Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Ahhh… Where Do You Keep The Vinyl Rips and Hi Resolution Digital Files ? ——————————–>Photo Courtesy Of Doc KEYAZA!!!

 

So there has been enough (So much!) time passed, it’s blatantly obvious to me that no one else will create an Audio Reference Quality Standards Catalogue for individual album releases.  The powers that be have showed us time and time again that they feel that we should be left in the dark about the music we have purchased and continue to purchase.  It’s loud and clear, they do not have to, there is no other option.

All we asked for was lineage and provenance of recordings that we spend gobs of cash for, as well as the textual and numerical details as to how they mastered, remastered, and transferred the new releases. Once again we are left clueless as to what we are purchasing. We know it can be done, some releases have done just that, usually projects overseen by reputable audio engineers.

I do understand that in some cases they do not know some of these details as they have been lost to time, poor record keeping, lack of proper labeling, and a sad state of storage of the original master tapes.  In some cases they don’t even know whether they are the “original studio masters” or well travelled copies.  We saw that in the report on the sad state of historical music archiving, much has been lost or destroyed….as we know back just a few decades ago music industry analysts and label bosses went with the prevailing wisdom, why would we want to preserve all this music–who is going to want it?  What is the use?

This:

https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub148/pub148.pdf

And ESPECIALLY This (Re-Post):

http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf

 

Now that they realize the marketing and money making potential, oh the irony there, eh?  All we have asked for is crumbs; forget about the old arguments (for a moment) on the loudness wars, whether high rez audio can be heard by the human ear (The Nyquist Theorem), Wheather vinyl has more warmth and soul, whether expensive cables give a +/- better listening experience, The law of diminishing returns, “Sources? / Laws of Science?, Do CD’s suck, the failure of SACD, .mp3’s are garbage, etc.  Noel Gallagher saying there will be no more vinyl niche as an industry in a few short years as a result of streaming (He thinks? I agree, he is probably right).

With that said, our niche is just that–our niche, and it will continue as long as the electric grids are up.  Even then some of us crazies will be powering phonographs with a stationary bike, using a carefully sharpened fishbone as a rudimentary needle, a significant other propping up a makeshift jimmy-rigged cardboard cone to telescope and carry those wondrous melodies to the flash mobs in our living rooms.  Vinyl wear and tear bad, but for a time the ears are very good.

Remember what is normal any way, and relative to what?  With those previous dire predictions of the future, keeping in mind that some of us have never had or witnessed an argument on the early Yahoo and Alta Vista message boards about the wonders of Hi Resolution Audio (It will always be Hi-rez to me, soz!), I will try to parse mixed nuts.  Threading the needle like a steaming locomotive on crazy good meds, diplomacy will avail for all, no matter what our differences.  Joy!

 

Why don’t we focus on the things that which we do agree.

