Read below for our most current tour diary...and check our tour diary archive for more pics and stories.

U.S. Summer Tour July 11– August 10, 2005


July 11
SANTA CRUZ CIVIC CENTER—SANTA CRUZ, CA


Jo: Hey tour-diary readers! The bus picked us up early in the morning from the Sheraton at the SF airport and drove us to sunny Santa Cruz to get these Le Beckre gigs started. We got familiar with our new home-away-from-home, chose our bunks, checked out the VHS tape selection on board etc. The bus parked at the venue and we wandered around. Drinking coffee on the sidewalk we ran into Will (hey willpower!), Dusty (LT crew veteran), and Michelle (who gave us perfect haircuts backstage after the show). We ate falafel, went shopping at the drug store, and waited around for soundcheck. I'm reading The Commanders (Bob Woodward) and JD's reading The Executioner's Song (Norman Mailer). Soundcheck was brief and traumatic, our set was short and to the point, but hey, that's the way it goes sometimes.

July 12
SAN JOSE, CA


JD: Today we made it up to San Jose for our second show with Beck. The show was fun, especially because we saw our friends, Gravy Train!!!! dancing crazy while we played. Their new record, "Are You Wigglin?" came out today! So we got cds and all kinds of new Gravy Train!!!! merchandise including some turquoise hotpants. After the show we went onto the bus for our first real bus party! We ran into a bunch of girls who had made signs and homemade Le Tigre shirts with keyboards on them that looked super cool. Then we got on the buzzle and we hung out with The Train and we played a game where we tried to recreate a picture of Brontez looking at his balls in horror. It was the best game we ever played. Then there were a couple of imitations etc. Fun with digital cameras... What else can we say...

Kathleen says... "suck it" 


Junx and Jo and Funx and Hunx looking at someone's uncanny replication of 'The Brontez Ball Picture'


JD showing off Janelle's Sharpie work. Boobs 4 eva.


Seth imitating JD.


July 14
QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATER—VANCOUVER, BC

JD: Vancouver was a blast!!! We had the night off before the show and went and had drinks with our pals from new york who were in Vancouver shooting the next season of The L Word. Yes you heard it, The L Word. I got to take a beautiful walk on the water with Bitch (from Bitch and Animal fame) and Daniella who scored a new role on The L Word this season. Yippee!!! We had macrobiotic smoothies and went out for drinks with Alan Cumming and the Le Tigre touring party. It was a delight to spend some off time with pals. The show in Vancouver was great too because even though it was a seated theater there were a bunch of people up and dancing while we played. That hasn't happened very often during these shows with Beck, so it was really a treat for us. Vancouver loves us and we love Vancouver. After the show we had a party backstage which quickly moved out to the bus where we could play loud music and dance the night away. Since we didn't have a proper record release party for Gravy Train!!!! we figured we should really give them props on an amazing record. Kathleen hit the cd player in the front lounge, cranked up the speakers, flicked on the disco lights and there it was... The best bus party we have ever had, smiles galore. We listened to the whole record and then went back for our favorites and no one got bored. Three cheers for Gravy Train!!!! and for our old and new friends from Vancouver. Thanks for a great night.

JD and Alan Cumming trying to look really cute.

Kathleen and Bitch posing for the camera. 

Check out this rad dance party on our bus!!!

JO and Kathleen getting down to Gravy Train!!!!
photo by Jonathan Kreinik

 

July 15
THE PARAMOUNT—SEATTLE, WA
 


Jo: I woke up early and drank coffee on the bus, recovering from our Gravy Train dance party the night before, and waiting for a decent hour to call my friend Shaun so I could make him take me to breakfast somewhere. He took me to a delicious french place where he horrified me by eating what looked like a milky-white embryo on toast, but that's not what it was really. Then we went to a consignment shop and he almost convinced me to buy a necklace of giant triangular wooden beads before he had to go to his job (he does hair at Vain). So then we did our usual boring stuff like our vocal warm-up tape and sound check blah blah blah. Our show had a calisthenic/vaudeville vibe. The stage felt like a walk-in freezer and we gave our all to a tough crowd saving their love for Beck. Post-show I drank some vin rouge and socialized until suddenly I became very very sleepy. 

This is McRorie, the one man-midi-band who we played with for a few of the Beck dates.
 


July 16
MEMORIAL COLISEUM—PORTLAND, OR

JD: Today we woke up in the parking lot of the Memorial Coliseum. Jo and I worked out at the Holiday Inn and then I went to Chipotle Grill and Radio Shack which sucked. Then we sound-checked in the crazy huge metal coliseum that had so much crazy slap delay on everything that we couldn't tell what was us and what was the echo of us!!! That was rough. Then we played the show and heard our friends and Kathleen's family cheering from far into the crowd, which was so nice. After the show we hung out backstage for a while with Kathleen's awesome family and family friends until I had to go to my dj gig at The Dunes with Nathan from The Gossip. The party is called Suicide Club and it was the same party that we saw Lesbians On Ecstasy play last year. We had such a good time spinning for all of the happy lesbians and dancing fags. It pretty much ruled. Then I got picked up by Jo in a car so that we could make our curfew on the bus... Just in time... and we were off to San Francisco for a nice day off!


