This is an old top from Grey Ant with an allover kitten print... wait... is that GRACE JONES?
With a rat in her mouth?
Every other print in the world could take a lesson from this one.
This skirt (made of the best fabric the whole world over) is old Dries Van Noten. It's one of the best things to come out of my stint at A&F. I scored this for something like a dollar at a sample sale.
Oh boy, I wanted to fire this off while it was happening (like probably a zillion people were actually doing), but instead I kept thinking of what I wanted to say and promising myself I would say it later. Later is now. And I hope I can remember all of my thoughts here, as some of them were especially entertaining to little ol' me after a day in the sun and a good amount of vino.
The other week all of our things were delivered from Paris and stacked to the ceiling at our joint in Stockholm. So what did we do? Head to Gothenburg. Gothenburg is just about the best city ever. Really. It out-charms Stockholm in the first 5 minutes. I mean, look at these novelty bricks:
Bricks with Scotties on them? This is a city close to my heart. I will go on more about Gothenburg another time (as I know I'll be visiting again and again), so for now I want to tell you about the Way Out West festival.
Look, I am old. I can pretend to get down with the kids, but it's just about 2 days' recovery any more. (Shh, don't tell them.) I am attracted to youth culture--what the kids are wearing and listening to, but the thought of actually attending a large-scale music festival was enough to give me hives. My face is all wrinkled just now as Coachella crosses my mind. NO THANKS. The thought of drinking in the desert with thousands of drunk youngers is almost enough to make me take out a mortgage and have a baby--you know, act my age just so they won't even look in my direction. But when a good friend (who happens to be from Gothenburg) was telling me about Way Out West, I realized it was much different. You can only drink booze in certain areas ("cocktail corrals" as I called them), but it was no big deal; you could absolutely watch the bands from there, wine in hand. The festival was well-organized and, well, we were able to get VIP upgrades, so we could chill with the fancies in a special bar/resto area bordered by a lake with ducks a-float. Damn, it's good to be VIP. heh. It made me realize that my hatred of a typical musical festival event is justified because this was so well-organized and smooth. But it also got this old lady out to a big music festival for the first time in 15 years or so. So thanks, Gothenburg! And thanks, Cathrine!
I wanted to give you a rundown of the stuff we saw. Here goes.
Caught the end of his fuzzed out jams. This was more B's game, but I appreciate nonetheless. He really has that sound, his sound. It made me and B try to think of more guitarists who always sound like themselves. I'm not gonna get into our thoughts here. But try it at home! (I'll give you my best rec: Doug Martsch. Yeah, buddy!)
De La Soul:
I wanted more old mammerjammers! I wanted some "Jenifa Taught Me!" I expected a little "Buddy," damnit! I did get some "Saturdays," a rushed-through "Me, Myself and I" ("We hate this song." Hey, we heard that.), and some "Potholes in My Lawn," and honestly the new material was pretty good. Though I was shakin' it the whole time, I felt a little disappointed when it was all over. Still, I was charmed to see Dave and Posdnous looking a little hoary but still doin' their thang. No Mase, though.
Good, fine, rocky, fun. I don't know, they're the Black Keys. They broke it down and played just them two of them, too. Liked that particularly.
But I didn't spend that long at the Black Keys because we wanted to check out Hot Chip, too. Underwhelming! I like some of their jams, and others just don't grab me. They were a'right, but nothing spectacular. It's kinda nice to see the nerdy guys up there, though. But because of Hot Chip, we missed Rodriguez and Papa M, which is unforgivable. Also, they're totally from England, B! (Told you!) (Also: Is this how I communicate with my boyfriend now? Through this blog?)
Look, respect. Mad respect. Even though he looks like the dad who lives next door, he is pretty legendary. (Hello, Husker Du.) Well, this night he was playing the 90s stuff, the album Copper Blue, in fact. And honestly, it was a trip hearing this older guy-next-door sing the words he wrote over 20 years ago. It was all so 90s.
Eff you, Cloud Nothings. How dare you. That is all.
