Churches Of Santa Fe

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosTuesday, May 30, 2006 - 12:58:10 pm (Monday, May 29, 2006 - 07:58:10 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Photobox ImageToday we went back down to downtown Sante Fe, for a lack of a better idea.

We started driving around, the city. We passed the Sancutaro De La Guadalupe, which apparently has the oldest Shrine to Mary, thought it wasn't open today, being Memorial Day. This was disappointing, as it was the biggest draw card for things to do that we had.

Since Cate hadn't seen the churches in Sante Fe on Saturday, we parked behind the Cathedral, and had a look in there. Katie, in fear, stayed outside. Having seen it earlier, I didn't need to spend a lot of time in there. I took some photos outside, while Cath and Katie started walking towards the San Miguel Misson. I took a different route, walking past Loretto Chapel, which I'd wanted to take photos of on Saturday but hadn't. Flying solo breifly was cool. The girls had a head start, and I took my time, so I was suprised when I got to Sabb Miguel Misson and Katie and Cath were just walking up the side street.

Catherine went in to look around, I felt that I didn't need to pay another dollar to look inside. When Catherine was done, we set out on search of food andd drink, winding up at the Plaza Resturant. Once inside, it didn't seem like the best choice, but we aucked it up. The food was actually fine, but the menu seemed pretty crazy.

Feeling fairly full, I went and sat in the park in the center of town, while Cath and Katie went to look at the five and dime store again. Once they were done, we headed down towards Loretto Chapel, which had been closed on Saturday for a wedding, but was open today. I felet that it was certainly worthhwhile seeing if it was - I enjoyed this Chapel. Apparently it has been featured in Unsolved Mysteries. As the story goes, the Chapel had no stairs to - well - whatever you call the secohnd level at the back of the chapel - and the nuns prayed to the Saint of Carpentry (my immense religious knowledge is really shining through at the moment, isn't it?), and on the 9th day of prayer, an unknown carpenter appeared, build the stairs, and disappeared when the job was finished, without payment. The stairs themselves were quite impressive, and I believe are archiecturally significant. Sometime later the banisters were added on request of the nuns - Katie and I both commented on how daunting walking up them without a banister would be! We both agreed this was cooler than the cathedral.

After this it was getting pretty late, and we made our way back to the car, and headed back to the hotel.

Pecos National Monument

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosMonday, May 29, 2006 - 12:12:33 pm (Sunday, May 28, 2006 - 07:12:33 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Photobox ImageToday we drve out near Pecos to check out the Pecos Pueblo and Mission Ruins. The walk to the ruins was about one and a quater mile. The ruins of the Misson was quite impressive, and both Katie and I thought it was more impressive than the misson and cathedral in town.

On the way back in the afternoon, we stopped at the Outback Steakhouse. The whole meal was spent talking about how hilarious the place was. Kookaburra Wings? (Chicken Wings).I thought it was interesting how dark the place was, which I remember being the case from the time I went in Iowa. Catherine had a margerita, but sadly didn't get to show her Australian ID. Oh well.

After that has been laying in bed, watching TV - man, being on holiday can be so tiring! [smile]

Exploring Sante Fe, New Mexico

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, May 28, 2006 - 03:52:51 pm (Saturday, May 27, 2006 - 10:52:51 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Photobox ImageAfter a welcomed late start, we heading off to explorer downtownn Sante Fe today. Driving into town was interesting - rather than any high rises, the whole area was just adobe style buildings (ain't nothin' wrong with that!). It was suprisingly quaint, with a lot one way streets.

All three of us walked around and had a look at the shops, and then stopped for lunch at Catamount Bar and Grill. Sitting outside for lunch was quite nice. As mentioned yesterday, while still warm, it's quite more mild here in Sante Fe vs. Mexico.

After lunch Catherine wanted to do some shopping on her own, so Katie and I headed towards the missions in Sante Fe. The first we headed for San Miguel Misson. This is the oldest church in the USA. It was nice looking inside, however it has been restored several times. Definately worth the trip, however I can say that I like the San Xaiver Mission in Tucson.

On the way to the mission we also stumbled across the oldest house in America, which is on the road across from the misson. We'd decided to walk past / through a treed creek, then taking a dirt back alley behind appartments. If we hadn't done this, we wouldn't have passed the oldest house in the USA and missed it altogether.

After the mission, we headed to the visitors center, to get more information on Sante Fe, not that Katie hadn't picked up enough as it is here at the Comfort Inn. This was a point of laughter, as we followed these signs all the way around the San Miguel domitory, only to find the entrance a couple of feet where we'd walked out of the mission.

After taking a break, we walked back closer to the downtown area, to look at the Cathedral in the center of town. After taking a look around inside we set out in search of a drink. The area is touristy, but places to eat and drink seemed few and far between. We finally found The Burrito Cafe, and it was just nice sitting outside eand chilling out. Katie comment on how it seemed like it was harder to breathe, because of the elevation here, though we don't think it's eztremely high.

Sitting at the Cafe, I also realised how Sante Fe, or at leaat this part, while definately has the south west feel, and is mostly adobe buildings, it also looked to me somewhat how I would expect places like New Orleans would look. Definately because of the trees around the streets, and the style of the non adobe looking buildings.

Once we'd done with our drinks and rest, wew andered back to the center of town to find Cath, and head back to the hotel.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, May 27, 2006 - 01:43:48 pm (Friday, May 26, 2006 - 08:43:48 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Photobox ImageThis morning we got up and left Phoenix around 8, headed for Sante Fe, New Mexico. Not too far out of Phoenix, like driving to Flagstaff, cactus being replaced by wooded forest and brush, quite different than Phoenix and south. Sometimee after Payson, the sceneario changed again, to dry flat plains, but different to the Phoenix area, in that there were no cactii. The scenario was much the same all the way to New Mexico. Somewhere between Phoenux and Payson we drove past Mt. Ord which was cool. At the time I think I was wrestling with my 52 ounce Coke, and missed the opportunity to take a photo of the sign.

We drove at least partially through the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. I'd wanted to go through the Painted Desert before, so this was cool. Towards New Mexico, and especially at the border there were magnificant colored mountain formations. A little over the border were stopped at a Travel Plaza, which Katie was awfully giddy about. We brought some souivineers, andd the cashier, when checking my ID was interested that I was from Australia - and maybe disppointed that I didb't say more. She asked if I lived in Australia, and what travelling we were doing. We were still on the Navajo Nation, and the store had a lot of Indian souvineers. A statue of an Indian, and the rear carpark was surrounded by huge arrows. Cool ass! [smile] Katie and I took our photos by them.

We got back onto the road, and passed signs for New Mexico, with the slogan "Land Of Enchantment", which we made fun of. The rest of the trip was long, and much the same old same old.

At some point, my camera spazed out again, this time with the new 1GB card. It stopped reading the card, but turning it off and then on, it worked again, however images seem to be missing. Namely the ones at the Travel Plaza, which is a pain in the ass. There are a bunch of scenary photos I would have minded losing, but loosing the ones of Katie and I is quite annoying. Hopefully they're still on the card somewhere, and I'll be able to retrieve them sometime in the future. The whole problems with my camera (or the cards) is kinda pissing my off.

Driving through Albuquerque we were fairly ready to be in Santa Fe. It was about another half an hour from Albuquerque. We rolled in to town, taking the time difference into account, at about 6pm. All in all, quite a drive. I didn't expect it to be as far, but then again I expected Sante Fe to be more horizontally aligned with Phoenix, rather than how far north in New Mexico it is. Albuquerque looked like another town, while Sante Fe looks very spanish, with most buildings being adobe style, which makes me happy.

After setting in, we watched some TV, we headed across the International House Of Pancakes for dinner. The waiter we had - wasn't that great. After not bringing my garlic bread, I requested for it, and he brought a piece of toast!

Interestingly, the temperature in Sante Fe is siginificantly cooler than in Phoenix, which is another thing I didn't neccesarily expect.

Tomorrow we plan to look around the city more.

Virus Free

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, May 26, 2006 - 05:12:26 am (Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 12:12:26 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Finally after what seems like forever, I have my laptop virus free again. Which has been a feat, because for whatever reason I haven't been able to get ethernet between my laptop and Katie's modem to work, so I've been using USB ethernet at 12Mb/s. Not fun when you've got 50GB of data to transfer.

I almost didn't bring the DVD's with the image of my laptop with me, and it was a damn godsent that I did. Once I got all the data off onto Katie's computer (which was the hard part), restoring the original image of my laptop was a breeze. I honestly don't know what I would have done if I hadn't of brought those DVD's, my laptop was an absolute train wreck! Which happened from installing software to recover images off my SD card that went weird last week.

But I finally now have Windows reztored, most things I need reinstalled, and the data over half copied back. The lack of photos being online is due to the time I've had to spend fixing my laptop. But I'm almost there! Horrah! [smile]

Mill To Broadway

Ruby Tuesday, Zia, Tempe Beach Park & The Long Last Lonely Mile

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosThursday, May 25, 2006 - 12:39:47 pm (Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 07:39:47 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
This morning Katie suggested that we go our for lunch. She came home from work at 12:30, and we headed downtown - with no particular destination in mind. Which would be fine normally, but Katie was on her lunch break - so I stepped up to the plate and made an executive decision - Ruby Tuesday on University. I'd wanted to go there at some point, so today was as good as any. The food was good, and the unlimited refills of drinks was quite welcomed.

After the meal Katie drove Catherine back to the apartment, and then went back to work. I decided that I needed to take a trip to Zia Record Exchange, which is literally just over Mill down three shops on Universty from Ruby Tuesday.

Photobox ImageAfter taking a few photos, I headed in - having been there before I knew exactly where to go - straight to the back of the store, like a man on a mission. The local music section down the back was quite larger than it was last year, or at least larger than I remember. I was initially disappointed that there was no copies of Laurel Canyon. I did find a suitible amount of good CD's I wanted to get. Satelitte (which I told Katie on the way to Mexico that I was going to buy it for her, so that was sweet), Beat Angels, Mill Avenue Cowboys (Tramps and Thieves), (Shelby James and The Crying Shames) and Sugar High - pretty good selection there today. I also looked at a KZON Collectiblles (Vol. 6 I think), but it didn't particularly have any cool local stuff on it, so I gave it a miss. Since it was only 2 o'clock I knew I had plenty of time to kill, so I took my time. Half way through looking through the CD's I noticed that I had gone past 'B' without getting Laurel Canyon (The Black Moods). I went back to the B section, and found 3 copies. Which made me worry what else I'd actually missed while I was browsing. I briefly looked for the Dialetrics record (which I don't even know what it is called), as a pipe dream, but of course it wasn't there. Though, I guess with Zia you never know what you'll see used.

I had a breif look at the general 'G' and 'R' sections, before going to the counter. Inhighensight, I wanted to get some Cracker CD's, which completely slipped my mind.

Photobox ImageOn leaving Zia, I deecided that instead of going back to the apartment, I would walk down to Tempe Beach Park. I walked down University past Mrs. Rita's, and turned down Ash Aveneue. It was really nice walking down Ash, and being able to take photos at my own leasure. I could feel how hot it was, and I was looking forward to / hoping that there were vendors at Tempe Beach Park selling drinks.

I made it down to Tempe Beach Park, and again it was really nice walking around and taking photos at my own pace. This time I walked around parts of the park that I hadn't before. I thought again how different, and smaller than it seemed at night at the Tempe Music Festival last year. It's still hard to believe that all of those stages fit into the park. I walked along Tempe Town Lake, and took some cool photos of downtown Phoenix with the train line over Tempe Town Lake. Then I walked over to the remains of the Ash Avenue bridge. I hardly needed more photos of it, but took some anyway.

