The Detroit techno guys continue to elevate the art form. This set from Funkhaus in Berlin. Incredible.
We woke up the next morning, still jet lagged in a small town near Pescara or it may have still been Pescara. The architectue around there was a taste of what was to be a constant througout the entire trip, old crumbling buildings, with overgrown vines that really gave you a sense of being somewhere with deep history.
The photos were taken right across from where we stayed and the short video below gives you a sense of the old roads.
We had a short drive to Castel Fidardo which was very pretty, mostly farmland.
We passed Loreto where the Basilica Santa Casa sat shrouded in mist. We didn’t have time to stop but what a sight! Read about the legend of the Black Madonna if you’re not familiar. This is one of the biggest pilgramage sites in the world with nearly 4 million visitors per year! We blazed right by it though, we had to bring the spacerock to the people, no time for infamous pilgramage sites!
We got to the venue which was also in a really cool area on a hill. We eventually found out that we were in a very special place regarding the history of the accordian. It turns out that the Stratovarius of accordians are manufactured here, and people travel far and wide to obtain one. Furthermore, and perhaps even more interesting is that the club owner, Giampiero, has an uncle who was the guy who travelled to Houston in the 60’s and set up an accordian shop, which directly fed the Tex-Mex and Tejano scene in a major way. Again, the history of this place was pretty special.
The building the club was in was also a music shop, Casa della Musica which was built by the founder of the accordian in the early 1900’s.
Aside from the heavy music history here, Giampiero was a gracious host, really excited to have us and treated us like family almost! The food was also amazing, we had a nice spread backstage as well as a bar full of prosciutto and cheese plates to pick at.
Also adding to the family atmosphere…family! I’m guessing from the ‘Shaolin’ gear, these were the bands kids, or friends of the bands kids, or maybe they just really attract a young fanbase. Either way, It was a cool experience to see kids hanging out in a bar scene without it being weird or dangerous. These kids knew their way around a pool table as well as a can of silly string!
One of the first observations I made being in Europe was this openeness of culture. We generally wouldn’t dare bring our kids out to a little dive bar like this, I very rarely ever see bands bring their families out to shows, unless it’s a festival or giant tour scenario, but never little dive bar gigs. These kids were so well behaved around pool cues and pint glasses, and these early social experiences are sure to form them into well adjusted adults, actually. they were better behaved than most adults I’ve encounter in bars!
In The U.S., we have such a different stigma around our bar scene. These are dark places where only dark things happen. Aside from rampant alcoholism being an obvious element, these are places where drugs are obtained and consumed, the focus is usually a search for random sex, and gun violence is a frequent occurence. The club scene often has an intimidating gang element, or a vibe of machismo, groups of “bro’s” out looking for girls, which can easily create a predatory environment. Rock and Roll, punk and indie/DIY shows can seem intimidating from the outside, and there is a real lack of all ages venues everywhere which makes it difficult to expose our youth to more diversity in culture and locally generated creativity.
I’m not saying all of Europe is like this, but this one isolated experience was an eye opener, and made me question if this could ever occur in the US where we fear even sending our kids to school these days.
Let me also add that this was a small humble venue, I say ‘dive bar’ but it was a really clean, well decorated venue with a decent sound system and competent sound guy. The bathrooms were also really clean and everyone kept up on that, another phenomenon I would observe throughout our trip.
Here, it was all about good food, music, family and strong coffee! People were drinking alcohol of course but with a different sort of approach that wasn’t so much to escape from something as it was to enhance an already great atmosphere and experience.
here’s a couple of minutes of the opener that night. Shaolin were a great bunch of young musicians.
Here’s an excerpt from Maharishi from our set that night:
We had a great set, packed up the gear and drove 15 minutes to our digs for the night in Osimo. Stay tuned for more…
All pics by Jeff K.
“Action Shot” by Imanuele Pirani
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I had a really cool time getting to see The Flesh Eaters. This was interesting to me ’cause the last time they played in 2015 my band Andalusia Rose opened for them at Great American Music Hall…the time before that in 2007 at Slims my band with Javier Matos “Hud” opened up for them, which was the first time that classic line-up reunited in a really long time. Before that in the 90’s, as most of you know, I played guitar with the band and we released an album in 1999. So this was the first time I got to just watch the band and enjoy the music without being in that headspace of having to perform or load gear or whatever.
The chemistry between these guys is awesome, and having played a lot of these songs in a line-up that consisted of 2 guitars, I worked the most with Larry Schemel currently of Death Valley Girls, getting to hear the sax and vibes treatment was really cool. They even played a song I co-wrote from that 1999 release and that was a trip and an honor to hear coming from these guys. They also had a copy of our cd Ashes of Time along with the classic albums at the merch table.
There are still a few old fart punk bands out there and these guys have been around as long as anybody, but these were some dapper gentlemen laying down some heavy vibes (no pun intended…well maybe yes, the vibes were the loudest thing in the mix last night!) Hahahaha! Great show and an excellent turn out for a Sunday night! Glad I went.
This video shot by my friend Lil Mike actually captures a funny moment where Chris remembers, onstage that he forgot to put a certain someone on the list…someone who played guitar for him for years! hahaha! It was well worth the price of admission. Enjoy the fellas versions of “Green Manalishi” by Peter Green and “She’s Like Heroin to Me” by The Gun Club.
Jean-Michel speaks on musical creativity and technology from his studio in Paris. This is from a recent Erica Synths Garage Series and includes a short modular jam as well.