Sunday, April 17, 2011


Ali Liebegott, one of our fearless leaders, was alas not able to pass through Wisconsin without paying a price for culinary crimes....

MARYS! We only have two more dates on the tour!!! Everyone is so sad!! It's been SO FRICKIN' FUN!!

"Mary", by the way, is what everyone calls each other in the van. It is one of those spontaneous slang things that happens in such group situations.

One can be addressed as "Mary". "Can you hand me those cheese balls, Mary?"

One can express things to the Gods in the form of Mary. "Mary, is it ever going to stop raining?"

And one can simply say the word to oneself as a kind of protection from all human trials and tribulations. "Mary!" And it works.

BACK TO THE TOUR: So we left Bloomington and drove up to Ann Arbor where we had PHOEBE GLOECKNER as a guest performer!! MARY!! We are all INSANE fans of hers. The gig was weirdly not packed--we are spoiled--but it didn't matter and created a loose fun, whatevs kind of atmosphere which I like.

Phoebe went on last and told us about her knew project and she was a little tired but spoke interestingly about her life as an artist. It was more like a big conversation really, all of us chirping in, asking questions, etc. And then we had a great dinner after, paid for by the awesome gay bookstore COMMON LANGUAGE who helped put on the show.

Then back to one of the less nice hotels, but comfy for us as we all have gotten used to each other and don't mind stepping over each other's underwear on the way to the bathroom ... etc....

Then to Milwaukee where I found the greatest bookstore ever. RENAISSANCE BOOKS, in Milwaukee, google it, go there, make a special trip.

It is like Powell's used to be before it was online, and there was still crazy first editions of your favorite books, hidden behind a stack of UFO books. Plus it was HAUNTED. Plus NOBODY SEEMED TO WORK THERE. And then when you did find an employee they couldn't really talk to you because they were busy listening to Crystal Castles on their headphones. When I first walked in I thought I had walked into some crazy HORDER nightmare but everything turned out to be meticulously in place and findable. The whole experience was just extraordinary. I wished I had more eyepower left to read and poke around there, I lasted about three hours but your brain gets fried on tour and your eyes go ....

The Milwaukee gig was fun, it was in a nice newer bookstore called Boswell's. I read a piece from my memoir about meeting and hanging with Courtney Love in Portland when I was a wee little Portland scenester. I thought the local queer kids might notice who I was reading about but they didn't seem to, having been born after the whole Kurt and Courtney era. And probably not caring anyway, despite the HOLE-worship still practiced by Tavi and her ilk. (Self Constructed Freak)

Then it was back into the van and onto Minneapolis which holds an important place in my history and yet which I have never been to! Also F. Scott is from here and Garrison Keillor. Mostly I think of it through F. Scott's eyes though, but of course the world of rich kids riding around in motorboats on the lake is not anywhere I am going to be. Isn't that always the case? You go to some famous spot that is so alive in your mind only to realize, Truman Capote's New York is not on the's no where you can get to .... that's why people love it so much .... inaccessible ....

We did get to see a little bit of rich kid cool at Seward's Cafe though which is the trendy foodie hipster restaurant that Sister Spit frequents on all trips to the Twin Cities. I don't go to such places usually, but I have to get over that because this place was full of such interesting people, the Volvo/Oberlin/Crafter crowd as far as I could tell. Beautiful young women in their Minnesota Woolen Chic. MARY! I was dying with envy and falling in love with everyone. Why do I have such little interaction with this world? So nice. So cultured. So FOODIE FRIENDLY. Why can't I be a normal person!!?? I want to be like these people. Saturday brunch with friends! Everyone equal and happy and well adjusted and having good jobs and having just graduated from excellent liberal arts colleges. Oh I am such a mess compared to these people. But perhaps I am comparing "my insides to their outsides" which is never recommended....

Oh yeah, the gig. We sold out Bryant Park Theater, or whatever it was, in the Uptown section of Minneapolis. It had a bowling alley/bar/restaurant/theater. I'm totally serious.

And it was fucking cool. We packed it. Kicked it. KILLED IT. We were great. The people loved us. Then we hung out all night until the wee hours. Kirk Read and I bowled. More beautiful kids .... hanging out ... on dates ... with friends ... smoking cigarettes outside the club in their $400 MARMOT down coats. Maybe F. Scott's dreams are still alive here. Despite the strange feeling at times that no matter how hard we row, "We are boats being born backward, ceaselessly into the past."

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this makes me miss touring. I loved the Midwest, too, and your description of the kids... I remember that. The bookstore, alone, sounds like reason enough to visit. So glad you guys had a good tour!