Friday, April 21, 2006

A Couple of Shows

Last week I went to see a couple of shows at the Mercury Lounge. On Monday I saw Voxtrot, who were pretty good but weren't as spectular as Molly's ringing endorsement led me to believe. I felt that there was nothing really unique or special about their songs that distinguished them from Aloha and Irving, the two other indie bands that kicked off the night.

Thursday night with Robbers on High Street was a completely different story. I didn't really know the band and only went because Sachin really liked their songs. Before the show started, I was sitting by a side wall to rest my gimpy ankle when a couple of weird-looking dudes walked past me while hollering at a few people in the back of the room. While I wondered who these freakishly androgynous, anorexic guys were, they jumped on the stage and started rocking. Lo and behold, they were actually in the band and they rocked! It was a full hour of almost uninterrupted awesome rock. These guys blasted through one glorious song after another with mucho gusto, especially the back up guitar player with the long hair that partially obscured his view and who looked like a starving John Lennon with the androgeny setting turned all the way up to "Uber High."

In the middle of the show, Leslie turned around and half whispered something to me. Of course, I couldn't make out what she was trying to say so she gave up and talked to Sachin instead. All I could hear for the next 15 seconds was Sachin exclaiming, "Holy shit!" I asked him what was going on and was told to turn around to look at the guy behind me. So I turned around and saw this Japanese dude with blonde hair, which is not exactly a rare sight in New York. Sachin could barely contain his excitement: "Dude, that's James Iha from the Smashing Pumpkins! They are like my favorite band of all time!"

I didn't really listen to the Smashing Pumpkins that much growing up but I do know a couple of their songs and vaguely remember there being some Asian dude in Sachin's Smashing Pumpkins poster freshman year. It was fucking hilarious to see Sachin acting like he had just seen Santa Claus. I have known the guy for 8 years and I don't think I've ever seen him lit up like that. I could imagine a little Sachin waking up on Christmas Eve to find James Iha/Santa coming down the chimney ("Santa! Santa! Do you want some milk and cookies?"). As it turned out, Robbers on High Street is on James Iha's label.

Here's a picture of James Iha looking like one of those cool and collected assassins in the martial art movies I grew up watching, and Sachin grinning from ear to ear as if he's about to get a blowjob from Angelina Jolie.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Trip

A couple of weeks ago I played around with STA's around the world trip planner tool while suffering from extreme boredom. Here's the dream trip that I planned out:

JFK -> Lima -> Buenos Aires -> Cape Town -> Johannesburg -> Cairo -> Athens -> Moscow -> Mumbai -> Bangkok -> Sydney -> JFK

Airfare: $3340 (exluding taxes and surchages)

I'm guessing that the total price would be closer to $4500.

I've discussed the itinerary with friends, all of whom think it would be a super awesome trip, but doubt that anyone could actually pull it off in 6 months to a year and spend under $25000. Even if I had the money and the time, they reasoned, I would probably be toally miserable because of the culture shock, the traveling and loneliness.

Despite my excitement at the prospect of embarking on such a life-altering journey, I have to agree with their bleak assessments. It requires an enormous amount of planning that I am just in no mood to do now. I will need to quit my job, convince my parents and more importantly myself that I will actually get something out of this trip, learn a bunch of different languages (since the whole point is to stay at each city for an extended period of time to really explore), and figure out all the travel/financial arrangements. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

The impulsive part of me is screaming fuck it, just do it! It will be such an incredible experience while the rational, mature, logical part of me asks silly questions like what if I get horribly sick in Africa, what will I do after I come back from the trip with no money, no home and no job, am I copping out by running away to all these exotic places?