Thursday, June 17, 2010

dead kings.

bonnaroo was intense. kinda like how i imagine woodstock would be if they tried to run it today. about a tenth of the people and widespread commercialization. they had a helicopter too. jay-z gave me a rap hat, thanks mate. well, not him personally but his clothing brand. i don't really wear it but it's a good'un. we played on a little stage in front of where weezer was playing which was interesting. never played on a stage in front of another stage before. i ended the set with a white towel wrapped around my head held on with a garnier fructus elastic headband. may have inadvertently bolstered the rep of just being a band called the middle east and seeming like we're from the middle east. after the set we all caught some dinner together (tme and mumford & crew) which was excellent. the food and the company were unbeatable. we said some goodbyes and i ran off to get a rap hat while everyone else went to stevie wonder. i went to stevie after but couldn't find anyone so i just caught a tiny bit then bailed back to the van. we went back to mike & ash's, split up the gear, did some general cleaning and sorting of the van then mark and i set off to get to jackson, TN. we arrived and slept.

we woke up and drove. and drove. and drove. and drove. and for a change then we thought it might be a cool idea if maybe we considered possibly just driving a little bit more. eventually we got to dallas and i got on my flight. after some drama with my credit card eventually they gave me inflight wireless internet for free. this therefore made it the best flight ever. inflight internet is amazing. anyone who saw all of my facebook updates understands how much i loved it. anyway. landed at LGA in NYC and caught a taxi to rich's where i slept. the next day i woke up and pretty much just started to plan my next few days. after working out a rough plan rich and i met up with sasha and we went and saw sally seltmann play at a sweet dark little bar. she ruled. then sasha and i headed off to the empire state to try and catch the sunset but we missed it by like a half hour. that's alright, we enjoyed it anyway. after that we went to planet hollywood in times square. what a weird place. the most unusual memorabilia hanging around the place. some rad stuff from se7en that i really wanted. some stuff from beetlejuice (yep). some stuff from fifth element and die hard 3. a bunch of stallone stuff. you could tell who owned the place. the food wasn't too bad. a couple basically broke up next to us which was kind of distressing but we tried to block it out. after that we bid our farewells (see you in australia!) and went to our respective places of rest.

the next day (the 15th) i went on a bit of a mission. i dropped some rolls of film (14) off at a sweet photo lab, walked up to the NYC public library and took a look, then went to the chrysler building and took a big long look at that (favourite building in NYC next to the empire, definitely), then checked out grand central (mark told me i'd love it and i did), then dropped some stuff off at our business manager's office, then went to NBC for a fallon taping. it was pretty rad. such a tiny studio, really surprised me. the guy who was warming up the crowd singled me out as the orrstrayylyann so we had a bit of a back and forth which was entertaining. the roots came out and played thought @ work to get the crowd ready (awesome) to which i reacted like a school girl to the beatles in the 60's. the roots are still the best. see them live and try denying it. cedric the entertainer was on and he was funnier than i remember. he made some crack about there being an ipad app for where to buy weed in the hood and ?uestlove made a "he just say that on fallon?" face. it was a pretty awkward comment. fred willard was on too and wasn't as funny as i'd hoped. still cool to see him in person though. broken social scene played a song too. killed it.

afterwards this feller named paul took me down and showed me the set which was pretty cool to see. i got to see ?uest's kit up close too which was pretty surreal. learned a few little things i might try and work into my setup. after that i walked down 7th and found a cinema and watched get him to the greek which was alright. might have to see it again. i dig jonah hill so i was always destined to see it. walked back to rich's and slept. i don't remember what i did the next day. i think i went and saw splice which was pretty surprisingly rad and legitimately disturbing. and really well made. after that i bailed back to rich's then went out again and saw best worst movie which is a doco about troll 2 and the recent cult status it's achieved. really good, really funny, really entertaining doco. kinda heartbreaking in parts too. definitely recommend it. after that, sleep. next day i got up and saw breathless (godard) at the film forum which was a pretty killer experience. brand new print, lovingly restored. looks good as new. still as fresh of a film as ever too. after that i headed back to rich's and we picked up greg and went to brooklyn bowl to see the roots/john legend play.

