Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stuck Inside of Worcester with the...

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to all of those who had intended on coming to see us over the past couple of days. We made every attempt to honor the bookings that had been made for us, but after a certain point it became clear that there were too many odds stacked against us. Here is the full story:

Friday night, we played in Boston at a club called P.A.'s Lounge. The weather that day had been disastrous to say the least and thus we left a rather large amount of extra time for our journey to Washington D.C. the next day. Little did we know that we should have left an extra four days. About 35 miles outside of Boston the van started to make this terrible noise that sounded much like a muffled machine gun, certainly not an unfamiliar sound considering that we had to have the spark plug replaced at the beginning of this tour (the reason we had to cancel our Dallas show). However, this time we were convinced that the problem was something different and we pulled off the interstate to find the closest mechanic. "The closest mechanic" came in the form of a non-descript mechanic shop attached to a Getty's petrol station immediately off the Mass. Pike. As soon as we pulled up, a man in a cap came out and told us to shut off the engine, which we did. He opened the hood of the van, took a quick glance, and simply proclaimed, "You have blown a valve, engine is destroyed." My knowledge of cars/trucks is limited to say the least, and I'm pretty sure this particular mechanic was aware of that fact; we were all panicked, pacing and trying to figure out the best way to get back on the road to DC. If the engine was in fact destroyed, it could take as long as a week to rebuild the damn thing and it would likely cost approximately two thousand plus dollars. Still, we were fixated on the idea of making it to the next show.

The most obvious plan of action: rent a van; a seemingly simple task, though finding a fifteen passenger van on Saturday in Worcester, Massachusetts is no easy feat. We managed to find one twelve passenger at the Worcester regional airport and promptly phoned a taxi to take us there. We arrived and were faced with a rather intimidating invoice, but were still prepared to pay as long as it meant we would make it to the remaining shows of the tour. As we were practically signing the dotted line on the contract, a woman appeared with her husband, two hours late to pick up two twelve passenger vans for a 5 hour family reunion. [Insert the sound of dreams being crushed]. It was now clear that there was no way we could make it out of Worcester in time to make it to any of the remaining dates and that the remainder of the tour would have to be cancelled. There was no feasible way to even reach another mechanic before Monday.

I phoned my Dad's friend Liam, who came and picked us up, helped us transport our gear to a motel, and bought us dinner at this Tex-Mex restaurant called "Williker's," the only dining establishment within walking distance of our motel. Upon entering Williker's, we were seated by a really nice girl named Erika, who informed us that the place hosted a karaoke night at the weekend, the first positive thing we had heard all day. That night we drowned our sorrows in tequila and proceeded to completely take over the event, churning out a wide variety of songs/artists, including: Johnny Cash, Soul Asylum, The Band, Journey, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, The Spin Doctors, The Beatles, Guns and Roses, Otis Redding... the list goes on. By the time Mitch and company took the stage to perform a very drunken version of the Crash Test Dummies classic "Mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmm...." it was clear that things had gone too far. Perhaps our state of anxiety had become too much over the course of the day and karaoke was the perfect release. We all went a little nuts, and fortunately the entire thing is on video tape, some of which we hope to host on the Voxtrot web page soon.

Over the next four days, we made friends with our waitress Erika, who provided salvation from the all too familiar motel scenery, visited the Candy Mansion, and spent multiple hours propping up the bar at Williker's, our new local. I entered a rather Brian Wilson-esque phase where I refused to leave the bed, preferring to lay in bed pretty much all day, watching re-runs of MTV Cribs in my flannel pajamas.

Then came Monday, the fateful day where we could get our van to a real mechanic and find out what exactly had been the cause of damage to the problem and what the cost of fixing it would be. Three auto shops and one billion phone calls later it became evident that it was in fact a spark plug. A fucking spark plug. Those assholes at the first mechanic had lied to us and tried to weasel us out of our van, saying it was totaled and offering us a used minivan with no odometer in exchange for the title. By doing this they destroyed any chance we might have had of making it to the Washington, Chapel Hill and Georgia shows. In the end the cost of fixing the fan was approximately one half the combined costs of the Rainbow Motel and the bar tab at Williker's. However, as I said earlier I know nothing about anything auto related and this fix might not be a permanent one, so I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch. It just appears to me that they very knowingly tried to use our ignorance against us for malicious intent and it cost us the potential of completing the second half of our tour. That's pretty shitty.

Today we made it back to new york city and I have my fingers crossed that the van will stay safe and fixed. We are incredibly sad about the cancelled shows and have scheduled a last minute show tomorrow (Wednesday) at nine pm at Magnetic Field in Brooklyn to try and fundraise some of the lost money. Just as a brief update, when we return to Austin we are finishing off material for the upcoming Mothers Sisters Daughters and Wives EP that should be completed in January/February and officially released at the beginning of March. Touring will take place in February (West Coast), then we play SXSW, then more touring in March (East Coast). I shall keep you posted. We are very thankful for everybody's support and we hope to make up for the mishaps of this tour in the near future.


PS. If anybody would like to respond/comment I would really like that. I only realised today that I had the "member-only" response setting on. It has been changed.

I'm sure the grammar on this has suffered a little due to length. I shall try and edit it tomorrow.


Anonymous uwmryan said...

What a prick that guy at the first station was! Glad to hear you guys are back on track. Your fans will still be there when you go back to those places, probably more.

Come to Wisconsin!


4:14 PM  
Anonymous Nathan said...

I'm sorry about all of your troubles on tour. I was looking forward to seeing you guys in houston :-(

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Apryl said...

