Life On The Road
Waddup, my name is Tyke James, I am a musician, minimalist and I live in my van. Last October I was on a west coast tour with my friends Skylar (@skilla__eebs) and Jenn (@jennblosil). I was lucky enough to have sponsored by the one and only Coalatree. When I was looking for sponsors, I didn’t want just anyone that I could sell my soul to in exchange for gas money! I reached out to Coalatree because it’s all good under the hood: the people that run it, and the reasons why it’s run (not to mention their sick products that all happened to pack into small pockets). So let me tell you about my tour.
FIRST STOP : SEATTLE, WA
Seattle is totally mind-blowing and totally makes me rethink my life’s circumstances, I want to be rich and move into the Amazon Spheres. One of my favorite things about these places we went was how environmentally conscious everybody was. In every shake shack and restaurant alike they sorted the plastic trash, they had alternatives to the regular plastic, and tons of people ride bikes. It’s totally inspiring and heartwarming to see a huge community making subtle everyday efforts to better the world, in the heart of a concrete jungle no less! It is really hard to find free parking though.
Climbing out to the ledge for this photo low-key scary, it was VERY high up
On tour, I made it a point every day to support local businesses. Something I’ve found is that sometimes, giving yourself mild restrictions actually makes life better. Me and Skylar (photo guy) were supporting locals, the food we ate was more fresh, and it made every day a fun event of trying a local delicacy! Jenn ate with us sometimes but she has some weird dietary shit and her juice fermented and blew up in my van’s fridge. Our last day in Seattle, I had a killer breakfast burrito under the space needle, and Skylar walked away with a gourmet PP&J. (Had to try it).
Here we are at a Seattle spot called “Biscuit Bitch”. Great experience but next time I’ll have to pass on the Gritz:
NEXT STOP : PORTLAND, OREVERY TIME I think about Portland I long for it and miss its totally epic weirdness.Our first show was a Sofar session at a Brewery. To those of you who read this and say “what is a Sofar Session I wonder?” It is straight up one of the coolest community of music lovers you will ever find. They provide both amateur and professional artists the opportunity to share their talents with a full crowd and 100% of their focus. Jenn and I each played our sets and then watched with wonder as Jonny West and his band blew us away with blasphemously chill beats and rapping skills. Probably the best performance by a stranger I’d ever heard. I actually just found a video I took of my favorite song they played and I’m crying over the computer now. I’m fine. We’re fine.
Here’s johnny west:
Here’s Jenn and I warming up before the show.
The next day in Portland we had a show at The Big Blue House with a great band called Pacific Trio. It was a really fun show and there was an Impromptu dance party after. Unfortunately somebody in a impulsive fury drove by and smashed Craig (my van)’s side mirror. I did drive the remaining 1,000 or so miles of the tour with a shattered mirror.
I also swam in the great Multnomah Falls. It was ill-advised but I had never felt more alive. I was saved by the Coalatree puffy blanket waiting for me in the car.
My shoe and hair are wet but I did take off the onesie to swim in the falls
So, can we give Jenn a round of applause for planning the tour?
Great. Now we can talk about how she accidentally scheduled a San Francisco show in the afternoon the day after our Portland show, unaware that it would take about 11 hours to travel there from Portland.
NEXT STOP : SAN FRANCISCO, CA
So we drove through the night and attended church as soon as we arrived. Driving through the night was almost chill because when traveling in Craig with a trio, one can sleep while the 2 navigate. Not gonna lie it was really cool driving through NorCal through the sunrise. Even with zombie eyes.
God must have blessed us for going to church because despite the minimal sleep, our voices functioned almost-fine and we had a really great show at a nice house in Palo Alto.
Me and Skylar buzzed around San Fransisco on Bird scooters. “Who knew that this would be the future.” We would say of electric scooters. We went down that awesome steep swirly road on them, got some chowder and bought some moderately awesome 10 dollar milkshakes. We had another show in SF that night. It was basically a concert for the people who lived there and a couple friends, but over people quantity was people quality that night.
San Francisco Photo:
Idk if I mentioned the weird foot thing I do while performing but here it is:
NEXT STOP : LOS ANGELES, CA
If you haven’t made that drive yet DO IT. It is up there with going to Europe I promise. By the time we hit LA there weren’t any local business open to eat at so we had to opt for one of my fav fast food spots POPEYES. Fried chicken is the closest I’ve come to losing my virginity. Our LA shows were filled with great times and great people. My favorite was the second one we did in the house of my dreams which my dear friends Jill, Geordie, and Youth Basketball performed at as well:
Geordie and Youth Basketball:
Me playing piano man
The afterparty crew hitting a ceremonial California In-n-Out run:
My sweet friend Jill Baylon:
Jenn singing a song
That wraps up the tour. My names Tyke James, if you want to listen to my music I’m on Spotify, Apple Music, Napster etc. I’m @tykejames on instagram. You can follow me if you want to keep up with my travels and/or attend a show, as I’m hitting the road again this March 2020.
I know everyone who made it a blast probably won’t ever read this but I hope you can feel the genuine thanks I’m exuding from the very bottom of my heart. Thank you Coalatree for keeping me warm and keeping the gas tank full, it means the very most to me. Thanks to Jenn Blosil for inviting on an awesome tour and journey I couldn’t have made happen on my own. Thanks to Skylar for being the coolest person ever to travel with and taking the best photos on the planet.
I’m up to the brim with gratitude okay!!