Monthly Archives: May 2002

05.18.02 – Drexel University, PA

May 18th — Last show of the tour. Drexel University. Weather was a bit suspect so they moved the concert indoors to the gymnasium, which is cool — we’ve gotten used to playing gyms on this tour. But at Drexel they also moved the inflatable jousting ring inside. And they moved the mechanical bull inside. And the inflatable laser tag arena. And the puffy-suit sumo wrestling circle.

I met the guys in the opening band “My Morning Jacket” before the show and tried to convey that not all Guster shows are like this one (some have velcro walls too) but it was too late. They were suited up for laser tag before I could finish talking… unfortunately I was one of only like twenty people standing in front of the stage to witness their set, which was excellent. So before we played I decided to make the rounds through the gym with the digital camera to document my surroundings.

And then this robot on wheels came rolling out onto the gym floor. It had some website scrolled across the base of it. His name was the impossibly clever “Gizmo D. Robot.” When I took his picture, he spoke. “Why don’t you take the lens cap off that camera, buddy,” said Gizmo D. Robot. Everyone was looking at me. I checked my camera and said quietly, “But the lens cap is off,” and then the robot came up with the infinitely funny “why don’t you put some film in the camera this time pal.” Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ach. I began to see that this was one of those hilarious insult robots. Please, more funny jokes Mr. Insult Robot! Tell the one about how I forgot to put film in my camera one more time, Mr. Insult Robot!

We bid a fond adieu to the bus after the Drexel show and Pasty was reunited with his car, which looked like this:

Apparently, the same sort of creature that shit on my pants in Nashville had visited Pasty’s car while we were touring. Or maybe it was the same exact creature. Maybe it was following us. An investigation will ensue. For now, if you like reading what I have to say about poop, start clicking on “studio journal” again because we’re going back in the studio in a few weeks to finish our record. Until then, please enjoy this short factual essay I wrote on humans and white feces…

Cholestasis is the clinical condition that results from the impairment of bile secretion. A variety of pathophysiologic mechanisms have been implicated in cholestasis. Functional abnormalities of hepatocytes seen in cholestasis include depressed activites of sinusoidal membrane Na+, K+ -ATPase, reductions in the fluidity of the hepatocyte plasma membrane, decreased basolateral uptake of bile salts and organic anions, altered function of bile salt carrier proteins and microtubules, release of calcium from intracellular stores, and abnormal mitochondrial function with altered cellular redox state and decreased availability of ATP. Canalicular abnormalities include reduction of the microvilli of the canalicular membrane, dilation of the canilicular space, alterations in the canilicular membrane fluidity, and disruption of the pericanilicular actin microfilaments. Perhaps the most important, disruption of tight junctions sealing the canilicular space abolishes both anionic and osmostic gradients necessary for the generation of bile flow and permits back-diffusion of secreted bile components into the plasma. Many of the biochemical abnormalities associated with obstructive cholestasis appear to result from reflux of bile from the canaliculus into the plasma. Biochemically, cholestasis is characterized by the accumulation in plasma of compounds normally secreted into the bile (bilirubin, bile salts). Elevated levels of serum bile salts are the most sensitive indicators of cholestasis. Exclusion of bile from the intestine in severe cholestasis has several consequences. In absence of bile salts, there is moderate malabsorption of fat and severe malabsorption of cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins. Cholestasis may be associated with specific vitamin deficiency disorders such as night blindness (vit. A), osteomalacia (vit. D), neuropathy (vit. E), or coagulopathy (vit. K). Because bilirubin degradation products are responsible for the normal brown color of stools, pale/white “acholic” stools are occasionally present in advanced cholestatic disorders. Black feces may result from taking drugs, such as bismuth or iron tablets, or from drinking red wine. The presence of blood in the feces may make them either black or bright red in color. This can occur because of infection, ulceration of the intestine or stomach, diverticular disease, malignant or nonmalignant tumors, abrasive foreign bodies, fissures, or hemorrhoids. Pale yellow or white feces suggest a disorder of bile production, usually an obstruction of the bile ducts. In children, greenish feces indicate that food has passed quickly through the digestive tract.

