Archive Page 2

06
Feb
10

Update: Adelaide Photos Posted

Still behind on the blogging, but making progress.  Just uploaded the Adelaide, Australia photos (including the Black Point beach house and the Dabblebrook Winery stop in McLaren Vale).  You can see them HERE.  Enjoy!

The Spokanites

05
Feb
10

gettin’ into it – Adelaide & black point, Australia (3rd tour stop)

Slowly catching up on the blogging – sorry for the delays.  We do have a great excuse for being slow: we’ve been having an amazing time with our favorite people.  Case in point: Adelaide!

2010-02-01 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 053

Part I: Black Point

2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 041Following a huge weekend in Sydney (see the guest blog for details), we drug our tired selves to Black Point for some R&R before the next gig.  We were really looking forward to a few days of doing almost nothing and tons of sleep.  Did we succeed?  Yes and no.

Yes, we did very little.  No, we didn’t sleep much.  Our fantastic hosts, Scott & Tija Wilson, kept us well hydrated (wine & beer that is) and very well fed (can’t forget Ian and Libbi here – they also turned in a huge performance as expected).  It’s only been a few days and we can’t remember all of the great dishes we’ve had.  2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 223 No surprise, the cheese plate was a highlight (and by plate, we mean a rotating cheese board about the size of a large coffee table).

Highlights during the week at Black Point:

  • Seeing Tony Mac again – been to long.  Thanks for making the trip down from Bali
  • Meat pies at the famous bakery in Androssan between Adelaide and Black Point
  • Finally, some exercise!
  • Taking the Sea Doo out and riding with 5-6 dolphins
  • The great crab migration of 2010.  Literally thousands of blue crabs all going the same direction in the shallow water by the beach.  Scott & Tija have lived there for years and have never seen it.
  • Sting rays right next to the beach
  • Winning (and losing) at Wii tennis, bowling and baseball 
  • The return of the Captain (Morgan’s that is)

 

2010-02-04 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 009Part II: McLaren Vale & Dabblebrook Wines

2010-02-04 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 003 After our so-called R&R stop on the beach, we packed up the car and headed for Adelaide for the third big show of the tour.  After dropping off Tija, we went straight past it to McLaren Vale (wine country) to see Dabblebrook Wines (slogan: ‘Doers of Lunch’), owned and operated by the aforementioned Ian & Libbi.  There to greet us was Ian (and their dog Bob), who had set up a wine barrel right in the middle of the fields with a full plate of cheese and snacks, along with 3 bottles of d’Arenberg wines (where the grapes of Dabble Brook end up each year – try the Credenzia if you get a chance, but all were great).  Ian is about three weeks from harvesting so it was prime time for the grapes and everything looked beautiful.  Best of luck on a great season guys!

2010-02-04 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 016 Even better was Ian & Libbi’s garden.  Next to the 1950’s schoolhouse in which they live, there exists a garden of epic proportions which made Sonya want to move in permanently.  A quick inventory included blood oranges, avocados, jalapeños (and at least 5 other types of peppers), lemons the size of rugby balls, giant sunflowers, walnuts, plums, dates, lettuces, apples, every herb known to man, and much much more.  All organic, and most ready to eat off the tree (which we did of course).

We will be back here.  Mark those words (Ian/Libbi – get a spare bed ready, although Sonya might just sleep in the garden).

 

2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 175

Part III: Adelaide & The Spokanites

2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 160Last stop for this part of the journey was of course the Spokanites show in Adelaide at the Stag Dome (aka the Stag Hotel).  After cleaning up at Scott & Tija’s place in the city (which was beautiful, BTW), and sorting out t-shirts, tattoos, etc for the fans, we were off and within minutes the show had begun.  Just like Sydney before it, Adelaide was a killer crowd and the show just plain rocked.  You can always count on the Aussies to bring out your best (and your worst) and they did not disappoint.

