Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Off probation and on vacation

...was the unofficial title of the weekend in honor of Disconnected's vocalist, Patrick, finally clearing his probationary period of 3 years. He got in some trouble some time ago. He's better now.

After releasing the split 7" and actually printing up T shirts (you'd think we were a real band or something) we were itching to get out on the road. Will335 has been booking DIY punk/hardcore shows sporadically over the past 2 years. They are donation only shows and usually do pretty well for the scene and for the touring bands. Usually it is ONLY to support a touring band and the first couple of shows required some 'gentle coaxing' of the crowd, who needed to be reminded that 'donation' does not mean free. Back in July or August, plans for Will to call in a few favors and get us out on the road began to be laid. Karma paid back in spades this past weekend when Disconnected hit the road with Under Anchor for three days.

Originally it was to be ourselves and Nightbringer galvanting our way out to Cedar Falls, IA where both bands had some connections. Some of the members of NB had some obligations to fulfill and could not afford the time or the money to do it. That trip will be for another weekend I guess. Damned shame, because NB is Disconnected's favorite band pretty much. They are as close as you can get to being near Motörhead, while still being able to maintain your lawn. The righteous vegan brothers in Under Anchor heeded the call though, and we made the weekend with them. We did the bookings footwork, they provided the van, we secured the trailer, Rorik drove, I navigated, Will335 harrassed everyone and mashed up the van when I played World Burns To Death. The UA guys suffered untold miseries. DJ, the drummer had broken his hand the day before and was told by the doctor that he was NOT playing drums this weekend. Of course, being like 20, he told the doctor to eat fuck and played like a MONSTER all weekend. He was pretty swollen by the end of the weekend. Derrick and Jimmy were both sick (and got everyone else sick by the end of the weekend). Rorik twisted his ankle and had some pain from being gored and skinned by a piece of machinery at work a few months back, so he was limping after every set and by Chicago, was NOT stoked to walk very far for anything. By the end of the weekend, Jimmy was REALLY sick and would not get out of the cargo area where they had prepared a futon mattress. Somehow, they still played like monsters every night.

Thursday, we all met at Will's house about 7pm and loaded the trailer. We headed out for the hour and a half drive to the Leathershop in Lima and got there later than we thought was prudent. Thankfully the show hadn't started. The Leathershop is probably one of the best DIY spots to catch a hardcore show in Ohio. The Lima crew are dirty, crude and violent, but any one of them would probably give you the shirt off their back, if you feel like wearing an unlaundered and slept in Coke Bust shirt that is. They are all about getting a good show together, or failing that, gorging themselves on vegan food and driving a hundred miles or so to wherever a good show IS happening. The show that was put together that we played on contained 4 out of town bands and 2 Lima bands. Of the 2 Lima bands, there were a total of 5 members. Of them, I think 3 of them lived at, and curated the Leathershop. I don't know who is responsible for the abundance of hardcore pornography that wallpapers most of the rooms, but it is pretty surreal and gives the place that 'Gummo' vibe that any DIY spot in the middle of Ohio would do well to cultivate. They had us on top billing, headlining the show. We found this odd since we had so far hardly ever played out of Toledo, but we also remembered that a good number of Lima kids had trekked up to see shows that had us on the bill and maybe (just MAYBE) a few people were stoked that we were playing. Coincidentally, the first picture included is the first Disconnected patch sighting. It's one of the guys from Trontor, who broke up this past year. I was kinda stoked about that and trailed the kid for a good 15 seconds unbeknownst to him to get a clear pic. At least someone was stoked. William refused to take his ski mask off the entire night. He made it about 3 songs into our set before he had to do something. I played the first two songs in my gasmask for fun, but I was hoping I could do it for the whole set because kids in Lima smoke PACKS of cigarettes at a time. It was thick. I didn't make it past the 2nd song of our set before I thought I was going to pass out because a gasmask is hard to breathe in to begin with. The lineup was Domestic Dispute, Pizza Hi Five (the locals) Iron Minds from Cleveland, Karloff from Columbus, UA and us. The house was pretty well packed for all on the bill and kids were all rad and friendly. Everyone got the crowd to dance at least a few times. Kids lost their minds for Iron Minds and Karloff. I won't bore anyone with a blow by blow of the live sets. Everyone was solid. If you want to know what the bands sound like, I give you my hearty endorsement to go catch a live show and dig what you hear. Everyone was fast when they weren't playing slow and if their gear was on, they were loud. This is a blog, not a zine. Never confuse the two.

