Monday, December 7, 2009

The best 8 minutes ever

Some Recent Tour Activity










Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fun Times at Sarah Sin's House in Toronto

You know, one day you're sitting around, thinking it would be nice to play some bigger shows, and fairly soon you've got Sarah Sin's cellphone--which she has unwisely left downstairs after going upstairs to bed--sitting right in front of you.

I don't know what Squid Vicious and I are going to do with it, but it is going to be epic.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Crabshaw

Here's O'Flanahan performing "Buried Alive" with the Creepshow on Halloween! Wait 'till the end to hear Uncle Touchy's special message to the Creepshow.


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Our shows are going very well, but it is simply awesome to hang out with these guys and watch them every night. Mike is one of the most incredible drummers we've ever seen, The Reverend McGuntey eats like a starving horse, Sick Boy seems to know everything there is to know about the music scene and Sarah Blackwood is sweet and kind and also she loves unicorns and crayons and pretty princess stickers.

Cyderween

Happy Cyderween everyone! Uncle Touchy and Seamus combined to make this pumpkin, which was awesome.



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Friday, August 7, 2009

Poland, or KOURRVA MACH...

No time to say much about this wonderful country, but here is picture from land of pierogy and Slibovica...



Pile of Coal right outside someone's house... POLAND!!


Economy is bad so must hire chickens to work at gas stations.


Salon Meblowy... a must for any businessman traveling through Poland.





SSB wearing traditional Polish Speedo.



...

Relax in Krakow with a nice tall glass of Boner.


Too much Boner and you are susceptible to van pranks.


Home in 6 days! Many stories to tell! KOURRRRRVAAA!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Our gig in Portugal was shut down by the cops. This is a rock n' roll LEVEL UP. HOwever, we just played outside for a bunch of folks. Here is the video...



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Espana

We were very excited to go to Spain, because as wonderful as Germany, Holland and the UK were, Spain seemed like the first place we would go where the culture was genuinely different from ours. Our last German gig was in Kassel. We stayed at our promoter's place. Heis name was Armin, and he was a sort of wiry little mustachoied german dude in his mid-30s who kept saying "This is a great honour... the DREADNOUGHTS are in MY HOUSE!". He had procured 24 Guinness, 24 Newcastle and a bottle of expensive whiskey. We disappointed him by collapsing into bed and passing out.

And yes, I know, those of you who have actually gone to bed with a Dreadnought understand entirely what Armin's experience was like.

However, I awoke the next morning and said to Armin: "Hey, let's get pissed!" So we did. Instead of, you know, beginning the 23-hour journey to Galicia, we sat in Armin's basement, listened to obscure European folkpunk and drank all of his booze. I somewhat regretted this move later, as I lay mostly comatose on a hill in France, completely in the middle of nowhere. Everyone else slept in the van, and when I heard wild dogs howling in the distance, I decided to cozy up into the driver's seat and pass out on the steering wheel.

We sleep in the van a lot.

The next day, somehow, we made it to Spain. To Galicia, where Cider (or "Sidra") is EVERYWHERE, almost as ubiquitous as in Bristol. However, there is a seriously terrible tradition, one which we broke many times, something for which we were almost murdered several times. In Galicia, you pour a bottle of Cider OVER YOUR HEAD into a cup that you sort of hold down by your bollocks. This results in half of the cider going on to the ground. The remaining amount, you're supposed to chug.

We enjoyed this tradition once or twice, but when we started paying for our own bottles, and when people started coming up to us and demanding that we pour half of it on the fucking ground, we had had enough. "Fuck OFF," we said, but they kept coming. Fuck. Idiots. CIDER. Fuck.

Speaking of Cider, we changed the "Cider" song to "Sidra" in order to impress the Spaniards. All over Spain, we've been singing "SIDRAAA, SIDRAAA, SIDRAAA, SIADRAA....". Someone has just informed us that our pronunciation is bad and it sounds like we're saying "SIDA". Which, in case you didn't know, is Spanish for "AIDS".

Spain: 1, Canada: 0.

Anyway, it would be difficult to summarize this wonderful place, but our booking agent has luckily provided us with a decent quote:

"In Spain," he said, "we don't give a fuck about anything."

He is basically right about that. Their Siesta is legendary: three hours a day where everyone fucks off from work and goes to sleep. Alcohol is UNBELIEVABLY cheap, and it's not uncommon to walk past a cafe at 10 in the morning and see hordes of old Spanish men drinking Cerveza on the patio. Usually they look at you like you're completely retarded and they hate you. Every building here looks like it's going to collapse in ten minutes. It's awesome.

At one festival we were playing, a man challenged Squid Vicious to a punching competition. There was a machine that registered the power of your punch. The guy wound up and pounded the bag... we waited for a minute, and his score came up: 1140. Squid nodded, stepped up to the bag, and ploughed into it. We waited for a minute, and Squid's score came up: 9908.

Spain:1, Canada:1.

Tonight, we play our final Spanish gig and head back towards a festival in Switzerland where, if you can believe this, we have 4-star hotel rooms, a shuttle bus to the hotel rooms, and a room full of cider waiting at the festival. As wonderful and enticing as this is, we will be sad to leave Spain. It is a beautiful, wonderful, squalid, noisy, fucked-up place, where sometimes, if you're drunk enough and the lighting is right, you can imagine that you're back on East Hastings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Shelf

So, an interesting discovery we've made is that in Holland and parts of Germany, the toilets are what can only be described as "disgusting and completely retarded".

