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.

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

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!