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?):
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.
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.
Being without internet these two weeks when I've not had the occasional 5 mins at uni in between classes for a quick update of fb and my mail has been a torture. I've missed our blog and telling you good people about my not so important doings. Change is here and the absentee is now present.
Here's a band that I like at the moment which I just saw now will be supporting The Horrors in November. Can that month get any better? I think not.
///S.C.U.M - Whitechapel\\\
*Is it just me or are you guys also feeling the Primary Colours - vibe from this?
Stick it out more updates and longer posts are to be expected! (I just have to finish my essay in political theories)
You've probably guessed it already, I didn't make it to that lecture at 8 a.m….surprise surprise. One day in and the slacker inside of me has already creeped out, brilliant.
After being at uni today and realizing I'll probably have to waste money on books I'm only going to read once and then getting bitch slapped in the face with "hey-girl-you're-now-an-adult-so-the-price-for-a-traveling card- is-2300 kr" (first reaction being: FUCKERS). I wandered off into a rainy city center muttering and swearing under my breathe but loudly enough for people to think I'm a freak and frankly…SO WHAT?! If you're angry you're angry let it out!
However to lower the suspicion of schizophrenia I called my dad and yelled out my frustration into the phone (somehow you're less crazy if you yell into a phone) while I was walking down to NK (a posh shop with all the posh brands under one roof) to see Patti Smith. When I reached the red rope-excluder (no idea if that's what it's called in english) still screaming and at the same time smiling I thought I'd gone mad. There was Patti Smith, wonderful, old, cool Patti Smith and a guard, two ladies working at NK breathing over her neck, this MASSIVE queue and around 50 people just standing in a circle trying to get as close as you could get without standing in the queue to get the perfect spot for a picture.
I felt horrible for joining those desperate fans resembling amateur "paparazzis" in an attempt to leave the place with the best photo. Patti (the angel) just sat there minding her on business (kind of), greeting people, signing books and smiling like (music) royalty and what were we doing? dribbling over her like hungry dogs. As you see I'm not a big fan of taking pictures of artists, if they're not on a stage it's not okay. I must have met up to 50 bands/artists/well known people by now and never except for once or twice (with no initiative taken from my side) have it ended up in a silly little photo. Where initially you look stupid and overwhelmed and the other person looks cool with a smile that say "how the fuck did I end up between these kids? aa who cares I get payed in the end, smile and wave boys smile and wave". I quickly departed from NK when I realised there was no way I was going to be able to use my skills to get a head in the queue + I couldn't stand myself being so needy for a picture + the film finished after five shots. Leaving her to the old and greedy I hurried out of that store (there's just so much you can take of a posh environment) with my mental snap shot of this incredible woman.
Trying to find my routines but I keep relapsing to the good old summery days when I didn't have to worry about tomorrow. I'm still awake and I have to get up in 3 hours [Suck].
Had to say farewell to a dear friend of mine who's moving to Germany today. Why do people keep on leaving me when we've got something good going?! I know everyone need to take their time to (this will sound cliché) find themselves but whyyyyyy…..buhu sob nob.
I have a festival madness part IV, part V and part VI. Eventually after tomorrows 8 a.m. lecture (jesus fucking Christ) I'll try to write them and post them. Bunch of goodies and juicy stories only for you.
[Here comes an update that originally was meant for yesterday but is coming up now, I'll try to write a little update for today and post i tonight.]
Oh the madness has actually begun and I'm the only one not feeling it yet. I may have landed the easiest job at the festival, chatting with punters, volunteers, eating candy, updating twitter, keeping an eye on the situation and just cillaxing. We'll definitely have to change that till next year since there's been a whole lot of people crashing and burning with endless piles of stuff to do. Yesterdays expected pressure release at Södra Teatern did not happen. I had higher hopes for that day which means that two hours before Arcade Fire might be the fucking nightmare before Christmas today.
After a long day of hard work we installed ourselves at the hotel. My room (which I share with Arina) could be described as heavenly. We have this massive window overlooking the whole festival area, the big stage and the suburbs. How incredibly convenient it must be to check in here timing the festival. Wouldn't pass on buying some beer and standing on the smoking-balcony and watching Arcade Fire. Both Arina and I love living at hotels and could of course not consider the fact that our wake up call would go off in 5 hours. So sleeping right away after checking in was no option, drinking beer, jumping on the bed, exploring the hotel and listening to music however was totally welcomed.
You know your close to getting the show on the road when you can here them soundcheck from your hotel room. P R E T T Y F U C K I N G E X C I T E D at 1 p.m. the gates open for the public. A lot of people have been wondering why we even bother with this when we're not even getting paid. But the fact is that we ARE getting paid but not in physical money, you know the feeling you get when you've achieved something or when people admire you and are so grateful for making their night the best. That is a payment in itself, a mental payment that boosts your ego (which can be good and bad for some) but also makes you feel useful in this anonymous world we live in. These are hands down one of the best days of the year!
