Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 20 Pt. 2– Canadian Indie Invasion - or - Arizoned Out - or - Lost (and found) Leaf

The ride across the New Mexico/Arizona border was dreamlike. We sailed quietly through hills and across canyon floors. We even passed the way cool and slightly eerie Very Large Array (VLA), which is a desert plain populated by numerous three story tall radio telescopes.

In Arizona we blew through the Salt River Canyon in Tonto National Forest. We were treated to sights of snow capped mountains and miles of desert hills studded with saguaro cactus. The sky remained a sparkling blue through our whole trip.

When we rolled in to Phoenix, we awed at the glittering skyscrapers and endless green landscaping, complete with palm trees. Soon we were in the neighborhood of the Lost Leaf, our venue for the evening.

We hung out a Jobot, a small coffee house next door, and hi-jacked WiFi for awhile. When the bar opened we met Tato, who booked us, and Mikey, who was running the bar that night. We loaded in and kicked back to wait for show time. We had a lovely pear cider and ran over some new tunes.

Before long the other bands began to arrive. We met all the members of Hot Panda and Said The Whale. It was shaping up to be a great night. By the time we started, the staged was packed with all sorts of equipment, pressing us right up to the crowd. We played a quick and tight set to a very appreciative crowd.

Hot Panda came up next, and crushed a set full of loud psycadelic synth-pop with kickin’ bass and drums. Their show was loose and wild. We like Hot Panda. Next up was Said The Whale, with composed tunes and slick transitions, stuffed to the gills with polish and class. Said The Whale’s music nodded to the Beatles and Paul Simon along with the most current trends in Indie music.

After a few too many beers, we very lamely bailed before Hooves, a local group, took the stage. We were running on 3 hours of sleep and still hadn’t found a place to sleep this night. We said our goodbyes and slid into the night. With a short stop at a Wal-Mart (where else) we munched on sandwiches while we thumbed through our camp guides and tapped on our GPS. We were sitting in the van, with the heater on, when the radiator made the decision for us.

Steam started pouring out of the hood. I popped it up to take a look, but my inexperience left me with little knowledge as to what to do. We take a room at the nearest cheap motel, and bedded down with the plan to hit a repair shop first thing in the morning. With frayed nerves, and to the quiet song of late night cable TV, we drifted off.

Thanks to the Lost Leaf for having us, Tato for booking us, Eric for running a great place, Hot Panda and Said The Whale for a great night of music, Matt for the kind words, and Emmerson, guy in the corner, Debbie and Joel for the interest and conversation.

Tomorrow… Cactus Auto Repair, Joshua Trees, The Freakin Frog, and Vegas BABY!

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