When you first see one, and you have to do a "number two", the first thought that enters your head is: "why?". The second thought is, "OH GOD, WHY???" And so forth.

WHY??

So, we asked our friend Tom from Circle J to explain the Shelf to us. This is his response:


video


Totally unsatisfactory, but hilarious.

We are in Spain now, and it is hot, and full of Spaniards. The toilets are normal. The food is spectacular. The punks are drunk. You can buy a liter and a half of sangria for 1 Euro 75 at the gas station. YES.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The West Country, and England In General

(photo: Adam PW Smith)


We went to the West Country of England with several high expectations. We expected to find a folk-punk scene obsessed with Cider... Cider-Punk. We expected to find a folklore tradition centred on Cider, represented by a bunch of stout, broad-shouldered, bald guys who say things like "Oi therr lads, how's about wee go out tae the zoider bars an' get roight sottered, wha'?" We expected to be treated to a full tour of the West Country's finest Cider farm, the Wilkins' Farm, a place Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer have both described as the "best place in England". We expected, in a word, to be drowning in the right old fermented apple in all possible ways.

Sometimes, you set your expectations too high, and it turns out that reality cannot possibly match them. You are inevitably disappointed, because you've been imagining something to be much more than it actually is.

This was not one of those times.

Jaymer from the Surfin' Turnips is the greatest man alive. Every song they sing is actually about Cider. For example, here is a verse from "It's Cider Swillin' Time Again":

It's Cider swillin' time again,
Oh aaa! Oh aaa!
It's Cider swillin' time again,
Oh aaa! Oh aaa!
It's Cider swillin' time again,
I might has one, I might has ten
And we'll all go rollin'
Back to the pub again!


OHHH ARRR AYE. Here's another gem, from "Drink Myself to Sleep":

Drink, drink, myself to sleep,
every night a cider by my side
auuuRAAAAA laa laa AAA rauuu RAAAA


Kev, the Turnips fan we stayed with, is also the greatest man alive. Zoe, his girlfriend, is the greatest woman alive. Bristol rules. Cider is everywhere. We drank on a BOAT WHERE THEY ONLY SERVE CIDER. THEY SPELL IT "ZYDER". THEY SING SONGS CALLED "DRINK UP THEE ZYDER" UNTIL FIVE IN THE MORNING. WEST. COUNTRY. FOR. THE WIN.

We staggered away from the Wilkins' Cyder farm loaded with ten gallons of the stuff, bought at something like twelve cents a pint. We are still in the process of consuming the rest of it all over England.

(photo: Adam PW Smith)

Speaking of England: we do not want to leave. The European continent is OK and everything, but England is simply one of the best places on earth. The cuisine is awesome. Beans on everything. Yorkshire pudding. It is all incredibly cheap. Pints are three dollars. People speak proper English. Simple, basic features of civilization (phone booths, post offices, phone cards for sale, grocery marts, public washrooms) are all over the place, unlike the rest of Western Europe. People are totally polite by default, which is very Canadian.

Essentially, what I am saying is: Rule Brittania.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Here, via Spark, is the Amsterdam Incident:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Day in Amsterdam


Well: we have officially gone up six levels as a band. We're at level 32. Why? Three words:

Mushrooms. On. Stage.

That's right: on stage in Amsterdam, The Stupid Swedish Bastard dropped mushrooms and proceeded to play the set.

The man who sold us the mushrooms told him to take, at most, 7.5 grams. He dropped 15.

The set was epic.

Afterwards was even more epic.

Adjectives cannot do justice to the epic. The Stupid Swede ended up at some town 30 kilometers away, jumping into canals with Dutch people while holding a beer and a lit smoke, climbing apartment buildings and stealing plants off of people's balconies, and writing "TEGAN AND SARA" in giant letters on his chest. Europeans simply had no idea what to make of him.


OOOOOOOOOOO CAAAAAAAAAAAAAA NA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...

Pre-Canada Day Update

So we've been playing shows every single day for... ever? We're not sure. To put it mildly, a few things have been happening to us along the way.

Our recent shows have been with Circle J, an awesome folkpunk band from Holland. They have been incredibly nice to us: booking us a bunch of shows, letting us use their gear and even letting us sleep in their van when our van becomes too crowded. However, I keep getting drunk and (correctly) reminding them that "we liberated your asses in World War II, ya fuckers" so I think we're basically even.

Speaking of getting drunk, I may have hit an all-time personal... high? Low? We found ourselves with an unexpected day off in Kreuzberg, Berlin, and I had been taking it easy for a few days because of a nearly broken toe. I woke up in the van around 11 PM, turned to Squid and said: "Well, I'm gonna find some breakfast, then I'm gonna get deee-RUNK!"

Never have I followed through on a promise with such vigour and enthusiasm. After some excellent turkish-style breakfast, Squid and I found ourselves in the middle of a colossal park, drinking a six-pack each. We polished those off and went to collect everyone else. In very little time at all, the whole band was in the park, gathered around a small beetle and a ladybug. "MAKE FRIENDS!!" we shouted. "MAKE FRIENDS, YOU LITTLE FUCKING BASTARDS!!" When it became clear that BottleBeetle and Spotty Bitch weren't going to commiserate, we decided to play some soccer. As a Canadian in Europe, you have to have a few drinks in you to play soccer, because even four year-old European epileptics are better than you at soccer.

