distortion tour diary.

stephin gets ready to buy fake banana in japantown, san francisco.

listen to the magnetic fields badges. photographs: emma straub + mike fusco

I have returned east from the “tour” (though it continues to chicago this weekend) and since I am a non-digital photographress with no actual home at the moment (and therefore no scanner easily hooked up), may I direct you to the lovely photo blog of the lovely TMFs merch kids emma and mike (but oh they are so much more than that!). the seasoned touring rock star corin tucker recently reckoned that touring brings out the worst in everybody, and that much is true, but we had some good times in spite of it all too, and ate some fab pho too. but we don’t know how those non-stop touring bands do it, quite frankly. (mucho thanks to dawn and josh in NY, kevin and mark in SF, ashley and justine in venice, candice in seattle and carrie in pdx — and their many, many domestic animals — for the sparkling hospitality btw).

new york, february 21-24
venue: town hall, which was not as cold as it was when I saw m ward here last year, thank god!
the shows: I saw two out of four, they were ace. the banter, the audience, the show, was all on-target in NYC. which is no surprise!
consumed: my local friends know that I can usually be found at angelica kitchen, creature of habit that I am, eating kanten parfaits, moo tea, nice big well prepared pieces of broccoli and sweet potato with some other stuff. the place comforts me like no other. also in new york I managed to squeeze in an other music in-store by taken by trees (who could use a little help with their onstage persona), social engagements with some of my top buddies, and some great coffee. the snow was nice too!

san francisco, february 25-29
venue: herbst theatre is most stately and appropriate for TMFs and their respectful and reverent fans.
the shows: generally quite fantastic, though I hope the person who insisted on yelling out “I hate you stephin merritt” followed by a while later “I love you stephin merritt” wasn’t a local. what is it that makes people get all “me me me” when a room full of people is quiet? I think the feb 29 show was my favorite of the tour, I don’t know why, but drinking champagne before a show usually helps (oh but I did that in NY too). the band sounds terrific, and it’s great to hear shirley and stephin switch off some of the new album stuff.
consumed: see previous post for more details, not that you’re interested.

los angeles, march 1-6
venue: henry fonda theater, a most inappropriate place because of its cinderblock boxiness and its lack of gildedness and red velvet. a heavy metal club actually. the right size but not much else was right about it. chairs were not comfortable!
the shows: lots of hip teens, a few hilariously L.A. types, a few celebs (sarah silverman and jimmy kimmel in the house). the crowd seemed to adore the “california girls” tune! we managed to get some major characters interviewed for the doc!
consumed: the snacks devoured on this leg of the tour are almost reason enough to live here. we had raw food at leaf in culver city that was a little too intense. we had divine vegan organic fare at flore and cru in silverlake, as well as heavenly lattes at intelligencia. down the road is the sublime gingergrass vietnamese restaurant, oh god I could eat there every day! we went there after interviewing shirley — and seeing a coyote — in griffith park.

seattle, march 6-8
venue: town hall. perfect, churchlike environment for our much exalted chamber pop group. pew seating not ideal.
the shows: lots of kids, actual kids, not teens. on the second night anyway. lots of gay men couples. lots of people who came straight from drama class. apart from the people who probably regret using their digital cameras at a time when stephin found it inappropriate, the shows were ace. I also made it to the top of the space needle, like a total dork tourist, and to a screening of the girls rock! documentary, which I highly recommend.
consumed: oh yum, lots of vietnamese stuff, again. I could live off the stuff.

portland, march 9-12
the shows: there weren’t any, but the magnetic fields should have played here judging by the number of rock star fans they have in this town (sleater-kinney, the shins, etc). I keep seeing this great i-phone or i-pod ad on TV which has a close-up of a shins play list and it says in big letters: “pam berry.” it makes me smile.
consumed: nice noodly vietnamese at pho van, dee-lish, and douglas took us to the tao of tea for lunch and stumptown for coffee. this place is so utopian it’s almost silly. I would totally move there if its geographical location were a little closer to new york, london and durham, nc.

One Reply to “distortion tour diary.”

  1. Very entertaining photos. Much more entertaining than the actual shows, I imagine. (The MF chamber pop set up is a snoozefest in my opinion). Claudia is looking really beautiful. I met her for the first time on her 28th birthday. She hasn’t aged a bit.

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