Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Robert Schrader posse leaves San Antone...

...which may very well have been my last show of the tour. I had planned to do California, but for a number of reasons will more than likely not do.

That said, my tour has ended on an amazing note. You've all seen the San Antonio setlist. I'm here to tell you that the energy was second to none. This was easily my favorite of 19 ADP shows and in my top 5 ever, no question. Absolutely no question. The show was so good that after the Take to The Sky (best version I've ever heard)-Full Anastasia-Butterfly-PGY stretch I was thankful for "Concertina," a song that normally bores me. I needed to catch my breath. This show was that good! I would almost say this is the best show of the tour overall, even though I've only seen 19 or the 70+ so far...

Without further adieu, here are videos of the four debuts. Apologies in advance RE: clipping of "Anastasia" (due to youtube's time limits) "Butterfly" (memory card issues), and rude audience members during "New Age"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Come in Houston--and Dallas

Sorry to lump both of these shows into one entry, but to be honest (a) the past 48 hours have been a non-stop cross-Texas driving clusterfuck and (b) the Dallas show wasn't, in my opinion, good enough to warrant its own blog entry, especially under those circumstances.

Santa was, of course, wonderful, in all her coked-out, raspberry-swirl, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader glory. But Tear In Your Hand? Lust? Jackie? Horses? No thanks. Waaaaay too mellow for a Texas show.

Houston, on the other hand was wonderful. I ended up getting to do the Platinum VIP for this show at the last minute--and for free--due to Sakre's friend Elizabeth backing out of it for a very lame reason. Pictures of my nerdy interaction with Tori--where I asked, once again, for "Peeping Tommi," reminding her that I'd been requesting it since June, and also asking her to do "Not David Bowie" and to bring Pip out tomorrow night. yes, I know I'm a greedy bitch. I wasn't expecting much based on her reactions.

Well, two out of three requests granted so far. "Bowie"'s below. Sakre got "Tommi" as I was a wreck during. You'll probably here my gay-ass "thank you" on the bootleg when it's released in a couple hours.

On a side note, I'd just like to publicly vent about the fact that a certain person on Tori's crew has now made it apparent that he is only concerned with helping fans that are not really fans, people that travel across the country, never paying for tickets and always talking shit about about Tori & Co. and fucking her fans over any chance they get. My friends Joey, Kristen, and I were promised something for tonight, and when we asked for it, we were scolded for not being like these awful people.


Anyway, because of all this, many people at the Houston show probably noticed a large quantity of obese and rhythm-lacking fans dancing during the "Widow" remix and bouncing during "Bouncing". I know who you can blame!

Anyway, since SA's not being booted, I'll surely take more video of it. I need to go to bed now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shameless photowhoring: Tori and I talking in Philly.

Feel free to create your own captions!

Tour bloopers videos

We had a long ride from NYC to Syracuse, and we have videos to prove it. Watch these at your own risk! They might be offensive if you're not at least somewhat insane!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Santa rocked Philly, Tori phoned it in

Minus this improv, that is:

I really have no idea why the rest of the show was so overwhelming. Actually, scratch that, I do: it was the first night of the "Legs and Boots" instant bootlegs and she was nervous.

The good news is that Tori and I were wearing essentially the same pants at the Meet and Greet:

I also got these cute shots of her. Feel free to add your own humorous captions:

My next show of the American Doll Posse World Tour will be in Dallas on Saturday, November 24, and I proably won't update this blog much until then, though I will be adding select photos and videos from Sakre's camera.

I am very happy and fortunate to have done these five shows, but I am ready to go home. I'm tired. I miss my dog. And most importantly, I'm out of money.

Thanks for reading, everyone, and I'll see you next month!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"The day from hell and the show from heaven" is

a title I would resort to using if I were a far less skilled writer. That said, I am a tired and travel-sick writer, so I'm going to use it anyway. Basically, anything that could have gone wrong, non-Tori wise, in the past 24 hours did. Rental car nightmares, two meals at Burger King, missing my bus this morning, and stomach sickness this afternoon in Philly.

Two pea(nises) in a pod

Actually, one Tori thing went wrong--due to the rental car drama, Sakre missed her VIP Gold in Albany and Tori's drunk ass associate refused to do anything to help her--but the rest were amazing. Minus "1000 Oceans" and the ever standard encores, last night's show was perfect. Even with them I'd give it a solid A. It very well might have been my favorite show of the entire tour. Very very well. Clyde opening and then "Parasol" "Spark" an improv about spanking, "Northern Lad" "Yes Anastasia" "Never Seen Blue" and a "Taxi" debut for good measure? Yes, please.

Multiburst mode!

I took several videos and I'll let them speak for themselves. You know that I don't normally upload every night events like "Rattlesnakes," but it's for this boy for whom I'd basically do anything, so I am sure that you all can deal with it. OH AND CLYDE HAS A NEW WIG--less oppressive bangs!


