Bread & Butter March 2018 West Coast Tour
Day 1 - Portland, OR
Jeez, the Seattle-to-Portland drive. Not the longest drive, not especially challenging, but possibly one of the most uninspiring stretches of road in America.
Just look at those vibrant shades of gray.
To make matters worse, I was laboring under a pretty serious hangover. I stayed up late the night before getting sloshed with our buddy Dallas, watching Hall & Oates youtubes. Dallas runs our merch table and is basically a better friend to Bread & Butter than we deserve. What up, D? Take a bow, you animal.
It’s not a lot of fun blasting down a gray stretch of road with a depressing hangover, thinking such sunny thoughts as, ”Why are we destroying this precious planet? What am I doing with my life? Are my dogs only friendly to me because of food? I am a bad person for eating chicken.” Good times.
But then you roll into a cozy little bar packed with your Portland pals (and Dallas!), set up the gear and sweat out the hangover and life is a wonderful gift. Ah, mood swings!
Despite my best efforts, the Barf Clock has not been reset. We are spending the next few days in California, which has traditionally been good for a few Barf Clock resets. See you in Eureka!
Day 2 - Eureka, CA
Sunday night, and the Little Red Lion in Eureka was not exactly packed. While there was not enough of a crowd to pay the bands any money, the spirit of generosity was expressed through dozens (and dozens) of free tequila shots. Dozens. Tick tock tick tock.
This morning, we drove through Mendocino, where life’s such a groove you (and Sir Doug) will blow your mind. The first, fresh leaves of spring lit up the steep, tree-covered hills in dazzling green. Bright white caps of snow still topped the higher peaks. It was in the midst of this vernal majesty that Bread & Butter reset the Barf Clock.
Your pal, Mason
Day 3 - Berkeley, CA
Those of you who followed the last tour diary will remember the Long Beach bum-out when Ryan’s amp crapped out on stage. About a week ago, this same amp died at practice. It required emergency surgery by one of the top repair dudes in the Pacific Northwest and sounded great for our first couple shows. But last night at the Ivy Room? GGRRRZZHHHHH.
Why does this keep happening? Maybe the amp is just a lemon.
Or MAYBE Ryan has a rare, electrical disease. A mystical condition that mainstream science ignores at its peril. Like an X Files thing. Furthermore, Ryan’s mystical electro-vibes are twice as strong when he is in the State of California. I want to believe.
There’s more to this mystery than the fried amps. Ryan always has cell phone reception. Always. Even in tunnels. His favorite Metallica album is Ride the Lightning. His blood type: AC/DC.
Coincidence? Or conspiracy?
So then, who wants to loan Ryan an amp?
Good fun at the Ivy Room, last night! Electric Machine Gun Tits were a lot of fun. I especially liked when the singer explained the band name, “Because my tits are electric machine guns.” Jesus & the Dinosaurs tore it up major. Killer band.
Bread & Butter has gone 26 hours without a barfing incident. Keepin’ it classy!
Peace out, Mason.
Day 4 - Santa Cruz, CA
We’ve reached the southern-most point of our trip. It’s always a little sad when you realize you aren’t going any farther out. The Barf Clock is approaching 48 hours, despite some terrible late-night decisions on my part. If we extend the no-barf streak to 72 hours, it might be a record!
Let’s turn our focus to the rad dudes of Autogramm, our tour companions from Vancouver, BC. It’s been fun getting to know all the cool ins and outs of their songs and sharing the stage every night.
These guys write great songs, and are experts at all the non-musical elements of touring: drinking beers, goofing off, tag-team pinball, drinking beers, eating bad food, getting some beers, and drinking margaritas. The only annoying thing I can say about them is that their song “Sea of Regret” has been stuck in my head for the last 3 days.
Fun fact 1: bass player CC is very fond of Fritos. When he says the word, he enunciates very clearly and it sounds like he’s talking about free toes. He’s especially fond of Chili Cheese Free Toes.
