I sit writing this blog post from 100,000 feet in the air, flying with my mother and boyfriend to my cousin’s wedding in Albuquerque New Mexico. My head is spinning after an 11-hour drive home to San Francisco following our (very fun) gig at Artichoke Music in Portland. Tours have a funny way of being over before you know it, but when you look back to the first night – for us that was a mellow cafe show in Sacramento – it seems like forever ago.
I left us last in Portland, three of us (Andrew, me, Charlie Bear) crashing on our buddy’s mattress in a dark and chilly basement room. Had the basement not been so dark (and we not so exhausted), we would have seen the two space heaters nearby, thoughtfully set up for our convenience. I slept immediately while Andrew stayed up a little later watching “Portlandia” and eating mystery stew.
Oh, no, I digress. We were after Portland, Seattle….Bellingham Washington was the real next stop. We played with our friend Biagio Biondolillo whom Andrew had hosted in San Francisco in the past. We stayed at his place, a converted church from the late 1800s…. I don’t know how we keep ending up at these places. It was beautiful, and comfortable, and Biagio and his lady Sheena were as nice as hosts could be. Sheena treated us to a fresh salad from her garden in the morning, and Biagio stayed up late with us, shooting the sh*t and reminding us about one of the best things about tour: hanging out with awesome people who live far away from you.
The next day we happened across this Twilight Zone of a store, owned by the surviving daughter of a serious hoarder of items from the 50s and 60s. There was a wall of vintage teddy bears…. 25 cents each. Shelves upon shelves of porcelain kittens, glass unicorns, magnetic birds, bobble head dogs, plastic ribbons and rusty hot plates, foam balls and fake flowers, yarn and typewriters. I bought Andrew a toy truck coin bank with a baby Budweiser can as its cargo hold. You drop a coin in the top of the truck and it rolls into the mouth of the can, one of those old pull-tab openings (so you know it’s old). Fifty cents!
Equally odd was its sister store down the road: a huge converted bank that sold only vintage coins, stamps and postcards. You tell them what kind of postcard you want (State/Country? Year? Subject?) and they go down to a vault and bring back boxes and boxes of that kind of postcard to look through. Very odd indeed.
Our return to Portland for our last two nights were so much fun, a perfect cap to our first Northwest tour. Please Do Not Fight superfans (I say that because they have PDNF tattoos) Jasmine and Metro put us up and showed us great hospitality, and we had a super fun night playing and then partying down at Fringe Vintage clothing store/music venue with the local band Silver & Glass. Their upbeat set of indie-rock originals with a Beatles cover thrown in was just what the doctor ordered.
Our very last show at Artichoke Music was another amazing experience. The sound, lights and stage were incredible, the audience captivated, and then after the show, they and the owner Richard were so generous with glowing words as well as monetary support. It left us counting our blessings as we loaded up the car and pointed south in the night. Ten, eleven hours to San Francisco fueled by the high of a great and successful tour. Until next time, Pacific Northwest, we will miss you!