TOUR DIARY

June 12th, 2003

The Showbox, Seattle WA

Kathleen: The beginning of our tour was, sadly, overshadowed by the death of fellow musician, Scott Jernigan. Scott died in a boating accident in Seattle a few days before we got there. Since Jo and I both used to live in the Pacific Northwest, a lot of our buddies out there were all really tight with him, and were in a state of shock and grief when we arrived. For a second I thought we should cancel the show, but everyone was looking for a good excuse to see each other and stand around telling stories about him. Dusty sort of brightened my mood by creating one of the most beautiful merch displays ever, but it was still a really hard night and I barely remember the show.

Scott played on the Julie Ruin record I did a bunch of years ago. I made him play a typewriter like it was a drum kit for one song and I remember being a total spaz trying to explain what I wanted, but he was just super cool and "whatever" about everything, doing a better job than I imagined in my head. I didn't know him very well, but his death hit me hard, maybe cuz he was one of those "I'm gonna live forever" type people. You know, no drama and always ready for fun.

June 13th, 2003
Roseland Theatre, Portland OR


JD: I was really excited to play our first two shows on the West Coast with The King Cobra and The Aislers Set. I was so inspired by their mere presence that I just kept hugging Amy Linton (from the Aisler's Set) to make sure it was real. It was crazy to play shows after so long, but it felt really good. The crowd was all smiles and it felt like some kind of crazy release for me.

Kathleen:
I like to call the Roseland "Starry Night" cuz that's what it was called back in the 80's when I hung out there. My favorite local band back then was called Theatre of Sheep. They had a girl keyboardist named Leslie who I used to follow around sneaky-style back when NW Portland was still cool. Tonight was a great night on a zillion levels. The backstage scene felt like old times and we had a shortest-to-tallest contest with with all our friends. The crowd was freaking out the whole show and since Portland is the place I was born and where I went to highschool it always feels really triumphant to play a good show here. When I called out "this is our last song" a bunch of girls jumped on stage with us and started dancing. The totally weird thing was how unchaotic it was. Like they bum rushed the show in a KINDA-SORTA way. Everyone was really well-behaved.

Usually when people jump on stage they knock stuff over, grab us, and steal our shit (don't even ask me how many new megaphones we've had to buy)! So anyway, I am singing to these two adorable electroclash-looking teenagers when a strangely familiar face pops between their heads, yes IT'S MY FUCKING MOM AND SHES DANCING ON STAGE and then from behind her IT'S MY FUCKING AUNT AND SHES DANCING ON STAGE TOO. So surreal. Later, when I asked my mom what compelled her to get up on stage she said "everyone else was doing it" and I said "If everyone else was jumping off a bridge would you do that too?"

June 14th
DAY OFF


Kathleen:
Jo and I got a ride up to Olympia to attend a memorial service for Scott. Dusty, Killer and JD started driving towards Santa Cruz.

Jo: The memorial was kinda perfect, a real homage to Scotty's lust for life.

JD: We had the best drive day. The three of us sat back, relaxed and listened to classic rock, screamed along to that Nickelback song, and just felt the highway go by at 85-90 miles an hour. We drove for 10 hours before we could find a place to stay for the night. Unfortunately each of us had an issue with one of the three towns where we should have stopped, and then there was a car race in the area the next day.

Finally, after a near brawl in the gas station men's room, we found a place . But the room had been painted that day and we fell asleep high as hell from the fumes. We woke up even higher with puffy eyes. Dusty had choked back her inhaler puffs all night. We still had a long drive the next day to pick up Kathleen and Jo at the airport. . . could we make it in time?

June15th
FATHERS DAY
The Rio, Santa Cruz CA




JD:
Well, we made it. Kathleen and Jo were sunbathing on the bench at the airport when we arrived. Super cute. The drive was beautiful and the theater where we played that night was crazy. The ladder (to set up the video projector) was way too high. We saw a lot of old friends again and made some new ones. It was a nice night.

Kathleen: I hate flying, but with Johanna Fateman by my side I am a steel wall. We had to fly from Seattle to San Jose to make it to sound-check on time in Santa Cruz. JD, Dusty and Killer picked us up at the airport wearing ties (for Father's Day) and having heated discussions about "the quickest route" to take. I was really glad to see them. The show was weird cuz I was having some sort of allergy attack that was affecting my hearing and I felt like I was singing totally off key. Luckily Lynnee from Tribe 8 made a quick diagnosis and handed me some claritin.



Besides being grouchy from the allergy thing I was super psyched to see Tribe 8 . The only bummer was not getting to watch them play cuz I had show prep shit to do, so I could only watch the opener. Circuit Side was awesome. They have a wicked stage set-up involving a mini wooden city with lights and smoke coming out. They play heavy metal style music that really underlines the heavy metal/classical connection, plus their singing is really good.

