Wednesday, 17 October 2007

As I said before, I won’t go into the details of each show. In Toronto, Jason Boots, Roger’s merch guy and hard-workin’ roadie, opened instead of Alternate Routes. Jason kicks ass in his own right, so it’s always good to hear him play.

The Horseshoe Tavern is really just a bar in front with a space for live music in the back. The lighting was marginal and the room felt kind of low, but the show itself was great, so it overcame the club’s shortcomings.

The next morning it was up early to make the trek back to Detroit. One thing I noticed about driving in Canada was that it was hard to translate speed limits on the fly. Sure the speedometer on the car shows km/h, but on a smaller ring that’s hard to read without concentrating and taking my eyes off the road.

The drive back was uneventful just the same. Coming back into the US it was the same third-degree as entering Canada, but with the added bonus of a look-see in the trunk. No meat. No fruits. No plants. No firearms. No narcotics.

I decided against hitting the Motown Museum. Mostly because my reconnaissance on Monday had been so dissappointing. Maybe I’d have been up for it had there been someone along for the ride. I settled for a nap, an early dinner, and some reading before heading to the show.

The Magic Bag was the venue, as it usually is for Detroit RCPM shows. The place is still oddly laid out inside, but I did get a slightly better vantage point this time. Also, it was less crowded this time, probably because this was a Thursday night show.

Friday was a quick drive to Cleveland for the show at the Beachland Ballroom, a former Croatian meeting hall. I didn’t plan for any sightseeing, having taken in much of what was of interest last fall.

A couple doors down from the Beachland is a music store, which not only has a cool neon sign out front, but has a cool name as well: Music Saves. Wish I had thought of it myself.

The Beachland show was the best of the three shows so far, but there were still four to go.

The artist that put together the now very rare “Iwo Jima” poster&dagger: had done a limited edition poster this time. It’s pretty simple, being mostly square with the glyph in bright green and a couple lizards on it. It’s a cool poster and I like his set, by the ones from last year were better.

Saturday night was Chicago, back at Joe’s Bar again. It was kind of confusing when I first walked in because they were still in sports bar mode with several screens all showing football. I knew better than to say anything about sports in Chicago — those folks take it very seriously and are not to be trifled with.

My hotel was WAY out on the western edge of town. I think the western half of a far western suburb. I really need to learn Chicago geography better for the next time I’m out there.

At least it was a short drive up to Madison for the Sunday show, so I could sleep in and take it easy driving up. Unfortunately my friends Michelle and Steve had other commitments, so they couldn’t make the show. All the same it was fun.

I met a bunch of good folks at the Madison show, slightly more varied than the group in Des Moines last spring. The club was kind of odd. Shallow, very blue, with metal edges everywhere you looked; The Annex, if I remember the name correctly.

Thankfully the show had kind of an early start, because my drive the next day wa going to be a long one, something I was not enthusiastic about.

† The artwork was lost in a computer crash after only some copies for the club had been printed. I managed to get a copy because I asked one of the bartenders and tipped extra for the favor.

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