Friday, April 23, 2010

Economic Report: Florida Tour

Holy shit, that was quick. We've gotten used to being on the road for months at a time, two weeks was short!

It was also a pretty economically shaky tour. Before we left town we did another hundreds of dollars worth of work on the car. CV boots and tie rods were in bad shape. If we drove em til they failed we'd likely be stranded, or that shit would seize up the steering while moving 70 MPH.

We split those repair costs between us personally and the theatre company and got a promise from the new shop (who come highly recommended as honest people who don't tell you that only $500 worth of work is needed when they know full well that another $2000 is, like those other fuckers who screwed us over in the past). If they're wrong, we're scraping this heap and investing in something more reliable and a manual on how to fix cars ourselves. Maybe even something that runs on veggie oil.

Ignoring those car costs, here's how the tour went economically:

The best shows were in Florida, which is why we booked the tour in the first place. Unfortunately, we had a handful of prospective shows on our way down fall apart and one show on our way back (Atlanta) fail to gather any audience. That was a sketchy show, a non-profit with three people on staff to work a show they clearly didn't promote at all. There's something fishy about that.

Also, we started almost $100 negative with our totally insane trip to NYC for the Ides of March show (but that was also fun!). Better planning (psychic powers) woulda had us go there, then south to Florida along the coast and back up through Knoxville. But then we woulda missed Springsgiving, which was definitely worth driving home for.

Anyway, focusing on the positive: we visited two more great cities in Tennessee, met new people and helped fight the overzealous cops of Gainesville, got to hang out with Saara and Eric again, played with great hardcore bands in Sarasota and folk singers in Miami, saw lots of weird dangerous Florida nature, met great folks in Lake Worth, visited pals in St Augustine (though we couldn't get a show there) played in ocean waves, got to perform for our friends at the Patchwork house in Louisville and stayed up late talking politics there and at 64 King.

NEXT! We're currently booking a nice long July Tour with Peter J Woods (and taking his van, the USS Gerald Holiday). Going west with the show, playing mostly noise concerts, before we retire Ulysses' and move on to something new (but we'll keep it around for special occasions). We might also get a couple performances at The People's Summit or the US Social Forum in June.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Show Report 80: Home!

Turnout: 11
Support: $18
Injury Report: Kate no longer massages my hands at that one part. For some reaons she now squeezes and rubs them, like she's trying to grind my knuckles, or pull my skin off.

Show Description: We're back from tour and it feels great. Sally Louise and Alec haven't seen the show yet, so we decided to do a homecoming performance after the weekly Tuesday potluck at 64 King. Alec even re-read the Odyssey while we were gone! Friends and neighbors came by as well, and there were philosophical discussions on top of tactical discussions on top of semantic discussions. I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with both Justin and Zohar's completely contradicting interpretations of the play. Which makes me think that maybe the play, in all it's complexity and contradictions still actually expresses my viewpoint. We're all trapped in the middle of all these passionate concerns, second guesses, and hopeless choices. The challenge is to recognize that we cannot ever know what the best action is. Even though none of our conclusions, positive or negative are assured, we must keep moving.

Did you see this show? If you did, comment on it, critique it, or share your questions. We'd love to hear from you because we believe in artistic transparency.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Show 79: Louisville, Patchwork House

Turnout: 7
Donations: 10
Personal Injury Report: I almost smashed the radio in furiousness.

Show Description: Living room show at the Patchwork House. The Patchwork house is an Intentional Community that we'd visited and gotten to know before, so going back there was a treat.

Most everyone was out of town so it was a small crowd, which led to a great discussion. The performance on my part was one of the lower down on the list ones. The radio cut out part way through and so I had to cover for it by doing this slow confusing tape jiggery stuff. I was pretty angry throughout, which made me mess up a line, this making me, in turn, more angry.

The discussion went on for quite a while and I really enjoyed it. It was pretty somber at first but warmed up nicely.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, comment on it or ask us some questions. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Show 78: Lake Worth, The Night Heron

Turnout: 22
Monetary Votes of Support: 87.50 (7 in merch, 20 to The Night Heron)
Personal Injury Report: In one of the few parts where Ben is supposed to be responding to what I say, he forgot and just sat there. Fortunately, immediately afterward was the part where I slap him around, so I gave him some extras.

Show Description: Woo! There was a small child in the crowd. Wildcard. This kid has genuine sympathy and also genuine dis-concern, it was refreshing. Banjo and guitar music warmed up the night, which I tried to cry to to warm up for the cry-y parts of the show. It sort of worked, until I thought people saw me and I stopped. The discussion went well and we got to see a bunch of snakes later on at the canew house. I helped fix their onion peel afflicted fridge fan and we got to sleep in a shack in what felt like a jungle.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, comment on it or ask us some questions. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Show 77: Miami, The Firefly

Turnout: 22
Monetary Support: 126 (106 door, 20 merch)
Personal Injury Report: Ben lost his shoe and I broke my sweatshirt zipper.

