A Bone To Pick With The Phoenix New Times

Strange Young Things Misses Out On Best Of Phoenix 2009

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, September 26, 2009 - 11:23:03 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
So, this week's edition of the Phoenix New Times came out this yesterday morning. With leaving for Kansas City early yesterday morning, I tried, but failed to find the Best Local Band category.

With a bit more time tonight to search around, I've found - with disappointing, though somewhat expected results - Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers took the title. Of course, this isn't that surprising - for reasons that are the same as why I have a bone to pick with the New Times. Firstly, the band has been around for 11 years. Secondly, the band has an organized (albeit not as organized as years ago) online community - which was informed to vote for the band. Which is fine, but it's kinda ridiculous of the New Times to pit the likes of Roger Clyne The & Peacemakers against the truly local bands like Strange Young Things, Sugar Thieves and the other nominees who I'm not even familiar with.

My biases aside against Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers and pro Strange Young Things aside. it really makes this such a pointless category, and kind of misguided I think. Clearly the definition of "local band" is not restricted to acts with national wide reach, and given that, why not just put the Gin Blossoms in the nominations - who would similarly crush these really "local" bands. Maybe next year they should great a second category "Best National Local Band" so that there is at least some competition and worth to the "Best Local Band" category.

Rant ended. But let me say that Strange Young Things are by far the best local band of 2009 in my mind!

No More Wildcards With No-IP

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 02:14:48 pm
(Posted Under: Tech)
It's been a disappointment to discover that no-ip is no longer support wildcards on it's free hosting service.

Having had my server offline since June, I'm not sure when this change happened, I can only assume some time since then. Of course, I was so busy leading up to then, it could have changed previous to that without me noticing.

I've been using no-ip since at least 2003 and has worked out quite nicely all that time, so this is a shame. I guess I'll continue to use it as a dynamic IP service though.


Missouri To Arizona In Photos (And Back Again)

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, September 21, 2009 - 03:23:56 pm
(Posted Under: Travel, Photography)
The best of the photos from last week's trip to Arizona... (Click the collage to see the album)


Where The Hell Am I?

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 11:46:18 am
(Posted Under: No Category)
I woke up last night at around 3 (only a few hours after going to bed), not knowing where the hell I was. I had some concept (and maybe from a preceding dream that I don't remember) that we were in some hotel in or around Phoenix, possibly just waiting for our apartment to be ready. But I couldn't remember how the hell we got there. Or any details leading up to staying there. Weird, and not cool!

It took a while to realize that we were in our room in Warsaw - and even then, it took a while remembering how the hell we got here.

I guess having traveled halfway across the country and then back in the last 8 days, but still, it was really weird!

New Mexico To Missouri

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, September 18, 2009 - 05:59:59 pm
(Posted Under: Travel, Operation Desert Rock)
When you have timezones working against you, it makes sense to combat them with an early start, which is exactly what we did. Up at 6, breakfast by 6:30 (complete with a freaky experience of legions of old coots filling the Super 8 breakfast room, which is difficult to process when you're still kinda half asleep!) and on the road at 6:45am. Quite a productive morning. Which paid off, since we hit the Jensen house in Missouri at exactly 6:30pm tonight, which was appreciated!

There was no mistaking the fact that we weren't in Arizona anymore, as it was actually cold this morning! Cold enough to have the heater on to defrost the car windows.

Immediately once out on the road out of Tucumcari, New Mexico we were greeted by a blazing red rising sun right in front of us to the east. A really cool sight! It never ceases to amaze me how quick a setting sun will disappear, and the spend at which it will burst into the morning sky really isn't any different. It was only a few minutes before it was over the haze / fog that was giving it it's vibrant red color, and was high enough to just look like your average every day sun!

Since I didn't get to bed until late again last night, today's trip back consisted of a lot of sleeping on my account. I did manage to hold it together for the Texas border. At some point I crashed out hard - with the pain in my neck caused by sleeping in the car really not doing all that much for walking me up. I however did wake up when Katie stopped for gas. Great, smoko time - and I was also in a good position to make use of the Flying J's facilities. [smile] After doing such, I wandered around inside, waiting for Katie, checking out the souvineers and crap for sale. It wasn't long before I thought to myself how much uncooler Texas is - in that I can easily entertain myself within a road stop in New Mexico or Arizona - but here, nothing was really catching my eye. After walking around for a bit more, I started to notice that there was substantially more Oklahoma based paraphernalia than Texas. There is normally cross over with the states, particularly when they're along route 66, but this was impressive. Maybe we were in Oklahoma and I didn't know it?!? Nah, we couldn't be! I asked Katie on her return, and indeed we were! Which really explained what I was seeing in the Flying J. Kinda annoying that I slept through the Texas/Oklahoma border, but I guess it goes to show how tired I was.

Throughout the rest of the day I kept dosing off for long periods, waking up and not feeling all that rested. Unlike the trip to Arizona (and yesterday for that matter) where the few naps I took really had me feeling refreshed!

Somehow today we didn't have to spend as much on the Oklahoma tolls as we did on the way down. We're not entirely sure how that happened, but hey, why look a gift horse in the mouth.

Certainly during the last few ours of the trip we were both over it. I love road tripping, and really didn't get bored of it at all on the way down. However this afternoon was different, it was less comfortable sitting in the car, and we were both looking forward to hitting Warsaw! The hardest part was being 45 minutes out. Having been driving for almost 12 hours, another 45 minutes today, with the home icon displaying on the GPS screen, it seemed cruel that we couldn't just be transported instantly that last however many miles.

However getting to the front gate at 6:30pm was rewarding, and really made getting up that bit earlier worthwhile!

Adios Phoenix...For Now

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 11:37:37 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock, Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
There really is no rest for the wicked - we were up and at them and out of Aaron's place by 7:20am, headed back to Missouri! We're currently in Tucumcari, New Mexico for the night. It's been a fairly nice day of driving, despite the patches of rain that we've had both in Arizona and New Mexico.