  1. We pay a lot of money re-purchasing music over and over.
  2. Music listening is a different subjective experience for each person.
  3. It “can” take a wee bit of trained ear (Not a B.S Degree), to hear improvements.
  4. The music is only as good as it’s source.
  5. ABX’ing can, not always, but “can” manifest as human listening fallibility & weakness.
  6. Placebo affect and bias are real “things”[sic].
  7. Provenance and Lineage of our recordings is Interesting and “nice” to have.
  8. There is such a thing as “brick walling”, “anti aliasing”, and de-noising”.
  9. There is more than one type of compression in music.
  10. Type A removes many of the tiny spaces to make music file formats smaller.
  11. Type B holds the fidelity of the performance together, Very Good!
  12. Good source players are available at many price ranges.
  13. There are good headphones and bad headphones at all price ranges.
  14. When in noisy public settings, audio nuances tend to decline.
  15. You Do NOT need to be an audiophile, to source good quality audio (If Available).
  16. Audiophiles can be nuts, same with Hi-Rez deniers. (In a good way 😉 )
  17. That said, Head-fi has it’s place, and deniers seem to hang around bigly.
  18. There are, subjectively to each of us, good mastering engineers and poor ones.
  19. We all have to listen to our source material and make our own judgements.
  20. I can have (IMO); my own vast archive of “self-proclaimed” Reference Quality Vinyl Rips, Hi-Rez digital lossless [FLAC 24/48, 24/96, 24/172, 24/192, 32 bit float, .WAV, even ALAC and DSD], quality sourced and mastered CD’s [16/44] etc., portable DAP’s/amps/DAC’s, and use .mp3’s and Youtube to preview and stream when need be.  It’s fine that you might consider this fodder, trendy, and hipsterish.  I often use apple ear buds while on the go with the mobile. I’m not a gobsmacked music snob…I listen to AC/DC cranked on the local radio in the car, beautifully overbearingly loud in all its overly-compressed glory.  I’d dance randomly in the street to an 80’s boombox with cassettes daily if these types of gatherings where more frequent.
  21. You can have 50,000 lossy .mp3’s on the go, with an excellent ear, sourcing quality CD’s and audio on your own volition (all without my schtick). You might even listen to vinyl for nostalgia purposes possibly.  Further you own low cost but excellent sounding source players as well as an expensive pair of headphones and/ or IEM’s. Even bluetooth love…it’s almost 5.0 (I too am sick of those frickin tangly chords). There’s nothing wrong with any of that.  What I’m getting at is it doesn’t matter.
  22. We can all site the Nyquist Theorem till we are blue in the face, and never get anywhere…agree to disagree perhaps.  If you’re happy, I am happy.
  23. Electronic music and Hip Hop does not and should not have to follow any of these rules.  Electronic music tends to sound great, almost always produced very well, unless it’s a very low bit rate or has been up sampled, but that is usually by design.  Hip Hop needs to be vicious or passive aggressive and Bassy…clean tight bassy…Superb dope! The only reservation I have is when either genre is too bright and shreds my ears. It’s rare, again unless by design.
  24. Classical music is on the other end of the spectrum…the rules DO very very very much apply. Soundstage and instrument separation are paramount.  Loud and soft, loud and soft just like The Pixies or Nirvana. A muddy midrange is a killer.  Attack, sustain, decay should be transparently punchy, grainy, and accurate.  The music has to breathe and pulse…ripping the heart right out your chest even with headphones on. Emotions, knocked about, tugged like a puppet to strings. It should convey an air of atmospheric space with perceivable parameters…and in a perfect world, pseudo-holophonic sound, as if you the listener can imagine you’re there live sitting center stage with the orchestra wrapped 180 degrees from ear to ear.  You’ll know something is wrong right off, a piano from each and every-little-single-ebony-to-ivory key is muddled together as one, or squashed in a constant spew of notes like an accordion. We should be able to perceive and hear milliseconds of spaciation[sic] and be acute to a differentiation between every single tapped key, no matter how fast the piece. I’ve said before piano is the hardest instrument to reproduce in recording with accuracy.  If that’s muddy then it’s all over.  I won’t get started on the pneumatic breath of the solo cello…you get my drift.
  25. Pop music…It depends on if it’s good! 😉 😉

So with all that said we arrive at the conclusion that we may not agree subjectively.  Please forgive me, as I was being purposefully presumptuous in some of the things I said above… but that is not the point.  I’m just generalizing for the sake of getting at the crux.  Most of the people reading this will not care one way or the other.  Some will be bored to tears as to, “what is the going on and on about”.  In the end we all just love music and are devilishly passionate about it–Pretty simple, no? 🙂

So, in the past I did some reviews….Beck, The Beatles Catalogue, Led Zeppelin Catalog, etc., they each get hundreds of hits daily as reference, awesome.  I also posted full album playlists (with some lineage)…it was quite subtle, again on purpose as to what I have deemed a Reference Quality Audio Recording.  I don’t know if I said it outright, I may have…If not my tongue in cheek went over people’s heads. A failed attempt by me.  Yes, you are left to taking me at my word, have to search for it yourself, and availability is spotty.  I know it’s somewhat authoritarian but let your ears be the judge.  There were many times I have searched for a single particular recording over weeks and months before finally getting a hold of it.  Time well spent!

If you search hard enough you will be able to get a hold of same source as I did, some searches will be easy, others will require patience and time.  Moderately I will recommend the High-Rez digital transfer available for everyone to purchase with a quick download and some cash.  I have no stake in this…no adverts, self funded hosting and servers.  I’m just passionate about music and everything else, and I know you are as well, or you would not be reading this.

Just a note **** again, the night site is under maintenance (The links from here the day page are static as of writing this)…It will be up again soon enough.  I’m going to do all those recordings here on the main page individually anyhow.  So there will probably be some updates as well.  When live, it will give you an idea of some of what I will cover, and it is only a small part of projected works.

From now on instead of taking a few months to do mega reviews, although I will someday do the Complete Pink Floyd Archives Posts (Damn there I go again, that’s one exception), from now on there will be single album releases (From past and present) which a single post can be done in one day.  I will do whatever I am listening to and I have in my wheelhouse as the best recordings and rips / digital to date.  The posts will vary widely in style, genre, and medium.  One day or two could be Thrash, the next Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Pop, wherever the music takes me.

In between I will continue to do my sordid stories, post mixes, photos, memorabilia, any type of art really.  I intend on making this site better by making it a reference site for individual albums.  In that vein It would make it possible for those who do not want to read my silly erotica, still be able to come here intentionally via direct link or search engine in order to just browse my reviews and recommendations on specific albums…quick and easy.

