Sep 3, 2006

Three Cities, One State

When you last saw our intrepid travelers, we were traveling through the intense heat waves and scorched earth policies of the southwestern desert pueblos. What follows are some mad-artistic images from this apocalyptic wasteland. Mad Max.




RV commnunity in western Arizona. It's not so much a community as it is a gathering of a bunch of huge cars in the middle of the desert. Cars with front porches.


As we crossed the border into southern California, the desert started taking on the qualities of some middle east dubai outskirts type vibe. Where's the camels?


Then all of a sudden there was a bunch of rocks piled on top of each other, haphazardly, for miles and miles. Like God just said "fuck it, i'm just gonna throw a bunch a rocks down in this area and call it good."



The first show of our Cali excursion is in San Diego, a place that most of us had never been to. Newsflash, it is a beautiful place. The venue was right next to the airport, so throughout the night the entire place would shake when a jet would buzz by to land.


Southwest Airlines.


We drive around a bit before the show starts, taking in some of the crazy pueblo mission architecture stylings.


Art. Can you handle it?


The venue is called the Casbah, and features an awesome sound system, a ton of old arcade games (including Off Road!), an insanely friendly staff (as you'll see more of later), and this awesome painting of the Last Supper. Jesus looks hungry.


The sweat descends.


At the show, we meet our SoCal savior. His name is Aaron (aka M-16) and he has been, unbeknownst to us, listening to our band for 6 years since he found our a record we made in high school in the used bin of a record store in San Luis Obispo. Now he lives in San Diego, works for the Navy as a rescue swimmer, and rides a crotch-rocket motorcycle. After we meet, he proceeds to rule and be a fantastic human being, thoroughly.


After the show, the staff of the Casbah take us to another bar that's open later called the Cherrybomb. We love these people. The guy on the right in the ponytail is named Jason and he lived in Mpls for a couple years and worked at First Avenue. He tells us throughout the night that we "represented Minnesota right!" Yeah, he rules. On the far left is his girlfriend, also originally from Mpls and her mom in the middle. They all moved out to San Diego a few years ago, and assure us that its "just likes Minneapolis, but warmer." They buy us Jaggermeister. Things happen.


The next morning, Aaron takes us to Mission Beach for lunch and beach activities.


He takes us to the Liar's Club.


They give us some freakishly huge sandwiches that are maybe the mosts delicious things ever created by human hands. Here, Sanch illustrates the true school of these curious monsters.


Word has it, from those of us who consider themselves Bloody Mary experts, that these were the best ever created. Basically, the Liar's Club is proving to be heaven on earth for we tired and hungover Midwesterners. After lunch, we go to the beach and a) try to teach ourselves how to body board on the waves (it's all about timing it right, btw) and b) punch and attack the waves with the ferocitiy of caged wolverines. One of the best tour experiences ever, no lie.


That night, we fight through the heat and traffic to get to L.A. (pronounced Los Hahngahleese). The show is at a club called Spaceland in the Silver Lake neighborhood, which we've been assured several dozen times is "hot" and "trendy" and "in" right now. The club has us billed as The Pla5tic ConstellatiQns. Nice.


Surround the entire venue is some sparkly, high school theatre department-style curtains. So luxurious right now. The show is good and we see a bunch of old friends.


The next day we drive up to San Francisco and run into some seriously crazy windmill farms. Let the record show that we support alternative energy.


On the way into San Francisco.


Beak, Jeff, and 50's illustrate the extreme nature of San Francisco topography. Cars have to park at 90 degree angles relative to the curb here to prevent them from rolling backwards and crushing small children.


Living in San Francsico must be hard, always being assaulted and bombarded by insane beauty at all times. Seriously, this city can't even be for real. It was built as a playground for all of us to enjoy.


Bird on a Wire, starring Goldie Hawn.


Quote: "There are countless cities, worlds, and realms out there. So much knowledge to catch in the web of time." Trueisms, indeed.


Sanch and these windows bro down.


Who doesn't?


50's finds a juniper berry tree and attempts to turn them into gin through friction caused by his head. He is unsuccesful, but smells like pine needles the rest of the night.


Romantic couples walk. I left my heart in San Francisco.


The venue is called the Bottom of the Hill, and is indeed, at the bottom of a huge hill. Portero Hill, to be exact. It rules.


Check out that Star Wars era communication tower poking up from the clouds. Lando Calrissian dudes.


The show is great, one of the best of the tour.


We spend the night at our new friend Simon's house in Daly City. He played in one of the bands the night before. He lives with his mother, and together they are some truly amazing people. They wake up and make us delicious breakfasts. They've been on the road before, and know how great a warm home-cooked meal can feel.


The cook. Sheena. She is amazing.


San Francisco horseshoe branding.


Seriously. The city is ridiculously awesome.


We have a day off before we have to get up to Portland, so we decide to do a touristy day in San Fran. We head to Fisherman's Wharf on the water. This huge billingual shark's name is Bitehead, and he politiely requests that you do not touch him. Thank you for your cooperation.


Why anyone thought that an up close photo of an insane mime with crooked teeth would sell tickets to their circus-themed dinner theatre show is beyond us.


We hop on a harbor tour boat to catch the sights of San Fran, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. This bird majestically follows us.


He really likes us. We decide that it's the same bird that attacked us in Duluth in May when he wanted our leftover Luce's pizza.


Tourist day!


50's approves of the GGB.


Huge freight ship.


The Rock. This makes us want to rent the Sean Connery/Nicholas Cage film of the same name. Do you think this is a common reaction amongst tourists in the area?


Alcatraz was occupied by a Native American sect in the 1970's on the grounds of an old Sioux treaty stating that unused federal property can be homesteaded by the Sioux. You can see the spray-painted remnants of this occupation on the walls still. Totes historic.


Boyz in the hood.


Matt finds an unknowing camo buddy. The tension is palpable.


Before we boarded the ship, they took our picture with the intent of making us pay $18 for it after we got off. We ask to see the prints, then start taking photos of the print (genius, no?). The lady in charge quickly grabs it from Jeff's hand and says "No, you can't do that." This prompts a long philosophical debate about who "owns" an image -- the person who took the picture or the person IN the picture? The paradoxial dichotomies are real. Look for a podcast soon of this roundtable discussion.


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