Driving out through part of Tonto National Forest was awesome - as always, the scenery was breath taking - saguaros as far as the eye can see, and amazing rolling mountains. Similarly, the New Mexico landscape in and around the border is really nice (although, quite different to the Sonoran Desert). I did think to myself that the trip back is somewhat disappointing to the trip out to Arizona. Going to Arizona, everything incrementally gets better and better - until the complete overload of beauty (at least for me) of the Sonoran Desert. Going back however, you kind of blow your load (or mother nature blows her load [wink] ) in the first few hours, and it gets slightly less exciting - which means that tomorrows 11+ hours driving probably won't be quite as inspiring as todays.

We do however have the promise of a little bit of rest once we get back to Missouri (likely to only be "a little" actually) which I'm sure will keep our spirits up as we head through Texas, Oklahoma and finally get back to Missouri!

The Streets Of Guadalupe

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 11:18:19 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
After getting the apartment taken care of, I wanted to drive through Guadalupe before heading back to Casa Grande, partially to get my bearings on it's proximately to the apartment.

Surprisingly to me, we're north of it, rather than south of it. I've only been through it a select number of times - maybe twice in 2005, probably at least once in 2006, and then on the way home last night. Going through it again tonight really helped me get my bearings on it - as has been true of a lot of the east valley over the past week.

I was particularly on the look out for Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, which I actually missed last night. Pretty much immediately thinking about it, we were approaching it off to the right / west. Now this was a sight to behold. The church looks amazing no matter when you see it (back in 2005 I was immediately blown away by it - and only later discovered that it's the church seen in a lot of the ¡Americano! era Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers photos). But tonight, with the sun setting at dusk over South Mountain as a backdrop to the church was really a site to behold - completely amazing. A picture says a thousand words, but I don't have one to post here, since photography is forbidden (however, I may be confused about that only applying to when a religious ceremony is occurring). A completely amazing sight to see in any case!

One thing I haven't previously noticed, which I love, is that Priest Drive transforms into Avenida del Yaqui (translated - Avenue Of The Yaqui) and then right back to Priest Drive south of Guadalupe. The transition of such being exactly like Guadalupe itself - there is no subtle transition any of the 3 sides that border Tempe - it's an immediate transformation into the historic / south of the border feel town, and an immediate transformation back to the modern American feel of Tempe. It's really quite amazing to me the way Guadalupe is nestled inside Tempe, and doesn't at all feel effected by the modern suburbia around it. This is true even with the huge Arizona Mills mall directly north of it over Baseline. The idea of living somewhere with a community / town such as Guadalupe in it is really cool!

It was similarly cool that noticing that the section of Guadalupe Road in Guadalupe is signed as Calle Guadalupe (as appears to be true of all the roads in Guadalupe, looking at Google Maps), as we looped around east, heading back towards Tempe to see the extent to which Guadalupe streaches (1 square mile as it turns out) before getting on the I-10, headed for Casa Grande.

Guadalupe Cemetery

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 11:09:29 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
While driving around the area around the apartment complex, we stumbled upon Guadalupe Cemetery. Completely unexpectedly, as it's located in Tempe, in amongst the suburban streets north of Baseline. Neither of us any idea that it existed (it goes without saying that I didn't if Katie didn't).

We only saw it briefly from the dead end of south Beck that leads into it, but it looked like it'd be a beautiful cemetery. I have no idea whether it is open to the public / people not of the Guadalupe community, but it was pretty amazing stumbling across it.

And Scene...

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 10:43:18 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Our extra day in Arizona got off to an early start, driving back up to Tempe, dropping off some of our clothes that we're not taking back, and then heading over for an 11:30 appointment at the one apartment that we singled out out of the batch we drove by last night. In short we like what we saw. Compared to the front runner yesterday, it's a bit bigger, a bit cheaper, got a bit better crime rating, and is a bit closer to downtown Tempe. A bit better on all sides basically.

After the appointment we went over to Pete's Fish And Chips for lunch, to discuss this over food. Much to my dismay, I threw cigarette lighter in the trash. Not on purpose, of course! I took a brief walk down Apache to try and fix the situation of not being able to light a cig, but unfortunately Pete's is basically surrounded with just accommodation. However, it we had a delicous lunch, and red the Tempe Daily, which had an interesting article about Resturant Mexico's constant displacement around the downtown area. We'd just been talking about that yesterday afternoon, noticing that the building it was last in on Apache has been demolished. The site is no doubt awaiting another freakin' high rise to go up there. What the hell goes through the heads of the people in charge of this town, I don't know.

In any case, after finishing our food, we moved to the back of Pete's for a bit more quiet, and after a while moved the pow-wow to Tempe Beach Park, since the garbage smell at the rear of Pete's was getting to me - as to was the lack of nicotine, I'm sure! So we swung past the Safeway on Broadway to grab a lighter, and then over to Tempe Beach Park.

While ironically it was noisy over there since there was a construction crew putting together stages for Arizona Fall Fest, it was pretty nice being out there. We crunched the numbers, weighed crap up, played devil's advocate - and decided to go with the apartments we looked at this morning. And then went through our plan to make it happen. So following this, it was over to the Tempe library to use the internet, over to Kikos on University to send a fax, and then back out to the apartment complex to put in our applications. Basically an afternoon of criss crossing across Tempe taking care of business. We got our application in around five, which brought with it a huge sense of accomplishment. After this we spent some time driving around the surrounding areas - again - but this time with the perspective of it being our new home if the application in accepted.

Of all the major things we set out to achieve in Tempe / Phoenix, as of about 5pm tonight, we achieved them all. not bad considering that we arrived around 5pm last Thursday, and we were done by 5pm Wednesday this week!

Apartment Decisions Continue

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 11:56:15 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
It's been another long day out in the Valley Of The Sun, trying to sort out living arrangements. Earlier in the day it was a case of weighing up whether we're going to live on Mill Avenue, or further south close to Elliot Road. We did some research this morning on things like crime and what not, and went back out to both apartment complexes.

The way things are shaping up, the Elliot Road location is looking much better, despite the painfulness of the better size at South Mill. And the fact that Yucca is ridiculously within walking distance of the complex on South Mill. Something that makes the decision incredibly painful.

