4/19/04 - You Got A Big Mouth Email Igor
I am entering what looks to be the busiest 3 weeks of my life starting at 11:30 AM tomorrow.  I have 2 photo portfolios to do by early May, and I am pretty far behind, especially in by black and white class.  I also have to write the first research paper I have had to write in 5 years, and it happens to be the longest paper I have ever had to write.  On top of that I have normal shit, including what could be 3 big Gaskets shows.  We also have a lot of work to do to get ready for their next album.  The point is my updates may get even less frequent than they have been.  Hopefully I will get back in the swing of things over the summer.  There should be a big update for photosbyigor.com once I get some of this new work scanned.  Some of my new work is going to appear in a local magazine called Chew On This.  I will get scans of that for sure.  As far as photo work, I recently did the cover for Nine Volt Magazine.  I may have linked it before, but if not, here it is.  Anyway, some one bitched at me because I never link things anymore.  The reason I don't is because I never know about shit anymore.  I don't really talk to anyone online anymore, but there are a few things I have found recently that I will hook you up with.  

- Subservient Chicken - SG - Men In Hats - MoveOn - Stella

4/9/04 - The Tour: Part 3 Email Igor

The word document of this tour diary is 19 pages long, making it the longest thing I have ever written.  It also contains no paragraph brakes or editing of any kind.  Enjoy part 3, it is the worst of the three parts.  

Wednesday March 17th Austin , TX – Grant’s House

We got our first good meal of the tour that morning.  Teddy’s cousin’s wife fixed us some crucial pancakes.  We also got to use the internet for the first time on tour.  Teddy checked his email, and got a letter from Miguel from Sound of Music Studios telling us that David Lowery really liked our demo CD that we sent him and he wanted to meet with us at South By Southwest.  For those of you who don’t know who David Lowery is, he was the front man for Cracker and Camper Von Beethoven.  He also happens to be a pretty important producer, who we have sought do to the next album.  This put us in quite a good mood.   Anyway, we got on the road on our way to Austin . At some point, when we were doing about 80mph, tearing down the road, Teddy started veering into the right lane, into a large truck.  Ross saw this and was like “Yo, truck!”  Teddy ignored this and continued veering.  At this point Ross screamed and the scream startled Teddy so he just veered to the left as hard as he could.  This caused the car to jerk left and right uncontrollably in-between the rail and this huge fucking truck.  Some how we survived.  It was probably the closest I have ever been to death.  Fantastic.  When we got to Austin we met my brother, who, by the way, will from not on be referred to as Ben, which is in fact his name.  So we meet up with Ben, go out for lunch and then start getting ready for the St. Patrick’s day party that we were playing that night.  Ben got the kegs some how, despite his underagedness and people slowly started showing up.  My friend Jamie from grade school was in town and he was there.  There was this very cute girl named Emily who I feel should start dating my brother was there.  And um, this guy Fletch and Grant and then about 50 jerk offs not worth meeting.  I don’t think they were bad people or anything, just kinda boring.  I don’t really know what my brother was doing hanging out with these kids, but whatever, some of them were cool, but in general mostly square.  Anyway, the Gaskets played and everyone seemed to know their “Early Years” album, but not the current stuff.  This was very weird.  They kept demanding the Gaskets play stuff like “Disclaimer”.  Very weird.  The show was okay, but no one was too excited, and it was kinda a let down after how great the rest of the tour was.  And now we had a few day break, and a lot of work to be done. 

Thursday March 18th and Friday March 19th – Austin, TX – SXSW

The next two days are kinda a blur.  Everything in Austin was pretty amazing, so it all just seems like one or two days.  We did however do a number of interesting things.  First of all, I got to meet Wes Shuck, owner of Aquarium Records, The Gaskets label.  He seemed very drunk and was joking about everything.  It was absolutely impossible to take him seriously.  Secondly I got to spend a lot of time with my brother, Jamie and my friend Sam who was also in town for the festival.  I don’t see any of them often, so it was rad.  My brother drove us around everywhere, introduced us to everyone, and helped us pass out more than his fair share of flyers.  We spent most of the days passing out said flyers for the show and generally making asses of ourselves (at least Ross and I did).  We passed out something like 2500 flyers in two days.  We passed out a bunch at the semi-famous Waterloo Records.  On Thursday night we got to see the B-52’s play with Junior Senior.  Junior Senior put out my favorite album of 2003, and I was pretty fucking psyched to see them.  The tickets, unfortunately cost $30.  That blew and we weren’t going to go, but my brother magically hooked it up and got us 4 free tickets.  Fantastic.  The B-52’s were pretty damned cool.  Hearing “Love Shack” live was totally surreal and I am pretty sure everyone else in the audience agreed.  Junior Senior also happened to be pretty good and when I say pretty good, I mean fucking brilliant.  I can not explain how amazingly danceable and hi-larious Junior Senior are.  I just think you need to go out, buy their album, and see them live the first chance you get.  They are like a gay Jackson Five or something… oh wait...  Anyway, after the show we met all of Junior Senior, and gave them demos that they will never play.  While passing out flyers we ran into quite a few people including the bassist for Wilco the lead singer for TV On The Radio, Katzen of the Human Marvels, the Sounds and Liz Phair.  On Friday I dressed up as a Cowboy and passed out flyers.  The Austin – American Statesman was amused and published this photo in the paper.  Good times.  That night we saw Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind.  It was in this theater that was like in a mall, however inside the theater it was decorated to look like a castle or something.  There were fucking gargoyles coming out of the wall.  Totally insane. The movie however, was brilliant; I think Gondry is going to go down as one of the best directors of all time.  Good times.