In conclusion, each album will have an easy to read, specific format that I have worked out, and tweak things as I go along.  If there is anything extra about a specific release that you would like to see, send me an email or message.  If I can get the info – I will post it or write you back.  Understand that I cannot council and/or recommend file sharing or piracy, so do not ask…messages from readers as to these types of questions will go unanswered.   No disrespect…just being clear.

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support. My Readers Are Awesome!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

 

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

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Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

 

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

Almost killed / Locked Up Abroad. Escape From Mexico…A Country I Love, Part 1 Of 3…

Almost killed / Locked Up Abroad. Escape From Mexico…A Country I Love, Part 1 Of 3…

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT SHOCK YOUR SELF WITH ELECTRICITY OR DO WHAT I DID AT HOME, YOU COULD BE KILLED. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. I UNDERSTAND ELECTRIC CURRENT PROPERTIES AND WAS TAKING MEASURED RISK. AGAIN DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. I KNOW IT’S BIZARRE THAT I EVEN HAVE TO WRITE THIS. RAWR !!!

It was another beautiful day in San Diego California. Every day is beautiful in San Diego, 4563rtwell that’s not completely true, but for most of the year the weather is fabulous.  One of the things that people from Southern California like to do is go south of the border into Mexico / Baja California.  I have a great fondness for Mexico always have and I always will.  The people, the food, the culture…what’s not to like.  Some people say that Baja California does not give you the full Mexican experience, and I agree with that.  Comparing Mexico City to Tijuana is a whole different ballgame for sure.  For us though, to walk over the border was a fun escape to another world.   Today also would be one of those days where I would come close to death but who would have thought.  I have been to Mexico many times, before and after this incident…and I will always continue to go.  This day though would be one I will never forget.

So on that morning we walked to downtown San Diego to the West Broadway Train Depot, and caught the next trolley for the short ride to San Ysidro.  San Ysidro is the end of the Trolley line and also adjacent to the US / Mexico border.  When we got off the train everyone would just head en mass to the maze of stairwells and tunnels that take you into Tijuana.  Sometimes we would go farther south to other towns like Ensenada where you could get a hotel and all you’re food for the day  for 20-30 dollars US.  In fact we knew a 76687juTurnCRPfew Americans who would live in places like Ensenada and come over the border to San Diego every day for work.  The reason being that you could live so much cheaper there than in the US.  Anyway walking over the border was an easy experience at the time, as immigration did not check our passports leaving the US, only when coming back from Mexico into the US.  So no hassles at all…smooth like butter.

So after traversing the maze of tunnels we would come out to a large open square made of granite stone and instantly on the other side of the square we are bombarded with people holding signs to try and get you into there stores selling everything from pharmaceuticals to souvenirs to alcohol “For Cheap”.  All the seasoned visitors know that this is not the place to but any cheap goods, they get cheaper the farther you get into Mexico and everything is up for negotiation.  You walk away after a bit of interest and they will drop the price often down 75% or to what you are offering.  With that said there are a lot of counterfeit goods, just as there are on the streets of New York City.  You have to know what to look for in quality so you don’t get taken.  Most of you already know this though I’m sure.

After you get through the square, you come to a taxi area that looks like some scene reminiscent of Mumbai, India.  Hundreds of cabs and their drivers all vying for your business.  Since it’s a short walk to Downtown Tijuana, there is no need to take a cab.  Next comes the walk over the footbridge which is a bit sad because there are young children selling things like packs of gum and pulling on your arm as if you did not notice them.  Their mothers sit in the crevices of the footbridge watching that there children are persistent. It’s not overwhelming but it gives you a real indication that you are in a whole different world in terms of poverty.  The footbridge goes over a large dry aqueduct (like the type you see in movies in LA) and is the real demarcation between the US and Mexico.

After walking down the street southward we come to “The Arch” that welcomes you into Tijuana proper.  This is where we come to the main drag which is a left turn into the bustling city, reminiscent of Downtown Istanbul with with a Spaghetti Western flair.  This is the main marketplace and you can find just about anything here, again everyone vying for your business and aimed toward the college students or people trying to avoid the official drinking age in the US.  Loud music is blaring from the different clubs and bars 24 hours a day…it just never seems to end, kind of like a more lawless version of Las Vegas.

As we stroll we look at all the goods for sale and stop if we find something interesting, but our real aim is the food.  Rule #1 always drink sealed bottled water and stay away from anything that contains ice. Bottled beverages are always the way to go, that are kept cold.  Avoid ice sold at the street vendors in anything from drinks to shaved ice…I have broken that rule before and did not get sick, but I have seen too many people that have so take it as you wish.

