January 28, 2006

A UK tour in the books

So lets start this post off by saying our touring partners for this little stint were amazing. Everyone go become friendly with The Fields as they are friendly enough to be friends with everyone.

here are some more things I noticed while traveling last week:

-people in Liverpool get a bad wrap. I found them quite cordial.
-its true what they say about Swedish girls... they are bad dancers.
-there isnt nearly as much free internet in the UK as I would have thought
-there's nothing like a bald drunk Scottish man singing your song lyrics to throw you for a loop
-snooker is great

January 22, 2006

day off in Glasgow

so.. with the end of a great weekend, comes a much appreciated day off for the spinto band in the UK. We are looking forward to spending it watching the Snooker Master's finals between O'Sullivan and Higgins while drinking Snake Bites.

We ate at the Curry Mile last night in Manchester. Imagine the Las Vegas of Manchester, but instead of the neon lights advertising casinos, they advertised Indian Restaurants. It was exquisite. Jeff ordered a rather mild dish, but somehow a super spicy ingredient found its way into his mouth about half way through and ruined the whole meal for him. we all feel terrible about this.

The show in Manchester was fun, with the exception of the horrid sound equipment at the Bier Keller. Apparently they had held a massive New Years Eve party and all their sound equipment got trashed. This was the first concert they had attempted since, and not everything was fixed. Lucky for us our sound man, Pete, was there to save the day again and we salvaged the show. Afterwards, I thought an angry large bouncer who appeared out of nowhere was going to have a seizure from yelling at everyone to get the hell out. It was difficult to understand his thick accent and at one point he told Jeff to leave, but Jeff just nodded his head and returned to his conversation thinking that the angry bouncer was offerring Jeff a beer. THat really happened.

We laughed about it for a while compounded by Trevor's Borat impression.

Speak soon

January 21, 2006


So, being the fortunate souls we are, upon arrival in the UK we find that we are placed right in the center of the throbbing pulse that is the Snooker Masters. For those of you who don't know, snooker is like varsity-pool. Its for the big boys.

it took us about 3 hours of watching this game to make any sort of sense what was going on with all the red balls and why the man in the white gloves kept putting the pink ball back on the table, but the ferocious competition and devout souls that play the game make it impossible to turn away. Plus its on just about every time you turn on the tv.

anyway, eventually the legend of Hurricane Higgins caught up with us and I had to dig up some info about him. For those who don't know the legend of the Hurricane, its a bit different in the UK than it is in the US. Here, the Hurricane is an emphatic competitor. Refusing to lose the upper-hand on the snooker table, The Hurricane spent years leaving his manners at the door of the snooker hall and his dreams one century-mark and one red,black,pink combo away. The Hurricane accomplished this dream in 1971 becoming the World Champion of Snooker.

After winning every title a snooker player can win, Higgins began a swift decline into drunken disorder. This is best described by BBC sports website, in an article titled Bad Boys of Snooker:

And now the dramatic fall...

In 1986, the Belfast man was asked to provide a urine sample for a random drugs test following his UK Championship match against Mike Hallett and then ended up head-butting tournament director Paul Hatherell.

1986: Headbutted snooker official
1990: Threatened to have Dennis Taylor shot
1990: Abused referee
He subsequently found himself fined £12,000 and also banned from five tournaments.

At the 1990 World Cup - snooker not football - he threatened to have fellow Ireland team-mate Dennis Taylor shot and followed that up by abusing referee John Spencer.

As if that did not land him in enough hot water he then proceeded to punch the tournament director at the World Championship which led to a season ban.

Higgins played his last major tournament at the Pavilions in Plymouth in 1997 - a World Championship qualifying event.

Unfortunately for the veteran he reacted to defeat in a bad way and was ejected from the arena only to be found the next morning claiming to have been stabbed.

Since then Higgins has suffered from throat cancer, although an operation to remove a diseased lymph node from his neck proved successful.

Now 54, Higgins has endured financial problems, forcing him, according to many, to go into pubs and clubs to play for money.

The veteran cancelled a number of comebacks before appearing in the first round of the Irish Open, only to lose 5-1 to 16-year-old Darren Dornan.
Bad Boy rating: 11/10

I feel like any day now Hurricane Higgins will regain his pride and rise like a phoenix to the top of the snooker sport once again.

January 15, 2006


well, since this web journal started as a documentation of spinto grifts, I thought I would post a pretty solid one that occurred last night in Toledo Ohio.

We were out to dinner with Brock, the pomoter for our show, and enjoying some fried pickles and french onion soup. Our waitress could have easily won the role of the flair guy in Office Space. She smiled from ear to ear and made sure our sodas were filled at all times. At one point she said, "So fellas, whats the deal anyway? Are you guys here for a meeting? is it someone's birthday?" As if seven young gentlemen can't sit and enjoy a meal on a Saturday night. Nick, always on top of his game replied with, "Well, as a matter of fact it is Joe's birthday."

Our waitress, being the future den-mother she was, took it upon herself to muster up the troops and sing Joe happy birthday. At the culmination of the song we snuck in that it was Joe's 21st birthday to which the waitress offered Joe a drink.

So there it was, through an elaborate network of lies, we got Joe Hobson a free drink.

Mike's pancakes

Good ol' Chicago. Full of midwestern beers and beauty queens.

While there we met up with our pals from Head of Femur as well as The Ape Club... The Tomorrow Never Knows festival was pretty great. I applaude the promoter's attempts to get the hibernating bears out of their dens to listen to some music.

After the show, we went back to Mike and Tyson and Matt's house from Head of Femur. One of the hilites of this was Mike's pancakes. Our friend Natalie had made us some oatmeal cookies after she heard that we occassionaly get food out of dumpsters. We utilized these cookies to make pancakes like the one pictured here.

and this photo of Matt is awesome:

January 12, 2006

Direct To Helmet Video shoot

If anyone wants to attempt to make sense of what will soon be a video for Tom's song Direct to Helmet check out these photos that our friend and photojournalist-extrodanaire, Ryan Donnell, took:


Steel City

We have a box... its in our van. Nick and Kevin and Joe built it this morning and it snugly fits all of our gear. Its quite nice, especially since we are about to sleep in steal-city. No robbers can see that we are a rock band. For all they know, we have a box full of sick rattle snakes.

The van took us to Pittsburgh quite nicely. We ate some twizzlers and listened to Woody Allen on the radio.

We played a pretty great venue called the Brillobox. Everyone there was real nice. The owners supplied us with more celery and cauliflower than we could handle. The show went well. mixed it up a bit.

Sam got a 12 pack of Coca Cola Black Cherry Vanilla soda. how bout that.

The fine city of Pittsburgh is growing on me. Everyone is up for a hand shake and a smile. ooh Pittsburghians, thank you for your comradery.

time for sleep.