Under Anchor, Iron Minds and ourselves all stayed at the Leathershop. I think people were up partying until 6 or 7 in the morning. I was in the backroom on a futon mattress on the floor. I couldn't sleep for a damn. Two people in the room were making out and stuff. It didn't get very far past that. I was grateful. I had turned my ipod up so if they did decide to take it to that other level of intimacy, I would hopefully be asleep already. When I woke up, I was on track 35 of 43 of my Leviathan collection and I couldn't hear ANYTHING in the midrange. Anyone who has listened to Leviathan, knows what I am talking about. Leviathan rules everything. His albums are all like 58-70 minutes long, so my hearing was completely whitewashed by morning.

We aren't self conscious about our sound PERSÉ, but we are pretty certain we don't sound like many bands on any bills ever. We're not serious enough for metal shows, and we do not blast. We are a little too aggressive for most punk bills, and we aren't posi or crucial. Hardcore bands are a little too clean for us, and we don't have any breakdowns to tell anyone when to bring the sick mosh. Crusties would love our sound, but we are not in the least bit conformist to their strict guidelines, nor are we are not political at all. We play no anthems and do not print our lyrics, so it's rare that there is a singalong. Aside from speed, abusive volume and an inconsiderate use of feedback, there is very little for kids who are used to the usual happenings and flow of most live sets to grasp. If there ever was a bill that we were tailor cut for, it was probably the Indianapolis show. I had my buddy Dave from Coffinworm/Worldeater put his feelers out for a show that weekend. Boy, did he come through. There was already a show happening at the 1511 House, and he was going to try and get us on it rather than book a competing show somewhere else. SMART!!! The night was originally Adam's idea for debuting his new band Kata Sarka. Adam had been a friend of mine some years ago when he played in the USBM band FOG, but we fell out of touch. I was hoping to run into him the last time I was in Indy, but I did not. I went to a doom metal fest and he was stuck working all weekend. I DID hang with guys who worked with him and knew him and got my information to him to put us back in touch. Dave asked him if we could make it a stop as well. Agreements were struck and HOLY SHIT was it a good show. I'm going to continue to keep it diplomatic and reserve the 'live review' since it has been a week and my memory is not very long. I do know that Garrett gave me demo of his band, Deadmen, and it is sick. They were incredible. One of the best bands of the weekend and some awesome guys. They are kind of a supergroup. Members and former members of Coffinworm, Suicide Note, Angelville, Lair Of The Minotaur and who knows what else. Uploading their demo right now. Expect a post dedicated to them shortly. The sick fellas all crashed early in the van. The rest of us wandered over to Adam's house for some late night hang. He gifted me with a disc of MP3's that have been ruling my Ipod for a week (especially the unreleased FOG material and the Ignivomous stuff) 5 of us (and Adam) crammed into his 80's Toyota hatchback so we could get something to eat. We went to Qdoba in Broad Ripple, which is douchebag city on a Friday night. We ate and left and I wasn't even done throwing my drink out (after getting that last final pull on it) before Rorik damn near gets in a fight with some popped collar chachi-boys right outside the door. I think he did something to them to provoke them. We slept and got up early the next day. Pat had no voice so he was up at like 7:30 making tea for his throat. The rest of us got up pretty soon after that. I grabbed a quick shower and we were on the road by 9:30 for Chicago.