I've been wanting to take some video driving around downtown Tempe, and we got that down this afternoon, and towards the end of that, we, without much explicit discussion expanded our apartment search to others in Tempe (a few hours earlier it was pretty much just down to the two aforementioned apartments). At some point, stuck in traffic on Apache, right in the middle of the ASU area, I had the presence of mind to tune into The Blaze in the car - ie: on a real radio! I've been listening to the station for years online, and have been meaning to do that this trip, but have consistently forgotten whenever we've been downtown. So, this afternoon I finally did it, tuned into The Blaze on a radio (and checked their old frequency - 1260AM - funnily enough, nothing appears to be broadcasting on it at the moment). It was enjoyable that at around 6:20 the played The Way We Talk (The Maine). Driving down Rural, tuned into The Blaze and hearing The Way We Talk, there is just something damn cool about that!

We found a few other complexes that may work for us, and hence we're going to delay our trip back to Missouri until Thursday (originally we were leaving tomorrow) to do some more research, and hopefully have things narrowed down tomorrow.

Shelby James @ Rula Bula

I Love When My Reputation Proceeds Me

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, September 14, 2009 - 09:37:46 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
After killing time, we headed back to Mill Ave., and parked near Mission Palms, which was just a short walk to Rula Bula. Which I'd guess I'd always thought of being closer to the University end of Mill. But y'know, aside from the big touchstones (pretty much the 7th block, and Monti's at Rio Salado) my memory of Mill always gets a bit screwed up.

The size of Rula Bula was also surprising and impressive. I have a recollection of looking in there years ago, but had no idea that it spanned two shop fronts. In anycase, Shelby was setting up by the time we rolled in. The place was particularly quiet, making it wasy to pull up a stool at a table with a really good vantage point.

When Shelby started playing, it was a mixture of covers, with a few originals interspersed through the mix. Probably not surprising, since his Monday night gig was providing music for the eating / drinking crowd of Rula Bula. At one point early on, Katie went outside to talk to Aaron on the phone, after which we were talking about how he should by a Folsome Prison shirt while he's down there, and how cool that'd be. Ironically, in the middle of the conversation (without overhearing it), Shelby launched into Folsome Prison Blues. Incredibly spooky! And also the fact that it's the second time in a few days that it's been played (Stephen Ashbrook being the other time) and we had only dropped Aaron at the airport to head out there two days ago!

At some point he launched into Scarlot Harlot, which was an impressively more 12 bar bluesy rendition, conpared to the album, which was really cool to hear. In hindsight, I really wished I'd recorded video of it. But my camera batteries were starting to go, and I was holding out for Dance Like Jesus. After Scarlot, Shelby asked for any requests and Katie called out for Just Like Heaven by The Cure. That's our new thing - to try see how many people we can get to play it. An idea that we came up when we saw Ashbrook launch into it in Kansas City (and then again the other night at Martini Ranch on spotting Katie's Cure t-shirt). Alas, Shelby didn't know it. I'd been planning on catching him in between sets and requesting Dance, and since The Cure request didn't pan out, I just called out for that. Which changed the whole direction of the set list, since he now realized someone (us) was there to see Shelby James songs, not covers! [smile] And hence launched into that, and two others off Downs On 9th.

When it came time for a break, he immediately came over to our table and apologised for the "gospel covers" and that he didn't realize that we were there to hear his stuff. [smile] After some introductions, and determining that he recognized Katie (as they "ran in the same circles" - probably largely Los Guys shows and explaining the move from Australia to here, he asked if I was into Dead Hot Workshop. And then if I had been at the Stephen Ashbrook show on Friday night. Why yes, of course I had, but how the hell did he know? He proceeded to explain that he was working on his new album at Curtis' studio over the weekend and he'd mentioned that I'd been at the Stephen Ashbrook show and was from Australia and was really into the Tempe music scene (enough to move here). So, once again, my reprutation proceeded me. It really goes to show what a small world it is (at least in the Tempe music scene), to see Curtis (without any prior knowledge) playing with Stephen Ashbrook on Friday night, Shelby being at his studio on the weekend, and then us going to see Shelby on Monday night! I had wanted to, particular with Rula Bula being so quiet, introduce myself to Shelby and mention being into his stuff, and all the work of doing that was removed by that twist of events! We ended up having a really cool talk about the music scene, past and present and our travels, which was really cool. We also mentioned that we were after his second disc, which unfortunately he didn't have any copies of on him.

After quite a decent talk, he took his break and then played his second set. By this point, Rula Bula was quite empty, with us being the only people there except for a few people at the bar - which really turned into a nice little private show for us, focusing on his own songs, both "from the CD you don't have" and some stuff off his new record which he's putting the finishing touches on at the moment. Too cool, and made me really glad that we noticed that he was playing tonight.

It had admitedly been a long day, and thankfully he finished up at midnight. "Thankfully" just because we had the 45 odd minute drive back to Casa Grande ahead of us, and we didn't want to leave prematurely given the personalized performance we were getting.

After the show we said bye to him, and that we'd back out here in about a month, so he'll definitely see us again, and he wished us luck on the trip back. After a smoke / watching his stuff by his truck while he finished up some stuff at the bar, we headed back to Pepe for the drive back to Casa Grande - giving Baby Mercury (Domo) the first listen since picking it up at Zia the other day!

Once again, another great night out in Tempe!

Today In Tempe

The Healing Fields, Four Peaks Bewery and Taking Care Of Business

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 08:23:52 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
This morning we dropped Aaron off at Sky Harbor, then proceeded to Tempe Town Lake to take some photos of the "Healing Field" - flags displayed across Tempe Beach Park in memorial of Sept. 11. The walk around Tempe Beach Park (and over the Mill Ave. bridge to get an overall photo) was filled with conversation about the changes in Tempe over the past 3 years, all too visible in all directions at Tempe Beach Park.

Which continued the whole way back to the car, and as we hit the old Ash Avenue bridge - where the last 20 minutes of conversation was so pogniant, as we were greeted by huge advertisement for the development of a "War Memorial", plans of which include screwing with the ruins of the Ash Avenue bridge. Having a memorial at Tempe Beach Park is fine, but screwing with the historic bridge? It's disgusting. The changes going on with the ascetics of this town is horrible, and whoever is responsible for it really needs their head checked. But more on that later...

