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!

Friday, June 12, 2009


The track is available for free download from weathervane's music site here.

Here's a video about the production of the song. It's sort of surreal for me to watch. But you might like it:

WV Project Series 2009: Sunset from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.

quick update, lacking on details perhaps

Northern California:

We drove all day yesterday, spun across California, through Humboldt and the most amazing beaches I'd ever seen, drove down to China Camp State Park. We snuck in around 2am and hiked into our campsite by moonlight and all laid down in the warm fragrant air of the grasses and the bay trees and the eucaplytus. I laid in my sleeping bag nursing a warm Hamm's and around 3am I heard two coyotes howling at the bright yellow moon. It scared me a bit and I stayed up for at least another hour.

Woke the next morning early enough to avoid paying the $25 camping fee and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, down south to Santa Cruz. never really realized Santa Cruz was on the other side of a mountain pass. Didn't realize either they still had a few coastal redwoods. I guess they were too hard to log way back when.

We took a wrong turn on our way into town and ended up in a valley of redwoods and I had to wipe the crust off mine eyes. Yep, redwoods. KZSC, the station we played, was a log cabin with huge ceilings. Like a ski cabin. And it was nestled in a grove of redwoods and I felt very very happy to be there. The people were warm and so was the air (apparently the building has some sort of ventilation problem).

Afterwards headed to beach for sun and laying on hot sand and wiping clean of the slate. Warm sun and cold water.

North again, up to the east bay, to a house party between Oakland and Berkeley. Mark Ashworth sang sweet serenades and Tristan bowed and plucked a bass and it was a commanding performance. Mark never fails to blow me away. Crystal Fulbright was there singing with Mark and she's so awesome too.

I talked with a man from France who had flown into the U.S. specifically to see our band. What? yes, you heard me. He asked for two songs we didn't know how to play. I felt really happy that my music had moved somebody so much that he'd travel so far just to watch a show.

Our set started quiet and moved louder til it got quiet again. Drank whiskey late into the night with some German language students. Will and I were forced to sit at the piano and play them a number after Will got caught making fun of the big guy. It was a terrible performance. I played very very bad countermelodies while Will tried his best to provide a compelling performance. We were both laughing. The big German guy was scary and looked like the Aryan superman or something. Really tall and blonde and spoke like he was coughing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

first thought, incomplete thought

i sit soaked in sunshine in eugene, oregon. we have finally arrived on the west coast. what a land, what a scale, everything dwarfs, the rivers froth and trees sway hundreds of feet above your head. i slap myself continually to make sure i'm not dreaming. this starts to hurt after awhile.

today we venture further south into the redwoods. we will hopefully stand amidst some ancient trees and feel completely insignificant and strangely dressed. well, i suppose i will feel more that way that i normally do.

what can i say? this sense of humor might not make sense to everybody. at least i'm laughing. hahahahahhahaha.

i am passing the computer around the van now. other people are going to write their immediate thoughts.

hackeysack sam

Recording in portland turned out well- will

hot spring handicap
old growth sets the rules out here
what's in store for us?

the west is pure and fresh.


Here is Will's remake of "Cash's Theme" from the movie Tango & Cash: Cash's Theme

here is the next page of bill's tour journal, followed by the first nine of our hand-drawn covers for our new "Hair Forest" cassette:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

tour update 5

We played at an amazing place last night in Portland, on a mountain in the back of Forest Park in Portland, in a pit dug in the ground in the woods. It was created by FEY.
Today we hiked through some very cold water in Oneonta Gorge.

Here is a new recording by Van Country, our new band we started in the van: mimi go pipi

Friday, June 5, 2009

tour update 4

Hi everybody,

We are in Washington on our way to Portland. Yesterday we went to an amazing hotsprings in Idaho called Jerry Johnson. We are slowly perfecting our recipe for hobo hash.

Here is "Lost At Sea" and "Man's Heart Complaint" from our show at the Kitty Cat Club in Minneapolis: lost at sea, man's heart complaint.

We ran into some Old Men of the Forest at the springs and took these pictures of them in their natural habitat:

Here is the next page of Bill's van journal (click to enlarge):

Here are three more pages of haikus:

Monday, June 1, 2009

tour update 3

Hi everybody!

We're in Minneapolis. It's very beautiful here. We are really having the most fun tour ever and we're only nine or ten days into it. Tomorrow we have to start the thousand-mile journey to Missoula, Montana.

Here is a recording of us playing "Bones" at Lit Lounge in New York: bones
That was the show we played with The Shivers, one of my favorite bands. I was very happy to get to share a bill with them.

Here are the next two pages of Bill's typewriter journal (click to enlarge):

Here is a page of haikus by all of us:

Here is us with Chris & Kurt from the Meat Puppets, and Liz and Lance from Permanent Records in Chicago. The Meat Puppets gave a terrific performance and were really nice. Permanent Records is an awesome vinyl store and they are also really nice. That in-store was a blast.

Here is a photo collage Bill made back in Georgia that I forgot to post before: