This month, Myles Coyne is on the road with his buddies. Bouncing around the country in their purple van – dubbed the “BREADMOBILE” – Myles is bringing us his Mouse Diaries. Here, we present part three of his unfiltered thoughts as Mr. Mouse travels out east and back. Read on below for the .
Chapter VII: The Longest Ride of My Life
I woke at 7 AM… then I went back to sleep. Around 9 AM-ish, we picked up our drive to Nashville for a show at a place called Elberta House. What was supposed to take 10-ish hours turned into 20 (counting the travel from the night before), AND we ran out of weed. I couldn’t believe it. “Just two more hours.” What does that even mean??? How much longer!? I felt like we were driving on a rug that someone was consistently pulling out from under our feet, making the journey longer. Everyone drove the van on this day. I was pulling 90 myself on the last run there. Funny though, because we were the first people to arrive to the show, and we SOMEHOW made it there on time!
Elberta House was stellar! It’s a DIY house that hosts shows twice a month and houses 9 or so people. Sarah, who hooked us up with the gig, had two fire pits going and welcomed us with apple cider. This bearded fellow, Adam Faucett, opened up the evening with a stunning solo set. This guy’s voice soars. We’ve been jamming his album ever since. It was Nashville alright. All the bands were tight as hell. Pedal steels and all! It was refreshing after being stuck in the van all day to see such a variety of folk and country music. I noticed that our Rusty Midwestern interpretation of “folk” was so different from what these cats were slinging. We ended the night with our set, completely acoustic, without the PA. One of my favorite set of the tour, actually. Day one of Nashville was great!
Earlier in the day, we discovered our next two shows had been cancelled. Unfortunate, but kinda okay. None of us were looking forward to being in that van for so long after the initial drive to town. Sarah offered her house as a “homebase” for us to crash at, thus taking a huge load off our backs. I am forever in debt to her and everyone else at Elberta for the welcoming arms. All in all, day one in Nashville was dope as hell!
Chapter VIII: Day Off, aka “Spend Money and Eat”
We had come to a break in the tour: two dates with cancelled shows. Yet the day had given us a chance to better explore the city of Nashville. We had been tipped off to a number of choice restaurants and one-off stops by our hosts. After breakfast, we decided to go record shopping. We swung into Grimey’s where I picked up a copy of Bill Callahan: Apocalypse on vinyl. We also swung over to Third Man Records. The shop is owned by Jack White of The White Stripes. It’s a record label, shop, venue, studio vinyl factory (possible chocolate factory?). It was the coolest place I have ever been. Tons of odd-ball gizmos and interactive stuff. There was a phone booth where you could record an acoustic song straight to vinyl. I jumped at it immediately.
After the shops, we stopped at a little diner, The Family Wash. Somehow, we convinced the bartender to let us play a mini set. Unfortunately, in the hurry of our setup, our keys were locked in the van. Eliot and Steve scrambled to fix the situation as I traded songs back and forth with Jack. An odd turn of events, yet still all the more encouraging. We returned to Elberta where most of us retired for the night. Jack and Steve ran off into the night for a karaoke adventure. That led to them walking across the city. They got lost in a train yard. A lot happened on their end of the story.
The next day (the second day off) was covered in rain. Halfway through the evening, we decided to head off to Indiana early. We had been invited to crash at the pad of our old bass player’s brother, Kole (Chris Thunder’s brother). The family resemblance was immediate, both charming and welcoming. Kole even made pizza for us! I was reminded of a familiar positive energy that now seemed cosmically wound in the Thunder family’s DNA. It made up for the toll driving had taken on us over the last few days. I was welcomed with a couch that I claimed and passed out on.
Chapter 9: The Breaking of the Fellowship
We awoke early and headed off to Chicago. Steve was hopping a Greyhound home to Milwaukee one day early to surprise his old lady. I was sad when he went. We back-tracked a bit and started heading back to Indiana for our next show at The Sound Cellar. The remainder of the day and evening was spent drinking and smoking a ton of weed on the way to and then in the back parking lot.
The tour was beginning to end. We reflected on moments of the past week and a half. We smelled like shit. We were under-slept. We were broke. But our moral was still up. Much of the last few days of driving were in part an effort to just get closer to home. We left that night after the show for Madison where we were going to crash with an old friend, John Praw. He was apparently making us cookies.
Chapter 10: Full Circle in Madison, aka “The River of Life,” aka “These Shoes”
We arrived in Madison late after our show in Indiana. We spent the night at our good friend’s apartment, (and maybe you’re familiar with him) John Praw. Yeah, he’s the head of all this internet mumbo jumbo… but he is also one of my best friends. I introduced Eliot to John. It was funny looking at these two men, both of whom have helped shape my life so much over the years, meet one another. We spent the rest of the night playing video games. Jordan and Jack slept in the van like bitches.
The next day was rainy. We bumped around the city and State Street for a bit. Aside from Mine All Mine Records, I had also originally met Jack and joined Animals In Human Attire around this area. As we walked, I quietly reflected to myself how this city had laddered our many groups into its early “egg shell” period of creative growth and friendship. We were playing two sets on this last night. Funny enough, the early gig was being held at Indie Coffee: the first venue I played in Madison (incidentally the first venue I played with John when I was in Pushmi-Pullyu). I opened this show with a solo set of alternate tunes, and then let Jack and Jojo jump in with a few Lousy Trout’s songs. Lovely time. We even made a nice chunk of gas funds. Not bad for a free show.
We loaded up and headed off to our last show, at The Frequency. I had booked the bill with a ton of close friends. Nude Human (John’s latest project) opened up the evening with a haunting set of ambient textures, lush soundscapes and I think a Radiohead cover(?). Jamie Yanda played a solo set next. I see this bastard enough as in TEMPLE, but his solo sets always bring me to tears. You still got it, Old Man Yanda. He and I will embark on a two week tour in January, btw… Fuck that’s long… (!!). Hewn even had a say in the matter. We’ve played with these cats countless times through Steve’s many “MKE Underwear Bike Shows” and other booking schemes.
I was very pleased with our set at the end of the tour. I love Jordan and Jack and Eliot and Steve so much. Such a journey to travel so far together. “There And Back Again…” really. I am eternally gratefully to my friends for embarking on this journey with me, and the many more that will follow. How I am so lucky to have a family that will blindly follow my direction into uncharted territory escapes me. I can only hope for such ease, flow, love and kindredship with future tours. I am going to bed until the next one in January…