Monday, April 27, 2009

Sweden. Ahead of their time.

Here's an interview where I talked a lot of smack. I unveiled many tidbits from my troubled sexual past. Too bad you can't read it! Give it a whirl!

In babe news, I did a Hilary Crist interview but my dog ate it so you'll just have to settle for this picture of her...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thanks to the cats at for the Guv Luv. Now all I gotta do is get myself hooked up with those gator boat shoes.

Malice for from Rilla Fernandez on Vimeo.

P.s In May I will be recording a STR affiliated hip hop kid at my studio. TAC. More info soon..

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Day 9

We wake up early and our first stop is one of the many markets in Shanghai. One must know how to haggle prices down to the point of yelling in the merchants face or walking away in disgust to get a good deal here. I fit right in, and have never felt more at home yelling prices back and forth as I fill my bags with goods. Domino sets, Omega clocks, gifts for friends back home, scorpion key chains, shoes, and wall hangings. By the end of each exchange both the merchant and I are usually laughing at each other. By the time I've hustled each price down to "friend price" sometimes these people are so fed up that they take my next offer which is usually half of "friend price", or I walk away. Usually they will scream at you to come back and if they aren't laughing by now they are extremely pissed off and give you the goods saying things like "No money, no profit for me, very bad". I don't really believe that, and I don't really care and I move onto the next. The next market only lasts 20 minutes as it closes at 6pm and we're late. It's 4 huge buildings of knock off designer clothes, shoes, belts, bags, watches. Anything. We're psychically, sometimes violently shoved around the long halls and beckoned to follow each merchant to his shop where again you haggle down a price if you really are in the market for gucci sneakers or sunglasses. I think over anyone this stuff interests me the most. I spend the 20 minutes yelling out brands, and prices just to see what they have, and just to see how low I can get the prices. I'm taken to secret back rooms where I purchase full series bootlegs of Curb Your Enthusiam and The Wire.
Abe has promised Mike a vegetarian resturant tonight. We spend an hour walking around looking for it, but can't find it. Score another for the meat eaters. We eat cantonese food which is mostly stuff you eat at Dim Sum resturants back home but better. Mike leaves to "go eat an apple", and we eat a 90% vegetarian meal without him.

Day 10

We go to some tallest tower in the world, and I try to count how many times the word "tall" is said before we get there but lose interest. Tourist stuff. Stuff you can brag about later. Like bragging about the size of your penis or something. I don't go up and go accross the street to the hotel thats almost as tall and see the city for free from the 54th floor. Mostly smog. Pretty boring. Try to see the Shanghai Sex Museum, but its closed so Abe randomly eats a meal at Hooters because he wants "a chicken sandwich". Today must be Man Day or something. I just want to go back to the hustler mall and freak out. We finally please Mike and eat at a veg resturant in a mall thats pretty decent for a vegetarian fake meat place but pales in comparison to the other stuff we've crammed down our throats. He seems happy and definitely deserves it. He can't help being a picky vegetarian just like he can't help loving The Matrix (I've never seen it. Thats kind of steam, huh?). Sandy and I hit the "cheapo" market again. I spend 2 hours getting escorted around by a guy who says we are "best friends". He asks me what I want, and I tell him and he leads me to the stores he works for. Shady and pushy male guides are employed by a bunch of stores to hussle people through the crowds to shop at their booths. I buy 2 pairs of gucci loafers, a gucci sweater, sunglasses, another pair of gucci shoes, and I cop a good deal for me and sandy because we want new suitcases. I don't spend more than 100$ Canadian in total. Theres a break in the maddness when I am waiting for someone to bring me my size in sneaker. The salesmen give me chinese ciggerrettes and I smoke with them and chat. I've been fighting and yelling with these guys all day, sometimes to the point of real anger (acting skills are a plus), but in this 5 minute break we are "friends" and I'm complimented on my bargaining skills and they ask me if I have any "middle eastern blood". I watch an Indian man buy a bag for double what I pay for it, and I yell "300$??! NO!!" which sets the merchant into a rage. He runs at me, and I'm brought back to Grade 2 when I was psychically beaten for 10 minutes in a conveinience store by an older Chinese store owner for giving him the finger. I run for my life. My "best friends" laugh, and say how much I angered the man. Close one. I help Sandy buy a Louis V purse, and I get my brother a Gucci Wallet and it's over. My "best friend" gives me his card, and tells me to call him next time I'm around.
We try to eat our last dinner at a "blind resturant" tonight. A place where you order when you walk in and the rest of the experience is spent completely in the dark. All the waiters are blind. Apparently its fun. Sounds strange. We're into trying it, but it ends up being closed so we're taken to eat Dong Bey food (North eastern Chinese). We eat foot long bones of lamb leg like we're in The Flintstones, more dumplings and pig out (AGAIN). I try to steal the tea pot, but get caught.
We meet for drinks for one last time with our shanghai bro's and say our goodbyes. Nickie, Reggie & Dan. Thank you so much.

