Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Kollector

The industry friend we stayed with in Greenbelt is fan huge fan of the 70's megasensation rock band that is known as KISS®™©™. I've known about this for years, but never broached the subject with him until this past time around while staying with him and his family.

You see, when I was really young, I too was a major KISS®™©™ fan and was completely obsessed fascinated by them. [And this is not something I am very proud of today]. I listened to their music, read a lot about them and even to this day have a small Klassic KISS®™©™ Kollection. Turns out our friend is a Kollector too.

He seemed surprised and excited once he found out I used to be such a fan and The Kollector immediately began showing off his collection. In fact, the next FOUR days all The Kollector wanted to do was eat, breathe and sleep KISS®™©™.

[Okay. This is why I never mentioned the subject to him in previous years].

The Kollector ended up giving me this:

A display for photographer Barry Levine®™©™'s book on KISS®™©™.

TK: "Dya'ever see the KISS®™©™ pencils they came out with in the 70's, Lioux?"

L: "No."

TK: "Well now you OWN one."


Next he showed me his complete set of Mego®™©™ KISS®™©™ dolls. Which didn't impress me all that much, seeing as I already have a set myself. I even have two more that are still in their original packaging.

During our stay, SK®™©™ wanted to take The Kollector's family out to dinner on our free night to thank them for their hospitality. TK has two daughters, one who is Nine [And chose the restaurant we should go to] and the other Thirteen.

The restaurant Nine chose was a theme restaurant back in VA. About 40 minutes away.


It's her favorite.

Anyway we all got ready to go out to dinner and began converging in the living room when The Kollector came out of his bedroom wearing this:

[The pattern is repeated on the front].

Thirteen: [obviously embarrassed] "You are NOT wearing that are you, dad?"

TK: "Sure am."

And did.

Being there was eight of us all together, we divided up into two vehicles. TK's wife Mimi took the girls, Marconi and Alienwhere in her car while Elle and I rode with TK in his Mini Cooper®™©™.

Elle climbed in back and I sat shotgun. Since it was going to be a a bit of a ride to the restaurant, TK thought it would be fun to see if I could stump him with KISS®™©™ trivia and vice versa.

L: "Ummm. I can't think of anything off the top of my head."

TK : "Okay. I'll start..."

He then proceeded to ask a bunch of questions only a true KISS®™©™ fan would know. Poor Elle. Occasionally she'd chime in with a fun fact, like how one of her BFF's once dated drummer Eric Carr®™©™'s cousin for a year in hopes of changing the subject.

Nope, didn't happen.

TK kept bringing the conversation back to KISS®™©™ trivia.


We FINALLY arrive at the mall the restaurant is located in and regroup with the others. We work our way through the mall and to the food court. TK and the family stop in their tracks, look around and at each other in confusion. And that's when Alienwhere and I look at each other with the realization we just drove over 40 minutes [I didn't even mention the traffic we got caught up in] to eat at a restaurant THAT. WAS. NO. LONGER. THERE.

[I Know].

So Mimi throws out another suggestion, to which we go and check the mall map to see where THIS restaurant is located. And Guess what? Yep. That one's gone too. At this point I'm getting really hungry, and when I get hungry, I get cranky, and when I get cranky...I need a drink. We finally decided on TGIF®™©™'S as there was a tangible location standing right before us. Not really a place I like to eat, but they do serve booze and I think Alienwhere was getting to the point he needed a drink too.

Dinner was relatively KISS®™©™ Konversation free which was nice seeing as the night before Elle, Marconi, The Kollector and I had gone to a diner after the SK®™©™ show and that's ALL we talked about. TK owns a copy of KISS®™©™ Meets The Phantom Of The Park®™©™ and I was joking around with him about how bad the acting was and throwing out some of the more ridiculous quotes here and there. When we had gotten back from the diner TK even wanted me to stay up and watch KMTPOTP®™©™ with him.

As annoying as all the recurring KISS®™©™ themes kept going, I must admit The Kollector actually has something in his Kollection I was entertaining myself with throughout our stay. TK's pièce de résistance:

YES!!! An original KISS®™©™ pinball machine from the late 70's in perfect working order! TK brought it out of storage when he finished off the basement. Most of my downtime spent at the house was playing this machine, whether I was playing against multiple SK®™©™ band mates, The Kollector or just alone. [TOTALLY mopped the floor with Marconi's face]. I was annoying everyone by playing it so much. You could hear all the machine's bells and whistles throughout the house. I couldn't stop. I was obsessed with pinball.

"Lioux's at it again..."

Alienwhere even started calling me "Tommy" <--[You know. The Pinball Wizard].

[I had have a problem].

There was one final surprise The Kollector had for me. The last morning Sister Kisser®™©™ was staying with them, TK's wife Mimi made breakfast burritos for the band.

TK: "Hey Lioux, would you like some hot sauce for that?"

L: [?]

TK: "It's Gene's®™©™ Hotter Than Hell®™©™ sauce."

L: "Ummm. No, Thanks. I'm good."

[Wait. I certainly hope THAT'S not from the seventies. Ewww].

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Pilgrimage

Located in Richmond, Virginia is one of the most amazing spectacles ever beheld my human eyes. It has nothing to do with the founding of our country, nor does it in any way shape the state of the world, although, to be quite honest, it would be a better world if that were true. No, this pinnacle of human achievement is the best best BEST Arby's EVAR, and I will tell you why. If by the end of this post you don't believe me, you should just kill yourself, because nothing will ever make sense again, and we already have too many delusional retards running around doing things in our country.