Soon afterwards, I found myself throwing old, rusty bicycles down a 60-foot high marble slide with a small British girl. We were sitting at the world's weirdest playground, a giant stone auditorium-style construction that had completely fallen apart and was full of all kinds of nooks and crannies. We were hanging out with these awesome kids and their moms, running around on this giant complex and generally making fools out of ourselves.

Everything was totally peachy until some dudes started throwing rocks at a woman because she was drinking alone in public. According to whatever bizarre, fucked-up version of Islam that they adhered to, this was apparently the thing to do, and it is not entirely uncommon for such incidents to occur in Berlin. The guys backed off pretty quick when Squid made an appearance in front of them, arms crossed.

Seamus and I headed off into Kreuzberg, determined to find some goddamned cider. We hadn't seen a proper cider since Quebec. So, we wandered into the streets and stopped at every bar, asking "Hast du Apfelwine? Cider?" After a series of negative responses, we realized that we could double our efficiency by walking down opposite sides of the street and going into bars seperately.

As it turned out, the only bar with Cider was populated by four lesbians who kept using scissors to cut our T-shirts into fascinating shapes. This is when things start to get really blurry for me, but I do recall a gypsy accordionist wandering up to our table looking for money. "Why would I pay you for gypsy music," I slurred, "when I've got the best gypsy violinist right here drinking with me?" Seamus pulled out the ol' fiddle and began to engage the accordionist in a gypsy duel. Seamus would play, then as the gypsy dude tried to match him, I would motion him with my fingers and shout "BRING IT!! BRING IT!!"

Apparently, after this, one of the lesbians had to go and find me, as I had wandered aimlessly off into the streets. They brought me back to a bar where Circle J were enjoying a few pints, where (apparently) we played Pogues tunes for almost two hours.

And then I woke up in a Hostel when a bunch of retarded Spanish girls kept giggling at me, for some reason. Fuck.

Next: CANADA DAY IN AMSTERDAM...

Friday, June 26, 2009

MORE SHOWS

Sexism!

7 more shows added: Poland, Ukraine, Britain. We have no breaks this summer. We are playing every day this summer except for two.

The way this makes me feel? It really turns me on. It knocks me off of my feet. People always told me, be careful what you do, but I believe in miracles, and a miracle is happening tonight. Why? Tell 'em that it's human nature.





R.I.P.(2009-2009)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

There Is No Swiss Word For "Stubble".




Canadians often think they are too polite, that they are boring, that they have no exciting culture to speak of. We are here to tell you that on all those counts, the Swiss have us beat by a million miles.

Culture? People are almost universally too busy working hard and keeping themselves well groomed to take up artistic pursuits. A well-placed source in the Swiss music industry has described most Swiss bands as, quote, "total balls". Swiss media is dominated by Italian, German and French content, and the Swiss seem happy with this. Why not let foreigners take care of that mundane stuff while we do the really important stuff like building more tunnels?

Boring? The "Xenophobe's Comprehensive Guide to Switzerland" contains the following passage: "The Swiss have an almost universal suspicion that everyone else in the world spends too much time trying to 'have fun'. They happily see themselves as taking up the slack for the rest of the world." Oy.

Polite? We had a van-party after our Basel gig, with fiddle music, drinking and singing well into the night. The next morning, an extremely-well groomed Swiss man (note the redundancy there) tapped on the passenger window and handed me a piece of paper with the words "Polizei Stadhof" written on it. He politely asked if we had been in the van the previous night, and then politely asked us to drive down to the nearest Police station and pay a 150 Franc fine. No police-person talked to us. We didn't even get a ticket. The fine, it was clear, was more of a request than a requirement, and if we were too busy to actually go down to the station, then it was clear that that was perfectly alright.

"Have a nice day," said the Swiss fellow. Christ.

(note stubble)

In other news, "Samovar" was played on BBC1 radio the other day, thanks to the promo work of ADAM PEE DUB SMITH.

In other other news, the Tour Sieg Heil Count (TSHC) is up to 2. The first came from a 12 year-old in Cowansville, Quebec, and the second came from a stubby looking fellow in Basel. While utterly distubring, the Sieg Heils are also extremely hilarious, because these retards think we're playing their music, when in fact our stuff is almost exclusively Gypsy- and Jewish-influenced. Now, I may have spent most of Grade 11 history class trying to get a look down Sara Bougen's cleavage, but I'm fairly certain that Hitler wasn't overly fond of Gypsies or Jews.

(note lip-stubble)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is where we are staying:


This is what we do to our advertising:

This is the Dread Pirate Druzil cutting a woman's pants off with a knife:


Um..... wabam.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hansovich the Rabbit

Last night the Dreadnoughts valiantly battled a local group of Luzern 9 year-olds to a 4-4 draw at soccer. We had been drinking for six hours: red wine, beer, Kirsch (60% alcohol) and singing acoustic songs for a bunch of excellent Swiss people, one of whom was, in Seamus's words, "fucking hot". I just liked that she kept bringing us drinks: more beer, more wine, and eventually Absinthe. We ended up shirtless in a basement laundry room bawling out sea shanties and drinking a ridiculous amount of booze. Apparently I was quite obnoxious.

