May 27, 2008

Reports From The Road by Bryan Devendorf (Post #3)

The National's tour with REM and Modest Mouse is well under way with a couple of shows in the Northwest. Throughout the journey, drummer Bryan Devendorf has been keeping a journal, revealing information on the tour's progress as well as his thoughts on various cultural topics. So far, we've heard his take on Mike Piazza and Face/Off while learning about the band's bus troubles and border agents' slang for biker gangs. In the latest installment of "Reports From the Road," Bryan provides more musings for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! (Pictures from the band's travels can be viewed on Flickr.)

DAY THREE (5/25): The Planet Oregon

Additional misfortune for the bus. Specifically the trailer. The yoke (yes?) snaps as we back into the parking lot of the venue. Manly endeavors ensue; sledgehammers are called for; a forklift appears. It becomes evident that we need a welder.

Bend, Ore. (where we are) is a resort town situated on a small river. This afternoon the river is swollen and low clouds blanket the sky. I buy rain gear from Helly Hansen, maximally Oregon. Water slides off the "fabric" of my new jacket like quicksilver - a feature I demonstrate ad nauseam. It really is amazing, though.

The hospitality here (at the Les Schwab amphitheater, as in the tire salesman) is incredible. Clam linguine, salmon burgers. There is a juicer station with fresh berries, health drinks, diced apples, and a blender. After dinner, I watch The Breeders. The sun comes out briefly. The band is amazing. The Ohio Valley accents take me home. (Where are you from? Dayton, Ohio, sir. Is that near the river? The Ohio River, sir?).

Kyle's sub (on trumpet) is leaving us after tonight. Dave (Kyle's sub) - a.k.a. El Duderino - is the guy you meet at your cousin's wedding who was in "the News"... Anyway, the trumpet part in our song "Fake Empire" is an equalizer, revealing who can play and who cannot and Dave does play. So well. Ciao, Dave. Kyle, we'll see you in San Diego.

"That's 2500 East Second Street. Right downtown, buddy. I'm ready to go." This is the last thing I hear before bedtime. On the squawk-box up with the driver, Steve.


There you have it. Oregon - organic food, rain gear, and goodbyes to Dave. Take care.

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