Archive for June, 2009

Notes From Das Boot 27

6/19/09, Nova Rock Festival, near Vienna (and by near, I mean nowhere near)

Well the twenty hour drive from Eindhoven only took eighteen hours. To help people sleep we ran the movie Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise (spoiler alert, They didn’t kill Hitler). We got to Nova Rock and had some dinner, I don’t think the undercooked spare ribs (a “near Vienna” specialty) was the right way to go, even though I tried to counteract it by eating a salad and having a yogurt. I saw part of Mastodon’s show, I also saw some of Faith No More and thanks to new festival sound technology they sounded exactly the same; a lot of low end grunt, a bit of shrill skree and somebody yelling “thank you” after each song.

Notes From Das Boot 26

6/18/09, Eindhoven, Holland
There’s a song by the Butthole Surfers called “Eindhoven Chickenleg” so I always think of that when we come here, it’s not a particularly good song but it was the first time I heard the word “Eindhoven” (editors note: snore). The show at the Substage was real good last night and the Germans say, or yell “Zu Gabe” (ZOO-GAH-BUH) when an encore is requested. I think it means “play more” shortened from “Play more or we’ll invade Poland”. Anyhow, while they’re yelling “ZOO-GAH-BUH” I’m hearing “FEED THE WRENS”. I have no idea why either, they sound nothing alike. So I asked a guy from the club why the crowd was yelling “feed the wrens”, was there an underfunded wren sanctuary around? I got the look I usually get when I ask questions. A look that is mix of bewilderment and anger and sometimes a bit of pity, it’s a look I’m used to now.

Notes From Das Boot 25

6/17/09 Karlsruhl, Germany
Show last night in Wurzburg was ok, except for some douchebag stealing Kate’s (our sound engineer) bag from backstage that had her computer in it. So the ride to Karlsruhl was a little subdued. We’re playing the Substage here, it’s built in an underpass in the middle of the city. It has a really short ceiling and it gets real goddamn hot during the show (because of all the rock heat generated). Maybe I’ll sweat off a few hundred pounds, or get heat stroke. I haven’t decided which. The bus pulled up early and parked out front and there was little or no ventilation on the bus and with 10 people on board sleeping it heated up real fast, it was pretty brutal. Jim ended up sleeping on a park bench and was mistaken for a bum so he made a sign, (see pictures)

About Switzerland

diarrea ft

The Fountain

Playing the Greenfield Festival in Switzerland we saw a side of the Swiss (or as they preferred to be called “Switzerer’s”) that few are privy to, I’m talking about The Fountain of Diarrhea. The Fountain as it’s known was a right of passage in Switzerland until the end of the 20th century. It went something like this, when the Prime Minister of Switzerland had a stomach distress, the Swiss Guard captured his leavings in a ceremonial urn and stored it in a vault. When enough was saved it was brought to a large gathering or festival and any non-Swiss who wished to do business in Switzerland would have to drink from the fountain. Presidents, Popes, and captains of industry all drank from it and none complained. Just the price of doing business in Switzerland. Today a chocolate fountain is displayed at all large gatherings in Switzerland as a reminder of the way things were.

Letter From Europe (germany)

6/15/09 Wurzburg, Germany
Well we had a day off today and I went to the museum here. It’s the famous Things That are Other Things Museum (or in the original German Dinge die Andere Dinge Museum) and I saw a lot of cool things here: A Volkswagon that was actually a hat, a cricket bat that was a comb and a sword, and of course the famous Roboticus T. Robticus T, the robot who thought he was a man who thought he was president. I’m sure you read about him in your history classes, he was the robot who replaced President Thomas Jefferson while Jefferson went into the future to arm wrestle Hitler. Roboticus T. or as he was known “old clanky pants” went missing and wound up here in 1963, still one of the greatest unsolved mysteries left. Anyhow after a full day of culture I went to a nearby Italian restaurant and let me tell you they are completely different over here. First they balked when I ordered a drink. You know me and when I sit down to some authentic Italian food I like to have a couple of Grammama’s (2 parts red wine, 1 part chocolate milk, 1 part bitters) well they never heard of it. What kind of Italian restaurant doesn’t have chocolate milk. Next I order the Spaghetti Ragu but I wanted to substitute the spaghetti with stampelle pasta (or as we call it crutch pasta, because it looks like tiny crutches), again they never heard of it and they balk when I ask them to mix in some raspberry jam with the ragu, like Dad used to do. Well I ate it, under protest and last but not least they didn’t have any AAA batteries. What kind of Italian restaurant doesn’t have AAA batteries? The kind of Italian restaurant I won’t be going back to, that’s what kind. Man, I miss home

Notes From Das Boot 24

6/15/09 Wurzburg, Germany
Day off today, it’ll be the last hotel we get for 12 days. People who haven’t toured will feel a bit bad “Wow, that sucks but he is in Europe” while people who have toured will be more like “What a baby, I was on a tour that never had a day off much less a hotel and we traveled by goat cart through Serbia.” My plan today was not to see anyone else from the tour. Don’t get me wrong, I like everyone I’m out here with but I’m sure they’re not gonna miss seeing my dumb ass for a day (which is sad but true, my ass has an IQ of only 6). First two shows went ok. Yesterday we played a festival and we were on a 3:45 in the afternoon, as a lighting guy if it’s sunny out I did an alright job.

I Hate Me, Pt. 167,090

We’re in Switzerland right now playing the Greenfield festival and it reminded me of when we were in Lucerne Switzerland a few years back. We were staying outside of the city in a quaint hamlet and as is my wont I went for a stroll or a ramble or a stumble (as the English would say) and after about thirty or forty seconds began to tire. So I saw a bench on the side of the road and decided to have a sit. It was really beautiful, rolling hills, picturesque swiss money trees in the background. So I sat down on the bench and leaned back, there was a fence up against it holding back some cows. After a couple of seconds I felt a sharp pain on my back like I’d been bitten by something. I made a half assed attempt to swat whatever it was away and sat back down. Ow! another bite, what the fuck, am I sitting near a hornets nest or something? this happened a few more times and I was thinking that I was about to be attacked by a swarm of angry bees, wasps,or hornets. the key words being “angry” and “swarm”. I got up to look for the invading swarm and as I did I touched the fence and got a shock. I seems the cow fence was electrified, not enough to kill just to embarrass.