Black Moods @ Yucca

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 11:32:30 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Fun night with The Black Moods at Yucca for Venus' birthday. Really turned out to be something I needed.

It was the first night that we've seen Bobby fronting the band. He fits the songs, especially the new ones extremely good. With that said, it was still cool to see Kevin make a guest appearance for Sick In Bed. And with Bobby fronting the band, there were some Violet Wild numbers in the set also.

This is nothing new, but we left thinking how amazing Hitchicker is live.
Now Playing: Poison - Talk Dirty To Me

Things Learned About Prescott, Arizona

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, September 25, 2010 - 11:33:45 pm
(Posted Under: Travel, This Desert Life This Desert Life)
Well, I feel like we learned a lot about Prescott, Arizona today...

  • Prescott is "Everybody's Hometown".
    Photobox Image
    Sure, I can buy that. I've updated my Facebook profile accordingly.

  • Prescott has paralegals. Some may be undead zombies.
    Photobox Image
    No offense Lori, but I don't think the "Quad City Inquirer" could have chosen a photo that gave us the heebee jeebees anymore than this one. Nor that would keep us any more on the lookout for the undead while exploring the streets of Prescott.

  • They don't call it "Whiskey Row" for nothin'.
    Photobox Image
    Unfortunately this photo doesn't fully show the extent of bars on Whiskey Row. If you want to get oiled in Prescott, it's the place to be.

    There's also free wi-fi across the street in the town square. Sweet.

    Cool bars and free wi-fi. Basically it's just like Mill Avenue in Tempe. Err...or not. [wink]

  • Saftey comes before good old fashioned "fun" in Prescott.
    Photobox Image
    Meh, I guess it's probably for the best.

  • Your oversize Yank Tank is not welcomed in Prescott's petite parking spaces downtown.
    It's a gross oversight on my part that I didn't take a photo of the awesome signs saying as much.

    So, like, can we get some of those signs down here in Phoenix?!?

  • Prescott is friendly to us "metric centric" people.
    Again, no photo, but the bank downtown posts the current temperature in both fahrenheit, and celsius. How cool is Prescott?

    It should be said that when it's see it's 25°C and you think "it's actually kinda chilly", you're probably officially accustomed to Phoenix weather. [smile]

  • Santa Claus hangs out in Prescott during the "off" season.
    Photobox Image
    At the "Downtown Prescott Inn" to be exact. Who knew?

  • It's cold.
    Photobox Image
    We're not in the Sonoron Desert anymore Toto. But they still have cute little lizards roaming the streets.

    When you've left from Phoenix earlier in the day in shorts and a t-shirt, by 8pm you're going to stand out as - well, someone who left Phoenix in shorts and a t-shirt. [smile] Where are those cool Mexican ponchos when you need them? (Which incidentally, you're never going to get to wear in Phoenix!) Lesson learned for next time.

  • Basement divey bars are cool.
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    Even when they're vaguely intimidating initially.

  • Fire hyrdrants are cool.
    Photobox Image
    And they're even cooler when you paint them all fancy like. They also make for a sweet photo.

  • The best things in life are free. In Prescott, "air" at a gas station ain't considered a "best thing in life"
    Don't bother driving around Prescott looking for "free air" folks. Trust me on this one.

  • And last, but hardly ever least - if you book them, they will come.
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    Even when their van breaks down.
    Even when it gets to 10:45pm and it's really starting to seem like they won't.
    They will come.
    And they will rock.

    Then we will all drive back to Phoenix. And be amazed by the immediate and impressive rise in temperature outside of Black Canyon City. And proceed to bitch about the heat once at home in Tempe. [wink]

Don't mistake the quips of this post. Prescott is a really cool little town, and we had a really great day.
Now Playing: Domo - 88 Measures To Make Things Great


(Add / View Comments) (2)Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 12:30:14 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Phoenix New Times)
So I came across this article today. It was pretty far from what I was actually looking for, and I actually ended up on "Letters To The Editor" and was interesting in seeing why exactly Bob was getting so much heat, and searched for the original article.

Going Ballistic.

What an entertaining read. I'm sure I've probably read it before at some point over the past 10 years, I have some vague memory of it now. But not enough to stop it being immensely entertaining to read again. Anyone who paints Stephen Ashbrook as someone who would flash a 9mm pistol, clearly has the concepts of humor and sarcasm down pat.

The whole article is so well written, and most importantly, so entertaining, that I couldn't help but think how much of a shame it is that the likes of Bob Merh are no longer involved with the Phoenix New Times.

Similarly, the underlying point of the entire article - that it's silly to expect people to use kid gloves when it comes to anything local (or "local" [wink] ) - really speaks to me right now. Bad music is bad music, no matter who you are.