On the ride home I (apparently) went on a rant about how much I loved the Dread Pirate Druzil and Squid Vicious, and how, quote, "If a wizard came and told me that he was going to kill one of the three of us and I had to choose, I would choose me." Then (I am told) I passed out in the backseat with my hand down my pants.

The other amazing thing we saw was in Geneva: a dance club that wasn't total fucking balls. Get this: a 2000-person hall filled with revelers dancing to gypsy techno music. Two DJs played awesome melodic gypsy music and backed it up with techno beats: awesome. Every so often the female DJ would strut out in full gypsy regalia and sing her own awesome songs along to the beat. I hadn't felt that blissful since I saw Druzil get nailed in the balls by a falling box of CDs in the van.

We had heard about these things in Europe, and apparently they don't exist in North America. So, when we return, get ready for THE DREADNOUGHTS' GYPSY DANCE PARTY. It's gonna happen, people. Five bucks to get in and all the eurofolk dance music you could ever want. If you're lucky, we may even wear clothing.

Finally, a joke we heard from Marco's MegaSwiss Uncle Willy: A man has three rabbits, Hans Frans and Jurgen. One day he gets a gun and takes them out to the forest. He renames them "Hansovich", "Fransovich" and "Jurgenovich". A passing friend asks him why he renamed them. "Oh," he replies, "If I rename them Yugoslavian names I find it easier to shoot them."

RACIST UNCLE WILLY WIN.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WaBAMsterdam

video


Amsterdam... we had 8 free hours and did everything that the city has to offer. We went for "a beer". We had four more beers. Smoked marijuana. Went for two more beers. Ogled the hookers. Played the world's worst game of hackey-sack. Ate ice cream.

video


Drank vodka. Smoked hookah. Smoked a weed/hash combination. Yelled at other tourists. Fought a small cat. Fell down.

We have never, ever been this collectively wasted. By the time our ride arrived from Belgium, most of us could could barely stand up and had to be poured into the van. I apologize for the total lack of detail in this entry, but it is what we could piece together.

Here is us doing a simultaneous 5-man beer-coaster table flip:



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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Amsterdam

Insane few nights. No time to describe it all. However, a brief summary:

  1. Met and partied with "Nubs" from the NOFX song.
  2. Chi Pig from SNFU is AWESOME.
  3. Drank a box of wine in an alley. Shouted "LIVING THE DREAM" over and over.
  4. Got on CBC Radio (nationwide) because we have a polka song.
  5. SSB inhales cigar, gets extremely sick. Learns (at age 27) that cigars are not for inhaling.
  6. Got parking ticket while unloading: ate parking ticket.
  7. Seriously: ate it.
  8. Seamus attacked by Wild Urban Mohawked Eagle.
  9. Ate final Poutine of the tour. Europe: no poutine. Fail.
  10. Many Dreadnoughts fall in love with Ottawa. wtf.
  11. Van smells like sadness.
  12. Why did Julia Roberts rub feces on her genitals? BECAUSE SHE WAS HORNY. BRRRRAAAAAAUUUUUG.
  13. Uncle Touchy's lip smashed in by microphone. According to local women, this is an "improvement".
  14. BRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUG.

Flying to Amsterdam tonight. Will shortly acquire hookers, 'shrooms and Druzil has vowed to do a shot of absinthe out of a 300-pound stripper's navel. STAY THE FUCK TUNED.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chicoutimi

As you can tell from the previous entry, we had a pretty awful night in Trois-Riveires. Through absolutely no fault of ours or of our record label's, we ended up on a totally inappropriate bill in a dance-hall nightclub full of depressed Quebecois teenagers.

The old cliche: "It is always darkest just before the dawn" is one of those stupid things that people say that is totally false and retarded, like "that's the exception that proves the rule" or "it's the quiet ones you gotta watch", or "don't drink that, you might die". Clearly it is not darkest just before the dawn, it's dakest when the fucking sun is on the other side of the fucking planet.

However, in reference to rock n' roll tours, it is totally true. According to sources, Chicoutimi was supposed to be a backwater, mega-seperatist little town full of grumpy old Quebecois. We prepared for the worst. Instead, we were met by Frederic, the promoter for the show, who showed us to the bar and immediately presented us with a bottle of Crown Royal Limited Edition Rye Whisky. Then he showed us to our two hotel rooms (a first for this tour, which has featured several mornings of us all waking up with carpet patterns imprinted on our faces).

Fred had booked an eight-piece local bluegrass band, which is just a spectacular idea. You might think a pure traditional folk band wouldn't fit with Les Dreadnoughts, but the match is actually an excellent one. One reason is that any asshole with working hands can pick up an electric guitar, but you kind of have to be serious to play banjo, standup bass or accordion. Result? A LOT of awful rock bands, very few awful bluegrass/folk bands.

Our show was simply spectacular, matched only by the epic Pub 340 shows we've had back in Van City. People were going bananas. Halfway through the show, I picked up Cider Bear, and said: "Madames et mesieurs, il s'appelle Cider Bear, et IL AIME BEAUCOUP LE MOSH PIT!!!" We threw him into the crowd and he had a lot of fun, even getting his underwear ripped off at one point.

We got three stomping encores, with the crowd chanting and singing "Ole, ole!" over and over in true Quebecois fashion. After the show, half the bar moved to the bluegrass band's house and had a big boozy jam session with like 19 instruments and a bongo (not an instrument, Commercial Drive, NOT AN INSTRUMENT).

