Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TVD Takeover | The Mynabirds

It's Day #2 of The Mynabirds' TVD Takeover...

I had big plans today to continue my exploration of great lyricists. But driving yesterday from Burlington, Vermont, to Denmark, Maine, through the White Mountains to visit family on a rare off-day seemed more suited to silence -- which is nice to have in the middle of a five-week tour. Silence, that is. Today we went on a five-mile hike up and down a mountainside. Made me think of Jack Kerouac's revelation in The Dharma Bums: "It's impossible to fall off mountains you fool." I've tried explaining it to other people to no avail. They all say, "You can totally fall off a mountain. That sounds ridiculous." But there's something to that -- the scene where Jack's bounding down a mountain after a fearless friend. He's entirely timid at first, focusing on the gaping black crevices between the boulders, rather than the footholds on the top of each stone. Here, I'll let him explain:

"Then suddenly everything was just like jazz: it happened in one insane second or so: I looked up and saw Japhy running down the mountain in huge twenty-foot leaps, running, leaping, landing with a great drive of his booted heels, bouncing five feet or so, running, then taking another long crazy yelling yodelaying sail down the sides of the world and in that flash I realized it's impossible to fall off mountains you fool and with a yodel of my own I suddenly got up and began running down the mountain after him doing exactly the same huge leaps, the same fantastic runs and jumps, and in the space of about five minutes I'd guess Japhy Ryder and I (in my sneakers, driving the heels of my sneakers right into sand, rock, boulders, I didn't care any more I was so anxious to get down out of there) came leaping and yelling like mountain goats or I'd say like Chinese lunatics of a thousand years ago, enough to raise the hair on the head of the meditating Morley by the lake, who said he looked up and saw us flying down and couldn't believe it."

Okay, so maybe that's a side-track way of talking about great words, great writers. I love that Dharma Bums scene. I love Jack Kerouac. Good Blonde & Others is one of my favorites.

And now for the meat of today's entry: a photoessay. A whole west coast tour in 12 images. Postcards from the road, I like to call them.

Before we met up with David Bazan, we did a two week tour of the west coast with Crooked Fingers. Here's the whirlwind recap:

Oklahoma City, OK: A double rainbow after a flash thunderstorm was lovely. It also had us laughing about that viral video that everyone seems to be passing around these days...

Austin, TX: We recorded a song for a blog inside of an Airstream trailer. Felt kinda like being on the road -- even though we were sitting still for a hot minute.

Outside of Albuquerque, NM: I love all those junk shops along the desert highways. This one was especially cute with its painted plywood facade.

Tuscon, AZ: Love the ghosts of the haunted Hotel Congress. We didn't see any there, but Patrick swore he saw one hovering above Nicole while she slept when we were outside of Salt Lake City.

San Diego, CA: Stayed with the brilliant photographer Sarah Law, who's been on tour with one of my DC favorites These United States for the past year. Her place was filled with photos of Jesse and all the boys (including this coffee table book) and she was playing Vandaveer on the stereo. She filled our glasses with whiskey and made San Diego feel like home. (On a side note, Jesse was staying at my place in Omaha working on a set of new songs when he put us in touch with Sarah. Funny how the world works like that.)

The Pacific Ocean: Loved those stairs to the sea.

Los Angeles, CA: Found some great advice on the sidewalk in Silverlake.

San Francisco, CA: Loved this corner of my friend's apartment. Something profound in that mess of stuff, I thought.

Cottage Grove, OR: Stopped at Richard Swift's place for a dance party on a night off. He DJ'ed a selection of his stacks and stacks of great records. And we passed around a bottle of Makers. The next morning was a little rough. But totally worth it.

Seattle, WA: Rebecca modeled a hand silkscreened vintage Mynabirds scarf at the Sunset Tavern. We miraculously met up with our friend Macey Taylor who was in town playing with AA Bondy. The world is entirely small and completely interconnected.

Portland, OR: Stopped into Mississippi Records for a great selection of vinyl. Sadly they didn't have any Dandy Livingstone. If anyone knows where to find some, please let me know.

Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska: A Mynabirds tour wouldn't be complete without a brush with a tornado or two. I spoke too soon in Wyoming when we were one state from being home and I bragged about our great weather. A few hundred miles later we ran into this mess. Thankfully, we pulled back into Omaha unscathed.

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