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Vegas Wrap Up Blah Blah

So, Vegas was rad. The Matador @ 21 concert was amazing. Las Vegas is an insane city I may never go back to unless it's for work or with a group of friends.


I filmed little clips of the Matador festival with my iPhone and edited it all together. Here:


Guided By Voices was definitely the most memorable show, they were better than I imagined. I was right up front (in front of Tobin Sprout). Pollard still does the flying kicks, and had some great stage banter inbetween songs.


Tobin and Bob do a few quiet songs while Greg Demos rests


Greg Demos & the infamous striped pants!

Before GBV started, a man on the stage was shaking hands. I had no clue who he was. He waited there for me to shake his hand, and asked why I wouldn't... so I did. Turns out it was Mitch Mitchell, guitar player for Guided By Voices. The last picture I saw of him was from 15 years ago. What do you expect? The guy was clearly loving it though, after GBV walked off between their 2 (or 3, I forget) encores, he would stay on stage, waving to the crowd and shaking hands.

Pavement had lots of trouble with sound and Scott Kannberg AKA Spiral Stairs was super pissed through much of the set as his monitor didn't work or something. Sort of a bummer. But I was right in front of Malkmus and he was classic one point lying down on the floor playing guitar, but in a lazy way, not a rockstar way. It was actually a great show. Bob Nastanovich killed it during Conduit For Sale. Amazing.


Malkmus chillin'


Belle & Sebastian were probably the tightest and best sounding band sonically. Those guys are total pros.

Fucked Up was loud as ever. At one point early on, Damian came over to where we were and grabbed Amanda's empty plastic cup and crushed it on his forehead, where it remained the rest of the show, even AFTER he removed his shirt. Amazing!


Damian with the squished cup

Tom Sharpling and Jon Wurster were easily the best MCs of the 3 nights. So funny. My favourite was when Wurster, dressed as some sorta hipster douche, said that his new band was a cross between "Das Racist and that owl movie".

Sonic Youth were also great, and look amazing. I was in from of Lee Renaldo. At the end of their set they grinded all their guitars together in an orgy of noise. Wonderful!

The Clean were really rad too, and I didn't realize the bass player was also the main guy from The Bats, another New Zealand band I love. I ran into him several times too but never talked to him. Dang.

I wore my Endangered Ape shirt one day and lots of people looked interested and confused by it. One guy actually asked what it was. I said the greatest band in the world.

So ya, 3 days of some of the best indie rock you can imagine, totally worth the price.

I also saw Penn & Teller at the Rio the next day and it was pretty rad. Had the best seats, about 8 rows back and dead center. Love those god-denying magicians! I used to buy their books and try their tricks out on my friends, back when I was in elementary school. They were probably my favourite Letterman guests.


Penn Jillette and some broad

And of course I went to The Pinball Hall Of Fame, which is a decent sized building housing over 100 playable pinball machines. It was dimly lit with no windows, just like a proper arcade. Took me back to the glory days! They have a machine called Pinball Circus, of which only 3 exist on planet earth. It was made in the mid 90s and deemed to expensive to mass produce. It's also totally awesome, the only multi-leveled pinball game that I can think of (it is in the shape of a regular arcade cabinet basically). Pretty radical.


Mario Pinball


Pinball Circus

I didn't win any many in the casinos. I think maybe I won a dollar. I don't really get how you get addicted to gambling. At least not the machines. They seem stupid. I'd rather play pinball any day. Or Scrabble. Or 52 card pickup.

And lastly, I went for the 2-for-1 escort deal. Never again! It's true what they say: you get what you pay for. And what I got was a lackluster handjob and a stolen watch. You've been warned.




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