Saturday, December 19, 2009

Profit Prevention Tour (Australia) - Good on you, mate.

Played an awesome show outside a comic shop in Lismore, though that night tragedy struck during a game of stickball. While I ran for home base, a plastic bottle slid underneath my foot when I crossed a metal grate, resulting in this:
No broken bones, but I had to spend a morning in the emergency room with a bit of discomfort (as you can probably imagine). I was treated at a public hospital, and them thinking I was Australian gave me FREE services- Including the X-ray, crutches and bandages- which would have cost a fortune back in the US.

I guess I could say I'm 'lucky' the tour fell apart big time and I don't have a show for a few weeks. Although that feels bittersweet, especially since I have no money due to lack of shows until January, and can barely take care of myself (physically and financially).

I am very thankful that I've met the people that I have in Lismore and the surrounding area. They have been seriously amazing to me - getting me food, offering me places to stay and driving me around. I honestly don't know what I would have done without them. This tour collapsing the way it did was devastating, but with their help it's slowly coming back together. It's been difficult to stay positive about everything, but I'm trying my best. After all, I'm still in Australia with some of the most amazing animals and forests I've ever seen.

For now I'm resting, eating thai food, going to the beach, viewing wild kangaroos and kicking it with some rad people. I've been thinking about making some big changes to upcoming tours and releases as well, and it's good that I have time to re-evaluate everything that I've been planning.

I just want to say thank you to all the awesome, sincere and compassionate people I've met on this trip. Thank you to all the great friends I've made so far, thank you to everyone who doesn't fuck around about animal rights, and thank you to everyone back home for all the supportive emails I've received. Feeling very optimistic about the future, even though the present has been trying my patience.

For Love and Liberation,
Mike XVX

Friday, December 11, 2009

Profit Prevention Tour (Australia) - Proper Bogans

After hanging around Newcastle for a few days I caught a train down to Sydney to kick it with the awesome Marcus Carcass. Our first couple days were spent on the (notorious) Bondi beach swimming off the rocks in the most beautiful water! Crystal clear, and full of green mossy rocks and fish. We saw a seagull dive-bomb a dog repeatedly for about five minutes; each time screeching as it plunged and the dog barking in response. so funny! Some not so awesome people on the beach as well that really aren't worth mentioning.

Once we got all the swimming out of our system we headed up to the blue mountains with Dan and stayed the night in this awesome house right on the edge of the woods. I'm pretty sure I heard a Wallaby hopping around in the backyard... and apparently there was a Possum crawling on the awning overhead when I was asleep, though I didn't hear that. The next morning we hiked on the Wentworth pass, looked out at Govetts leap, and walked through an obnoxious group of tourists to see the Three Sisters. Saw a whole flock of cockatoos on our 3 hour hike down the mountain(they are the craziest, LOUDEST birds ever). and when i ran naked into a waterfall thinking that no one was around, a group of people walked out from behind a rock. I tried to run, tripped and fell naked into the water in front of everyone.

I refuse to be embarrassed.

We headed back down the mountain later that day, and the next morning I caught a rideshare with an annoying old hippie dude up to Lismore. I literally clung to the door handle for almost the entire 7 1/2 hour drive because he was driving like a maniac. and while he was flying around corners and almost smacking into the backs of other cars he was saying that THEY were the bad drivers. so scary.

Had a crazy, drunk Bogan come in and out of my room while I was sleeping which made my first night here interesting. He kept walking through and mumbling "wherrrre'sss that amerrrrican boyy" while I huddled in the dark corner hoping not to be seen. terrible.

Went to the animal park today here in Lismore and a kangaroo was so nice as to let me pet him for a good while! he was so cute, we named him roy. he loves green leafy vegetables and hopping. We didn't want to pay to get in so Joseph and I made a running leap over the fence and ran off into the park. amazingly NO ONE saw us do it, which I'm still surprised about.
Afterward swam in the quarry with the boyz and jumped off a 10 meter (30 ft) rock and nearly dislocated my shoulder again. so rad!

Watched The Castle, and about to watch Cracker Jack - both great representations of modern Australian culture I'm told. Making a cake, excited for the show tomorrow and missing home.

"He's dreeeeeamin",
Mike XVX

p.s. I haven't uploaded photos in awhile but they'll be coming your way soon. be patient!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Australia tour - dates have been moved!

So here is a rough draft of where I'm going to be in Jan.

