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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Bowie pinches nerve, cancels festival appearances

The funny thing about a plan is, well, you know the scoop. We figured we'd have 3 chances to see David Bowie, so we ditched the first. Now, as you may have read, Mr. Bowie has pinched a nerve in his shoulder and has been advised to cancel his remaining festival appearances. Read about it here. Bummer. Slipknot is not a consolation prize in this case.

At Oxegen at least, the replacement headliner is a bit more of a fair replacement: The Darkness!

Today is our final day in Berlin. Last night we were bold and tried some traditional German food. I actually ate something called Pig Knuckle, and I must say it was about the most disgusting thing I've ever swallowed in my life. Mr. Sean Hoffman ate some kind of raw herring, country style and for him it was about the worst meal he ever had. Our "authentic" German dining experience was made even worse by a noisy graduation party from Mexico of all places.

Sean apparently has an uncanny sense of direction and managed to steer us back to our u-bahn stop almost by sense of smell. At least in Berlin, I have begun to defer to him for navigating the streets. Although the subway (u-bahn) and I get along famously.

Tomorrow we're off to Copenhagen, by train. It will take ten hours and we will pass briefly back through Hamburg. Of course, the last bit will be over water by boat. Should be fun.

Overall, Hamburg was actually more fun. Comparatively, I'd say Hamburg feels like a Milwaukee or even a Minneapolis to Berlin's Chicago or New York. Our bus and boat tours of the city allowed us to see most of the sites from the outside (Brandenburg Gate, miscellaneous bits of the remaining parts of the Berlin wall and such) but we never really went into many places. The shopping, however, has been extremely tempting. I've already bought two pairs of shoes and several shirts. I found a gift for our friend Heath Henjum of the Olympic Hopefuls et al, a 1976 Olympic Games t-shirt, so if you read this Heath, you have a present coming upon our arrival home.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Roskilde Live Stream Begins

It's just the camp stage, but there are already people at Roskilde and it looks like they're starting to warm things up for us. Watch the live video here. We will not be at the festival until Friday. If we can get there Thursday we can catch Korn and Sahara Hotnights, but the first day of the festival looked a little slow and we may below off day 1 of 4 to rest.

We are in Berlin now. It's bigger than I'd imagined. Thankfully the Metro seems relatively easy to get around on which is even more helpful because our hotel here is in the boondocks. We had to take two trains just to get to the internet cafe.

One of those bizarre coincidences happened to me yesterday. I was walking through the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (Central Train Station) and a woman says to me as I walk by, "Where do I know you from?" I wonder, "Minneapolis?" She says, "No, it was somewhere else." Turns out it was a woman named Heidi Herder whom I went to Grinnell College with before I graduated 18 years ago. We were actually in the same German class together. She lives in Washington and was just in Hamburg chaperoning a group of schoolchildren. "How did you fucking recognize me," I said in the presence of several girls who appeared to be about 13, before clamping my hand over my mouth ashamed by my obscenity.

Crazy world. What are the odds?

Bis morgen.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Sean Hoffman orders "Pig Beer" in Hamburg

Guten Tag. We are in Hamburg. The Hurricane Festival is just letting out. After spending the entire morning after our flight in a bar called the Lucky Star drinking Astra and Kleiner Mexicaner (hot sauce and Tequila basically) we made it to the festival an hour´s train ride away in time to miss Modest Mouse entirely. Our consolation prize? A rocking Pixies show, followed up by a wonderful Sarah Bettens. Placebo wasn't so bad either.

After drinking until 4 a.m. at the Lucky Star we slept so late Saturday we got to the festival late again, catching only Wilco's final song. Our consolation? A decent Billy Talent, a hopping Franz Ferdinand and another shitty set by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Those guys have just never done it for me and I've now given them 5 chances!

The Hives were crazy. "Germany! You LOVE the Hives!" Yes, indeed we/they do. We could not believe ourselves as we walked and then ran away from the festival to catch the last train back to Hamburg without even being able to hear a note of the Cure. Oh well, we'll see them in Ireland in two weeks.

