Me So Hornings- SCI Horning’s Hideout 8/10-12

"You got to tie together the tape onto the tape" – some guy late
Saturday night who was either REALLY fucked up or revealing the wisdom
of the ages.

Unable to make the Hornings decision on my own, I left it up to fate.
On Monday I asked for Friday off. Much to my surprise I got it.
During the week, I picked up a tent and a sleeping bag, and Friday
morning I headed on down.

The Hornings question was (of course), "Is this going to be a Peak
Experience presentation with special guests SCI or a SCI show with a
bit of Dworkian presence." The first sign… well signS… went to
Dwork. Driving down the gravel road were signs saying things like
"Flow like water" and "Be like the wind." The temptation to add
little comments to them ("Flow like water… OR ELSE") was pretty

Despite the warnings about the shuttle and giggle camping, setup was a
breeze. I pulled right into a close parking spot, followed by finding
a nice shady tent spot in the woods. I wandered the grounds only to
discover a complete lack of Dworkianisms. It was perfect. The lands
were there for those who wanted them, but they weren’t forced down
people’s throats.

Around 7 it was time to wander towards the venue. They were playing a
cool little bluegrass twinged GD tribute album. If I can ever figure
out which one it is, I’ll have to pick it up. It has a Sugaree and a
Row Jimmy on it if anyone knows. As the show started, I was in a
really good mood. Hornings is a wonderful space. I was ready to
enjoy the show. Then they let the Yoga woman on stage. She led the
crowd in some chant and arm motion that looked like the crowd was
doing the Heil Hitler salute. Scary. Moreover, it was a horrible
show. Sure it was fun talking to the woman in the Strawberry
Shortcake outfit (for the record, she was not dressed as Strawberry
Shortcake, she was Strawberry Cheesecake, SS’s sister), but I was
worried that this would be another NYE run (I hated it, everyone else was
blown away). Asking around though, pretty much everyone thought it
was a weak show [1]. Ok, I guess I’ll stay for another one.

First Saturday note: if I’m ever at a camping venue and I’m loudly
pointing out a flaw in a policy of the band I am seeing (in this case
the whole giving free tickets to homeless, spare changing tour rats
thing) and a member of the band is standing behind me in the breakfast
line, don’t wait until 20 minutes later to point that out to me, ok?

The first set on Saturday was all about flying things. There were
huge balloons being tossed. There was "Piper, piper the day glow
worm [2]," there was a tortilla war, there was a balloon that loudly
(and frequently) proclaimed, "Viva Mexico," and – most importantly – there were the horses on a stick. First there was just the brown
horse, but then a white horse suddenly joined it. They ganged up to
attack a jellyfish on a stick.

Oh music…. Well I don’t remember all that much about this set to be
honest, but Keith actually DID play a fat bass run in Joyful Sound
(thought he might blow out the speakers) and the Smile that closed out
the second set was amazing. Mr. Kang doesn’t exactly suck.

Set break. Ah set break. So much to see. There was a woman in a
flying rat costume. Oh she SAID she was a flying squirrel but she was
just making stuff up. A flying rat she was. There were the two 6
year girls dancing around in a go go cage at the coffee vendor. It’s
kind of sad that they’ve gotten gender roles imprinted at such a
young age.

Second set opened with Shakin’ the Tree. Get it. It was 25 minutes
long and intense. There was this loud section that sounded like the
peak of The Other One. There was a blues section. Completely
amazing. It finally segued into Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues. In
general, I don’t like their version of JLTTB for two reasons. The
first is that I’m used to Phil’s silly lyrics; the real words seem
off. The second is that it sounds just like Late in the Evening, and
I’d rather hear Late in the Evening. However, it’s a fun arrangement
of a cool song. Maybe a booby prize, but it’s a good booby prize.