From there we spent some time at Fiesta Mall, then headed over to Four Peaks for lunch. Actually we'd tried Pete's Fish and Chips, which was closed on Sunday, and it turned out nice, because sitting at Four Peeks on the warm Sunday afternoon eating 8th Street chicken tenders and researching apartments was perfect. Before leaving we briefly went inside to use the restroom, which was cool that I got to see where the door from Four Peaks to Uranus Recordings once was.

After lunch we drove back out to Mesa to look at some apartments we'd shortlisted. We'd tried earlier in the day to use the downtown wireless to check on shows happening tonight, which was a total bust, and since we were both tired, we headed back towards Casa Grande and dusk. The desert south of Phoenix was absolutely beautiful with the sun setting behind us over South Mountain.

Ironically, on getting back here I discovered that Last Exit's lineup had canceled and Los Guys were playing a free show tonight! Could have been brought to our attention hours ago! But given our tiredness and the fact that they probably wouldn't go on until late, it was probably for the best that we didn't know about it.

Stephen Ashbrook @ Martini Ranch

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 11:45:45 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
Tonight was the first time I've been to the area of north Scottsdale where Martini Ranch is located, and obviously the first time I've been to Martini Ranch. The night life area was certainly vastly different to our preferred Tempe haunts, going towards the rep that Scottsdale gets. Or the cute way people refer to Snottsdale. The only bars I'd previously been to in Scottsdale fit with me (Sugar Daddies, Pranksters Too), but clearly this area lived up to the more pretentious stereotype.

On parking and walking down to Martini Ranch, we could here that Ashbrook had already started, with the sounds of Better Than Anything spilling out onto the street. And sounds being 'full band' sounds. By today I was convinced that he was going to be solo again, based on Facebook, but alas he had the whole band for Arizona. There was a little bit of a delay getting in because of my ID - it's the second time my permanent residency card has almost been a problem. It doesn't make sense to me, given the fact that it's federally issued and I'm sure harder to fake than a driver's license. But there you go... A second bouncer however allowed is in, which meant we didn't have to go back to the car to get my passport.

In anycase, Martini Ranch was actually a cool place to see a live act, despite the Snotsdale location of the venue. It was cool seeing Stephen in a proper live venue and with the full band, since we'd just seen him the other week solo / acoustic in a corner bar in Kansas City. Getting both experiences made it really worthwhile. The other cool part is that he'd mentioned the Martini Ranch show when we talked to him last time about moving to Arizona, so it was pretty cool actually making it to the show - which was unplanned, we didn't even realize he was playing until yesterday.

It wasn't long before I started to look at who was in his band - firstly I couldn't see a guitarist. Looking behind Stephen I saw a familar face behind the skins - Curtis Grippe (Dead Hot Workshop). I didn't immediately recognize the bass player, but some immediate excitement from Katie cleared up that it was Thomas Laufenberg (Pistoleros, Ghetto Cowgirl, Dead Hot Workshop - and her guitar teacher before moving to Australia). Too cool! We had no idea that either of them would be joining Stephen for the show! Which made wearing my Dead Hot Workshop t-shirt (purely something I'd brought to put into storage, and was on the top of the pile of clothes) quite fitting.

Before long Thomas noticed Katie and gave her a wave, which I think his presence helped her with the strangeness of being back. Not to long into set, Stephen announced noticing that there was a Dead Hot Workshop t-shirt in the crowd, and promptly introduced Curtis and Thomas, and announced that they'd do a Dead Hot cover. Sweet! Something that really made my choice of t-shirt quite worthwhile! He then immediately referred to Katie's Cure t-shirt, and mentioned doing Just Like Heaven recently at a friend's wedding, and that he'd do a cover of that also - which he launched into the very next song. It was really cool that we got singled out from stage and covers of songs by the bands whose t-shirts we were sporting! [smile]

Once the band left the stage, I mentioned to Katie that I hadn't gotten my cover! [smile] However, as soon as Stephen came back for the encore, he scanned for the Dead Hot Workshop and said they were going to do the cover they promised. There were clearly a few other Dead Hot supporters in the audience around us who commented on Dead Hot to me. Pretty cool. After playing Mr. S.O.B, he then launched into Folsome Prison Blues which we enjoyed given Aaron's upcoming trip to Folsome.

After the show we went out of the back to have a smoke and move away from the crowds. On the way out we passed Stephen who stopped and said hi, and brought up seeing my t-shirt and we briefly mentioned how we'd seen him in Kansas City, at which point he remembered the fact that we were moving out here. Then once we got ourselves situated, Thomas came over and said how he was so surprised to see Katie back - wanted to know about how Australia was, etc. etc., and filled us in on what was going on in the music scene here, including some cool Dead Hot Workshop news. In addition to which he seemed quite excited that he was now (and has been for quite a while, which isn't news to us) their bassist. I thought it was funny that he apologised for not remembering my name - given that he met me once 3 years ago at a guitar lesson, I was far from offended!

We went inside briefly to purchase Drive, which Stephen mentioned onstage that there was some copies of for purchase. It was funny to me, since today I'd thought to myself that it would be a cheap night, since we loaded up on the 2 CD's we didn't have in Kansas City (except for Drive, which appeared to not be available either online or at the show), so we wouldn't have to fork out anything but the cover charge. But with the news of the availability of Drive, that all changed. Of course, it was just an added $10, and we're both really glad to finally have the Stephen Ashbrook discography completely rounded out. Visiting the merch table also meant that Katie was able to pick up a Stephen Ashbrook sticker, destined for the back bumper of Pepe, to replace the one that was a casualty in the death of Mr. Burns almost 3 years ago.

