Our tour began in earnest this evening. Of course by “in earnest” I don’t actually mean “in Earnest” as in “inside a guy named Earnest.” No, that’s not what I mean. I mean “in earnest” as in “in the town of Earnest, New York.” For those of you not in the know, that’s what the phrase “in earnest” refers to. It’s a small pork rustling town west of New Paltz. Anyway, I’m veering wildly of course here. Where was I? Ah yes, tonight our tour began in the town of Earnest, New York. Wait, no, that’ s not true. It began at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. The legendary NJ music club (not the Stone Pony…played there too though…whatever I’m just saying.)
Stone Pony has The Boss.
Maxwell’s has Freedy.
Stone Pony has Bon Jovi.
Maxwell’s has Yo La.
Stone Pony has South Side Johnny.
Maxwell’s has…Yo La.
Where was I? Oh yes! Tonight the tour began inside the bowls of a portly fool called Earnest. Wait that’s not true! It began in earnest on the stage of Maxwell’s. Great club. Amazing burger. Fantastic crowd of New Jersey’ans. My people. I’m from Jersey originally.
“What exit?” You ask.
“Nine.” I say and then with a smile, “You fucker.”
We’re going to Anchorage for the tour. I’m very much looking forward to that. They have the perfect climate there for me. Frigid. Unfortunately I won’t be able to do any of my crude Nanook of the North jokes.
We’re going to Salt Lake City for the tour. I’m very much looking forward to that too. Here’s what I know about SLC.
1) Karl Malone is the only black guy there.
2) Mormons.
3) Napoleon Dynamite.
That’s not a lot. I’m excited to learn more.


  1. I hear Yo La Tengo’s shows @ Maxwell’s are the best – I really want to catch one of their Hannukah shows this year, if they still do that. And by Freedy do you mean Freedy Johnston? Love that guy. And my pal from Hoboken told me that Nirvana played there back in the day. So you’re in good company.

  2. awesome show. i swear “poop” was never funnier, and that’s hard to do!

  3. yo la tengo is such an awesome band. i have a bunch of their cd’s. mmm they are fun to listen to.

  4. Anchorage:

    Have a drink or three at Darwin’s Theory on G Street and ask your bartender for the Tits Book. Skip the Ass Book.

    Climb to the top of Flattop as the sun goes down (around 11pm these days?) for a beautiful view.

    Drive to Girdwood – good soup at The Sandwich Shop and spectacular views of the ocean, mountains and volcanos. Aaaaand dall sheep. Aaaaand death-defying rock climbers.

  5. mckinleyfagw/ben

    Michael- I’m a new fan. I realized something the other day: you and my brother have the same name.

    Please come out to the Philadelphia area as I have just moved here and don’t have any friends.

    Have fun in Alaska.


  6. Actually, AK gets pretty warm in the summer, even on the glaciers.

    Bring your shorts and sun glasses.

    Exit 9 eh?

  7. Michael- I’m an old fan (100 years). I also realized something the other day: you and Michael Jordan have the same sense of humor.

  8. you forgot number 4 about salt lake:

    4) dry, sweltering, demoralizing heat. enjoy!

  9. Carl Malone may very well be the only Black dude in Utah, true dat, but there are a lot of Black people in Anchorage- I wasn’t the only Black guy stationed at Elmendorf- I was one of some 20 brothers there up in AK getting our smoke and drink on-even wifey liked it, and she’s Puerto Rican- from Puerto Rico.

  10. You know two more things about Salt Lake City than I do.
    1. Mormons

  11. I’ve never been to Salt Lake City. I was always taught at school that only seas have salt in them (and coffee if you’re the victim of a cruel prank). I was also told in school that Venice is the city built on any kind of water (insert your own hurricane Katrina joke). So that’s quite a few (2) contradictions in that City’s name. Is its motto Salt Lake City: Home of at Least Two Contradictions According to Some Teacher who was Later Found at Waco? Because that would be a great motto.

    Anyway, what’s important is that you are on tour and not appeaing in Napoleon Dynamite 2: Two Hours of the word “Dude”.

  12. I’ve heard of a rambling rose, but you, Sir, are a rambling Smurfisyahu. And I do mean that, in earnest. I bet if someone named Ernest met you, he too would say, “I want you inside me!,” in earnest. And that’s’ the importance of being Earnest.

    p.s. is that really where ‘in earnest’ comes from? from Earnest, NY? or are you just pulling my fallopian tube? have a good tour, Shosyahu!

  13. remember that time you did a show in slc and it way awesome? thanks.

  14. please insert a was into my last post. thanks.

  15. I’m pretty sure Maxwell’s had The Boss, too. Didn’t they film that one video there?

    Anyway, I went to Maxwell’s once when I was 17 and visiting my friend’s older cousin. Said older cousin bought my friend a beer, but didn’t even offer to buy me one. I didn’t think that was very nice.

  16. michael showalter, i am coming to see you in eugene on sunday night. be prepared for stella fans of the monstrous proportion.

    with staches.

  17. hey, why do you hate chicago?

  18. i’d like to see you in Eugene too. you might need a lot of lube tho’. like the time you began your tour in Earnest.

  19. i don’t know why. but leaving you a comment to you while i’m at college makes me feel cool. maybe it’s just the fact that i’m surrounded by the overwhelming coolness of your site. or maybe i’m just insane. lol

  20. Ah. Maxwell’s.

    That was quite the show you crazed man, you.

    Wait, that’s not complimentary at all.
    Let me start over.

    Ah. Maxwell’s.

    That was quite the show, you brilliant man, you.

    Ok…. hyperbolic.

    you’re funny.

    “Poop Foods”

    My friend kicked ASS on stage in that tour de force of intellectual pursuit.

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