Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sunny Southern California and not-so-scary Los Angeles

Southern California has been a big unknown for us and the band since the beginning of the tour. Not only is Los Angeles the largest city that the band will visit on their tour, but none of us have really any first hand experience with navigating its streets and inhabitants.

Rolling into Santa Barbara Monday night, it definitely felt like we had arrived in SoCal. The night air was warmer, the architecture more Spanish and palm trees lined the streets. We went straight to Ryan's cousin Bridget's house where we spent the evening eating good food and relaxing. The band sleepily played a few songs for her and her roommates and we all went to bed early. It was lovely to not have to rush to play a show and instead be able to simply relax and enjoy good company.

The next day's ride was a short 30 miles to Ventura, CA, where they were playing the lovely Zoey's Cafe and Entertainment Loft and meeting up with Kati, who had taken a 25 hour train ride from Portland to rejoin the tour for the last week. After a giant breakfast at the original Sambo's on the Beach in Santa Barbara, we headed down the coastline to Ventura. Kati arrived on her bike moments after we did at Zoey's with lots of energy to spare. Apparently it is quite boring when one is not bicycling 40 miles everyday. The audience consisted of many of Kati's relatives as well as locals who were intrigued by the few songs that they played on the street in front of the venue before the show, a great way to bring in a crowd on a Tuesday night.

After spending the a fun night at Kati's aunt Ginny's house with her cousin John, we all awoke at 7am to start the 75 mile trek to Los Angeles. While hanging out in LA for the week, Ian had hooked up a show opening for some local bands at the Spaceland Theater in Silverlake for Wednesday night, which was great but put some strain on the schedule. Figuring out how to get out of Ventura and back onto the Pacific Coast Highway took much longer than expected, and by the time they reached Malibu for a late lunch it was 2pm. After lingering over burritos and fixing Israel's brake cable, they hit the road again at 4pm to finish the final 30 miles and arrive before 8pm. They had a vague route to get from the PCH in Santa Monica up to Spaceland, and we immediately lost them as soon as they left the beach bicycle path. Although it would have been interesting to film their first trip through the streets of LA, it was all we could do make it through the rush hour traffic and make it to the venue in time. The set was short, but it allowed more time to hang out with the three bicyclists that we met in Big Sur (Josh, Steve and Bennett), who rode their bikes out to the show from Venice.

So far, being in Los Angeles has not been as intimidating as we had feared - driving took Emily a little while to get used to, especially in contrast to the tiny towns that we have been traversing as of late - but in general it seems like a fairly laid-back, albeit expansive city. What were we worried about again?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In that picture of Ryan with the camera attached to his trailer, it kinda looks like he has a rat tail. Gross. Please don't let it be true!! Fun Fun Fun!