Europe, Electrified!

Posted: June 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Alright people, just calm down. I’m blogging, I’m blogging.

As you can imagine, being in Europe can be quite a distraction from blogging about what we’re doing all the time, especially since internet has been a lot less consistent here than even when we were down in Mexico. Just ask Todd’s brother Brad. If my memory serves me right, Brad was a little less than satisfied with my blogging performance down there. Unfortunately I can’t say this will be any better. I can only say that I will try.

OHMYGODWE’REINEUROPEOHMYGODOHMYGOD

This is my third time over that great body of water and each time it feels different. From Jet Lag to language barriers, there are always obstacles to overcoming but it is oh, so worth it in the end.

After an 8hr flight through the night and a layover in Amsterdam with another flight to Prague, we landed at about 4p Prague time. just like that, we magically lost 7 hours of our day, and due to a lack of sleep on the plane over, we were all just about ready to crash when we got here.

But there is stuff to do!

After varying degrees of napping, we forced each other out of bed and out of the hotel. Any more sleeping and we’d truly be messed up. As it turned out, Mark and Hernan, my two Mexico buddies Todd and I played with on the last tour, were here in Prague playing at the Jazz Dock (where A Love Electric will be playing for two nights next week) along with a couple other Euro dudes. They were doing Mark’s music, so me and the boys opted to walk in the rain all the way to the venue.

This is where things get fun.

We hit the streets. Greg, Chris and I nabbed a sausage thing off a street vendor on our way and mowed those things down handily. Todd, in case you haven’t noticed, rarely puts anything down that pie hole of his except some cigarettes and an occasional 25 cent Fudge Round from the local gas station. Those things are irresistible! Wait, I’m talking about me…

Anyways. After a very unnecessarily long walk to the club, and I mean seriously unnecessary – turns out, when you’re jet-lagged, trying to navigate an already tricky city to get around is nearly impossible – we made it to the jazz dock and enjoyed about a set and a half of some very beautiful music. It was a 150 crown cover, which comes out to about $13. I’ve noticed as I go places that are not in the United States that people actually pay to see music everywhere else in the world. And they really do come and fill the joints to hear the music. Remember that place we played in Mexico, Jazzatlan? Yeah, $25 (american) cover and the place was packed. For Mark’s show is was rainy and cold outside. In any place in America a $5 cover + rain = no one comes to your show.

Pretty amazing how much people appreciate this music, and understand that they are paying for entertainment. Much like how you’d spend $50 on tickets to see Brittany Spears, except it’s no where near that expensive and the music is better.

But I’ll get off my high horse.

We slept after enjoying some beer from Prague and the wonderful music. I did a little research before coming here (and by research I mean I watched the Prague episode of Rick Steves Europe on Hulu), I found that the first lagers were brewed in Prague. Before Prague beer was just heavy and dark. This is truly a city after my own heart.

The next day we woke up and hit the train to Dresden, Germany. Just a couple of hours away but a totally different country with a totally different vibe and a totally different language (OHMYGODWE’REINEUROPEOHMYGODOHMYGOD!). We then embarked on the most epic jet-lagged walk of all time.

Being sure that we were supposed to go “this way” instead of “that way,” our fearless leader took us toward what we believed would be Jazz Club Tonne in Dresden. We walked, we turned, we crossed over rail-road tracks, Chris was almost killed after walking on to the tracks without looking (I saved his life, NBD), we asked for directions, we walked some more, we asked for directions again, and walked some more.

About the third time we asked for directions we were sure we had missed our turn. Todd promised that he thought it looked very close to the original train station we came in on and we had already been walking for 20 minutes. Keep in mind, this is with all of our stuff. Suit cases, backpacks, and instruments. Everything.

So this third guy pretty much says, yeah…you’re going the wrong way. So we turn ourselves around and walk all the way back to the train station where our journey began. Yep. We had walked the wrong direction the whole time. So Todd finally says, “you know what, guys, I’m so sick of this. Let’s get a taxi.” We all agreed. We get to talk to the taxi driver, who looks like a guy straight out of the band Police, and as we’re loading in our gear he asks where we are going. “Jazz Club Tonne,” we say. He laughs and quickly starts removing our gear from his trunk. “It’s right around the corner, I’m not driving you there.”

Yep. Right around the corner.

So we make it to the venue and it’s a super cool place down in the basement. Arched doorways and a little area for the band to play. We spent some time getting stuff set up and doing sound-checks until it was time for the Artistic Director of the club to take us to dinner. Yeah, they took US to dinner. That’s how they do things here. They also put us up in a very nice hotel, so….yeah…Move to Europe, anyone?

 

They place had a great vibe and by the time we were all rocking and rolling, and lost in the music, we weren’t thinking about the jet-lag or the unnecessarily long walk (for the second time is as many days), we were just thinking about the music. There was a nice crowd that stuck around even after the break and stayed for the second set. Seriously, playing in other countries is unreal. It’s unreal how different it is.

We all enjoyed some beer after the gig and then walked back to the hotel where we each had our own rooms to unwind and get some sleep.

By the next morning most of us were back on track and feeling pretty good. We caught a 2:30p train out of Dresden to Prague and got back here last night with enough time to go out and see the town, get some dinner, drink some beer, and for Todd to get his feet cleaned by Thai fish in a gigantic aquarium. mmmhm. That’s right. He did that.

Chris and I smoked Cuban cigars while Todd got his feet cleaned by a bunch of little fish at a Thai Massage place. Now, who’s more manly?

We went home to sleep and now we’re up ready to meet this day with intensity. There is a birthday party for Mark out in one of the parks (Mark is lives in Prague year-round now), so we’re going to go see the castle first, and then hit the party. Good times will be had.

More to come!!!

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Comments
  1. janameckler says:

    BOOM SHAKA LAKA! I was starting to wonder if Todd was really on this tour until many pics down- you camera shy, Todd? Cuz that would be BOGUS. You have perfectly Thai-fish-cleaned feet, so no more hiding from the camera! A CASTLE?! Which one? I wanna come to the b-day party, so I’ll be there in about 8 hours- it better still be going…

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