September 9th, 2009 | by Local Cut Music | Posted In: Columns, Tour Diary, Tour Diary

Congratulations/Old Believers: The Matriarch of the Whole Kingdom (Chico, CA)

     
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thomasTour Diary Day 3
Chico CA


Following the Hi-Dive show in Seattle we saddled up and galloped into the sunset toward Chico, California, land of cowboys and fraternity brothers alike. The drive was roughly 16 hours accounting for the van's mechanical scare and various bodily necessities. That was probably the highlight of the tour thus far, for who wants to play shows and experience exotic dwellings and incredibly generous people when you can graft your face to the leather seat you fell asleep on?

The gig was at Empire Coffee, which is an old railcar that was reconditioned into a homely little cafe. Train tracks skirted the edge of the shop, and a locomotive would pass about every hour sounding it's horn in a long-winded moan. The sun was setting over a nearby water-tower and cast a rusty golden hue over everything. A quite pleasant atmosphere.

After lounging around the cafe for a few hours and charming all the servers with our fragrant odors and crisp attire, the show began on the porch right outside the cafe. Dudes all played great, every song is sounding better and better, tighter and tighter and more ferocious as the days pass. By the time the PDX show comes around you'll be convinced that the bands have transformed into various incarnations of Yngwie Malmsteen and Mariah Carey. There will be so much shredding and wailing that you'll probably have an aneurysm.

The opening act for the show was this quiet young fellow who went by Fera; Christian name Mikey. He offered to let us stay at his place for the night, an offer we gratefully accepted. His house was about half an hour away, nestled in this little town called Paradise, which might be the most apt moniker ever given to a locale in God's green earth. The "house" was actually a complex of three or four cabins built by various members of the family scattered around a natural wonderland of gardens, ponds, goats, and treehouses. Mikey's mother Tonya, the matriarch of the whole kingdom, was a goddamn saint. After arriving and leading us on a tour, she was kind enough to make us all pasta, salad, and salmon as the moon was settling over the canopies of the enormous trees. She told us about her vegetable-oil ran cars, the koi and catfish ponds, the gardens of peaches and pears and berries, and the squirrels who tried to bomb passersby with falling pine cones. Every square inch of the place seemed to be utilized for some purpose; you could sidestep a blueberry bush only to fall into a vat full of vegetable oil that would spill you into the adjacent horse stable. The sheer functionality of the place was enough to amaze, the beauty and precision of it an added bonus. It's impossible to do the place justice with words, so hopefully some photos will convey the sense of wonder this place instilled on us all.

We spent the night sleeping fitfully after a long day of heat and driving. All of our love and gratitude to Mikey and Tonya, for what will undoubtedly be one of the more memorable experiences on tour.

Links:
CongratulationSpace
Old BelieverSpace

Photo of Thomas skateboarding doesn't really relate to this post, but instead the last one. Still, it's awesome and from the tour and we couldn't resist. Check back for more tomorrow!
 
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