Disposable Project: 3/29/2010  

A West Coast Swing With AA Bondy

This installation of the Disposable Project showcases life on the road from a different perspective; that of a professional sound engineer, tour manager and Jameson connoisseur.  In between one to two month stints on the road, you've probably seen the impressive beard of Jake McLaughlin behind the sound board at The Casbah.  Jake took a couple disposable cameras with him on a West Coast swing with AA Bondy back in January, here's how the story goes...

AA Bondy

Although the tour started in a very cold Memphis, I did not pick up the disposable cameras for this little project until my return home to San Diego. We drove many many miles in that first week doing 5 shows to get to the west coast (one was canceled due to snow in Arkansas.WTF?) We picked up the amazing Willy Mason and his guitar in Santa Fe and headed to Arizona. He would be traveling with us the rest of the tour and opening the shows solo and acoustic. By the end of the tour I was in love with this fella and his amazing tunes. He was great at shutting up a talkative crowd and killed it night after night. The crowds were great and getting bigger and better the closer we got to the west coast.

Willy Mason

The San Diego show at my second home The Casbah was great. We played an early show with The Paddle Boat who killed it in the atari lounge. I wish they could have come along for the rest of the ride. Its always great to break up a tour with a stop at home. This is when I met Zack from Sezio and picked up the disposables and began my photo journal of sorts.

Jake McLaughlin
Next was the mighty and ugly city of Angels for a sold out show. Another matinee show like The Casbah. They really packed them in at the Echo. These first set of photos were taken backstage before the night began on a lovely vintage 1960's green vinyl couch straight outta the thrift store. I thought it was a great way to introduce and remember the characters in this party. Being that it was LA, we had a lot of friends stopping by to catch the show as well. It was a great night and an amazing show to a full house. One of the most memorable shows I have mixed.

These next shots are from our drive up the California coast where we stopped for shows in Santa Barbara, Visalia, and San Francisco. The nasty weather was following us on most of this tour as we did a huge loop from Memphis to NYC. At one point the sun broke through in Cali and rainbows began shooting up left and right. I think we counted five in one day and everyone in the van decided it must be rainbow season.

As we traveled North, the rain turned to snow in Weed where we were forced off the highway for the night. We stayed at a Quality Inn that doubled their rates because of the Highway conditions and the amount of people stopping for shelter. That is wack! I woke up to an amazing scene in Weed beneath the mighty Mount Shasta!

From Weed we headed to one of my faves Portland, Oregon. The show was at a venue called Mississippi Studios. I had never been there before but it was another very memorable show. We ended up back at the great Jupiter Hotel. I love this place. In the past the usual tour stop would be at the Doug Fir Lounge which is connected to the hotel and is also a great place to play. Great food and always fun because you can load out the next day and stumble back to your hotel room. For old time sake we decided to stay at the Jupiter after the sold out Mississippi Studios show and again I was stumbling a bit.

More snow heading to Seattle. You will notice Bondy is driving in every shot. He likes to drive, especially in bad weather, and after I got pulled over in Spokane, he decided to drive every mile of the rest of the tour. A bit cazy. We went on to get pulled over a total of 3 times before we hit NYC.

Most of the tours I have done end up having some sort of unofficial soundtrack. A record, song, or artist that gets played over and over in the van and at the venues before and after the shows. In the past it has been Huey Lewis and the News for Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, Jookabox's song 'Preggers' and Yeasayer's first record for Delta Spirit, Rodriguez's Cold Fact album for Elvis Perkins In Dearland, a compilation of every #1 hit of the 80's while on tour with Yeasayer. For AA Bondy, we discovered the new Beach House record which we spun hundred's of times. That record will always remind me of this trip.

This is where my disposables ran dry. It was a great tour and I loved hearing Willy play ever night and it was an honor to mix AA Bondy and hear his amazing tunes as well. The best part of touring is the camaraderie and sense of family that comes from cramping in a van and driving all day to play a show late that night and then wake up and do it all again.

We headed back east from the northwest and ended with an amazing night in NYC. We stayed at a great hotel called the ACE in NY where they serve Portland Oregon's own amazing stumptown coffee. I don't remember getting back to my room that night which meant it was a wee bit o' fun. A few days later I was back at my second home the Casbah mixing. As great as it is to travel, its awesome to be home. As I write this I am on a tiny plane flying to Toronto to start another journey that ends at SXSW. I do indeed love my job!


Keep up with Jake's adventures via his twitter account @StationEgo

Check out the rest of his tour photos in the Photo Gallery

Tags: Disposable Project, Delta Spirit, AA Bondy, Jake McLaughlin, Matt Vasquez, Willy Mason, Maria Taylor, Macy Taylor


I love that photo sixth down from the top. You lucky duckies.
Angella d'AvignonAngella d'Avignon made this post on 3/29/2010 at 3:57 pm
What about the heavenly Taco Bell shot..? That's my fav.
Zack NielsenZack Nielsen made this post on 3/30/2010 at 9:12 am

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