Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I welcome Chicago with a red nose and a sore head..

Hello Chicago.... and... *sniff*.

I never had a real opinion on this city. There was something very shiny and impersonal about it... a city that (in my mind) lacked personality. OF COURSE i was pleasantly surprised by it's offerings, or what little I saw of them.

We flew out from La Guardia, where they weighed our bags... Little scott's bag was 20 kilos heavier than mine! ahaha.

Arriving in Chicago was not everthing it should have been. I was tired, i was hungover, and I was pretty damn sick and cranky! Over the previous 24 hours a sore throat had developed into a full on fluish headcold (no doubt aided by a heavy Brooklyn drinking session) I think I was feeling very sorry for myself... and the ice cold weather didn't really help my mentality. Yes, I had set myself up for an exhausted mini meltdown.

Driving in to town with both the scotts..

I recall thinking to myself 'this is the sickest i've ever felt' .. (but of course it wasn't really)

ID and I checked into the most incredible B&B called the Two Urns which was located in the hispter area of Wicker Park. It was run by an odd lady, rather eccentric, with amazing collections of all sorts of crazy art and objects all over the place. I swear she thought I was retarded- ID did all of the talking, whilst I stood there like a mute stunned mullet unable to engage with her whatsoever (this was repeated over the next couple of mornings when she cooked us breakfast in the dining room downstairs)

Our room "Les Chalet des Chats"

I can't show my face, I am looking quite foul.

Cameras in the Staircase

I was totally lame and slept... I slept / read magazines every spare minute I had in Chicago.
We'd made friends with a band called VeryTrulyYours who put the boys up - they took time off work to show us all around town. The others got to see it, I stayed in watching Cattle Auctions on TV and making Terrible coffee.

We played our show at a venue called Subterranean.

It was grand, two levels and a generous rider to boot in the band room..

They're super strict on ID there, and despite us all being close to / in our 30s... we all got carted everywhere we went..

id getting ID'd (at 34).

We explored.. Wicker Park is an area rich with Vintage, Hipsters and furniture shops.

Check out the Typos... I can't imagine the inconsistency is intentional!?

The show, in my opinion, was diabolically bad.

Probably the worst show I have ever played. I felt my temperature hit some ridiculous level, my head stopped working, the kit caught me up (I made many mistakes and could barely follow what was going on). And I was sweating- soaking wet! At one point I almost fell backwards off the chair, at another I felt like i was about to faint.

Enter the mini meltdown!

When I got off the stage I was SO upset, I wanted to quit immediately (embarrassed!) I am a drum liability at the best of times, but this tapped into some weird part of my brain where I felt completely useless. I pulled myself out of it pretty quickly, but there was a dark half hour or so where I really didn't want to speak to anyone!! It's the exhaustion and lack of sleep of touring I guess.

Anyways VeryTrulyYours came on next, and they were fab!

Adorable, sweet, lovely tunes.
I have their cds now and thoroughly enjoy listening!

After the show we visited their rehearsal space, apparently in the Ghetto!
(cue excitement)
It's an enormous multilevel building full of rehearsal spaces.. you hire them out yearly i believe.

The general vibe..

The artwork inside:

The band:
I continued to waste time in Chicago, but the next day they suggested Mexican here

Apparently Chicago's best Mex. It was very busy!

I bought an orange juice the size of my head.

When we met the boys, we foudn that Kristy/ Lyall from the band had DEVO HATS!
Holy crap, amazing.

I look digusting in my shot, so here's Hugh rocking the look a bit better...

Packing up our Tahoe, and hitting the road...

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's always Sunny in Philadelphia

Well, it wasn't when I visited, but it still was a lot of fun!

Georgie and I caught the Bus to meet the other cats in town... I lived a dream (not really) of seeing New Jersey! Even thought I only drove through it on the highways, I still feel closer to the folks on Jersey shore, having had a lil taste.

Apparently the worst way to travel in America is by Greyhound bus... so what do you think we did- catch the Greyhound Bus!

I noticed this corner on the way into Philly, and it reminded me so much of a Brett Whitely that I had to post it.. I feel like I can not look anywhere without seeing a Whiteley or an Olsen! Even when Im not even in Australia...
Paris Dog Pisses, Brett Whiteley.

When we arrived, my phone died- and I only had limited numbers in georgie's phone- and noone was answering! We (mainly I, because I was particularly tired) sat in a funk at the side of a Philadephia street near Chinatown, until Little Scott finally told me where I needed to go!