Today? An early and short trip out to catch Mclusky. Sean had recommended them. They didn't quite do it for me. Breed 77 on the other stage drew us away with a funny remark. "We're glad to be back in Germany. We were just in Minneapolis last week. And that's really fucking far away." No shit.

Ash was heavenly. The sun came out during "Shining Star" for the first time all day as if by their will. During a nap on the bleachers at the motorcycle speedway where the Hurrican Festival takes place, I caught the entire set bz Mando Diao and really dug what I heard. Forgive me if this commentary isn't fleshed out with details, but research for more info on these bands will need to wait until I return to the States.

The funniest thing by far that has happened here was while teaching Sean German he made a small mistake at the fish and chips shop, ordering "Schwein Bier" yesterday and wondering why the dude behind the counter looked at him so funny. What he meant to say was "Zwei Bier, Bitte." Meaning "Two beers, please." But "Schwein" most definitely means "Pig," or even worse "Bastard." Maybe you had to be there but I haven't laughed so long or so hard in a long time. Sean is actually doing quite well picking up the lingo. In the meantime, with my meager 3 years of college German it's been fun trying to translate. Though to be fair, most of the younger people here speak pretty good English, and even the older folks like our first bartender may not speak much but understand pretty well.

Now that we've finally figured out how to get around Hamburg pretty easily by train, tomorrow we are off to Berlin and will have to learn our way around all over again. At least the language is the same...until Thursday that is...when we head to Denmark.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

European Rock and Roll Tour Version 2004

It's that time again. Time to fly off to Europe and see the rock shows. Yeah, you pity me. I know.

This weekend it'll be Germany's Hurricane Festival outside of Hamburg for Air, Ash, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bright Eyes, Cypress Hill, Danko Jones, David Bowie, Dropkick Murphys, Franz Ferdinand,Graham Coxon, Mclusky, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Placebo, Snow Patrol, The Cure, The Hives, and Wilco (just to name a few.)

The following weekend The Roskilde Festival in Denmark will provide a similar experience. There we'll catch Bowie (again), and Broken Social Scene, The Fiery Furnaces, Iggy and the Stooges, Kings of Leon, Korn, Avril Lavigne, Muse, N*E*R*D, Pixies (again), the Scissor Sisters, and The Shins (see why I didn't bother with Sunday and Monday's packed First Ave shows?). Want to come along to this one virtually? This year Roskilde will provide real time video/audio streaming at Check the link right now for a festival preview.

The weekend after that, it'll be back to Dublin for the Oxegen Festival (formerly known as The Witnness Festival.) In Ireland we'll catch The Chemical Brothers, The Darkness, Bowie (again), The Delays, Elbow, Massive Attack, The Libertines, The Rapture, The Strokes and Wilco (again.)

If this already doesn't sound like too much fun, imagine that Beatifics drummer Sean Hoffman is coming along with you....

HowWasTheShow writers will continue writing in my absence and we'll get the site updated when I return on July 13th. In the meantime, stay tuned to the Blog for daily developments.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

David de Young (that's me) will be heard on Minnesota Music Sunday, June 20th

I would suppose that when you listen to a radio program religiously, as I do to Jason Nagel's Minnesota Music on Cities 97 (I swear I've only missed one show all year) that there's no greater honor than to be asked to co-host that program. To shatter a little radio magic, however, I already know how the show went because we taped it last night (Wednesday), but because of this I also know it's going to be worth listening to.

I've collected hundreds of CD's by Minnesota bands, many by the generosity of bands sending them to the howwastheshow PO Box (keep 'em coming!) and my goal as guest on Minnesota Music was to give some airplay to some deserving music I feel hasn't been played enough. I wish it had been a two hour program as I ended up with about twice as many songs that I wanted to play as there was time for. Ending up on the so-called "cutting room floor" so to speak were tracks by Erik Miller, The Violettes, Signal & Report, Forty Watt Bulb, Endless Blue, Jake Wisti, Claire de Lune and more. Hell, I had enough songs for another entire program. Tell Jason to have me back on again soon!

Check out the actual playlist below, and tune in Sunday night to Cities 97 at 97.1 FM in the Twin Cities to hear my Red Bull infused commentary between songs.

