It has been awhile since I wrote about my friend Australian friend Mel. Mel is a co-founder of one of the finest Australian rock bands in history known as punisherz. OK, well finest might be an exaggeration, but for a musical group that doesn't actually know how to play the instruments they were using, they were amazing. Mel was also one of the first handful of people to ever read the site, and for some reason she kept reading it. I can only imagine she had a lot of time on her hands.
Well. Every January, Mel calls me up and begins the process of breaking down my will power in an attempt to get me to attend Coachella in April. No matter how much I may love music, spending 3 days in the blistering heat is not something a 400 pound guy gets motivated to do very easily. So, for four months I get an intense barrage of phone calls, e-mails, and updates about which bands are going to be there in an attempt to get me to take the trek out into the middle of the California desert with a bunch of Aussies.
This year was no different except that now, along with my other friend Jade (and punisherz member), they own a record label. No, none of their bands are going to be at Coachella, but their band Red Riders is touring the country with some other Aussie bands as they all make their way to SXSW in Austin. Their first stop was here in Los Angeles over the weekend.
Actual conversation with Mel.
Mel- I want you to come see Red Riders play this weekend.
Enty – Sure. What night are they playing?
Mel – Well, it isn't actually at night. It's during the day on Sunday.
Enty – Mel. You know I don't leave the comforting darkness of the basement on the weekends.
Mel – Come on. It is an Aussie BBQ, so there will be free food.
Enty – Tempting, but no.
Mel – I will buy you booze.
Enty – (wavering) But it's the daytime.
Mel – James [Mathison] will be there.
Enty – If I want to see James I can just watch YouTube of him on Australian Idol.
Mel – Andrew G will be there.
Enty – Same thing. As much as I love Andrew and his world class fashion taste when it comes to ski apparel and his stories about the oddest way humans have ever contracted scabies, it is still the afternoon.
Mel – Noa [Tishby] will be there.
Enty – What time does it start?
Yes. What can I say? I'm a sucker for all things Noa. It was nice how Mel played that card last. She could have played it first but then she would have been deprived of the fun of hearing how my voice changed when I heard Noa was going to be there.
So, yesterday I set my alarm for 2pm and actually ventured outside in the afternoon on a weekend for the first time in a long time. The showcase of Australian bands was over at The Echo, which funny enough is in Echo Park. I know. That worked out well for all involved didn't it?
The afternoon did not start out promising. The BBQ was not done BBQing when I arrived and the first act was a woman who is the mother of some guy in the Australian band Bridezilla. Think Jewel with depressing lyrics singing very poorly at a funeral and you will get an idea of the 20 minutes of pain everyone endured.
The problem was that because of her horrible singing, the entire bar was packed with people who thought this would be the perfect time to get a drink or six and so it took me a moment to realize that Noa and Andrew G had walked over to me to say hi.
When I first started posting photos of Noa, I don't think many of you had any idea who she was, but now that she is on Big Love, and is one of the Executive Producers of In Treatment, that has changed a lot. She hasn't though. She is still the same kind, gracious person who is willing to buy me drinks and talk to you all night long and never makes you feel like an idiot when you realize she is way more intelligent than you will ever hope to be. The fact that she is amazingly beautiful is just kind of a bonus.
Yes, I know. It seems like I'm sucking up, but hey, she does buy me drinks. Do you know how expensive that is? Yes, she married Andrew instead of me, and sure there has been some awkwardness. Actually none. Seriously. Look at me and look at him. The guy works out, and has a job and doesn't live with his parents. Oh, and he has hair. The fact that she chose Andrew to marry instead of me, is well, just shows you how smart she is.
Oh, and speaking of smart. Australian beer companies have finally figured out how to get rid of their bad beer. Yesterday the bar had a special on this Australian beer that is made in Sydney, but which none of the several hundred Australians in attendance had ever heard. Apparently it is Aussie beer but only fit to be sold in the US. Nice.
The band Red Riders was great, and I posted a video of one of their songs at the bottom of the post. If you are going to SXSW, you need to check them out. Seriously. I wouldn't waste your time. They will also be playing some shows in New York in the next few weeks. After their set, the rest of the afternoon kind of blurred into this kind of beer/hamburger/hot dog/Ryan Seacrest impressions haze with Andrew waxing poetic about the pros and cons of various attire to be worn on the ski slopes and one of his best scabies stories yet which involved a bachelorette party, the bride to be and a male stripper. The one thing missing from the day was James. Apparently he decided that after a 15 hour flight from Australia he wasn't up for making it out to see the band. Well, on the phone he let me know which hotel he was staying at, so I made sure he got 3am, 4am and 430am wake up calls this morning. I don't know if the 20 hang up calls I got between 5-6 this morning were him, but I'm guessing they might. I was just trying to make sure he got his day off to an early start.