(Still) Portland, Oregon.
It’s four forty-one in the morning, and it’s a brisk forty-one degrees out. Phil and I have been watching various episodes of Undercover Boss since we got back from the A Lot Like Birds show last night. I stepped outside to draw in some of the biting fresh air but ended up quickly withdrawing to the musty draft of our bunk room due to a suspicious rustling in the dark, surely indicating one or more of the homeless folk dwelling in the dark corners outside of the studio. We all love this city and its atypical inhabitants, but we also have definitely been made aware of the brazen nature of the various vagrants that reside here. Perhaps in this case, the creeping presentiments developed from too much of American Horror Story got the best of me. I digress.
It’s our last full day here. All the instruments and various bells and whistles the guys added to turn the songs from meager rations to grandiose Thanksgiving dinners are completely finished, save for a minuscule amount of vocals that Johnny will knock out in an hour or so. After that and a bit of magic that Kris weaves over the whole of it, we will have a completed, full-bodied record on our hands. All the odd hours, inestimable times we heard “you can track that better”, interminable packs of ramen noodles eaten, endless instances where any of us said “man, I’m dead broke”, innumerable miles walked, countless mornings announced by the band beginning practice directly across from our door, and abounding pots of coffee consumed amount to this point at the end of our stay and finalization of this album. I think we’re all ready to head home, sleep in our respective beds and have a giant carne asada (or bean and cheese for the veggies) burrito.
Living here for a month with these guys has been something I can’t really explain, even more so if you add the pressure of producing perfection to procure our (not so) pipe dreams. We caught the lovely transition from summer to fall with the leaves changing and the weather dropping. We arrived right on the eve of the remnants of a Pacific typhoon that accounted for record amounts of rain for Portland. I like to think that all of this draws parallels to the trip we’re about to embark on. We’re leaving here very different people than who we were. I liken all of this to some sort of north west baptism that cleansed us of Californian sin and how stale we were before we left. It’ll be nice to see home differently and prepare to reap what we had sown over the better part of the past year. We have promised ourselves something that we can not completely account for with the completion of this record. We hope that you take what we bring to light with this compendium of songs.
p.s. We also arrived in time for our friend Mike Sacco’s birthday. He and his lovely girlfriend Devon showed us a brilliant time.