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In which the crew travels from Pittsburgh to Philly, scrolls into the distant future, discusses the difference between good venues and great ones, talks about musical influences, and plays a show to a really REALLY weird crowd at Union Transfer.

 Hotel Internet and Intro

Hank: I don't understand hotel internet. Why? Why? Why is it sometimes amazing and sometimes like I'm back in 1998. I don't -- like, they know, right, that there's gonna be people using the internet, more than one, probably, at the same time, and yet, this is unacceptably slow, I have to download this file before we get on the road and it's--I figured that it would go quite quick and it said 45 minutes, so I'm ughhh. I just don't--why? I mean, this is a thing we should have figured out by now. It is free, at least. At least I'm not paying for terrible hotel internet, which is an extremely common occurrence. If you work in the hotel internet industry, please send me an email, let me know why. Why. Also, other people, if you want to ask questions about the Tour Because Awesome or the Podcast Because Awesome, I'm @hankgreen, and it's #podcastbecauseawesome, if you wanna do that.


Hello and welcome to the Podcast Because Awesome, the daily tour diary of the Tour Because Awesome, featuring Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers, Driftless Pony Club, Rob Scallon, Harry and the Potters, and Andrew Huang. Today, we're heading from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, we're gonna be doing some games, having some fun, we're gonna eat some food, we're gonna scroll into the distant future with Joe DeGeorge, it's gonna be a good time. But before we do any of that, we have to leave the hotel, so. That's what we're going back to now.


 Sausage Gravy

Hank: This may be a controversial opinion, but I believe that in public spaces, TVs should never have the volume on. Especially in hotel lobbies and airports, because I'm trying to relax here. Stop. I just don't wanna know about that. Katherine just had to explain to the Canadians of the tour what sausage gravy was. They're like, what? Oh my g--wha--why--what is that?!

Katherine: That's not food.

Hank: And I'm like literally staring at the sausage gravy on my plate right now, 'cause I love it. Alright, Andrew got some sausage gravy on his biscuit. He didn't really do it right, but he did it.

Andrew: Do I need more of it? 

Hank: Yeah, you gotta cover the whole thing. You gotta make sure you can't see any biscuit in there.

Andrew: Half my biscuit will be--

Hank: The biscuit is also just awful, it's been--it's been out for too long.

Andrew: Yeah, it does seem a little uh--

Hank: I had to get a knife. 

Katherine: Sorta dry.

Hank: What's it like, what do you think? 

Andrew: It reminds me of um, it's like a gravy but it has sort of an Italian, like, carbonara sauce type of feel to me. Yeah. 

Hank: That doesn't sound good.

Andrew: Doesn't sound like what it's supposed to be. Still enjoying it.

Hank: Yeah, it's like breakfast--breakfast spicy sausage carbonara.

Andrew: Yeah.

Katherine: Oh yeah, like alfredo.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, yeah, maybe alfredo.

Katherine: With sausage in it. Yeah. On a biscuit.

Hank: On a biscuit. 

Andrew: The main flavor is salty.

Katherine: That's what I said. Yep.

 That's Not My Name Game

Hank: So do you know the song (singing) They call me hell, they call me Stacy, they call me her, they call me Jane. That's not my name (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name (clap)."

Katherine: No?

Hank: You don't know that song?

Andrew: Yeah, I don't know that.

Hank: So it's that except instead of the actual lyrics you have to make up a name for all four of the things.

Katherine: Yeah, or a word, but preferably a name.

Hank: Yeah, or a word. (starts the clapping) They call me marshall, the call me door lock, they call me hand job, they call me stir.

Katherine: WHAT?

Hank: That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) Now you go.

Andrew. They call me Eva, they call me lady, they call me baby, they call me milkshake.

Katherine: YES!

Andrew: (all clapping) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap)

Hank: Mike Harpring!

Mike: They call me Earl, they call me camshaft, they call me pancake, they call me hair plug.

Katherine: (excitedly) YEAH!

Mike: (all clapping) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap)

Hank: Katherine.

Katherine: They call me Jeffery, they call me Margie, they call me Bethany, they call me Fred.

(all clapping) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap)

Hank: Tessa

Tessa: They call me Bertha, they call me Beth, they call me Mario, they call me Andy. (all clapping) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap)

Hank: PAUL!

Paul: They call me Chuck, they call me Al, they call me Woodchuck, they call me Sal. 

Katherine: YEAH!!

(all clapping) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) 

Hank: Andrew!

Andrew: They call me taco, they call me toothpaste, they call me Paco, they call me bootlace. (all clapping) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap) That's not my name. (clap clap)

Katherine: The rhyming is an amazing new innovation. (all laughing) That makes it way more challenging you guys.

