THIS WEEK AS WE CONTINUE TO WRAP UP 2012, WE’RE POSTING SOME OF INTRAFFIK.COM’S “LOST POSTS.”
The Deepseas Goes: “Waiting”
Location: Silverlake Lounge
Cold Showers: “BC“
Dudes Night: “Everybody Woes”
Location: Blue Star
Young Turks: “Knife Club”
Location: Blue Star (more…)
Cults play the Old Pasadena Indie Rock Stage at 4 p.m. This is a band that I flew across the Atlantic to catch. I first caught one of their sets at FYF and decided I’d fly off to the U.K. to catch a much more personal set at Rough Trade Records. You don’t believe me? I have an Intraffik post to prove it!!!
At 5 p.m., there are two awesome bands hitting two different stages, Milo Greene and NO. Milo Greene will be at the Old Pasadena Indie Rock Stage while NO will be at the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena. I love to rotate around on Monday nights in Los Angeles to catch various residency bands. I don’t usually stop at the same place twice in a month, but for Milo Greene I stopped by twice at The Satellite. And last year when Sunset Junction got cancelled, my music needs were satisfied by heading over to Dangerbird Records to catch their set. My love for NO is well documented. If they played too early for you on Sunday at Silver Lake Jubilee, you get another chance to catch them in a late afternoon time slot.
At 6 p.m., there is a massive traffic jam of bands hitting with Grouplove at the Old Pasadena Indie Rock Stage, Honeyhoney at the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena and Black Flamingo playing the Majestical Roof Courtyard Stage. Good luck with having to make a decision there. I know I’m conflicted. The last time I saw either Grouplove or Honeyhoney was when each had separate residencies at Bootleg Bar. I do have a longer history with Honeyhoney. I still remember the first time I caught honeyhoney at what was then known as Spaceland. I heard “Little Toy Gun” and was hooked. As for Grouplove, their Bootleg residency show was the first time I saw them. The place was packed. There were smiles throughout. If you listen to the radio for an hour, you’re more than likely to catch their song. As for Black Flamingo, I recently did a post on them when they played with NO. Do you want to hear demons and angels joining in harmony?
And here are some quick shout outs: Happy Hallows plays at noon. The Lonely Wild at 2 p.m. Grimes at 5 p.m. Caught at Ghost at 6:30 p.m. Shadow Shadow Shade and Ross Sea Party at9:45 p.m. Robotanists are also playing their first show in some time at Make Music Pasadena
As is customary, during his travels Notes from Vivace will not go on holiday without making a decent effort in seeking out the local music scene from whichever far-off locale he jets off to (click here to see some of his past adventures). This time it was Edinburgh and London. This is a IV Part Series. For Part I click here. For Part II click here. For Part III click here.
It was off to Stonehenge. Yes, a bucket list item for me. What a wonderful experience though I will say this, luckily, I brought a jacket. I was thinking of leaving my jacket behind. Edinburgh was freezing, but the weather was great in London. For some reason, it was down right chilly around Stonehenge.
And a funny observation. As we were all in the van waiting to head back to London, we had to wait about ten minutes for two individuals. The driver “Isn’t it ironic that the two people that are late are the ones who need to catch a flight today. They kept on asking, ‘When will we arrive back in London as we have a flight to catch?”
Random thought. Sometimes I wonder if we over-interpret what the ancients left behind. For example, there is a place called Bubble Gum Alley in San Luis Obispo. I wonder if in 500 years some archeologists will think it is an attempt at great art.
I’m not saying Stonehenge is a joke, but I wonder if what is found around these massive rocks aren’t related to the ceremonies that experts believe happened there. What if people were just out having a picnic and failed to clean up after themselves?
Language. England is a flat country. I think it impacts their language. The audio guide said at one point, “Over to your right, you can see two hills.” I looked to the right and saw some bumps. They didn’t look like hills to me. I half wondered if I was looking in the correct direction. Maybe the audio guide should have used the word “knoll” or maybe “those small bumps out that way.”
After Stonehenge, it was off on a number of small trips across London. First, finding an Internet café to surf the web. Second, getting an advance train ticket to get to the airport. It took me a very long time to get a ticket as one of the individuals in front of me spent a significant amount of time trying to figure the cheapest way to get from point a to point b to point c and so on. Third, it was off to get something to eat on the west side of London. I headed over to a restaurant called Blah Blah Blah, but it was closed. I then went all the way across town to Vitao where I had a really good meal.
From there I went back to Rough Trade where I caught Cults. I saw Cults for the first time at FYF. I loved them. I wrote at that time that it felt like their set was cut off by five minutes and that I wanted one more song. Well, I was getting a full set as a follow-up in London.
Comments from the night:
Madeline Follin: “I’m happy to see that there are babies here. I wish there were more babies at our shows . . . right over there [pointing out the baby].”
