Wednesday, July 26, 2006

yes, mammal!

People pay good money to swim with dolphins, you know. They heal the sick (the dolphins, not the people) because they're magical. Surfers say they keep away sharks. They're good luck for sailors. I am not a sailor or a magician, but I did "swim" with dolphins. Bret and Neal and I chased a pod (school?) of dolphins around Santa Monica beach for several hours. (Even more remarkably, I remained UNsunburnt after the entire day.) At one point, we were as close as 5-10 feet away from a bunch of squeeking sea-mammal things. It's a little unnerving, letting your feet dangle into the ocean while these giant torpedo creatures swim underneath you.

Our public now eagerly awaits our epic novel of bromance, entitled "When We Swam With Dolphins: a true tail." This based-on-a-true-story work of fiction will include sexy anecdotes of tour, hard-hitting dialogues on the philosophy of punk versus metal, and--of course--the heartwarming story of our encounter with the magic sea creatures that changed our lives. After it becomes a NYTimes bestseller, we will certainly never be the same.

...unless I get to swim with Killer Whales, in which case, I am changing the title of the novel and possibly cutting Bret and Neal out of the royalties. Sorry guys.

Don't worry, Portland! We
represented the Timber Army by going to Hollywood Billiards and setting up camp in front of a large-screen TV to watch the Portland vs. Seattle soccer match on Fox Sports.

Also, today, I went for the first time to the spectacular Hollywood Bowl. We watched "The Sound of Music." Now, say what you will about theatre, broadway, and musicals in general, but this was something pretty extraordinary. First of all, one of my good friends from long ago, David Larsen, was appearing as Rolf. We met up rather surprisingly at a Crosstide show earlier in the week, and he gave Bret and I the chance to see him perform tonight. The show matched the venue in overal breathtaking-ness, and I am still blown away to have seen David performing in front of 18K people. It's just amazing.

Crosstide shows have been going well. We played with a cool band called "Transfer" at the Ken Club in San Diego last Friday night. We finished 3 out of 6 demo tracks we've been working on at the practice space. Oh! and Warren Beatty came to the Mint last Wednesday when we played. We've all decided that he is obviously a huge Crosstide fan.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


L.A. police have it busy. Yesterday I watched a 17 squad-car shakedown.

We finished up practice at Zoom Zoom Zammy's and realized our van had been graffitied. Ugh. It was a hot. Later that night I decided that I really needed six individually packaged beer drinks, so I began my walk up the Sunset hill from Micheltorena Street to Echo Park. The crown jewel, the Qudditch cup, the final destination was the little mini-mart next to Burrito King (a simultaneously hideous and delicious food stand open really really late on weekdays.

After two weeks of practice in this heat (and several shows), I don't know how I found the strength to climb that hill in my flip-flops. It's a good 3/4 mile. And about half way there, I realized that a helicopter had been circling me for several minutes. This wouldn't have been odd, except that it was 1:00 am and I hadn't seen a car pass in several minutes.

Maybe he's a traffic monitor? [The helicopter spotlight comes on.] Scratch that. I was just about to cross Coronado Ave when a Caddilac Escalade comes cruising across the intersection through the red light, at a mere 5 mph. More copcars than I've ever seen at once follow him. He stops in front of me, doesn't get out. Copcars stop too, and lighthouse that is making the racket in the sky is so bright that I don't know how us "good" guys are supposed to see anything. Guns guns guns. Also, some cop shouts at me to get the hell out of the way, which I gladly did. But my curiosity got the better of me, so I stopped thirty or so yards away and sat on a fire hydrant, watching for a good 20 minutes as the cops (I stopped counting at 21) held the dude on the concrete and searched his truck. I asked a cop nearby who managed to have kept his gun holstered what was the deal...

"Dude, kidnapping suspect, Bro."

I promise, those are his exact words. I continued my walk to Burrito King.

It's funny, because last Friday I watched the prequel to this mayhem. I played a show at Berbati's Pan (back in Portland) and, afterwards, loaded my gear into the truck on 3rd and East Burnside. I watched the cops keep a guy face down on the concrete for 5 - 10 minutes. I'm really not trying say anything specific about a police-policy that arrests people with a foot in their back. It's just unnerving.

OK, so here's the update: as I mentioned before, I'm here with Crosstide in L.A. We played the Mint last Wednesday. We play the Echo tomorrow. We set up a studio of sorts in the hottest practice known to man. We went to the beach today. I am about to melt. Our well-dressed hostess Logan hasn't been the least bit hostile the entire I've been here. It's all accomodation. Thank you thank you thank you. And thank you to Matt and Rian, who broke here futon, wrestling for rights to Logan's bed. She has a boyfriend, unbeknownst to each.

Here are some pics taken by Erick Alley. (*note* Our van got graffitied.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

independence day

last night Crosstide played the Spaceland. we had a great time and everyone sweated in their shirts and patted each other on the back a lot. some people clapped, which was nice. afterwards, we high-fived. i think we should be a soccer team. in terms of hipster uniformity, the only thing we really hold in common right now is that we all wear shorts and wish that it wasn't so hot. good god, Los Angeles. if angels are really this hot i think i might as well not worry about Hell.

van rides with matt, rian, bret, and erick work relatively well, thus far. we spent a good two hours playing "hey, guess what i'm thinking." one time, bret was thinking of Zoroastism. it took a while to guess that.

this morning, at 11am, we wound up at an irish pub, watching the Germany/Italy world cup match, and doing everything else that you do at an irish pub. well, maybe not EVERYTHING. 4pm rolls around and a giant nap sounds good. really good.

i need to catch a flight back to Portland tomorrow. i'm trying to decide whether i should pony up and schedule a cab to the airport or rely on the boys to get me there in time. by 6am. if you think this latter plan sounds entirely reasonable and doable, consider that you are talking about 5 dudes who got up early today to go down the street and drink beer and watch soccer. and by early i mean 11am.

i'll be home for my show on the 7th, and while i'm there i will talk weddings with family members and friends, because they seem to be everywhere: weddings. only till the 9th. then i'm back in middle-earth-- that place not your home, but not not your home. want to live everywhere evenly? want to feel the same about yourself in the city or the country, east or west? me too. that's why i like being away. it's practice.