Avec

Chicago

Chicago will forever hold a special place in my heart. Around the age of 5-7 (or so, my memory is bad for all things – that’s why I am so happy this blog helps kickstart my premature-Alzheimer-esque memory into shape) my family and I lived in Arlington Heights, Illinois – we’d occasionally do a trek into downtown Chicago here or there.

I remember a massive Asian supermarket my family would always travel to (my mom being Japanese – she was always really into the place – my dad… he’s not quite into Asian food – but ever the good sport, he’d tag along) – the place was called Yaohan (I think…). They had little kiosks everywhere that would serve regional little Asian street-food dishes from all around Asia; they had all those odd vegetables you simply can’t find anywhere outside of an Asian mega-mart; there were Japanese toy and comic shops… sweet shops… I always remembered a smell of fresh water fish lingering back in the palette, lightly masked by the smell of grilled dough for Okonomi-yaki. 

I’d always grab a bite with the folks, have them take me to see the Gundam or Power Rangers on display… beg for a new toy or sweet… then we’d wrap up grocery-shopping and head home. Continue reading

Skrillex – SXSW

AWK – SXSW

Austin, Tx

SXSX Acoustic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl9fhYyXv_U&feature=related

Day 2. I woke up in my impossibly shitty hotel (Homestead Suites at 507 something… a mile from the goodness of SXSW) that was priced at $250 bucks (as compared to their normal $80-something). Front desk said (even though the dude who checked me in at 1am said I’d have till 1pm) said I needed to be out by noon… I was informed that the guy who checked me in didn’t’ even work at the hotel – well… how the **** did he swipe my card then? Whatever… I was out. 

Popped by the bus – found it essentially a grave yard… passed out pirates and socks lined the bunk halls. Fortunately, Rob and Joey were keen on a walk into town for some grub. Our mission today was simple: no friggon restaurants… only trucks. Trucks dammit!

We walked a little over a mile to get to Naan Stop, an Indian truck that came highly rated on all our internet sources. I was greeted by a very friendly woman working the window – I asked her what’s the best – my prescription was the Parantha Roll with a mixture of Paneer and Chicken. What’s funny about Naan Stop is that they don’t have naan necessarily… but instead the parantha bread instead. It’s like a burrito tortilla but made of naan-type material. My chicken and paneer was heavenly – it’s like a home-made hand rolled taco… but with a burrito-sized home. The chicken and paneer (which I think is some sort of special cheese or cheese curd – somewhere between the texture of feta cheese and tofu) came in a (what I thought) was perfectly mild sauce. I guess it was really spicy judging by the mild-tear up by Rob and Joey from theirs. Really slamming.  Continue reading

 

Austin, Tx

Waterloo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz8RaQs9u1Y

The last time Trivium played SXSW was 2005 on the Road Rage Tour at what is now the “new” Emo’s. I vaguely remember the performance, but it was alongside Still Remains, The Agony Scene and Three Inches Of Blood. Although having only played once on SXSW, I am very much so aware that it is basically where all the music world of the US (and the rest of the globe) combine onto the streets of Austin for several days of music, food, booze and schmooze. 

Initially, we heard we were due to play a metal showcase – then only weeks before, it was swapped to being invited to play Waterloo Records’ showcase show and 5B Management’s showcase at the “old” Emo’s (now JR). Waterloo Records is one of the last strongholds in the USA for real record shops (selling vinyl, CD, DVD, band merch) – it’s not unlike Amoeba Records in LA… picture a small Empire Records without Liv Tyler and the chick who shaves her head.  Continue reading

Seattle

The double-date food combo of Megan/Evan and Ashley/Matt is something that seems to be a common theme in my Kiichi Chaos-ings. It was the Seattle show of the Dream Theater tour when Meg and Ev picked Ash and I up to (once again) eat some great food in Seattle. 

To date, I feel like I’ve eaten almost everywhere worth eating at in Seattle – and I’ve always been very pleasantly surprised how amazing the food has been. 

Our lunch spot was Monkey Bridge, a Vietnamese joint. If you haven’t been to proper Vietnamese before… or are one of those people who think all Asian food is either mall-food-court fried rice and sweet and sour pork (crap) or sushi… you are wrong. Every Asian country (and region for that matter) has something new and exciting to offer – don’t get me wrong, you can go to the wrong place, you can get something terrible made by someone who doesn’t give a shit about your food experience… food takes a bit of digging. I have found that every single one of my “random” food drop ins (going into somewhere with no research, recommendation, or preparation) of recent – have been absolute shite (even in places like Paris, Vancouver, Sydney – there is food that sucks… you just have to evade that crap – I can help). Continue reading