Friday Full-Length: Yawning Man, Vista Point

Yawning Man, Vista Point (2007)

I’m not one for mindless patriotism. I have reasons I’m glad I was born an American and reasons I’m not. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge today is July 4, the day my country celebrates Independence Day. It’s a day off work for the three or four of us left who still have jobs. As that’s not me, it seemed the least I could do to spend the afternoon typing. Not that I’d know what else to do with my time anyway. It’s raining here as an alleged hurricane makes its way somewhere along the Eastern Seaboard, so the traditional barbecue is out, and if I’m wasting electricity by running the air conditioning for the better part of the afternoon, well, that feels pretty American.

Still, I wanted to find something that represents something I can be proud for my country having produced, and Yawning Man came to mind pretty quickly. Their only real competition was Funkadelic, and I did the self-titled last year, so Vista Point it is. Classic desert rock sound, made in America. It’s everywhere now, of course, but when Yawning Man started in the ’80s, with Gary Arce, Mario Lalli, Larry Lalli and Alfredo Hernandez, that wasn’t the case, and their surf-rock-without-the-water would become the foundation for an international movement the influence of which is still only expanding. Released in 2007, Vista Point – which it bothers me more than a little that I don’t own on CD — culled together Yawning Man‘s two official studio outings up to that point, 2005’s Rock Formations long-player and the Pot Head EP (have those), into one hour-plus of reverbed trippery, the dynamic between ArceMario Lalli (Larry had long since left, though he remains in Fatso Jetson to this day with Mario) and Hernandez dripping across every dreamy movement in the songs. In true desert rock fashion, Yawning Man were about two decades late in getting recognized for the influence they had and the excellence they proffered — as much as they have to this point, anyhow — but they continue to bring something distinct to what they do that no one else has been able to capture. Oh yeah, and Kyuss covered them one time.

Enjoy Vista Point, in the spirit of the holiday and with the hopes of Yawning Man‘s next record turning up sooner rather than later.

Well, thus ends the first of my four weeks without The Patient Mrs. while she’s in Greece. It went pretty quickly, to be honest. After the move last weekend, there was a ton of cleaning to do at the new condo — home ownership! mortgage debt! the American dream! — and lots to unpack, scrub down, set up, etc., and that consumed a large portion of my week, the first couple days in an A/C-less swelter and the last couple in relaxed comfort. We’ve spoken just about every day, including today, but I’ve nonetheless developed five rules for myself to live by while she’s not around. Even wrote them on the markerboard:

If you can’t read my handwriting, which isn’t great, they are as follows:

1. No more than one (1) full day can be spent in bed, and not in the first ten (10) days.

2. No Anathema or Alice in ChainsSap.

3. Eat a vegetable at least four days a week. Potatoes don’t count.

4. No more than one full day can be spent in the house. Opening the door for the dog is not “going out.”

5. No “Ain’t No Sunshine” either.

I’m happy to say I’ve lived up to each of these at least so far — though I saw a link to Alternative 4 on Thee Facebooks last night and had to stop myself. We’ll see what the next couple of weeks bring. It’s pretty funny to be reminded every now and then of my own complete lack of independence, though. Hilarious to be so utterly inept at what to most people are daily tasks and to go entire days (though not two in a row!) where most of my conversation happens between myself and the dog. Indeed. Quite a week it’s been. Did I mention I’ve started watching Star Trek again from the beginning of the series?

Next week, the Conan interview goes up. This will happen come hell or high water. It’s been a while at this point since we spoke (it was the week of Hellfest), so yeah, it’s time. Also reviews of Wasted Theory and John Garcia‘s solo record.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend, and I hope it already began and involves friends and good food and all that wonderful stuff. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Friday Full-Length: Yawning Man, Vista Point

  1. Adam says:

    Great post JJ, something else from the canon that I missed, perfect for the close of a long weekend of storm and surf, especially after listening to Blues for the Red Sun on the Mass Pike earlier today. And take it from someone who just celebrated 27 years of a great marriage, separation and reunion are essential elements.

Leave a Reply