Day 2 – Headbangs, Cumstains, and Clogged Shower Drains
(aka Devon’s 33nd Birthday)

More lounging and, in the case of the locals, getting loaded. El Capitan is a friend of Mozine’s, and Co-Pilot was along for the free booze and buds. The two spent most of the day laying poolside in their banana hammocks, taking the occasional break to go up to the pad and get baked to the soothing sounds of Guitar Wolf on volume 10. All the napping has really confused my body and, instead of getting a sick stomach or headache, I just keep getting morning wood. If I didn’t know any better we’d already be a week into the trip.

We found a pair of shorts for he-who-hasn’t-owned-a-pair-since-he-moved-to-California-in-1995 Robert ("It’s fucking hot here, gimme a break!" he says as if we wouldn’t recognize him in shorts). I then wandered off on my own because of all the attention Robert and Karoline attracted. "Hey Osama" and "Woohoo, Blondie!" every 30 steps grew unnerving.

We had more pasta with TVP but I eased off the TVP this time on account of getting such un-comic gas from last night’s batch. TVP = GAS. Even I was getting annoyed at myself. After one particularly explosive session Max declared "The King is back!" making reference to his dethroning me last summer. I still claim that he is King, and that I am merely the Fart Prince of Foul Air. As far as everyone else is concerned we’re both losers and should probably see a doctor.

We ran out of bottled water halfway through the day meaning us gringos couldn’t brush our teeth without fear of getting cholera or diphtheria from dirty faucet water. I opted for some old fashioned gum-chewing while most of our hosts tried to get us to just use some of their wine.

On the ride to our first show, in the town of Santos, El Capitan and Co-Pilot defied death by removing the Guitar Wolf CD and putting in a dirty little Latin dance number called Toque Toque Meu Bem (Touch Touch Me Baby). It was an instant hit and, much like Guitar Wolf, garnered many requests. On second thought, maybe ‘request’ doesn’t quite capture the zest. "Mob chanting" is probably more accurate.

We arrived at Santos’ Praia Sports Bar in time to hear Infect sound-checking. Their guitar player and drummer were belting out a slew of heavy metal classics and I was reminded of a simple rock riffs’ ability to transcend cultural boundaries and urge even the stiffest neck to flex waywardly to and fro. Their actual set was no less impressive despite their bass player assuming the singer’s responsibilities (since the show started later than expected, the singer begrudgingly left early to go back to work – in Sao Paulo, two hours away). They were fast and tight and made good use of two guitars.


The crowd was quite diverse for a bar. Lots of kids with spiky, colored hair danced with big smiles on their faces while the post-high school/pre-real life gang yelled and clapped between songs. And while many of the elders were getting their drink on near the bar everybody seemed to be somehow entertained, involved, and in good spirits which, like, created a really solid vibe, man.

Devon and I’s trip here with All You Can Eat in 1995 made us a lot of friends, many of whom showed up tonight giving us the feeling that the scene drop-out rate here is considerably less than what we’re used to. Names came back slowly but faces were instantaneous. No one seemed to age much physically, impressive considering the intense sun and constant threat of Guitar Wolf.

Discarga blew the roof off. Da pit pulsed and surged, the music was fast and solid, and the drummer looked about 100 pounds (minus the piercings) and very high on speed. They were gonna be a tough act to follow. We were next and all I remember is the drumset coming apart and me feeding it, piecemeal, to the people in the balcony. I don’t think people danced very much, in fact I seem to remember a lot of them staring and maybe even gawking. Be that as it may we had a great time and were eager to finish up so we could watch MDR finish the show.

Apparently we weren’t the only ones. The place was suddenly packed solid and as soon as MDR played the energy in the room didn’t let down until they finished an hour later.

I caught up with a handful of old friends, many of which now have successful bands or labels (or at the very least, reputations). It is always inspirational to find people your age still carrying an active interest or participation in this environment. I walked up to Devon and recognized one of the two minimally-dressed ladies to which he was talking. She recognized me too and we were having a lively conversation until she said, "…and then you gave me a peach and tried to kiss me!" I instinctually blurted out "No!" like I did when I was 10 and my grandpa tried to tell me I had a crush on the neighbor girl. That’s when we both realized she was thinking I was somebody else. I may not remember which of my keys opens the front door and which opens the mail box, but I do remember all 0 times in my life I’ve tried to kiss a Brazilian woman while in Brasil.