We then moved back to our hotel rooms and partied with several Young Maidens of Virtue True (YMVTs). I don't think I can relate the rest of the evening's activities to you on a public blog. Suffice to say that much cider was imbibed, much laughter was shared, and a certain YMVT woke up the following afternoon with red hand-prints on her bottom, courtesy of none other than the Dread Pirate Bruisil himself.

Everything about Chicoutimi and Quebec culture is just awesome. For eight dollars, you can buy a colossal plate of properly made Poutine, smothered in cheese curds, gravy, ground beef, sausages, peas and probably a dollop of lard for good measure. Beer labels are epic and beer is extremely strong. And everyone we've met has been helpful, jovial, interesting, welcoming and shitloads of fun. Vive la Quebec!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Dreadnoughts are going to be famous. Not for our musical ability, but for the unbelievably good video game we just thought up in the van.

It's called "Rock Band: Reality".

First, you create a rock star character. You assign them various attributes: Songwriting, Stamina, Intelligence, Charisma and Liver, each on a 1-100 scale. These attributes will increase as you (hopefully) acquire a bunch of Experience Points. You choose your instrument (bass, drums, guitar, vocals, accordion, glockenspiel).

You are then released into the game, where you have to actually form a band. There are various ways of doing this (dive bars, craigslist, accosting random strangers), but if your Intelligence isn't high enough, you are likely to only collect other similarly retarded musicians.

Once you've formed your band, you begin to play shows. This involves:

  • - booking shows. Until you've leveled up and acquired an Agent, you have to do this yourself (sending random emails, making phone calls, dealing with bar managers, etc).
  • actually sitting at your TV or computer and driving the van for an average of five to seven hours per day. If you crash, you're all dead. If you don't make all the requisite stops (for gas, urination, cigarrettes, gatorade, beer, cider, food, vomiting) your band mates slowly become resentful of you and will eventually quit. You also have to select the proper variety of van music to satisfy their fickle tastes. If, say, one guy (let's call him "Druzil") loves 80s metal while another band member (let's call him, for no reason whatsoever, "Uncle Touchy") thinks that everyone associated with 80s metal should be strung up by their gonads and whipped to death with giant flaming canes, then you have to engage in creative problem-solving (involving such things as earplugs, sexual favours, etc.).
  • actually finding the venue. Depending on your Intelligence rating, you may be provided with a detailed road map, a series of hastily printed Google Maps instructions, or simply a drummer in the passenger seat who calls himself "The Human GPS" and who shouts out random directions every five minutes. If you don't find the venue, the show is cancelled and you lose a ton of Experience Points.
  • sometimes, you will find the venue but discover that the show has been cancelled. This happens randomly. There is absolutely no way to predict this or avoid it.
  • setting up the sound equipment. This involves both carrying everything into the venue (requires good Stamina) and remembering how three dozen little wirey things connect into three dozen other little wirey bits.
  • waiting for your show to begin. If you are still a low-level band, this involves listening to an average of five shitty teenaged emo-core nu-metal bands wallow in their goddamned sorrow per night. As you level up, you will occasionally enjoy better opening acts, though it will never be possible to avoid the stupid hair-in-the-eyes retards who think screaming like a little girl is singing. Each time you sit through one of these bands, your Stamina drops.

Luckily, there is a way to make the pre-show more tolerable: alcohol. You must decide how much to drink before each show. The more you drink, the more tolerable the stupid nu-metal assholes become, and with enough booze, it is possible that you may even enjoy them and your stamina will remain untouched. However, unless you've got a phenomenal Liver rating, your Stamina will almost certainly get lowered the next day.

"But wait," you might now be saying to yourself, "That means there's no way to keep my stamina from dropping!" You are correct. It gets worse:

  • playing the show. This is just like the "Rock Band" video game we all know and love. However, several extra complications have been added to our version, and determine whether or not you "nail" the show and recieve the Experience Points:

  1. If your Songwriting attribute is still low, all you get to play is "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me" over and over again. Only by gaining Experience Points can you acquire new and better songs, such as Groove Factory's "Poison" and Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract".
  2. If you've drank a lot, the notes/beats on the screen swirl and distort randomly, making it nearly impossible to hit most of them.
  3. If there is a hot girl in the audience, sometimes the notes/beats on the screen will randomly be replaced with pictures of her bosoms. These notes/beats are unplayable.
  4. Sometimes, random retards will leap on stage and start trying to sing/play instruments extremely badly. Until you level up, you will have no bouncers to help you: fight them off yourself (here the game cuts to a "Street Fighter II" sequence).

You collect Experience Points in proportion to how well you "nail" the show. If you see a "did not nail it" message at the end of your song, you lose experience points and may actually go down a level or two. Playing any show makes your Stamina drop.

After the show, you have the option to "hit on women" or to "just go the fuck back to the damn hotel". Hitting On Women is the most difficult and stamina-taxing part of the game. However, if your Girlfriend Status is "yes" or "sort of", you have to call her first and enter Relationship Talk Mode. Depending on your Intelligence and how much liquor you've consumed, you may manage to convince your girlfriend that it's okay for both of you to "see other people" in which case you may resume Hitting On Women. However, this is extremely unlikely, and in all probability you will drop your Girlfriend Status to "none" (bad for Stamina when you're back home, unless your Charisma is phenomenal).

