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sonicvalium the story of the hammershow

It was a beautiful saturday morning on the playa, the sun rose crisp with orange highlights on scattered clouds in a mackeral sky. I was informed the night before that i was to be in center camp at 6am. My new buddy Dylan was going to play a set with his dilruba/guitar amigo Chendo at center camp to kick off the day.

I left camp around 10pm the evening prior just to be sure I'd make it.

As i rolled into center camp, all was peaceful. Everybody had their morning coffee in hand or were stirring on the couches wondering why and how they ended up here and not at camp.

Morning faces were puffy and indifferent.

To my surprise Chendo and Dylan were already at work. Chendo laying down layers of drifting sound scapes. Sonic aromas pushing around the room mixing with coffee smells and foamy steam screams. Dylan was busy. His hand on his chin and his eyes fixed on his laptop LCD his mind drifting between codes for buttons and levers. Perhaps too many choices, but then come the beats. Distant pulses shaking the dust as familiar voices whisper and pounce over Chendo's endless streamings.


The vibe is perfect. Relaxed, comforting yet intellectual - a cup of ambient java.


The people begin to settle in. Planting feet on the ground, elbows at right angles, lips to mouths, caffeine to blood.

All at once the focus shifts as a very slender waif of 5'10" jumps on the stage. She is thin, model thin, northern european with a sharp angular jaw, she wears a dusty short cropped mop in a head band and has catalogue perfect breasts and a slender ass wrapped in terry cloth short shorts. She captures the moment as she snakes her way past Chendo and Dylan, while placing a silver blue claw hammer in the empty mic stand.

For a moment i think i may have to tackle her.

Is she a sonic terrorist, a tree hugging anti-tech nut bent on destroying the world with a hammer one lap top at a time?

No. She is a dancer and she begins to dance.

The dance begins interpretive and she is good. She has six feet of stage between her and Dylan which she uses efficiently. Her body moves like a serpent. The crowd of about 50 people forgets about the music and the coffee. There is a real show going on.

All eyes follow her off stage where she picks up a roll of gray duct tape. She removes her little T-shirt and firmly tapes her breasts flat against her chest. The act is almost mechanical, sterile yet seductive. She returns to the stage. This time a little scrappy man of 5'8'' follows her up.

He wears an orange clown suit, with a little yellow hat and a yellow thong which pushes his package to one side almost perfecting the illusion. His air is scandalous. I swear this guy steals stereos from unlocked cars in suburban neighborhoods every wednesday in Topanga.

As they return to the stage they begin to mime a domestic dispute. All regard for the music of Chendo and Dylan is gone. The crowd could care less. These two are serious pirates. The makings of a domestic squabble continue. Somehow an apple appears and she drops it into the crotch of her shorts and grinds the side of his head. He becomes sullen and escapes to the side stage glaring as she continues to dance.

The vixen returns to her dancing in front of Dylan. At this point she is bent over, legs in an "A" and begins to fondle her goods. Eyes are glued, nobody is drinking coffee now, much less breathing. The shorts come off and the fingers begin to explore the folds of her flower.

The room is silent. Dylan hops off stage to view what is invisible to him. Like a true professional he shrugs to the audience and mutters, "..well I cant say we are much too look at." He smiles humbly and returns diligently to his work station nodding at Chendo.

She continues unhindered for a solid ten minutes.

Now clown boy exits the stage and returns to the backpack they have stashed at a couch in the audience. He reveals a half empty bottle of trader joes olive oil and skips on stage grabbing the abandoned hammer from the mic stand.

Our seductress is in the throws of self discovery as the lid comes off and olive oil is pored all over her long smooth curves dripping to the floor.

A splash of olive oil is then added to the blue handle of the silver hammer and there she goes. Ladies and gentlemen now there is only the head of the hammer.


No blue.


The crowd is stunned. The hammer reciprocates. Faces go blank. In and out. In and out. Some blue. No blue. Some blue. No blue. Sound is erased. Her face indifferent as if she is doing her nails.

People begin to move, pinching themselves searching for acknowledgement of the moment.She moves to the floor and straddles her handy new lover. Up and down. Up and down. A few guffaws and groans are heard, the crowd thins, then grows larger.

People begin to mumble, the judgement begins, the rationalization of how youve been literally (h)am-bushed and you enjoyed it.

Do you retell this to your girlfriend or wife? Why didn't you leave?

What are we gonna tell the kids back at camp? Will they ever believe us? These stories of dragons and flying carpets and hammer tricks?

Yes it is true - it is happening- you are at Burning Man - these things DO happen when you stay out all night and forget to bring the camera.

-Cody McKlintock

Center Camp 2005

Black Rock City, NV


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