Highlights:

  • 2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 121Seeing everyone – so great to be back and so good to see everyone doing so well.
  • Happy birthday Tim!  Given that the last night we went drinking you and Bec conceived twins, I’m hoping you were a bit more careful on this one.  :)  Hope sharing your b-day with the Spokanites was a good thing.
  • The parents putting on tattoos and wearing the tour shirts.  Way to get into it!
  • The boys (minus Robert, thankfully) getting home at 6:30am.  Nice performance.  Sorry we couldn’t stay all night (not really, after seeing Scott the next morning).

That’s it for now – thanks again to everyone in Adelaide who helped or showed up.  Special thanks to Scott & Tija for hosting and arranging!!!

Cheers,

The Spokanites

 

 

03
Feb
10

“Oh so Rock ‘n roll” – guest blog by Ged gillmore (sydney)

Ged Gillmore [http://hotdownunder.blogspot.com/] has just spent 48 hours with the most famous band in the world.  Here we publish his exclusive insight into life on Planet Spokanite. [Note: photos can be found HERE]

2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 001 It is difficult to overstate the anticipation which greeted The Spokanites on this, the second leg of their Hitched world tour.  The questions were too obvious not be asked.  Would the recent scandal that has surrounded the band affect their ability to perform?  Would the noise made about them drown out the music they make?  Would the pressure on the them show through in their outfits?  Sonya Zilka and Robert Hylton, for five years now the most successful couple on earth, were clearly nervous on their arrival at Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith airport.  Ever since disenchanted fans bombarded Zilka with rotten artichokes upon the band’s arrival at Narita International last year, the pair have reason to be wary.  But Sydney was quiet.  The band’s now-famous diversionary tactics (a Presidential Election there, false warnings of bad weather here) had once more kept them safe from the public gaze. 

2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 002 ‘I’ll admit I was nervous’ Zilka told me in a rare, candid moment.  ‘I had only 12 hours to do my hair on that flight.  Anything could have happened.’

Hylton was also clearly relieved.  ‘I was worried that 350kg of luggage would be over the limit’ he told me ‘but if you fly business class far enough you can shit all over anyone you want.’

But what about the public?  Would that evening’s concert live up to the hype?  I accompanied the Spokanites to their oh-so exclusive hotel (this reporter sees no point in telling you its name because you couldn’t afford it) and slowly gained enough of their trust for them to reveal details of their recent Sri Lankan event.  The pair had less than 5,000 photographs from Sri Lanka and it was a privilege to see them.  Hylton in particular was happy to discuss the charges of elephant cruelty.

‘Oh that’ he said ‘it was just an outfit.  I know those people find blue satin distasteful, but you know, at a certain point, they just have to get some perspective’.

I asked him who he meant by ‘those people’ but his brush with the Taste Police of Winter 03/04 is clearly not yet a distant memory.  He smiled and moved the conversation on to that evening’s concert.

2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 018‘It’s an iconic location’ he said ‘and we’ve done that deliberately.  The opera house represents the music which we hope to bring into so many sad, little people’s lives.  The harbour bridge represents the many bridges Sonya and I have crossed to be here.  The water represents the fluidity in all of our lives.’

The public was no quite so convinced.   I overheard one fan later that night complaining that ‘you can’t exactly make a lot of noise at the Opera Bar’.

‘But that’s just the point’ says Zilka when I put this to her.  ‘We aren’t about ‘a lot of noise’ any more.  Now, we’re more about making beautiful music together.’

