FYI.

This story is over 5 years old.

Mixed Mediums

The End of the Road Is Oakland

The most attractive stretch of railroad in the United States of America is undoubtedly the route that travels north and south between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This is no high speed, intercity rail line. In fact the trip is twice as long as going...
CC
Κείμενο Conor Creighton

The most attractive stretch of railroad in the United States of America is undoubtedly the route that travels north and south between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This is no high speed, intercity rail line. In fact the trip is twice as long as going by car but considering it sweeps north to Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean, inland towards Paso Robles wine country, through Salinas, San Jose and on into Oakland, it's good value for money.

ΔΙΑΦΗΜΙΣΗ

The Congos occupy the recording car this morning but the most beautiful moment when they warmed up, a cappella, in the Frank Sinatra car was never caught on tape. Dan Deacon will be in there later too but for the most part of ride, people are concentrating in the small open-passages between cars. It's the last time any of us will get to experience something quite like this again.

The Oakland event, just like the Barstow event before it, is held in an area that's not safe to walk around in after dark. The Oakland Station is just another part of America that our train's past through that's been abandoned. The thousands of people who live in and around it have been abandoned too.

As the event begins the train is already being dismantled and taken home to its respective owners across the country. Each car was individually curated, you know.

No Age, the Savages, the Congos, Lia Lices, Twin Shadow and Dan Deacon perform, while huge projectors on the inside of the old station show the same video art and artist interviews we've been following since New York. Some of the crew have seen Thomas Demand drive a train through a paper barrier eight times now and some of the crew have been so busy that they're still to see it yet.

Oakland is a stones throw from San Francisco the spiritual homeland of the Levis® brand. There is a Strauss family house on the hill overlooking the bay and their offices have a waterfront view too. A lot of the crowd are employees. The unfortunate ones who had to stay behind in the office. They're playing a game called 'who looks the most haggard' with all their buddies who've been on the train. It's not an easy game. It's been the longest, driest month for anyone who stepped on board in New York in late Summer.

Dan Deacon closes the show with a dance-off and an admonishment to anyone who'd let cities such as Detroit, Baltimore and even Oakland sink into the mud. Did you know that Oakland has a higher murder rate than anywhere else in the US? I didn't. It's important that an event like Station to Station visit here. It's important that everyone visits here.

Olaf Breuning strikes again as the crowd are filing out and the yard in front of the station is covered in smoke and dust. We go to a dive bar with a giant patio, nothing but beer to drink and one tiny toilet with a funky latch. And that's where we stay until the line to pee runs out the door and we go home to wash the smell of pyrotechnics out of our hair and clean the desert dust from our ears.

To check out the rest of the collaborations and contributors, go to http://levi.com/makeourmark