Oi Oi lot where's my umbrella at?
DJ-battles, what are we to make out of them?
One thing I know is that slamming on dubstep in Sweden when there is tops three people in the whole country that gets it is just stupid. Obviously that mistake would be T-shirt stores loss and our (Beyond Retro's) gain in this battle. We won of course and walked of proud to be carrying our Beyond Retro canvas bags. So now you know I was at a dj-battle last night, fun fun fun.
Today was spent jumping around to Beyoncé, here new video for the song "Countdown" taken of her latest album "4", its brilliant! This song will probably be included in my morning routine (songs like this is why I get out of bed and why I'm all sweaty before I've even left the apartment in the morning).
/// Beyoncé - Countdown \\\
Sometimes, just sometimes I wish my life was more like a Girls video…
hahahahaha I love that the most liked comment on the "Lust For Life" -video on youtube is; "This is the whitest thing I've ever seen". HEAR HEAR! Someone's got humor!
I love the weekend when it's filled with super fun things that are not just "let's go out and have drink at this bar or go this club". Yesterday one of my friends had a birthday party where we just had dinner at her place without having the pressure of that we had to go out. Sometimes, just sometimes the best times are spent at home around someones table in the company of friends and alcohol.
/// Alex Winston - Velvet Elvis \\\
This was randomly found in the process of writing this, not that I haven't heard her before but this acoustic version of this song was really good. There's something with her voice which can't keep me from ignoring this even if its in its outmost marginal of what I listen to.
And the party weekend goes on.
Thought I'd keep up the flow here on the blog and write about last night when I got to see The War On Drugs play. There's a lot of things that make me happy in this world but one of the most treasured joys is when you get to see a genuinely good band play at their best and get the appreciation they deserve. We were about two to three hundred music hungry old souls with young hearts in the crowd. Consequently that means a jam-packed Lilla Hotellbaren (the venue in which they were playing) and although it was cold outside, inside the venue the temperature was running high and nobody was excused from sweating. The lovely aspect of having bands playing at Lilla Hotellbaren is that the venue sets the mood itself. Being such a tiny venue it's very intimate and the stage is basically not a stage. There's no hight difference between the floor and what is supposed to be the stage, this however makes (of all people) me nervous when having to stare into the bandmembers eyes.
Drinking was absolutely not included in the schedule due to it being wednesday (I've never really embraced the swedish concept of seeing wednesday as "little saturday") and having to wake up early next day. Thankful for being with friends that had similar reasons for not drinking (to tired, getting over a cold etc etc), I was in good company and this was a show you could easily enjoy without the drink. This doesn't say that the third most preoccupying thought (one being; jesus it's hot in here! and two; this is a fucking great band) was "I reaaaalllly want a beer NOW!". It felt kind of mature and grown up and hey even the band was just drinking water or so I thought until I heard something about whisky sours on the stage.
If I would describe the band I would definitely say they looked….plain, you know they could easily have been the typical average (american) Joe. They were all (except for the drummer) wearing worn out jeans with checkered shirts and half of them were sporting the long rock/hippie/"I live in the middle of the USA"-hair. Nothing special in that yes but they (more then enough) made up for it in their music. These guys are musically talented, they were able to make/create the biggest sounds I ever experienced in that venue. It sounded like it did on the record but like a hundred times better and their albums are pretty awesome on their own. The singer sounds a bit like Bob Dylan which was something that got me hooked in the first place and their songs have this vintage feel to them. Almost like Tame Impala but with some more modern elements to it. As I previously wrote they have a big sound and it's definitely held up by their magnificent drummer. Their long instrumental parts are definitely made for a live audience to experience, it consumes you and drags you deep into its vortex. I know I say this about most of the bands I see but this is a band that needs to be experienced live just to really understand their music.
I brought my camera to the gig so hopefully there will be some pictures up on the blog or on tumblr eventually. Oh and apparently (according to the singer) we're the most beautiful crowd after Michigan! How (not) unexpected isn't that?
