Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Tomaso Files: Trains, Busses, a C-Eh-mobile, Pirate Band and Bitches...

The Dread Crew of Oddwood-postcard.
Ah, like all good wines that age with time, or is it all good things must come to an end? Your humble No Fenders scribe’s ‘Uber frenetic Holiday Up North Eh! Was extended a further day before coming to a close - and hence the delayment of this riveting (NON) racin’ post; NOT! Having returned home to a veritable HEAT wave here in Seattle last Thursday afternoon...


Since as usual ‘O late, ‘Whale at least during these exceedingly busy summer months - I’m quite behind on whatever is occurring in Der ‘Vurld de Motorsporten; Ja-Ja! Or more likely as mize nnucels gotz in duh waze - more appropertly Ja-Ha! Or YeeHaw! Although I spent several moments doin’ my bestest Gunsmoke impersonation of urgin’ duh buckin’ bronco ‘C-EhMobile on by sayin’ Yaah! Yaah! But I’m getting ahead of myself...

As previously mentioned, the primary purpose of this latest trip Up North Eh! Was to attend the Dead Can Dance concert, which unbeknownst to Mwah, just so happened to be the opening performance of the group’s 2012-13 World Tour; SWEET! (As this is the second opening tour concert performance I’ve seen this year...) Even if they performed ‘Juan Helluva closer the following night at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA... As this concert was simply MAGICAL! As I too, like the first concert reviewer I came upon Zed Internetz said he simply couldn’t put the group’s performance into words... With the group touring for the first time since 2005 in support of their brand new album “Anastasis,”which they played in its entirety, along with other great selections along with multiple encores!

And although sitting up near the rafters of a great concert hall, nevertheless, the sound was absolutely magnificent! At the Orpheum theatre - which made it even more resplendent towards being my debutant concert outing in thy Great white North! (As I’d still like to see my FINAL RUSh performance on their home soil; hopefully the band’s 40th Anniversary tour in 2014?)

Not to mention being most blown away by the opening performer who played solo on various Hang drums - made in Switzerland - which I’d never heard of; Hmm? Wunder if ‘symona-symona (de Silvestro) knows of them? As this unknown dude simply blew us away with his ferocity using various wonderful sounding foreign instruments... Most notably an amazing tambourine drum piece, whilst my favourite was the use of two black objects procured from the Russian-Finland border, to which I found to be a haunting sea melody... As I only wish I’d gotten this guy’s name plus the set list! Since unfortunately ALL of the “Professional” critics seemingly have completely overlooked said performer’s performance; URGH! As Tank Gawd I’m NOT a professional journalist, nor attempting to play ‘Juan upon Zed Internetz; Hya! Since I find this most irresponsible; but I digress...

I suppose part of the wonderlust over “DCD,” aka Dead Can Dance’s music is due to the fact that I’d never heard of them prior to the concert, or heard any of their music besides the few tunes I’d dialed up on youtube prior to the concert and hence, I found their music fiercely haunting, dark, rich, bold and intently powerful, albeit I found the bass section to be overly distorted and out of balance during portions of this first road show.

Yet there was simply something indescribable to the two lead singers voices, as Brendan Perry seemed overly masochistic, brooding and sultry with a deep resonating tone oozing ‘Machismo; while Lisa Gerrard seemed even more powerful and my non-serious comments afterwards of how she invoked images of a Nordic goddess; Err female Viking warrior seemed even more invigorating as I simply marveled at the melodic virtuoso’s during the evening’s performance.

And the music was so hypnotic that I found myself simply staring at the dark abyss above - where the Orpheum’s massive chandelier would be blazing in my sightline if turned on instead of bothering to stare steeply downwards to where the actual stage was... Which I’m guessing would be akin to being upon the 300-level of the Kingdome during a Seahawks game; Err, the upper level of Der ‘Clink (Century Link) 60,000+ Sounders FC International “friendly” sellout match, i.e.; Chelsea, current FA Cup champions and sponsors of some ‘lil F1 team named Sauber...


