Here's My Middle Finger

Domo @ Yucca Tap Room

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 11:10:16 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
What's a good indicator of an awesome band? One that you go to see, that you've been a fan of for ages but haven't yet seen live (properly), they don't play a single song that you know - and you have an absolutely great time! [smile]

That sums up tonights experience seeing Domo tonight at Yucca. It's been our first time seeing them other than the show we mostly missed at Hollywood Alley, and while you'd think we'd be disappointed when the entire set was new stuff from the forthcoming record and not songs we knew, it was anything but the case. Domo is just that good. Even brand new songs you don't know are immediate favorites. (Though technically we have some familiarity with With Friends Like These... from myspace).

I tracked down Jason after the show, to see what CD's they had for sale. Unfortunately only Baby Mercury, however it seems like he does have copies of Sweet Creepy which is such good news. Hopefully the next time we see them he'll have it with him. The other news is that the new record should be coming out in April.

We stuck around for Source Victoria, which while they're not my thing per se, were really good at what they do. And it was definitely enjoyable watching Jason and Scott Hessel performing.

It's a shame that we missed out on Muddy Violets at Teakwoods, but there is no doubt that seeing Domo was the superior choice, especially with the infrequency that they're playing at the moment.
Now Playing: Domo - With Friends Like These...

Sparkling Recommendations From Domo

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 29, 2010 - 06:23:34 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
This tweet from Domo about tomorrow night's show made me laugh too hard not to repost:


They had us at hello, but if not, how could you resist a show with a recommendation like that! [eek]

Bobby & Josh @ Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 10:46:17 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Fun happy hour at Teakwoods again tonight, as always. Very much loved that we got their cover of Follow You Down again tonight. Speaking of covers, I was thinking tonight that the brilliance of Missing You is all Bobby.

In other news, I can't believe how much I've heard today about the iPad. It doesn't require a technical conversation - hands down, the naming of it is a complete fail! Apple's whole "i" thing is fine, I dig it, but being one letter from "iPod" - completely lame!

The fact that I heard that it doesn't do multitasking is also pretty lame, particularly since Microsoft have been doing it for years on their tablets.
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - Hold Me Down

Los Guys @ Scottsdale Civic Center

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 24, 2010 - 06:34:22 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
With The Vig kinda being a drag lately, we opted to skip it, and go see Los Guys at the Scottsdale Civic Center instead. Which turned out to such a nice change for our Sunday afternoons. We didn't really get there until about 3, so we only caught an hour (which was fine). It was a really good day whether wise to be out.

Much like at Tempe Marketplace, the band was a hit with the young kids, many of them out there dancing along, with PC waving to many of them. Which goes to the coolness of PC and Los Guys - is a total bad ass and rocks Yucca, but can on a Sunday afternoon totally fit in with the family crowd and wave to the dancing kids.

It was nice to also hear some rarities like Hotel Defeated, Back To Zero that they don't seem to often play.

Being home long before the sun came down was another reason that it was nice to change up our regular Sunday afternoon.

Give Me Some Left Breast!

Glodies Birdthday Bash @ Yucca

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 24, 2010 - 03:57:22 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
So, it was a crazy night at Yucca. I think that statement alone indicates that Strange Young Things played, for Glodies birthday bash.

It had it all, the regular rock n' roll debauchery that we know and love them for, Corey sliding around on the stage, singing at the bar and just generally being unable to stay on Yucca's stage. Throw in some unwelcome moshing, a near brawl and Adams quite enjoyable and stern lecture about how their are a rocking band, but not a band to mosh to (and threats of boots to the head to moshers), and you pretty much have the night! [smile] Enjoyable as hell, as always though! PC even took the stage for a rockin' AC/DC cover. It might have been at that point that I became part of the show, with Corey in the crowd, me being the target of one of those random Glodie embrasses while singing. It might have been one of their songs, I honestly don't remember. It's all rock n' roll though.

We tried to have a conversation with Emmett outside afterwards (who only yesterday we commented on how it's been forever since we've seen him), though it was equally crazy out there (car alarms going off, people taking face plants near the Circle K) - which was all enough to prompt Emmett to want to find Mark and leave, and us to do the same.

We'd showed up earlier in the night to try to give some of the other bands (who we're pretty sure we're not into) a chance, but Yucca was again ridiculously packed until What Laura Says was done. It was one of those times that left you anticipating the Yucca extension to be completed. It seems that's been true several times lately. It seemed that work was being done late into the night tonight, so hopefully it's not too far off.


