big v's. tuesday. november 30, 1999. 9pm.

following the nearly disastrous sewer flooding that nearly claimed our basement the night before, we loaded up and left chicago at about noon for a weekend's worth of shows in the land of a thousand lakes. this trip we were fortunate enough to be accompanied by emily and anne, the women robert and i are fortunate enough to call our "lady-friends." we got about an hour out of the city when hunger struck (remember that song hunger strike by temple of the dog? it was like that.) we pulled neckface into the nearest denny's of all places, and went to town (grease town.) during lunch, conversation drifted into the age old challenge of putting one's fist into one's own mouth. now not only could gabe almost do it, but he then posed this question to up the stakes: "what if someone was about to punch you in the face and you just swallowed their whole hand?" try it. later we drew on the kids menus with crayons and began work on the first artistic depiction of our arch nemesis band "milliliters jerkury." we'll post that picture as soon as i finish drawing the peart-gantuan drum kit and travis finishes drawing necks on the guitars.

anyway, i have these amazing relatives in minnesota, the kind of relatives that are not actually blood relatives of but that you love like they are... I hope you have relatives like this... bonus relatives. anyway, my aunt, uncle, and cousins sara and annie came into st. paul to see us play. we continued our tour of american family style chain restaurants by meeting them at a local applebee's which was precariously placed in this seedy neighborhood by the venue. something like a norman rockwell painting in a crackhouse. anyway, as luck would have it, my dad was in town on business and showed up as well. looking more like a family reunion than a rock band, we walked into big v's, a club much like the twin peaks branch of the CBGB. we were greeted by a woman who introduced her self as "the soundman" and, beaming at the joke that would never ever get old to her, she showed us to, I am not making this up, a platter of donuts that was next to the soundboard. talk about midwestern charm! while she was super nice, this woman only got nuttier. later, during our set she could be seen behind the board, are you ready for this, doing bicep curls with a small dumbbell, her jaw feverishly pummeling a piece of gum.

we played with a band called tastes like burning that were nir-vah-nah-ly delicious. after their set their drummer introduced himself to me as gambit and, in spite of myself I was like "you mean gambit like..." to which he replied "yeah" wincing at the conversation that would never ever be enjoyable for him. tastes like burning was followed by "the summer people" who totally blew us away with their traile brand moustaches and self described " allman brothers meets black fla" rock-and-roll equivalent of a black eye. you are not ready for this band. they will fillet you. and I quote: " I wanna get drunk and DAAAEEEEYYYY!" freedom rock, man. after our set the following things happened: we hung out with my cousins and sara's boyfriend greg, a band called panel of experts played, anne was accosted by this bullgoose looney ultra conservative whhhackjob, robert and emily hustled some locals at pool, we played a lot of this mousetrap pinball game, travis and I enjoyed free drinks with this really rad bartender, and GABE FELL ASLEEP. at a rock show. later that night we crashed at my cousin sara's and we are all eternally grateful.