May 28, 2008

Reports From The Road by Bryan Devendorf (Post #4)

The National keep on trucking across the West Coast, playing shows with REM and Modest Mouse as they gradually make their way east. Road warrior and drummer Bryan Devendorf has been keeping a travelogue of the tour's progress, revealing to the average pop music consumer behind-the-scenes information such as troubles involving both the bus and trailer, shortages of food and alcohol at the Sasquatch! Music Festival, and trumpet player substitutions between Bend, OR and San Diego, CA. And the revelations keep coming - read below to learn how Bryan and the band spent their Memorial Day.

DAY FOUR (5/26): The parking lot at the end of the world; or, California über alles.

We have a day off. I emerge from the bus at eleven a.m. and enter a dreamworld consisting of sunny square miles of parking lots. It reminds me of Cops. We go for breakfast at an Applebee's. Matt orders the Jolly Rancher burger; I have the Kit-Kat salad with no bacon. Out the window a trio of baby birds are nested in the crook of an awning. On repeat, the mother bird forages in the scrub alongside the freeway and then returns to feed her brood.

After the meal we purchase sporting goods: a lacrosse set, a Nerf ball, wristbands, and (the piéce de résistance) a portable basketball rim. We assemble it in the hotel parking lot, crack open a few PBRs and celebrate Memorial Day in style.

Wild birds flourish at the hotel as well. A pair of wild turkeys range the property; mallard ducks take over the pool. In the evening we eat sushi and the others go see the new Indiana Jones movie. I buy a six-pack of microbrews from Oregon and listen to Power, Corruption & Lies in the hotel room. Dance music for the alone.


Who would've guessed Matt's a Jolly Rancher burger man whose workout regimen includes Pabst and basketball? Certainly not us. And what is Bryan's favorite New Order song? ("Blue Monday?" "Age of Consent?" "The Village?") We may never know, but the suspense is killer. In the meantime, be sure to visit Flickr for pictures taken from the tour. Take care.

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