As is customary, during his travels Notes from Vivace will not go on holiday without making a decent effort in seeking out the local music scene from whichever far-off locale he jets off to (click here to see some of his past adventures). This time it was Edinburgh and London. This is a IV Part Series. For Part I click here. For Part II click here. For Part IV check back tomorrow.
I woke up sick. That was just brilliant. Sore throat. Running nose. What was to blame? The flight over? The lack of sleep? The cold weather? The stress of having my luggage misplaced? The volcano eruption, which resulting in me not getting to my destination in the planned manner? Probably all of the above.
(One thing I didn’t address so far regarding Edinburgh was the weather. It was cold and it was rainy. I arrived with the proper clothing. The weather was totally expected, but when you’re actually faced with rain and chilly wind in May, it actually is unexpected.)
Measures were taken. Orange juice. Robitussen. Cough drops. Water. Sleep.
Of course, I couldn’t spend my last full day in Edinburgh just hanging out in my hotel room. I took some time to visit a handful of museums before heading back to my hotel for a nap. As for going out to listen to more bands, that was a definite no-go. Instead, I watched the final American Idol episode – music related.
Restaurants. I’ll be honest. I was so freaked out about how expensive everything was (or was going to be once I hit London) that I really went cheap in Edinburgh. Stuffed baked potato. The cheapest possible pizza I could find from a restaurant named after Ernesto “Che” Guevara. I did; however, go all out one late afternoon. I went to David Bann where I got an udon noodle dish for about the equivalent of $18, ouch (it was one of the cheapest dishes on the menu). It was a nice restaurant. I’m no expert on design so I’ll steal this quote from happycow.net: ”Modern, stylish restaurant with deep aubergine walls accented in silver and dark, minimalist seating send a strictly nouvell” message. I have no clue what that means, but it does sound sophisticated enough to be accurate. Here’s what I noticed when I first walked in at around 5 p.m. Everyone was dressed in black. Diners and employees. Though the place was mostly empty at that hour, I did happen to take a peek at the reservation schedule and it looked like the restaurant would get packed starting at 7 p.m. As for the food, it was a good meal.
A few minutes after I sat down and destroyed the whole black dressed atmosphere, another tourist walked in and she was also dressed as casually as I was. That was a relief. I half suspect that if I had walked in at 7 p.m. they would have sat me in the far corner of the room or maybe even the broom closet.
Interesting observation: The restaurant is designed so that you can see the chefs preparing the meal. One chef asked one of the waiters for a glass of ice. The waiter went to the front desk and asked a maitre d’ to get a glass of ice. A few minutes later the chef once again asked the waiter for a glass of ice. A snippy comment was made about needing it for some eggs. An angry look was exchanged. The waiter walked off to get some ice and when he returned he just put it on the counter without telling the chef (who had his back to the counter). The chef eventually retrieved the glass of ice. Moments later someone from the front came over with a glass of ice. She also did not tell the chef that she was leaving a glass of ice. Possible serious communication problems in this restaurant?
So I still hadn’t fully adjusted to the time zone shift, but I did manage to get seven hours of sleep in. My check-out wasn’t until noon so I stuck around my hotel room reading a book. After checking out, I headed off to the train station. Looking up at the departure board, I noticed a warning that said trains from London to Edinburgh were being cancelled due to a line problem.
Well, if train service was being disrupted going from London to Edinburgh, I was rather sure service was going to be disrupted from Edinburgh to London. I headed off to the ticket desk where a young woman said that the train was still going to leave Edinburgh at the proper time; however, it might take longer than usual to get to London. I boarded the train and as we were arriving at the next stop an announcement was made over the sound system that went something like this. “There are major problems along the rail line. You might not make it to London today. It is recommended that you get off at this stop and return to Edinburgh.” Okay, my UK trip was turning into a logistical nightmare. I decided I was just going to take my chances and stuck to my seat.
Our train started to get packed as passengers from other diverted trains started to pile in. Apparently, few were taking the advice to just stay at your point of departure. We arrived at York where our train stopped for perhaps 30 minutes if not an hour. Announcements were made saying that the train would eventually stop at Doncaster. From there we would need to take another train to Sheffield and from there head on to London. I do have to give it up to the train staff. They tried their best to communicate directions, but I couldn’t help but think that if I was a non-English speaker I would have had no clue what they were saying. Doncaster, Sheffield, what kind of city names are those?
I started to pay attention to a couple of young woman. They were English. And they were talking aloud about their options. I figured they probably had some clue about what was going on around them. Folks started to exit the train. I could see them all looking up at the departure schedule and then I watched them rushing off to other platforms (or, perhaps, I was thinking to a taxi to get to Doncaster, I had no clue – post research shows that Doncaster is about 50 miles away from York so that was a totally stupid thought). The two young women had the same question, “Where is everyone going? Didn’t they tell us that we were supposed to get off at Doncaster?” One of them took the initiative and got off the train. I saw her talking to a train station employee. She came back in and told her friend, “Everyone took off and got on another train. The guy told me that we’d get to London 45 minutes sooner if we just waited to get to Doncaster. But then I asked him when we should expect the train to leave and he didn’t have a clue. If we’re stuck here for awhile maybe it would have been faster to jump onto the other train. Why didn’t they at least give us the option?”
