Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thunder, in, and around down under

When I last left off I was somewhere in Western Australia, trying to get a grip on the blistering heat and the fact that for some reason I packed a jacket and three sweaters. It suited me just fine to roll up my sleeves, and wander the streets of Perth, feasting on bizarre, unearthly delights that apparently have recently been claimed by Italy.

The show at the Metro in Perth was a hair away from disastrous. It was all a tiny, filthy club, the likes of which we haven't seen in what seems like ages. 

Still, it resembled a bit of an enchanted forest at the best of times.

What followed was basically sheer, concentrated frustration. Our flight from Perth to Brisbane (where my friend James not only lives, but owns a bar and restaurant and was hosting a rather renowned taco night at said restaurant) was a no-go. After checking into the flight 2 hours early because some of us are unfamiliar with the way Australians approach domestic flights (like catching a very large cab, really) we sat in the departure lounge for seven hours. When the plane, which apparently was lying in pieces on the runway by noon, was officially taken out back and shot like a busted race horse we were all standing on the very edges of sanity. Seven hours in a confined space with nothing but each other, a bar and a stand serving meat pies to occupy us is a recipe for furious madness. Please note the flight times of the initial flight (1 PM) and the flight that we were shuffled on to (6:10 PM).

Also, for an added kick in the soft ones, we got to return to the opposite end of the airport to recollect our bags, stand on line to check into another flight and then go through security....again.

Qantas blows.

When I finally made it to Brisbane it was after 1 AM. I missed the good times by a long shot, and by good times I mean $2 tacos (or free, apparently if you have a tattoo of a taco somewhere on your body). The next morning I got up bright and early to jump right into the swing of another work day. This one was not so bad. It was a big ol' convention center with lots of lights and good things such as chairs and carpet that always makes my day that much better.

I think it all worked out in the end. I made it out to my friend's bar early the next morning for breakfast though. Oddly enough the last time I was through Brisbane things were hectic and scattered and I saw James for about 20 mins at around the same ungodly hour in the morning where he again offered me a free breakfast before my flight to Sydney. And once again. We chatted over some eggs benedict and coffee. I gave him a sweet Ramones poster that I carried over from the states and he sent me away with a really nice bottle of absinthe and some junk from his band, Roshambo. Don't feel bad, they really are cunts. They had been selling a record at shows for a while that contained not actual songs, but the band talking, in roundtable discussion style, about how the songs might sound if they had the time, money, and enthusiasm to actually record them. Customers were less than impressed by this.

Sydney was, as it often is, a blast. The weather was nice, and although we were staying in King's Cross (a neighborhood known, regardless of what city it is in, for having both a high crime rate and a large train station) our hotel was pretty new and swank.

So swank, in fact, that it took me four hours to get online (which is one possible excuse for never writing, the other is that the seemingly endless daylight and warm weather that was thrust upon me made me a little outdoors crazy) and I also upset the electronic weighted mini bar not once, but twice causing me to be charged many times over for peanuts, cookies and a granola bar that I didn't eat. So it goes. As I was saying, though, the weather was amazing. In that spirit I left Kings Cross and it's junkies, hookers, dead bodies (really), and took a cab out to Newtown where some good pals live. I met up with Zoe who worked at The Bowery Ballroom many years ago, and has since moved home to Australia to ride motorcycles among other things (that she does, not rides). We caught up over some wine in a little back garden surrounded by tons of drunken celebrating pals. I never quite worked out what they were celebrating, but that seems of little importance now.


There is plenty more where that came from.