Finally, fancy that - ten years ago, it fine to work at the New Times, and to be a critic. Oh, how and where did we go so wrong?
Now Playing: Scott Johnson And Troy Dixon - Think I'm In

It's Safe To Say

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 12:48:44 am
(Posted Under: No Category)
Sometimes we smile somehow, but nothing here excites me now.

Mexican Night

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, September 17, 2010 - 09:16:05 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Eating Enchiladas and watching The Three Amigos.

I think this qualifies as Mexican night.

Sucks To Be My Computer

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 10:45:58 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
I'm about the calculate md5's for 24GB worth of data, flac it and then calculate md5's for the result.

Sucks to be my computer? Yeah, more or less. [smile]

A Quiet Weekend In

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 02:52:37 pm
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life)
It's been a pretty nice weekend. It's hard to think of the last weekend where we haven't been out both nights.

Friday night we did venture down to Mill for the opening of School Of Rock. Unfortunately the cover was too much for us, so we aborted that idea. Mark Zubia saved the night however, as Los Guys were playing at Robbie Fox. Has no idea that the place existed. Ended up being a cool chilled out night, which I think is exactly what we needed. I also got a chance to talk to Jim about the Dialectrics, so that was cool.

Last night was in just watching movies, which have been sitting on Tivo for too long. It seems like forever since we've done that.

The real noteworthy thing about this weekend is the weather. We haven't had the AC since Thursday, which is the longest stretch we've had for so long. It's funny, I actually remember saying "bring on summer" repeatedly a few months ago. I really don't know why now. On Thursday and Friday, walking outside and not being hit with an oppressive heat was such a bizarre feeling! It's remarkable how you get used to the Arizona heat. Honestly, walking outside the first couple of times made me literally feel/think "where am I?" Yesterday was a bit warmer, but still fine to have the AC off. Looking at our SRP graphs for the last few days is remarkable.

The awesome part of the weather was getting to eat dinner outside last night. Nice temperatures, food, cool background music and one of those brilliant "every color in the sky" Arizona sunsets made for an awesome late afternoon.
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - What?

Strong Bloody Violence

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 09:37:39 pm
(Posted Under: Randomosity)
From the latest commercial for Machetti...

"Contains strong bloody violence".

Surely in America that means the strong violence has lots of blood. But, in Australia it would indicate that the violence was really strong.

And hence, I can't help but laugh at how it sounds every time the commercial comes on! [smile] It almost makes me expect to hear "Contains obscene fucking language".

What Is Wrong With The Phoenix New Times

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 09:01:05 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Phoenix New Times, Rants)
Case in point about a conversation that was had on the way back from Tucson on Saturday night.

Gentlemen After Dark played two gigs in Arizona this weekend. One in Tucson, one here in the valley. Have the Phoenix New Times covered one word of either shows? No. What have they covered instead? Over the weekend, at least two pieces on Martin Cizmar's mortal enemy Frankie Muniz and his band You Hang Up.

Is it too much to ask that the Phoenix New Times has writing staff with a musical background that goes back further than the last 2 years? Apparently so. And for fuck sake, get over the Frankie Muniz thing Martin.

It was a completely difference scene with the press down in Tucson. And that's not just because the Hotel Congress anniversary was such a big deal.

Don't mistake this for me just being on a Gentlemen Afterdark high. Because clearly I am, I'm not denying that, but it doesn't change the fact that when it comes to coverage of cool local music in this town, the New Times is pretty hopeless unless it's What Laura Says or Dry River Yacht Club. There are plenty of examples of where this is true, Gentlemen Afterdark is just the latest example.

Gentlemen Afterdark @ The Sail Inn

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, September 5, 2010 - 11:59:43 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Months ago, we didn't know that we were going to do both Gentlemen Afterdark shows. Hell, last week we still didn't. But after last night, there was no question. When the end of last night came, the fact they'd booked a show in Tempe tonight was such a nice thing to look forward to. Y'know, having a killer time, wanting to see more, and well...knowing that we could tonight!

We'd blown most of our cash in Tucson, and had to find an ATM to get more, which made us a little late. And of course, the Sail Inn didn't have the cover listed anywhere, so we didn't know how much it was going to be. In this instance, we knew that whatever it was, we wanted to see this show. So getting cash made us a bit late. Ironically, G was outside when we walked up, and he got us in for free as his guests. Thanks G!