pretty surreal little show. not a big venue which was odd given who was playing. i watched ?uest and john the whole time, and james poyser. i didn't even realise poyser was playing with the roots now. he's amazing. pure fire on a piano. did a ridiculous solo in one of the songs that had everyone else in the band cracking up laughing from the sheer sickness of it. after that we bowled awhile while ?uesto dj'd the night away. i did good on my first game but sucked royally after that. what's a boy to do. the lakers/celtics game was playing all around the venue at the same time and when the lakers won, ?uest was spinning that kelis "i hate you so much right now" song and he dropped it back to probably half the speed or more for a couple of minutes to really emphasize exactly how he was feeling about the lakers at the time. we eventually headed home and i slept.

woke up, hectic times. picked up some photos from the shop, packed my bags, booked hostels...a few other things before i left. bid my farewell to rich (who's a legend for putting me up for the last couple of days/nights), jumped in a cab, raced to jfk as fast as i could (it took around an hour and forty five...nasty) only to find the computers were down so they just manually checked us in. which was interesting. the flight was alright, i watched star wars episode III: revenge of the sith. if you take out all the clowning droid voices and basically every scene (except the choking one) with padme then you have a really solid film. easily the best of the prequels. very badarse. the opening is the best of the prequels too, straight into it.


i also read child of god by cormac mccarthy. pretty intense book, not for the weak of stomach or those who don't like weird stories. definitely his shortest book too. after i got off the flight they put us with a different carrier to get to munich (the flight went into dusseldorf) who charged me excess baggage which is a whole other kettle of fish but i eventually got on the flight and listened to animal collective the whole way. real short flight, might have actually been less than an hour flight time. once i got there it was a juggling act with all of my gear. when it came to stairs, cause i had my rolling luggage, snare and cymbals (and backpack but that doesn't count), sometimes i had to take two items up some steps, come down, grab the lone item, grab one of the two items i already brought up on the way past, go up further, go down and grab the straggler and so on. painful. but i finally got to the hostel where i am now at. sigh.

the title has no relevance to the contents of this post, i just think they're a badass band.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

in nashville.

phoenix was pretty good. we ended up hanging out exchanging party tricks by the end of the night over a few beers. then we (mumford + crew & tme) attempted a human pyramid. we did not succeed. this would not be the last attempt, however.

after that we high-tailed it to austin. the venue was basically a big shed but sounded surprisingly badass. i only played ONE tables tennis game against rohin and NO POOL AT ALL besides both being free for all for the whole night. this bums me out a lot. all the denton crew came down for the show which was amazing, so good to see them all again. i ended up going to a bar named mohawk and hanging with two new friends, liz and bob. liz is a singer-songwriter and bob is a comedian. they were real interesting folk and nicely bought me a drink or two. we headed back to chance (heck)'s house which is HUGE and hung for a bit. bree, carly sue, lesley, courtnie and myself then went to kerby lane for some late night (4:30am) eats. i had some enchiladas. they were good. lesley chose a chicken sannich so she could sit back in the corner of the booth and chill. that was the actual reason she told us she chose it. good reason. went back to chances, slept for a few hours.

woke up, head to dallas. i watched some more penn & teller and listened to the new deftones. penn & teller ruled, not so sure about new deftones yet. think it'll be a grower. it's a little too overtly melodic in some parts...what i mean by that is it always felt the melody in deftones was understated. part of the song as a whole that seemed to write itself in there because it fit perfectly. some of the stuff on the new album feels melodic for melodic's sake. this sounds weird, i know. i need to listen to it more. as pretentious and weird as it may sound, i kind of see deftones as the radiohead of metal. they do whatever the hell they want and always pull it off...well, i need to listen to the new album to make sure they pulled it off. so to speak. anyway.

we got to the house of blues in dallas. it's a killer venue, one of the newest HOB's in the country. actually i think it is THE newest one. the downstairs room is excellent and big and the room we played in, the cambridge room upstairs, was also sweet. dealey plaza was a 5 minute walk away (where kennedy was assassinated) but i didn't end up going there which i now consider a mistake. we got some free chow (i got the elwood: sourdough bun, tomato, lettuce, chili mayo, cayan chicken & chips...amazing) and somehow got the sweetest dressing room in the whole building. it overlooked the main downstairs room where wonder girl were playing with 2PM. 2PM killed it, wonder girl not so much. the sound of girl's screams was DEAFENING. insane. we played okay. before the last song we started thanking people which went on for about 3 minutes or so. we even thanked cheverolet for making the van we toured in. mumford ruled too. pretty sad being our last show together though. bonnaroo doesn't count.

