eternity's gonna smile on us
"if those people are laughing, i'm not going to go talk to them… it takes too much courage"
-confession made by Toby Tanabe in his sleep
We finally got to play a proper game of keesh-kee-kee with Yann & Company before we parted ways, buzzed from beer and giddiness at 3 am in the streets of Austin. There was also some talk of typhoon visiting Yann in Bretagne for a festival held there in the fall…
Au revoir until next time nous amis!
In a last minute arrangement, we slept down the street from the venue at Ryan Rooney's house (thanks Ryan & Housemates). Jen and her friends in town brought us coffee in the morning, we re-packed the van and made like babies for the north.
hungry, thirsty and unreasonably tired
"I'M LIVING MY LIFE!"
We've been driving now for about twenty six hours. Using the van stereo and a laptop, Pieter has started an in-van radio station featuring playlist requests, quiz-shows, mad-libs and weather reports.
Yesterday we were pulled over in Texas (we were all expecting it to happen at some point). The officer cited that our license plate was too dirty and then proceeded to grill both Dave and Pieter, asking if we had in the van any marijuana, cocaine, PCP, ecstasy, angel dust, mushrooms, LSD, peyote, large sums of cash or illegal immigrants. No, we said. What a ridiculous list. We asked him if he'd ever played the suitcase game. Later we drove through an immense electrical storm and, though we didn't see any, there were tornado alerts all over northern Texas where we were traveling. We drove through the night (Dave with a record of 18 hours straight) and stopped in Boulder at the house of our dear old friend, Tom Johnson, who let us sleep there for a few hours. We woke up the next morning to find that the storm that had chased us through Texas had now become a "severe winter storm" in Colorado. By the time we were trying to get out of town we were in the middle of a blizzard. We got weather reports over the phone from Devin back in portland, and figured out the best way to bypass the bulk of the snow.
At one point I felt I would never see the sun again. Dave brought us through hundreds of miles of snow and ice at the fringes of the Rocky Mountains until, somewhere in south central Wyoming, the storm finally broke.
Now we're driving across Idaho. I think we should be in Salem sometime in the early morning.
This is Alex here, writing in a state of sleep-deprived delirium. It is currently 2:40 am, we have been shuttling along now for a whopping fifteen hours. As expected my rear end has nearly become a numb lump suffering under the weight of crappy gas station goodies and the occasional PB and J's that I have subsisted on. Every one is real tired, as can be imagined with such a long grueling pilgrimage. Pieter lays stretched out, taking up almost the whole length of the van. We just arrived in Oreeegooone! The van clatters with a sincere homesick cheer. Man I love these guys (and girls!). We now are faced with the sobering reality of returning to our respective jobs, loved ones, school and other obligations that seem almost forgotten in this haze of touring excitement. Time to mesh back into civilization! Over and out.
The Ryan says:
Huddled and cuddled close in our van, our vessel, we wait out the final hours of our last leg of the tour. Every so often, a drop of condensation from the van roof hits my arm, but it doesn't make it through the layers of sleeping bags and blankets that tie us together. As I think about the nearly dozen people in this van, jutting through the ass-end of Oregon at 4 in the morning, I realize how much closer we've become over this week and a half. Although I've only been a part of this circus for a few months, I can already sense how much love there is amongst these people and feel very much a part of it. I want to quote the essay at the end of "The Breakfast Club," but there are more people in this band than there are high school cliques. "HAAAAAAAAAAM!"
It's hard to believe that it was only eleven days ago all twelve of us showed up at the free pile and strategically tucked our belongings in every vacant nook and cranny of the van. It's even more difficult to believe that I met those twelve people only a few weeks prior to leaving for tour and now can consider them very good friends. This is my first tour, and I am completely blown away at the amount of inspiration, motivation and self reflection that has made it's way through my thoughts. I do believe this has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life so far. After crossing the border back into Oregon, home is on the horizon. Hundreds of photos and recaps of events are evidence that it all happened, but in my mind everything is still unsettled like a dream I have just awoken from in a foggy morning haze. Ultimately I am glad to be making memories with some of the most talented and genuine people I have met in quite some time, and am looking forward to making many, many more. Go big or go home.
Cracked out on 5 Hour Energy and keeping Cap'n California company, carefully caressing the curves of highway 20. 4:22 AM .. Pieter and I are recalling the 4th grade beginning band experiences and everything between until now. Some crazy trucker is tailgating us. Isn't there a scary movie where semi-trucks attack people? Oh yeah, Transformers. Alright we finally shook him. Well, all I know is that sometime later today, we are all going to be eating Wallery's pizza and this whole crazy domesticated goose chase will have been worth it. Ooooooooh man . Did I mention that I really, really like everyone in this band? You might think sitting in a van with 12 people for 11 days would drive you crazy, but I have never been more in love with these dirty hippies. We almost hit a small pack of giant elk in the middle of the road. The sun has finally come up. Almost to Bend. 20th hour of driving. 4 more to go. one whole day of my life spent inside Sigourney. Oh man we just caught up with the crazy trucker again. I hope he doesn't spot us. Every time I think about Yann and the people in his band, I get a little sick feeling in my stomach. Kind of like I'm breaking up with a girlfriend, even though I don't want to, and neither does she. But tonight will be a great end to the trip. We're playing with one of my favorite bands, The Dodos. It couldn't be mo betta of an end. Also, I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of these newly made comrades of ours.
