Thursday, October 07, 2004
Thalia Zedek Tour Report #2
Tilburg - 013:
Large, modern music venue, all black and shiny, and metallic... great coffee. The other music hall in the building had a band called "Papa Roach" playing - a loud metal-jam band or something, with two tour buses and a lot of young skate-punk kids wearing black, and chains, all hanging around trying to get into the bus area... that never happens to the Thalia Zedek band, that's for sure. Good shows for both bands - Howe claims it was the "tightest" show he's ever been a part of, in Giant Sand or any other band. "Tight" is musical technical jargon for "well-played, with an unspoken and energetic synchronicity between the players".
Gent - Handelsbeurs:
Gent is a beautiful city.
Many canals and ancient buildings, lots of cathedrals and a belfrey or two. Not as touristy as Brussels.
Two great places to hang out are the dark, brown & amber-colored jazz bar called Damberg, and a place called the Pink Flamingo, which has red walls, sad velvet clown and puppy paintings, and sculptural wall art made from toys and 1950s to 1970s popular culture stuff. It would be very comfortable if it was transplanted to the lower east side of Manhattan, NYC.
The venue was a beautiful old music hall next to the Opera House in a main public square, cobble-stoned, with a bandstand.
Dusseldorf - Zakk:
Another public multi-use venue... dedicated staff, excellent breakfast... a piano tuner came to work on the piano that Howe would use for the show. He broke a string, and had no spare, but finished tuning all the other strings and then politely and quietly disappeared. The music room is a strange shape and the speakers are set up in an unusual way, and we think it made the sound quality suffer, but the show was charged and fun, and both bands have been selling a lot of records.
Stefan from Normal Records was in attendance, and we met and talked for a long time. He just put out a Thalia Zedek record of rare live recordings and radio performances on his music series called "return to Sender". The artwork for the series has a postal theme with postage stamps. Ours was found and put together by friend Heather, and isn't a real stamp, but a calling-card stamp for an association of "mail art" where people design unofficial artistic stamps and then use them to mail letters with.
Berlin - Quasimodo
A legendary jazz bar in west Berlin. There were many friends to see the Thalia Zedek band, most of whom live in Berlin, but one named Emma who came from Australia and wins the travel-to-show prize.
It was our best show yet, even with an interuption of a broken guitar string, but Anders from Giant Sand helped by letting Thalia use his guitar for a song while he changed her broken string. Everybody in Giant Sand is fun and friendly. The crowd was very enthusiastic and many were turned away at the door. I think the show should have been in a bigger venue. Some Giant Sand fans missed out.
The Thalia crowd all went to the chic and expensive "Paris Bar" across the street and some stayed and talked until 5:30 in the morning, until the bus had to leave for the next city. Scott is a good bus driver, and practices by day with a Sony Play Station driving game called "Need For Speed".