“what’s the difference between…”

October 4, 2009 : Troubadour : Los Angeles, CA

Just when I was beginning to think San Diego wouldn’t get any creepier, we woke up, got coffee, headed to Home Depot for some stuff, and passed 7 strip clubs. San Diego, you are a dirty and awkward lover. Dave made us all van keys in Home Depot and got us key chains for them – some say “princess” and some have a black and pink heart with a skull-and-crossbones on it.

The Troubadour is a pretty cool place, with a lot of history – a history which they waste no time in telling you about – and a really large, really helpful staff. They actually have people help you with load out (!) and I made fast friends with the head security dude, Michael (Mike, Big Mike, Mikey, and MC were also used throughout the night). He gave me some extra all access passes after the guest list had been thoroughly exercised in case we wanted to “invite some ladies up afterwords.” That’s the sort of club the Troubadour is. A lot of stereotypical, rock n’ roll holdover  stuff from bygone decades going on, but a really well designed space nonetheless.

Both Say Hi and BAZAN played their tightest sets of the tour. The Bazan band seems to be getting better and better every night, and they were never having trouble to begin with. Dave’s voice acted like it was going to go out through soundcheck and the first half of the set and then warmed up just in time for him to belt the last verse of In Stitches like never before and give me chills. The Troubadour was pretty full like all the shows so far, and Los Angeles bought a lot of Merch – thanks, dudes.

Our friends Molly, Steve, and Luis  have been following us around since Costa Mesa, coming to all three SoCal shows, and It’ll kind of feel weird not hanging with them at the merch table tomorrow. I got to see my friend Nathan Phillips tonight for the first time in a long time – Nathan was in an excellent band called The Winston Jazz Routine who played a few shows with Bazan a couple of years back that some of you might have caught. He grew an awesome beard since the last time I ate Thai food with him. Andy’s cousin was at the show (dude’s got family everywhere) and he later told us a pretty horrifying story about her failing terribly at hopping a fence to get to a swimming pool and ending up impaled by a fence post and dangling by her throat. Thanks for the nightmares, Andy’s cousin. Dave’s bro and one-time merch dude and tour manager Cody Cloud was also in attendance. He said he didn’t recognize me because the last time he saw me I was a lot fatter, which is a really backhanded compliment, and gave me some advice on how to be good at being on tour.

We’re staying at the Beverly Laurel hotel, a really rad 50’s motor lodge that’s been renovated into an awesome, affordable hotel in the middle of West Hollywood. The courtyard (see above)  is open from the street and upon walking in it felt instantly familiar. I feel like I must have seen it in some movie. There’s a really good 24-hour diner at the base of the hotel called Swinger’s where we just got done with a satisfying post-show meal. We also got to drive by the coffee shop/restaurant where the coffee scene of the Big Lebowski was shot. Awesome.