"Spank Your Ass" improv

Northern Lad

Yes, Anastasia

Never Seen Blue

Taxi Ride (with fuck-up)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Today at the Meet and Greet Tori divulged

that the DVD would be filmed at the first two Oakland shows.


Also, Rob took me out to dinner at a very nice raw/vegan/organic restaurant on the Lower East Side, and I forced him to be in two pictures with me:

Tori Amos hates New York City...

...(minus the following two songs):

Thankfully, Pip seems to love it, so that's good. Last night followed the standard Crucify-Cornflake-Bells-Siren-Silent-Cooling formula that Tori always does for important shows. I can't say I blame her, as she can do basic versions of all those songs in her sleep and really kick-ass ones (i.e. last night) when she wants to, but I was still snoring. Digital Ghost-Hotel-Code Red and Pip's set compensated though. Not as good as Albany but it was not as bad as Munich or CPH, so whatever.

Elsewhere in New York, the lovely Rob, pictured below:

took us to Red Bamboo, a name that implies a restaurant with Asian cuisine. This place, however, has the best (and probably most unhealthy, d'oh) fake meat I've ever tasted. After that...er, before that, Rob and I (in the company of Caitlin) walked on the streets and took some really gay, suspiciously couple-looking pictures together. It should be noted that in the first picture, Rob is wearing my clothing, and looks incredibly hot. YOU ARE HOT ANYWAY--DON'T BE INSECURE but Rob, fashion is your friend! The gay pictures are below:

In closing, Tori, I'm rooting for you tonight. Don't let me down!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So yesterday morning in the elevator in the hotel

Caitlin ran into Smitty, Tori's bodyguard and Keith, her tour manager. I found this funny given the Denmark ferry incident I posted about in June. Perhaps it was because we were staying


Albany's only luxury hotel, they say. (But we did NOT pay luxury prices. Thanks Hotwire!. Anyway, we had to say goodbye to Albany at some point

and come to New York City, where I met my good friend

Rob, who doesn't ALWAYS look this thrilled,

for the first time in person. Sakre went to Brooklyn to be with her sister and husband, so Caitlin and I went with Rob and his sister Roxanne to the

PJ Harvey Concert!

after getting MSG'd! by some delicious vegetable dumplings from the horrific Ollie's.

I am really not terribly sure what to think of PJ Harvey's show. For what it's worth, I did recognize over half the songs, but I think I'm too casual a fan to have developed more than an appreciate of Polly's vocal and guitar chops. I thought old songs like "Rid of Me" and "To Bring You My Love" were incredible last night, but the new songs, well, all sounded the same. Overall. I'd give it a B- if I were, like a paid reviewer. Before the show, I ran into my good friend Dana, with whom I only talk occasionally these days (poor girl seems to have a myspace allergy. D'oh!) It's always good to see her though and I am glad that she is doing well.

On the way home, I took some cool shots of a mist-enshrouded Empire State Building. It was purdy.

Oh, and while nice and full of character, our shack, pictured below:

is NOT a luxury hotel. At all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The first show of the tour was

very very very good. So good, in fact, that I can sum up my (slight) disappointment in two questions:

(1) When did Tori decide that the purpose of an encore was not to reward fans, but to subject them to perfunctory songs?
and (2) why does "Almost Rosey" suck so badly live?

The marquee at the fabulous Palace

Isabel used to be my least favorite doll by far, but this performance was electric.

Isabel takes to the stage

She took total command of the stage when she entered, smoking, in her fire engine red get up, and didn't lose that command until the end of "Tombigbee," which beat the pants off of every 2003 version of that song she did combined. For my money, she should have just not sang "Rosey".

Tori's set was just as amazing. "Sugar" "Black-Dove" "Sneeze" and "Mother Revolution" as the first four non-staple band songs.

Secret time speaks for itself.

The last part of the show--from "God" onward--was kind of standard, but still performed very well, so I guess I can't complain.

And oh! Since someone on @forumz asked, the gift bags are totes that say "VIPosse" and contain a beanie with the same logo.

And according to my two lovely lady friends here in the hotel room, my previous account of the VIP debacle was LESS dramatic than it actually was. I didn't know I was capable of making things less dramatic. Meh. But yeah.

Beanies! Long live the VIP gift bag!

Bed time now!

Oh, and Tori did an improv before solo time which said something to the effect of her "not being back for a long time," which sucks, but it means she WILL, in fact, be back at some point.

So yay!


is the word best suited to describe what went down with VIP.

Caitlin at I at Austin airport around 6 AM.

Now, before I go on a total verbal rampage I will give the Tori team this: it's the first day of the tour, the venue staff all have mullets (and are as incompetent as they are unattractive), and, well, I dunno. There is just a very hectic energy.

Doing my hurr.