We milled around for a bit because I wanted to say hi to Curtis - as a matter of fact, the Dead Hot Workshop t-shirt I was wearing was given to me by him when my other one was stolen in Tempe. Once there was a break in the conversations he was having with people I went up to say hi, not 100% sure that he'd remember me. Of course, he did and said that when he Stephen mentioned the t-shirt he looked out in the crowd and thought "is that Mark from Australia?!? What is he doing here?" [smile] Pretty cool! He was also curious to know whether or not we knew he was going to be playing with Stephen, or whether it was a surprise, which it obviously was. So it was great getting to say hi, because Curtis is always so nice. He let us know about the benefit show that Dead Hot is playing at the end of the month, which we won't be around for, but we assured him that after mid October we'll be seen a lot at Dead Hot shows.

After chatting to Curtis, it was time for us to back, particularly given the 45 minute drive ahead of us. By this time Rock Lobster was in full swing inside. The idea of an original artist like Stephen Ashbrook, who is a big deal, particularly in Arizona circles, opening for an 80's cover band is so bizarre to me!

In any case. it turned out to be a really great night with a full surprises - and 100% was worth coming out for, despite that given the last few days it'd have been easy to stay home and sleep! [smile]

Too Much To Do On A Saturday Night

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 09:46:10 am
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Hmmm, man, there's too much to do tonight, and not that much for the rest of the time we're here, which is slightly annoying.

  • Stephen Ashbrook @ Martini Ranch
  • Strange Young Things @ Flicka's Baja Cantina
  • Los Guys & Shelby James at the Mark Kopentis Benefit @ The Ruby Room
I don't think there is any doubt that we'll go see Stephen, but I'd obviously love to see the other two shows!

When In AZ... CD Release @ Yucca

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, September 11, 2009 - 11:13:59 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
We got to Yucca just a little after 9. Walking in was disjointing, as a lot of changes have been made, the biggest being that the stage has moved from the west wall, to the east wall. Initially it was weird, and walking past that section to get past the stage made you feel like you were naked. Maybe that is why it was a quick march to the front of the bar where Aaron was propped up on a bar stool. With news that Strange Young Things weren't going on until 11, it was quickly decided to head out to Dean's.

For us it turned out to be a comical affair, as Roeder sped off into the night on the 101, leaving us far behind. [smile] After completely missing where he got off, we turned around, and then promptly went the wrong way down Chandler Blvd. Once we hit Kyrene we decided that it was best for us...well, for everyone involved, to abort and head back to Yucca. It had certainly been a long day, particular for Katie with all the driving around the valley we'd done, evident by here nature draw to turn right off the 101 to get to Yucca. Thankfully having my bearings (at least in Tempe, if not in Chandler) avoided another long drive in the wrong direction.

On returning to Yucca, The Rebel Set has just started playing. By the stage was deafening - I have always had a problem with the full band sound at Yucca, and this was no exception. We headed back to the front of the bar and sat around while the band played. Once they'd finished, I went out for a smoke, stopping on the way out to pick up a When In AZ... drop (download) card.

Standing out the back of Yucca, I commented to Katie that it was weird not seeing anyone you recognized at Yucca - not even Venus was behind the bar. Ironically, about 2 minutes later Branon (former owner of The Last Exit Bar & Grill) walked in. After finishing the smoke, we walked in, in perfect time as Strange Young Things started playing virtually immediately.

Y'know how said I've never liked the full band sound at Yucca? That changed when Strange Young Things took the stage! Holy cow! Admittedly the full bands I've seen at Yucca is limited (The Black Moods, Flathead, Necronaughts) verses more striped down acoustic performances, but I'd never heard it sound as good at Yucca. An immediate standout aspect of the performance was that whoever was on the skins (not Rich) was thumping the complete shit out of them and was really impressive. Overall, the show was a lot like I would have expected / imagined - Corey hamming it up, and the band completely rocking out. One aspect that was surprising was how many new songs they played, considering that Look What They've Done To My Champagne Music came out under a year ago.

It was somewhat of a shorter set, which I'd have expected given the who When In AZ... lineup of 5 bands. But we still got quite a few of songs of the record - When In Rome, Left Breast Pocket, Get Your Fire For Free, Lonely Hearts Are Wild. The awesomeness of Strange Young Things was apparent in the new (and unfamiliar) songs - in that they were as enjoyable to watch / hear as everything off the album. Can this band do any wrong? At this point, it seems not. Before they'd gone on, Katie said she expected to see me up the front, since we drove 20 hours for show, and certainly throughout and after I was convinced the performance was absolutely worth it (well, combined with what we've already, and plan to in the next few days) achieve in Phoenix.

After their set I introduced myself to Nick who put the compilation together and I'd emailed a few weeks ago. Once Kirkwood Dellinger started up, we moved back to the front of Yucca to chat. Funnily enough a few songs were recognizable from hearing them so much on Point Of Ventre. After which, it seeming like time to. All things considered, and with how wiped she was, I was surprised that Katie held on up until this point. I'd seen Strange Young Things, picked up the compilation and chatted to Nick, basically everything I wanted to achieve was done, so I was fine to go. It was funny to step outside and realize that it was 1 o'clock!! The only band we ended up missing was Source Victoria, which was fine by me. We're going to have plenty of time and opportunity to catch them in the future anyway.

Funny part of the night - obviously getting to go back to Yucca, it's hard to not to think of it's best regular, the King Of Last Call, if only briefly. I'd kinda thought about the possibility of seeing Steve at some point, but didn't expect to see an appearance, pretty much because of the genre of the bands playing tonight. But sure enough, after Strange Young Things played, in walked someone under a dark baseball hat, black sleeveless shirt, shorts and sandles - the recognizable Larson outfit. I guess it goes to show, some things at Yucca just don't change! [wink]

Houses, Houses, Houses

...And A Trip To Zia Records

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, September 11, 2009 - 08:53:45 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Surprisingly, given the last 2 days of driving, and the rather late night last night, there wasn't much issue waking up early this morning. In no short part due to the drive of getting things worked out.

We were out of here by 10, headed back to Phoenix. Our first stop, after Quicktrip for sodas, was to pick up the latest Phoenix New Times, to get our nightly calendar for the week that we're here sorted out. With that under control we made a start on checking out the few houses that we've been looking at online. The first, stop was the one in Mesa that we saw a while ago, but has since been sold. The location didn't seem as great as it seemed on the map, but everything about the place, including the neighborhood looked like it unfortunate that it sold.

