Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 7 – Fun with Institutional Money - or – How to Wreck a Hotel Room with the Power of Sex and Vodka.

Golden sun washed across the Wal-Mart parking lot. A quick stop for a tube of toothpaste, and we were ready to hit the school. Soon after the brilliant sunrise, dense grey clouds rolled in, bringing with it an icy-wet wind. We huddled against the weather as we toured the property. The campus is modern and clean, with gleaming glass buildings. The room we were playing was a high ceiling, glass fronted café.

We began setting up when Mandi appeared. We met Mandi when we came out to the St. Louis area last time. It was the first, and a very impromptu WarlickFest. She was very kind to book us to play a lunch time set at the St. Charles Community College. It was a sweet gig. There was a simple set up, good pay, and a hotel room. Mandi is the best.

We rolled smoothly through an acoustic set, playing to people who were mostly eating lunch. The crowd seemed a little surprise to have us stomping and yelling at them. The faculty seemed the most interested, though there was a young couple dancing in the back.

After the set, we sat down with Mandi for lunch. She told us about her job as a Student Activities Coordinator, and about nightmare phone calls with talent agents asking for huge sums to book acts that we’ve never heard of. She remarked that often the talent themselves are usually perfectly reasonable, its just the agents and managers that make things difficult.

Next came our hotel. This was the true payment. We stayed at a Drury Inn, which features a pool, free food, and three free drinks a piece. We were very pleased. We hurled our bags onto the bed, undressed as fast as possible, and dove into the shower. We had endless hot water and fresh clean towels! We got so damn clean you could eat off of us. But please don’t, that’s weird.

We met Chris Warlick and his lady Mary Jo, at Trailhead Brewery for some drinks and conversation. They put us up last time we were around, and were kind enough to trek out to the school to hear us this day. We also had some awesome mushroom strips. Blythe recommends the malty Missouri Brown Porter. I had the Red Ale.

When we returned to the hotel, we set ourselves up in the lobby with our free bourbon and sodas and did a little computer work. All the while I was enjoying the incessant strangeness that all hotel lobbies have on display. Travelers of all sorts will congregate around alcohol, and it’s the privilege of anyone observant enough to be treated to a hundred stories told in snippets of conversation and tiny details unknowingly revealed in a singular moment of repose.

After catching a little buzz, we hit the pool and lounged in the hot tub, all too happy to see some of the tangible fruits of our labor. When back in our room, we rinsed off and fired up the television. Blythe was so excited that we had our own space that she ecstatically passed right out.
I spent the evening drinking the rest of the vodka, watching cable TV, and writing blogs. It was a very nice night.

Tomorrow… St. Louis is cold, Kansas City, State Fishing Lakes, and the prairie sky.

Thanks so much to Mandi for getting us the show, and to Chris and Mary Jo for coming out. Thanks to Joe for our short interview, and we can’t wait to read the piece.

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