Day 11

Our last day. We fly at 5pm. Mike and Josh pick up their customized suits, and feel pretty confident they will be suited and booted for life. Good idea.
Abe has another Job interview today and I cab ride with him to pick up my film on the way to his interview. I've been touring since I was 18 years old. I'm almost 27 and I've had quite a few "tour managers" since I started. Some smoked crack, some gave the band I was in Meth, some supported by old band mates down the road of maintaining nice little coke habits, some were crazy in different ways. Abe's been the best of them. How do you say goodbye to someone who's just held your hand accross China and pretty much wiped you and your band mates asses for 10 days? I awkwardly mumble some thank you's and truely hope to see Abe again. He is responsible for the single best and most forFILLING travel experience of my life and Abe, we can't thank you enough.

Our cab ride out of the city takes us over the same suspension bridge our ferry passed under before our queezy arrival into Shanghai 10 days ago. One of my last memories of China mirrors my first, and I swallow a few last gulps of smog while out of habit anxiously check my pocket for my inhaler ("sucks to your assmar!!"). I buy a 5$ Omega knock off before getting on the 400km/h hovering train to the airport.

As we take off in another plane home I'm surrounded by Chinese babies one last time gurgling in baby language and laughing at me. It's the first time I don't really want to leave a place that isn't my home and besides the french canadians snoring in french accents before take off, its a near perfect ending to an amazing trip.

I'll add one last thing here. I avoided Kareoke all Japan and all China. No Warning has songs in Kareoke bars in Japan apparently, and I still avoided those places. But wait, WTF! 3 hours after our 16 hour flight home I find myself at a birthday party in Toronto at, ironically enough, a Kareoke Bar on Bloor Street. Dead tired from the long travel day I channel the pent up kareoke energy and manage just one song. As I rip into "Thong Song", completely putting my friendly party companions to shame (apparently), I think of China (Yea, you guessed it!) and all our new friends on the other side of the world.

Shee-Shaeeee, China!

"Thaths Whaths Up".

Dear Nicki Minaj

Dear Nicki Minaj. You are better than 90% of male rappers out there. Please don't forget me when you are a superstar. You are really cool.

Part of my touring routine is to get to each club, find an internet signal, and download as many mixtapes as I can for the drive the next day. This is one of the best I've heard in a while. Fire!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Day 6