Unfortunately there were no drinks for sale anywhere in the park, but the drinking fountains were a welcome sight. I then made my way out of the park. Being so close to Mill, I wasn't suprised of pan handling, before I'd even gotten across Rio Salado. A group of hippies had just crossed at the lights, and when passing me, one asked for a spare $10 bill. The Mill pan handlers are annoying, but are actually suprisingly nice. When I told this guy that I had no money he said "okay, have a nice day". Back at home, refuse a begger and get hurled abuse.

Photobox ImageIn anycase, I crossed over, and walked back down Mill. Being on foot it was cool to take photos of Mill Avenue. As I stopped near Fifth Street, a guy came up and asked me if I had any shrooms. Thanks to a conversation that Katie and I had a few months ago I knew what he meant. Then he asked if I had any buts, or bud - I had no idea at the time, but knew I didn't have any. (Ahh, yes, I'm so up on my illicit drug slang [smile] Katie informed me later that it was pot). Funny later looking at my photos and seeing that I have one with this guy in it! It was also humourous relaying the story to Katie, and her asking if he asked me if I wanted some shrooms - my response - "no, remmember, I was on Mill". If you're on Mill, you're always being asked, not offered! [wink] Though, all in all, there was suprisingly not much in the way of pan handlers on Mill today. I think that was the time of day more than anything though.

on reaching 7th Stree I was standing across from the sad sight of the parking lot that was once Long Wongs. Seeing the trees, news stands and phone booth just as last year, but the vacant lot instead of the adobe building of Long Wongs is just strange. I think getting to physically see Long Wongs last year really makes it weird.

I continued down to University, and headed down towards Rural. By this point, I wished I'd had my phone with my, to xall KJ and have her pick me up somewhere after work. It wasn't the distance, it was the desert heat - and the lack of any shade anywhere makes it worse. I made it to a Circle K on Rural, and purchhased a bottle of water, which I murdered in about 2 minutes outside. I could see the railroad up ahead, which runs behind Katie's apartment, so that was a glorious sight to see. Though, it was a lot further to Broadway than I would have liked. I finally made it to the Safeway on the corner of Rural and Broadway, and finished off the water and went in to get another. Even though the it was further from the Circle K to the Safeway than I thought, I was suprised how hot the last of the water had gotten in the relatively short amount of time. I went in and got some more water, and sat outside for a bit, really wishing, despite being only a few blocks from the apartment, that I had my phone with me, to call Katie and say "I'm at Safeway, pick me up on your way home!" Especially since it was getting on to five. After murdering another water, and having a smoke, I sucked it up and made the final trek back to the apartment.

It was a really nice out, and nice to be out, but I don't think I'm going to attempt to walk from Tempe Beach Park to the apartment in that sort of heat again any time soon! [smile]

Four Peaks

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosWednesday, May 24, 2006 - 02:32:33 pm (Tuesday, May 23, 2006 - 09:32:33 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Tonight Katie and I headed down to Four Peaks Brewery on 8th Street for dinner. Obviously before eating we walked past Uranus Recording next door and took some photos of the revamped studio. Not that the only difference is the huge Stratocaster on the roof, a sign replacing the Mayberry Studios sign, and the door painted blue to match the sign. It was cool, not that I still don't support the new name Uranus Recording.

We wandered back to Four Peaks - funnily enough the guy out the front checking I.Ds was reading a book on checking I.Ds! Katie commented on how appropriate that book was! Also funny, I got carded. I think that's the first time I ever have in Tempe. In anycase, we went in and grabbed a seat outside - it was such a nice night in Tempe, there was a cool breeze (the whole day had been pretty nice, considering it was the middle of May in the desert) and it was heading towards dusk. It was really nice just to sit back, relax and enjoy the great weather. I ended up having an 8th Street Ale and 8th Street Beer Batter Chicken Strips. When choices are hard, go with the meal with the cool name - or at least that's what I was say. Both were excellent! I was quite hungry, so the big serving was also welcomed. I can't think of a better way to spend tonight.

After we finished our meal, we drove down Rio Salado, which I had mentioned to Katie earlier it would be cool to do, as I've never been past Ash Ave. on Rio Salado. It was a nice drive around the east side of town, the majority of which I'd not seen before. On getting back to Mill, Katie asked if I wanted an ice-cream. Sounded great - we drove out Baskin Robbins on McClintock. Katie got an impressively gross tasting "rock 'n pop swirl". After our massive ice-creams, we decided we needed something to wash it down - on the way home, we stopped at the Quicktrip for fountain drinks. I got a 52 oz Coke - for 99 freakin' cents! Which rounded out the 20 minutes of cheap excessiveness!

Heading Back To The U.S of A

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosTuesday, May 23, 2006 - 01:49:30 pm (Monday, May 22, 2006 - 08:49:30 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Photobox ImageThis morning we woke up at 6:30am - briefly anyway. The winds coming off the Sea Of Cortez had really picked up during the night. 'Waking up' is probably an overstatement, but I did manage to haul my ass out of bed long enough to move the plastic ba of CD's that were blowing violently through some vent in the wall. I breifly looked out the window at the blue sea lapping violently at the rocky shore, thought how it would make an excellent photo, and promptly collapsed into back into bed!

We finally made a move at 10:30am, checkout being at 11 after all. By this time the sea had turned a light green colour - the wind and waves were still quite violent.

While going down to checkout, Katie pointed out the huge SUV with a RC&TPM petroglyph on the back, and that it was Roger and his family - no doubt back to sort out things with Sunset Cantina. It was funny that his family were hanging out of the SUV, and he was keeping a low profile in the drivers seat.

The whole area was quite desolate in comparision to the weekend, with most of the gringos headed back to the border yesterday or this morning. Certainly a stark contrast to the weekend, even down to the fact that we had to walk a bit to hail a taxi (as opposed to walking out of Pincate and literally having to refuse offers for a cab ride. Nether the less, we hailed down a cab down the next street and headed down to the fish market.

We did a bit of shopping, but again, the fish market was a lot different than Saturday. The influx of American's were gone, although, you could still spot the Peacemaker's fans that hadn't yet left. It felt a bit more like a foriegn place today, with more hispanic people than Americans. With fewer people, the vendors were more inclined to swoop on you today.

Photobox ImageAfter getting seperated for a bit, we met up with Catherine at Señor Shrimp. Actually, she called out to us from the balcony as we were looking for her. As we walked over there, our waiter from yesterday asked us if we wanted to eat, and ushered us in. We decided that we were just going to have a drink, and then headc back to Pincate, though ordering the drinks seemed quite hard. My Tecate was fine, it was really Catherine and Katie's cokes that were causing the issue. We finally got that sorted out (funnily enough Katie had to have a Fanta because there were no Cokes), and after a little while another waiter came out with duos Seinor Shrimp t-shirts. Katie had desperately wanted one, and Catherine had organised this while she was waiting for us. Apparently there was an issue with getting one before 2pm, and Catherine sorted that out by offer $20 if they could get them immediately - Mexico is great! [wink]

My Tecate and lime was great, I'm such a fan. Actually, I had nothing but great food and drink experiences in Mexico. I'm kinda wondering why I came back. [wink] After having our drinks, we left (not before the waiter stopped me to shake my hand, he was a really cool guy) and walked a bit to hail a taxi back to Pincate . Travelling in Mexico is great, jump in the taxi, tell the driver "Pincate!" and you are there.

Photobox ImageOnce getting back to the car, we pretty much just headed for the border. I slept on and off for most of the trip to the border line. I woke up about 10kms out of Sonoyta, which was nice - just in time for that border crossing that we haven't been that sure about - which turned out to be such a non event. The entry point as Sonoyta is so low key, in comparison to say Nogales. We drove up, told the US Border Control guy that there was on American and two Australians, handed him our passport, which he seemed to barley look at, and that was that. He was quite nice to, which was a stark contrast to the more intimidating Border Control dudes we encounted last time. It was an incredibly smooth crossing, but maybe having passports at the ready this time helped that. [wink]

Further on, between Why and Ajo we encounted a mobile check point which we'd been expecting. We followed the same procedure again. This time there were 3 officers, on both sides of the car. I had my window wound down, and the officer closest to me said "Aussies! What part are you from?". I said Melbourne, and explained where that was, and he said that he had been stationed ibn Bondi for 2 months and "when you go back, say Eric says hi!". This was pretty cool, and again, such a stark contrast to my one encounter with the US Border Control last year. I couldn't believe how nice and chatty these guys were actually. As we pulled away to continue north, he called out "cheers! - which was brillant! I've been saying that all week and people don't know what I mean! On that, the whole car let out a cheer, that SOMEONE, an AMERICAN said "cheers" to me! So, all in all, the border crossing was actually a plesent experience. We hadn't known exactly what to expect, and as it turned out, there was not an issue before.

From there we continued to Phoenix, and got into town at about 5. It was interesting being all the way out past Goodyear and seeing Southern Ave. and Broadway Rd. (Katie's street) and the fact they went all the way from there to Tempe. Though of course, we opted for the freeway to / thru Phoenix. Suprisingly the traffic was not bad, for 5pm on a Monday afternoon.

Suprisingly the temperature in Tempe is quite nice. Katie and I went down to get the mail, found a CD that we'd been waiting on, and came back up here and listened to the CD and just chilled.

A whole buttload of photos from the weekend will be up soon - as soon as I have a chance to put them up.

Circus Mexicus Recovery @ J.J's Cantina

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosMonday, May 22, 2006 - 04:48:44 pm (Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 11:48:44 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel, Circus Mexicus, Mexico Mexico)
Photobox Image This morning, there was certainly no rush to get out of bed, based on the big night last night. The only think we had on for the day was driving out to J.J's Cantina, which is the tradition post show hangout on Sunday.

After getting out of bed, I went out to the balcony to have a smoke, and took some excelelent photos of the sky. I'd been with my photo taking thus, what with not having my laptop, and not wanting to run out of memory too soon. I was even somewhat conscious of this last night. However with just today and tomorrow left in Mexico, and heaps of space left, I decided I could start to go nuts.

When Katie joined me, she insisted on having a smoke. It's pretty funny how as much as I talk about wanting her to smoke (which I know is a pipe dream), I'm was pretty hesitant to let her. It's sad how, really I don't want her to smoke. We joked about her mum worrying about her taking up smoking through me, and watching her smoke - I was reassured that there was no concern about this happening. [lol] Made for some fun photos. After Catherine arose, we tried to put Kristin's parrot back together, which wasn't all that successful, but again, made for some enjoyable photos.

By about 2 o'clock, we decided to make our way to Cholla Bay. Again, taking a lot of photos, which was good, I didn't yet have a lot of photos of Rocky Point other than at Pinacate. The drive out there was pretty cool, a dirt road out of Puerto Peñasco. As we hit Cholla Bay, Katie mentioned that Roger had a house out there.

We soon parked in the lot outside JJ's and headed up the sandy road. A SUV past us that had an Australian flag sticker on the front wind shield, which was obviously quite exciting. Certain not something I'd expect to see in Mexico, and seemed really out of place to me. JJ's was quite packed, and we ran in to Denise on first arriving, who'd said Steve and PH had been there earlier. After a while I moved out to the beach front to have a smoke, and we ended up finding a table out there. Katie and Cath when to go get drinks and food while I held the table.

I was kinda still tired, in a lathargic way, from last night, and combined with the heat, I was more than happy to just chill out and sit there. Because of the crowds, it took forever to get served, but Cath finally came back with drinks, and Katie with some food. Notibly, I had my first taco here. Definitely a big fan of Mexican food. I didn't expect the tortia to taste as oily, but I got used to that.