I wore the battery down on my iPhone using the Google Maps app to get us to Chicago and routing us through it to get to Soul Vegetarian and Metal Haven. I think we all got giant heaping plates of vegan protein in one form or another for lunch. The fried BBQ seitan was pretty good, but it was WAAAAAY better after the show. I wasn't impressed with the twist sandwich I got and regretted my decision. I had to order that in place of the much more interesting sounding Marcus Garvey burger, which they were out of. There were also vegan tamales on the menu, which intrigued me, they were out of them too.

After that, we went to Metal Haven. I had heard much about this store, but had obviously never been there. It made me want to move in next door. We only put an hour in the parking meter, so I had to cram, but even with giving the racks a cursory pass through, I still bought 6 or 7 CD's. Dead Congregation full length, the new Cremation demos compilation on NWN, Odal - Zornes Heimat (totally underrated raw pagan black metal without the silly folk influence), Midnight - Total Fucking Midnight, which I could have lived without, but it was there. Cobalt - Eater Of Birds... I downloaded this ages ago and loved it, but no one could get it in stock for me around here. Black Witchery/Conqueror split Hellstorm Of Evil Vengeance... probably the greatest split of all time. Black Witchery - Desecration Of The Holy Kingdom, which I had just been outbid for on Ebay. It sold on CD for $29, I got it for $13. Up your ass high bidder: j****p.

After that, we went to the Chicago Diner so the vegans could pay like $8 for vegan milkshakes or something. It was in boystown, which is the gay area of Chicago. I figured if they were gonna be there for a few minutes, I could sneak off to a coffeehouse and called my girlfriend. I did just that. It took me a few minutes to find a place. She was stressed and it made me feel bad that I couldn't be there for her. I wandered for a few minutes and saw some rather interesting costume shops on the way back.

We went to the Albion house where we were playing with Picked Clean and What The Fuck from Indiana, and Poison Planet and Boiling Over from Chicago. Every band pretty much played a sick set. Under Anchor somehow pulled through injury and illness to play their tightest set of the weekend. We played our third incident free set of the weekend. (how?) I missed most of Picked Clean because they only played for ten minutes and we were loading out due to it being in a tiny basement. What The Fuck decimated everyone all weekend though I thought. I got a demo from them and have uploaded it for posting in the next few weeks, whenever I can get the time to write it up. Poison Planet ruled when I saw them at the Tower in Cleveland some months back. They were a little rough from being on hiatus for some months, but they still killed. Boiling Over were as tight as they were when they played in Toledo. We were the odd band out again. Most of the bands on the bill were of the straight edge fastcore variety. What The Fuck even played a song called "Fuck Metal" which prior to playing it, the guy had something to say about there being other things to sing about than dragons and vikings. I can agree with that. It's just when metal bands try and sing about things that aren't fantasy, partying or satan, it just comes off as preachy and people throw things at them. When hardcore bands do it, kids just ignore them. We don't know what Pat sings about. We know some of his lyrics and they are pretty abstract and/or depraved. When we were loading up, Jas tried to blow a snot rocket or something and it became an epic (and blogworthy) booger.

People didn't leave when we played. There were alot of people in the room. They danced hard (surprisingly) We were pretty stoked about the reaction we got because Chicago is a notoriously tough crowd. They are the largest city in the midwest and have probably the most active and strongest hardcore scene not on a coast. Chicago bands are seriously together when we see them in our hometown and when you play their town, you are up against a very spoiled crowd. They have some of the best bands, and anyone else who is awesome in the US is trying to get shows put together like four nights a week in Chicago. If your band is not on top of their game, the crowd will be outside bullshitting with each other. We didn't have this problem. It was the last night of the weekend and we knew we had to rip faces off from beginning to end. We held our own. We know a good number of kids came up from Indy because of the Indianapolis bands, and a few of them were really stoked on us because we were in top form the night before, but I can't say that ALL the kids dancing were from Indy. The show ended, everyone went home. We got arrangements made for where we were staying and I started punching in coordinates on the iPhone.

