|European Invasion: Update #2||
Today I write to you from a Travelodge (the UK equivalent of a Super 8 or somewhere equally classy, minus the urine scent usually) somewhere near Leeds. Last night, we played a show in York or Old York as it seems like it is sometimes called so as not to be confused with New York, a town in the next continent over where I keep most of my stuff. York is a delightful town full of cobblestone streets and general storybook adorableness while also seeming like the kind of place you might become the victim of an old-timey style murder while walking down an alleyway drunk and singing an old sailor song. As we pulled into town, one of the guys in the band remarked how awesome this place must be at Christmas and I couldn’t help but think “You know what? He’s right- it does seem like it would be pretty awesome.” I’m still not entirely sure what wassailing is but York seems like a totally good place to do it.
Our show last night was fun though lacking in the overall rock mayhem present the two previous nights. I tend to blame my outfit. In a fit of laziness, I opted to just wear my suit jacket with the jeans I already had on instead of breaking out the suit pants and giving the people of York a look worthy of a Saturday night. Don’t get me wrong- I still looked incredible, but it was more of a ground rule double than a home run generally speaking. Apologies to the people of York.
After the show, Fibbers, the club we played at, transformed into a disco, as seems to happen after every show we’ve played in the UK so far. This one had a fog machine though, so it was more of a next level experience. When in doubt, add fog, I always say. It pretty much works every time. Even so, the disco proved to be pretty much a sausage party as discos go, so we decided to head out early. On the way out of the club, we noticed a girl who had puked all over herself and her high heels sitting at a bus stop. Everything was supposed to be perfect, but now everything is ruined and she is never drinking again or talking to Danny anymore either for that matter so everyone just shut up and leave her alone.
Backing things up a bit, on Friday night, we played at Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh. I was excited to go back there after spending the entire month of August in Edinburgh for the Fringe Fest. It’s my town, sort of. Due to a super long yet lovely drive from Cardiff that day, we showed up at the club about an hour or so before showtime. Even so, we managed to pull together some pretty incredible outfits and play one of the funnest shows of the tour so far despite having to cut the set short so they could have a disco at that place too. Have a disco- why not? People really seem to love it.
After the show, we headed next door with some friends and drank stuff until they turned the lights up really bright (to give everyone a better sense of who or what they’ve been talking to all night) and made everyone leave. Then I got a giant styrofoam container of fish and chips because it seemed like a really good idea at the time since I was in Scotland and everything and it seemed weird not to. I am a champion.
As mentioned previously, on Thursday, we rocked Cardiff, Wales at a place called Clwb Ifor Bach, a Welsh-named rock club where we had to carry our rock equipment up three flights of stairs in order to commence rocking. Most of the signs in the club, and Cardiff in general it seems, tend to have both English and Welsh translations on them, which was exciting for me, a guy from Cleveland who had never seen that sort of thing before. As best I can tell, the Welsh hate vowels, as evidenced by the photo above. Aside from their disdain for vowels, however, the people of Cardiff were delightful and the show was super fun. A couple Twitter friends even brought me delicious snacks since I totally wrote on Twitter how I wanted people to bring me delicious snacks. Ask and you shall receive- it’s right there in the bible (I think).
After rocking Cardiff, we carried our equipment back down the forty flights of stairs, threw it in the van, and then headed off into the night. Arthur and I went to a pub, because that’s the kind of guys we are, and the other fellas headed to a disco in an attempt to blend in with the locals. One thing we all realized that night is that the young people of Cardiff, the women especially, seem to really hate clothes. It was freezing out and nobody wore jackets. Some were barely even wearing pants. We admired their joie de vivre, especially the ladies’ even though we felt like those drooling wolves from cartoons as we stared at them for slightly too long. I’m realizing just now that that last sentence sounds a bit creepy. The fact that I’m not wearing pants as I type this only makes things worse.
Today we head to Exeter to rock those people. They’ve got it coming.
|European Invasion Update #1||
Today I write you from a hotel room in scenic Kington-Upon-Thames, England, a town I totally played a rock show in last night as the man on guitar for the Walter Schreifels Band. We played at a club called the Fighting Cocks, a name I struggle to say without giggling even though I am a grown man who lives all by himself and pays for stuff with his own money a lot of the time.
The European Invasion has been underway since Monday, when we played a super fun show at a club called the Underground, which, as it turns out, was actually on ground level. Perhaps owing to something I ate on the plane ride over, I spent all day Monday before, during, and after the show struggling to avoid soiling my dry clean-only pants. I am a delicate man and am easily thrown a curveball on the gastrointestinal front. Take last night’s Thai food for example- I would have rather been taken out back and beaten by a roving street gang, though, to be fair, it was delicious at the time.
