The above bunny is my cousin Rick's. I think he should start a Sasha The Bunny Fan Club Web Page.
Tuesday 9/23. Salaryman at Spaceland. White shirts, dark ties, pseudo-geek glasses. The music ebbs and flows, rises and falls, but underneath is that insistent rhythm. You can drift and let music roll around you, but when you pay attention, you can hear Poster Children music sneaking out from under the Salaryman "ambience".
Wednesday 9/24. The band heads out as Poster Children to play outdoors at high noon at a California State college. The day's biggest reward seems to be sunburn. After midnight, the topic of discussion circles around the music "business", where musicians who play great music for enthusiastic audiences are reduced to "talent".
Thursday 9/25. A muggy day, the first rain in LA in about 6 months. The radio reports more than 200 car wrecks on the streets and freeways since the rain started. The band is in the van, traveling south from LA to San Diego. Rick is driving. Jimmy studies a martial arts magazine in the copilot's chair. Rose spends more than half of the drive giving me a lesson in how to do animation on her laptop computer. (Now I know how to make a brown rectangle move from one corner of the screen to the other.) Jim and Howie are in the back seat. I think they're awake, but I admit it -- I'm paying more attention to the computer.
I wonder if that indicates that I have some kind of techno-weenie tendency to interact with software instead of engaging in cool on-the-road banter with the members of a traveling rock band. Or maybe hanging with the Poster Children stimulates introspective, philosophical trains of thought. For example, while the band is eating brown food at a local Mexican restaurant up the street from the club where they're about to play, Rose notices a baseball game on the TV on the wall and wonders why guys are so interested in baseball. This leads to a roundtable discussion of role models, heroes, why there are good role models for little boys but not for little girls, why the first 2 or 3 examples we think of as role models for little girls (for example, Jodie Foster and Martina Navratilova) are lesbians, and other introspective and philosophical observations.
The club is located next to a freeway in the armpit of the San Diego airport. There's about 50 people in the room, more guys than girls. The P-Kids' set is physical, solid, the sound almost a tangible thing in the dark, square room. Jimmie Soundguy seems content. (Jimmy is also a guy who thinks "South Park" is funny, although this quirk doesn't seem to affect his good judgment as a sound guy.)
Afterwards, on the empty street, as the band finishes loading their equipment into the van, a guy on the sidewalk approaches cautiously, holding his head to one side like a careful puppy and carrying the insert from a Poster Children CD in his left hand. He says he wasn't old enough to get into the club so he waited outside, listening and hoping to meet the band. He quietly approaches Jim for an autograph and then wanders away, too shy to bug the others for more autographs.
Everybody dozes on and off during the trip back to LA except for Rick, who's driving again and commenting on Art Bell's parade of lonely and marginally delusional callers, many of whom apparently think that the "X Files" is a documentary. Somehow the conversation in the van drifts into the meaning of the psychedelic experience ("drug effect" versus "mystical cultural/religious adjunct"). Nothing is resolved.
Friday 9/26. Poster Children at Spaceland. There are a few "spectators" in the audience tonight, sitting back, drinking their drinks, and observing the goings-on, but just about everybody else is here for the music. As usual, the band opens with Black Dog. That long, crescendo, resonant chord gradually captures everybody's attention, Rick's chant sets the hook (what's the rhythm here? where's this song going?), and then, finally, that 4-note cadence nails everything down and the dance floor is full of people singing along, moving, jumping, dancing, waving their arms. This crowd is obviously close to the music -- a lot of people know the songs so there's a little pulse of recognition each time the band starts another one. Towards the end, Rick launches Revolution Year 0 and the energy peaks again. There's a guy working hard on his air guitar right in front of the stage, lots of people smiling and bouncing, a couple hopping up and down, some people doing a sort of square dance off on the edge of the room ...
Afterwards, Rose is worried that she played some wrong notes ("all the right notes but some others too"). But her feeling passes quickly -- the audience got such an obvious charge out of the music that it's impossible to fret about the "technicalities". Everybody goes home happy.
Saturday 9/27. A warm, sunny morning. A couple of cinnamon rolls get microwaved and eaten, a few phone calls are made to distant places, and then the band is in the van and off to Phoenix.
From Rose: I wrote a whole preface to Cousin Rick's tour report explaining how much I worshipped him, talking about how he is a brilliant photographer (he gave me a photo he took of the comet), now a C++ programmer, how he receives checks from Microsoft for the couple of books he has written, how modest and intelligent he is, and oh yeah, how he gave up being a Doctor (he finished medical school) to program computers. Then I decided to scrap it all so I wouldn't embarass him. So here we have Cousin Rick's Tour Reports. Any inquiries about Sasha The Bunny should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.