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SouthsideCountry SouthsideEntrance Urinals kiss Dixi EpicBeerbong OrangeJuice GermanFlag GermanPirate Coolcrew BlueGorilla BlueNred Bromance CigarettesMan Pisspot SmokinMonkey Runway VolbeatTit PretzelMan CommunistCamp GasMask PaperMacheDick Passedout ThumbsUp PremiumHugs MulletDude GarbageRecycle PizzaMario Smile Windsurfers SouthsideLogos SouthsideNight

It was a last minute call to jump onboard the minibus down to Bavaria, to a small-town called Tuttlingen. I had been sleeping in a warm bed for only 2 days before leaving on this epic journey to Southside festival. We pack the van early morning and head south through Deutschland where upon crossing the border we make our first pit-stop in Flensburg where I was lost my virginity to German cuisine.  It left a poor impression, an omen of things to come. As we’re speeding down the autobahn at an average of 135 km/h, the electronics in our mobile-craft began to malfunction. So, we pull-over for the night to sleep beside this lively high-speed vessel. Exhausted and frustrated, we’ve passed dozens of church villages, hillside vineyards, and ausfahrt‘s when finally we reach our goal and make it to the festival area with high hopes. The reward? A huge home-made non-german feast.

The first band to open up the festival is in your face Norwegian band Kvelertak (Norwegian for “stranglehold” or “chokehold”). I left after two songs. Call me a pussy but my vagina refused to be strangled and my ears weren’t up for the vocal chokehold. I wandered about and found The Family Rain performing with serious lack of enthusiasm… a band of three brothers that bored me with good music. Finally the third band turned out to be a charm, Peace, a young UK version of Nirvana under the influence of a rockin’ rhythmic spell. The spell kept me there for the whole performance, a natural way to measure the magic of a band. The bar was raised when the bearded men of Kashmir hit the main stage. These danish guys had a nice blend of youth and maturity with powerful vocal deliveries on top of beautiful chord shifts. I could sense an experience of knowing  their place in the music, where to stretch and when to hold it down. The danish translation of 90’s British wave/early Radiohead. The music was only getting better so I invited some co-workers to see Steven Wilson‘s band. It was the most interesting and musically intense set of the afternoon. A huge range of aural dynamics with exciting improv segments. It kept die-hard fans cheering for more and new fans trying to decipher what they are hearing. A killer rhythm section exploding from silences and stopping on dimes, soaring horn & woodwind solos, spicy keys and meaty guitar riffs maestro’d by Steve. Amateur ears could appreciate the non-mainstream talent, alternative song-structure and different sounds being produced by the unit. Turn the page 180 degrees and I’m at Johnossi where the girls are screaming and singing along to swedish popular hits. The tunes are feel good and the kids feel good so what’s the point? To get the job well done and the swedes do a good job with Pop by keeping it interesting and twisting the norms. A full day of music and the last band I had the pleasure of listening to was 2013 break-out band Alt-J. I grew tired of their songs very fast, each track too similar in motifs, it was interesting to see the performance but I was just exhausted from a whole day of events. So, I lay down in a patch of grass and closed my eyes. I enjoyed the sounds being produced and fell into a bit a daydream. Spacious vocal harmonies and simple dub-beats set them apart from other mainstream bands.

Exit daydream and enter morning. A couple of beer bongs and many intense rounds of flunkyball had me wasted by noon. I woke up laying in a field, shirtless, with a blue heart drawn on my chest. I head over to catch the final song of Gogol Bordello‘s party but I showed up fashionably too late. I head to the main stage and see Tegan and Sara for the 2nd time in a week and their momentum is riding high. Friends and lesbians are out n’ about shouting song lyrics and feeling empowered by the sisters of song. The 2nd bite of these girls was just as good as the first. I will rate the next 3 acts in amount of tears produced. It is a system put in place to embarrass the author. The National, Portishead, & Sigur Rós. Top class bands, like top shelf liquor, the first sip of their sound takes you by surprise and when you finish the drink you are drunk from the experience. The National’s frontman Matt Berninger had me looking up to the sky and crying tears of joy. He oozes charisma and bleeds sincerity into the performance. The liquor bottle could be labeled as Power-Indie. Portishead, classified as trip-hop, not sure what it means, had my limbs loose and my eyes wet… my body was a vessel acting and reacting to their sounds. Very infectious music with great rhythms that allows for participation in dance. The cream of the crop was the Sigur Rós midnight show. It had my heart crying, my head fixed to the stars and my mind somewhere beyond heaven. It was the climax of a festival experience. I was left speechless by the end of the performance, falling asleep in my tent knowing that I had lived today to the fullest. Frontman,Jón Þór Birgisson, is a master of soul music reaching channels that no other vocalist can turn on. It could be a symptom of Iceland. Side note: Rammstein happened sometime that night… it was everything I don’t like about music aka the German Kiss. You can’t go from a near-death experience to flash & lack of substance. It’s like going from Grey Goose to Georgi… know what I mean?

I had seen it all and could leave the festival happy but there was still one more day left. I was exhausted by this point from working and only caught the first few songs of Bloc Party before retreating to my tent for a power nap. The replacement chick drummer was pretty nice to look at, playing intense Bloc Party dance beats and of course a black frontman with a London accent is exotic to watch. After my siesta, I watched Ska-P from a far point and observed these older cats bouncing around with youthful energy and delivering a message of revolution. The crowd was really into it from start to finish. The message I got was to have a good time on stage, be on point with music, & Freedom for Palestine. All good things I think. The world was turned upside down when Deichkind hit the main stage. A cocktail of Beastie Boys, Daft Punk, and Lady Gaga. Garnished with party fuel and served with a good mood. The craziest stage production I’ve ever seen with giant blow ups, silly outfits, and lots of clowning around. It’s the party of the summer and these German guys brought it home with the DJ team pounding hard beats, rappers spitting fire, and hooks that kept them on stage for a solid two hours. I had fulfilled my party quota with lots of whip cream and a cherry on top.