Jan.
5th - Canberra (house show -
43 Atherton St, Downer)

8th - Yamba

9th - Byron Bay

10th - Gold Coast (TBA)

14th -Lyrebird Bar @ 61 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea (near the station)
Free Entry Show, Free BBQ, $10 Jugs
8PM Doors
With: Wil Wagner & The Smith Street Band, Mr DNA, Chaos Kids

15th - House Show @ HICKS IN THE CITY
With: Wolfman Josh, Tom Lawson, Mr DNA, Jess Shulman, Wil Wagner
More info closer to date

16th - @ CATFOOD PRESS (ALL AGES SHOW)
W/ Jamie Hay, Mike XVX (usa), Wil Wagner & The Smith Street Band, The
Tin Soldiers (galaga gang bang boys) & We'll Be Cowboys Tomorrow
289 lygon street - east brunswick
3pm Doors
$5 Entry

17th - @ STATION 59
59 Church Street, Richmond
6pm Doors
Free Entry

22nd - (TBA)
w/Born Into Suffering
Perth, WA


Hope to see you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Profit Prevention Tour (Australia): Day 1 - The Arrival

I made it to LAX around 730 pm even though my flight wasn't until 11 (not taking ANY chances) after I spent the day with some cousins I hardly ever see. We went down to the harbor in Redondo beach to go ice skating on the sand (fucked up, right?) but the rink was closed, so we rented those little pedal boats instead. So bogus, I don't recommend it... they wouldn't even let us leave the harbor!

Anyways, I had foreseen 3 major problems that could potentially prevent me from getting on the plane:

Problem #1 My checked bag had to be under 50 lbs, otherwise I would have to pay an extra $50. Having literally zero dollars in my bank account, paying anything extra was simply not an option. While checking in for my flight I place my bag on the scale with a bit of it sticking off of the side (Though I'm not sure if that makes a difference?). I watched in horror as the numbers on the scale reach 45 lbs, and slowly crept up a few notches. I held my breath for what seemed like 30 seconds before the womyn behind the counter said ok and let me go. First tragedy averted!

Problem #2 My guitar could not be placed under the plane without being destroyed, but it was too large to fit as a carry-on.
So, my *new* guitar is a 30 year old Guild Banjo Killer that I bought for an insane amount, and I've had several nightmares of it being checked on the plane and having the neck snap or the body warp from the subzero temperatures that all the luggage goes through at the bottom of the plane. I had a plan, though not sure how it would pan out, to absolutely maintain that *someone* from Delta airlines assured me there would be closet space on the plane for my oversized guitar. So, I walked through security and placed my guitar through the X-ray machine. no one said anything, so I kept going. Made it to the gate, and as the man at the door checked my boarding pass he glanced briefly at the huge hard case in my hand, but said nothing. so I kept going. Then as I entered the plane the womyn at the plane door looked at the guitar in my hand, but said nothing. So I went to the back of the plane and found an attendant. Our conversation was as follows:

Me: "Hello, I need to put this in a closet. can you tell me where that is?"
Her: "If it doesn't fit in the overhead you're going to have to check it"
Me: "A representative assured me I'd be able to place this in a closet. This guitar is older than I am and it can't be placed underneath the plane"
Her: laughs "A representative of what?"
Me: "Uh.... Delta Airlines"
Her: "Ok... there's space up front for it"

So with that I shoved my guitar behind some captains jackets in a closet near the front of the plane. Second tragedy averted!

Problem #3: I had a bunch of food that I had to take through customs, and I needed all of it.
So with two problems down, and one to go I was feeling pretty good. I was unable to give an address of where I was staying in Australia for 2 months, but no one seemed to care about that haha. So I put my bag on the X-ray machine and again I was questioned. "so it says you're bringing trail mix into this country, may I see it?" certainly I said, and got it out. "oh you see, this has walnuts in it so we're either going to have to destroy it, or you can pay $30 to keep it here at the airport for when you return home". Shortly I weighed the option of paying $30 to store a huge bag of raw trail mix at the Sydney airport for myself to enjoy 2 months later, and regrettably decided that destroying it would be a better option. She let me keep my almond butter though, but that hardly feels like a victory. So long trail mix...

After Lauren met me at the airport, we drove north a couple hours to Newcastle where I currently am staying. I settled in, skated an insanely awesome skate park literally right on the beach while lauren went to work, fell asleep for a couple hours with the feeling that someone had kicked me in the head, and then ate delicious thai food with Lauren and her sister Jodie. Such a good first day!!

On another note, the dates of the tour have been moved around a considerable amount. I don't have the dates posted yet but I'll get back to you on that. I have 2 months here so I have plenty of time to reach all the places I wanted to go.

Today's plans are as follows - busking at the mall a few blocks down from here, and swimming with one of my favorite Australians Liam at a beach he's taking me to.

Missing my friends back home so much,
Mike XVX

p.s. the birds here make crazy noises in the morning. It reminded me of going to the bird sanctuary at the zoo as a child, as shitty as zoos are. I can't wait to see a Koala!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Profit Prevention Tour (Australia) - Leaving the U.S.



So I've left San Diego, and in about 32 hours I'll be leaving the country for my first international tour. I can't explain how excited, anxious and nervous I feel! But I will say that I'm most looking forward to traveling across the country and getting to see Uluru (Ayers rock), the great barrier reef, the rainforest on the north coast, and (hopefully) get to see Kangaroo island off of the southern shore. Let alone all the amazing people and animals I will surely meet along the way as well.


