Archive for the ‘ Notes From Das Boot ’ Category

Notes From Das Boot 182

Monday, August 19, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

Parken fest in Bodo (Norway)was solid. Nice little city and after the loooong ride any place that wasn’t moving would have been ok. Kvelertak had a heavier Turbo Negro thing going on that was really good live and Nick Cave/Bad Seeds were great. Christ, The Bad Seeds are such a great fucking band, delicate and bludgeoning. Then another 12 hour drive back down to Trondheim (also Norway) for Pstereo Festival. A good day, really good catering (the King’s personal chef cooked dinner, or so we were told) and one of the best bands I’ve seen in many a moon, Goat. Tough to describe, but since I’m a record store guy, let me over explain. Kind of like Eno/Byrne-My Life in the Bush of Ghosts played by a supergroup consisting of Fela Kuti’s band and The Heads. On record it’s pretty hot but live its a lot more heavy psych, fantastic stuff. We had a day off on Sunday before we flew, pretty lazy day. I went out for coffee to a hipster looking place, ordered a coffee and pastry. This drunk guy sidled up to me pointed at my tattoos, his tattoos and was jabbering, I told him I didn’t speak Dutch and he said in broken English “look, my tattoo” and pulled down his pants. Down, way passed mid hip and into the danger zone, “no man, that’s cool,nonononononono.”. There was something that looked like birth mark that should be looked at by a doctor but was actually a prison-esque tattoo of the playboy logo. He pulled up his pants, hugged me and was on his way. It was time to go home.

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One of the singers from Goat, other Goats behind her

Notes from Das Boot 181

8/16/13 Bodo,Norway, Parken Fest
We were driving for quite a while and no interweb access, so here’s a few I wrote on the way

8/15/13 still en route on ferry to Norway 12:30am
Calling home costs a lot of money. I buy cheap SIM cards and use them on a cheap phone or I Skype on my iPad . As a last resort, I’ll use my regular phone (as readers of this blog some of you might remember that I have an old cel phone, that’s not very smart. I mentioned it in a post entitled “Satan courts the Duchess” ). So I’m on the ferry and they have Internet access for a a few euros and I thought, it’s a long ferry ride and I’d like to call home and get a needed dose of normalness. So I found a secluded area and I skyped Carrie. It was a terrible connection but I didn’t want to give up, because I really like talking with my wife. Outside of the “I miss you’s” and stuff like that, it’s just something I enjoy doing (Jesus, that reads so fucking dumb but I don’t know any other way to say it). Anyhow it was a train wreck
Carrie: hello…..hello…Tim?
Me: yeah…hey……..hey babe
(I can hear my voice two or three seconds delayed and distorted, so we’re stepping on what the other one is saying)
Carrie:heyyyy….hello?…..hello?
Me: yeah…can you hear me...
-SILENCE-
Carrie/Me (same time)…no..not reallyCan you...I can only hear every other...What..whathey…notno…Can you?
Carrie: Fuck...
So I start walking around, think that I’ll find a sweet spot, and my voice keeps getting louder. So much so that I’m starting to get looks from the other passengers. But I’m not gonna give up
Me: Hey! …..Is this any better!
Carrie: no…I can only hear every other word
Me: IS THIS ANY BETTER !
Carrie: No! You’re loud…but the connection still sucks
Me:fuck it, I’ll call you later
Carrie…what?
Carrie/Me-callcall laterfuckfuck.
-CLICK-

8/15/13, 300km south of Trondheim, Norway 2:30pm
Well, we are only three hours away from being eighteen hours away. It is beautiful up here but ask me again in eight hours and I’m sure I won’t care about the beauty of the back roads of Norway. Sitting in the front lounge is about the most solitary place on the bus outside of the bunks. Somebody is having an A-Team marathon in the back lounge, I can hear the theme music waft thru the bus like an aural stench. Man, I hate the fucking A-Team.

8/15/13 200km north of Trondheim, Norway 10pm
We are on some crazy reindeer path that is doubling as the main road. Fucking hell, is this some rough goddamn driving. We’ve been going for nearly 48 hours. That truckstop hot dog wrapped in bacon I got a few hours ago isn’t sitting well, what a surprise. I hate everything.

