Rome, Italy -- Tommaso & Marcella's apartment in Pigneto
I don't know why I only feel the need to write in this here blarf when I travel... for a guy like me, what exactly constitutes travel? Ever since I left Valencia last July, when people have asked me where I live, I've not really known how to respond. "Uh, here? Nowhere." I mean, Reno is without a doubt my hometown but if I'm only there a total of about three months out of the year, I'd hardly say that I live there. And it's quite unfair to Reno to leave it out of my blarf. I understand why I have left it out, of course -- because since it's the one place I've lived the most, it's a place where I'm normally living more of a routine life, and therefore, there's not as much to write about. Or is there? I mean, in the 90s when I was living there I was pretty busy making stuff happen, and I was actually writing quite a bit, publishing a newspaper, doing colums for Maximumrocknroll, etc. I guess ever since I've started traveling extensively (around 2001), my time in Reno has largely consisted of getting ready to leave.
After I left Colombia at the end of February, I dedicated most of the month of March to Reno. Aside from a couple of short distractions in the form of trips to San Francisco and Sacramento, I devoted myself to organizing the best party ever. Sticker Guy! was turning fifteen and I had planned to have a party... but I had no idea how big it would end up being. What I intended to be a semi-intimate yet still-greasy party all just sort of came together, and before I knew it I was selling tickets, looking for a bigger venue, and hearing from friends that I haven't seen in ten years. Thanks to the reformation of Scared of Chaka, The Gain, Scurvy Bastards, and The Troublemakers; and the added attractions of the other eleven bands (most notably The Spits and Dragonfire), people were booking plane tickets and hotels to come spend the weekend in Reno. Great!
It was without a doubt the best party I've ever been to in Reno, and I will definitely be doing it again (though it would be unrealistic to expect it to be half as good the next time). In fact I've already got some dates saved, in September 2008. The Underground is a fine venue and Reno's lucky to have it. Remi is from Paris and he loves a good party. In Nevada you can drink all night long and Reno is full of cheapish hotels so while most people don't realize it, we've got one of the best spots in the nation, if not the world, to throw a big fuckin party. Check it out the site I threw together for the party at http://stickerguy.wordpress.com for photos and whatnot. Thanks to all the bands for getting together and coming to Reno to play, and to everyone who came -- especially everyone who keeps talking about how much fun they had!
Also in March, Peppe and I went to Austin, Texas for SXSW. It was my first time there and thanks to Jeff & Sherry there was actually a showcase for Slovenly Recordings. We had The Spits, Okmoniks, Slab City, Hipshakes and the Rippers with guests Nobunny and Terrible Twos all on one bill in a record store, Cheapo Discs. I wanna thank Jen in particular for hostin us (and the Hipshakes) and lettin us make a mess of her apartment. SXSW was cool, but I was a little overwhelmed. If I go again, I know how to be more prepared next time... first thing that comes to mind is to bring a chair (!). I don't think I've ever spent that much time standing around watching bands and drinking beer. The most fun I had was the first night, with Hex Dispensers and Municipal Waste; the second night when the Spits killed at Emo's; and the backyard houseparty the Okmoniks played.
After the Stickerguy party madness was over, I busted ass in Reno gettin ready to head back over to Europe. I left without saying proper goodbyes to hardly anyone... my brother and my sister included. I got stuck at work all night finishing stuff up, went home and packed my bags, and headed for the airport on no sleep. Typical. Luckily I managed to snooze through almost the entire plane ride though, and when I got to Valencia, I was able to defy / ignore jetlag and head straight for the gig. Psycho-a-go-go was playing at a club called Flow with Digger and the Pussycats. Great night -- lots of old friends from Spain including Lluis and Isa, who moved to Australia a few months before I split town! Valencia was action-packed, and Leandro and I tore it up for a few nights, ending up at a club called Excuse Me to shake it til late in the morning before heading back to his pad in Bunyol. We saw Los Assdraggers, who played a rough but great and fun set at Flow... and then Saturday I checked out Fela Borbone playing in some posh yuppie joint in El Carmen. Molongui was cool enough to put me up at his place after we hung out with some friends of his. On my last day in town, I went to my storage unit and grabbed records, since I'll be DJing here in Rome on Friday and Saturday and then on tour with the Anomalys and Low Point Drains... and then in Madrid at Go Sinner Go. Then I went to Xirivella and checked out Wau y Los Arrrghs!!! at practice. They've got some great new, original (!) songs so if you get a chance to see them live, GOOOOO...
Then on a night when I thought I'd be turning in early, to get some sleep before catching my early-ish flight the next day, I ended up hanging out with Juanito all night and didn't get to bed til 4am. I think in four days in Valencia I slept a total of maybe 16 hours. But I wasn't sleepy...
Of course it all caught up with me as soon as I got to Italy... I just spent four nights in Vitulazio, and I swear my relatives must all think I'm on drugs or something, because I was falling asleep left and right. At dinner tables, in cars, wherever. It didn't help that I was eating like a king... multi-course meals at lunch and dinner! I didn't eat much in Valencia either... and I like the food much better in Italy... so I made up for it at grandma's house. Mmmm... spaghetti with octopus... frittata con asparagus (and ricotta?)... broccolini... per quattro giorni, ho mangiato per due. Unfortunately though, the air was heavy in Vitulazio. Between family problems and the anniversary of the death of our friend Mike Martone, it was a bit of a challenge to relax and just enjoy the company of loved ones.
Here I am now in Rome, waiting for Friday night when I'm to play records at that party called... Here I Am. It's an art opening and concert all rolled up in one, organized by my friend Simona. I'll spend this week working, trying to get caught up on the 400+ emails I've got hanging around in my inbox... and dealing with some record label stuff.