Archive | June, 2012

Deerhunter/Desire Lines

30 Jun

Wouldn’t mind seeing these guys live:


We got next

26 Jun

Things I took away from this NBA Finals experience:

  • My boys had a great season. They got better. Two years ago it was first round defeat, last year was the conference finals, this year the NBA Finals. Jimmy Johnson used to say,”If you’re not getting better, you’ve gotten worst.”


  • Oklahoma City have the best fans in the NBA.Going to those games have been collectively my favorite live NBA experiences. I’m almost tempted to buy season tickets next year and take the train down for games.
  • Lebron is clearly the best.  If you’re in a conversation with someone and they say otherwise walk away from them immediately, just talking with them will make you dumber.
  • KD is the best scorer in the NBA, but in order to become an all around superstar he will have to get better at rebounding and defense, cut down on the turnovers.
  • “FREE RUSSELL WESTBROOK!!!” The experiment is over. Move him over to the 2-guard where he can thrive and not have as much pressure to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He is clearly a superstar and clearly we need him, but not as a point guard. He’s a scorer, he’s a lock down defender, he’s a great rebounder. But he is not a point guard. Get a real point guard who can pass and defend, they wouldn’t have to score, just create opportunities for the other players.
  • And while Sam Presti is at it, get a big who can come off the bench and score in the paint. If he can run well off the pick and roll, even better. One of those Ron Milsap, Karl Landry type guys would be nasty.One that thing they could have used this year was a guy they could dump it down to in the paint for an easy bucket or two. It would do wonders for the sqaud to be able to get some points inside without going to Isolation, and pick and roll plays.


  • Getting their  ass kicked the way they did in the final game might be the best thing to happen to them. They were clearly talented than everyone else but were too inconsistent and frankly, there were really only a couple of games this post-season where they played a complete 48 minutes. But they kept winning and that reinforced bad habits and caused people to think they were better than they were.

    The best thing that could have happened was them getting exposed against the Heat

    (It’s like when a person becomes romantically involved with someone and they embark on an intense relationship. It s an opportunity to grow from the experience and see what flaws the individual needs to work on–seeing the good the bad and especially the ugly).




  •  Lockout years are different than normal regular seasons so I knew that the Thunder’s best chance to make it with this particular set-up was this year (If you look up fluke in the dictionary you will find a picture of the 1999 Knicks team).If they want to win a championship some minor changes will have to be made, and I’m sure Sam Presti will make them. I don’t think they are satisfied with just making it to the Finals. I think this year was just a little taste of what’s to come.

    I’m very proud of our boys and I can’t wait to see what moves are made in the off-season to bolster that lineup and see who’s gonna step up, and who’s gonna step out.If the Thunder can fix those small holes (and even if they don’t) they should be back in the Finals, in what will probably be a rematch against the Heat. Hopefully they will use the experience to better themselves.



  • Lastly, I wanna see them make a public service announcement video much like this one. “Stop Flopping!” Fo’real! This flopping has got to stop. Dwayne Wade, Lebron James. You guys are top 5 NBA players. Why do you need the refs to bail you out?If you guys are so good you wouldn’t have to whine to the officials. Fo’real. Play basketball.  I’m just hoping the officiating isn’t as big of a story for next years playoffs.

There will need to be more team play next year for OKC to bring the title down to the Sooner state.


Aight. I’m out. Trying to peep these free agents SON!!!!


Things that make you go………hmmm??????

26 Jun

Is it just me or is this a tad homoerotic???

Me being a Thunder fan isn’t the only reason this video makes me uncomfortable.

Geking Out on the Internet pt. 700: “Get Loose With it.”

24 Jun

The same guy who showed me Krispy Kreme found this one.

Geeking out on the internet part 39: Art imitates reality

23 Jun

Dr. Naismith, Or: How I learned to stop worrying and hate Mizzou

21 Jun

My experiences in Missouri could best be described as mildly uncomfortable, to wildly absurd, to downright shitty.

Besides my first Royals game where I watched Mark Mulder (then with the A’s) pitch a 2 hitter (I had bought seats behind the plate for like 25 bucks), my trips to Kansas City have gotten progressively weirder. Whether it was being hosted by some weirdo ballet girlfriend of a traveling companion or being (almost)seduced by a tranny in a nightclub in Kansas City.

“Oh you’re transexual? Post op or Pre-op?
Pre-Op, huh? well it was nice dancing with you. You should let a guy know these things before you come inches away from being kissed by him”  (which taught me that just because there’s no Adam’s Apple, doesn’t mean that she (?) isn’t a he. I thought I felt warmth coming from her (?) crotch area, but wasn’t sure if it was just my paranoia from being drunk in a gay club. The lesson as always is to trust your instincts.)

I’ve been on Greyhound buses where we picked up some weirdo with extra chromosomes in small towns there, and Kansas City Pedo’s with underage girlfriends (who could easily be mistaken for brother and sister or kissing cousins–thought that type of behavior may be accepted out there).

I got stranded once in post-apocalyptic Joplin for nine hours because we missed our connecting bus. The operator of my bus from Kansas City was a power-tripping, crazy lady whose two unscheduled stops caused me a night of discomfort on the linoleum station floor.

I got stuck in Springfield once because I was left during during a 20 minute stop (totally my fault for trying to fit in an argument with my then girlfriend).

I had a shitty visit to ST. Louis, a place where nothing seemed to be on the level. My buddy and I paid 50 bucks to stay in a flophouse that presented itself on the internet as a hostel (we should have known with a name like the Huck Finn). It was there that I learned that no one even lives in St. Louis.

They commute from the surrounding burbs and go into town. The actual city itself is comprised of restaurants and businesses and has a pretty big racial problem.

I happened to walk up on a domestic dispute between an Italian and his lady (she was sobbing with her head against the steering wheel) and he stopped yelling at her to say ” Hey nigger what the fuck?.I laughed hysterically. My buddy from California was not impressed either.

This visit coupled with the Rangers’ loss to the Cardinals in last year’s World Series has flamed a passionate disregard for the shit hole city ( Miles Davis crazy ass might be the best thing to ever come out of there–oh yeah he was from the Illinois side–fuck em!)

Another time on a road trip to Toronto, my buddy and I had the misfortune of trying to stop at a Best Buy in Wentzville (to pick up some tunes for the road) where we encountered a fifteen minute detour because we missed the exit. We were shown a real life example of the meaning of the word, anti-climatic. Not only was the music section small, but the best selections it had to offer were in the forms of Yanni, Michael Jackson, and Yo Yo MA.

