06 November 2008

Expansion to the West

Last summer we decided to take a cross-country road trip to Portland, OR. We camped (sometimes illegally) in Nat'l Parks every night and spent the days going as far as we could. I have too many stories to even begin and most of it seems like a dream (although i certainly remember the 21 hour drive from Joliet, IL all the way to the Rockies). We got pulled over in the middle-of-nowhere Utah (in the midst of deviant behavior) and were saved from arrest by a violent hail storm. We saw bison, bears, and buffalo, ran over skunks, and had to stop in the middle of the road more than once because the donkeys were in control).

Rocky Mountain National Park

From stories we heard, Portland seemed like a utopian society, a bristling mass of musicians and artists all living in perfect harmony. Although we encountered few musicians and even fewer bristling masses of them, the city was indeed beautiful. We ran out of money upon arrival and took jobs on house painting crews. Parker and Dan worked with the venerable Michael Huss of Chrysalis Co. (ex-Pat Benatar marketing director or something) while Paul and I worked with Boss John of Dreamweaver Co. (he was an ex-Marine explosives expert and devout Dokken fan). Work was work, and in the evening we would retire to the back porch and listen to "Imagination Theater" on the ol' FM radio.

Portland, OR

We set up our instruments in the basement of our house (thanks Brinn and Nastaja) and worked on new songs. In early July we aquired our beloved Tascam 388 which remains the sole unit we record with now. "Elderly Maple" was the first song recorded. Marc Snyder flew out for two weeks to do some engineering and to be our friend. I turned 21 and slightly remember not wearing a shirt inside The Blue Monk. In the end, the purpose of our voyage was the voyage itself. Some more pictures and songs:


The Neighborhood Choir - Expansion to the West
The Neighborhood Choir- Blessed Are Thee
The Neigborhood Choir- From East to West and Back Again