King Elephant, Magpies, and Dirty Birds in Missoula, Montana
I spent well over 2 years in Missoula, Montana. What was supposed to be a 6 month stint away, turned into much more. That's a damn fine way to sum up the town. A beautiful, drunken haze of amazing people, great music, gorgeous surroundings, and some really shit food. Not to say there weren't some culinary highlights, like a sometimes daily trip to the Dinosaur Cafe for "Gumbolaya" a mutant mix of the two for dirt cheap. Biga Pizza. Big Dipper Ice Cream. It wasn't so bad, just could have used, you know, one great Indian place.
For months I was treated to some brow-raising shows. First, it was King Elephant, and the Magpies. The Magpies continued, and got better and better, with an addition of Hank Donovan on guitar. King Elephant disbanded, and Joey Running Crane hopped into a few new projects. Boss Fight. Solo gigs. He then assembled a super solid crew and called it "Joey Running Crane and the Dirty Birds." This continued for half a year or so.
...and like that, they're gone. I suppose it's a fitting end for Joey Running Crane's newest endeavor, him and his "dirty birds". Haven't seen that level of energy out of Joey since King Elephant. Their final Ole Beck VFW residency show. The kick-off to a new festival, Camp Daze, in Missoula. As the clock struck midnight, it's nine days before I leave Montana after 2 years in what was really, supposed to only be 6 months. "I swear." Funny how things turn out sometimes. My time in this town ends how it began, Joey and Magpies, but in different forms. Extremely heated sets by folks I've been endlessly impressed with, and infinitely happy I've met. Cheers.
There's a lot more to it than that, of course. That's where Episode 2 comes in.
...and so began Indonesia.