Greetings from Salem, OR, our new favorite town. Where did I leave you...?
Ah yes, on Interstate 80 in Nebraska. Lots has happened. We slogged our way through the Midwest toward Denver to play a house party near Columbine. Yikes, I know. Fear not, the locals have gotten over it. A Wednesday night house party on the eve of 4/20 in Denver. This would either be super fun or a super bust. Turns out, it was the former. Ty, our house show organizer and one-half of the mind-blowing duo, Ghostpulse, greeted us warmly and set up a radically eclectic event and, unexpectedly, one of the best-sounding rooms of the tour so far. It being a house party and all, Lysa and I took a trip to the local booze purveyor to stock up on lubricants for the evening.
My #idrinkecono special of the night was Lost Lakes Beer. So good, I barely noticed that I damn near finished a 12-pack by the end of the evening. Whoops.
Grim Temple, a blistering doom metal trio featuring Ty's roommates, kicked off the night, melting everyone's faces. The downstairs stage area was small and packed, exactly how you'd want a house show to be—with the surprise exception of Ty's massive soundboard in the corner. The secret weapon to having a night of doom, shoegaze, multi-instrumental art rock beauty, killer hip-hop, and gnarly punk rock all make sense together and sound phenomenal. That and the awesome people who stayed til the early morning hours when the show ended. Really great scene of people out there near Columbine. We got up there next and played one of our better sets to a very enthusiastic crowd. One of those gigs where everything is effortless and unconscious. Easily one of the best shows we'll have on this tour. Ghostpulse, featuring Ty and his brother Nate, were both visually and aurally stunning. The 2 switched from guitar and bass to drums and trumpet, all while blending their vocals together in that beautiful sort of harmony only siblings can achieve. It was wildly impressive to behold.
Ghostpulse then segued into Old Soul Era, a young hip-hop duo that featured a DJ on actual 1s and 2s. Very talented, very engaging young dudes incorporating elements of the Golden Era of Hip-Hop with some more modern elements. Great stuff!
Soon after that, Tom and I hit the wall. We passed out on 2 couches upstairs while the party (and Lysa, somehow) raged around and below us. I caught some of The Carnivore's set before somehow falling asleep. Things were still in full throttle til about 5 am and then we were up at 8 for another long ride into Jackson Hole, WY, where we'd have a night off.
A beautiful ride through Grand Teton National Park and similarly beautifully priced off-season room at the Elk Country Inn, and then we were up early again to trek across the plains into Idaho.
Ah, Boise. How can I describe the perfection that was this night? The ride from Jackson was long, but stunning. The otherworldly, green mountains of Idaho had the 3 of us in hushed silence as the van cruised through the landscapes. We passed through Arco, the first atomic town in the United States. We drove through Craters of the Moon, an area of lava fields that now look like, well, the moon. A few more hours, then, at last, Boise and The Olympic, a spacious, great-sounding, second-floor venue. Dark Swallows opened with some gnarly and brooding tunes. They also had invited their (and our buddy, Matt's) friend , Doug Martsch (!), who we were, of course, very excited to see and meet.
The crowd was amped and raucous and we gave 'em the full assault of noise n' melody. Marshall Poole closed out the night with a soulful psychrock set, led by their incredible bassist/lead singer, Melanie. We hung with the bands and local Boiseans, chatted with Doug, sold him a shirt, and crashed at the comfortable abode of our friends Reggie and Beth. Another early morning, battling a farmers market setting up shop in front of the apartment, and we were again on the road for hours and hours en route to Hoboken West, Seattle!