Hitting On Women is easier if you "nail" a show. If you actually succeed in Hitting On Women, you have a new place to sleep that night away from your bandmates. However, there is a 7% chance that the woman you sleep with will become your "Girlfriend", and you will not only be restricted from Hitting On Women in the future, but you will also have to answer whiny cellphone calls randomly while driving the van, making accidents more likley and further sapping your Stamina.

If you fail at Hitting On Women, your Stamina drops.

Finally, your Stamina will occasionally just drop by a significant amount for absolutely no reason. If your Stamina ever reaches 0, you die.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: "Rock Band: Reality".

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Laptop Punk

You know, when Michael Jackson got busted for lip-synching on stage, he was in huge trouble and almost had to cancel half of his European tour. When Ashlee Simpson lip-synched on Saturday Night Live, she was endlessly attacked in the media and in the general public for being a no-talent hack.

I can therefore not understand how it is that groups of young men are allowed to form bands that do essentially the same thing. Our opening acts last night were unbelievable: not only was the style of music a kind of Sum-41 ripoff emo-core whatever, each of their songs began when a dude pressed a button on his laptop and the pre-recorded drums, vocals and bass kicked in. We caught both acts missing notes/vocals, and somehow the vocals and notes came through the speakers anyway. At one point, a drummer stood up and began to clap his hands along to a song, and the sound of a full drum kit came crashing out of the speakers.

This is, apparently, a very big thing with the kids today. It's "progressive" to not actually play your instruments and to sing about relationships. Nothing I could possibly say could convey my hatred for this idea.

Also, we want to send a huge big-up to Les Cowboys Fringants, a quebecois folkpunk band who actually sing in French. That's how it should be. If I were a Quebecker proud of my heritage, I'd be very alarmed to see a bunch of kids get on stage, introduce their songs in French ("Cette chanson et...") and then break immediately into whiny american-style vocals ("You said you loooooveeed meeeee....") because they want to get on English radio. Tabernac.


However, May 29th was not totally a bust, because earlier in the day we played a... get this... a high school. Seriously. Seamus's "not within 400 meters of a high school" probation period had just run out, so we managed to do 45 minutes of folk-punk for a cafeteria full of 1000 gaping 12-18 year-olds. Our lives are spectacularly weird.

More to come! Much to say about Chicoutimi, the greatest city in the entire world and Fred Simard, the greatest promoter in the entire world....










Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our Last Few Days

Variously, these are pics of Cider Bear, us at the bar two nights ago, and Squid smoking a cigarette through Druzil's nose. Enjoy.



Saskatchewan


This is what driving through Saskatchewan is like.

video

"Days Off"

It is very stupid to spend most of your days off drinking. Yet, yesterday's 11-hour drive from Sault Ste Marie to Ottawa was a boozy one. As the poor Stupid Swede drove, the rest of us played a game called "LCBO". This game involves stopping at every LCBO (Ontario Liquor Store) you see to buy another drink. Before long, we were all red-faced, screaming and shouting, and demanding that the Stupid Swede turn up the polka music.

When we arrived at the place we were staying, he compensated by joining the Century Club and spending the rest of the night trying to get some girl to take her shirt off on Skype. We were so drunk that at one point we thought it would be a good idea to put on a certain film that was lying around. A film called (not making this up) "My Granny's a Tranny".

Heavy drinking. It is, as one of my students once wrote, "not good way".

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Offical Dreadnought Drinks

Bols Deep in Cider: 20 oz Strongbow, 1 oz. "Bols" vodka.

The Shane MacGowan:
20 oz Guinness, 1 oz. Gin.

Cider Bomb: 20 oz Strongbow, 1 oz. Rye dropped vigorously into glass. Result: explosion.

Pils'n'Er: 1 oz sambuca, 1 oz. tequila, 1 multivitamin (powdered), 1 capsule of fish oil (forms layer on top).

The Dirty Cider:
20 oz. Cider, 4 oz. dirt.


Stay tuned for our new video series, "Will They Drink It?", where Seamus will attempt to drink the first Pils n' Er ever made!

Epic Punt

video

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sakagina

I was against eugenics and forced sterilization until yesterday.

I won't tell you the name of our promoter for our Regina show. We pulled into the Distrikt Club and quickly discovered that he was, is, and will forever remain an absolute monkey-fucking retard. The show was scheduled to start at 10 PM. We arrived at 8:07, where we learned from Druzil's family that he had cancelled the show. Why? Because he, quote, “hadn't heard from us”.

For those of you not familiar with the music business, here is how a standard gig is booked: Agent calls promoter. Agent asks for show. Promoter books show and negotiates payment/accommodation details with Agent. When terms are agreed upon, contracts are mutually signed and faxed. Contracts contain all requirements for both parties. Band shows up in time to sound-check. Band plays show. Band gets paid by promoter. Band leaves. Band drinks twenty-eight cider bombs and spends the rest of the night doing unspeakable things to their teddy bear with a fork.

At no point in any of this chain of events is it within the promoter's rights to cancel the show because the band hasn't called him to see how he's doing, to see if he needs anything, or to exchange fucking brownie recipes or whatever the fuck it was we were supposed to do on the phone with this colossal ball of fuck.

I repeat: I was against eugenics and forced sterilization until yesterday. It's easy to hold such abstract moral positions until you discover people who literally should not exist.