Ok. Let me see... where to start. First off, it doesn't look anything like an Arby's from the outside. It looks like a really nice house. In the middle of a shopping plaza. When you walk in, the ordering area has all this stuff in it. Like a open brick grill/stove thingy. And fresh produce and meats that are being sliced up for your food. And a barbecue pit. And an ice cream bar. And like about a million other things, but you get the idea. Nothing like a fast food place.

You walk up and order, and the board that the food's on looks like it was photographed by Annie Leibovitz. It is THAT appealing. Everything looks ridiculously good, and you can't believe your eyes. So you order, and you are handed a little buzzy thing for when it's ready. So you go fill up your drink cup at the most breathtaking soda machine you've ever seen, all the while taking in the decorations - canoes, geese, and other lake-y things suspended from the ceiling, and an enormous stone fireplace right in the center of the building. Then the moment of truth. The thingy in your hand tells you you're about to have a life-altering experience. You get your food, and realize that it's not just Arby's food all dolled up. The turkey on that sandwich? Actual turkey, carved from a bird. Lettuce, tomato - freshly sliced. Bread? Forget about it. Delicious whole grain and soft. Oh, and that shake you ordered? Made with real ice cream, just blended a second ago.

As this sinks in, you make your way to the table, which is hewn from logs, as are the chairs. Sitting down, it starts to dawn on you that this may indeed be the best meal you've ever eaten. Then you remember that you brought your laptop. Oh, if only there was free Wi-fi... oh wait. THERE IS, and it's fast, because no one's even using it.

Basically, throw some whiskey and cute girls in this mix, and I'm blowing my head off, because life can only go downhill from there. This place is so freaking ridiculous, I often think about driving the 6 hours down JUST to have a meal or two there.

I'm not kidding.

Lioux, tell the nice people I'm not lying about the majesty of this restaurant.

Day 6 - Greenbelt

Our publicist met up with us at our Richmond show and traveled with the band for the remainder of the trip. Our next stop was Greenbelt, Maryland. Before leaving Richmond the next day, Alienwhere and I insisted on making our usual pilgrimage to one of our favourite spots ever. [Which Alienwhere will be posting about shortly].

We left Richmond around 1:30PMish as it was supposed to be a light travel day and we'd be to Greenbelt in only a few hours.


We once again hit torrential downpours coupled with heavy, slow moving traffic. Marconi did all of the driving on this leg of the trip and we didn't get to our destination until after 5:00PMish.

The band has another industry friend in Greenbelt whose family is kind enough to let us stay in their home when we're travelling in the area. YES!!! No more crappy hotel rooms! We had two shows to do in Greenbelt over the next few days, and then our last show was in Arlington Sunday night. So we ended up staying with our friends until we headed back to Jersey/New York early Monday morning.

This time around was really nice, as our friends had just finished off their basement and set the band up with an giant air mattress and a few couches. The room itself was really big and we were all comfortable with our new accommodations. We even had a large screen TV to watch movies, and a pinball machine (much more on that in a bit) to entertain ourselves.

By the time we got to the house, and this is soooo typical, we didn't have much time to settle in before having to get ready, clean ourselves up a bit and leaving for the night's gig, which most awesomely, was located literally only moments from where we were staying.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Return

Well, Sister Kisser®™©™ has returned from our road trip safe and sound. There are plenty more stories Alienwhere and I have discussed and fully intend on posting, but the last few days of the trip were just too fun-filled and action packed!

Some of the posts that are coming:

• The Kollector

• The Pilgrimage

• NASA. [Yes, we played NASA]!

And much, much more.

We were orignally going to leave for home after our last gig in the D.C. area late Sunday night/Early Monday morning so I could be back to work at Company, Inc. on Monday, but the more we thought about it [and drank] decided to stay the night with our friends back in Greenbelt, MD just to get a few hours sleep and leave first thing in the morning.

Elle went back with our publicist right after the show and Marconi, Alienwhere and myself went back to our friends place and left about 6:30AMish in the morning.


I got home yesterday at about 2:00PMish and decided to blow off Company, Inc. for the rest of the day. Now I'm just playing a lot of catch up here at work and home and can't wait to get back to my normal routine.

It's always really tough coming back from these trips. They're intense, crazy and fun. They're also a lot of work and we all come home exhausted. On top of that, I always go through a really bad depression our first few days back.

At least we have an AWESOME show coming up on Saturday night at one of our favourite venues!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Scooby Doo And The Case Of The Drunken Waitress

L: After being freshly inked, it was off to the next club for the next show. This time we had to show up extra early, as there was no hired sound man for the night. We had also invited some friends, an amazing duo from the D.C. area to open for us.

This was also the show one of our PR people was meeting up with us on the road for the remainder of the trip.

Load in and set up went really well. I helped Marconi set up the club’s sound system and he did most of the sound adjustments throughout the night for both of the bands.

I was surprised to meet and talk to people who actually TRAVELED to see the band. One woman who had seen us at both Richmond dates last year had moved to Silver Springs, MD and drove all the way down to come back and see us. A couple of guys told me they had traveled more than two hours to come see our show and couldn’t wait until we took the stage. Another club patron had gotten there really early and watched us, intently, as we sound checked. A short while later, just before we were going to start, our waitress came over and told us this patron wanted to buy a round of drinks for the Sister Kisser members.


