tour recap #2!

whew! it’s been kind of a crazy few days in CHANNELING-land. the pace of the tour picks up significantly from here on out–we have a show either every day or every other day over the last two weeks of this journey.

but first! let’s go backward! to last friday!

SAN FRANCISCO

the show at ATA on the 16th was packed! after the disappointment that was our benefit night at the Stud earlier in the week, it was really great to have so many people come out. in fact, there were so many people that my dinky little digital camera couldn’t get everyone in a single photo, so here are right/left views of the crowd:

left side...

left side...

...right side

...right side

it was really amazing to see so many friends and acquaintances come out–latham and i both know a fair amount of people in san francisco (go figure)–and just as satisfying to see lots of people we didn’t know. it was also great to have math bass and dylan mira, who together form EMR and whose piece somethings gonna soon holds down the mid-point of the program, at the screening.

even more spectacular was the AWESOME ouija board cake that latham’s friend maya made for us; the crowd devoured it so fast that i didn’t even get to try it! (latham did, at least). maya works at the cake gallery; be sure to check them out if you’re in the bay area and need an erotic cake. i can attest to the fact that they have many varieties of chocolate genitalia.

strangely, we got zero questions after the show. perhaps everyone was too stuffed with cake.

the ouija board cake, in all its glory

the ouija board cake, in all its glory

hmm, do people love cake?

hmm, do people love cake?

i also have to thank my hosts kathleen and will; they’re old friends from way back in my boston years who put me up in their tiny new apartment and unleashed the torrent of cuteness known as HUD upon me during my stay (the cat lady in me has been sorely deprived during this trip).

HUD!

HUD!

hud in my face!

hud in my face!

LOS ANGELES

we rolled into LA only a few hours before our screening at the echo park film center, long enough to drop off our stuff at our host ashland’s house, decompress from that long, tedious SF-to-LA drive, and grab a bite to eat. unfortunately i don’t have a picture of the crowd from this show; one of the EPFC staff took a photo during his intro and i thought it best not to overload the crowd of about 20 folks with too many flashes before the screening even started! i’ve emailed him to try to get that for us, though. the screening was well-received, and again there were quite a few familiar faces in the crowd! the Q+A was pretty lively, which was nice; overall on this tour, people seem to be very intrigued by the idea of “queer spirits” and there have been some good questions about how certain piece relate (or don’t) to the theme of the program.

afterwards we grabbed absolutely delicious tacos from the “taco zone” truck that parks nearby, then headed out to hear ashland DJ at a bar in some industrial area south of downtown. ashland is one of the organizers of wildness, a queer night that happens in LA every tuesday; we’re totally bummed that we had to move on without getting a chance to check it out!

sunday was an off day; we grabbed some breakfast at a cuban bakery in silverlake (i think?) and hit up a rooftop pool, which was nice but sadly, freezing cold, even with the gorgeous weather LA was having. i was feeling a bit under the weather, so i camped out in ashland’s apartment while he and latham rode on mulholland drive and went to a video exhibit at the LACE gallery. i got some much-needed rest and had a nice video chat with a special someone back in chicago. then we met up with a bunch of ex-chicagoans at merkato, an ethiopian restaurant that requires some patience but is pretty worth it (i’ve been there twice now and it’s pretty damn satisfying). the attached store was selling bottled water with pictures of the obama family as labels! somehow, we walked out of there without buying one. no, i don’t know why, and yes, it may be my biggest regret about this tour thus far.

on monday we had a power lunch with kyle from the london gay and lesbian film festival (i’ve always wanted to have a power lunch). that’s right! CHANNELING will be screening as part of this years london gay and lesbian film festival at the british film institute. consider this an unofficial announcement: we should have more details soon. latham and i are suuuuper excited about this, as you might imagine. anyway, we had a great chat with her about all sorts of things–cities near and far, car culture, curating and making video art, the amazingness of the video data bank, chicago-based radical social movements. then loaded up on supplies at trader joe’s and hopped the car to drive to…