Paul's final thoughts
My journey with Typhoon began back in October of 2009. At first, they wanted me to mix their upcoming album that they would record their selves, but after catching their set at Berbati's, I called up Kyle and offered to record the whole thing too. Five months later, Hunger and Thirst
was complete. Today, we are wrapping up our tour with Yann Tiersen with a show in their home town of Salem, OR. It's difficult to explain how this all happened, but I want to say that I truly believe it's because of hard work. For example, we just drove 24 hours straight across the country from Boulder Colorado to make a 4 pm load in time. Our roof is leaking, we are dodging large animals on the road, the speakers in the van like to pop in and out, and my butt has been numb since we crossed the Wyoming border, but when I look around this van all I see are smiles. It's because we know this is what it takes. Earlier in the tour, Kyle and I were chatting about how cool this experience is. I asked him, do you know what "they" call this? - he responded, "no." I said, "they call this the time of your life."
I want to say that this band is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The response that I have received from my role on Hunger and Thirst
has been so positive that it essentially launched my career as a full time audio engineer and producer. My days are filled with emails, phone calls, recording sessions, mixing, and networking over a beer at local shows. It's a job that doesn't feel like a job. When work is this much fun, it's easy to forget that it is actually work. Basically I'm trying to express how grateful I am that Typhoon brought me into their club and gave me a part to play. Thanks guys, I'll never forget it.
I feel like shit. We're in the wonderful Tanabe household after arriving in salem, or at 10:30 am this morning with a 4pm load in @ Wullapalooza looming over us. As mentioned by others I drove the last leg of the drive from the Idaho/Oregon border to Salem via Hwy 20 across eastern Oregon and through Bend. Quick stats: Left Austin, TX @ 12 noon CST on the 22nd of April, we arrived in Boulder, CO @ 5:30 am MST on the 23rd April. We departed Boulder, CO @ Noon on the 23rd of April, Arrived in Salem, OR @ 10:30 am PST. I looked at the internet for the first time other than quick messages with old friends in towns we were going , and it felt like an IV of the wretched reality I left of what was my "life" previous to the tour, and how much destruction I had forcefully reigned upon it, in order to seize this opportunity. No regrets. The love expressed by all towards this experience and each other goes without saying. So looking back on this tour, there's a small piece of history / backstory I'd like to share, that may or may not shed a little light on why I hold this entity so dearly.
"The Hilton House"
Santa Clara, CA
My grandfather Bill Hilton purchased this house sometime in the late 1970s. It is a majestic redwood victorian built in the late 1800's, and while CA suburban sprawl of the '60s and '70s have claimed the acres of farmland this house used to hold as its own, it is nonetheless grand for it. Bill had recently remarried to Laurie Williams, mother of 5. Along with her 5 children, by grandfather brought into the household 4 out of 6 of his own (my father Lars, and my aunt Daria included). From the stories I've heard, the house was bustling with life during this time period. Most of the kin were in their mid to late teens, and in addition to the nine children that lived in the house, many of them had cast-off friends, and distant relatives that would stay or live at the house for extended periods of times. The residence earned a reputation among my aunts and uncles, and their friends, and theirs friends of friends, and etc… as this kind of ultimate shelter/safe-house. "You could always stay at the Hilton House," they would say. This reputation was rivaled only by the many commune-esque / socialist quirks of the household such as the coin-operated TV and dryer. Regardless, the bond of community formed from this household has spanned decades, and even generations.
I moved into that house with my parents when my dad decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer, and go to law school. My grandfather agreed to let us live there for free as long as my Dad was going to school. By this time I came to live there, only law students who rented the extra rooms remained, and Laurie and her kin were not to be named within the household (long story, but no real bad blood or betrayal involved). But ghosts and relics from the residence's boisterous past remained, my room had spray paint on the floors, and a light blue heart on the ceiling that had once been black, but when they painted over all of the graffiti from Sasha and her friends, the black heart bled through a light blue.
My grandfather passed away this past October. As we made the house our temporary base camp for 4 nights at the beginning of this tour, I witnessed an unprecedented stripping of its longstanding physical character. While this was incredibly surreal and unbearable, the pain of his and the residence's death transformed to a sort of joy. I felt that I was acting witness to a similar bond of generational and decade spanning community in that same household. Yet simultaneously the residence was being de/re-constructed to a form acceptable to the rest of the civilized world. This past and present parallelism revealed to me one of the most striking evidences of the beautifully refined workings of the eternally regenerative universe I've seen in my entire life.
Back to Kyle:
Thanks Pieter; I'm not sure that last sentence makes any sense, but I'll think on it for a while. I want to say thanks to Casey and LocalCut for having us on here and thanks everyone else for reading. I know this is a lot of information, but then we are a very large band.
That's the news from lake woebegone. We'll see you guys at home.