The phrase “going to Wentzville” was coined as a way to define any ridiculous endeavor that results in a bigger headache than what it was originally thought to be worth. (For example: taking a girl on a really expensive date to realize halfway through that she was annoying, boring and talked too much, but then powering through the night only to find that at the end of night she couldn’t sleep with you because she was on her period–that my friends is “taking a trip out to Wentzville).

The ”show me state” had yet to show me half the hospitality bestowed unto me in neighboring Kansas. I’ve been treated like a rock star up in Wichita. They rolled out the red carpet for me on many a visit there. The women have treated me well there, I never had to worry about a place to sleep, good coffee to drink, or good pot to smoke.

Then of course there is Lawrence. I have never been shy about my developing love for KU basketball. I can list so many epic games I’ve seen on television throughout my adult life alone. My adoration for the program really blossomed during the 2002-2003 era, when Drew gooden, Nick Collison, and Kirk Hinrich were the stars there. Keith Langford was one of my all time favorites (the lefty who could always seem to get his shot).

When I moved to Austin in ’01, I had the pleasure of seeing Drew Gooden (Don’t laugh. He was ill back in college) put up some crazy numbers against the TJ Ford led Horns.

What I took away from the game though wasn’t what happened on the court. It was what took place in the stands. There were thousands of people dressed in Jayhawk blue who had commuted from Lawrence, KS to see their team play.

Basketball was still a novelty in longhorn country and the only reason people came close to selling the arena out was Sugarland phenom TJ Ford. But even as good as he was, the place wouldn’t fill up unless it was a marquee matchup.

So to see people who genuinely cared about basketball was intriguing. And they were so nice. The fans had a lot of class and they cheered so loudly that they eventually took over the game and the arena. There was never any doubt either. They knew they were good, but they weren’t cocky, they were just good and they knew it.

I couldn’t help but sit down and root for them when the NCAA’s came around. The eventual National Champion Terrapins of Maryland beat them in the Final Four.

But they made things interesting and made me pay attention the next year when I saw Nick Collison put up a 20-20 game against the Horns down in Allen Fieldhouse. That team had Hinrich, Keith langford, Jeff graves, Michael Lee, Aaron Miles, and that team came SO close to taking it all against Carmelo Anthony and the Orange(men).

That was an awesome tourney to watch and it really made me wonder if I was really a Jayhawk fan at heart.

Maybe the Thunder should consider signing Hinrich??

In 2004 I’d take my first visit to Lawrence while on a road trip to Kansas City.

I was immediately impressed with the town, the rolling hills were unlike what I thought could be possible in Kansas. The campus was enormous, and beautiful and there was a serene calm about the town.

I liked Lawrence immediately but I was already living in a small town, and there didn’t seem to be anything to do but shop and eat.

It was sheer coincidence that I happened to be in San Antonio during the ’08 Final four.

I was in downtown San Antonio, right outside the venue when Mario Chalmers hit the game tying 3 pointer and go into overtime to beat the Memphis Tigers. I got a chance to party with the Jayhawk faithful on that championship night. Even shared a wink and nod with the great Larry Brown (pound for pound as Sheed called him) at a restaurant. I even ran into former Jayhawk 3 point specialist Michael Lee down by the Riverwalk.  There was something different about these fans and they left a lasting impression on me.

When the NCAA’s came to Tulsa, I took the opportunity to treat myself and get a taste of the excitement For 75 dollars I got great seats behind the basket (THE BOK is a smaller venue with no real bad seat in the house.) and got to watch two very different games.TNT was covering  the games and Craig Sager could be seen on the sidelines. When  I recognized the hairdo’s of Stever Kerr and Marv Albert I knew it was for real.

Texas played Arizona in the first game and KU played Illinois.  There were so many things to take away from the game. Arizona’s basketball band was really fun to see. They had a great selection of tunes to go through and you could tell they were enjoying themselves. They all wore matching Hawaiian shirts and played uptempo and contemporary songs (I’m pretty sure they played a range of JethroTull, Pearl Jam, and even some White Stripes).

While UT’s band played the same stale tunes they were playing when I was working security for them in 2003. It was actually pretty sad.

Only a handful of people had made the trip from Austin and it was clear that the U of A fans far outnumbered the Longhorn fans. It seemed like the only people there were family of the players and coaches, and people from the athletic department.

UT got hosed on a bad inbounds violation call and ended up losing in the final seconds. The dry ass Longhorn band started playing the “Eyes of Texas” for the few fans who’d commuted to lend their support and before the song was even over, the Jayhawks players ran onto the court–amidst a sea of cheers that drowned out the pitiful UT faithful.

There was a Jayhawk invasion much like in San Antonio. They took over and it felt like a home game for the KU boys (may as well been Tulsa is only four hours from Lawrence).

KU trounced them but the Illini at least won the battle of the cheer squad. They were good. The cheerleaders had great routines and they were in synch with the Fighting Illini musicians, pulling off some pretty impressive stunts and acrobatics. They managed to pull of some gymnastic formations I’d never seen before and I realized that this was why I sometimes enjoyed being at NCAA events more than NBA.

Only the tip of the iceberg. they pulled out all the stops for the tournament

It wasn’t nearly as bombastic or artificially loud. There was no crazy music going on during the game, and no silly PR promotions. It was just about the school traditions and spirits. The pageantry was on full display that night. Fans didn’t have to be urged on to cheer. They were already ravenous without prompting. The KU game against Illinois convinced me that I had to see a game in Lawrence.

Later that winter I road tripped up there, scalped myself a ticket and completed my trip to the basketball mecca of Allen Fieldhouse.

A basketball shrine. This was where it all began–where basketball was invented. Photos of KU greats like Wilt the stilt, Danny Manning, Mr. Iowa Nick Collison, Jacque Vaughn, and Paul Pierce was a bit unnerving. I felt like I was at a museum.

And of course everyone was just as nice as I remembered. Fans were such an intricate part of the process. It was a like being at a big high school game, everyone sat in the bleachers. Fans lined up along a roped off area that led to the tunnel of the players’ dressing room.There were no luxury boxed seats, no ridiculously loud music to whip the crowd into a frenzy. I couldn’t believe I was here. The only time I could recall having such a religious experience was the first time I went to a Cubs game in Wrigley. Though no tears time around, just a really big smile that lasted throughout the game and most of the night.

If you are a fan of basketball you have to go to at least one game at the Phogg. It’s truly a unique experience.

The best part of course was when the clock was running out in the second half and the chants of ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK began.

And this was just a non-conference game against Howard University. This wasn’t the famous Border Wars finale with Mizzou.

This was a blowout win against an inferior opponent. No one left early. Everyone was loud. They cheered everyone on the team from the star forward Thomas Robinson to the equipment manager. There was something to these fans that evoked admiration and respect. They were loyal, and knowledgeable and they respected the game. I was on board.