Sulking in a strange city

Before we jumped in a cab I grabbed a Turkey Rueben Sandwich from this amazing food market in the centre of town. It was HUGE, FATTY, CRAZY, AMAZING. Who knew turkey could be such exceptional junk food!?

It was like Borough Market (which I Salivate just thinking about!) however totally American. I wish we did more foodie markets!

Anyways, our cab driver was a complete baffoon- and when taking us to South Philly (apparently the badlands) he got totally lost! He even stopped and called some gangsters (we assume because they were wearing baggy clothes!) over to the car for directions! omfg. I was actually frightened! Anyways it turns out we were going here...

The venue was called Kung Fu Necktie- and it turns out if you go a lil more south on the above road, you reach the really bad bit! (as seen on Louis theroux, the episode in which he wears a bullet proof vest and travels only with the cops!) I have no idea if this is accurate or not.. we just love the idea of the danger of it all!

Surprisingly, it was absolutely pumping inside!

They do do things differently in the states when it comes to band venues... rather than dedicating a whole night to indie/ power pop.. they start the night with a Hardcore night - 3 X hardcore bands play- then all of their patronnage leaves, and an indie night starts!?
It's SO bizarre. Somehow it works.

We met up with Id and Little s and we headed off to a cool bar around the corner to kill some time. I was quite despondant, as i was so tired, but found myself in the swing of things, and (as per) ended up pretty pissy pre show!

I was so drunk, it appears I thought i was cashed up with the Americano dollars.. erm, not such a bifshot with a measley couple of dollar bills in retrospect!

Little s testing out the local brews...

Enjoying the local brews.. I have the most annoying habit of turning my head to the side .5 of a second before a photo is taken.. looking back through photos it's pretty clear how unversitile I can be!
Georgie did some illustrations of the band getting 'jiggy' .. I was genuinely unable to breathe for a period of time when I saw these... she has quite the imagintion when it comes to visualisation!
My sketch has curly hair, because I am on holidays.

I need to look up the historical importance of Philly, because there seemed to be a lot of historical recreations going on there... for example, walking around we randomly bumped into this guy...

Of course we all seized the bizarre & random photo opportunity!

"On the streets of Philadelphia"

.. the night's theme tune.

Kung Fu Necktie ended up being extremely cool! There was a Gallery and general open space upstairs which we could use.. it was fun! We inhaled gas from a balloon inflater (something I've never done!) drank free beers and carried on like kids at Christmas! We met Herbie from an awesome band called Brownrecluse, who super kindly put on the show for us.

That's Herbie chopping up the free cds.

One of the awesome things about it, was the attached Gallery Space

Hugh even contemplated putting his fine art hat on with the purchase of this piece:

"Ancient Rome was Dope"

whilst we all took the cheap option and took photos instead! Not sure how I'd go with that one in our main living space..

This balloon installation was one of the coolest things I have ever seen...

(yes, annoying side shot, once again!)

Probably my favourite photo of the night... It makes me wish all five of us had jumped in here for a band shot!

Keeping with our favourite theme, props to the Cat lamp!

The show was really fun! Everyone danced, and there was an excellent energy in the room!
I wish all shows were this fun... I actually enjoyed playing the drums!?
(which of course left me baffled- who could imagine that!?)

To be honest, Playing the drums makes me feel like a hot, ugly, sweaty hag
(sorry LPs, no more putting myself down, I know i know!)
I screw my face up into this weird, conorted expression.. I challenge anyone to find a pic where I look hot playing the drums! :)

So South Philly was no where near as dodgy as we'd hoped (the danger!) so what did we do.. catch a 3AM Greyhound bus back into the city!

On our way back into town, the streets were all pretty empty...

Little s pissing ID off (yes he seriously did end up annoying her!)

Waiting in the queue .. Greyhound clientele tends to be quite.. impatient... noisy.... rough... er....

this is my other fav pic of the night... when we finally did board, we were quite far back in the queue... meaning we had to share with strangers! Little s sat down to this crazy loud lady, who didn't stop talking... I was so amused, I took a photo... the bus was pitch black and when the flash went off she actually SCREAMED! haha. Poor lady would not like to know this photo is floating around on the interweb I am sure...

i didn't sleep the whole trip home.. and I'm pretty sure when we got back to Georgie's we still couldn't sleep! I felt wired and jetlagged.

All up, a fun night in Philly.