but it was just my imagination ….running away with me

adult swim 2010

The weekend was action packed. Friday night I decided to check out “Crotch Rockitt,” the night hosted by Tiffe Fermaint, Austin Head and some other dudes. Someone from “The Faint was DJing. It’s at the place (that used to be?) known as Anderson’s 5th Estate, but it seems like it’s called something else now. There were a lot of people, but the problem is the place is so big that it just never looks that full. I ran into, of all people, the attractive girl named Anna who had accidentally burned me with her cigarette the night before at Casey Moore’s. She apologized profusely, but I never got a chance to tell her that I didn’t really care and that I just used the whole minor ordeal as a cheap excuse to talk to her and that really it was a lucky thing that it happened.

Sunday was the first Adult Swim pool party of the Summer. They have it at the Days Inn this year. Last year it was at the Wyndham, a much nicer hotel, but they moved it probably so they could get away with more debauchery, play louder music…have it end later and greater etc. The alcohol was certainly cheaper($2 beers) which means I was able to get good and drunk fairly quickly. I managed to drag filmmaker Steven Christopher Wallace with me to the jam. Hung out mostly with him and a shirtless Jonathan Sakas. We went in the hot tub at an inopportune time when a bunch of cute girls were just getting out of it, and a boatload of dudes were just getting in. I know not whether we were the cause of this. Jonathan thought I needed to show more skin, but I tend to melt away into dust and bones like Vincent Price at the end of “War Gods of the Deep” when my skin is exposed to daylight on the Earth’s surface. I did take my pants off though, which was a mistake, since when we went in the hot tub, we didn’t have towels or anything so I had to put my dry clothes on over my wet body, which was very uncomfortable and caused me to have unfulfilled fantasies of being able to blowdry the damply wet seat of my pants for the rest of the evening.

adult swim 2010 phoenix

It’s always weird when you go out and recognize random people that you know online from Facebook or Twitter or whatever. You just never know if they recognize you back, so you just exchange awkward looks and never quite acknowledge one another . The internet has certainly added the dynamic of a kind of “fourth wall” in real life social situations. Very rarely is it broken as successfully the way we became accustomed to seeing Zack Morris pull it off a zillion times in Saved By The Bell(“Timeout!.”)

Adult Swim was super fun, but kind of a bust romantically(no pun intended) as most of the bikini clad women either had boyfriends or (like moths to a flashlight) were only interested in having their picture taken. I did get a girl’s number at the very end of the night though. I recognized her from the pool party last year. I have such a great memory, I remember someone’s face(if I’m interested in it) when I’ve seen it for a few moments. The reason I remembered her is because when I noticed her last year she looked super pissed to be there, and her friends were having fun, but she was just standing there. My friend and I had debated for several minutes whether we should go hit on her, but then she left unexpectedly early and I got distracted by some other drama. Anyhow this year I decided to chat her up and when I talked to her she was kind of a sarcastic bitch at first, but warmed up to me after a few minutes. At first she thought I was lying when I said I remembered her, but when I was able to describe the exact circumstances in detail I could tell she really did believe me. And thus a certain mutual bond of respect and flattery was formed. Anyway she didn’t really seem too interested in hanging out though, but hey who could blame her for that? certainly not anyone who reads this site on a regular basis!

adult swim phoenix 2010

Afterward, Steve and Jonathan and I went to Casey Moore’s where we hung out with Bree and Kelly S. and discussed a lot of disgusting and totally taboo subjects(vibrator repair, electric toothbrushes etc) but at that point all I wanted to do was go home and get out of my wet clothes and dream of lions at the zoo. On the way out of Casey Moore’s I saw some girl who was just at Adult Swim, and our eyes met like we were about to say hi, BUT then I wasn’t watching where i was going so I almost ate shit and crashed into my friend…and as we were leaving I could have sworn i heard the faint sound of playful laughter echoing off in the distance.

Gold Man Sakas

So I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of Jonathan Sakas‘(pronounced like “say kuss”) debut album “Albatross.”He had previously released an EP “Death of the Iceman.” Jonathan has been around in the Phoenix music scene for years, and I recall seeing one of his bands play at Plaid in late 2006 era. He has only recently began to break out and make a name for himself.

Being somewhat of a minimalist, I knew immediately that I would like Jonathan Sakas’ “Albatross” when I saw that he used “one word” song titles for each track(Grapes, Oysters, Striker, etc) The songs themselves are not minimalist but rather extremely well polished, proficiently performed, professionally produced quasi-masterpieces.

A variety of synthesizers and other electronic instruments are made use of, with some guitar sounds thrown in here and there. My favorite track on the album is the first song “Striker,” which is peppy and catchy, as in will be sure to catch your attention. The other potential hits are “Porridge,” the third song and also “Marie” which has an excellent keyboard intro that seems to scream “instant pop phenomenon.” Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so, as “Marie” was selected to be on the new Zia Records Compilation CD slated to come out in the near future. That’s quite a testament to the quality of the jam, given that there are a zillion established Phoenix bands and “Albatross” hasn’t even been released yet.

There tends to be a stigma in Phoenix against acts that appear to take their music seriously. People look at you as if to say “Who does this guy think he is? Why doesn’t he have his shirt off and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon in his hand like the rest of us?” It’s part of the ‘white trash chic’ mentality that plagues much of the Southwest. The reality is that Phoenix as a whole probably doesn’t take itself seriously enough. Jonathan Sakas represents just the kind of 21st century artistry this town desperately needs.

If Jonathan keeps at it and doesn’t get distracted by ordinary life prospects or seduced by constraining relationships, I foresee a future of national tours, sold out amphitheaters, New Times music awards, indie label deals and all around success. When Jonathan Sakas starts to hit the big time, remember you heard it here first.

Jonathan Sakas “Albatross” Album Release Party
Friday, Apr 2 8:00p to 11:00p
at Phoenicia Association, Phoenix, AZ

not quite the opposite of north by northwest

I don’t know how I managed to wake up at 6 a.m. and catch my plane this morning, as I went to Casey Moore’s last night, got drunk off red wine and stayed until close. Hung out with Jonathan Sakas, Bree, Kelly(not the lifeguard kelly different one) and company…where we discussed the most popular tacky phoenix radio jingles (“lerner and roe is the way to go,” I love my metropolitan mattress,” and the Shane Company diamond one. They were all too young to remember classic late night infomercials like Don Lapre’s “I did it all from my ONE BEDROOM apartment placing TINY CLASSIFIED ADS” or any of that Howie World crap” We shoot down the competition!” I swear you just can’t get that stuff out of your skull once it’s been engrained somewhere in that slab of meat which feeds the beast of civilization. Exchanged texts with a girl which may lead to a possible epic reconciliation and potential boardgames…or possibly just some consolation bored games

I’m currently in Austin for the next 8 days for South By Southwest. For some reason the kiosk I’m using at the hotel blocks you from accessing Facebook…which makes very little sense and kind of sucks ass.

I ate some serious BBQ my first day here at some amazing out of the way place. I have an all-access badge and plan to see a crapload of bands while I’m here. I know Austin is supposed to be different from the rest of Texas…but from what I’ve seen so far it’s not that different.
I become more and more appreciative of Phoenix as a city the more I travel. Texas has to be one of the least pedestrian friendly places. You just can’t walk or bus anywhere here unless you are downtown.

I have a feeling I will have a lot of fun when the show kicks into high gear. Hopefull I will get to see my friend Dawn Batson from Los Angeles who lives here now, but I can’t get onto facebook to send her a message to tell her that I’m here….!