When You're Heading Out West

The Offical Arizona 2006 Announcement

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, April 29, 2006 - 04:07:06 am
(Posted Under: Travel)
It's that time again (well almost). My imminant return to Arizona is upon us. In two weeks today I to pack bags and jump a flight bound for the American South West. That's right, if you haven't already heard (and if so, where have you been?!? [wink] ), I'm Tempe Arizona bound once again. This time around Catherine will also be coming with me. A month of rock n' roll, dry heat and cactii as far as the eye can see - I can think of nothing better. [smile] Not to mention the Jensen factor. [wink]

After a week in Tempe, we're heading down to the dusty Mexician border line, and continuing south to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez - home of Circus Mexicus - the bi-annual big Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers Mexican shows. For those who don't know, Circus Mexicus has become the Woodstock in the Peacemaker world. These are their biggest shows every year, generally 4000 gringos migrate south for the 4 hour long concert. And that's just the Peacemaker's set. David Lowry and Johnny Hickman of Cracker are opening this year, which is a sweet deal. So the weekend of the 20th is going to be a big one, filled with rock 'n roll, tequilas, dollar tacos! Personally aside from Circus Mexicus I'm very much looking forward to the whole Mexico experience - to date the furthest south I have been is the border on US side of Nogales. I'm looking forward to actually crossing the border this time (at Sonoyta). We have a villa down there for Friday through Monday to catch the show, and explorer the surroundings. Viva la Mexico! [smile]

Then it'll be back to Arizona, and probably out to New Mexico for a couple of days - somewhat dependant on the rock 'n roll goings on in Tempe, but at this point it looks like a safe bet (Last Exit and Yucca Tap calendars at this point are disappointing). Then back to Arizona, and out to LA for a weekend. Primary point for that trip is rock out with the Gin Blossoms. In addition the show it'll be great to show Catherine around LA and Hollywood also.

I'll be using my blog for lying in the letters to the boys back home about getting off on the wrong direction, finding some hookers and losing my erection. [wink] (Translation for non Refreshments fans: I'll be writing about my travels here). If you're interested in what I am up to, check back here through May and June. I'll also have my photos linked to from here. Since last year I've written some web based photo gallery software - so if you suffered the annoyance of my photos last year, you should be plesently suprised this year. [smile] (That statement is limited to presentation. It is in no way a promise of a lesser quantity of desert / cactii photos! [wink] Hi Irv! [wink]). While I'll be using my blog primarily, feel free to shoot me an email if you want.

For anyone here, if I don't see you before I fly out, take care and I will see you when I get back. For anyone in Tempe, keep a out for look for us at Yucca Tap or Last Exit, say hi and have a beer.
Now Playing: Mark Norman with Jesse Valenzuela - Heading Out West

Shoot Straight

Ghetto Cowgirl @ Last Exit

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, April 28, 2006 - 07:31:00 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
So, I might not get to see Ghetto Cowgirl (which still sucks), but I did get a call from their Last Exit show today. Well two. The first was during Break To Pieces, which is the first time I've heard the band do that (vs. Marc solo). Listening to Marc's vocals, I was so taken back to sitting at Yucca watching Marc - it was really cool getting that longing to be back at Yucca, and knowing that I will be in 15 days! Too cool.

Katie also called later on during Same Sad Story and Plymouth Manor. Same Sad Story rocked, complete with the God Is A Bullet intro. It was awesome outside rockin' out to it. Plymouth was also great obviously.

"I won't be suprised, when that same sad story applies"

Same Sad Story

No Ghetto Cowgirl in May

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 03:44:43 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
So, looks like no Ghetto Cowgirl for me. Last Exit just posted about a Ghetto show on the 27th, and that it'll be the last Ghetto Cowgirl show for a while because Serafini is going on the road with Let Go for two months. I never really liked that guy! [wink]

Bummer! I was thinking recently, how last year, Ghetto were by far the most energy packed local show I saw. Kinda funny that last year I could have taken of left them (before seeing them) and now I'd give anything to see them and their not playing.

Everything I Tell You Very Well Could Be A Lie!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, April 24, 2006 - 02:00:33 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Today I got my vaccinations (precautionary for Mexico) out of the way. I'm pretty much set to go.

On getting home, I threw on Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy. Banditos sounds extremely rockin' today, kinda as fresh as it did 10 years ago. Then hitting Nada, I noticed something I have never noticed before. "I've been away from the living". I'd always sung "...been away from living...".