July 18
BILL GRAHAM CIVIC CENTER—SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Jo:
This was a fun show, even though they spelled our name wrong on the marquee and I broke a guitar string in the first 20 seconds of On The Verge (our first song!) I was nervous because we had so many friends and family-members watching us in a 8,500 capacity venue, but after a few minutes on stage it just felt like a normal show. Gina Schock from the GoGo's came back-stage to say hi and we were totally star-struck! Some people went around the corner to a bar, I went and found my sister and we watched the Beck show together. And luckily my mom made brownies for the bus so nobody went to bed hungry.

Kathlenn and Gina

Backstage, Kathleen and Jo pose for their Throat Coat Tea ad campaign


July 19
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY BOWL—SANTA BARBARA, CA

Kathleen: This was our first outdoor show with the Beckster and the crowd was loving us (hahaha). No really, they warmed up to us after a few songs. The amphitheatre we played in was like fake ancient Rome AKA the set of The Flintstones. I was sleep-deprived (as was much of the band and crew) so the show would prove to be an experiment in sleep deprivation slash delerium. The theme of the show was "this crowd can suck it" which I know SOUNDS mean, but believe me, after being on tour, off and on for a year, there are times when it just can't be about CONNECTING with the crowd , its about SURVIVING them, especially when you're the opening band and you feel like you are totally on acid. I'm sure I seemed totally wasted since I was talking to myself off mic between songs and laughing hysterically at complicated jokes I was making in my own head. On top that we were using every opportunity to tell each other secretly to "suck it." At some point JD  acted like there was something  wrong with the sampler so I would go over to her area and find the sneaky piece of bright orange tape she had left me a little message on. Appropriately, it said "suck it." It was one of those rare Wonderful/Terrible shows that I will remember for a long, long time. 

 

July 20
THE AVALON—LOS ANGELES, CA

Jo: We played one of our first shows ever with Electrelane in London. At the time we were completely fascinated by their garage-y, haunted space-travel aesthetic and regal stage presence and they've only gotten better since then. This summer I painted my kitchen with their new album "Axes" on repeat. So needless to say we were happy to see them for our first headline show of the tour, although our pre-show routine was disrupted by some ominous signs. A huge pipe (part of the lighting rig) came crashing down on to the stage as Electrelane was walking on for their sound check, nearly hitting Verity (who plays keyboards for Electrelane). Then, as I was ironing our pink stage outfits (we wanted them to look good for Ben and Jennie, who designed them) I somehow ironed a big black mark onto the white neckline of Kathleen's dress. I went into a superstitious stress-out, but everything ended up fine. The crowd was on fire straight through the opening song of Gram Rabbit's acid-head movie score to our fucked-up encore (the DVD skipped during Deceptacon)! Thanks everybody! After the show we drank champagne with friends, and planned a pool party at our hotel for the next day. I was incredibly relieved when Ben and Jennie said they could fix Kathleen's dress. Outside the club a good-looking kid who claimed to work at the MAC counter at Nordstrom delivered a scathing-but-loving critique of the show which we found deeply validating.

Jo at the pool party, photo by Bil McMillian


JULY 21

DAY OFF—LOS ANGELES, CA

JD: Today was really great for me. I stayed at my friend Emily's house and we had a wonderful day full of delicious breakfast and swimming and then dinner with my aunt and her girlfriend. And then I djed at two different parties, after watching The Go Team!! play at the Troubadour. What a wonderful day. The second party that I djed was our friend Rudy and Jeppe from Junior Senior's party in downtown LA. I had so much fun! It was absolutely amazing. Electrelane came and we danced all night. We got so fucking sweaty it was incredible. Check out these pics!

Jeppe and Jo and JD behind the dj booth getting really sweaty. Wow check out the sweat rings!!!

Rudy and JD and Jeppe partying down at "Little Pedros"

My pal emily getting down to the tunes at the party! Recognize her from my arm. I have a portrait tattoo of emily on the back of my arm!!!