Sorry to hear that you guys had to cancel all those shows. I messaged the band on Saturday when you guys posted this bulletin:

"If anyone knows of anything happening tonight, please let us know. We'd love to hang out."

I'm not far from Worcester so I sent you guys a message. Your manager, James, sent me a message in response which included Jared's cell phone number so I could call you guys and possibly hang out... but I was too chicken to call.

Glad to hear you guys had a good time doing karaoke(sp?) and hope that the next time you guys come to MA that you don't get stranded and dicked around by a mechanic.
Take Care!
xox <3

4:47 PM  
Anonymous brett said...

Sorry to hear about all your troubles. I know there are lots of people in DC who look forward to seeing you next time you're through town.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Caitlin said...

You guys are absolutely adorable and I am certainly looking forward to your return to Austin so I can see you for probably the hundredth time. SXSW should be fantastic. Much love.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope your bad boston area experience won't make you forsake us entirely in the future. Really enjoyed the show on Friday; my only complaint is that it was too short. You guys are great.


5:10 PM  
Anonymous niki nash said...

the thought of you in your flannies makes me think...."I'M HUNGY FOR RAMESH!" come home safely! love, niki

6:10 PM  
Anonymous jaclyn campanaro said...

but you forgot to mention the awesome circle jerk at the rainbow motel. haha.
by the way...ryan's voice sounded TERRIBLE on the phone. just how long was he left wandering the frigid streets of chicago alone?
i hope this shit doesn't repeat during your west coast tour in february. my only request is that this time you spend 2 days in portland, not one. last time my hangover lasted longer than your entire stay.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Jenny Alva said...

wow, that's a crazy story, but I like how you all made the best of the situation. When life gives you a broken spark plug, you grab that plug and karaoke.

6:24 PM  
Blogger S.M.T. said...

Wow, what a stressful couple of days you you guys have had! I was bummed that you couldn't make it to the Lenny's show in Atlanta, but it's good to hear that your van is fixed, and I hope it doesn't give you any more trouble. Have fun in NYC and good luck with the rest of your shows.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Rashmi said...

What a horrible few day! Hopefully you all will do a whole new tour after the EP is released. You should definitely come to Upstate NY. It is lovely and there are a great deal of reliable mechanics around!

7:07 PM  
Anonymous kungfoobird said...

whoa....what Journey song did you do? 'Only the Young' is a party starter.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the new Brooklyn show... Yay! Thanks for coming back through.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous kathryn said...

was the [insert the sound of dreams being crushed] the silence mitch faced on the phone after telling me you weren't coming to dc?

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Sheila said...

I'm listening to your EP right now and lamenting in your sorrows. You deserve the best of luck in the coming months. Good things will happen for you all, I'm positive...

Come tour in the Midwest!


8:38 AM  
Blogger Penningtron said...

I was at my girlfriend's waiting for her to finish getting ready so we could head out the door and start driving to DC, (~4hr drive) and I decided to check myspace. Thank goodness I did, and thank goodness you put a note up on there early. That really sucks about your van and missed dates, but at least you didn't fall for the bastard mechanics. I hope to see you guys on tour soon. Please come and play Morgantown, WV next time, or at least Pittsburgh.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous wes said...

boooo for that first mechanic. it'll come back to them

11:16 AM  
Blogger jerry yeti said...

See you tonight Ramesh. I can't wait to hear you guys cover "Mmmmmm Mmmmmm."

11:22 AM  
Anonymous fiverooms@hotmail.com said...

i just found out that voxtrot is coming to san francisco in early march, thanks for making it over here! i'll be the guy in the crowd that likes your band way too much.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Sunny said...

Ramesh, did you get your melodica yet?

Love Vigilante is going to be THE SEX!


12:21 PM  
Anonymous Sahiti Karempudi said...

definitely try to come to the atlanta/athens area

voxtrot is the best thing to come from cedar park since...insert other good thing here

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just wanted to say how great you guys are! i'm sorry for all the troubles but i'm glad you played another show in brooklyn. you are awesome!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Kirby said...

That sounds awful! I'm sure everyone understands and will make it to see you next time. You guys need to come play a show in Toronto!

10:52 PM  
Anonymous julia said...

hi, your ep has found its way miraculously to Munich, Germany, where I'm crazy in love with "the start of something". it's on never-ending repeat- Belle and Sebastian crossed with The Smiths, and now I read that you're from Texas! my greatest compliments, and hope there's more to come.

1:06 PM  
Blogger gilbag said...

Hope your luck grows better and I will see you at The Echo in LA in March. I'm sure I will be impressed...

11:09 AM  
Anonymous emmanuel said...

As a DC denizen who was looking forward to your live performance, I absolve you of any guilt for not being able to appear. You just have to promise to come back and take me under your wing. I'll carry your instrument and drop anecdotes at your feet. This comment just got out of hand.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

I was so sad to hear you weren't coming to Chapel Hill...AmAnSet played in town that same week, and I was so looking forward to two Austin acts in one week...and I'm even sadder for you all to have had such a sucky breakdown experience. What a shame. However, there is something charming about using karaoke to drown some sorrow. Look forward to the possibility of some video of that on the website.

Hopefully I'll be able to convert a few more people into Voxtrot fans before the next time you come to town...we'll be here! Have a blast on your upcoming tours. Best wishes, etc.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Bekah said...

I would have been at your DC show! But no worries, I've apparently started a small Voxtrot following at my high school, so when you finally make it here we'll be waiting.
And I have to say that mechanic is like the messiah of assholes.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come to australia already, ramesh.

6:11 PM  

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