The current weather sees no sunshine but that doesn't mean it won't show or that you won't sweat like a pig because of the humidity. Another thing you may rejoice in is that Fan will be attending the festival as my free guest and since I wont be able to report about anything concerning the actual gigs. She'll probably be the blogs eyes in fron of the stage and I'll be the eyes behind the stage and production. We're all probably looking forward to Arcade Fire tonight therefor the choice of festival song for today will be Arcade Fire inspired. This is an amazing cover on Arcade Fires song. But wait WHO THE FUCK IS THE ARCADE FIRE?!?!?!?!
If you didn't know that you could download both of the EP's from The Weeknd, I'm telling you to do it and do it here
Way down south in this little world we live on people are fighting for their freedom and here we are planning a festival. it's surreal and weird to think about how we're all the same but in such different situations depending on your location in this world. When eavesdropping on the Sky News report a minute ago I got this brilliant idea, to forget about the festival and go on that lucrative manhunt for Khaddafi. Imagine £ 1 000 000 for finding that guy dead or alive, I'd be sorted for life man!
Anyway today's been another beautiful day of preparations in for the festival. Everyone's been busy busy getting everything organized before the bands start rolling into Stockholm. Everything is basically bought and the amazing stage workers are building our two stages as we speak (to be honest I don't know how they do it, one of the hardest working people in the crew fo sure). The organizing-crew is moving into the hotel tomorrow which means delicious hotel breakfast (nom nom nom) and some of us have already had their first traditional swim in one of the swimming pools we've got inside the festival area. A.k.a everything is A-okay, swell and dandy!
Tomorrow we'll be setting up a little camp at Södra Teatern handing out wristbands in exchange for a ticket. Which is always good fun and a welcomed opportunity to release some of the pressure we might have on us during friday and saturday. We're hoping that more people will face that hill and not be discouraged by that never ending walk which reminds you of your poor fitness and health. Last year we had around 2000 that came in, we're definitely expecting more and with there being a little pre-party afterwards it should look like a win-win situation for everyone.
Last thing we did these evening was to sort out some riders and rearrang things and by mistake we cut a hole in a bottle of Mnt. Dew. And oh sweet jesus what a tasty soda it is, thank god for which ever band that ordered it! Because instead of letting it all pour out we all had a little sip from that delicious beverage + it got me all hyper now. Or maybe it's just the festival anxiety/excitement that's got me going.
///More festival music here, Delorean filmed by Yourstruly\\\
In other news I haven't got much to share, found this though:
Our two golden boys collabing (and NO I'm not talking about Jay-Z and Kanye)
///James Blake + Bon Iver - Fall Creek Boys Choir\\\
Peace until tomorrow when I'll be writing from the hotel probably
It's time for a back to…- post, no matter what it is, back to school, back to uni, back to autumn, back to dull, grey and meaningless everyday work, it's a fresh start. It also means new stuff, new wardrobe, new equipment, new schedule, new trips, new people. We should really change the dates for new years to now instead. For me this is when the new year begins, when you leave slow, hot and lazy days behind you and get creative and actually complete stuff. The curator of the last summer shebang is of course in Stockholm the Popaganda Festival 26-27/8 which I'm a proud member of. It's some few hectic days till we open up and spread the love but If I happen to be too busy (a.k.a. too tired and lazy) to update the blog during this week. Don't fret, because we have someone updating the Popaganda blog with lots of fun stuff everyday now. I will however do my utmost best to not slack off with this.
We have installed ourselves at our temporary Prod.office at the festival-area and building has already started. The weather has so far been good and we have to hope it'll stay this way through out the week. All the hard work won't really start until thursday for me. That's when we welcome everyone that wants to avoid standing in a MASSIVE queue when Arcade Fire is about to play to get their wristbands in advance. We'll also have some swedish bands playing (Dante, Robert Svensson) as a reward/pre-party for everyone who's been a good boy/girl and got their wristbands. If you follow our blog you may have read something about how I lost my Nikon D3000 at a James Blake concert so now I'm pleasantly forced to use my analog cameras. These will come to good use since they're small and handy, one tomorrows tasks will obviously be buying a bunch of film-rolls.
Here's one of our Headliners doing an acoustic little number:
///Lykke-Li - I Follow Rivers @ Lollapolloza\\\
Okay, enough festival-talk it will be continued tomorrow (I promise). I am however going to stay on the topic of music, today luv luv luv records outed a little Florence + The Machine-teaser for the new album and a new song called "What The Water Gave Me". As the big Florence fan I still am (considering the not so wonderful meeting I had with her last year) I jumped with joy over a new song and jumped even more when it wasn't shit. Hear it for yourselves, form an opinion, will the album stink or just set her of into another dimension of success?
///Florence + The Machine - What The Water Gave Me\\\
Except for that I've also been enjoying Warpaint's re-work on a song they recorded a while back called "Billie Holiday". It's magic, pure magic! I love these girls, could have died to see them at Way Out West this year but nooo I was at home. Hopefully the sun will shine on me and they'll get a gig in Stockholm soon enough. The autumn calendar of gigs is getting better and better by the minute with Yuck, Friendly Fires, The Horrors, PJ Harvey, The War On Drugs, Oh Land, Yelle, Architecture in Helsinki etc etc.