Week two of the Join The Ranks Tour was full of delicious food and booze! Van troubles persisted and were finally resolved through a tirelessly vigilant effort. It’s no surprise that an army of worthless people lay in wait to take advantage of travelers in need. We ended up avoiding a bill of $2,700! Paying that would have been full of suck.
I have been looking forward to visiting Minneapolis since the last time we came through in the winter. It’s always great to see our friends Michael and Hannah from THE LANGER’S BALL and their rad pets! Our stays with them always include an array of awesome coffees, alcohols, and eats! We arrived at their house just as they were packing for their gig at The Dubliner Pub. Since livers and stomachs rule our lives, we headed to The Blue Door Pub around the corner for a pint and burger. What a good pub! A healthy amount of local beers on tap, and burgers that have their ingredients cooked INSIDE of the patty! From there, we headed to The Dubliner Pub and caught the last hour of THE LANGER’S BALL set. Pints of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale were consumed and the night ended with a Hard Rock Zombies pit to traditional Irish tunes!
My quest to find a killer beer to pair with the new CATTLE DECAPITATION album had begun. Minneapolis and St. Paul have become a great place for craft beer. Since we had a show that night, we only had time to visit one brewery. Surly Brewing Co. could have easily been my home for the next week. From hoppy to spicy and pale to dark, this place was a blackened rhapsody of beautiful beer. My favorites were the Coffee Bender, Cacao Bender, and Fiery Hell. Surly Brewing Co. had collaborated with 1349 for two of their beers, so it was an easy decision to pair these guys with CATTLE DECAPITATION.
Our show at Mill City Nights ended with pizza slices from Pizza Luce around the corner. Another tour tradition to keep. That night’s patrons may have witnessed us doing restaurant pushups, barbershop tags, and consuming at least one crayon.
A fan and friend of ours wanted to treat us to breakfast at the Seaward Café. Never a group to say no to food, we started our morning there. The absolute BEST huevos rancheros I have ever had AND garlic cloves were a condiment for the taking! Hello deliciously terrible breath, goodbye mosquitoes and vampires! Our show this night was at Geek.Kon, a comic convention in Madison, WI. They were kind enough to give us a hotel room, so we headed up there when we arrived to unpack and stretch our spines. PSYCHOSTICK also performed with us, and they were hilariously groovy. After the show, we sang barbershop tags in the elevator, played Magic The Gathering in the pub, and I consumed a healthy amount of Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing. I am pretty sure this brewery only distributes in Wisconsin, so the time to take advantage of that had arrived!
8/22 – 8/23
We played at the Bristol Renaissance Faire this weekend and at a local pub Saturday night. That meant 9 shows in two days! The brutality was eased by the consumption of more insanely delightful beer. Casper is a white stout on nitro from the James Page Brewery in Stevens Point, WI. The pub we performed at had it on tap and I drank it ALL!!! Sunday, we went to Gators Wing Shack. They are one of the unofficial sponsors of the Join The Ranks Tour and have the BEST garlic hot wing sauce I’ve ever had!
Monday: The day of recovery. It was filled with Laphroig 10 year, a bonfire, smore’s, and snores! We called some local auto repair shops to schedule an appointment to have our van looked at….AGAIN! Wauconda Car Care said they were confident they could fix the issue for $700 or less. They were booked all day, but said to bring the van in first thing tomorrow. Things were looking good!
A few of us woke up butt ass early to take the van in. Time went by, and there was no word from Wauconda Car Care. I decided to call them at around 1pm and they told me they had not even taken a look at the van and would probably do so after lunch! What in the shit?! Around 5pm they called back saying they had grossly misquoted us and the repairs would not only cost us $3,000, but we would be without a van for a week! I promptly told them to eat a bag of fermented middle fingers. We found another shop nearby, Mac’s Auto, that we could drop the van off at that night. Sucks to lose another day, but Wauconda Car Care was clearly trying to take advantage of us.
Mac’s Auto called us in the morning when they opened and said they were already attempting to remove the sparkplug. A few hours later, they called with the BEST. NEWS. EVER!!! They had removed the sparkplug and our total bill was $319!!! Almost $2,700 LESS than what the last place tried to take us for! HA! To celebrate, we drank a bottle of Laphroig Triple Wood, are some habaneros, and ordered Bulldogs for dinner! Bulldogs is a local wing and burger joint here and we share some special memories. Last tour, two of us did their Asylum Wing Challenge. You are required to sign a waiver before you begin, wear gloves during, and hate yourself after. We both almost ended up in the hospital. We are smart!
I’ve spent the week in good company, overcome some major mechanical and financial issues, and imbibed some of the finest boozes. Can’t be mad at that!!