It wasn’t until the final conference game with Missouri that I was able to get some perspective on the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri. It was much bigger than basketball. This was legitimate bad blood that went as far back as the Civil War. The more research I did the more it started to make sense. 

I felt stupid for not realizing it earlier. Of course I was having fucked up experiences in Missouri,it was a slave state (as if I’d never read any Mark Twain duuuuuuhhhhhhh). It was upon my last visit that some locals gave me the lowdown on Lawrence and how it was established and why the radical roots ran so deep. It certainly made anyone rooting for Missouri suspect in my mind.

I certainly know on which side of the fence I fall. Any enemy to Missouri is a friend of mine. Jayhawkers huh? Well maybe this was the town for me then.

To be continued.

March Madness Revisited pt. 3 : Welcome to Austin, don’t forget to leave.

16 Jun

It’s official! The secret is out!

Honestly the secret has been out for decades.

The secret had been out for years by the time me and my crew moved down to Austin in ’01 . Even then old timers and locals talked about how different Austin had become since the 40 Acre days (This was before the ominous looking Frost building was erected. That was when I knew it was for real. That the the development of downtown and west campus was only beginning. So I high tailed it to California because Austin was surely on its way to becoming Houston).

I blamed Austinite Kevin Dunn and MTV. His appearance on Real World New York spelled the end of the best kept secret in the United States. He was clearly a cool dude ( and not just on television–we ran into each other a lot during UT football games), and his praises of is lovely hometown reached the masses.

Soon everyone wanted to know about the “best place in the world.”

I had a neighbor back in ’01 who said he’d met a chick in Amsterdam that was so fucking cool and was from Austin.  This encounter with her caused him to move to Austin out of curiosity. He ended up staying for over ten years (through a strange coincidence I ended up working at a Greenpeace type organization with his best friend in San Francisco– but that’s a story for a different time–you know like–never).

There has been a large influx of Californians since I’d moved out of state back in 2006. Looking around and seeing all the California license plates made me finally understand what people in Colorado and Oregon were dealing with. The damned vermin had finally ruined their lovely state and were now coming for our respective territories.

This epidemic has spawned such T-shirts as “Welcome to Austin, don’t forget to leave.” and “Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here.”

And why wouldn’t you move there if you lived out west? Land and housing is 4 times as cheap as it is on the coast. You can live the lifestyle and not pay the booty tax.

Then again I was suddenly one of those interlopers. Having grown up in Dallas I moved down to Austin as soon as I could. For weirdo Texans like myself, Austin provided a haven for us.

Too gay for east Texas, too queer for the panhandle? Well come down to the hill country.Don’t let yourself get caught up in the rat race of bullshit, big city life. Move to Austin immediately. Cease, desist and CHILL.

It was fun, it was chill, and it was definitely weird. It was like being in a Simpsons episode. I dug it. But I wasn’t the only one who was cashing in. People were moving down in droves, saturating the job market and re-living the Linklater movie, Slacker.

And then the Yuppies came. Condos sprouted up from the ground like concrete and glass herpes sores. The capital and the UT tower were mere ornament pieces in the downtown skyline.

So it shouldn’t have surprised me when I encountered a large magnitude of people for the music and film festival. Things had reached Mardi Gras proportions. Every city bus on the “drag”  heading downtown was a guaranteed 45 minute ride, when normally it took no more than fifteen.

Every bus was a party bus. Cabs sat in long lines of traffic. I soon regretted not renting a bicycle or buying a skateboard to bring down. I either walked everywhere or I waited on the bus.

By the end of the week my feet were killing me. Because of all the craziness and the way the festival had spread out, I knew I’d have to plan accordingly.

I had made a list of everyone I wanted to see. But the free shows overlapped and some of the others were way too expensive.

I did have 3 major highlights from the time I was down there:

#1 Seeing the film debut of the Bad Brains documentary,

I’d been a fan of theirs since I discovered them in college.

That was the first time I’d heard about an all black punk band from the 80’s who were also considered to be the best of all time. I’d read about their influence on some of my favorite bands like Rage Against the Machine, and the Beastie Boys.

One time I was a club in San Francisco and I saw a couple of dreaded cats in Adidas jump suits. I laughed to myself and made a joke like “Aww shit Bad Brains in the house.”

What I didn’t know was that it really was them. As I’d find out when I ran across a flier the very next day. They had played a gig that night and were playing again the next evening. I was debating whether or not I should go when someone told me not to bother. It wasn’t going to be what I expected.

The film footage in the documentary would only confirm what that person told me. The tour ended up being shitty because of some problems between HR( the lead singer) and the rest of the band and lots of that tour was documented at the screening.

The film American Hardcore touched a small bit on The Bad Brains influence in the early 80’s. I was still slightly dissatisfied with the amount of coverage on the band. Upon hearing about this new documentary being screened at South By Southwest, I knew that no matter what was going on, that I had to see it.

I met up with my friend from Colorado, L______ and we stood in line at the convention center for free tickets. I was surprised to walk in and see that nearly no one was there and that we had our pick of seats. We went towards the back row and sure enough there was HR sitting next to some fine little blonde shiksa about half his age.

During the movie I kept looking back at him to gauge his reaction to certain scenes. I imagined it must’ve been strange to see all the footage of himself as a young man, and hear people sharing all these weird facets of his life for everyone on the big screen.

The movie was highly creative, and in depth and had great interviews (Adam Yauch and Mike D were in a couple scenes as well). I walked out of the theater feeling like my trip had been made.

It was only about to get better. I went to take a piss in the urinal and it wasn’t 3o seconds after I’d whipped my dick out, that HR came in to take a piss in the urinal next to mine. “Fucking A” I thought. Taking a piss next to HR.

I bet his dick had rubbed against at least 6 times as much pussy as mine had seen. To punctuate this thought, HR ripped the loudest sloppiest fart I’d ever heard from a celebrity.

“Pardon me” he said. Then he shook himself and washed his hands and walked out the bathroom door.

I washed my hands and chuckled to myself.

#2 occured in a cramped club on Red River street. My stuffed backpack didn’t help things at all. (It just wouldn’t be a Japanther show if it weren’t in a cramped venue).

I could barely move and I was becoming irritated, agitated and claustrophobic. But once the punk duo took the stage, I hid my pack underneath a stool at the bar and went to it.

They were so punk that it was refreshing. Two dudes, a bass player and a drummer with weird telephone mics, and over sized speakers. And they were terribly loud!