Basically, we arrived at 4:30 only to be herded into a small waiting area for 90 (ed: I don't know HOW I convinced myself it was 30!) minutes, at which point we were allowed to do the "crowd free merchandise" bonanza while listening to Tori sound check "Tubular Bells/Devils and Gods" "Voodoo" "Almost Rosey" "Tombigbee" and "Virginia". We were then made to wait another half an hour, at which point we were invited into the sound check, where Tori sang "God" "Tear In Your Hand" half of "God" again and then yelled at us to leave because her sound guy was pissing her off. It should be noted that Tori performed in skinny jeans, gold heels, and a cute jacket and hat with no wig. It should also be noted that sound check was prrobably the most technically perfect performances I have seen of Tori thus far this tour, but I can understand why she doesn't perform in "normal" clothes--she just doesn't command the kind of respect that she, ironically, does, wearing a sequined jumpsuit and a chunky wig. More on that later.

Anyway, we were then directed upstairs and waited about 10 minutes for Tori to come out. We were advised to have our cameras out and signing items ready to be signed, which I felt kind of, um, rude considering that we had paid for this.

Tori and I, myself looking cheesetastic

In short, for my money, listening to sound check through the door and doing the regular meet and greet would have been a better utilization of time and, more importantly, free. Tori was nice and all and Chelsea was actually really cool to me RE: something that might happen in the future, but it was still a disorganized mess.

OK, food and the show awaits. Wish me luck RE: taping!

EDIT: You also get a tourbook with the VIP bag!

Monday, October 8, 2007


...I will be in Albany scrambling around to look hot for my VIP meeting/soundcheck with Tori. Today, I am in Austin scrambling around trying to make sure I don't forget to pack anything. Meh.

Speaking of scrambling, I just made the mistake of driving home through the UT campus and I swear it was like walking on the ground and hoping you don't step on an ant. Those mofos are EVERYWHERE. It was literally like an infestation of sorts. So stressful!

Because of the congestion there and my decision to go stuff my face, I'm a little behind schedule today and probably still won't get any work done on my Statement of Purpose for grad school, but whatever. I would imagine it could be worse.

As far as the tour goes, my goals are basically the same. I am going to attempt to capture each and every tour debut from start to finish is as close to immaculate quality as my seats allow. That means no "Big Wheel" or "Cornflake Girl" here, folks. You know how I roll.

Now here's to hoping homegirl debuts something incredible tomorrow night!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Two more months to go!

Well, all my thugs and thug misses, the US tour will be upon us in less than two months, and I'm happy to report I'll be at the following shows:

NYC (x2)
San Diego
Santa Barbara
LA (x2)

And I'll be youtube-ing as much as pigheaded American security allows. Woo hoo!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Back in the USA!

A few minutes ago I departed the United Kingdom for what is hopefully the last time for a very long while, having only been there a couple hours en route from Copenhagen to St. Louis (via Chicago). Why, you ask, am I so vocal in my dislike for this island? Well, in addition to having currency twice as strong as my own, food half as good as my own, bad dental care, a pretentious accent and a rape of my mother language, the British Airport security system makes its American counterpart seem like a tea party. After arriving in Terminal 4 on my British Airways Airbus A319, I was funneled onto a small bus that drove through a barb-wire enclosed tunnel to Terminal 3 where I waited over an hour in line to clear security—though I had already done so in Copenhagen! I also had to show my passport and boarding card no less than four times each. I have never in my life experienced such a cluster fuck—and I’ve been in many questionable situations. To assume that such a setup augments air travel security even minimally suggests that single-celled organisms are the brains behind all this. If anything, such a disorganized and tense mess would provide increased opportunities for “terrorists”—if you believe in such nonsense—to do their dirty deeds.

In other news, Copenhagen was a strange show in that it had—minus what was only the second bowing of “Cruel” in the past six years—the most standard setlist that Tori Amos could have written but was performed better—ironicallly, minus said “Cruel”—than almost any other show this tour, which IS saying a lot. Despite the setlist monotony about which I’ve whined intermittently for the past three weeks, this tour is hands down the tightest band outing Mrs. Hawley has ever done. It’s not as possessed as 1998 or pissed off as 1999 (on the whole anyway—some parts are), but it makes 2002-3 look like a bad dream, and I would argue a joke. The energy is through the roof, Tori’s singing is perfect, and the three main musicians (T, Matt, and John) function as a single unit. Dan Phelps is pretty OK, too, and I imagine once he learns all the songs the quartet will be unstoppable. So if you’re having any doubts as to whether or not to attend a show this year, don’t doubt. Whether or not you should attend more than one will depend on how much the setlist variance increases in the coming weeks (ed: there should be no problem; never is), but a safe bet is to see multiple shows in the same city/geographical area.

