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Saturday, July 29, 2006

San Diego (okay, La Jolla)--Che Cafe

Yesterday we headed south down grimy old I-5, past Disneyland and Irvine and the Marine Base, to play a show on the UCSD campus with San Diego's Exfriends. Now these folks are total sweethearts, and on top of that are without question one of the best bands we've had the fortune to play with. We saw them play a little while ago at Mr. T's, and my first impression was "country rock"--but that's not really what they are. They've got fiddles and mandolins and twangy guitars, but there's no Tear In My Beer cliches, there's no affected southern drawl...but there IS electric piano. Basically it's catchy, well-written songs with strong hooks and extra instruments to fill out the sound. They could have just as easily had an oboe and grand harp in there and it still would have worked fine. The Exfriends are going to play a free show with us at Mr. T's on September 1, so please come down and listen to them, you will NOT be sorry.

The Che Cafe has its own Wikipedia entry (why doesn't Mr. T's have one?) and is quite a bit like The Gilman up in Berkeley...it's a student-run "worker's collective" and vegan cafe in a Eucalyptus grove next to what appears to be a giant and deafeningly noisy power plant on the UCSD campus. It's all-ages so there were lots of kids running around...we didn't sell any merch but it was still a nice place to play.

On the other hand our hotel was...not exactly crappy, it was clean and everything, but it was surfer/meathead-dude central. I didn't have any trouble falling asleep but poor Mary was kept awake until 4 AM by these fools running up and down the hallway, hollering and puking and apparently jumping off the roof onto what sounded like a set of tympani in the parking lot. We were right by the beach, and it was cool and overcast and pleasant (it even rained a bit--in July!--which made me happy), but the meatheads kinda ruined it for us. I just feel bad for the poor person who had to clean their room afterwards...

After getting home on Saturday (where it wasn't raining, but it has thankfully cooled down since last week--I heard offhand that there were 138 heat-related deaths this month, which officially makes this heatwave a natural disaster) we decided to see a documentary called Who Killed The Electric Car. This was fascinating, a story about how General Motors, the automotive industry, and The California Air Resource Board colluded together to recall and destroy every single EV-1 all-electric car on the road. It was a sad tale, considering that I remember seeing these things driving around Los Angeles just a few years ago and wanted one pretty badly myself, but it gave me some hope that Mary and I might be able to rebuild our beloved, dead, rotting-away-in-our-white-trash-driveway Mazda pickup truck, The Flames, into a working electric pickup truck! We think we might actually be able to do this! I shall keep you posted.

The Flames.

Anyway--Who Killed The Electric Car gets a thumbs up from The Monolators, highly recommended.


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