 

July 22
BECK SHOW AT UNIVERSAL AMPHITHEATER—LOS ANGELES, CA


JD: This was our last show of our short but sweet tour with the Beck-ster.The show was in this really huge amphitheater in Universal City so there was all kinds of people taking tours of Universal Studios right outside our dressing room. Weird! It was a pretty fun show and we had a bunch of fans spread out among the thousands of Beck fans. So it was nice to see people dancing and singing along and cheering for us in little pockets all over the place. Then we got to hang out after the show with our friends and family. Kathleen's sister and her friend came out to LA to see the show and my aunt and her pals were there, who I love so much! We just kind of hung out and watched people all night in the VIP area. Including a bunch of young boys who i ended up doing a photo shoot with, and some young girls who we met and hung out with for a while. Then we were off in the bus to Las Vegas. Finally time to play the slots and hit the roulette wheel. Tomorrow Le Tigre is playing on "The Strip"!


JD with a group of 11-13 year-old boys. It looks like a band photo, right?!

Notice how the girl on the right constructed a tank top out of a men's Le Tigre blue ringer shirt!

 

July 23
LAS VEGAS, NV


Kathleen: Tonight we played the House of Blues inside the Mandalay Bay Casino in Vegas, which I'm sure sounds like a total nightmare, but it was actually really great.The kids were total adorable jumping bean weirdos and the sound was awesome (thanks to the people who run the place for having a decent PA and to our sound crew, Mary and Jonathan.) It was kind of surreal cuz our bizarre feminist punk rock/performance type thing was happening inside this gnarly casino filled with hyper-normal suburban types doing as many boring "bad things" as possible on their vacations. Electrelane was amazing tonight. They are so cerebral and soundtracky to me, while at the same time being completely-absolutely-stunningly moving, i.e. I feel like I am gonna cry whenever I hear them. Verity has the most perfect voice, it is so effortless and huge. Mia, their guitar player, reminds me a little of Michelle, the original bass player for Babes in Toyland, just cuz she has a really intense stage presence that is so understated and sexy, especially when she does this thing I like to call the horse hoof dance. She has totally pioneered her own subtle, just-at-the-right-time, guitar style. The fact that women can create such swooping dynamics as a team gives me a lot of hope. I can't really say any of this to their faces though, maybe I'll tell them to read this so they'll know how I feel. Anyways, after the show we all went to the New York New York casino and I got kicked out for not having ID. I guess yelling "but I am 36 years old" all the way to the door wasn't a great plan. So I returned to the bus with the ten dollars I was planning to gamble and made a really big sandwich.

Electrelane rocking in Las fuckin' Vegas

 

July 24
SOMA—SAN DIEGO, CA

JD: Well, today was another super fun exciting day in San Diego. Complete with a trip to the gym, Target, Mexican food, and In and Out Burger. Phew it was actually pretty exhausting. With the Beck leg of tour over, it was time to say hello to our fans for good, and this show was the perfect place to do it. San Diego is always great. We have so much fun with the kids there who love to dance and cheer and give us so much love. The show was great even though Gram Rabbit couldn't make it because of flooding... So it was just Electrelane and us and we just want to say thanks so much for waiting all that time to all of our fans. We know it can get grueling sometimes when you show up really early and then no bands come on for a a few hours. yikes. After the show my friends, Eden and Emily, and I went onto the Electrelane bus for our first real bus party with those girls. It was really really fun to hang out together on their super cool bus. Basically kids, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

 

July 26
GOTHIC THEATRE—DENVER, CO

Jo: I woke up on the bus to a note on the dry-erase board in the front lounge that David, our driver was going to have to take the bus in for a repair, so we were going to have to get our stuff off the bus early and hang out in the venue. Carmine and Jonathan were awake, with a fresh pot of coffee, and Carmine had already conducted a video interview with David regarding the problem with one of the wheels (I don't know, something about a ball bearing). The only problem with hanging out in the venue was the overwhelming odor of MOLD. Frankly, it made everyone a little cranky. And I got a really disgusting salad at the sandwich place next door which didn't improve my mood. The pervert Kathleen and I encountered in the supermarket didn't make us very happy either. But backstage Amy lit a candle, got crazy with the febreeze, and the vibe improved. After the show, we partied like we had spent the whole day trapped in a moldy cave and had a day off the next day, which fortunately we did! Some of us got extremely rowdy with Gram Rabbit and some strangers on Electrelane's tour bus. Let's just say there was a hot dispute (still unresolved) regarding proper arm-wrestling form which prevents me from declaring a champion. Kathleen, strangely, was not not involved with these antics. She was back on our own bus watching Some Kind of Monster (the Metallica documentary). We eventually calmed down, piled back on the bus and began our long drive.