Mentioning this to Katie uncovered another misheard Nada lyric - in the following phrase, I've again always sung "I don't need the people givin'". Getting a strange reaction from Katie, prompted me to listen closely, which once I did, I heard that it's "I don't need to be forgiven." - "I've been away from the living, I don't need to be forgiven".

It's strange having listened to an album for 10 years (it'd be interesting to know how many times I've listened to Fizzy over the last 10 years - I know it's a fucking lot!) and to have some lyrics wrong after all that time. Some that you're not sure about, fine, but both of those examples I didn't doubt at all, and is weird realising the lyrics are something else.

The moral? There ain't no moral to this story at all.
Now Playing: The Refreshments - Nada

I Won't Trade My Pony For The Iron Rail

"Four Unlike Before" on iTunes

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 08:42:27 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Rant)
Hmmm, a fairly ironic statement given that the latest Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers E.P "Four Unlike Before" is exclusively avaliable on iTunes. Way to go limiting your buying audience!

I sucked it up and downloaded iTunes today (thank god for 'junk' virtual machines), and fired up a search on "Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers", to at least preview the tracks - with no search results. I expect this is due to iTunes connecting to the Australia iTunes website, which, I assume doesn't carry this EP. Nice. I don't feel like giving Apple my credit card details to find out whether this is why, or whether it's because I'm not "Signed Up".

Up until now I've kinda ignored the whole iTunes thing - but as a result of Four Unlike Before and threads on the Watering Hole I've learnt a bit more about it now, and I can't say that I am in any way impressed. The fact that the audio uses lossless compression, is an immediate strike, but one I was kinda willing to look past. But I am appauled that not only is the audio compressed, it's not MP3 format - it's I guess an Apple propritary format M4P, and the only way (apparently) to get it to another format is to burn it to CD, then rip and re-encode it. Yuk! Any artist that releases music exclusively on iTunes can kiss my green goodbye.

From reviews of the EP, of course it doesn't seem like I'm missing much:

1. Mexicosis (Virtuoso Kazoo Demo)
2. Sleep Like A Baby (Acoustic Alternate)
3. Never Thought (Acoustic Alternate)
4. Counterclockwise (La Playa Version)

I'm guessing that Mexicosis is the same version that Roger debuted on KZON a few weeks ago - no loss there - aside from having it from the broadcast, it's a pretty appauling song - I sort of still can't believe RC&PM have succumbed to producing something like Mexicosis. Sleep Like A Baby and Never Thought sound like they could be good. By all accounts from what I have heard, the version of Counterclockwise is cringe worthy - which is a crime in itself, because it's such a great song.

That aside, I would actually buy this EP if it was released on CD. Not a hope in hell off of iTunes. Bring back the pony Roger!

Harsh maybe, but even my favorites are open as to critisism they are praise. And I must say, the koolaid (certainly in this respect) is starting to taste bitter. If this becomes avaliable on CD in Mexico, I will change my tune, but at this point...
Now Playing: Jesse Valenzuela - Someone Else

To Hell With Her

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, April 17, 2006 - 09:08:28 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Today I was teaching KJ how to play Jet Black, which was a lot of fun, and also a learning experience for me - as she sung, and being much more clear than Wilson (hey, who isn't [wink] ), I noticed the lyric "To hell with her...". I've certainly been a fan of Jet Black, but that lyric just makes the song that much better.

Bill Leen R-O-C-K-S! [smile]
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - Jet Black (Last Exit Bar and Grill 10/04/2005)

Last Exit - 3rd Anniversary Bash / Arizona Countdown

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 09:10:17 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Last Exit Bar and Grill have their calendar up - the first night we are in Tempe they are having their 3rd Anniversary Bash. Though, I question the date, as their second Anniversary Bash was in April last year while I was there (well, actually in Vegas, hence missing it). [wink]

The highlight is certainly The Black Moods. Certainly a good way to rock out the first night, especially given my new found (relatively speaking) Moods appreciation. The bill also has Special Guests, so I'm hoping for someone good there. Give me some Ghetto Cowgirl! If Ghetto play, that would really make the night.

The schedule for the rest of the month was a bit dismall. Though, I guess it is early days, and there is always June's calendar yet to happen.

