Harlem Shakes w/ Deerhoof
The last days of tour felt like the last days of summer camp.
Busdriver‘s last show was Winston-Salem. After we’d all sadly exchanged goodbyes, Brent and Satomi from Deerhoof suggested a group picture. Satomi urged us to build a human pyramid for the occasion.
The Winston-Salem venue, the Warehouse—a commune/coffee shop/rock venue/art gallery extraordinaire—let us sleep in their basement. Bleary-eyed and already wistful, we gathered our sore limbs from the dusty rugs, and forced ourselves to try a drink called “Electric Yoohoo.” It worked. We were ready to go.
When you tour a place that you’ve never visited, you’re compelled to collect peculiar experiences. It becomes a compulsion. Hence our eating Fried Green Tomatoes, Shark, hominy, and all sorts of stuff that we would never order at a diner in Brooklyn, even if they had it.
Our last show with Deerhoof was at the Ottobar in Baltimore. Everyone on the tour except for John from Deerhoof and Lexy from the Shakes was sick. Lexy fiendishly consumed oranges we’d purchased in bulk in Florida (oranges are best van deodorizer ever!). Greg and Greg’s brother David, from the Unity Reggae Band, joined us for a few songs on drums and tenor sax respectively.
After our shows we confessed the nicest things we’d been thinking about each other’s bands for the whole tour but would feel funny saying, and then proceeded with normal interaction. We said we’d miss the members of Deerhoof as musicians and people, and we already do.
We stayed in our friends’ hotel room that night in Baltimore and briefly attempted to act like rock stars before we went to a 7/11, purchased children’s cereal, ate it, and went to sleep.
No one told us how funny it would feel to come home from tour. Back in New York, Kendrick, Caural (Zach from Busdriver), and Lexy met up and attended a stellar Volney Litmus show even though we’d been hanging out for days on end.
You’ve led such a strange lifestyle and all of a sudden you’re re-inserted into your more mundane routine, alongside your friends who haven’t gone anywhere. We were only gone two weeks but the intensity of the experience and the friendships that we developed made it feel like two months. We miss the simplicity and singularity of purpose that you experience on the road, where you have a very particular job that you do increasingly well each night (ideally) and your only responsibility is to do it as best you can.
After all, you can’t pay taxes from a moving van. Isn’t that a Willie Nelson lyric?
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