JUNE 16th
S.L.O. Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo

Kathleen: Remind me never to play a venue that has the words "brewing company" in the title ever again. Many of the "security" dudes at this place were total frat fuckers and I actually wished we had our own personal security to protect us from them. Fortunately the kids who came to the show were awesome and they made the bad environment totally worth it. Of course Lynne (from Tribe 8) was told she could not go take her shirt of during their set, and we were all just in general treated like shit by the people who worked there (a former employee even dropped by to threaten us!). The show was great anyways and it was really good for all of us to let off some steam. Right after we played they ushered us out and some DJ's, who seemed pretty cool, set up on stage and proceeded to play super duper loud. As I was packing up I actually made a comment about how they were gonna blow a speaker and shortly after heard this really loud "pop" noise and then silence. . . a speaker had blown.

Later some guy from the club approached us and tried to blame US for breaking something . . . they made up some bullshit about how Killer changed the settings on the board blahdee blahdee dah and they wanted us to pay for the speaker! I am soooo sure! We weren't even on stage when it happened!

Jo: At this point in the tour my nerves were shot. After a long and non-sensical series of discussions with the club manager, the house sound guy, and the promoter, I chipped in some money for the damaged sound system, hoping we would not be beaten and robbed by the club's security staff. I got an english muffin and hot chocolate at Denny's and thought, I'm gonna party tomorrow night in Vegas.

JUNE17th
DAY OFF




Kathleen:
I was so happy cuz we finally got to stay at the world famous Madonna Inn last night. I can not say enough about this beautiful hotel. The only problem is that it is in San Luis Obispo and I am not planning on being in San Luis Obispo that often.

JD: So on our day off we drove to Las Vegas on a very windy road that didn't look so windy on the map. It took us a long time plus we were really car sick, but we were determined to get where we were going. Kathleen won at the slots in the town before Vegas when we stopped to get gas. I think the place was called Terrible's.I got worried because our show was the same night as Melissa Etheridges's and I thought our lesbo crowd wouldn't be at our show. Then realized it was the next month. We drank cappucinos and made it to the hotel quickly. Jo handed out our allowances and we were off. Killer was so excited to be gambling. Since we hadn't been there before she was rushing us around to all the best places. A great tour guide. I bought some ceramic salt and pepper shakers shaped like a man's butt in a thong. We kept at the gambling until we all felt horrible and we took a
cab home to bed.

Jo: The drive was a nightmare. I drank a lot of coffee and ate a box of hot tamales (the candy) and drew a picture of how I could rearrange the furniture in my bedroom. I was up $80 for a while playing the slots at the Aladdin, but lost most of it later at some other casino where there was a crazy in-door garden with giant children on swings made out of flowers. But I cashed-out before I hit zero and I came back to New York with about a pound of quarters for laundry. I could see myself going to grad school in Vegas. It's visually inspiring and pretty awful at the same time, I think I could really get some work done there.

JUNE 18
The Huntridge Theatre
Las Vegas, NV




Kathleen:
Tonight we reunited with our pals from New York, Mr. Murray Hill and The Wau Wau sisters. Even though the show had one the most disappointing turn-outs ever it ended up being great cuz Murray, who MC'ed, just wouldn't let the crowd have a bad time. He really saved the show in a big big way. The theatre was basically a big concrete block and it was obvioulsy not even half full. Then we realized that because of an earlier mix-up, the show had been advertised as happening on the next night, so a lot kids didn't even know it was happening. Things were still good though cuz everyone who worked at the club was
super nice and totally knew what they were doing, especially this woman with a
beautiful deep voice named Big Jen who did monitors.

The Wau Wau Sisters did trapeze out in the middle of the floor (over concrete with no mats!) while smoking cigarettes. It was insane, and Tribe 8 kept everything moving and fun. Lynnee was in rare vocal form so by the time we took the stage, the small but enthused crowd was ready.



JD:
After the show we went with Murray and the Wau Wau's and Tribe 8 to a bar with a fire in the pond. No one was allowed to wear hats for some reason. We watched Harry Connick Jr. live and Kylie Minogue too. It was very odd. I had a cheeseburger.

JUNE 19
The Glass House, Pomona, CA




Kathleen:
After soundcheck we went to the most terrible pizza-pasta place in the world. We sat in chairs that are supposed to look like little dudes in tuxedos. The drinks were huge and the food was nasty, except they had that soup-in-a-breadbowl thing that is my absolute favorite. Circuit Side was back after a night away so we got to hang out with them more backstage.

After seeing my backstage atheletic-style moves, Radio's girlfriend challenged me to a basketball shoot-out, claiming she had a really great shot (yeah right, that's not what I heard). But there was no hoop or ball so she never got to prove it.