I've been stressing myself out big time about making sure I have everything ready, so much even that I pace around the room thinking if I have every angle of my travel plans covered. I don't want to jinx it, but for the past few weeks I kept waking up in the middle of the night TERRIFIED that I missed my flight, forgot my passport, lost my guitar etc. etc. the day I was supposed to leave - thus preventing me from reaching the first few dates of the tour.
I think some of the stress might be due in part to the fact that I haven't booked any of the shows for this tour. It's strange not to have control over the itinerary, but I'm in the trustworthy hands of my friend Lauren so I'm sure everything will go fine.

It will be awesome to meet other xvx, vegan, anarchist, atheist, straight edge and/or feminist people on another part of the planet and see what their community is like. It will also be awesome to meet animals of a species that I've only seen photos of (koalas, kangaroos, deadly snakes etc.), and immerse myself in a culture and climate I knew next to nothing about when I originally planned this trip. and now after researching it's biodiversity I can't wait to go and experience it all! Even the bad stuff!

I will greatly miss all my friends in the U.S. over the next two months, and if any of you miss me too feel free to send me an email: mikexvx@gmail.com


Love always,

Mike XVX

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall tour '09 Recap

santa cruz, ca

all I can say is: vegan milkshakes, beautiful river spots, epic power outages, late night french fries, dog walking, Miguel playing and good time having. Thank you Santa Cruz for hosting my first ever great day there!


oakland, ca

The show was hosted in Holly's (small) living room where about 30 people had to be crammed into this tiny space. I played in front of an incredibly rambunctious group of people, and it probably made for the most hilarious show of the tour. Before anyone set up one of the roommates was playing a video game, and while her character would walk past another character everyone would scream "RIP HIS HEAD OFF!!" regardless of the context. needless to say she was NOT happy about this, haha. (I would explain this better but I don't understand video game terminology. sorry)

aside from that, I love just sitting and watching people yell at each other from across the room when I'm supposed to play (not being sarcastic at all, I swear), and I have to wait for their argument etc. to be over with. so funny!

I was so psyched to be playing with Miguel again, one of my favorite people to see when I'm out and about. His set was hilarious as usual, and included a rendition of "remix to ignition" by R. Kelly. so fucking good, I promise.

reno
, nv

Played a show at the Hen Den with this AMAZING band called My Flag is on Fire (go check them out: http://www.myspace.com/myflagisonfire). I missed them last time because I got altitude sickness so badly I threw up everywhere (not even kidding) and this time I actually got it again, but not so bad that I couldn't play/enjoy the show.

Stayed with the SWEETEST people ever. ever ever ever. Made a frustrating and delicious raw pie with danielle, drank some tea and hung out with some adorable kittens. Oh, and I had to strategically place my bag in a way where the cats couldn't pee on it. that's always fun too.

lincoln city, or

The drive out here was insanely long, so we stopped at a lake out in the middle of nowhere and swam for awhile, and then spent a night parked out in the woods in Oregon instead. as we were pulling up to our sleeping spot Andy started yelling "What the fuck are you!!!" out the window. Startled I shot a look outside to see 2 deer running alongside the car through the weeds. They probably thought we were idiots.

Played inside of a record store in Lincoln City, but it wasn't an actual show. I sang for about 45 minutes while people walked in and bought things, pretty strange! I'd never done anything like that before.. well actually, I played inside an indoor mall once for $50. I'd say that was probably more weird than this.

Afterwards our wonderful host Zelan took us to the natural food store where I had the most amazing hummus of my life! (Made by the womyn who owns it, and prepared fresh daily.) He then treated us to dinner at a vegetarian restaurant/porn shop/head shop/bar respectively called "The Filthy." interesting? I think so.

afterwards we skated the most rugged and amazing skatepark I've ever been to. Everything was super steep and treacherous, and the rain made it extra scary. not to mention the 3 or 4 drug deals we saw go down while we were there.
also, at the park there was a dad trying to aggressively "teach" his son how to skate, while the whole time yelling to "stop being a pussy and drop in" which we thought was a bit inappropriate. I don't respond well when I see child abuse, so on our way out I encouraged the child to make a positive change in his life by saying: "hey kid, you should kill your dad!"
We'll see if he takes my advice.

Spent the night with Zelan watching The Office (duh) and then andy and myself went canoeing in the morning on the GIGANTIC LAKE THAT IS HIS BACKYARD. it took us like 40 minutes to paddle all the way across it. but it was so so beautiful!

portland, or

Portland was the same as ever: Fun, inviting, adventurous and action packed. Got to hang out with some of my favorite people, ate delicious vegan food everywhere I went and hung around the vegan mini-mall for about 1/4 of my stay. Went swimming in Multnomah falls, confronted a sexist vampire, almost got punched several times by dads in line at the circus and spit off the overpass of the freeway (immature... so what?). We also got to sit outside the Roseland theater and watch hundreds of Juggalos and Juggalettes spray Faygo all over each other while waiting to get into an ICP show. Saw a pregnant Juggallette smoking a cigarette as well. not so cool.

victoria, bc

Missed the ferry to victoria by 5 minutes after driving 5 1/2 hours to get there. We had it planned out perfectly but we got stuck in traffic when we were leaving Portland. So bummed! and you think that's stupid? guess what, that's the second time it's happened to me!! Victoria hates me : ( (and I don't mean the ferry system, I mean all the people that came out to see me play and I didn't show up) Hopefully someday I'll make it over.