In Case You Needed Any More Proof That Axl Rose Is A Dbag...

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 24, 2010 - 12:27:45 am
(Posted Under: No Category)

Okay, so the article doesn't state that the order came from Axl, but really, does it need to? [wink]

It does however rais the question - what the hell would a Slash fan be doing at a GnR show?

I'm With Coco

Conan's Last Tonight Show

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 02:07:50 am
(Posted Under: TV)
After Teakwoods we fired up the Tivo to watch Conan's last show before crashing. Since all the NBC riff raff, we've been tuning in more regularly the last couple of days.

With the amount of NBC jabs (all brilliant, just btw) over the last few days, I expected an absolute free for all tonight - which would have been great, don't get me wrong. However, Conan's finally speech on NBC and his experience was nothing short of amazing. Talk about just an absolute stand up guy. Watching it, you can't help but know that in 8 months time he's going to be on top of the world! It was really something to watch.

It's funny how my first exposure to Conan (on my first trip to the States in 1999) was less than positive, much to the chagrin of my now wife at the time. It wasn't until I saw him host an award show (Grammies, Emmies, Oscars - one of those - I wasn't paying attention) at some point in the mid 2000's that I did a complete 360 on Conan. I hate those types of shows to begin with, and with only a very few exceptions, detests how they're hosted. So the fact that Conan hosting one of these changed my mind on him is really saying something, and what an excellent job he did. From that point on, it's been kinda hard to remember why I didn't like him in the first place.

He took over the Tonight Show a week before we touched down in the US, so it's very easy to put into real term context just how long he was given on the tonight show - not very long at all. It's quite disgusting that the network really didn't give him a chance, and great that he told them to shove their bullshit offer.

Which is all getting aware from the point - that his final speak was nothing short of inspiring.

I'm with Coco.
Now Playing: Mink Rebellion - Bump On The Head

Peanut Wars!

Teakwoods Tonight

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 22, 2010 - 02:34:54 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Tonight at Teakwoods, at least if you believe the back and forth on Facebook. [wink] ha

I'm quite looking forward to the pairing of Velvet Elvis and Violet Wild whether or not Norm brings a bag of walnuts! I need some rock in my life!

Oh How The Times Have Changed

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 22, 2010 - 01:59:32 am
(Posted Under: Geek)
So tonight I was looking at some sections of my website that haven't really been updated since they were first written - namely the Recommended Software page, which is so reflective of the early 2000's.

  • Netscape Communicator - Gee, even though it needed to be ripped from my clutches - I was certainly one of the last people in the world to let it go - it's actual hard to remember a time when I didn't use Firefox.

    Interestingly I just read that AOL/Netscape dropped the browser in 2008. Interest mainly that it survived that long actually. That was long after even I'd switched to Firefox.

    Such fond memories of early days of the internet are associated. However, thank god for Mozilla Foundation, particularly given the direction Netscape was going when AOL brought them out.
  • Tera Term Pro - Now there's a blast from the past! I don't think I'd remember it if it weren't for my page. I preferred it over Putty, but it's lack of ssh2 support really hurt it. With that said, it's hard to remember a time where I wasn't using openssh.
  • WarFTPd - Running a FTP server under Windows - now that's a novel thought from days gone by.
  • Netlaunch - Great little program in the day, but saying bye to dial-up many, many years ago also signaled goodbye to needing to run this.
  • Radium MP3 ACM codec - Dropped a long time ago for lame. 'Nuff said.
  • TaskInfo 2000 - Just kinda forgot about this one with the dawn of XP
  • Borland C/C++ - This being on the list just makes me think of how unlikely I am to write C code under Windows these days, and certainly not to compile for Win16. Though, if I ever needed to, i'd still pull this out. It's been a long time since I've had it installed by default though.
  • AOL Instant Messenger - Talk about an application that really became uneeded.
And the ones that have stood the test of time:

  • Winamp - My loyalty to Nullsoft will probably never end. Winamp still kicks the Llamas ass, even if I'm running a hugely out of date version.
  • Textpad - While it has some flaws (syntax highlighting, and it's weird window tabbing order, Textpad has surprisingly remained my editor of choice, when not using vim.
  • Trillian - While I could air some complaints about it, Trillian still fullfils the no bullshit, multiple chat client requirement.
  • lcc-win32 - Again, it's rare that I'll write C code for Windows test day, and I'd be inclined to compile with gcc under Cygwin if I did. However, I keep this around, even to this day, if for nothing else, for when I (infrequently) do development on my Hitter Winamp plugin.
  • Cygwin - So I use it a lot less extensively for many years (Linux boxes will do that [wink] ), it's remains one of the things I can't do without on a Windows machine even to this day - even if now it's primary just for vi, rxvt + openssh and...well, quite frankly, the /etc/hosts symlink! [wink] Testament to that is the fact that these days I have an install on my iPod for if I'm ever at a cygwin-less machine.
Similarly, looking at the list of applications I'd written between 1998 and 2004 is impressively dated. Very few of them I've used in several years, let alone even compiled. I will say though, International Time has certainly had a resurgence in use over the last few months!

Mailshell Fail

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, January 18, 2010 - 08:55:06 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Sometime in early December my Mailshell account stopped working. I contacted technical support on Dec 21, and got an automated response that to contact help@mailshell.com if I couldn't find a solution through a help page.

Fail #1 - don't have me write an email, only to have an auto responder give me a different email address to contact.

Despite queries apparently being addressed within 3 working days, it's almost a month later - no response, and the account doesn't work. Fail #2.

Drink Enough Of Anything...

Even A Bad Tasting Margarita

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 08:58:34 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Sunday school was a complete cluster fuck today. Extremely packed, extremely noisy and just all around uncomfortable. For the first time in a while I remembered how wonderful alcohol can be, after I slammed the margarita and got to a state that made the surroundings at least bearable.

The upside of the afternoon was scoring a bunch of old school demo recordings. Yaay for Tempe.

Looking For Hopkins Band Photos

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 02:57:58 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Web Development)
Work updates to the Lost Horizons site are going well.

However, the new design looks a bit lacking without photos for a couple of bands, namely Moral Majority, Algebra Ranch and The Eventuals. It's a bit of a sticky wicket. So, an unprecedented call to arms from us is in order...

If anyone has any photos of the aforementioned bands that they'd be willing to donate use on the website, it would be muchos appreciated by us. Just drop us an email here (email form will open in a new window).
Now Playing: Velvet Elvis - Perfectly Flawed

The Internet Is A Changing

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 15, 2010 - 01:31:32 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Doing some more work on Lost Horizons. Checking the Links page, it's a sad state of affairs when not one of the first 4 links still work. I know it's been 10 years since we first created the site, but the fact that the Gin Blossoms (Official and Unofficial), Dead Hot Workshop and Pistoleros sites are all just as distant memory.

Actually, to that end, there are very few in general that still work. It's going to be a pretty sad Links page once I clear out the dead links. And I think it's time for the Peacemakers link to go, even though it's one that still works, given how they blow. With all that I know these days, I can't leave it there in good conscious.
Now Playing: The Psalms - Where The Grass Once Grew

We're Not That Complicated

A Productive Day / Bobby & Josh @ Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 11:54:49 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
A pretty productive today. We went and checked out a house (from the outside) that Katie had spotted close to downtown. Pretty sweet, and a good deal, though it probably needs a lot of work, considering how in our price range it is. [wink] It was definitely the only place with that look in the area.

Given the area we were in, we stopped in at Zia Records and Burger King - didn't find anything per se 9which is a good thing), though I did see the New Miserable Experience Rarities Edition CD, which I guess got released in the last week. I first heard about it a while ago. What a scam, it being the second (bonus) CD from New Miserable Experience (Deluxe Edition). Probably cost the label $0 to put together. Ahh, A&M/Universal, milking that stuff for any last pennny!

I picked up a case for my netbook at Best Buy, using the gift card I'd got for Christmas. Pretty happy with it, even if I were tempted by a Sparky netbook sleeve. The amount they're charging for those verses a proper carry case is pretty impressive.

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon cleaning up, which the apartment really needed. We quickly shoved down dinner and got out the door for Bobby & Josh at Teakwoods. A fun night watching the boys, the place was pretty quiet tonight, which appreciated tonight. I thought that Josh seemed a little off, and after chatting to him, I wasn't just imagining it - given he has a cracked rib. While chatting about our trip to Wheaton last year, I seized the opportunity to ask if they still did Water & Chemicals, which we haven't seem them do at all. Pretty happy that Josh took it as a request and they did it during the second set. Nice.