After Cologne, we headed for Antwerp, Belgium to rock those people. Along the way we drove through and stopped at a town I can’t remember the name of in Holland. I had never been to Holland before so it was a big surprise when the van stopped and I got out and it turned out I was in Holland. I only saw a few blocks by foot in Holland but they were nice blocks populated by women I totally would have had intercourse with should the situation have arisen. Also, you can buy marijuana, hash, and cappuccino all in the same place there, though I did none.
Our show in Antwerp was at a place called Trix. Everyone there was super nice and they cooked us a nice fish dinner beforehand and I totally ate it and cleared my own plate. That is a picture of me at soundcheck above. I find I can really dial in the tone better if I don’t let clothes get in the way of things. Anyway, of the three shows we’ve played so far, it was the best, both in musical performance and the strength of our outfits.
Before the show, Walter spotted some dancers in training practicing in a studio adjacent to our dressing room for some reason. Since he was already dressed in an Adidas track suit, he saw fit to school them in the ways of dance and also being street in general. Fortunately, I had my camera at the ready, so you can see how it all went down above. They never saw it coming.
After the Antwerp show, we hung out in our dressing room late into the night, basking in the glory of being good at rock and also having watched Walter school those bastards on the dancefloor. Then we went back to the hotel and had a not-really-needed beer from the hotel bar that was surprisingly open despite the late hour. We figured we were in Belgium so we should totally have some more of their delicious beer while we could. They’ve really nailed it.
Yesterday, we soldiered on to Calais, France to take a boat to England. I had never been to France before, but other than someone telling me I was in France, the whole Frenchness of it remained unclear as we pretty much drove on the highway straight to the boat. Someday I will go to France and really French it up- berets, baguettes, the whole deal. Yesterday wasn’t my time though.
Our show last night was fun too despite being riddled with technical problems and the kind of malaise that sets in after everyone in the band has eaten nothing but potato chips before the show. Our tourmate Felix Gebhard, a tall, bearded German man, started off the night by playing an awesome solo set on electric guitar that incorporated all sorts of crazy pedals I couldn’t wrap my head around. I have to learn how to do what he does with that stuff. It’s awesome. And his songs are great too.
Today we are headed to Cardiff, Wales. I am really looking forward to it despite having no idea what to expect other than good times that are Welsh in nature. Hoping to get some of that rarebit. It would be weird not to, right?
|Ep. 21 of Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident with Extra Special Guest Rob Delaney Up Now!||
Cancel everything and snuggle up with someone you love as you listen to the this, the 21st episode of my incredible podcast. This time, I am visited by comedian, writer, Twitter master, and man-about-town Rob Delaney, who totally came by my apartment (and brought his own sandwich) to discuss topics like breaking into a mental institution, crashing his car into a government building, his unstoppable one-man show “Naked and Bloody,” ham, and much, much more. I hope you enjoy it so much. You can listen right here.
|European Invasion Imminent||
Attention People of Europe, the popular continent: Today I board a plane headed toward your shores. I will most likely be drunk on this plane and ask for as many complimentary snacks as possible. Anyway, the plane is going to land in Cologne, the popular German town. Once I get there, I am probably going to need a nap and maybe a shower (but let’s face it, probably not. I mean, I’ll probably need it, but it’s just a time issue. Also, I am a skank). And then more snacks. Then, starting Monday night, I will begin a full-on assault on your fair continent, playing rock shows as the guitar player for the Walter Schreifels Band at shows in Germany (mentioned earlier), Belgium, England, Scotland, and Wales, and then bringing comedy heat in the form of shows in London, a town with some really great outfits and several points of interest. You can find out exactly what is happening when and where by checking the Public Appearances section of my incredible website. If you live in or near any of the cities in which I am bringing the heat, please come by and say hello and maybe we can make out (This will be sorted out on a case-by-case basis). Also, bring baked goods and smoked meats. Okay, that’s about it for now. More as this story develops.
Yours in show business,
|Ali Cook Rips Off Birds’ Heads||
My friend Ali Cook, an excellent London-based magician and comedian, appeared on “Penn and Teller: Fool Us” recently and did this awesome trick involving live poultry and a couple hot assistants. In short- it pretty much has everything. Watch it now. I hope you enjoy it so much.
|The Past Couple Days in Review||
Today I write to you from high above America as I fly from scenic San Francisco to scenic New York City. As I look out my window, the plane appears to be somewhere over Reno. Or maybe Akron. It’s hard to say really. We are up so high and there are clouds and stuff.
The flight attendant just came by with the beverage cart. I got a coffee. Normally I drink my coffee black on planes to give the appearance that I am all business, but today I decided to get it with milk and sugar, the way I usually take it on land. Whenever they hand me the coffee on a plane, I am always filled with that nervous anticipation of successfully taking it from the flight attendant and setting it down on my little tray thingy without spilling it all over the person next to me, burning them severely enough to require skin grafts and speech therapy. It’s the same feeling I used to get playing baseball when I was a kid and a pop fly came my way. “Don’t drop it, Dave! Don’t drop it, Dave!”, I’d think while peeing just a little bit. So far, I’ve never dropped a coffee on anyone’s lap on a plane, not even my own. My baseball career didn’t go as well.