Photobox ImageThankfully, not only were we late, but so was the show. When we walked in Andrew and PC were still setting up. Sweet. Given that we were late to Andrew's set on Friday night, we were really glad that we didn't miss it tonight. As much as I enjoy The Dirty Rascals, man Future Band Of America are really a whole nother thing all together. It's been a while since we've seen them play, and actually had some fears that they were no more. Very glad that that's not the case.

Photobox ImageAs per last night, when Gentlemen Afterdark took the stage, Brian wasn't up there until the absolute last minute. The setlist was exactly the same as last night, with the addition of Pills, which I guess they had on the list last night but didn't get to play.

There were a lot of cool things about seeing them again tonight. I guess firstly was just getting to see them again. [wink] Secondly, the very few songs that we didn't know last night were familiar tonight, thanks to picking up the CD last night completing our collection. And it was just cool to get to see them on a big stage last night, and the bar tonight.

Brian dragged PC on stage as they closed out with Pills which was a riot. With the action on stage, and the degree of crowd participation off stage, there was no doubt something special was going down.

Overall I think my favorite show was last night, but there were certain parts of tonight that were better than last night. One of those was being able to get closer and hence my short ass being able to see more. I guess the one disappointment with tonight was that after it, there was no promise of another show tomorrow. [smile]

This weekend it's been hard not to really wish you were around in the 80's for it all. But with that said, holy shit, it was really great getting to see these guys play. Looking forward to the next show, in 100 years. [lol]
Now Playing: Gentlemen Afterdark - Pills

Gentlemen Afterdark @ Hotel Congress

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, September 4, 2010 - 09:47:45 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
We wandered down to the Hotel Congress around 9.

Definitely a cool atmosphere going on down there, which I guess isn't that hard with how cool that place is. It wasn't long after walking in did we notice we weren't the only ones that had come down from Tempe, spotting both PC and Andy. Which kinda made the stalking joke from last night even funnier. Chatted to them about what a great show last night was, and how much we were looking forward to tonight's show.

It appeared that Gentlemen were actually going on at 10:30, instead of 11:30, which made going down there earlier seem like a good thing. I stopped in the foyer to pick up a new baseball cap, and then headed into Club Congress in hopes of catching Creosote. As they were setting up and started playing, I was a little confused, as it wasn't what I was expecting. As it turns out, things were way off schedule, and we actually saw. Low Max. Had no idea about them, but pretty cool to watch.

Afterwards we milled around outside by the outdoor stage. A lot of waiting was involved. Testament to how behind schedule everything was running, the Gentlemen setup didn't start til around 11:30pm. And they didn't go on stage until after midnight. It certainly was not their fault, but seemed to give some authenticity to the Gentlemen Afterdark show - I'm sure this happened a lot in their hey day. [wink] There was a merch table set up, and they were selling a 16 song mixed CD, which was brilliant given my Facebook status the other day.

Fuck. The 2 hour drive to Tucson and all that waiting around was so worth it. It was clear that it was about 2.5 seconds after Brian Smith took the stage. Of course, in true rock star fashion, he was the last one on stage, up there at very last minute. There was little question months ago that we were going to come to the show, but if there ever had been, it would have been shattered the moment Brian took the stage. The opportunity to see Brian perform, let alone with Gentlemen Afterdark was really something.

Photobox ImageThe band was fully decked out with guitar, synth and violin, with Stuart having flown in from the UK for the show. Brian looked great, arguably looking more reminiscent of Robert Smith than ever. Not sure whether he'd take that as a compliment, but I mean it as one. Speaking of which, the fact that the pre show mix, in addition to their songs also included In Between Days was pretty sweet. Ahhh, the 80's, I miss you so.

Things kicked off with Darkrooms, and there was no shortage of Brian posturing, and...well, just still being an all round rock star. The other thing that was immediately obvious, is how happy everyone looked to be there playing.

Photobox ImageThroughout the show, there was a good deal of abuse directed to the sound guy (probably with love, I think it was Bruce from the Rubies) coming from Robin. There was definitely something about this that was great. I'm sure this sort of thing happened a lot in 1984 and added some sense of authenticity to the show if you ask me. [smile]

The excitement with getting to see Brian perform, and the seeing band in general was pretty high as it was. But it turned to pure elation three songs in, when Brian gave a shout out to Hopkins, and the band launched into a rendition of his Sometimes. Wow. I was already completely psyched to be there and get to see them play, but this was something else all together! Despite Brian's intro to the song being quite long, it was all lot to take in when they started playing.

Following that they broke into a mixture of more familiar Gentlemen Afterdark songs and a handful of Pills tracks. All of them fantastic. They brought up Billy Sedmyer up for Hollywood Doll, with the crowd loved. The show closed out with Holiday, which sounded awesome. It did seem like they had another song in them, but Dave Slutes was a man on a mission to keep the night rolling.

