An Amtrak train through the Southwest is sort of like Moss Eisley on wheels. Every kind of human and celestial ride upon its buckling frame on an even keel across a vast and desolate landscape. I saw and conversed with Indians (from India), a 74 yr old guy I will call Bob dressed like a train engineer with earrings, a fellow who resembled Sammy Hagar (sadly the most recent incarnation) named Ted. Ted showed me a pic of he and Gary Busey that looked like Gary and Sammy. Met an actor from the film "Waking Life" who resembled a young Malcolm X, en route to Austin no less. He had just one line. Listened to Jack Rose rolling across the Arizona sand at 3 AM. There were dangerous lolitas, bald ruffians (who no doubt split their time between the railroad and the lockup), mobile outlaws, beached whales, the health impaired (read as terminally ill) and every other kind of person (had breakfast with two cops one morning--sweet dudes!) all sharing in the common task of going to or from somewhere. The more discussions I had with folks, on and off the train, the more I could see the appeal of this mode of travel. It was long and disorienting. Day and night blurred together. The train bounced and swayed on the tracks, one car after the other, as if they were all together a massive 100 ton kite tail fluttering in the wind.
It's easier to be yourself when your past/future successes/failures are hundres of miles and dozens of hours behind/in front of you.
In the past five days I've seen live:
--Six Organs of Admittance, The Blithe Sons, Sean Smith
--Om, Six Organs of Admittance (again)
--Six Organs of Admittance (one more time at an Amoeba instore...could I be a fanatic? Watch this space!)
What else? Much walking, hiking, riding, drinking, smoking, flexing, decking (I knocked a trolly driver cold) and finally resting ensued. I bought some records at Amoeba (impressive place!):
--Jackson C. Frank "Blues Run the Game: Special Extended Edition" 2CD (Sanctuary)
--Kevin Ayers "Joy of a Toy" [with bonus tracks] CD (EMI)
--Residual Echoes "S/t" CD (Holy Mountain)
--Bert Jansch "Rosemary Lane" CD (Castle)
--High On Fire/Ruins Split 7" (Relapse/Skingraft)
I will write more on all of this for the next Foxy Digitalis update and post some pictures when I hit my home PC in a few days...