Day 5 – Doesn’t anybody speak English around here?
I woke up to see the sun rising through the mists of the Eastern Amazon. I thought, It’s gonna be a good day.
Unfortunately, all the time sitting in the same position over the last couple days has made my feet and ankles bloat, and Max is complaining that his nuts hurt because they act as a door stop while he sleeps, keeping his body from sliding off the edge of his seat.
We were more than happy to be spending the next few days in one city, especially one that sat right on the beach. El Capitan and Co-Pilot dropped everybody off one-by-one until finally stopping at Mozine’s parents house where Max, Devon, Daniel and I were staying. We dumped all our stuff and spent the day running around town doing errands with Mozine. In every town so far Mozine seemed to know everybody. When the lyric/explanation inserts for our CD weren’t ready for our first show he said it would be no problem because he knew everyone who bought the CD and he’d be able to track them down when they were printed. But I never realized the magnitude of his social scope until we spent the day with him in his hometown. We couldn’t go anywhere without him stopping and chatting with someone, even at traffic lights.
Come show time I was so exhausted I wasn’t ready to ‘rock’ so much as maybe ‘adult contemporary,’ but the radio station sponsoring the event was playing the Descendents’ Milo Goes To College record start to finish, giving me a second wind for the first band, Jazzus.
Not unlike Descendents, Jazzus played super spaztic, super sloppy, and super energetic hardcore. They were incredibly fun to watch. So fun, in fact, they zapped the last of my energy and I had to take a nap when they were done.
Discarga were just starting when I came to, and I couldn’t help but think they were one of the best bands I had ever seen. Only, I didn’t remember there being can-can dancers or pyrotechnics in their show until Devon, who was asleep next to me, nudged me and said, "Discarga are starting, let’s go watch." I woke up for real that time and, minus the can-can dancers and pyrotechnics, they were still totally awesome. I spent most of their set putting rocks down Nino’s underwear and screeching "Nyaughnt!" in his ear. He retaliated by taking out his dentures and wiping them on me.
As we played all I could think was Aren’t the neighbors gonna be pissed?
The venue, Entre Amigos II, was an open air picnic tent and the neighbors were very close and the music was very loud.
As far as we knew nobody complained and the show lasted in it’s entirety with MDR showing their hometown what culture could be found if you looked (and listened) close enough.
The club owner approached us after the show and thanked us. He was really hip on doing punk shows because "everybody enjoy, from blackest black, to whitest white" (referring to the unusually diverse group of kids who came to the show). "And nobody steals anything."
We went back to Mozine’s and his mom was busy making us a midnight snack of rice, sweet potatoes and fried bananas while his dad sat in front of the TV watching heavy metal videos.
At some very late hour we passed out on the patio to the sounds of roosters cock-a-doodle-dooing and some kid riding around the neighborhood on his bicycle and blowing a whistle.
Day 6 – Fartito is born.
At 6:30am sharp I was awoken by the rhythmic thump and over-zealous aerobic commands of a high impact fitness class, all emanating at full blast from the open-window gym directly across the street. Uma..dos..tres..quatro.. uma..dos..tres..quatro some fruity voice yelled, completely amplified for the whole neighborhood to hear. It took me a little while, but I was somehow able to incorporate the scene into a dream and didn’t fully wake up until sun-up a couple hours later. I wandered into Mozine’s room and he was on the phone while Mama swept his floor and GG Allin’s Scars On My Body/Scabs On My Dick played loudly over his stereo. She saw me and motioned for me to follow her into the kitchen where she presented a grand feast of rice, sweet potatoes and fried bananas. I ate and then took another nap.
I woke up to yet another meal. We ate and then cruised to the beach where we spent the better part of the afternoon frolicking in the waves and sculpting sand-genitals. All the eating has helped me recapture my crown as the fart king, with Mozine a close second. He has since been dubbed Fartito and is now my sidekick.
"What is it, Fartito?"
"What injustice will we face tonight?"
"Well Fartito, I can’t say, so all we can do is prepare ourselves. Let’s eat."
After another round of rice, sweet potatoes and fried bananas, Fartito and I went to Allan Jazzus’ home to pick up Karoline and Robert. Mozine told Max and Devon we’d just be a minute. Mozine failed to inform them it was gonna be a Brasillian minute.
As soon as we arrived to Allan’s apartment complex Mozine told me to wait while he dropped something off at Breck’s apartment next door. He left me with two guys who spoke no English. We played charades for a few minutes until some girls walked by and I was forgotten. Some time later Robert (who incidentally never wears underwear and has gone months without changing his pants) and Karoline came downstairs with all their luggage. We followed a group of locals thinking we were heading back Mozine’s but wound up at a snooker bar.
Twelve pints and ninety minutes later we finally left to get Max and Devon before heading to an açai shop and ordered a yummy ice cream-like dish offering over 2000 calories per serving.
We waddled back to Mozine’s and I got to check my email before I went to bed. My mom informed me she has two weeks to find a new house because the one she’s renting a room from just sold. Plus, my dad got laid off for the 4th time in as many years, and my newly married sister is pregnant. I made a note-to-self to not read any more emails from family members until I got home. We fell asleep on the patio to the sounds of a guy on a bike blowing a whistle and a rooster who was a couple time zones too early.
Day 7 – Robert donates blood to an air conditioning shelf. Three times.
I vaguely remember the aerobics class this morning, and only because when I rolled over and looked all I saw was a row of lycra-clad ass pointing at me. Good dreams followed and, as it turns out, my morning woods are back on schedule. I woke up a couple hours later to Robert crouching over me and clenching his forehead. Robert (who long ago had reconstructive surgery after his face was bashed in by skinheads who wrongfully called his Japanese ex-girlfriend a Chink and not, as he corrected them, a Jap) ran into the air conditioning shelf (for the second time this morning) and was now bleeding generously from the forehead. He ran it under the bathroom faucet for a while, and I waited until he was done before brushing my teeth. When I finished brushing he came back in clenching his head, apparently after hitting it yet again.
Mama had a table full of food ready for us
and as I walked into the kitchen she grabbed my shoulders, gave me a hug,
and called me her Blondito – her little blond. Mom’s sure can rule.
Mozine’s sister explained in smooth English that her and her family –
all in their Sunday’s Best – were going to church. We thanked them for
their overwhelming hospitality and they walked out the front door. Seconds
later Mozine walked into the kitchen wearing only a pair of shabby boxer
shorts and scratching his nuts. He headed straight for the fridge and,
when he opened the door, patted his stomach as if to say "What’ll
it be today, old buddy?"
Day 8 – Thrashcore Max gets thrashed by maximum ocean.
Max and I got up early and took advantage of our last day by the ocean. He got pretty mangled and finally gave up once his ‘doorstop’ got ground into the seafloor.
We ate one last grand feast, packed up a box of new acquisitions to send home, and assembled Laja’s new releases (including our own). To my surprise, the latest MDR record sold 4000 copies in one month. That’s impressive in and of itself, but consider the fact that this is Brasil and not the U.S. or Europe, and that it was done with no advertising or media promotion – just word of mouth and touring. No wonder our shows with them were so huge.
Mama welled up as we filed out to the van.
We stopped first at the post office where the exceptionally spicy lady behind the counter flirted with Mozine and posted our box conservatively without even weighing it (though it still cost $50USD to mail home). Then it was onto a regular old Greyhound-style bus for our 14-hour ride back to Sao Paulo.
WHN? in Sudamerica - May 2002
0 – Please wake me for meals.