We stood outside the venue frantically calling everyone we could. Tensions mounted as people began to arrive for the show to find only a very large bass player screaming and throwing rocks at a very closed venue, screaming insults in what appeared to be some dialect of Ogrish.

I've learned over the years of touring that these moments of extreme fucktardery are usually followed by generous, compassionate help from total strangers. Dan (an ex-bouncer in Regina and a huge celtpunk fan) began to call around and investigate the possibility of us jumping on another show. The crowd outside the venue promised to follow us wherever we went.

And so, somehow, by the grace of Odin's frosty balls, we found ourselves headlining an all-ages emo-rock bill across town. We played the show, sold a bunch of CDs, and headed to O'Hanlan's, a cookie-cutter faux-Irish pub in downtown Regina. Each of us drank an incredibly unreasonable amount of alcohol, and a huge crowd gathered around us when Seamus and Druzil, um, whipped out their instruments and started a sea-shanty celtic session. We sang, played and shouted obscenities well into the night, handing out business cards all the while and promising to come back.

We are now en route to Amigo's bar in Saskatoon, which by all accounts is not run by walking condom commercials.

Luckily, Druzil's most excellent aunt and uncle let us crash at their lovely house in west Regina. They made us breakfast the next morning, bought us lunch, and sent us away with some food and water. This display of compassion re-affirmed our faith in basically everything. Grant and Diane: we love you. Seriously.

Nonetheless, there remains the problem of The Promoter, and of what we are going to do to him when we get our hands on him. Several suggestions have been floated, but the general consensus is that he will be locked in a room with two things in it: (1), Squid Vicious, and (2) a pair of scissors. 20 minutes should be sufficient, assuming he is of average constitution and strength (i.e.10-13). However, should his attributes be higher or should he possess any unexpected Special Skills (invisibility, fire magic, Cone of Silence) or hidden magical items (+2 Vorpal Sword, Skin Flute of Transportation, Giant Dildo) then thirty minutes may be required. Also Seamus is going to fuck his dog.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fail

An excellent, excellent show in Calgary, but SO MANY FAILS. How to recount them all?

First, we somehow forgot that we had to drive after the gig last night and The Stupid Swede had to sleep in the van. Just before he went out to the van, and I swear to god I am not making this up, two hot danish SISTERS invited him back to their place for “some beers”.

His response? “No, sorry, I'm going to go and sleep in the van.”

They declined his offer of a threesome in the van. Fucking Danes... such prudes. I mean, what red-blooded Canadian woman would say no to a threesome with her own sister and a man with a yeast infection on his chest in a van full of empty beer cans and rancid cheese? Fucking Danes.

Danish Threesome Fail.

Druzil was chatting up some lady for some time... she was responsive... bought him drinks, let him put his arm around her, etc. Then, at the end of the night, he asked if he could accompany her home, and she responded (again, I couldn't make this up if I tried): “No, I have to get up at seven in the morning because I'm moving to a new farm and we have to set the farm up.”

Farm Setup Fail.

We're in the prairies, so I suppose we'd better get used to farm-girl rejection. You just can't compete with women who are used to, um, horses. Well, maybe Squid can. Um.

Personally, I experienced a Sleeping On The Bathroom Floor Fail. I hope Squid dies.

There were also other epic fails which are actually too personal and painful to recount. Let's just say that 90 pound non-recovering alcoholics shouldn't drink eleven bottles of pilsner.

We are now driving through Saskatchewan and I haven't seen anything this flat since I nailed Celine Dion. I am now going to drink a bottle of Bell's whiskey and pass out in the back of this filthy, disease-ridden vehicle. I hope Squid dies. I hope we all die. Auuuuuugh.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

video


video

wAUUUUUUUUUUUUUU SEAMUS


video

Drunk

Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak.

Is for thirty in th morning sn im completely wasted. We got beer at the bar an it iwas a reaally gooo d bar with lots of um. edmontonians in it and one guy had a shirt that said \edmonton oilers on it but it fuyckin didnt say oilers it said misery on it and we kicked cider bear around the fuckinn parking lot and it isnt morally wrong becase he isn't sen snee sentient.

And now a word frm squidney:

"Nuke Edmonton."

aaaaaaaaandf we're back. So anyway we decided that the swiss didnt have concentration camps because they couldn't concentrate. waaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGHHHHHH no seriously there was a lot of people out tonight bu theey were kind of standing around and also we drinked trad ale after the show AN ALSO THERE WAS THIS GUY FOMR ATHE OPENING BAND na dhis name was finn a nd he jumped around like crazy and i was jealous and ATHE SEECRUTY GARD SAAID WE WERE THE BEST BAND HED SEEN THERE IN 2 YAERS AND SO FUCK WE WINAN wwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH.

WAIT. WAI wait. i will go and find a video . wait. this is the mnorning after:

video

And now a word from Seamus:

"8 days of antibiotics couldn't compete with one night of heavy drinking, badger-chasing, and drunk-dialing ex-girlfriends. I'm cured. It... is... a... ...miracle. Also, I disagree with squid, I love edmonton and its cider-dealing denizens what are hot. Now we go to transylvania to meet the vampiric lady-wenches."

truer words were not spoken., vagina,.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cider Bear

We sped away from the Mighty Town of Kamloops yesterday morning, and Seamus drearily gazed of his side window, looking wistfully into the distance, asking himself why he could never seem to find true happiness. Just as he was about to ask us to put Sarah McLaughlan's "Fumbling Towards Ecstacy" on the stereo, something caught his eye: an old woman minding a garage sale outside of her house. This no doubt piqued his interest, but what made him scream at us to pull over and stop the van was the fleeting glimpse he'd caught of a brown-furred little bear sitting beside the old woman.