Instead we spent the day in Port Angeles, which if you follow the Twilight series would know that it's where a lot of the story takes place. So of course the whole town is "twilight" themed, with one cafe boasting to be the "site of bella and edwards first date" with a line out the door and an hour and a half wait to be seated. People love to waste their money, don't they?

p.s. if you like Twilight not only are you not reading a decent vampire story, you also need to get a life. I don't care if that's mean. I don't.

I will say this has been one of, if not the best tour I've been on thus far. thank you to everyone who booked me a show, gave me a place to sleep, fed me, hugged me, high fived me, donated so I wouldn't be stranded and made me feel welcome in your city. I wish tour would never end.

love always,
mike xvx

memorable quotes from this tour:

"I am racist against vampires" -Brian from Scapegoat tattoo

"I don't like it" - Miranda (
referring to the wild, angry juggalos)

"Hey you want to hear a joke? BANANA" -Courtney

"are you my friend? My name's Joseph. I'm going to kill you" -Joseph (
a random crackhead we met in downtown Portland)

"Rabble rabble SHIT rabble" - some guy on his bike

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sorry!

I feel bad for not updating this thing as often as I should, but I haven't found time to write anything down. there has been too much going on! I promise I will write a long recap of the tour when it's all over with!

stay strong my friends

mike xvx

Friday, September 4, 2009

up the vegan punx tour - Fall 09 #1

San Diego
Riverside
Santa Barbara

the first night of tour was in San Diego at the City Heights Freeskool. It was sad to say goodbye to all my roomates and the friends i've made over the past couple months, but I'm excited to be touring again! The show itself was very relaxed, and i had a nice time just hanging out with some friendly and inviting people.

we made an awesome gluten-free vegan carrot cake for the day i left (which i piped some of the frosting flowers myself!!), but when i woke up that morning to enjoy it before leaving for Riverside i had discovered our kitchen had turned into a BATTLEFIELD. i had walked right into the middle of war between my roomates and a giant rat that's been eating our food and peeing everywhere for the past few weeks. there was a milk-crate corral circling our oven - everyone armed with a broom and our friend barry carrying the compost bucket in hopes of trapping him. now keep in mind, it was not our intention to hurt him - we set up a humane rat trap in the house that he was obviously too big to fit in and as they say: desperate times call for desperate measures. the battle raged on in the kitchen for about a half hour, everyone screaming and running for cover, until the rat finally made a final charge towards me, leaping OVER my side of the barrier and running straight into the downstairs bedroom. we ended up clearing the whole room out, attempted to make our milk-crate barrier again, and even had him trapped in the boxspring for awhile but he still managed to escape out of the room once again and barricaded himself inside the oven. we gave up for now, but he knows he's been in a fight... that's for sure.

the next day was the show in Riverside, which included a set by Acoustic Destroyer, a vegan potluck and a screening of the movie Jesus Camp (which gets scarier everytime i see it). After the show ended a womyn brought over a possum named Harriet that she had rescued which was one of the cutest animals i have ever met in my life! super cuddly! everyone in riverside is always so sweet to me and i look forward to going back there time and time again.

we (my friend andy and myself) drove into Santa Barbara last night to skip the heat and LA traffic, which was a huge relief. i didnt have a show today so we spent the day eating Thai food at my all time favorite restaurant here in SB, and jumping off the goleta pier.
while leaping off the banister of the pier, a guy that works at the bait shop approached us trying to "suggest that we leave" because the lifeguard was watching and we'd be getting tickets if we didn't stop. I had just jumped off at the time while doing a 'flying squirrel'(which is a move where you grab your ankles and look straight up at the sky while falling), so our friend scott asked him what he thought about it... with no reply, haha. so once he turned his back of course scott jumped off immediately - resulting in the man getting in my face asking for my name while i laughed at him. once he walked back to his shop we had past on the way out asking once again what he "thought of the flying squirrel" and once he didn't respond, i exclaimed "it was nice, huh?" and then asked for his name repeatedly in a voice that mocked his own. hahaha.
for all of you that already thought i was a smartass - this confirms it.

hope to see you soon my friends

love always
mike xvx

Thursday, July 30, 2009

For Love and Liberation


So I've finished recording my new EP: "For Love and Liberation". It's a little over 8 minutes long, but I have to say I'm pretty satisfied with the recordings. I'm just waiting on the artwork, and I'll be setting a release date soon after.

there are only 2 songs on this release with 'official' lyrics, but I'll post them for you here to read:


