Posted by Matt Sunday, February 07, 2010

Well this tour is over, except for this increasingly harrowing ride home across Iowa through sleet and snow. Dave has been our preferred pilot since things got perilous earlier this afternoon. He truly does have a way with machines, and, as I mentioned a few posts back, he really is cool under fire.

We’ve been traveling caravan style for this little tour, and throughout it’s been Steve and John, “the rhythm section”, driving in a white minivan, and Dave, Jacques and I, “the talent”, in a little black sedan. We haven’t bothered to stay close together because it’s so easy to coordinate with the phones. We in the sedan have adopted the strategy of driving like grannies in the left lane where there’s less ice, and we’ve been passed at high speed by countless cars. We’ve also seen a few of those Steve McQueens spun out in the ditch with an Iowa squad car parked nearby, colored lights going crazy.

Earlier in the day our little car exited to gas up at a “Kum & Go” (Yes, that’s really the name of this convenience store chain.), and, just by chance, who should we encounter amid the flurries at the gas pumps but our friendly band mates in the white minivan. That really struck us as a marvelous coincidence. Filthy comments were exchanged with a smile and we went our separate ways in the snow.

Now, a few hours later in the dimming light of dusk, conditions on the road have worsened. Traffic has squeezed down to one lane and police lights are visible on the white horizon. Probably another spin out. When we get to within a quarter of a mile from the situation, we begin to make out the shape of a white van in the mess. Two guys are moving around near the wreck. Now all of our will to smirk and joke has drained away as we squint our eyes to interpret the silhouettes we see wandering by the ditch just beyond an icy overpass. When we get close enough we see something written in red paint on the van’s door. It’s not our guys.

Dave says he recognizes this van as one of the vehicles we’d seen earlier blowing by us like we were standing still. As we passed, among our emotions there was at least a thread of, “You know, fuck these fools. Really.” I called John and he said that he and Steve had just passed that van too and that he was pretty sure that they were a band. It’s been a dicey afternoon.

It will be so nice to sleep at home tonight next to my sweet, beautiful wife.

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I’m sure we are ALL very happy you guys made it safe and sound after such a dicey and scary driving experience…I’m sure the stress alone has added another wrinkle….

...you may have some problems explaining “the talent” line, but maybe no one will notice that…

...it’s always good to make it back home….in fact..there’s nothing better than that!

Posted by Kara 2010 02 08

Oh, I’m very sorry that after you delivered so much happiness to the prairie states this weekend, the prairie states didn’t give you better traveling conditions. (Or an amp, for that matter). You guys be careful with this February driving. February is not a good month for rockers traveling in the midwest, you know.

Oh, and next time, you might consider not loading all the talent in one car.

Posted by ss 2010 02 08

Harrowing travails survived become heroic conquests of lore, all part of your quest toward pantheon. Do not allow your courage to falter, the gods of supreme rock, Holly, Orbison, & Sonny Bono, watch over you like a scene from Jason & the Argonauts, guiding your little crafts through the howling sirens of the Iowa tundra, van & sedan, white & black, righteous & sordid, rhythm & talent, yin & yang, you will prevail.

I’m glad you’re all safe, not makiing light of the risks, I watched a truck roll over this am, landed on windshield, helped him climb out of the ditch. Be safe, but undeterred!

Posted by Spike 2010 02 08

Nice one, Spike.  I like the dialectical there.

And rescuing a roll over victim takes the cake over being stuck in an elevator. 

All praise the good Samaritan, Spike.

Posted by psh 2010 02 08

Scary.  Will this serve as inspiration to revive that song “18 Wheeler?”

Posted by floyderdog 2010 02 08

Not 18, just a two wheeler four wheeler. And no heroics, just huge relief he was ok. Puts your Monday into perspective.

Posted by Spike 2010 02 08

Glad you made it safely. I will work on my weather-related black magic so as to bring sunshine and chocolate - oops, wrong board - sunshine and warmth to the east coast in March. Enjoy your sweet, lovely wife. Thanks for doing what you do.