Before leaving to catch our train from Wuhan to Chang Sha, we pass a Chinese Albino playing music on the street and eat pork, beef and rice out of bamboo bowls at the mall by the hotel. It's another type of chinese minority food (indigenous people of china make up 2% of the country's population, they have a different style of cooking and speak their own language similar to native americans/canadians where we come from). It's really good, and the wall hangings are really cool too. We get iced creamy but not ice cream deserts in a cup. Sandy describes hers has having a 'slight hue of chocolate'. She claims she picked up this lingo from working at the food network, but I think it's just language from the grade 10 fine art class time warp she lives in. Jonah runs off to find a bathroom and isn't seen for 20 minutes.
I buy a bottle of love pills with customizable secret messages inside for my salmonella spreading chicken feet girl back home. It's her birthday today.
A few hours on the train brings us to the "smallest" city we'll be visiting on the trip, Chang Sha. It's a huge busy city of 8 million that doesn't feel small at all. Also, its in Hunan country. We do push ups, and spit in each others mouths preparing ourselves for what later will be our finest and spiciest meal in China.
We arrive at the show 15 minutes late, and the promoter is a psycho and tells us we are 3 hours late and how he almost canceled the show. The first band hasnt even set up to play yet, and none of it make sense. We just look at him blankly and wait for him to finish then go sit at the bar and drink rice beer awaiting the opener to start. They turn out to be a very young group of kids playing what they might consider screamo music. It's pretty much the best band I have seen in like 2 years and for the first time in a long time I watch the full set. The singer looks a bit like he's doing karaoke and sings with his eyes as wide open as possible. They head bang while the 5 kids in the front row reach up and touch their hair. They end their set by all screaming "FUUUUUUUCKED UP!". I guess thats our cue. We congratulate them on a mind blowing performance, and plug into the amps we've never heard of. Spirits are high and we play one of the funnest sets we've done in a long time. Completely the opposite to the other china shows. The young "small town" crowd goes completely nuts the entire time, holding on to the front of the stage head banging, and even kissing my guitar. Damian chases little people around the club like a giant crazy white professional wrestler of an uncle at their birthday party. They fear for their lives.
After the gig we walk the crowded downtown streets with our guitars for 15 minutes until we're shown (by more american weirdo dudes) to a supposedly good restaurant. I'm secretly in a pissy mood as I don't like that we are being shown to a resturant by americans from the mid west. I don't trust them at all and in my bitchy state anticipate a terrible let down of a meal. I couldn't have been more wrong. We start off with dumplings from the street brought into the restaurant by one of the white boys. Pork dumplings with a dark dipping sauce. Best dumplings ever. I would have been satisfied with eating just these, but on comes our dinner which is over 10 dishes all filled with the famous chillis and spices of the region. Cray fish which are a bit small and at first is hard to eat, but super flavourful. A boiling pot of frog and giant slices of ginger which Josh seems to become obsessed with. I see him put a frog down his pants, and rub it a bit when no one is looking. The flavours here are different than the other parts of China. Not as bland. More lemon grass, and generally seems like a little more effort has been put into it all.
The best Hunan Beef ever. Stinky fermented Tofu which tastes and smells like manure on a farm. One of the mid west kids brings in 'the spiciest chicken wings we will ever eat' from a street vendor. We dig in, he's right. The next 10 minutes is spent sucking and biting on our lips like we've popped some really spicy ecstasy. It's killer. Damian eats the last one which sends him over board. He tries walking it off around the empty restaurant with the most sincere worry in his eyes and sweat pouring off his bald spice spotted head. This is our most exciting meal so far. Mike The Vegetarian Adventurer, who has perked up finally after 5 days of barely saying a word, sticks to green beans and rice. He won't even try the stinky tofu for fun. I put a piece in my guitar case to throw at him at the next gig. Josh and I smoke a couple local chinese cigarettes (no chillis in it) as it seems like the appropriate thing to do after the hot, sweaty, impregnating, Hunan lip swelling experience.
Back at the hotel we sleep it off.

Day 7

I shave my mustache off today. I'd rather have my regular 12 year old chubby lesbian appearance than the teenaged vice douchebag vibe I had goin on. Jonah, my mustache mate, is stuck with his on for one more day. Damian compares his look to Victor from Young and The Restless. That is COOL. Stick with the stache, Jonah.
We eat at the train station before leaving for Shanghai. I eat some canned tomato based noodle soup dish that tastes like chef boyardee with a little bit of perfume in it. It's gross. I drink warmed almond milk tea, and we load up on snacks and water for our 8 hour train ride. I notice in the market out of the corner of my eye a shelf of pre-packaged meats. I notice the pre packaged paws immediately with the picture of a dog in the top corner. Yep, we finally found it. Dog. Cut up paws, just like.. for when you're feeling like a snack and shit. It's weird, and sad to look at. I take a picture as the lady yells at me to stop (the photo ended up not turning out). I look back and she is laughing at me. I point to the package and ask "Do you like this?", she just keeps laughing and I walk out. Weird. This little market turns out to be cruelty alley as not even two seconds later I come across a little snot nosed psycho child from the fiery hells of Asia strangling a cute little duck who is tied up with his head poking out of a bag. He bangs the ducks face off the cement and I take a picture of him doing his thing as he looks up at me laughing like a demon with green snot dangling from his nose. I yell at him for a bit about how I'd like to strangle him, and how he should 'wipe his fucking nose' and what a little cunt he is. He continues to torture the duck, and poke it in the eye laughing. I walk away wondering if the duck we ate in Beijing a few days ago was also tormented by Satan. It sure as hell tasted amazing.

