Friday, February 01, 2008

Catching Up: ASR, Iglu & Hartly @ Bondi, A Scribe Amidst The Lions @ Casbah

Thursday was a good day, though that's the day I discovered my computer's adapter was busted which left me with cyber-paralysis. I left work a little bit early so I could get home and try to make it downtown before ASR shut down, but that didn't quite work out. By the time Andrea and I arrived it was just before 6, so I secured a yellow zone parking spot and we went to the convention center in time to get our ASR badges before the registration desk shut down.

The main floor was closed, but there was a "Green" party upstairs- all the eco-friendly, earth-conscious vendors of hemp clothing, herbal remedies, and surf and skateboards made from renewable resources were in one room. We perused the booths, then made our way to the back corner where there was a kind of relaxation zone with massage tables. The vendors had these mats that are made of broken up bits of amethyst. There's a slight DC charge and the rocks heat up, making a heating pad, but it also supposedly creates an effect of putting UV rays of light through your body. I'm not all new agey, but after just 20 minutes lying on the mat with a washcloth of aromatherapy over my eyes, and I felt renewed. To make it even cooler, the rep told us he specializes in sound therapy, and proceeded to play a didgeridoo over our bodies. The vibrations from "the didge" felt amazing, like I'd just gotten a massage. I was gonna link to the site to purchase a mat, they're like $1600 and I lost the brochure. Sorry.

After our moment of chilling out, we hit up some small servings of the free organic food in the buffet and watched the Mattson 2, this duo of twins who look straight outta the OC and reminded me of music from Happy Days. Apparently they've opened for Jack Johnson, so you kinda know what crowd they're going for, and I suppose were quite appropriate for ASR.

Here's some pics from all that action:

After that we headed to the Hard Rock Hotel, where there was a party for some surf company. We thought our badges got us in, but apparently there was a list, so Andrea did the talking and got us in, but the hostesses, as downtown hostesses are, you know, in the position of being God and all, didn't give us the two drink tickets per person that the listed people were getting. No matter. We bought a round of drinks and stood around. The place is not for me. Stark black inside with too many crystal beads to refract what little light is in the club, 15 hostesses standing around gossipping, and all the bartenders are chicks- there to look hot but to pour the shittiest drinks on the planet for $10 a pop. A big, giant fuck that from this broad. Since we'd only snacked at ASR, we made friends with one of the catering girls who made sure we at least got plenty of the tray passed appetizers before we sucked down our drinks and got the hell out of there.

We realized we probably had a lot of time before Iglu & Hartly would play at Bondi, so we stopped in at Dussini and made our way upstairs to the bar. Kim, one of the bartenders there, won bartender of the year in Citybeat's "Best Of" issue, but more important, my mom has taken care of her daughter since she was a teeny tiny baby, so we chatted with her and she made us some lovely cocktails, definitely compensating for the shitty drinks we had at Hard Rock.

We didn't really know when stuff would get under way at Bondi, so we headed over to check it out. We got a couple drinks. Not quite as expensive as we expected, but again with the weak pours. WTF is it with downtown bars and how does anyone even get buzzed? Andrea asked for a jack with a "splash" of coke and the guy put too much in, so he was gonna toss it, but she made him give it to her AND give her what she was actually paying for, so I guess that was our score for the night. We found a table and chilled there for a while, then decided to make our way into the space where the band was going to perform.

We finally got word that they'd start at 10, but then at 10 they came onstage and said they'd be on in a half hour. That wasn't gonna work for us, so we found a couple guys in the band and the manager and told them we had other places to be. We were being brats, I realize, but c'mon. Those drinks sucked balls and on top of it, they ran out of Jack. HOW DO YOU RUN OUT OF JACK? Anyway, the band hit the stage around 10:15 and they were so fun to watch, we got over our rip-off woes for at least the time while they were onstage.

They're this kinda dancey rock band from LA, mixed with some white boy raps about pajamas and partying and partying in your pajamas and with a ton of hooky, catchy sing-a-long verses. The band has the LA hipster thing going against them("You can't wear the gold shoelace in your hair- I was gonna wear my gold shoelace in my hair!") but if you can get past the look, they really are a fun party band and would go over really well at Beauty Bar or U-31. I've been "myspace friends" with them for some time, I think Indie 103 has had them play some LA events. I also ended up with about 10 horrible pictures of asscrack. Apparently underwear are out. I didn't get the memo. The crowd was getting pushy and the stage was tiny, so the guitarist and bassist were on the floor directly in front of me. I tried to back off the crowd as much as I could since the bassist had a brace on his leg from ACL surgery, but at one point, the crowd fell toward the stage, the band fell toward the crowd, and one of the dudes ended up bloody. He didn't even notice and they played on. All in all, I'm glad we saw the band and they gave us some CDs on the way out, but I doubt I'll find myself at Bondi anytime soon.

Finally the show ended and we made our way to the Casbah. Where, as I mentioned, REAL bartenders pour REAL drinks. Huge love to Emily. You never realize what you've got till you ain't got it, ya know?

We were there in time to catch A Scribe Amidst The Lions. In the past I've seemed to miss them, or caught fragments of their sets and just wasn't into it, but this time, seeing them start to finish, I was really impressed and look forward to seeing them again. They seem to have tightened up their sound and are less space jammy than I recalled from the past.

Most important, it was great to close the night at a bar that is home. Like I said before, I didn't experience any "bro" attitudes downtown (though a cab of chicks did pass by screaming "hey, baby" at some guys walking down the street), but the attitude of waitstaff, doorguys, and bartenders is enough to steer me clear from any of those places again. Give me the Ken Club or Casbah any day. Oh, and to finish my night, after making it back to Kensington, I stopped in at the Ken Club just to show my love. A great night, indeed.

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