Monthly Archives: May 2014

May 30

Everything hurts, I think I’m too old for this.

Day one at Primavera Festival was good, though. I don’t have much time to tell you all about it but check out my Instagram to see some of the pics I’ve been taking these days.

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I’m off for a coffee, see you later.

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May 28

Today, I spent about 10 hours walking around Barcelona and I’m too tired to write about it. I’d say one thing, though: if you’re in town during the next couple of months, go see an exhibition entitled “Metamorfosis” at Centre de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona. It’s mind-blowing.

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May 27

Hello from seat 25A of a Vueling flight, destination Barcelona. If I was seated in First Class, I could probably tell you where exactly the plane is currently cruising over but Vueling, being the low cost airline that it is, only provides you with a safety instructions manual, a less than average food menu and a white paper bag you are most welcome to puke in if your body ever feels indisposed during the flight. No fancy screen showing the plane’s progress in real time, no outdated movies to watch, nothing. Just you, the sky and the sound of a hundred people snoring and chatting, with the occasional baby’s cry in the background.

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It feels good, though. To be on holidays. Last time was in December 2013, when I did Copenhagen-London-Caracas to spend some time with my family during Christmas and New Year’s. It was a long trip, as it always is, but totally worth it. Since then, I had stay grounded in Copenhagen, busy doing what your average grown-up does, I guess. This year, however, I looked up in advance where exactly all the Danish holidays were placed in the calendar and managed to plan little getaways around them. This is one of them. It has been a while since I last visited Barcelona and the Primavera Sound had booked some of my favourite bands for this year’s festival so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to spend a week on the beach, seeing concerts and catching up with old friends.

Oh, the captain has just encouraged us to turn off our electronic devices and get ready for landing.

I will continue this later.

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May 26

Another fine weekend. On Friday, my friends Rebeca and Sarah came from London to visit for a couple of days. They arrived at midnight so I went to pick them up at the Central Station, made a quick pit stop at my place to drop their bags and went out straight to away to meet Carlos and his friend Paul (funnily enough, he was in the same flight with Sarah and Rebeca but none of them knew the people they had come to visit knew each other) at The Union. Terrific cocktails, as always, and it was nice to see Mike behind the bar again, too.

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On Saturday, I left Sarah and Rebeca exploring Christiania during the day while I took care of some important matters and then we reunited in the evening. The idea was to go out to the Meat Packing District but in the end, they decided to stay at home drinking vodka and eating chips with Mark and some of his friends, so I decided to head to Kat’s for a fun night in. Next morning, I walked with her to a school nearby where she was taking part in the European Parliament elections and there I discovered why the Danes are so good a cycling drunk: turns out they get accustomed to the dizziness and loss of balance produced by the excess of alcohol, at a very young age. That’s right, in the school’s playground they had a few rotating poles with a platform at the bottom, where kids could stand on, and then spin for as long as they want to recreate that feeling you get when you get drunk, I assume. It was fascinating. I was going to make a video to show you how it works but then a realized that an adult, short as it might be, discreetly filming somebody else’s infants would look slightly creepy so I abandoned the idea and moved on.

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After that, Kat was off to meet her friend Karla for brunch and I went to Sort Kaffe og Vinyl for a cup of coffee in the sun. Then I went home to pick up my bike and joined Sarah and Rebeca, who had rented bikes for the day, to go around town. We started cycling around Vesterbro, then Østerbro via the lakes to check The Little Mermaid out, which I hadn’t seen before. It’s not as bad as they make it sound but it definitely isn’t a life changing experience, either. We sat in front of the water for a bit, enjoying the sun, then walked around the citadel (another undiscovered spot for me) and shortly after we headed to Ørestad to see Tietgenkollegiet, a circular-shaped student residence designed by Danish architects Lundgaard & Tranberg, which Rebeca -being an architect herself- was very keen to see.

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Around 4pm, we met Carlos, Paul and Kat at Torvehallerne for a late lunch in the sun and then the girls and I walked to Kongens Have, to drink some white wine (Rebeca and Sarah) and cold cokes (Kat and I). When it started to get cold, we moved to Bar 7 for a cocktail and then we call it a day.

