Look at your heart, at your own spirit and go with that. Believe in what you do regardless of what teachers, parents, boss, or peers tell you. Seek out what it is you like to do in life, and follow that to the fullest. Be your own master. You will succeed....at least within your own heart....and that's where the journey begins.
We are in Portland now. Safe travels, and plenty of adverse weather experienced. We have been through the hot desert, gale force winds, nights of relentless thunderstorms, and up the west coast through mountain blizzards that turned into pure sunshine. Spring time in America!
Since our last tour update, we have left San Diego, and headed north to Bakersfield. We played at Sandrini's, and got the full treatment. Neil and the staff hooked us up with their awesome Basque and Italian menu, and fed all five of us. He served us up drinks, and RR hit the stage around 10pm. We were well received as we hammered out about 9 songs from the chordata album. After the show Neil took us around to local bars, and introduced us to friends. We liked Bakersfield so much, that we booked another date with them for May 19th. If you are ever traveling through, you gotta stop and eat there. The food was amazing! (shepherd's pie, ahi salad, steaks, pizza, and tasty pastas) It was totally cool for a touring band that needed the home cookin!
We stayed at the local super 8 for the night. Upon waking, we headed north to Oakland. There were orchards all along the highway, and we were takin in the scenery fine until we hit the Harris Ranch. The cattle were piled deep, and the fog that followed lasted miles upon miles. Methane massacred our senses, and about had the gag reflexes working overtime.
We arrived at Ye Olde Hut, and after cocktails ensued, we managed to load in and get things set up around 8. I had to do some creative shopping for a motel, and found something that seemed okay on Broadway.... just a few miles away. It was great to see familiar faces from the last time we played. Benny lived in Oakland for 8 years, and has plenty of family/friends to introduce us to every time we visit. Rhonda and the bar staff always treat us well, and make it feel like home. We played 2 sets, and had some good laughs as the night unfolded. I was outside the venue, and met up with a few fellas that delivered kind compliments on our set.
They have a warehouse/all ages venue in Oakland, play music, and have their own record label G-Kiss. Austin, Izzy, and Nick play in various Oakland bands, and are really stoked about the underground music scene in the area. When speaking to Austin, he said that we reminded him of Husker Du. I took that as a compliment.....we hadn't heard that one before....and Husker Du is way cool! I find it way more interesting hearing feedback from other people regarding how/who the band sounds similar to, rather that describing what you sound like to other people. Hearing other peoples takes on our sound sometimes feels more accurate, because it comes from a listener rather than us the players.
After the show, we loaded out , and headed to the motel. The gang went up stairs, and I stayed to sleep in the van with the gear as usual. I was catching up on booking and stuff when a flashlight was waved at me through the window. A security guard was there to inform me that I couldn't be in the van. I told him I was protecting the gear, and he said that I needed to go to the room, and that it wasn't safe out there. I replied, "if it's not safe out here for me, then how is it safe for our gear????" He said we should have gotten a hotel further away, and that we were right on the edge of a bad area. I wished him a good night, pulled the van back to the venue (a few blocks away), and stayed there where it was safe. The next day, I rallied some fruit, and a case of water, and met up with the gang at the motel. I talked to the attendant upon check out, and asked about the safety of the area. They said that we were on the edge of a high crime area, and 2 murders had happened at 3 am when the bars were closing. Probably explains the security dood asking me to vamoose. We will maybe book more near college ave next go around.
It has been cool getting in touch with people outside of Idaho. Fans/Friends asks what the music scene is like where we come from. We feel proud to tell em that Boise's original music is exploding right now, and we are stoked to be a part of such a talented creative movement in Idaho. We talk about local bands that are on the rise, and bands from the past. Some people in our travels mention bands like Treepeople, Built to Spill, and other Idaho bands that have blazed the trial in their direction.
From Oaktown, we went on to Eureka. It was about a 5 hour drive, and we managed to make a stop in the Redwoods. We found a touristy lil spot where you could drive through the tree. Totally dorky, and totally awesome! While I had my reservations on pulling the van through it, we proceeded with caution.
Everyone loaded into the beauty of a van, (I say this aloud, as we have traveled 5,000 miles plus in her, and feel she is listening) and headed to Trenah's where we spent evening, and next day off. The entourage split up a bit, all doing our own thing, charging the batteries. Benny hung with family that was in town, Jennifer Orr spent time with a close friend in town, Jennie and Jasin hung with Trenah and friends. I camped in the van watchin old Hitchcock flix while it poured rain. After it let up, I made some chili mac on the portable cookstove, and enjoyed the fresh air. We all rested up and headed out to Portland the next morning.
The drive was awesome, with winding mountain roads along the Cali coast, and through the Redwood Forrest. There was plenty of rain, and we hit both hail and snow in the Grant's Pass area. Once we pushed through, we came into crisp blue skies filled with sunshine. We made it to the venue we were playing, the Space, around 8pm.
We left Salem around 11pm and drove about an hour to Portland. It was there that we met up with our friend Sarah Goss (former Boisian), and headed to the Bar of the Gods. It's just down the street, walking distance from her apartment where we are staying. They were having Van Halen night where they played nothing but old Van Halen records over the system. Note: OLDER VAN HALEN....not van hagar.
We rocked out over cocktails and bevs, and were amused by the locals. Jennifer Orr mentioned that it was interesting seeing/meeting folks of the northwest, and seeing the contrast in personalities from different parts of the U.S. .....like Texas, Arizona, Cali, on up the coast. I agreed. When you get to come in contact with so many people on a tour like this, you get to see first hand how the culture varies within the states and different regions. Mannerisms, attitudes, sense of safety, and of course musical styles/tastes.
We feel lucky to have come into contact with so many musicians, touring and local alike, to share common goals and interests on this tour. Lots of good folks out there! Hopefully we can get some of them to travel through Boise soon!
It's Portland tonight!-April fools day- we are to be on KPSU (Portland 1450 AM) playing live at 9PM - I believe you can follow this link to listen on the innerweb too.
Saturday we will be in Bend Oregon to play at Ranch Records at 5pm and then the Mountains Edge at 9PM!
Hope all is well with everyone in the Treasure Valley and elsewhere!