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Dispatches from E.D. Sedgwick’s winter tour through Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
I fall on hard times, disrupting my plans to regularly update my Washington City Paper Arts Desk tour blog. “Where is your copy?” my editor screams. “The bottom is falling out of our business model, and our company’s continuing profitability depends on you!”
But I am in the Czech Republic. Sometimes, there is no WiFi. Sometimes, it is too cold to type. Sometimes, I must search for a different place for the band to stay because a very young, vegan, straight-edge girl who was supposed to let the band stay with her doesn’t want the band to stay with her because some of the band has been drinking and, besides, the band would have to leave her place when she does at 8:30 a.m. because it is very difficult for uninitiated Americans to understand the complex system of keys required to lock her apartment.
Sometimes, I am reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Sometimes, I must play a show in a medieval-themed bar called Mithril (a light, but very strong metal found in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Middle Earth that dwarves use to make armor) with a huge Reign of Fire poster (referring, of course, to the 2002 film starring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey as dragon slayers). The poster is so large that it’s not really a poster, but more of a mural. Sometimes, I am eating key lime pie in an Italian restaurant in Brno after devouring a surprisingly delicious spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino because the venue is not yet open and it is 20 degrees outside and I absolutely, positively must sit somewhere indoors, even if it is in an Italian restaurant in the Czech Republic’s second largest city which, in case you were wondering, has a great rivalry with Prague somewhat like the Washington-Baltimore or Washington-Philadelphia rivalry (though, of course, no NFL teams are involved).
Sometimes, I am apologizing to bass player K., whose white guitar, which I have borrowed for the past six months for performances, I have broken. The guitar’s pickups, strings, and input jacks are intact and, at least for now, the guitar is playable. However, I have thrown the guitar to the stage in a fit of pique as a prelude to a conversation with a recalcitrant sound man at a medieval-themed bar who, under no circumstances, seemed willing to turn up my vocals. Upon falling to the stage, propelled by both gravity and the force with which I thrust it, the double-cutaway wing below the bridge has cracked, leaving the guitar with what Singer L. refers to as a “hangnail.” (Translation for those unfamiliar with guitar terminology: The guitar has serious cosmetic damage, like when a fender falls off of a car.)
Sometimes, I am reviewing video from a show I played at a medieval-themed bar which, despite my perception at the time and screaming argument with the sound man, confirms that my vocals were loud enough after all.