22 November 2009

Songs they were playing when I walked in

hotel bar, Amsterdam, Day 1: "Twilight Zone," Golden Earring

bar, Luxembourg, Day 12 (Halloween): "Alone Again (Naturally)," Gilbert O'Sullivan

convenience store, Oslo, Day 17: "Super Trouper," Abba

hostel lobby, Munich, Day after the tour was cancelled: "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night (I Gotta Feeling)," Black Eyed Peas

Dunkin' Donuts outside the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, Day 26: "I Wanna Go Home," Michael Bublé

Best of Kebap, Brussels, Day 27: "California Dreamin'," Royal Gigolos (the version you can dance to)


13 November 2009

Marooned in Munich

4 songs into their set in Munich Monday night, Harry from White Lies announced that that's it folks, show's over, tour's cancelled, very sorry, see you next year. Then they pulled us into their dressing room and said the same thing, except they gave us all their booze too. Seems Harry (aka Ol' Goldenpipes, for good reason) came down with something or other and was on the verge of blowing out his voice. And when that happens, you stop singing, and that's what they had to do. It was great while it lasted and we wish we coulda seen it thru to the end. But it meant for us no Vienna, no Rome, no Milan, no Zurich, no clue what to do, no fun.

The next 36 hours were dark ones. Checked out of Munich hotel no. 1 and, homeless and directionless, went straight to the only thing resembling home: the Hard Rock Cafe. Just as Rob was recounting his night-before dream of watching Dan play "Fortunate Son," (our dreams don't stray very far from reality at this point) we walked in to the sound of, yeah, "Fortunate Son," and knew it was meant to be. Except that the grill was broken and we'd have to wait, which we did, until they fixed it, which they never did, so we ate the one thing on the menu they didn't need the grill for, which sucked, and sucked up all our money. Then after 3 hours of sitting at the Hard Rock watching music videos under Tom Petty's glass-encased flannel, we decided to stay in Munich until we had a plan.

So we went to hotel no. 2, sat in the lobby, emailed, pondered going home, ordered pizza, pondered going back to Berlin, played gin rummy, pondered our existence, ate pizza, sulked, figured out it would cost us a fortune to change our flights and leave, realized we were stuck in Europe for another week, emailed some more, waited anxiously for answers, played gin rummy, bitched, sulked, drank beer, continued playing gin rummy until 3 am.

Hotel No. 2


Woke up, no answers, then more checking out, eating German food, sulking some more, yelling at each other, immediately apologizing, sitting in the lobby of the hotel we just checked out of, waiting, playing gin rummy, emailing, waiting, horribly depressed, and then all of a sudden we had a show lined up in Berlin for Friday. Things started looking up. Decided to stay in Munich again since it was too late to drive to Berlin. Continued playing gin rummy. Booked another hotel and went to it.

And then we walked into the hotel of the tiny 2-star Hotel Max and saw this:

Jimi Hendrix stayed here. May 1967. Room 43. Double room with no bathoom. And that's when we knew it was gonna be alright. Then right before bed, we had a Zurich show lined up for the next night at Bosch Bar. Which was last night, and was totally packed. It was nice to play for people that were there to see us. Then we drove straight to Berlin, because the hotel we booked atop a foggy Black Forest mountain was closed when we got there at 4 am. Tired. Show tonight.

So the details:
Tonight. Berlin. White Trash. 10 pm.
Monday. London. Borderline.
Tuesday. London. KoKo (w/ The Fall).
Wednesday. We go home.

06 November 2009

Song of the Viking

Scandinavia. Nary a plastic Viking helmet has been purchased, much less observed for sale, and I mean, what the hell? Håve they nø pride? We sadly haven't seen much/any of this nether-land, except for the parcels immediately roadside (beautiful though they are), because we've been driving the whole time. This is a big place. There are still people named Leif here.

Hamburg to Stockholm is a long, lonely drive, with either aurora borealis or very-distant city lights as your guide. You'll arrive in the wee hours of the morning, after two ferries and three different currenies, some of which you could fashion into a sweet necklace.

northern Germany

We stayed in an old prison (ca. 1863) on an island in Stockholm. We've stayed in our fair share of hostels that felt like jail cells, but this one was actually a jail cell. A nice one, at that. The day never really gets going up here. We played in the nicest theatre of all time (ca. 1863). Highly recommended, if you're a band of a certain caliber traveling thru Stockholm and looking for a cool place to play.

Berns, Stockholm

Oslo to Stockholm consisted of mostly two-lane blacktop in snow/slush, past many lakes, over many hills, thru a veritable winter wonderland. Then, turns out, the Norse run a real tight border, especially once they catch wind that you're a band. Pockets emptied, contents
explained, genitals handled, the works. Everybody except Will, of whom it musta been assumed was a narc. The ultimate was when Sgt. O'Norse mumbled a mouthful of foreign tongue into his radio and punctuated it with "te DOGS." Which was terrifying for no reason, until he let us go 2 minutes later.

Oslo girls are the polar opposites of Paris girls. It's like they've never seen dudes before. They're sweet. Maybe French girls are sweet too, but they don't make ostentatious displays of it. Unless they're from Chile. They want you to drink all night with them and never get drunk, except all you wanna do is sleep, in the land of the midnight sun.*

Bummer we didn't get to experience Copenhagen at all. Although the book's yet to be closed on that.

* except in winter. land of the noon moon.

01 November 2009

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Belgium Wafels

This is what we looked like in Brussels, according to rock 'n' roll sketch artiste Robbe Vervaeke (note: this is actually what we looked like).

Next morning, harried tourists we are, jogged into the Grote Markt for a quickie natur Belgian Wafel or three, speckling powdered sugar all over our respective duds. Took pictures of ourselves and cruised to Luxembourg, the Aspen of Europe. Stay tuned for that...