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It’s now Monday, I’m leaving to Barcelona tomorrow for the Primavera Festival and I still have to do a bit of laundry, which I couldn’t get done over the weekend because I was too busy having fun. Just as it should be…

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Somebody please remind me to stop prying into other people’s affairs. This weekend, while nosing around Kat’s apartment, I found the card she bought for my birthday, which she had been insisting in giving me in advance and that I expressly asked her not to. She was suppose to give me the card in an sealed envelope before I left to Iceland and I was only going to open it on my birthday but I fucked up the whole thing. Wish I could unseen the damn card and pretend nothing happened because it would have been a really cool surprise.

From now on, Kat said, all objects she wants to keep out of my reach will be placed on the top shelves and picture her delivering that sentence with an air of mockery to it. You get the idea.

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May 23

Copenhagen has been lovely these last couple of days, really sunny and warm. I have looked for any excuse to go to be out as often as possible, both to enjoy the weather and to compile photographic evidence I can later use to inflict a bit of pain to my friend Rafa via whatsapp. Actually, just yesterday I decided that Kongens Have would make for a better office space than the office itself so spent the day with Monika, laying in the grass, drinking water and thinking ideas for a brief we have sitting in our laps at the moment. It was hard work, though; I find half-naked blondes very distracting.

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After the park, I went home and then met Kat for dinner at Bar Burrito, just before heading to Pumpehuset for the Street Lake Dive concert. Despite the brutal heat inside the venue and the old ladies in revealing shorts that were in the audience, the show was fantastic. The band is great, the bass player is super groovy and Rachael Price, the singer, is probably one of the sexiest musicians I’ve ever seen. She has an amazing voice, too. In fact, according to Wikipedia she received an honorable mention at the Montreux Jazz Festival‘s International Jazz Vocal Competition, back in 2003. Make sense, she really delivers the goods live.  I didn’t bother to make any videos but just YouTube them and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

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At some point during the show, she told a story about her and Mike Olson, the band’s guitar/trumpet player, who used to be neighbors. Apparently, they were re-watching “The X Files” and could feel the sexual tension between Mulder and Scully throughout the series to the point in which found herself desperately hoping the two agents finally made out. When talking about it with Mike, he presented her with a theory: Mulder and Scully had been shagging all along, only that Mulder would never show any traces of emotional attachment because he was too paranoid of extraterrestrial life and didn’t want no E.T. to find out about his romance. The story it’s much funnier when told by Racheael, of course, but the point is that Mike’s theory eventually inspired the song “Don’t Make Me Hold Your Hand”, which they performed along with a good bunch of songs from their latest record, “Bad Self Protraits”.

Kat and I left the venue shortly after 11pm, all sweaty, smelly and on the verge of dehydration. Pretty romantic.

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Will Farrell and Chad Smith in a mighty drum battle. Enough said.

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Got these shoes as a present this week and can’t think of a good reason to wear them. My boss told me he had a new pair of shoes that were a goodbye present for a friend but that he had left them behind, for some reason, and he was wondering if I was interested in having them instead. At this point, he had only showed me the box, which had Clarks printed on the outside, so I thought to myself: “sure, how bad can it be?” – I accepted the present and opened the box, only to find a pair of leopard print shoes, hairy fabric and all. Exactly the kind of shoe I would NEVER buy and that I have always dreaded and made fun of. Leopard print…give me a fucking break.

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I still kept them, more out of respect than anything else. Now I have them at home, waiting for the day in which I either start doing drugs and lose my sense of self or start giving a shit about hipster trends and indulge into this kind of stylish nonsense. I could also wear them at Roskilde this year, which I guess is a nice, temporary middle point between chemical intoxication and fashionable extravagance. Yeah, that’s it.

Roskilde, I’m coming for you. Hear me roar!

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May 19

The weather has been up and down lately; some days we have lovely sunshine and others we just get grey clouds and rain. Friday (a National holiday in Denmark, therefore no work) was sunny so in the morning I went to Carlos’ to do a bit of laundry (my washing machine broke down and now I need to wash my dirty clothes somewhere else) and in the evening I met Kat in the park that’s behind the Statens Museum for Kunst. We laid in the grass soaking up the last rays of sun and when it started to get really fucking cold and windy, we decided to go for dinner at Cocks and Cows. Great burgers and really good milkshakes, try them if you have the chance.