As it got later, we decided that we should go to attack the merch table. We'd put it off thus far, in the hope of avoiding the lines. I really felt like sitting at the table, but knew that if we wanted to get the stuff (which I did) and do the Roger meeting, we'd have to make a move). On walking back to the indoors part of JJ's, there was still a fair line, which we joined. As we got closer to the table, they had pretty much packed everything up into the duffle bags to go into the bus, which was disappointing. I definitely wanted a t-shirt, and a PHisbee. After residing to the fact that we could order them online, we stayed in line to get stuff signed by Roger. Standing in line, the "Pauly Shore" thing really hit me. In certain photos, Roger certainly looks like him, and that's even truer in person. And to whatever extent, looks somewhat cartoon-ish. It's really hard to explain, but he looks significantly younger, in a 40 years old body. I don't know, it's hard to explain. But that, plus the surrealness of being in Mexico, and Roger Clyne standing two feet away kept hitting me.

Standing in line, to whatever end, this kinda seemed trite. What with the whole Roger Clyne philosophy, and yet standing in line to take a photo / get stuff signed... It's a double edged sword, I am not oblivious to the fact that several thousand people travel south for the shows, and there is a practicality issue, sure. But then again, the way Roger advocates going to Mexico, and them never leaving a fan behind et. al., it doesn't really conjure up images of this. I had actually expected it to be them wandering around JJ's (as Nick was) rather than a U2 like meet and great. I dunno, a double edged sword, I can see both sides, but I can't deny it takes something away from it. Especially people would call out, and Rog would take his attention from what he was doing and give it to them. Added to the fact, at some point, Roger said to go "counterclockwise", changing to people at the back of the line. We'd been standing there for what felt like at least an hour, I was the triteness of it all was working on me, and I really didn't find the Counterclockwise reference cute, especially since we were close to getting our crap signed and the hell out of dodge. As it turned out, the whole counterclockwise thing didn't happen before we left - thankfully, because by the time we were next in line, I was pretty much ready to say "fuck this!" and leave.

In addition, I recognized some regulars ahead of us, in line just to get a photo with Roger. I couldn't help but feel the lameness of this. I mean, I've flown literally have way across the world, first time in Mexico, second Peacemakers show, only one for god knows when, and with all that I'm still questioning my rock cred status when it comes to standing in line. Seeing people, who I know are at literally every show, and have been to every Mexico show, still needing to have a photo with Roger (well, particularly, line-up to have a photo with Roger), the mind boggles to me how you'd fail to realize how uncool this is.

So anyway, when it became our time, it was a case of having to pick the right moment to walk up, because Roger seemed more interested (and I will concede that levels of Mexican moonshine were also working against us) in chatting to random people in the line, rather than processing the line. So anyways, once I saw my moment, I went up, said hi, and that we'd come from Australia. Which, again, maybe/probably influenced by the moonshine, had about as much weight as if I'd said we'd come from Tijuana. [wink] He signed my copy of Honky Tonk Union, and Cath's PHrisbee, and then we got a photo.

He was gracious enough, but certainly in terms of meeting my idols, the Roger Clyne experience doesn't rate. And certainly I was glad that I went for the show and Mexico experience in general, because if it had of been for the JJ's experience, it would have been a rather large let down. After getting that out the way, we exited JJ's and sat at the taco stand adjacent to have a drink, and reflect on the experience. And compare it to experiences with, for example, the extremely hospitable Scotty Johnson. [wink] All the while, keeping an eye out for Steve, who we'd hoped would show up, as Cath had still not met him. At the end of the day, we were all glad we did it (the whole line fiasco), I loved that I got my CD signed, and Catherine loved that she got her PHrisbee signed, but we all agreed that it didn't reach expectations, and no-one would be in a huge rush to do it again.

After a while having a drink, discussing the disappointment, and reeling over it (because even so, it was still a big thing, having at least said hey and had a photo with Roger Clyne), we decided to head back to Pinacate. Cath and I took some photos of the exterior of JJ's, before heading back down to the car.

On the way back we talked about Roger having a house there, and Katie tried to remember which one it was to point it out, but was unsuccessful. On getting back to Pinacate, we took it easy, lounging around, which for me, equated to taking photos.

We headed over to Cocodrillos for dinner. Again, on Sunday night, it was quite a different atmostphere to earlier in the weekend, a ghost town in comparison. This was evident by the very few people eating at Cocodrillos. Much to my amusement, Katie ordered a pizza, and Catherine ordered a hamburger, while I order a chicken fahita. All my life I have been ribbed about what I eat, and I could help but laugh, and be proud about the only one eating authentic Mexican. The night was quite, and not to be cliche, but it really felt like, as per Counterclockwise, everything had slowed down, and I definitely loved the fact that we were still there. There was no way I would have wanted to have left today. Definitely sitting at Cocodrillos was an opportunity to reflect on how awesome the whole weekend and Mexico experience had been, and how cool it was that, while slowed down, wasn't over yet. And about how much I loved it here. Obviously there was everything athetically, which I have been drawn to since I was a kid, I loved the beer (I drink beer, I never loved it before Mexico - save maybe Bud), I love the food. After ordering, we talked briefly to someone who also came in to eat, who Katie knew. Not much of consequence happened, but there was definitely something cool in the air, and that dinner is going to remain one of my (albeit many) favorite memories. Oh, the chicken fahita was awesome, as was the Tecate.

Being the last night in Mexico, I had a jonesin' to smoke the Cuban cigar I'd brought at the fish market, which I'd been thinking about before dinner, and decided that smoking it on the condo porch probably wasn't the best idea, hence we all went down to the pool. Down there, I broke into the Cuban, definitely loving the coolness of smoking a Cuban cigar in Mexico. I wanted to do it, more than anything, to say I did. And all the while, the irony that you can probably purchase Cuban's in Australia was not lost on me. [lol] But still, it was too cool, and I had to do it. While down there, we messed around with photos, with me being the butt of more jokes about being unable to keep my eyes open with the blinding flash. At one point, after Cath had gone back to the room, I snapped a photo of the palm tree beside us, which gave us the brilliant thought - Katie doing her Keith Richards impression. [lol] Which hence resulted in some very fun and entertaining photos. Ahhh, good times! [smile]

After Katie was all Keith-ed out, we made a move back upstairs to crash.


Circus Mexicus May 2006

The Show

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, May 21, 2006 - 11:03:01 am (Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 06:03:01 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel, Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Photobox ImageTime had come for the main event, the big rock show. We made a move down to the street outside Pinacate, where a line starting at the gates of the Sunset Cantina parking lot are. We jumping on the end of the line, which before long stretched all the way down the street. The intent was to go straight in, however, the line wasn't moving one bit. So I lit up a smoke, while we waited. Katie relayed that the other times had she been that you couldn't walk right into the concert venue pretty much at five. Up a down the line there was bitchin' about the wait, and cries of "just let us in". During the wait was a good photo opportunity for Katie to do her "T-Rex impression". A few people got in here and there, yet the line hardly moved. There was talk that the band had gotten held up with visas at the Mexican border, and hence the delays.

At about 6:30pm, the line started to move and before long we were inside the Sunset Cantina dirt lot, which is the concert venue. In the earlier days of the Mexico shows, it was held on the roof of Sunset Cantina, but has since grown to large and has been moved to the adjacent parking lot.

Once inside we walked around and took a look, before back tracking to the merch table at the rear of the lot, before getting drinks. It was pretty packed, and hard to make a decision, so I just got Honky Tonk Union (which I'd never brought, in hope of getting one of the limited edition double CD's - it was about time I just goddamn brought it) and Live At Billy Bob's, with the intent of going nuts tomorrow at J.J's.

After negotiating the merch table, it was off to get some cervasas. And wait. And wait. [smile] Jamie Lee came out here and there, but it seemed like the show would never start. As more people piled in, we took up a spot just south of the lighting boom. Eventually Roger came out, apologising and explaining the cause of the wait - the problem with bringing the equipment over the border, and procceded to introduce Johnny Hickman and David Lowery (Cracker) opening. This was somewhat of a disappointment, because traditionally there is a mariachi band, the opener, then the Peacemakers, and I had certainly been looking forward to seeing the mariachi band.

David and Johnny when to start, which last not long before some huge pops and cracks sounded out. Technical problems seemed to abound, which seemed like would result in much more waiting. Roger quickly ran out, again, toggled some leads and what not, and re-introduced Cracker. This time David and Johnny started, without a hitch. David in what looked like a white polyester suit and acoustic guitar, and Johnny left of stage looking bad ass, with his Lucky 7's guitar. My familarity with the songs was varied, mostly on the unfamilar side, and in highensight, I would love to go back, and familarize myself more with the Cracker repetue before the show. It was so enjoyable, not knowing a lot of the songs, I can only imagine how awesome it'd be knowing more of them. Certainly, even without the huge familarity level, I don't think I could think of a more suitable and fitting opening act. And similarly, I can't think of anywhere better to see Cracker for the first time than in Mexico. A couple of songs, including (I think) Duty Free) I recognised from Johnny playing with Steve at Last Exit on Thursday night. And hence, even if I didn't know the songs, it wasn't hard to sing along with them. Cracker songs are just good like that.

Despite the Peacemaker's setlist saying they did Eurotrash Girl, I am pretty sure David and Johnny did this, David saying that Mexico has the best eurotrash girls. Which was awesome, and received a lot of applause, although the irony became a running thing for Cate. Eurotrash Girls was great, I also distinctly remember them doing Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now). Another I didn't know, yet it took no time to pick it up (as it turns out, I'd probably heard it once or twice on a Cracker live show I have) and be screaming out "What the world needs now, is another folk singer, like I need a hole in the head!". Too much fun, I kid you not.

During the Cracker set, and after, we slowly moved forwards, settling in front of the lighting boom, which is the position we occupied for the next two sets. Night had certainly set in by this stage, although it was possible to look back, and see the absolute sea of people behind us. Which was remarkably different to when we got there, and during the Cracker set. The time between the Cracker set and Peacemaker's sets were thankfully not that long. After 15 or 20 minutes, the Peacemaker's filled out. While waiting, there had been comments about the stuffed perched on P.H's drumkit. Roger walked out, who'd previously been seen in a yellow t-shirt was adorn in a pirate outfit, as were his mates, hardy mates. Larson looked particularly bad ass, in his pirate getup. Which Katie was extremely giddy about. Nick looked suitably silly, red stripped t-shirt, and a fake mustache. Joining them was Louis Butler (ex-Muddy Violets, and RC&PM roadie) on a second drumkit, backing up P.H, who'd last month fractured his collarbone. This was his first show since the accident, and without fully recovering yet, recruited Louis to back him up. Roger apologized about the delays again, gave the Louis & PH rundown, and before long, the rock was set off, with the traditional Circus Mexicus opening - "Uno, dos, tres, quatros. Here comes another song about Mexico...." as fireworks go off above the stage. Rock n' roll.

It took no time at all to think how cool the whole thing is, the rock 'n roll, under the sky on the coast in Mexico. I definitely thought of how cool the stage, particularly with the palm trees backdrop behind it looked, and how the whole thing looked a lot different to how I'd always pictured it (always picturing it literally on the beach) and that I preferred what it was, rather than what I'd pictured.

The concert was a lot different to my experience of seeing the band last year, which had more of a feeling of taking it in, as opposed to just absolutely rocking the fuck out. Last year I'd had been right at the front of the stage, and I also thought how I was more happy with the position we had for this show, and that I really couldn't be bothered trying to deal with the crazyness of a Circus Mexicus front row place.

