March 10, 2004

More Wounds than one Man can Lick

Well, I did a pretty good job with regular updates for awhile there, but eventually I succumbed to the usual tour zombification process I've mentioned before. The last show of the tour proper was Monday night in Phoenix. We just arrived home last night. It will take a few days to de-zombify enough to feel halfway normal.

It doesn't matter how long you're out for: it's always really nice to be home, but really weird at the same time. You're relieved and gutted at the same time.

I think I've put it this way before: touring through this country is like swimming as fast as you can through a stretch of ocean containing around 48 sharks. Each one takes a chunk out of you as you pass by. It could be a piece of your van. Of your voice. Of your already-fragile sense of self. Around halfway through, you start to feel like a shadow of your former self (which wasn't all that great...) Your set gets "tighter," but more and more simplified and limited as you do what you have to do to make it through the remaining shows (leaving out songs with the higher notes, or those whose difficult parts coincide in other ways to some of the missing chunks.) You can try to resist, but eventually your set narrows itself down to the tunes you can pull off easiest and the proven crowd pleasers. Even though you're "tighter," you pick up bad habits that you have to spend the aftermath trying to unlearn, so that the next time you go out, you start the degenerative process from somewhere near the top again. (I will say this: we degenerated far less than in the past. We were still playing a slightly different set every night, right up to the end. I don't think that has ever happened, and that's a testament to how good these guys are as musicians. There was a time back in the 90s when our set had become so predictable we didn't even need to write it down; and that's not much different from being a collective four-man vegetable.)

It's probably a good thing we stopped when we did. I've had a pretty horrendous cold/flu ever since Rochester, NY and the deadly combination of illness and strategically-scheduled Bad Monitors nights has wreaked the usual havoc. I want to start practicing again so we can resume trying to figure out how to pull off some of our more difficult, interesting songs. But despite all that, I'm sad it's over. I could have gone for another couple of months, no problem, though Lord only knows what kind of state I'd be in afterwards. Being in a rock and roll band is totally fun, even when it kind of sucks. I had a great time. Even though I feel like I want to go to sleep for a week or so, or longer, or forever, I can't wait to do it again. What an idiot.

Anyway, most everyone who turned up seemed to enjoy the shows. I'm very glad to hear it. See you next time?

Posted by Dr. Frank at March 10, 2004 03:01 PM | TrackBack

Dr. Frank,

Thanks for coming to Baltimore and demonstrating professionalism under less than stellar circumstances. Today I received an email that the club where you performed is upgrading its monitors and speakers and adding lights. Remember the "Christmas tree" lighting? Or asking them to turn the monitor volume up?

Better late than never, I guess. Come back again.

Posted by: Alex at March 10, 2004 03:21 PM

You guys were awesome. Thanks a lot for coming through. We'll definately see you the next time. I hope Austin and Fort Worth proved to hold some sort of incentive to come through the south again.

Just a heads up: the request for next time will be "Dumb Little Band". Even if you just play it acoustic and call it "Dumb Little Man". Either way...

Posted by: Matt Riggle at March 10, 2004 05:01 PM

The Austin show was quite fantastic. I did manage to make an ass of myself by asking Dr. Frank if he'd play songs from "Eight Little Songs" then requesting "She Runs Out When The Money Does". His "Okay.....but that's not on there" was a good response and I find comfort in my assumption that, on the grand scale of making an ass of oneself, my faux pas probably ranks fairly low. Lucky for me Frank still played it because I had wanted to hear it ever since I read the lyrics.

I was disapointed that the opening band "The Hot As Shits" are no where near Austin's finest. I had actually never heard of them before and was quite amused (not sure if that would be the right word) by their performance.

I've seen MTX every time they've been in Texas since "Love is Dead" came out (I understand that's not a big portion of the MTX existance) and I must say this was the best show and the best band lineup I've seen. As Dr. Frank alluded to when discussing the "Alcatraz Wars" there is a good portion of people in my age group (late teens to mid 20's) that feel Alternative is Hear to Stay/Love is Dead/Revenge era MTX is the pinnacle of their career. I was always most impressed with the songs from the earlier albums that didn't sound as similar to the above mentioned era (such as "Martyr" and "Dustbin of History"). I think that's why the new lineup is so great and I must declare that in my opinion the newest album is the best in a career filled with great albums and songs. I think "London" may have displaced "Naomi" as my personal choice for all time greates Dr. Frank song. Well done.

