R I T I N G :
FRONTIER LIFE / TITICACAMAN
Fall Tour, 2002
Saturday, September 28 - 21 Grand, Oakland, CA
Grey morning. Hans and Ryan arrive early, we're all looking a bit frazzled but
ready for the adventure. We arrange gear in the back of Ryan's truck,
tarp it and head up to LA to pick up a blue Dodge Van,
our transport for Frontier Life /
Titicacaman tour, 2002. Roomy and road worn, a suitable can with wheels. Approved.
Let's drive for hours. Stop for greasy food?
Talk about things like popcorn chicken and a sweet, pink, milky drink with a wired bunny
on the label.
First Stop: 21 Grand in Oakland.
The ride was good. We got there with plenty of time to set up,
soundcheck, and run a projector test. All systems are go.
You say there's a good Vietnamese restaurant around the corner? Sounds tasty.
Titicacaman opened, touched by a couple of shots of an Asian spirit provided by a friendly
cat named Koko. Somewhat aggressive set. Screamed at a couple who came in late
and talked very loudly over the music. Damned rude! Please, take it outside, talk on your own
time, not when Titicacaman is performing! The instrumentation? sampler/sequencer; Airsynth;
voice; effects; mixer. Compact band. Easy transport. 30-minute set, a fortified
adaptation of "Hello"
This was my first viewing of Frontier Life and I was pleasantly surprised, entertained
and educated on various points relating to our neighboring city, Tijuana.
A feature film of a promising future, with lopsided insight about this crazy place and a great
soundtrack to boot.
Read more about it and watch a preview here:
"Tijuana has more to do with science fiction novels than history books about Mexico."
- Raul Cárdenas Osuna [architect/artist]
Sunday, September 29 - The Crest, Sacramento, CA
Sacramento had a sense of vacancy to it. Walking through its streets, we were perplexed by its silence.
"Is it always like this?"
Here was our first movie theater. 2 mountain men sitting on opposite corners looking like a estranged father
and son, the audience patiently pondering who this "Titicacaman" creature on stage was, making these
strange sounds, waving his hand over this orange, Italian-looking, electronic contraption, repeating
the word: Hello. "Is this the movie? But, which frontier are we talking about?"
We were faced with questions about cowboys and indians throughout the tour, and what
some thought to be the only possible Frontier: John Wayne goes west. "Well, no, the film is
about the Tijuana region in present day, but a lot of them do wear cowboy hats, so please, have
a seat and enjoy."
Back at the motel, tears rolled as the tale of Towelie unfolded before our viscid eyes.
Tuesday, October 1 - The Rio Theater, Santa Cruz, CA
Came into town, early afternoon. Got situated. Took a long walk down the coast.
Recorded sounds. Got some Mexican food a few doors down from The Rio. My.
Huge stage, huge screen. Titicacaman looked like a hawk in the open, stormy sky.
Frontier lIfe was indeed larger than life. Hallucinations. A neon cross hovering
over Santa Cruz, a wind from the west enveloping this stoned beach town. There was this
moment of pain before getting up there. A moment of existential angst which spoke volumes
in the fraction of a second. The show must go on. Mountain people are loyal and true.
Later that night we were entertained and in awe of Puto Pita's phone skills, maneuvering through
the yellow pages, digging out pizza, and fishing for free entertainment in a manner of seconds.
Friday, October 4 - WOW Hall, Eugene, OR
Entering Oregon we encountered rain, and mountain fog which was about as unpleasant as weather
conditions got for us.
Wow hall has a large sound system and a helpful soundman, who worked his ass off making us
look and sound good. The venue.
A dance hall, full of ghostly teenagers shaking and twisting to post-war boogie.
Wooden floor to tread. Dressing room to stretch and soak.
Eugene is a cool town. We enjoyed the brisk, hippified atmosphere, and were appreciative
of all their efforts, going as far as tapping into funds from the National Endowment for the
Arts to make our show a reality.
Saturday, October 5 - The Majestic Theater, Corvallis, OR
Their football team played that afternoon and lost. Hundreds of brown and orange flags and garments
to be seen. Figures in and out of bars. A town full of gigantic and colorful ducks.
The Majestic Theater was majestic enough. Very clean. The night turned out to be
an offering for the elders. The ancient and curious. Is the word Frontier appealing to those
closer to crossing over the final frontier?
No sounds tonight.
Sunday, October 6 - The Railway Club, Vancouver, BC
We'd heard crossing into the northern north would be a treat in one way or another, and this was
the case. We got a young officer who was intent on making us feel like we were bad people and
lying about something. He kept asking us if we were drug-addicted, trafficking murderers,
filthy americans who come to unload their aggressive George Bushness, and even though we said
"no...we're artists, and overall, nice folk" he asked us to pull over for a little poking through
our databases. We were very agreeable and asked them to knock themselves out.
After some 20 minutes they welcomed us into their nation.
Vancouver is as beautiful as some say it is, unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to take it in.