Man, what can I say? It was a glorious 45 minutes or so. Brian looked great, and was every bit the rock star I'd imagined. The songs all sounded great, and hold up fine after almost 30 years. It was one of those shows that the moment it's over, you want it to happen all over again. The upside is that although it wasn't going to happen right then, it is going to tomorrow night. There's absolutely no doubt we're going to the Sail Inn show now.

Tucson Bound

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, September 4, 2010 - 05:00:00 pm
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life, Travel, Road Trips)
Photobox ImageBig rock show tonight, Gentlemen Afterdark tonight in Tucson for the Hotel Congress 25th Anniversary. I knew last week that this weekend was going to hurt once we realized the Strange Young Things pre tour benefit was on Friday night.

Despite the best laid plans to crash earlier, get up early and leave for Tucson earlier, it was virtually impossible given last night. Such is the rock n' roll life. But we finally got out on the road to Tucson.

We stopped at the Picacho Peak travel plaza. Katie was in heaven. [smile] Found a lot of great deals, and spent more money that we'd planned on, but it was worth it. Among the purchases was a cool Kokpelia door mat. Once we have the house to go along with it, we'll be sorted. [smile]

Photobox ImageAfter a reasonably stop there, we headed onwards to Tucson, through the Saguaro National Park, which was beautiful as always. Stopped briefly there, and then headed back to Tucson. First stop was the one Zia's location we hadn't yet hit up. Katie found a Record Store Day 2010 tee that we missed out on this year, so we had to get it. A pretty sweet find, and makes up the valley locations running out of them back on Record Store Day.

From there we set out to find the Long Wongs we ate at years ago. With absolutely no memory of where it actually was. We first went to the other one (which was no longer there), before setting Bueller to the other location. Only to find that it was no longer there either. Not only was this a huge disappointment, but we were also starving and weak from hunger at this point. [smile] So we just went back to downtown Tucson to see what we could find.

We decided to park at O'Malley's and walk along 4th Ave to see what our options were. It was all pretty convienent given that it wasn't far from Hotel Congress. Much like the last time we were in Tucson, it was reminding me a lot of Melbourne funnily enough. I didn't have that reaction my first time in Tucson at all, but the last two times in the 4th Ave area, it's really hit me. And to that end, we saw a trolley/tram tonight, which looked remarkably like the old Melbourne trams. Certainly there was something very "Brunswick Street" about walking down 4th Ave. While I wouldn't actually want to live in Tucson, that area definitely does have a very cool vibe that Phoenix, as far as I can tell, is missing.

Not finding anywhere else we'd rather eat, we decided to head back to O'Malley's to eat. With the duel purpose of seeing whether Chalmers Green showed up, who were scheduled to play. Our plan was to maybe see some of them before heading to Hotel Congress. Not neccesarily the best food we've eaten, but I felt like I was going to pass out from lack of food, so it was quite good to be eating either way.

Leafing through the local papers, there were no shortage of press about the Hotel Congress anniversary, the old Tucson venues and bands that were playing this weekend, including some cool stuff on Gentlemen Afterdark. Which highlighted how much of a waste the Phoenix New Times is these days. Reading through a lot of this stuff reminded us both of how New Times articles were 10 years ago.

By about 8:30, we decided to give up on the hope of seeing Chalmers Green and walked down to the Hotel Congress. It was only a five minute walk, which made our choice on where to park the car perfect.


Strange Young Things Tour Kickoff Benefit

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, September 3, 2010 - 11:34:04 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Fun and long night tonight. The Strange Young Things boys are taking off on tour, and tonight's show was in benefit for that.

Photobox ImageGreat crowd all night. And was definitely one of the best shows of theirs we've seen on so many levels. Yeah, I know, I say that so often. But it was. Yucca remained packed all night. Everyone was sporting "Fuck Strange Young Things" stickers. I'm surprised Corey asked us whether we'd wear them. While affixing them to ourselves,, PC came over and said hi and suggested that we were stalking him. [wink] With the frequency in which we see him, it's a fair call. [smile] ha!

And speaking of PC, he intro'd the band tonight - at which point I thought how good he is at it. As well as the mayor of Tempe, I think he's also the MC of Tempe without a doubt!

Photobox ImagePlayer of the week tonight when it comes to fashion would have to go to Adam. We talked to him about the pending tour for a while outside early in the night while he was selling raffle tickets. Dressed in the usual Adam style. At the time I said to Katie that one night he should upstage Glodie. Little did I know it was going happen tonight. About half an hour before their set, Adam walked into Yucca in tight leopard skin pants. Awesome!