There’s an intensity to the German kids, their humor is a mixture of seriousness and ridiculousness. Their festival outfits are more theatrical in character compared to the Danes or Swedes. I’ve picked up some useful phrases “Kamnst du englische sprechen?” and “Ice spreche kine deutsch.” Which is usually followed by “Oh that’s OK, I can do englische” in an awesome thick german accent. The 3 lessons I’ve learned, one, their cuisine really does suck, two, beer is cheap and awesome, and three, under the definition of Germans you’ll find efficiency. I did bring up World War 2 and everyone is open to talking about it and comparing how it’s taught in history classes around the world. For the youth, no topics are too taboo and everything is worth discussing! I can’t say the same applies for older generations but I think it’s great how open young people are at the music festivals I’ve been to. You meet some really great kids & I love that!

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Scenes from an the open square in the middle of Copenhagen. With all the jazz surrounding Turkey on the internet I thought I should put my 2 kroner in. From what I gather at first glance, citizens of Istanbul are protesting the demolition of a public park. The almighty corporate power did not take nicely to the situation as it is in their interest to build a consumer mall instead. So, they send police to resolve the situation and it has since backfired with demonstrators gaining popularity amongst citizens around Turkey. And what? What is going to happen? This situation reminds me of something like the Occupy movement down by Wall Street. Something exciting happens like a revolution is on the brink but police come down and fuck the whole thing up. Back to square one. What is the problem here? I think that the “police” or middlemen between corporate power and ordinary citizen do not serve the people’s interests and mediate through force instead of conversation. It just doesn’t work with non-violent protest. Their is a mental prison being built and I believe the solution is through art. With art, you can alter the visual reality and communicate human feelings. Back to Copenhagen city center, the turkish minority of all ages are celebrating music, nice weather, and dance. The people are warm, charming and appreciate what is going on around them. I felt welcome by their culture to participate in the festivity, only separated by language but united through humanity.

DitteBuildings DjTruck ChopperBall HappyDude DoorMural MoustacheMan FreeHaircuts Smokey Climber PeaceGal Distortion

Step off a jet-plane, take a short nap & a few hours later I’m peddling my girlfriend and I to the famous danish Dj/dance festival called Distortion. We haven’t seen night-time in over 24-hours, our minds are spacey, we’re drunk off jet-lag just knocking around and taking it all in. The bass is pounding, the sun is shining & the good times are a rollin’. From high-school kids to master graduates, minorities to majorities,  youngsters from all-around Denmark are riding the rails to participate in this mass-gathering of fun. I feel a great atmosphere of freedom at the festival with the lack of security.. what a relief not having eyes burn through the back of your head. I think it helps the youth trust one another as opposed to being afraid, paranoid, and constantly checking his or her own actions. It allows you to relax, be human, and enjoy all the young people who come together to enjoy a little drink, dance, music & festivity. My critique is there could be improvement in the music department because a DJ can only bring so much energy to the audience being limited to his hyped up posse & giant subwoofers. My idea would be to have live performers (musicians/dancers) along with DJ’s… I think that energy levels would rise out from a 6-8 to about a 15-16 with the potential of reaching 36-38 if done well.

NorthSea

Photo above the North Sea.

I’ve taken the whole month of May off from blogging and have decided that now is good time to begin writing again.

A lot of time passes in a month and you can only see it in hindsight.

All experiences that happen are worth writing about… from the exciting to the mundane. What excites me is the challenge of keeping it interesting and exciting for the audience. So, to the limited amount of eyes this will reach… with everyones short attentions and precious time…  what is the point of doing anything ?

Well, I guess the point is to say something and make this life exciting.

So right now, I’m living in a new country and feel like Bowie in Berlin. A new career in a new town

I hope to produce something exciting for anyone who gives a damn.

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A while back when I was with Monumints, we were playing a gig @ a comedy lounge and decided to promote ourselves with a bunch of puns that my buddy and I wrote. So I’m handing out these small cards by Times Square and they were successful in getting laughs but not successful in getting people to show up. Just another idea on marketing circa 2010.

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Spring

I have an intuition that we are on the edge of a transition.

The most significant transitions in my life were Internet & 9/11. They’ve shaped our entire world.  Maybe this moment will be the selection of the new figure-head of the worlds largest non-profit corporation. It will be interesting to see. Will the systems that enslave us crumble?

With easy access to the Bible (knowledge), old knowledge is spreading & new knowledge is being produced at a rapid pace never-known. This is the beauty of internet. Sacred mysteries are becoming clear, ancient secrets revealed. The simple idea that we are souls inhabiting flesh is enough for me to stand up against all the real world fictions. Kubrick’s monolith is right in front of us!!! We stare at the black slab everyday. It’s our choice what we want to see. From monuments, to books, and now to internet… you have the choice to carry-on as a mindlessly or become empowered. Personally this isn’t a choice, it is a duty.

People are awakening and it’s exciting to see what Spring will bring. We are moving towards a Golden Age where everyday is better than yesterday. Utopia is the goal… aim high?

I desire this revolution.