It's hard to do a blow by blow account of a rock show spanning 3 sets and probably 3 or 4 hours! It'd been a reasonably hot day, and the sheer volume of people packed into the Sunset Cantina lot meant that didn't really change once the sun went down. The dirt was not by any stretch of the imagination, and combined with the growing piles of Tecate cans, it really was a road dog experience, especially having stood around so long waiting for the show to start - the dust and the grease and the grit and mud. Katie was a trooper, putting up with my domestic violence - smacking her in the head with my new cowboy hat, more or less everytime I leaned in to note something. Considering the volume of people, being in Mexico for a weekend of drinking and debauchery, the crowd was better than I expected, only a few fights breaking out in our vacinity. The band ripped through song over song, Roger being quite funny through a lot of them, and Larson with that pained facial expression as he ripped through every solo. Throughout the night, different costumes loosing authenticity, however Larson, the one you'd least expect to be comfortable in a pirate outfit, kept all his getup the whole time. Rock 'n roll. The band played Your Name On A Grain Of Rice early in the first set, which Katie noted to me that I got my Name On A Grain Of Rice. I'd noted a lot before the trip how I'd be pissed if 1) PH didn't play and 2) They didn't play Your Name On A Grain Of Rice.

Towards the end of the first set (I believe, though it could have been later) Roger announced that Sunset Cantina was completely out of beer. Pretty impressive. The back story being that this show was the biggest circus Mexicus turn out ever, combined with the fact that the owners of Sunset Cantina had had a death in the family a few days earlier, which effected organising beer for the show. Apparently throughout beer had been supplied from other Cantinas, and that two dried up.

The first set was closed with Preacher's Daughter, after which Roger announced that the band would be back in 15 minutes, not before reminding everyone to pace themselves, it was going to be a long night. Once the rock stopped, the sheer pain of walking around the fish markets today, combined with the standing in line for the show, plus standing for about 2 hours thus far with Cracker and the Peacemakers, all of a sudden became obvious. We talked somewhat about going back to the condo, and coming back later, which I actually considered. It takes a lot for me to give up on the rock, but I felt okay with it, that's how sore my feet were. And I'd felt that I'd adequately rocked out during the first set. Cath went to get some drinks, and during the time she was gone, I thought about waiting the whole last 12 months to be here, all the bullshit, long days at work - and I'm bitching about my feet being sore? Fuck that. Not that they weren't, but there was no way I wouldn't regret missing any over the show. Not tonight, I felt okay with it, but it wouldn't take me long to want to kick myself if I did. I've got plenty of time once I go back over the border/fly back from the US for my feet to recover, so suck it up pussy! It wasn't hard then to decide that I definitely was going to keep rocking out!

About 15 minutes later, the band returned, and launched into Mexicosis. Which I immediately thought how this was my first time hearing it live (it was the live debut of it, which was earlier released on Four Unlike Before this year), in Mexico, and would be the test of the song. If I couldn't like it under these circumstances, I couldn't like it. Admitadly, it was more enjoyable than it previous has been, but still - the worse song Roger has ever written. [wink] In anycae, Blue Colar Suicide, Wanted, ¡Americano! and Interstate followed. All which confirmed that leaving and listening to the show from the condo just wasn't an option. Definitely with Interstate which was awesome to see live, with Katie beside me. The rest of the set consisted of much of the same rocking out, and taking some photos here and there throughout. The only downside to where we were was the ability to take good photos. It was pretty much hold the camera as high as I could, and hope for the best. But that didn't bother me at all. Never Thought was another great one to hear in Mexico, and think about the fact of being in Mexico yelling "I never thought I'd go this crazy", and thinking about the last year, and how there is nothing as liberating. Not suprisingly, Roger went through a slew of sombreros, notible a ridiculously huge "Mexico" one, and a "The Office" one. Somewhere throughout this set, Roger got word that the tents were now also out of Tequila. The whole place was running dry, fast. Several times through he referenced the beer situation, obviously impressed with the feat of the crowd. At the end of the second set, which was probably an hour an a half, some more bobbing occurred, to try to allieve the pain of standing for so long. Certainly we felt more worn at this point, but with one set to go, the home stretch was in sight. Before Roger left the stage, he reminded everyone to pace themselves, though by this stage, Rog sounded like he needed to heed his advice also. [wink]

By the third set, the crowd had thinned out a bit, and I ventured a bit closer to the stage. After a while, Roger came back out, with Johnny Hickman, who incidently was also in full pirate getup, them both taking the stage for a duet of Green & Dumb, with Johnny on mandolin. Katie had said how awesome this was last year, and was something I was really looking forward to. After it, the rest of the band, including David Lowery came out, playing the entire third set / encore. Which was a mixture of Cracker songs, and Peacemakers songs, which was entirely cool to see. By this stage, I was fairly worn out, but had no trouble rocking it out, knowing I could pass out soon.

For such a long show, it's impossible to remember what was played, but this is the setlist according to people who scored them (striked songs weren't actually played):

Set 1.
  1. Mexico
  2. Bury My Heart At The Trailer Park
  3. I Don't Need Another Thrill
  4. Banditos
  5. Broken Record
  6. Colorblind Blues
  7. Horses
  8. Mexican Moonshine
  9. Sonoran Hope And Madness
  10. Your Name On A Grain Of Rice
  11. Feeling
  12. West Texas Moon
  13. City Girls
  14. Beautiful Disaster
  15. Captain Suburbia
  16. Little Hung Over You
  17. King Of The Hill
  18. God Gave Me A Gun
  19. Leave An Open Door
  20. Jack vs. Jose
  21. European Swallow
  22. Preacher's Daughter
  23. Set 2
  24. Mexicosis
  25. Blue Colar Suicide
  26. Wanted
  27. Americano!
  28. Interstate
  29. Tell Yer Momma
  30. Never Thought
  31. Down Together
  32. Better Beauitful Than Perfect
  33. Loco To Stay Sane
  34. Easy
  35. Honky Tonk Union
  36. Don't Wanna Know
  37. Psychosis
  38. Mekong
  39. Switchblade
  40. Love, Come Lighten My Load
  41. Leaky Little Boat
  42. Girly
  43. Encore
  44. Green & Dumb
  45. Bottom Of The Bay
  46. Low
  47. Take The Skinheads Bowling
  48. Eurotrash Girl
  49. Counterclockwise
  50. Nada
After the show we headed back to the condo, to prompt flop out the couch and rip our shoes off. There was some talk about going out (it was around 11 or 12), but at the end of the day, I don't think our feet would have carried us anywhere.

The Fish Market & Vendors

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, May 21, 2006 - 10:28:14 am (Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 05:28:14 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel, Mexico Mexico)
Photobox ImageWaking up, in Mexico, in a sweet condo, with a view over looking the ocean, there isn't much better!

This morning, after getting ready, we headed out for breakfast, settling for Crocodrillos, at the end of the street. All round we order pancakes. I've, since Iowa in 1999, held the US in high regard for pancakes. Today, Mexico was added to the list. Crocodrillos anyways, these pancakes we awesome. I couldn't say enough about them, and ended up finishing the girl's ones too. It was a breakfast of champions. I actually couldn't wait to come here again tomorrow for breakfast, all the while completely feeling that at the moment I couldn't fit another thing in.

Outside in the outdoor eating area, there was a guy wearing a blue Mexican wrestling mask. I think he was the one who became infamous on this trip. Either way, kinda hilarious to see at breakfast. At some point Denise and her crew came in, who we talked to briefly.

Crocodrillos was really cool, brightly painted. Sitting there, subtle difference were noticeable and so cool. Like the fact that there were young children working there. Something you don't typically see, however in Mexico the whole family element is so evident. For me, this was as cool to witness first hand as anything else. The other difference I got to notice at Crocodrillos was when I went to the bano. On the way down to Mexico we'd talked about the plumbing situation, and the fact that you're not supposed to flush the paper - however, Pinacate has full plumbing. However, at Crocodrillos this was not the case, and there was a big sign by the basin (which actually was significantly different to what you'd expect itself) not to flush the paper.

Photobox ImageAfter breakfast, we headed back to the room briefly (not before taking some snaps of one of the Circus Mexicus decorated SUV's we'd seen yesterday), before heading out the front to catch a taxi down to the fish market, where all the vendors are.

Once we got down there, we hit the stalls. It was quite busy, and it was obvious that the majority of people walking around were here for Circus Mexicus, and there were a lot of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers shirts to be seen (on people, not for sale). We walked around, looking at the stores, myself looking particularly for t-shirts and a cowboy hat, which I definitely had to buy in Mexico. Katie had told me that there were "Fuck you, you fucking fuck!" Puerto Peñasco shirts also, and I knew I had to have on of these! [smile]

Before long, the girls decided the wanted to have lunch. I had no problem with this, but I was still fairly full of pancakes, and lunch wasn't calling me. We decided on going to Senor Shrimp, located directly above the fish markets. With my rather interesting and sensitive sense of smell, I had to take the scenic route around the parked cars, and then hold my breath up the impressively narrow staircase. Me and the overpower smell of fish - we no go well together. [wink]

Anyways, once at Senor Shrimp, a waiter seated and served us. He chatted to us for a bit, was quite funny and charming. Seriously, I loved this guy, and soley based on how good natured he was, couldn't wait to come back to Mexico, to return to Senor Shrimp. We orders, and I just had a Coke, and picked at Cath's chicken fahita, because there was no way I was actually hungry. Which was kinda frustrating, because the fahita was awesome, and I really wanted to order one myself! Definitely sitting there, much like at Crocodrillos, I was lapping up the whole Mexico experience, and feeling that nothing could be better than this.

After lunch, we walked down along the beach, where we ran into the nicest drug dealer, I've ever met. Well, y'know, I haven't met many drug dealers, but that doesn't underscore the fact. [smile] After asking us if we needed any weed, or other substances and it became obvious we weren't looking, him trying to sell anything went completely out the wind. Like I've mentioned previously, say "No", and that's it - and rather than either trying to push the matter, or just leaving (either of which I'd expect at home or in the US), the guy started chatting about where we were from, and where he was from. Again, a really cool guy. Anywhere else, I'd expect to be on edge in this situation, and would expect that moreso in Mexico. The only hesitation I had was having the police drive past and it look like we were buying dope from this guy. [smile] In anycase, we had a five minute conversation with him, before he told us not to let ourselves get ripped off by the vendors, and was on his way.

From here, we made our way up one of the streets, looking more intently for a hat - the day getting later, and I knew I really needed to find one and buy it. Down this street I did, and pretty much finding one that looked good on me, I was too excited to barter for it. I asked the vendor how much it was, and both Cath and Katie said that the vendor looked disappointed that I just reached for my wallet, rather than haggling for it. [smile] Which was pretty much the living in western society coming into play - if you find something perfect, and you have the dosche, grab it while you can. This is definitely how my mind was working, at least until the girls were laughing at me. [lol] Then I felt like I'd let the guy down, and wanted to go back and haggle with him! [lol] Katie said that I pretty much got ripped off, paying US$18 (I think) for it, but it's a bitchin' hat.