Loretta Campbell is nervous.  The east-coast operations manager’s meticulous eye for planning has never yet failed her but today there is so much that can go wrong.  A split venue, guests unknown to each other, water taxis, land taxis, restaurants, menus, weather.  2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 027She smiles above it all and I’m reminded of the whispers that her flushed, elegant new look is due to the new man in her life, a reclusive supermarket magnate.  Campbell (who later informs us that ‘dildos aren’t funny after thirty’) waves away such suggestions impatiently.  ‘We’re not here to talk about me’ she says ‘We’re here to drink copious amounts of alcohol and fall over.’  And yet Campbell never touches a drop.  All the same, once the small invitation-only crowd is assembled she visibly relaxes.  A who’s-who of Australian rock’n’roll is now standing around the band: Gold Coast metal duo Taratom; folk-gangsta cross-over stars Nicole’n’Pete; upcoming country-outfit Melonwayne; and of course the irrepressible Androodie (you may not have heard of them but they are huge in The Philippines).  Oliver Sands, the band’s senior hair-and-teeth consultant, looks over the proceedings with a cautious eye.   Many of the guests have forgotten to bring sunglasses and with a cloudless sky above there is a real danger of Zilka’s teeth blinding someone.  But all runs to plan, and soon, as Campbell predicted, all are drunk.

So, to answer the sixty-four million dollar question, did the gig live up to the hype?  This reporter believes it surpassed the hype.  Mama Cass’s voice dropped an octave after she was hit by a brick and it was her new voice that led the Mamas and Papas to such lasting success.  In the same way, the transformations which have recently effected The Spokanites have raised their performance to a new high.  2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 048Hylton’s addiction to frequent flyer miles may have caused him years of suffering, but now it is flying him around the world.  Zilka’s addiction to big hair and teeth may have hampered her success in past years, but now she has made them her own.  Is she sorry about the artichoke years?  Is she hell.  No green vegetable is safe now from this woman who is clearly entering her prime, unrepentant at eating slower than anyone else at any table, unscared about being the Loud American In The Room.

And if there was any concern that the most famous band in the world are now perhaps stars rather than musicians, they were laid to rest at the spontaneous Woodstock-style outdoor gig which followed Saturday night’s main event.  A dedicated core of followers (i.e. everyone from the night before) gathered on the verdant shores on north Coogee on Sunday to hear an unplugged version of Zilka’s seminal hit ‘That song no-one’s ever heard of’’.  The beach may have been crowded, the shade of the trees full of fans, but during Zilka’s acapella solo you could have heard a pin drop.  The love in Hylton’s face as he watched her perform was adorable / nauseating.  And when, moments later, an over-adoring fan picked Zilka up and threw her into the surf, she was typically elegant in her lyrical response.  ‘You asshole’ she screamed ‘You douchebag.  You assholey, douch-baggy, db asshole.  I so hate you right now.  Asshole.’

And now they are gone.  The Coogee Bite Café is still rearranging its tables, the Cleveland Bar is wondering what hit it, the Ripples Restaurant is introducing a new policy of no groups larger than eight (or four if Americans are included) but all this is to be expected.  For, as Oliver Sands puts it ‘You can say what you like about The Spokanites, but they are SO rock’n’roll’.

2010-01-31 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 012

02
Feb
10

the wedding and our “huge” guest star in galle, sri lanka

2010-01-25 Galle, Sri Lanka - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 175For those that have been waiting, here’s the official Spokanites wedding post.  We will try to keep this as short as possible to a) not bore you to tears, and b) allow ourselves to get back to relaxing here in Australia.

Wedding photos are HERE

Other Sri Lanka photos are HERE

Here’s the quick summary:

  • Jan 22nd – arrived in Columbo (parents and sister were already there)
  • 23rd – drove 3.5 hours South to Galle, where we stayed at the Lighthouse Hotel
  • 24th – hung around the Galle Fort
  • 25th – Unawatuna for lunch in surf town
  • 26th – the wedding day
  • 27th – return to Columbo
  • 28th – visit Sonya’s school with Room to Read
  • 29th – depart for Australia

Longer version:

  • Columbo, as most people will tell you, isn’t much to see.  Sri Lanka is all about the coast, and especially the S. coast around Galle.  We basically got in, spent over an hour getting to our hotel (the President’s motorcade caused a huge traffic jam in an already packed city).  We stayed at the Galle Face hotel, which is the most famous and classic of Sri Lankan hotels, but we don’t recommend staying there (more on that later).
  • The next day, we headed South in a bus similar to the one we met on (rented from the same company).  3.5 hour drive, with quite a bit to look at, including Tsunami damage from over 5 years ago.  Once at the hotel, it was time to settle in and enjoy ourselves.  Hotel was the Jetwing Lighthouse, which is the place our group was staying when we met.  Great hotel; great setting.
  • The next couple of days were spent visiting the Galle Fort, the Amangalla, and Unawatuna, a surf town on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka.  Among the highlights of this part were a) getting tailored shirts made for Robert & his dad, b) Saris made for the women, and c) our driver having a small accident and damaging the bus (slighly).

