Thursday, May 31, 2012

Week 10: My Fan Girl Moment

Written on 5/27/2012, in Albuquerque, NM

I have often wondered if I should change my name again. If you love cult films like I do, you already know that I named myself after a character played by Rose McGowan in a campy Greg Araki flick. I chose the moniker when I was 17. It quickly became my nickname amongst my friends. I was first published under my pen name in a zine that a friend of mine edited and distributed at a high school in England where I attended 11th grade. Eventually I published stories and poems to a wider circle, as well as music. How silly is it to name oneself after a character in a B movie? Well, no sillier, I suppose, than a band like Margot & the Nuclear So & Sos naming their act for a character in a much classier flick (the Royal Tenenbaums).

I first saw Margot a couple years ago in Portland, but I had already had their album, the Dust of Retreat, for a while and was listening to it constantly. I was pleasantly surprised to find out, after I arrived in Albuquerque one day earlier than I had originally planned to, that Margot was going to be playing at a club downtown tonight! I promptly purchased a ticket.

I arrived at the show early enough to see the stellar opening bands, Whispertown and Dinosaur Feathers. Whispertown especially rocked my socks off. But then Margot undid everything else that was left on me. After an energetic set featuring songs off of their new record, Rot Gut, Domestic, and old fan favorites like "Skeleton Key", the band treated its audience to a 2-song encore, including one of my favorites, "Talking in Code". Then they rushed to the bar because local liquor laws had prohibited them from drinking on stage.

I wandered out to the patio with my cheap beer in hand, looking for a smoke. I found one and also found the lead singer of Margot, smoking, drinking and talking to fans. I was tempted to be a complete fan girl and bum rush him, but I didn't. Instead I watched many other girls do just that. I took slow drags off my cigarette and long sips of my beer while I tried to imagine myself approaching him. Cavalierly I'd say, "Hey... do you know of any cool parties later?" I don't smoke very much anymore, but I lamely bummed another cigarette from someone, just to have an excuse to stay outside.

My heart raced the more I envisioned this scene. I would never be able to speak to someone so cool because that would require me to open my mouth and say words and that seemed impossible. Best to just hang back, I decided. Then suddenly I turned to my left and saw that the drummer of the Nuclear So & Sos was standing right next to me. "Thanks for playing," I managed to say in his general direction.

He was very down-to-earth and kind. He asked if I'd seen them play before, which somehow enabled me to divulge my entire life story. He listened, asked me my stage name, and told me he'd like to look me up online. He asked about my style and the instruments I play, and how long my tour is. When I told him that I was on the road for at least five months (not counting short breaks in Portland), and was two months in, he seemed blown away. His band would usually go out for a few weeks at a time, but then again, they had more one-night engagements and longer voyages between gigs then I did.

When he noticed some of his band-mates loading gear out of the club, he politely excused himself, saying that he hoped our paths would cross again. Now I felt emboldened. I walked over to the lead singer, and thanked him for playing, too. I told him that I was on the road and that he and his band were a big inspiration to me. He asked me questions about my music, too, and even wrote my stage name down in his phone. Like his drummer, he seemed genuinely impressed with my ability to tour for a such a long period of time. It was so strange and awesome to have these guys that I admire thinking I was cool!

Eventually the lead singer, Richard, had to help load up the van, too, so he said goodbye. For the record, I did ask if the band was planning to party after the show, in hopes of being invited to a prodigious gathering, but, as it turned out, the band had plans to drive to El Paso tonight. As for me, I'm sleeping here in Albuquerque for a few more nights before I go all the way to Taos, NM (Richard asked me, "Where the hell is that?"), and then on to Vegas, where the members of Margot agree: no one plays anymore.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 7

I have spent a lot of time in Spokane on this tour, from weeks 3 to 4, and then 6 to 7. I always spend the majority of my time there with one of my oldest and closest friends, Andrea, who lives there. In the last couple months, she has shared her bed with me, built me a fire, driven me all over Spokane and Northern Idaho, introduced me to new friends, showed me new places in our hometown, sang back-up for me at several shows, and stayed in one very sketchy Idaho motel with me. We have had so many adventures involving karaoke, mad libs, red wine, and car rides, far too many to recount here, but I just wanted to give a shout out to my best woman. You really are the best, grrlfriend!

I would be remiss if I didn't also thank her parents, who let me stay, shared their food, loaned me sound equipment, and, as always, made me feel very welcomed. I love all you Workmans! See you in June!