From there, we back tracked, and Cath went off on her own, which Katie and I continued on her quest to find Kristin the perfect ceramic parrot. There were plenty of vendors selling, and you'd think it'd be an easy task. Not so, when it came to finding the perfect one. However, we finally did! I'd also decided, in addition to buying t-shirt for people back home, I needed to get myself a singlet, not just for the coolness Mexico factor, but because of the heat factor, it'd be a good investment. On finding one, and negotiation a price, Kristin's parrot suffered a traumatic injury. It was somewhat comical how the vendor selling the singlet saw this immediately as a budding business opportunity immediately announcing "buy on here, I'll give you a good price". [smile] Alas, his inventory couldn't compare to the perfect, albeit damaged, or should I say, in pieces, parrot. [smile] Anywho, this meant the search for ceramic parrots was re-instated. The funny prelude to the story is that the singlet I brought was not a good fit, and more or less made me look like a four dollar whore, or a bad pimp! [lol]

We soon caught up to Cath, who was in the market for both a cowboy hat and a Mexican blanket, and we decided we needed to start making our way back for the big rock show. We milled around on the main street for a taxi, which proved to be fruitless, hence we decided to walk up away from the vendors, in the hopes of catching a taxi on it's way in.

While turning a corner at the end of the street, a vendor tried to offload us some cheap shrimp, to which we said we were good, we just wanted a taxi. In turn, he informed us that his friend had a taxi, and he'd give him a call. Now, in Mexico, you can get anything for a bit of dinero. We'd previous talked about how, if you want a beer, you can tell a kid you want one and will pay them, and you'll soon have a cold beer in your hand, without having to move a muscle. Now, I had no idea if this was this charm of Mexico at work here, or something more sinister. It was about the only time, in the whole four days that I felt somewhat uneasy - especially after we declined, and continued walking up the street (which was quite deserted in comparison to the main street) and the guy followed us, quite a way, repeating his offer. Both Katie and Cath were taking the approach of what you do elsewhere, ignore him, and that is well and good, but I was at the end of the pack (the dirt sidewalk was only wide enough for one person), and if anything was going to happen, it was going to happen to me. Or to me first. [wink] He followed us for what seemed like forever (and in reality probably wasn't), and was certainly a relief to me when I heard him give up and return to his stall. [smile] By all accounts, he could have / was probably just looking to make a few bucks for his friend, and I certainly didn't want to be rude in this case, but at the same time, I could see the potential for this being where the whole Mexico experience goes south. [wink]

In anycase, we got to the end of the street, where we waited for a taxi. It was nice to take a break, still being slightly startled by what had just happened. Then all of a sudden, a guy in a suit comes walking towards with a clipboard, asking us if he could talk to us. No doubt he was trying to sell property or something such, but a taxi pulled, and so we all pilled in, before the guy could actually say what he was selling or doing. Which y'know know, I wasn't disappointed about. We took the short trip back to the condos, before hitting the shower and getting ready for the show.


Friday Night Pre Show

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 04:44:43 pm (Friday, May 19, 2006 - 11:44:43 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
We walked dow to the street, to hail a taxi, to go to Manny's. Not that we need to hail one - over the weekend, rather than hailing, you needed to decline when you didn't need one. Each time you walked out onto the street, and a driver would call out, looking for business. I can say this for Mexico in general - people are always trying to sell you something or a service, but they're gracious when you say no - unlike in the US or Australia, if you tell someone you're not interested, they leave you alone, rather than trying to convince you to make a sale. Another thing that is nice is having to exhert little energy to get a taxi.

We all piled into the back seat (as at this point I did not know whether it was kosher to sit in the front) and told the driver to head to Manny's. Of the whole weekend, this was the craziest taxi ride, and even this one, in my books was pretty tame. The taxi itself had a cracked winshield, and the driver, who was quite socialble drove somewhat eratically, but - I was hoping for something a bit more crazy. Not too crazy, but point being, with even that ride I wasn't concerned at all. I also didn't bother with seat belts - probably the place we're you need to wear a seatbelt the most, but it just didn't feel right to do. [wink]

Taxis in Mexico are great - where ever you want to go, it's $2 per person. Awesome! During this taxi ride we got to experience more of the dusty roads and abandonment of road rules and speed limits. I loved this - the Pincate condos were quite cosy and resorty. While that rocked, I was ready for some real Mexico experiences! [smile] One getting to Manny's, our driver told us where we had to go and told us to have a good time and get fucked up - he was a cool guy.

We jumped out of the taxi, and headed down to Manny's, which, well like everywhere we went, was right on the beach. This side of town was much much more Mexican. We did a lap of the bar (which was a bar, and a huge pergola type thing), and didn't see many people we knew. The place was packed, but it seemed like the majority of people were kids on spring break. We did spot a couple of Peacemakers shirts and familar faces though.

After walking around, we lined up for drinks, which was....quite an affair. Manny's definately needs to hire 7 more bar tenders - or even just 7 bar tendners. After a really long wait in the heat of a crowd we got drinks and headed to one end of the bar where there was some breathing space. We more or less secured this spot all night. This also happened to be next to the ladies bathrooms, which were closed, and hence I found myself answering the question "are these open?" a lot during the night! Those bathrooms were also became my one Mexico regret - a Mexican hooker came up to me, I lost my erection, hence I have to lie in the letters to the boys back home. No. But come on, I had to use that lyric somewhere!!! [smile] Okay, so my actual Mexico regret. Manny's is a drinking establishment for homosapiens, and pets are not allowed. So, the woman's rest rooms said "Ladies Restroom" and then beside it "No Dogs Allowed". My regret is that the batteries in my camera were flat. The most fucking hilarious photo, one I was going to be so proud of, but it never came to fruitation. But in anycase, I had a good laugh at that, and can relay the story. Even if I don't have my brillant photo!

On one of the drink runs (which we'd decided after the first one that not everyone needed to partake in every time), a couple camme up to me (yes, actually to ask what the deal with the restroom was! [smile] ), and introduced themselves, saying that'd seen us at the Last Exit pre-party in Tempe on Thursday night, and asked where the two girls I was with were. It was cool having someone there to talk to. We talked about the Peacemakers and Tramps and Theives, and seemed impressed we'd come all the way from Australia for the show.

The rest of the Manny's experience wasn't too eventful - Catherine drank more, and tried to get Katie to drink more - which thankfully she didn't. By 11, Manny's was pretty crowded, still with no-one we knew, so we decided to make a move. Though apparently the band showed up there later on. We stopped at the store outside Manny's and Catherine and Katie brought some stuff, before we headed down the street. We were headed somewhere, I think, but I don't neccesarily recall where. It was cool walking around the dusty dirty streets of Mexico slightly buzzed (so much more fun that walking around in Melbourne half cocked wanting to go home), though of course I had to keep a watchful eye on both of the girls as well. But - just really fucking cool! We walked past Around Da Corner, where Jack vs. Jose (The Peacemakers) was playing on the jukebox, hence it wasn't too hard of a decision to step inside. Actually, just after leaving Manny's we walked past a titty bar, but neither of the girls would let me go in! Hmmph. Narks! [smile] So anyways, we wandered into Around Da Corner. Aside from being an actual building, a very nice difference to Manny's was someone immediately asking if we wanted a drink, rather than having to wait in line! sweet! [smile] We got our drinks, and sat down at a table. The jukebox (which actually seemed to be a computer with Winamp on it - which was suprising. Most if not all places in Mexico had the older style electronic cash registers, so a computer in a bar was slightly out of place) seemed to be one Peacemakers song for each non Peacemakers song - who can complain with that?!? Not I amigo, not I!

We had a couple of drinks there, and ran into our friends from Manny's, before deciding to make a move. Katie and I were thinking of making a move to Pincate, while Catherine was quite obviously thinking of the next bar. [wink] Standing around outside of Around Da Corner suddenly the power went out across the whole town. Which again, sounds like it'd be more alarming that it was. I think this was probably being surronded by so many gringos, things like that didn't seem that threatening. Maybe it was the buzz to. Despite that, after not too long, Katie and I both agreed that it was time to hail our closest friendly local taxi driver and head back to Pincate. Well that, and convince Catherine that was the best plan too. [wink] We walked up to where we'd been dropped off earlier, past the influx of policia that had arrived with sirens flashing to deal with the town wide blackout, and before long were in a taxi heading back to the condo.

Here Comes Another Post About Mexico

Travelling To Puerto Peñasco, MX

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, May 20, 2006 - 11:21:34 am (Friday, May 19, 2006 - 06:21:34 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
"I just can't help myself, got my lures and my bobbers and now I'm gonna go..."

Another post about Mexico, but the all important one. We headed off for Mexico this morning. It was a nice drive south of Phoenix, the desert a lot more brown than it was last year. I also thought the scenary was suitably different to the Tucson / Nogales trip to the border last year. Sun beating down, Dead Hot Workshop playing on the stereo, really nice!

We made a pitstop in Ajo for gas, drinks and photos before continuing on down to the dusty Mexican border line. We made another bathroom stop literally outside of the border. This was cool when I realised we were in Gringos Pass, which there is a Whalen song about.

Photobox ImageWe continued a few meters down to the border crossing. Seriously a lot more low key than the one in Nogales. There was no passport check or anything, we just continued on. A little way into Sonoyta (the border town on the Mexico side), we stopped to give collectors some loose change. At this point we had Americano! playing, and Americano! (the track) was on. A policia was directing traffic as Roger sung "La policia's asking questions, say you don't know nothin' and you ain't seen a thing." Too freaking cool!

We continued on the Sonoyta, which did loolk suitably more like Mexico, which was cool. Obviously the landscape looked the same as Arizona most of the way to Puerto Peñasco (accents to be added at a later stage), and the highway seemed quite good. For the most part the only indication of being in Mexico was the road signs which we're in kilometers per hour, and of spanole. [smile]

As we got closer to Puerto Peñasco, the desert became much more sandy. All in all it was about an hour from the border to Puerto. Hitting the town, to me, it didn't seem a that much different to smaller towns in southern Arizona. It reminded me a lot of Tucson actually. It was cool, just not the huge culture shock I was looking for! We drove through town, and then turned off the main drag onto the road that leads to Sunset Cantina and Pincate condos. "This is what I'm talking about!" This was the Mexico I was looking for - dirty dusty roads, people everywhere, and eratic driving! [smile] It was only a short way to our destination. Turning onto the short road that where Pincate was situated, it was packed with gringos there to see Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.

Photobox ImageWe parked and checked in, and then headed over to the condos (right opposite of the resort checkin, next to Sunset Cantina). One of the first culture differences thing I noticed was that the boomgate for the parking lot of Pincate was not electric, there was a guy whose job is to pull it up everytime a car needs to go in.

We parked, got our stuff together, and headed up to the condo. It took a bit to find ours, and walking through the complex I looked out down one of the stair wells, where there was a window looking over the ocean. The view of the ocean and the dropping sun beaming of it was spectacular. I knew that once we got situated I was going to have to goo back and take a photo.

After working the full length of the third floor, we found room #315. Now, if anyone is going to Puerto Peñasco, I highly recommend the Pimncate Condominiums! $119 a nigiht for a 2 bedroom, kitchen, laundry, living room, TV, CD player fully furnished condo in my opinnion was awesome! The only complaint I had was the size of the balcony compared to some others, and that complaint did not last long. [smile] Also I expected more of an ocean view, though I got over that really quickly also! [smile]

Photobox ImageCatherine took off for a walk, and Katie and I got ourselves situated. Once Catherine got back, we grabbed the camera and took a walk down to the beach, and of course, snapping that photo I wanted on the way down the stair well. Walking out on the beach, someone who we didn't know said "finally, you made it!", which was weird. [smile] A lot of fans who'd gotten there earlier in the day were already travelling well!

We walked past the Pen Del Sol (actual name to be corrected later) which is next door to Pincate. There had been talk of renovation there on the Peacemakers board earlier this year, and it was interesting to see that the rooms were pretty much gutted. Renovations indeed! In anycase, we walked down along the shore to the beach front, past the vendors on the beach. A few small girls came up to Katie, selling shells or wanting to braid her hair. Funnily enough hearing Katie say "No gracis" was strange. "Si gracious" isn't, but "no gracious" sounds like half english and half spanish, although it's entirely full proper spanish. I certain was able to embrace this later on, but the first few times, it sounded strange to me.