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Around 8pm, we headed to Kat’s place and spent the night watching Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I hadn’t seen again since it was released back in 2009. What a wonderful film, I had forgotten about it. Halfway through I got a bit distracted but still managed to catch most of it. On Saturday, I went for coffee at Sort Kaffe og Vinyl and spend half an hour outside, laying in a chair, enjoying the sun. It’s a pity you can’t really hear the music they play inside when you sit outside but if it’s sunny, I’m pretty happy to sacrifice the music experience for a bit of Vitamin D and a slight tan.

In the afternoon, Kat and I went to Kongens Have and laid in the sun, drinking smoothies and listening to Blondie and Led Zeppelin with a short Tenacious D interlude. In the evening, we parted ways and I headed to Carlos’ student residence where they were having a massive BBQ. There were about 50 people and just one small grill, which meant that Carlos had to stand next to it and be ready to jump on it as soon as the flames were good to go. It was worth it, though; we were the first ones to take over the grill and after half an hour we were enjoying slices of a big piece of tender and juicy pork. My mouth waters just to think of it.

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Kongens Have

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The view from Carlos’ rooftop

After we were done with the BBQ, we went down to Carlos’ room and had a nap. He didn’t sleep, Marisa barely closed her eyes and me… well, I fell asleep and snored. Carlos recorded a little video and sent it to me on Snapchat, just to make fun of me as soon as I woke up. Bastard. Once I got out of my slumber, the three of us went to Cafe Elefanten for late night cake, courtesy of Sweet Sneak. As always, the baked goods were terrific. We had two chocolate brownies and a piece of carrot cake, which made up for a really dull party. You see, there was suppose to be a party at the café that night and our friends of Sweet Sneaks were there to class up the place with their lovely cakes but when we got there, there were only about 10 people and a DJ playing dance versions of classic songs from the 90’s. If it hadn’t been for the sweets, that would have easily been the most boring party I have ever been to in my life. It reminded me of the awkward parties I used to go when I was youngster.

On Sunday, I went for a coffee and then for a walk around the city centre. Weather was relatively nice but it quickly turned into cold rain so I got into Illum to check out some clothing and then took the bus to Kat’s place, where we spent the rest of the day laying on the couch, watching telly and getting fat on pizza, cola and chocolate cake. Trust me, it was MUCH better than it sounds…

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My friend Rafa has written a very nice post about his visit to Copenhagen so, if you are fluent in Spanish or speak Google Translate, walk this way and check it out. Make sure you browse through his photo album, too. The panoramic pictures he took are ace.

Also, speaking of friends, here’s an interview my mate Ross did for Olympus. He talks about how he got started as a rock photographer in London back in the 70’s, the way the industry has changed over the years, his favourite photographers, and how he has managed to stay relevant for over three decades.

Good ol’ Ross, I miss hanging out with him. If you enjoy his photography, follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He posts some mighty pictures.

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May 14

Well, Jimmy Page is all over the news these days. He’s been doing press to support the Led Zeppelin re-releases and just last week he was in Boston to receive a honorary doctoral degree from Berklee College of Music and delivered the commencement speech to nearly 900 music students, some of whom ditched the traditional hand shake and went all in and hugged Jimmy when receiving their degrees. It must have been a fantastic experience. I mean, not only you’re graduating from one of the most prestigious music schools in the world but on top of that, you get Jimmy-fucking-Page to hand you your degree. It’s just bonkers.

Shortly after, the Internet exploded with pictures of joyful fans who spotted him around Boston. Like this guy, who waited a few hours until Jimmy and Ross were done with their record shopping so he could ask for a picture and an autograph. He got both, including a selfie with the man himself. Bastard. I must admit, it made me happy to read his exciting account of the encounter but those pictures also made me a bit jealous. At least for a second. Then, reality kicked in and everything was fine again. Every time I look back at all the times I met Jimmy, I can’t help to think to myself: “Man, I’m one lucky motherfucker.”