And its funny how both times I’ve traveled to thee Great White North, its been nothing but BLISTERING hot, as the word sweltering came to mind both times, as I don’t know what 30C equates to; BUTT! It was certainly HOT ‘Nuff for Mwah! As thee “Rhythm Professor’s” (Neil Peart) words from his  Ghost Rider book came to mind about KanaDuh’s climes, albeit I think it was towards Toronto where the great Meesh Beer lives, as Peart mused: Toronto’s got two weather seasons; winter and road construction; Hooah! And speaking ‘O that irrepressible lass ‘Meesh - I’d better not tells her that our C-EhMobile is white, eh? (Which I’m told that the original A-Team’s van was black...)

And the resta duh trip seems somewhat of a blur, albeit everyday was interspersed with taking thee ‘Bitches (Molly & Pixie) for numerous ‘Walkabouts; as we took several treks Out ‘N Aboot at the neighborhood park along with the overly noisy New Brighton grounds...

Friday afternoon was spent once again at the wonderful Queen Elizabeth park before taking one of our party to the train station for her departure before five of us plus duh ‘Bitches filled the C-EhMobile to capacity for a three hour cruise; Err 3-day camping outing at Squamish, at a wonderful 250-acre estate; Err campgrounds adjoining the Squamish River, albeit I spent countless hours hunting for the continously shifting miniscule amounts ‘O shade, as did I mention it was HOT?

Monday was spent with friends - including checking out their newly rented 3-storie Dig’s in Coquitlam (an often stopped at Greyhound bus destination...) after having been told I must stay for the outdoor movie at Lord Stanley’s place, i.e.; Stanly Park Tuesday evening, since it was Monty Python’s Holy Grail on the bill, as its pretty ‘kOOL how they inflate a massive white(?) screen in the park for their (FREE) summer movie series. As the week prior had been the classic Blues Brothers, followed by In Search of the Holy Grail and this Tuesday’s film is Labyrinth - with David Bowie in it...

And although the price of admission is right, albeit not including parking fee - the Pre-amble is overly long-windish with about a half hour to kill during the Red Cross promotional giveaway Mary Ellen noticed a musical group set off to the side across the pedestrian walkway/bike trail and said Let’s check I-T out, of which the group turned out to be:

The Dread Crew of Oddwood - Heavy Mahogany; Har-har-har!
They’re a 7-piece "Pirate-band" from San Diego and the setting was perfect w/English Bay in the background in a darkening sky as nightfall fell upon us... Hey, they can't show the movie until its DARK out, eh? As I think it started @ 9:30PM?

 Although NOT nearly as GURR-REAT!!! As Dead Can Dance, these dudes were quite amusing, enjoyable - especially with their “Pirate” chants and Sea Shanties; sounding pretty good whilst playing outdoors as  live entertainment in the park. As Mary Ellen even said one of them was playing a Mandolin behind his head!

And they were smart by announcing they had free postcards up front - which Mary Ellen dutifully snagged 'Juan 'R-R-R, as otherwise I'd never have known who they were?

Thus I've quickly become a fan of The Dread Crew of Oddwood; who farcically call their music Heavy Mahogany Albeit  I had 'Juan helluva time trying to read their fancy sea scroll pirate script upon the post card I've borrowed; BUTT! You’d better check 'em out or you'll haveda walk the plank Mateys; R-R-R!


And the movie wasn’t exactly free since the after the MC said it’s gonna start in two minutes then proceeded to babble on a further ten telling us about all of the sponsors, where to put our trash & recyclables, and respecting the rules of the park - which is totally SMOKE FREE! Try doin’ that Indianapolis! Or better yet Speedway, Indiana...

And then there was 13-minutes of advertisements with multiple reminders that the movie was being presented by Chevron - reminding us constantly that Chevron puts ‘Somme-thun in its gasoline called Techron; along with a preview for Labyrinth before I finally could hear the sounds of the Monty Python’s Coconut-rider fast approaching - as the movie was GURR-REAT! With that irrepressible British wit!

Then on the following day Mary Ellen & I took the two FURR-rocious ‘Hoonds for a wonderfully long scenic ‘Walkabout along the Burrard Inlet upon the Trans-Canada Trail - which Mary Ellen was quick to point out I shouldn’t Cornfuze with the Trans-Canada Highway; ‘Har-har-har! Although I think she did say we briefly passed underneath it?

And although the trail is quite wonderful and highly used, as it was actually part of Scenic Drive which was originally intended first for Railroad transport and then an actual highway before the local citizens persuaded the local politicians to make it into accessible bike/walking trail instead.