A long train ride of trying to understand Uker, people playing really loud terrible music on their phones, and a lady playing some asian flute for over 2 hours with the actual sheet music in front of her and we are back in Shanghai. It starts to thunderstorm, and we check into our hotel being warned not to go to the gig too early as the club can get very packed and we might end up just standing on the street in the rain. We arrive at the gig 5 minutes before we are suppose to play and they weren't kidding. A cool small sized club called Logo is overflowing onto the street with a vast mixture of people from all over the world. After a sweaty walk through the club to put our guitars by the 'stage' I hear over 5 different languages. Europeans, Australians, Chinese, Americans. I dump my guitar and go directly to the street where you can breath. The set is unbearably hot, but amazing. Random people that clearly have no idea who we are spray each other with beer and dance like fools. The P.a barely works, but no one cares. I even take off my shirt as at this point as any concern of looking/feeling like a douche bag has been left back in Canada (see: mustache & rat rail section). After the show we eat food with Abe, Dan and a guy by the name of Zach Mexico who is in town for the Shanghai Literary Festival supporting his new book "China: Underground". Everyone thinks he is high on speed except me (we never found out), and he turns out to be a pretty entertaining guy as well as letting us know about a panel discussion the next day with one of the writers of The Wire. My next goal: Find bootleg copies of the Wire, load Lomo Camera, become full on fan boy and get said dvd's signed by Bill Zorsi.

Day 8

A breakfast of China's version of Japan's Shabu Shabu. Raw meat and vegetables are served, and you throw them in a boiling pot of water. In China they call it Hot Pot cooking. It's really good. Everything is dipped in a peanut sauce you make yourself with peanut dip, chillis and cilantro. Dan gives me a bootleg of The Wire Season 5.
We check into a new hotel in downtown Shanghai. Jonah and Damian fly back to Toronto after we eat to tend to pressing responsibilities at home (pregnant wives & english girlfriends visiting Canada). Josh, Sandy, Captain Courageous, and myself have chosen to stay a few extra days to explore the city.
Josh and I pay the 10$ entry fee for The Wire discussion and it's much like the panel talks you'd see in the bonus features of the dvd's. Bill Zorzi is a grumpy, real life dick, and he either hilariously answers each question or chooses to brush them off when they aren't to his liking. We sit there sipping complimentary wine and coffee in the top floor of a ritzy Shanghai hotel listening to one of the writers of the best tv show of all time speak the day after our tour has ended. We can't really believe our luck. Bill Zorzi jokingly mentions the chinese bootlegs of The Wire series twice in reference to how they take food off his table, and I sit there squirming, knowing full well I will be the only one out of these aspiring writers and journalists at the literary festival to approach him for an autograph. I sheepishly take out the dvd's from the inside of my jacket like some shady ebay memorabilia whore and ask him to sign it. He hesitates and mumbles something about 'having a moral problem with it', and how the marker is 'a bit big'. He signs it, and we're out. Omar lives, baby. East side B More, Nega Nu Bee!!!!
We eat Udon food with our Shanghai friends (reggie and nicky!) and then watch english football at a bar. City wins, and Liverpool loses their game 5-0.

I'll mention here that before coming to China we warned each other to be cool, not to fuck around, we don't know the rules, etc etc. Which basically means Mike told me specifically a few times that I must behave. Turns out you can pretty much do anything you want in China as long as its not waving a Tibetan flag in Tiananmen Square or something. Nicky and Reggie light up spliffs in every bar we go to (even sports bar chains) to Sandys delight, wonder, and ingrained teenage pothead paranoia ("Maybe we should go in the corner and do this").

"China..... More free than Canada." - Josh.

Friday, April 3, 2009


The Bitters just dropped a 12" ep on Captured Tracks called "Wooden Glove". 4 songs. We just played a 1st gig with Wavves at Sneeky Dees.
We play with the Goodnight Loving and Little Girls May 1st at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto. It will be our 2nd show and 3rd band practice ever. The live band also consists of Actual Tony Aka Black Tony, and Mr Jo Aka The Mad man.

