Does everyone here know our monitor engineer, Josh?
He’s the one leaning through the frame, wearing a tie like his friends Scooter and Andy. He plays keyboards on “Satellite” and “Ruby Falls” every night. And once a month on “Long Way Down.” <—- (song off of Keep It Together that never got its due). As long as we’ve known Josh he hasn’t let his head stubble grow long enough that we could even detect it.
Josh has many likable qualities, and high among them is his willingness to wear whatever t-shirt you give him, no matter what color it is, no matter how lame it is. He has an “open-minded” fashion sense, if you will. We thought this would all end when we were stuck with a bunch of disgustingly fratty “Party Down In New Orleans” type shirts last week — Ryan bought 7 of them at the “5 t-shirts for $20” store on Canal Street in New Orleans, thinking we’d need some shirts to wear once and ruin while building the house in Louisiana the other day. And supporting the local economy. Here’s Joe in his:
Don’t get me wrong, Napoleon Dynamite is a delightful movie, but the once funny Vote For Pedro shirt is now barely cool enough to blow my nose on. Excellent choice, Mr. Miller.
So we isolated the most offensive shirt in the bunch — from the “mock Budweiser label” genre of lame t-shirt — just to see if Josh would wear it. And he did, proudly. On stage in Arizona last night — a brazen exploitation of our band’s lack of dress code. He is completely out of control.
What you can’t see in the above picture because of my stinky cropping skills (yes, that’s cropping), is the beginnings of a head of hair that will grow undeterred until Thanksgiving, thanks to $20 from every member of our band and crew. Yes, for a two-hundred dollar bounty Josh is going to let us see what he looks like with hair, which of course means Josh will let *you* see what he looks like with hair, because I have a digital camera and a road journal. I hope you’re excited.
I have been negligent with my road journal. While interesting, newsworthy things have been happening on the road, my loyal readers have been left in the dark. Forsaken. Abandoned. Lost. And ultimately forgiving, since there’s no greater excuse for neglecting your road journal than your own wedding. It’s kind of like the Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry’s mother passes away and he uses it as a opportunity to get out of unsavory dinner dates and such. I get a free pass from all my responsibilities so long as I invoke the fact that I’ve been on my honeymoon. My extended honeymoon in Houston Texas. My extended honeymoon in Tulsa Oklahoma.
So, to address the delicate subject matter of how to delicately address the subject matter of balancing personal privacy and diary-like disclosure, I will take a page from Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons, the ESPN sportswriter with a readership a hundred times the size of the Guster road journal. When he got married he began referring to his wife as the “Sports Gal” and bringing her up in the context of her taste in movies and her emotional monthly cycles. While I might take the high road and not divulge too much about her here (perhaps a bit ironic considering I’ll gladly talk in great detail about the heat that comes from my farts), I offer you this one wedding photo of the amazing Thunder Spouse in action. The love of my life.
The Thunder Spouse was with us Monday in New Orleans when we spent the afternoon erecting the walls of a house in Lacombe, Louisiana with Habitat For Humanity.
I bring this up not to come across as altruistic or charitable or Born Again Christian, but merely to warn the future inhabitants of the place we were working on. Tread lightly in your new home and never lean against the north-facing wall. We’re not very good with hammers.
I could use this next photo to incriminate Seth and Joe for that artistic board of bent nails, but the truth is we all contributed a little to its aesthetic. Six nails for six people who all thought they could do it better than the person before them.
I remember asking Craig, the professional carpenter on the scene whose job it was to supervise our work, if he and one other experienced builder could do more as a duo than the six of us did that afternoon, and like a true diplomat he said “it sure wouldn’t be as much fun.” We signed our piece of wood, too, because it felt like the right thing to do.
I do like to keep the mood upbeat here at the road journal, but the truth is New Orleans is still a fucking mess, a year after the flood. Driving through some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods breaks your heart, and you don’t get the feeling that there’s any urgency to the recovery effort. Here’s a link to the Katrina Recovery wing of Habitat for Humanity if you’re in the area and feel like doing some volunteer work.