Saturday March 20th Austin , TX – BBQ At Bear’s

We had spent the last three days planning for this party and we were pretty sure one of two things would happen.  Either the most likely conclusion, no one would come or there was also some possibility that 500 people would show up and we would get the cops called and we couldn’t afford enough beer or meat.   We went over to Bear’s house pretty early and woke up Monee.  Monee said he would cook the food, if we got it.  Ross, Teddy and I each said we would spend 20 dollars out of our own pocket and $50 out of the Gaskets fund.  So we had a budget of $110.  Not bad.  Ben, Teddy and I went to Price Club while Ross, Bear, Monee and Bear’s roommate Andrew cleaned up and got the grill set up.  When we got to the store we found out that the smallest quantity of hot dogs we could get was 80 and the smallest pack of burgers was 40.   I couldn’t imagine we would need 120 things of meat, but they were only 10 dollars a box, so we hooked it up.  It was literally less than a dollar a pound.  This food was going to be great.  We ended up spending 70 dollars at price club, which put us over budget.  The keg was $60 and we spent some more on lighter fluid and charcoal.  All in all we went 30 dollars over budget, no big deal.  When we got back from getting this stuff we were in for a surprise.  The guys had completely cleaned everything up, gotten this 10 year old rotting grill in good shape, they had set up a table and cooking area, and some how, they had gotten a huge stage.  Evidently they drove to a frat, and stole this stage out of their back yard, lifting it over a fence and under power lines.  They then put it on the roof of a car and drove back with out tying it down, just reaching their hands out of the window holding it on.  Amazing.  The only concern at this point was their mean next door neighbor.  She had called the cops on Bear before and she was a problem.  Bear talked to her roommate, and it turned out that neither of them was going to be around.  Everything was coming up Gaskets.  That’s when the homeless people showed up. The party wasn’t going down for another 2 hours and already there were 3 homeless people.  We told them that the party wasn’t for a while and then I went inside and played with Bear’s pet baby squirrel.  When the party finally started a few of Bear’s friends showed up and Kristoph and the Communist Manifesto finally arrived, however there weren’t really that many people.  Right then Bear's wack ass neighbor showed up and started screaming at us when she saw the drum set.  Bear settled her down and she said she wouldn't call the cops.  Eventually she left all together and we taped up her front yard with caution tape.  Anyway, about this time it started to get weird.  About 5 homeless people showed up, as well as one 50 year old man who we gave a flyer.  The guitarist for The Manifesto came with his parents too.  So basically the party consisted of 50% collage kids and 50% 40+ people.  Teddy was freaking out.  Luckily a bunch more people showed up and our label made it right before the Gaskets went on.  It was the first time that Wes had seen them live and he was in for a rocking.  Once again the Gaskets rocked people’s necks in half.  It was just like SNAP! SNAP! SNAP!  The label loved it and so did this elderly couple who was there.  Wonderful.  Then The Manifesto played.  They were pretty great.  Everyone was a bit weirded out, but I think people mostly enjoyed it.  By the time they were done the party was winding down a bit.  All the beer was gone, and all but like 4 hot dogs.  We made $33 dollars in donations, we paid back the $30 over budget and we gave each member of Kristoph one dollar.   It was pretty much perfect and everyone had quite a good time.  It was rad.  After the party, a rousing game of hamster basketball was played.  This entails taking one of the 30 hamsters Bear owns, and throwing them through holes in a card board box.  It is not quite as cruel as it seems, and was mostly just really funny.  The hamsters recovered nicely.  Then we all split up.  The Manifesto went home, Ben, Ross and Monee went to play poker and Teddy, Bear and I went to a club called La Zona Rosa to see if we could meet up with David Lowery.  He was playing back to back sets with Cracker and Camper Von Beethoven.  Everyone told me I couldn’t park down there, so Bear and I just dropped Teddy off to see if he could make contact, while we went in search of parking.  I dropped him off in the back and we drove around to the front and parked in the very closest place to the club.  It was a god damned miracle.  It was probably the most amazing thing that happened all trip.  When we left we actually charged a guy $5 to take our spot.  Anyway the security guards were being assholes and wouldn’t pass the word on to David so we just kinda stood near the back stage hoping he would come out.  While we were waiting two guys tried to get back stage and were stopped by security. “But we are in Cracker!” they said, and were finally let in.  Teddy shouted out to one of them.  “Hey could you tell David that Teddy from the Gaskets is here?”  The guy just looked strangely at Teddy, so Teddy says “I figured you knew him since you are in Cracker.”  “I’ve only been writing music with him for 20 years!”  the guy snapped back.  Yikes, looks like we pissed that guy off.  We waited a bit longer thinking maybe he would pass the message on anyway.  Finally he came out.  Teddy called him over and said something along the lines of “It’s funny meeting you here instead of in Richmond .”  David just looked at him confused so Teddy explained who the hell he was.  David was really cool and introduced us to his manager and such.  It was very cool.  They tried to get us into the show, but the security guards were being dicks.  The other guy from Cracker came back out and wasn’t pissed off at all like we thought.  He was really cool and was trying to think of ways to sneak us in.  We never did get in, but it was very rad and we talked to everyone for a while.  All in all it had been a rad trip. 