He is a consummate performer. And the ultimate musician who can write beautiful pop tunes but pack them with a message. He would be the most incredible dinner party guest, the guy is so damn worldly. And inspiring? He had me crying (dead-sober, I'll have you know) when he dedicated "Waiting for the Great Leap Forward" to Pussy Riot, and changed/updated the lyrics accordingly. Powerful stuff. What am *I* doing about any of it?
First Aid Kid:
Lovely Swedish pop, but it feels so strange to me because it's MY music. It's American music. I love their dresses and they are darling girls, but it all feels so inauthentic to me. American country music has a hard-earned history and I love that they respect it so, but I don't know. It just don't feel right.
How did it take me all these years (and all of these miles) to finally see Wilco?? I enjoyed the crap out of it, if only to marvel at all of the damn guitar changes. Tweedy's a real diva up there! Every song, a new guitar. He had those techs running all over the place. Made me wonder what he's like at home. Does someone hand him a new toothbrush each night? And they didn't play Jesus, Etc., which I took personally.
She is darling! Just darling! I want to play music and be just like Leslie Feist when I grow up! Also, she brought Tweedy up on stage for a rendition of "You and I."
Look, here they are:
First off, he was wearing a sweatband. What? Yeah. Yuck. And he did that autotune song, which was a joke. I don't know. I never really got into Bon Iver, but I know they're real popular with the kids. I felt like if someone line-drived a baseball at the stage none of those nancies would be able to catch it. That made me both feel better and worse than them at the same time. Lucky pusses.
We didn't linger at Bon Iver so we could go see Maya's lovely Brady drum our socks off with Best Coast! Yay!!!
(Shoot, am I only at Blur??) Oh man, my relationship with Blur is complex. I respect the heck out of Blur. Hell, I think Damon Albarn is just about the coolest guy on the planet (he scored an opera about a monkey, for crissakes, and oh yeah, The Good, The Bad, and The Queen??), but I find some of their songs to be positively snorey. The show went like this.
Blur: Snoozer boring-ass song.
Me: Yeah, I just don't get what all the fuss was about.
Blur: Big hit (like, the one from the Trainspotting soundtrack--yeah, forgot about that one dintcha?)
Me: Oh, Blur is great! I love that song. There was just the one boring one. All's forgiven!
Blur: zzzz song that the crowd is really into.
Me: Argh, stupid Blur! Britpop, shitpop! This is awful.
Blur: Poptastical hit ("Coffee and TV," say.)
Me: Well, I left. Yeah, I left the boy there and went with my friend to get the car. Whatever. I wanted off the Blur roller coaster.
I will tell you this, Albarn looks incredible and has the swagger of a man half his age. They opened with Girls and Boys and, damn, we all know how fine he was in that video in his zippy track jacket, and let me tell you, he's still got it.
Here's a video I took, don't know if it will work or not. You know what, just go and watch the Girls and Boys video again. Mmmm.
B and other like-minded record store geeks (love you, B) were trying to keep it together during Swans. Yes, that Swans. You can almost see the little shirtless ogre one banging shit at left in the photo below.
What a way to kick off the last day. I love this man. Neither B nor I had seen him live before, and let me tell you, he is a JOY. Just him and his drummer ("Thomas"), playing music. And there was dancing, for sure. Joyful, hammy dancing: the best kind! He is simplistically genius, that one.
What's this noise? Florida's own Jacuzzi Boys get a break on the big stage? What happened to Ben Howard? Who cares! It's the freaking Jacuzzi Boys, bringing the gd r&r! I declare Gabriel Alcala to be my own personal Sassiest Boy in America. Not the best photo, so go look him up whydon'tyou?
No hard feelings, Rock. But it all just sounded mushy up there. And, you know, the VIP tent was calling to us. I have no doubt you have chops, but live hip-hop in a large outdoor venue can be a real disaster sometimes.
I saw The Animal. I was happy. And then it was time to position for Kraftwerk.
The. Best. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Seen.
One last one for you... keepin' it real in the VIP (thanks to my lovely friend, Cathrine!):
I don't think I ever showed you the supertactular necklace a darling dear (GCR = the sweetest) sent to me from SF. Sorry for the blurs, but you can see how rad it is. And the metal tubes have a subtle ring to them, which makes for some light music when you move around.
Last Update: July 27th.
Shut up, Blogger. Who asked you?