I see the life that I want


sometimes i think of all the things that fire can consume
sometimes i dream of molotovs and all the good that they can do
sometimes i'm eager to live in a world where all the cops are dead
discard the system that demeans us all and police ourselves instead

i can tell that you're searching my eyes
and you can see that i'm not satisfied
what excuse will they offer this time
let's stand up and take back our lives
this time

sometimes i think of all the different people i have met
sometimes i think of all the different places i have been
i see the life that i want to live, and you can be there too
'cause i don't think i'd be as scared if i was next to you

tonight we ride

tonight we're riding swiftly through your darkened one way street
busting out the tinted windows of your lifted SUV's
we are warriors the moment that our asses touch these seats
and we are free

We pass the family pets whose needs are often overlooked
just another piece of property in this wealthy neighborhood
seen as objects, not as friends, they're not respected like they should
and if i could
i'd save them all
maybe i should


everyday the sun sets and you dread when it goes down
we'll use the cover of the darkness to take back our fucking town
our anger fuels our battle-cry, you'll shiver at the sound
when we're around
tonight we ride
we'll tear it down

tonight we'll ride
and tear it down

we're riding past a farm where migrant workers harvest corn
and the products of their labor often sold in fancy stores
but the cost is too expensive than their families can afford
yet you abhor
the working class
the working poor

we won't ask for liberation, we won't bother with demands
not accepting what you offer, not accepting what we have
we'll build the world we want to see, i'm positive we can
won't ask again
we'll take it all
won't ask again


I'm one song short of recording my next EP which will be a small collection of songs that are as far away from social and political issues as I'd like to stray. it should be interesting!

I love my bike, my friends, and my life,

Mike XVX

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In case you were wondering...


Hey friends, just writing to let you know what I've been up to recently. we'll do this with bullet points to save us time:

*yes, I am still taking a break from shows.


*no, I was not able to make it to the show in Portland for personal reasons. being super stressed out was exactly what I was trying to avoid this summer. I scheduled a show in Washington because I wanted to support the organizations that the show benefits, but I'm still not 100% sure I'll be able to make it.


*yes, I am recording a new e.p. early next month and I'm almost done writing another. They both are something unique that I've never done before, so be on the lookout for that!


*no, whatever rumors you've heard about me playing such and such place probably aren't true. some shows may pop up here and there but you'll more than likely hear it from me if it's actually going to happen.


I am sorry if this post sounds a bit short (in manner, not length) but I have limited time to write this and I have been trying to avoid contact with any computers, televisions, or people who are obsessed with either or both.


Keep it vegan homies!

love always,
mike xvx

Saturday, June 13, 2009

a little matter of genocide

white lies written in red blood
fill our textbooks with denial
they say "genocide" too harsh a term
a dismissal of their struggle

the Chickasaw
the Cherokee
the unconquered Seminoles
the Muscogee Creek
and the Choctaw speak
but their story goes untold

driven from the swamps and plains
Oklahoma's not our home
assimilated and annihilated
in disgust we march along

5 rings embody poverty, fascism and corruption
displacement of indigenous tribes
and ecological destruction

dehumynized and victimized
marginalized and cast aside

olympics in 2010
the tears of 1838
we won't back down, we'll protect this land
I'll use your blood to paint my face

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hot Winds

*note: this prose is entirely fictional.

it was hot that night.

the summer heat lingered in the street and the warm Santa Ana's were blowing in strong through the windows.

who's ready for some mischief?

the sound of my voice reverberated in my head as the minutes drew on.

I looked around and remembered I was sitting alone. that I had been sitting alone for the past 3 weeks.

I guess sleep is finally catching up with me.

I had thought for a second that maybe I was slipping closer into senility, and at the age of 22 I wouldn't have been surprised.

I've lived a hundred different lives, why am I not surprised that the past few years are catching up with me?

I pondered this idea for a brief moment, and then shook it away.

The end will inevitably come for all of us, I may as well choose where the period is placed.

and it was then that I decided it's best not to think about these things when you have work to do. So I forced myself to stand and reached for my bag.

I let out a long sigh, took one look in the mirror, and then stepped out the door.
well, this city isn't going to burn itself down.

and with that, the hot winds swept us into the darkness.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Saying goodbye to an old friend.


So I've decided after much deliberation that I'm finally going to retire my old guitar. I'll be playing my final show with it on May 17th in Riverside, CA.

It's in dire need of repair that I'm not able to give it, and it's starting to sound really distorted and warped. It's difficult to admit how attached I am to an inanimate object but it's been a great friend to me. A source of comfort, artistic expression, and a way to block out all the noise going on around me.

It's been through over 40 states, touched all 4 corners of the u.s., and played over 200 shows in the past 2 years. Been through every climate imaginable, from 115 degree weather to well into the negatives.. that actually being the main reason why it's falling apart.

