January 25, 2010
As Message to Garcia, the third album from Seattle-rockers Visqueen, stole our hearts and minds in 2009, it is a pleasure to have Rock Goddess and lead singer Rachel Flotard do a little bit of writing for Converse.com. Here she describes the beginning of a trip through South-East Asia.
Hello Converse Readers, lovers, walkers, runners, zippers and rockers!
This is Rachel Flotard from the band Visqueen:
What am I up to currently? I’m long-handing this note to you with a sharpie, and trying not to puke into the leather-bound notebook on my lap. I’m in a prop plane, on a runway in Southeast Asia. I’m seconds away from take-off to Pakse, Laos. I’ve been in Cambodia since Thursday acclimating to my foreign surroundings and preparing for my trip North. Siem Reap, (the beautiful city I’m leaving) has completely blown my mind and I’d love to replace my eyes with cameras.
Tomorrow I drive to a small village to visit the Bon Na Mouang Elementary School. (I went to Laos last year before I put out my album “Message To Garcia”, and I fell in love with the country.) The school needs a solid concrete floor (theirs is currently dirt and floods during the rainy season), so my friends and I are helping renovate the classrooms. We even had a dance party in Seattle to raise money for the cause. We’re going to go celebrate with the kids, deliver some much needed school supplies, soccer balls and simply hang out with them.
This week has been as beautiful as it’s been bewildering.
Last night, I held onto the back of a motorbike and raced down a dust road to see a lake of ancient, floating fishing villages.
Tonle Sap is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia, and living on parts of this enormous, bell-shaped body of water are generations of families. They live and work atop platforms built on bamboo stilts. Simple, stunning, and so far from my reality at home.
These incredible people raise their buildings, their children, and their livestock, all on the water. I had to pinch myself that I was really seeing this, as it’s been for a hundred years. So lucky and so grateful for the chance.
Hard to believe I was in Seattle not days ago, playing a rock show in front of thousands of people, thinking about this trip. My performance jitters and nervousness are hilarious now, pointless and humbled. Visqueen, the home-towners, were invited to open this massive, holiday, radio sponsored show. I got to give my guitar a nice arena rock road-test and played a handful of songs off of the new record, and some older ones that have always made my butt move.
Whoa. Ok. The plane just banked hard to the right. We’re over 15,000 feet over Siem Reap now. And I just took a picture of it for you.
Wanna hear some of Visqueen’s tunes? Head to www.visqueenonline.com