I love arbitrary rankings as some of you all know, so I’m go ahead and rank the shows (1 being the best and the final number being the worst) I saw as well as—for shits and grins—the cities I visited. I’m going to list Copenhagen as my favorite city for now because I loved the ambiance so much, and I think I’d love it even more if I got to spend more than one and two-half days there. Remember, though, that not one show was “bad,” though some were more boring than others. This is the first tour of Tori’s I’ve ever seen where a bad setlist has not ruined a show.


1. Nurnberg
2. Dusseldorf
3. Florence
4. Rome
5. Amsterdam
6. Paris
7. Stuttgart
8. Vienna
9. Copenhagen
10. Milan
11. Munich

Cities (including 2005 trip)

1. Copenhagen
2. Amsterdam
3. Rome
4. Hamburg
5. Vienna
6. Paris
7. Frankfurt
8. Antwerp
9. Stuttgart
10. Glasgow
11. Berlin
12. Dusseldorf
13. Bonn
14. Nurnberg
15. Newcastle
16. Nottingham
17. Manchester
18. Rotterdam
19. Wolverhampton
20. Milan
21. Brussels
22. Munich
23. Florence
24. London

My lovely sister purchased us a trip to my alma mater (Tampa) for the next few days, after which I’ll be returning to St. Louis for a few weeks to get operated on—don’t worry, it’s not terribly major)—make money rent-free, and prepare for a September return to Austin. During that time, I’ll be sure and post more goodies (under the entries for their respective cities) from my trip that I didn’t get to the first time.

This blog will not be (formally) updated until the ADP tour hits the US sometime in October, so here’s hoping that some crazy following the rest of the tour through Europe can keep videoing things. Speaking of which, I’d like to thank the 50,000 people who’ve viewed my videos and the several thousand who’ve (allegedly) kept reading this blog. This was my first venture into comprehensive multimedia reporting and the support—even if it’s just random IMs or myspace messages—makes me feel very good for having dedicated a bit of my vacation to bring y’all goodies. So thanks!

OK, back to wanting to slit my wr—I mean enjoying my 3029420938 hour flight.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Since this is what everyone cares about anyway...


This managed to upload itself to youtube sometime yesterday during the 13 hour between which I hit "Upload new video" and me rolling around in bed with some Scand...I mean falling asleep. It rocks and I know it and I hope you know it too.

Yesterday was an exciting day, beginning with a 14 hour train ride whose ferry crossing portion saw Sara and I crossing paths with Tori and her whole fucking crew during my first time on a large oceanliner and then almost ending up homeless in the C-P-H due to Sara having booked our hotel for May instead of June. We ended up staying in a hostel but it's like the nicest hostel in the world. It's a 20-story skyscaper that overlooks the whole city (we are on floor 10), so I won't complain too much.

Last night we went to the much-discussed Chrisiania neighborhood and I'm sad to report that it sucked. Not only were pictures strictly prohibited by the hippies that live/are homeless there, but said hippies are really junkies disguised as hippies, having crack or meth as their drugs of choice and burning rubber (literally---a tire! as their preferred aroma instead of something nice like patchouli.

Now, I must go find the Copenhagen venue with Jacob and meet Sara for the show. BYE!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Youtube is still not working...

...and I happened to bump into Tori on the ferry to Denmark today (though I ran away because Tash et. al were there), but I a working to get "Cruel" uploaded.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I have a video of Santa performing "Cruel"...

...which she does standing and with vocals a la 1998, however, youtube is going extremely slow and the hour of internet time I just wasted $10 on (for this sole purpose) is almost up, so it will probably be later this week before I can upload it. I'm tempted to upload it to yself, but I know some technically-saavy dumbass will rip it and upload it to youtube as if they recorded it them damn selves, so I'm not even going to entertain that.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A wordless journey through Stuttgart

For your viewing pleasure! Note that youtube is slow lately and these might take a while to actually show up!

I'll write more later...

...but Munich and Vienna were fun, the cities that is, my visit to Vienna falling during their vegan festival--which was incredible. I can't say the same about the shows. The performances were outstanding, no doubt, but I refuse to get past the setlist monotony in and of itself. I have a feeling it might be like it as a result of (a) Marcel having left and (b) the guitarist trying to learn all the songs, but it's still pretty fucking lame.

Anymore, more later! I have to go try and find a branch of Deutsche Bank so that I can take money out of my bank account without paying any fees. Yay!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

One of the main reasons Tori's voice is so awesome this year is...

...explained by the following picture (click to see larger):

Either Tori (a) has her vocals transmitted to this box and played to her via the earphone (i.e. so she can hear herself as she sings) I see going up her back and into her wig or (b) she is now battery-powered.

YOU decide.

Heads up...

As of 2005, the staff of Munchen's Philharmonie im Gasteig, the site of tonight's show, were camera nazis--no pun intended. As a result, unless she pulls, like, "The Wrong Band" out of her ass tonight, this bitch will NOT be risking losing his new camera.



