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July 17th, 2007

On the highway to hell.

Weekend time means time for rambling travels. This weekend meant Torino, and after a 4am night train I met my mate Jimmy P at 11. Heading north from the station, we did coffee, went to the old royal palace from the blink of an eye Italy was a monarchy and then checked out the cathedral where the Shroud That Certainly Without Doubt Covered Our Lord And Saviour is housed. For such a globally famous home of a relic, the church is very simple and without the usual level of ornate flashiness I've come to expect.

The next few hours were spent at the cinema museum, and it was a well spent few hours indeed. Housed in the huge, hollow volume of the historic Mole Antonelliana, designed by a crazy architect, it starts with shadow puppet shows of the 1800s and moves through to modern film, with individual rooms showing well selected shorts of different themes, the rooms decorated to the theme. The ones I recall are explosions ('Thelma and Louise' amongst others), romance (something Italian), family (?) ('Ghandi'???), sci-fi (nothing I recognised), westerns (all the classics, including 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly'), mirrors ('Paris, Texas', 'The Truman Show'), dreams ('The Big Labowsky', some Italian film with a guy crawling on a tit), horror (my 2 faaaaavvvvooouuurites, 'NOTLD' 1990 and 'Evil Dead', with 'Eraserhead' (ummm....)) and bizarre situations (some family sitting around a table where the seats are toilets, and others), along with props of all sorts including Charlie Chaplin's hat, and many a fine poster. However, someone in charge of planning has an all consuming obsession with Bridgette Bardot... hey, this entry is rambling... oh yeah, I'm full of beer...

After that, it was as general look around and (liquid) lunch. Turin has many beautiful squares, but is mostly a boring, rigidly planned town. James and I headed out of the centre of town to catch a gig I had researched, but I buggered the date up so we booked to stay the night.

Day 2, and we mooched around town checking out a replica medieval village (TIP: in a country of medieval buildings, a 'replica' is as lame as it sounds), a square that the Romans believed was evil, that the town gallows was on back in the day and that wiccan types believe is directly above the gates of hell (under a flower bed. Insult to injury, really). Then, off to check out the Mudhoney gig, where we ran into some interesting Australian fellows (see photos).

More to come.

Touch me, I'm sick!

Getting to the concert venue, this time on the correct day, beers were purchased and deck chairs plonked into while we watched the world go by waiting for the gig to start. Eventually, the mighty Beasts of Bourbon rocked up, and as members started to wander up to the bar (inevitable, really) James and I harassed them for photos in true fan-boy style. The guitar player, Charlie Owen, had the attitude of 'yeah, sure, whatever, now I'm getting beer' which is fair enough really. Next, the bass player, Brian Hooper, come over and I was really impressed with how willing he was to chat and find out about us and what we were doing so far from home.

Soon thereafter the gig started, with the Italians having no idea what to make of this band that opened cans of beer and piffed them as high as they could into the crowd and dropped a mic stand on a security guard. Being support, the set lasted 1/2 hour and then they went off and Mudhoney started a wicked show soon thereafter. Spencer P. Jones from the Beasts was dragged on stage some time late into the first set and the crowd raised it's collective eye-brow, as with a guitar thrust into his hands, Mr. Jones jammed out the most horrendously bad solo it has ever been my misfortune to hear. Between Mudhoney's second and third encore (if we demand it back home, we too will get 3 encores), James and I found Spencer and Brain for another photo op and it became clear why this solo was so bad: Spenser was so drunk he could barely stand, and was ill-impressed to have Brian carrying on in one ear about how proud we all are of this bloke doing a PhD in physics, bright flashes of light going off in front of him, and the bloke on the other side asking him to look forward. Later we got ahold of the drummer, Tony Pola, who excitedly enquired "Are you blokes... Australian?!?" and was really happy to chat, and we grabbed Tex as he strolled past, also hammered off his scone. One would be disappointed if it weren't so, really.

Now, as to all those ladies who want to 'climb that man like a monkey', having his manky unwashed hair pressed against one's flesh is... ummm... not the best. But, good photos ensued and it was really nice to find the band friendly and happy to chat with strangers.

5am train back to Padova and Turin adventures ended.

The Padova gallery is updated, with exciting photos of the idol the physics locals worship: Calypso the coffee machine.

This lunar cycle

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