We then arrive at our favorite hole in the wall taco stand.  We know it’s great because it is packed as always and the cooks make your food right in front of you either at the bar or in the several booths inside.  The food moves quicker than they can sell it, it does not have a chance to sit out in the open for more than a few moments.  There is another station where a woman is cooking fresh corn and flour tortilla floutas.  The smell is glorious.  So as we walk in we grab either a bottled water or a Mexican Fanta made with real cane sugar, in those old style soda bottles with a cap that needs a bottle opener (Or the lighter trick).  There is a bottle opener conveniently on the wall right by the cooler.  We order the carne asada and carnitas tacos with everything, and tell the waitress to please keep them coming.  They come quick and fit perfect in the hand. Topped with melted cheese, red onion, cilantro, and lots of fresh squeezed lime juice. There are two large self serve 45635lkCRPsalsa’s on each table one with salsa verde and the other a roja salsa caliente…do you like it hot or hotter, hmmm choices, choices.  Latino music plays in the loud and there are three people just randomly dancing in the small ailes.It is then one realizes that they are immersed in a fabulous culture.  It’s heaven Jerry, just heaven!

So after wolfing down as many tacos as possible we ask for la billete and it comes in at just under 20 dollars US.  Where can four people eat all the endless fresh taco’s made right in front of you, with water and sodas for under 20 bucks in the US?  So after we pay our bill, we head out to wander the streets in search of the unique sights, sounds, and aromas of this amazing country.  Sure some of it is a bit camp and touristy, but the deeper you look…the more you find things that you do not need but must have.

As we walk down the boulevard  we came to familiar bar, another hole in the wall where there is someone outside trying to convince us into drinking alcohol there.   He obviously gets a commission to get takers down for cheap drinks.  So as my three friends were into getting some beers at some point. The bids start at 1 dollar US per beer and we haggle down to 50 cents US, and then comes the kicker as always…”The Walkaway”.   We notion we’re not interested and as we start to walk away he yells out’ “Let’s make a deal!”  As we were piqued with interest, a disheveled looking fella walks out of the bar to us.  He is carrying a car battery on his chest slung over his neck and arms with leather straps.  Protruding out at length from the car battery’s terminals are two long wires attached to a makeshift connection on the other end to two metal handlebars sawed off and connected, one for each wire.  He says to us in broken English, ” If one of you can hold these, one each hand…past red line”, as he points to a dial and voltage meter that has a red line pasted on it…”, then beers 25 cent, if not 75 cent.

Well we all looked at each other to gauge a response, I lit up inside, he did not realize that he had come up against a shark for this type of challenge.  Everyone was like no way, forget that…crazy talk! So I asked my mates if they want, I will do it.  I wasn’t even going to be having beers.  As I said though I had an angle and one caveat, free sodas for me…and they agreed.  As soon as we agreed he handed me the handles one for each hand as he began to chuckle and he referred to us now as, “Mis amigos y amigas favoritas”, I had a chuckle as well.  It was showtime and my friends were all pleading with me not to do it.  I insisted as I said just trust me on this.

So before I took the Pepsi Challenge for 25 cent beers and free sodas, I ask for your patience for a moment as I explain and digress from the matter at hand.  Winding back several years earlier, I have a DJ set up always in my flat.  My place always has long wires leading to power sources around my space. I would spin vinyl, and as I still do just mix and beat match continuously for hours and hours.  I spin everything from Electronic, Dinosaur Rock, Rap, Pop, Metal, Classical, and Alternative as well as all things in between.  Right below my old skool wood and fuzz super heavy DJ Coffin, I have a five foot high JBL Bass Rig on wheels for my setup to rest on.  The wheels allow my complete setup to move around the house as needed. Down by the wood floor I always have a small matrix of power cords just under the bass rig.  One day when I was spinning my bare feet happened to land on the wires and I got a good shock as I had not noticed one of them split. I did notice shortly before that there was some strange noises in the mix as if there was a grounding issue but it came on so gradually, I did not notice till I got shocked.  Something happened though I kind of liked  the way it felt.

I know some will find this crazy and bat shit but I noticed when I got shocked, the hair would stand up on the back of my neck and I would get goose bumps all over.  So like an idiot I did it again and again, until I was standing continuously on the damaged wire.  I was not worried about shorting my equipment as the wires fed into a power conditioner that just trips if there is a surge.  Yes, rationalization I know, but it felt really good. Over a short period of time I got used to the strength of the voltage and any fear which I initially had faded away.  I continued doing it for a few days off and on, and at some point when I moved my rig I swapped out the damaged wire for a new one.  I eventually forgot about this experience, until one day at a family cookout someone mentioned how they got 65768uiCRPshocked and without missing a beat I told everyone what happened to me.  The looks I got were epic, it’s as if everyone was looking at a ghost.  Until someone broke the silence with some consternation and a laugh…I had never thought to much about it.  My family begged me not to do that anymore, but it was still met with some measured laughs.