1. Pete Hoffman - Messing With The In Between (From Crawling Tall, 2001)
2. The Chris Danforths - Today I Joined the Army (From Outside of Outer Space)
3. Terry Eason - God Knows That We Try (From Elephant Garden, 2003)
4. Love-Cars - Somerset (From Chump Lessons, 1998)
5. Bec Smith - You Can't Even Tell (From Temper, 2001)
6. Volante - Blood Let (From Static Until Sunrise, 2004)
7. Janis Figure - Fantastic Man (From Throttled, 2004)
8. Friends Like These - 7th Street Queen (From Evil EP, 2004)
9. The Mood Swings - (Come On) Tell Me (From Susstones pre-release single 2004)
10. Tapes N Tapes - Beach Girls (2004)
11. Mandrew - Monica Faust (2004)

Concentual Puts Up Billboards to promote CD Release Show at the Fine Line on 6/19

A real picture of a real billboard on 43rd and Upton

I haven't seen such a shameless (and likely effective) display of self-promotion from a local rock band since Flavor draped a sheet-sized advertisement for a show at Bunkers from an 35W overpass during the evening rush hour last summer.

Twin Cities-based Rock/Pop band Concentual has put up 6 billboards in the Twin Cities to promote their show Saturday and sent me this photo of one on 43rd and Upton. (Perhaps Clear Channel will return the gift of support to them someday.)

After a successful gimmick where they auctioned off the very first copy of their new CD "Stranger Than Fiction" on eBay for $71 (more money than many bands rake in from their merch table for an entire show) Concentual will celebrate the release of that CD Saturday at the Fine Line with their friends Grayson and the Scott Morrisson Band. (Get your free tickets here.)

Concentual's new disk is nothing if not an ambitious attempt to rise above the run of the mill bar rock the Twin Cities has to offer, and to be fair it does have its moments of success. The band has been having great turnout at its shows locally and on the road. Their song "Erase" was recently spun on Nate on Drums KSTC Channel 45. I had this poppy and catchy song that showcases Bryan Thuney's strong and passionate vocals on my to playlist for my co-hosting of Minnesota Music with Jason Nagel to be aired 6/20, but due to time constraints I wasn't able to squeeze it in. Hear it for yourself on their brand new website at

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Gone Out Gone to play host to 15 bands on one night June 25th at the Uptown

Gone Out Gone in a photo from their website

I'll be at the Hurricane Festival outside Hamburg, Germany on June 25th with over 100 bands to choose from on multiple stages, but if you're here in Minneapolis, here's your consolation prize.

The guys in Gone Out Gone, relentless supporters of local music, invite all bands/musicians to come out to the Uptown Bar on
Friday, June 25th. Bands will get to jump up onstage and play 2 songs using Gone Out Gone's backing gear.

Gone Out Gone will kick off the craziness with 2 brand new songs and then the band-name-drawing-from-a-hat will commence and go until the lid goes down on the sound board.

What else are GOG doing to support the scene? Their website a "Band of the Month" section. Recent winners include We Invented Tornados, Big Ditch Road and Thoughtcloud.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Weekend of Fun

Here are some photos to whet your appetite. Reviews to follow.

The HowWasTheShow 2nd Anniversary Party at the Dinkytowner

Guided by Voices headlined Grand Old Days (Photo by Peter Anderson)

Mark Mallman put on a memorable show opening for Guided By Voices (Camera Phone photo by Erin Sayer)

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Big Ticket: the best haircuts are taken

HowWasThesShow meant to cover the Stills / Metric / Sea Ray show at the Fine Line Sunday night, but things went awry for the two of us who were in attendance. I won't mention what happened to my colleague, but I will mention that I myself woke up with a killer cold Monday morning (a postpartum illness resulting from Voltage finally being over perhaps?) My cold turned into total laryngitis by Friday, so I've missed all the shows this week (except the Decemberists, of course) and was in no shape to write about it anyway.

Fortunately, our friends over at The Big Ticket wrote up a nice review of the Metric show here. I, myself, enjoyed the Stills, but tend to agree that there is some cause for concern in the amalgam of musical styles they have coalesced. It was still a good show, however, and I would see them again.