Monday, November 24, 2008

Soy Sundaes are a Part of the Food Groups

I'm not sure why we're still craving sundaes when there is frost on the ground, but if soy sundaes were on our food pyramid, they'd be right on the bottom with grains.

Lucky for us, there has been plenty of hiking to balance out this caloric indulgence. Boulder, Colorado takes your breath away, literally, due to the high altitude. We went to Chautauqua Park and hiked part way up this mountain (Rob and Syba, exhibit A, below).

This is the view from part way up.


After a nice hike, it's helpful to use leftover whipped soy topping on freshly pressed coffee.


It's advisable to wash this down with Barbara's banana chocolate chip bread. She and her partner run this company.

Syba likes bread, but she likes rolling in dead grass better.

Classic reststop shot.

We recommend the Rocket Room. Nice staff, you're paid, AND you get your name on the marquee.


(we are now called AND MORE). We played with Transit Vibes:


and MORE:
This is DJ Juicebox (Chris Bullock). Thanks to the Colorado Springs Independent for writing about the show.

We changed our name back for our show the next night at the Lion's Lair.

Though the folks were nice, I don't recommend playing here, survival-wise. The show started pretty late after a jazz band played. Despite there being about 20 people at $7 each in attendance on a Sunday night, we weren't paid. According to the sound person, we were lucky: even though he didn't make his full $75, he wasn't going to charge the bands for the remainder.

To be fair to the club, they were very up front about the payment policy and also were extremely clear that you would need locals on the bill in order to draw. This would be a better place to play from Wed - Sat, and/or with a larger draw.

The Jazz band had an awesome double bass player. Enough said.


We played with Gata Negra, which reminded me a little bit of the early Seattle riot grrl music,

and the Firebird 4000 project, who were a creative duo that will be hitting the road for a year as well. Mostly rock climbing, but they'll be booking shows out East too, so stay tuned.

Here we are with our newly named band, the Broncos:


After Denver, we headed to Fort Collins, CO. After screening my film at the university (for the philosophy club) we headed to Wyoming. At the Walmart we were woken up and faced with our first hecklers. "What're you doing in there?" (trying to sleep) and "We know why the windows are steamed up!" (boiling water for tea to stay warm). But they were clever, indeed. After that same night, the first snow:


More than a roll in dead grass, Syba loves on the snow.

Making snow-puppies.


Another way to warm up is by cooking breakfast. This is tempeh, sliced thin, marinated first with agave and Bragg's.


Wyoming:


I liked the Southern part of the landscape. We didn't find gold, and filed a complaint.

We headed to Laramie to leaflet, then onward to Gillette, Wyoming, to play a show at Primetime Paintball, a paintball-game-shop-turned-skateboard-shop, owned by this nice fella:


Unfortunately, Syba found a lot of pizza on the ground and regifted it all over three separate rugs in the shop. There really was no quicker way to clear out the room, much to the chagrin of the first band. I recommend it to clubs trying to close at night. We played with another touring band (Chicago) called Mutual Divorce:


They had some nice bass line changeup action. The kind folks that set up the show are called the Phantasmagorias. They were a lot of fun and included different instruments and songs about "Big Trucks!" (Travel to Gillette, WY, and you'll see why.)


Our next stop, leafleting-style, was Billings, Montana. Here is Rob in action with team Syba:

It really can't get much cuter than this. Who wouldn't take a leaflet?


Speaking of not cute, last blog I mentioned prop 8, the bill that passed banning same-sex marriage in California. After a quick look at Jointheimpact.com, we found a protest taking place in Bozeman. Luckily they had extra signs:


Though reportedly conservative, there were many supporters of the protest. After working at the library, we went to the local coop:


Again, no matter the town, it has been very easy to be vegan. Not only to be vegan, but to eat well. This coop had most of our favorites and, like most coops, a good local selection. The people of Bozeman were some of the nicest. The cashier here offered his place to us, and almost everyone we talked to (except when leafleting the college) was nice. Later that night we played at the Filling Station, part VFW:

The place has been around since the 70s, and it shows. There must be about thirty layers of booze and smoke lining the entire inside. Showering was mandatory after spending a few hours there. But they cater to touring bands, going out of their way to ensure you get a show booked. Plus the folks that worked there were friendly and we had an awesome sound person. The bill did get overbooked, and there were six bands. The first, a beatboxer, goes by his name, Nate:


He was an amazing modern-day Bobby McFerrin with layers of vocal percussion making whole, complex songs he'd rap poetry over. We attended his birthday party a couple of days later. We're meeting such nice people, I'm gonna have to retract my Miso song.

