Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Bay Area, Minus San Francisco (for now)

We started the day with an early lunch at Andy Nguyen’s in Sacramento, a Vietnamese veg restaurant. We started with Cold Rolls:

Cold Rolls by you.

Followed by Lemongrass “Chicken”

Lemongrass "Chicken" by you.

And Mongolian “Beef”:

Mongolian "Beef" by you.

A look at some record stores yielded some good results:
  • The Jewels by Einsturzende Neubauten, which was a member-only release (although now it appears to be on sale to the general public, including ex-members like us!)
  • A music loving cat who enjoys sleeping on the counter (or in boxes of CDs) 
After a quick drink at the Tower Café, we went over to change some traveller’s cheques at the Bank of America. The whole bank virtually came to a standstill around our transaction – the customer services manager escorted us to a teller and assured us we would be able to change our cheques there. A teller (not the one who was changing the cheques) listened to us talk and then asked where we were from and that she loved our accents. Other tellers (and customers) had pricked up their ears by now, and then the female teller asked us if we thought they (Americans) had accents. The majority of the staff started laughing at this question, and our own teller made a gesture that she was a little crazy. It was all good-natured, and even she was laughing at her own question. As we left, the staff all gave us a big wave and wished us safe travels.

We arrived at the Washington Inn in Oakland in the late afternoon. Oakland gets a bit of a bit rap, but I thought it was quite lovely. There were lots of brew-pubs and cafes around where we were staying, and lots of people out and about enjoying the warm weather. We fortuitously found a vegan pizza place, Plaza Pizza, to grab some dinner en route to Nine Inch Nails and Deerhunter. We ordered the “Chicken” Florentine and the “Meatzer” (and one slice of margerita just to try it out!) It was good – their fake meats on the Meatzer were very tasty – but it’s hard to compare with Plush back in Melbourne. Ben, you are still number one in our book!

We arrived at the Oracle Arena at about 8.10 pm, thinking that we would still be early for Deerhunter, given that the doors had only opened at 7.30 pm. We got in there toot suite, only to be told by the guy next to us that Deerhunter had already played. T saw my face crumple, but I managed to keep it together for a few minutes as the guy said that they had only played for about 20 minutes. This certainly coloured my view of the NIN show - the setlist was a bit flat in parts and it did feel a little slick, but it was fun watching Trent Reznor perform dressed exactly like Michael Scott in The Office when he goes to the cocktail party (tight red shirt) : )

When we got back to the hotel, we checked our email, and to our surprise there was an email from Carla Bozulich. Nels Cline had told us by email a few days before that Carla wasn't going to be playing The Empty Bottle show in Chicago. Carla had emailed us though to tell us that she would now be playing the show and hoped to see us there. We were both a bit shocked to see the email from her, but completely and utterly thrilled that we would indeed get to see her. More on that later.......

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