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Another Busy Week in This Edition of Vibrant Vices

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – All right you fine folks, I’m running on a deadline extension and we have a lot to get into for this week of “Vibrant Vices,” so what say we just jump right in?

Sunday 11/5 – This week started off in educational fashion, as I made my big debut as headmaster of the new location of the 322 Trivia Academy at El Jardin de la Versalles!

Trivia night is always a good time, as not only do I learn things from the meticulously curated questions of 322 Trivia OG Robert, but I also get to teach related facts… like that popular trivia answer Taylor Swift was born rich, which makes it way easier to be “discovered” in a Nashville bar at age 14.

I get paid in pizza, beer, and mic time for my services but these things are extremely valuable to me in this line of work and so I feel both richer and smarter every Sunday night. If you’re the type who’s always shouting the answers at TV quiz shows, come on out when I do it again this Sunday (but leave the answer-shouting on your living room couch, we don’t do that here).

On the way back to the bus stop, a party popped into being outside Versalles’ Cafe Roma, where B34ST frontman Wario, Yoalli, The Lovers leading lady, and the vast majority of The Stixx had congregated after a Sunday show. I’ve been adjacent to the PV music scene through local media for years, but I promise it’s even cooler from the inside… always good to see those folks, on or off stage.

Tuesday 11/7 – As always, Colectivo Hueco’s jam session was a can’t miss event… the creativity and camaraderie regularly on display on these Tuesday night affairs makes it the closest thing to church in my life.

After an impromptu performance of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” – hey it’s in our set list, why not take the extra practice time – Hueco regular Patman and I started batting around some ideas for a festival with popular local bands playing a mix of signature covers and the originals they have to be cooking up with in all that time together… still think it’d make a hell of a birthday party.

Wednesday 11/8 – …but before we get into any of that, The Pleasant Uprising had one last weekly rehearsal before what’s shaping up to be a super eventful season for our fab five. Bassist Roy – known within the Uprising as Señor Grooooooveman – started putting his fingerprints on our presentation, devising a solid gold audience participation segment I can’t wait to start showing off.

Lookit, I told you that big gig back on the 1st was the start, not the end… definitely come see us sometime soon, we’re real and we’re spectacular.

Fri 11/10 – After a laid-back Thursday, I was ready for another musical night out on the town… and courtesy of the Texas Embassy Blues Band, that’s what I got. The (mostly) mild-mannered owner of Nacho Daddy by day, on Friday nights Sean dons his magic trilby and becomes the voice of one of Vallarta’s most talented and beloved musical collectives. It’s a damn good show, make time for it.

Saturday 11/12 – Saturday night was satisfying in a much different way, as I was lucky enough to score an invite to the soft opening of Dae Gee Korean BBQ, an all-you-can-eat experience built to transport your tongue to the streets of Seoul.

In case you’ve never done the Korean BBQ thing, it’s an event in and of itself. The grill, which is mounted in the center of your table, is surrounded by choice cuts of marinated meat – pork, chicken, beef, all the familiar barnyard delights – along with traditional accoutrements such as pickled cucumbers and kimchi.

Just place a couple of those tasty strips on the grill, wait for it to sizzle up, and in the meantime you have a few minutes to chat with good company, perhaps enjoy a nice shot of soju, the traditional Korean rice spirit quite reminiscent of sake.

The communal nature of Korean BBQ makes it much more conducive to conversation than, say, a steak house where everything goes quiet from the time the plates land. It was a lively, engaging, delicious meal… can’t ask much more of a night out.

Well, there was plenty more on tap for this weekend – a stop at El Soñador, another week of trivia at El Jardin, and of course, the Kasava Karnival – but this piece is already running up against the word count so let’s put a pin in it shall we? There’s always next week, and a quick glance at the schedule tells me there will be plenty to type about by then.

Probably see ya around.

AJ Freeman has enjoyed Vallarta’s warm welcome for over 5 years and hopes he has done some good during his time here. Passionate about self-expression and human potential, he combines these interests in weekly wrap-up “Vibrant Vices.” AJ also shares a body with Warflower Jones, ringleader of The Pleasant Uprising… which is totally just a local party band and not a political organization of any kind as that would be against various jurisdictional laws.

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