Smile Politely

Shipwreck Owes You No Kudo

Four-piece Champaign group Shipwreck tie up their magic phones, live cobras, and intoxicating brand of atmospheric rock into a red handkerchief on a stick, take to the highway to inspire enchanting dance parties in strippers, hipsters, and orange trees alike with their newest release, Rabbit in the Kitchen with a New Dress On.

Cornerstone – Decatur, IL

Cat piss. Soy sauce. Old socks and french fries. The sweet smell of Decatur.

Driving into Decatur we took a highway overpass that drives right through the smokestacks of the local corn and soy-processing factory. We were lucky. The wind blew just right, and we found ourselves completely enveloped in the warm, putrid fog coming off the smokestacks. It’s kinda nauseating and disgusting. John found it nostalgic. He grew up here. As a kid, he thought that clouds came from smokestacks. Dumbass.

We ran the sound for the night with help from The Beauty Shop. We’re master live sound engineers. We specialize in making singers sound like they are singing from underneath a mattress. A mattress that unpredictably but frequently lets out squealing feedback.

The owners of the Cornerstone are one of the rare breed of bar owners who understand the number one thing a band wants on the road: booze. Lots of it. For free. Kudos to them. By the way, what the fuck is a kudo? Sounds Japanese.

Cowboy Monkey – Champaign, IL

So we had our “CD release party.” We wanted to call it our “unleashing-our-CD-upon-an unsuspecting-and-ill-prepared-world party” but that didn’t fit very well on the flyers.

Erin Fein from Headlights joined us onstage, thus breaking Shipwreck’s long-standing ban on allowing women on stage. The times they are a-changing.

Stephen Ucherek from The Living Blue also joined us for our last song. Between Erin on one side of stage and Stephen on the other, we found ourselves in a charisma sandwich.

Which reminds us, Vlad wants to start a restaurant called “the KG Bistro” and he wants to have a sandwich called the “Slick Rick Reuben.”* If you tell him that some hipster in NYC or SF or LA or STL or BFE or whatever has already made up this sandwich, be prepared to see a grown man cry. And then be prepared to get punched in the mouth.

*All ideas trademarked by Vladimir Brilliant. And Waage is a lawyer now so best step off.

Peoria Pizza Works – Peoria Heights, IL

Well, there was a fog machine. We weren’t quite sure what was going on at first with the smoke and all. Equipment fire? Wouldn’t be the first time.

John broke four strings. Three in one song. New record. He gave up and put his guitar down and started singing and clapping. For some reason we don’t quite understand, people never like us more than when we fuck something up real bad onstage. Maybe it’s like looking at car accidents. Maybe they’re amazed at our ability to recover. Probably the car accident thing.

We challenged a couple of animal statues to some death screaming. We won.

There were some early Halloween drinkers out. Little Bo Peep, a zombie, and the Golden Girls. Harman thought Little Bo Peep looked like a dude and she overheard him mention it in passing. Might take a little more to make a fan out of that one.

Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA

No one lives in Des Moines. Seriously. We’ve only seen 2 people ever walking around in that town. And both of them were in a dumpster. We’re totally not making this up.

Vlad came up with another clever (but stupid) idea for an ironically named product. He wanted to make shirts to sell in Indiana that said “Hoosier Daddy?” Unfortunately, Waage has one of those high-fallutin’ iPhones.

Our main use of the phone has been to prove each other wrong in arguments. It used to be more fun to argue over facts and statistics that we were all just making up in the first place. Now the stupid iPhone has forced us to accept our views as opinions rather than as facts.

Anyway, apparently many, many people have come up with the idea of Hoosier Daddy shirts. That’s the best thing about the internet. It makes you realize how truly un-special you are.

The Hi-Dive – Denver, CO

The iPhone has been named “Mappy the Jesus phone.” It’s good to name your stuff. Not cause it’s funny or cutesy or whatever. It’s because when the computers and robots take over, they’re going to remember how we treated them, and you best hope that you been good to the machines, otherwise you might find yourself obsolete.

The thin air of the Mile High City went to Vlad’s brain. He started getting wobbly-vision. And not beer-induced wobbly-vision like usual.

The Rockies lost. Denver wept.

The people at the Hi-Dive are the nicest staff ever. Anywhere. We wanted to put them in a bottle and take them away in our pockets. We tried but they didn’t fit. So we’re having them shipped back to Champaign in big cargo boxes. What can brown do for you?

Kilby Ct. – Salt Lake City, UT

Mappy the Jesus Phone is being called Mappy the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Phone. Just for the day.

We shot a video with Julian and Nate for Daytrotter. If you don’t know what Daytrotter is then you are probably not very cool and I am not going to tell you.

Kilby Ct is one of the few venues we have played in that is not a bar. We generally don’t like sober people, but these kids seemed pretty rad. The venue itself looks like a third world shanty town. But in a good way. Not in a starving-children-make-me-feel-bad-for-being-rich-and-wasteful kinda way, but in a oh-that’s-clever kinda way.

Terrapin Station – Boise, ID

We were warned by another touring band that this joint was in a kinda sketchy area, so we got a cobra to guard the van. What is the cobra you ask? Is this like the club? A new kind of vehicle anti-theft device? No. No. And no. It’s a real fucking cobra, and you best stay the hell away from our van. His name is Coby.

Terrapin Station is a Grateful Dead bar. We walked in and Tool was playing. I think Jer-Bear would be proud.

We played that Deer Hunter video game and learned that it would be unwise to ever let Vlad near a gun. He adopted a “kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out” style of playing that was truly disturbing. He won.

The bartender told us his name. John thought he said Po’Boy. Chris thought he said Bobo. Either way, he had a cool nickname. We need some cool nicknames so we can be cooler. Harman is considering calling himself “The Pentagon,” Vlad is going with “Red Eye Surprise,” Chris is “the Condor,” and John is divided between “Quincy Chauncy” or “Chauncy Quincy.”

After the show we went to a BBQ joint that was about the size of a closet. We bought “the Growling Bear” thanks to a recommendation from Bobo or Po’Boy. It was exactly how you’d imagine it. It was next to a bikini joint. You can’t strip in Idaho, but you sure can act like a stripper.

More to come from Shipwreck soon as their adventures continue…

Photo Credit: Dan Wendt

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