The turnout was amazing. We’ve played this club many, many times and I can honestly say it was the largest crowd we’ve ever played to for this particular venue. Not only was the show well attended, but everyone seemed to really enjoy the set and even prodded us on for some encores.

We did pretty well merch-wise also, selling a bunch of our t-shirts and CD’s.

So all in all it was a great night. We played well to an AWESOME crowd, met some cool and interesting Fans and Listeners, saw some old friends and faces and did pretty well for ourselves this night.

Now we’ll be traveling with two vehicles to our next destination, Greenbelt, MD.

A Trip To The Tattoo Parlor

A: Lioux, Elle, and I all decided to commemorate our excursion this time around with some fresh ink. Marconi decided to be a douche nozzle and not participate in this oh-so-fun activity. We went to a reputable place right near where we were staying, Painful Pete’s.

Painful Pete, as we found out, had a long and storied career. His apprenticeship began at an early age, when at 14 he started studying the art of body adornment under the tutelage of Angry Artie in Des Moines. Artie’s shop was one of the best known in that part of the country, and Pete saw quite a bit of action in those days. He stayed on for 8 full days, experiencing a lifetime of knowledge in that time.

From there he traveled to Hong Kong, to study Asian-inspired design and get a feel for the art on that side of the world. He returned with a series of new pieces that he would soon introduce to the western world, including the dragon, and the unicorn. The weekend spent in the Orient would serve him well throughout his life.

He returned, slightly older, somewhat wiser, but with no roots. He got a chair in a shop in Bayonne, and over the course of 11 hours he inked a jaw-dropping 327 people on a very special and busy Memorial Day. He even gave himself a tattoo to remember the special achievement, a flag with an eagle next to it.

He finally opened his own shop, at the age of 15, just after his birthday on June 1, in a small suburb of Richmond known as Glen Allen. To this day he operates one of the most well-regarded and widely respected temporary tattoo parlors on the entire east coast of the US.

Thanks, Pete.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

How I Don’t Like To Be Roused From My Abbreviated Slumber

Day 5 – Richmond

A: We stayed up later than we probably had anticipated after the show last night. Lioux and I needed a nightcap after we got back, and we were laughing about some things and teasing each other because we find it endlessly amusing to do that. I took a late shower and finally fell asleep late, after everyone else was out already. I think it was almost 3 AMish, and I knew we had to be out the door by 9 AMish, so I was starting to wonder what the hell is wrong with me, when I fell asleep and stopped thinking altogether.

Elle and I have been sharing concrete slabs in each hotel, so we were bed partners again last night. We keep talking about how we’re going to fart on each other and beat one another severely in our sleep, but we usually just end up passing out and forgetting the battles yet to ensue. Nevertheless, she’s used to getting up very early, as she has two little boys who are in the habit of making that happen. She’s usually the first one up in the room, because she likes to shower and get ready for the day without holding anyone up. She’s a peach that way, all considerate and such.

However, she sometimes lets details get by her. Like this morning. She’s been sporting these metal jangly bracelets on her left wrist this past few days. She’s quite into them. She’s so into them, in fact, that she couldn’t wait to put them on this morning as she was getting ready and we were still (trying) to sleep.

So I’m fighting the sun against my eyelids as it is, feeling a hot stiffness in my neck from the slab, thinking about how I was going to function today, when I started hearing it…




[Surely she’s kidding.]


[She’s dead in her sleep tonight.]

For whatever reason, rather than leave them off until she was done brushing her teeth, doing her hair, fixing her makeup, getting completely dressed, packing her last few things back up, looking for a room key, looking for a set of car keys, and every other GODDAMNED THING she could think of, she decided to just, you know, throw ‘em on. Just ‘cuz.

I just asked her why she did put them on, and she told me they never come off. Apparently she slept with them on and I never heard them.


The Show

A: Right, so, small crowd, big room, we sounded ok, Asheville can suck it otherwise. The end.

Phishing For Trouble

A: So anyone who knows me knows I can’t stand overly-anything people. And what I mean by that is someone whose sole purpose in life is being something - anything - and foisting that something on everyone around him/herself, and in the process alienating/looking down on anyone who doesn’t share their exact frame of mind. This could be The Super Jew, The Mega Gay, Overly Black Man/Woman, Johnny Rabid Sports Fan, The Women’s Studies Zealot… I mean ANYTHING.

It’s ok to be really into something. But when it defines you as a person, you need to really re-examine your priorities and decide if that’s all you want to be. Because if it is, you may have your ass handed to you if we cross paths at the wrong time.

So Lioux and I are STARVING after the sound check, so we walk right next door to a little café-type place with sandwiches and stuff. I’m looking around and people are, well, a little off. And then I’m looking at my surroundings, seeing things… little hints… as to exactly where I was standing, but my feverishly hungry mind couldn’t add it all up.

Then I look at the menu. Let’s see… chicken… chicken… chicken… wait. There’s nothing with chicken on here. [I am a big chicken fan.] Ok, how about a burger… nope. Cold cuts? Hell no. Hmm… [looks around again].

[Does that girl have hairy armpits?]

[And hairier legs than me?]

[And what’s with the raggy clothing on everyone?]


Me: “Uh, Lioux, this is a veggie place.”

Lioux: “Huh?”

Me: “It says vegetarian and vegan fare on the wall over there.”