...was, by leaps and bounds, the best show of the American Doll Posse tour thus far. It was better than 27 of 30 shows I saw in 2005 without question, and better than all but one show I saw in 2002-3. But let's not belittle it with superlatives: the Dusseldorf concert was a shining example of why Tori Amos is the most vital female performer of her generation.

It wasn't just the setlist, which WAS, in fact, flawless, opening with Pip and then into a Tori set opening up with a "Liquid Diamonds" "Caught a Lite Sneeze" one two punch and featuring the debuts of "Glory" "Purple People" "Marianne" "pancake" and a strange song from the early 1980's when Tori was known as "Just Ellen." No.

It was not just the performance either, "Fat Slut" augmented by an improv along the lins of "Fuckers/G8 Summit/Cock suckers/He raped my mother" the shouting throughout "Smokey Joe" or the flawless totality of "Marianne."

It wasn't sitting front row center.

And it's not the fact that Dan Phelps (on guitar) seems to be added on more and more songs each show (he's now featured on "Precious" "God" and played on "pancake" and "Tear" as well).

It's the whole fucking package. The energy. The sass. The fucking pussy. THIS is what "girl power" is, Spice Girls.

Videos will come soon!

And let me say that I only have one (formal) gripe about the tour thus far: TORI, PLEASE GET THE BODYSUITS TAKEN IN. THEY ARE TOO BAGGY AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU SHIT YOURSELF. KTHXBI!

Reflections on Paris and A'dam; musings on D'dorf

So, by now you've already read reviews/seen videos/heard bootlegs of both Paris and Amsterdam, so I won't opine to any great extent, but let's just say that Amsterdam was hands down the best performance of the tour and Paris was hands down the biggest let down (though certain parts of it were stellar so it's not the "worst" show by a long shot), mainly because Paris is always one of the top shows of the tour. For my money, this is how I'd rank the shows.


In other news, Dusseldorf is nowhere near as digusting as I'd heard it was, though it does seem benign, at best, which is a bit delightful to me after having spent the past two weeks in cities where one feels that he or she may be killed (on a regular basis) while crossing the street. Paris was far dirtier than I remember and Amsterdam was far more confusingly-orientated than I might have imagined. I also seem to have picked up a nasty stomach bug in Amsterdam.

But that qualifies as TMI I think! I'll write after tonight's show.

Monday, June 4, 2007

RE: Setlist complaints

I've noticed several snide remarks in various corners of the internet regarding a supposed "hypocrisy" to the posts here, specifically about my having said that the Milano show was "redundant." I guess my point is that it's perplexing for an artist like Tori, who goes on and on about her 150+ song back catalog, to play (essentially) the same setlist several nights in a row. Additionally, she's built her touring reputation on her setlist variance. I consider this constructive criticism. For a counterexample, go here.


Edit: does anyone else who travels notice that blogger changes languages every time you change countries? I SO do not know Dutch?

Edit 2: Oh! Look at this!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

California Love

(and yes, that is a Tupac reference)

I woke my first morning in Rome under, among other things, several effigies of a bizarre celebrity by the name of Renato Zero, who appeared to be Italy’s version of David Bowie, though far less successful at accomplishing androgyny, more likely than not due to his, well, Italian features, bushy eyebrows and all. Then again, women here seem at least moderately likely to shave their faces past age 23, so perhaps that’s not actually too strange. Of all the oddities to greet me at around noon when I opened my eyes, the most conspicuous one was conspicuous only in and of its absence: the sun.

You see, in some Italian apartments, it seems that a utilitarian metal shade on the outside of a given window doubles as a blind—and a screen, which is handy for mornings like these, the latest (at that time) I had woken up since well before I graduated college, though I suppose with the time change, I really woke up nearer to five, which is more typical than anything. Nevertheless, I didn’t see the sun until I had seen the clock (which glowed crystal clear in the shade), and I initially thought said clock was wrong.

That was just shy of a week ago at this point, and when I stepped down into the Rome underground that morning, I felt my clothing stick to me despite the sun that had been absent consisting, at that point, mainly of luminous cloud cover. I’m told that it was pushing 100 degrees then, though I haven’t looked at a proper thermometer in at least five years, so the only evidence I might have to go by is weather.com’s archives, if I choose to pursue that option once I have an internet connection available again.

