We spent a long time in the car yesterday. We passed it in part by listening to records:
- Deep Purple- Burn
- Nick Cave- Murder Ballads
- Earthless- From the Ages
- Young Widows- Old Wounds
- Yawning Man- Rock Formations
- We also spent a while going through the last two Omotai records establishing who sings which parts.
- Just in case you have been trying to figure out the best possible record to play while entering New Mexico: that Yawning Man record is the answer you seek.
Not that I remembered any of this- normally I have an excellent memory, but I had a very hard time remembering anything that happened yesterday. I think the North Texas landscape bored it out of me.
How boring is the drive through the Texas Panhandle? Well, what’s the one tourist
attraction that people know in Amarillo? The Cadillac Ranch, right? But have you
ever seen the Cadillac Ranch? I always pictured it as some kind of sculpture garden
with a whole bunch of cars that was like a real attraction. Nope, turns out it’s
literally like a half-dozen cars upended in the ground next to I-40. That’s it.
(The Cadillac Ranch is actually a sculpture that has some pretty interesting ideas behind it. I’m just being a smartass.)
In order to cope with the boredom I felt compelled to make variations on the same Breaking Bad joke every time someone mentioned Albuquerque:
“Things are tough in New Mexico. Did you see that documentary that AMC made about the chemistry teacher who turned to selling meth to make ends meet? I think it was
called High School Meth Cook.”
Melissa and Sam put up with way too many of these. Angela got off easier because she slept most of the way, but besides, this sort of crap is kind of why she married me.
Anyway, this was the view as we arrived in Albuquerque from the far side of the
I like living in Texas, but sometimes it’s good to get away.
The venue in Albuquerque, Sister, was right downtown, in a cavernous space no doubt intended for bands much more important than ours. However, walking around downtown, I found that all of the restaurants and bars seemed oversized inside- perhaps real estate is unusually cheap in downtown Albuquerque.
After we finished unloading, my friend Stephen Bohannon joined us for dinner. I met Stephen online after he randomly purchased a Jonx CD online 6 or 7 years ago. This was the first time we’d ever met in person! Not only did he take us to a rad local pizza joint to eat the most satisfying green-chile pizza imaginable (we hadn’t eaten much besides all day besides Dunkin’ Donuts and gorp); he also BOUGHT THE BAND DINNER and wouldn’t even take a couple of LPs as repayment without giving us more money. AND he stayed for the whole show despite having to catch a 6 AM flight to Indianapolis for GenCon. Best fan ever!!!
#5: Sister (Albuquerque), August 13 with Hollow Tongue and Roñoso
The pace of this show was a little rushed for me so I didn’t get to watch that much of the other bands, but what I caught of Hollow Tongue‘s muscular powerviolence I enjoyed. Their guitarists had sick tone, and their drummer Gary was a hoss. He had this fun way of playing double-time where he would play the snare and cymbal both on the backbeat as hard as he could, so that his whole body was kind of pumping up and down. It looked really cool. I think I might try it.
This was our first of two shows without Jamie, and though we certainly can play most of the songs with one guitar, it’s a little empty. It’s funny, when I used to see Omotai as a three-piece, I never would have said the band needed another guitar player in a million years, but now that we have one, something’s definitely missing when he’s not there.
We argued half-heartedly about changing up the setlist, but ultimately we were too worn out from driving all day to give it any serious thought, so we just played the same set as in Dallas.
The Roñoso guys were super cool. I think the first thing out of their drummer Mike’s mouth was an offer to stay at his house. Well maybe the third thing; the first two things were probably dick jokes. I’d categorize Ronoso’s music as classic ’90s crust; their guitarist Miles had this crazy cobbled-together rig in a hollowed-out chassis that smeared his guitar into finely textured mud. Very fun band.
We didn’t end up taking Mike up on his offer of a place to crash- Melissa in particular hadn’t slept well the night before, and after the long, boring drive across North Texas which I may have mentioned before was LONG AND BORING we were all a little loopy, so we got a hotel to make sure we’d be fresh for the drive to Denver. But he insisted that we say what’s up to Frank from Turbokrieg; I don’t know Frank myself but we’ll make sure that it gets done!
Angela is fond of telling me how great the people are in Albuquerque and I found her to be 100% correct. Everyone we met was a total sweetheart: Steve and Mike from Sister were incredibly good to us; the people at the bar were friendly as can be; and all the guys in Roñoso and Hollow Tongue were just great to us.
I have to single out Bryan Sazoram from Hollow Tongue, who put in a bunch of work helping us get this show set up. We owe him big time. Not to mention, today he turned 25! HAPPY FUCKIN BIRTHDAY DUDE!
I was so overwhelmed by how nice everyone was in Albuquerque that I felt compelled to give a sticker to the clerk at a gas station on the way out of town, just because he was from Dallas and had a bunch of tattoos. I told him to check us out online. Gas station guy, I hope you dig it.
Bonus mountain pic which I’m pretty sure I took out the window of the van on the highway as we left this morning: