friday, september 4

it had been a crazy-busy week leading up to PAX, i was operating on very little sleep to begin with. the night before, sean’s other band, lifestyle, had a show, so i was out at that, and then finishing up work and 5 million little details, and packing, until about 3:30 a.m. which made the 5 a.m. alarm extra-fun. hooooboy. getting up at that hour is generally accompanied by a huge surge of adrenaline, so i was feeling pretty jittery and gross. we got ready, said our goodbyes to simon, and headed out for the airport, where we met up with michael diamonds. (bananas foster was the best man in a wedding this weekend, so michael diamonds graciously agreed to fill in for him.)

we were flying alaska airlines, and it was some fancy recently-renovated wing of the airport i’d never seen before. sean and i got some bagels and then our flight was boarding. once settled in, i basically passed out, which is one good thing about only having gotten 1.5 hours of sleep. i managed to sleep almost all of the way, and worked on a crossword puzzle for the last half-hour of the flight. we landed a bit ahead of schedule, and went to collect our bags, while waiting for our manager jason and his posse (i.e. wife and baby and nanny) to show up from LA. except then jason showed up minus posse due to some long security line clusterfukk situation. so it was just the 4 of us. jason rented his car and we all got to ride along instead of taking a shuttle.

we arrived at our hotel, checked into our rooms and ate lunch downstairs at the elephant & castle pub. it was fairly tasty, although the music selection was much worse than our experience there last year, when they were playing paul young and other less-obvious hits of the 80s. after we had some food in us and were more equipped to deal with confusing situations, i inquired at the desk about the merch packages that i had shipped to me at the hotel. some had already been delivered up to my room. some had not. we figured it out. we loaded up the car and headed over to the convention center. except for sean, who was totally sick (not with swine flu) and stayed in the hotel room and slept.

this year, bandland was located outside of the main theatre. it was more convenient in terms of already being set up there, since that’s where the concerts would be taking place. although it felt a little more isolated than the previous set-up, which was pretty much right in the middle of everything. that was okay though. our table was in between mc frontalot and anamanaguchi. we set up. then michael diamonds went to explore the convention. jason went to take care of some more details and i held down the fort at the table for a while. despite the less foot-traffic-y location, there was still a steady stream of folks coming to check out our stuff.

anyway, i pretty much stayed put until 5, when all of us band folks were brought upstairs to the musical guest panel. the discussion this year was less focused on the music-biz end of things, and featured more random questions, like my dream boston-band concert lineup. (barring random friends’ bands, i had to go with the cars and, perhaps slightly more ironically, new kids on the block.)

after that, jason and i headed back to the hotel, rested up a bit, tried to get a dinner plan together, which eventually happened. the four of us wandered around without much idea of where we were going, it was a bit late, so a lot of places had stopped serving already. but, we found a nice little african place and got an outdoor table and got a pretty tasty dinner (although my food really seemed a lot more thai than african, what’s up with that). then, joy of joys, we were joined by mr. gordon merrick, and our ex-bostonian friend justin. it was a pretty fantastic reunion. after dinner, we started walking back in the general direction of the hotel, but got sidetracked by an old-skool goth night. i went with gordon to drop his bags off at our hotel, and we went back for goth times.

it was pretty amazing. as somebody who spent a LOT of time goth-clubbing in the 90’s, i heard a lot of songs i hadn’t heard since back in the day. and it was comforting to see girls still wearing stripey tights and stompy boots. anyway, we hung out there for a while until we were about to fall over from tired-ness, and headed back to the hotel. some of the boys soldiered on, justin brought them to a nearby swanky bar that featured carbonated grapes. i’m sad i missed that, but i needed my beauty sleep.

sean in the swanky bar, by gordon merrick.