Today, Milano is waving to me as I shoot backwards out of its Shen-tral-ay Stah-zee-own-ay on the Tay Jay Vay train, the contrast of Dolce and Gabanna models that make David Beckham look like trailer trash, buildings representing the worst of 1980’s mid-rise architecture, and a wintery rain with the Roman May I walked into last week coalescing into a composite of my time in Italy. I’d had extremely high expectations for Italy—mostly as a result of breaking the number one rule of travel—taking other peoples preferences as anything more than free Frommer’s books—and most of them were not met. On the other hand, I was told to expect many things that were not so great—Milano being grey, at best, and Italian men being mediocre lovers, and I’m happy to report that Milano is grey and busy-like, and Italian men are not mediocre (which, in my eyes, qualifies as bad) enough in the sack for me to opine. Let’s just say that I’d like to visit Italy again under different circumstances and in the middle of a summer like the one I thought I’d see throughout. Had I known that the fluke Rome thunderstorm that poured from the sky last Monday was actually a harbinger, I probably would have gotten over my affinity toward summer a few days earlier. It is only now that I shoot backwards from Milano’s Shen-tral-ay Stah-zee-own-ay, a “terminal” stay-zee-own-ay in the sense that you can’t go anywhere beyond on an open circuit, that I am prepared for European winter but hoping that my clothing sticks once again to my body as I enter a given metropolitan subway system.

This is where you come in.

Despite all of our talks regarding the Trans-Siberian railroad and Ljubljana and India, I always see us moving along a desert beach somewhere in Baja, man-planted palm trees replaced by harsh brush that is more than likely indigenous to that area, white Caribbean sand gone in favor of a rockier mix, the larger grains as relatively minute as their third coast counterparts as a result of the breadth—and depth—of the Pacific. I see us mostly naked and in black and white and without speech or sound. Just a silent film of sorts. But no music. Perhaps the sound of waves crashing. I’m not really sure. I actually see one of us with makeup on. But it’s just us. No sea creatures. Lots of seaweed, But only two pairs of eyes.

Well, three if you count the one photographing us.

If that sounds dramatic it’s because it is, because this is a serious subject with serious implications. I used to believe that the world before color pictures and television must have lacked color as well. I believed this until I was at least ten, and even now I sometimes have to remind myself—if only silently—that this is not the case, that the rainforest green of the Italian railway was just as green in 1940 when the railway was new, in 1840 when this particular railway wasn’t here, and centuries ago, when different arteries pumped cargo and people through Lombardy at much slower rates than the one at which the train that just sped by us—with only inches to spare—it traveling.

There will be color in our world, though, once the negatives of the beach scene are being developed by our actions, words, and presences, once the future is present, though I’m not sure what will happen once the present becomes past. My thought is that it might be like a children’s coloring book but it could be a dry-erase board or, worse, a transparency.

As we rise up off the sand at a non-descript hour of a dateless, hourless day, it gains a pale nude color as the half-orange sun de-eclipses pending our backs turning to it. You look at me and open your mouth a few times. I manage to comprehend, and as the last clump of sand crumbles down to grains between the final step of my right foot on the beach and the first step of my left one on to pavement, I respond. “I’m coming back for more.”


…was just as “grey” as many people described it to be; that’s really the perfect word for it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I don’t think. To me, there was a certain…busy-ness to the people of the city that complimented its drab architecture and energy that created an ambiance that was certainly different from the rest of Italy. Whether or not that different was a positive one remains to be seen, and I don’t feel proper making that judgment based off of less than twenty four hours here. Still, there’s something to be said about the contrast of Dolce and Gabanna underwear models (ed: they have to make you pay their prices somehow, eh?) with the worst of 80’s mid-rise stylings over a cloudy backdrop with well-dressed, miserable looking people. Think the Upper West Side meets West Berlin meets the nicer parts of Detroit. Or something.

The show itself was interesting in that it seemed to be a foil of sorts to the Florence show, but far less satisfying, by which I mean that the Florence show started out quite iffy and then proceeded to kick everyone’s ass, and this one kicked ass (see “Teenage Hustling”) from the beginning and then started to sputter (“Cornflake Girl” “God” “Siren” and “Liquid Diamonds” again?) before she even began the solo songs. I’m trying not to be like whateverhernameis, you know, a setlist snob. I can tolerate repetition. It’s just that all but two of the “Tori” band songs were repeats of the previous two nights, and that’s a bit frustrating, especially when she soundchecked “Marys of the Sea.”

I didn’t bother rushing (not that I’m honestly doing that lately anyway), and I actually sat in my seat behind a thousand (or more) standing people during “Jupiter.” Granted, it was probably one of the better version of the song I’ve ever heard, but my tired ass sho the fuck ain’t gonna stand up for a song she played two nights ago. Sorry.

Today I’m traveling via the Tay-Jay-Vay to France and by the time anyone reads this (if they do), I’ll be sitting in my hotel room, which is somewhere in Paris. If you are reading this, then you will know I was able to successfully ascertain a location for said hotel, and if you’re not reading this then, um, I don’t really know. I died?

No, the vegetables of the world are not so lucky. Anyway, I’ll write more during the trip probably and publish it a day later so that it doesn’t look like I’m a loser who takes eight hour train trips by himself with only a laptop to keep him company.

