Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snappy Dolphin

It was a long, yet reasonably painless flight to Auckland, through Sydney. While it was fourteen or so hours crammed into a window seat (which makes me foam at the mouth a bit from claustophobia) the timing of it all was pretty perfect. I left SF at 11pm, watched Michael Clayton and got in at around 8am. It was like taking a long nap and waking up sometime in the future. It is actually 2112 down here. All the cars fly and I've got my own robot maid.

I landed and began my tenure in endless summer. I'll be in the southern hemisphere straight through April when it starts to get all sunny-like in California again. I was thrown by the sunlight. The sun actually sets at around 8:30pm, like it should. It left me plenty of time to squeeze in a latte. Australians and Kiwis make by far the best coffee in the world. A flat white is an experience unto itself. It's all a foamy affair disguising the black death espresso beneath.

It was good to be back with the old posse who had taken a two month hiatus from stirring up trouble around the world. We fell pretty naturally into being crammed into vans with one another.

It was also bizarre to get back to doing shows. Everything, especially the lighting desk seemed unfamiliar. The equipment, for the most part is ancinet down here. I did manage to squeeze a pair of projectors out of Peter Jackson (not me personally, because he never returns my calls). He's filiming "The Lovely Bones" in New Zealand, and had an excess of projecting things so lent a few for our show. The Lovely Bones, incidentially is one of the worst books that I've read in recent years. I hope he does better with the movie, but I hold out little hope. The projectors were pretty sweet and came with some pretty outrageous stock content. Most of which I used to stir up terror within the band.

You know you are a tourist in New Zealand when you can stand beside some sort of massive, pre-historic mascot and say, with confidence, that you have never seen that damn creature before for as long as you have lived.

Most everyone had a week or so off before the first show. I was stubborn and decided to fly in several days late because I dislike being dragged from home with little or nothing to do other than watch a band try to remember how to play its own songs. I still had a solid couple of days to wander around town and take it all in. Auckland is a good walking city, and you can cover most of it in a day. I strolled through Ponsonby, which is where the cool kids hang out. It was sunny and amazing. Still is, I presume. The beer wasn't half bad either.

I never did find that damn cat.

The show was pretty good. The crowd was great. Everyone was elated by the weather and such. Due to some careless, drunken routing we flew across the entire continent of Australia the next day for our show in Perth. There wasn't much to do other than watch Rush Hour 3 and some shitty movie about a dolphin. Bobby got well acquainted with Barak Obama.

It was a good eight hours for me next to a child who soiled his diapers fifteen minutes into the whole ordeal (take note friends having babies). By the time I landed I felt not unlike a set of kangaroo's balls, but at least the sun was shining.

And the Port flowed like wine.

In Western Australia Fremantle (Freo) is where the cool kids hang out. It's along the beach and about 45 minutes from Perth proper. I was slightly averse to making the trip after watching Wolf Creek on TV a few days prior. It's a low-rent indie slasher film that takes place in Western Australia, but it wasn't until the credits rolled that I realized that it was based on several factual accounts of people being kidnapped and fed to dogs and other nightmarish things. I stayed in town and found an Indian restaurant on the waterfront that was not only buffet style, but had a 'pay what you want' policy as well. Sold.

The show in Perth was, unfortunately a shambles. So it goes. It just wasn't meant to be...

The internet is like a unicorn down here. It doesn't actually exist, and if it did it wouldn't really be as cool as you thought it was anyway. Just trying to get by.