Unreleased & Unofficial. The Allah Las, and the lost films of Baja. An Anniversary

Two years ago to the day, two rented passenger vans made their way through the heavy traffic, and out of the crowds of Los Angeles. They were heading for another, very different LA. One that only a very adventurous few know. Sometimes referred to as BLA or, BOLA, or the Bay of LA, or by its correct name, Bahia de Los Angeles. This remote corner of Baja California, is some 600 miles away yet fells like 6 decades… or more, removed from our present day. A wild place inhabited by Whale Sharks, leaping Rays, dusty dogs, and salty fisherman. Not the typical location one would imagine when you think of a music video shoot location. But nonetheless, that was our destination and our intention. We were going to make four videos for the Allah Las upcoming, second record, Worship the Sun. The ambitious plan had been hatched several months prior over a case of beer, a bottle or two of tequila (as all great plans are), and a lot of story telling about past adventures deep in Baja and specifically, BLA. That was the main objective to get to Bahia de Los Angeles and shoot a video for the album’s title track aboard an old fishing boat, and dive with Whale Sharks, and film it all, and get home all in one piece. But since we were going to go through all the effort of getting to BLA why not shoot a couple other videos/short films along the way, for some of the other great tracks off the record. So we came up with, again… an ambitious.. travel and shooting schedule. Which would turn out to be made more ambitious by the fact that we thought it would be a good idea to bring my old pal and sometimes-creative inspiration, Rex Thompson (of Summer Hits fame) along with us. In addition to being a sort of spiritual mascot for the trip he was to play an acting role as the main character in the video we intended to shoot for the track, Better than Mine. I’m not sure if Rex hadn’t come along on the trip, if by the end we all still would have ended up drinking tequila literally like water (turns out its not nearly as hydrating), or that I wouldn’t have reached what felt like a near death, hallucinatory state while filming in Neolithic painted, desert caves. In suffocating 100 degree temperatures, for the track Artifact. All that would probably still would have happened even if Rex hadn’t come along on the trip. But I doubt that it would have been as intense, as razor’s edge, or as fun if he hadn’t been there. And one things for sure, you wouldn’t be getting the opportunity to see him in an Official Allah Las music video, playing an old timey drunk at the fabled, Cantina in Baja, dispensing life advice to frontman Miles, while knocking back drink, after drink. Oh wait….. actually, no one has gotten to see that yet. Because sadly the two videos/short films I am posting here, were never released, as they were supposed to be, until now. Bands can be many things in terms of their dynamics. They can be a dictatorship, or they can be more of a democracy, and I’m sure all sorts of combinations in between. Suffice it to say that each member of the Allah Las has an opinion and a voice, and this band is very much a democracy, and in this case, a democracy that couldn’t make up its mind. Or perhaps a democracy that was simply over-thinking things. But whatever the reason was, the end result is that the videos that we made for the tracks Better than Mine and Artifact remained on the cutting room floor so to speak. Two other videos/short films did get released, those for Worship the Sun and for Follow me Down, and in my humble opinion, they turned out wonderfully. But these other two became lost to time, and forgotten. Well not forgotten actually, because now two years on to the very day that we hit the road. At the height of Summer, with waves of nostalgia, I cant help but think of the adventure that we all set off on back in July 2014. Watching these two short films brings it all right back. The sun filled days, the open road ahead, the comradery among friends, the hangovers. So crack open a Tecate, or guzzle some Cabrito. And sit back and enjoy these two little films, finally, for the first time, as they were intended, hangovers and all. Cheers.. Sasha Eisenman, 7/14/2016