And it all comes into focus. The annoying music playing, the almost snobbish attitude toward us “normals”, the lazy-ass way things are getting done, the hideousness of the nasty druid girls walking around. Damn it. Why tonight, of all nights, when I’m least equipped to handle this sitch?

I settled on a grilled cheese sandwich, which I’m sure made one of them snicker, thinking, “yeah, that’s about all you can handle, carnivore”, but since I can’t actually read hippie minds [thank GOD for that] I didn’t have enough evidence to actually kill any of them. Truth is, I don’t mind veggie food, and I really like a lot of it. I have friends that are veggies, and we’re cool. But those friends are FRIENDS who happen to be vegetarian. It’s not all they are. We have OTHER things in common.

But these people… ugh. They carry themselves with this air of “getting it”. Like they’re so f-ing enlightened. Give me a break. They all look like malnourished assbags, and frankly, I’m really big into the environment and recycling and doing my part, but when it’s put in context like this, I suddenly wanted to club a baby seal with a slab of frozen beef while stomping on Styrofoam cups and singing a Ted Nugent song about hunting animals. I was sooo ready to leave when the lazy hippie bastards finally had our “meals” ready.

And you know what? A blind, retarded kitten with one paw can make a better grilled cheese sandwich than those freaks. I think they half-assed it because they knew we weren’t one of them. Then again, they probably half-ass everything. Except telling you why meat is bad. Christ.

The Arrival To Assville

L: Needless to say, with everything going on while Alienwhere was at the wheel and the last minute hotel switch, we didn’t have a lot time between checking in to the hotel and having to get to the club. There wasn’t much downtime and we pretty much just cleaned ourselves up a bit, changed, and went to the club which was located, conveniently only minutes away.

We show up at the club and we introduce ourselves as the band that will be playing for the night. For the first time ever, and I mean EVER, we were asked by the bartender/employee not only to see our photo identifications, but asked us to “sign in”.


After “signing in” this woman explained to us where to load in and showed us the stage/room we’d be playing. There was a door right next to the stage, which was awesome to load our gear in and out. Very convenient, no stairs or weird, twisty hallways.

An old college friend and band mate of Elle’s lives in Asheville and was originally going to be the opening act for us with his band, but something fell through along the way. She hadn’t seen him in years and he ended up coming to the club early to catch up with Elle and see the show anyway.

Deciding to now load in, we head back out to the van only to be accosted by a beggar’s dozen of panhandlers waiting on the sidewalk right by the parking lot. I swear there MUST’VE been at least twelve of them [I had no idea they hung out in packs that big].

Alienwhere: “EVERYTHING is coming in with us.”

Marconi: “I’m with you on that one.”

Alienwhere: “No, I mean like the floor mats, the seat belts, EVERYTHING.”

[We sometimes travel with certain gear we use at some shows and not others and we’ll leave extra equipment in the van. Not this time].

Sister Kisser has load in/load out down to a science. Someone always stays with the van/vehicle while the others carry the gear either in or out of the venue. It usually only takes a few minutes.

It was around 7:45PMish when we first got to the club and we were told we should probably go on about 11:00PMish, which was much later than we originally thought. The bartender for the room we were playing wasn’t even scheduled to show up until 9:30 PMish. So after getting all the gear inside, we took out time setting up before sound check.

Once we were set up, Alienwhere and I had quite an appetite and decided to go next door to a restaurant I witness some guy getting take out from. Big. F@#king. Mistake.

Free Crack With Every Room

A: Marconi, after the harrowing escape from death’s cold clutches, decided it was time to confirm our hotel reservation for the evening. He calls ahead to the hotel where we will be staying. In asking for directions, however, he soon realizes that when he called the national reservation number this morning, the ass-tard who fielded the call made a reservation for us in AsheBORO, not Asheville. So now we have no hotel room.

Another quick phone call and we’ve secured a room at an Econo-Lodge nearby. Fine.

We pull into the lot, where the sign in front proclaims “newly renovated”. However, none of us were able to discern where exactly these renovations were. Perhaps the front desk has a fresh layer of formica. Who knows.

Marconi comes out, and waves us around the side of the building. He’s walking alongside the van as we’re slowly creeping around to find the room. It is at this moment that we start seeing what could be considered clues as to what may occur in the next few hours.

As we turn the corner, I see on the second floor top level, hanging over the railing, a shady young man of Latino descent. He looks suspicious, but relatively innocuous, and we continue the creep along as Marconi is also starting to take in his surroundings.

Then I notice the next red flag. There is a rather angry looking gentleman sitting in a lawn chair outside his room, near the first guy. He has a look that says “this is home” and consequently “I’ll kill you for being here”. Great. Good feelings about the evening are beginning to wane.

Then comes the coup de grace. Two members of the Wu-Tang Clan are perched on the staircase going to the second floor, looking real hard at the van and all of us. Clearly we have overstepped our bounds in a big way here and they’re going to let us know that just as soon as our little sissy feet hit the pavement outside the vehicle. I have seen this kind of scenario before, usually in places like Newark, and I can assure you, it’s never a good thing.

Alienwhere: “Oh, I really don’t like the look of this at all.”

Lioux: “Yeah, this is getting real shady real fast.”

Elle: [contemplative silence, followed by a *sigh*]

It is at this point that Marconi again approaches the van, and he opens the door, with a slight look of puzzlement, which quickly cements into realization, followed by understanding, followed by assessment, when Elle decides to share her feelings.

