If you start your journey from the Hollywood Bowl and drive east for 162 miles you will find yourself in Wonder Valley in the Mojave Desert at a gastro pub called the Palms Restaurant. Even though I understand their veggie omelette is yummy and filled with kale I was not there to become a vegan. I was there to ‘boogie down.’ The David Lynch inspired setting was unadulterated for the Rock Formations Number 2. This was the second day of a two-day Mojave residency for Spindrift and Jello Biafra who were at Pappy and Harriet’s the day before. So I knew I was going have a great time. So when you are in the Mojave and you want to party in the Mojave you must have Jesika Von Rabbit as your musical muse. But for future reference let’s go over what you need to ‘kick it up’ in the desert:
- Attractive Women in Floppy hats.
- Jesika Von Rabbit
- Jello Biafra
Since I am unskillful in the way of the desert I got a late start but I arrived in time to see Spindrift start their performance at the outdoor stage which comprised of repurposed material which was lit by vintage theatre stage lights with an old aluminum skinned bus parked back stage. I kept on scanning the crowd for the ghost of Tuco with no luck; I immersed myself in a sonic bowl of psychedelic spaghetti courtesy of Spindrift. As the godfather of punk ambled on stage with Jesika Von Rabbit of Gram Rabbit you had the formula for an astounding gathering in the desert. Jesika Von Rabbit and Jello Biafra sang a faultless version of “Ring of Fire.” Jello Biafra deputized Spindrift to be his backing band as he sang “Police Truck,” “Holiday in Cambodia,” and “California Über Alles.” I overheard a young woman with pirates, skulls, an evil Disney queen tattooed on her arm say with joy, “I am having a moment hear, I am having a real moment.”
When Jesika Von Rabbit took the stage for her one woman show, she brought along her dancing machine Larry Von Horn sans the Grundles who got stuck in traffic, JVR improvised and subbed in audience members to sit in during her closing set. Jesika Von Rabbit was perfect, can’t wait to see her at the Grim Rabbit shows at Pappy’s in October.
© Guillermo Prieto 2014
Does the desert make the band or does the band make the desert I do not know. But when Spindrift returned to Pappy and Harriet’s it was a perfect fit.
Before the show started I was talking to a Dead Kennedy fan wearing his well wore DK shirt excited to see Jello Biafra. The conversation evolved into a discussion of quantum physics something you would never expect at the desert outpost as we began to chat about parallel universes, when Jello Biafra entered the room.
Biafra’s spoken word performance was an intellectual journey about such topics as our obsession with our smart phones and our religious fascination with guns. As I heard his poetry I thought about how spot on he has always been with his social commentary while writing such punk hits as “Police Truck,” “Holiday in Cambodia,” and the timeless recession proof song “Soup is Good Food.”
As Jello left Spindrift took their places and instantly connecting to our reality. The Ennio Morricone inspired work had me thinking that Tuco, Angel Eyes, and Blonde were standing next to me in hyperspace. To say that Spindrift killed it would be an understatement. As I lost myself in the music I started to feel a little anxious thinking that their music was too good and I was being lured into a secret vampire den out of a Quentin Tarantino movie. But I was grounded back to reality when Jello Biafra came back on stage to join Spindrift with Jesika Von Rabbit of Gram Rabbit. This super group set included “Police Truck” which was very appropriate due to the current events in Ferguson and the Dead Kennedy’s mega hit “Holliday in Cambodia.” Spindrift ended their set with a wonderful version of Miserlou. As I left I thought about E.E. Cummings, “listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go.”
Spindrift and Jello Biafra will be in the middle of the desert galaxy at the Palms for a mini festival called Rock Formations tonight it is a must see.
© Guillermo Prieto 2014