From there, it was back west to south Phoenix by South Mountain, to the territorial style place that I love on the outside, but the floor plan didn't seem idea. It too seemed a bit further out than I expected, and it seemed like the land looked a lot bigger in the photos. It was definitely obvious that the views from the roof balconies it had would be amazing though. Forgetting about the view of South Mountain, it looked like you'd have a complete view of the valley given the incline it was on.

From there we circled around South Mountain to the larger, but less cool looking place in Awatukee. The location of this one, particular after driving there, seemed so perfect. However, on taking a look at the outside of the house, the condition of it certainly came into question. A while ago I questioned whether it wasn't a party house, and looking at it in real life, that idea seems more likely. While we'd probably still give it a look, from the outset it looked like more work than it's worth, given that peaking in the windows we immediately saw holes in the walls.

From there we went over to our 1pm meeting with a realtor, which all went smoothly.

With that out of the way around 3, we headed up towards the last house on our list, in north Phoenix. The further north we got, and particular after we passed Camelback Mountain, the frequency of "wow, this place is too far" really increased. Particularly once we finally got to where the house was. However, after a few minutes from looking at the house from the outside, all that gibber jabber started to dissipate! Because this place was gorgeous and I think we were both even more impressed with it than we had been with the photos online. And awesome territorial style house, with the perfect desert landscaped garden boot. In hindsight I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the place.

After spending a good deal of time salivating over the place, we headed back south, swung by the storage facility and dropped off some other stuff Katie had left at Aaron's while in Australia. Since we had a bit of time to kill before meeting Aaron at yucky we went down to Zia Records. Funnily enough, was the cheapest visit to Zia Records I've ever had - invariably because there is so fewer CD's that I need these days. Obviously we were headed straight to the "Local" section at the back of the store. The only thing I found that we absolutely needed to pick up was Domo's Baby Mercury, which was pretty sweet to find, because I stupidly wouldn't have thought to look for it. Other than that we found Gloritone's Cup Runnith Over. Walking out of Zia's with only two CD's is such a rarity. And as it turned out, with our Zia card (which was still valid and had points), we got the Domo CD for half price. Thank you Zia!

We then went for a drive down Mill, since we'd spent 'rush hour' in Zia, with the plan to head to TGI Friday's for dinner - which, considering that we hadn't eaten all day (it's been that busy!) sounded like sound a fantastic idea! Driving over the Mill bridge, I noticed Tempe Beach Park filled with flags, which made me realize that it's of course September 11. So we circled around, since it seemed like such a good photo. That turned into a whole unsuccessful debarkle, and we aborted, deciding to come back later as the flags will still be up until Monday. So with that unintentially substantial diversion, we headed out to Mesa for some grub.

On getting there, we discovered that not only is our favorite Fuddruckers gone (which I knew about), so too is the TGI Fridays close by! Damn you global financial crisis, and damn you Buller for being so out of date! [wink] So from Mesa, we ended up traveling all the way back west to Arizona Mills and finally got to fix our hunger at the Five And Dinner. It was the first chance that I've had to properly scan the New Times listings for shows. Although I'd been planning to do that on the road, there has been no time to do that, with too much other stuff to take in.

After dinner we ending up killing some more time at Arizona Mills, before Aaron was at Yucca wondering where the hell we were...

Hello Tempe Arizona!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 10:39:51 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
We hit Phoenix around 4:45pm, coming through Glendale, and the traffic on the 17 was nice pretty much the whole way around downtown Phoenix, and we were on schedule to meet our appointment at the storage facility at 5pm. And then we hit the Phoenix traffic close to the 60....and there went our whole being on time thing.

Nether the less we got there before 5:30pm, got our storage space, and unloaded the car. Unloading the car made me realize just how much stuff we managed to bring in this load - it was quite impressive! The clothes bag we brought for the roof rack worked wonderfully. Given all thee rain we drove through at various places along the way, spending the extra money on the $50 one felt really good. After unloading everything and loading it into the storage unit, we both felt pretty wiped - and I felt reasonably sick - just the two days of driving, Tempe's heat and the work of unloading the car. While being feeling sick, feeling that way with a vibrant sunset over Tempe, and saguaros all around wasn't that bad. It was rewarding that the sick feel was due to the effort to make it to Tempe, which we'd pulled off successfully. We decided that our plan from here was to get some food and head to Casa Grande.

Burger King was close by. In the process of getting there, we crossed over Southern and noticed that Yucca have a new cool sign on the side of the building. While I didn't feel hungry - actually, the thought of food made me feel sicker, after having some huge gulps of the Coke, I started to feel better and was glad that I got some food.

Soon later we made it to Casa Grande, and to Aaron's. who is graciously putting us up for the week. It's been fun shooting the shit about music with him, and sort of unfortunate that after tomorrow he's leaving for Folsome and so we won't have much time to hang with him until we return.

Onwards To Arizona

Texas, New Mexico and The Grand Canyon State

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 04:45:43 pm
(Posted Under: Travel, Operation Desert Rock)
Our aim was to hit the road at 7am this morning, much like yesterday we didn't quite hit that, but weren't too far off our target. If we'd skipped breakfast, we probably would have been closer, but when are we ones to pass up a free continental breakfast? Never, that is the answer. We were both impressed with the Texas shaped waffles on offer at the Baymont Inn. It turned out to be a really nice place to stay, especially given the super cheap price we paid - and all of our clothes were still on the roof of Pepe when we went out to load up the car. Sweet! [wink] So we were back out on there road by 7:40am.

The drive through Texas was much like that of yesterday - quite flat! A little way out of Amarillo there was a lot of fog, however that lifted as the morning wore on. As we approached the border, the landscape changed a little, beginning to look a bit more like the landscape of New mexico that I remember from a few years ago. Which was further true once we crossed over the New Mexico border. Gaining the extra hour was quite appreciated too! We stopped for gas, not that far over the border. Getting out of the car for a smoke, things felt closer to home - just the landscape, the large mountain behind the gas station, everything looking a bit more Mexican / native American.

