Saturday, June 27, 2009

mental on mental

Been back in town a short while and the heat blows hard down here. Feels like I just stepped into a stalled hairdryer. Not even a breeze to blow off the sweat. Just this angry sunshine and pretty mellow town.

The tour felt so good, like a culmination of all the best aspects of previous tours. A good feeling held out through the whole affair. After playing the East Bay, we drove down to L.A. and played at the excellent all-vinyl shop Origami Records, located right next to the Echo. Great store, great people. We drank a few beers and tried to swallow our delirium. Swallowed some mega-burritos and headed to Noah's co-op over in Highland Park. Great dude doing something very cool. I recommend checking out his operation if you're so inclined.

Next day, we choked down some coffee and choked back our hangovers and drove east into Joshua Tree National Park, for our final mellow evening together. An epic landscape that felt completely foreign. Like we were some strange space travelers or Ray Bradbury characters from "The Martian Chronicles" or maybe just tiny little blips of life. You get out there and feel overwhelmed and insignificant, in the best way possible. The beauty consumes you. The bizarre rolls and undulations of the rock are each perfect in their sharp folds and drops and small pockets of life. We hiked straight into the park, no trail at all, just directly towards the setting sun. Found a perfect campsite, a sunken hole surrounded on all sides by massive granite walls. We built a fire and watched the red play on the walls of our refuge and all felt perfect. Drank an entire bottle of whiskey and relived the beauty of all we'd just done. Cooked another epic batch of hobo hash and drank beers and howled at the moon as it rose above the lips of our rock-rimmed amphitheater.

Woke the next morning to Sam stoking the flames of our previous night's fire. He made us some fine fine dark coffee that seemed to soak into my brain and blood, sponge-like. Hiked back towards the rising sun and, with minimal confusion, arrived back at the van, ready for our final ride home.

Drove all day, drove, drove, drove. Passed by the site where our veggie oil wagon had broken down on the previous tour. Relived old memories. Ah, the pain.

Stopped in Arizona at a cooler-than-normal gas station. The lady sweeping the floor told me they had no microwave. She smiled and seemed like the kindest gas station floor sweeper I'd ever met. I gave her a c.d. Actually, I wimped out and Sam gave it to her, but no matter. It was my intention to give it to her. She invited us to dinner and we accepted; drove to her house and she cooked us tater tots and veggie burgers and we played her a short acoustic concert in her dining room. She'd come to the area to attend a Buddhist meditation "college" called Diamond Mountain and I thought that was about the best name possible for a Buddhist meditation college, or any college at all, or anything really.

Then drove further east, back into Texas, slept the night at Balmoreah State Park. Willis and I downed a bottle of red wine right before bed and he chucked it back up. The road has its perils.

Swam the next morning, cool blue water, a last dip, then a hard drive back to Austin and we all went our separate ways after drinking Lone Star Star tallboys in the mid-day ragin Austin swelter.


We have a few shows coming up and they will be good fun and we hope to see you there.

June 30th at Emo's with Wild Moccasins and The Sour Notes.
July 3rd party at Keith's house
July 4th, playing acoustic folk style out in Wimberley.
August 14th with Balmoreah and Ume at the Parish.

We will no doubt be having some parties at our studio to celebrate life in Austin. Details to come.... hope to see you there.

I started a photo set from our tour... a few images below. You can view the whole set here.

Hippies who hate hippies!