Fun fact 2: keyboard/guitar player Jeff can sing, play guitar, play keys, and tambourine simultaneously. I saw him do it when we played together in Vancouver last year. He did not bring a tambourine on this trip and I find that disappointing.
Fun fact 3: drummer Josh and I are sharing a kit. When I'm done playing, my cool big butt has squashed the seat cushion flat. After Josh plays, there are two little indents made by his bony "ass." Witness:
A great big thank you Kai and the crew at Streetlight Records-Santa Cruz! We had a ball!
Day 5 - San Francisco, CA
I try to be a humble person. We appreciate humility in people. But there are things in this world that are so majestic, so clearly beautiful, that to be humble about them is to be disingenuous. One of those things is my cool, big butt.
Strangers comment on my butt. People have told me that they feel calm-yet-energized just by being near my ass. Sometimes that can feel like a big responsibility, but I am happy to share this bounty. It is my duty to share.
Why am I talking about my butt? Because last night, I got to hang out with my butt soulmate, Joel. Joel sings and plays guitar in Sob Stories. Joel’s buns have the same heft and grace as my own. Joel has a cool, big butt. We understand each other, Joel and me.
Bread & Butter played with Sob Stories last September at a tiny little spot in Oakland. It was a treat hearing them through a proper sound system last night at the Elbo Room. The Elbo is an impressively dark bar/venue that features a photo booth where two grown men can embarrass themselves by trying to photograph their CBBs (cool, big butts) together. You can see from the results that we needed a bigger booth.
Catch us in Chico on Thursday with Mr. Malibu and Autogramm!
Day 6 - CHICO
An effective band mom has two vital tools: a positive mental attitude and a sturdy mini van. Both require active upkeep. Sometimes you can be rad to yourself and your mini van at the same time. On the drive to Chico, I was feeling kinda scooped out and dingy. As we pulled in the fart-saturated, bug-encrusted Astro for a taco stop, I spotted a car wash.
I opted for the Diamond Executive Wax’n’Shine Primo Supremo. And as the soapy, spinning brushes battered the mini van, I became a new man. I got my band mom mojo back. Just in time for Chico.
Bread & Butter and Chico appreciate each other. After an out-of-nowhere super fun show last year, Duffy’s is our yardstick for a great out-of-town date. We were stoked major to share Duffy’s with the Autogramm crew. And it was only right that we got to play again with Mr Malibu. We’re looking forward to hearing their new recording.
There’s more to bands than just music. (DUH.) On stage, bands can be mascots for friendship, symbols of cooperation. I saw that in every band on stage last night. As bummed as I was to leave right after the show for a night drive, I felt good. My this-is-why-we-play-music cup was full.
Puget Sound pals! Catch us Saturday night at the Clock-Out Lounge. It’s our last show with Autogramm (for now) and we get to play with our brothers in Head Band.
Day 7 - Everett, WA
We made it home! We boogied 700 miles from our Thursday night show in Chico to Friday’s date in Everett. That drive was maybe not the most fun we’ve ever had. But we did it! We banged out a rippin’ set at the Fisherman's Village Music Festival and then made the relatively instantaneous drive back home to Seattle.
There’s always going to be a little tension between Bread & Butter’s two mottos: “Safety Third” and “No Fatalities.” After so much driving, I’m relieved to be home safe and happy to wrassle with my dogs.
But the adventure isn’t over just yet! Come see us at the Clock-Out tonight! Let's see if we can reset the Universal Barf Clock of the Soul one last time. (Responsibly, of course).
Music starts at 9pm and you don’t want to miss the opening act Head Band. I feel like I’ve endorsed Autogramm FAR in excess of the money they paid me to hype their 7” single “Jessica Don’t Like Rock’n’Roll on Snappy Little Numbers. But you should still check them out, I guess.
THANK YOU to everyone who hooked us up, smoked us out, and shared the road. It's been a dream!
- Your pal, Mason