Read Rich Aucoin's Tour Diary as He Bikes Across America: Volume 5

Exploring cinematic small town America on the way to Arkansas.

Music Features Rich Aucoin
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Read Rich Aucoin's Tour Diary as He Bikes Across America: Volume 5

Back in April, we started following psych-rocker Rich Aucoin as he began the coast-to-coast U.S. tour for his new EP, ‘Hold’—which he’s doing on his bicycle. Read Volume 1 here, Volume 2 here, Volume 3 here and Volume 4 here. Aucoin will check in with regular updates from his journey, which is set to wrap up June 29 in Brooklyn.

Volume 4: Oklahoma City, Okla. to Little Rock, Ark.

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Halfway. There’s a certain mental shift that happens once we get halfway through something. The realization of an ending brings with it a savouring in a way that is difficult to conceive in the first half of an experience; still getting used to it and adapting to it. During my undergrad, most of my papers followed the same process of trying to flush out the word count in the initial paragraphs only to realize halfway that if I continued at that pace, I’d be writing a thesis, and so my writing got much more concise in the second half.

I’ve luckily made it halfway across the country with no rain. In Oklahoma though, I just barely out-ran a tornado-level storm entering the city. Its wind was some of the worst from the trip and kept my bike at a near stand-still. Here’s a photo I snapped of its near-constant lightning.

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Leaving Oklahoma, I noticed this huge structure that looked like a waterslide—turns out it was a non-profit outdoors centre and these were actual slides that you slide down in burlap sacs.

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The plains are over and now the lushness of the east coast and the Appalachians have started. Lots of Stand By Me-looking train bridges. That famous shot, too, was done with a special extra-long telephoto lens to make it seem like the train was just behind the gang on the bridge.

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Starting to see a lot of middle America towns that look like The Outsiders, Super 8 or Stranger Things. A couple years back, before Stranger Things, Hobo With A Shotgun director Jason Eisener and I made a music video which was pitched as The Goonies meets X-Files for my song “Want To Believe” (a glitchy agnostic gospel jam playing on the famous UFO poster from Mulder’s office).

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Went through a town called Paris. I love that they decided to continue the Parisian theme by making a replica Eiffel Tower in their downtown park.

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I somehow got to review of one of my favourite films, Raiders of The Lost Ark, with a live score performed by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for The Arkansas Times. It’s amazing getting to see films with others that you’ve watched several times in a solitary ritual over the years. Sharing the experience helps one tap into an empathetic first-viewing experience, trying to imagine what the other person is thinking of each scene; this is especially true with children, as I remember having this experience when showing my niece and nephew Star Wars for the first time.

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Also the act of watching films with others has always been of great interest to me. I really try to watch the more outwardly vocal reactionary film genres, always in theaters and as close to their release as possible. These genres are comedies and horror films, where those audible laughs and shrieks heighten the viewing experience. I was reminded at this presentation of Raiders of what a comedy it really is—the jokes were all landing with the audience’s 2,000+ people, making it the most laughter I’ve ever heard while watching the film.

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In an era where we’re watching things predominantly in home theaters, on small laptop screens or (worse) smartphone screens, it is hugely worth the effort to attend films your excited about right out of the gate and see them with as many people as possible. The next time you see a favourite film being screened, I highly recommend checking it out for this audience-enhanced experience.

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On the Road Kerouacing again, cycling across the U.S. for Mental Health America. You can pledge support and donate directly to them and get a tax-receipt on my fundraiser page here.

Please check out my music on Soundcloud or on Spotify, and see more photos on Instagram and follow me on Twitter.

Playlist for this section:
1. Soft Bodies “Smoke & Mirrors”
2. Yukon Blonde “Too Close To Love”
3. Brave Shores “La Hoo La La”
4. Terror Pigeon: “True Basement Romance”
5. Mitski “Geyser”
6. Jennifer Castle: “Grim Reaper”
7. Jon Hopkins: “C O S M”
8. Beach House: “Last Ride”
9. Michael Parallax “Growing Splendid”
10. Meth Dad “Stay Posi”

And catch me on this tour:
6/20: Washington, D.C.: DC9 w. Terror Pigeon, OG Lullabies, Electric Grandmother
6/23: Baltimore, Md.: The Crown w. Terror Pigeon, DYYO, Micah E Wood
6/26: Philadelphia, Penn.: PhilaMoca w. Terror Pigeon, The Obsessives
6/29: Brooklyn, N.Y.: Knitting Factory w. Terror Pigeon, Ellevator, Cutters

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