Now THAT'S What I'm Talking 'Bout!

Scott & Troy @ Yucca's Open Mic

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:23:37 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Tonight was glorious. We got to Yucca around 9:30, and caught the end of Ashley Creighton and then 36 Cents & A Dream. The birthday boy certainly spent a lot of time working tonight - because after that, he was up on stage again with that wee little guitarist that we all know and love.

It was actually funny, I'd been anticipating tonight, but immediately looked for a singer when they were about to play, somehow forgetting momentarily that Scotty took that role. Not forgot per se, but had a moment of 'this is better than I was expecting!' It's probably from seeing Elvis Before Noon every week I guess. So there was definitely no better place in town to be. The 20 minute or so set was just like being back in 2005 - Scotty and Troy (with Nick Segal) on stage at the Yucca. Nice set, especially given that it was open mic, Get Drunk All The Time, Make It Last, Need Your Love, Demons and Stop!. Now that's what I moved to the desert for! [smile]

After two Scotty & Troy appearances in the one week, I could really get used to this! I know that I shouldn't desire getting used to it [wink], but the fact remains that I could! [smile]
Now Playing: Chimeras - Cathedral City

A Developers Work Is Never Done

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, January 11, 2010 - 09:20:50 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
It's been a long day of making updates for Lost Horizons. Though, it's been nice how well the work of getting the photos back on line has come together! One of those nice major coops.

But now, it's time for seeing Scotty & Troy at the Yucca!

Apache Junction

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 06:40:23 pm
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life)
Took a drive out to Apache Junction today, both to look at some houses that we've had our eyes on, and for the fun of it. Something that's been on the list of things to do for a while.

We were successful on all accounts - being looking at houses, and having fun. Being out there is just too nights. It was somewhat surprising to me going past one place that we'd actually been looking at in Australia in 2007. Apparently it got sold, and is now back up for sale! Sad that it's way too small for us.

We'd planned on going by Kovak's, and actually stumbled upon it by accident from another direction. I was surprised by the fact that it had been torn down sometime between 2006 and now. Though, the sign is still standing. After checking out some other places, we headed back around and got out and had smoke. It's pretty impressive looking at the slab where the place once stood - damn it was a small joint.

From there we continued up the Apache Trail and tromped around in the desert until sunset when we headed back to Phoenix.

Violet Wild, Steve Larson

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 11:41:11 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
After spending most of today out, we were looking forward to a night in. Of course, as soon as we got home, we got word that Violet Wild were playing at Iguana Macks. So there goes the staying in plans.

We didn't get the message until after 6, and weren't going to go until we ate (ironically, it would have been on the way back from AJ), so we didn't get there until 7:30. Fun times. It was, as expected, Bobby & Josh acoustic on the patio. At the end of the night they pulled out a great version of Don't Stop Believing by Journey. I definitely was thinking that it'd be good if they got the new songs down on CD sometime soon! About the new songs, it was surprising when Bobby announced that the one about the hole in the roof was written by Josh - it really seemed like a Scott song to me! Marc Norman was there, adding tambourine stylings. Later in the night we had a delightful Chandler vs. Tempe conversation with him, which was very enjoyable for us. [wink] Chico Diaz also showed up, who is in town for Black Moods rehearsals.

Afterwards we headed down to Sucker Punch Sally's to catch Steve Larson again. Last night I was keen to go again, but then today it just seemed like too much effort. But since we were out, and feeling more refreshed, it made sense, and once we got there I was absolutely glad that we made it down there. A fun time, and Steve played a bunch of different songs from last night, which was cool. Good times.

After a little reconn mission around town, we headed home.


6 Degrees From Mark Zubia

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 12:21:43 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
From the late night conversation after shows file - Any Tempe musician worth anything came be related in Mark Zubia within under 6 degrees of separation, even when the rule that every degree must have people within the sane band.

The whole thing came up with doing the 6 degrees of separation of anyone we saw play on Friday night. But before long we established that you don't even need to do that, you can just make the target Mark Zubia.

Try to do it - think of someone from the scene who can't be related back to Mark in less than 6 degrees of separation. I don't think it can be done.

And such is an insight into our mindsets after a long night out on the town.

Fuck Strange Young Things

(Add / View Comments) (1)Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 02:14:31 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Best damn band in town! I'm just saying, that's all.
Now Playing: The Ringing Of My Inner Ear

Who Says Rock Is Dead?!?