Cats were moshing and fucking getting crazy as Japanther played tunes off their new album Beets, Lime, and Rice. It had the spirit of an old school punk show and they really threw down. I felt so lucky to a part of it all. I didn’t over pay to see them. I was right next to the stage the whole night, and afterwards had a great conversation about basketball with the drummer Ian (A nice bloke but I couldn’t help but remember the bike shop gig in Brooklyn when I had walked in on him and his buddies smoking weed and they all in unison gave me “piss the fuck off” looks).

Right there, so close to the band, getting wild and intimate, and trying to look up this chick’s skirt, because I suspected that she wasn’t wearing underwear. It was a loud and raunchy night. Even the dressed up girls were getting into the pit and throwing people around. It was pretty rad and possibly the best musical moment of the month.

#3 was a documentary on Hip Hop and the L.A. riots.

This was a sneak peek of a VH-1 film that was just shown in the month of May. It was real good. Hilarious interviews by NWA members and other Los Angeles artists who were around that time.

I’d forgotten so much about that time period. I was only a kid when it happened but I remember the helpless, sad, and angry feeling I had that blacks couldn’t catch any breaks in this country.

This was the point where Public Enemy and Ice Cube were really speaking my kind of language and I’d go to middle school just hoping that a white boy would say something foul to me.

The movie was real good though. I ate some over priced chicken tenders while it was being shown.  This black lady and I seemed to be the only people  laughing at some of the dark humor and ugly situations documented throughout the film (The white liberals in the audience were realizing that they weren’t quite as liberal as they believed themselves to be).

I had a great time at the festival. It was a pain in the ass getting around but it was nice seeing some old friends. Running around town got a little tiresome and I was constantly debating just how badly I wanted to move back. Any thought of me living in New York City was tempered with the realization that even Austin was almost too busy for me.

Things had certainly changed and not necessarily for the worst. The city felt a bit more swinging that when I’d last lived there. Californians brought a douchebaggery with them, but they also had brought lots of cool and innovative ideas along too.

The comedy/ open mic scene was more prevalent since my last gig in Austin. Tons more hotties and even a film studio as well. It was becoming little Hollywood.

I couldn’t make a rash decision based on this visit though. I decided it would be best to come back during a non- event week and get a true gauge of things. The summer before I was convinced that I was moving back, but now I wasn’t so sure. I’d already done this, how much better could it get?

It seemed fitting to be sharing a late night cab with a plump and proper, british gal, whom I met at the all night eatery, Kerby Lane. What better way to salvage my evening and end my trip by making out with her on my way to the bus station?

I was heading to what I thought would be a pit stop in Dallas before catching a Spurs-Thunder game and effectively ending the first spring break that I’d had in six years.

But things didn’t quite work out for me. The plump girl and I didn’t make out.  She was on some bullshit about staying in town an extra day and taking her on a proper date (Hilarious). I took her number down and threw it away as soon as I got to the bus station.

I boarded the bus thinking that maybe it’d have been a good idea to have booked my ticket for a straight shot to OKC. But the thought was quietly dismissed as we headed north on I-35, back into the weirdness i had escaped days earlier.

Sure enough Dallas would only bring about bad news. I’d find that my bus to Oklahoma City would be sold out–with the next bus getting me into town well after the Spurs game.

I’d miss the game and my ticket would be wasted (in fact it wouldn’t even be a game. The Thunder would get thoroughly dominated at home–causing many people like me to question the legitimacy of OKC’s chances to contend).

But this would only pale in comparison to the news I was about to receive that night from my little brother. His return home to Texas would be short lived as he had gotten word that his services would be needed in Afghanistan. This news sent me into a state of shock that would last for months.

My equilibrium suffered a great jolt and the ensuing shift in perspective would prove to be tremendously profound.  Things were taking on a whole new meaning. There was no way I was going to be able to look at things in quite the same way . The fun and sun down in Austin didn’t seem so fun anymore. What the fuck was I doing with my life?


Her Riotous Defects

16 Jun

We were in the middle of a perfect moment when shit got weird.

Smoking some good grass and listening to King Tubby on Pandora. We were waiting on the brownies to cool off. My buddy got the text from his crazy ex. She indeed was going to be at the Of Montreal show.

“Maaaaaaannnnn she doesn’t even like Of Montreal. Why the fuck does she wanna be there? She hates that scene.”

“ You know why man. She’s a fun ruiner!!!”

And that should have been an indicator of how things were going to go (actually ruining the first batch of bud butter should have tipped us off)


Although neither of us said so, we both knew that the care free evening we had planned was going to be marred by his crazy ex.

My boy was in a no win situation.If he was a dick to her an ignored her, he’d feel badly. If he indulged her she’d probably want to rehash their issues. Either way, the show was going to be about her and not Of Montreal.

She was going to ruin the night just by being there.

We tried not to think about it too much, but clearly we were both distracted. We had to make the cabbie turn around and go back to his apartment because I left the tickets on his dining table. There was something off about the night and there was no way to restore the balance. Shit was about to get weird.

Trees is a venue I was familiar with. I spent part of the nineties drinking coffee and reading bad poetry in some of the Deep Ellum establishments. When I was 19 and an idiot, my friends and I would go see this shitty rock band called Pimpadelic.  They played at Trees many a time. Sometimes I’d black out from taking pills and drinking, then wake up as we were driving back to Cedar Hill.

The best show I ever saw at Trees was in 2004. Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra came through and laid that shit down. I have never danced so much at a show in my life. At the end of the night we went next door to Cafe Brazil and ran into former Dallas Mavericks great Sam Perkins, getting his attention by yelling “GO TARHEELS!!”

I didn’t for see anything remotely as cool as that happening this particular night. I could just feel the weirdness permeating everything around us.

I’d never seen Of Montreal, but from all the Youtube clips I’d ever seen, they seemed pretty out there. My buddy D.T. Told me he’d seen them a couple of times. I asked him how it was and he kinda smirked and said, “Pretty homoerotic.” [shit gets really wild at about the 9:00 minute mark. The audio of the clip is bad so you may just want to skip to that point.]

I’d heard like three songs that I’d really liked by them, one of them being The Past is a Grotesque Animal on the “Hissing Fauna” album.

[the audio is much better on this clip from an NPR show]

I’d jammed the shit out of their album, False Priest which had elements of David Bowie, Prince, and oddly enough Outkast (maybe not so oddly– they were from Atlanta after all). I was curious about these cats and it seemed fitting that weird shit would go down with them in town.

The opening act was  Kishi Bashi, some Japanese cat who seemed like he was sounding like a mixture of James Iha, Tim Reynolds, and one of those Pure Moods cd’s. We listened to about 2 minutes then decide to wait outside before catching a bit of the second act.

