June 2007

By special request (Paul L’s), in honor of the soon to be released novel of the century, we’re reprising last year’s prophetic blog:

HOW HARRY POTTER ENDSDon’t ask us how we know, but we know the most carefully guarded secret since George Bush met with Osama Bin Laden to plot 9/11: the ending to the Harry Potter series. Promise you won’t tell anyone, because we could get in a lot of trouble for this. Anyway:

As expected, Harry fights a climactic battle with Voldemort, a spectacular duel that plunges the pair into secret caves at the bottom of the Hogwarts lake, sends them soaring into the stratosphere where all is blue violet and twinkling stars, and summons legions of demons and good spirits from ancient millennia, in a pitched battle for the soul of Earth.Deep in a dark and phantom woods, Harry and Voldemort are thrust into solitary confrontation by unseen forces. Face to face, inches apart in the swirling mists, both strike with equal force, speed, and timing. Their wands, sparking and hissing, lock in a moment of frozen eternity, an eternity so cold that snow falls and birds drop from the sky. Day turns to night, glaciers rise like ghostly steam, crushing the forest, and Harry and Voldemort, locked in kindred hatred, shatter into a million sharp and glittering fragments . . .

Sleep, long and dreamless. Then grogginess, thick and heavy. Slowly Harry wakes to his surroundings: total darkness. The air is close and damp. Harry struggles wildly, lashing out and sending unseen boxes and bags toppling, then calms himself. He reaches out. A doorknob, somehow familiar.Harry opens the door. Light, afternoon, a hallway. Of course. He’s back with the Dursleys. Harry’s heart sinks. He lusts, improbably, for the adrenaline of mortal combat, for his lovely and terrible world of magic. He walks into the kitchen. The Dursleys greet him, coldly, as Harry might expect, but with solemnity. “Harry, we need to talk.”

The Dursleys tell Harry that they’re boarding up his closet. He’s too old for these infantile flights of fancy. They’ve confiscated his wand, and they’re enrolling him in a weight loss program in Swindon.Harry looks down at himself. He’s fat.

“After all, Harry—you are our only son.”Harry remembers. His potent fantasy, his escape from dreary suburban English life and its numbing school system, evaporates.

That night Harry realized that he was a warrior. He was not destined for this world. And if he was banished from the closet under the stairs, he was going to escape by any means necessary.At midnight, Harry smothered himself with his own tear-soaked pillow in the silence of his bedroom.

Or at least he tried. His parents found him gasping for air, and pulled him from his downy pillow’s death-grip. Harry returned to school that September, where he passed his exams. He lost 35 pounds and was rewarded with a ferry ride to Southend On Sea, where he consumed bags of french fries with mayonnaise and several butter tarts.

Also by request, a reprise of our plea for the:HAWKS HOBBY FARM

Dear readers: The Hawks wish to start a hobby farm and restaurant somewhere in L.A. We’re looking for a one acre lot for high density organic gardening and an oversized Victorian house to convert into a restaurant/café/performance space. Perhaps the Adams or South Central area? We’ll grow the food and prepare gourmet meals, including artisanal goat cheese from the goats grazing on the front lawn. We’ll sponsor a farmer’s market (guaranteed organic produce only) and have acoustic music afternoon weekends and evenings, and host special eco events.The South Central farmers got the shaft, but their vision must live on. Every fallow open space in Los Angeles should be fair game for food growing. The City of Los Angeles can sponsor a program to set up irrigation and fencing on empty lots all across this vast housing sprawl.

Not even the seasoned writers at trend-setting country-rock magazine No Depression can tell that much about the boys hiding behind the cryptical name of I See Hawks In L.A. This does not stop them from already making comparisons with Gram Parsons (!).

One thing for sure, though:

This is the best band in the Byrds-genre in a very long time. I have listened to the harsh branch of country-rock, called Americana, for quite some time and I haven’t come across anything like it since Jayhawks put out “Hollywood Townhall” in 1992. Or let me put it this way, since Ryan Adams was good for real, namely the time around “Heartbreaker”.

We get a heavy dose of everything that turned several generations on to a genre created by Gram Parsons, The Byrds and The Band. Irresistable harmonies, an exact yet laid-back country groove, touching lyrics and mood swings and jangling guitars at exactly the right places. No wonder that Chris Hillman, the ex-Byrd, agreed to take part in this record. Hillman, who by the way could be heard on “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo”, is having a fine old time again. You can easily understand why.

The band is also politically aware for real. The homepage reveals a strong political engagement and the songs deal with social conflicts, gamble abuse and panic in Disneyland. Robert Byrd, The Senator of West Virginia, is hailed, among other things for his criticism of the war in Iraq, fully aware of that his intire career as a politician is in danger.

“California Country” is a complete album, the best of its genre right now. Unless this band gets decent distribution in Sweden and Europe, it’s a tragedy.

Jörgen Boman / 2007-05-19
www.musiklandet.se

A DAY WITHOUT A GIG

June 11, 2007

After a fine youth hostel breakfast of big thick blue berry pancakes and mountain eggs we load up and hit the road for Los Angeles. Six days on the road and we’re a gonna make it home tonight.