 2010-01-25 Galle, Sri Lanka - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 223

  • Now for the wedding…  We will let the photos do most of the talking, but the wedding was amazing!  It was held on the beach at the Lighthouse hotel around sunset.  The weather was perfect, the guests were perfect, and our guest star was amazing.  Who was it?  A giant elephant Robert had ordered up for the wedding, in full Sri Lankan dress.  Sonya (and everyone) was quite surprised to say the least.  That said, there were many surprises.  To Robert, the biggest surprise was when Sonya unexpectedly sang to him in the ceremony! 
  • More wedding…  Our great friends Scott & Tija were a huge help throughout.  Scott as co-event planner and co-photographer; Tija as moral support, fashion consultant, and videographer.  Their daily gifts/cards delivered to our room were another highlight.

There will be more about the wedding in future posts, but for now you’ll need to spend some time in with the photos to get the full effect.  You can find them here.

Our final event in Sri Lanka was a visit to the school that Sonya donated through Room to Read.  We will get her to describe it in a separate post, but the photos for that are posted as well.

Cheers for now – we’re HITCHED!

The Spokanites

31
Jan
10

Dr. Seuss vows in Seattle – the spokanites unplugged

[posted from Sydney, Australia]

Now that we have had the official Sri Lanka ceremony and are formally married, we thought we should let you backstage for a deeper look at rehearsals.  Basically, in order to avoid having our legal arrangement be confirmed in a developing country and forever being bound by their laws, we actually had a small ceremony in Seattle with our families before we left.  The honorable Reverend Robyn Hylton (Robert’s sister) performed the ceremony. 

After telling a few people how we did it and how funny the vows were, they convinced us that we should post them online.  

Here they are – enjoy our childishness…  (NOTE: this was only part of the ceremony)

 

Robert Hylton & Sonya Zilka

Wedding Vows – December 27, 2009

To honor the child in all of us, and the teacher among us, we defer to Dr Seuss

Reverend: Will both of you, answer me now,

These questions as your wedding vows?

Sonya: Yes, we will answer you now,

Robert: Your questions as our wedding vows

Reverend: Will you take her as your wife,

Will you love her all your life?

Robert: Yes, I take her as my wife,

Yes, I’ll love her all my life

Reverend: Will you take him as your spouse,

Sonya: As long as he doesn’t dirty the house!

Reverend: Will you have, and also hold,

Just as you have at this time told?

Sonya: Yes, we will have, and we will hold,

Robert: Just as we have at this time told

Sonya: Yes, I will love him all my life

Robert: And I now take her as my wife

Reverend: Will you love through good and bad?

Whether you are happy or sad?

Robert: Yes, I’ll love through good and bad,

Whether we are happy or sad

Reverend: Yes, I will have and I will hold,

Just as I have already told

Reverend: Will you love her if you’re rich?

Or if you’re poor and in a ditch?

Robert: Yes, I’ll love her if we’re rich

Sonya: And I will love him, in a ditch,

I’ll love him through good times and bad,

Whether we are happy or sad

Robert: Yes, I will have, and I will hold,

(I could have sworn this has been told!)

I promise to love, all my life,

This woman as my lawful wife

Sonya: Yes, I will happily be his wife!

Reverend: Will you love her when you’re fit,

and also when you’re feeling sick?

