A Trip to Spain, Pt 4: First Night in Ubeda, Andalucía

7/20I’m watching a 3 year old named Neave, (composer, Chris Lennertz’s adorable daughter), splash in the hotel pool in a pink tu-tu bathing suit. Her mom and grandmother are with her, and it’s just the sweetest thing. I would get in there with them and splash around, but this hair takes a day to dry. We’re about to go to Bear’s first performance in Ubeda, a small city in the part of Southern Spain called Andalucía.

This city is unbelievable. Literally. I feel like I’m on a studio backlot, or Disneyland.

Ubeda-at-night

Ubeda-at-night

I had to fight my inner theatre diva not to break out into a full “Man Of La Mancha” review. In fact, I lost that fight, and released the song “Dulcinea” full voiced into the side of Bear’s fluffy head.

And that’s how you would’ve seen us - the full troop of Spaniards and loopy Americans, tripping over the colonial cobble stone streets, hugging the stone walls of slim medieval avenues, parting our group to allow for a speeding Citroën, pouring EU techno into our passage.

In my sleepless rapture, I thought I saw the music rising in a sonic wave - ones and zeros billowing up above ceramic roof shingles, till they crested above the plaster walls and wrought iron balconies. They mimicked stars, and fell. They feathered downward, their sex-pulsed origin tinkling into the twinkle of a billion nano-bot music boxes.

Me&Ubeda-at-night

Me&Ubeda-at-night

By the time Dopler had taken effect, we were rounding another world-worn corner, a sleep deprived rabble – and the particulate electronic beats and notions, settled forever into the rooftop dust of Andalucía.

me&ubeda-at-night-2

me&ubeda-at-night-2

Part 2, The Greenroom

If yesterday was a dream, this moment is very real. During the intermission at the first night’s concert, Bear and I headed back to the green room for some food. There was an assortment of bread-type-munchings, some green bananas (which actually were ripe, they were simply green), and two types of sandwiches labeled “vegitarian” and “normal.” The distinction between “vegitarian” and “normal” is ham. This is also a culturally true in Spain. Although in Spain, nobody will give you shit for being a vegitarian, it is not “normal” by far.

So we eat our abnormal sandwiches, and Bear goes out back to center himself before the second half of the concert, when he will be conducting his smaller ensemble. Before, I begin the upcoming description, let me just say that I have been in a lot of greenrooms: club greenrooms, nasty club greenrooms, grand concert hall greenrooms, shared green rooms, old greenrooms, greenrooms where clearly there was a considerable drug presence in the 80s or so…a lot of greenrooms. This one was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

greenroom-1

greenroom-1

Like my first reaction to the town of Ubeda, it takes all my focus to convince myself I’m not in one of those faux Italian restaurants, where they try to mimic that painted plaster technique. That style where the plaster visages of cherubs and naked rubenesque women lift their eyes in lamentation, ecstasy, and high drama, as if they’re exclaiming,

“O’ Lord in heaven!

This garlic bread, thou hast bestowed

wilt giveth me the four winds in mine gullet!

Alas!”

But truly, the frescos in Ubeda -  in the back room of a genuine castle turned hospital (till 1971), turned concert venue – were the real thing.

greenroom-2

greenroom-2

greenroom3

greenroom3

greenroom4

greenroom4

Best place for bandfood. Ever.

Raya Yarbrough

Singer, Composer, writer of absurd stories about LA, chanteuse on Outlander, BSG, DaVinci's Demons, & I used to date Dick Grayson.