Elle: “We are NOT staying here.”

Marconi: “Ok then, I guess I’ll just go ahead and cancel the room then.”

I don’t think we’ve ever made any decision as quickly as we made this one. I promptly turned the van around, and we hopped across the street to a Day’s Inn, which was CONSIDERABLY less perilous than our first choice.

We started to think about what might have transpired had we stayed at the Econo-Lodge.

Marconi: “I think if I asked for crystal meth in that parking lot, I could have probably had a few offers.”

Lioux: “Are you kidding me? Like kids to an ice cream truck.”

Given that we’ve been losing sleep every night we’ve been on the road thus far, we would have been guaranteed NO sleep, and also that all of our gear, the van, all money we have, Elle, and our lives themselves would have been stolen.

Being on the road is fun and all, but you really have to know when something smells fishy.

L: Totally, Alienwhere! You just know when something is NOT right.

Highway To Hell

A: As I hadn’t driven in a day, after Elle did the first leg of the trip out to Asheville (FYI, also the proving ground for one Miss Veronica Corningstone) I said I’d pick up the leg into town. We had about 140 miles left, I guess, and the drive into Nashville was so pleasant, just long, straight stretches of interstate, I figured, eh, why not. Lioux was furiously typing away yesterday’s posts, and it was that perfect time of day, right around 4-4:30 PMish.

Well, this decision would prove to be just the first of my many bad decisions yesterday. Within about 45 minutes, we entered what looked like the skies of Hades as the light trickled away from Earth and was replaced with dark-ass clouds and TORRENTIAL rain. The kind of rain that, while driving a car, actually makes you almost want to jerk the wheel into a ravine just so you don’t have to drive in it anymore. I am a total rain sissy, so I drove pretty slowly, but not too slowly, because we still had a date to keep in Asheville. After the rain subsided, I took a deep breath and steadied myself for the rest of the trip.

But my solace was short-lived. We entered the Great Smoky Mountains, and began what was one of the most harrowing journeys I have ever been privy to in a motor vehicle. I had to navigate approximately 30-40 miles of the windiest, most scariest, possible rockslidiest, big rig overpoweringist and otherwise f-ing DEADLY highway I have ever seen. There was not a single straight piece of road for the entire distance. It was all bendy and gross. Every time I found a tiny piece I thought I could use to get around a truck, I would lose my line of sight because it would start bending almost immediately and I would be forced to retreat behind the rig again. Over and over. It started to be kind of comical, but then that feeling quickly evaporated when I realized that the road just kept going.

Then another truck entered DeathRoad and got in my way immediately. This truck was carrying huge chunks of tree and log, and looked as though it could drop one onto our hood and flip the van right over at any second. More of the tug-of-war with the road, I finally pass it. Whew.

THEN we notice there’s an accident investigation scene a little bit ahead. We come up to it, and there is this big honking 18-wheeler completely flipped up on its side. It was insane. I don’t even know how that could have happened.

We finally emerge from this hellish trial and everyone confesses that they were freaking thankful as hell that they didn’t have to physically drive just then. I start to feel like a bit of a hero, although I think I may have pooped a little in my pants, so that’s not really heroic.

COMPLETELY needless to say, I had a nice, fat whiskey as soon as we reached the hotel.

L: I’m actually glad I had the laptop to keep my occupied. It was pretty funny as I sat there clickity clacking away on the keyboards preparing posts. I was completely distracted aside from the occasional glance up when Alienwhere, Elle and Marconi would be freaking out about this or that.

The Breakfast Club

L: After our brief visit to the Parthenon, we had an early business breakfast with our entertainment lawyer [link] from the night before. We decided to meet at a little arsty, quirky coffee place called Bongo Java Café.

We had originally planned on meeting at 11:00 AMish, but ever the professionals, we got there a little early. It was one of those over the counter kinda ordering places. You walk up to the counter, place your order and they give you a little stand to put on your table, so they can find you when your food is ready. We all studied the menu on the huge colorful blackboard behind the counter and placed our orders individually.

Instead of using numbers for the order stands, Bongo Java Café uses mythological creatures and artwork. Marconi wasn’t hungry and just got bottled water, so he didn’t get a stand. Alienwhere, ordering just before me, was handed “Dragon”. Getting back to the table I noticed Elle had gotten “Phoenix”.

Alienwhere: “What’d you get Lioux?”

[embarrassed silence]

Lioux: “Hey, Gnomes are pretty bad ass too!”

Alienwhere: “You really are a Lioux Zhurr.”

Anyhow shortly after sitting down our lawyer arrived for the breakfast meeting. It had been two years since we were last in Nashville and had a sit down meeting with him. He was really impressed with our show from the night before and the crowd we drew. He wanted to know more about other shows we’ve done, how things were going with our German label, what our immediate and future plans are for Sister Kisser.

He also wanted to know more about our online presence and what we were doing to promote ourselves on the interwebs. He nearly fell out of his chair when we told him our band’s MySpace has nearly 45,000 “friends”, more and more of which have been coming to the shows because of having heard of us on the MS.

Our lawyer went on to say that he’s been pitching some of our music to a few music supervisors out in L.A. and was telling us about this film that he submitted some material for called “Trailer Park Terror” or something like that. [Sounds like a pretty horrible B movie to me, but it’s supposed to have some pretty big Hollywood names attached to the project].

