Feburary 2013, Oakland CA. First rehearsal.
H – I’m so happy you’re here man! I can’t believe it.
G – Me too. It’s unbelievable! Here we are. Long time in the making.
H – Yes, long time, I mean, I know we’ve just been scheming for a year and some change, but I feel like we’ve been silently scheming this up since we were kids.
G – Indeed. Long time in the making. (long pause). Soooooooo….
H – Sooooo?
G – So!
H – Agreed.
G – We make a show now? With songs and …. stuff?
H – Yes. We make a show now. With songs and …. stuff. And moments…. and fun! I want fun to be at the heart of this. I want us to have fun making the fun for them to have fun with. Fun!
G – So we should save our goth gore bubonic plague nuclear wasteland show for a different venture?
H – YES!
G – Fun!
H – FUN! fun fun fun fun fun
G + H, together – Let’s do this!
April 2013, Oakland. 42nd rehearsal.
H – Now, when we break from the kazoo there do you think it’s too much if I make like I’m trying to lift my nipple up to my tongue to lick it? Or should I just give my finger tips a sexy lick and touch my nipples, like, you know, give them a little rub with a come hither look?
G – Hmm… that’s a good question. Maybe…. Let me see just the nipple touching? on 5,6,7,8 ——– Ok, that’s pretty good. Now let me see the nipple lift with lick? 5,6,7,8 ——— Ahhh! Definitely the touching. The lift is too much, a bit traumatizing.
H – Ok. So, we go from Kazoo to the nipples and then right into big stomping with wide hands like we’re slapping an elephant?
G – Wooly mammoth!
H – So be it.
G – From the top?
H – From the top!
September, 2013, Oakland. 59th rehearsal.
H – Good summer?
G – Terrific. You?
H – Lovely, thanks. That dress rehearsal back in May went pretty well! I think we’re almost ready for our tour!
G – I felt real good about it too and I do think we’re ready. I just have a couple things I want to add, is that cool?
H – Sure! What’d you have in mind?
G – A series of scripted introductions, one giant baseball cap the size of a person, an extensively choreographed fight sequence, a fake corporate sponsor and accompanying jingles, a sung announcement before each show tailored to the specific host, a musicological lecture with original slides that gets interrupted by a magic routine, and entirely new lyrics to half our songs.
H – (passes out)
G – Hubby, wake up!!!
Late September 2013, Oakland. 86th rehearsal.
G + H – refrigerator leap frog eczema steamship fig tree drywall norway grandma bubbles ceasar chavez aluminum feikas heineken florida graveyard tickle party supercalifragilisticexpialidocious towel mushroom orchid milk and cookies Ira Glass feelings lotion toenail –
H – Wait. I think we need to change toenail. I don’t think it flows well, and it just kind of grosses me out.
G – Well we just changed it to toenail, but I think you’re maybe right……
(15 minutes go by in deep silent thought)
H – Tapioca?
G – Perfect! Also, I was thinking about pronouncing aluminum the british way ya know? Ah-loo-min-ee-um?
H – Why?
G – Don’t know.
H – I think it’s distracting.
G – Agreed. Ok. From the top with Tapioca and lets go double time from supercal.
G + H – refrigerator leap frog eczema steamship fig tree drywall norway grandma bubbles Caesar Chavez aluminum ficus heineken florida graveyard tickle party supercalifragilisticexpialidocious towel mushroom orchid milk and cookies Ira Glass feelings lotion tapioca insecurity hero polaroid baseball silver cannon rodeo pigeon wedding tonsil garden soapy Hindenburg fever mustache overalls salmonella lazy susan schizophrenic popcorn cumulonimbus nascar subway pelican office jesus pancake porcupine, laptop, philatelist, hurricane
H – Should we hold hurricane at the end for two dips or three?
G – Three!
October 2013, Oakland. 123rd rehearsal.
H – Could you wear an undershirt maybe?
G – Ehh?
H – It’s just that when I go in there and we are doing our spins I’m getting a fair amount of your abdominal sweat all over my face.
G – I just don’t think my character would wear an undershirt.
H – Alright i’ll deal with it.
October 19th, Oakland. First day of tour.
G – Inflatable hammer, roses, whiskey bottles?
H – Check.
G – Blowdryer, birthday candles, bouncy balls?
H – Check.
G – Edible bugs, christmas lights, academic papers?
H – Check, check and check!
G – I think that about does it. Should we hit the roa – wait, musical instruments!?
H – Check.
G – Let’s go!
Tour, Day 3. 6:30am in the Subaru leaving Arcata CA en route to Portland OR
G – So what did you think?
H – I would have to say that is the nicest wood stove heated geodesic dome nestled into an ancient redwood forest that I’ve ever played in.
G – How bout that shower ay?
H – That was the warmest outdoor shower in an ancient redwood forest that I’ve ever bathed in.
G – How bout this home-made breakfast sandwich to go?!
H – Gid, I have to tell you, this is the best breakfast sandwich to go I’ve ever had while leaving an ancient redwood forest.
G – Me too man. Me too.
H – I think that song Bella wrote is gonna stay with me for a long time ???
G – It’s without question one of my favorite songs.