after the show i ran into mel who is a pal of my friend andy. she stayed at a house i lived in forever ago (2007 i think) so that was a weird chance encounter. later we tried to do the mumford/tme pyramid again after taking an end of tour crew photo but we failed aaahhhgain. i blame the top two rows for being too scared to scale our mighty 'mid. after that we headed back to denton to hang with everyone which was sweet, then went to bed. goodnight.

next day we got up, hung for a bit and said our goodbyes. next stop, nashville. the drive was pretty good. i bought at the mountains of madness which is shaping up to rule pretty hard. did some more listening and watched some more penn & teller with joe. got to nashville to mike & ash's (they rule super hard) and hung for a bit before sleep. just woke up before to some amazing breakfast from m&a and now we're about to head to bonnaroo, our last show in the USA for a long while. this is epic. after the show we're splitting up our gear for our respective flights to different places. pretty crazy.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

good grief.

i am BEYOND behind. ugh. it's like forgetting to do homework and running off and doing cool stuff like playing under the broken fire hydrant in the street while tribe called quest blasts from some boombox nearby being held by a dude with a flat top and you're wearing bright coloured parachute clothes probably adidas and everyone's dancing and having a good time and some old man is yelling at us to stop dancing and making such a racket and so on but then when you get home and relax into the couch for your favourite session of cat dog or rocco's modern life or even beavis and butthead you find a crumpled piece of paper wedged in the gap between the sofa cushion and the sofa back and it turns out it's actually your maths homework but you're not good at maths and it's due tomorrow but there's no way you can do it so you just don't and then forget to do it and then the teacher calls you up the front in class and you act all cool like forgetting to do your homework is sick but then the teacher makes an example of you and you get all up in her grill and start fumin' all over the place and she just sends you to the principal's office and you get expelled.

that's what it's like right now.

alright so we did a bunch of stuff. ummm...redwoods of northern california. amazing. super tall trees. very tall, verrryyy dangerous. we ran into jack johnson there. i think he was just hanging with his fam. we had a debate amongst ourselves as to if it was really him. we have decided it was probably him after some research. everyone saw a brown bear run across the road but me. i shot two rolls of film but one broke inside the camera so it was ruined and the other didn't even go through the camera so i felt pretty dumb about that. we went to san francisco and played there and there was this chef named jose who was amazing. he also had this kitchenhand who's name i forget. apparently, according to jose, "children of bodom, they come here and they play, they ask for jose". he also said silverchair ask for jose. jose was a pretty amazing cook, i'll be honest. i went back for seconds, possibly thirds. sasha (hough, pal from melbourne) came out to the show. cool seeing a melbourne pal in another country. she had a girl she was travelling with too named tania. i said "had a girl" just then like tania is a bag or something. which she is not. anyway.

after that i don't even remember. i ended up in LA, walked around a while, caught one of those touristy tours that's like AND THERE IS THE HOUSE JENNIFER ANISTON LIVED IN WHEN SHE WAS ON FRand stuff like that. pretty lame but 25 bucks to sit down for 2 hours and see most of beverly hills and hollywood was a pretty sweet deal. plus i got to see zanuck, goldwyn, newman...all these awesome estates from the golden age. and aaron spelling's house which is incredibly big. the LA shows went pretty sweet, a bit of fun. met some crazy people. i went to amoeba which was overwhelming and i ended up walking out with nothing. actually wait, that was the second day. first day i walked out with new dillinger, cult of luna - eternal kingdom w/dvd and chasing amy (criterion...4 bucks!). tried to go to the cinerama dome but i missed all the decent sessions. fail.

we did a show in costa mesa too which was nice. that was on our lonesome, not with mumford. i was on fire when it came to pool that night. i seriously couldn't miss a shot. i was surprising even myself, i hadn't played since brooklyn like 3 weeks back. i hope this pool mojo continues until i get home and then i can smash andrew, aaron and vallejos in one swoop. look out boys.

then we played a show in solana beach with mumford. that was...weird. turned into a bit of a slap-dash set but i guess that's okay. we hung out with christina (VH, friend from aus and traveller/wanderlust extraordinaire) and she gave us a place to stay and shared breakfast with us this morning. that was excellent. i had eggs, toast and strawberries. it worked. then we drove across the bloody desert and now we're in phoenix. we just played before, mumford are playing now and killing it. everyone is singing every single word. i swear if marcus coughed the crowd would cough at the same time. brilliant.


p.s. won't be so long next time. promise.