Thursday, April 17, 2008
Leipzig/Autobahn , Germany
Morning time here in Leipzig. We're going to pack up from breakfast and hit the road in a few minutes (or whatever the metric equivalent is). About 1/2 of Isis is constantly on their computer when they're not playing. Actually, I guess the same has been true for our band so far, so I should just move on.
Yesterday's big accomplishment was getting here. My flight landed in Frankfurt, where I went through customs, parried with jet lag, switched to another plane and mentally recounted the gin and tonics (free) I'd gotten on the long plane ride. Flew another hour to Leipzig and then things went about as smoothly as I could expect. I looked like a right American fool navigating the trains in a country where I didn't speak the language - hanging out on the wrong train platform, getting stern looks from the ticket checker because I screwed that up too, knocking into commuters with my considerable pile of things. I finished the whole shebang with a short cab ride from a man I think used to be addicted to heroin. Paid him, got out and heard Isis sound checking. I have to say that hearing them run through "Dulcinea" was a treat; I like that song and will now always think of ending a long journey when I hear it.
Conne Island is the type of thing that I'm told is common over here and does not happen in the US at all. It's kind of a compound that's been taken over by punk rockers. They serve good food, they have a nice big place to see bands, there's some kind of library and everything under 8 feet high has been marked with graffiti. There's - for real - a skateboard ramp inside the club where bands play (though no Tony Hawkelmenches were pulling 720s during the Isis set) (I know, I know, it's a shame). The food is damn near excellent and a whole ton of people were there to see the show. I took care of some boring tasks and drank beer bought for other people, making a nuisance of myself as I tried to burn off nervous energy. After the night was done, Jakob (the other opening band) and I went back to the room the club has for touring bands, drinking some more. At some point I decided to take a shower and used half the bottle of TAG men's scented soap - trading the stink of my travels for the rugged smell of peppered sandlewood. I crawled into my sleeping bag clean, drunk and happy.
So now we're scooting along the Autobahn. All fingers and toes are crossed hoping Thad gets here with no problem. Jakob, flying from New Zealand, parted company with their guitars in San Francisco and have not seen them since (though the airline assures them the problem continues to be almost solved.) They are fine fellows but I do not wish to suffer their fate.
I should mention this because I promised myself I would - while transferring flights in Frankfurt I saw a man with a mustache that must be here noted. This thing ... this thing had to have won an award or two. His hair was salt and pepper, but the stache was a robust sienna. It began deep below his lips, curving slightly as it approched the pursed side of his mouth. Then it broke hard, blazing a proud march above the palette, only to complete its symmetry by plunging southwards again and halting at the bottom of his Teutonic face. Throughout its traverse it maintained a steely thickness of about 3/4 of an inch. And the trimming on it was top notch as even a Spaniard would attest. Not so bushy as to interfere with eating but strong enough to leave a searing, bristled memory on a kissed grandchild. I will be telling Thad all about it as I am in a constant (losing) campaign against Thad's wife to get him to grow a mustache.
Fortune favors the bold, Thad.
Our songs, mentally practicing them before we start playing.
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