Oh, wait!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Sorry about the lack of posting--there doesn't seem to be much of an internet hub in Firenze (one of the many problems with that city), so right now in Milan is the first time I've been online in a couple days.

Anyway, last night's show was better than Rome's, and was almost great, minus the vocal problems Isabel seemed to be having. The highlight was certainly "Doughnut Song" with "Daisy Dead Petals" being the runner up. Because I'm here so late in the game, I'll save you the verbage and get right to posting youtube videos--in a little while. I got all of Isabel (minus "Almost Rosey") as well as "Sneeze" and "Parasol."

I am bringing my camera to the Milan show tonight, but I have a crap ticket, so I may or may not use it. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


...and "Secret Spell" live was incredible. Started out with a long weird guitar noise. Very passionate throughout in terms of piano and singing, so much so that I couldn't tape because I teared up. Don't listen to whateverhernameis because she doesn't know shit.

Proper review....

...which will be quite short due to my being on a time limit due to my crap lodging's internet constraints, but the gist is that it was an excellent Santa show and a fairly good Tori show that combined for a very, very good first show whose only surprise was that Tori gave no real surprises.

The important things to note are that Santa did not talk, and Tori was playing the Hammond wired into the keyboard, that is, the Hammond made different sounds, for instance in "Jupiter" the last verses were sung over synth string sounds. I think the Hammond allowed the songs so sound more organic instead of...um...fake.

Anyway, it appears there is a bootleg out there so everyone can hear for themselves just what this show was about, but if you need any clarification, feel free to ask.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Soda and Hoochie!

Now I am going to BED!

More videos!

General Joy



Sorry about them being flipped sideways! Thanks for all your kind comments as common sense dictates that if you happen to link or use these, give credit where credit is due.

Detailed review tomorrow, and I might still post "Programmable Soda" "Precious Things" and "Hoochie Woman" tonight. I dunno.

Rome Multimedia...

...will trickle in throughout the night.

First up, is a video of "Body and Soul." If you post this elsewhere, please give credit where credit is due.

Then, some pictures. The first is Tori at the Meet and Greet I showed up for the tail end of (and only took photos) and the second is Santa. The third is Tori looking strangely like a redheaded version of Kate Bush on the Tour of Life. (click on images for larger versions)

I will upload more files later tonight and write a proper review tomorrow. Too. tired. to. write.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Now with pictures:

Figure One: Me in front of the Collosseum looking like the cracker that I am

In my last post, I forgot to mention an essential aspect of the calamity of my not speaking Italian. You see, almost everyone with whom I've successfully spoken here has informed me that they assumed I was a native prior to opening my mouth. As the picture above illustrates, however, I am the most Aryan (and lame, probably) thing this side of the Italian alps. I was thinking it might have been my fashion sense, but as I mentioned before, the only thing Roman about my fashion sense is the fact that it doesn't even remotely match that of any one person here, whose does not match his or her neighbor, and so on. Initially, this hodge podge bothered me since Italy is supposed to be such a fasionable country (perhaps that's only true in Milan?), but I'm beginning to see it as positive rather than negative. It's completely and totally enough that there are millions of tools in the United States (ZOMG!!1111 AberKromBy ShoutOUt!!!111) who look exaclty like one another, right down to the accessory level. That said, there does seem to be a sect of "straight" men who believe that wearing a pair of nondescript jeans, a pair of nondescript shoes, and wearing a nondescript button-up shirt qualifies as well-dressed, which sounds slightly like the "straight" Italian men in New York.

Figure Two: Pleasuring the collective Italian phallus

If you don't know me, you're probably questioning why I've placed the word "straight" inside quotations, and if you do know me, you're probably asking "for what reason this time, Robert?" Well, the answer is that the only remotely straight behavior in which I've seen any man in this country partake is kissing a woman, and even that seems to be done half-assed around here. Before I left, I actually began to have an epiphany RE: sexuality (it's essentially a societal trap), and I'm still very into that, but on a very societal level, the men here couldn't look gayer, and that's saying something, considering I said the same thing about the men in other countries in Europe last time, all decked-out in their man capris. I'm happy/sad to report that the man capri is back and gay/straighter than ever, but Italian men beat this in spades, wearing tighter clothing than I do in all sorts of feminine shapes and textures and sitting on each other's laps on the subway. "Gayday" here compared to its American counterpart must be like comparing the respective pizzas, or something.

Figure 3: He's got the whole world (ed: well, at one time, Rome was the center of the world!) in his hands (ed: er, extending from my fingertips?)

I'm having such an amazing time here I've forgotten several times that a Tori Amos tour is beginning in 48 hours.

