i have officially returned to philadelphia. we made it to the texas chili parlor in time to fill our bellies with a hot lunch before saying goodbye to brian and carolyn and making our way to dallas. since we had all gotten so little sleep, the van was a bit quieter on the drive, but the band was ready for their last night of rock with pedro and seldom. before the show, we all went with trey and seldom to have some sushi. trees is in the deep ellum district of dallas and it was ester drang’s third performance in the club. the sound in the club was probably the best of the three shows and the drang played a spectacularly sounding set. seldom’s songs have been finding their way into my head, so it was great to see them and pedro for one final night. pedro has been playing several new songs on this tour, so it wasn’t monotonous to see songs over and over since they were much less familiar. dave has popularized a bit of question and answering with the crowd and dallas was by far the harshest crowd in the questioning phase. i think the band was actually relieved to finish their set and leave. we all said our goodbyes and ester drang and i headed for tulsa. we arrived in the early hours of the morning. after some brief sleep, we went to the famous frank’s drive in for lunch and kyle and i went to some thrift shops and the ever popular tulsa pawn shops. kyle found a good deal on a bass and couldn’t pass it up. we all met to unload the trailer from the tour and head out for some food. it was a good solid day in tulsa and i was happy to have had the opportunity to go.
the plane ride home included a harsh unexpected delay in chicago, too unexpected to meet up with chicagoans scientific, but long enough for me to finish paddy clarke ha ha ha by rodney doyle, my third novel in a week and a half. other reads have included postcards from the dead and girlfriend in a coma by douglas coupland. my trip concluded as i exhausted the current issue of sound collector and the plane landed in philadelphia.
it’s nice to be back home.

we said goodbye to terry’s attack mini-pigs in the backyard and had some bad chinese before getting on the road. the trip excitement for me was finding bottles of the mythical dublin dr. pepper made with pure cane sugar, rather than the typical corn syrup. the taste is smooth and clean.
we made it successfully to austin in time to wander down 6th street with my good friend brian. the last time i was in austin was for his wedding about three years ago. the show started late at emo’s; brian and i had gone to see mineral there in 1997. emo’s was packed for the second show on ester drang’s mini tour with pedro and seldom. it was a late show and we ended up going to bed at about 4:30am. we’re off to austin’s texas chili parlor with brian and carolyn, our good friend matt ralph, and writer pal jason dodd. if you’re in austin, you must go here for chili. you won’t regret it, until maybe a few hours later. we’ll be off to dallas for the rock tonight.
an extra special thanks to brian and carolyn for a place to stay and some krispy kremes. they’re definitely a big part in the reason i like austin so much.

We’re in Houston. Ester Drang played with Pedro the Lion and Seldom last night. It was good to see some old friends. The drang will do 2 more shows with both bands, so there is more yet to come. We got here a bit late to go to the Cy Twombly museum at the Menil Collection, it’s my favorite museum ever, but things worked out fine without a museum trip. We all did go to The House of Pies, possibly the best diner in America due to its large assortment of homemade pies. I had the French Blackbottom, an amaretto and fudge combination, since they were out of my favorite Bayou Good, which is pretty much an assortment of anything you can fit into a gooey cream pie. Brian and James both got Strawberry Rhubarb and my old pal Jack in Houston got a Lemon icebox. Kyle was mean and wouldn’t tell us what kind of pie he had, but this is what touring is all about: secrets, diners, and secrets at diners. Nice to have met a few people at the show last night at Mary Jane’s. Today we are off to Austin, one of my favorite cities.
p.s. a special thanks to terry for putting us up and to jack, sue, shawn, and jackson for all meeting up last night.