They distributed schedules for the events at Hornings. SCI were
supposed to be off the stage by 10. Around then, they were just
starting up She Don’t Say. The intro verse was extremely well done
and extended; it was much quieter than usual. Finally the rest of the
band jumped in. Kyle was really into this one, screaming, "EVERYONE’S
GONNA DO IT AGAIN!" in the choruses. It was well after 10, when the
jam segued into one more song. Roll Over. Looks like they’re going
to abandon the stage a little late, but outside of Mr. Dwork, I don’t
think anyone was complaining. They didn’t have time to make a
sandwich with this, but this was an excellent, excellent Roll Over.
In fact, the set as a whole was probably the best one I had seen since
the 2000 Paramount second set. This one might have even been better.

Another set break. It was time for the black light maze of course.
The maze was very cool, but 3D glasses don’t fit well over regular
ones, so some of the effect was lost on me. Those Pepperland guys
though know how to have a good time. I’ll mock the whole 4 worlds
things, but Pepperland was a good thing.

Back to the vending area, the Thai place tricked me. They made their
food smell incredibly good, solely to get me to buy some. It worked.
I got way more food than I could even think about eating. While
walking to the pre-ritual set meeting ground, a girl came up to me.
Obviously a tour rat, she asked me if I could have some of my food. I
started to hand over the plate. "Wait. What is it?" Apparently this
beggar could be choosy. I refused to give her any food, just because
she offended the platitudes god.

After that, I ran into Snow White. Ok, it was just some girl in a
really good Snow White costume (all of the good costumes at Horning’s
seemed to be with people who had NOTHING to do with Peak Experience.).
She was bummed because the acid that she had was bunk. I tried to
explain to her that the whole "Fairest of them all" thing is what was
blocking it, but she was having none of it.

So far, other than the annoying yoga woman before every single set,
this had been a SCI show with a little bit of Dwork involvement. Set
III had the chance of changing that. About 5 minutes into the opening
jam, the band decided that they were going to take charge of events
even then. Instead of just jamming at random, they launched into
Rivertrance. Everyone jumped to their feet. This ritual was mainly
just eye candy. Other than one brief segment, there was no preaching,
no lectures, just cool props – especially the Pepperland ones…
mmmmmmmmm neon trim – and good music. After about 45 minutes or so,
they launched into the Glory part of Land’s End [3]. All of the
previous dancers ran out into the stage and suddenly they pulled out
one of those windsock people props. They have them at Bumbershoot.
They’re huge stick figures made out of cloth that seem to dance. For
one exciting second, it worked. I love those things, so getting it to
dance to my favorite piece of music was an actual intense moment
produced by Peak Experience…

…and then the prop broke. It just fell over. They kept trying to
get it to work again, but to no avail. This makes the story of the
ballet, "If you combine the wisdom of the Mayans, the lost secrets of
Atlantis, the something or others from Middle Earth [4], and the
Beatles, you can create a person who falls over a lot." Now that’s a
story! [5]

They wound down the Glory jam, invited everyone down onto the floor,
conferenced… and immediately announced a set break. A fourth set!
Haven’t gotten one of those since the Lemonwheel.

After a solid, but not spectacular, Round the Wheel, Mrs Brown’s
followed. After the second verse it went into a long jam. At first
we were expecting it to go back into the song, but Keith was replaced
by Tye North on bass, members of the Motet were coming out, and we had
a Loft Party on our hands. The 4th set was really sloppy but a lot of
fun. Billy had apparently consumed a refreshing beverage or two
during the break, for, during Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother he
was unable to spell the word "mother." "M-O-H-T-E-R," he tried.
That meant that we weren’t going to get a Tea House sandwich. "If
he can’t spell ‘Mother,’ there’s no way he’ll be able to remember what
verse he was in in Mrs. Browns."

The real highlight of the 4th set was the ending. Black Furry Possum
really clicked. It wasn’t as good as the Vancouver 99 version, but it
was really good. Then DJ Harry (or so I was told) came out for a
second time and led everyone into a performance of "Lean on Me." It
could have been really sappy, but somehow it worked. It was a perfect
ending to a really good show.