So here we are at the moment of truth, the man at the bar hands me the two handlebar terminals one in each hand, asks me if I’m, ready.  Go for it I egged.  He started out with a low voltage turning the dial to 25% of the way to the scratched red line.  It then occurred to me that if by mistake he turned it up all the way I could be dead. Putting that out of mind, I just began to meditate a bit and see if I could ride it out.  He then went to 50% and I was still fine.  I could feel the electricity coursing down my arm and into my head and belly but it was still fine.  Then he went to 75% and I had to clench my teeth and I could feel my muscles all over contracting.  My arms began to quiver as I gripped the handles but could barely feel them any more, I thought I was going to drop them.  Then as everyone on the street was gathering around watching what I was doing, with my mates worried as all heck. They did not look comfortable even though I was doing the heavy lifting and the crowd was cheering me on.  Then the man said he was going to red line it and I had to hold for ten seconds, he looked convinced I was going to fail.  He slowly raised to the red line in the center and the crowd began to count…Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro….it was as if time stood still.  My teeth began to rattle. cinco, seis, siete…I was definitely at the end of my line, just hoping the handles would not drop, as I said I could no longer feel them but I knew they were hot somehow.  Ochooooooooo, Nueeeeeevvveee, Diezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, once I realized we were at 10 he began to lower the voltage. I had done it.  Everyone was 343456hjCRPcheering, it was pretty wild.  So we went inside the bar and my friends got their 25 cent beers. I was the man of the hour, exhausted, and the fun had not even begun.

We hung around for a few hours while the friends got their drink on. Then we realized there was about one hour till sunset, and decided to walk around the city, even going off the beaten path, which i would later come to realize paradoxically that our luck had run out and fully kicked into gear at the same exact time.  So we get back to the beginning of the main drag and we noticed there was another road with vendors that veered of the main road going downhill but it was heading North West, kind of in the direction back towards the border. We decided to wander on down this road as we entered painters light, my favorite time of the day.  I noticed the first vendor was a woman who owned a statue store and the front was open like a garage filled with lots of statues mostly religious in nature but there was other things as well.  They seemed to be made of cheap plaster but they were still pretty cool.  On the cobblestone street in front of us where statues both painted and unpainted, many I noticed where oddly balanced on the top of round stones, and as the wind was picking up they would wobble a bit back and forth. In the moment, I did not think too much of it as we all just were browsing.

Doc3

Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

Next thing I know, I hear a small crash behind me about fifteen feet back, It then dawned that one of the unpainted statues had fallen over and smashed on the street.  We all looked at each other confused and thinking why the hell are these statues set up on round rocks and I felt bad for the woman…next thing we know she starts yelling at me that I owed her, “150 dollar cash”.  I tried to reason with her, it was then all of us knew we were being set up.  It was quite clear as I had not even come close to that statue.  As she began to yell at me in Spanish, which I understood she was yelling at other vendors to come stop me…I said let’s go this is getting crazy.  As we were walking away I could see a group of men forming at the top of the street pointing me out and beginning to head down the street after me.  Shit was going downhill fast and I could tell they figuratively wanted my head on a platter as they began to scream “Policia, policia!!!”

I had heard of shit like this before and there was no way I was taking the fall for something I did not do.  I had also heard of people being thrown in a Mexican jail for stuff like this and it would take a cash bribe to get out.  I then looked at my mates and I said quickly and quietly, “I’ll meet you guys at the border, just take the main road back.”  I continued “I’m heading for the border on my own, and then we can take this up with customs officials.”  It was my only hope as they we’re coming after me.  I bolted down a side street and once I did It looked like I had entered a demolition zone, a back street full of rubble, smashed bricks, stray dogs, feral cats, and trash…something that you might see off the beaten path in Beirut.  I was scared shitless, and it was then my “Jason Statham caught up in a Liam Neeson Movie” persona kicked in. Adrenaline full on!  The street ran parallel to the main road back to the border but it was still a dozen blocks back to the crossing.  I dodged and dived around all kinds of obstacles, climbing over fences…it looked like construction was going on as well but there was literally not one person in sight.  Ever hear of a back alley in a different country, with no people on it the likes of which someone encounters in a bad dream.  Well I had found it.

The gang that were chasing me cut over to that road as well but as I said it was full of obstacles so they were slowed down as well.  I thought to myself, although they were coming they were not fast or gaining on me, so as long as i kept up my pace I would make it too the border before them.  After a few blocks I ducked below a damaged wall as I waited a few moments, looking around the corner to the road we originated on and as I predicted my mates walked by and I cut back to them thinking maybe they had given up.  So I walked up to them again and they looked worried.  I told them if they pop up again I would take off (again) and meet them at the border as originally planned.  Just as i finished saying that I looked back up the road and they where running, yelling, and now I noticed several of them were carrying guns and waving them in the air.  After seeing that I took off again cutting back towards the same road I had been quickly navigating through those obstacles. Now I knew for sure this was definitely not going to end till we at least got to the border.  So I soldiered on not knowing if I was going to get out alive.