After the show we drove up to Sao Paulo, but not before a group of gussied-up male street-walkers requested that Devon "Suck [their] dick[s]!" (Why is it that no matter where we are in the world, Devon always attracts the transsexuals?) The ride went smoothly and, except for some sleepy conversation, the only thing notable was Nino and his relentless energy. The bone-thin, five-foot-tall drummer for Discarga spent most of the trip screaming "Paulisto!" every time Paulisto was about to fall asleep. (Or maybe it was more of a screech than a scream. In any event, it was still very vexing.) Nino is incredibly dark-skinned and has huge white eyes and teeth (which are actually dentures), so in the dark van he looks like this floating set of eyes and teeth sent from hell to keep you awake and irritated. Naturally, I found his behavior very entertaining.

In stark contrast to Nino’s persona were his bandmates’. If Daniel weren’t the singer/guitar player for such an aggressive punk band I would have thought he was mute. He looks about 16 and comes across so shy and vulnerable that you’re just positive he’s plotting the best way to end the world.

And the bass player, whose name sounds like Junior and has thus become known as Junior, is also reserved but more social. He’s vegan which, in the country that inadvertently made me go vegetarian by inundating me with so much meat, is a welcome trait. Robert and Karoline have adopted him, which is just a nice way of saying they kidnapped him. Now, any time we go into a food store they pester him about every single item/ingredient.

The neon Hotel Pax sign clearly illuminated all the prostitutes standing near it. We pulled up at 5am, which was conveniently also the earliest possible check-in time. Max and Devon beat me to our room and when I walked in they were giggling like one does when they’re tired and something has finally pushed them over the edge. Not only had Devon already backed up the toilet, but there was no hot water (Devon flooded the bathroom figuring that out), the walls were crumbling, our TV (almost) got one station (no sound), and our large bay-sized curtains opened up to a ridiculously small corrugated vent just wide enough to allow the noise and filth from the street to waft in. But the real coup de grace was the almost abstract artistry of the stains on my bed, all bearing a creamy yellow hue. I hadn’t showered since we left the States about 70 sweaty, mucky hours ago so I figured What’s another few hours spent on a dirty mattress? and passed out on top of my sleeping bag while the sun came up.

WHN? in Sudamerica - May 2002

Day 0 – Please wake me for meals.
/ Day 1 – Eu como minha propia merda.

Day 2 – Headbangs, Cumstains, and Clogged Shower Drains (aka Devon’s 33nd Birthday)

Day 3 – Banana Pizza – Don’t Knock It ‘Til You’ve Tried It

Day 4 – "Fuck My Ass!" the group of girls in the front row kept chanting.

Day 5 – Doesn’t anybody speak English around here?

Day 9 – I am Yellowman.

Day 10 – I am apparently also an idiot.

Day 11 – A gas station with a bar...Why didn’t I think of that?!

Day 12 – What doesn’t kill you, usually still hurts a lot. (aka Mother’s Day)
/ Day 13 – Touring isn’t so much a question of "Where is my next meal coming from?" as much as "Where/when am I gonna be able to take my next dump?"
Non-band travel

May 14 – Random Acts of Meat.

May 15 – The World’s Most Dangerous Road

May 16 – Another day in paradise

May 17 – They’ve had the same government since we got here!

May 18 – Why are my teeth turning green?

May 19 – Hey dad, I’m in jail!

May 20 – Never Let The Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Story.

May 21 – The sun and the moon, all in one afternoon.

May 22 – The Royal Frankenstein

May 23 – Metal? You call this metal?!?

May 24 – Machu Picchu or Bust (your travel agent over the head).

May 25 – There she is! What do I do?! What do I do?! Nothing, as usual.

May 26 – Maybe I was supposed to be naked.

May 27
– Be aware or be prepared

May 28
– Fried Food Day


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