Los Guys, Steve Larson, Strange Young Things

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 8, 2010 - 11:52:05 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Tonight was just one of those nights. ie - rock filled.

We started out with Los Guys at Tempe Market Place. The last time they played here (Dec 5th) we enjoyed it, but we one our way to other things (Stephen Ashbrook and beyond), so it was cool to go down for the full gig tonight. There is just something cool about this gig. You wouldn't have thunk it, but it just is cool. It probably has to do with the huge stage. Watching both Mark & PC I thought many things. Two such things were that a) These guys are well into their 40's and are still rockin' and cool ass. It's really worth sticking around for, if you ask me. b) Being the biggest band in Tempe ain't a bad thing. Fuck anyone who thinks otherwise!

Los Guys finished at 10, in time for us to head over to the new Sucker Punch Sally's Diner downtown. It opened this week, and Larson was breaking in the stage with Chip Hanna tonight and tomorrow night. It wasn't entirely what I expected, and the place was hardly recognizable from when it was Ruby Tuesdays. I only went there once, but it seemed like quite a bit had changed inside.

It wasn't until about 10:30 that Steve actually played, and was really something. The times I've seen Steve of late, with the exception of Wednesday night, something has seemed off. But tonight was different, it was the sort of Larson show that I remember fondly, with Steve seeming in good spirits and top of the world again. That in itself was just something to see, and made you feel good about the world! Plus, the loop machine was back, which added to the all round rocktastic Steve Larson experience, and harked back to what I remember seeing Steve to be like!

While in there I noticed that the roof looked like what I think Wong's roof was like, which was cool. And throughout Steve's set, it wasn't lost on me that we were sitting on Mill Ave., only a few paces from where Wongs once stood.

Steve's set had all the usual suspects therein. I was particularly glad to hear Just Like Heaven again! I don't feel like it's been a proper Larson show until that one comes out.

We stayed for one song by Chip before leaving - for Yucca Tap Room. On the way back to the car, I made a point to walk through the Wong's lot - probably my first time doing so, since it was fenced off the last time I tried to.

On the way to Yucca we were able to drive past the old building that housed Merlins back in the day. Despite my failed attempts in researching it's location, I completely accidently stumbled across it earlier this week. Pretty cool.

At Yucca The Sugar Thieves were still playing. We attempted to go in, but aborted - the place was absolutely backed, which was quite impressive given how many people were also outside! We ended up waiting in the car until Strange Young Things went on. It cleared out somewhat, but it was actually really nice to see that they had a decent crowd stay for pretty much their entire set. And they in no short part took full advantage of it. About 20 seconds into Bang The Dash we both couldn't believe that we'd considered just going home when we initially saw how crowded The Yucca was. It only took 20 seconds of Strange Young Things to know that such a thought was criminal. The boys were balls to the wall (as usual) and it was a complete party from the opening song until the last one. And as usual (at least at Yucca), there was no keeping Corey on stage! Heads up, or your going to be taken out by him, or tripped up by his guitar lead!


(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 8, 2010 - 06:30:38 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Doing a bit of cleaning today was pretty damn rewarding as I came across the old school Blossoms t-shirt that we scored a few months ago. It's kinda bizarre to have had such a major coop on that, and have completely forgotten about it!

Today was also a reminder that it's quite unfortunate to be without a cassette player at the moment. Damn you damage caused by moving across the world!

Guitar Hero Five

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 12:21:18 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Our copy of Guitar Hero 5 arrived this morning. Katie won a copy (actually, a bundle, with a controller) a month of so ago, thanks to my coke rewards, thanks to all the coke we've brought. Cool.

Now all we need to do is find a way to win a Wii console, and we'll be in business! [smile]

Tempe Music Night @ The Vig

Scott Johnson, Steve Larson, Troy Dixon & Daylon Greer

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, January 6, 2010 - 11:31:03 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Just got back from the Larson/Johnson gig @ The Vig. Too much fun. We actually got there at 7, Scotty confirmed that they weren't playing until 8, so we took of and sorted out some stuff in the hour we had to kill.

It was a lot of fun, this "Tempe Music Night" - in Phoenix. The first highlight was Scotty and Steve doing Memphis Time. After a bunch of typical Larson covers (ie: county covers that Larson typically does), Scotty went to see if Troy wanted to play. I had noticed the bass guitar in Scotty's rig, but not Troy, so it wasn't that much of a surprise.