We headed down to the water, and Katie dipped her feet in. We were asked if we wanted a ride on the banana boat, which we declined, and Katie promptly told me about her previous traumatic bananana boat experience.

After milling around at the waters edge for a bit, we made our way back to the condo. A little while later I made the same trip more or less with Catherine. On the way back we also walked down to la famacia to get - to get what I don't exactly remember. Well, I wanted some deodorant I think. I'd really found being in Mexico not a big deal. Turning onto the street that leads to Pincate was the first, and one of the very few times when I felt even slightly uneasy. Walking past Cocodrillo's (on the corner) there was a black van parked with it's doors opened, and that was one of the few times even images of the dangers of Mexico flashed through my head. Obviously though, it was not a big deal at all.

We walked down a bit further to la famacia. The place was filled with obvious Peacemaker fans, stocking up for the weekend. It was weird looking at the items, and seeing for example, a small can of deodorant for $45! Even though you know it can't be dollars, it's weird to see, and hesitance to even walk up to the counter with it. Though I guess this was a first time thing, it didn't take much to become acoustomed to it. As it turns out, a peso is 10 American dollars, which made it a lot more reasonable. [wink] Well, still $4.50 for a small can of deodorant was still pricy in heighensight. [smile] Given the dry head and consntant sweat, I didn't need to be frugal though. [smile]

Anyways, after our la famacia experience, we headed back to the condo, to get ready to go out to Manny's, the typical Friday night pre show hangout.

Last Exit Mexico Pre Party

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, May 19, 2006 - 04:25:09 pm (Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 11:25:09 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Travel)
Photobox ImageTonight we headed down to Last Exit to catch Steve Larson opening the pre Mexico party down there. Steve was supposed to go on at 9, and we didn't get there until after night, to find nothing happening. The frustrating part was that Brian Blush was playing at Yucca, which we were hoping to catch also.

As it turned out, Steve postphoned his set until the Sun's game finished, and ddidn't go on until after 10 - which meant we definately missed Brian. Though, when the man in black (Steve) plays it's all worthwhile, and things were all good when he took the stage. There weren't a lot of people at Last Exit, so we were able to grab seats against the wall, which made the wait easier. While sitting there, Katie told me that Johnny Hickman (Cracker) was standing next to me. Before Steve played, I went out for a smoke, and talked to a girl about Mexico and Tempe bands, who Katie later informed me was Corinne. Or the Corinne - she introduced herself, and I figured she was another Corinne.

Steve started his set, which was pretty typical - originals, and Cash / Jennings covers. At some point he references his Esteban guitar, which Katie and I got a good laugh out of. Towards the end of the set, he introduced his special guest, Johnny Hickman, who went up and played two songs with Steve. Then Steve finished off with a couple of songs.

We milled around while Tramps and Theives set up. Aaron had called, and Katie was ready to go, but I told her that we should hang out for a few songs, especially given Emmitt's comments on Wednesday night. (The fact that Katie always leaves when Tramps play). I enjoy Tramps a lot, but I noticed that they sound much more rocky (vs. country) in the flesh. We stayed for three or four songs, all but one that I knew, so it was quite enjoyable! After those songs, I decided it was a good time to head over to Sugar Daddies to see Aaron. So, we made a move, leaving Last Exit. In the car park Katie called Aaron, and got onto Tom who said Aaron was passed out in his truck! [smile] Ahh, Roeder! If I'd only known, I'd have totally stayed and watched the rest of Tramps and Theives - but oh well. So instead of heading out to Sugar Daddies, we drove back to the apartment. We had talked about going over to Yucca to see what was happening, but Katie wasn't feeling well, so once at the apartment we agreed to call it a night.
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - End Of The World

Mark Zubia and Emmitt De Guvera Acoustic

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 03:30:28 pm (Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 10:30:28 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Travel)
Tonight we went to see Mark Zubia and Emmitt De Guvera acoustic at RT O'Sullivan's in Mesa. We initially went and sat at the bar, but a few songs into it Emmitt told us to come and sit at the tables up front. On walking down there, he said hi to me, which was cool. It was a musician's showcase sort of setup, where Mark would lead on a song, and then Emmit etc. etc.

Before the end of the set, Emmitt mentioned Tramps and Thieves (his band) playing the Last Exit Pre Mexico pary tomorrow night and said that everyone should come. This then turned into this hilarious diatribe about Roger. After the set, the both came over and talked to us about it, which was really funny.

There were a good deal of Pistoleros tunes in the next set, thanks to Emmitt. I believe his exact words were "because those guys (us) are here to see Zubia / The Pistoleros songs". Worked fine for me. He played "a bastardized version" of Everybody Sometimes, and then Mark followed that up with Sara Says. Emmitt kept talking to a Sara at the bar, and I wondered at some point if it was Sara Cina, though as it turns out, it wasn't. In anycase, it's always great hearing songs you know.

Mark and Emmitt's between song (and during song) banter was hilarious. It was like seeing a comedy act in addition to a musical act. [smile] And it's always value for money when the musicians heckle themselves more than the audience. In addition the the Pistoleros / Los Guys songss I knew, they also played some Tramps and Theives songs I knew - L.A (which I thought was called something else, and...argh, the name escapes me at the minute, but it was the last song played. At some point someonne requested Jesus Shake My Shoulder, which would have been cool to see, but Emmitt refused to play it.

Another comical part was people requesting Radio (Los Guys), which they'd already done, and Emmitt ripping himself on not knowing the verses. It was a somewhat long self deprication session between Emmitt and Mark (or, Mark giving Emmitt shit [smile]), but suprisingly they ended up doing the song again.

We'd actually thought about going to see Strange Young Things at Hollywood Alley and skip Mark and Emmitt (because we thought they'd be done by the time the baseball game was over), but I'm glad we decided on a whim to head down to RT O'Sullivan's.

Botanical Gardens / Diamondbacks Game

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosPhotosThursday, May 18, 2006 - 07:57:11 am (Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 02:57:11 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Photobox ImageAfter doing some stuff around the apartment this morning, this afternoon Catherine and I went out to the Botanical Gardens in Tempe. It was really hot today, but actually didn't seem all that bad when walking around the gardens.

This time around, it was cool having my own camera, and the ability to take an unlimited amount of photos. Which I took full advantage of. I took some great artistic shots also, but something strange happened while copying them off the card and I lost more or less 3 quaters of them. Not too happy about that at all.

Katie came and picked us up when she got off of work, to head out to Phoenix for the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres at Field. Again, I took some great photos, but they're now lost in the ether of 0's and 1's, which again is pretty disappointing. The stadium was quite impressive. I've noticed it from different points around town (and flying in / out of Phoenix), you can't miss it, but it's the first time I've been in it.

Photobox ImageCatherine really enjoyed the game, and was constantly asking Katie different things about how baseball worked. I thought it was pretty funny, given that Katie isn't neccesarily the best person to ask, and all of her answers could have been (probably were [wink]) lies. [smile] I thought it was pretty cool, but also was almost falling asleep halfway through (remember, I have been up since 3:30am). And one stage I had to go for a walk around the stadium to wake myself up.

On getting back to our seats, the game started to get a bit interesting - in that it looked like the Diamondbacks were coming back. But alas, it wasn't enough - we stuck around for the 9th inning (which we hadn't neccesarily planned to), to see the Diamondbacks loose 14 to 10.


(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 04:37:34 am (Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 11:37:34 am MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
So, this is the first time meeting Diggs (days ago - I'm just late in writing about it). My immediate thought was suprise at how incredibly narrow he is. He's long ass length wise, short ass heigh wise and just amazingly amazingly skinny width wise. It took a couple of days to get used to. His snout is also very long and amazingly narrow.

He's quite a good dog. Katie and I were actually commenting on how good he has been. He's as nosey as you like, he has to be in everything, wants to know everything you're doing at every moment, but he's relatively well behaved. Though, that's not neccesarily a good thing - he was quite obedient on Sunday afternoon before Katie's guitar lesson. I was alseep on the floor, and the girls instructed him to lick my face and wake me up - we he obediently did, much to my rage. [smile]

I think he is enjoying the extra company a lot. I totally have a new smoking buddy. Anytime I go out to the porch he's right behind me following me out. And at the moment he is sleeping right next to me, pressed up against my leg. He's such a great little dog. I think he's going to be upset when we leave!
Now Playing: The Black Moods - The Black Moods (08/30/2005 - Last Exit, Tempe, AZ)


(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 11:20:51 pm (Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 06:20:51 am MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
Some random comments about the trip thus far.

One thing that has really stood out thus far is that I have to keep reminding myself that I am halfway across the world. It really doesn't feel like it this time around. Last year it stood out like a sore tooth. "Oh my god, I'm in Tempe Arizona!" was such an overused thought running through my head constantly. And I guess it was slightly less so than my first trip to America, but certainly there was no forgotting that I was in the US of A. This time around, and of course it is exciting, and I have my moments, but it's a lot different. It's not foreign, I know it. It's what I do. It was even true of the flight, "it's just what I do". And I think that was a godsent in LA actually, given the somewhat stressfullness of making it to the flight to Phoenix. I knew exactly what we had to do, and where we had to go, and was really not a huge deal in that regard. And I think that made it a lot more palitable for Catherine, just being able to follow my lead and not have to worry about anything.

The same thing was true of touching down in Sky Habour in Phoenix, and the drive out to Tempe. It's like home. Rather than Katie being tour guide, I was pointing out things like A mountain, ASU etc. etc. The accents don't phase me anymore. Last year I got used to them, but initially they really stood out. The driving on the wrong side of the road, the different cars, all the small differences (and there are many) just aren't that notible to me this time around. Certainly in the past it's been more intimidating (in a fine way, just conscious that you're in a foriegn place), but I really don't get this that time around. I feel so much less relient on Katie, less worried that I'll ask for a Coke and get a cake [wink] (or rather, a strange look). It's a cool thing. And more to the point, fitting. The feeling of things being really foriegn and somewhat intimating is really cool and exciting, and I really would not give up it being that way last year. And to whatever extent - I prefer it - or something. But certainly I feel that it's really cool that I feel this way this time around, and feeling more at ease and independant is awesome. And is fitting for this time around, given that Katie is working a lot more this time around.

I even noticed this at Last Exit on Saturday night. Last year it was just amazing, and unbelievable to be standing at Last Exit. This time around, it immediately felt just like my local hangout. It's really cool. [smile]

In addition to that, it doesn't seem like I've been away for 13 months. God, they were a painfully long 13 months, but once hitting town again, it kinda felt like I'd never left. Standing at Last Exit, it seemed like it was only yesterday that I was there! It's really felt just like coming home, rather than travelling halfway across the world.

It probably makes life easier for both Katie and Catherine, Katie not having to be the absolute tour guide, and Catherine having someone who knows the town reasonably well when Katie isn't around.

In anycase, a really cool and notible thing. [smile]

Arizona Morning

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosWednesday, May 17, 2006 - 10:16:11 pm (Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 05:16:11 am MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
After passing out at around 8 o'clock while House was on, I woke up this morning at around 3 and couldn't get back to sleep. So it was a good time to wander out onto Katie's porch for a smoke. I actually fell asleep out here last night for about half an hour. There was a storm rolling in last night a bit before we left Katie's work. It was kind of a non event, but looked really cool seeing the storm out on the horizon against the mountains surrounding the valley. It was also cool to smell the rain in the desert - the typical rain smell, but with an added scent of the desert. Hence falling alseep out here last night, it was quite humid, but nice.