Order the record here, or pick one up at a gig. I also try to keep all records I do in my suitcase on F.U tours. So if you see me, ask me, or they might be at the F.U merch table.

Tons of recordings planned for The Bitters. Keep on it.

please take note of my ill as shit Gucci sweater.
all images by Danielle, the best photographer in Toronto.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Day 3

After sleeping quite well on the train I wake up at 6:30am, about an hour and a half before it arrives in Beijing. The scenery is bleak as we go by suburb after suburb which to me just look like shanty towns and ruins. Buildings are being torn down while people clearly still live in them, and the demolition workers break down the buildings around the last remaining apartments. The people live in these things until the very last minute.
Abe, Josh and I eat noodles in the dining cart which are plain noodles in a garlic, green onion broth and they are pretty enjoyable. Sandy drinks coffee and as soon as the caffeine hits her she starts going on about how inspiring it was to squat down and observe the "beads of pee trickle into the hole" in the bathroom. "They were perfect circles". She also wonders if her being able to remember her dreams recently have something to do with the lack of weed smoking shes been experiencing in China (she hasn't touched the stuff for 2 whole days!).
We arrive in Beijing and walk out into the busiest travel port I have ever been in. There are people as far as you can see trying to make it out of the station and we slowly move our way forward. I'll always remember looking back to a sea of Chinese faces, and seeing wigged out Damian appear in his tilted New Era, giant shades that make him look like Bone Crusher, and other assorted street wear wig-shit. A good visual.
We check into the hotel, shower, I find out no one has emailed me, and we go separate ways to find food. Josh and I get street food again. I get some beef on a stick that tastes a little rank, but follow it up with some squid on a stick with hot chillies all over it and although it burns its amazing! I get a bag of Mandarins, and we head to the Lama Temple. A very peaceful temple with giant 50 foot Buddhas carved out of single pieces of Sandalwood. Pretty spectacular. Sandy gives Dame the finger in one of the temple houses and later we convince her we are were asked to leave because a monk saw her do it, got offended, and told security to tell us we have to go. Abe has lent me one of his cameras (a lomo camera, apparently its a cool one) and I take a full roll of chinese babies.
We do some bullshit interview for Gibson China because they lent us the guitars we are playing for this tour (thank you! p.s they dont play in tune), and then head to some Imperial bell tower where I practice hustling down the prices of cameras I dont even want to buy and then leave the shop. We walk a main shopping street in old downtown Beijing, and I buy a stuffed piece of poo with a sad face on it. Sad poo.
Back in the hotel we nap and still no one has emailed me, and we walk 15 minutes down the road to soundcheck for the gig later. The club is a fairly large one, and feels like a gino rock bar that would be in Toronto. We eat the dinner we've been looking forward to for a few days and it doesn't disappoint. Beijing is the region to eat Roast Duck, and we destroy two plates of it in about 5 minutes. You wrap the duck in this chinese tortilla like thing, and dip it in duck sauce and it becomes the best thing you've eaten on tour since you had Texas Bbq last or some magical chicken tikka wrap you had in Ireland last summer. Once again, Abe comes through. The fat, skinny, and medium Canadians walk away fully satisfied (except Mike) and back at the hotel I sleep until half an hour before our set time. Arriving just in time to catch "the best punk band in China" (called "Demerit") finish their set (they rip), I drink a beer, chat shit to some white chick from Minneapolis and we hit the stage and dive into the worst out of tune F.U set I have ever heard! These guitars are awful. At least one of our strings is a full step out of tune the entire set, and when you have 3 guitars I'm not sure that sounds all that good. Clearly people don't care as Damian gets more naked with each song. When the band totally sucks it really pays off to have a front man running around the club without his clothes on. The show is pretty packed, and I Hate Summer gets the best response for the first time ever (China has good taste, its the best song in the set when we play it!). We close by bringing "the best punk band in china" up on stage with us to do Blitzkrieg Bop even though they played it earlier on during their own set.

