’t do "Speeding Motorcycle" or "Little Honda," but we took a whack at "Wasn’t Born to Follow" from the Easy Rider soundtrack. And Ira joined Antietam for "Two-Headed Dog!" Oh, it was also the night of the Texas Pride parade. Who else but Austin could pull off that combo? Dallas – we arrived at the club to find this poster on the door and this poster on the wall – the second oddest welcome we’ve ever received. Then we packed up and got our passports ready for our first-ever show in Little Rock, AR, and it was ducktastic!

It’s now even hotter outside. Memphis was so hot that no one took any photos, but James did buy this great 45 by the Malibus. In St. Louis we played a fun in-store at the fantastic Euclid Records, and bid farewell to Antietam. See them if you can, and by all means pick up their new record Victory Park.

Bonnaroo – good god was it hot. Oh man. Luckily we were able to seek relief in the presence of the always-cool Todd Barry . We jammed with the String Cheese Incident, saw Neko Case with the Sadies, Patti Smith, and a little of Bob Dylan, and I think maybe Chris Robinson in the catering tent. Sweet. Till we realized that we had left our tents, sleeping bags and hacky sacks back in Texas. Sheepishly, we got the hell out of there and went straight to—

MEXICO CITY! Where, if freetranslation.com is to be trusted . . .

. . . fuimos saludados por tiempo de 70 grados encantador, Alfonso, Uili y el Monica muy-bien vestido. No sólo era nuestra primera exposición en México, era nuestra primera visita de cualquier tipo. Tuvimos un tiempo tremendo, y el concierto emocionaba realmente. Seremos espalda, como algún gobernador dijo una vez.

Who likes bunny rabbits? Everybody, that’s who, but especially James, who has designed a t-shirt for Seattle’s estimable Sonic Boom Records shop.

Does anyone have video of The Millionaire on "Jeopardy!"? Hook us up.

Robert Quine R.I.P,