So, I guess the countdown really is on! Bring it! [biggrin] Actually, it's been on for a quite while (see Arizona Countdown), but it's well and truely on now, what with Last Exit's May calendar being avaliable and starting to get an idea of the rock that will be had and all. Well, that and that it's 4 weeks today - this time in 4 weeks we should be a few hours out of Los Angeles over the Pacific Ocean.
Now Playing: Jesse Valenzuela - Bulletproof Jacket


(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 08:32:53 pm
(Posted Under: Geek, Firewall)
Last night I decided to take a look into anti-virus and a firewall for my laptop. Two things I could do without doing, but given that I'll be travelling soon and connecting to unfamilar networks, certainly something worth doing.

I pretty much knew which anti-virus road I was going to go down, clam-av (for Windows). It doesn't yet have a real time scanner, but I can live with that. None of it too hard at all.

Then it was back to the eternal search for a Netfilter (iptables) like firewall for Windows - basically meaning something that is controlled via the command line, rather than monster that infects your whole system. (I tried one that was suggested, but like all the others was simply that.) Whever I look for one, I always think surely someone has created something like this, yet at the same time, always seems like a pipe dream. But last night, I came across WIPFW. Call off your dogs, the search is over!

WIPFW is a port of the FreeBSD ipfw packet filtering system ported to Microsoft Windows. Hallujah! I've never used ipfw before (I think I only breifly used ipchains before Netfilter / iptables was the thing to use) - it's syntax is quite old, arcane and simple compared to iptables (which I'm quite well versed in), and I wouldn't like to have to do anything fancy in it (like build the iptables firewall I run on my Linux router), but this does exactly what I want to do for my laptop - simple shield it from unsolicited packets from external networks. wipfw does the job absolutely beautiful, and is all controlled from the command line with ipfw. An added bonus is that there are simple drivers (and a service) which are the only things installed! Sweet. Completely uninstalls with no effect not leaving a trace of it. Works beautifully too. Color me damn happy about it.

This all came about from working on ipmasq-ng (my custom Netfilter firewall scripts package), primarily making the way PPP devices are handled. Largely due to an occurance last week of my internet connection being assigned to ppp0, rendering it completely unaccessible from the internet for a day. On getting this done (which also is working more nicely now with all the tweaks I've done) I had another look into reaim (for doing file transfers over AOLIM behind a NAT firewall) which I've wanted to get working months ago. No dice - at least using the installation that portage did. However, getting the source, compiling and installing manually gave me sweet sweet success. On getting this done I also took a look into the condition iptables module (mind you, after two hours of trying to get the patch into my kernel and iptables - patch-o-matic's verbosity leaves something to be desired [wink] ) which is a nice module. Makes it a piece of cake to turn of the inbound reaim ports (when I don't want to do file transfers or direct connections, to lock things down) rather than adding and deleting rules.

The final thing I did today was getting rid of McAfee on the aforementioned laptop - without actually uninstalling it. Basically I wanted to stop it running, but leave it on the machine - partly because I now have wipfw for firewalling, but also because of the annoying popup each time my laptop starts with Spam Killer wanting to "verify" itself. This proved quite a task - I had no idea that Windows XP still used (/had) the Run key in the registry for starting programs at startup - or maybe I did and had just forgotten - I really don't delve that deep into Windows anymore. [smile] On discovering this, I was able to finally irradicated McAfee's Security Center - which actually felt like a virus when I couldn't stop it from running. [smile]
Now Playing: Gloritone - Same Horse

...And Have A Beautiful Day

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 09:00:20 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Today was one of those great April days - those ones that feel more or less summer in April - which is certainly a change from the norm from the last week or so. But anyways, today was just one of those perfect days. I happened to be working from home today, so I didn't miss the opportunity to grab the laptop and sit outside all day working. Beautiful day and tunes playing, it was a beautiful thing.

My only complaint would be, which is suprising enough, sitting outside in the open on a great day, rather than an office with artifical light, didn't ward off the head fuck of sitting in front of a computer for 8+ hours of solid pumping out code. You would kinda espect that not be the case, yet I still had that head of mush that 8 hours of coding does to you.