H – I hope she lets us cover it some day
Tour, Day 5. Eastern Oregon.
H – (gesturing frantically)
G – Uhhh… What’s up?
H – (points to his throat, makes an “X”
G – Wait what? Oh no! Don’t tell me that! I do not wan’t to hear that hubby.
H – (nodding somberly)
G – You lost your voice?!
H – (slams heel of hand into forehead)
G – I told you, you needed to go on vocal rest! Ok…. I guess… just no more talking ever or sounds of any kind? ??? What are we going to do now?
H – (shrugs).
G – Well, this is going to be interesting. Here fix this accordion it’s all messed up.
H – (gestures with a thumbs up)
Tour, Day 6. Echo, Utah.
G – Well, the map says we’re here, but there is nothing here. No service, either. Ah! There’s nothing here dude.
H – Well.. Let’s just keep driving up the road and see if we find something or someone we can ask.
(2 miles later….)
G – Ok I think this is it. I think this is Echo
H – This is not Echo, man. This is a motel, gas station and train tracks.
G – I know, but I think that might be what Echo is. Maybe he lives in the motel or gas station? Wait. There’s another house down the road there. I think that guy in tie-dye waving at us and filming us with an iPhone could be him. (they approach)
H – Reverend P? Are we in the right place?
Rev P – Yeah dudes! What’s happening! Welcome welcome welcome. Oh man I’ve been so excited! Welcome welcome!
G – Great to meet you. This place is wild.
Rev P – I know right? Echo Utah baby! I’m so pumped for your show I’ve been telling everyone. Don’t know how many people are coming. Might be as many as 100 people!
H – Holy shit! How many people live in Echo?
Rev P – Forty six.
(he gives us a tour of his beautiful home and land sandwiched between the train tracks about 30 feet from the house and hwy 80 on the other side. A freight train roars by 100 coaches long shaking the house.)
G – How often does a train come by?
Rev P – Between 30 to 60 times a day. I don’t even notice anymore though. When I bought the house 25 years ago the ad in the paper simply said “MUST LOVE TRAINS”. Let me show you your room.
Tour, Day 7. In the Subaru leaving Boulder, CO.
H – Did you see those kids in the front row when I fell down?
G – Yeah. They seemed…. concerned.
H – Dude, I think the one kid was crying a bit, I think he thought you really killed me.
G – Well then he’s a little bit stupid. We’re pretending. We’re in a show.
H – He was like 4 years old!
G – Well…
H – I mean do you think we should change that part for the kids?
G – No. They can take it. It builds character.
Tour, Day 10. Boulder, UT, morning of show.
(That story is for another day)
Tour Day 11 – Las Vegas, NV. Post-show.
G – That was a lot of fun.
H – So much fun.
G – I’m thinking though…maybe we should put a line of red tape around our stage area if there are more than a couple kids
H – Those kids had a lot of energy and … curiosity.
G – I completely agree. They also seemed like they wanted to physically devour every instrument and object we had.
H – That’s true. It was almost like they were ravenously starving and thought our banjos were made of candy or burgers
G – I know. Did you see that kid in the blue onesy? He was actually gnawing on the accordion. He almost chewed through the bellows.
H – Ok we put a line of red tape down and we tell them it’s an invisible laser shooting upwards that is ver dangerous so they should keep their distance?
G – Something like that. All i know is we’ve got way too much kid saliva on our stuff right now.
H – Fun show though.
G – Yeah great show.
Last day of tour. San Francisco, CA, corner of a musty garage in the Mission.
H – Do you smell that?
G – I’m trying not to.
H – I think it’s all this mouse poop.
G – I think mouse poop is fine to smell just don’t eat it, you’ll get Hantavirus.
H – What’s Hantavirus?
G – It’s what you get when you eat mouse poop.
H – Who eats mouse poop?
G – I dunno man, I just know not to eat mouse poop.
H – Yeah I know that too, but I don’t need any special reasons why I shouldn’t eat it. It’s a very intuitive thing to know about.
G – I don’t see how it’s intuitive to know about Hantavirus.
H – No not Hanta…I mean… Never mind, let’s just keep cleaning.
(Our host descends with a team of housemates to clean with us. They bring chairs and benches and lights. frantic texts have been sent inviting more people per the hosts’ approval and sixty-odd people have gathered in this transformed and glowing garage. We have frantically and messily consumed emergency papusas in the yard. The garage door remains open for any passerby’s to join. One homeless man will be so taken with the show that he will emerge afterwards with a broken picture frame to solicit the performers’ autographs. It’s dark save for a bare spotlight hung from the ceiling pipes and christmas lights around the room. G + H whisper to each other last-minute notes)
G – Let’s make the rose bows a bit shorter and we gotta stay back for the dip
H – Ok. do you have your coils and your pick?
G – Yes.
H – Let’s take our time before the second bugs so we can breath. I think the steps are easier if we have calmed down.
G – Agreed. You have both kazoos? Are these floor mats ok? I’ll lower your face down after I knock you out.
H – Yeah got kazoos, floor mats are good and it looks and I think we cleared the poop.
G – Alright let’s do it.
H – Have fun bud.
G – Have fun.