Sep 2006 - North West
Sep 2nd to 16th - Vancouver to Portland and back
It went great, never rained, never got lost. And we proved
that touring without a car is possible, if not recommended.

(us playing at the Red & Black Cafe in Portland)

Sep 2nd - Vancouver, BC - Rime.
Kevin House impressed me with his "class management"
skills and his songs.The food at Rime was delicious. Wish
I hadn't eaten just before playing though. Erwan used Lucy's
bass for that first gig.

(Kevin House playing at Rime, in Vancouver)

(sun setting over a Bellingham parking lot)

Sep 3rd - Bellingham - Acoustic tavern.
With no bass, no second band, and no bus ticket, things
were looking a little grim at first. But they let us on the bus,
across the border, and the Green Frog had three basses to
choose from. What's more the Solvents showed up out of
nowhere, after having been turned down at the Canadian
border, going the other way... Quite a few people came.
We got accompanied on washboard by LoneBird on one
song, and Derek from Big Sur offered to let us sleep at his
place and drive us to Seattle the next day. Incredible luck
overall. That day was a series of perfect endings.

(the Acoustic Tavern in Bellingham a.k.a. the green Frog)

(Olympia street before the sun came back)

Sep 5th - Olympia - KAOS radio.

We arrived under a grey and gloomy sky, at some ungodly
hour of the morning, having left most of our stuff in Seattle
at Michelle's. We effortlessly found our way to Evergreen
University, and well in time for the radio session. Minutes
before we went on, Erwan was still changing the strings on
the new Musicmaster bass he'd just picked up in Seattle.
Domenica from KAOS was a little nervous to be doing the
1pm shift. She said Postcard from a River was her favorite
amongst the songs we played. Later that day we got the
bass fixed, bought records at Phatom City and Rainy Day,
and even a shirt. It got sunny again.

(Erwan and Domenica from inside KAOS' live studio)

(Erwan record shopping at Phantom Records in Olympia)

Sep 6th - Olympia - Puget House.
I looked for Calvin Johnson in the Golden Gavel motel's
phonebook and realized that K's headquarters were only a
few blocks away. So we paid him a visit before heading out
to the house on Puget Street. I also got someone from Rec
the Place
to send me their September poster to Vancouver
for a dollar. We were on it. At the house we ran into Ross.
We did some rehearsaling with the alto player from Ciel and
the people started arriving for apple curry. The siblings from
Crazy for Jane were actually only half German, and what's
more extreemely friendly. I think that was the day I found
out I was an uncle. Everything there from the food to the
music, the audience and the hospitality was eye wateringly
impeccable. And Jenny Jenkins (seen here on the left) is
one of the best kept secrets of the West Coast. We had
breakfast with her and Onyx and Josepha and Philipp and
a few other people the next morning. Ross had left earlier
to help his mother move. Olympia is quite simply the best.
The bands we played with there were: June Madrona, Crazy
for Jane
, Ciel and Encyclopedia of Fun's Jenny Jenkins
(who promised she'll have a myspace page up very soon).

(me playing in the downstairs room at the Puget House)

(Ganson Place playing at the Red & Black Cafe in Portland)

Sep 8th - Portland - Red & Black Cafe.

The first day in Portland was a little dreary. Everything was
too far away and the hostel felt very touristy all of a sudden.
But on the 8th, we headed out for the house where they put
together the Hamptone preamps to pick up Erwan's special
order. The guy there was young and really nice and he made
some last minute adjustments while we waited. Later he even
came to the show. The Red & Black Cafe was a friendly place
and Ganson Place's set, though brief, was nice. But it all felt
a little weird somehow. There were maybe thirty other bands
playing that night in town for the Musicfest NW. After the show
I went bar hopping with Annie from the Red & Black, and the
next morning we met up with her and Jo at Le Pigeon for
breakfast. They were having a beer drinking, adult, soapbox
derby on Mt. Tabor that day. We missed that.

(the Red & Black, afterhours)

(Jamie & Damien at the Jewelbox in Seattle)

Sep 11th - Seattle - Jewel Box Theatre.
After a couple of days off, some rehearsing with Elise (cello,
vocals), and some surgical poster stapling up and down Pike
and Pine, we played our first of three shows in Seattle. The
Jewel Box (at the Rendezvous) used to be a movie theatre
in the 20ies and still has that aura. It's a wonderful place to
play and it was nice to have Elise with us. Everyone else had
accompaniments too: Moogle Charm had with him a vintage
Commodore computer, Jamie (from Husbands, Love Your
) had Damien Jurado playing snare drum, and behind
Sand Canyon were video projections that transformed the
stage into a slow, frantic space-travelling device. We'd been
a little nervous about this show because we were more or
less organizing it and didn't know who would show up (at 11
on a Monday night) and we knew we had to pay the sound
guy no matter what. But it turned out great, the mixture of
genres worked well and playing on that old stage felt good.
Derek made the trip from Bellingham to see us and brought
a friend with him.

(Sand Canyon's drummer, lost in space)

(Linda sitting under the "C" at the Comet Tavern in Seattle)

Sep 14th - Seattle - Comet Tavern.

We got another few days in Seattle to rest and rehearse
and (let's face it) laze around. Then came the Comet gig.
I really didn't know how that one would go considering how
quiet the music is and how loud it usually seems to get there.
But we shortened the set a little (there were three other bands
that all had drum kits to set up) and got great reactions from
the croud. I knew Michelle wouldn't have booked us if she
didn't think it would fly. And it did. Somebody was even
taking pictures and here they are. The bands we played
with there were: the Pagan States, Blue Light Curtain and
Brief Candles.

(busy Seattle street, on our way to Elise's)

(Troubletown playing at the 414 House in Seattle)

Sep 15th - Seattle - 414 House.
The 414 house is in Wallingford, right off the freeway just
North of Lake Union on 42nd. If you're not familiar with
Seattle that doesn't tell you much, but what it means is that
the scary-ass, enormous, two level, twelve lane bridge that
makes 18 wheelers look like ants, goes right by the house,
flies off the hill, over the water, and heads for dowbtown
where it cuts the city in half. It's a beautiful old house with
a fire place and piano. the show was fun and full of familiar
faces. Some played, others watched: Jordan and Jessie who
we'd run across in Olympia, Ryan from Pica Beats that we'd
met in Elise's living room, Jamie who played with us for the
second of three times, Lukiss who turned out to be Elise's
next door neighbour, Gwen who took some pics, Jenna
whose performance blew me away, Josh Tillman whom
she'd brought along, and of course the people from the
414 house, and Linda and Elise and many others... It
was an altogether great evening.

(view fron the 414 House in Wallingford)

(Jamie at the Boiler Room in Port Townsend)

Sep 16th - Port Townsend - the Boiler Room.
Jamie wasn't going to be able to come with us after all but
someone at work filled in for her at the last minute and off
we went. Touring with other people is way more fun. Linda
drove us out in her VW love mobile and Jamie followed in
her Jeep. Elise came along as well. We took the ferry, ate
snacks from a supermarket and arrived at the Boiler Room
earlier than we'd expected. Because I hadn't slept enough
the night before, I took a long nap in the van. Jamie slept a
little too. We had free pizza and then the Solvents arrived.
Everyone played and we decided to take the ferry back that
same night. It was a quiet and peaceful ending to a dreamlike
tour. A little sad as endings tend to be but I was happy to get
to go back to Vancouver.

(sundrenched street in Portland not Vancouver)