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Demon Days

Demon Days

Earlier this afternoon, I got back from my weekend adventure to South Padre Island. I grew up in the area, so it was actually a nice homecoming, since I hadn’t been back for a couple of years. The beach was crowded during the day, and the clubs were crowded at night. I drank enough pina coladas to fill an ocean, and ate so much seafood you’d think I was casting Finding Nemo 2.

Meanwhile, the soundtrack in constant rotation was Arular by M.I.A., The Cosmic Game by Thievery Corporation (perfect for sleeping on the beach), and the massively appropriate Demon Days, new from Gorillaz. Here are some moments:

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(Anyone from the Rio Grande Valley knows what this is. Within seconds of landing in the Valley, I stopped in for El Pato, the local Mexican chain restaurant. It’s known for its titular “pato,” which has a rabid following amongst most of the people in the area.)

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(It was a busy weekend of beach volleyball on South Padre. Here is the annual Memorial Day weekend tournament, outside the Surf Motel. On Sunday, I spent about six hours playing volleyball, but not in the tournament. It was four hours of pool volleyball at the Sheraton Hotel and then two more hours of beach volleyball once the sand cooled itself. Among the pick-up games’ teams were a few Napoleon Dynamite-quoting American soldiers on leave from serving in Iraq. One of them commented, “I’ve spent a whole year in sand, but I’ve never seen a beach till now.” And yes, there were more than a few obvious references to the volleyball scene from Top Gun.)

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(My high school friend Ben Taylor, working behind the bar at Louie’s Backyard. Ben first started work as a bartender on South Padre right after we graduated high school. Needless to say, he’s one of the best you’ll find.)

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(The dancefloor at Louie’s, which is easily the most popular nighspot on South Padre Island. During Spring Break, it’s insane. This past weekend, it was pretty crazy, too.)

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(If you were on South Padre Island this weekend and you weren’t playing volleyball, you may have been getting married. I witnessed about half a dozen beach weddings over just two days. Here’s one overlooking the beach that began just as we were wrapping our volleyball games.)

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(We ran into this bachelorette party, which consisted of about 15 girls from Rockport, TX. Here’s three of them – including the bride-to-be – on the dancefloor at Louie’s. And no, the random kid dancing next to them was not part of their blow-out.)

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(Me and buddy Matt Pechacek, who was actually my roommate freshman year in college. He works on the island, and regularly holds court at The Locals’ Bar, where we are early in the weekend.)

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