Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hombre Lobo

As her friend set up shop with a table full of tobacco and pre-rolled cigarettes, Gap-tooth heard Sam and I talking and asked where I was from. "Australia" was the simple reply that was met with, "oh my god, that's hot!". "Yes, it is a hot country," was the reply, which was met by her typically American attempt at the Australian accent. "I can do an Australian accent!". As if my first reply wasn't enough, I had to react bluntly, "No you can't". With that, the conversation was over, and Gap-tooth went back to her cigarette rolling crew and left Sam and I to ride the Peter Pan bus to Boston.

Blood on the sheets, Bob Dylan's hostel tribute album
Again New England put on a marvellous show. It is officially Fall, and on cue the leaves have changed to a myriad of shades of purple, red, orange, yellow and green. The forest's that line the Mass Pike make an otherwise ugly highway fairly bearable. Well, the leaves and Sam's stories. He once spent a whole month sleep in/on a cardboard box when he was seven.

Once we made it to Boston we immediately set off to find our hostel in Everett. Again, there was a limited choice for accommodation so we were forced to settle for Backpackers Budget Rock. After a trip on the subway, a bus and some google mapping we finally made it to the place, dropped off our bags and immediately turned around.
Soiled mattresses out the front of the hostel
Sam & I disagreed with the hostel's definition of 10 minute to the Wellington subway stop, but got there regardless. On the train Sam managed to hit some old lady in the face as she tried to get up, but his brummy accent and scruffy hair seemed to avoid trouble. Sam opted for his first foot of Subway for the night as we paraded around down-town Boston.
We went to Boston Common, as I attempted to take a photo of a particular monument for a friend, only to discover every tourist's nightmare, scaffold. After this setback, we walked around to the Theater District, in search of the Royale Theater. Again, google mapping found us at the place and when we walked past we found out the times for tonight's show. It was just after six when we checked and it was lucky we did because Eels were going on at 7:45.

We stopped by 7-11 for some quick refreshments before making it back in time for one of the openers. Walking into the Royale was like stepping into a high class brothel. There were chandeliers, leather couches, walls painted in gold and everything draped in a soft, dull, red light. The night's opening act was actually a ventriloquist, so Sam and I were suitably confused. We sat out her set, as well as the solo acoustic female singer-songwriter who followed. We were there for Eels, and Eels only.

When Eight o'clock rolled around E hit the stage on his own. I was so upset about missing them in Sydney, but when the bearded figure strolled onto stage with a bandanna, sunglasses, white coveralls and a Danelectro my disappointment was usurped. E played three songs on his own, before the of his band joined him in a staggered version of Prizefighter.
The rest of the band had attempted to equal E in the beard and sunglasses look, though no one really comes close to the dog faced boy. With all the members on stage, the band went through songs from their most recent trilogy of albums. E apologised for the openers, and at one stage even handed out ice-cream to the audience.
When they weren't going through the new songs, they rehashed a few of their older tunes in a completely different style. Mr E's Beautiful Blues was played along to a rhythm of 'Twist and Shout' and 'I Like Birds' was sped up. Last year I made myself a compilation of my favourite Eels songs, and out of the 24, they only played two in the set. Regardless, it was still amazing and completely justified the $50 bus fare, $45 accommodation and other various costs.
Maracas guitar.
Sam and I walked through down-town on the way back, where inside Boston common a Christian group was holding a bunch of placards and preaching to the public about sins. Worse still, they were using a young boy as the lead preacher. Now it's one thing to blatantly call people sinners, but brainwashing, then employing a 10 year old to stand around and scream at 10pm is absolutely atrocious. It was a pitiful thing, and in another context, employing a 10 year old at 10PM would be cause for police intervention outside the name of 'god'.

Inside the subway, an overweight home-boy was behind his keyboard busking. When no one was looking he would turn his attention from his keyboard and instead try to sell pirated dvds. America's approach to entrepreneurship is something to behold.
unfinished hostel art. the fingers still have pencil lines

Once back in the hotel, Sam and I settled for some tea and a few games of pool. We were interrupted by the occasional mouse as well as watching one guy get walked in on twice in the toilet. I have to say, that this hostel was probably the worst one I have ever stayed in. It was a compete clusterfuck, out in the middle of nowhere and absolutely filthy. It was an unfair punishment for not booking accommodation earlier.
Van Gogh's unicorn.
We were more than happy to leave the hostel the morning after, so we quickly got our stuff together, checked out and went back into the city. Sam's two feet of Subway converted into two feet of faecal matter, and the rest of our day was littered with his pit-stops. Not to worry though, we did find time for me to grab my winter coat as well as a teeth-whitening kit (on Sam's encouragement).

We broke up the day with a stop at Wendy's, an underwhelming burger experience. Finally, we found a spot at Boston harbour and did some people/dog watching for two hours, giggling the time away.

By the time we made it back to Amherst, we headed straight to the dining halls for a rushed meal. Immediately after I showered and met up with Alex, Dicky Peach and Jess before heading up to their building. When Dicky and Alex's room-mate failed on their beer mission we decided to embark on a round taxi trip to grab some tall cans. After sinking a few, we tried to head to Hobart for party.

Max and Michael were already up there, and through their provocative texting we persevered through the crowds to try to get to a party. All of sudden - while on the phone to Michael while Max is screaming my name in the background - I am met by a wall of police officers in riot gear. They were angry, and yelled at us to immediately turn around, with their raised batons a constant threat. It was enough of a deterrent, and I wasn't going to try to argue/sweet-talk my way out of the situation. It astounds me that people see this as an appropriate measure, when all it seems to do whet people's appetite for violence.

On our approach back to the rooms we stopped by a school and proceeded to play on their slippery-dips and swing-sets. I had achieved a decent level of height on the swings and when I tried a flying dismount my landing gear was uneven, resulting in a sore left-buttock today.

Once back in the room, we ordered some food, with Dicky Peach and I splitting a chicken, bacon & ranch dressing. Upon demolition, we saw the base of the box had almost gone translucent due to all the grease. It was a minor miracle my heart didn't stop in my sleep, but it would have been a satisfying way to depart.

Tonight Michael and I explored a new carpark with our skateboards. It was an ideal ending to a day where I had my nose between books, getting all my work out of the way so I can see Ra Ra Riot tomorrow night. It's a tough gig for some of us.

Sonic Youth - 100%
Thurston and Kim live in Northampton and it still shatters me that I haven't met them! Anyone, after a conversation with Matt last week I decided to revisit the album Dirty. It's absolutely phenomenal. Better yet, the film clip has skateboarding.

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