Yeah, I know. I've let this blog go lately. I thought about it from time to time, but there's been a lot of stuff going on. Namely, quitting my job in Paris, going through a major health scare, moving to Sweden, taking a trip to Gothenburg, and starting my new job in Stockholm.
See? These are big things. Major life things.
This is my attempt to catch you up, and also to get myself back into the habit of blogging. Here goes.
Here I am on my last day of work in Paris, hauling in some croissants for the team to enjoy. Although these baked treats were to celebrate my last day, this gesture was utterly selfless (toot!) as I could not enjoy even a bite due to my gluten-free leanings. So I spent what turned out to be my last 12 euros on food I couldn't even eat (having to scrap together 4.50 euros in change for an awful tourist crepe for lunch) because my company decided to withhold my last paycheck until the 2nd of the next month and not pay me on the last day of the month, as usual.
What a nice kick in the ass on my way out the door!
(I must mention that my bank called me that same day to inform me I was overdrawn as my paycheck had not arrived. Ugh. The embarrassing and unfortunate call from the bank to let you know you're overdrawn.) So whatever, I couldn't spend any money for a couple of days, but let's just say that this annoyance perfectly summed up what it was like working at that utterly awful and unprofessional company. Thanks for not letting me get sentimental, suckers!
Byro came to town to help with the move and spend some time in Paris. I didn't want to have to admit to people that I'd lived in Paris and never been to the Pompidou, so we went to the Pompidou. Also, we wanted to go to the Pompidou.
It's definitely looking a little worn down in the bathrooms and the hallways, but it's still a spectacular building (all those pipes!). But what is it about Paris putting people in hamster-like habitrails? Does it got a escalator? Yup. Well, let's put it in a glass chute! You know, make 'em ride in the chute! Works at the airport!
But anyway, the views are spectacular. We sat at Georges on the roof and had some ice cream while enjoying this view:
We caught the Gerhard Richter exhibit, and found ourselves staring at a photo-realistic painting of a cloud for far too long. It was that good. Sorry, no photos of the cloud paintings, but I did manage to snap a few of my other favorites. Some rooms were photo-friendly and others not.
This guy likes that one. And so did I.
A view outside from one of the exhibition rooms. But shoot, with Richter's realistic style, this coulda been one-a his!
Love the breakdown of the realism on these two.
It really sets a mood, hmm?
What I have to look forward to this winter.
Here's another one of the wonderful view from the Pompidou, complete with that fancy tower in the background. And a crane that seems to have won the challenge.
B and I had a swell last dinner at Aux Deux Amis with Magali. And our favorite sassy/surly waiter even took a photo with us and comped us some vieille prune. Awww.
And then the move began.
Here's my Paris apartment all boxed up:
And emptied out. I wanted to cry when I saw it like this. There was so much to do and I was so sleep-deprived in doing it that I hardly had a moment to feel sad about leaving Paris. Until I was left to wait in my beautiful and empty apartment for the guy to come and do the exit walk-through.
This made me sad:
When we popped up in Stockholm, we had a few days in the empty apartment there. (And found that the air mattress had decomposed while we were in Paris, so we slept on the floor until our things arrived a few days later.) I swear, the movers were laughing at us in Swedish as they kept bringing more things in and asking WHERE they should put them, as we all could see there was nowhere to go with our stuff. So the shit was piled up, and we left promptly for Gothenburg the next morning to check out the Way Out West festival. Un-magically, everything was as we left it (piled and messy) when we returned a few days later. Thanks for nothing, Cochino. I have been working my toots off all weekend to clean and put everything away, and it's finally livable here. I wish I would have taken before photos because you would not believe all I managed to do this weekend! I have the aching back and sore muscles to prove it. But damn it's good to sit on my couch with nary a box in sight as I write this!
Speaking of our move, Cochino was a real trooper. She was a complete professional on the flight (which we all know she hates), and she stayed out of our way on moving day in Stockholm. At one point, I walked into the living room and saw she had been restrained by the curtains, however. There she sat, defeated on the couch. When I asked B about his new cat-tethering technique, he said he had nothing to do with it. So either the movers got tricky with the leashed beast, or this was just a happenstance hold.