Robert: Yes, I’ll love her when we’re fit,

and when we’re hurt, and when we’re sick

Sonya: And I will love him through good and bad

Robert: And I will love her when glad or sad

Sonya: And I will have, and I will hold,

Ten years from now a thousand fold

Reverend: Will you love with all your heart?

Will you love till death you part?

Sonya: Yes, we will love with all our heart

Robert: From now until death do us part

Robert: And I will love her when we’re rich

Sonya: And when we’re broke and in a ditch

Robert: And when we’re fit, and when we’re sick

(Oh, CAN"T we get this finished quick?)

Sonya: And I will love through good and bad

And I will love when glad or sad

Robert: And I will have, and I will hold,

And if I might now be so bold,

I’ll love her my entire life,

Yes, I WILL take her as my wife!

Reverend: Then if you’ll take her as your wife,

And if you’ll love him all your life,

And if you’ll have, and if you’ll hold,

From now until the stars grow cold,

And if you’ll love through good and bad,

And whether you’re happy or sad,

And love in sickness, and in health,

And when you’re poor, and when in wealth,

And if you’ll love with all your heart,

From now until death do you part,

Yes, if you’ll love each other through and through,

Please answer with these words:

I DO!

Sonya: I DO!

Robert: I DO!

Reverend: THEY DO! … YAHOO!

Robert: To you my dear, I give this ring,

for it is special, not just bling,

wear it proud, as you have vowed,

for you are mine, till the end of time.

[put ring on brides finger]

Sonya: To you my love, I give this ring,

for it’s your sweet love, that makes me sing,

Now I give my heart, so true,

the rest of my life, to be with you.

[put ring on groom’s finger]

FINAL BLESSING

By the authority vested in me by the State of Washington, and those in attendance, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.

Reverend: You’re married now! So kiss the bride,

But please, do keep it dignified.

29
Jan
10

Back in the real world. You know, the one with internet access…

2010-01-22 Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 02 - Singapore 004Been looking for tour updates from the Spokanites?  We have too, but connectivity has been a bit limited in Sri Lanka.  The band has just landed in Singapore and should have a better online story from here on out, so look for real posts about how its going (hint: the wedding rocked, and had a huge guest appearance!) on the road very soon, including tons of photos.  We are off to Sydney in about 30 minutes so you won’t see anything new until we are down under.

Rock on!

The Spokanites

21
Jan
10

Day 2 – the spokanites (and the eagle) have landed! Singapore

2010-01-20 Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 02 - Singapore 001

Let the games begin!  We touched down in Singapore just after midnight and were picked up by our driver Andrew who was waiting with the sign pictured above.  What a great start.

Following a great sleep, we spent the day in Singapore walking around Robertson Quay.  After lunch, it was off to the Singapore Zoo (one of Sonya’s favorite pastimes).  If you haven’t been, it is an excellent one (as far as zoos go).  That night, our friend Kathryn took us out for a lovely meal at Oosh, complete with bubbles and excellent food. 

The following afternoon we headed off to Sri Lanka for the big show (wedding), but not before a great lunch with Kathryn’s husband Mark.  Topic of discussion: adding a Singapore show when we pass back through on Feb 9th (Singaporeans – look for news on that shortly).

We’d say we are off to a good start…

The Spokanites

21
Jan
10

One spokanite gets a year older, high above the pacific ocean…

For those of you who don’t know, Sonya’s birthday was on the 20th.  Given that we left on the 19th and landed in Singapore on the 21st (crossing the international date line), the only time we experienced the 20th was over the pacific and during our short layover in Tokyo.

2010-01-19 Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 01 - Pre-Trip & Sonya's Birthday 005

That, however, did not stop the Spokanites from celebrating.  Here’s a photo of Sonya with her cupcake delivered via flight attendant (but from Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle courtesy of Mr. Hylton).  We got a happy tear out of her so I think it was a good birthday after all. 

In Singapore now, but off to Sri Lanka tomorrow for the first show.  Can’t wait!!!

Please wish Sonya a belated happy birthday by adding some comments.

Following us on Twitter yet?