So if you're in the area feel free to come to the show (daytime):
May 17th
1 pm
w/
Andrew Jackson Jihad
Miguel from Oakland
Roman Candles
Curdle Motif
7$
@ back to the grind
3575 university ave
riverside, ca

Love always,
mike xvx

p.s. I'm still going to continue with shows, I've received a new guitar already.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trying to be brave

Hey everyone,
I realized it's been awhile since I told you all what I've been up to... and telling the same stor
y every time I see each one of you could get tiring!

To make a long story short I'm taking a break from shows for awhile. Things have been stressful and I'm trying to focus on some other projects right now. Activism and education have always been the top priority so I'm putting all other things aside until I can be satisfied with the contribution I'm making. I will be playing a small amount of shows but one of them is a benefit for the AETA 4 (learn more about their case here: www.myspace.com/aeta4) and the other isn't until the anarchist bookfair next Fall in Victoria, BC. There has been some discussion about a small bike tour up the west coast with xTRUE NATUREx but we're not exatly sure how that's going to pan out. Plus, after the 2 month tour I feel that playing anywhere in the U.S. would be excessive right now.

On a more personal note I have been having a lot of anxiety and isolation issues. Trying to adjust back to life in Santa Barbara after being gone for over 8 months has been difficult and it's strange not to be in a new city everyday. I was so desperately needing time alone on this last tour but now that I have that it all feels so unnatural. I'm sure it's something that I'll get used to, but I'm debating whether I just want to pack up my things and disappear for awhile.

Just trying to stay positive and struggling to keep my life together. If I have to go it alone I will... though it would be nice to have some friends along!

in solidarity,

mike xvx

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tour Journal # 7 (final)


Portland
Arcata
Reno

Too much time has passed without me consistently keeping up with this blog, so I feel it would be an injustice to the memory if I were to try and capture it when it's not fresh in my mind. All I can say is that one of my favorite things about touring is getting to see these amazingly talented people perform and just feeling completely overwhelmed (in a good way) by their creativity and passion. It's been really hard to adjust back to a somewhat sedentary lifestyle, but hopefully it won't be for too long. this has honestly been the BEST tour I've ever been on in terms of turnouts, how much literature was passed out, merch sold, high fives had, sing alongs etc. here's a brief summary of the trip:
we've traveled: 12,000 miles in 2 months

we've seen: 37 states
I got sick 3 times on this tour

gave out an unspeakable amount of literature (awesome!!)

only received one speeding ticket and encountered no major problems*

*aside from us having to pay $500 for an alignment, new wheels and extra work on the car. bummer.


thanks again to
zombiejenn for being an AWESOME travel partner and taking amazing photos, thanks to everyone who gave us a place to play, let us crash on their floor, came to shows, took a bunch of literature, bought merch, brought us food, gave compliments and constructive criticism, sang along, asked for hugs, high fived


no thanks to drug dealers, beligerent drunks, flaky people, crooked mechanics, people thinking the show is their own personal dating service and the guy who offered jenn crack and a date on his motorcycle

ESPECIALLY no thanks to
: Cops, God, the guy who sold crack at my show in montana and the kid in the truck who tried to run me over in Portland.


and of course thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm going to be taking a brief hiatus from shows and be working on some projects I've deemed to be more important for the time being. hope to see you all soon, and GO VEGAN!

-l-
Mike XVX

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tour Journal # 6

New Haven
Wakefield
Chicago
Kansas City
Salt Lake City
Missoula


I haven't updated this blog in nearly a month but i've put this up as a reminder that i have to sit down and write it all out soon. hope you're all doing well my friends, take care.

love
mike xvx

p.s. a guy was dealing crack at my show last night. strangest evening of my life!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tour Journal #5


greensboro
richmond
hamilton

our friend lyle set me up a house show last night in greensboro, nc and even though there were only about 10 people the hangout-age was intense! we played with some sassy kitties, ate delicious chili (though they were baked beans everyone kept saying "chili". i dont know why.) and played a rowdy game of what we refer to on the west coast as "brooklyn edge break". (and NO i did NOT BREAK EDGE so keep that shit off the bridge nine page or whatever) it's basically a mix of Taboo, Sharades, and Password but there were some awesome phrases like "awkward warts" and "keanu reeves" (mine!).

richmond, va was a beautiful, friendly and welcoming place. Alison Self ( www.myspace.com/alison ) set me up this amazing show in a clothing store called Rumors. all four people who play were super good; Wrist Rocket, Trouble! and of course Alison. the turnout was amazing, i managed to make enough donations to make up for all the days i had no shows and an awesome womyn named Desi made me the BEST vegan gluten free cookies and a brownie i have ever had!! all i can say is: WOW! the show it's up for consideration for best show of the tour.
we had the next day off and Alison took us to all these old civil war buildings on Belle Isle and it was a fascinating, beautiful and hilarious experience. i climbed down this sketchy latter into a pit that we only started referring to as HELL and found a charred nutcracker that was super creepy looking. then we went on a walk on the rocks through the frozen river where alison, adrian and I started an epic war against the ice where we heaved boulders and logs as hard as we could to try and crack it. sadly it was a battle we couldn't win, and we had to count our losses and continue on.

