Smile Politely

Shipwreck Travels West Coast Via Hipness Echo Location

Local rockers Shipwreck continue their pillaging of the West Coast, shilling their new album, Rabbit in the Kitchen with a New Dress On.

Healthy Times Fun Club – Seattle, WA

Jake and Rebecca have the coolest quasi-legal club around. It’s so cool that they don’t even advertise their address. You have to have an internal hipness radar to find the place. It’s fun standing outside their unmarked door watching hipsters use their hipness echo location. Some hipsters, like some bats, aren’t as good at it, and end up running into walls looking for the entrance.

Halloween is the one night of the year when everyone can step out of their stupefying dull adult lives and let out their inner child. Judging by people’s costumes, we feel safe in saying that most people’s inner child is either a slut or a drag queen.

What’s the phrase? Some men are born great and others have greatness thrust upon them? That doesn’t sound right at all, but we never claimed to be smart. We’re good-looking and we’re cool and that’s what’s important. Anyways, we’d rather not find out what having greatness thrust upon us feels like, but we saw it happen to a guy in Seattle.

Traffic was at a standstill in Capitol Hill. Displaying the fearlessness, bravery, and stupidity of the profoundly inebriated, some young man stumbled into the middle of the road to selflessly play traffic cop. Within minutes he had traffic flowing smoothly. What was odd about it was that everyone followed his directions. Perhaps the citizens of Seattle are accustomed to and appreciative of such acts of civic responsibility. Perhaps people are mindless sheep and do whatever they are told. Who knows? Who cares? The moral of the story is that you should stand in the middle of the road next time you are drunk. People will respect you for it.

Towne Lounge – Portland, OR

The heater core went out on the van yesterday. Had to get it fixed this morning. The first sign something was amiss was the strong smell of antifreeze, which if you don’t know, smells like someone decided to hide catfish in your ventilation system. The second sign was that Harman’s and John’s eyelashes starting falling out at a remarkable rate. By the time you see us we may look like chemo patients. That should help us sell merch.

Anyway, heater’s broke. No more heat on tour. Who needs heat? I mean, besides humans and cobras. Mappy the Jesus Phone doesn’t. Mappy will survive.

House Party – Oakland, CA

We played in a backyard. We played to an orange tree.

There were a couple of people there, too, but we have people at something like 60% of our shows, so that was nothing special. But this was our first show playing for a tree, so we changed the music up a bit. We took out all the references to paper and lumber (common themes in our lyrics) and substituted them with references to photosynthesis and cellular walls. We pander to the audience.

It was hard to tell, but I think that orange tree got its ass rocked.

Satellite Lounge—Reno, NV

Reno is the biggest little town in America. Or the littlest big town. We don’t remember which way the slogan goes, but either way it’s a lie. It’s a midsize town. And everyone’s lawns are made of gravel, not grass. Which explains why in Reno, the Slip-and-Slide was called the Slip-and-Require-Reconstructive-Ass-Surgery.

The audience at Satellite Lounge had a secret farter in their midst. Secret farters, if you’re not familiar, are people who get off on farting in crowded public places confident in the knowledge that no one will be able to identify them. (In dense groups of more than 15 people, natural laws, just like in high energy physics, break down: “he who smelt it dealt it” and “she who denied it, supplied it” no longer hold true.)

Every five minutes or so, someone ripped ass, forcing the whole crowd to move perceptibly to one side like a school of fish. We suspect it was some cute girl. Cute girls know that no one will suspect them. They know that people will suspect someone who looks more like, well, us. But we were not to blame. This time. (Sorry, Boston.)

Day Off #1– San Francisco, CA

Day off. No one gets their ass rocked tonight.

We stopped by Lake Tahoe. We heard it’s beautiful up there. But we weren’t there for that. We were looking for the Girls Gone Wild people. We figured they would know how to get a hold of the Boys Gone Wild People. We had high hopes that those folks were going to jumpstart our careers as young starlets. After all, Shipwreck is really just a vehicle for us to spin-off our acting careers. We were totally gonna go wild. Like crazy wild. Like ape-shit wild.

But alas, apparently spring break happens in spring. Lame.

After touring for a few weeks, spending each day in the van, each night in a different bar in a different city, one starts to realize what’s important in one’s life back home. Family, you ask? Friends? Loved ones? No, no, and no. Wow, you’re really bad at this game.

No, what’s important is cable TV. Yep. TV.

Day Off #2 –San Francisco, CA

Hey guess what? There are hippies still at Haight & Ashbury. Guess what else? You can find marijuana for sale near Amoeba Records super easy. And? There are sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf. Know what that means? It means we got to do touristy crap today. And gosh-darn-it, we liked it.

We also discovered that walking from the Mission to Golden Gate Park is apparently further than it looks on the map. You may not know this, cause we’ve gathered from our previous conversations that you’re not very cool, but San Francisco is a bit hilly.

Despite our best efforts, we were unable to find a restaurant that offered up that ultimate of San Francisco treats: Rice-a-Roni.

However, we did get to eat dinner twice. New England-style clam chowder down by the Fisherman’s Wharf and Vietnamese pho in Richmond. Our bellies were the crossroads of a gastrointestinal exchange of Western and Eastern cultures. Much like San Francisco. Think about it. That’s deep.