Robert

18
Jan
10

24 hours until departure; Beyond the music videos

It’s go time people!  No more time to rehearse and work on choreography. 🙂

The biggest news at this point is the updated wed site, complete with new videos.  You can see them at the site, or just view them below.  Many many thanks to Chris Walton for making these.  As you can tell, they are so good that it almost starts to look like we are a real band.  It even forced us to write and record some actual music which was great (and yes, that is Sonya singing at times).

Enjoy having a good laugh at our expense – we deserve it…

 

 

If you want to see the press conference video as well, you can get them all here or here.  Hope you enjoy the show.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for the most up to date coverage.

Cheers,

The Spokanites

16
Jan
10

tour countdown: 3 days to go and too many to thank…

Now things are really getting close.  Outside of a heavy rehearsal schedule, we are starting to do things like pack for the trip, confirm flights, and redesign the wed site one more time (all updates from now onward can be found here on the blog and via Twitter (@spokanites).  Why aren’t you following us yet?

Before we get too far, there’s a few people we need to thank.  These folks have gone above and beyond in helping us with planning, design, video, etc. and we could not have pulled off a series of events like this without them.  Here’s a sample (in no particular order):

  • Travis Buckner, of Buckner Design in Phoenix (bucknerdesign@yahoo.com) – this guy did our logo and was a huge help making all of the merchandise look amazing.  He’s great.  Hire him immediately!
  • Chris Walton, of Visual Story Productions (and his wife Kate!).  You loved the first video and he’s the reason.  Just wait until you see what’s coming next.  For all of your photo and video needs, visit him online: www.visualstoryproductions.com
  • Chris Bewick – that phat guitar solo on “Together” comes from Mr. Bewick himself.  Added bonus: he’s another Spokanite!  “I’m just sayin…”
  • Tom Wilcox – thanks for house sitting while we are gone!
  • Loretta Campbell – Sydney will be rockin’ because of you Loretta.  Thanks for a killer plan down under!
  • Scott & Tija Wilson – thanks for your help throughout, and even before we thought this thing up.  Can’t wait to share some cocktails with you on the beach!  We owe you more than one for sure.  Fans, if you need a great event planner in Asia, contact Scott at www.onefortyseven.com.au.
  • Robyn Hylton – how cool is it that Robert’s sister actually got ordained just to marry us.  Not sure how to thank you, but we’ll be trying for a long time.
  • Paul & Cynthia Baramound – these are the hosts of the San Francisco party, and party we will.  Hope the cleaners do a good job after we leave.  Thanks!!!
  • The Sandoval crew in Scottsdale – not only are you letting us use the ‘arena’ for our show, but putting us up in the 5-star palace.  Can’t wait!
  • Mark Wales & Kathryn Dioth – two stops in Singapore and shelter provided by our favorite new couple in the city state.  Thanks for putting up with our strange schedule.  Can’t wait to see you!
  • Ged Gilmore & Ollie Sands – shelter in Sydney, courtesy of the ever entertaining G&O.  We’d be trapped without you guys.
  • Rob Jekielek & Melanie Pereira – a roof in New York and help with locations in the hardest city of them all.  Much appreciated!
  • Jay Duenas at Room to Read – Thanks so much for helping us with the school visit in Sri Lanka.  Can’t wait!  Fans, donate more money now – they rock!
  • Our agents:  Sonya’s parents Nick & Leslie Zilka; Robert’s parent Bob & Colleen Hylton.  Say no more – they made us.
  • Many, many others – various help with locations, caterers, ideas, input, etc. include Michael Saucier, Beth & Matt Gousman, Peter & Amy Harding, Dan & Sondra Harding, Ian Adam & Libbi Langford, and the bachelor and bachelorette party attendees!

I’m sure we missed many, but we’ll thank you all in person or here at some point.

If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, get on it.  We’ll be sorting out t-shirts for the trip tomorrow and need those sizes.  Look for another update shortly.  

The Spokanites – Sonya Zilka & Robert Hylton




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