we spent all of 30 minutes in Hamilton, NJ.
let me just give you a brief explanation of what jenn and i have both dubbed: the worst day of our lives. it started out in Richmond when we took the car in to get a flat tire patched and the headlight repaired. what was supposed to take an hour turned into 3, and after they claimed they couldn't patch it and we'd need a whole new tire they brought us out a bill that was nearly $900 claiming that we "couldn't go on driving for even a month with all these problems" which was fucking bullshit because jenn had it serviced by a friend of hers before we left. so we let them know that they were fucking liars and to just get our shit done so we could leave. once we got all the bullshit out of the way we ended up getting 2 new tires because the other was worn and we had the basic alignment done it came out to almost $500. (seriously so much money to spend on something that you do not care about, jenn's tires are really expensive for her car because of the way they're shaped.) so as we were leaving we noticed that the glove box had been unlocked, which contained the hundreds of dollars we had stashed away for food. needless to say we were furious, but i let Jenn handle all the yelling because she has much more sass then me. nothing was missing but i can tell you we were a little flustered. then we hit insane post-inaugaration traffic going through D.C. which added another couple hours to our trip up to Hamilton and made us about 2 1/2 hours late. we showed up at the house and the last two bands were setting up, only with a problem that we only had 30 minutes to finish the rest of the show because of the noise ordinance and an angry father. i played 3 songs in the corner, traded 2 cd's for a switchblade with some kid, gave a couple hugs and then left. so hectic!

as you can imagine we were a little stressed so we drove farther up north after the show instead of staying in town. we are in lovely Stamford, CT and in a few minutes i'm going to get up and go for a walk in this pristine snow covered park about 2 blocks from here.


tour has been pretty off the wall the last 2 days, though being around animals and spending time with some beautiful trees and rivers has helped deal with the stress of riding in a car 6 hours of the day. i miss southern california but i'm excited to be in places i've never been before. we drove through new york last night and it was just a reminder of how fucked civilization really is and how we just accept the mental damage and emotional suppression it enforces.
anyways, i hope you're all well and hopefully be seeing you soon.

damn right that's how we pay the rent (hell yeah),

mike xvx

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tour Journal #4


Gainesville
Tampa
Henegar
Lawrenceville
Asheville

Gainesville, FL was super fun. I played at the Civic Media Center with Chelsea Carnes (Dirty Fist! is her other band, you should really check them out!) and Chris Clavin (sweet dude from ghost mice). and afterward we had a raucous game of apples to apples with everyone at the house and slept on some bunk beds in chris' kitchen. the next day we went out with our friend Paul to see some of the local gators and it was so rad! i've never seen alligators in the wild before, and although they only feed at night and they're mostly stationary during the day it was still awesome. there was also a flock of about 500 birds out in the woods. later in the day jenn and I went and ate some awesome vegan jamaican food at Reggae Shack. if you're ever in gainesville i highly suggest eating there, but don't get anything jerked because it will destroy your stomach!

Tampa, FL was the show at the organic farm. although i didn't play and it was super rowdy i still got to see some good people.. even if for a brief moment (you know who you are!). there was a huge and filthy organic farm kitty that jumped up on the table and started eating the stir fry right out of the pan. so funny!

Henegar, AL was a small and strange place but the kids there were super nice. i played in my friend Josh's (everyday action) bedroom for about 15 kids. when we were driving out on these crazy backroads all i could think was "man, this is 'Bama"... but for some reason everytime i thought those words it would narrate in my head with a southern accent. it's kinda like when i read sometimes and if the book is unintresting my brain will start narrating for me... but for some reason it's always a British accent... that has no relevance to this story, i'm sorry!

Lawrenceville, GA was the show at Ragewood: a small house in the suburbs of Atlanta. It was the first show for the house and it went off really well. there was a good amount of people and they were all super friendly and respectful. The Ragewood kids were really supportive and accomadating and made our stay in Georgia probably one of the best of this tour. thanks again to everyone at Ragewood for an awesome time.
side note: i went against my better judgement and played Going to Georgia by the Mountain Goats acapella that night and i felt like a huge nerd.

