April 2004

The highlight of my 2004 Viva Las Vegas experience had to be Charles Phoenix's Slide Show. This historian and entertainer has the power to make young men in 50 year old gabardine and ladies in perfectly aligned, back seamed stockings sit on a dance floor in kindergarden "indian-style" poses.

Mr. Phoenix took us on an amusing ride through the glory days of Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as portions of So Cal (yay Ontario!!). His commentary on strangers' images of typical holiday topics such as hotel signs, family members, camel toes, and swinger parties kept us all in a trance so over-powering we didn't even realize we had no more cocktails in our hands. We were captivated.

As promised by Charles Phoenix, if I joined his mailing list, I received my "Slide of the Week" on Friday. Kudos to you Mr. Phoenix for not giving up when fart curators said no one would ever pay money to see a slide show of other people's vacations. I will hand you my $25.00 anytime.

Ray Condo Interview

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Here is an interview done in 1999 for MOTE Magazine. I believe Ray's sentiments are still timely. Ray's manager, Gayle Hurmuses, also has a memorial page where you can post stories and links.


Ray Condo

interview by Chris Andrich

Anyone familiar with independent music in Canada should recognize the name of Ray Condo. As leader of the Hard Rock Goners and now the Ricochets, Condo has had over a 15 year career in music. Moving from rockabilly to jump blues and western swing, Condo and his band have made a point of preserving a rich musical tradition, helped along the way with Ray Condo's dry onstage humour and genuine enthusiasm. On a stop in Edmonton to play at the Sidetrack Cafe (he has played here twice since, most notably a packed house at a Valentine's Day show at the New City Likwid Lounge) I had a chance to experience the wit and wisdom of Ray Condo after the show.

Chris: Start from the beginning.

Condo: If you want to go forward, you really have to know your past. That's the oldest philosophy of all the arts. You talk to any artiste, and man, if you want to get ahead study your past. That's how you figure out pattern cycles and how you appreciate what's what. How you get real values. You've got to know your sources, and I'm not saying just being pat or trad and just copying, being strictly trad, I'm saying know the stuff and then do what the hell you want afterwards.

Some of this stuff you said sounds like this band from Scotland, the Shaking Pyramids.

The Shaking Pyramids, I remember them. Yeah. They were lively. They had great energy. In the late 70s we were punkin' out in Vancouver and the punk scene was so fun. I was playing in a band called Secret V's and the aesthetic of the time was -- first of all you had to cut your hair off. We were sick of millionaire rock star Frampton hair farmers. So the whole punk scene was about, first of all, cut your fucking hair, then get up there and it was about small amps. It wasn't about Marshall amps or power like they're into now. It was small amps and lots of attitude, get up there with balls and express yourself with attitude and you'll learn the musical side later. That's how we did it. Shortly after that, punk went two ways. A bunch of us jumped ship and went roots, went right out, and the rest of them joined with the metal boys. Yeah, the punks grew their hair long, got Marshall amps and fused with the metal culture. Right? You saw that happen. Well, you're looking at a punk boy who went the other way. Fuck the long hair, fuck the Marshall amps, I'm going home and listening to Hank Williams. That's what happened.

April 23rd Film Releases

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The pickings are slim this week, I had to reach into my archives for material. Well, last week's archives.

1) Man on Fire
2) 13 Going on 30
3) Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (came out last week, but I ran out of movies to recommend)


Last night's Irish Brothers/Savage City/Royal Crown Revue show at the House of Blues, Anaheim, filled my near lifeless body with some needed energy. After long hours at a computer screen for days and days, it was just what the doctor ordered. As much as I like my job and co-workers, I deserved a break today, and I got it with this show. I also got a VERY strong rum and coke that almost required me a chair to sit in! Luckily, HOB
Anaheim has some good strong walls to lean on. I guess that bartender took one look at me and thought I REALLY needed a drink!

In all seriousness, the show was high energy and the Irish Brothers delivered a fine performance, including my a favorite song, "I Will Never Marry". Complete with their dark green suits, the guys took the big stage like it was their home sweet home. Hot Karl was rarin' to go, and it had been far too long since I'd seen my brothers. I especially liked the part where David was so into it, he lost his drum stick. When you lose a drumstick it can be a severe tragedy... a laughing one. ;)

Savage City reminded me of a band out of downtown Chicago, but the name of the band reminded me of something completely different. Do I win a prize, if I'm right on location and well....? Though, I never did find out where they originate from, I do know they're in my age group! Their lead singer, a jiggly gal, who bounced across the stage in blue rhinestones, backed up by a 10 or 12 piece band (including horn section), had a good voice for delivering a wide variety of style. Was that, It's All Right, that I heard??? If I'm right, take me back to the 70's, please.

