9.19.2008

right back where we started from.

oh gosh, it's been a while.

first off, scott heisel, my friend; you are a saint. google reader is exactly what i needed at this stage in my blogging life.

i'm going to try and recap my end of summer trip to california! let me start by saying, i set out my canon sd750 compact digital camera to be packed in my carry on bag, and i seem to have misplaced it, because when i arrived in LA, it wasn't in the bag. i think it's gone for good. so this update will be accompanied by the few photos i managed to snap on my blackberry.

my flight left toronto on wednesday around 5. i scrambled in the afternoon to find a box for my bike, and luckily ben from bikes on wheels in the market hooked me up with a little box that i managed to squeeze the gypsy panther into. i headed up to the american apparel on bloor, which may i add is impossible to find from the street front if you've never been there before. i met up with dru, and had a quick chat with bang and brady, mostly about how shit their backstock room is. dru kindly drove me to the airport in exchange for borrowing my car while i was gone. my flight was on time and everything seemed to go fine. i arrived at LAX on time and my bike made it okay too. i picked up my rental car, and in attempt to get a hatchback to fit my bike into a small economy car, they gave me this gold hearse, it was wild and ugly as sin.


i headed straight to the troubadour where i met up with will evans who was accompanied by the usuals, eric tobin, dave shapiro and mike keminsky. had a quick chat with those fellas, and will and i headed on our way to indulge in the finest late night diner experience hollywood has to offer; swingers! i had their soyrizo tofu scramble thing, and will got some sort of sandwhich i believe. we tried to call stu from mis sigs, as they were in town playing at the HOB, but there were like 800 bands on the bill and stu didn't see them getting out of there at any reasonable time to come meet us. we headed over to mustache manor in east hollywood, where i slept on will's couch.

thursday morning began early with will and i riding our bikes down the street to drink some coffee on will's way to work. after this i jumped in the hearse and headed on my way south bound to costa mesa to meet our producer cameron for lunch. traffic was great and i flew through orange county, arriving in costa mesa still a bit early for lunch. to kill some time, i made a ritual southern california morning pit stop at robeks.


after robeks i made a quick pop in at south coast plaza for some early morning shopping, and to pee. i browsed a few clothing stores, and picked up some much needed ipod accessories for the car at the apple store. i headed over to camerons studio and had a peek around to see what had changed since we last recorded with him in 2005. with no more time to waste, we headed to the so cal vegan mecca known as native foods. i had the fish tacos (to try something new) and the classic save the chicken wings (mmmm). i really wish i took a photo of this, but i failed. after dropping cameron off, i headed back to south coast to do some actual shopping. i found a pair of the paul smith x vans era's at bloomingdales, as well as a pair of black raw denim cheap mondays. i also popped into the barney's co-op store and found a nice checkered gant long sleeve button up. i finally got in touch with my aussie pal jona, who happened to be living minutes down the road in irvine. we met up and went to disneyland!




after disneyland, jona took me to one of his favourite asian mock meat restaurants "the wheel of life" (or something like that). we ate a lot of mock meat.




i must point out that the menu for this fantastic eatery spoke the gospel on "VEGAN POWER", a phrase saluted to us, not once, but TWICE on our way out of the restaurant by the elderly asian owners. amazing.


after eating, we headed back to the bleeding through mansion where jona lives with his metal bandmates and several posh suburban orange county families, where he prepared to leave for tour while his bass player installed new exhaust pipes onto his "hog" and i slept on the couch.

friday morning i awoke to the scurry of metal dudes and dudettes rushing to catch their 9am flight to mexico. i jumped into the hearse and headed back up to hollywood. i parked up at the beverly center and pulled my bike out of the coffin of the hearse and headed out to ride and meal! first stop was at real food daily, probably my favourite spot to eat amongst the multitudes of hollywoods fine vegan cuisine. i got the club sandwich with caesar salad, i had to, i always get it.



after lunch, i road around the nearby melrose and fairfax shopping districts. i tried to hit up supreme, but they were closed for the weekend preparing for the fall line drop, bummer. i also hit up posers fred perry shop, where i traditionally blow the bank while in LA. i didn't buy anything this time, i think the new FP store in toronto has me covered. after ripping around a bit, i piled back into the hearse and headed across town to score the depth of amoeba records. i dug through for at least an hour, and picked out a ton of stuff i didn't have, but put most of it back as i figured having it on my ipod was enough. i headed back down to the parking garage below the store and hopped into the hearse, which did not want to allow me to turn the key in it's ignition. i'm going to make this real short to avoid frustration. over the next 5 hours i got extremely dicked around by national rental cars roadside and customer assistance, had my cellphone die, randomly and awkwardly ran into jeff from MLIW (it was aux because i was wearing their shirt), road over to in-n-out with mikey myspace and his pal luke, came back and waited/called national some more, and finally (yes, 5 hours later) got a new rental car.