Sure, I don’t have a single picture with him (never asked for one anyway) but the memories… the memories remain (and I will treasure them FOREVER!): the time we met outside Earls Court, the Wilko Johnson gig we attended to the same day I met him for the first time, the beer he bought me that night, the EELS show we saw at Somerset House, the burgers we shared before the gig, the guitar pick he gave me, the LZ II copy I got as a present, the signed “Celebration Day” he personally gave me, the record shopping days in London, walking around Camden after that Mick Ralphs concert, Whitesnake at the Roundhouse, talking about the Stones show on the phone; the cup of tea in his house in Reading, the time we rode the Tube together after a morning at Spitalfields Market, the laughs, the chats, the friendly pats on the back… me? Jealous? Bitch, please ;-)

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I just compulsively bought into this and ordered a poster bundle. Stupid Facebook. And stupid electronic commerce, which makes spending money such an easy undertaking.

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Twenty-nine bucks for three posters seems relatively reasonable but when you look at how much the international shipping costs, the whole poster bundle thing stops looking as such a good deal. However, I do like the aesthetic of most NIN posters and I find the idea of buying a surprise package a little bit exciting so fuck it, it’s done. Fingers crossed I get something I actually like.

Speaking of NIN, they played Copenhagen last night and I deliberately missed the show. Partly because I will see them at Primavera Sound in a couple of weeks and partly because the venue they were playing here is shite; the sound is usually awful and if you’re not front row, chances are you are going to have an unpleasant sonic experience so in the end I decided to skip this show and use that money to buy a ticket to Copenhell, which this years features an interesting bill: Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Sepultura, Anthrax and Black Lebel Society. My friend André, who’s now working as Tour Manager for Arch Enemy, will also be in town as the band is also playing the festival and it’s gonna be nice to catch up with him after so long (last time I saw him was in 2010, I think) so I think it was the right move to make.

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Update on the Iceland/Norway holiday: Turns out my friend Anna and her friend will be going on a cruise to the Faroe Islands while I’ll be in Reykjavík so in the end, if Mark or Rodrigo don’t join, I might actually end up being all by myself on my birthday. Not that it worries me that much, really. That was the original plan and I will be happy to stick to it.

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May 11

Eurovision is finally over. I must admit that, despite finding the whole contest a bit dreadful, I enjoyed watching it on the telly. To make the experience more appealing to me, Kat got me chocolate and suggested the idea of turning each Eurovision day in “No Pants Day”, which meant we both had to hang out in our underwear at home when watching the show. As you would expect, I bought into it right away. That’s how I got into the whole Eurovision thing in the first place, that’s why I actually took the time to vote (twice) and, ultimately, that’s why I like to hang out with her. She’s funny and looks great in her undies, what can I say.

Anyway, as you know, Conchita Wurst won the final and although I think it’s nice that a bearded drag queen managed to get Eurovision fans on her side, especially in a time of so much nonsense discrimination and intolerance, I still think it’s bollocks. Poland, on the other hand…

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Dear Poland, you got my vote. Know that.

For me, they were the winners right from the beginning. I also liked the Russian sisters and the guys from The Netherlands but they didn’t make it either, which comes to show how incompatible I am with these kind of contests. However, I have to admit that the Eurovision crowd and I share one thing in common: our mutual loathing for the French contestants. What an awful lot of blokes, they got one vote more than they deserved.

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Turns out that Anna, one of the girls I met through Couchsurfing a couple of months ago, will be in Iceland with a friend during the same days I will be there. What a coincidence. Even more striking is the fact that her friend is going to Reykjavík to celebrate her birthday, which happens to be on the same day as mine. Although I don’t know Anna that well (we only met for a couple of drinks when she was in town), I think it’s nice to know I will have someone to hang out with if things get a bit awkward with the locals once I’m among them. My friend Rodrigo is also pondering the possibility of meeting me there and today my housemate said he’s gonna look into the dates and see if he can also join. 

Who knows, maybe there will be an entire birthday committee taking over Iceland, after all…

 

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May 10

After postponing it for weeks, I finally sat down today and bought my tickets to Reykjavík and Bergen, where I plan to spend 10 days in July, including my birthday, something I’m quite looking forward to. Birthday on my own in Iceland… that’s gonna be interesting. These days, I try not to travel on my own and usually just visit places where I have friends I can hang out with but this time around, for some reason, I was quite excited about the idea of going North all by myself.