Here's my favorite song with them and beautifully directed video by Peter J. Brant (and produced by Urban Outfitters, huh?):
///The War On Drugs - Come To The City \\\
I can literally feel myself falling into illness, I hate it, it's the worst feeling ever… and to top that off the weather in Stockholm has shifted quickly and everything seems a bit gloomier. And to even top that off everyones leaving and I hate that as well. I think it has something to do with not having any control over it and forming quick attachments to things and people. Change is good though and sometimes it's when you're all alone you realise how self-dependent and strong you are. However I can't shake the feeling of that I'm doing something wrong or that I should be moving on, leaving, changing or be doing something else. Am I doing something wrong? Have I missed the train?...Naaa not really or at least I don't think so, it's probably just my nerves. But I should find my anchor and focus on the big plans ahead. There's much to do and I'm the laziest person I know.
But on a completely different page and originally why I started writing on this post was to tell you about my moment. You know the moment when you connect with someone and you can feel it and it fills you up with so much joy? I think you know what I mean but not quite entirely because I'm not talking about the whole cheesy "Oh-and-then-our-eyes-met-and-I-knew-it-was-love-at-first-site" not that kind of bull shit (even though it is kind of cute and you secretly wish it would go down that way). I'm talking about when you're one in a hundred or a thousand of people in a crowd and the band reaches the most important part of the song (where it reaches its climax) and you catch one of the band members gaze and you have your moment. They look at you and you look at them straight into each other souls and you both sing/scream out the lyrics to the song at the top of your lungs. That moment will always be the sherry on top of the cream, most of the time it's irrelevant if you meet the band afterwards and have some drinks and a good old chat if you experience that. This was basically what happened last saturday (17/9).
///Friendly Fires - Jump in the Pool\\\
The first of many autumn gigs took place at Debaser (of course), it was Friendly Fires finally playing their long anticipated Stockholm gig. The excitement was running high and I couldn't wait to see Ed shake his incredibly sexy hips (wow I sound like a weird sex obsessed lady who haven't got any in a veeeeeeery long time and dreams about Ed and his hips). I'd tried to put on the most Hawaiianess things I could find, kind of disappointed in myself for actually working at Beyond were we have/ had a bunch of Hawaiian shirts, after all this was a special occasion. It truly was at least for me, I've been waiting to see them since that hot summer night in 2008 when I'd randomly put "Jump in the pool" on my ipod before I went to sleep and it randomly shuffled on right before I actually fell asleep just to make me start shaking/dancing profoundly in my bed (probably looked like spasms though). It was a great night that would later mark the start of my now long admiration for this band. I have some similar stories like me having spasms in my bed in 2008. For example, January of 2009 saw me first standing by the bus stop imagining myself being in this video:
///Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy\\\
Because I was wearing all black and the weather was precisely like in the video, then I'd come home to put on MTV TWO (back in the day when it was a descent channel with a good name) and turn the speakers on to MAX and wait for the video to come on just to let all my energy out screaming and dancing. As you can see there's been some really good moments and finally seeing them completed the circle.
I had my little moment with the bass player (the other Edd) in the middle of "Paris", I'll live on that moment for at least one more week. In general it was great, they have the energy of thousands and aren't afraid to break a sweat. Clearly the first album is the one closest to our hearts but the second one will hopefully grow on us. Paris, Jump in the pool, skeleton Boy, Lovesick and On Board is what gets us going but Live Those Days Tonight and Hawaiian Air are strong contenders. There is NO WAY anybody was standing still in that venue that night. If you haven't seen them yet they are a MUST SEE band!
///Friendly Fires - Paris\\\
The best part of it was that I had a roll of film left from the kick off so some pictures will turn up eventually.
Sleep tight Honey Bunnies!
x Gibs (& Girls)
///New video from Girls - Honey Bunny\\\
Determined to not repeat the same mistake I did last year by leaving you hanging with no end to what happened at the Popaganda Festival. I'm now finally composing the continuing story of the festival almost three weeks later, I really don't have any sense of planing sorry guys.
I think I left you hanging at the day of the start of the festival (26/8). After waking up in my dream bed overlooking the suburbs hearing Arcade Fire sound checking the suburbs. I left the hotel and headed to the festival area, some of us had been up and running since the crack of dawn so I could hardly complain about my lack of sleep. However the mood was at its best and the weather was great (something which is always appreciated by festival organizers) nothing could go wrong or so we thought….it's a festival something is bound to go wrong. Nothing serious of course but a whole lot of stuff that could have been prevented with a bit more communication. These things are usually the most memorable moments and the one's you laugh about in the end.