After we're done I'm immediately approached by 2 bleached blonde artist girls from Norway who tell me how "great it is to hang out with a white person". They're art includes them going to chinese hospitals and getting x rays together (thats illegal) and somehow incorporating it into their work. It makes no sense, but they are nice enough and can hang. Most of us, some of the other band members, the Norwegian x ray models, and some jewish guy from new york who claims he is greek go to a tiny bar through the small old back streets of downtown Beijing. After a moment I realise we're surrounded by mostly americans and white people. The bar is awesome, but I didn't come to china to hang out with midwestern kids with mo hawks, or jewish dudes from new york who pretend they are greek. We leave, and I sleep (huge mistake) in the norwegians art space between puddles of cat urine (I'm allergic to cats). I can't leave out how they checked their facebook for hours completely nude. Like straight up Woodstock naked euro hippie shit. It was a strange sight to end the night to say the least.

I'd like to add here that in Chinese the word "Nigga" (spelled "Ne Ga") means "That". So everytime I order some street food, or point to something during a purchase I would be saying something like "Yeah.. Nigga... and Niggaaa...She-Shia (thank you)". Something you wouldn't do in say St Pauls in Bristol when ordering a beef patti, or in L.A at Rosco's Chicken N Waffles. China, pretty different. I constantly repeat "Nigga Nu Bee" which means "Thats Fuckin' Awesome" (direct translation however, means "That's Cow Pussy!") in every context possible, most of the times it makes no sense but is extremely fun.

Day 4
Breakfast is more beef buns which I eat too fast and throw up in the shower at the hotel. No, its not a hang over. I'm just really that gross.
We spend this day doing some typical Beijing tourist stuff. Tienanmen Square, and the Forbidden City. We try to see Mao's body (you can view his "actual dead body" in a museum) but it's already closed. Our entourage is split up and Sandy and I walk around for a couple of hours while she's gawked at by every dude that notices. I don't think they get a lot of portegese canadian trunk junk walking by in a half see-through white t shirt. I try to capture the Sandy (ob)session's with Abe's Lomo Cam but these guys are too quick with their peeping. We all meet up eventually and take a packed, suffocating subway ride to an even more suffocating, smogged out, post apocalyptic crysalids aera of Beijing that holds the Birds Nest Beijing Olympic stadium thing that I don't really care about. It's an interesting/ugly building, but the grey eerie fog (actually smog) and barren trees around us I think will be what I remember most about this part of the day. My eyes start to itch, and visibility is out of the question if you are trying to look at something in the not so far away distance. Disgusting.

We have dinner at a place that serves food from one of China's minority people's from the south west part of the country. The first thing we eat is Bee Larva. It's deep fried and really not bad. Kind of gritty, but we're just psyched to be eating Bee's ("NIGGA NU BEE!!!!"). Next comes some cold cured beef dish with mint leaves. Amazing and refreshing. That is followed up with a hot, spicy version of the same dish. Completely the opposite of the cool and refreshing vibes this one has chilies that stay with you and burn you for a good 5 minutes. The rest is your average rice and vegetables. Score another one for Abe taking us to eat something really interesting and knowing exactly where it comes from, and what to order. Today I realize how truly lucky we are to be traveling with him. We are spoiled as hell to have someone able to translate, order all our food for us, know where to go, what to do, and basically wipe our asses. Without him (we wouldnt be in china) it would be a whole different stressful game of trial and error, which we know all too well. And even though thats whats supposed to make traveling special, after being in so many places this year and fending for ourselves we're relieved to have someone with us in china who is so knowledgeable and helpful (he is also kind of ginger and admits he possesses red pubes. I think that means he is a sexual god here or something).

Another all night train will take us to Wuhan for the next gig. We get split up at the train station and narrowly avoid a huge nightmare of missing the train. Honest Abe comes through AGAIN!

day 5

A good night on the train. Better than the last one. Did I mention I've grown or at least attempting to grow a mustache. I feel it will help me blend in better here, I'm not sure why. It looks hideous, but I've drawn comparisons so far to Chris Lombardi's long lost teenage son so I guess I am doing ok so far.

