Dating a professional musician has its perks and its pitfalls. My partner of several years, drummer and keyboardist Benjamin Weikel, is one half of local band The Helio Sequence, which means in the pro’s category I haven’t paid for a concert in years, have gotten to meet and travel with bands I love in ridiculously amazing situations (one summer touring the UK with Brit mega band Keane takes the cake), plus I often get to see festivals from the VIP section (with catering).

In the latter category I’ve spent too much time explaining to inquiring folks that no, my better half isn’t unemployed or playing for dollars in Pioneer Square, but actually has toured the world, done the TV circuit playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, David Letterman, etc. and was even nominated for two Grammy’s during his time playing for Modest Mouse. Aside from the misconception, the reality in this day and age of people illegally downloading music instead of buying it means bands tour for their income…and they tour a lot. With Helio Sequence’s newest record released two months ago, their agent booked a series of dates with the longest session straddling a month of the Midwest, Canada and east coast. Rather than stay home missing my fella and wondering whether people in Iowa wear overalls out to bars, I decided to rearrange my entire schedule and hit the road.  It means heading out for a month cashing in my time sipping champagne at fashion shows for selling tees and vinyl to intoxicated fans seeing state by state where Portland’s fashion and culture aligns with the rest of the country.

This is part one my picture tour diary.