All the same, I'd take days like today outside working over being in an office any day. If every day was like today, I wouldn't complain too much at all.
Now Playing: Scott Johnson & Troy Dixon - Beautiful Day (Last Exit, 08/31/2005)

So Long Forever

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:01:45 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
The guy who wrote that song, handed my friend a bong. Said see you later so long, so long, so long forever, so long forever, so long.
Now Playing: Domo - Things You Adore

Your PC Protection Ends Today

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, April 8, 2006 - 11:47:56 am
(Posted Under: No Category)
"Your PC Protection Ends Today" - as such an email proclaims today, from McAfee. Thank freakin' god! McAfee was preinstalled on my laptop, and it has been the bain of my fucking existance!! Everytime I turn the thing on, I get the goddamn a popup for updating Virus Scan, Spam Killer (which I don't use), or the Firewall (which I don't use). An absolute pain in the ass (as was disabling Spam Killer and the Firewall perminantly! Not to mention how annoying the update process for Virus Scan - through a webpage, rather than directly from the app. Even Microsoft got that right in Windows Update (which is saying somethin'!).

I'm not entirely against having virus and firewall protection on a laptop - although, it would be nice to be able to carry around a proper firewall with your laptop [wink], but I'm glad that the trial period is up, so I can get rid of McAfee and all of it's annoyance. It means I have to look into an alternative (clam-av, who knows for a firewall - I wish someone would port Netfilter to Windows! [wink] ), but...I'll be so glad to get rid of this crap!
Now Playing: Velvet Elvis - Hard Head (Last Exit, Tempe, AZ)

Simple Minded Way

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, April 8, 2006 - 12:07:10 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
On Tuesday I got Simple Minded Way from K-T for our anniversary. Great album, I'm really enjoying it.

At the moment, my favorite tracks are definately the ones I already know Wishing We Weren't So, Little Birds and To Saione. Added to that list (of favorites and previously heard) is also Sail On, though I prefer the previously mentioned ones more. The two other notible mentions at this point are Weight On My Mind, Phoenix In Your Footsteps and Long Shot. Though still, the first three mentioned are definately the absolute stand outs. I'm certainly enjoying the whole record though. I think it's all I've been playing all week.

Funnily, in Little Birds I had been singing "I will be your football", which...was pretty funny. It's become obvious this week that the lyric is "foot fall". Still, the misheard lyric would make a great video - Robby Wilson morphing into a football - it'd be great! Or at least hilarious! [smile]

All things considered, this record has seemed to come out really quickly. I recall first hearing of The Longshadows in the second half of last year. On which note, when I did (previous to hearing the 4 tunes on myspace, which certainly changed things) I didn't take too much notice of the project. But, and even though it's early days, I think this is my favorite Wilson offering outside of the Blossoms.
Now Playing: The Longshadows - Little Birds

Crap Weather / Airport

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, April 7, 2006 - 09:03:20 am
(Posted Under: No Category)
I still can't believe the instantly cold snap since last Friday. Things haven't really heated up since then, and it seems a little weird. Although, this is the first April I've spent in Melbourne for two years, but still, it seems weird. On the other hand, this time of year reminds me a lot of this time last year, which is a cool thing, as I was gearing up to head out to Tempe. At this point last year I was actually in Tempe of course.

I went out the the airport last Friday to see off a collegue who was returning to Malyasia after a 3 month stay here working. I love going to the airport, so it was an opportunity that I was happy not to pass up.

Generally trips to Melbourne Airport are nostelgic about the last time I was there. Friday was an interesting experience. There was some nolstelgia, being that it 3 days shy of being a year since I was last there, headed for Arizona. In addition, there was the excitement that I was going to be back there in 40 odd days, well again to head out to Arizona. Pretty cool experience. It was also interesting how I remember being their last years so clearly, and was somewhat hard to believe it was a year ago.

Instant Winter

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, April 3, 2006 - 08:53:53 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Wow, an instant winter is upon us. I can't believe how we've gone from reasonable weather to winter in one day. Friday was absolutely freezing, and that really hasn't changed since. I could really go some heat. Good thing that I'll be in the Arizona desert in 41 days. It can not come soon enough - for many reasons.

In other news, it's time to say goodbye to daylight savings. I always hate doing that. And y'know, wasn't looking forward it being darker on the way home. Tonight it was immediately noticable, but strangely enough I really dug it. On getting home, the front fence was also gone, which despite the fact that I knew it would be, was still a shock. It's been there my whole life. It was funny, accepting it, turning the corner of the house and immediately thinking "who left the gate open?" and it taking a second to register "oh yeah, it and the fence has gone", despite that I'd walked over where the fence used to be 5 seconds prior. We are creatures of habbit indeed.

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