May 25, 2008

Reports From The Road by Bryan Devendorf

As you might already know, The National have begun touring with alt-rock heavyweights REM and Modest Mouse across the US and Canada. (Visit the shows page for upcoming dates.) Throughout the tour, drummer Bryan Devendorf has been kind enough to provide us with sporadic updates of how things are going, starting with the band's 5/23 show in Vancouver. For those interested in understanding how Bryan is like former Mets slugger Mike Piazza, read below.

DAY ONE (5/23): Deer Lake Park, Vancouver BC

Woke at eight a.m. in a motel parking lot on the outskirts of Bellingham, Washington, the next to last town before the Canadian border en route to Vancouver. Seagulls wheeled in the gray sky over the bus, shrieking. There was a Greek diner, too. I ordered a Denver omelette and bought a newspaper from the machines in front. The Russian army has a new look. Plus, the fucking Mets. Mike Piazza quits the game and it's over. . . .

The shower in our dressing room is one of those European ones with a handheld nozzle. These deliver an incredibly focused spray. I am pleased, being both a thorough bather and also a water sign. Currently, I am puffing on a mini Cohiba; the room smells of my recent shower, tea tree oil, humidity, and burning, rich tabaco.

Our show was decent – a solid "B." Kind of like being tossed out of a speedboat into the middle of a cold lake and forced to water-ski home. I was the line-bearded Piazza out there. Swinging too hard, overcompensating. I think of the upkeep that a line-beard requires – the one also known as "the chinstrap" – and I think, damn.

REM kindly furnished us with a bottle of 2005 Côte de Beaune. A light, young Burgundy made from the fruit harvested on the hillsides surrounding the southernmost city on the Côte d'Or. Subtle spice with grace notes of cherry and pine. Woo!


P.S. Please keep italics on 'tabaco.' It's Spanish.

To see more photos taken by Bryan while on tour, head over to Flickr. And stay tuned for more posts - we'll put them up as we get them. Take care.

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