Billboard.com has launched a new series of Tour Diaries, blogs by artists on the road. The first band to write for the blog, instrumental indie-rock outfit Trans Am, is two weeks into its diary, and already the pitfalls of such an project are starting to show. The writer, Trans Am's bassist Nathan Means, is a long-ago acquaintance of ours (he slept on the floor of our living room after a Trans Am show ten years ago), and we know he's a smart and funny writer. But after a lively start, complete with a Friday the 13th on-the-road catastrophe, the diary has, of course, devolved into a series of stories about how boring it is to drive around the country in a van. When the best running gag in your blog is about the food you eat onstage during your shows, you're running uphill.
This is the dirty secret of rock and roll: Unless you're in a hair-metal band circa 1988, touring is just not that exciting. And it's especially odd that Billboard has chosen Trans Am to inaugurate the series; they're a great band but not a particularly sexy one. Their fan base is small, and the band's members are settled enough that there's unlikely to be a lot of the groupie-stuffed partying that might make for an exciting blog. (Means devotes some space in the diary to discussing his son, for example.) We're grateful a good band like Trans Am is getting the attention, but surely Billboard could get someone a little bit crazier the next time around? Like, is Ghostface touring?
Tour Diary: Trans Am [Billboard.com]