Hank: Taco and Paco? Toothpaste and bootlace? It's like you do this for a living.

  About a Legend

Hank: I just found out that Atom and His Package is gonna be at the show tonight which means nothing to anyone except for us. (they laugh)

Katherine: We're very excited.

Hank: But it means a lot to us. I was just talking on a pod-- a separate podcast Cara Santa Maria about Atom and His Package.

Voice: Everyone should listen to Atom and His Package.

Hank: Yeah. That's the thing that-- yes, go--

Voice: He doesn't get enough love, he was like to early to the nerd rock kind of thing.

Hank: Yeah.

Katherine: Proto.

Hank: Proto-nerdrock.

Voice: Proto-nerdrock. Proto-nerdcore.

Hank: I am heavily influenced by Atom and His Package.

Katherine: Yeah. (laughs)

Hank: Yes.


Hank: We're at a rest stop in Pennsylvania, I'm getting snowed on. This was not expected. It's been a bit of a tumultuous drive but we've been enjoying Atom and His Package in the car and a little bit of Crush the Crustaceans, so it's been worth it. Did you just leave the vehicle unattended while filling the gas?

Voice: Is that illegal?

Hank: I don't think that it's uh... sanctioned.


Hank: This morning, when we were trying to figure out if any letters in the alphabet are spelled without the letter that they represent, and W doens't have a w in it. So Joe proposed that we rename it.

Katherine: You did it!

Hank: Oh, Mike Harpring just fixed my camera.

Katherine: Yeah! Tools!

Mike: Just was a little bit wedged on the wrong way. Leatherman wave did the trick.

Hank: Yay! Now I can clean that thing. So anyway, Joe decided that "w" we should change the name to wubble-you. So it's "wubble-you ex why, zee." (laughing) Next Valentine's day we should make Valentine's cards that say I wubble you.

Mike: So there's a big "w" on the front and "I wubble you"

Hank: And then it'll say Mike Harpring, cuz that wasn't my joke, just to be clear.

 Squid Religion

Andrew: Welcome!

Katherine: Welcome. WELCOME!

Hank: Yeah, welcome to Philadelphia, we're gonna go around a crazy roundabout

Katherine: This one would be a rotary wouldn't it?

Paul: So you want to kind of stay in the middle--

Giant Squistravaganza: Do you see a puppy driving a school bus delivering a pizza?

Katherine: I do.

Giant Squidstravaganza: Well, bless me.

Katherine: That's pretty impressive. I've never seen that before.

Giant Squidstravaganza: Squid Christ bless me.

Hank: Can you tell me more about squid religion?

Giant Squidstravaganza: You know, you kinda just choose what you want to believe in. You like, pick something pick something from the collective consciousness and grab it with a tentacle and you put it in your brain for a minute. Did you a giant squid's brain is shaped like a donut? (they laugh) Yep. That's the way it should be.

Hank: We're at Union Transfer in Philadelphia. Philadelphia's a cool place.

Giant Squidstravaganza: It's the city of Brotherly love.

 Best Venue

Hank: So when you are a musician and you are on tour you tell the venue the stuff that you want. And sometimes they have it for you and sometimes they don't. They almost always provide you with the drinks that you want which is usually beer and water and sometimes some sodas, uhm and that we don't have problems with-- I mean, partially because like venues always have that stuff on hand. They have sodas, and beer and liquor and like that's not a-- they could just go backst-- but like if you want something more than that they have to like go to the grocery store, that's a thing. So often times they don't have that stuff, but we just arrived at Union Transfer and we have EVERYTHING we asked for! We got fresh fruit, we got bananas and grapes, we got pita bread, and hummus, though hummus I'm starting to have a bit of a bad feeling about because of my head getting slammed in a door -- and they also have sharpies! Which we always need more of and I'm always losing and we asked for them at every venue, they had them at ONE venue so far. So I'm super stoked. Thank you Union Transfer. Thank you Philadelphia, this is exciting.

 The Future

Hank: Joe is currently trying to see how far in the future he can make his apple iPhone go. Are you in--

Joe: I'm in the calendar app.

Hank: You're in the calendar app? What year are you in?

Joe: I-- I'm gonna stop scrolling. 7899. (Hank laughs) Still going.

Hank: What do you want to go to?

Joe: I'm trying to see if I can get it to bump up to 10,000.

Hank: I'm curious if uh (swiping noises, Hank laughs) if by the year 7899 we'll be using the same calendar that we're currently using or--

Joe: I don't think we'll be using apple products.