Our cab ride into Wuhan takes about 45 minutes. We cruise along winding roads which take us slowly across a fair sized lake. The cab plays 50's influenced Chinese slow jams. Somehow, it fits perfect with the early morning fog drifting across the water. We pass old fisherman, and now and then a chinese row boat will appear and disappear in the fog. It feels like real China to me. Not a foreigner in sight. After a memorable and beautiful ride we pull up in one of the three regions of the city of Wuhan. The girls look prettier here, and if we thought everyone stared at us in Beijing its nothing compared to the obvious looks of wonder we get in Wuhan. Damian getting most of the the looks with his sea foam mishka shirt and monstrous size. People walk by me with delicious smelling noodles that I immediately must go find. Abe Josh Jonah and I find a small place to eat the famous Wuhan breakfast noodles. Mine are called Gan Mian noodles which are slightly undercooked almost spaghetti sized noodles with a peanut sauce and the simple garnish that seems to be on most the stuff here. Cilantro, green onions, chilli's. They are the best noodles I've ever eaten, and they cost me 50 cents! Josh's choice is so spicy it eventually turns the paper bowl completely clear and burns a hole through the bottom. Pretty intense.
Most of us take a bus through the never ending traffic to the west end of Wuhan to peep another temple, and some bridge. Abe explains how the driving in China is all about who is in front. Whoever is behind you doesn't matter. If you cut someone off, its their problem. This explains why every car seems to be fighting for their place. This traffic explanation describes the hustle and bustle of Chinese life to me perfectly. Living here it seems one must keep up with the fast forward drive of the people. Stalling or stopping is not an option and anyone that does will just be smashed in the back by someone else. The people keep the people moving, unless of course your organized life of chaos is abruptly shortened by an oncoming motor scooter (one benefits from fast reflex's here).

After the temple and tower we get more noodles. This time we watch as two teenagers prepare the freshest noodles we've ever had right in front of us. Rolling the doe, separating the noodles by a quick and skilled hand and tossing it into a boiling pot. They are really simple, and perfect!
Walking back to catch our bus Josh and I stop for a quick hair cut on the street, free of charge, by hair cutting students who swarm us as we sit down. Josh gets the biggest crowd as they chop at his curly jew locks screaming and laughing and taking photos. My teenage barber's hand is bleeding. Josh gets up looking like a jewish gino, and I somehow have managed to score a pretty bitchin' rat tail. So with my open shirt, golden chain, new mustache and rat tail I transform myself from Chris Lombardi's son to a lost cast member of Bully (a white trash kid from Florida). Satisfied with our new looks we get handed cigarettes (apparently other people think we look amazing too) as we walk through an out door chinese opera (ladies in weird make up singing high pitched songs obviously about florida and cigarettes) and dudes getting corns carved off their feet.

Wuhan is famous for its street food so after soundcheck we are brought to a street the locals call "Rape Alley". Tons of street vendors selling fried bread, fruits, meats on sticks, noodles, noodles in pancakes, noodles in dumplings, noodles in underwear and noodles in dvd's. Josh buys the full Seinfeld series for like 3 noodles, and we all rape each other with sticks of meat (later the food will reverse rape me in the form of diarrhea).
The show is a weird one. We were warned it would be. The club plays the F.U cd before our set and the crowd calmly and cooley stand fairly still the entire time we play making us feel somewhat (very) awkward. Damian becomes visibility stressed and screams song names at us when we run out of songs to play for the "encore". I can understand how frustrating it is as a front man to feel completely responsible for the vibe and reaction of the whole room. We fuck up the black flag cover, butcher Smells Like Teen Spirit (again.. everytime we play this we look at each other and laugh, trying to convince ourselves the joke is still funny. It's not.), and awkwardly walk off after closing with Dance Of Death. Also the mics don't really work for most of the set, but we brush it off like we do even when a show is amazing. After all we're jaded, grumpy, "over it", old people that don't care about shows and just like to travel and stuff our fat spoiled western faces with as much grub as possible, right?
More street food in rape alley after the show (more meat, breaded corn, salty spiced fish and tons of beer). The people here LOVE to eat. We realize its pretty much all we've been doing here and comment on how hard its going to be the next time we're on spadina in toronto getting a chinese meal. It's obviously never going to taste the same now that we've had the real thing.
I jump at the opportunity to go with 3 girls who are friends with Abe who invite me to go hang out and "smoke marijuana" at their house. Unlike the others, any opportunity to break the monotony of going back to a hotel room (this one rumored to having rats shitting in the bathrooms) and sitting on the Internet I will usually take no matter how tired I am or weird it may be (see: Naked Norwegians on Facebook). It's not some whack groupie shit, these friendly weirdos with tattoos on their throats just want to get really high. We smoke hash from a home made bong and it woorrrrrrrks. Before I left Jonah in rape alley I told him "I'm going to go get really high with these girls and probably freak the fuck out", and thats exactly what I did. I get high, paranoid, and my legs start to shake with anxiety while we all lie on a bed listening to Wu Tang (they have never heard of them, so I figure it's the perfect soundtrack). It might have had something to do with the tree bark they made me eat earlier which is "good for the heart" (it just makes it race like hell). I have my first (and second. and third) squat down bathroom experience of the tour as the spicey bbq diarreah bum-pee volcanically errupts hot lava down the sit down chinese toilet hole (which is also their shower). Eventually I calm down after being mothered back to life by the cutest tiny magical person whos name is "8". In my high state we exchange questions and answers about our different cultures, and in my head I decide I kind of want to marry "8". No one can understand anyone and it's the most I have laughed on the trip so far. I act out all my stories, and wait for "8" to attempt translating everything to the other two (this usually takes exactly the same length of time regardless of whether I have said one word or done 10 minutes of story telling and bad acting [see: goosebumps]). I say goodbye to my new friends and hope to see them again, and am back at the rat hole hotel earlier than I thought I would be. Sleep.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools. What up, I'm an actor.

