November 1, Travel day, Milan, Italy to London, UK.
This was one of the longest travel days I've ever had the pleasure of surviving...
It's raining in Milan, so we wait in the lobby for several hours. The flight to London isn't until around 9pm, so all day is spent half in the lobby and then the later half in the airport. The Ryan Air luggage thing cost the band lots of extra money... the shuttle bus and taxi ride and hotel reservation mixup all take way too long and finally, after midnight we are catching up on the pre-election coverage... not the easiest day.
November 2, USA Election Day. Venue: The Spitz, London, England.
Had a few hours sleep, then Thalia and I went to the BBC to pre-record a few songs for the show "Tom Robinson's Evening
Sequence". Everybody at the BBC studio was polite and professional, but the studio was also the tea lounge for staff, and the session was semi-acoustic, so Daniel wasn't able to set up a full drumkit, and met us at the gig instead.
After soundcheck, I went to the hotel for a while to watch BBC news about the election... it's early in the process, and Kerry seems to be leading, but it's still early. The show was totally charged with the energy and frustration of the election, with votes being cast and counted as we performed. We were louder than usual this night. Some friends were there, who say they loved the show (one said "stunning!" several times, but it might've been the Guinness talking). Nobody I know is happy about the idea of Bush being re-elected, except one guy back home at my regular rent-paying job.
November 3, Travel day, London to Santander, Spain
The only flight from London to Santander is at 7:30am, that means no sleep, since we got back from the gig around 2am... then figure in the hour and a half to get to the airport and the 2 hours ahead check-in time. More expensive over-weight charges at Ryan Air... finally in Spain and met by Noemi of Acuarela Records at around 10 or 11am, then we all sleep for a few hours.
Later, I go for a walk around town, a hilly, oceanside, multi-architechtural old town. The bay is painted with sunset. The travel and election stress temper the light with darkness inside. Only a couple days before heading home, and many things have happened while we were away... the presidential thing, the Red Sox (not a sports fan, but the curse thing amuses me), and many changes among various friends back home.
November 4, Tanned Tin Festival, Santander, Spain. Venue: Centro Cultural Caja Cantabria
Today, more walking around and picture-taking... I feel like a tourist. Castles, cliffs and a mermaid to keep me company until the show.
The show is curated by Jesus of Acuarela records of Spain. Many friends are involved, organizing or playing... Claudia, Noemi, Tara Jane 'Neil, Migala, American Analog Set, and others... We will miss seeing Chris Brokaw in one of his bands "The New Year" by a day. Shannon Wright opens the show on our night. She is one of my favorite musicians, with a fierce live show. This time she has Ballard Lesseman of Athens Georgia with her, playing drums. The show is in a big fancy theatre, with all kinds of high-tech equipment... we can't see the audience because of the lighting, so that made things feel a little subdued for me... more like a presentation than an interaction, but it was a good show.
November 5, Travel day, Santander to London to Holland
This is another crazy travel day... 11am flight, with a 7 hour layover in London en route to Holland where our return-home flight is. In Holland we are met by friends Yuko and Kim for a goodbye party. Yuko has done a lot to help us on this trip with various organizational things and with a european cell-phone.
November 6, Travel day, Holland to NYC to Boston
Nasty airplane food,
Remember the good meal tour.
And finally, home.