034 NIANTIC RESIDENCY AT SILLY’S, WK 3.
Every Monday night in the distant reaches of the universe
aka the west valley where surprisingly many people we know live.
Magnuson supports this week.
If you haven’t seen what happened before
Next week will have even more openers and even more crazy.
Video with 1 note
033 NIANTIC RESIDENCY AT SILLY’S.
So out of the way, you have to know where it is.
ALL 4 MONDAYS IN MARCH (4, 11, 18, 25)
Residency at Silly’s Cocktails Winnetka, CA
Support we have confirmed incl Lee Wahlert, Four of a Kind, and many more
SAT MARCH 23
Pasadena peace rally, 7pm (address coming)
Free, all ages
TUE MARCH 26
Pasadena Old Towne Pub 7:30pm
April/spring break/etc TBA
Residents or visitors often swear by California’s endless sunshine as inviting and positively inspiring. Those who know better, who have spent some time in the back country, who know the harshness of the Southwest’s deserts, the fringe culture of the borderlands, are aware of its ability to also overwhelm and saturate. Much like the bleak, gray, or dim weather of certain northern climates.
There’s an old Indian trail, probably over a thousand years old, which was co-opted by Spanish colonists to traverse the Gran Desierto de Altar, between what are now Sonoyta, Mexico and Yuma, Arizona. Here are a few great excerpts from the federal Boundary Survey of the area. They will speak for themselves:
… This road is appropriately called by the Mexicans ” el camino del Diablo.” When traveling it for the first time, alone or with but few companions, it is hard to imagine a more desolate or depressing ride. Mile after mile the journey stretches through this land of “silence, solitude, and sunshine,” with little to distract the eye from the awful surrounding dreariness and desolation except the bleaching skeletons of horses and the painfully frequent crosses which mark the graves of those who perished of thirst—grim and suggestive reminders when the traveler is supply of water is running low.
In a single day’s ride sixty-five of these graves were counted by the roadside, one containing an entire family, whose horses gave out and who, unable to cross the scorching desert on foot, all perished together of thirst. Their bodies were found by some travelers during the following rainy season, and were all buried in one grave, which is covered with a cross of stones and surrounded with a large circle of stones, inside of which not a bush nor a blade of grass grows. Near by lie the skeletons of their horses and the broken fragments of their water bottles.
During the few years that this road was [popularly] traveled, over 400 persons were said to have perished of thirst between Sonoyta and Yuma, a record probably without a parallel in North America.
International Boundary and Water Commission, Report of the Boundary Commission upon the survey and re-marking of the boundary between the United States and Mexico west of the Rio Grande, 1891 to 1896 (Washington, DC: Gov’t Printing Office, 1898), p. 26
Niantic is not dying in a ditch somewhere, but we are temporarily a little lost. We’ve always been open with you about how things are going. We’ve been in this pickle before and even worse than this and we will figure it out before long. Many of you already know we’ve had some issues with recording a new EP. There will be one, there will be plenty more music in the future from us, we just have to figure out how to arrange and record it. We finished one song which came out really great and once we mix it, you can have it. Or if you want to mix it yourself, that works too, come get in touch with us.
You never want to tell people “patience”, so let me just say, We hear you, we know you want this to turn a corner, and we’re all working on it.
Even the white girls from the Inland Empire or the larger Southwest are often darker skinned — either through tanning, or maybe a little ancestry. These people all have a squint — almost a lost art.
A good IE (or Southwestern) squint is often derived from millennia of native Americans or Mexicans. These ancestors had a relationship with the sun that can be summarized as vast and complex, as full of ritual as of worship and of danger or risk. Anyone who’s spent more than a few minutes learning about their culture can identify the constant, pressing motif, bordering on obsession, of sunlight. It makes sun people illuminated and equal as much as the harsh, eternal presence of burning glow can obscure mystery or native tradition.
The four members of Niantic are all native, lifelong Californians. Apparently, that’s rare.
All Americans are of course created equal, but so much of Niantic’s perspective is derived from a warm, solar culture. We’re literally descended from thousands of years’ of influence by the desert culture… from either side of an increasingly ill-defined, murky, and gray border… from the mountain canyons and long, dry valleys throughout the southwest and the west coast of Mexico.
Maybe some of the squint also stems from the frontier culture — perhaps you’ve heard of the settlers who came incredible distances to start a better life, sometimes destroying other life along the way. The squint may be descended from cowboy staring. The thousand-mile gaze into the distance, most identifiable in the rugged stereotypes of western films. It’s not entirely a caricature. If you’re from “out there” and you’re thinking big ideas, that look sticks with you. You can’t get it from living in a city, even though we all tend to live in cities now.
But I know I’ve still seen it on our faces a few times.
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