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Wicked Will: The Ettes, Hans Condor @ Pappy & Harriet’s, 8/26/11

Even though I’m just a small town girl, I love the city. I love having everything at my fingertips, the anonymity in a sea of people, the vibrancy of bustling city life.

But there are a few special places in the US- random towns in the middle of nowhere- that have a special creative energy. They’re the kind of small town I wish I’d grown up in. And I’ve been fortunate to visit most of them: Marfa, TX….Jerome, AZ….Ojai, CA….and now Joshua Tree.

There’s something about these places that makes me feel alive in a different way than the city can. Mostly, it’s the whole ‘being one with nature’ thing that can often be forgotten about when you live in the concrete jungle. But there are also the little random places you encounter. When you find them, it’s like you’re in on a secret.

One of those places near Joshua Tree is Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown. About a 10 minute drive down a winding road to nowhere, this roadhouse serves up great ambience, decent food, and great live music.

As soon as I got there, twitter informed me that this place was recently featured on the episode of No Reservations that Josh Homme was in:

When I see tattoos and Motörhead shirts in the middle of nowhere, I get excited. After a dinner of glorified bar food amongst a surprisingly rock and roll group of patrons, we were treated to a quality night of music. Before I knew it, it got pretty wild in there as Hans Condor played their loud garage rock, some of it from lying down on the floor in convulsions.


I had heard of The Ettes before, probably at SXSW. While normally outside my realm of music I would go see, I’m glad I stumbled upon them in this setting. Their drummer made me want to learn to play so badly. It was a good time rock and roll kind of set. I spent most of my time watching this little girl in her dad’s arms watching the band as they played to her, seeing both my past and future (I hope!) at once.

And that’s kind of what the point is of going to places like this. Reflection and a reset button. I highly recommend it.

Bonus: If you find yourself in Joshua Tree National Park, stop at Hemingway. Walk between the clusters of rocks. Scream at the top of your lungs and hear the echo. It’s great therapy.

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