Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tour Jams

Greetings, Jammers. We're back from our brief unintentionally self-imposed hiatus. We've all been out-of-the-loop. Brandy, Grape, and Half-Later recently returned from tour. While on the road, coasting victoriously to and from towns large and small throughout the great states of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and, of course, California, the three (along with dedicated jammer and highly irregular correspondent Spot) encountered a variety of jams to soothe our daily hungers. To us here at JamZone headquarters, the word "Jam" has a clear and positive connotation, especially when it references the consumption of very large amounts of food. However, on the road, every so often, one is deceived by the promise of a mighty jam and instead suckered into dining on something quite revolting. Read on for a brief summary of the Positive Jam Experiences and Scary Faux Jam Imposters encountered on this tour.

1. Poolside Part I in Davis, CA with M. Leahy, playing 500, followed by killer fancy grocery store jam pre-show on healthy items such as lentils, pasta salad, and an assortment of delicious pies stuffed with taters, spinach, cheese etc. This was a Positive Jam Experience. With the Delta's Caribbean-themed kitchen closed for the evening (Chef Iwaca had to go sling his dank plum chicken bowls to some trustafarians at a woodsy reggae fest, leaving us in the lurch), the touring musicians needed a healthy meal in a hurry to bolster their minds, bodies, and spirits. Being healthy is important on the road. When in doubt, hit up a fresh bed of lettuce and some croutons for maximum fortitude.

2. Vegan Vegetable Stew and Ginger-Orange Tea at Dearborn House in Seattle courtesy of Tiff. Vegan Vegetable Stew is not really JamZone's bag but, in this case, being free, fresh, and actually quite tasty, it hit the spot. Especially when washed down by about 10-15 cans of Budweiser. In the morning, fools awoke to amazing banana bread. Another Postive Jam Experience on that healthy tip.

3. Very Hot French Fry in Bellingham, WA, consumed far too quickly quickly, burned the high holy shit out of drunk Brandy's Throat. Hurt like the dickens. Limited food-wise for a number of days. Faux Jam Experience, no doubt, even if it was Brandy's own damn fault..

4. Green-and-Red-and-Brown Sauced Enchilada and Taco Platters at Random Mexican Place near venue in Eureka, CA. No one suffered any significantly monstrous consequences as a result of consuming these foodstuffs but all participants agreed unanimously that the establishment doled out Mexican grub of an ilk that would find no dedicated patron in fair San Francisco. The cheese was rubbery and stagnant on tortillas rolled around exceedingly pale imitations of suitable filling. A fish taco, despite having theoretically come into existence in very close proximity to a seashore renowned for rockfish and the like, tasted like something hauled out of a Safeway dumpster. A grilled vegetable enchilada was C-sectioned and found to contain a perilously even array of un-grilled peas, carrots, and corn that could only have sprung from the freezer-burned depths of a mix-veg bag. Rubbish. A Faux Jam experience.

5. Large Caramel Milkshake with Whipped Cream and Cherry at St. Francis in San Francisco, CA. A Positive Jam Experience.

6. Chicken Fajitas and Carnitas Platters at Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant in Manteca, CA en route to Merced, CA with Kraut of tour jabronies LOTBs leading the uninitiated on a quick detour to visit a beloved Hometown Jam. Despite being very tasty, these -- along with the unctuous flour tortillas, rice piles, and glistening mounds of refried -- were perhaps not the wisest selections to have made prior to performing. Brandy was nearly comatose after crushing only 2/3 his chicken, 1/2 his rice, and scarcely a jot of his lard-soaked beans. He should have heeded Kraut's advice to share a dish. Half-Later went at his carnitas valiantly but was snowed under by the sheer amount and heft of what rose up magnificently and terribly from his plate. Grape, in classic fashion, buried his entire helping but very quickly began showing the telltale symptoms of OverJam -- flushed face, difficulty in opening eyes, sluggish movments, and disinterest in conversation or activity. A Positive Jam Experience.

7. Greek Chicken Salad Wrap at the Raven in Prescott, AZ. Excellent and healthy alongside numerous pints of Old Merlin Ale, or something. They had a startling variety of icy medieval-themed ales and lagers with rad epic-sounding names. All were thick and syrupy and contributed heartily to Brandy's brutal hangover the next-day. Even more so did the better part of a large bottle of Jim Beam. Half-Later has some excellent video footage of Brandy going off, singingalong with fellow rockers, red-dawging it, trying both successfully and unsuccessfully to roll a succession of joints, and generally putting out a drunkest-bro-in-room vibe. Quite assuredly, a Positive Jam Experience.

8. Pizza, Pre-Show, Post-Poolside Part III at Nasty Little Spot on N. Figueroa in Los Angeles, CA. This was the worst fucking pizza JamZone has ever encountered outside of a Walgreen's. While cheap, it contained a scant few of the niceties one normally associates with reasonably good 'za. The crust was pale yellow even after being cooked, without a hint of brown on the bottom side, and the sauce was reminiscent of ketchup. Brandy, Half-Later, and Fish and Game (of tour jabronies LOTBs) all succumbed. Moreover, a waitress loudly scolded Brandy and Half-later for making off with a few plastic water cups. A Faux Jam if there ever was one.


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