Upon opening the festival the level of stress was running high and one tiny itsy bitsy thing could set anyone off. Even thinking about food wasn't an option, sounds horrible right? But in festival times there's to much to think about especially this year when we had the most demanding band we've ever had and started or project of think more environmental. Being the head of box office with one other colleague and taking care of a little group of volunteers always stirs up the maternal instincts and makes me always prioritize my volunteers needs first. It's amazing how fast you build up a attachment to people, they were all my little babies I had to take care of first before I could have some peace and quiet. So finally when everything was calm (around 5 p.m.) I called down to Arina (who also hadn't eaten all day) on the radio to finally take a break and have some dinner.
But just five minutes after speaking with her a band turns up in front of me, it's Austra. Their lost and have no idea of where they're supposed to be. Trying hard to hide my excitement I tell them that they're supposed to be at a club venue where they're playing. Totally misinformed about that and not been able of reach any of their contacts they wandered down the giant hill from the hotel with their instruments down to box office just to be told this. I called for Arina who later calls Caroline (our transport coordinator) and unfortunately gets the answer that there are no cars available to get them to the venue. Left with two choices, taking public transport or walking we had to go with walking because none of us had any money on us. So off we went with one instrument in each hand.
///Austra - The Beast\\\
It's a funny story to retell and we had a good chat with them while walking but maaan it was hot and the instrument were quite heavy. When we'd walked all the way down Götgatan and finally reached Debaser, the apologies couldn't be anymore than they already were but the band was still happy and had enjoyed the stroll because they got to see a bit of Stockholm. All is well that ends well as we say (minus the fact that we didn't get to eat…).
Later that evening the second memorable moment of the day took place. When we had finally closed box office and there was nothing more to do than to set my little children a.k.a. volunteers free and make myself useful somewhere else. I walked down to the little stage after getting a hipster-alert message on the walkie from Arina to have a look. When I reached backstage everyone was slightly hysterical, apparently Arcade Fire was on their way to this side of the festival area to have a shower using the bath house (I have know idea if that is what it's called in english, but it'll have to work) facilities that we were connected to. The problem with this was that all the other bands that were hanging out at this backstage area were using the toilets connected to the showers and dressing rooms in the bath house. So all of a sudden my job became to guard the toilets and make sure that nobody used them. That became a harder task then I had thought it would be because I wasn't allowed to give them the really reason to why they were dined access to the toilets. Telling drunk people they can't pee when the need is huge and they obviously know that the toilets are working is hard. I've never felt so horrible and ridiculous in all my life.
Somehow the bands were really understanding despite having to almost piss themselves. It was definitely fun trying to shake one of the band members of Is Tropical. He wouldn't leave until he got a reason to why he couldn't pee so I came up with a bunch of stuff but he wouldn't believe me so finally I had to go with the extreme "somebody died in there" which really got him going and shouting. Pleased with myself for getting him off my case I realised that spreading the rumor of somebody dying at our festival wasn't the best idea so I had to take it back. Which however made him stay and demand another reason until another band member told him pee somewhere else and I added to it with "I give you permission to pee anywhere else of your choice". Which I think ended with him taking a piss at a very inappropriate place. Ahhh Lovely rowdy englishmen those boys, a typical band with the girls, the….., the drunkenness and the fun. There is an even funnier story to tell after we realised we lived two doors from each other at the hotel but maybe I'll just keep that to myself.
Going back to the whole guarding a toilet situation…in the end (after an hour of guarding the toilets) we got a call on our walkies that Arcade Fires had decided to eat some pizza first and the most ironic thing was that just in that moment the last band left the backstage area. So basically everyone could have used the toilet that hour and I had just done one of the most ridiculous things in my life… guard a fucking toilet. Eventually they had their shower and they were the most lovely people ever when they came out and had a chat. It was hard to think they'd ever make such phony requests but probably that happens when you reach that level of success and half of the stuff you do is planned by someone else. It's also kind of weird to be able to say that I haven't really seen Arcade Fire live (because I only heard them from a distance behind a wall live) but I've stood there having a friendly chat with Win Butler & Co when they were standing there newly showered, water dripping, half naked and kind of freezing. This is why I love working festivals you miss out on a bunch of gigs but you get to be apart of making everything happen and all these weird shit.