Sunday, December 21, 2008

Overdue Recap: November Shows

Catching up. Yes, with November. Looking back, not only have I not been writing a whole lot, but I also gave up on taking pictures. Regardless, I'll go back in time for a quickie recap. I'll save the space and put it all after the jump if you're interested enough to click 'keep on reading'.

Rewinding back to Thanksgiving week, I started the week selling merch for O'Death. Old Devil and Tobyn Clark and the Tender Faeries opened but honestly I was out on the patio and didn't get to escape inside to catch the show, and even Natalie didn't feel she got any good pics. The bands were awesome though the crowd was really disappointing. There just weren't enough people there for how great O'Death is, though I came to a conclusion that their name certainly doesn't invite a crowd for how they actually sound. They're actually more Americana and folk than the name suggests and expected a lot more people to be there. The description on their MySpace page of Gothic/Country/Punk feels inaccurate. They'd work well with Murder By Death, and I think they actually are working on a split vinyl with that band. Neither here nor there, I guess. The band was gracious and at least I sold a handful of records. There was also some weird band business after, perhaps what happens when 5 smelly dudes spend far too much time together. I hope they sorted all that out since they're continuing with some major European touring.

The next night I decided at the last minute to check out Anti-Monday League. I caught a bit of the Subadons from Tijuana but the night was a little dead, so I decided I would check out El Dorado (it was their opening night). It wouldn't be right if I didn't stop at Chee-Chee first, so I hung out with Fred. We could see a line at El Dorado and I was a little shy, but Fred made me do recon, so I checked it out. Relative to downtown prices, I guess the drinks are cheap, but relative to Chee-Chee, not so much. It seems like a great option for a date and all the staff and bartenders are super friendly.

I stopped back at Chee-Chee before returning to Casbah for The Gift/Curse. Lighting sucked so I just hung out rocking out to the band and enjoying the tunes and didn't bother with pictures. There were quite a few more people out by the time I got back and for good reason...The Gift/Curse rock.

The next night I stayed home, regrettably missing Yeasayer which I've come to understand was a mistake, but driving to La Jolla just seemed like a drag and I have to watch the budget these days more than ever.

Thanksgiving Eve has long been one of my favorite nights to go out. It seems like people return home and are ready to party with eating a feast the only major goal the next day. I went out to dinner at Ken Grill with my cousin, who was visiting from LA, and Sara, and that ended up being a great time in and of itself, then we hit the Ken Club. When they called it a night around 11, they dropped me off at The Ruby Room which was a little disappointing only because I got there during Writer's last song. I expected them to play last. My friends that were supposed to be there weren't, but fortunately Petro, Alex, and Kris were, so we hung around for part of Jamuel Saxon's set before they had to go and they agreed to give me a ride back to the hood. They decided to grab some food and we met up at Petro & Kris' and watched DVDs of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia until Alex eventually dropped me off.

Thanksgiving with the family was chill. My sister and her husband took my niece to Arizona, so it was just my cousin, my parents and myself for Thanksgiving. After a whole day with the family, I visited my second family at the Ken Club.

Friday was another family day until nightfall, when my cousin and I went to El Dorado. I could've pretty much ended up anywhere, but I knew Connie would love the feel of the bar, so I guess we have a place to go when she comes to town that is divey enough for me and upscale enough for her. It meets right in the middle for us.

From El Dorado, she dropped me off at the Casbah. I missed the opening bands but was there in time for the headliner, Deerhunter.

The show was sold out and packed. Deerhunter gave a fierce performance though not really evident in my sloppy photos. The crowd was clearly pleased with the performance that was delivered as I heard some people talking about it like their minds were just blown. I hadn't planned very well and assumed I would know someone at the show, so unfortunately I spent half the show trying to find anyone who'd be willing to drive me to Kensington, and I'm ever so grateful that Peter ended up taking me. I owe him big for that.

My November closed out with another family day and a couple more shows. On Saturday I chilled out a bit until the evening when my mom, cousin and I did some shopping downtown, then decided to walk around in Coronado. We discovered a new spot that had opened the night before at the Ferry Landing. It's called Lil' Piggy's BBQ and it was awesome. We didn't eat a full meal, but after meeting the cook and talking to the people working there, my cousin ordered a kids meal ("The best hot dog I've ever had," she said) and it came with our choice of side so we went with the mac n'cheese, which on its own sells for $2 and was delicious. The chef also brought us some pulled pork and BBQ chicken to sample. So convinced, we ended up buying a plate to take home to my dad. My mom thinks the plate should come with Texas toast instead of just regular sliced white bread, but overall the food we sampled was delicious and my dad was happy with the feast we brought him. They have outdoor picnic table seating that has plastic wind guards and I think it will do well in Coronado. Theydo catering and sell full racks of ribs (which I'll try next time around), and they have a fridge with 100 different bottled beers.

After dropping my mom off in Chula Vista, Connie dropped me at home and I made my way to Casbah to see Team Abraham, The Parson Red Heads, and Blitzen Trapper.

I got there just as Team Abraham took the stage and they sounded great. The added female vocals work well for them. But I'm biased, right? (BTW, if you're on Twitter, follow them @TeamAbraham)

I've also written about The Parson Red Heads and Blitzen Trapper in the past. Both bands are excellent and I love seeing them live, so this bill, on a Saturday night, was a real treat. The Red Heads are happy and sweet and conjure up days laying around on a grass field and girls with daisy crowns in their hair. And I still maintain that the one guitarist looks like Buddy Jesus.

Closing out the night was Blitzen Trapper. I just love these guys and every time I see them it reminds me of just how warm they are, both in sound and stage presence. They are a band happy to be who they are and where they are and it shines in their performances. With the crowd singalongs, it's obvious they've gotten some devoted fans over time, too.

The next day they played an in-store at M-Theory and I figured I had time to get there since they don't usually start on time, but this one did, and it was short and I arrived in time for one song. I could kick myself. I was sure someone would post the video on YouTube, but can't seem to find any. I guess I've learned my lesson about taking my sweet time getting somewhere.

So that rounds out my November. I guess I will now attempt to catch up with December so I don't have anything hanging over my head as we roll into Christmas and 2009 and who knows what access I'll have to the web when I'm gone. Last time I got wi-fi but it wasn't cheap...

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