8/16/13 5km south of Bodo, Norway 7:30am
Almost here, crossed the arctic circle a couple of hours ago. Even though the ride has been pretty brutal (almost 55 hours) it is amazingly beautiful up here, indescribably so. Blurry photos through a bug splattered windshield don’t do it justice.

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Like I said, this does not do it justice

Notes From Das Boot, 180

8/14/13, somewhere in Denmark-2pm
Long drive after the Heidelberg show, 1,700 miles to Bodo, Norway for the Parken Festival. We also said goodbye to Paco our merch guy who is leaving the tour to get ready for his US tour as guitarist for Scout Niblett. If they play your town, stop by and say hi to Paco and ask him to regale you with bone chilling tales from the land of band merchandise.
8/14/13 on a boat between Denmark and Norway-10:30pm
20 hours into our trip and we’re less than halfway. I was gonna write something about lunch today when the server at a McDonalds knock-off was repeatedly stingy with the ice, but how many fucking times can I point out that Euro’s are cheap with ice (“it’s like they use it as currency“, pow, what a zinger!). I tried to finesse it into something readable. But like a big, dead, unfunny fish it just laid there and stunk, or was it the bus that stinks. It was probably both.

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For all your balloon needs while in Heidelberg, might I suggest Balloon Boutique

Notes From Das Boot, 179

August 12, 2013 / Lucerne, Switzerland

We are playing the Schuur it’s a good mid sized club. The thing that sticks in my head here was the front of house sound and lighting desk are housed in what looks like a flying saucer. Although I remembered it as being much more “I’m doing lights from a goddamned FLYING SAUCER!”, it actually looks like a prop from a high school play.
A final note on our day off. I’ve complained about the heat over before, one of the things that would make it more bearable would be wire/mesh screens for the windows. For our european friends, a window screen lets in air but not flies. Anytime you open a window over here to get a little breeze it’s an open invite for hordes of flies. This is where a screen in the window would work wonders. But nothing, I haven’t seen one screen all tour, I can’t even remember if I’ve ever seen screens over here. The only reason I can think of is that flies are a powerful voting contingent over here in Europe and they’re keeping window screens out of the EU.

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Rene manning the flying saucer

Notes From Das Boot, 178

Sunday, August 11 / Feldkirch, Austria

Day off in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a beautiful middle of nowhere so it’s ok. While having dinner tonight in the beer garden, a waitress tapped me on the shoulder or I thought it was a tap on the shoulder. I turned around to see what she wanted and she was holding a big green bug, “this was on you.” Aaauuuuugghhhhhhhh! I jumped out of my chair, knocking it over, “what the hell is that thing!?”. “Just a bug.” She let it go and it flapped its large leathery wings and flew off obscuring the sun. The other diners stopped staring at my testosterone fueled, manly response and went back to their beer.

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This is the cheapest room at the hotel. The ladder costs extra.

Notes From Das Boot 177

August 10, en route to Feldkirch, Austria

Show last night was really hot and humid. A packed house of damp people (not from the music, from the rain) with very little ventilation. Enthusiastic German crowds are hard to beat. Fueled more by alcohol than weed, it’s a much messier affair, more sense of abandon. Sure, that makes the asshole quotient a bit higher, so it’s like a video game Avoid The Drunken Asshole, (example:)
Me-(head down to avoid eye contact, dragging my lighting shit through the crowd) “excuse me”
Drunk Guy-(grabbing my shoulder) “Where’s Daaave?, I wannna talk to him”
Me-(shrugging his hand from my shoulder) “sorry, not gonna happen”
Drunk Guy-(stumbling, spills drink) “DAAAAVE!……….you asshole!”
The person on the front lines of dealing with drunks is Paco our merch guy/voice of reason (and guitarist for Scout Niblett). He handles the drunken merch considering horde with humor and patience but is willing to regulate when they get out of hand. Last night all went well except that someone stole a Ribeye Brothers cd (my band) from the merch table. Ribeye Brothers the band good enough to steal.

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In an effort to save money on tour we are once again considering renting everyone in the touring party one of these and have everyone drive their tiny three wheeled trucks in a convoy to each gig. A ridiculous parade to each town which would signal our impending show.

