Mini-Golf Course Venues and Rebound Rock Shows

SAN FRANCISCO—We woke up the morning of Wednesday's show to rain, rain, rain. Luckily our day off was over, and all there was left to do was grab some coffee and head over to the venue, called the Concourse. The Concourse was a bizarre, cavernous space, with high garage-like doors, various numbered entrances (we were near 10) and a floor-covering reminiscent of a mini-golf course. The promoters had draped gauzy sheets over almost everything, including the black Ikea or Ikea-like couches, and the lights were almost too dim to read the take-out menus that were offerred to us with dinner options. Luckily, after sound check I took off with my brother to eat dinner at a vegetarian Asian restaurant called the Golden Era and returned with about 20 minutes to spare before hitting the stage with the Faint.

After Coachella, we had two days off—it breaks the momentum of tour a bit; I much prefer to play every night—so it was a bit weird to take to the stage again, the songs were starting to seem like strangers . . . but once we started the show, the familiar melodies took over and it felt, to me, that we repaired from the mishaps of the previous show. The sound on the stage was lush and big, and I took a moment to gaze out at the expanse of the crowd, which seemed to stretch on forever.

We took off fairly quickly after the show for Portland, driving through the night into Thursday morning. We passed the time by watching a bit of Czech surrealist cinema, eating Nutty Nuggets, trying to guess how much longer until Portland. For some reason most of the people I know who used to live here, in Portland, have moved away, but I always get a good feeling about this city—like I could live here for a few months, sometime . . . After some red pumpkin Thai curry (yum!) I took off for a little adventure about town with Jacob, Shane, and Solana. We visited a vintage clothing shop where I found a cute little cowgirl bag, and stopped in at Powell's Cook and Gardener Bookshop, where I picked up a few books, including some MFK Fisher and the history of salt. I returned to the hotel for a bit of a rest, venturing out for a slow, late sushi dinner. Solana is a definite foodie, and it's really interesting to eat with her. I'm a vegetarian, and I don't particularly want or need to taste everything that she tries, but I love how she bites into everything, pausing for a moment to contemplate the taste/texture/flavor.

Shane and I took advantage of the ridiculous-sounding pillow menu at the hotel and "ordered" some body pillows, which it turned out neither of us really wanted; we both ignored the pillow for a while, it ended up on my bed, and I rejected it part way through the night. Tonight is our show at the Portland Crystal Ballroom . . . I'm looking forward to coffee and a walk today, then, a rock show and on to Seattle. I'll post some more photos this weekend!


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