Last year while on tour with Mansions I started writing a detailed account of food that I liked to eat for a website that unceremoniously fired me after I stopped responding to their emails. Their loss was tumblrs gain (I suppose) and I began posting my foodie diatribes on http://tourfoodblog.tumblr.com. If you'd like to read my back logs GO RIGHT AHEAD. Pardon my caps. Right now I'm on tour with the incredibly popular EDM act Krewella working the merch table and looking at spread sheets all day, I plan on writing as many heavy think pieces (trademark pending) on the cities we visit and the food found within as I can visit. Read them here, read them there. It's really up to you.
My life in your city is comprised of ten blocks, twenty if I'm lucky. On some tours I have the luxury of being at a venue that's in the district of grime, covered in spray paint and dirt, it has been deemed cool by the smell of vomit and the pools of gutter water than refuse to evaporate. For this two and a half months at sea I'll be working in respectable mid size theaters located in cleaned up downtowns across the country, eight days in and it feels like I've been walking from backstage to backstage, traveling simply by being.
When I fell asleep in Albuquerque it was 65 degrees and when I stepped out into the mid morning sun in Arizona my blood began to boil, but I relished the chance to put my feet on concrete in Tucson. After two days of hotel coffee and whatever it is we have on the bus, a decision was made, I needed a cup of joe that I could chew on, something that would grab me by my beard and throw me across the county line. As luck would have it, our venue for the evening (a lovely repurposed theater named The Rialto) was directly across the street from the unassuming Cartel Coffee Lab.
If it hadn't been for the incredibly hip Arizonian (who was quick to point out that he was from Phoenix, not Tucson) sitting outside, squinting at us from across the street and subtly nodding his head towards the glass door I wouldn't have braved the traffic to get the best cup of coffee that I've had since leaving Austin. Unbeknownst to myself and the crystal fabricators that followed me to uncertain coffee intake, the Cartel Coffee Lab was still being built and we were the first customers ever. This information explained the sound of electric saws and the smell of sawdust mixing with roasting coffee in a lovers embrace above our heads, not a bad smell and it gave the entire affair a sense of danger that most modern coffee shops severely lack.
Oh, all of the baristas at your local coffee shop listen to slightly hip music and scowl when you order a large iced mocha with half whip cream? They scoffed when you put a dollar in the "Disintegration" box rather than the the box discretely marked "seventeen seconds"? Well in Tucson I could have had my head cut off or accidentally eaten a piece of wood while I was greedily eating a delicious blueberry muffin. The Triple C (as it shall now always be known as) was a great change of pace from being in the back of a theater, devouring whatever food was brought to us from the outside world like trolls forever shoved under a bridge.
While killing time around Tucson (as I am want to do) I noticed how knew and shimmery all of the buildings were. The custom burger joints and the "speakeasies" all passed with a slick coat of new that I began to grow wary of. What was this place? Parts of the city began to resemble other parts of other cities and I began to feel like I was secretly placed back in my loop, a rat in a cage that thought he had escaped his cage. It was Kafka-esque, if I may use a term loosely. On my way to the post office I took turns down alleys and found that even they were clean. It's like everything was built hours before my arrival, the sprawl is reaching out and I don't think we can run fast enough.