Photobox ImageThis morning at 3am it was quite cool (not cold by a long shot, but relatively speaking, cool compared to the days) which was quite nice. Trying to go back to sleep has been somewhat pointless, so I've stayed out here. At about 4:30 or so the sun started to rise. It's 5:30 now, it's completely light, and you can already feel the heat. Today is no doubt going to be a hot one. There is a brease every now and then, which is really nice. But I can feel the sweaty stickyness of the desert heat kicking in, even this early. I've obviously brought my laptop out here now. I was hoping to get some internet access via the public wireless access point at Tempe Beach Park, but I guess we're only barely in range out here, and I haven't been successful in connecting. It almost seems worthwhile buying a wireless router for Katie, and tap into her internet. Trying to do so wired has been unsuccessful. I think there have been a miriad of problems there. Firstly, I think the ethernet cable I brought with me is either busted, or the wrong type. I tested it out at Madden yesterday, and it didn't work. It was a relief to know that my network card in my laptop is fine though, until using it there it seemed like it might be. Using Katie's ethernet cable doesn't work either. I also tried USB ethernet that she has, but my laptop failed to find the drivers for it. Plug and play my ass! So it would be really nice to get wireless access, but it's not looking likely in this part of town.

In anycase, it's been really nice just sitting out here this morning, watching the sun come up over Tempe!

Sobriety Waits For Me

Open Mic @ Yucca Tap

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 02:55:02 pm (Monday, May 15, 2006 - 09:55:02 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Travel)
Tonight it was off to Yucca Tap for open mic, hosted by none other than the Scotty Johnson.

As we pulled up to the back of Yucca, T-Roy was out the back smoking. I was quite impressed that when we jumped out of the car, he waved to Katie, then immediately recognised me. I went over and talked to him, and he said something about it being a while and then said "Last Exit - a couple of months ago? When was that show?". I informed him that it'd actually been a year, it was last April. It was pretty cool to be remembered by Troy, and also funny that he thought I'd only been gone for a few months. He mentioned something about a time warp. [smile] In anycase, Troy was his usual very nice self.

After talking to him, Fran and Alan for a while and having a smoke, we went inside and pulled up a booth near the bar and got some drinks. After about 10 minutes, Scott wandered over to say hi. I'd scanned the room for him when we first walked in, but figured he'd come over in his own time, and I hadn't noticed but Katie and Catherine both say that he watched us come in and had been looking over to us. In anycase, he made a point to come over and say hi, and he was the usual awesome Scotty Johnson. We introduced him to Cath and talked while he did his thing, clearing the table. He does that, he works the bar at his open mic nights. (I love Cath's comment: "A Gin Blossom cleaned my table!" [smile] ).

I asked him about the new album, because I know through Katie that he's pretty excited about it, and he said how most of the tracks were done, and the mixing would happen soon. I was thinking there, confused, wondering if he knew what was going on with his own band, because of course the new Blossoms album is coming out in August and is recorded and mixed! But then it dawned on me that he was talking about the Scott and Troy record that is in the works. When I clarified what I was refering to he said "pffft, oh those guys! Who cares about them!". Ha! [smile] Good times. Then he talked about a girl Merideth who sometimes sings, and jumped into the booth beside Catherine to call her and get her to come down. Catherine seemeed awfully composed and unfussed, but we later found out that the weight of sitting right next to a Blossom was not lost on her! [biggrin]

After a bit, he got up to round up Troy to play - he - and this is testimant to how great Johnson is - had been waiting for us to show up before he played. For open mic, obviously because it's open mic, they just do a couple of songs. So we followed, migrating to the tables in front of the stage, because duh, this was the whole reason we'd gone to open mic. Catherine went up to the bar to get more drinks, and Scotty introduced everyone (Troy, The Judge and Al on washboard - which was quite honestly a bit to weird for words [smile] ), and then said hello to "the Australian fans". And then put out an offer, pretty much to me, for a request - because we were all the way from Australia. With unusual confidence (or maybe it's not unusual these days) I called out 'Get Drunk!". Scott replied "oh don't worry, we're doing that one anyway", and then there was a pause and then I saw him process that for a second and look impressed that I'd called out a Scott & Troy song. I think he was expecting me to request a Blossoms song. He seemed impressed by that, which was cool ass. [smile]

So, they kicked off with Stop!, Get Drunk, Think I'm In then Need Your Love. A girl actually joined them on Need Your Love for backup vocals. I did notice that a couple of the songs sounded a bit different to what I'm used to, I'm sure due to the songs getting fleshed out for the record. Obviously, even though it being an abbreviated open mic set, it was awesome seeing Scott and Troy play again.

After that, we headed outside for a smoke, and hung out for a bit out there, and talked to Scotty some more. He made reference to the shirt I was wearing (Gin Blossoms' "Please Don't Let Us See Our Ex-Girlfriends On The Road Tour '91"), and I joked about how I'd been wearing a Peacemakers shirt today, and thought it best that I changed for tonight. [smile] He came back with a suitably snotty reply in agreeance. [smile] Then we talked a little about the Scott & Troy record, and asked for a insider scoop on what will be on it. He shot off Think I'm In, Need Your Love, Beautiful Day. I asked about Stop!, and he said that he didn't think so, and I said "because of the whole Gin Blossom's doing it?", which appeared to be the reason.

After a while we went back in. The night, which was just going to be, more or less an excuse to see Scotty turned into somewhat of a blinder. [smile] The open mic I went to last night was a lot more low key than what they are these days.

Catherine talked about how much fun she is having, and how much she loves it out here. Which is really cool, she's having an absolute ball. And said how surreal it was to sit at Yucca and have Scotty just walk past.

At one stage I could feel people behind me, and turned around, and The Judge said "don't worry, we're just playing a game - I had no fucking idea what was going on, and then someone explained to me that they (lead by Johnson) were reading the back of the t-shirt - which is pure snotty Gin Blossoms form has a list of fake tour dates. Scotty was no doubt really getting a kick out of it, as he came up a few times to show people.

There was a funny cultural incident when Cath and I changed from burbon to scotch. Katie went to the bar, and my order was scotch and dry. As it turned out, Venus had no idea what "dry" was (which is interesting, for a barmaid), and obviously Katie didn't either, because I had to go up to the bar and explain to Venus that it was scotch and dry ginger. Yucca drinks - were usual Yucca drinks - cheap and strong! [smile] Actually exceptionally strong last night! [smile] The end of my last two drinks tasted like straight scotch. Yucca Tap Room is great.

Catherine and I were travelling fairly well by the end of the night. Actually, I kinda felt fine until I got up to leave, and realised that the last drink really kicked me in the ass! [smile] I've certainly been more drunk, but I was definately more drunk than I was expecting for a quiet night @ Yucca for open mic. [smile]

Last night was awesome. And like I said, it's great to see Catherine having as much fun as she is! [smile]

Writing this, I feel somewhat hung over - which the Arizona heat is maybe not great for. But hey, who the fuck is complaining?! [smile]

To quote Scotty, "may I'll dry out for a while" - okay, probably not. I just want to get drunk all the time. [wink]

A Lesson With Laufenburg

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, May 15, 2006 - 08:30:37 am (Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 03:30:37 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
This morning, after desperate attempts to stay awake (all failed - on my behalf), we got up and made a move to get some shopping as, of course, we had no food. It was down to the Albertsons to stock up, which we did. The guy at the check out made reference to our healthy selection. Pizzas, chicken nugggets, fries, tortillas, soft drink, a slab of Budwizer, etc. Though Cath did get some carrots and celery, and tried to get a roasted chicken. [smile]

After that, we came back, and hung around until it was time for Katie's guitar lesson. I tagged along, and I was so glad that I did. At about 3 we started to drive up towards north Scottsdale, where Katie has her lessons. We waiting in the waiting room until Thomas came out and said hi. One of the first things he did was say "we've met before, right?". Honestly, I can't remember if we have, but it's possible that we did at the show he did with Marc last year. The Marc show where he called him up and told him to come down to Yucca and play a set with him, which turned out to be awesome. [smile] In anycase, I thought it was really cool that he possibly remembers me from last year.

So, we went into the lesson, and I took a look around at the rock posters on the wall until Thomas came back in. While doing so, Katie pointed out a row of Elvis "The Cat" Del Monte fliers that were on the wall right near where I was sitting and had failed to notice. Way cool! Definately cool ass. Most of the posters were general rock stuff (Led Zepplin, the Stones) except for those and a Never Been Thawed poster (a local movie, which Thomas was in).

Thomas came in, and said hi, and asked when I'd gotten in, and asked where abouts in Australia I was from, and whether it was deserty. He talked about one of his students that is also from Melbourne (who apparently used to have his lesson right before Katie), and talked about what we were going to do, and the fact that Katie wouldn't be around for the next couple of lessons. The Mexico / Peacemakers thing came up, to which Thomas' response was "you like those guys?" [smile] Ahh, the Tempe rivalry between bands. [wink] Katie brought up the fact that I wouldn't get to see the Pistoleros, and he went on about how bad the last show was. Katie said it wasn't that bad, to which Thomas replied "no, we sucked. That's what you get when you don't practise." [smile] It was somewhat comical how he refused to agree that the last show was okay.

After a little bit of talk, the lesson started, and immediately it was like I was no longer in the room. This was great, I wanted to just observe a normal lesson, and it was totally like that - it was like I was not in the room at all. Sweeeeet! [smile] It was not suprising, because I expected this of Thomas, from what I know of him, but I was quite impressed of him as a teacher. Thomas is somewhat of a serious guy (which really makes the Thomas & Mark pairing so interesting), and it really comes through in his lessons. In the half an hour lesson, Katie played for maybe 10 minutes. That is a sign of a good teachers. Thomas is all over theory, and pretty organised for a Tempe musician. The lesson was on minor penatonics, and just sitting there, I learnt some stuff. I haven't had lessons for about 13 years, I'm passed it, but I was thinking that if I lived here, I'd take lessons from Thomas. Not because his the guitarist of cool ass bands (The Pistoleros, Ghetto Cowgirl, Loretta, and one that is escaping me), but because he's a really good teacher.

I also got to witness the Laughenburg analogies - this one was the Grand Canyon and penatonic scales, which was obviously pretty cool! [smile]

At the end of the lesson we talked about more - Thomas made a crack about Katie not having cash, and me paying for the lesson, something about having me trained well or something. It was quite humerous. [smile] I only had 50's, and there was some momentary stress about whether he'd have change of a 50, wanting to be cool, but he did, so it was all good. He mentioned how cool saying "cheers" (for "thanks") was, so maybe that's an Australian thing. [smile] We talked some more about what we were going to do, and his Australian student, and how he'd love to move to Australia. I said I'd gladly swap locations with him. [smile] It's always funny to me, how people out here would rather be somewhere else. [smile]

So, he walked us out and wished us well on our trips and what not. I was actually wearing my Circus Mexicus t-shirt, and thought about how much contempt that Thomas probably had for me! [smile] hahaha. [smile] But yeah, I'm not sure if I've actually formally met Thomas before, but he's really a nice guy, and a great teacher. And I'm really glad that I decided to tag along to Katie's lesson.

We drove back through Old Town Scottsdale, which was enjoyable to me. Aside from last night I've never been there before. When we got back to the appartment Catherine was still out on her walk that she said she was going to take while we were gone. After a while I was going to call her, when she appeared at the front door. [smile] We were quite impressed with how far she'd walked, which explains why she was gone for so long ("you walked all the way to Apache?!?").

