Johnny Unicorn Tour Update – Empyrean

Spokane, WA

Gee I wish these wipers would work!

Spokane, as seen from the South

The day started like any other: I awoke with an automobile seat belt buckle pressed into my lumbar vertebrae. The parking brake was, this time, unnoticeable in comparison. My hair was oily, and my skin was encrusted with night dirt. My knees ached from being bent in the same position between the steering wheel and the door for seven straight hours of sleep. Who knows how many spiders were sleeping with me? My breath tasted like a glove compartment, and my neck felt like a door handle. Even though it was mid-morning, there was no sun. There were only clouds and rain. The gentle tapping of the rain on the metal of the Corsica let me know that the necessary outdoor stretching I would have to do would not be refreshing or invigorating, but sticky, wet, and cold, like a Siberian bath towel in a public shower. My last show was only ten minutes away from the rest area I was currently in. My next show was only twenty minutes away.

The first thing I did was get to Spokane and find the tallest hill I could find and take a photograph. The next thing I did was go to Molly’s for an omelette and pancakes. I would eat those pancakes for the next two days, but I had no way of knowing that at the time. The omelette must have had a half a dozen eggs in it, and half of it was cheese. For about seven dollars I got three meals worth of breakfast. The Empyrean, at which I would be performing, was not open until 5pm. So I had to kill time.

The previous night, in Idaho, I had seen a depressingly disappointing comedy film. The theatre was crawling with teenagers…Generation Text. I wish I had coined that term, but apparently I didn’t. I have no problem with teenagers. In fact, I think they’re great. They are so open to new ideas, it can be wonderful. But I felt so out of place walking around with my adult clothing, and a gait that can only come from years of experience existing in a society. I just didn’t feel like I fit in. Plus, I was alone. Anyway, today, I wouldn’t make that mistake again. No movie theatres! So I went to the mall. There, I walked past a hundred clothing stores that were all selling the exact same thing. I spent most of my time there browsing in the board game store, considering getting a “real” scrabble board, and ultimately deciding not to, and playing skeeball in the arcade.

After one too many donuts and an unnecessary soda, I set off for the venue to set up for the show. Joel, the sound guy, once again did an awesome job setting up my sound mixing during the show. He’s very attentive to detail. A bunch of people came out to see me (like Liz, Danielle, Heather, Mimi, and Michelle, the owner of the coffeeshop, even though she was off duty), which was nice. By a bunch, I mean it in the same way as a “bunch of bananas.” It was nice to see a few people come out in a town where no one knows who I am.

Five artists performed that night. The local bands I could not find any information about online, and as far as I can tell the first band was called The Club Scouts, but I could be wrong. They were a drum and guitar duo that did sort of math rock. I enjoyed the chord progressions. The other was a guy named Chad, who did emotional acoustic songs in a sort of nu-metal way. The other two bands were alt-country touring bands from Texas. Warren Jackson Hearn played first, and did solo acoustic songs. Beautiful playing and a deep voice made his set very enjoyable. And I can’t get his moustache out of my mind. The other band was the Thrift Store Cowboys, with Hearn on bass. They were fairly sizable for a rock band. I feel like they had six people on stage, but there may have been seven. They used lots of instruments. Their sound was great and well-balanced. Their songs were good, and I had a great time watching their set.

Then I performed. I performed as if there were six hundred people in the audience. This is what I do now. I multiply every person in the audience by 50 before I do anything. It was a good last show of the tour.

Stay tuned in the near future for “Johnny Unicorn 2010 Tour: reflections.”

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