The drive through New Mexico was really nice, and really much more scenic than yesterday's drive. Once we hit Albequeque things started to became a lot more familiar, as the route to Arizona from there is basically what we took in 2006. A little after midday we stopped for gas again at a look out over the Continental Divide, which was really cool. The mountains were quite beautiful, in the typical New Mexico way.

Hitting the Arizona border was pretty exciting for obvious reasons. It was cool that the highway leading up was familar with the red cliffs to the south of the highway. Just like every other border crossing in the past two days, the change in landscape was obvious around the border. While northern Arizona doesn't quite have the same landscape as southern Arizona / the Sonoran desert, it did feel quite at home.

It was funny the number of Stephen Ashbrook related things we saw along the 40 - the first being the Meteor Crater - which at the show Stephen told a story about he and his band took a road trip diversion to check it out, was appalled by the $13 entry fee, which doesn't get onto the crater, and opted for going through a hole in the fence and sitting up on the crater, before long with the fuss at the bottom waiting for them. The prelude being that they got away with a warning, and paying the $13, since they'd gotten to see the crater!

Then we passed a souvenir place called "Geronimo". The change in temperatures was definitely noticeable, and confirmed that we were in Arizona! Of course, not that long out of Flagstaff the temperature dramatically dropped, with a huge dark cloud over Flagstaff. Driving through Flagstaff the heavens opened, and it continued to pour rain as we were heading south out of Flagstaff, really slowing us down. Which was slightly annoying, since we were starting to race against the clock to get to Tempe by 5pm to unload the car at the storage unit.

It was pretty exciting for me as the landscape changed again, from the pine tree / Colorado like look around Flagstaff changed more and more to the desert, and eventually the first saguaro cacti emerged on the landscape. We had to make a stop in Black Canyon City for gas - the small town looked really nice, though we didn't have much time to take it in, as it was about 4:30. I'd definitely be somewhere that we'd like to come back to some time, maybe when we're not racing against the clock. [smile] After filling up, we kept on trucking, Katie relying on me to get her back to the I-17, rather than Buller.

Time To Roll

Leg One - Missouri To Texas

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - 09:10:38 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock, Travel)
One day of traveling down, we're here in Amarillo, TX. Virtually half way between Warsaw, MO and Phoenix, AZ.

Last night was a late one, slightly reminiscent of packing, but a hell of a lot stressful and painful. Hell, we actually got more than an hour's sleep, so it was only slightly reminiscent of that experience. Really the only thing that made putting together our new first load of stuff was getting some web development work finished before leaving.

All in all, while we were planning to be gone by 7am, the extra packing that we didn't get on the road by 8am, but all things considered, that wasn't too bad.

Just shy of Springfield in Bolivar we stopped for some supplies and extra straps for the roof rack, which also put us behind a bit. Pretty much just getting them on. Otherwise it's been a very smooth and good trip, aside from the pissing rain from Springfield until a little after we crossed the Oklahoma border.

Somewhere along the way it was strange to realize that despite the fact that we are literally road tripping half way across the USA, Oklahoma is technically my only new state (out of Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona). With that said, previously I've only spent a few hours in Fort Worth at the airport for a layover.

Oklahoma was nice to travel through, and it still amazes me how US states are physically distinguishable. Oklahoma, while neighbouring looked vasted different to Missouri, reminding my somewhat of New Mexico - moreso with red dirt rather than red rock, but still. And again, the landscape changed soon after crossing the Texas border. Not to far across the border it became apparent to me that the Texas landscape reminded me of that of rural Australia. The most noticeable thing about the Texas (northern Texas at least) landscape - holy crap it's flat! I've seen flat plains before in different places, but northern Texas really takes the whole flat plains to an impressive extreme!

All in all, we arrived at the hotel just after 7:30pm, which was not bad, all things considered. Katie Pricelined the room, which we got for $41, which is pretty sweet, since it's a fairly nice place. Priceline has treated us fairly good thus far actually. thank you William Shatner! [wink]

So after a rest tonight, it's another early start, the final 11 and a half hours to Phoenix / Tempe.

The Trek To Arizona Begins

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - 12:37:34 am
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA, Operation Desert Rock)
Tomorrow morning we set out on our first (of two) trips out to Arizona.

I'd be remiss to not quote Marc Norman at this point...

My life is packed in a suitcase
This room isn't my home
22 hours from Phoenix
And vacant roads I don't know
Particular since we actually are about 22 hours Phoenix. And since they won't be roads I don't know the on the second trip...

We'll be out there for about a week, returning to Warsaw for a bit longer, and then moving our asses back out to the Sonoran desert for the final time.

International Space Station Over The Night Sky

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, September 6, 2009 - 09:07:23 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Over dinner we caught wind that the International Space Station was going to be visible tonight at 8:59, and decided that we should check it out. It was apparently going to visible from the south west, so over dinner I attempted to estimate what direction south west was.

I've been working on code tonight, and hence didn't bring up Google Maps zoomed in on the house until a few minutes before the event. Even with the map in front of us, it was difficult to tell where we were supposed to look. Why? Try living in the boon docks and you'll understand. [wink] So as it hit 8:57 we hurried upstairs and out onto the patio, still arguing which direction south west was.

Since the night was so clear, I figured that we had a decent chance of seeing it without working out the direction in which to be looking. The only challenge we faced was the amount of trees surrounding us. However after a minute or so of joking that we wouldn't see it because we couldn't work out where south west was, Katie spotted it, from the get go obscured by the huge tree next to the porch. A pretty cool sight, like a confused shooting star, heading up, rather than down. After about 30 seconds it had cleared the tree, and not long after, started to curve and fly across the sky above us. It was quite impressive how bright, and hence visible it was. The sighting lasted a good few minutes until it started to fade (rather quickly at one point) off in the north east.

Pretty cool to see. And I will say that my sense of direction ain't half bad - the point where we initially saw it was pretty much exactly the direction I was pointing while eating dinner. Even when I'm twisted around out here, I can still get my bearings obviously.

No Suck Promise Delivered

Stephen Ashbrook @ Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 11:58:09 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
Stephen Ashbrook gives a "no suck promise" on his live shows, and he definitely delivered on that last night.

