IfIHadAHiFi / White Wrench Conservatory "Search for Snufflegus" Tour 2008: Vol. 2

HiFi in Indianapolis, by Dixie Jacobs

Here's the poem Thax Douglas presented us with in Chicago:

IfIHadAHiFi #2


Space with its

Feathered hurricane

It implants a

New country,

A kind of mega-house,

Tucked between

Each layer as new

Winds of logical outrage

How I as memory

Begets memory

Of wrongness that

Never goes

Awry as it fades

Outward, its

Shattered daddy-

Bell refusing to

Ring another tone

To further

The legacy.

I can has awesome?

9.27.08: Mac's, Lansing, MI w/a pair of high school punk bands

Our bands are bad for children. We played an all-ages show at Mac's
which was set up by our friend Tom Muth, formerly of the fantastic
Killdozer-influenced pigfuck band Red Swan, and of course Slater and Thom from White Wrench Conservatory immediately break into the "Bring Back the Pussy" porn video references from the night before. To hear Tom Red Swan tell it, "as soon as you guys started making pussy jokes,
some parents that were here to see one of the local bands immediately
headed for the door." The scene from in front of the stage: Thom asks
"Whatever happened to good old-fashioned pussy fucking?"; Slater
responds, "What about the girls who don't do anal? They have to work
too!"; tons of high school boys crack the hell up as a bunch of high
school girls look horrified. Yep, we're going to hell.

Our last few shows at Mac's were 21+ bar shows with sparse attendance,
so it was a nice change of pace to play in front of a bunch of kids
who don't have the jaded "seen it" attitude of so many aged rockers
that we've played in front of. After WWC charmed the kids at Mac's, we
blazed through a solid half-hour that saw the kids in attendance just
lose their shit. It was fun as hell. It was especially gratifying (and
ego-boosting; whatever, those who know us know we're in love with
ourselves, it's cool) to know that our friends in WWC got to watch a
bunch of kids dance their asses off to our music. Slater called it the
best HiFi show he had ever seen, simply because of how the band and
audience were feeding off each other for energy. Personally, we
thought we didn't play as well as we did in Chicago, but i can see why
the audience response would make up for that. A good show is more than
just how the band played, after all. Bottom line: we need to play more
all-ages shows.

Pay from the door amounted to about $25 per band, but we're still
coasting on last night's gas money, so no worries there. We packed up
and made our way to Tom's pad, where we were greeted with an
incredible pasta dinner made by Tom's girlfriend Ellen, a half-Bengal
cat named Wally (a new addition to the Muth household since last time,
and OH MY GOD do I want a Bengal kitty of my own! Gah!), and Tom's
home-distilled liquor. Yeah. Tom owns a still. His "apple jack" booze
is 120 proof and out of sight.

Nights Rev.Ever sleeps in the van due to severe cat allergy: 1

9.28.08: House Show in Indianapolis w/We Are Hex and Small Arms Fire

Jilly from We Are Hex is
someone we've known for seven years, ever since our first ever
mini-tour, which took us to her home in Muncie, IN (home of Tim
Robbins' character in the criminally underrated The Hudsucker Proxy!).
It's always a treat to see her and play with one of her bands, and
really, that's what this tour is about more than anything—getting to
hang out with our friends from all over the eastern US. You know that
scene in American Hardcore where the one dude is talking about how
most normal people hear "San Diego" and think of the zoo, but because
he was in a touring hardcore band, he hears the words "San Diego" and
thinks of Battalion Of Saints? That quote resonated with me because
I'm the same way, and when i think of Indianapolis i think of We Are

This house show was a perfect "let's help out some touring bands"
storm of drunken locals lookin for a party, a surprisingly
nice-sounding basement with a decent PA (and fun lighting that made
for great photos!), and local cops that apparently didn't give a damn
that a bunch of rambunctious punk kids were drinking in a yard on a
Sunday evening in Indianapolis (in a state where you can't buy alcohol
on Sunday because it's the Lord's day, and everyone knows the Lord
hates Hamm's and Milwaukee's Best. So, like, are Jews allowed to buy
beer on Sundays, Indiana? Well ARE THEY?!?).

