Portland indie-folk institution Norfolk & Western is playing its first show in four years this week. Here, frontman Adam Selzer recalls the band’s 2002 European tour with Sparklehorse.
“We had more instruments and luggage than arms, so we took turns doubling back through the Metro stations until we arrived in Montmartre and wound down at this cafe. We shared the tour bus with Sparklehorse, and it was our first time dealing with a more professional organization. Their tour manager was a complete asshole who treated us like second-class citizens even though we were paying for half of the bus. It was a double-decker, and I remember [Sparklehorse frontman] Mark Linkous would sit in the front seat of the top deck, chain-smoking cigarettes while looking out the window as we drove through the nights. We had some good conversations looking out that window. I never saw him sleep. Rachel [Blumberg] came down with the flu in Utrecht, and I remember looking back at her during the show as she was struggling to hold it together. She said her drum sticks felt like baseball bats. After the show, she rushed to take refuge in the cold, damp, smoke-filled bus. Oh, the glamour of touring.” —Norfolk & Western singer-guitarist Adam Selzer.
SEE IT: Norfolk & Western play Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., with 1939 Ensemble and Darren Hanlon, on Wednesday, Nov. 27. 8:30 pm. $12. 21+.