Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Excursion Into Philosophy: Oklahoma City
This tour started Christmas night as I got everything together to load in the van, which I would pick up the next day. I pilled shirts, 7"s, CD's, food, gear, blankets and my own bags into a corner by the stairs at my house. The night before my brother and I had packed all the 7"s, and I spent about an hour stuffing them with lyrics sheets. Casey came by before I left to tell me goodbye and to get a shirt, CD and 7". I explained that we only had 40 CD's going out, so she would have to take a rain check. My father had already pried two of them from me after I told myself I wouldn't sell any more before the tour. That night Daniel and Bradley surprised me by coming home early. They said they couldn’t wait to get home.
The night before we left I slept like a kid on Christmas Eve, which was weird because it was Christmas night. I woke up to a text message from Casey requesting that I don’t die on tour. Shortly thereafter Baggins, the bass player from Koji Kondo, called and let me know they were on their way from Fort Worth. Everybody was waking up and packing, and at this point I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be in Denton for two and a half weeks.
Koki Kondo arrived at 11.40. Adams, Baggins, Bobby and Tyler spilled out of a van that was followed by Baggins’s father, Dennis, who came to pay for Baggins’s part of the van. Baggins’s real name is Matt Gibbons, and I always forget, but was reminded when Dennis kept referring to him as Matt.
When everybody had arrived Dennis, Tyler and I went to pick up the van at Enterprise, which was just down the street from my house. It took probably 45 minutes to get the thing because we had this guy that was new and unfamiliar with the computer system. We left with a beautiful white 15-seater van. I wouldn’t normally call a van beautiful but in this instance, all my dreams having come to fruition, I’m calling it beautiful.
When we got back to the Panhandle house we started loading, which was the hardest game of real life Tetris ever. To put it in perspective we have gear for two bands, and bags, sleeping bags and food for nine people. Bags were consolidated and seats were taken out, but finally nine guys were able to fit comfortably in the 15-seater. There was Koji Kondo: Adam, Baggins, Bobby and Tyler, Teenage Cool Kids: Bradley, Daniel, Jordan and myself and Jesse who we brought to do merch and videotape. We grabbed a quick lunch at Mr. Chopsticks, I picked up by check at the Cupboard and deposited it, we did a quick walk through of the house and we were off.
The ride in Oklahoma was marked by changes of terrain and patches of snow that began to appear on the ground around us. With all the luggage and body heat in the car, there was no need for the heater, even thought the temperature outside was below freezing.
As we approached Oklahoma City I called the kid who booked our show.
“Hey this is Andrew from Teenage Cool Kids” I started. He told me that there was going to be a “ton of food” ready for us at the Oklahoma City Infoshop, and that there were kids already there waiting for us.
“What was your name, I didn’t catch it?” I asked. “T Mac,” the voice replied. “T Mac?” I repeated. T Mac. So we made our way into the heart of an industrial part of Oklahoma City and neared the address as I gave directions to Bobby, who had driving duties. I recognized the exterior of the Infoshop from the website. It was completely dark and vacant, and nobody was waiting for us, but we all piled out to stretch. Bradley and I ran around. A truck pulled up and a kid pulled up and met Daniel and me. His name was James and he was in the band Steeples. We talked for a bit in the cold until the keyholders of the Infoshop came to open up. James showed us around. It was a very impressive DIY space. Aside from the actual show space, there was a library filled with zines, anarchist/leftist literature, a bike coop and a free store. It was very well organized, especially for a place that had only been open for one month. I sat and talked with James about the space when I heard in a distance the voice on the other end of the phone. It was T Mac. He came in the room demanding to meet all of us.
“We give hugs around here!” he said when I tried to shake his hand. T Mac, whose full name was Taylor Mackenzie we later found out, was a 17 year old kid with a blond mullet who was very enthusiastic about life in general. I thanked him for setting up the show as we all walked back the show room.
As more people arrived so did food, and soon before us was a huge piping hot vegan spread. There was bread, vegan macaroni casserole, lentils, chilli, salsa, hummus, rice casserole, apple cobbler, pecan pie and more. I should point out that everyone in our party was vegetarian besides Jordan and Jesse, so this was overwhelmingly hospitable. As we sat and ate we looked at each other dumbfounded on how we could have gotten so lucky.
The show was fun, Steeples, a screamo type band played first, then Koji Kondo then us. The sound in the concrete room was soaked in reverb, but that’s to be expected at DIY spaces. It was so cold in the room that before the show I put two pairs of socks on to keep my toes from freezing off, and in between bands I would go outside to an oil drum with a fire inside that kids were congregating around to warm up. After we played the numbness subsided and I felt fine. The kids in Oklahoma City were very congenial, and some offered us extra gas money in addition to what we made.
After the show this girl Joline invited us to go Karaoke singing at this bar called Cookies. We all accepted and followed to the bar. We approached cookies planning to sneak in Baggins, Tyler and T Mac, who were all under 21, but to no avail. The stayed in the van and drank beer that Daniel bought them at a nearby gas station. The rest of us went inside. As soon as I walked inside I saw a girl from the Infoshop in the spotlight, but what she was singing I can’t remember. In fact there were a lot of kids that made the pilgrimage to Cookie’s from the Infoshop that night. We looked at the song selection. I begged Jesse to sing “Hypnotize” by Notorious B.I.G. and he signed up for it, but we found out that there were 18 people in the queue ahead of him. I went and hung out with T Mac, Tyler, Baggins and Cago in the van. Cago a friend of Koji Kondo and would be putting us up for the night at her parents house.
We all decided to call it a night and headed to Cago’s parents house, which was about 30 minutes north of Oklahoma City. T Mac came with us. He had planned to stay with Joline, but she was still inside singing. Upon arrival the first thing I wanted to do was sleep, so I put my sleeping bag on the floor of the den and crawled inside. Sleeping proved to be easier said than done as everyone, especially T Mac, was pretty tipsy and chatty by this point, and Cago’s dogs were licking and crawling all over me. I envied Bobby who was snoozing right next to me. Soon after everyone went to bed and the first day of tour came to a close.
TCK/KK Tour - Day 1 (Oklahoma City) from Jesse Spurlin on Vimeo.
Posted by Andrew Savage