>Last Friday Julia and I were downtown for First Friday because Julia had her Donkey Girl stuff out at the DIY Bazaar they had at The Badlander. Niki Payton is the primary organizer of this thing, and the release of her new record was one of the big events tied to it. I also ran into my buddy Charles Martin down there, who was also hitting First Friday hard. Here are a couple shots:
“Donkey Girl” is what Julia calls the line of clothes she makes. She makes them, or she redesigns stuff she picks up at thrift stores. She has sold a fair amount at Betty’s Divine, and she moved over $100 of stuff at the DIY thing. I thought that was pretty awesome.
I found the entire DIY thing very, very cool. The amount of talent in this town of people making clothes, ‘zines, jewelry, etc. is pretty impressive. My favorites (besides Julia’s stuff, of course), were the Zombie Tools guys. I met Chris Lombardi face to face for the first time; he’s a great local photographer that I have exchanged messages with in the past, but never talked to in person. This Zombie Tools thing was great! I was grinning like a moron the whole time, and spent most of the event hanging out with those guys. I mean, they make friggin’ swords, for crissakes! How could I not think that was cool? I’ll be talking more about them in the future, you can trust me! I urge you to look at some of the associated images Chris has taken of the stuff they are doing, like these, and of course these!
Monday morning I had to fly to Dallas for work. So while it was cold, raining and snowing in Missoula, I was sweating in 90+ degree, humid weather. And it stunk, as in literally smelled bad. I don’t like urban Texas. However, the only parts of Texas I’ve been in have been urban, so it’s safe to say at this point that I don’t like Texas, period. After all, they are responsible for this. I’d like to get out in the countryside, though, before I make up my mind.
Here is the place I was working. Yes, those are bars on the doors and windows. It was in a real shady neighborhood; a security guard was walking the perimeter the entire time. The breakroom smelled muy delicioso, though, on account of all the Mexican food being enjoyed by the Hispanic employees.
This shot is directly across the street from the plant. You know what kind of neighborhood you are in when every block has a pawn shop and check cashing/payday loan joint on the corner. I got to see some interesting characters going in and out of there.
A few miles away I stayed at a place that was actually kind of cool. It was called the Belmont Hotel. It was old, and a little down-in-the-heels, but still pretty cool; definitely a lingering reminder of what hotels used to be like. I found it infinitely preferable to the saccharine nature of chains like Hampton Inn, Best Western, etc. The only thing that was awkward to me was the valet parking service. I’d go down to get my car and the guy would dash off to get it; I felt weird having some guy jumping up and running to “serve” me. I’m not comfortable with that. The bar, which had an outside balcony right below my window, seemed to attract a relatively “fabulous” clientèle too, if you catch my drift. Here is a shot around 9 PM of downtown Dallas from that balcony:
I can make a comment like that because I too wear clothes with an “X” preceding every size tag in my closet. I generally have nothing against big people. However, there are times when I am surrounded by a lot of them, most of whom dwarf even a lardass like me in size, when I feel a little dismay about what our society is creating. Love the body Mama gave you and all, but some of that just can’t be good for you.
Anyway, here’s another shot of downtown Dallas, taken on my way through to the airport:
I didn’t care for Dallas. I found I much preferred the scruffy neighborhoods — where every business and sign is in Spanish — over the glittering strips of big box stores and enormous churches (one horribly overblown monstrosity was the headquarters of some big TV evangelical thing; driving by I didn’t catch the name and traffic kept me from snapping a photo, but it was awful; think Monticello x 10 with 500% more burnished sleeze). I also liked sitting in the local restaurants — Spanish being spoken all around me, Mexican music playing, and soccer on the Telemundo over the bar — to the packed Chili’s full of people yapping away in the horrible Texan drawl. Ugh, I get the shivers just thinking about it. I was happy to get home.
Sid’s Big Night
Tonight begins Sid’s short stint as drummer for the LAZERWOLFS! How did that happen? Long story (which I’m sure you’ve come to expect from this friggin’ blog). Exactly two weeks ago, I shipped our new album off for printing and also placed our t-shirt order. Two days after all that was finalized, Bubba (our drummer) told us he had failed a random urine analysis test; his probation requires he abstain from alcohol or pot, and he had been out drinking two days before the UA. That was Sunday the 1st when he broke the news; the following Tuesday he met his PO and was promptly cuffed and taken to jail. Tour, and all the other June shows, seemed to be in severe danger. I was, in a word, pissed.
That left Jimmy and I two options: either cancel or find a fill-in. We opted for getting a guy up to speed to fill these dates; Sid stepped up to the plate to play drums for us to fill our June obligations. He and I worked on songs together, and since them we have practiced twice with Jimmy. While it will be a little different I guarantee the band will still melt faces. Long term it looks like Bubba will still be with us, but it still isn’t 100% certain — situation looks favorable at this point, though.
Tonight we play this bike rally thing going on at Rock Creek, then Tuesday night we hit the road. It should be a blast. I’m going to try and do daily updates from the road, as we are only out for a week. Oh yeah, the CD is out too. You should get one. Locally they will be available at Ear Candy and Budget, for sure. Will also have them out via CDBaby and iTunes too, I expect. I’ll keep you posted. . . .