galapagos art space. tuesday. november 30, 1999. 11pm.
we love new york in june. or something like that. our show at brooklyn's galapagos art space marked the first show of our east coast summer "torr" (aka the "under pressure" torr 2003.) we left chicago two days before our show in brooklyn and spent two solid days at gabe's parent's house in cleveland where we acted less like a rock band and more like 12 year olds. while we intended to practice a lot, we wound up spending far more time playing gabe's "black knight 2000" pinball game, reading harry potter, and engaging in extended discourses on why empire strikes back is the finest of the films. we also stayed up late and gossiped and did each other's hair. gabe's parents were wonderful to us (check out this mmHg pancake we were served at breakfast) and, as if it wasn't fun enough to jaw with gabe's dad (who's still playing bass in a band) about gear and shows again this time we actually took an inspirational trip to the rock and roll hall of fame with him. anyway, we were super motivated andready as we left cleveland for nyc. along the way we saw some of the funniest bathroom graffitti ever, were introduced to a guy in ohio whowas "the shit hauler" (his actual profession,) and had some guy come up to us in a restaurant and say "so where are you guys on tour from" (which means we must look like a real band...) anyway, when we got to brooklyn we spent a little time hanging out in williamsburg and thinking to ourselves, "hey man, this is bablyon." contrary to what most people here in middle america think about new york art spaces, galapagos was a really down to earth and excellent venue (i mean , there was a huge reflection pool in the bar, and a burlesque show featuring go go dancers and magicians going on in the next room while we played... and the beer was $5... but other than that it was pretty much your average rock club) also of interest: no one was smoking thanks to this new city ordinance stating that no one can smoke in bars. it is my understanding that there is a no drinking in bars ordinance up on the docket as we speak as well... and a no laughing one as well... but i digress. actually, just about everyone we talked to in new york was really supportive of the no smoking policy with even smokers calling it a "blessing in disguise." come to think of it, the fact that our clothes didn't smell like the ashtrays at a horse track the next day certainly was nice. though we were far from home, we were lucky enough to see tons of friends both on and off the stage. we played with leisure, annie quick (who had played just a few months before at in our living room while she was on tour), and summer lawns. both summer lawns and annie quick's back up band featured one of my best and oldest friends, not to mention long-time bandmate, roommate, and...uh, soulmate, matt heslinga, on guitar, wurlitzer and vocals (notice that he's wearing a shirt he borrowed from me...) all the other bands at this show were great and summer lawns, who we had never heard before, blew us away in a like soft and subtle way... you know, like the grand canyon first thing in the morning, or a bunch of ninjas or something. it was also great to see tons of old friends like anne's sister julie (who moved to new york this summer and has now come to 100% or our shows in that city...), jen and dan, lauren, LT, charlie, rosy, and, amazingly enough chicago's (and gabe's) own meli! (who as luck would have it, was in town on business!) though the room at galapagos was incredibly "live" with treble sounds so bright they could sterilize (we had to put duct tape on the cymbals and snare...) the sound guy, Ray, did a phenomenal job making the whole show sound great. after the show, we stayed at matt and jeremy's artsy loft which we got to incidentally by driving past a garbage processing plant and experiencing the most foul, literally asphyxiating smell you could imagine. apparently the city that never sleeps is spending it's waking hours throwing away lots of coffee grinds and old socks and garlic and dead pigeons. anyway, the view of manhattan from matt's roof was breathtaking (in the normal sense of the word) we skipped town the next morning, but not before doing a few touristy things (i.e. grabbing a few greasy slices of new york pizza and getting thoroughly lost trying to get out of the city.) we also saw a great deal of artwork by fabled new york graffiti artist neckface and were inspired to name the torr-van neckface and then to simply say the word neckface so many times during the rest of the trip that any ordinary human would have wanted to tear our heads off (thus making us neckfaces?) many thanks to boo froebel who booked the show at galapagos and was super nice, and of course thanks to annie, matt, jeremy, laurel, vahak and jad.