The meeting went very well and was very productive. We talked about a lot of plans we have for the future, near and far. Alas, we ended up having to cut it a bit short as Sister Kisser needed to be on the road by 12:00 PMish heading to Asheville in order to get there on time, relax a little and head to club.

Of Gods And Goddesses

Day 4 – Asheville

A: A little known fact about Nashville is that in a park in town there is a full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon in Greece, just sitting there. Apparently, it took for-fricking-ever to erect, but now it’s all done, and it’s insane. I first discovered this three years ago on a different SK tour, when I met a nice little girl at the club we were playing at and after our show hung out with her for the rest of the night. She drove me around Nashville and showed me some things, one of which was a crazy bar with performers who were like Sonic Youth’s younger, less-talented cousins, and of course, the Parthenon, which was directly across the street from the crazy bar. I literally turned around after leaving the bar and this mammoth structure seemed to appear out of nowhere. At the time, I had had plenty to drink, and by the time I first laid eyes on this monstrosity, I thought for sure this chick had dragged me right into a wormhole in space, or the Twilight Zone or something. But no, it’s there. And it’s much less bizarre in the daylight.

Anyway, that trip through madness aside, in driving to the gig the night before, we made a wrong turn through the park and ended up right in front of – you guessed it – the Parthenon. Elle starts freaking out all over the place, because she’s a total art history nerd, and begs me to take a picture of her in front of it. Meanwhile I’m freaking out, because suddenly I’m having flashbacks to that whacked out night, which was pretty cool in and of itself, but you know. We tell her we’ll return the following morning, which we did. We ended up walking around and taking a bunch of pictures. It’s a big museum on the inside, but we didn’t have time to go in, so we promised her we’d come back when we hit Nashville again. There’s even a little museum gift shop underneath it. So weird. In the midst of all this music and southern… stuff, there’s this piece of Greece, just sitting there.

L: OMG!!! I remember Alienwhere first telling us about the Parthenon on that SK tour from years before. The rest of SK half believed him. And then all of sudden, this time around, there it was. It was amazing.

A: It was totally vindicating when everyone saw it this time. Suddenly I was a little less crazy in their eyes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


L: Bear with us Fans and Readers. Alienwhere and I are doing our best to document the tour, however it seems the only real downtime we've gotten to do this has been while traveling in the van. Right now we're in Asheville, NC just about to take the stage in just a few minutes... Lots more to come.

A: Liouxie speaks the truth. We keep making mental notes of all the crazy things we need to share, but the only actual time we have to do it is in transit... we're trying. It seems you'll end up with nothing for several hours, and then a deluge of posts all at once when we get somewhere to upload. We're just trying not to forget anything!

On The Run

After getting back to our room after souvenir shopping, Alienwhere and I not only realized our emergency ration kit whiskey was dangerously running low, but that the club we were playing that night (which we’ve played before) only served beer.


For those of you who don’t know, Alienwhere is a whiskey drinker, and my drink of choice is vodka.

While at the front desk getting a toothbrush to clean his shoes, Alienwhere inquired where the nearest liquor store was. THANK GOODNESS there was one not to far from the hotel so he and I grabbed the van keys and went off on our liquor run.

A: heh. It was called “Frugal McDoogal’s Liquor Warehouse”. You can only imagine how awesome that trip was…


A: One of the things we all like about being on the road in new places is trying to find the most insane souvenirs to bring back, usually basing our criteria on some level of humor and/or inappropriateness, but this can also be a kind of trophy, as Marconi’s most prized take-home was a hat actually worn by a real Waffle House waitress. He believed, and rightly so, that a hat bought from a store, or online isn’t as meaningful as one that saw battle action in the trenches of the heart attack factory that is Waffle House. I usually make an attempt to find either the most whacked-out t-shirt or shot glass or whatever. Well, one of the great things about being in the South is that there is NO shortage of insane crap, with wildly inappropriate things printed on them. Here are some faves from yesterday.

“I Pledge Allegiance To The Flags” - And that would be the flags that signal the end of a Nascar race, and a flag the represents the very best ideals our country used to embrace in certain parts - slave ownership, incest, and secession. Wearing this hat actually makes you dumber.

“Ditch The Bitch – Let’s Go Drinkin’” – Ah, what a robust and well-intentioned statement about one’s priorities. We’ve all been there. The double-wide has a leak that you don’t feel like fixin’, the kids are screaming, you’re fresh out of beer, and that goddamned old lady is harpin’ on you to get off your shiftless ass and do something. Is there anything else that needs be said at this point? Ditch the bitch, let’s go drinkin’.

Just after you’ve ditched the bitch, and before you head out for a big night/afternoon/morning of drinking, you may want to throw on this prize. Clearly articulating your intentions in being out and about, and leaving no room for misinterpretation, this little number saves countless minutes of explanation when you go out behind the dumpster for some face time with the toothless skank who you met by the cigarette machine. Yes, “I Fuck On The First Date” tells the world that you’re a man of distinction, with refined tastes and a sense of propriety that nobody’s taking away from you.

Not a t-shirt this time, but COMPLETELY racist and horribly inappropriate. The last time we were here, I brought home a variety of these for my close friends and was welcomed with hugs and tears of joy. We actually saw these in two places, one of which was a shop that was staffed by a burly black man, and I just could not for the life of me imagine how hard he would hit me if I brought one up to the counter to purchase it. Utter hilarity.