Posted by: Josh Maxwell at March 10, 2004 05:03 PM

sadly, Dr. Frank and the gang have yet again missed the great state of Montana. i assure you there ARE people living here. and quite a few of us would really love a MTX show. ever since the first time i saw you in O-town (that's Florida), I've had this thing where i would really like to see you again. you guys played a great set and were very nice t' boot (not that i expected any less). but Missoula is a great little city, so consider it for next time around, ok? one warning though: don't try to come during the winter...

Posted by: Katherine at March 10, 2004 05:21 PM

Montana, the only things in Montana are steers and queers. Which are you, Katherine? Mooooooooooooooooo

Posted by: mr. afternoon at March 10, 2004 06:51 PM

There are a lot of us that really appreciate MTX coming through Alabama. The new lineup and album are both great. Bobby and Ted are both super-nice guys, and Fucked Up On Life and London are two of the best songs Dr. Frank has ever written. Can't wait till next time.

Posted by: John at March 10, 2004 07:21 PM

This is probably the last question you want to get right now, but when will you be back on the East Coast. In a truly pathetic display of bad timing I stumbled on your site/tour calendar less than a week after you'd played NYC (which is where I live, you see... that's why it's pathetic). Anyway, like everyone else, I love the new album. I agree with most everyone's song picks, but a couple of my favorites that I haven't heard mentioned are "Everyone Knows You're Crying" and "Take All the Time You Need".

Posted by: Dwight at March 10, 2004 09:25 PM

Still sick?! After all those tips?

Okay stand on your head,put your right foot and
take your left foot out and drink about 20
gallons of orange juice. homecoming show?:)))

p.s. i really did check out the Wodehouse,
a collection called The Golf Omnibus. I didn't
read all the stories but what I did was pretty entertaining. I feel somehow cluless not to have
know about this already.


Posted by: just me at March 10, 2004 10:08 PM

The two shows i went to (Iowa and Chicago) were two of the best and most fun shows ive ever been to. Next time you have to come through Carbondale, IL!!

Posted by: Emily from Carbondale at March 10, 2004 11:23 PM

He got the "right-coast touch of death" probably. Right now, I wish I could take a coat hangar and carve out my sinus cavity. I'm single handedly responsible for the Walgreen's soon to be stock split, due to my purchasing of vast amounts of sinus medicines.

Posted by: Kevin at March 10, 2004 11:51 PM

Opening for MTX at Fitzgeralds, Houston, has been the greatest honor and experience of the past few years for me. And I thank you for that.

I wish more people could have shown for the show, but the 30 people who did show up seemed to love it as much as I did. You guys put on a fantastic show, even when you are sick.

The Gooches'll play every Texas show with you guys if you tour again in the next five years, but I'm not sure if you'd be up to that.

Posted by: Jason Somnia at March 11, 2004 12:43 AM

Once again thanks for the great show in Hamden CT.
I really appreciate you guys making the trek, and if you're able to pull it off again I'm there.
I think anyone and everyone who showed up would concur.

Posted by: Rich at March 11, 2004 03:27 AM

Hey Frank, Had a blast putting on the show in Birmingham, sharing the stage, and hanging out in Atlanta. Hope to see you all again soon!

Posted by: Randy at March 11, 2004 03:49 AM

id like to make a request: anyone making posts and signing them under my name should take note that my first name is "Mister", it's not a title. Don't abbreviate my name, and aim for more bile when you make fun of people.

Posted by: mister afternoon at March 11, 2004 04:03 PM

There must've been 50 to 60 people at the Orlando show (facing the band this time). It was awesome, but the monitors were shitty.

Posted by: Ronnie at March 12, 2004 10:20 PM

Dr. Frank,

I hope that, "See you next time?", questions our intention to attend your next show and does not indicate a doubt on your part as to whether you will tour again. Thank you for the memorable Chicago show. Your post re: the stuck vehicle and those sumbitches was one of the funnies short stories I've read.

Posted by: Kent Duffy at March 15, 2004 02:29 PM

dr. frank! what i can remember of the show (okc, green door) was spectacular. the rest is a little fuzzy, but then again that's what lost lake does to a person. i do hope you tour again, you promised me you would. so i'll see you the next time around, maybe then a little less intoxicated! xoxoxo

Posted by: megan at March 19, 2004 06:22 PM

Dr. Frank! MTX put on a great fuckin show in Pittsburgh. If you come back, I will soooo be there!

Posted by: Mike at March 26, 2004 04:15 PM