Day 10 – I am apparently also an idiot.
Nino’s new favorite word is Tata, and he liked to yell it every time Tata was on the brink of sleep. Of course, this meant the rest of us road the brink of sleep for most of the night also but hey, what are ya gonna do? Yell back?
Only, yelling "Sssshhhhhh!!!" didn’t have the same primal effect for us as "Tata" did for Nino.
We pulled into Joinville mid-morning and if I weren’t paying attention I would have thought we were in northern Germany. All the architecture was Bavarian, all the signs had German on them, and everybody was considerably white (not as white as us, but white nonetheless).
We arrived at an empty house which looked very much like a suburban spread in south Florida – big lawn, flat palatial house, pool, and lots of bugs. A teen punker and her mom let us in, explaining that they used to live here but have since moved into a much smaller, less comfortable apartment across town because they had so many break-ins. I guess they figured we’d be good crime prevention.
The place had it’s drawbacks (it was dusty like a cowboy’s boots, nothing but two light fixtures worked, and one of the bathrooms sat under a few inches of standing – and therefore lethal – water) but it was not without it’s charms, namely that we could sleep there for free. We left our stuff and walked around town.
On every tour I whittle out some sort of facial hair design, usually involving some sort of mustache (or ‘mosh-tache’). It is central to every style I end up with. Nothing is punk rock like a mustache. Nothing sets you apart and puts you at odds with people faster than having a mustache. Who are the three biggest demographics for having mustaches? Perverts, cops, and gay men. Making no judgement on any of them, they are still all lifestyles that illicit immediate responses from the general public. So I usually have a mustache of some sort by the second week of any given tour. Today, however, I tried to shave with no mirror and I accidentally sheared it off.
Club 25 de Agosto was run by an ornery church lady who, when we arrived, yelled at us for being a bad influence on the kids, but then went back to her seat and proceeded to sell beer to minors.
Before we got to the venue we heard about a Belgian band who played Joinville. Story goes: band complains about the sound system during their set and is subsequently beaten down by audience and will probably never come back to Joinville (or Brasil for that matter) as long they live. I got to talking with a few of the locals throughout the night and they all retold the story with the same detached amusement.
While I sat behind the merch a long-hair came up and very enthusiastically told me about his band, Os Legais (The Legal Ones). He described it as "the most hated band in Brasil" and gave me their video, complete with a bit of doodie smeared on the liner notes. I thanked him, as he was very sweet and funny, then he said I could have the tape only if I wore his band shirt while we played tonight. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. But now I’m a little older, a little wiser, and a lot more jaded. Once, I wore a gift shirt for a band that turned out to be fascists. Another time (in Brasil, actually) our drummer was handed a shirt he was later warned would actually get him stabbed by audience members should he wear it on stage.
Now, being in a town proud for having beat up the last foreign band to come through, coupled with this guy telling me his band was the most hated band in Brasil, didn’t make his offer very appealing. On the one hand he was giving me gifts that were dear to him, on the other hand he was looking for promotion – neigh, requiring it.
He was disappointed when I declined, but understanding. Robert, on the other hand, thought I was just being a dick and put the shirt on. In the end, the guy and his band were harmless, but around here I felt justified playing my better-safe-than-sorry card.
Nine out of ten people in attendance were under 18, as were the opening bands Lara and Os Carademarte. The whole event reminded me of parties in high school where everyone was drunk and trying to score while a band played a mixture of all the music that was popular that day, but with a joking demeanor so as to keep people from thinking they were too serious in case they sounded like crap. The bands were well-rehearsed, much better than any band I was in in high school, and the kids approved. It was a refreshing break from the normal hardcore we’ve been seeing every night.
During the second band the snare drum broke. It looked like the show was over since all the bands were using the same equipment, but after ten minutes someone offered to go home and get theirs. Joey from the Dairy Queens showed up, making him the last member of DQ to happen upon a WHN? show in some corner of the world other than the San Francisco Bay Area. Their band never really got around, but they sure did. We talked for about 15 minutes and then went outside for some fresh air. There we ran into the guy who went to go get his snare drum. He and his friends were apparently too busy drinking in the parking lot to remember about the hall full of drunk, horny kids waiting for a band to play. We were not amused.
A minute later we saw some guy on a Moped speed unknowingly over a speed bump. Then we were amused.
The show eventually got back on track and when it came time to play we decided to put visuals over audio and play with the utmost energy. Notes were missed, drums fell over, vocals went unheard, but we had a damn good time. I believe "The Book Is On The Table" was our biggest hit of the night, but I will venture to say that the majority of the audience, though excited as it was happening, probably won’t remember us tomorrow.
I was trying to help the owner of my borrowed amp get his things together. He was amiable and pumped about tonight’s show until I unplugged the power adapter from his amp plug (not ‘broke’ but ‘unplugged’). The guy called me an idiot and walked off with his amp.
A group of six boys crowded around me as I packed up my stuff and asked me all the normal post-show questions. (How old are you? What kind of guitar is that? Where’s been your favorite city? etc.) For being so young they had a good working knowledge of music (favorite bands included Crimpshrine and Operation Ivy) and an enlightened view towards issues like racism, sexuality and religion. The conversation eventually moved towards racism and they got really into endorsing their tolerance for different races, which is probably a pretty liberal attitude to have in the very white town of Joinville. What they weren’t very tolerant of, though, was the 30-year-old man who kept drunkenly interjecting his preference for German beer and American girls. The more I showed no preference for either beer or girls, the more belligerent he got. Eventually the group of six 12-14 year-olds pushed him aside and threatened him. He went away and the kids apologized to me for his behavior.
We got back to our squat just in time for da party people to get their noise on, much to our chagrin. I set up a bed in one of the quiet rooms and braved the shower with the standing water. When I came out there were 5 people laying on my bed smoking pot and spilling beer. I was so tired I didn’t care.
Before I went to sleep I slipped a few new vocab words into Max’s GRE flash cards, none of which are likely to be on his test, but all of which I have read in one of Devon’s AVN magazines at one time or another.
WHN? in Sudamerica - May 2002
0 – Please wake me for meals.
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