Yet like much of ‘KanaDuh’s waterways, Burrard Inlet along with other major portions of the city are completely hoarded by heavy industry and off  limits to pedestrians - as this trail was no different, as I was informed how there was a massive Chevron Oil tank farm surrounding the adjoining waterway.

Yet right now I’m hugely PISSED OFF at Chevron who just had a massive fire at its San Francisco refinery - which was expected to immediately spike west coast gasoline prices OVER $4 per gallon... Yeah, I know that’s cheap compared with our Great White North compatriots... But the part that PEEVE’s me is that this fire just like our earlier BP fire at Cherry Point, WA was most likely due to lack of maintenance; SHEISA! As its Freakin’ bad enough we give the F$$KING Oil companies at least $18-billion per year in subsidies; BUTT! They cannot even bother maintaining their facilities whilst trying to eak out that ever allusive profit for its corporate board members and shareholders; Oh Never Mind!


And since we hadn’t done enough walking - ‘cause we weren’t wearing boots; Oh Never Mind! For a wonderful evening nightcap we hopped aboard Juan ‘O Vancouver’s countless public busses and rode it all the way across town in order to catch the fast receding sunset at Kitsalano Beach, which was quite enjoyable... Even walked upon the beach briefly near the lapping waves past the small “Canine Friendly” portion of the beach before hiking up the steep steps along the Seawall, traipsing thru some neighborhoods and ending up at the Totem Pole before walking another few “Cliks” (Kilometers) in order to catch our bus home; as Vancouver BC’s public transportation is miles ahead of Seattle’s...

Then up at Oh DARK 30 the following morning in order to catch the 6:40AM Amtrak ‘Cascadia “Express” train back home, as if Y’all ever ride an Amtrak train you’ll know there’s NO such thing as express & typically they run late... As we’d stop for no apparent reason three times - not to mention the conductor’s radio crackle to life “Hold Up - Hold UP!” As somebody was late boarding in Mount Vernon I believe.

Then as I said before, we stopped for a third time because we were running behind schedule and had to make way for our ‘Seester train Northbound, meaning we’d now be a half hour late, which is pretty good by Amtrak standards. Thus having returned from visiting the ‘Loo, I decided I might as well turn-on my ‘Dumb-phone ‘N check for any urgent messages... Thus I just sat there in my seat in the silent coach waiting for an unseen train to pass by laughing my head off over the news left for Mwah about the Penske Boyz pissing escapade in Nantucket, which surely was somebody’s idea of a clever joke, right? As this “Joke” seemed so cleverly crafted I played it again two more times - still chuckling out loud and riding all the way from Stanwood to Everett with a grin upon my wooly mug...


And I ‘LUV listening to uninformed adults pontificating about subjects they known NOTHING about - as the ‘Kuhnadiun woman sitting across from me  told the couple in front of me that perhaps Seattle was trying to entice people to ride the bus by providing FREE downtown service, which the couple obviously from out of town, since they were  transferring to our fairly new Light Rail link in Seattle to go to the Airport chimed back how the FREE service was ending at the end of September, as surely affluent Cruise Ship travelers, etc can afford to pay for  the bus, right? Not to mention the Conductor mentioning how King Street station is still under construction; WTF? This was occurring 5-years ago when I last went to Portland for the Champ Car race; Aye Karumba!

And don’t even get me started on Snohomish counties nightmarish bus castration project that just transpired this February, as not only did I haveda wait 45mins for my bus connection - which only runs once an hour midday BUTT! I had to stand in the scorching sun the whole time because the IDOTS who designed the transit center put the actual bus stop between the two adjoining shelters, approx 25-feet away, which if you’re me and CANNOT see, then you’ve gotta stand at the actual bus stop and hope the BLINKIN’ Driver will actually recognize your white cane and audibly tell you the bus number - which I had to prod 3-or-4 drivers into doing while waiting for my lone bus. (Imagine standing in the RAIN for the same time period, eh?) Yeah, I know, everybody drives a car, owns a “Smartfone” and does their entire E ‘lectronic biz upon I-T! And the wheels on the bus just go round ‘N round!

And that concludes another riveting Tomaso Travel Tail; Thee End!

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