Silverlake Lounge – Los Angeles, CA

We stayed in Hollywood at a friend’s apartment right above the Kodak Theater. That’s the place where the Oscars are presented in case you didn’t know (cause you’re not a big deal, like us). In Hollywood, everyone is famous and talent scouts scour the streets looking for the next star of the silver screen. Every person you pass is strikingly good looking and immensely talented.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Some of the people are actually smelly burned out drifters who dress up as Disney movie characters to sell pictures of themselves posing with Japanese tourists. We would guesstimate that there is about a 3 to 1 ratio of people posing as famous people to actual famous people. But that’s all. No one else lives there.

Silverlake Lounge – Los Angeles, CA

A word of advice. The next time you’re in Hollywood and your drag queen musician friend asks you to record background vocals for his latest hit, “Sasquatch Woman,” be very careful. Your friend will probably forget to warn you that the song is excruciatingly catchy. He will probably neglect to mention that the song’s hooks are the crystal meth of melodies—undeniably addictive and terrible for your health. Considered yourself forewarned; some of us weren’t so lucky.

Scolari’s Office – San Diego, CA

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to listen to someone coughing and vomiting for 45 minutes? Yeah, us neither. But we found out.

The opening band tonight spent their entire set making an assortment of bodily noises. Afterwards, they tried to sell us one of their CDs. Now we can’t help but wonder, who would want to listen to someone fake vomiting at home? When we want to hear vomiting, we do it the old-fashioned way: we set up some mics and then drink lots and lots of booze. Real vomiting. That’s what I am talking about. Kids these days.

Day Off #3

  • 10:00am: Up early today to drive as far as we can towards Abilene, TX. We have two days to make it there. It’s approximately four bazillion miles away.
  • 10:32am: The dollar menu at Mickey Don-Don’s is looking especially appealing this morning as a result of the massive quantities of bourbon consumed last night. There is but one question, and wiser men than us have pondered this dilemma since time immemorial: McChicken before or after the double cheeseburger?
  • 11:47am Southeastern California is a pile of rocks.
  • 12:15pm Due to the arid air of the desert and the dehydrating effects of last-night’s drinking, our skin has developed the texture, appearance, and perhaps taste of saltine crackers.
  • 1:54pm Driving in the van is fucking boring.
  • 3:28pm Judging by the smell, the entire state of Arizona apparently likes to do their number 2’s alongside the Interstate. The smell of shit and the extreme boredom are starting to get to us.
  • 5:05pm Thoughts growing jumbled. Butt falling asleep. Body aches setting in.
  • 6:52pm Panda Express tastes like Arizona smells. Make it stop.
  • 7:14pm No sleeping. Just driving, driving, driving, driving, pooping in rest stops, driving, driving, driving…
  • 8:13pm What’s that? Huh? What?
  • 9:20pm Here, bunny, bunny, bunny. Here, bunny, bunny, bunny.
  • 10:44pm What the hell you messin with that there tractor for in the first place? I told you once, I done told you a thousand times: I’m the goddamn Grand Master of Checkers!
  • 11:58pm In eighteen hundred and eleventeen-two, Columbus sailed my shoes, my shoes. Who do? You do. The babe with the power!
  • 12:21am FDR! FDR! FDR!

Monk’s – Abilene, TX

Carlos and Rodrigo showed us the sights of Abilene, which is Walmart.

They also took us to a party at a place that looked kinda like our grandma’s house but with a couple of sets of 48” sub-woofers in the living room and a dining room with a 50 liter barrel of tequila.

Waage found out that he is in fact adopted, and that his real grandmother lives in Mexico. She told us this. Seriously. Fine. Don’t believe us.

Vlad played tug of war with a pitbull named Achilles. It was his birthday. Achilles’. Not Vlad’s. We don’t celebrate Vlad’s birthday.

Club Deville – Austin, TX

So we want your opinion on this. Say you worked at a place and a skirmish broke out that you didn’t witness first hand. And say that the two people involved came up to you asking you kick to the other one out. Now imagine that the one person was a quiet guy who was sitting most of the night with his quiet girlfriend and he happened to be on crutches. And now picture that the other guy is there with his girlfriend who happens to have climbed up on the roof in order to show everyone her tits, and he happens to have blow all around his nostrils. Who side would you take? Who would you trust? The cokehead with the flasher, right? Yeah us, too.

Hailey’s – Denton, TX

We spent the morning getting Vlad’s bass amp fixed. Our friend, Bongho, drove us around. Austin while we waited for the repair. I don’t know if you caught that, but we have a friend named Bongho.

Grady, who was the sound guy, and Mary, who was not the sound guy, let us stink up there living room. To them, we are grateful. People like them remind us of the basic good of the human race. Or at least the .05% that we tend to fraternize with.

The Conservatory – Oklahoma City, OK

Dear Tour Diary,

Today was such a disaster. I swear to god, it was like the worst day ever. So I walked into the Conservatory, and starting walking towards the sound guy, and then I totally froze when I realized he was there with another band! I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to go up and be like, “whatever, if you want to be with some slutty, dogfaced band, then fine, just don’t do it in public in front of all of my friends” but instead I just started crying and ran out the back door. I talked to Tiffany, my bff, for like an hour outside on my new Razr 2 cell phone, which is totally cool btw, and she made me feel tons better. Seriously, I love her to death. Like I told Tiff, I swear, one of these days I’m just going to totally give up and not even look for another sound guy. They’re all just a bunch of pigs anyway.

Yours till the end,


P.S. That sound guy was lousy at doing sound anyway. You could hardly even tell he was at the board, and he never even asked about how it sounded for me.

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