Figure 3.b: Teatro Sistina, where T-money is playing

The negative things I can say about Rome dissolve every time I get out of a negative situation, i.e. the confusing layout that retards my normally Pointer-like sense of direction and the mediocre night bus system. The food, so far, is excellent, the vegetarian pizza (ed: who'da thunk that "peperoni" meant "peppers" in Italian?) I snagged for five euros hands down better than any pizza I've eaten before in my life, and this was at some nondescript kebab shop on a random corner I couldn't find again if my life depended on it. The scenery is, of course, incredible. I rode by the (lit-up) Collosseum last night on one of those uber-hip scooter things and it's just...um...wow. There's such an electricity here. I won't say that Rome is my favorite city and it's few (but very fundamental) flaws might prevent me from ever saying that, but I will say that Rome is a place I would happily go out of my way to visit again.

Figure 4: The view off my hotel balcony--yes I said balcony

And I will certainly stay at "One Step from St. Peter" again. It's an incredible little hole in the wall that's better than any hotel I stayed in last time, and comparably priced. At about 45 euros per night, I get breakfast, a full-sized bed, internet use, and a location only three metro stops from the geographical center of town. I'm also within walking distance of an incredible fruit market that's only incredible in reputation because my lazy ass just got around to sleeping off jet lag and the 25 plus miles I've walked so far. One last gush about Rome before I call it a (cyber) night and go find something to do with myself before I lay me down for good tonight: I think I'm going to break down and shop here. They actually make dress clothing for skinny people here! I can get a hot pair of pin-stripe pants, a fitted button up, and a real Italian silk tie for less than 40 euros (about $55) here, out the door, at almost every shop I've been to. And some are cheaper! I'm tempted to wait until Milan, but my thought is that while the selection there will be greater, the cost will be too high. Any thoughts, please leave them. Otherwise, check out myspace for more pictures in the meantime. I'll post more tomorrow, provided I don't get hit by a motor vehicle walking across the street, which, for the record, is one of the most exciting feelings in the world. I can't really expand upon why I think almost dying every time one crosses a Roman road is exciting; all I can tell you is the second you step foot (and I do mean foot; your other foot will be in mid stride when you hear the engine humming) onto, say, Via de Cavour, you will know. Get thee to Rome!

First day in Rome...

...or should I say "premio dia a Roma"? I'm sure you're telepathically scolding me right now for confusing my languages and my countries, but hang on, I'm about to tell you something! You see, before I came to Rome, I thought the semester of Spanish I took in college and the three years I lived in Florida and resisted bilingual immerision were both worthless. Well, Ms. Conchita Rodriguez would be very proud of me today, because I actually feel like I know a shit ton of Spanish. See, strangely not a lot of people speak English here. It's strange to me because like, say, Dutch, Italian is only spoken in a very (relatively) small part of the world, I think here and Tunisia and maybe parts of Ethiopia. It would make sense that they would learn English, though I don't think they "owe" it to me per se.

Neither do they!

They do, however, speak Spanish, and necessity is the mother of invention, and let's just say that despite the 2398490384 words I've invented over the past twenty-four hours, I've held several conversations almost entirely in real Spanish and I couldn't be prouder of myself. That said, I can't wait until I'm in France and I can actually speak like a human being. Language barriers have a way of making even the most articulate people (yes, I did just give myself props) feel verbally retarded.

In other news, I love Rome. Love it. Love it. Love it, particularly the neighborhood in which my hotel is located. It's a strange confluence of tourism and working-class, clergy and laypeople also know as Ottaviani, which is only a few blocks from the Vatican. There is an energy here evocative of the trendier parts of Berlin though there's not really anything remotely trendy about this area. Or any of Rome thus far, actually, which is strange.

I walked by Teatro Sistina (where Tori is playing) yesterday and I'm pleased to report that it's tiny as hell and located in a very good area, just a short walk from the Spanish steps, or as they refer to them around here, Piazza di Spagna.

See, I am picking up some Italian!

I took a shit-ton of pictures yesterday and I hope to upload them soon, but the computer here at the hotel doesn't have a card reader and there's not any wireless connectivity here so far as I can tell. If anybody knows of any wireless hotspots near Ottiviani station (as I'd prefer not to bring my laptop on the Metro), let me know. Ditto on vegan grub. I'm actually about to head out the door in search of some Pizza senzo formaggio.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tomorrow's the day...

...that I depart for Rome, pending lenience on the part of the TSA. I fear I might have exceeded my liquid allowance (my one quart bag is ripping at its polymer seams), which means that I must be trying to carry a bomb on board. Hopefully I can fool them!

In other news, well, there is no other news, but there will be Friday! I'll have some things to say about the flight (or Guantanamo if my ripped baggie violates national security) and about Rome and also have some pictures posted. As my trip progresses, I hope to utilise youtube to post some videos of the concerts, meet and greets, and myself and friends commentating on the general state of the American Doll Posse tour.

So maybe that is other news? I dunno. You decide.

I need to....um...well, I need to create a time machine and have it be tomorrow because I'm not doing a damn thing right now.