Postcards – Memory Map Tour Diary Pt. 4

Our pals Memory Map are out on tour, and have so graciously agreed to document their color coded adventures for us.  The fourth entry comes to us from Mr. Orange, Matt Tobey.

Hello it’s Matt. My turn! Do you guys like orange? I LOVE orange. Someday our masses of fans will come to our shows wearing their favorite member’s color. Mark my words. We’ll look out into the audience and see a sea of…ORANGE!!!!! No no no, I’m sure it will be a perfectly distributed mishmash. Anyway hi, this is my intro.

Last you heard from us, we were disembarking from the Big Apple, headed to Philadelphia. We weren’t quite sure what to expect out of the show, since it had been set up by a friend of a friend only days before. Last summer Philadelphia gave us trouble, when it sat idly by while we left our bag of t-shirts at the venue. So this time we were hoping to get PAYBACK! Mel Gibson! Action! I was hopeful, Philadelphia being one of my favorite cities and all. We arrived in town a little early and visited my dear old friend and former bandmate/live-in brother Ryan Batkie. He recently bought a house in Philly and has fixed it up so splendidly. We got various types of hoagies at a corner market, and I was happy to find a little gem of a vegan snickers-esque candy bar. Simple pleasures, my friends. The Vietnamese-style tofu hoagie was not to be beat. The trip into South Philly was quick, and as we pulled up to the house where we would be playing, we saw our host Jim talking with a wary neighbor: “I promise it’ll be done early!” Not necessarily the best sign for a house show, but Jim reassured us that they’ve had a bunch of shows there and never had a noise complaint. We hung out in the back courtyard and attempted tricks on a busted razor scooter. Dixon performed a really neat trick that involved driving it straight into a wall. Like a wall ride without the ride. Our friend Kim from Bloomington spontaneously appeared after some travel complications, and somehow she knew everybody, as per usual. Philly was our first basement show of the tour, complete with an unending supply of “basement dust” that covered all of our cables with a fine white powder. It was a great show! Hot and sweaty. Really nice kids. I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout, for being put together so last minute. Thanks Jim! After the show we had a nice relaxing time at Ryan’s.

The next morning we got coffee and bagels around the corner at Satellite, the West Philly hip central. Dixon explained the wonders of Vegemite to a rando seated nearby. Its wonders are many, in case you don’t know. The drive to Buffalo was long. I think. Drive time is nebulous when playing video games. Having a DS on tour is great. My current jam is Dragon Quest IX. IT IS PERFECT.

The Buffalo show was at Sugar City, an all-ages venue with a good vibe. Our host, as always, was the glorious Curtis A. Guy. He made us an indescript but delicious pasta dish as a warm welcome. The show was an early one. I thoroughly enjoyed Paradox, especially the teenage lead singer’s dance moves and hand gestures. While I did not enjoy them leaving as soon as they were done playing (their friends too), the show must go on. We played to approximately 8 people, about half of them being volunteers of the space. Still, playing was a good time. The post-show torrential downpour was not fun. The post-post show pizza baking with Curtis WAS fun. The 2 am roommate watching “Godzilla Vs. Mecha-Godzilla”/snoring combo was NOT fun. Again, video games pay off as a means of keeping me happy in all situations (in conjunction with earplugs). The other guys, not so much. Josh’s couch spot put him in prime position to catch every snore. He said later that he had tossed crumpled pieces of paper at the dude in the middle of the night to try to get him to stop. Dixon’s solution was to move his sleep station into the creepy downstairs ex-funeral home portion of the house. Bridavsky took to the van.

Amy’s place in the morning was delicious as always. Curtis is the type of regular that will go behind the counter and grab stuff he needs, and chats up all the waitresses. It feels like a privilege going there with him. Oh hey you know what? I forgot a key aspect from the drive to Buffalo! With about an hour left in the drive, we had a foreboding battery light come on, on the dashboard of our rented van. It was still running okay, though the battery gauge started slowly dropping. We decided to get it checked out on our way out of town the next day, and good thing we did, because the car died as we pulled it into the shop. Turned out our alternator was busted, but Bob at the Firestone was kind enough to squeeze us in very quickly. We had a few hours to kill waiting for the fix. As fate would have it, the thrift store Curtis works at was a mere block away from the car shop, so we spent some time perusing. The best find was a cassette of Yanni’s “Live at the Acropolis” for 31 cents, which has since accrued at least one listen. Josh bought a DVD of “Burn After Reading” at TJ Maxx (in which I pooped) and started playing it in the waiting room of the car shop. After a couple minutes of  “fuck” this and “fuck” that, we realized maybe it wasn’t appropriate for a public viewing. Oops! The van was finished even before Bob said it would be, and we managed to leave in time to make it to the Bridavsky family home in Cleveland for dinner before our show. Mike’s parents are older, but still very spry! Hearing the three of them speak Russian together is a real treat. A feast had been prepared for us: salad, fruit, pickles, chips, crackers, pasta with mushrooms…eating too much was inevitable.

After dinner it was right to the show. Happy Dog was a restaurant/bar serving only hotdogs, with honestly about 70 toppings to choose from. They had veggie dogs too and I toyed with the idea of getting one, but decided against it. I was FULLLLLLL! As a music venue, however, it was kind of poorly laid out. There was a large oval bar taking up about half of the place, and tables taking up the rest of the space, with a small stage along the side. It was fine. A decent show. A lot of Bridavsky’s high school acquaintances showed up, one of whom gave us all belts in our colors! Mine broke within fifteen minutes, but it was appreciated all the same. Afterwards we watched “Some Kind of Monster” back at the Bridavsky’s, and had a glorious rest.

Memory Map play rock and roll and are on tour for the next few days doing just that as they wrap up their tour.  Check their dates below to see if they are coming to your town, be sure to check out the first part of their tour diary here, the second part here, the third part here, and grab the new album here.

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