The lady next to me is eating a wrap sandwich, which are bullshit if you ask me. I like my sandwiches with bread. Wraps are just shitty burritos and they must be stopped.
But back to San Francisco. I did two shows this past weekend as part of this year’s SF Sketchfest, a super great comedy festival featuring some of the greatest comedians working today and also me. On Saturday, I shared a double bill with Will Franken at the Purple Onion. Dave Thomason hosted. They were both hilarious and I had a super great time and no one threw anything at my head. After the show, I walked all the way over to Cobb’s Comedy Club to see another show but realized I left my credit card back at the Purple Onion and had to head back to get it so I missed the show I totally wanted to see. I never remember to get my credit card from a bar. Whenever I say “Leave my tab open” to the bartender, I usually just mean “How early do you guys open up tomorrow? I’m gonna need to come back here, I guess.”
When I picked up my credit card, the bartender offered to by me a round. I felt kind of done drinking, but didn’t want to seem rude so I drank another beer while waiting to see if the bartender, an Italian woman, wanted to have intercourse. She didn’t, so I headed over to a nearby hotel, where a bunch of friends who were doing the festival were all hanging out drinking stuff. I hung out and drank stuff with them for a bit and then snuck off into the San Francisco night, back to my hotel to wait out those interminable hours before they set out the free muffins and stuff.
Last night, I performed my popular nightclub act the Dave Hill Explosion at Cobb’s Comedy Club, mentioned earlier. My guests were international music person Moby, excellent singer/songwriter Thao Nguyen, and excellent comedian Will Franken, who filled in for the lovely Martha Plimpton, who had to bale out last minute because of show business demands. It was a fun show. I bought a new snow machine and used it for the first time last night. It was seriously good at blowing fake snow all over the place, which accounts for roughly 50% of my act. If you ever want to see a room full of people get really excited, turn on a fake snow machine. Instant fun and the fake snow only burns the skin a little bit.
After the show, I drank some stuff with a couple friends and then walked around the area in town with all the strip joints and smut shops because I love bright lights. I was fascinated that one place’s sign read “An adult book store.” I feel like they could have saved some money on the sign by not having the “an.” I can’t tell if it’s sad that that’s what stuck out most to me about the place. Also, some guy tried to shake my hand. I didn’t let it happen. Never shake anyone’s hand in or near a smut shop. That’s just common sense.
Yesterday during the day, I went for a seriously killer run around San Francisco. I ran about six miles, which is longer than anyone has ever run before as far as I’m concerned. Afterward, I stopped by Japantown, which- as hinted in the name- is an area full of Japanese shops and restaurants. I bought some Japanese stuff and also a cappucino and then headed back to my hotel to do my pre-show crunches and cutting.
Now they are showing a movie on the plane. It is a Katherine Heigl vehicle of some sort. I think she ends up having a baby with someone she never expected in this one too.
|I Am Totally Performing at SF Sketchfest This Weekend, Jan. 15 + 16||
Attention People of San Francisco (and people who totally live near there):
Hello. This is your man Dave Hill writing to let you know that this Saturday I am getting on a plane all by myself and flying to your town to perform for two magical nights at SF Sketchfest, the popular comedy festival of San Francisco, the town mentioned earlier. On Saturday, January 15, I will be showing up at the Purple Onion at 8pm for a night of mayhem with the excellent Will Franken. And then on Sunday, January 16, I am going to walk out on stage at Cobb’s Comedy Club at 7pm and tear people a new one in the form of my incredible nightclub act the Dave Hill Explosion with extra special guests Moby, Martha Plimpton, and Thao Nguyen. Both nights are going to be so incredible I am going to have to change my pants after typing all of this. For reals. You can get the full scoop right here. If you are going to be in the area, please come to one or both shows or I will completely lose it.
Thanks and I love you,
|Episode 20 of Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident with Special Guest Mike Doughty Is Here Like a Mofo!||
Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident rages into 2011 with its first episode of the year and its 20th episode overall, during which Dave (that’s me) sits down with singer, songwriter, author, and more, the lovely and talented Mike Doughty, whom you no doubt know from his past as the singer for Soul Coughing and his present as a brilliant solo artist. Close those blinds and take the phone off the hook as Dave (me, still) and Mike discuss topics including but not limited to Ethiopia, the party lifestyle, rocking people, “Get a Life”, East Berlin, 24-hour plays, Mike’s upcoming book, George Harrison, and the sweet nectar of business class. You can listen to the whole thing right here. For more information on Mike, please visit his website right here. That would be so great.
Love and thanks and other stuff,