Okay, we finally found a place, a state really, that none of us had seen before. And it’s called Oregon. We LOVE it, the people are great, we might have to move here. But let’s rewind and re-examine what has transpired since last we spoke.
In Los Angeles we were treated to the musical stylings of The Thelonius Monk Institute, featuring the inimitable Chris Dingman, who we love. Outside of the Ramada (where jazz has been forced to these days, or as some would say: where jazz has gone to die) we encountered a man that needed to teach us about slam poetry as his way of begging for beer money (his own words, i swear.) He told us about Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry hosted by Mos Def and Saul Williams, all of which we were familiar with. He had no knowledge outside of that pop sphere, but swore that he was “that good.” And so he started, “I am the mountains that rise from the earth…I am the extension of the tension that strenghtens… I am THAT good!!!” Having plied our trade without being paid ourselves, we helped him out, but in all honesty, he was not that good. Or THAT good, even.
We left Los Angeles well fed, Daddy Wrall having had the best bagel of his life. Apparently, the jalapeno cheddar at the Silverlake Coffeeshop is so amazing that five hours into the drive north, when asked what he thought of the extra-terrestrial life descending on California Route 101, he said, “what? Oh, I was daydreaming about that bagel…” Well, he’s waited long enough to see aliens, he can wait a little longer. For those of you wondering, they are pink-ish, not so much green.
We spent a couple of nights in Santa Cruz, admiring the amazing variety of street performer in the town. Daddy Wrall taught the staff at Red to make an espresso martini, in case you swanksters are ever in town. And we saw an incredible film: The Constant Gardener. So, go see it already. Samuel P. Nice was outfitted with a new leather jacket for our shows (ladies beware) and we spent some quality time with the infinitesimally small John Flynn-York. We had a great breakfast at Cafe Brasil, where the wait staff does NOT speak Portuguese. All of my efforts to properly pronounce the dishes fell on deaf ears and perhaps served to further the continuing saga of cheese…
THE CONTINUING SAGA OF CHEESE:
What kind of cheese do you like? Swiss? Gorgonzola? American? Personally, I don’t eat cheese, but that doesn’t stop every single restaurant in the country from trying to serve it to me. At Cafe Brasil, it wasn’t on the menu, but came anyway. In Bend, OR I asked if there was cheese in the salad, they said no, but brought a parmesan covered salad anyway. In Breckenridge, I ordered my breakfast sandwich cheese-free, but received a cheesy mess. In San Francisco, I ordered the burrito, sin queso, but received mucho. All over the country, the word is out: “BRING CHEESE TO THE GREAT DUNLAP!!! WATCH HIM SQUIRM! DARE HIM TO SEND IT BACK! IF HE DOESN’T,WATCH HIM PICK THROUGH THE EDIBLE PORTIONS!!!!” An interesting dilemma that must have a point, no? I keep waiting for Aston Kutcher to come out and say “You got Punk’d!” Only, I’m not important enough that Aston would show up to my episode, and I wouldn’t sign the waiver, so they could never air it anyway…
(By the way, MTV is now known as “Punk’d”)
And on the topic of food, we went to San Francisco on our way north specifically to get a burrito from Cocina Poblana. We’re all still thinking about it. It’s that good.
And who remembers Shasta? The cola, grape or orange drink that we got on field trips in Elementary school, usually in 6 or 8 ounce cans? And who can forget Shane Strojny’s dog Shasta, that little cutterhead? Well, we do and we talked about it, right up until we found ourselves in the home of Shasta in northern California. We stocked up on the grape variety at the Winco in Redding, CA while P.Nice played Time Crisis II (he passed up Time Crisis III as it was four times as expensive). We also saw Mt. Shasta, where one can taste the grape mountainsides that melt into the carbonated Lake Shasta. We’re so obsessed with our dwindling oil supply that we’ve come to neglect our real natural resource crisis:
Shasta is running out.
The orange flavored banks of the fingers of Lake Shasta are exposed and the water was so shallow, that, though we would wade through snow and pine needles to drink at her banks, they were innaccessible to our parched lips. And alas, we must pay 25 cents a can at the Wink and Nod.
In other news, Daddy Wrall drove his first leg of the trip. We have enjoyed such wonderful weather and road conditions on our drive that he finally felt comfortable and relaxed about driving. We even chose a less highway-like highway to make the experience a little more like driving on Nantucket. Of course, five minutes into the drive we ended up in a snow storm, which he weathered briliantly (no pun intended…) Plus, we had Busta Rhymes’ “The Coming” and Wyclef’s “The Carnival” (Boy, those album titles are similar. I detect a ‘96/’97 trend) to keep us going. On the way to our next gig, Samuel exclaimed, “Boy, I hope that Bend is the Ottawa of California!” I told him I’d write that in the blog, but that Oregonians might get upset. Don’t be; he just means that he hoped you’d be cool. (You are.)
We arrived in Bend, Oregon for our first rainy load-in of the tour, which is, in itself, amazing. And the gig was great. Thanks Chris at the Grove for putting that together and thanks all you Oregonians for showing up. Sam, thanks for sending that article to Providence for us and we’ll say hi to Portland, ME for you when we get back there. Ups for the food, water, hot tub, Grove staff, fireplace, and great great people. We have more photos as soon as we figure out how to share them. And lastly:
Say turd: cheese that reaches fude (sic)
Say word: cheese in Speech’s music
Say turd: bad slam poetry
Say word: fads and flowy things
Say turd: Much punk’d instead of music videos
Say word Josh Und Brian’s new videos
Say turd: rumors spread like wildfire
Say word: humor helps put out fires…
Your guide to Miss Fairchild, Behind the Music, The Great Dunlap