The first tour for The King Of France is wrapping up, with only two dates left until they return back to NYC. Journalist/drummer Michael Azerrad reports to us from Minneapolis:
The drive from Hartford to Minneapolis takes two days. After driving all day yesterday we stopped at another Super 8, this one in Howe, Indiana. No headache-inducing air freshener or scenes of impending violence this time, but still no internet access either. In this day and age, isn’t that like not having telephones? Still, this was a well-run Super 8. You can always tell a well-run Super 8 this way: they have bath mats.
Right now we’re going from Indiana to Minneapolis. Just a lot of driving, taking turns leading our little convoy with the Robbers’ van. Getting squirrelly from being cooped up for so long, although being able to watch DVDs and listen to Deep Tracks shows on satellite radio in the Odyssey makes it a bit easier. (Can you say "endorsement deal"?) Along the way we were psyched to hear an NPR piece about our good friend and erstwhile keyboardist Thomas Bartlett’s wondrous band Doveman. In the middle of the night we pulled up to a truck stop in Wisconsin, ambled into the brightly lit store, and picked up a bunch of beer. We’ll bust it out in our motel rooms once we arrive at yet another Super 8 in Bloomington, MN, just outside of Minneapolis.
It’s incredibly difficult to find healthy food on the road. I feel like that guy in Supersize Me. I find myself constantly craving a big bowl of organic green salad, followed by a generous helping of fresh fruit. It’s toxic out here!
We’ve been working on some more weaselly backhanded band compliments:
Man, you guys are very consistent!
It’s so great that you guys get to do what you do.
It must be so cool for you to be on stage!
Can’t wait to try them out on the Robbers.
Wow, the Minneapolis show was so fun. It was at the Quest, which used to be Glam Slam, Prince’s club. This clown-faced white rap group called Twiztid played in the big room downstairs and the place was filled with really kind of sad kids with white greasepaint smeared all over their faces. I only stayed for a few songs, which were all along the lines of “Fuck the world,” which is probably how I’d feel if I was the kind of kid who felt compelled to make myself look like Bozo’s nephew.
The room we played in was hilarious, clearly a holdover from Prince’s aesthetic. There are two huge fake tree trunks that reach up to the ceiling, which is covered in fake foliage. There’s a working fountain in the middle of the room and fake stained glass windows lining the walls, all with a big letter Q on them. Go figure.
Steve used to live in Minneapolis so this was a bit of a homecoming gig for him and he wanted it to be special – you could tell because he wore the spiffy Dolce & Gabbana shirt he stole from MTV. Unfortunately, he broke a string on the first song, but that only made us break stride momentarily – after two days off, we were rarin’ to go. Steve from the Robbers very kindly changed the string while our Steve played on another guitar. Then the stage lights went out! We soldiered on in total darkness -- in fact we played magnificently, and people were really digging it. We winged a long ending to “Just a Body” because Steve walked off the stage in a fit of mock pique, then came back and shot everything through the roof in a double-time gospel rave-up. Meanwhile, Morgan from the Robbers found some work lights for construction, hauled them over to the stage and that was our illumination for several songs. Then the soundman got up on a ladder right smack in the middle of the crowd, just hovering over everything like an avenging angel, and fixed the lights. It was a crazy show but I imagine it was entertaining as hell and the crowd adored us. We sold a ton of CDs.
Those Robbers are so sweet to us, it’s really amazing. We love them so much, personally and musically. I’ve never toured with another band and it’s incredible, the bond you form with them. I feel like we’ll be friends forever. After the show we all went bowling at the excellent Bryant-Lake Lanes. We got back to the hotel around 2:30. As we walked into the lobby, Steve from the Robbers said, “Did you know that it rains diamonds on Neptune?”
The King Of France w/ Robbers On High Street
10.14.05 – Chicago, IL (Schubas)
10.15.05 – Cleceland, OH (Beachland Ballroom)
Source: Michael Azerrad