The ingenious parking lot clothesline in St.George


The beautiful sunset in St. George, photo by Jonathan Kreinik

 

July 28
EMO'S BIG ROOM—AUSTIN, TX

Jo: We arrived in Austin refreshed by our day off in St. George, Utah where we spent the day at a top-notch Hampton Inn (pool party, family field trip to see War of the Worlds which sucked except for a few hilarious moments, non-competitive badminton in the parking lot, gorgeous sunset). The last time we played at Emo's it was an unseasonably cold April and it actually snowed the day of our show. It was so cold we couldn't stretch our video screen onto the frame, and in an effort to snap it on we heated it up with a hair dryer and melted little patches of it, causing permanent damage to our beloved fast-fold! Well, we didn't have that problem this time. It was so freaking hot it looked like we had just emerged from a jacuzzi together when we walked off stage. The show was very very fun despite the heat and the weird support column on stage that isolates the band-member on the samp side. Someone handed me a pair of sunglasses that I wore intermittently throughout the set, and that later JD used as a disguise to run unrecognized (haha) between our bus and Electrelane's.


July 29
ENGINE ROOM—HOUSTON, TX


JD: Tonight was pretty fun, but it sure was hot again... I can't believe how hot it gets down here in the summer time. Dana, the sound person for Electrelane, and I tried to play badminton but we got so sweaty and hot that it was just gross. So we gave up. I decided to wear my contact lenses for the first time during the show and it was pretty fucking weird, especially since there was so much smoke in the club. I felt like my eyes were about to roll offstage and into the crowd and then people were going to jump on them. I got so hot. It was crazy. I was wearing a rainbow bandana on my head, and then out of nowhere someone threw three rainbow visors onstage that matched my headband perfectly. Can you believe it? That was super duper funny. And we stole some guys sunglasses the night before (Jo: so he CLAIMS) and we had to give them back tonight. But not before taunting him with them from the stage all night. After the show I had to dj at an after party for the show. At a warehouse. It could have been a lot of fun but I was exhausted and a bunch of shit wasn't working so I was pretty much pissed most of the night. But it was fun anyways to just see Houston a little bit and hang out with the kids from our tour that came along for support. When we got back I realized how much fun this tour was, and it made me really happy.

Look very closely and you can see the woman-symbol manicure. This is the incredible person made us personalized rainbow visors. WE LOVE YOU!

 

July 30
HOUSE OF BLUES—NEW ORLEANS, LA


Kathleen: Today we went to the college radio station and did a brief interveiw with a nice young man named Brad. He was passive and we were tired so it probably wasn't the most exciting interveiw we've ever done. But, he was nice and had a good radio show which is cool since so much indie radio is going under from lack of funding. I did notice that all the bands with a strong female presence in them had a woman symbol drawn on the spine of their cd's which was kind of awesome and weird at the same time. Tonight was the first night I got to watch to watch Oragami who is the opening band (Electrelane plays second). I met one of them in Australia and she said they'd be coming to the states so we all hooked up for a short leg of this tour. The singer for this band is fucking incredible. Tight pants, converse all stars and a wild patterned shirt. She strutted like the hugest rockstar ever (a hard thing to do when you are in the first band) and totally pulled it off. They are a great raw pop punk band with a singer who rides guitar fuzz like a surfer having a great time on a real big wave.

 

August 1
CANE'S BALLROOM—TULSA, OK


Kathleen: This was such a fun show. I was completely in love with every person in the crowd, and let me tell you, there was every kind of beautiful weirdo at this one. Distinguished grey haired male activists, young feminists with cool glasses, handsome twenty something gay duos, 13 year old girls with crazy make up and matching tank tops, gorgeous frantic dancing trannies, a girl with a moustache glued to her forehead (I think her upper lip got overheated so she just sorta stuck it up there) suburban moms chaperoning their kids, butch lesbians pumping their fists in the air, and of course, stage left, was home to the cutest 12 year old bad news bears kids I have ever seen (I am refering to the 70's bad news bears of course). These kids were like little Matt Dillon/Leif Garretts and they were having a great time dancing to our band. It made me really happy.

 

August 2
GRANADA THEATRE—LAWRENCE, KS

Kathleen: I totally thought no one was gonna show up to this show!!! I guess I always sort of think no one is gonna show up. But they did. It was really really hot in the club and the room had what we, in the biz, like to call "dead sound" . AKA you know how if you were alone in a theatre on the stage and you sang, say a song off the dreamgirls soundtrack or something, your voice would bounce off the walls and kind of echo with a natural reverb. Well, not tonight. This club was dead, the room was dead, the stage was dead, but hey, it was hot and the crowd was amazing so it couldn't help but be a stellar show anyways. I actually got really into looking at people and some folks were freaked out by it. I guess performers don't typically look right at audience members and try and goof around with them. The thing is, I had real bad PMS all day and felt so gross so it was weird that I was able to look at people. . . I think the show actually put me in a good mood. I really can't predict what will be a good night or bad night anymore so there's kind of no reason to stress out about it like I used to. So far the audiences on our headlining part this tour have made the shows great. When I am tired or in a bad mood, they just kind of carry me. We're really lucky that people not only show up to the clubs, but actually contribute in a huge way. I can't even express how thankful I am for it.


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