Sunday March 21st and Monday March 22nd – Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia –

Despite getting lost several times, we drove continuously for 22.5 hours until we got to the Village Diner in Richmond, VA.  We had food.  It was mediocre as always.  We were back.  I realized that day that if I could tour for the rest of my life, I would totally do it.  This was probably the most fun I have ever had, and I can not wait until we get out on the road again.  The End. 

4/4/04 - The Tour: Part 2 Email Igor

Monday March 15th New Orleans , LA – Hi Ho Lounge

If anyone has never been to New Orleans , like I had before this tour, I want to explain now, that New Orleans is literally this biggest shit hole I have ever been to.  It is basically a shanty town.  There seems to have been almost no development of the town in 75 years.  There are bars that actually lean to one side or another.  And they have one way streets that go the same direction four blocks in a row, so to get to a place that’s just down the street; you have to drive for 15 min.  That being said, it’s a pretty interesting place to spend a night.  So Ross’ brother Chip had come down from Arkansas to see Ross play, so we were going to sleep in his hotel room, but before we met up with Chip and his wife, we decided to try and find the club.  We drove to the intersection where it was and saw this pretty huge, nice looking club: the only nice looking thing for blocks.  So we rolled down the window and asked some girls if this was the place.  In a scene that should only have taken place in a bad 80’s comedy, the girls just pointed a cross the street to a dump of a bar that had a bike lock on the front door.  We all promptly did double takes and our eyes popped out of our heads.  What they don’t show you in cartoons however is that it hurts like hell to pop your eyes back into your skull.  Extremely annoyed, we met Ross’ brother.  We walked to the hotel and met up with his wife, Ross’s other brother Braden, and his wife.  It was suppose to be a surprise but Ross had figured it out already.  We hung out at the hotel for a while and met a crack head who said he was the drummer for Outkast and 3 girls who looked like they were 14 who wanted pictures taken with us.  Everyone was kinda weirded out and tried to get away from them quickly, but I stayed and told them about the show.  We get to the bar to unload our stuff and despite the clubs rough exterior, it’s actually pretty nice inside.  The whole place was done up in red leopard print and had a very nice sound system (or so we thought).  So we talk to the club owner… “So who is playing with us?”  “I don’t know if anyone, I don’t book the shows, but you are the only band on the calendar.”    “So you are telling me that the only band booked is an out of town band with no draw?”  “Well they might have booked someone a few days ago, but it’s a Monday night, no one ever comes out on a Monday night.  Truthfully you guys are probably going to be playing for free, but I will give you some beer.”  “We’ll if people do come, what is the cover, we have some friends coming.”  “Oh, we don’t charge a cover.”  No see, this is when I get a bit confused.  Infectious Publicity promised us our share of the door, but if there is no door, and no local band to bring people in, we are playing for shit.  Fantastic. So we are waiting around for a while, drinking free beer, when the sound guy comes up to us and explains that their PA system isn’t working.  So we go to our car, and bring in our god damned PA and play out of that.  What kinda fucking place is this?  Finally another band shows up, which seemed to be good, but we figured we wanted to go down to Bourbon street or something and explore New Orleans, so we asked them if we could play first.  So by the time we start playing, there are a good amount of people there.  There is the other band, Ross’ brothers, their wives, the three underage looking girls (who assure us they are not), about 5 of the other bands friends, and a few random people who are at the bar just to drink and two of my friends who read my web site and showed up.  It was very surreal to see them randomly hundreds of miles from home.  Immediately the Gaskets rock the shit out of everyone.  The bar had a curtain, so they used it to do a costume change and Teddy came out in this amazing green spandex body suit.  It was so tight that it started ripping and you could see his ass hole as he humped a girl from the audience during “Probably Party”.  It was one of the funniest and best shows I have ever seen them do, and everyone was into it.  After they played, we realized that we couldn’t leave on account of the fact that the other band needed our PA.  So we stuck around even though Ross really wanted to hang out with is brothers and I needed to see at least one boob before I left the big easy.  The band started and I was really bewildered because they were something I probably would have gotten into 10 years ago.  It was like this band had never heard anything after Kurt Cobain died.  "Hey guy, 1993 called, it wants it music back."  They played Nirvanaesque grunge for like 45 min.  Ross at one point had to ask them if they would stop so we could get our PA.  They told him they only had two more songs.  They then proceeded to play a 15 min “trip rock” song where they repeated the same minute of music about 10 times.  It was really slow at first and then they started to rock out, then they started it all over again.  I was about to kill myself.  Luckily they ended eventually, played one more song that kinda rocked and got the fuck off the stage. We then went out to Bourbon Street and saw exactly 6 boobs.  It was pretty dead that late on a Monday.   Oh well, all I wanted was one. 