Sunday was recovery day. People were passed out all over the place.
Sure there were still naked people around the pond and stuff
[6] , but you got the impression that they were naked not because of the heat
or some act of act of liberation [7], but rather that they were too
tired to deal with putting on their clothes. People were getting
ready to go home. One of my camping neighbors put up a sign on their
tent. "Phatty Peacock Burritos, 5 cents." We were all kind of sleep
deprived. SCI responded accordingly.

The preshow music was 8/27/72 II – John Dwork’s favorite Dead show.
Then the Cheese came out and played an acoustic set to the surprise of
no one. All throughout Saturday’s show, I had a running joke. No
matter what they were teasing or about to do, I claimed that it was
going to be Black Clouds. They’d come on stage and I’d call a
Black Clouds opener. In the middle of the set I’d suddenly say, "You
know what would sound really good now?" "No what?" "Black Clouds."
The Yoga woman would come out and I’d claim that she was teasing a
Black Clouds. I really really wanted to hear it, and they finally
played it… in the acoustic set. What’s up with that. My favorite
part of the song is Kang’s electric mandolin solo after they build the
"Angel From Montgomery" section. They get to that part. Kang pulls
out his fiddle and somehow manages to duplicate the effect. I should
never underestimate him.

Before the final set, Mr. Dwork came on stage and gave a self serving
speech about how well the weekend went, managing to take credit for
it. He then organized a group hug. Now I usually have no problems
with hugs whatsoever, but I wanted nothing to do with Dwork’s self
promotion machine. I figured I had a long drive ahead of me anyway
and I was tired. I walked up to a giant inflatable couch near the
top of the venue and rested. I figured I’d listen to a song or two
and go home if it wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t end up going
anywhere. BotWP/Birdland turned out to be a great 1-2 punch, and the
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) -> Sand Dollar was even better.
Not even the drek of Searching for Answers could ruin the set. They
followed it with a Shine that was both beautiful and powerful.

According to the schedule, this show was supposed to end at 9. I was
happy about that. If they stuck to it, I’d be home by 12:30 or so. I
believed in the schedule wholeheartedly for some reason. One would
think that attending 300 jambands concerts over the years would clue
me in at some point. It was after 10 when the encore started. I just
wanted them to finish the show so I could go home. At that point,
Billy started thanking people. First Jon-O, then the light people,
then the back up sound man then…. I think he started reading the
phone book at some point.

The show did come to a conclusion though. Exhaustion had kicked in
however. I took my time getting back home. I arrived around 4 AM,
just having enough time to take a brief nap before going to work.
Right now I’m tired, my legs hurt, and I can barely think straight.
It must have been a great weekend.

[1] One exception was, of all things, the Mtn Girls encore which had a
long spacey jam in the middle. Saturday there were all sorts of
theories about it ranging from an out of tune bass to intraband

[2] A weird squiggly inflated multi-dayglow colored beachball-esque
thing. I’m not sure where exactly one would go to buy that or why the
manufacturer thought they could make money with it. Outside of
Hornings Hideout, it would have very limited appeal. Now inside of
it, now that’s a different story.

[3] That’s the Kang led speed up part at the end. It’s also known as
"The thing that makes me really happy."

[4] I was never able to figure out exactly WHERE the middle earth camp
was or what exactly they were supposed to be in the parade.

[5] The joke during the 3rd break was that they paid some guy $100,000
for the weekend and his only job was to make sure that the windsock
guy worked. "Ummmm hi guys… yeah… it kept falling over and
stuff…. well that’s because of…. IHAVETOGONOW!"

[6] While there were many many naked people at this event, no report
of Hornings would be complete without mentioning the naked hula hooper
guy. I suppose he did it so he’d have an extra way of stopping the
hoop if it started to fall.

[7] Horning’s was ALL about liberation in many ways. Oodles of naked
people. Drug laws enforced so laxly that someone was trying to trade
nugs for a cigarette… so laxly that there was a jar on the Thai
place saying, "Nugs are tips too"… that got pretty full.