Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Athens and Atlanta

We followed our directions to an industrial area, and down a dirt road
that we weren't too sure about, but ultimatrly led us to a small
parking area and a compound of small artist spaces across a bridge
over a little dried up moat... This is where we found kurt, who had
arrived the night before! The show was billed as being at a bike shop/
collective(?) called ben's bikes, which was a very small shop in one
of the artist spaces there... I recall being a bit confused and
anxious as to where we'd actually end up playing! As we hung around
waiting for the other bands to arrive, I had a lookabout a big section
of the building that was only a roof and rubble, though there was a
large fenced off portion that contained hundreds of old bikes,
presumably to be used as parts by ben...
Getting back to the main hang out area in front of ben's, I joked that
we were going to play in the big dilapadated area, only to find a
short time later that the joke was on me, and that was indeed where we
were to play!
People with long extension cords and lights started showing up and
before we knew it, a psuedo-livingroom had materialized, couches and
As the first band


played, the space filled out with people, one if the biggest crowds
we'd had on the trip, which was pretty neat considering the improvised
space the show was in


As I recall, kurt played next, loveley-ly, and then Theo, our main
contact from orange twin (an intentional community and record label)
played a short and sweet set of acoustic punk tunes with intricate and
tricky sung-spoken lyrics (which was invigorating and excellent).
I played last, and though all but 2 batteries for the dictaphones were
dead (leaving the chimes portion a lonely single player) the rest went
well and people seemed to like it, including Heather, who, then and
there invited me to be on a copmilation cd of experimental Athens (and
me) based music.. That should be out sometime in 2009, I believe!
After the show we headed downtown for pizza, then back to "the
hanger", an old airplane hanger in the middle of town that now houses
several regulars and any number of transients (like ourselves) on any
given day - and a bike welding shop for making double (and taller!)
framed bicycles that one must mount from a ladder! Dianne and I hung
out with the welder and some of the occupants, and tried a couple
bikes before hitting the sack - this time the sack was 2 couches in
the entrance if the hanger, and with the doors left open, all sorts of
sounds of autumnal Athens night joined us in sleep!

That was Wednesday. Wednesday the 15th of September. We were
due in Atlanta on the 17th - usually, we'd've to start riding
immediately, but since we now had the van, it meant a little vacation
in Athens as we only had an hours ride ahead of us!
In the morning, we headed out for coffee, breakfast, and exploring the
uunivrrsity campus... Donations from the show had been good, and with
no proper venue to share the door with, we were all somewhat rich!
(thus facilitating coffee and breakfast)
We wandered all around downtown Athens, checking out a sweet comic
book store, a pretty sweet record shop, and a really quite sweet used
bookstore (where I picked up carlos castenadas fourth book, the fire
within on dan friendly's recommendation....
(I still haven't finished it (but have read other books in the
interim) for the record, maybe now that I'm wrapping up this story...)
Time to eat! After a thorough investigation, we hungrily settled on a
seemingly cheap taco place, which ended up much more expensive than we
wanted... An hour later we ran into someone from the hangar who
informed us that food not bombs was going on - darnit!
We headed back towards the hangar.
Stopping at a goodwill along the way, we grabbed some national
geographics (echoes of the first entery here) and I attempted to
bargain for a part of a walker that I thought I could use to extend
the comfort of my handlebars even further - they wanted too much
though, and left with 3 natty geo's only..
Back at the hangar we read, rode, and practiced our tall bike mounting
before passing out in theo's room this time - a death metal band was
staying on the couches that night.
It was Friday morning - the last show I the trip! We were able to go
have coffee, witness an unbelievably loud Bluetooth user drive several
people from an outdoor general use patio, and were all packed up with
plenty of time to spare.

The drive to ATL was uneventfull, kurt sat in the middle, Dianne
drove, and I navigated - at one point, as we approached Atlanta
proper, we realized that we hadn't figured out where the venue,
wonderoot, was and pulled off the highway so I could surf for wifi,
which I immediately found at a motel 6, and though locked, a quick and
confident word with the front office secured me access, directions,
and away we went!

A brief traffic jam later, we pulled into wonderoot, dropped off our
stuff, an went to find dinner in a quite cool area called the
(something) patch.. Over dinner, kurt and dianne joked about her being
ready for her performance, and it being only a few days from my
birthday, I got paranoid that my father may have put them up to some
embarassing shenanigans that would take place at the show! The more
they denied it, the more anxious I got!
Upon our return, we met the 2 girls that we were to play with, and a
couple guys that ran the PA and did the door... These are the only
people that ended up showing up, so we all just played to each other,
the first girl strummed an acoustic guitar and improvised lyrics for
10 minutes, then kurt went on and improvised a guitar piece that had
me wishing I had been recording, it was so spot on! He did a couple
more tunes, and cut it short.
The second girl (can't remember names
Right now, can look up, but if you see this, I didn't) played a string
of fancy effect units in a dynamic noise style.
I played last and by all accounts, nailed it - I think I put in some
extra energy to sort of spite those that hadn't come out, if you know
what I mean - teach them to not support improvised underground touring

It was suggested that we go to an experimental open mic that was
already infer way, which we did, but was already too booked, so we
watched a couple acts and left... To go home to Massachusetts...

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