If you haven’t done so yet, please check out my latest gig report on Reconnaissance Fly.
(As usual, info on the picture is revealed in the comments.)
Today we look at the first of Reconnaissance Fly’s recent shows in the high desert of southern California near Joshua Tree. This show took place at The Palms in Wonder Valley, California. Wonder Valley is an odd place east of the town of Twentynine Palms. Wonder Valley is a community of sorts, but not really a town in its own right (indeed, I’m still trying to figure out what exactly Wonder Valley is). But the Palms is a destination for locals and others and often features live music.
The evening opened with The Sibleys, which featured Laura Sibley on guitar/vocals and James Sibley on drums. They also happen to be the owners and operators of The Palms.
Their original songs could be described as energetic rock-and-roll, with fun lyrics – I think many of us went away remembering “Black Kawasaki, I feel lucky…” And Laura Sibleys strumming and solos pushed the music forward. They were definitely a favorite among the local crowd, some of whom could be seen dancing.
Next up was Hay Fever, featuring Emily Hay on flute and vocals with Wayne Peet on various keyboards, and Steuart Liebig on bass and effects.
Hay Fever is an improvising group, with a continuous ever-changing stream of music that spans the entire set. There were many moments that would fit into a “space music” show, with drones and arpeggios, but also more intense sections with vocals and playing, and very sparse moments leading back into a thick fog of sound. Liebig’s bass playing added some particularly interesting textures to the rest of the group’s sound.
Then it was time for us, Reconnaissance Fly, to take the stage.
We did a set that featured several of our tracks from the album, as well as some of the newer songs. Particularly when we got to the funkier tunes like Itzirktna or the harder rock sounds heads and ears from the bar turned in our direction. It may not have been our tightest performance, but we had a lot of fun and presented with energy.
Overall, it was quite an experience to play at The Palms, perhaps a bit surreal given the desert surroundings and activity around us. We certainly hope to come back again some time.
We begin our articles from my recent trip to New York with a special Weekend Cat Blogging featuring some of the cats I encountered at the Bronx Zoo.
Greeting visitors who arrive at the original Fordham Road entrance are two stone cat sculptures.
While these sculptures have a very contemporary look about them, they actually date back to 1920s. They are the work of famed sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, who donated them to the zoo in 1937, where they have remained on the stairs between Astor Court and the entrance fountain ever since. You can read more about her work with the Bronx Zoo here.
This was a short and very directed visit, focusing on a few specific animals, and especially those with recent offspring. Among those where this adorable snow-leopard cub.
It’s hard not to fall for the cuteness of these cubs. The other one was fast asleep a few feet away.
Mama snow leopard was sleeping nearby as well.
In the next enclosure, we met the proud papa, Leo.
Leo was rescued as an orphaned cub after being found in the mountains of northern Pakistan, and has served as “an ambassador for Pakistan at the zoo since 2006″ (read more here).
The Bronx Zoo, along with the neighboring New York Botanical Garden and the large Bronx Park that contains both institutions, is a gem of a borough that gets an unfair rap. We will have more from the Bronx, including art and photography, in upcoming articles.