Notes From Das Boot 176

August 9, Munich Germany

4pm
We are playing the Backstage here in Munich. We’ve played here a bunch of times and almost every time it’s raining. Its like we asked for English weather on our rider and they turned on the gloom machines and made it happen. It’s a real sleepy day and there are a couple of super annoying people in our dressing room who won’t shut up which makes writing or resting impossible. They are so fucking annoying, it’s like a piece of performance art.

From Haarlem, almost Van Halen

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Notes From Das Boot, 174

August 7, 2013 / Lokerse, Belgium

An hour long festival set which is the regular set minus the encore. Good crowd, nothing spectacular, although they don’t usually do Spine of God at festivals but it seemed to go over well. After the show I went to use the bathroom. There was a guy in there and he hadn’t locked the door. He looked like the less interesting brother of the Worlds Most Interesting Man, I blurted out “hey lock the fuckin’ door man!”. He turned around, still undone and yelled “I am not ashamed, hahaha” and walked out.
Our bus driver Dirk, is a solid driver and a good guy. He reminds me of a German version of the English actor Terry Thomas. Now I know at this point in the game, nobody remembers who the hell Terry Thomas was, ” you know the gap toothed English guy in Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World, you know!”, I either get “who?” Or “no he doesn’t”.

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This is the lighting desk that I used for the festival. It was so big and the explanation was so long that when the house guy finished explaining it to me, I just glazed over, his explanation had no meaning,(these are the speeds for the gobo’s, click twice and….zzzzzzzzzzzz), it was just sounds that meant nothing and I forgot the beginning of what he said. It’s like I’m a goddamn goldfish.

Notes from Das Boot, 172

Monday, August 5th, Brighton England
4:15pm
The club tonight (The Concorde 2) seems pretty solid, house lighting guy is really on top of stuff (of course I’m knocking on wood as I’m typing this). The only blemish so far today is that there’s only one toilet in the whole place with a toilet seat and that toilet has no lights.The support band again tonight is Godsized, a bunch of earnest beardsmen who serve up a credible batch of heavy gruel. Good stuff, they will be doing two more shows with us.
Tuesday, August 6th, 12:20am
Good show except for an out of tune guitar in Atomic Clock, insanely out of tune. It sounded like some noise that would summon Cthulhu. it didn’t, but not for lack of trying. Bus call in a half an hour, then a ferry ride and a festival where we are opening for Alice Cooper and Deep Purple, I think it’s the Way Back Machine Festival

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Iron Maiden Trooper beer on tap in Bristol

Notes From Das Boot, 171

August 5th, Brighton England
First two shows over and done with. The show in Tilbourg at the 013 was one of the hottest I can remember. A combination of Europe not really dealing well with excessive heat and me being used to cold drinks and climate controlled buildings, I would be happy with some middle ground (a bucket of ice and a strong fan) but it was not to be. Met our new crew, as I am terrible with names I referred (in my mind anyway) to our guitar techs as beardo and non-beardo, their real names are Bastion (beardo) and Petty (non-beardo), Rene is our new soundman. Real good first show, although no air conditioning and less ventilation made for a warm an pungent affair. The band leaned into it and the crowd was great, the house crew was stellar as most Dutch crews are. And then onto England. There’s always a sense of dread when playing smaller clubs in the U.K. from a crew point of view. It’s kind of a crapshoot, really shitty production and a house crew who doesn’t give a shit or kind of dodgey production and house guys who bust their ass to make it work. Luckily the Fleece in Bristol was the second of the two. It’s a solid room for rock and it was another good show. We’re in Brighton this morning, parked up by the beach. It’s a sunny warmish summer day and nobody’s here, I walked down to the water and what the fuck, the sand here is gigantic or as it would normally be called rocks. I walked down in my shoes and it was killing my feet, I see fenced off areas with proper sand but I think you have to pay to enjoy it. Besides religious freedom I suspect we also left England in search of smaller sand. It’s 8:30 in the morning and Garrett who I don’t think has gone to bed yet is in the downstairs lounge rooting through his luggage it sounds like he’s wrestling a bear.

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English sand

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