It was this cat from Atlanta wearing a purple jacket and no shirt. He picked up his guitar and started playing a familiar riff. He was starting out with a cover. It was “ That Lady” by the Isleys. White people were loving it. His name was Roman GianArthur, and he reminded me of that dude Calvin from 227.

My buddy and I looked at each other and walked towards the smoking area on the patio to get some fresh air.

And there she was. FUCK!!!!!

She waved. 

We waved and kept walking to the part of the patio where we weren’t engulfed in Dallas hipsters and cancerous cigarette smoke (which wasn’t easy).

“Don’t look at her man. We waved. You don’t have to go talk to her.”

He nodded. I could tell he was annoyed.

We stood outside in awkward agony trying to decide which was worse, seeing that corny ass nigga inside, or being out there with this psychotic ginger broad.

We decided to go back inside.

We gutted it out. His ex would come inside and keep looking at us. We escaped to the balcony and shot the shit until the main event came on.

And it was almost worth the wait.

The stage show was phenomenal. The lighting was perfect. The costumes were perfect. The leader of the band Kevin Barnes had this weird ass haircut where it was long on the left side and buzzed on the right.

The lead guitarist looked like Jeff “Skunk” Baxter Jr. It was like the Muppet Band were cast into a spell that made them human.

They sounded well rehearsed, tight, and funky! Not a false note anywhere. The rhythm section was on point–grooving. They were on tour to support their latest album Paralytic Stalks, not a song had I heard before but I enjoyed everything they played.

It was highly theatrical and impressive–like a mix between Rocky Horror Picture Show,David Bowie, and Queen.Well done but subtle (pretty much like the above clip from an NPR gig). This was just as impressive as a Radiohead or Flaming Lips show, but even more so because it was scaled down. Everything about the show was meticulous and seemed well thought out. A very high energy show.

The stimulating evening ended with one of my favorite songs, one of three I knew;

The Gronlandic Edit.

I looked around to catch eyes with my buddy but realized he wasn’t around. I looked down onto the floor and saw him in a heated conversation with psycho red.

“Well, fuck.”  I thought,I at least was going to enjoy myself.

I walked down the stairs feeling very satisfied after the set. I still had my buzz and the show was well worth the $20 we’d paid.

But not everything was right for everyone. My friend was in a state of agitation I’d never seen him in before, screaming at this poor silly girl, who actually thought it’d be a good idea to show up.

Knowing what it could look like, he being Latino, me being a Nigger, it was best that we kick rocks, and fast.

I hailed the closest taxi and drug him away from his stalker, as she grabbed my arm with desperate eyes, pleading with me to “just let her talk to him. She just wanted to talk with him.”

“Time and place woman. Get a hold of yourself!”

We  got into the cab in a state of disbelief. It was best that we head back to the apartment before things got weirder. I half expected her to be waiting at his apartment with a knife in the parking lot. She was that crazy.

I hate to admit it but I was a little scared. Steve McNair gave every dude who’d dated a nut a serious dose of reality. My own brother had once been stabbed by his crazy, half Mexican girlfriend and he still stayed with her ( he once said to “I don’t think she’ll ever stab me again” ) I didn’t want to be an innocent bystander because two years ago my boy had wanted some strange.

Thankfully she was not there. Going back out for food, however; was slightly unnerving.  Coming back from Taco Cabana we were relieved to see that she wasn’t sitting in the parking lot, rocking back and forth. My paranoia was so intense that I half expected her to be waiting inside the living room of his apartment for us with a big ass Cutko knife.

We did finally calm down enough to laugh about the sheer zaniness of the evening. The only way things could have been more appropriate would have been had they played this song:

Cause she was indeed a crazy girl in desperate need of some help.

Thank God for marijuana and X-Box. And thank God I was leaving for Austin the next day. Shit was getting just a little too weird in the Big D. It was time to make a break for it.

Observations from game 2 of the NBA Finals

15 Jun

I debated whether or not it’d be a good idea to go down to OKC and scalp a ticket. I’d already dropped a fair amount on game 6 of the Spurs game. It wasn’t going to get any better than the feeling I had when I left Chesapeake Arena last Wednesday night.

On the other hand I also knew there was no guarantee that I’d ever get to watch my favorite team in the NBA Finals. In life and especially sports there are nor guarantees. I’ve seen teams get so close to the title and think that it’d just be a matter of time before they were back for another chance at it (Dan Marino, ’98 Jets, ’93 Suns).

You just never know how small that championship window is (just ask Blazers fans). So I used my free bus voucher and went down to the OKC. I had a lot of time to kill so I went down to this basketball court down in the park downtown and played some 21. Some guy from the local news came down and took some video of us and the pickup game at the other basket ( I hope they don’t run any of the footage of me airballing 15 foot jumpers my shot was OFFFFF!!!).

After getting some work done at the library I headed to the OKC Hooters to get my wing fix. Sure enough one of the best players to come out of the University of Miami was sitting down and cooling out with this cute Betty at the table next to me. I wasn’t trying to jock him like everybody else was–taking pictures and interrupting his conversation. But I did throw up a “U” with my hands and yell out “2001 Cane’s baby!”  as I was leaving .He threw it back at me and laughed.

The stage was set for an exciting night. The media was in full effect for sure. I saw “Mr. Waxahachie” Desmond Mason in full regale and camera crews lined up all the streets. There were all kinds of banners and signs pointing the event that was the NBA Finals.

Yet still it didn’t hit me until I got into my seat (once again, there isn’t a bad seat in the house I sat in the last row in section 330 and I could still see EVERYTHING) and the introductions began. There was a video montage of past Finals champion and they showed a clip of Pat Riley (looking like Michael Douglas) in ’88 talking about the Lakers repeating. I was the only one who booed the screen.

Chills went through my body as the moment came upon me. The lights dimmed and the “Niggas in Paris” beat started. I was flooded with the memories of being 15 and watching the Bulls and Phoenix Suns player intros on television.

The crowd erupted as they introduced KD the same way the Bulls fans used to lose it when they introduced MJ (fitting in so many ways–especially since a couple analyst say that the ‘Peake is the loudest arena since old Chicago Stadium). When the PA guy said “at 6’9 from University of Texas”, I got REALLY hype and began jumping up and down–screaming like a wild man.

This was the beginning of dynasty and maybe just maybe KD’s era would be like Jordan’s was in Chicago. It got loud in that arena and it only got louder.

Bullet points from last night:

1. I truly hate the Heat franchise. They have now entered my short list of despicable sports entities. They came in wearing their all black uni’s like they owned the joint. Seemed fitting. We were the good guys and they were the villains. So it goes.