SAN DIEGO

we knew this was gonna be real hit-and-run; we don’t know a lot of people in san diego, and we knew we’d need to get on the road early to phoenix the day, due to losing an hour when we crossed back into mountain time. after finding last-minute accomodations with an old acquaintance, we did a little internet-nerding out while said acquaintence’s friends smoked large quantities of pot around us.

fortunately the agitprop gallery (the don’t have a web presence–not that i’ve found, anyway) was close by. we met up with the folks who run the gallery, david white and his partner megan, and the organizer the screening, lily chen (david and lily are both grad students in the UC San Diego’s Visual Arts department). agitprop is a cool little space, very underground–they had some cute handmade chairs and stools from what looked like scrap plywood, and the space is also used as studio space for various folks. after some setting up, a pretty good crowd of 25+ folks rolled in. not bad for a monday in san diego! we had a great q+a afterwards too. many thanks to agitprop, lily, and the UCSD Visual Arts department for making it possible for us to come to san diego. alas, there are no pictures from san diego because my camera evidently chews up batteries like candy. sorry!

after the show we popped over to the whistle stop for a drink and encountered a really intense trivia night, run by a dude who was straight out of clerks who was wearing a legend of zelda NES cartridge on a gold chain and including categories like “science fiction planets” and an audio category about NES musical themes. it’s too bad we had all committed to a one-beer night; i think we would’ve placed at least (the other categories weren’t quite so nerdy, honest!)

PHOENIX

the drive from san diego from phoenix was probably the best so far: really beautiful mountains passes full of bright pink boulders, fantastic desert landscapes which were suspiciously devoid of cacti until we got well into arizona, and a glimpse of the US/mexico border, complete with intense border control checkpoints, fences, floodlights, trucks, barriers, etc etc etc. (we’ll get more of the latter in texas, i think). we even stopped in a gas station to listen to obama’s inaugural speech; we needed to pump gas, but neither of us wanted to get out of the car and miss any of it.

anyway, we made decent time, and arrived in phoenix with time to clean up at my friend roya’s apartment and get some vegetarian chinese at one of those guru-places with all the spiritual info and stuff. fried “fish” wrapped in seaweed and drenched in ginger sauce. YES.

then we made our way over to soul invictus, met up with steve weiss from no festival required, who arranged the show for us, and did some tech set-up (the stereo separation on our last piece (tell me why): the epistemology of disco sometimes makes things tricky). anyway, a crowd of about 18 people bailed on whatever inauguration party they were invited to and were in attendance, and we had yet another interesting q+a, which i found extra fun because latham and i got to stand on a black-and-white tiled stage (it’s the little things, at this point). i also have to extend a special thanks to the folks who came out for this show for contributing to our donation jar in addition to paying admission–they basically gave us enough for a tank of gas, which is fabulous because money is TIGHT, as you might imagine. still no pictures; i totally forgot to get batteries. SAD.

after the screening, latham, myself, roya, her co-worker chloe, and chloe’s boyfriend matt walked down the way to the bikini lounge (are you catching a pattern here? drinks are always in order after a screening!). there was an extremely talkative DJ (as in, he had a microphone) playing records to a pretty crowded room of folks. i missed his name, but he ended up playing some pretty solid electro-boogie and old school hiphop, so his indulgent booth-persona can be forgiven.

today is another off-day; latham and i slept-in big time, and roya took a half-day off of work to hang out and show us some stuff in phoenix. we got some pretty fabulous coffee at lux, had some mexican at filiberto’s (i could live in the south/west just for the food, omg), and popped over the phoenix public library, which is a really nice building for a public library–think contemporary art museum–and although the wifi didn’t work, latham had a stroke of genius and found the audiobook version of JANE FONDA’s autobiography, “my life so far.” it’s 22 hours long, people. we are SO SET for the rest of this trip. we’re almost done with barbara ehrenreich’s “nickel and dimed,” which we got in portland.  and sure, it’s taken us a while to get through that, but that shit can’t hold a candle to JANE FONDA.

more updates soon! i promise to get some effing batteries too.

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