Photobox ImageA highly energetic show. My name somehow got worked into one of the songs, which is becoming a regular occurrence at Yucca. Thanks for the love Cor. By the end of the night, the stage looked like it normally does on a really good night - full of musicians that aren't actual in the band. My favorite moment was probably when Corey insisted a hesitant Zubs come up and take over on guitar.

The band was a little late to hit the stage, and hence played well past last call. So much for the plans to get out earlier and to bed to leave early tomorrow for Tucson. [wink] The best part of the night came when there was a huge call out for an encore - well past 2am. The guys very happily got up to close up with Lonely Hearts Are Wild.

Shit, what a fun night. If you live in the midwest or east coast, check the tour dates to see if they're playing anywhere near you in the next month. It's cool, you can thank me for the recommendation (which will change your life) later. [smile]

Blog Fixes

Brought To You By Insomnia!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 07:19:22 pm
(Posted Under: Web Development)
Well, that's been one of my most productive bouts of insomnia in a while. It's been recently brought to my attention that both the search and viewing categories on my blog was majorly foobar.

The whole not being able to sleep made for a good opportunity to get those bugs sorted out. Oh how I love working with a spaghetti of xpath expressions.

It was also an opportunity to spruce up the comments section of the code somewhat, which has been getting a fair bit of action lately. Check the new icons.
Now Playing: The Maine - The Way We Talk

Insomnia In AZ

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 03:07:31 am
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life)
So tonight I thought that it might just be cool enough to kill the AC and sleep. Well, I thought wrong on that. It lasted about 2 hours before the inevitable Arizonan heat insomnia kicked in.

It's at times like this that I can't help but sing Dust Mouth. And think how sometimes it hits a little too close to home. [wink]

Yeah, yeah, yeah, dry fucking heat. Well my electric bill swiped me clean. I swore that I wouldn't be here one more summer.
Not that I'm complaining, but I'm looking forward to something like cold. To keep up the Norm quotes. [wink]

Typically winter pays for summer, but out here, summer definitely pays for winter. I used to think that Phoenician's love of winter was crazy. But I now understand it, on such a deep level. [smile]

Again, not that I'm complaining, just sayin'. [smile]

Album Longevity

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 01:46:17 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music)
Some albums have it, and some don't. One that came up in an argument recently is Major Lodge Victory. In light of that, I just consulted Hitter to see if it would back up my point, pretty sure that it would. Indeed it does. Over the past 5 years, Major Lodge Victory sits as my 8th most played album. Which doesn't seem right. But if you look at each year breakdown, it makes a lot more sense.

Chart positions from when it came out stack up a little like this.

2006 - #3
2007 - #20
2008 - #41
2009 - #146
2010 - #41

What is clear is that it's an album I played the hell out of. But only when it first came out. Of the 784 track plays that gets it to sit at #8 overall, a whopping 79% of those occurred within the first two years. 61% in the first year. And the most staggering statistic of all, is that 50% of those plays had happened in the first 3 months of having the album.

I grant you that 2010 looks like a resurgence in the album, but 42% of that placement comes from the two songs on that record that I still like an have on playlists I play often. Actually, it still looks like an inflated figure. But it's I guess not, every other song on the album has been played twice this year, rather than once last year. Of course, except for California Sun, which is banned in these parts. [lol]

We can compare it with an album that does have longevity. What better example that Dead Hot Workshop's Heavy Meadow? A fair contender, as it came out around the same time as Major Lodge Victory. An album that is my #2 played album of the past 5 years. Here's the per year rundown.

2006 - #2
2007 - #1
2008 - #14
2009 - #8
2010 - #7

What speaks volumes about this is that Heavy Meadow came out in the second week in November 2006. Which gave Major Lodge Victory a good 3 month head start on it in 2006, yet Heavy Meadow still piffed it for the #2 slot. Five years later, the spins keep flowing, and the album barely drops out of the top 10.

And there you have it. The difference between an album with longevity, and one that clearly doesn't.

I'd really love if my Hitter stats went back to before 2006. Not only because I'd have beaten lastfm to the punch and would be making millions off it [wink], but to see where New Miserable Experience would come up. Well, not so much that, I know where it would, but to see to what extent it would crush every other album in plays since 1993. [smile]

For the record, for the past 5 years, it sits at #21*. And we're talking about an album I have been playing the hell out of for 12 years previous to recording plays.

Now there is an album with longevity for ya!

* It's worth mentioning that plays of other versions of this album (Deluxe Edition, Rarities Edition etc.) I have are not aggregated and hence don't count to this figure, so the position is probably actually higher than reported.
Now Playing: The Black Moods - Sick In Bed

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