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Captain's Log 7-26-19

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Day 21: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Today, as planned, we evacuated the Mother Ship / Tour Loaf for two days. We spent the morning packing the rental car with what we would need. This involved removing as much food from the refrigerator as possible, bringing our usual clothes and show outfits, all the gear, and the tent for Drew's backyard. I had counted two sleeping spaces at Drew's the day before: a couch in the front room, and a couch in the back room. For the five of us to sleep there would require some creativity, and the tent would alleviate some of the crowded quarters. I also packed a bug net and tarp, in case the hammock in Drew's backyard could sleep another band member. Magoon and I washed dishes in tack room, where we encountered Ryan the Ferrier (not the elusive Tom, whose only responsibility is to look pretty). The Captain was finishing up loading the gear into the rental as we returned.

The Captain expertly stacking clothing and pillows in with the gear

Molhy, Magoon and McRage packed into the back seat of the rental

We departed by 1100 hours, stopping to refuel our rental vehicle and empty our garbage and recycling at a petrol station on our way out of Coopersburg. The plan for the day was to meet Drew at his house, then wander Philadelphia and see some attractions before regrouping for our show at the Thirsty Soul in South Philadelphia that evening. After the show, which would finish at midnight, we would sleep at Drew's rather than returning to the Tour Loaf.

Neither Molhy, McRage, the Captain nor I had the foresight yesterday to write down or mark Drew's address on our devices. As he was not responding promptly to the Captain's communications, we decided to head toward the corner bar, The Endzone Pub, which we new to be a few blocks from Drew's house. I set the coordinates for this destination, and the drive was uneventful. From the Endzone Pub, we recognized how to arrive at his house between the four of us who had visited it the day prior. An unfortunate comedy of errors ensued when we knocked and were greeted by Drew's girlfriend Kelly, who had no expectation of our arrival. Yesterday Molhy, McRage and I had trusted that Drew and the Captain, in their brusque manner of communication that the rest of us could not completely decipher, had come to an understanding about the Ugly Dog staying in the same small house as Drew's two canines. It appeared, however, that all had not been clarified, and we spent an hour or two in suspense and scrambling for alternative plans as it appeared clear that Drew would not permit the Ugly Dog to stay. Our alternate plans included complex maneuvers such as booking a hotel room for the Captain and the Ugly Dog to stay in while the rest of us slept at Drew's, and Molhy walking the Ugly Dog during our performances instead of singing with the band. The Captain was highly stressed, but Molhy kept us clear-headed, reminding us of the relative ease of this problem-solving in light of the Chicago Fiasco.

With the quandary still unresolved, the crew left Drew's to load in our gear at the Thirsty Soul, tonight's venue. Magoon, needing some solitude after the Ugly Dog confusion, elected to stay at the venue while the rest of us found a nearby Planet Fitness at which to shower. We all felt tense. Would we have to play two shows without Molhy? I resorted to my self-soothing mechanisms of eating Chef Boyardee ravioli and watching Instagram videos of my favorite lesbian ship (Wayhaught). To my dismay, I had left my towel, shampoo and soap at Drew's, but Molhy lent me hers so that I could refresh myself before the performance. Finally, the Captain received communication from Drew, who had decided in the end that he would allow the Ugly Dog to stay in his house during the performance and overnight. This was to everyone's great relief, as it meant that Molhy would not need to sacrifice her role in our performances! Back at the Thirsty Soul, all showered, we left McRage and Molhy and retrieved the keys to Drew's house from Magoon. The Planet Fitness, Drew's house, and the Thirsty Soul were all within a few miles of each other in the same neighborhood, so the shuttling was perfectly convenient. The Captain and I continued back to Drew's, where the two friends made up. I pitched my tent in the backyard and napped on the couch in preparation for the late night show. The Captain and I returned to the Thirsty Soul with an hour to spare before our performance. We met our opening act, a friendly, wiry and easygoing person, one half of the duo Midnight Singers. The Thirsty Soul is decorated in twisted Christian motifs, its chief artwork being a painting of a one-winged angel above the bar, holding her halo off to the side with one hand and a martini in the other. The listening room on the other side of the bar is entered through a faux confessional booth, covered by red curtains, with the confessional window cleverly facing the bartenders.

I was nervous about this particular performance, since our acquaintances in Philadelphia were very few, but noticed that the bar had a considerable crowd of Friday night revelers. Following the example of Lindsey Stirling, I styled myself as the FlecHaus Number 1 Fan, in a too-large T-shirt thrown over my dress, grabbed one of our EPs and a handful of stickers and went out to inform the bar's clientele of our performance. The staff was quite indulgent of this activity, going so far as to echo my proclamations of "there's an amazing band from Austin, Texas!" I am not sure whether this technique was effective, or whether the added touch of sunglasses (since it's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) might have put the revelers on edge, but a few of them did cross the curtain into the listening room eventually.

The Midnight Singers in the listening room

We dined on macaroni with cheese, barbequed shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes as we listened to the Midnight Singers. Magoon, still feeling unwell, adjusted the setlist so that it included songs that were easier on her voice. By the time we began to play, we had a healthier crowd in the room, and by the end it felt full, though there couldn't have been more than fifteen people. The listening room's intimacy and the enthusiasm of the small audience made the show feel very successful, and we played well. After chatting with the audience members and inviting them to our performance the following day at the Khyber in the Old City, we headed home to Drew's to sleep. Next Captain's Log Previous Captain's Log


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