Feed Us A Live Insect

Monday, July 10, 2006

Santa Cruz—Caffe Pergolesi

Sorry that it took me so long to get this entry up, we haven’t had much time to spare…I’m typing this out on the laptop in the van…

We made a stop in yet another place that’s new to me, Santa Cruz…this is a nice perk of touring, I get to see new places. This town is a little beach resort kind of place…I think it was a quiet artist’s colony once upon a time, but now the downtown is more or less an outdoor shopping mall, too bad. There’s a beach, but it’s filled up with volleyball tournaments sponsored by Bud Lite…that kind of place. Remember the movie “Back To The Beach”? Okay, that’s what Santa Cruz is like, except without PeeWee Herman singing “Surfin’ Bird.” Although—it does, amazingly, have a Lee’s Sandwiches, like in Alhambra! Well, it’s not as hardcore as the one in Alhambra, it’s got more regular deli-type food and it doesn’t have those green coconut waffles like they do down south. But when the intercom comes on and says “number 22, your order is ready,” it’s the same guy’s voice as they have at home. Creeeeeepy.

Um, anyway—I digress. The place we played at was called Caffe Pergolesi, and as it turns out, it’s not a regular music-type club, it’s a coffee shop, as the name suggests. I had talked to a couple of people from Santa Cruz before we left on tour and all of them said “oh yeah, the Perg! I used to hang out there, but I don’t remember them having bands there. Do they have bands?” Well, as it turns out, yes and no. Bands do come through to play there, but they just have a spot in a side room (the building is a converted Victorian house) next to where people line up to use the bathroom (tip: try to use the bathroom somewhere else rather than at The Perg). There weren’t any other bands playing that night, just us, and there wasn’t a PA.

So we weren’t sure what to do. We clearly couldn’t play a big loud rock show, because there were families with their little kids hanging out, and hippie types drinking tea and reading Sociology textbooks…but it WAS an all-ages venue, and there were actual teenagers hanging out, so what the hell. I turned my amp down to “2” and Mary played her kit with mallets and no cymbals. And one of the guys behind the counter, Paul, was a champ and came up with both a bass amp and a microphone (another tip: bass amps make really good improvised PA systems). Thanks Paul!

So it ended up being a nice little show. We played our quieter songs like “Medium High” and “Your Mother’s Lover Eating Cake” and it went pretty okay. We were sort of crammed into a very small place, so jumping around and hysterics were out, the result being that I actually paid attention to what I was doing for once and played not sloppily, a miracle! Mostly we played for the people standing in line to order drinks or waiting for the bathroom (bad move—see above), but a very nice guy named Mason sat down and listened to the entire set. Mason plays bass for a band with the extremely superior name The Lords Of Mysterious, which I highly recommend, and we’re looking forward to meeting up with him again the next time we’re in Santa Cruz.

Next stop…back over the 17 highway (the “California Death Highway," remember?) and on to Modesto-ooooooo.

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