September 13, 2008:
-The Shondes pull into Iowa City. The smell of Zombies is on the air. It is national zombie day, aka, the Iowa City Zombie March. We have been in conversations with King Zombie himself, whom we are very excited to meet. The combination of anticipation and trepidation is to be expected.
-We pull into treacherously steep ramp behind the Picador, and begin to unload our things. We enter the club to be greeted by fellow band 'Surf Zombies.' They have amazing t-shirts featuring evil enraged zombies on surfboards, enjoyin' a good surf.
-(Incidentally, at the nearby New Pioneer food co-op, I got one of the better sandwiches I have ever eaten: sourdough bread with cajun-style spicy blackened tofu, avocadoes, pepperoncinis, tomatoes. This has nothing to do with zombies, though; hence, the parenthetical.)
-We meet King Zombie! He is friendly and does not try to eat our brains right off the bat. He does, however, insist that we get into the spirit of the day. He awards Louisa a "My Zombie Ate your Honor Roll Student" t-shirt, and me a "Life is Wasted on the Living" t-shirt. We instantly don them. It wins us friends within moments.
-I start a tiny impromptu business, offering zombie tattoos to patrons and zombies alike!! I fail instantly, drawing an extremely shitty banner with the huge clunky letters spelling "I heart brains" on Louisa's arm. It is too late, though - a patron has spotted me, and, in his minorly, uh, inebriated state, asks me to tattoo HIS arm as well. Both of them. They are both already covered in tough guy tattoos, and I do the only thing I know how to do: add to his current tattoos a fedora w/flower, a heart, and a bowtie. He seems unfazed and even pleased by my apparent demasculinization of his tattoos, and lets me know later on that my designs have apparently "scored" him a "date." Whew.
-The Surf Zombies begin playing. It is like The Beach Boys but without brains and with monstrous rage to boot. It reminds us that, as King Zombie says, zombies are "mindless but not voiceless."
-Coye arrives! Our favorite zombie to date. He is in full zombie regalia, and entertains us with Zombie lore about pyrotechnics. We humbly ask him to be our Road Zombie and he accepts!! We realize that, well, one can only really have one zombie, and ask if he would like to enter a zombogamous relationship with our band. He concurs! It is undead at first sight!!
-This Again, aka Steve performs. He is wonderful as usual. He is not a zombie. Yet.
-We perform. We are not zombies either. Yet.
-Zombies like our band! A very nice doctor zombie gives us great compliments! King Zombie and his brother start a wave of zombies asking us for our autographs! Flattery will get you everywhere, o ye zombs.
-While we are talking to zombie and non-zombie fans, Caustic Vision performs. They are not be confused with Apocalyptic VisionS (multiple visions in their case), with whom we co-billed in Atlanta two years ago on one of the most eclectic bills we've ever been on. They remain, we think, "the angriest band in america," though Caustic Vision may be the most caustic.
-Post-show: Iowa City has sauerkraut pizza. That rules.