Our bands' sets were accompanied by great performances by locals href="http://www.myspace.com/smallarmsfire">Small Arms Fire and
the aforementioned We Are Hex, who play a gothy sort of darkwave punk
that i immediately decide i'd love to book at Club Anything some
night. We Are Hex w/IfIHadAHiFi and, say, Lambs of Abortion--tell me
the goths wouldn't lose their minds (if not their 50 cent Rolling
Rock). Both WWC and the HiFi on this night played pretty excellent
sets, and this being day 3, i'm feeling good about how practiced up we
are as bands. We're in the pocket and seriously delivering every
night. This is solid.

Nights Rev.Ever sleeps in the van due to severe cat allergy: 2

9.29.08: Uncle Fester's in Bloomington, IN w/We Are Hex and
Tremendous Fucking

A few weeks before tour i went to see my pals in the Chicago punk band
The Lusties play at Points
East Pub. Their bass player, Michael Lustie, presented me with an
official Lusties condom with their logo on the package (with the
awesome disclaimer "objects in condom may appear larger than actual
size"). I told Michael that i would try to use it on tour and text
message him as soon as the deed was done. I thought maybe that would
have been a little creepy for him, but he replied with "i demand
video," which trumped me in the creepy department with a quickness.

Why do i bring this up? To dispel the myth that dudes touring the
country in indie bands get mad crazy laid in the best rock and roll
tradition. Maybe it happens for other, more conventional bands, but
four sci-fi nerds on the road are gonna bat a good solid .000 (sure,
two guys in the band are taken, but that just means we single dudes
have to step it up). CASE IN POINT: Bloomington, IN, one of our
favorite cities in the country to play by a mile.

Uncle Festers is part of a loose network of bars in Indiana that
partake in a series of shows called href="http://www.punkrocknight.com/">Punk Rock Night. There's a bar
in Indianapolis that does it on Saturday, some bar in (i think) Ft.
Wayne that does it on Sunday, and Festers does it on Monday. What this
means is that Festers ALWAYS does good business on Monday nights,
which is a blessing and a half for touring bands. Weeknights are
always sketchy for unknown touring bands, so a Monday night in a town
that knows and loves us cannot be trifled with. And this night, while
not quite as packed as previous HiFi Punk Rock Nights, was no

Once again, WWC and we slammed through solid sets and sounded probably
as good as we have all tour, thanks to a killer sound system run by
our pal Mike from the great Bloomington Band href="http://www.myspace.com/pushpull">Push-Pull. We Are Hex and Tremendous Fucking were
great once again, although Hex's set had some weird tense moments. But
TremFu brought the PAIN with a cover of Mclusky's "Lightsaber
Cocksucking Blues!"

After the show, i began my nightly post-show ritual of dutifully
standing by our merchandise in the hopes that a few drunk bar patrons
actually liked our set enough to contribute to our gas fund by
actually buying a CD or t-shirt. I believe as of day four of the tour,
our total CD sales stand at around 5 copies. Ah well, i download as
much as anyone else, so i shouldn't bitch.

"But what does this have to do with making the carnal what what on
tour, DrAwkward?" i hear you asking. Well, as i'm standing there by
the merch, two cute young ladies start showering me with praise for
being a drummer who sings lots of lead vocals. "That must be really
HARD!" "Wel, yeah, i had to practice it a long time; i used to suck at
it prety badly." Etc. etc, talk about Wisconsin, talk about Indiana,
etc. I decide one of the girls is hot enough that i'm going to make
sure they know about Rob from TremFu's afterbar. "Oh, we don't know,
we have class at like 9:30." THAT'S PLENTY OF TIME TO RECOVER. ROB,