The Wau Wau's had their costumes strung all over the dressing room, like so many nights before, and Murray, who got hurt earlier during prat fall practice, was showing everyone his huge bruise. The show itself was hot and sweaty, but I was surrounded by love the whole time, so I was in total heaven.

The crowd was just propelling us forward which allowed me to kick back and really enjoy singing. Pomona always makes me remember why I want to play music, however cheesey that sounds. I mean, there are such great people there. It's a cool crowd too cuz they are all super pyched but if a joke flops they totally let it hit the floor. I hate when even if you say something totallystupid the crowd acts like it was great.

JUNE 20
The Scene, San Diego, CA


JD: Murray and the Wau Wau Sister's killed 'em tonight. The crowds in San Diego are always totally rad. Everyone was freaking out. After the show my cell phone was shut off because i didn't pay my bill and when I tried to pay it they said I couldn't pay by credit card twice in a row. . . what? Jo called them right up and gave them a piece of her mind. They let her pay with a credit card, she is magic.

Then we pulled into our hotel and they didn't have a record of our reservation. So we went next door where Murray and the Wau Waus were staying. Oddly, we ran into our old pals, Blonde Redhead and their tour manager, Joe Preston (also an old friend) in the lobby. I love surprise run-ins like that. Then, we got two rooms (a rare treat on a Le Tigre tour)! Dusty, Killer, and I had Murray and the Wau Wau Sisters over for pizza and beer and we watched The Sweetest Thing. Which sucked. But Dusty kind of liked it (guilty pleasures). We heard Murray and the girls giggling down the hallway for about an hour after they left.

Jo: It's not magic, you just call the phone company and act super uptight and professional: "I'm on a business trip in California and my business partner's cell phone has been shut off and I need to pay the bill immediately with my credit card. I need her phone re-activated IMMEDIATELY. This is absurd." Remember, they can't see you. They have no idea you are sitting on a tattered couch with Murray Hill backstage at a rock club in a strip mall with a Corona in one hand. They think you are a legitimate member of society. Kathleen and I had our own room so we took baths, counted money, and watched a documentary about gay parenting.

JUNE 21
The Henry Fonda Theatre, LA, CA


Kathleen: This was one of those terrible shows I don't even wanna think about.

JD: Tonight we played with Yo La Tengo. The festival we were supposed to play got cancelled so we played this show with them and the Clean (from New zealand). It was interesting.The two bands were really different and brought different crowds. So it was a challenge for us I think. The best part was when this guy in a bra and underpants ran through the security gates to throw a pin at us. When I picked it up I saw what it was a pickle with an "x" sign around it. I laughed for the next week about it how rad it was! After the show we got to hang out with all of our LA friends and family and it was really awesome to be there. It was the dyke march that day, so a lot of people had gay pride on the mind.

Jo: We ate the worst Thai food of the tour before this show. And our sampler wasn't working during our first song. I tried to keep my chin up though cuz I knew Vaginal Davis was in the house.

JUNE 22
DAY OFF


Today we all had a leisurely breakfast and then took off for Berkeley to stay at Jo's parent's house, without Jo's parents! Party!!! In the fridge was some delicious polenta and tomato sauce. Oh my god it was so amazing to have such good food for once. We watched tivo, checked email, and went to bed.

JUNE 23
Slim's, SF, CA


JD: San francisco is always a crazy place to play. The fans are awesome, the friends are everywhere, and the opening acts are always amazing. We played with Deerhoof and it was totally incredible. It was actually awesome to have only one band open up for us because we got some time after the show to hang out. The show was good but i wanted more. . . I felt like I had only one more chance to give it 300% before the tour was over.

Jo: Tonight was great. My parents sat in the balcony wearing matching Le Tigre t-shirts.

JUNE 24
Slim's, SF, CA


JD: Well this was our last show. In the morning Jo's mom took me to the dentist because I had a horrible toothache. Everything was ok though. We ate a lot of snacks and then took of for the city. It was really great that we didn't have to set our equipment up again. We just did a quick line check and we were ready to go. Most of our friends came to both shows and I really felt it the second night. Our merch was dwindling, and the time was coming to say goodbye to our SF-based roadie, Dusty.



She threw a bunch of specially themed underpants on stage at us. We were shocked at first because we didn't know who made them, but then everyone yelled, "They're from dusty!" and we all sweetly sighed and blew a kiss to her. The show was great. We gave it everything we had. Who cares if you pull a muscle on the last night? Anyway, it was a great tour. And a great end to the tour. We made our way to the Lexington for our after-party which featured disco lines, dance contests, and arm wrestling.


–photos by Dusty Lombardo

 

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