Hank: No, that seems unlikely.

Andrew: Divest now.

Hank: I think we'll--at that point we might BE apple products.

Andrew: Whoah. 

Paul: Oh, we're close. 9925.

Andrew: WHOAH!

Joe: Party like it's the year nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine.

Rob: Oh my god.

Paul: oh, 9999. 996, 997, 998.

Joe: 10,000!

Paul: YEAH!

Joe: I got to the year 10,000.

Hank: The distant future.

Andrew: Fifth digit.

Joe: What do you think's gonna happen in the year 10,000?

Hank: I'm too--

Joe: oops, I'm already ahead. I'm three years ahead of that now. I'm zooming!

Hank: Jordan says "I thought that the Hank Green show was a dream until I saw the REC stamp on my hand." Imma retweet that. This person on Reddit scrolled to the year 60,313. 60,313.

Andrew: I can believe that.

Hank: "before my finger slipped and I hit the today button." (they laugh)

Joe: Yeah, I did that once.

Andrew: This is the furthest I've been, though.

Hank: What year are we on now, Joe?

Joe: It's the year 49,197.

Hank: What's happened in the intervening time?

Joe: Uh, dolphins are still there.

Hank: Still got dolphins?

Joe: Still got em. That's all I can say for certain.

Hank: It's not that long in the future geologically.

Joe: Yeah

Hank: I mean dolphins were there 40,000 years ago--

Joe: Yeah, most things were the same.

Hank: They'll probably be there 40,000 years from now. Unless we really mess things up.

Joe: Eugh.

Hank: Let's shout out Earth Day WHOO!

Joe: There's like a mass extinction we're in the middle of right now.

Hank: Yeah. We've lost a few dolphins already.

Giant Squidstravaganza: They eat little baby squids, did you know that?

Hank: Why does the giant Squid always gotta jump into our conversations? We're talking about normal human things 

Giant Squidstravaganza: We were talking about squids!

Hank: We were talking about dolphins!

Giant Squidstravaganza: oh, I brought up the squids. (they laugh)


Hank: Mike, can you tell the story of what--of this pizza?

Mike --and then you're gonna turn left on fifth. So I called up Pizza Brain because I know some people who work there I thought maybe I'd talk to somebody I knew, but that didn't happen and instead I just wanted to ask-- we were trying to figure out what the geom-- geometrical proper name for a slice of pizza was. So I called them up and was like "Hey, is this the Pizza Museum?" and they said yes and they said their title was something special relating to pizza and I asked them what the proper name was for a slice of pizza and they said it was a slice. (Hank laughs) Which seems right, tight?

Hank: Yeah.

Mike: Yeah, so that's right. So I told them that we wanted to order enough pizza for 12 people and we went through the order got it all nailed down and I said I wanted it at the Union Transfer and they asked if it was for me or for a band and I said a band and they said "Which band?" and I said "uh, Harry and the Potters." And she kind of like exclaimed "Harry and the Potters!" and then the guy, the owner Brian, who I could hear in the background apparently said it's free for us. And she said "oh well, no charge." And I said "Is this a joke? I mean cuz we can pay, too..." and then she put me on hold, so it was silent, and came back 20 seconds later and was like "yeah, no charge, serious. He would love a hug, just come by and give him a hug." and that's all they want.

Hank: Alright.

Mike: And now we get a lot of pizza for free. I should also say that when I said that, that we were getting the pizza for free, Joe squealed "Free pizza for life!" He pulled the shirt off of his body, ran around from the back of the merch table and twirled the t-shirt above his head screaming "Free pizza for life! Free pizza for life!" and "Wahoo" and then he might have talked like a squid.

Hank: He probably at the end of that process did talk like a squid, if I've ever met Joe.


Hank: It smells very good in here. The Potters are talking to the owner, super happy. Ah! Slimer! It says --

Hank and Katherine: Green Ghost.

Hank: La phantom verde.

Katherine: He doesn't actually have a name. Ninja turtles.

Hank: Lots of ninja turtles.

Katherine: Luigi from the Simpsons.

Hank: Pizza Museum. The cat who liked pizza. This is just an iPad that has pizza cat images. You can do it forever. Oh, look at that fat kitty on the pizza. That cat IS pizza. 

Craig: I saw this exact same display at the Field Museum in Chicago. 

Hank: Yeah, yeah. In their pizza museum section.

Craig: Yeah. 

Hank: There's a collection of movies about pizza. Mystic Pizza, A Tale of Two Pizzas, Killer Pizza, Pizza Man Vs. The Dude, this movie is just called "Pizza," "On her 18th birthday, she was delivered the best night of her life." Oh my goodness. It sounds like it might be porn but I don't think it is. 

