Hangtown and The Fuzztones

hangmans_tree_thumbIn an attempt to make a solid impression at the new gig I have been working late (public appearances at apple festivals, chamber events and the like) and thus have had no time for blogging. Even my once daily ritual of listening to new music has suffered. So sad.

However, I found out this week that I now live only 20 minutes away from 2 real life, honest to goodness independant and well stocked brick and mortar music stores, which I visited with great anticipation last week. What a joy it was to walk in, smell the product (and, unfortunately, some of the patrons) and spend 2 hours just sifting through the racks of obscure treasures. I had $30 to spend that day and picked up Lysergic Legacy by the Fuzztones, some cd singles from Renegade Soundwave, E.L.O.’s remastered version of Face The Music, and a host of other used gems for $3 each. It reminded me of a less stressful time when Rumproast and I and others would take the train (or drive, I can’t remember) and troll Toronto’s copius selection of hole in the wall receord shops (and in the case of Sam’s, not so “hole in the wall”–the place was MASSIVE).

Anyway, it was a real treat, one that I promised myself I would do once a month, even if just to browse.


Placerville is an interesting little town. When I see the teens hanging around the coffee shop on my way home from work it’s a little like talking a trip back in time. Mohawks and army fatigues seem to be back in fashion, as are Doc Martin’s, heavy white make up and ripped fishnet stockings. These kids seem to coexist just fine with the aging hippies walking the streets and running their art galleries in their flowing robe like tie dyes and braided hair. Swear to god, I even saw one lady (had to be pushing 70) with a painted flower on her cheek. Then you have the “professionals” who occupy the office loft spaces above the trendy little boutiques downtown. Three piece suits are de rigeur with these mostly lawyer types. The town is jumpin’ during the day partly due to the locals outdoorsey lifestyle but mostly it’s due to the tourists either going to or coming back from a weekend in Lake Tahoe. They’re captivated (as am I) by the history of what was once known as “Hangtown”. This is where gold was first discovered in California after all so you need to expect there were some pretty interesting indescretions going on at the time, and the punishment was usually handed out by local mobs eager for a hangin’ by the old oak tree. The photo that accompanies this post is real and from Placerville. Some politically correct parent’s group is currently attempting to have the dummy cut down…pity should they win. The building actually sits where the “hangin’ oak” used to be. My girls and I were having a drink at a local coffee shop a few weeks ago and a freakin’ stagecoach came up to us and offered us a ride, which we declined due to my youngest being scared by the Mae West whore character’s make up looking a little like The Joker’s. Next time.

Overall it’s been a very pleasant experience, ‘specially the fact that the town has some culture and diversity. A major plus is the fact that it’s not nearly so damn hot as Redding. Toasty, but not the 7th level of Hell hot that is Redding in August.

I’m starting to get settled in so perhaps I’ll have more time soon to post more regularly. Thanks for being patient.