We headed out to find food. I think I hit the wrong button on or something, because google maps took us to the OTHER end of Clark St. looking for the Pick Me Up Cafe. We turned around like 4 times, then I hit the right button and it got us there, but it was like 5 miles south and we didn't know it was across the street from Wrigley Field... on a Saturday night... at midnight. It was douche city. They were hailing cabs, their cabs were cutting us off. There was no parking. They were wandering drunkenly and vomiting in front of the van when we were at stop lights. It was bad news and we were getting in a seriously bad mood as a result. The sick guys in UA were giving up the ghost at this point. Jimmy was driving, but he was hitting the wall hard in the H1N1 department. Rorik had driven all weekend and was trying to get a break. It was a bad idea. Once we let Jimmy out amongst the population, it was all over and we all woke up the next day with our sinuses full of cement and our throats full of cobwebs. We said fuck it and found where we were staying. Hopes were high that there would be something open at night that we could walk too. Maybe there would be vegan options? FAIL. Pat, Jas and I headed out to find Burger King, which was the only thing open in the admittedly "yuppie" area we were in. Will came along too so he could get some fries. I avoid fast food for the most part, and when I am stuck, I try and get something reasonable. The other band I play in make fun of me for my "fag food" selections but I really can't eat greasy foods anymore without risking losing a day to illness. We were so hungry though, and the dining room was closed. I walked up to the drive through to see if the lady would let us order something. There was already a guy standing there behind a car. We got behind him. There was no menu board there, and the only thing I could remember that BK served was Whoppers... and it was the best damned Whopper I had eaten in my entire life. I love me some vegan food, but damn, I was stoked to eat some actual meat for a change. We couldn't figure out where the place was. We accosted some fixed gear bicyclist to see what their snob/swine answer would be to our enquiry as to where the taco bell and/or burger king was. They refused to tell us and pedaled off saying "We don't know!!! We don't eat DOG!!!" I thought William was going piss his pants laughing. He's been a strict vegan for 17 years and these snarky pitchforkers were looking down their noses at him. Here's a picture of Will with an axe by which he will split the wigs of false vegans.

Lord only knows when Disconnected is going to get out and do this again. Sooner rather than later we hope. It was fun and we proved a point to ourselves kinda validating what we do. Dunno if we will be able to take it for more than a few days at a time, but hopefully, things keep moving forward.

I've been writing this in little bursts all week, more for myself than anyone else. My memory is not long and before I start forgetting things, I wanted to have a document of what happened, and how the band feels about things just at this moment rather than looking back in time and thinking about events in hindsight. Currently, it is one week after we got home and Disconnected just played a rather disappointing set to a surprisingly good sized hometown crowd. Things didn't go our way and we were not in top form. I guess we deserved a little humbling after having such a great weekend. We'll get it back with some practice. A heap of thanks to Jimmy, Derrick, DJ and Rorik from Under Anchor for providing the van. Rorik in particular for driving nearly every last mile of the weekend without complaint. Thanks to Trashy and Mike at the Leathershop for the rad show, the floorspace and the vegan burritos the next day. Thanks to Dave and Adam for the show, Adam specifically for putting us up. Carl, Garrett and Mike for being in the front row and being stoked on us in Indy, and Mike rolling up to Chicago with the Indy bands. Thanks to the dudes in Boiling Over for getting us on the Chicago show, Mike Banks for hosting the show and graciously having us on the bill. Thanks to the guy in Chicago who put us up... Eric? I forgot his name. He was a good guy and we probably stressed he and his roommates out cuz we are verbally abusive, inconsiderate and thankless fucks who make fun of everything and wrecked his neighbors rock gardens.

Death to false bullet belts.


Voluspa9 said...

Mahlon! Awesome seeing you again, and getting thoroughly chuffed by your rad band! Glad you dig the new jams I gave you. Get back to Indy soon and tell the rest of the Dis-dudes I say hey!


Under Anchor said...

Thanks for posting this Mahlon. It is WAY more thorough than I could have been!

Unknown said...

Super rad post man. Wished I still lived in OH so I could see you. Come through Lawrence, KS next time assholes.

stretch3miles said...

so much fun that whole weekend. thanks for playing hard

- Mike