Monday, December 15, 2008

Between the Mountains and the Sea, From the Heart of Hollywood to the Frozen Shores of San Francisco

I saw High on Fire. I saw Ludicra. I drank pomegranate Martinis poolside in LA and dipped my feet in the Pacific Ocean. I watched the sun set among the Joshua Trees and partied with Hammers of Misfortune until it came up again. I climbed the foothill of a mountain and looked out to sea. This two show tour was epic.

We left Menegroth, Queens at the break of dawn.

Our car was late, but the airport was close.

The sights from above the weather were stunning.

By 1030 AM we were picking up luggage at an outdoor carosel.

By 11 AM we were in a sweet ass ride.

By noon we were in LA, cruzing vegan pan asian and rummaging the bountiful offerings of Ameoba. I filled more than one gap in my collection.

They put us up at the Roosevelt. The rooms hadn't been paid for yet. I knew I was in LA when I heard the hostess say, "Not to worry. We have contact information. Our people will talk to your people."

From my room, one could see both Mann's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood sign.

David Bowie hung on our wall.

I was glad to be in this place for only two nights. It was about equal with staying in Times Square, that is to say, it made me nauseous. Severely. We stayed up that night drinking Pirate Beer.

The next day saw little activity. After breakfast, we headed straight for the pool. Colin and I decided to partake in a little of the LA bikinis and martinis lifestyle.

I took pictures of Palm Trees.

Mick and Nick practiced some new material.

Mick's friend Joey stopped by bearing caffeinated refreshments.

That night Krallice opened for High on Fire. The free show was completely sold out. I met Tim Yeung during High on Fire's set back by the Krallice merch. Future me told past me it was a good idea to wear my Decrepit Birth shirt. (Sorry, I've been watching a lot of the Sarah Connor Chronicles lately...)

The ceilings backstage were plastered in stickers, though few seemed to migrate to the walls.

This gem was behind the merch counter.

After the show, we headed back for some well earned medicinal relief.

Thursday we checked out of our posh accommodations and drove straight into the heart of the desert.

We arrived at Joshua Tree about an hour before sunset.

The boys climbed this pile of rocks.

We stood there in the dry desert as air, heat and light evaporated around us.

We drove back to LA.

Our kind host for the night turned out to be the cutest tubby orange kitty I've ever seen. This guy was a purr machine!

Friday we started our journey to San Francisco. We ate lunch, and made a b-line straight for Highway 1.

At sunset, we crawled off the highway and walked along the biting pacific waves.

The sun sank slowly, drowning in an ocean of bliss.

We followed the highway away from the coast under the blanket of nightfall.

We stopped for a bite to eat at a suburban In&Out (best goddamn fast food burger in the whole world ever).

And stayed a few hours more for a showing of the Punisher. Pure comedy.

A little further on, we reached a small, cheap inn where we stayed for the night. Gremlins played as we dozed off.

In the morning, we found we had actually traveled back to the coast. The sunlight glistened off smooth waters.

Then, it was back to the road. It was midday when we hit Big Sur. We all needed to stretch our legs. What better way that to climb the foothills of the California mountains? That's just what we did.

By five we were in San Francisco. At this point in the journey, my body was soar from the ride, my camera was out of batteries, and my clean clothes were anything but. Still, we trekked through the meth addicts and skateboarders on Mission Street to Poncho Villa's Burrito Palace, Ritual Coffee, and, of course, Aquarius Records. Mick vehemently refused to read any of his own reviews (as he always does). We took a drive down Haight Street, passing the bong mall on Ashbury, and Mick's old lodgings just a few blocks away. Then, to the Parkside. San Francisco was prepared for the torrents that drove into the city that evening and greeted Krallice with nothing short of her mightiest arctic blasts. It was cold, fucking cold. See your breathe while you shiver down to your bones cold. The show was amazing, and if I may say so, the second best the band has ever played. The best show still stands at Remains (nothing will ever be able to beat that sound...and the venue, don't get me started...), but this was a close, CLOSE call. The crowd was electric. Krallice was unrelenting. Halfway through, the crowd broke into moshing, spilling hair, beer, and sweat on this weary traveler. That night we stayed with John and Sigrid. What a fucking time we had. We drank until five in the morning, talking of art, genius, music, algorithms, and kitties. Lev, I think I can safely say we erred on the side of excess.

The next morning, we awoke to rain and fog. I grabbed a coffee and bagel at Atlas. The coffee was fucking amazing. The bagel reminded me there were things yet to look forward to upon my return home. By noon I was in a cab to SFO. Our flight was delayed.

I decided to pick up some reading material.

That was all that was left.


What I learned while I was on tour:
1. You can NEVER have enough music in the vehicle. However much you have, it will never be even close to enough.
2. Mick is the one true punk I know.
3. Lev's disease is highly contagious. (Your disease is highly contagious.) (Your face's disease is highly contagious.) (Your mom's face's disease is highly contagious.) (Nice!) (Reset)
4. Colin texts more than my sister. This is a major accomplishment. My sister is 17 and a member of multiple social committees.
5. Nick snores in his sleep, even when he is sitting upright with his eyes half open.
6. San Fransisco reminds me of Baltimore. My passion hath been reignited.
7. Do not abuse the Tribble. For reset use only.

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