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state champs tour diary pt3

part the third, in which the state champs tour 
(and diary) comes to a rather anticlimactic end.   



	i go the whole day without seeing the 
band.  apparently they just hung out wherever in 
boston they were staying...
	as for myself, i walk to the boston museum 
of fine arts, which has some pretty impressive 
egyptian stuff.  it also features a vast repository 
of "lifestyles of the rich and colonial."  in the 
19th century american art exhibit i find a rather 
impressive bierstadt (can't remember what it was 
	i strolled past fenway park and walked 
back to ian's apartment.  finished reading the 
kelman novel and later ian and i dined on "chicken 
chow fon," which features these really wide, weird 
noodles that ian claims you can't buy in halifax.


	meet up with the guys at a cafe across 
from tt and bear's, where they are scheduled to 
play an afternoon all-ages gig.  their time slot 
is 1:30 p.m. - 2:05 p.m., but due to some weird 
miscommunication they miss their sound check and 
end up blowing off the gig.  which is not a big 
deal 'cause there's no kids there anyway (it's a 
sunny warm day and there's no big-name bands on 
the bill).  so then they decide not to stick 
around for yo la tengo that evening.  after i help 
ian carry some stuff to the airport (he's flying 
to halifax) we say goodbye to boston and hit the 
road for hadley.
	we arrive mid-evening and unpack at 
catano's grandmother's house.  there's beds for 
everyone and cable tv and abundant food.  wayne 
and andy head for town and the car and jon and 
catano and i sit and watch tv for a while before 
heading to bed.


	we spend our afternoon wandering around 
northampton and amherst.  northampton features a 
comic book museum founded by the guys who created 
the teenage mutant ninja turtles.  they're locals.
we decide not to pay admission but we wander in 
the gift shop for a while.  northampton also has 
the most exclusive women's college in the usa: 
smith college.  we visit that gift shop too but 
i'm unsuccessful in convincing wayne to buy the 
t-shirt that says, "smith college: a century of 
women on top."  catano buys one that just says 
"smith college."  it's graduation day and there's 
people in gowns everywhere.  we find a 180-degree 
arc park bench on campus.  it's molded in concrete 
and has its own sundial.  a nice place to rest.  
at the local indie record store i find an archers 
of loaf t-shirt.  now my shopping is complete. :-)
	in the meantime, we've heard bad news:  
the push kings and zeke fiddler are off tonight's 
bill.  and we soon find out a possible reason -- 
it seems monster magnet are playing a show that 
night.  next door!  oh well.
	state champs end up top of the bill at 
this show at the bay state hotel.  the undercard 
featured hanna cranna, who played their best song 
at sound check and kinda go downhill from there. 
sort of jayhawks, velvet crush, buffalo tom 
territory but with too many songs that sound the 
same.  the mitchells were a lot more fun.  the 
lead singer had a hilarious sense of humour and 
did some of the best stage banter i've seen, which 
was pretty cool considering he was maybe playing 
to fifteen people, and there was no stage.  
they kinda sounded like mid-career lemonheads, at 
times.  lots of cheesy classic-rock touches, though, 
like wah pedal and wanky solos that i got a huge kick 
out of.  i don't think the champs enjoyed them as much 
as i did.  when they got on the first band had left, 
so the champs played to the mitchells and their friends 
and maybe a couple of other people.  it was a pretty 
slack show that had some funny disorganized moments.  
not the high point of their career or anything.  :-)
	when we got back to catano's grandmother's 
house we watched both gigs on video.  for the 
first time i got to see just how good the mid-east 
show was.  boy, they were on.  unfortunately 
catano is hidden in the recesses of the mid-east 
stage but i got some great shots of jon, wayne, 
and andy.  they all have the moves.  :-)

	we drove out of hadley early in the 
morning and hit the highway.  i finally won the 
even-odd competition and got to sit up front.  :-) 
once again we had no trouble crossing the border.  
when darkness fell that evening we got into a 
really cool discussion of music, covering lo-fi 
versus hi-fi, which murder releases have the best 
covers, and allison outhit's zztop guitar amp.  :-)
we arrived in halifax at midnight.  and we were 
dead tired.  and that was that.  well, what did 
you expect?  that we were all better, wiser human 
beings?  yeah, right.  :-)

     _James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>_    sloan net is a discussion of the
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