Beyond that we just chilled out in the apartment, and I tried, with miserable results to get my laptop to work.

We Are The Black Moods

Last Exit 3rd Anniversary

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, May 14, 2006 - 02:48:34 pm (Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 09:48:34 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Travel)
Around 9ish tonight I insisted that we should make a move towards Last Exit. Which is nothing new, as was Katie's responmse that we didn't neccesarily need to go that early. [smile] This time though, my instistance was moreso based on finding it so hard to stay awake, and figuring that being at LE, combined with alcohol as fuel would get me awake. [smile] Not a bad call, given that I was severely lacking any energy.

We finally made a move at about 9:30, stopping for gas on the way. At which I was shocked that gas is around 3 dollars something a gallon, which is...well, shocking! [smile] We made some quick and dirty calculations that it's still amazingly cheaper than in Australia, but still, I remember it being $1.20 a gallon here last year!

It was then on to Last Exit. We parked around the front and went in the front, which was a change. As always, Katie was right, Vayden (formally Simplfy) was setting up. We're not huge fan's of Vayden. So got drinks and stood out on the porch, talking. After a while Katie noticed Lance Wilson. At some point he recognised me (pretty impressive) and came over and said hi, and that it was cool that I was back. We talked about how good tonight was going to be with the Black Moods (he manages them), and asked if we were going to see the Blossoms in Vegas on the weekend. To which I said about Mexico, which of course he didn't neccesarily approve of. [wink] That's Lance though, ever the supporter of his brother's band. I've got nothing but respect for how much Lance supports the Gin Blossoms. I did say that we were going out to California later to see them, which mending the situation. [wink] Lance was in party mode, which, well, I don't think I've seen Lance any other way. Through the Vayden set we saw Chico, Josh and Ryan file in at certain points, and we got to point people out to Cath.

In what seemed like an eternity, Vayden finished their set. Once Josh was up on stage, we moved inside and took up residency by the stage. I was pretty damn excited to be seeing the Black Moods this time around, being really into them now (the last time I saw them was the first time I'd heard them) and knowing their stuff. Just hearing Josh set up and play the riff for 7 Day Binge (or was it Sick In Bed?) was rocktastic! While they were setting up, LE had the LE Live CD playing, and Larson was on which I got to point out to Catherine. After that song, the Moods took the stage.

Now this was my first experience of the Moods sans Kevin (hence Josh on guitar and vocals). Which I've heard mixed reviews about. My opinion is that it totally works! [smile] Also, before the show, we'd told Catherine about how hard it was for Josh to keep a shirt on. [wink] She asked when it wouid come off, and we said pretty early. While he was setting up, it was on. When they came out to play, it was already off - hilarious to all three of us! [smile] But in anycase, I thought they sound great with Josh singing. And the singing totally did not detract from the Josh floppyness, with him flopping all over the stage through solos. [smile] Like I said, being a fan and knowing the songs this time around was fucking awesome!

A highlight was that Cath loved the Black Moods. Given that she didn't know the band, I knew it could have been a mixed bag. But she thoroughly loved the band, which was awesome.

Photobox ImageHalf way through the set they brought out a cake for the Last Exit, and Doug, Deven and Brandon got up on stage. Which seems to happen whenever I'm at Last Exit (last time it was Brandon's birthday). After speeches, it was back to the rock. The singer from Mink Rebellion got up and did one song with the band, which was the extent of Mink being on the bill. I didn't know the song, but it was good. Towards the end of the set they did an amazing rendition of All Along The Watch Tower. At first I didn't recognise it, but I've never heard that song sound so good. All up we got to hear 7 Day Binge, Sick In Bed, Black Moods, Sweet Virgina, Star Of Your Movie, Hung On Every Word...well, and a whole bunch I don't remember. I also got to hear Last Exit, which the band wrote about the bar. It's the first time I've heard that, and Katie was pleased that they played it.

After the Moods we went back out to the porch. While out there, Katie told me to listen for a familar voice - initially I was confused, listening to the song playing, but then heard the unmistaken voice of Steve Larson, standing behind us. I totally planned to go and say hi, especially given we're going to Mexico to see the Peacemakers, but there wasn't really an opportunity.

After dealing with an annoying drunk, we decided to make a move, because we didn't really care to see Dramarama who were headlining. After a quick stop and the apartment, we made our way to Southern and Mill - Yucca Tap. The Nacronoughts were finishing their set (which was reasonably boring). We only had one drink, it was cool to check out Yucca, and mostly to show Catherine, but there wasn't much reason to stay, so not long after we left and headed for home.

All in all, a great first time back in town!


Flying Over The Pacific

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 03:15:19 pm (Friday, May 12, 2006 - 10:15:19 pm MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
As I write this, I'm somewhere close to, or crossing the International Dateline, close to Apia apparently. Where ever the fuck that is. [smile] Unfortunately the seat in front of me is reclyned, hence I can't even fully extend my laptop screen, which sucks a little. In anycase, I'm Tempe bound, about 4 hours into the flight to LA, with about 8 hours to go.

The last 24 hours have been pretty crazy, to say the least. On reflection, working all day Friday was a bad call. Given stuff that I still had to do (ie: pack), I should have gone in for the morning, and done a half day. Doing a full day, I came home feeling completely dead, but still needing to pack. Also if I had of done that, maybe I'd be writing this into my blog webpage, instead of Notepad. And maybe the person in front of my would stop reclyning their fucking seat! [smile] Okay, so that last one is a rant! [smile] But anycase, doing half a day would have been a good idea, because last night was pretty painful! [smile]

I did however get some packing done, before deciding to hell with it all, and crashing at 12am. Then up at 5am (or 5:30 as it turned out, to finish getting packed and ready to go. It's kinda felt like the most rushed pre trip affair, right up until boarding. Which is fine, I just remember much more chill out time last year. As a result it's been much harder to focus on and absorb what is going on. It's one of those things where it'll actually hit me once we hit Tempe! Not that it hasn't a little during the flight thus far. But on the way to the airport, and at the airport, it just seemed like there wasn't much time to process what I was doing.

The flight this morning, which was slightly delayed in boarding seemed, to me anyway - to board amazingly quickly. It's definately the fastest I've had in terms of that, and it seemed like at most 5 minutes after sitting down that we were taxi-ing to the runway.

It'll be great to be landing in Arizona, and particularly seeing Katie. Due to the crazyness of the last 24 hours, I've barely gotten to talk to her properly, which is weird when I'm travelling to see her. Talking last night and this morning was kinda rushed, and talking on the phone this morning pre flight was somewhat the same, as there wasn't much time before boarding.

Flying To Phoenix

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 02:55:01 am (Friday, May 12, 2006 - 09:55:01 am MST)
(Posted Under: Travel)
The latest update is that I am now flying towards Phoenix, having negotiated LAX. It was quite a rush, and both Catherine and myself (particularly myself, I got paged) just got to the gates on time. Catherine's flight seemed to have been boarding, verses mine, which was boarded, I was the second last person on the plane.

Yes, I say "gates" and talk as if we're on two different flights - because we are! They both leave and arrive at the same time, but unbeknown to us, and certainly not at our request, our travel agenet had booked us on two different flights from LAX to PHX! What a pain in the ass, in addition how tight the doing LAX was. At the end of the day it will be fine, and we'll meet up at Skyhabor in 50 odd minutes, but what a pain in the ass, and such a fuck up - especially considering that we booked the tickets together, literally! [smile]

Aside from that, the Melbourne to LA fight was good. It was both a lot better, and seemed a lot better than the one last year! It's a long ass flight, but certainly was more bareable this time around, compared to last time. Flying out of Melbourne was quite cloudy, as was flying into LA. It looked pretty sweet, but then again, you literally didn't see any of LA until we were basically right on LAX. Blankets of clouds stretched as far as the I could see. It was much the same flying out. The cloud cover has thined somewhat now, I assume we're over Arizona at this stage, and you can see stuff, but it wasn't until we got right out of LA that that was the case. thankfully this flight isn't that long, and we'll already be in Phoenix shortly.

But I Like The Goddamn Heat

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 02:13:20 pm
(Posted Under: Travel)
The 5 day forecast for Tempe Arizona is 100's all the way. Oh, I can not express how much I want to escape this godforsaken Melbourne weather. A weekend of 100 degrees (about 38 celcius) sounds just like what the doctor ordered.

In other news, it seems that Brian Blush has been added to the Yucca Tap Pre Mexico party. Woo hoo! Of course, he is scheduled to go on at the same time as Last Exit's "Special Guest", so that makes me a bit uneasy. Will I need to be in two places at once? We'll see once Last Exit announce who their damn special guest is!

Here's to the idiot summer! (Which will no doubt be sung loudly and often if it reaches 110! [smile] )

Everybody Sometimes

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 04:34:57 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Travel)
Everybody wins, sometimes. And sometimes...they don't!

The Pistoleros website lists them as playing at Yucca on the 16th! Horray! Except, it's a typo, the gig is actually June 16th! When it comes to The Pistoleros, I'm denied, once again!

Speaking of which, I must prefer the Everybody Sometimes demo in comparison to the album version. That's pretty true of most of them though - the demos are so great. I haven't listened to either in forever - time to rip me thinks.

It looks like I'll be going with Katie to her guitar lesson this Sunday, so I guess I'll at least get 1/5th of The Pistoleros (Thomas Laufenburg is her teacher). I think Zubs (Mark Zubia) is playing at Sugar Daddies on Sunday night also. I can't wait to sit back at the booths and Sugar Daddies again.

But seriously, what does a guy have to do to get a full Pistoleros show?? [smile]
Now Playing: The Pistoleros - Everybody Sometimes

Sometimes It Pays To Advertise

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 11:17:43 pm
(Posted Under: Rants, TV)
Not that it is great that the miners at Beconsfield are close to rescue, but I wish Channel 9 would decide if they going to a Beconsfield Mine Live broadcast or the scheduled movie Swordfish!

Aside from the live crosses every ten minutes (which could almost be bareable / understandable), what the hell is with each 5 minute long "next update countdown" which takes up almost a quater of the screen?!?

Do a live broadcast, or show the movie. Choose one or the other.

Learning The Hard Way

The New Gin Blossoms Single

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 02:15:36 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
We're finally here - the new Gin Blossoms single is released to radio June 5th, and there is now a clip on the following list of songs availiable for airplay (Triple A format) I really wish it would come out earlier, but still, I will be in the States when it comes out.

I'm definately glad that they've gone with Learning for the first single. While there are a couple of contenders, at the end of the day, it's the best of the new songs. For a while there, there was some talk of Let's Play Too being the first single, and that one I've never been a huge fan of. I'm glad they came to their senses and picked Learning The Hard Way for the first single - it has hit written all over it!

In other news, the release date for the self titled album is slated as August.

The Frisbee And The Fractured Colar Bone

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, May 5, 2006 - 07:06:12 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Travel)
Latest news from the Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers camp is that P.H has taken a break from touring, suffering a fractured colar bone sustained in a frisbee incident.

Word from the band's publisist is that P.H will not miss the Mexico show, however seeing a scan of the x-ray today, I'm not to reassured - it does not look good!

I will not be happy if the Iron Bear does not play!
Now Playing: Dead Hot Workshop - The Kids Are Alright

Throwing tarballs!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, May 5, 2006 - 11:59:46 am
(Posted Under: Geek)
Mental note to self: the -o argument when creating a tar achive is suitibly different than when extracting from a tar achive!!!

Seriously, this is a note to myself! I do not want to suffer the headache of trying to create a GNU archive again (-o is 'old format' on create! Sheesh! Don't use it when creating archives, moron!)

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