L: Fans and Readers, You can’t imagine the look on my face when Alienwhere and I first laid eyes on this display.

And the winner, at least for me, is this. “Whiskey Makes Me Frisky”. I walked past this at least twice, before I came to my senses and realized that I HAD to buy it. I imagine one day, I’ll find that special lady, who is willing to throw this thing on, and I will laugh and laugh. And then ask her to marry me. Marconi remarked that it’s a bit like Cindarella’s slipper, which I think is right on the money. Many may try it, but only one will be able to wear it… here’s hoping.

L: I think Alienwhere should wear this wifebeater himself.

Mystery Afoot

A: Somewhere between our hotel and El Rey, in walking around town, or possibly right outside our door, I managed to do something stupid that I was unaware of. I was snapping pictures of whatever crap crossed my field of vision, because my new thing is taking a ton of pictures with my new digital cam. I must not have been watching where I was walking, because I look down, and see what looks like The ‘Rhea all over my left shoe. (For the uninitiated in advanced scatological terminology, “The ‘Rhea” refers to an extremely loose bowel movement, most likely brought on by illness or a night of spicy food and beer.) So yeah, as I was saying, it looks like someone with food poisoning pooped on the top of my shoe, which is a black and white skate type sneaker, the pair of which I am quite fond of. So much so that I have entertained the notion of buying a second pair and hanging onto them for later.

Anyway, I’m incredulous as to how this could have happened, because I don’t remember anything like that happening, and I didn’t feel anything splash like that. Fast forward to just before our show – I’m at the hotel, and I had the idea to use a toothbrush obtained from the front desk to try and free up whatever crapicules are embedded in my shoe. I put a tiny amount of shampoo on the brush and begin brushing. Then I think that my toothpaste, which is baking soda and peroxide toothpaste, might do the trick. Marconi gives me this line of manure about “oh, but there’s so little of that stuff in there and so many other binding agents, blah blah blah.” Stick to circuits, Marconi. And setting off car alarms at inopportune moments. Well, the toothpaste worked only slightly better than the shampoo, and once I had gotten enough out to be satisfied, I called it quits, now the proud bearer of a new nickname, Minty Feet.

L: OMG, Fans and Readers you have NO idea how much this sneaker incident upset Alienwhere. He’s pretty meticulous about his things and we all knew this was driving him nuts. Now we all give each other some good natured ribbing from time to time but Marconi sometimes lacks that sense of knowing when to stop.

Viva El Rey!

L: One of our favorite haunts in Nashville is a little Mexican place by the name of El Rey. YUM!!! Elle insists on eating there at least once while we’re in town. We invited our friend Dutch to meet us there for lunch.

We drive downtown and walk around a bit, as we had some time to kill before meeting up with Dutch at Gruhn Guitars on Broadway. We kinda window shopped mostly before making our way down to Gruhn.

Inside Gruhn the members of Sister Kisser looked at/tried out various types of stringed instruments. Probably the most unusual? Marconi test drove a TWELVE string bass. TWELVE.

Our friend arrived shortly after and we headed over to El Rey for lunch, which was only a few blocks away. As we walked, Elle took the lead and couldn’t wait to get there, she’d been anticipating this lunch for weeks now. She really does Love, Love, Love this place.

We walk in the crowded Monday afternoon lunch hour and grab a table for five. A waiter comes to our table and brings us some chips and delicious spicy salsa and proceeds to take our drink order. We all studied our menus drooling over the possibilities of what to get.

As I said, the restaurant was EXTREMELY crowded and the wait staff was INCREDIBLY busy. So as we’re sitting and chatting about this and that, we’re making observations about the restaurant, making snarky comments and just joking around in general. At one point Marconi, with his back to the kitchen, didn’t see our busy waiter just about to pass our table and [jokingly, but quite audibly] exclaimed “Where the hell’s our goddamned waiter?” You couldn’t have asked for better comedic timing.

The waiter, who was carrying another customers food, totally heard the comment JUST as he passed our table and turned and just shot Marconi a WTF? glance. While we all thought this was pretty funny, and ONLY this could happen to him, we’re pretty sure our waiter made us wait a little longer before he came back to take our food order.


And none of the rest of us ordered the same thing as Marconi.

Just to be safe.

A: I laughed a lot about this. And picturing the things that might end up in Marconi’s food.

Things That Go Bump In The Night

L: When Sister Kisser stays at hotels, we always try to book a room with two queen sized bed and we’ll bunk with each other in whatever combination and it usually doesn’t matter. We’re that close. As Fans and Readers know, when sleeping with another person there’s the occasional kick or hit from the other which is kinda annoying, but you get over it pretty quickly and fall back asleep and think nothing more.

This time around Marconi and I were sharing a bed. After having a pretty wild Sunday night on music row, our designated driver Marconi drove us back to the hotel. When we got back to the room, Marconi went right to bed, Elle and I wanted to watch some television and Alienwhere wanted to shower before retiring.

Elle and I decided on watching Family Guy and as I laid there in bed next to Marconi, who had already fallen asleep, I could hear the sound of the shower running behind the wall next to me.

The sound of the shower was making me really sleepy and I began to drift off. I barely remember and was half asleep when I turned myself inwards to the bed and knocked my head into Marconi’s who was facing me and with his hand underneath his pillow.

