A New Social Network For Bands To (Literally) Crash

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Touring is expensive, whether you're hauling around a KISS-level spectacle or just your own local indie selves in a van. It can be rough on the road. For those of us among the unsigned, every show is a gamble.

What if you don't make enough at the venue for shelter that night, food, and gas to the next? Well, then you sleep in the car and beg on the road in the morning. They tell us it builds character.

Even a Motel 6 can be a lavish luxury in situations faced by the modern indie touring act. Believe us, cramming six people into two beds for four hours of sleep can feel like heaven compared to some of our own experiences.

"Some girl in Dallas said we can crash at her house," our guitar player once told us, and we told him it was a bad idea. The fact that we would save $60 on the trip got us outvoted, but later that night we led a rousing chorus of the "I Told You So Symphony."

Crashing turned into an all-out after party fueled with drugs and Kiss Alive II playing on a constant loop at ear-raping volume. As we tried desperately to sleep on the hardwood attic bedroom floor, cursing Paul Stanley to the deepest depths of hell, we were suddenly accosted by a drunken partygoer who loudly and continuously insisted our resting place was rightfully his.

Acting quickly before our bass player could hurl the guy down the stairs like a Slinky, we packed our stuff and returned to Houston going strong on Red Bull after having been awake for 36 hours at that point.

Thus it's understandable that we were leery when we heard about BetterThanTheVan.com. The social network, which has been featured on Fox News and in The New York Times, is dedicated to helping bands find free bed, and maybe board and bottle as well, on tour.

People wishing to host bands can sign themselves up as den mothers, and bands contact them through the site when they get ready to go out on the road. The site claims that the interaction between members keeps everything safe and un-robbed/raped/murdered, but we wanted to hear it straight from the innkeeper's mouth.

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