We make our way to Rob's for the afterbar and immediately The Wizard
(HiFi bassist and scallywag) starts running game on the girl i had
targeted. COCK-BLOCKED BY THE WIZARD. Sumbitch. I decide that the
friend, who is also cute, will now command my attention, but as they
were both about 21, drunk, and actually kind of annoying (at some
point there begins some ridiculous exchange where one of them declares
she wants to be an actress, and starts practicing her death scenes by
having the Wizard shoot her with a fake gun), i quickly lose interest.
Despite my sad attempts at alpha male-dom, at the end of the day i'm
more interested in making intellectual connections with people, and
"WHOO I'M PRETENDING I'M SHOT OMG I'M DRUNK" isn't gonna cut it, no
matter how cute those shorts look on you, missy. After a trip into the
graveyard next to Rob's place to check out a grave marked with the
last name "BATMAN" (no really), the party starts to break up and we
collapse in various places around the house. No love connections are
made and i really don't care, because we rocked the hell out of
Bloomington and engaged in ridiculous shenanigans afterward.

Nights Rev.Ever slept in the van because he passed out in a chair,
then drunkenly tried to steal the Wizard's couch after the Wizard went
to the bathroom = 1

Gravestones marked "BATMAN" and drunkenly urinated on by a member of
White Wrench Conservatory = 1

NEXT: Remember what i said about weeknight shows being hell on unknown
bands? Yeah, that.

We are going to hell.


IfIHadAHiFi/White Wrench Conservatory "Search for Snufflegus" Tour 2008: Vol.1

So we're home, and that means that it's time to dole out the tour diaries. We'll be posting these once a week until we're done, usually in chunks of multiple days. Currently, the tour diary is being posted first on the local Milwaukee Fan-Belt blog, but since they're (probably wisely) editing these for space, you'll get the unedited version here about a week after theirs runs. And with that, we give you day one:

photo by Logan Jacobs

9.26: Chicago, IL—Quencher’s w/Bear Claw and the Ellie Maybe Experience

Fantastic first day. The drive was uneventful and a slew of buddies and pals were waiting for us in Chicago. Bear Claw are old friends of ours from their days in Carbondale, which they referenced onstage (“hey, remember when we played Bo Jr.’s in Carbondale and you threw your cymbal stand in the river?” Note: I was sick and that stand had been giving me shit, ok?). And Ellie Maybe and Dixie from WWC became fast friends at this year’s Steel Bridge Songfest in Sturgeon Bay, making the show just a big ol’ sick gross lovefest. Adding to the fun was the fact that the Brewers took game one of their season-ending series against the Cubs, putting the Crew a game up on the Mets for the NL Wild-Card. So obviously I needed to talk shit from the stage while proudly sporting a Milwaukee t-shirt.

We were also surprised by an appearance from the great Thax Douglas, Chicago poet about town and music scene mainstay. Thax is known for writing poems about rock bands and reading them before they play; the first time we met him was when he showed up at a show we played in Chicago in 2001 and asked to read a poem he wrote about us. Tonight he wanted to debut “IfIHadAHiFi #2” before our set, and obviously we obliged. Totally made my entire night.

The set itself was pretty furious—we slammed through a solid mix of old and new songs, plus threw in our cover of Killdozer’s “The Buzzard” to give Yale some mischief time in the audience. Response was great, we played well, and Yale stuck his head through White Wrench Thom’s shirt and carried him on his back. Good times.

Tonight got us off on the right track financially, too--$120 for us and the same for White Wrench, which we knew would be the most we’d make for the next two days.

After the show we made our way to Thom’s friend Mark’s place for late night wine and Mexican food. A certain adult-themed video in Mark’s possession entitled Bring Back the Pussy 8 has now fueled approximately three straight days of horrible n-stage banter and in-van jokery. It’s hard argue with packaging plastered with phrases like “whatever happened to good old-fashioned pussy fucking?” and “what about girls who don’t do anal? They need to work too!” With logic that difficult to refute, how can you go wrong?

Final Night 1 Tally:
Bottles of wine consumed between two bands: 4
Stories above ground Slater from WWC puked off of outside the apartment: 4
Number of “Bring Back the Pussy” jokes told: approximately 25

More to come soon!