To me D-Wade is a punk ass flopper who goes down at the drop of the hat ( they were showing an all time greatest playoff layups on Sportscenter last week and one from Wade’s playoff run against the Pistons made it. He got an AND1 on it but there was no contact whatsoever. This is why people think the league is rigged. More on this later).

I don’t like Lebron. Battier though one of the smartest and fundamentally sound players in the NBA is dead to me. He came off as a real nuisance last night. Chalmers is my least favorite Jayhawk of all time (Quit crying and play basketball!!!).

I could see Mike Miller in a trailer park in Colorado somewhere making Meth with Chris “Birdman” Anderson. Chris Bosh is a buster too (Fuck Dallas Lincoln).

Haslem is an ugly motherfucker. That to me is reason enough not to like him.

I won’t even waste the space in this post to get into the other players. Fuck the Heat. I feel like you have to be a fundamental D-bag to sign with that franchise. I don’t like the ’06 Heat. I don’t like PJ Brown, Jeff Van Gundy dragging Heat teams.

I think Erik Spoelstra is a tool who spits out canned, corny ass responses. He reminds me of a newly appointed substitute teacher who has posters of Gandhi quotes in his office.

I don’t like the Heat fans (they annoy me more than Laker fans–my buddy Adrian a rare exception).

I’ll go as far as to say that I’ll never set foot inside the Miami city limits unless I were getting paid a substantial fee to do so. And fuck the state of Florida for giving us Jeb Bush, and ultimately George Bush.

2.This year’s playoff officiating was at an all time worst last night. It was a joke. It was a fucking travesty. I thought game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals was bad. I thought last night’s was equally as bad if not worse (if only because I’m a Thunder fan).

I didn’t pay 300 dollars to see the referees blow their whistles all night. The flow of the game kept getting interrupted because of the official’s interference. It’s the fucking Finals. Let the motherfuckers play!

And if you are going to call the shit, call it both ways. Had the script been flipped and that was Lebron getting hacked, they’d have for sure called it (big ups to KD for not making any excuses during the post game interview–he only would admit to missing the shot). this is what bothers me. Teams like the Lakers, the Heat (hell even Jordan’s Bull’s) don’t need the help. So either swallow the fucking whistle or call it both ways.

There were at least 5 or 6 shitty calls (or no-calls) that had the crowd incensed last night:

There was a bullshit charge call on Harden late in the game when he’d gotten mugged twice on the same possession (only seconds before the call ).

There was of course the  no call during the critical Durant possession at the end.

There was the weak ass goal tending call early on in the game that gave the Heat 2 points.

Shane Battier somehow picked up a foul when he was nowhere near the play that should have been Chris Bosh’s 2nd foul early into the first quarter.

There was a dubious offensive foul on Perkins during the fourth quarter

and a couple of ticky tack foul calls against Durant that got him on the bench early into the game.

The night seemed dangerously close to the officiating in the ’06 Heat-Mavs series, as well as game 6 of Kings-Lakers.

Which makes me wonder if what Rasheed Wallace said about the “NBA being some WWE shit” isn’t true (only makes me love that guy even more–only Sapp’s Tagliabue is a slavemaster quote feel more spot on in my opinion)?

I’m not going to go as far to call David Stern a crook, but it does make you wonder though. I am a paying customer. I have spent hundreds of dollars(and countless hours) on the NBA product. As a consumer I believe I am entitled to receive proper compensation for the time and money spent following the sport.

So if I’m not getting “the bang for my buck” then it means there is an imbalance between what I’m paying and what I am receiving.

And if David Stern knows there is a severe problem with the quality of officiating (and has been for at least ten years) then Stern is ultimately responsible for the lack of quality product on the floor. By not fixing it, either he is apart of the problem (i.e. doing some Vince MacMahon shit) or doesn’t give a shit and only cares about the bottom line ( like Phil Knight of NIKE).

Of course whenever someone yells conspiracy, respected journalists like Colin Cowherd and Mike Greenberg always say, “Why would David Stern (or Bob Arum) cheat? What would they have to gain? That would be a crime, why would they risk everything they have to do such a thing? That would be criminal and they could go to jail for fixing the draft lottery (or Pacquiao fight)”

Which is a valid argument, until you ask the same questions of every crook who got rich in this country. Come the fuck on! They act like the Kennedy family, or Rockefeller family, or Bush family, or ANY mafia head never did dirt to get where they were (and continued to do so in order to maintain that stature). Our government commits severely criminal acts every day and these guys ask the “what could be gained” question.

To quote Ed Lover, “Get tha Fuck OUTTA HERE WIT DAT BULLSHIT SON!!!!”

Which brings me to my frustration with sports. Sports is supposed to be the last vestige of fairness we have in society. It is the one place where talent rules supreme over everything else. But politics and corruption (see NCAA, MLB, NFL, FIFA, NBA,Olympics)is everywhere in sports. Normally I can ignore that shit and just concentrate on the beauty that is occurring on the court, or field. But the politics is threatening to overtake the sport.

I should be talking about how I had the chance to see Dwayne Wade, Lebron, and KD put on this incredible show of speed, power and creativity in person instead of mulling over the rumor that Dwayne Wade is 21-3 in games that Danny Crawford officiates.

And that is what frustrates me. It wasn’t just Thunder fans and players who were robbed last night. NBA fans were robbed of what could have been a fantastic finish and NBA Finals Classic moment. How bad ass would it have been to see if Durant makes those free throws and see how the heat would respond? Perhaps it’d have been an overtime classic that would be a small footnote in what could be a finals match-up?

Now we’ll never know.

With all that being said, I still thought the Thunder would do it. I’d been to nothing but victories this year and seen this before. Early deficits turned into a classic comeback victory because of clutch defense and KD’s silky smooth offensive skills.

Even with how badly we’d been playing even with all the iffy officiating, I didn’t think we could be denied. Every bad call that went against us whipped the crowd into a bloodthirsty frenzy. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, leaving it all in the rafters. Giving the boys my all because win or lose I wanted to do my part as a fan.

And when we cut to 2 points and had the ball with less than 15 seconds left and Gary Glitter’s “Rock ‘n Roll 2” was blaring, I knew it was about to be over. The Thunder were going to win and everyone whipping their T-shirts around were about to erupt when our boy KD did his thang.

But it didn’t come. The shot was off and the Heat fit their final two free throws ( I was on the other side of the court and didn’t see the foul until I got to a TV later that night). The crowd booed lustily for Danny Crawford’s head. People emptied out onto the street gnashing their teeth in frustration.

In a less civilized league/society/city I could foresee a rain of objects being tossed onto the floor as players and media alike escaped the carnage for the safety under the tunnels. I wanted blood. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone.

