Damn. 4 hours of sleep and no break in all the fun this week. First, I have to say Grammy's? LAME. The Police. Boo. I can't stand Roxanne. By the time I heard crap ass Rascal Flatts doing that nightmare of a song, Hotel California, I had to get out of the house. Ugh. I will say congratulations to local San Diegan, Billy Ray, who played drums on several tracks of the award winning album by Ike Turner. (Best Traditional Blues album) Not really sure how other locals fared, but I've got other shit to talk about.
And oh my god. Is this country just full of stupids or what? Norbit made $31M this weekend. Come on. Really? This is so depressing to me I can't even express myself.
So it was a pretty crazy weekend for me. I started feeling sick on Saturday but you gotta power through it, and that I did. I spent the day at my sister's house in PB. Have you been to the Trader Joe's there? It kicks ass compared to the one in Hillcrest. My sister said that the reason is that the Hillcrest is the southermost store and therefore serves not only the immediate area, but all of south county and people who come across the border to shop. A new store is slated to open in Eastlake which will hopefully alleviate some of the traffic in the store, but still does nothing to expand the floor space and the product selection.
Anyway, hanging out with my family is always good. Eventually I headed to The Liar's Club (after circling Mission Blvd and finally parking at Santa Clara Rec Center) and I heard the food was taking forever so though I wasn't hungry yet, I put in my order for a "pussy melt"; the fuego melt with less peppers. My friend Sandra was working the door and Scooter had a table on the patio, so I bought an anniversary hoodie and sat outside.
AM Vibe was really good. They played an acoustic set. Lisah has her surgery for her broken back this week, so send good thoughts her way. If you're a fan of the Sundays or the vocals of Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star, this is your thing. The bar was crowded but we could hear just fine from where we were which was cool. Porter said they kept messing up, but I couldn't tell. I can't imagine playing guitar and singing with a neck brace on, but Lisah did it, and did it well.
They played for about 45 minutes and it was still a while before my food arrived. This is not a complaint, it's just something that should be expected and planned for if you wanna eat at a bar with an extensive menu and just one cook in about a 6 square foot area in which to cook. Deal with it or go to In N Out.
After eating and closing out my tab, I headed down to my neck of the woods. My first stop was the Zombie around 10:30, but Action Andy had just finished and I found out the Infants would be on last, so I bailed and headed to the Tower Bar to see The Downs Family.
If you have never seen the Downs Family, do it. This band is kinda the reason I started drinking Guinness. Crazy Irish tinged rock with both an electric and an acoustic guitar, bass, banjo, accordian, drums, and occasional mandolin. If you're a fan of The Pogues or Flogging Molly, check out The Downs Family. I used to make every effort in high school to catch their all ages shows and while the lineup has changed a lot over the years, as long as Dave Dick is up front, you know they're gonna bring it. Dave Dick, by the way, can drink an entire Guinness faster than most people can take a shot. Not kidding. He just pours it down his throat. Quite the sight to see. They played all the oldies and some stuff I didn't recognize which I hope means they are still writing new stuff. I'm sure they're playing some St. Patrick's Day event near you, so check em out.
They were the only band at the Tower Bar that night and I've seen them go on forever. Also, there was an obnoxious drunk girl doing the leprechaun-y jig and came close to knocking me out too many times, so after about an hour, I went back to the Zombie. Good timing, too. The second band finished and the Infants were setting up.
The crowd was thin but fun. The three piece band has a retro 50's/60's rock thing going, like Buddy Holly or Jerry Lee Lewis, but appropriately updated with a garage tinge to give a good performance at a place like the Zombie. I had a good time watching them and was especially impressed as Scott played a slow song and the final song, a cover of Helter Skelter, with a broken guitar string. I said my goodbyes to Luis and Rene and headed to home base and made last call at the Ken Club.
While I'd spent Saturday in PB, my kitchen and bathroom were painted, so Sunday was a fun day of cleaning up all the paint splashes and general house cleaning and laundry and whatnot. The soundtrack of 6 hours of cleaning: Swim Party (twice), A Week's Worth, Arcade Fire, Chris Garneau, The Decemberists, The Long Winters, and Piers Faccini.
I really wanted to check out the show at the Habitat House, but my laundry wasn't done and I got sucked into watching the red carpet coverage. As the awards officially started, I watched the first hour and a half but if I had to hear Mary J ramble anymore I was gonna shoot myself. The tipping point was the announcement, "Coming up, Red Hot Chili Peppers." barf. I jumped in the shower and headed down to the Casbah.
The Affair had finished, and I found out that they only played 2 songs because the singer blew out her voice at a show on Saturday. She had a shot injected in her neck at a hospital to try to get through the show, but it didn't happen.
Bedroom Walls took to the stage around 10:20. The singer reminded me a lot of John Castro from the Rugburns. He had a little body like Prince and was a good frontman. Before every song they'd make a pronouncement: "This is the happiest song in the world." "This is the saddest song in the world." "This is our dance song, so you better shake your asses." I enjoyed the set a lot. Apparently the band has been a 3 piece but added a rhythm section which made their sound full. They record with Rafter and he joined them for a couple songs to play glockenspiel.
Castanets is another Asthmatic Kitty act. Ray started with a backing band, but he performed mostly alone, using his pedals to record sounds and play them back, create an echo effect on his voice and other tricks. He left the stage and sang in front of it for his closing song and people were eating it up. I couldn't even begin to describe the sound of his music, but it's good and I was just glad that I was out and not watching Christina Aguilera on my tv.
Finally Rafter played. 9 people onstage and after midnight, and the crowd was really into the show, dancing and groovin. Yeah, Troy, I saw you shakin your white boy ass. Aside from them not playing Fuck The Sky, it was one of my favorite Rafter performances yet. Rafter kept pointing out that he was having fun and happy the crowd was having fun with him, which only accelerated the performance. It was a fun night but man, is it hard to go out on a Sunday night. I didn't get to sleep until 2 am. But I'll keep on going...
If anyone would like to join me at 6:30 for Rocco DeLuca downtown, I have space for 1 guest. Just email me before 5.