Arguably what followed was the best part of the night for me - the Scotty Johnson originals portion. And true to the old days, with Troy on bass. I've been here about 3 months, and longing for those old days, and tonight I finally got to witness it! It started out with the "Sunday School Favorite" Get Drunk All The Time (following up Scotty's rendition of Ain't No Sunshine, which is also becoming a Sunday regular), following by four other Scotty and Troy classics, before Follow You Down (with Daylon on harmonica as Robin Wilson). Better Beautiful Than Perfect even made it in there while Scotty still had the acoustic guitar.

Followed up by a few songs by Daylon & Scotty, until it was back to Steve and Scotty to finish out the night.

Steve was in fine form tonight. Actually, I've got to say aside from anything, there was just something glorious about seeing Scotty & Steve play together, period. There is just something about it that makes you feel like everything is right with the world. But beyond that, Steve was in fine form. Each time I've seen Steve since being back in Arizona, something has seemed off. It's seemed somber, and just - something just not being right. But tonight was reminiscent of the days of seeing Steve at Sugar Daddies, something that I've definitely been missing. He was having a lot of fun, and raising a lot of hell (where The Vig is ready for 'Tempe Music Night' remains to be seen [wink] ) which was really great to see. It really seemed like Larson was back. And the fact that there are three more shows before the week is out furthers that idea!

In any case, tonight was freakin' awesome! The other good thing about the night was confirmation (from the horses mouth, as it were) that there will probably be somewhat of a repeat of the Scotty & Troy portion of the night next Monday at Open Mic. Sweeeeeeet! [wink]

Mission Hans Achieved!

Hanksgiving @ Yucca

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 10:51:01 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
The mission as it were, dates back years ago, to the first day I ever spent in Arizona. The mission being seeing Hans Olson play live. At the time, I had no idea that it was going to be a mission, nor almost 5 years in the making. My first time out here, I was excited that Hans was playing the Tempe Music Festival. The only problem was that he played at midday, and my flight got in at 1pm, hence he is one act I didn't get to see that day. I didn't end up getting to see him play that entire trip, nor on my second trip in 2006. Not that I think I thought that much of it at the time.

It really became a thing last Halloween, when he was scheduled to play at the Mill Ave. Halloween Music Festival, at which point it dawned on my that I still hadn't seen him play. And the situation turned into a 'mission' when - you guessed it, we missed his set! For someone who plays arguably as regularly as Mark Zubia (ie; a lot) it's kinda surprising that I still hadn't.

We'd headed down to Yucca particularly to see Shelby James & The Crying Shames at the Hanksgiving night. We'd seen the flier for it the night before Christmas Eve, and taken note that Shelby was playing. I don't think we'd notice that Hans was, or if we did, I'd forgotten by tonight. But walking from the car, I immediately recognized him out the back.

Bachman was playing (who outside I mistook his voice for Steve Larson, and rushed inside), and Hans followed, which was cool. While it was a surprise to us, I think he was the highlight of the night for me. No disrespect to the Crying Shames, but Hans was just really good. Hans isn't really my era, nor genre and not an artist that is in constant rotation for me, but he's just that good that you can't not be sucked into his music. You don't have to be hard core into country or the blues to get something out a Hans Olson performance. And all three aspects of it (vocals, guitar and harmonica) are actually equally as impressive. Definitely watching him tonight, it makes perfect sense to me why he and Larson have done a lot together. I definitely thing they both go hand and hand together. I'm sure Hans has some years and experience on Steve, but there is no doubt that they're both cut from the same cloth. And with both of them, if you have any musically incling at all, it behooves you direct your attention to the stage. A nice touch was also Hans use of a loop machine, for laying down a rythmn before taking a solo. Which obviously takes me back to the days of Larson at Sugar Daddies. Maybe Hans is where Steve got the idea. In anycase, it was only a 3 song set of Hank Williams covers by Hans. The shortness of which has reminded me that I need to get to a Hans Olson show sometime soon. One with his originals will be even more enjoyable in theory too.

