Off the grid in a way that seems straight-up exotic.
  • Sarah Cass
  • Off the grid in a way that seems straight-up exotic.

Once upon a time, during a fateful South by Southwest a few years back, I was stuck in a situation where my band's van was toast and we were not able to buy a new one or finish the tour.

Having the next couple weeks off from work and a plentiful $160 in the bank, the reasonable decision seemed obvious: hitch a ride with another touring band leaving Austin and, you know, check out some glamorous locales I hadn't yet explored. Like, uh... Alabama. So I hopped into Brooklyn duo Japanther's big industrial van and headed into the Deep South for the next week.

Being that Japanther are a punk band, I was surprised by how excited they were to play a little town called Florence, Alabama. I was especially surprised to hear them describe the Pine Hill Haints—the band they couldn't wait to play the show with. "They play washboards... and a saw?" I asked. "The Pine Hill Haints are amazing," drummer Ian Vanek explained. "You are going to love them."

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