I was completely disoriented, still half asleep and probably still drunk at the time and didn’t remember where I was or who I was with even. All I remember was I could feel my head next to someone else’s and could feel a forearm under my cheek. Instinctively, I gave a quick nuzzle and was starting to drift back off to my deeper slumber when all of a sudden I came to full consciousness when I hear Marconi exclaim:

“Lioux, Lioux?! Are you alright?!”

I open my eyes and Marconi is staring at me, jarring me awake with the lights and television still on. Alienwhere had finished his shower and had gone to bed.

Lioux: “OMG! OMG! I’m soo sorry, I TOTALLY forgot where was ! I’m really sorry.”

Marconi: No, No…I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.

And with an “I’m fine.” I rolled back over to my side of the bed and went back to sleep.

How embarrassing.


A: HA!

The Rude Woman

L: One of the clubs we hit on Music Row was a place called The Stage. We had gone in pretty late in the night and already bar hopped a few places prior so we already had a pretty good buzz on already. The place itself was pretty empty with a few stragglers besides ourselves.

The band playing was okay, they were playing all covers. When the singer asked if anone wanted to hear anything, Elle (always one to appreciate original material) called out “Play something you wrote, honey!”

The singer kinda mumbled something and they broke into yet another cover. And then another. The last song of their set.

“Thank you folks, Now I’m going to go and have a few words with the rude woman at the bar.”


Elle: “What? What do you mean rude?”

Singer(still on stage and speaking through the microphone): “You asked me to play something I KNOW.” (Obviously implying that she was insulting him by saying he couldn’t even play a cover tune).

E: “NOooo. I asked you to play something you WROTE. I wanted to hear some of your original music!”

S: “Oh. Now I’m going to go and apologize to the woman at the bar.”

Elle ended up buying him a drink and we all laughed at the misunderstanding.

A: Yeah, those guys were pretty cool. At this same bar, we noticed a copy of Bartending for Dummies right next to the register. I had to ask, so I politely inquired of the nice girl behind the bar how often that tome came out. She said she’d only used it once. I asked her what kinds of drinks other than beer and whiskey she usually served, and she said she once served a cosmo. Once.

Nashville really isn’t the pinnacle of liquor diversity one might assume it is. Fine with me, I drink whiskey. And they have plenty of that sweet, sweet nectar.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 2- Nashville

L: Sister Kisser spent most of the morning travelling to our first destination, Nashville. We got up, got ready and were back on the road by 9:00AMish. We didn't really sleep much from arriving to our hotel at 1:00AMish the night before. In fact once we were settled in the hotel Elle, Alienwhere and myself had a cocktail and checked our e-mails, etc. while Marconi gave my guitar Fernando a complete, overhaul cleaning him up and changing his strings.

While online, I showed Elle and Alienwhere these hysterical videos done by a recent acquaintance of mine. Please check out [NSFW audio] "Cat News", "Mommy Time" and "Welcome To Our Home" on her MySpace page.

These videos had us laughing so hard and so loud that Marconi feared being reported to the front desk by another guest and being thrown out of the hotel completely. Anyhow, after settling down, none of us really slept that well as the beds were highly uncomfortable and we knew we had to be up early the next morning.

In hitting the road on Day 2, Alienwhere and I spent most of the morning preparing posts in a text file on the remainder of the trip to Nashville, still 4 or 5 hours away.

Once we got to the next hotel at roughly 1:00PMish, Alienwhere quickly set up the laptop and within minutes Sisterkissing was born. We posted all the entries we had written in the van all morning and had plans to attend a BBQ a friend was throwing for us with a few industry friends.

The BBQ was AWESOME. We met up with some friends we hadn’t seen in years. Dutch, our host, and his band were going to be our opening act for Monday night, the first show of our tour. We had a great afternoon catching up eating burgers, dogs, having beers, roasting marshmallows.And for dessert a guest had made and brought frozen watermelon vodka soup. YUM!!!

A: OMG, that soup was so good. She brought it out and put it on the table for everyone, and we all had a little, then Lioux and I looked at each other and just finished the rest of the big bowl ourselves. It was awesome. And the marshmallows – oh, what a great afternoon. I’m so shamefully easy to please sometimes. And we are totally making that vodka soup as soon as we get home.

L: Later that night, Sister Kisser and another guest decided to hit the town and went bar hopping up and down Music Row. Some of the places we hit? Tootsie’s, The Stage and we ended the night at The Wheel, an ultra cool bar with a rockabilly slant. The band was amazing and the crowd seemed really cool It took the rest of the band a little while to figure out said crowd was mostly gay and lesbian oriented. TOTAL bonus. When everything was said and done we had a great night.

A: Speaking of gay/lesbian oriented, there was this total ubergay jackass prancing around with a camera, being all coy and snapping pictures, all the while dancing around and causing a spectacle. Lioux had me in stitches because he leans over and whispers, “If I ever start acting like that, you have my permission to beat me” to which I replied “You won’t have to ask twice”. And then when this asshat continued his little show, Lioux kept saying audibly “NOTICE ME” which again was so hysterical, basically if for no other reason than the context in which it was muttered. I think he annoyed the crap out of everyone he was near. I almost beat him to death on general principle.

It was a rad night, though, as Lioux already pointed out. We saw some freaking great t-shirts, which apparently Nashville is real big on. Here are two from that evening alone.

“I’d kick your ass, but I’m afraid I’d hurt the gerbil.”


“24 hours in a day. 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?"

Classic. I’ll talk some more about sick t-shirts later on.