It was a few weeks ago that we noticed that he was playing in Des Moines, looked up tour dates and saw that he was going to be coming to Kansas City. So it was about a 2 hour drive for us up to Kansas City.

On driving up to Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club both the area and bar looked impressively seedy, and since we it was close to an our before the show, we opted for driving around a bit, rather than killing time in the bar. We came across a World War I monument, and looked around there until about 7:20, and then headed back to the car. After trying to find the safest place to park, we walked over to the bar - and then realized there was parking in the rear, so we moved the car which made us both feel better.

On entering the bar, it became apparent that looks were deceiving, because inside wasn't as alarming as it looked driving up. After taking our cover charge, Michelle, the waitress set us up at the bar. Inside was quite dark, with most of the lighting coming from the red neon signs, and with Stephen off to the side talking to people, it was very reminencent of being at the Yucca Tap Room. Small dark, divey but good feeling bar, waiting to hear some Tempe musician (despite the fact that he moved to Portland years ago, for me - and many people I'm sure), Ashbrook will always be a Tempe guy), it completely had that familiar Yucca Tap Room feel.

Stephen took the stage at 8, kicked off with songs from the new CD White Balloons. We'd been discussing the album the other day, and Katie mentioned how she didn't particularly like the sound / production of the new album, but was interested in hearing what they'd be like stripped down and more traditional Ashbrook sounding, figured she'd probably enjoy them more. Right after playing You Are Here and 21 Young, that idea was certainly confirmed. They're not particular favorites of mine of the new album, but they sounded great stripped back to just Stephen with an acoustic guitar. For me, You Are Here was particularly awesome acoustic.

Having listened so much to Ashbrook live recordings, most everytime he spoke ("welcome out", "thank you" etc) it was really like "wow, I'm finally seeing Ashbrook").

Not surprisingly, early on he played Kansas City, and anyone who has been reading my blog out late knows that I've quoted the lyrics ("sitting in a holiday in, outside Kansas City. Sipping on a warm beer, poking out cold chinese") almost every time I've been to Kansas City in the last 3 months (particularly when we stayed in a Holiday Inn [smile] ). So it was really cool when he gave the back story on the song - touring with a band, getting stuck in Kansas City due to tornados; his friend would get the beer, and he'd be the one to get the chinese food. Funnily enough, a while ago I mentioned to Katie that it'd be cool to find out which Holiday Inn it was (because I'm a geek like that), and as part of the story he described it as one with a mini golf course in the middle of it. So we no doubt need to research that. [smile]

As for the set, it was a typical Ashbrook set - long, and including pretty much everything that you wanted to hear. He starting taking / encouraging requests fairly early on. I took a photo of the set list after the first set, and looking it in highensight, the requests from the crowd were definitely what drove the show.

Early on he played Geronimo, which was great to hear, and was the only new song that didn't sound better acoustic. Not that surprising, just because the album version of that song is perfect. Obviously hearing Rock N Roll was great and I took video of it.

Towards the end when he played Fastest Car one woman in the crowd encouraged many of the other females to get up and dance by the stage (the stage only really being defined by two monitors on the floor in front of Stephen) including Katie which was kinda cool. Towards the end he also pulled out a "obsquire cover" - Just Like Heaven by The Cure. Very cool to get to see that. I wish I'd taken video of it.

After the show we went up to grab some CD - I've been waiting for ever to get Double Live @ Long Wongs and we'd discussed that we really should get White Balloons. There was also a t-shirt, so I was hoping to replace my "I don't need to be discovered because I was never lost" t-shirt that was stolen in Arizona. So we waited up the front while he chatted and talked to some people. Then he came over and said hi, and introduced himself, and we said how Katie had seen him before and that I'd been a fan for quite a while but this was my first show. He mentioned that one of his rock climbing buddies had just returned to Melbourne, and was interested in the fact that we were moving out to Arizona. Without much explanation he was all over the fact that it was the music scene taking us out there. And that right there is one of the reasons why Stephen Ashbrook is really cool. He hasn't lived there for years, but still knows the importance of it. He talked a bit about the old days and how easy it was to play 5 times a week, how the smoking ban (introduced years ago) really hurt the scene, and of course the "Long Wongs Smell". [smile] Before saying bye, we mentioned that we were after some CD's. On asking for Double Live and White Balloons, he informed us of his "2 for $20 deal". Double Live was $15 and White Balloons was $12. Unfortunately he didn't have any of the right sized t-shirts with him, so we passed on that for now.

But that right there is why you should support artists like Stephen Ashbrook. Aside from his music being great - it was $5 dollars each as the cover, for 2 and a half hours of entertainment, and then sells 2 of his CD's for $20. How can you beat that? That's right, you can't.

So all in all it was a really enjoyably night. It was also really cool to get to see him out here, because without a doubt we'll see him in Arizona (which he always returns to for shows), but those shows are really packed, so it was really cool to have gotten to see him in a small bar, in an acoustic setting (Arizona shows are normally fully band) with only a handful (not that it wasn't a good turn out) of people.

The aforementioned video of Rock-n-Roll...


When In AZ Tracklist

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 11:21:09 am
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
The When In AZ compilation is released today. I was able to check out the track listing last night before i crashed, and liked what I saw. Of particular note are the old school (in my mind Strange Young Things are old school, even though they're not) Tempe bands contributions:

  • Strange Young Things - C14N14 (The Sugar Thieves)
  • Jim Bachman - My Guardian Angel (The Pistoleros)
  • Truckers On Speed - A (Dead Hot Workshop)
  • The Sugar Thieves - Left Breast Pocket (Strange Young Things)
  • Los Guys - Scarlet Harlot (Shelby James & The Cryin' Shames)
I'm looking forward to hearing the vocal treatment that Meridith gives to Left Breast Pocket.

While I'm committed to waiting until the release show at Yucca Tap on the 11th to get the compilation (which is probably a wise thing - given the download restrictions on Hughsnet, and the compilation weighing in at 55 songs) I really can't wait to hear the above tracks.
Now Playing: Violet Wild - One More Second Chance (Acoustic)

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