RCR, better known as Royal Crown Revue, without a doubt, is a band of great instrumentation and sound. When these guys pick up their instruments and play just one note, you know you are watching seasoned professionals. They've come a long way since the days at the Blue Cafe. Eddie Nicols, suave in a white double breasted jacket, dresses to the nines (did I really hear he pays $1200 for his suits?) and is very comfortable on stage. Someone told me he's so funny he should be a comedian instead. Choices...choices. Perhaps it was just my mood, but after four songs, I already knew what the next five or six would be like, and so it was a toss up between sleep, and no sleep. Perhaps I dreamed about this entire night...well now, maybe I did. Someone pinch me for a wake up call, please.

Good morning, it's 7:09 a.m. and I am off to work.

NEXT UP: BR549 w/Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, tonight (4/23) at the Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana. Have fun, enjoy the show, and I invite someone who likes to write to pull up a pillow and tell us about it.

Farewell Ray Condo

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Many of you have already heard that Ray Condo passed away. I was able to do a little research and came up with some interesting articles in memory of this talented Canadian born musician. Listed below are the links:
May Ray "rest in peace"....he will be missed.




April 16th Film Releases

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Tax day came and went, and for our pains we are about to be rewarded. Tarantino has brought us the conclusion to his epic of carnage, and I for one am thrilled!

1) Kill Bill, Vol. 2
2) Young Adam
3) Connie and Carla

A Night at Pike's


Some people might say, "The night is young and so are we." At Pike's (near the corner of 4th and Cherry in Long Beach) you get some of this and some of that, and a whole lot more. Ms. Howdylicious Wanda from KUCI's Howdylicious radio show (88.9 fm)and DJ Dan from the Dynotones (who will have new and soon to be released CD) have ventured to the beach area recently with some good down home country music. Every Monday at Pike's you'll find a variety of people sitting around the bar eating everything from mahi tacos to veggie burgers, drinking a brew, or hard lemonade, and listening to everything from Johnny Cash to Patsy Cline, and even some International tunes. I've been to the first two Monday night blast offs, and it's going well. Many friends and new acquaintances are coming by to pay homage to the dueling DJ duo. It's a fun time and what better way to spend a Monday night. Are you going to sit home and watch Jeopardy? Get out and meet some new people! Monday night we learned some lessons about life when Sgt. Al decided to share his wisdom. These are known as Al-isms, or the world according to Al.

1. Life's not fair and neither is Al.
2. I don't give a damn about the truth, tell me lies that make me feel good.
3. Mean and sneaky beats mean and tough every damn day of the week.
4. Wrapped around every silver lining is a dark ass cloud.
5. Bad things happen to good people all the time. I prefer to be the bad thing, rather than the good person.

So, friends with that in mind, get on out to Pike's on Monday nights and come say Hello! You won't be sorry you did!!!
Remember, 8-Midnight, and have a Bud Light...

Rev Sin

April 9th Film Releases

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Remember when comedies were good? The days when you could go to funny movie because you didn't feel like watching something heavy and not waste your money on inconsequential drivel. It's known as the "Good Old Days" and I miss them.

1) I'm Not Scared
2) The Alamo

You not going to believe this, but Hellboy is getting excellent reviews and if I had done my recommendations last week, it would have been my top $10 candidate.

Punk Rock Seasame Street?

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Minor Threat / Fugazi's Ian MacKaye has been let loose on the little people of the world... (via metafilter)

The Barflies.net Geek Party

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This past Saturday evening a group of Barflies.net folk got together for dinner and a geek fest. Yep, after dinner we sat in the living room with four laptops, one pda, and two cell phones using all of the devices to surf the net for web sites & music we like.

Why did we do this? Changes are a coming your way here at barflies.net and we are making it a group effort ... Keep your eyes peeled for new features, new sections, and a new look.

P.S. I have changed the link colors here in the News Section (Blog) for improved screen readibility. Please use the comment form to let me know if you can see links better now. Thanks.

Inkslingers of the World Unite...

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Ever wonder how a single person with tattoos wants to meet other singles with tattoos? Wonder no longer...

What I look at Everyday

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I just like The Militia Group website. Check out the new Beautiful Mistake CD.

Pussycats and Powerchords

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GuerrillaMonster Films and 7 DUDLEY CINEMA present:

An eyeball poppin' evening of Pussycats & Powerchords with two incredible Stag Films set to Garage Rock soundtracks from acclaimed Memphis direktor John Micheal McCarthy aka JMM




7 Dudley Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
fone: 310.399.2078
parking: free lot on the corner of Rose & Main St
directions: www.mapquest.com

seating is limited- so get there early