Posted by RyanOBoogie 2010 02 08

I’ve been worried about your travelling conditions since Friday.  Glad to know you all made it back safely.


Posted by Eric 2010 02 08

Two Wheeler would be great also, but I was thinking of a late era TS tune about a big rig wreck that the band (presumably) witnessed during their travels.  I used to have a low rez version, but it seems to have disappeared into the digital ether of one of my old hard drives.  Dan used to sing it, and I recall a line in song where is sings something like, “I’m glad it wasn’t me.”

Posted by floyderdog 2010 02 08

Ahead in the Distance
Flipped over in the side lane
An Eighteen Wheeler lies across the highway
Ambulance squad cars
Red lights in the sunshine

O I’m frightened
Lady get out your crystal?
Red blood on the doorways
I don’t want to see
Oh I’m frightened lady get out your pistol?
Blood on the doorway
I don’t want to see

A long line of travelers
On the grassy shoulder of the highway
Drive by the eighteen-wheeler, then back up to seventy

I see in the distance
Red lights in the sunshine
An eighteen-wheeler
Flipped over and sideways

Oh I’m frightened
Lady get out your crystal?
Red blood on the doorways
I don’t want to see

Oh eighteen-wheeler

Posted by Kara 2010 02 09

I can’t think of how the melody goes for 18-wheeler…I think Dan did vocals..

That wicked storm is supposed to hit us tonight for another 12”-18” of snow…geez…

Posted by Kara 2010 02 09

That’s the song.  I don’t think I have a recorded version of it anywhere.

The story also makes me think of Tom Waits and “Big Joe and Phanton 309”

Posted by psh 2010 02 09


Posted by Eric 2010 02 09

Eric and Kara, yes that is the tune.  Thanks.  All I could remember was a heavy “When the Levee Breaks” riff, falsetto siren-mimicking vocals, and dark, disturbing imagery.  I’ve always wished I could’ve gotten my hands on a high quality version.  Not sure if it is TTH material, but I still like it.

Posted by floyderdog 2010 02 09

Thanks for the link, Eric…kindof a weird little song!

Posted by Kara 2010 02 10

I see…so by “we’re headin out west” you meant a couple hundred miles?!?!

Why do i keep commin back here.

Posted by Heisenberg 2010 02 10

You keep coming back here because you are desperate for musical beauty….you may want to think about travelling east…!

Posted by Kara 2010 02 13

You have sway with them don’t you??

What if I could book the show, get two groups to play before and after, and promote the show myself?!? What say YE?!?!?!

I will travel to arizona. I will travel to california (im headed there for Yo La Tengo’s 3 nite stint at the Fillmore). I will travel to Oregon as I did for Sleater-kinneys last shows.

But I will not travel east. Do you know what lies east of las vegas, and west of minneapolis?? There is NO way around Utah, besides an unreasonably long detour through Arizona and New Mexico, then up to Colorado. And do you think I’ll travel north, thru IDAHO?? You gotta be kiddin. If I wasn’t able to see Q and Not U or Balck Eyes’s last star studded performances in Washington D.C., where I couldve rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ian Svenonious, Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto, Henry Rollins, Eddie Veddar, Frank Black, and Dave Grohl…what makes you think I’ll travel thru the great divide for those who haven’t even set FOOT past denver!!?!?

Posted by Heisenberg 2010 02 13

...yeah…you’re right…the Twilight Hours should fly west this summer….start in Seattle and make their way south…play at least 5 shows….

How does that sound?

Posted by Kara 2010 02 14

That sound wwwwWICKED!!

Posted by Heisenberg 2010 02 15


Posted by Heisenberg 2010 02 19

despite what it says on their tour page, the twilight hours are NOT PUTTING OUT!

They’re are big headed rock stars, and they don’t care about us backwoods chumps out west!! We have money too!

Posted by Heisenberg 2010 02 19

patience my friend….

Posted by Kara 2010 02 19

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