Life at the Bottom – Day 2/3

YOU GUYS BROKE OUR SITE! After a couple days of our site being down, I finally got a chance to update this stupid thing.

The Buddy Boat sails north! I decided to combine a couple days on this post since we had a slow day somewhere in there. This tour has already become somewhat of a blur, so in a way I’m glad I’m keeping track through this blog. In today’s post, we’ll discuss cubed meats, the windy plains, some high art, and what I’m referring to as ‘Dakota kindness.’

As I’m  writing this, we’re on the way to Fargo to play with the homies in Crab Legs and Pass the Flask. If you haven’t had the chance to see them play yet, do yourself a favor and go the next time they’re nearby. Those guys are seriously the nicest dudes around, and one of the hardest working bands out there. Oh! And they rip. Rumor has it we’re playing a house party — which are always fun. Some of the craziest shows we’ve ever done took place in living rooms and damp basements.

We got to Fargo a little late, and ended up missing the first few bands on the bill (sorry!) but we had a chance to hang out for a little bit before we played, and got to meet some of the fine folks around the Crawdad House for the first time. I also lost my wedding ring in the recycling bin, so that was cool. Don’t worry, Melissa, I found it. Fargo was absolutely the hottest show we’ve played thus far. “Intensely sweaty” wouldn’t be inaccurate. After we played I needed wring myself out, luckily the NODAK weather obliged. I’m not sure there’s anything as enjoyable as walking into a chilly night after playing a hot show.

After the show, we headed a little further north to Grand Forks, ND, and crashed for the night in a Pilot gas station. This also happened to be the first time we slept in the van as a band. It was a rousing success, as we all slept like beautiful little 6 lbs 8 oz. babies.

Upon arriving at Grand Forks we had a little time to kill before the venue opened up, so we swung by the North Dakota Museum of Art. Its a really small gallery (almost everything is when compared to the Nelson-Atkins), but they had some really interesting art in there. I think everyone’s favorite exhibit was called Barton’s Place, which was essentially a re-creation of some dude’s apartment, brimming with ancient artifacts, taxidermy, books, and rare antiques. If you find yourself near the North Dakota State campus, it’s worth your time (and its free).

Ojata Records is an interesting place. Its a thrift store, record shop, music venue and hot dog stand all in one. Its LEGIT. We learned one of the bands was having van trouble, and wouldn’t be able to make it. We’ve been there — it SUCKS! I hope those dudes got it figured out. We had the same situation when we were in Texas last year. We threw the timing belt and bent the engine valves, essentially ruining the engine. But that’s a story for another time. We hung out at Ojata for a few hours, chatting with the owners, browsing music, and even started planning our next tour (more on that to come). It was nice to kick back for a few hours, but I always find myself getting restless when we’re on the road and have any amount of free time. For whatever reason the other opening bands ended up dropping off the bill, so by 7 it was just us, and the show was ultimately cancelled due to lack of participation. It was a bummer, but, it gave us a chance to eat one of those famous hotdogs from Dog Mahal, which lives inside Ojata. Seriously, these dogs are no joke — Brisket, Mac n Cheese, Chili, Bacon, and somewhere waaaaay down below, a dog and bread, and that’s just one of about 30 options! Those guys aren’t fucking around! If you ever find yourself in Grand Forks and in need of something off the wall, GO TO OJATA RECORDS! Oh, and you can pick up our newest splits there, while also supporting a local store! Its a win-win-win. After lingering around the record store well past our expiration date, we decided to get back on the road, and get a leg up on the drive to Minneapolis. We said our goodbyes, and packed up the van.

I don’t know if this is a cultural thing, or if we just know some really awesome people, but everyone we’ve met in North Dakota has been super kind to us. We’re used to people shouting obscenities, or throwing things at us, so it is always a little surprising when people say nice things to us. We love coming to North Dakota and we’re always happy to see friends, so despite a show getting cancelled, it was a good trip.