The rains came today. The streets and avenues transformed into quick running rivers. Every city block a desert island. Umbrellas came out of retirement. Strangers gathered in doorway shelters. My songs got wet. My socks got wet. My hair asked for a hat.
Anna Jo and I have been here in our new desert digs for a month or there about. Bikes have been rebuilt from the scrap heap at Bicas (Anarchist community bike shop that may not self identify as Anarchist but I know the smell of my own.) Rock & roll shows to save the soul of an ex con have been attended and much appreciated. Vintage stereo system has been purchased and old and new records discovered and recovered. The deal with James Franco to provide the soundtrack to his upcoming film has been signed. Sealed. Delivered.
Back in Oakland the Royal Oakie Records team is readying the artwork for our new album. The album was mastered up in Phoenix at SAE. The album is called Moon Mirage. The album will destroy you. Then rebuild you. We are going to wait to release it in early 2015. To make sure that attention is properly paid. So we can be properly paid. Garage Rock is dead. This is Mirage Rock and it is alive. Like a cactus. Desert survivor. I’m alive, I’m alive.
There is an adobe wall around our compound. There is a barn in the back for building stage props. there is a room where inspiration and imagination grow. There is a fridge for the fresh vegetables and nutritional yeast and flax seed oil. There is a big bed for bigger dreams. There is an 8 track recorder for those wet songs. There are turquoise chairs and turquoise rings. There is a program on the radio that says that Hitler never committed suicide but instead lived out the rest of his life in Argentina. Under U.S. protection of course. Maybe. There are weirder things that have turned out to be true. There are stranger lies being told right now.
We are broadcasting from the Desert. The former Ms. North Mexico. The jewel of Sonora. In the borderlands between us and them. Between what was and what ain’t. Between love and death. Between life and late. Between the coyote and the crosser. The moon and the mirage. Between being big and being huge. Between yes and know. We are stretching in the morning to stay loose. We are walking in the night to stay in shape. For the road and the fight. Where you have to let go to be declared the winner and where there is no winner unless there is more than one winner. Because no one wants to be alone. We are home.
-Trans Van Santos
Two Weeks into our Arizona Dream
Monsoon Make Up
Walls coming down
learning to see
wagon wheel sunrise
old records and
new ways around
made up obstacles
and there is more
we are just getting moved in
have only just begun
Dameon Lee Waggoner has a new project this year. The longtime brain and heart behind The Lowlights has stepped into the future heart with Dave Hernandez, formerly of The Shins, and the masterful Ian Moore. Together they produced and recorded what I think is just a wonder filled record and one that embodies the spirit of California. Place this record next to The Blank Tapes and Sparrows Gate in The Sounds Of California section of your collection. There are a ton of California bands, but few of them embody the sense of place suggested by that distinction. Jemez Mountain Hawkz do. This is what folk music looks and sounds like when it keeps growing. We can’t go back in time, it’s a forward escape!
-Trans Van Santos
-Over the last few days Royal Oakie Records Chief David Glasebrook has been holed up at Oakland’s New, Improved Recording mixing our new Trans Van Santos album, Moon Mirage. The album was recorded in Joshua Tree, CA under the direction of Matt Adams (The Blank Tapes) and engineer Kyle Lesley. Longtime Os Beaches bassist Joe Lewis covered the bottom end with the Lovely Anna Jo on the trap kit. Pearl Charles and Moomaw took part during the JT sessions and David Glasebrook and Yasi June added vocals and B3 Organ at later sessions in San Francisco and Oakland. The mixes sound absolutely killer, bold and big as the fullest of moons. The album comes out towards the end of the year. We will update you on the official release date very soon.