Don’t try this at home kids (making a boy-band album cover, that is)
The United States has hostels! Not many, but the few I have found thus far have been friendly, clean and a welcome respite from the sea of McDonalds and Days Inns that seem to constitute the majority of the American traveler’s experience. I stumbled onto a great place just north of Indianapolis called Indy Hostel. Just below the upbeat little village of Broad Ripple, this little place only gets cooler when you note the local art displayed on wall and the outdoor stage which hosts traveling and local singer songwriters. Weird, what I a coincidence, I just checked their schedule and I’m playing on that very stage on Thursday July 22nd at 8pm. Strange it should come up in our blogversation. Donations will be gladly accepted and put towards paying off the fuel bill from this tour!
After checking out of the hostel and leaving my Vietnamese friend “Luck”, I prepared for party mode. My videographer / roady / photographer / party coordinator flew in from Florida, and we prepared for the July 4th weekend; to be spent poolside with our newly-wed, newly-made friends in Carmel, IN. Many adult-beverages and legal-fireworks later and the weekend was over and it was time to go back to work: my appearance at Carmelfest 2010 (video will be appearing online soon!)
Playing by the Pool
I took this festival slot and the massive stage/PA as a challenge, deciding to fore-go my complicated loop pedal setup for my new toy: the BOSS OC-3 Octave Pedal. This pedal rocks; it even has a mode where it low-passes the signal and only doubles the octave on the lower notes of your guitar. This setup is perfect for my thumb/claw picking style, adding that extra low end missing in a normal single guitar setup. Q: How many bass players does it take to screw in a light-bulb? A: None, I can now do it with my thumb! (drum fill please) I had a lot of fun as did the steady stream of listeners, and schedule allowing, I will be back next year.
Falls where you can see a Moonbow
The following week saw my previously mentioned assistant (read: girlfriend) Kristen and I traveling around some of the most beautiful and/or fun places this part of the country has to offer: the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Smoky Mountains, and the Ashe- AND Nash-villes. As if to bring the week full circle, our stay in Nashvegas was topped off by another slightly more adventurous late night fireworks display set off by our host and my former kindergarten class mate. Thanks Ian for the hospitality / explosions! Next stop: New England!
PS: We also went to the chillingly well-attended Creation “Museum”. Well, we went to the parking lot and grounds, and I
- 12 mile hike to and past Grotto Falls, 6 of which were somewhat accidental…
sighed relief at not having yet put a Science eats Myth fish emblem on my Volvo. We walked around their nicely maintained gardens which were bizarrely laid out in sections that correspond with various epochs of evolution: sparse plant life amongst the red rocks complete with sprinklers-cum-steam fissures; water features with fish and then reptiles which led to the bird nesting grounds; and finally a petting zoo (containing mammals). We got bored shortly and left. I try not to be overly political and attempt to offend no-one on this blog, but this issue has nothing to do with politics, nor even religion. It basically boils down to either misunderstanding or complete ignorance of modern science. OK, rant over. Although I do like their idea of strengthening an unfounded fantasy by simply building a museum to it. I think I might fund the building of the “Ben was an awesome NBA player Museum” for after I die. Who’s to say I wasn’t? Anything they say against it is only a theory.