It's been a long time since I've really sat down to write. Things have been pretty crazy and the more I intended to catch up, the more time has seemed to get away from me. I have pictures and videos and a whole boatload of shows I've been going to in the past couple months, and before I can really get ready for 2010, it's time for me to close out the year and get some of this stuff out of my brain. So let me go back to November first and I'll work my way forward. If you're interested, 'keep on reading'.
Did I really last leave off in October? It looks like I did. There was my halloween Vegas trip and it all seems to have gone downhill from then. I had a great time on the trip for Kristian and Carrie's wedding with my best friend Sara and I wrote all about it, but don't really need to go back there now. It was a fun weekend at the Artisan hotel, met some really great bartenders there in Kevin and Gigi, and did the whole Vegas thing. For their sake, the whole photo album is here.
We got back from the trip on Halloween afternoon and I skipped the "holiday" entirely. Turning the corner on November, I went with Jake to see Puscifer at Spreckels and our twitter friend @kdcklein hooked us up with amazing tickets in the 3rd row. The show was interesting and though I got some pictures, in true Maynard fashion, the band was mostly silhouetted and backlit, so there's not much to post, except that it was a killer show.
The next night, I went with Jeff to see Port O'Brien at The Loft, then went to Casbah for Mumiy Troll, the "Bon Jovi of Russia" and their crowd loved them. It was interesting seeing so many Russians dancing to the music in their 80s fashions, singing along word for word to every song. Rodney was on tour with them doing sound and managing and told me how their fans are so insane, they'd wake up with roses and lipstick marks and handprints all over their bus.
Tuesday, Nov. 3 was that incredible Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
That show really left me with the feeling that live music could be ruined forever because it was such a perfect show. Fortunately that wasn't the case and I kept on to more music. There was a really great review of that show on SDNN that you should really check out.
I took a night off, then was on to 11.5, when Matt Hires played at M-Theory (which I posted here) and then up to the Belly Up to catch Sara Lov & Sea Wolf (which I also posted here). So I guess I have updated, just not to the extent that I once did.
On November 6th I made the mistake of starting the night off early with friends at the Ken Club before going to the Beauty Bar for the first of Transfer's CD release shows. I have a bunch of videos from that night on my YouTube page, but you might wanna reserve watching until Matt can actually cut up the footage. Between the crowd pushing me, the crazy lighting, and my, uh, lack of focus, the videos just aren't very good.
The next day was the November matinee Rumble, then I caught Writer's soundcheck at Subtext before I did merch for the sold out Matt Costa show at Casbah. I took a breather Sunday night in order to prepare for my 3rd Anniversary show at Casbah. It was such a great show- The Moviegoers, Lights On, and Swim Party all played tremendous sets and I think everyone had a good time...I know I certainly did. I owe the bands big time for that show.
After that I laid low, sticking around Kensington between Ponce's, Ken Club karaoke, Ken Cinema, Tao, and not really going anywhere outside of my immediate hood until Thursday night. There was two great shows nearby...The Radio Room had Rat's Eyes, Loom, Prize Country and more, while just down the street, Soda Bar had their anniversary show with bands mostly made up of their staff...Bunky, Rafter, The Deatheaters, Apes of Wrath, etc., so I hopped back and forth between the two all night long and it all turned out to be a pretty special night.
I found myself at Soda Bar the next few nights. Then on 11.15. I broke the pattern and went to the Loft for the Drums. People loved them and they had a lot of stage energy, but to me it just felt very contrived and manufactured and I was just not into it. Naturally I went back to Soda Bar.
Fortunately the next night's show at the Loft with Loch Lomond and Horse Feathers lived up to my expectations. It was also my first chance since the kitchen there has opened to try one of their cheeseboards (which I highly recommend). The show ended early enough to make it to Casbah in time for Pinback. The show was sold out and super packed, but they sounded great, as they always do on that stage.
The next night was another Casbah night to see The Hidden Cameras, who didn't seem to mind that they had a small crowd and played a really long set.
From that show, we caught Tape Deck Mountain up at Soda Bar to close down the night.
Over half the month done, bear with me because I hate having holes in my memories...
November 18 was the Peter, Bjorn and John 10th anniversary tour at House of Blues. Lights On opened the night and the crowd was really receptive to their performance which is always great to see when a local band opens for a touring band. El Perro Del Mar was up second and while she has a great voice, I have to say the chick is pretty bizarre. She was followed by Peter, Bjorn and John. Because it was their 10th anniversary as a band, they had a whistling contest, which Tim from Lights On won, so it was great seeing him come out, as well as El Perro del Mar, when they performed "Young Folks".
From that show, I went to Casbah to hang out. Municipal Waste was playing and the thrash metal band brought out every Suicidal Tendencies fan in San Diego. I have never seen so much merch at the Casbah...including sweat pants. So yeah, interesting change from the House of Blues.
