4/6/2009 Ithaca, NY @ The Ghost Cat Co-op
Letters to the Moon
I drove us safely to Ithaca, NY. It is a nice collegiate city with some gorges and some hippies. We had an adventure; climbing and trespassing up shale rock hills to get to a good view of a huge waterfall. We worked out our thighs and got up high to see the whole city from above. It started to rain on the way back to town and we couldn’t do a damn thing but get wet. Nothing else to do sometimes except let it soak you.
We sought refuge in what looked to be a normal café in the commons. It meant to look like a magical woods scene from Snow White. It turned out to be a location of business and gospel for the 12 tribes of Ithaca. The 12 tribes are usually called a cult. It is international. From what I gather, they operate businesses to support and gather folks in different cities. The employees all belong to the tribe. They practice some form of hippie Christianity that includes communal living. The men all have trimmed beards and pony tails chopped evenly at the neck. The women have long dresses and long pony tails. We all were sitting looking wet and tired in the cafe. An employee began doing amazingly accurate bird calls. Then he was giving everyone but me free stuff. Lisa got a muffin because I guess she looked desperately hungry, like deer in headlights, frozen by an intense desire to eat. Andy had stolen a Cliff bar earlier in the day and had busted it out to eat it. The employee was not about to let Andy eat that Cliff bar for energy. He came out with their version of the Cliff bar as if to say, Touché Cliff bar. He gave us his story. From jammin’ in a reggae band as a stoned lost soul, to becoming a simpler, more pure, 12 tribes member who loved getting all jacked up on Yerba Maté. I jokingly asked him if he ever tried to smoke it and it turned out he had. One thing we could agree on was that big record labels were evil and manipulative and that rock stars didn’t always consider anyone but themselves and their image. It was interesting to have this cultural exchange, but it came to leave for the show before we felt obligated to join the tribes in exchange for the food.
The Ghost Cat house was a small homely 1 floor house. You could have stood on a skateboard in the kitchen and rolled into the living room on the sloping wood floor. In another room, zines were free on a table and a fluorescent light hummed mounted over some sprouting seedlings. Ryan and his housemates took care of us. We had a great dinner all together and then the show began.
Matt Whispers played first. He sang, “Don’t give up so easily.” I’ve heard it sung before but I believe it when he sings it.
Matt War played next. Rock. MMM. Roll.
LTTM was spazzin’, cheezin’, playin’ the tunez… Breezin’ through a 7 song long rock block. I told a long dumb story about seeing Ian Mackeye my first time ever on tour with Delay in 04’. The Evens were in Ithaca at the same time as Delay. The venue we played is now a headship that sells Scooby Doo shaped bowls for WEED.
Local Shira played last. Cute and honest coffee shop folk. She sang a hit song about her girlfriend and about Kambucha. I got a craving for the fungus drink.
THEN Andy Gardner rocked w/ Matt War for the first time ever! They played accapella tunes they geniously constructed in the car. It was hysterical. It was a rare gem of joke pop that won the crowd over. “Please don’t spring break my heart…”
After the show, we rapped; freestyle. We had a Sparks party. Everyone was asleep but us in the living room drinking stupid Sparks. It made us all happy; the absurdness of it. There was no reason to be MORE awake than sleeping people, except just to do a thing we said that seemed funny. Before I went to sleep I was trying to write and trying to think faster than I could do either…
That’s always the problem.