And so, we'd like to introduce you all to the newest member of The Dreadnoughts' Family: Cider Bear.




Ten minutes later, we were back in the van, gleefully providing Cider Bear with cans of the finest Blackthorn Cider.

"Cida Bear was getting mighty sick a dat ol' granny," he said. "One more story about embroidin' and I'da smacked a bitch."

We joyously poured more cider in/on him. He became rather drunk and started telling us about the time that he'd barfed on the neighbours' dog and watched as it had been blamed on a small child. Then he told us about the time he was in the navy and had been used to "bung up a hole in da septic tank". Then he told us about how a 12 year-old boy had used him to masturbate for the first time1.

There was a highly uncomfortable pause.

"I don't like Cider Bear," said Squidney. "Let's put him in a merch bin." We all agreed, and have since only let him out of his bin to sell our merchandise at shows. Even this may have to stop, as he spent most of last night at the bar trying to get some chick named Megan to, I quote, "show Cida Bear dem mighty brusums".

Bad Cider Bear! Bad!


video


Tonight we play Kelowna, and tomorrow our truly epic journey begins. 8 hours to Jasper, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg... you know the old saying: sometimes you want to go where absolutely fucking nobody knows your name.

----
1 Philosophical question: is humping a stuffed bear masturbation? We're stumped. Please leave a comment if you think you know the answer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Folding T-Shirts: The FInal Frontier

Before leaving Vancouver, we thought we'd fold our t-shirts in order to save some space. This all sounded fine until we realized that there were 850 of them:


That's Squidney under the shirts. JESUS CHRIST.

JESUS CHRIST.

Nine trillion hours later, we left Vancouver and decided to pass the time in the van by playing this game called "who would you rather do?" We started off, obviously, with Star Trek: The Next Generation.

"Tasha Yar", I offered.

"Nope," said Druzil. "I'd rather do the Counselor."

"GO AND FUCK YOURSELF, YOU STUPID DIRTY HIPPY TWAT," I responded. "THE *COUNSELOR*???"

"I'd rather do Captain Picard," said Seamus. There was much agreement on this fact and on the fact that Druzil is a total fucktard.

Then we decided that Queen Latifah is way hotter than Oprah AND Tyra Banks. I don't know who Tyra Banks is, but I think she was a character in Mary Poppins.

Then we decided that R2D2 is hotter than C3PO. There was rare unanimity on this one. The reason? "R2 has those little electric taser-prodders," said Squidney. "That might be kind of fun."


Hot!

Finally, we established that none of us would have sex with the giant turtle from The Neverending Story. It's important to think about these things in advance in case the opportunity arises.

And then we played a show.

We're off now to eat breakfast, sit around a fire and try to come to a decision on whether or not Darth Vader would be a good lay.

- Uncle Touchy

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Van

Normal punk bands buy giant white touring vans from shady garages in Abbotsford and write funny shit like "Free Candy" on the side. The Dreadnoughts? The Dreadnoughts buy a sleek, silver, soccer-mom Dodge Grand Caravan. Gas mileage! Air bags! Child-proof locks to keep Seamus in! Christ.

We bought it from an angry East Indian fellow who needs the cash quickly so that he can continue to sue his ex-wife.

"Fuck," he said as we test-drove his little beast. "Fucking bitch took good car. I left with fucking Grand Caravan to sell so I can sue her for good car. Fuck."

There was a slightly uncomfortable pause. "It nice van, though," he added, thoughtfully.

I assured him that any woman who would turn up her nose at such a sexy little minivan (which comes with a nifty little fold-down child-seat and an anti-lock braking system for extra safety!) could not possibly be worthy of his excellent company. I mean, honestly, what's the world coming to, anyway? I want to have sex with our van.

Anyway, I don't know how the drummer scraped the money together, but he did. He's Swiss, so the phrase "Nazi Gold" ran through my head a couple of times, but I decided to stay quiet and let the man fork out $8500. Then it was ours... oy, vey. Here is a picture of it:



Set phasers to 'Scrumpy'!
As we prepared to buy the van, I was reminded yesterday of how much I hate The Dread Pirate Druzil and Squid Vicious. Since we were going to spend, like, thousands of dollars of their money on a vehicle, I figured they might want to know the details. I spent nearly ten minutes telling them about payment plans, interest, mileage, fuel economy, spacing, seating and financing, during which time their eyes slowly glazed over.

"Well", I said. "What do you think?"

Neither of them said anything for quite some time.

"Well," said the Dread Pirate Druzil, "I think you're gay." Touché . I hate him, and I hate his stupid giant friend who keeps following us around:


IT'S GOOD FOR YOUR POSTURE.  SHUT UP.

The CD release/tour kickoff is in two days, and apparently we leave the next day. We have secured a laptop, a videocamera and video editing software, so if I were you, I'd stay tuned to this blog. If we manage to upload even 2% of the insane drunken bullshit that usually goes on in the van, you won't be disappointed. I believe this picture summarizes up my point quite nicely:






Love,

-Uncle Touchy