Doc2

Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

Slowly but surely I made my way back towards the border. Next thing you know it sounded like firecrackers going off, however when I noticed puffs of dust coming from the sides of the cement walls and the dirt being kicked up, I then realized, holy shit they’re shooting at me.  I just kept going with all that  I had in the tank as i continued to hear the sound of bullets going by just like something you would see in the movies.  This can’t be real I thought, I’m going to fucking die here.  So I don’t know if anyone has ever had something like this happen to them before, but I can bet even if you have not, you can imagine what it would be like.  Not pleasant…I did not have time to think, I was going on pure instinct at this point.  Ducking and diving, surging and backing off for a moment to mark my path, it still seemed they were not gaining on me.  I was sure as hell they were still coming though.  Luckily the shooting was sporadic and jagged (not constant), and I took advantage of that fact.  Not only that they seemed to be bad shots because they were not even getting close. Who knows, they were probably just trying to get me to stop not actually hit me…I could not be sure.

I realized next as I came around a bend that I was only about three blocks from the foot bridge…I had a bad feeling that this was where they were going to cut me off and catch me.  I had to stay positive and I can assure  you it was not easy.  I could not see the gang behind me anymore but I could here them yelling.  I made a break back to the main road and when i got to the footbridge I ran faster than I ever have in my life and made it to the main square at the border.  I wanted to make my way over to the main stairways to the tunnels and bridges that led over the border to immigration.  One great thing that I realized was the square was filled with people, so I stopped running to not stand out…hoping that I would blend in.  I still did walk very fast though.  When I got to the walkways I stopped to get my bearings and wait for my friends…a few minutes later the mates come around into the square and I yell and wave to them.  As they made their way over to me, there was a small moment of hope that this could be over.  We, for a moment (prematurely) hug and talk about what just happened. That moment did not last long.

About a minute later the gang came crowding into the square, and this time they had the freaking police with them…communicating on radios as if they were calling out an APB.  I could not believe it…this was insane.  Again (for the third time) I said to my mates, “I have to go”…yes, they were stunned. So I bolted up the stairs and ran through the tunnels as fast as I could and eventually I came to the straightway where I could see the the US Immigration turn styles but was gutted because their was a frickin’ line.  I could imagine the Mexican Police grabbing me before making it through and claiming jurisdiction.  So I took a deep breath, opened my passport, and just kept calm in the line about ten deep.  Surprisingly the que went quite fast as there were a few lines open at the same time.  I finally got to the customs official and he asked me a few questions.  I had to weigh instantaneously in my mind saying anything about what had just happened versus just getting back into the country.  I could not hear the angry mob anymore and just went for it.  I answered the questions truthfully and he let me pass.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

When I got outside of the border crossing station in San Ysidro,  I walked over to the trolley platform to wait for my group to catch up with me. I was elated, I could not believe I had made it.  After about ten minutes they arrived and we all hugged it out.  What a mess…so much could have gone terribly wrong and yet being back in my home country…I was overcome with the feeling of safety.  It was finally over.  I can tell you this, it was the topic of conversation amongst our friends and family for a while.

Since then I have safely gone into Mexico both the Baja Peninsula and the Mexican mainland and would never encourage someone not to go.  It was just the luck of the draw on that day in that moment.  I can also say I have been in other life defining situations in the US as well as other places in the world.  So I’m not singling out Mexico…as I’ve said it is still one of my favorite places in the world.  The Mexican people are a wonderful and  hospitable culture.  I just happened upon an anomaly.  It’s fun to be on TV but I can say without hesitance that I would not trade my freedom and safety for a go at an episode of National Geographic “Locked Up Abroad”, and by the way do you think getting shocked for 25 cent beers and free cokes is really worth it? I do.

 

Thanks for reading and for all your kind words. Your patience with my insubordination is greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your support!!!

More Interesting Articles and Reviews to come.