With all the bitching about officiating it has to be said that the Thunder didn’t play well enough to win that game. Head coaching great Jimmy Johnson used to say that, you have to play well enough where a ref’s call won’t lose the game for you.

They spotted them a 16 point lead early in the first quarter. There were missed defensive assignments as Battier destroyed it with open 3’s. Too many free throws could’ve eaten into that deficit. The inability to get those 50-50 balls and defensive rebounds hurt the team’s chances as well. Lastly there were too many bad possessions.

I thought about the night in its entirety on the way home. I wasn’t sure if I had fun. The refs’ whistles were a constant disruption. I think also the stakes of the event led to some anxiety early into the game. Having the ‘win or die’ mind frame made it difficult to enjoy on one level. But I was able  to adjust that mentality and just dig the fact that I was at Finals game, seeing my favorite team play.

What a great bookend for the season. I had the pleasure of seeing them opening night on Xmas with one of my best friends. I had been able to see them blow out the Chris Paul Clippers on a night that Obama was in town on business. I was luckily enough to have floor tickets and see Kevin Love put up a nasty line (he had 50 and 20) against the boys in  triple overtime thriller (KD had put up 40 plus points himself).

I had the pleasure of seeing the legendary Spurs get closed out the week before. Now I was attending game 2 of the Finals. I was a lucky man. I didn’t have to go to Oakland to see a Warriors game anymore. The best fans in the NBA were in OKC.  I could picture myself living in “the city” owning season tickets. What a treat that would be.

Who knows? I could just as easily see ticket prices going up (which would be justifiable if they could keep Harden and Ibaka after next year) and people getting priced out next season.

Regardless I had been a good fan and it left it all in the arena. My head was pounding and my throat felt raw, and my team had lost. But before the playoffs started I had told myself that no matter where the Thunder had placed, I was just going to enjoy the ride, and keep expectations to a minimum.

That being said, I still feel confident about the boy’s chances. They played arguably their worst game of the playoff’s, the Heat had gotten the majority of calls, KD never was able to get into a rhythm because of foul trouble, and yet still the Heat barely escaped with a four point win.

The Heat should be very afraid. They have a dog fight on their hands and it will only get harder when they come back to Oklahoma City. Whoever wins the title this year will have to earn that motherfucker. We are in for a classic one.

March Madness Revisited pt. 1

14 Jun

Before the new year began I bought myself a dry erase board. This was a way to achieve two things:

1) I could keep track of weekly activities and duties.

2) I could have my yearly goals set right in front of my face and be accountable for them.

There were silly ones like get a membership at the local Y,

get myself a colonic,

take piano lessons.

Then there were the serious ones like buy a longboard,

take a cruise out of New Orleans and most importantly hit up my old stomping grounds for SXSW.

Last year I badly wanted to go because there were so many bands I wanted to see.

The Great Lake Swimmers interested me, I believe M. Ward was playing, this band out of Quebec, Final Flash was making an appearance. Unfortunately I didn’t get my schedule request in on time and couldn’t get the days off I wanted (I just cringed remembering that I wanted  to go see Donald Glover perform as Childish Gambino).

So I didn’t go.

This year it was a priority.

But with my recent increase in pay, I was delighted to find that I could afford to purchase really good seats for Thunder games. I bought 3 for the month of March alone.  I had tickets to see the Clippers, Timberwolves, and the Spurs.

I also had lucked into a ticket at the Radiohead show in Austin. On top of that Of Montreal was playing in Dallas at Trees.

Something had to give. It was going to take some serious creativity to do all of this AND keep my job.

SXSW was suddenly looking iffy. Two trips to Austin in a week seemed a bit crazy. But as some who know me would say, crazy was what I was best at (especially when it came to women).

Radiohead would be easy. That fell on the 7th which was an off day. I took the first bus out of Tulsa ( 4AM) and got into Austin about 3 that afternoon. I met up with my friends around 5 and we got ready for the show.

Let’s just say I ingested an assortment of party favors so that by the time the boys from Oxford took the stage I was seeing tracers ( and it wasn’t just from the light show).

Some quick history about me and Radiohead:

I’d first gotten turned on to them before my freshman year of high school. There was this punk ass kid who lived in my apartments who liked making trouble even more than I did. We immediately took to each other. We’d open unlocked cars and pilch through them, smoke cigarettes and drink beer from his mom’s fridge.

We eventually had a falling out over a girl. He asked out someone I was digging on at the time and this soured things between us. She would come spend the night at this place which perturbed me because he was already sexually experienced and I hadn’t even French kissed a girl yet.

One night when we were chilling at his place–the three of us– time got away from us, and before we knew it, six in the morning had come. A mixture of fatigue and melancholy hanging over me when this video came on MTV. It was a slow ditty, with this fella who had a beautiful voice, and it just captured me. There was a build up that led to a well timed feedback, and then it had this nice crescendo. Obviously this was the Creep video.

I went to school the next week and during social studies I looked over at this guy’s notebook and it had the words

“I wish I were special. You’re so fucking special.”

Yes. He knew. And I looked at him differently from that point on (PAUSE).

1993-1994 was a pretty interesting period for music when I look back on it.  At the time I was only into hardcore hip-hop and totally missed out on the alternative wave. I couldn’t understand what all these white people were so angsty about in their dull flannel shirts and weird hairdo’s  (though I do remember digging on some Mazzy Star–that shit went hard).

Fake Plastic Trees/High and Dry was the first single I bought when it came out in ’95 (I didn’t finally get Pablo Honey til ’97 because the only song I knew was Creep). I jammed the fuck out of that during my teen depression period–having finally kissed a girl but still not gotten laid.

At this point I was listening to the shit out of some U2 along with the hardcore hip hop (I was progressing) hiding my “white boy shit” in the closet whenever my black friends came to hang out.

By the time OK Computer hit the shelf I had graduated high school and was completely intrigued with this band that kept coming up in different junctures of my teen aged years.

This album  got me to buy in completely. I first heard it on headphones and it completely blew me away. Took me to places I’d never been. I spent months just driving around North Dallas listening to that album on full blast.

My friends called me a pussy. Though critics were hailing their latest work, most of my friends still knew them as the ‘Creep band’. Radiohead were certainly not in the mainstream quite yet.

When I found myself driving to Fair Park Music Hall to go see them, I was driving alone because no one I knew wanted  to go to the show. I didn’t have a ticket–in fact I had planned on watching a Red-Sox game on ESPN. It was a last minute decision to check them out.

I found a scalper and paid $80 bucks for a third row seat then I walked into the venue. It was pretty awesome to say the least. It was a life changing experience, one that I shared with only a few hundred people. It felt like being in a cool little fan club. It seemed like all the artsy kids I never hung out with in high school were there.

