I did three things of note today. Touched a koala, bought shitload of records, and got drunk at the Annandale Hotel.
I went to the zoo. I know, I know, SO touristy, but I fuckin' like the zoo. Especially when you're in a country filled with freaky animals (only New Zealand can top it for the pure freak factor). I walked right up to a wallaby for a pic; it absolutely did not care. But the best is that if you pay a little extra, you can get right up in with the koalas. Now, they are pretty much stoned out of their minds all the time on eucalyptus, so they don't even notice you're there. But the one I stood next to woke up when I got there, and started scratching himself, like THERE, when I sidled up to him. Such a boy! But very soft. Kinda like my cat.
After the zoo, I went to the amazing Red Eye Records for some shopping. I essentially spent the equivalent of my rent there. (I'm only joking a little.) A nice guy named Matt helped me out. I showed him what I was getting that I already knew, and he added on. Only bands from Oz & a couple NZ ones I had to catch up on. As we talked a bit, he was incredibly impressed that I A) had worked info at Amoeba ("the best record store in the world, I'm told!") and B) had DJed at KALX for a decade. Made me very proud of my alma maters (or however you spell that).
Then, on to the Annandale with my friend Nick. The Annandale is a bit like Spaceland - sort of the up-and-coming spot for bands breaking through, cool new stuff, etc. Here were the cute hipster boys! Bonus. We had a couple schooners of New (pints of Toohney's, I think) and I got drunk. I also was enthralled by Gareth Liddiard and Mike Noga, of the band the Drones, who were absolutely amazing. Very intense - I guess as a band they rock pretty hard, so I was seeing an acoustic performance which was unusual for them on all accounts. I felt pretty lucky. Headlining was Loene Carmen, who was magical in her own right. Sort of an Aussie cross between Hope Sandoval and Bjork, with dreamy (but not reverby) guitar. Wonderful.
Music was what brought me to Australia the first time around, and I'm glad it's as great as I remembered...