Warning: This post is a little weird. Dumb. Juvenile. I don't care.

Well, today is April Fools. I don't remember this day exists until it happens every year. After the first bitters show with Wavves last night I woke up this morning at 6am still jet lagged from China. I decided to send a few txts to the band members explaining how I just saw people talk about our set on Breakfast Television, and how psyched I was. Everyone believed me. Blah blah. Not that funny, but kind of funny because I've managed to incorporate Breakfast TV into an april fools day joke and now its getting referenced on this here blog and that morning show rules.

Now let me say that I live at home with my Mum and brother at the moment. All the members of Fucked Up have had their apartments subletted out for the last 6 months due to constant touring so when I am home (a rarity) I live in my mom's basement. Let me also start this off by telling you that my whole family as well as being really attractive and possessing great teeth, we also have a great sense of humor and sometimes things get a little dark. This April Fools has been no exception.

I walk upstairs this morning in my free Nike track pants with a look of worry on my face that only true actors like myself can whip up the morning after drinking way too much. I was once nominated to be nominated for a Canadian Genie Award. I swear to god.

At my mothers bedroom door I stand waiting patiently as she lets the new puppy in from taking a piss. My delivery through the crack in the door is perfect, and quivering.

"Mum... I have to talk to you about something serious."

"...Oh fuck, Ben... What?"

Dramatic pause (this is called "taking a beat").

"Yo.. Ok. I think I need to see a doctor.."

The door opens.

"There is something growing on my penis, and I'm actually pretty worried, its really weird".

"Oh my god".

I lift up my shirt to show the end of the dried deer's penis I brought back from China sticking up (boner style) out the top of my pants.

I scream.

She screams.

3 minutes of laughter! April fools! Fuck you!

The deer's penis was purchased from a dried goods market in Shanghai. It cost me 10 cents. It has foreskin, and hair coming out of the end. Josh bought one too. He claims he is hanging it over his bed. I can't bring myself to do it even though it is suppose to bring you sexual powers. In china if you want to make something stronger you eat that of an animal. Ie. Want to improve your sex life? Got a limp member? Buy a friggin' deer dick and hang it up. Is your mind feeling a bit slow today? Eat a goose's brain (It was kind of delicious too). The deer's penis also has testicles tied around the base. They are small. The deer's penis is by far the grossest thing I have ever purchased. My mother hated it at first sight telling me over 6 times in a row how much a "turn off" it would be for women if i hung it up. Gee, ya think? I tied it to the mantelpiece in the middle of the night two days ago so everyone the next morning could start their day with an oomph. I woke up that morning with it beside my face on the pillow. The hair was touching my cheek. Dicks, they're funny.

More china diary soon...

I sincerely apologize for the 2nd last photo up there. What am I thinking?