Show Description: The firefly hosted us in this great ceilingless room outside that I, sadly, didn't take a picture of. In place of a picture of the nicely graffitied cement walls with mango tree branches shading the open roof-hole to the windy sky. I offer this humble picture of myself taken as I realilized I'd forgotten.

This show has me thinking about two things: One of them being how the play's grim content can eclipse its more hopeful production values. We need to do a better job of talking about how the theatre company works as an example of non-capitalist relations and about alternatives to capitalist production in general as possible economic solutions to the grimness of the play.

The second thing it has me thinking about is the way mosh pits work, as they happen differently all over the place. Florida has its own style. The "more clit in the pit" saying was spray painted on the wall where we played.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, comment on it or ask us some questions. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Show Report 76: Joint Collective, Sarasota

Turnout: 40
Monetary Support: $88 ($3 merch)
Injury Report: Someone went partway through a wall during one of the bands.

Description: We got into Sarasota a few hours early and jumped in the ocean (well, the gulf, technically) which was a lot of fun. We're not really used to swimming down here and found ourselves having irrational visions of sharks and other large mean critters whenever we got in over our heads, so there was a lot of sand bar horsing around.

Then we headed over to an abandoned house that's been hosting shows and art studios for a couple months called the Joint Collective. Saw some great hardcore and metal bands, lots of young people hanging out and having a good time. After the bands, there was a short storytelling interlude, which sort of reset the energy nicely for our performance. The performane felt really fucking excellent. I love it when people are amped up from a couple hours of loud music and dancing when we start the show. There's more interaction during our little pre-show speech, and it then the stunned silence the first few minutes of the play inspire.

Three quarters of the way through the play, one of the more inebrated members of the audience said "whoa, dude, this is really intense" just before Kate ran right at him to "check the perimeter" he jumped and shouted "AH!" as she slammed into the wall next to him and dashed across the room again. The timing was perfect, and I had a hard time not smiling along with the laughing crowd.

We had some great discussions and crashed with Dave, who set the show up and hooked us up with laundry and a place to refresh our stock of programs. Overall this was definitely a highly suscessful stop on the tour. Thank you!

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment on it. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Show 75: Gainseville FL, CMC

Turnout: 10
Monetary Votes of Support: 24 door, 47 merch, 25 donation
Personal Injury Report: I slapped Ben's head too hard he tells me. It sounded good though.

Show Description: Back in Gainseville at the Civic Media Center for the second time. I really like the wide openness of the CMC, makes you want to jump around in it, play tag or something. Glad to be back.

We had a smaller turnout than last time but had a great discussion afterwards. It kept on going until almost midnight and covered subjects ranging from capitalism's mediation of human relationships to the benefits and possible drawbacks of hook worm.

The next day we came back to host a discussion on the sort of theatre we do and how it can aid in a life that attempts to distribute power non-heirarchicly. Here is our diagram:
Afterwards we went to Niel's house for some greens and grits, good talk and disturbed cat viewing. Sounds like a good time right? We haven't left Gainseville yet!

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment on it. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Show 74: Knoxville, TN

Turnout: 13
Monetary Support: $55.07
Injury Report: Kate decided to change the "she holds the gun to touch his chest as he stands" part into "she holds the gun to ram his head as he stands" it was a bad idea.

Description: First show of a ten day tour, a Tuesday in Knoxville, where we've never been before. We played the Birdhouse, which is an old house converted into a sort of community center that does a little bit of everything. Mostly artist studio/gallery space, but also home of a small zine library and a food not bombs. We performed with Circle Modern Dance, one of the art groups that work out of the Birdhouse.

I really enjoy performing with modern dance groups. I don't mean to sound like a hippy, but they really warm spaces up with some nice tense energy. Something about dance tightens the audience's focus and also makes me more aware of my body in our performance. I find myself thinking of writhing in the chair as a sort of dance.

Anyway, the dance group was great, the venue was great, discussion after the show was solid, and, while the turnout was a bit low, they were definitely supportive. Our performance felt a little slow and low energy, but the audience definitely stayed with us throughout.

Afterward we went to a house party/pot luck with music acts, including a front lawn folk serenade of affectionate songs about inebriation by a couple who were appropriately inebriated and hardly made it through the set, to great comic effect.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, comment on it, or ask us some questions. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Show 73: NYC @ ABC No Rio

Turnout: 20
Monetary Votes of Support: 69.92
Personal Injury Report: none mentionable

Show Descriptions: So we drove 10 hours there, played the show and then drove 10 hours back. It is confirmed: We prefer to present ourselves straightforwardly and say what we mean bluntly, and it works, well.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.