Friday, July 28, 2006

All talk and no Jar Jar

Australian fir tree (nocturnal). It reminds me of winter for some reason.

Summer has blanketed NY in oppressive, sweltering heat yet again. I have, for the first time in ages, broken out a pair of shorts when I leave the comforts of my sixty-degree apartment. They are of the Zoo York variety and were from my friend Page's stash of clothes designed for the twelve year-old who is trapped in the body of a full-grown adult. Page works on the Warped tour, if that lends itself to visual description at all. He's also French-Canadian, but that's hardly his fault. So, these shorts are those 3/4 length cargo type shorts that really look like very short pants. It's a refreshing change that won't, most likely, last any longer than the current heat wave. I feel much better seeing businessmen crawling around Union Square, sweating through their Brooks Brothers suits. I decided that if I were made to wear a suit, by some sadistic freak of a boss, in this weather, than I would, without question, do an Angus Young. I mean, that guy is well dressed and comfortable all the time. It doesn't, however, solve the problem of looking like a child...

When I was in Perf some of the natives took us to what they call a 'seafood restaurant.' Being on the coast Perf, Fremantale to be precise, has some pretty great fish. This particular spot attracted some of the most forward seagulls that I've ever seen.

Because of those little birds of prey (if you consider a fillet-o-fish to be prey) these signs were posted all over the pier where I had lunch. I am assuming that this is an acronym for 'shit on you.' Maybe it's an Australian thing.

The show in Fremantle was pretty bunk. Doing shows in Australia is often akin to working in Spain or Italy. Anywhere within sight of the Mediterranean tends to breed what most people consider to be slow, lazy people. Honestly, most people in southern Italy and Spain tend to just take their time and generally disappear for most of the day, but at the end of the day the work gets done. My experience in Western Australia leads me to believe that there is Valium in the water supply. Oh, and people don't like music. Death Cab had what they described as their best show of the tour. It was my worst. On the last note of the last song I walked right out of the back door and back to my hotel room and went to bed. The next day we left early and spent the day flying to Brisbane.
The sun setting somewhere over the middle of the country....

At this point of the tour the travel was really starting to wear on everyone. Some of us were able to deal better than others.

My hotel room overlooking the Story bridge in Brisbane.

Rosco (my Australian interpreter / Sherpa) and I picked up Lexi at the airport the following day. Oh, good times abound. Chupacabra?

We made the rounds and visited some old friends. Our friend James owns the Alibi room. Check it out the next time you are in Brisbane. I recommend the strawberry muffins. James got a new tattoo.

He had been planning on getting a big Jar Jar binks number tattooed on his chest or somewhere equally as painful. If you are unsure of who or what Jar Jar Binks is then set aside some time for a Google image search, or just rest assured that it's not the sort of thing that you'd want to have tattooed on yourself, unless of course you have a REALLY good sense of humor. Did I mention that James has a barbecue in the trunk of his car? Like a real, working grill....So one of his bartenders was winding him up about how many times he had put off the new tattoo by taunting him with 'all talk and no Jar Jar.' Good people. Salt of the earth...
We headed south next, to Byron Bay, cult capital of the world and home of Splendor in the Grass. The weather was really great and we stayed in a what I think is pretty safe to call a mansion in the middle of a pasture on a hill overlooking the Pacific. I've had worse days. This was the view from one of the balconies the first morning.

Splendor is a decent little festival that draws ten thousand or so and always has a solid line up. This year I watched TV on the Radio put a lot of people to shame (again, Ambulance is one of the best things that you will hear live, ever), The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, You am I, Mos Def, Sonic Youth (pretty amazing) and Mogwai. This was the first time I'd seen the 'gwai in years. They were really something. Ally is again looking after guitars. He's getting a little scruffy, and in this picture has some wee Tyrannosaurus Rex / Rubber Johnny arms.

I'm sure this keeps the little guy pretty busy as well. I'm not even sure if all of those are necessary. I do know that they require more power than Luxembourg to make a guitar sound like a chainsaw.

So calm and tranquil. Now try holding a belt sander 2 inches from your ear while looking at this picture and you're almost there.

I didn't get to say goodbye to Ally. Last I heard he was off to 'learn' how to surf. Around those parts they refer to that as bait.

Not too much later I was off to Sydney, again.