We aim the Yukon away from the swimming holes and spectacular granite of Yosemite and head down the rolling foot hills of dry yellow grasses, twisting green California oaks tucked into crevices where the water goes. We put on Los Lobos’ “The Town and the City” It blows our minds. David Hidalgo is a heroic guitar player. The arrangements are fantastic. Deep soulful songs. Tones, tones, beautiful tones. Go buy this record. Today.Then we listen to Nina Simone, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Mike Stinson. We listen carefully, we are inspired. It’s been a good tour. California is a big state. Warm audiences in diverse places carried us right along. Every show was different. We even made a little dough. Country road, take us home.

SETTLING INTO THE BUG

June 11, 2007

Finally our room is ready. We headed for our little cabin overlooking forest vegetation sloping down to the creek trickling over rocks. We were pretty dazed from the pummeling of our subconscious in our night in the teepee. Thank god, a shower. A hot shower with soap and shampoo borrowed from Paul M, the most prepared and most scrupulously groomed Hawk. Band nap follows and gentle snores rise in the warm summery air of the bunk house.

We rise and make our way up the hill to the Bug multi-purpose room. A wedding reception was held there last night, tonight country rock. One room, many purposes. The modest entry fee includes a trip through the bar-b-que line set up outside beneath the pines. It smells so damn good the Hawks skip greeting new friends and head straight for the grill, grabbing paper plates and plastic forks along the way. Holy moly, PL is going to eat some bbq-ed chicken. There it is right on his plate between the potato salad and corn on the cob. Wow. He’s eating it.

Paul L: Rob has asked me to deliver a first person account of my first fowl since 1982. Actually, I eat turkey at Thanksgiving and emergencies. But this was the first chicken in 25 years. It was good. Very good. But I didn’t develop a craving for more. I’m good. I’ll continue to walk the fowl line.Inside the show has already begun. The music is from the Trespassers, a fine local outfit. Lead by the beautiful and talented Sarah on violin and lead vocals they evoke the wise old spirit of mountain music. Everyone is digging it. This is a real community. Mothers dance with their little children, old folks sit back a bop their heads, teenage girls showoff what they’ve got.

Then it’s our turn. We start off with Hitchhiker and it feels good. The multi-purpose room sounds alright now that it’s filled with people. We finish the tune and the place erupts in applause. This is going to be a good night. We groove along for a while until it becomes clear these folks want to dance. Thank god we’ve been writing so many two-steps lately. In L.A. it seems like having 5 two-steps in G is a serious problem but up here you wish you had even more. The set goes on, the rocking increases, the dance floor gets crowded. Things peak out in an epic Humboldt jam and Paul L actually levitates several inches off the ground. We come back for an encore of Golden Girl, another peak is reached and then we simmer it down with Houseboat. A great show to end the tour on. Talk of a bonfire and after show acoustic jam proves weightless as the deeper night takes hold, Hawks and revelers alike drawn back to hillside cabins and clean sheets. Good night sweet tour.

TEEPEE TO TECHNO

June 10, 2007

And yet broke slumber as the 8 a.m. sun crested the ridge. We are not clean. The earwigs have spared us, but they flee in droves from our blankets as we fold up. Shoes filled with weed stickers and dust, pants stained and a bit stiff, smelly shirts, soiled faces. A brief return to life […]

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CARTER RANCH FESTIVAL-BOUND

June 10, 2007

We’re motoring south fast on the 99, noon dry and bright, fast because of a leisurely breakfast at Richie and Katie’s, fast because of a serious error that put us north on the 5, long loop around outer Sacto to get it right. Cell phone word from Carter Ranch Fest kingpin Adam: the Yosemite area […]

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CAMINO TO SACRAMENTO

June 10, 2007

Next morning Paul M spots a cherry tree in the side yard of our bunkhouse, miniature cherries bursting to ripeness. If we don’t pick them there will be a birds invasion, and no one wants that. We do our duty, fill a bag with the dark red beauties. We pack the Yukon, ready to roll, […]

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TIBURON TO DRY HILLS

June 10, 2007

A fine Tiburon breakfast is had by the two Pauls and Shawn at New Morning Café, while Rob breakfasts with sister Kathy in an undisclosed location. Tiburon has good food. It seems to be populated with well off retirees who played by the rules, and they’re eating well in their golden years. If ever you […]

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TAM TO STRINGS

June 10, 2007

Next day some hiked Mt. Tam, some wandered Tiburon, but all boarded the Yukon in mellow late afternoon, across the Tookie Memorial Bridge once more for what some would call Oakland, others might deem Emeryville. A nondescript brick and glass façade patrolled by tall hotpantstreetwalkers, and real hippies, graying hair and bluing eyes twinkling, greet […]

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ARRIVAL IN THE BAY

June 8, 2007

The gray and brown skies above Interstate 5 gave way to smooth, high wispy clouds and dangerous winds at the 580 split. Shawn “Son of Trucker” Nourse fearless held the Yukon steady as the 60 mile-an-hour gusts tossed our tall SUV about. San Francisco forces this difficult passage on travelers who wish to reach its […]

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