i definitely missed strike anywhere, but made it over to the el rey just in time for hot water music. the set was great! pretty similar to the ones in NJ and toronto setlist wise, with the inclusion of alachua (finally! and probably a couple other gems). the energy and vibe were good, definitely better than toronto, but not as intense as new jersey. after the show i said hello to the strike and hwm dudes, and ran into a couple other west coast friends. i left the venue around midnight, and was pretty beat. i had spoken briefly with eric and dave about staying at the party pad in silverlake, and hit dave up on my way back to the car. he was headed to a movie, and i wasn't sure if i could just head to the house or wait for the movie to finish. fortunately, my phone decided to die once again, and i decided to head straight to the house with my memory guiding me in it's general direction. when i spoke to eric he kinda gave me the impression to "head over whenever and just walk in and make yourself at home, you know the drill", so i slowly crept up to the gate, opened it, headed to the door, opened it as well, and found that no one seemed to be home. i brought my stuff in and plugged in my phone to find a text from dave saying "head over whenever man, make yourself at home!" and felt comforted. i then got some texts from britni from chicago, which hinted that she was also in LA. i decided to head to bed in the spare room, and was soon awoken by jenelle (dave's roommate) and britni, who was indeed in LA and staying with janelle. caught up with them for a bit, and found out that britni was in LA to see some boy in a band, to which i responded with shoving her face with her own hand. she's a good sport, and doesn't look so bad with blonde hair.

saturday morning i got up early and biked over to meet mikey and brendan for coffee at a breakfast spot on sunset. the tofu scramble looked good, but i had plans to meet ben & katy whodey for lunch at RFD again. it was real great to catch up with katy and ben! and another shot at RFD meant that i could get their unreal vegan nachos this time! they took photos with their phones, and i did not. afterwards i road around the bev area again, got a car charger for my phone, and met back up with brendan who was in the grove with tony from motion city, and matt from atticus uk. had a lemonade with them quickly, and got key's from brendan for aileen and kt's apartment in carlsbad. at this point i headed back over towards daves house to echo park, where i planned to pop in to see the fuck-yeah fest! for a bit before heading to pomona for the HWM show. here's a snap i grabbed of the line up for the fest on glendale from the sunset overpass.


my main priority at F-YEAH was seeing PAINT IT BLACK, who's new record "new lexicon" will certainly be finding it's way towards the top of my best of 2008 list. their set was great, and i managed to get up front, sing along, circle pit, get punched in the head, and managed to only snap this shot of dr. dan asking for more snare in his monitor.


after PIB, trash talk played, and the place went wild, especially when the mic cut out and the stage filled up with dudes singing along. this was quickly broken up by some sort of security. i grabbed a copy of their new LP and bailed.




i then headed to pomona to catch the second strike anywhere/hot water music show. i seemed to get there pretty early, and killed some time riding my bike around pomona and eating some guac and a probably not vegan bean burrito at a near by authentic mexican joint. i hung around with the bands while the openers played, and watched strike from the front of the crowd. during hot water i roamed around the crowd and calmly enjoyed watching chuck passionately struggle through the set due to the apparent loss of his voice. they seemed to play more wollard songs, including "just don't say you lost it", a nice surprise!




i didn't stick around the show too late, said my goodbyes and headed south towards aileen and kt's in carlsbad. if i wasn't clear earlier, aileen was still on tour, and kt was heading to san fran for the weekend, so she gave her keys to brendan to give to me, and i had their apartment to myself for the night. i made the mistake of using the cruise control late at night while listening to "get in the van" on audiobook and probably almost died at least twice. arriving at the apartment was glorious, and kt left me a ind note offering her extremely comfortable bed for my slumber. i did not hesitate and slept soundly.

in the morning i drove further south to san diego, firstly to meet up with nada who has recently relocated to SD to take part in promoting the invisible children organization. i headed to her communal living compound and awkwardly met her 50 or so roommates, most of which who commented about my mustache. i took her down by the beach to this vegan cafe that specializes in strudel, which was randomly suggested to my by the woman working at barney's in south coast. i had a fantastic blt sandwich and a strawberries and cream strudel and took this photo of nada.


after a quick visit with nada i dropped her at the beach to meet her friends while i headed to meet george for an afternoon of padres baseball!


the padres won, after a great game by star pitcher jake peavy, and a lackluster blown save turned win by trevor hoffman. it was great hanging and catching up with george! it's great to have a friendship with someone who is passionate/crazy enough about my band to get as many silverstein related tattoos as he does, and being able to avoid the typical "fan/rockstar" attitude that normally would go down. on this afternoon we were just a couple of dudes watching some baseball. i got a bit of a silly sunburn on my face.

after the game i went and picked up aileen at the airport, where she returned from a tour in europe. we headed back to her place and quickly headed out for some food, and were greatly disappointed to find the spot she planned to take me closed early on sundays. we eventually resorted to grocery shopping at trader joes/ralphs and headed back to hers where i made some of my signature tofu scramble breakfast for dinner. we ate far too much and watched as many episodes of gene simmons family jewels as we could before passing out. i think i managed to squeeze in one more episode than she did. that son of his is pretty clever.

i got up suuuuuper early and stopped in santa ana to get my bike bag from dan smith. my flight home was fine, aside from american airlines fucking the dog and insisting on charging me $100 to bring my bike home, which was thoroughly argued and supported by referencing their baggage policies on my blackberry. this was later argued with a strongly worded email, to which i received a response denying my refund request. FUCK AMERICAN AIRLINES.

this entry needed more photos. here's a few that i took of (mostly the boatride to and from) v-fest in toronto




the majority of the fest was a bust, mostly because i was more than over summer festivals for the year, but i did quite enjoy seeing the constantines.

1 comment:

Scott Heisel said...

Fuck tht baggage charge -- you should launch an EECB (executive email carpet bomb) to get your money back. Learn how here:

http://consumerist.com/consumer/complaint-letters/how-to-launch-an-executive-email-carpet-bomb-259713.php

These practically always work in terms of getting what you want.