After the show I went out and bought their previous album, The Bends, and having heard a lot of the material live; I was officially a fan.

In the fall of 2000 I  met a guy at North Texas who had all the B-sides. He burned them for me and I couldn’t believe how many good songs there were that had never made it to an album. He had to put them onto two discs so that I could get them all.

This couldn’t have been timed any better because Kid A was their highly anticipated release. No one knew what to expect. When it came out I was a little disappointed. The beautiful depressing songs were few in number, replaced with these weird electronic beeps and noises.

What the fuck? I thought.  Yorke has this beautiful ass voice and he was hiding it behind synthesizers and weird effects and compressors. I couldn’t understand it, and just as weird as their music would become, so would the decade.

Every time I could finally catch up to what they were playing they would go in a different direction. And man the B-sides from that Amnesica-Kid A period was pretty fucking grooving. Some of them were better than songs that they put onto album(Fog is definitely in my top 20). Eventually I stopped trying to get it and just started digging it. Some songs of course were easier than others.

When In Rainbows came out I felt like that was the album I had expected to hear when they dropped Kid-A. It was an album I wanted to shag to, cry to, laugh to, dance to, it was impeccable.

When King of Limbs came out I knew better than to try and guess what it’d sound like. I even gave it 50 listens before I made a judgment about it. I knew there were some songs I liked, but some I wasn’t quite sure of (I still can’t listen to Harry Patch or Daily Mail).

I did know this would be a different show. They’d added a drummer to their stage show, and I was hoping this would be the thing to shake things up. I’d always been vocal about something having to change. I wasn’t sure if they were going to break up or what,especially after hearing how funky the Atoms for Peace band was.

My biggest fantasy was them doing an album with Brian Eno just to switch things up ( It made sense to me. Work with the guy who worked with the Talking Heads? they got their name from a Heads’ song).

But as always, the artist knows what’s best for them, and adding Clive Deamer (the drummer from Portishead) was a solid decision.

Every Radiohead concert I attended seemed to coincide with a transitional period in my life.  The first concert that I’d seen them in Dallas (OK Computer tour) was a pivotal period in my life. I was 19 and was just tapping into this other side of reality (beyond what I had known as a dumb jock). My tastes in art, fashion, and music (and consequently drugs) would drastically change. My reality would forever be altered.

I missed the Kid-A/Amnesiac tour because I was saving my money to make a move to Austin.

I caught them on the Hail to the Thief Tour which signaled my return back to university life back in Denton. I had moved back to the north Texas area after being swallowed alive by the Austin rat race. My grandmother had just passed away as well and I had just moved into my own apartment. The highlight of that night was seeing them play Lurgee off the Pablo Honey album (Jonny’s guitar wailing made me misty-eyed)

There was a touch of bitterness because I wasn’t close enough to the stage (my mother had purchased me GA tickets because she didn’t think I’d want to stand up all night in the Pit seating). The whole show my eyes looked longingly towards the pit area, wondering what if.

I had ridden with this girl that I had known back in the dorm days.  She had an OK Computer tat on her ass. She and her boyfriend drove down (with me in tow) and that was the first time I had a listen to the Gagging Order b-side, one of the prettiest tunes Thom had ever written.

In 2006, a buddy and I drove up to Toronto from his parents’ home in Michigan hoping to score some tickets to a show at the Hummingbird Theatre. They were only doing select gigs in theaters in a few cities across America. We scored some balcony seats for about 120 US dollars.

It was a great show. Very small and intimate. Not a bad seat in the house. But the night was soured because I couldn’t quit thinking about how much we’d spent to see them. I kept hoping that they’d play certain songs (Talk Show Host mainly) and frankly felt a little ripped off ( PLAY SOME B-SIDES DAMMIT!!!).

To punctuate the evening me and my buddy got into a fight because I wanted to eat at this Hooters by our hostel and he wanted to go somewhere local. We ended up wandering the streets looking for something open, both of us hungry and bitchy. We finally settled on a Falafel joint and went back to our room to smoke and go to sleep.

I’d go on to stand outside of 3 more concerts that tour, increasingly dissatisfied with their set lists. Why was I such a malcontent? Why did I suddenly dislike them?

Or was I just frustrated at how distant the band seemed from me in relation to that first concert? It seemed like every frat boy and douchebag liked Radiohead now.  Some of these yahoos probably couldn’t tell the difference between them and Coldplay. But Radiohead’s increasing popularity was driving the price for tickets up and it was damn near impossible to get floor seats for their shows.

So yeah I was sour. This was (probably?) silly backlash, and a juvenile response for their success. They were no longer this underground band that made me feel cool to be at their show. Just observing the crowds and hearing them scream like groupies at Thom made me sick. I  needed a break.

I skipped the In Rainbows tour for that reason and because most of the songs on that album I’d seen previewed on the theaters tour in ’06.

I wasn’t exactly sure if i’d see them on the King of Limbs Tour. My buddy Roach was very excited about the new stuff and had already bought a floor ticket for the Dallas show. He’d had good reports. Said it was easily the best show he’d seen by them.

This was encouraging.

So there I was.  I was 33 years old watching a show in a venue I’d worked at in my early 20’s, working shows like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tool, and Tom Petty. Hanging with some old school Austin friends. The moment was speaking to me. The douchebags and sorostitutes weren’t bothering me that much either. I even had a real job.

But what the fuck was I still doing in Tulsa when there was a bad ass city like Austin for me to live in?

“If you think this is over then you’re wrong.”

The show was incredible. And easily the best set I’d ever seen by them. They had somehow surpassed the Dallas ’98 gig. I realized a few things that night.

They were not going to break up. In fact they were better than ever. Somehow they were also super funky, with lots of poly rhythms and percussion. The addition of Deamer added a lot to the set (kind of when Talking Heads added more musicians to their live act).

They seemed so loose also. In my head I attributed it to them taking a dip at Barton Springs, and getting in tune with the city.

Greenwood was wearing a Texas shirt. The audience showed them so much love. You could tell they were enjoying themselves. Yorke even told jokes on stage.

” what do you call a fish with three eyes?”

A Fiiish” 

Yea I didn’t get it either at first.

But it was a perfect night that had given me something to think about. Mainly that I was way too liberal to be living in Oklahoma. But I was living there for a reason. Part of that was because I had a decent paying job that would allow me to do some crazy shit like I was doing this month.

I only got to spend a day and a half there on this venture but I’d be back in four short days for a week of mayhem. But I was not prepared for what I was about to encounter in the monster that SXSW had become.