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

Sunset Hollywood, Seattle Sound And European Christmas Vacation Anthony Bourdain Style! Also My Latest Swedish Snus Haul…

Sunset Hollywood, Seattle Sound And European Christmas Vacation Anthony Bourdain Style! Also My Latest Swedish Snus Haul ~

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

UPDATE: @ BOTTOM OF THIS POST 12/23/14

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

So I just got off the phone with a relative visiting Los Angeles, and I ask, where have they gone…”We’ve been to Venice Beach, Santa Monica, yada yada, and Disneyland in Anaheim. We’ve been very busy, tomorrow we head to San Diego where we will be able to relax a bit more.” I replied, “Awesome…what about the Sunset Strip, how did you like that?” I remember when I went to California for my first time…I had a local take me to see the sites, and when I brought up that I wanted to go to the strip, she said…’there’s not really much there, but I get it, we can make a stop there so you can check it out.’ I get it many locals will say that it’s a dirty waste of time. Not me, I thought, I was on a pilgrimage and if I did not experience anything other than “The Strip” that would be fine. I also get that it’s very touristy…I did not care it was the 1980’s and I had to go. So anyway my relative on the phone today  says, they did not go to 346462hjSunset, and they would not have a chance. It was like a knife in my chest…WHATTTTT!!! At least do a drive through, WTF! So much amazing history but I guess it’s not to be. I know some of you are saying F Sunset, dirty waste of time…WRONG!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

 

All I could think of to myself is that some day they will regret not going to the strip, just to see The Rainbow, The Whiskey, and The Troubabour. It reminded me of my first trip to Continental Europe with my Grand Parents when they took us on the “safety tour” in the 80’s when I was young, God love em, but I remembered that they tried to censor our trip. I grew up in Iceland so debauchery was not new to me, but the grandparents were a bit naive and did not get that we, the young ones already experienced the “adult stuff”. My uncle, aunt, and cousins lived near Nijmegen, Holland. It was pretty awesome experiencing it like a local…riding the bike paths in and out of the city and the 10 miles from Beuningen to Arnhem. We had Fritz Met, fries Old Skool 377 Holland - CopyEditand mayonnaise, had to explain what the American word “Cool” to a local (It did not mean cold), and were hit with major porn next to the Disney Movies at the “Video Ring” while renting VHS tapes. As you know women’s breasts on TV, on the front page of the newspaper, and at the beach is normal in Europe.

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

We ate horse meat burgers (salty strange), canned hot dogs, and dairy products like eggs / butter / and unpasteurized fresh milk not refrigerated. Actually reminded me of Iceland, not the same, but eating strange foods that is. Remember there was no Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern on TV then and wandering gastronomy was not popular with Americans…still is not, but people “get” foi gras now even if they don’t want to eat it themselves.  Now I know better to go for the Pig Cheek and Tuna Collar…first! Thank you Mr. Bourdain.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

I also went to a Dutch school with my cousin and a friend of his, and all the students were asking me all kinds of questions about celebrities (blech!) and MTV (remember it was the 80’s). It wasn’t all bad, in fact I had a great time in English class. Everyone in Holland had English class in school, what was really cool was when I listened to the kids speaking English (Very fluent by the way), I realized they were learning British English. When they asked me to read a passage in their class book everyone seemed amazed and were stunned that I did not have an Icelandic accent. American English I found out that day was quite different from UK English.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

Anyway I did not accept the idea of a censored Europe, no matter what they did (Much more on that later in this piece, see the plane ride home)…I spent my free days to do whatever I wanted, on my own wisely. I knew what I was looking for and I was going to take advantage of it, no matter what anyone said. We drove to Paris and I remember my Grandparents rushing us by the nude statues…very silly indeed, could not be avoided in The Louvre. Also all the sex shops near the Moulin Rouge was awkward for them…lol. We also went to East Germany, this was before the wall came down, and it was quite sad. Far from the free East Berlin Berghain / Panoramabar lawlessness I would visit several years ago, totally not like I remembered in a great way. We further went to Antwerp Belgium, Amsterdam NL (All Over NL), Berlin DE, Luxembourg, and Zurich Switzerland.  It was a very fun trip. 346346hg

I know now days seeing police dogs and Machine guns at airports is pretty common, but back then it was not.  You see we planned our trip months ahead and found ourselves in Holland with military fighter jets doing mission test runs above the house. We turned on the radio and in Dutch, they were saying America was on the brink of w*ar after blo*wing up one  of K*had*afi’s homes, kil*ling his s*on. It was pretty scary for a while we did not know what was going to happen day to day. Would we be taking our scheduled flight a few weeks later from Brussels to the US. We thought about leaving early, thankfully we did not as everything seemed to settle down when it was time to leave.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

So as I said I was not going to allow a censored tour of europe, I was a young kid but had been around the block a few times. So I was worried about customs searching my bags especially with all I had acquired on my trip…unknowingly by my Grandparents and with the heightened security. My collectables in my luggage were; several Cuban Cigars, a bottle of cheap French Drinking Wine that all the locals in Paris drank at lunchtime with their bread and fromage, 1 bottle of Russian Potato Vodka, 1 bottle of REAL Czechoslovakian Absinthe, 1 Switchblade, 1 pen…woman with disappearing dress, 1 pack of Po*rn Star Playing Cards, and there was more but you get the idea. I was not even a teen yet and I was a walking ball of debauchery to go, just add water. It was that Heavy Metal music, it was a bad influence on me…I’ll blame it on that. K.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