  Music History and Pre-Show

Hank: Yaaaay, we've been trapped in the van with the pizza smell and we couldn't eat it.

Hank: So long.

Craig: (singing) Trapped in a van with a pizza smell.

Hank: (singing) Trapped in a van with a pizza smell.

I'm backstage now at Union Transfer, Harry and the Potters are playing their set. This is such a pro venue, we're having a great time. I just found out, though, that Atom and his Package is not going to be at this show, which is disappointing but also makes me less nervous, so that's good. This is going to be a fantastic show, the audience has already been a little like, over the top with their weirdness which I don't mind. But I have been thinking about like, my musical history? I'm not a very conscious songwriter. Like I don't, I -- I have no music theory background. I write very simple songs, at least melodically and the-- so when I write a song I'm not thinking about where it's coming from musically, I'm trying to make something that sounds good and that I can like-- there's a form around which I can put these lyrics that doesn't sound exactly like something else I've written. So when I write a song I don't think about my influences like people always talk about "the influences of musicians." And it seems really pretentious, but it is a really important thing. It's like when you're playing soccer like you've gotta give points to the person who made the assist as well as the person who scored the goal, right? He was a very influential like early proto-nerdpop punk musician who did really weird, interesting stuff and like very separated from other things that were going on at the same time, like it didn't sound like anything else that was happening and that carried that music really far not really far into the world but really far into a group of people who would then go on to make a kind of music happen, and obviously nerd punk isn't a huge genre but everybody in it basically is in it -- is like a mixture-- you know like, everybody's into They Might Be Giants, everybody's into Atom and his Package. And it's so cool... I would've been really cool to have him here because I feel like when I listen to my music I hear Atom and his Package all over the place and people always say like "This is very much like They Might be Giants" but in a lot of ways it's more similar to Atom and his Package than it is to They Might be Giants. So thanks Philadelphia for having an amazing weird scene very heavily influenced by Atom and his Package, you can check him out. His music, his places, just search for it.


Paul: --goes against the t-shirt and jeans aesthetic.

Hank: Operation save the giraffes.

(talking over each other)

Hank: Nope, doesn't make any sense. No one makes -- We lost Andrew again. When we're late to the stage it's because there's too many people in the band and we can't get them all in the same place at the same time.

Rob: I also think, like usually there's like a half hour before the last band of the night.

Hank: Yeah. Right. They already chanted "we want Hank" for a second though.

Rob: OK, who's the coach? I think Paul hasn't done it yet.

Hank: Paul's turn.

Paul: Guys, we've been playing really well as a team, really starting to click and I think tonight this crowd is ready to have a good time. (they laugh) And I think we should all look them right in the eye, keep your eye on the prize -- 

Andrew: Yeah!

Joe: I have to sneeze --

Paul: Eye of the tiger.

Andrew: Eye of the tiger! (Joe sneezes)

Rob: I have to sneeze. (Joe sneezes)

Paul: I have to sneeze. (Joe sneezes)

Joe: Alright, OK, back.

Andrew: Click and clack

Giant Squidstavaganza: Eyes the size of dinner plates.

Hank: Rocky Balboa, Fresh Prince.

Rob: (starts singing Eye of the Tiger)

Paul: Channel all of your heroes, your Philadelphia heroes.

Several: Ben Franklin.

Hank: Atom and his Package.

Rob: Mostly just Ben Franklin, though. As much Franklin as you can bring to the night.

Paul: Cheesesteak sandwich. Channel that cheesecake.

Rob: As much Franklin as you can bring to the night. Be Frankly everybody. Be Franklin!

Paul: Be Franklin on 3, Be Franklin -- GO!

(audience cheering)

  After the Show, End

Hank: I think we got everything. We went out there without set lists so I don't really know if we missed anything or not.

Paul: I think we did surprisingly well.

Hank: I think we got it all.

Crowd: (chanting) Free the Giraffes! Free the Giraffes!

Hank: Did we get everything?

Joe: Free the Giraffes! Free the Grraffes!

Hank: Free the Giraffes! Free the Giraffes! I don't know why they're chanting "free the giraffes." That's a thing that they're having at this show.

Craig: Hank, are you ready?

Hank: Yeah, yeah, I'm ready.


Hank: Yeah, so this was a weird one. Thanks for listening to Podcast Because Awesome. I'm Hank Green. if you want to ask questions it's @hankgreen #podcastbecausewesome and don't forget to leave a rating on iTunes if you liked it, or if you didn't I suppose. Thanks for listening, DFTBA.