DISCLAIMER: I am writing this under the influence of being on the road for a while, and from a very bizarre late night. 

The Cafe Mekka in Nevada City, CA is surrounded by various knick-knacks and Basquiat-esque paintings, all peering down as a captive audience to conversations ranging from road trips to psychic comparisons.  There's something very special about this little town in the trees of California, something lasting.  We've been traveling up the 101 for the most part and seeing the terrain change drastically from one hour to the next.  It's nice to know that we're on our way (in a very roundabout way) back home.
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3/23 - San Luis Obispo, CA
This was my first time in San Luis Obispo and it definitely does not disappoint.  Locked in a valley and a stones throw from the ocean, there's an extremely relaxed feeling here.  The first thing that we noticed was the strong smell of flowers throughout the entire town, it was hard to not keep from bumping into people while being drawn to the trees.  You immediately become a hippie when you set foot into this place.  We played at Linnaea's that is right downtown and the staff was extremely friendly and we had the best carrot cake I've ever had!  Remember that, San Luis Obispo = good carrot cake.

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3/24 - San Francisco, CA
We continued up and found ourselves in the Mission District by the early afternoon.  This is one of favorite neighborhoods in SF, let alone the entire US. With dense blocks with unique shops and signs in Spanish, you become immersed immediately with the bustle of the city.  We played an incredible show at Amnesia (one of our favorite venues) right in the heart of the Mission on Valencia Street.  The lineup was simply amazing -  our good friend Bridgit Jacobsen (who drove down from Portland) played a wonderful set.

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This was followed by a set from an old and dear friend Joseph Childress who played what was to be on the best sets I've ever seen.  He unveiled his new backing band that absolutely blew me away! It was pretty incredible to see that even in the rain and the show being an early one from 5:00 to 9:00 that the place still found itself to be packed.  We got to play a set with our friend Amy Vallaincourt on French Horn for a few songs and it went swimmingly.  The show was capped with the extremely talented JL Stiles who sang ballads and sweeping melodies over graceful harmonies and intricate guitar work.  I got to see a ton of people that came out of the wood works from different parts of my life, it ended up being way more of an emotional show than I thought it would be.  After the show, we bounded to The Vortex Room to see our friends Peotskey play.  This would end up being one of the most bizarre shows I would ever see.  The venue turned out to be rarely known speakeasy near downtown inside of an unmarked warehouse.  You follow a long hallway to enter into a tall and small room that looks like a scene out of a French 60's mod film.  There was a person in a beret who spoke through a microphone to everyone telling people to not talk during the performances and film viewings. In between each band, they would show short film footage of late 80's new wave bands from Quebec. The announcer kept boasting that it was an honor to see such films and that we were lucky to see them.  The most interesting part is that the announcer kept imploring people applaud after each song on the film as if we were there watching it in person.  Petoskey played a great set under the glare of the announcer asking them to play quiet and kept saying "you could play a hair louder if you want" after each song.  The strange show ended at the old age of 1:00 in the morning.  We stumbled after our $3 Schlitz's to a taco place in the Mission again, where we ran into all of Y La Bamba!  I ended up having a great conversation about Australia with Ben Meyercord. We were hosted by our friends in Passenger & Pilot at their apartment nearby to a sluggish sleep.

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Now back to Nevada City.  The clouds are providing a nice cover and it's nice to spend the day here before our show.  We're playing at Cafe Mekka with Ghost Pines at 8:00.  Should be a hoot!  As always, thanks for reading this and putting up with random meanderings. - Stirling.

 


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