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05.16.02 – Providence, RI

Even though he was being federally indicted in court all day for racketeering, extortion, etc… Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci almost made it to Lupo’s last night in time to sing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” with us. We checked with our liaison to the mayor right before playing “Fa Fa,” and she informed us that the mayor had cancelled his evening appearances. We were sad, but like Buddy we will prevail. Next time we play Providence, so long as he’s not in jail, Buddy will be on the mic.

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05.13.02 – Asbury Park, NJ

Some of you may have met Allyson on this tour, our newest merch girl (or, “touring retail engineer”). Like those who’ve had the position before her, Allyson brought too much stuff with her on the road. Especially, the enormous metallic suitcase pictured below, which we immediately deemed “R2,” and quarantined in the bay beneath the bus. Allyson packed up R2 yesterday before splitting for the airport for two months away from the bus. We will miss her. She’s coming back this summer for the Guster/Mayer tour though the venues we’re playing will probably have people in short-sleeve collared shirts appointed to sell the merchandise.

“Excuse me, which album is ‘Airport Song’ on?”
“Room For Squares.”
“Thank you.”

Still riding high from his appearance(s) as Kid Ron, Ronnie backed his truck into a tree the other day in Massachusetts, and I got a picture of the branch he took off. Ronnie said the tree was “really old” and that he “barely nicked it.”

I got to tool around Asbury Park a bit on Saturday. It’s a bit of a wasteland now but there’s a strange beauty to it. Empty beaches with people fishing on the rocks, an abandoned miniature golf course covered in rubble (but with two guys still putting through anyway), Sebastian Bach of Skid Row playing a two night stand at the Stone Pony. Wherever you go there are reminders that Asbury Park was once a happenin’ summer destination. I’m sure it will be again. Ryan told the crowd his idea that if everyone at the show pitched in just $2000 we’d be able to buy the town. As if everyone had 2 grand to spare just because they could spend $27 on a Guster ticket.

Moving on to the subject of avocados…

We got guacamole in the dressing room at our Worcester show. I’m rarely overwhelmed by storebought guacamole but the Worcester-Gwok came in a plastic BAG, not in a plastic TUB. It had chunks of avocado in it. It was delicious. I caught Pasty mid-squeeze emptying the contents of the bag into a bowl because it looked like green pooh.

And with that last sentence I have now made upwards of ten scatological journal entries, which puts me second behind only Ween in that category. (Please see 09.14.00)

Though I imagine if the internet were around when GG Allin was in his hey-day (and, if GG Allin were to keep an internet road journal), those statistics would be different.

…. took a shit in my hand and flung it at the crowd again tonight. great guacamole in the dressing room, too. see you at the next show — gg

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05.10.02 – Gorcester, MA

Thank you City of Worcester. We haven’t had a show like that in a year. Liz was taking pictures from the crowd last night and I figured I’d throw a bunch of them up on the road journal. I’m kind of oblivious to the lighting while I’m playing (except that bloody goddam strobe light), and was struck by how Rush-like we look in these pictures…

Then, when I had scrolled past all of the shots of us from the Palladium, I noticed some other shots in Liz’s camera, including this one:

I mean, she says it’s “cake” — but that’s poop. I know poop when I see it. And that’s poop. I stopped scrolling through Liz’s camera immediately when I saw that… that…. that shot of the plastic knife and the poop! Sick.

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05.02.02 – Boston

This tour is the first one where we have a truck for our gear. We outgrew the trailer. So, when you get a truck, you get a truck driver. A truck driver named Ronnie.

We immediately recognized Ronnie’s likeness to Kid Rock. We immediately began calling him “Kid Ron.” And then we played BU the other night and had an idea. We sent our friend Moria from the Guster Office off to a costume shop in Chinatown, armed with a photo of Kid Rock she downloaded from “the internet.” Moria came through big. Ron wandered out in the middle of Fa Fa with a pair of maracas. The Armory went nuts. Liz took pictures:

If we play the Kid Ron card again on this tour we’ll need to get a busty blonde to accompany him. Maybe get him to scream “My Name Is Kid!!!!” or something. In any event, having Ron on stage got us pumped up and I hit so hard I did this to my hands:

No, not really. I downloaded that photo from http://www.stigmata.com — a fine website I visit daily.

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