Tuesday March 16th – Houston, TX – The Side Car Pub

Remember just a paragraph ago when I said that NO is the biggest shit hole in the world?  I was wrong, that title goes to Houston, TX. Houston was not exactly dilapidated, but we drove all the way through it, from the very south end, to the very north, it took us an hour, and the entire time, a black cloud hovered above us.  The place was nothing but sprawl and about 20 fucking highways that just run all around it like some tangle of hair.  The place fucking sucks, or what little I saw of it.  We showed up about 5 hours before the show started on account of the fact that Teddy wanted to hang out with his cousin.  However, when we got there, and he talked to his cousin, it turned out that he was going to have to meet us there, and we had about 5 hours to kill in Houston.  Luckily my little brother and 2 of his friends were on the way down from Austin, and maybe they knew of something we could do.  We didn’t want to get lost, so we just went across to a shitty little strip mall.  There was a pawn shop there, so we checked it out.  We considered buying a smoke machine and some music equipment, but decided against it.  I considered spending half of my life savings on a 900 dollar .50 caliber Desert Eagle hang gun, but I figured that would be a horrible fucking idea.  We eventually left the pawn shop and stopped in some sort of dollar store where I bought a 12 pack of the worst root beer I have ever had in my life.  Keep in mind that I am a root beer aficionado and I drink nothing but root beer.  I have tried hundreds of different types, and this was by far the worst.  After buying the root beer, we traveled a few stores away to “Jim Pruett’s Guns And Ammo.  I am not joking when I say this, but their slogan is, I am not making this up, “Your Anti -Terrorist Headquarters.”  A huge sign on the door said that THIS was THE place to get a conceal and carry permit.  Because you know, you have to be able to hide your guns while hunting all the terrorists hanging out in Houston, Texas.  This place was fucking scary.  The guy let me play with guns and I got to drop in a clip and cock it and shit.  Pretty rewarding feeling actually.  Then one of the clerks started firing an empty fully automatic bb gun at one of the other employees.  He seemed very fucking serious about the whole thing.  Two other things of note:  1) They had a huge fucking machine gun or something on the floor.  The tag on it said “Rule the cul-de-sac!” on it.  I asked the guy what the hell it could possibly be used for, and he said, and I quote “We’ll its mostly for collectors, unless you have a lot of acres.”  2) They had free camouflage bibles.  What the fuck?  I guess when you are out killing things, you need Jesus to keep you warm.  We then went to Radio Shack, because well, degenerates hang out in Radio Shacks and it seemed like the thing to do.  My brother and his 2 friends, Bear and Money, showed up at this point.  We explained to the clerk that we came from Virginia, and they came from California, and that we figured out the exact middle point was his Radio Shack, just north of Houston, Texas.  Money then started asking obnoxious questions about GPS Navigational Systems, Plasma Screen TV’s and 20 inch rims, so we had to leave at once before the guy called the cops.  We went to Subway.  It was delicious.  We still had about 2 hours to kill before the show, so we asked 2 hillbilly girls what the hell there was to do in Houston.  She asked us if we liked “getting fucked up”.  We just ignored her and sat down on the side walk.  After a while the two girls came over and opened up their car that was near us.  The got out about 6 red bulls and a full bottle of Jagermiester and proceeded to drink all of it in the next 10 min in the fucking Radio Shack parking lot.  One of them looked at us and said “You know there are a lot of things better to do that to be sitting in this parking lot.”  Then she said, dead seriously. “Like you could be sitting in this parking lot, drunk.”  Teddy and I almost started laughing at her, but instead we just told her thanks and that we would figure something out.  We never did, so we headed over to the club an hour early.  When we got there, there were countless problems.  First of all there were two dogs in the club, which was just completely ridiculous.  Two huge labs were just licking and jumping up on every patron who walked in.  