Big Business

I plan on digging popcorn out of every crevice of my drumset for the next ten years or so.

Reading, Pennsylvania

After the show our van decided not to start. It does this from time to time. It usually goes something like this:

1. Van won't start.
2. After taking off the engine cover and checking all the obvious causes, we fail to find any reason why the van won't start.
3. Call Triple A and get the van towed to the nearest garage.
4. Soon as mechanic turns the key, van roars to life.
5. Mechanic can't find anything wrong with van.
6. Continue tour, repeat.

Microsoft kajillionaire Paul Allen built this big blob of metal under the Space Needle in Seattle and called it the Experience Music Project. Inside, there's a sort of rock-n-roll museum -- kind of like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, except in Seattle. Some of the interactive exhibits allow you to play along with your favorite band or perform in front of an arena crowd that's projected on a wall.

Justin Trosper from Unwound and Jared have long had an idea that they would start their own, slightly more realistic experience music project. In one exhibit, you have to change a flat tire on the side of the freeway. In another, you have to argue with a local promoter when he refuses to pay your guarantee. Hey, kids! Figure out what's gone wrong with your guitar rig in the space of 30 seconds.

Holmdel, New Jersey

This was our last night with Tool. On the last song of our set, a masked Tool member came out on stage with a gigantic garbage bag full of popcorn, then proceeded to dump it out into the fan that was aimed at the back of my head. By the time the song was over, we were all pretty much ankle deep. Toshi made some snow angels in it. I plan on digging popcorn out of every crevice of my drumset for the next ten years or so.

Everyone hung out after and said their goodbyes. Thanks, Tool. You guys are the tops. Stick with it; maybe it'll lead to something.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Back to real life. We play tonight at the Milestone. This is a great place to play, the staff is nice and the crowd is usually rowdy and enthusiastic. The best part, though, is bar owner Neal's mom's home cooking. She's catered a couple of shows when we've played here previously and, let me tell you, this is what they talk about when they say "southern cooking." Delicious. Photos included. Usually it's bbq of some kind, but tonight it was chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, stuffing, veggies and green beans.

Atlanta, Georgia

We're playing tonight at the Drunken Unicorn. Our friend Henry is putting on the show. He's always good for some laughs and some good eatin'. He's turned us on to a couple of local BBQ joints that are amazing. He likes to talk a lot of shit about how he can kick our asses at whirlyball, the sport that is pretty much bumper car polo with whiffle balls. Fun, loud show. Opening band Zoroaster were really, really loud. Back to Henry's after for some Tivo and pizza.

Carrboro, North Carolina

Our friends Paul and Cheetie from the band Birds Of Avalon came to the show. We drove to Raleigh to stay at their place. Cheetie cooked us fried green tomatoes and we sat in the kitchen drinking tequila and listening to records. We are really lucking out in the home-cooked food department so far. It's great to feel at-home somewhere far away. Cheetie tried to show me how to play the guitar solo from the Pretenders' song "Kid." My clumsy drummer hands just wouldn't find the notes, so I'll have to practice when I get home. Everyone loves a drummer on guitar.