Notes from The Tour de Malcontentment

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The dust has settled. We've had time to wring out our socks, put our lives back together, and now the verdict is in: the Troll 2 Tour de Malcontentment was an utter failure.

Yes I'm sorry to say, we set out to spend ten days wallowing in self-pity and misery and instead we endured the most incredibly uplifting, life-affirming experiences a band could ever dream of. I will now relate the events of this tour to the best of my memory. 

Eh hem.

art by Andie Gardiner

art by Andie Gardiner

We started off loose and messy, like a gas station tuna sandwich. You can smoke inside at the Funky Jungle, Jillian Kay brought dried fruit snacks and Sonny Jim delivered himself. We got home very late.

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The second show of the tour was in our very own Monkey Palace basement. Our friends all stomped up and down, pounding coffee beans into a fine meal and spreading it all over the floor. We also raised a bunch of money for the J20 comrades.

After that we were off to the internet, a disarmingly friendly punk house in the far off land of Amherst, Mass. I broke a string on both of my guitars, and that would have been the end of things if Kevyn from Fickle Fauna (a wonderful band and also our gracious hosts for the evening [fuck I'm spiraling{stop}]) hadn't lent me his guitar. I won't describe every time a broke a string because that would take up too much space, too much time. I won't do it.

We got up bright and early to drive to our next destination which was Baltimore. Or rather, some suburb outside of Baltimore, I was never really clear on exactly where we were. It's an interesting experience, when you're driving around the country with other people navigating for you, and you never look at a map. Every interstate looks more or less the same, so you end up feeling like you're teleporting from city to city, and in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region the architecture and the history of the major cities is so similar that they all feel like distinctly unique but alternate versions of each other. What I'm saying is that it was like Star Trek. Beam me down to the Dundawan Proving Grounds, another overwhelmingly lovely venue in some abstract continuity with Baltimore. It was at this point, after the show, that is, after we had figured out how to get Matt Bisenius's N64 to play Rampage 2, that I began to suspect that we had actually died and that The Great Troll had a sense of humor.

I believe we were in Philadelphia the next night. I might be missing something, yes definitely missing something, but it's not important. We went to Philly and played a show at The Barbary with this bunch of nutjobs called Manic Pixi and a bunch of other great friends and a bunch of our other friends came and it was just a friends it was just a blast. The next night we shot a music video about polar bear penises. More on that soon. But for now, I just have to say that Tina Budnik (KXB Studio) is an incredibly efficient director. 

Both nights we spent in Philly we stayed with our friend Owen Lyman-Schmidt, who is the most DIY person I've come across. He's rebuilding an entire house from the inside out it's nuts and he's got this wicked deep voice listen to Driftwood Soldier.

After that we played the Electric Maid in DC and this is the first night we spent with our Friends Out of System Transfer from Brooklyn New York. They also play a type of high energy alternafolk with political lyrics so we go well together. All I have to say about the show that night is that a styrofoam mannequin head with a picture of Richard Spencer's face on it got a hunting knife stuck in it.

The following night we played at The Hampton Taphouse in Hampton Virginia. You could smoke in the green room so you could've thrown rocks at me and I would still put this one in the wins column. Also earlier that day we went to the Hampton Air and Space center which was pretty seriously nationalist/military propaganda all day but they also had an actual landing capsule from one of the Apollo missions and I was a ten year old boy once so fuck, man. You could see where the ceramic heat shielding is burned away on the bottom from when it reentered the atmosphere. Zoe got us all in for the price of one because she worked at a museum once and she knows the secret handshakes and the tickets also came with a complimentary Imax movie. Zoe had seen it too many times already and Brian was sleeping in the van so me and Mark went in and watched it by ourselves. Well, not by ourselves. We went waaay waaaaaay back up in the way back top row, and as soon as we sat down a wave of unhappy children descended on us and surrounded us on all sides. I really couldn't complain though, considering that I was in a museum for children, watching a movie for children. I was a guest in their house. 

The movie was national parks propaganda, which I'm totally fine with especially considering everything Fuckhead is trying to do to the National Park Service right now. Robert Redford's voice is soothing and the pictures were very nice (the 3D didn't add much, but it also wasn't a distraction). There was some kind of condescending shit about "The Native Americans", but at least it did acknowledge that the Lakota still exist. I'm definitely not qualified to make the call on how problematic it is. Also the frame story was that this group of annoying white people go around white-peopling the fuck out of national parks all across the land. Look at these giant vortexes of stone, carved out of the living earth by thousands of years of wind and rain, let's ride bikes around in a circle! It's a frozen lake hanging off the frozen ass end of nowhere, let's go climb frozen waterfalls! (Okay I admit this was kind of cool, but if you can come up with something whiter I'll mail you a slice of toast). 

The next day we were very busy. I woke up next to a vintage Mrs. Pacman machine in the home of an overwhelmingly cool man named Matt Thomas, from Uglyography, who produced a recording of Out of System Transfer with members of Troll 2 that very morning. More on that later. 

Part of the reason we went to Virginia is so that we could drive the Chesepeake Bay Brunnel. If you've never had the chance to experience this thing, I highly recommend that you find a way to at some point in your life. It's a true engineering marvel. A bridge.... that goes underwater! Sweet fucking Jesus what will they think of next! Also, if you're planning a conference call, you will not get reception from the inside of a tunnel at the bottom of the Chesepeake bay. You know, hypothetically speaking. 

We drove out off the far end of the bridge and into the mouth of a terrifying storm. I noticed a greenish tinge in the sky and for a moment I really thought we were gonna go on a trip to Oz. Fortunately, this was not the case.

That night we played at a crust basement called The Rabbit Hole. It was a fuckin dank show. Again, smoking inside wins points with me, one of the other bands was really loud. After the show we drove to Brooklyn I swear to God this is almost over.

You know what, I think some of that Brooklyn hipster shit might of rubbed off on me 'cause here's what I've got to say about the Brooklyn show. You should have been there :P

In all seriousness, this was one of the best weeks of my life, and I want to deeply and sincerely thank everyone who helped us along the way. You're the fucking best and I love you.