Monthly Archives: March 2012


Just a glimpse into the communications I have with the amazing people in my life. An email I got this morning:

“Here’s the last thing I picked up – an Ovation 12 string – it’s got a bunch of custom features because it was built for one of the guys in Grinderswitch. Yes that’s right Grinderswitch. The only thing cooler than that is if it had been one of the guys in Ram Jam.

The guy I bought it from said if I played Aminor to Fmajor just right that one of the Wilson sisters would magically appear. (inside joke – those are the opening chords to “Crazy on you” and Heart were known to use these guitars)

So I played that and Ann Wilson did indeed show up but it was the modern version and not the hot version from the 70’s. Turns out we didn’t have a lot to talk about. So I played the chords backwards and she vanished.”

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Hopefully, this embedding works. Here’s where I’ll be over SxSW. I’m not done with it, but I’ve got to go have lunch!


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Something easy I can post is a few pictures I took of graffiti and street art in Lisbon. There is a lot of it. Most of it, sadly, is hideous, artless tagging. But, a little of it is political and some of it actually art. Anyway, here are a few pictures of stuff I thought was interesting.

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Here’s the video of the apartment that failed to load yesterday.

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So, we had every intention of making it to the Helmet show last night, but just couldn’t get our shit together. We did, however, figure out where all the cool stuff was.

We had dinner at a place with great service, great wine, great decor and horrible food. They did make an excellent dessert called strawberry soup. It was divine.

After dinner, we went down hundreds of steps, headed toward the river, and abt halfway down found a tiny little bar and stopped in for few beers. Sagras is the local draft beer of choice. It’s good, everyone has it on draft and my guess is it’s probably Portugal’s Budweiser. After about 4 pints, Mike and I were getting pretty silly. The bar advertised themselves as “Home of Poncha A—something”. I don’t know Portuguese, but it was made with “firewater” (liquor de cana), honey, and orange juice. We were stupid and brave enough to try it, which sent us tumbling toward our descent into madness.

We finished our beers after the poncha and continued downward. Down the stairs, and downward into insanity.

At the bottom, we crossed a huuuuuge shopping plaza, looked at some giant live seafood in tanks, preparing to die and ran into the river. It was nice, but it dark and it was a river and I was more interested in finding beer.

We wandered around for what seemed like an hour, totally lost, needing to pee until we found a comfortable looking Irish pub. Mike and I sat in the back, making up backstories for all the patrons, who were mostly young groups of friends.

Groups were trickling in and out the entire time. After several more pints of Sagras, I noticed a Helmet artist pass and said “Hey, Mike, that guy’s wearing a Helmet artist pass.” Mike peeked around and his eyes widened. “Holy shit, that’s Page Hamilton,” he said.

Mike is amazing and has never been one to let opportunities to meet his favorite people go, so he hopped right up and went over to him. The whole band was there! The entire band! Including their tour manager. They were excited to see other Americans and invited us over. We drank a few more pints and got to know one another, talking about music and New Orleans. They are all excellent dudes. Sweet, smart, funny. All the cool things you want the bands you like to be.

I don’t remember if the bar was closing or if someone suggested we go somewhere else, but we ended up walking around Lisbon looking for another bar. The tour manager made the smart move and ditched us for sleep. We stopped in the first place we saw and ended up in a discotheque. A discotheque. With Helmet, the punk metal band.

We drank there for another few hours and introduced the band to Jinje, which, looking back on it, was the only mistake we made last night. Jinje is a liqueur here that ppl can sip or shoot. We decided to shoot. I bought the introductory round, and I think each band member bought one after. Oh, we were messy, messy Americans. But, the place was pretty local and it’s exactly as you’d expect a European disco to be. Dark, neon, Eurotrashy. It was fantastic. At one point, I and all the members of Helmet were dancing to Billy Jean. We must have been there for hours. I don’t even remember leaving, but I do remember Page Hamilton inviting us to tonight’s show in Porto and putting us the guest list. The man is not only talented, smart and oh god incredibly super hot, he’s also nice and generous.

We couldn’t get or shit together to go to Porto, either. Though this time, us missing the Helmet show was entirely Helmet’s fault.

In fact, I’m never getting shitface, knee-walking drunk with Helmet ever again.

But, no matter how hungover we were today, we kept reminding each other that they had it worse. They had to get up, load into a van, drive to Porto and set up for a show there. Tonight, they have to be rock stars, and we only have to decide where to go for dinner. It is likely they are cursing us right back.

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We were walking around and stumbled upon this magnificent terrace view. Had a few beers and planned to visit the castle you see across the way. Doing that tomorrow.

Tonight, we’re going back to Bar 52 for drinks, a tapas place we visited last night. The owner was amazing and surprised us by serving us off menu. He also introduced us to Jinje, a delicious liqueur.

This trip is about eating, drinking and sleeping.

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The view from my bedroom in the apartment in Lisbon. Intense. If I can upload video, I will.

We walked all morning. Lots of steep hills, but also lots of parks for resting. I forgot my phone, so no photos other than this one. Right now, I’m laying down for a nap with the window open. There is crazy music coming from below.

We are going to see Helmet tonight. I will definitely add more later.

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