Eventually our train pulled out from York and we were soon in Doncaster. Once on the platform, I looked up at the departure schedule and saw that the train to Sheffield was leaving in like 15 minutes. I also saw that there was a train departing from Doncaster that was going directly to London, but I decided I better just stick with the suggested route. A brief sense of panic hit many of us who were heading to Sheffield as we only had 15 minutes to find the new platform. The departure schedule said to go to Platform Eight. We all rushed to platform 8. Then we looked up at the departure schedule and noticed that it now said that the Sheffield train was leaving from Platform 3b. There was a rush of folks trying to get to Platform 3B. Who wanted to get stuck in Doncaster . . . actually, Doncaster might be a great place to visit, I have no clue.
My time from Doncaster to Sheffield was spent watching two young girls, between 5 and 8 years of age. Their dad was sitting with them. They spent half the time licking the train window. I was thinking the whole time, “Doesn’t the father notice them licking the train window? That’s disgusting. Why doesn’t he stop them?” Eventually he did. As we headed through some tunnels, the two girls played a more interesting game. As we were in a tunnel, they yelled out, “It’s nighttime.” And when we left a tunnel, “Oh, it’s morning.” Their arms stretched wide the whole time. Okay, that was cute, but it didn’t make up for the window licking.
We got to Sheffield in a proper manner and the train to London was at the appropriate platform.
On this train I was surrounded by futbol fanatics. This was the night of the Manchester vs. Barcelona game and folks were complaining about the train delays and therefore their inability to watch the game on television. Someone had a laptop computer with wireless access and a group of around five people watched the game. As it became apparent that Barcelona would win, one guy said, “At least we’re losing to the Spanish. Just think if we were playing the French.”
We arrived in London around 10 p.m. at Euston Station. My original destination was supposed to be King’s Cross (Harry Potter). Euston Station is within walking distance of King’s Cross, but I never took the initiative to walk on over to King’s Cross. By this time the train/underground offices were closed and I really didn’t have any clue what the process was to get a ticket. The Underground is divided into zones and you pay based on how many zones you go and I had no real clue on how that process worked (even though I had done some reading on it). I also didn’t have a solid idea regarding which Underground stop was nearest my hotel. So I walked out of the station and instead of doing what normal people do, which is to take a taxi, I walked it to my hotel. It probably took me 45 minutes or so to get to my hotel. At least it got me so tired that from that point on my jet lag ended.
Interesting situation: no one came by at all to check if I had a ticket from Edinburgh to London. I guess due to the line disruption the staff figured that everyone would have tickets for different trains anyways so why bother checking.
After my initial hesitation to take the Underground upon my arrival in London, I didn’t have any such hesitations Sunday morning. I walked over to Paddington Station and bought a day ticket. And from that point onward, I was a believer in the London Underground.
My first tourist spot was to the Tower of London (see photo above). This is actually an expensive tourist spot to visit. It costs around $30 plus they ask for a $3 tip (£18 + £2 tip). Is it worth $33? Honestly, it seems a little on the expensive side. Unless you really really really want to see the crown jewels, you can probably skip it.
While walking around, I saw someone with a Duke t-shirt. I can say that Americans are very loyal to their universities: Duke, Texas Tech, Texas, UCLA.
Later I found my way to Buckingham Palace (pictured right). I took some photos from the gates and then decided to walk through the parks to get to my hotel. It was a longer walk than I thought it would be. The park never seemed to end.
I took off to the Westminster Abbey. A very impressive house of worship and I did get to see where Queen Elizabeth sat for the recent royal wedding. From there it was off to the Tate Modern, which I say is over-rated. I think LACMA and MOCA can hold their own to Tate Modern. Then it was off to Tate Britain. I got there just as a tour was starting, which was 45 minutes of interesting commentary on a handful of paintings.
From there it was off to the Rough Trade East to catch my first band in London, Cloud Control.
As mentioned earlier, I sent off a Facebook message to someone in Edinburgh to get some ideas on which bands to check out. I received back a wealth of information. I also tried sending off e-mails to a couple of people in London, but I never got a response back. However, via my Internet surfing, I did come up with some options. A cool option that popped up was Rough Trade East. They had two free shows: one on Monday (Cloud Control) and another on Tuesday (Cults!!!). As also previously mentioned, the UK is one expensive place so free shows were welcomed in my opinion. Yes, sounds like Amoeba Records to me, also.
Note from Editor: Intraffik.com apologizes for not posting Notes from Vivace’s playlist at the end of October when he initially submitted it. Is it 2011 yet?
Growlers – “Someone Junior”
Cults - “Go Outside”