For a long time, I have been thinking to go to Iceland so Reykjavík was in my plans right from the beginning but then a Norwegian friend suggested me to go all the way to Stokmarknes, a little island in the northern side of Norway where she spends the Summer, so I decided to throw in Norway in the itinerary, too. However, I realised it was not only a bit expensive to get to Stokmarknes but also kind of problematic in terms of flights availability, as the airlines don’t fly there every day and there is no direct flight to Copenhagen, which meant I had to fly to Tromso and from there back to Denmark so in the end I thought that would be too much of a hassle and decided to do Bergen instead, a city that my friend Carlos says is wonderful and from which I could fly straight to Copenhagen for less than 600DKK. A total bargain.

So, this Summer it will be Madrid with Kat to see the EELS and some of my very good Spaniard friends, then back to Copenhagen and flying the next day to Iceland and after that, Norway. It’s been a long time since I haven’t been so expectant about a holiday trip; I’m going on my own, with only a vague idea of what I want to see, to a couple of cities in which I know absolutely no one. I suppose this means there is potential for this to be a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience, or a dreadful trip I wish I’ve never made.

It would be impossible for me to know for sure at this point in time, of course, but I have the feeling this will turn out to be fucking great…

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May 7

I’ve spent most of the last 36 hours refreshing the EELS website to see if the tickets for the Madrid show have finally gone on sale; they were supposed to be available yesterday so I woke up at 7am to check and there was no link, then I checked the venue’s website and there was nothing there either. It’s now May 7, the tickets are still on hold and I can’t stop myself from refreshing the tour page every five minutes. I hope I can buy them soon because all this uncertainty is making me very anxious.

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Go ahead, make a #firstworldproblems joke out of it. I don’t care.

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Yesterday, Kat introduced me to the WORST film I have ever seen: “Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks”, a 1976 sexploitation women in prison film, which is the first sequel to Ilsa, She Wolf of the SSAccording to Wikipedia:

Ilsa is Kommandant of a Nazi prison camp, who conducts sadistic scientific experiments designed to demonstrate that women are more capable of enduring pain than men are, and therefore should be allowed to fight in the army.

Trust me, it’s worse than it sounds. The plot (if there is one) makes no sense whatsoever, it’s poorly edited and the acting is SO hideous that at some point I just had to tell Kat to stop it and switch to Eurovision. Go figure. I mean, if you rather watch wannabe music stars perform weak unknown songs instead of a movie packed with naked girls with big boobs, you know there is something terribly wrong going on. What really shocks me is that Kat says the first film is even worse than the one we watched last night… I really can’t imagine how that could be possible.

Anyway, we switched to Eurovision and it was just as I imagined it would be: slightly better than average performers singing songs I’ve never heard of while trying to look convincing in their pretentious outfits. People love it here, though. In fact, everyone seems to be going mad over this whole Eurovision thing, something that I fail to understand. But hey, I’m neither European nor visionary so clearly this wasn’t made for me anyway. In the end, Kat and I decided to vote for a folky duo from The Netherlands, who eventually got enough support from the audience to make it to the final, next Saturday.

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That’s right, I actually took part in this crap.

Denmark is in the final, too, and the event is taking place in Copenhagen so expect a collective alcohol overdose if whoever is representing the country ends up winning this thing again. I will keep you posted.

UPDATE:

8:35pm – We’ve just got tickets to see the EELS in Madrid this Summer! :)

I got distracted watching the first episode of “24: Live another day” and when I remembered to check the website again, the tickets had already been released and all the second and third row were sold out. Most seats in the front row were available, though. I assumed the locals know those seats are way too close to the stage, which can compromise the view sometimes, and as I have never been to that venue before I decided to play it safe and went for fifth row seats instead, which is still pretty close.

Originally, I was going to get these seats but the system refused my request and automatically relocated us to the fifth row. Stupid computers.

Originally, I was going to get these seats but the system refused my request and automatically relocated us to the fifth row. Stupid computers.

I’ve seen them front row before anyway (in Madrid, back in 2010, and last year in Copenhagen) so I just wanted to get good seats for Kat to enjoy the show properly. After all, it was me who convinced her to go see them so the least I could do was to try to ensure she was close enough so that her first EELS gig is as cool as possible.

All she has to do now is learn some of the songs so she can mumble along some of the lyrics, we only have a couple of months to work on it and the clock is ticking…

 

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