The Vaudeville Tour, Part 2
Thought For The Day
Dispatches From Vaudeville

Continuing our coverage of the Vaudeville Tour even as it happens.

Austin Texas. Bats under the bridge and the worst show so far at Emo's. Loading the gear onto the stage, I step in some shit. Nobody apologises or seems to find it odd that there is shit onstage. 'A dawg musta got in,' I'm told. I clean my shoe off in a blocked sink. Later, Gilles sees cockroaches scuttling on the stage. The sound is shitty too.

At a book fair Gilles and Matt pretend to be gay just to try the patience of a local police officer.

Katie Vincent, bendiest girl in school, from the Indiepop List song.

We fly over New Mexico and Arizona to Hollywood. The air may not be as fresh here, but it's great to be in an international city again. We eat at UCLA, catch the show at MOCA (Brazilian experimental stuff from the 60s in which you walk barefoot in sand and wriggle through tunnels and darkened, balloon-filled rooms) and bask like lizards in the sun. The show is at the Troubadour.

Kahimi Karie is still stuck in Paris, wrestling with the Embassy for her visa. Fumiko, her manager, shows off her sexy new iBook.

We perform against bluescreen at the Santa Monica offices of Launch, the CD-ROM magazine which has recently gone public. Dave DiMartino, the editor, shows us an amazing beta of the next stage: a 3D realtime architecture of the Launch city powered by a video game engine. It's like reading Rolling Stone and playing Doom at the same time. Future ahoy!

Drive to San Fransisco and check into the Phoenix Motel, a splendid place apparently modelled on Hockney's 'A Bigger Splash'.

Ah, San Fransisco. Video art at SF MOMA (even if I've seen at least half of the work elsewhere), thrifting in The Mission.

Gilles copies Japanese photographer sisters Aranzi Aronzo, photographing his little doll in many exotic locations (here, a Castro-bound tram).

Nick and Stars Forever's youngest patron, four year-old Noah Brill.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Doesn't impress me. We have one just like it in Edinburgh.

Sarah and Miwa midnight swimming in the Phoenix Motel pool.

In the Muir Woods, where some of the sequoias and giant redwoods are over 2000 years old. I wonder if Robert Louis Stevenson walked here?

Brent Busboom appears at the Saturday San Fransisco show with a friend who makes instant sketches. I make a live portrait of him onstage while he sketches me. It's mind-blowing and Escherian -- a portrait of a portrait!

The resulting portrait, which I entitled 'Jism Jagger'.

We fly to Portland, Oregon, where it's very Swiss (trams, clean mountain air). Gilles is fascinated by this old street singer: Alan Ginsberg dressed as Superman.

Kahimi finally arrives from Paris at 6pm and we head to Reed College. After the show we all swing on a little horse suspended from high up in the beams. Sugoy!

Part One is here.
Part Three is here.

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