As timing would have it, the Queen was in town celebrating some anniversary...the Queen, the Queen!
Jeweled crown, head of heads. She who inspires questions like: "would you do her?"
The Railway Club was a cool bar, small but with a big heart. Titicacaman rocked hard and in mono,
dedicating the set to her majesty, "big mother, us, the world to shake." This place has screenings
of independent films on a regular basis, so the audience was enthusiastic and had interesting
comments about Frontier Life, as well as the U.S. and Americans.
The hotel room we rolled in was huge and luxurious. Ah, the life. Lush and plushness, little
towels of furry kindness.
Monday, October 7 - The Pickford Cinema, Bellingham, WA
I spent the afternoon and evening in Mall Hell. Ate at an all-you-can-eat restaurant, crappy food and lots
of it. Saw "Red Dragon" and thought: "nigger please!" Moving on. Into my book. "Hard-Boiled Wonderland."
Heard from Hans and Ryan the showing at the Pickford went great though.
Lots of interested students, asking questions, wanting to relate and relating, fishing for data
to quench their thirsty dreams of the warm south.
Later that night while driving to our motel we were detained by an exploding tire. There we were,
on a narrow shoulder waiting for our first Triple A meeting. 18-wheelers zooming by, trembling the ground
with their fat asses.
Tuesday, October 8 - Berbati's Pan, Portland, OR
Early afternoon, second tire explosion a few miles north of Portland.
Did not have time to replace the explosion from the previous night, so, we ended up getting
transported, the van on the back of a truck, to the parking lot of a friendly Sears, by a
vigorous man who lives, or, at some point has lived, or, will live, on a mountain. Something like this had
to happen. Every trip has some unforeseen unpleasantness, fortunately ours was minor.
It's not good to eat minutes before a performance, avoid red meat. Titicacaman
had to pull from the depth ("must not spew undigested food unto you, my people")
to execute what turned out to be a powerful experience.
So much of it due to the great soundman, Dave, who turned up the music, and loaded it with
bass. Great monitors at the right level: loud and punchy. A good audience. Good venue.
All good. Frontier Life followed and kept everyone attentive. A hearty round of applause.
Drive back to San Diego. Take a few days off. We attempted an all-nighter but needed the rest,
and, safety first. We had time. Pulled into a dismal little town, was it called Jefferson?
Found refreshments, a Motel 6 and got caught up on the news of the day: sniping.
Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19 - Salina Art Center, Salina, KS
We were treated very well by our hostess Heather and all related. They flew us out,
fed us tasty food and provided an ultra stylish loft for us to lay our heads to rest.
Met some good characters, among them, Jered, a guy who makes synthesizers,
Pam who took this photo of the three of us, James, a young painter who was receptive
and from the same planet as us, and other colorful people. Got told
tales about some of the local characters like Fred Phelps, who has created one of the
most hateful movements/websites
in the name of religion, I've ever encountered.
God help him, and his followers. And, I hope he gets sodomized, even though, considering
how obssessed he is with this sexual practice, I wouldn't be surprised if he,
masterbuttfuck, became the central figure in a midwestern sexual scandal.
I had a fantastic dream while in Kansas, which introduced various characters to the tale of
Titicacaman. This David Lynch-esque town inspired many visions full of contradictions.
These were manifested in the dream, which was lucid, vivid, frightening, humorous,
and was of a mood and place so pungent and mystical as to stick stored. Part of the
dream was about two-toned furry creatures dancing and singing in a clearing of a dark forest.
Their happiness was infectious, their look was otherworldly yet Earthly, but from a different epoch.
There were many screenings of Frontier Life and 3 performances by Titicacaman.
Granted a small venue, but packed with attentive and supportive characters.
They had many, many questions and Hans was only too glad to provide answers, even if he
had to make shit up, "lies and half-truths"...sometimes people just want to be entertained.
And the sounds....The Airsynth caused and causes an impression.
Left those flat lands with thoughts of returning someday.
Thursday, November 7 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Downtown San Diego, CA
What can one say about that night except that it was a treat. Frontier Life, the tour,
the support from Holiday Matinee, the hometown crowd, the whole experience made us all proud.
It was a culmination, experienced by some 700 people who got a really good taste
of the innovative art being produced in their very midst.
Titicacaman kicked out the jams, and Ivan Diaz Robledo did his thing with live video,
adding to the performance, and topping off the night. Sweet dreams, smiling
petals, and pumaskin for warmth.
Ryan drove through most of the trip. He managed to read maps,
talk on the phone, and tailgate with so much ease, Hans and I ended up complaining and
offering assistance. Funny stuff!
Ryan's sense of organization and his uncanny ability to get more than
suitable Hotel rooms for free, sweetened the trip. Apart from flat tires, and unsatisfactory sound systems
-mono!? for fuck's sake!- we all had a great time, sold CDs, made good connections and got to try
out our new works. Greetings and gratitude go out to the sponsors and all the characters we
encountered who made the trip enjoyable and a learning experience.
Marcelo "Titicacaman" Radulovich