So we get to the airport in Brussels and began to put our luggage on the conveyor to the x-ray. As it went through I could have pissed myself. Breathe! As soon as my bag came through I picked it up and hustled it away about 30 feet to the bottom of the escalators. I grabbed another bag of my family’s as well. Then all of a sudden there was a commotion behind the scanner and two airport officials come out from behind and start pulling my Grandmother’s bag apart, obviously looking for something. They found nothing as my bag was safely away. Ah to be young again, man was I a handful. That was very close…very very close! Imagine them unpacking my suitcase full of treats right in front of my stunned Grandparents?!?! Anyway I passed through customs and on arrival in the US scuttled without even a search or declaration form in the US. As I walked by inspectors they paid me no attention as I tried to steady my bag, the bottles had come unwrapped and were now clinking. I almost shat myself…steady hand!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

More to come about my trips to Continental Europe in the future, time to get back to music, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Forward a few years…Now it was the late 80’s, but I had travelled to LA in 83, 85, 88 and 89 and I did not establish my connections in the music industry until the middle of 1989. I thought to myself, I had missed out on Hendrix and the 60’s scene, as well as the Punk Movement in the 70’s (single digits, although I saw the 44633363mjRamones in 83 but that does not count, right, as I missed the movement). So I had to go to LA for the 80’s Glam Metal Scene…the Sunset strip was insane. The freaks were out and dressed to kill, it was more than you would imagine, the smell of Aqua Net and Phunky Kush was overwhelming. I got to see almost all of the LA Metal bands as there were shows every night of the week. It was a pretty carefree time as I was traveling back and forth between the UK, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle quite often. There were also many side trips to Vegas and Frisco as well. In the future I would find myself living between the UK, Reykjavik, Boston, San Diego, and San Francisco between tours in the 90’s. What made it even more amazing was that I was able to physically see the major turn in the music industry from LA Glam to The Seattle Sound.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

When I look back on it, it was a seismic shift but as I just liked loud music I transitioned easily from Motley Crue and Ratt to Alice In Chains and Nirvana. I did not give a fuck about the politics and I got along with almost anybody, so at the time I did not notice the music was too different, of course it was different, but more importantly I could feel that I was part of something very unique and a part of history. What made everything more confusing was that Guns N’ Roses, Janes Addiction, and The Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s holding it up for LA blurring the Alternative lines. Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer (The Big Four) where holding things up for thrash in the US and even bigger in Europe and South America. I would just the same listen to LA Guns, Mudhoney, or Megadeth (just as I do today)…where I really noticed the transition was when I went back home to work in the clubs in the 90’s.  All the work shifted from LA to Seattle for sure but back home Glam Metal was out and “Grunge” (hate that term) was in at some point. I didn’t get the memo that Metal was out and Seattle was in. I just went with the flow. The difference at home was the radio had stopped playing 80’s metal and full rotation was set on Seattle, it was really strange. Instead of taking my flights to LAX, I was now heading for SEATAC. That’s just the way it was. Not Enough time to write about the Raves and The Grateful Dead, Old Skool Rap Shows ( Notorious BIG, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Warren G, NWA, Public Enemy, Wu Tang Clan, KRS 1, Dr. Dre, etc.) that’s for other articles…I was going nonstop for sure!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

My experiences during these times are just beginning to be published, every day still I remember a new adventure and make note to be sure I remember to write about it here. “Bastard Saint” the Series has turned into something bigger. A book about all my experiences set to a bizarre ethereal netherworld. Based on a true story…there is so much to it, I will be posting excerpts from it in the New Year of 2015. Sorry, much later than I had expected because I want to give everybody a taste of how the book is coming along and the characters within, without giving away everything in a few posts. However I will probably self publish and give it away for free. So I look to give everyone here pieces to wet the tongue, while leaving people wanting to see development and progress with the full text.

So in closing here I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays! Have a drink and a toke on me…I’ll be sticking with my coffee, Ettan, and Skruf Xtra Stark with a little Thunder Ultra Raspberry / Thunder Frosted, Oden’s Kanel, Gotlandskt Julesnus to keep it real for the season! Real Swedish Imported Snus Taxes Paid(Med Smak Av Jul !)….not that American SNUS Shit!

 

Most Recent Imported Swedish Snus Haul:

CRPRSZ

UPDATE: 12/23/14 ~ Excellent News…I guess it was meant to be. I just got off Facetime and the relatives did make it to the Sunset Strip today and they Loved It!!! They are now safely in San Diego [Dago] @ Mission Bay. Pacific Beach Manana!

So Cali Love!!!

 

Thanks for reading and for all your kind words and support!

More Interesting Articles and Reviews to come.

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine