The Horrorist Live – Phoenix, Arizona Show Report

I’m back from my live show and weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. I performed for a old friend who I went to College with Bill Kraemer. I went to SUNY Purchase which at the time was mostly an art school. The campus was 85% freaks. Bill and his friend Marcel had a techno act called Technosphere. I remember visiting their room across campus. Marcel was a really skinny tall guy from Belgium with a heavy accent. They had mini studio featuring a Rogue Moog and some ART rack efftect processors. They had dayglow shirts, toys and stickers and were properly ravetarded. In my elephant sized box of cassettes waiting in my mother’s basement sit a few Technosphere compilations. Maybe someday someone born a decade later than yours truly will obsess over them as I do with early 80s electronic demo tapes. I had not seen Bill in more than 15 years so I was looking forward to seeing him.

I’ve been working hard at my day job recently so when I received my Silver Medalian upgrade card from Delta my frown started to relax a bit. You get such a card for racking up a zillion frequent flier miles in a short time. The big deal is with the card I get automatically upgraded to business class. Not only to I get my own armrest but I can use all the fast check-in lanes and in general feel superior to everyone else. On my way to Phoenix I went.

I watched three movies on the flight. First was “Trust” staring Clive Owen. Even though Trust is rated well on Rotten Tomatoes skip it. It’s just a kiddie porn fantasy rape movie. Hollywood should be ashamed of producing this kind of thing. Next, I watched Strange Powers the documentary about Stephan Merritt and The Magnetic Fields. If your a regular reader here you know MF is one of my favs so I knew I’d love this film (and I did). Stephan explains his songwriting process which consists of him sitting in gay bars for eight hours listening to bad disco. Dark mood indeed. I was thrilled when they showed his apartment and there in the corner was an Electrocomp-101. These are rare synthesizers and I too am a proud owner of one (serial number 521 to be exact). Lastly, I saw True Grit which I thought didn’t live up to the hype with the exception of the end sequence. I won’t spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet but it’s properly sad as all movie endings should be.

I land in Phoenix, meet Bill and it’s hot. In the sun it’s much much hotter than you think. I had to get a few things at CVS so I took a walk. CVS was only a few blocks from my hotel. Somehow I got lost, disoriented and had to ask for help getting back. It’s that kind of hot. I realized anyone who lives in Phoenix is surrounded by something that could easily kill them.

I arrived a day early and spent the afternoon in the Hotel’s pool. The San Carlos is a famous place built on the site of an early American Indian school house. That’s where this hotel’s bad karma started. In the 1920s a woman jumped to her death from the roof. Later, Bogart and Marilyn Monroe made the Carlos there home for short stints. It’s a properly haunted place and before I even knew the history I was taking photos of it’s creepy Kubrikesque hallways.

For dinner Chris Randall was kind to pick me up and take me to the Gallo Blanco Cafe at The Clarendon Hotel. Here I believe I probably had the first good mexican food in my entire life. A simple fish Torte that’s still on my mind five days later. If you read this blog you obviously know who Chris is. He creates the Audio Damage plug-ins, makes music and has a blog called Audio Industries. All his efforts are unique and above par interesting. The conversation was good and it’s always nice to validate your own life a little by meeting people with similar interests.

Later Friday evening I met with Bill, his friends and Ralph aka Kung Fu grip. Bill’s 1987 Toyota Camry looks like it was lost in the dessert a few years. Fully covered in pink dessert dust and full of disorganization. Flyers, containers and well just a bunch of unidentifiable stuff. Bill couldn’t drive for what ever reason so his friend Matt took over. Matt was wearing a NY Yankees cap tilted to the side. So here we are four guys in this car and Matt in his hat. Yes of course we get pulled over. Yes of course Bill doesn’t have insurance. Let’s just leave the rest of this night unspoken about ok?

The next day there was more swimming then the live show. The venue was inappropriately huge but soon after arriving I was able to meet a few new friends who flew from surrounding states to catch me. The show starts and as with every time I perform in a new place I have to work hard to prove I’m there to have fun with the crowd. In a good mood I manage to get everyone from frozen in fear to yes let’s dance like we are Germans.

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

5 thoughts on “The Horrorist Live – Phoenix, Arizona Show Report”

      1. Chicago stuff:
        I don’t know of any active promotion groups in our scene.
        We just had a 3 day wax trax celebration at the Metro.
        Abbey Pub seems to book good shows a few times a year.
        My choice venues would be Bottom Lounge and Double Door for a Horrorist show.
        One local band has come a long way, and may be a good resource: Cyanotic. Other guys you probably know (or should) would be Polyfuse, who recently opened for Celldweller.

        For club nights, NEO is still the standard, but maybe after 10 years of patronage, I’m just not impressed anymore. Exit used to be a force (I was resident DJ there, and I did play Horrorist regularly), but it’s barely on the radar anymore.

        For some reason, Milwaukee seems to book the choice shows. Combichrist performed in Milwaukee, with no Chicago date. Wow, simply wow.

  1. Tu con tu torta! haha If you liked that, you most def need to try the carne asada roach coach tacos of LA. They are straight up YUM!

    “In a good mood I manage to get everyone from frozen in fear to yes let’s dance like we are Germans.”

    It was pretty hilarious seeing everyone kinda look at each other nervously, not being totally familiar with your style and watching you in both curiosity and fear (lived up to your name, sir). As you said, it’s an “acquired taste” and people acquired that taste FAST.

    I didn’t realize your hotel was like one block from mine when I was walking around exploring for food. The heat didn’t hit me as bad as it did to you, but doesn’t make it any less annoying.

    It was a really fun show and I hope to experience it again, even if I have to travel out of state again :) Still doesn’t mean I won’t stop bugging for an LA show ^___^ If you ever do LA, tacos/tortas/pupusas on me!

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