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:



video

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".