- Growing up in San Diego, there were pretty much two places to see shows. One was the Casbah, a venue we've played extensively, loved exclusively, and which is in possession of one of the premier Ms. PacMan machines in the continiguous United States. The other was Soma, a club named after a fake drug which became a real drug and which, at the time, served an exclusive dinner of SoCal "punk" rock. The Casbah was where I always wanted to go, but, being not yet of boozing age, I was barred from entrance; Soma frightened me and smelled sort of like cheese.*
The result of this unfavorable dilemma was myriad drives to Los Angeles for shows. And largely, these shows were at the Troubadour. I was lucky enough to see At the Drive-In in their hey day, Q and Not U with and without their bassist. I saw System of a Down there, back when they were sufficiently small and I was sufficiently stupid enough to crowd the stage at a System of a Down show. I remember spending half the time in awe of spastic, supreme rocking and the other half dodging the steel-toed Doc Martins of crowd-surfing chronic depressives.
So in a way, finally playing the Troubadour early this past week was a kind of bizarre home-coming. And I must say: sheer greatness. The staff is as professional (and skilled) as they come, the sound is ear-shatteringly fantastic, and the dude at the door filled our parking meter out of the kindness of his heart. Also, they put a door on the shitter. Bravo: "A plus."
- I watched the Republican National Convention last night in a state of mind best described as somewhere between "cautious pessimism" and "outright dread." And while I'll spare you the political commentary, I will mention one thing. There was a guy in the crowd with a sign that read, simply, "Mavrick."
Now, I'll admit I'm not the most diligent of editors. This blog has been rife with misspellings, accidental syntax errors, and the ramblings of a half-drunk banjo-entusiast at three in the mornings. But if you're going to make a sign in support of your candidate and if your sign has only one word on it, you should probably do a quick spell check on that sign. In fact, you don't even need to use a dictionary (long the tool of the high-minded liberal elite, anyhow). Just check that spelling against that surprisingly re-watchable Mel Gibson movie or that tragic Dallas-based NBA franchise**. There's an "e" in there somewhere, unless McCain is so maverick-y that he refuses to even spell the word right. If that's the case, he's going to be a mean Prosdent of Merica.
- It's nice having a new album. We've been pimping "No Midnight" for over 800 midnights now and actually holding a CD in my hand made me beam. Not so coincidentally, I put a link over there on the right if you want to buy one. I tried to do that as un-shamelessly as possible but I see I've failed.
- While enjoying a bagel at and some Sea and Cake album I couldn't quite place at the corner coffee shop today, a guy came in with a parrot on his shoulder. I was disappointed when he did not pay for his latte in gold doubloons. In fact, he was about the most unassuming guy I've ever seen: cargo shorts, skate shoes, plain t-shirt, that one haircut every barber does whether you ask for it or not; and yet, he had a parrot. I was very confused. At first I thought: maybe this parrot is his conscience and to be without it for even a second would mean a descent into an ethical morass. Then I remembered we're talking about a species of animals who believes it's nighttime when you throw a scarf over their cage. So I just sat there staring until he left, hoping the bird would poo on his shoulder. It did not happen.
- I meant to put this up last week but the complete and total lack of reliable internet access kept it under wraps. We done made a little video. Hope you enjoy:
- After a mere three days of eating Taco Bell, Burger Shack, Rubio's, and Froster's Freeze, my arteries and brain are clogged. After forty or fifty some-odd days of the same, I may be dead. If so, I'd like my tombstone read: "He Died As He Lived, Surrounded By Poison Cheeseburgers." Thank you.
- Speaking of worthy thank yous: Thanks to anyone who braved the Great American Music Hall at the ungodly hour of 8 p.m. That's the earliest we've played since we did an acoustic set at St. Jude's Home For Enfeebled and Insomniac Geriatrics. A few stalwart folks showed up at nine, asked when we were playing, then almost punched me in the eye. To those folks: apologies. Except for the man who expressed his disdain in the following sentence: "I'd be angrier if I wasn't stoned." That cracked me up.
* The original Soma, that is. I hear there's a new one I have to visit, but the fragrance will surely be an improvement. Unless they went from "gouda-stench" to "eau de open sewer."
** Go Warriors