Secondly there was a huge argument over how many people we could put on our guest list, and because my brother and his associates are idiots, none of them brought any money.  There was some big to do over if I counted as a band member or not, but whatever happened, we got everyone into the club.  The third problem arose when the woman working the door wouldn’t let me go to the car to get our equipment because I didn’t have an arm band saying I was 21.  When I showed her my ID she said “Is there any reason why you have a fake VA drivers license?”  I said “Um… because I don’t?”  She demanded some sort of proof that I was from Virginia so I showed her both my license plates and my school ID.  She finally gave me a band.  I went to the car and came back and started talking to her about the club and how we were on tour, and she actually asked me “Oh are you from the band that’s from Virginia ?”  I couldn’t fucking believe it, so I just went inside.  We were playing with three bands, two of whom were in high school.  The opening band brought out so many fucking little kids.  There were literally 2 girls who had to be under 8 years old there.  They had a pretty big fan base, and played really mediocre straight edge Christian pop punk, it was pretty bizarre.  Most of their fans left before the second band played.  They were a mediocre rock band and I was outside talking to my brother and Teddy’s Enron employee of a cousin for their set.  By the time the Gaskets started playing, my brother, his friends, Teddy’s cousin and a few more of my brother’s Houston native friends were up front, ready to be rocked.  A bunch of other underage kids had showed up for the band that was going to play after us, plus a few other kids that had stuck around from the first two bands.  In all there were probably 40 people there, but they were mostly outside or playing pool in the other room.  With in 2 min of the Gaskets set, the place was packed.  Everyone came inside and random people just appeared out of no where.  During “B-A-D” people were screaming out the lyrics so loudly that Teddy couldn’t sing because he was laughing so hard.  They played a pretty good set, that was made amazing by the crowd reaction.  Only one other time I have seen a crowed as responsive, and never have I seen a crowd dance around as much as they did that night.  If any AR person happened to walk in, we would have been signed instantly.  It was pretty fucking great.  We sold so much fucking merch, we sold out of our Michael Jackson T-Shirts and sold a ton of CD’s.  We even sold stuff to the sound guy and the bar tender.  We were exhausted at this point, but decided to stick around for a bit of the last band’s set out of respect, and because they were so into us.  They were called Kristoph and the Communist Manifesto.  I had no idea what to expect, but based on their age, and how many shitty bands we had seen so far on tour, I wasn’t expecting much.  However, they melted my face instantly and rocked the shit out of us all.  Unfortunately I can do no justice to how insane this band was.  The lead singer would yell out words quickly and lowly, and then suddenly he would belt out this amazing falsetto.   He sounded like a god dammned answering machine.  “Hello this is Kristoph, please leave a message after the BEEP!!!”  At some point he dressed up in a monkey suit and fought a robot.  The guys were pretty rad too and we all went out to Denny’s. When it was over I asked them to come out to Austin with us and play a BB-Q at Bear’s house.  They fantastically accepted.

I will try to get to part 3 of this very soon, way sooner than part two, it's just that its 4 AM and I have to drive to Alexandria in order to get my car inspected right now.  I can't finish this tonight.  On unrelated notes Day By Day's Teenagers From Marz finally came out.  It features me hitting Dylan over the head with a light bulb, Dylan and I pushing a flaming stroller off a ramp, two of my friends lighting themselves on fire and 2 songs by the Gaskets.  On top of that the video is fucking amazing, and I feel it gives a pretty good idea of what it's like living in Richmond, VA.  Lots of music, skating, graffiti and sketch comedy.  Very funny, very amazing.  It is so worth the $20 it is costs.  Buy it here!!  Features a video by Avail and an appearance from Oderus from Gwar.   

And here is March.