Pete, who is playing here with part of his band the Salamanders, was the nice one to let us on the bill. Another solo act, then another band, Just Add Alcohol played, and Enemy of the Gypsy closed:


We aired out the smoke the next day on a hike. Though it was freezing, Syba remained dedicated to staying cold, and took every opportunity to dive into the river.

Here she is avoiding Weston.


Rob, reflecting.

If only all farms were like this:

Of course those few cows aren't enough to keep up with the 'billions and billions served.'

Bozeman was very dog-friendly. Unleashed dogs were pretty common on hikes, including this urban hike located next to the public library. We hit this path every morning during our stay in Bozeman.


Our next stop was Missoula. They had an awesome not-coop with better prices than the Bozeman coop. They also had Sunspire's vegan m&ms (dark chocolate).

We played the Badlander. Highly recommended, bands. There was a good crowd, specially for a Wednesday night,


and an awesome local opened. They are called Friedrich's Teeth. I think they should move to Durham.


Another favorite new band, Times New Viking (Ohio) headlined. The keyboardist/songwriter/singer is vegan! They are playing in Seattle @ Neumos on 11/21 so check them out.

Before leaving Montana, Weston refused to start for an hour. But then he started. So, I'm thinking, that's OK. On our way to Spokane, we stopped in Alberton, MT, to see an old friend of Rob's. He makes guitars out here. It was about 8 miles from the highway on a gravel road. We all hiked up the mountain by his cabin/house.

Rob had to wear orange due to his deer-like appearance (brown hat, coat). In fact, some hunters now apparently don't even get out of their trucks to shoot. Some slowly cruise by, windows rolled down, gun out window, and bang. One hunter shot a deer right in their front yard. Of course, unlike supermarket meat, the deer got to live, presumably, a good life before death to drive-by. Unless the deer suffered from depression.

By the way, Durham-people, what are you doing 12/6? I think you should head to the Pinhook to see/hear/experience Sequoya's CD release. Also on the bill are new Subdivision 67'ers Scientific Superstar and Sawteeth McTweedy. If that ain't enough (are you people never satisfied?!) Lake and Hennepin, Reese's new project, will also be performing. See links at the link above.

The x-mas music has started, which only means one thing. It's time to make vegan russian teacakes and peanut butter balls. Mama needs some new pants!

We're looking forward to seeing all our friends in the NW. We're playing at the Sunset 12/7, and screening my documentary at the UW on 12/4, and Seattle Pacific University 12/2. But first, I'm screening the film in Ellensburg on Thanksgiving.

Speaking o' celebration of life etc. here are some turkey alternates that'll fill your belly AND your soul, if'n you believe in souls: http://www.vegan.com/recipes/vegan-thanksgiving-recipes-robin-robertson/

A new tradition: http://www.adoptaturkey.org/

I think we're ready for a break. I miss houses without wheels.

Love & sweet treats,

eleni

7 comments:

Paul Gallant said...

Thats funny,

There was a band in Raleigh years ago called 'The Salamanders". Lots of bands to check out here that you guys have played with.

I bet it gets cold in the van at night!

As always, lots of great pictures.

Paul G.

Asa said...

Trip sounds great. Looking forward to seeing you in Seattle. Drive safely and be sure to clear the steam before you start driving.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could post the details about the 12/4 screening at the UW? Missed seeing the show last time you were in town.

Bhudi

Eleni Binge & Vlachos said...

Hi Paul,

Yeah, band names seem to be repeated a lot...pretty soon we'll need to come up with really wacky names including our SSN to avoid this. It is freezing in the van!! Literally...ice in the pan. Thanks for checking out the blogginess!

hi Asa!! It'll be awesome to see you, and we'll clear out the steam first.

Hello Bhudi - details about screenings are at www.porchlifeproductions.com/watch.html. Hope that helps.

ox
binge

Sequoya said...

The photos are amazing! The west is so wide open and it gives me comfort to know that there is still a lot of nature to enjoy in this country. Syba is the cuteness in her T-shirt and rolling in the grass and snow. The bands look really cool, maybe a few will stop by Durham?
Thanks for the CD release shout out, we'll be sure to get some videos up for ya.
xo
-B

Stephanie said...

Love the pics, the updates, just hearing from you! My friend Wendy in MT said she met you and loved the movie - thought that was neat she ran into you. Thanks for the heads up about the Sequoya show - I'll try to make it.

Stay warm!

Stephanie

Adam said...

Great stuff. Keep us posted. I love reading this stuff.

You guys are an inspiration.