My cat had been sick over the week, and sadly when I got home that night, she lay lifeless on my bedroom floor. After a bit of a breakdown, I called Todd who was so kind in coming over and moving her body for me until I could get my shit together to figure out what I was supposed to do with her. That was a long night of suck, but I am so grateful to Todd for getting me through it.
The next night I went to dinner with Jeff at Riviera and to see Little White Teeth play in the Turquoise Room. Such a good band. Seriously. Then we moved on to see Portland Cello Project and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down at Casbah. It was a great show and really crowded. This was surprising to me because the first time I saw Thao, I was one of 4 people at House of Blues to see her. Obviously she's come a long way, at least in popularity. She's pretty funny on stage and the crowd ate her up.
That kinda lead to entire weekend of craziness at Casbah. Friday night was Friendly Fires and The XX. People know that I've done some work for Casbah and I have to say it had been a while since I got so many emails, texts, and tweets asking if I had any hookups for this show. It was sold out long before the show and people were selling them at a premium on Craigs List (which makes me insane, by the way). I love The XX's record and had been listening to it incessantly and I was not disappointed with their live show. You can see all the videos I shot here, though they're all pretty dark, I think the sound is pretty decent. Friendly Fires are a bit harder for me to get into, just a bit more dancey thank I like, so I retreated to the back after a couple songs. Those videos are here.
Saturday night I helped out with merch for The Big Pink at Casbah after hanging at their DJ set at M-Theory. That show ended up selling out the day of the show which made for a fun night. I also dig on their record a lot, but their show, as much as I could see, was pretty much all fog machine. There are few things I hate more at Casbah than fog machines. The only time I've seen it done right was with Dead Confederate who also had a dozen or so white lights that could be operated by pedals so the band wasn't obscured the whole night. The Big Pink sounded great, so I didn't mind just hanging on the patio for the night.
I stuck around home on the 22nd, but ended up merching for Elefant on Monday night at Casbah. What a nice band. They all came out and introduced themselves, showed me what they had and caught up with Pyles on the patio, whom they knew from his 91X days. They had some loyal fans, too, with plenty of singalong moments. Chickrawker wrote about the show here.
The next night was another incredible Casbah night with Fanfarlo & Freelance Whales. It's hard to pick favorite performances of the year when you go to as many shows as I do...I average five to six nights a week, and sometimes can hit 2 or 3 shows in the same night...but I think this one is pretty up there. I thought Fanfarlo was great, but honestly Freelance Whales, for me, made the night. You can see the videos from that here:
Looks like I never got around to adding titles to those videos. Sorry for that. Things got super weird that week. My cat had just died a few days before, and I'm awoken from a call from my dad that my grandma died. She was 101 years old. Several of my cousins, my aunt, and my uncle, had all planned on coming out to visit her, instead they ended up being here for her funeral. We decided to leave plans as they were, so my parents still went to Vegas for Thanksgiving and my sister still took her family to visit her in-laws, so I spent the day with my friends up in Encinitas. My best friend was visiting from Chicago, so we were able to spend some time together on Friday before I helped at the Art Fag show at the Women's Club before catching Blackout Party at Casbah.
You still reading? It's cool, like I said, I just need to purge all this stuff from my brain anyway.
Saturday was a good day. I knew my family would all be coming to town soon, so I got in my time with friends and music while I could. Bob from the Casbah invited me to go to the KPRI Christmas show at The Abbey in Hillcrest. I leapt at the chance, not only because I love David Gray, but shows at The Abbey are always phenomenal, though pretty rare. Unfortunately my cab was late, so I arrived halfway through Tyrone Wells set. I was surprised that I actually dug him because I wasn't very impressed the last time I saw him. That was probably 3 or 4 years ago now, so it was nice to see the change. But in reality, I was there for David who played an incredible set. I hung out with Jordan from Tropical Depression and it was great to be with someone that is as big a fan of David Gray as I am.
After the show, we went to Casbah to catch Transit War and the place was packed, so I ended up catching a ride with Brian to Beauty Bar to see Apes of Wrath, but we missed them. Josh and Kitty came to hang out for a bit before we finally called it a night.
And finally, I wrapped up the month at the FM 94/9 Sunday free show with The Shambles CD release show on Sunday. They gave me a couple shout outs on stage, which I always love, and the crowd seemed to love all the guest performances and covers during the second half of the set.
The next day began the start of a long week with family, the wake, the funeral, and all the stuff that goes with family passing. Fortunately it wasn't all sad times and most of my family was all together for the first time in over a decade. I still got out and kicked off December in usual fashion, but that will be another superlong post for another night. In 2010 I'll try to get back to regular posting, but until then, I'll try to catch up with the rest of my diary so I can bury it all and be ready for 2010.