Since we certainly weren't looking to make it a big night (it's kinda impressive that we actually made it out to Yucca tonight), it was a bit of a wait until Shelby took the stage. Worth the wait, though sadly it as only 3 songs by them also. Which was fine, but given that we'd figured they were playing at 7, it was kinda funny to have waited around for so long for 3 Hank Williams songs. But, despite the still feeling rundown from the cold and wanting to get home at a reasonable time, it was actually pretty nice hanging out at Yucca. Though, once Shelby had played, it took nothing for us to V-Line to the car! [smile]

Desert Botanical Gardens & The Vig

A Sunny Sunday Afternoon Of Fun

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 02:44:12 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
It was a nice afternoon today, at the Desert Botanical Gardens, before heading over to The Vig for Elvis Before Noon.

There was not a cloud in the sky when we left the apartment, and out at the Botanical Gardens, you could not help but be struck with the heat from the desert sun (about 21 degrees celcius) while walking around. So? Sure, it's been a lot hotter when I've been at the Botanical Gardens before. But, only 3 days ago I was amongst the freezing, snowy conditions of the midwest, where the fact that it's winter was inescapable! Coming back home to Phoenix is like getting an instant summer! And while it's actually winter here, walking around today in the sun and completely blue skies, it was easy to forget that it isn't actually summer. Today felt as much like a summer day than any other one!

The gardens were great as always, and it would have been easy to have stayed there for the rest of the afternoon, than going over to The Vig.

I was interested to see the luminaries still set up on one building there. Hilariously, moments after taking a photo, a guy appeared on the roof to start collecting them. Unbelievable timing on that photo!

Our membership was really the best money we spent last year. We've only had it for 2 months more or less, and are $5 off already having it pay for itself. It's incredibly nice to be able to, on a whim, to decide to take a trip down there!

I could definitely feel the warm weather doing wonders for my cold!

At 3pm it was a short trip down to The Vig. Fun as always. The coolest part to report was the band doing Cajun Song. It seemed pretty impromptu, and went off quite well. The other thing was the pimping of Scotty's show this Wednesday there, with Steve Larson. We're definitely looking forward to it, especially if it means a night of Scotty originals. One can only hope. There was also something rewarding to me when Daylon pointed out that both were ex Peacemakers. Though, I bet his intention was completely different to why I found it rewarding. [wink]

Kansas City MO, St. Paul MN And Then Home In Phoenix

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 1, 2010 - 11:39:40 pm
(Posted Under: Travel)
Another long day of travel to get home. We started out packing, and left relatively early, headed for Kansas City. With a stop in Warsaw for the pizza hut buffet, which was pretty awesome.

The drive to KC felt long and snowy. With a bit of time to kill before our 7pm flight there was a stop at Harrah's Casino, where Katie and I won $10 - though, effectively lost $10 when you count earlier $20. Then it was to Kansas City International.

We were there in plenty of time, but surprisingly security didn't seem any tighter in light of the terrorist attempt on Christmas Day. Maybe it was, but we didn't have to do anything extra, nor did it take any longer to get through security in my opinion.

Flying with a cold, as I learnt, sucks. As we made our approach into St. Paul, MN my blocked ears really got intensely blocked to the point where I could barely hear. Fun!

There wasn't much time between flights, so it was a focused jaunt through the airport, which reminded me of Skyharbor somewhat to concourse G and our flight home.

Once in the air, the altitude helped my ear / sinus situation, which was quite appreciated, though I was fully aware that the reverse was going to happen when we came down. I didn't bother breaking out the laptop at all, instead just using the iPod for entertainment. Gave New Miserablle Experience a listen, which was one of those religious experiences, and also provided some Hopkins revelations. That really is one of those one of a kind albums, the broke the mold after that one.

Coming down in Phoenix was hell on my sinuses, as expecting, going from almost complete hearing to being plugged up again, and nothing to do about it, other than wish there was a snot decompression chanmber somewhere in Phoenix. Although I really wanted to be home, it was enough to make me want to be at 30,000 feet again.

I collected our baggage, while Katie went to get the car. Walking out of the terminal for a smoke;, having that warm night Phoenix air hit me (even at midnight) and seeing a cactus across the road was awfully nice! It was midnight, so it was actually cool outside, but in comparison to the last week, it definitely felt warm, with the lack of the air bitting your nostrils with every breath. Ahhh, Phoenix!

Before long I got a call from Katie with the news that our car battery was dead! Great! While I typically like taking in the whole airport thing, it actually got really old, really quick - no doubt largely related to my cold. Even though it felt like forever, it didn't take too long before we had a jump start, I was loading up the car, and we were headed to Tempe, with a quick stop at the Wendy's on Baseline.

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