07 May 2007

A Canadian Coup de Grace: CocoRosie Tour Cancelled

I am now back in Brooklyn after my third plane ride of the day; thankfully, the last one was very short- from Philadelphia to New York's Laguardia Airport- but sadly, it represents the premature ending of our tour with CocoRosie after completing only 6 dates on the west coast. Beginning in Los Angeles a week ago at the El Ray, we continued north on to Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle before crossing the border into British Columbia. It was there, in Vancouver, that we had our best show yet. Regan and I stayed nearby at a quirky hotel called Lamplight, and each room there had a theme developed by a different artist. The inside of my room (209), for instance, looked as if it were adjacent to a house, complete with a shuttered roof hanging halfway over my bed like an awning. Regan was excited about his room next door full of patterns on the walls, but evidently his lock was broken! He yelled for me through the window, and he slipped me the key underneath his door so I could let him out. A hotel with character is definitely not without its share of problems.

There was a fun after-party that night where I tried some bizarre wine and avoided Yohimbe muffins, and we finally retreated to our rooms after sharing some late night pizza with new friends. I awoke the next morning and enjoyed "The Goonies" on TV, had a sashimi lunch up the street, and drove for hours back to Seattle... We spent 2 hours in queue at the border as I tried to sleep over El-P's "I'll Sleep When You're Dead" blasting from Busdriver's iPod- not an easy endeavor, believe me. All the while, we knew nothing of what happened to our tour mates....

Once back in Seattle, we met up with Nick, Sebastian and Aaron from Islands (ex-Unicorns) and had some beer and dinner at Elysian Brewing Company. Only an hour prior, a woman on the street had randomly offered them two free tickets to that night's Morrissey concert in town, and they more-than-happily obliged. Aaron bought a third ticket from a scalper and- assuring us it would be easy to get some more- we decided to accompany them to the show. As they waited out front for us to find parking, a girl approached them and sold Nick a ticket for only five dollars (!!), and we were able to get the final ticket for twenty: mission accomplished.

The show was amazing. He opened with "The Queen is Dead," and the crowd went bananas. To be honest- and this may be blasphemous to say as a rabid Smiths fan- I don't have a single Morrissey solo album; thus, the show's highlights for me were the 3 and a half Smiths songs performed (he cut off "The Boy with a Thorn in His Side" midway through, complaining that something felt wrong). Towards the end of "Life is a Pigsty," he curled himself in a tiny ball center-stage, illuminated by a bright, colored spotlight as the sounds became quieter and quieter, resolving in silence and near darkness. And then, the dirty vibrato guitar from "How Soon Is Now?" began, and I lost my shit! Throughout the set, star-struck fans continually rushed the stage to be forcefully removed by bouncers waiting in the wings, and I was in awe of Morrissey's continuing command of his audience, many of whom have been loyal since the early eighties.

After an encore of "Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want" we made it to a Red Roof Inn for only a few cozy hours of sleep. As per usual before a flight, we were up at three, returned the rental car by four, at our airport terminal by five, and onboard Frontier Airlines for our 6 AM flight after snarfing down a breakfast sandwich at Wendy's. Somehow, I managed to stay awake enough to watch the new movie re-make of "The Bridge to Terabithia," and I wished I would've known how sad it was! Regardless of my teary eyes, the day was moving along as usual. We had an uneventful layover in Denver and boarded our flight to Philadelphia; but it was then, right before the stewardesses rattled off safety instructions, that Sierra (from CocoRosie) phoned Regan. I was wearing headphones but heard enough of the conversation: "Are you serious? Back to France? Where are you?"

Fantastic.

Magically, Pitchfork had mention of it before we did, and we were already receiving phone calls from friends who heard the news. Frankly, I still don't know the gruesome details other than the proper paperwork for two out of three band members (all French) were not provided to them, making their entry back into the states impossible. On top of that, the two in question were deported, but don't quote me on that since I still haven't spoken with any of them. The end result is that the tour, very unfortunately, is over. Once in Philadelphia, Busdriver and I stood at the baggage claim sort of staring into space, and I briefly entertained the idea of hanging out in North Carolina for a couple weeks. Alas, exhausted and upset, and subjected to a special search at security, I was on a tiny plane back home. I am so sorry that such a horrendous thing happened. I'm sorry for CocoRosie and their amazing accompanists Ben, Gael & Tez, and especially sorry that Busdriver and I won't be able to see many of you in the cities we had yet to visit together.