Asheville, NC was a showcase and benefit for a venue located at 69 Gay st. there were 15 bands on the bill, tons of alcohol and FREEZING cold weather. i went on third and i actually had to play through the PA so everyone could hear me. it sounded like shit, it was super awkward, i was sick and yet i still had a really good time. everyone we met was incredibly nice and even though it was a benefit for the showspace the promoter kicked me down some money for gas which was rad. we also ate at this (mostly) vegan restaurant called Rosetta and had some french fries with Fancy sauce (aka veganaise mixed ketchup haha).

mr. wizard

i know it's been awhile since i've updated and i apologize. we've been busy and i haven't found the time to sit down and think for more than a few minutes at a time. there have been some awesome pictures and video footage taken though i can assure you. take care my friends and hopefully see you soon.

puppies are the only thing worth living for,
mike xvx

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tour Journal #3

austin
houston
new orleans

we stopped at our friend suzie's house in austin for a show in her backyard. thankfully for the first time on this trip the weather was warm enough to wear t-shirts at night. it was hot, humid and altogether beautiful. the moon was almost full and there were leaves all over the ground. Aaron Goldman and his dinosaur played an awesome set and it was nice to spend time around such sweet people. after the show we went out to a place called Toy Joy and ate some vegan soft serve. not amazing mind you, but definitely worth getting! the toy store was incredibly overwhelming though.... sooo many kichy toys to buy, put in your house, and never get rid of! but they did have a pretty sweet pikachu mask (jenn wouldn't let me get it). ehhh, alas!

next was the show at sedition in houston. i've always really liked sedition and although the crowd was small due to another show and an emergency protest, there were some really awesome kids that showed a lot of interest in SHAC. i'm always psyched to give out new literature to people so that really made my night. drank a free Jarritos and then stayed at Lara's house and watched a rowdy game of spoons (so funny!).

i've never stopped in New Orleans before but i have to say it's pretty amazing here. the first thing we did when we got into town was stop at one of the old graveyards and took photos for a good 45 minutes. it was cloudy and cold but way too exciting of an opportunity to pass up. we even got photos of the voodoo queen's grave! (proof coming soon) delicious food at the vegan potluck and some really talented and friendly people. Blair Gimma, The Straight Shooters, and Alana all played really well. i love going on tour and playing with such talented and diverse people. afterwards Derek from the straight shooters invited us to sleep at his punk as fuck warehouse in the french quarter. we played scrabble in the kitchen for a good 2 hours, played with the kitties and tried our best to not freeze to death. i'm still wearing gloves and a snow jacket as i type this!



(1 of 3 floors in the warehouse)


(kitty!)

so far the tour has gone off without car break-ins, drunken out of control parties, major arguments, or car accidents... but then again i probably just jynxed it. fuck.

for future scrabble reference; HEW is not a word!,
mike xvx

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tour Journal #2

Albuquerque, nm -

the show at the gold house was super fun. the livingroom was packed wall to wall with people and although there was a group having their own little private party in the corner it didn't get in the way of the awesomeness. Father of the Flood put on an amazing performance (video up soon), as so did Me You Like I and Just Before the War with the Eskimos. It was nice to spend time with some awesome people in a comfortable, welcoming place. as far as the award for best show of this tour goes, Albuquerque is going to be hard to beat.

Roswell, nm -

I didn't have a show here, but we of course had to go to what else? oh you know, the world famous UFO MUSEUM AND RESEARCH CENTER! I had heard mixed reviews about it from people in Albuquerque.. but now I know in my heart that they're all idiots (haha just kidding) because it was the fuckin' raddest place I've ever been. All kinds of awesome exhibits, newspaper articles, documentaries and diaramas of the UFO crash just outside of Roswell. We got to look through a whole series of pictures taken all over the world of UFO sightings and phenomena, and I had a pretty long conversation with an elderly womyn about how we were sure that none of it could be a hoax(jenn had a good laugh at us by the way). anyways, pictures coming soon! I saved my sticker badge so you all can check it out later.

don't stop believing(a ufo reference, not so much journey),
Mike XVX

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tour Journal #1



hey everyone,

so we're now on our third day of tour. night before last was the show in San Diego at the Che. i just want to say that i LOVE THE CHE CAFE.. honestly every time i visit it's a good experience and the friends who volunteer there are super rad. i got to play with with some really awesome bands: Destroy all of them, The Americans, and Fed to the Wolves. all of which put on an amazing set. there were a lot of sweet kids that came out, and although there were a group of people having a conversation in the middle of the room most of the show; it was still a really good night. i passed out a ton of literature, and people picked up shirts, my new cd and the SHAC compilation which i'm very excited about! go check it out: myspace.com/nofuckingwhey
i actually ran out of some zines and i'm going to have to try and make copies while i'm out and about. crazy!

last night we stopped in phoenix and had dinner with some friends. what did we eat? oh.. well you know... THAI FOOD! my all time favorite. feed me thai curry and i'll love you forever.

we got into flagstaff a little late last night and we've been hanging out with our friend john (myspace.com/workinprogressmusic) and of course he's been showing us a great time. played an intense game of scrabble and watched The Good Son with Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood. Although i cringe at most of that movie, i have to say that the Mr. Highway scene is pretty funny. (anyone else agree?) ginger tea, nice music and snow everywhere made it a very relaxing night. i never want to leave flagstaff whenever i come here.

anyways, the tour so far has been really fun although both of our arizona shows were cancelled. jenn has taken some awesome pictures so far, she hasn't posted them yet but check out her page whenever you can: myspace.com/zombiesonfilm

take care my friends and hopefully see you all soon

wearing socks and shoes (wtf?),
mike xvx