Saturday April 2 2016
At around 7:30 a.m. I wake up from Josiah and Bianca's cramped couch. Bobby shows up. We all pile into Josiah's newly purchased blue 1993 Astro van. The dashboard looks like something from Tron.
We've got the black futon mattress spread out on the floor. I sleep as much as I can while Bobby takes the wheel. In route to New York.
Waking up somewhere in Delaware. Enjoying a few Oatmeal Almond Bars and a Banana.
At some point Bobby and Josiah share and compare stories of altered consciousness.
"I can control energy and feel it. Actually I've used the dark side before," Josiah says as he describes an experience he had by the dumpster at Taphouse where he warded off unwanted company.
Eventually, we stop at one of the many stops on the New Jersey Turnpike – they all look the same.
"This place is so American," I say to Bobby as we walk in. "It's just like a melting pot. You can tell we're close to the city."
I manage to get a cup of hot water to make my Yerba Mate Tea.
The drive continues with constant music in the background and story telling.
After what seemed like a short trip to New York City we make it to Manhattan.
First thing on our agenda is to check out the Kate Werble Gallery. Bobby's friend, Brock Enright, has an exhibition here. It's a wonderful arrangement of mixed media pieces that to me convey a sense of submersion into, or out of, things. Bobby uses the word penetration. But all the color choices and objects are engrossing. We're all amazed, especially Bobby because it's a real close friend of his. It brings a tear to his eye.
Bianca knows of a place called Superiority Burger, an extremely small cramped basement restaurant in the East Village that serves a strictly vegan/vegetarian menu. We all order a variety of things. I get the Sloppy Dave.
We keep walking around sort of aimlessly – not really knowing where and what we're looking for. We stop in whatever bars look interesting. While Bobby, Bianca, and Josiah do their thing in a bar I stroll over to Tompkins Square Park and observe wall ball and basketball games.
I manage to get a hold of Kofi, who used to live in Virginia Beach and now lives in Brooklyn.
Kofi directs us to a pizza joint in Williamsburg. We enjoy a couple slices and sip beers.
Kofi: "Stroke a guitar and you will go far!"
After some intense indecision on what we should do for the rest of the night we settle on attending a rock show at a DIY venue called Aviv in Bushwick. We've never heard any of these bands before. From the outside you wouldn't think anything would be happening in this warehouse district of the city. But past one white door you enter a dimly lit space full of hot air and smoke. All the people here look black and white or almost like shadows.
Bands on the bill: No Ice, Beach Craft Bonanza, Junk Boys, and The Men. The music is straight up rock n roll in your face.
While watching the packed room engage in the larger than life music on the stage I start reflecting on the things I'm doing in my life musically. It's probably just the fact that I'm away from Virginia and in a big city such as New York that makes me question where I'm living. But I can't shake the idea of just up and moving away from my roots. I feel inspired. Traveling always gets me in that way. I can feel the rock n roll life calling me from a distance – being in a touring band again and such. I just wanna be on stage wailing on songs that speak to me or mean something, stuff I have a say in creatively, music that speaks to my generation. And I'm able to get a taste of that with Ladada. So I'm glad I'm here and I'm glad I'm playing a show tomorrow night.
We meet up at Brock's pad down the street where we'll be sleeping.
Josiah can't control the volume of his voice. It becomes a very humorous situation but we have to continually reiterate how important it is to keep his voice down as to not wake the babies on the floor beneath us.
Bobby and I take the pullout bed in the living room next to Brock. The earplugs go in to block out Bobby's slumber snores and morning conversations.
[i] Images by me.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 3:59 PM