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European Tour Journal Day 12: Dresden

Continued coverage of Turn Me On Dead Man 2018 European tour

OSTPOL DRESDEN

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After playing to a very small crowd in Salzburg on Sunday, we did not expect much from a Monday night gig. We rolled into Dresden late in the afternoon and aside from the ubiquitous graffiti, there were still remnants of bombed out structures from 1945. This definitely was not lost on us, we all got a bit humbled thinking about the atrocities of the not so distant past.

The venue, Ostpol, was just as interesting, another very old building that survived the times. It functioned as a collective and served as a pub/venue and a live-work space for artists and musicians. The rooms we stayed in were above the venue and the building was essentially left as it was when the revolution occurred in 1989.

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The view from the venue:

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THE GIG

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Soundcheck!

As mentioned above, we had very low expectations, it was a Monday and it was maybe 30 degrees outside and getting colder as the sun went down. We were prepared to have a fun loose time with our new friends and support act Saloon Bizarre who we hung out with up in our room pre-show.

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We talked about our respective music scenes and how The Bay Area is so dominated by tech industry folks and the effect it has on the integrity of the music coming out etc…turns out these guys work in tech in Dresden! We all had a good laugh and we really grew to like these guys.

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Loft Perspectives

Saloon Bizarre went down to play and Jonesy went to check them out, after a few minutes he comes back upstairs and says “Guys, the place is packed!” We all went down and sure enough there were bodies to the wall and Saloon Bizarre were killin’ it! They had a cool post punk style with tricky little turn arounds and a powerful sound, nice and tight and clean as a three piece.

Now here are one of those times where you just have to enjoy the experience. I had been making an effort to document this whole trip, especially the performances and tonight all my devices were full, so what happens? We play one of our best sets yet to a packed house and captured none of it! The stage was really shallow so I had to stand front and center and not move too far in any direction lest I get sliced by a cymbal. At one point, and this is something I’ve never seen, Ziggy did a deep back bend during a solo, smacked his headstock on a mic stand or something and knocked himself horribly out of tune. After trying to re-tune on the fly and just making it worse we stopped mid song with the crowd watching in anticipation for a potential melt down while Ziggy quickly tuned back up and we launched into the next part of the song with the crowd right there with us!  It was as if it never happened, this weird interlude where the train slid off the tracks for a moment and everyone held on for dear life, but the train kept a rollin’ and we knew we had ’em with us.

The rest of our set was a blast and we really hit our stride at this show, this was also the best crowd yet and a welcome surprise after having such low expectations, not of the Dresden scene in particular but of a Monday night winter gig in general. We had a fun time afterwards mixing it up with the locals and the bartender was playing this excellent proto-punk stuff I just had to know about. I got turned on to Ton Steine Scherben and I’m not sure which album but it was from the early or mid 70’s and had an aggressive sound.

Quite a few people stuck around after the show to hang out and drink beer and socialize. It was so cold out, seemed like the optimal choice! The bar was cozy and festive and the barkeep was playing killer tunes and we really had a great time at Ostpol!

UPDATE!!!

Video of one song from our set surfaced and you can now experience the vibe!

Big thanks to Elbsludge booking for doing a great job in promoting the show.

DROP OUT RECORDS

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The following morning Ziggy and I took a stroll through town to find an independent record store, any one would do. We rarely had time to do this but we wanted to at least try to get some records into the local stores in all the places we played. I think this was the only successful attempt!

We got loose directions to a spot not too far away that carried independent music and took a jaunt through town.

We saw this spot first but it was closed and looked kinda boring anyway:

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We soldiered on and after a few blocks we came to the “Arty” part of town:

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Took some promo shots:

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Almost immediately we found Drop Out Records and waited a few minutes for them to open. It was a small shop packed with a good selection of vinyl and some cds, mostly punk, indie and metal, they took a few records and we deemed the mission a success!2018-02-20 11.59.092018-02-20 12.00.342018-02-20 12.08.09-12018-02-20 12.09.05

ZWINGER MUSEUM/EL RODIZIO

We reconnected with the rest of the gang and dialed in a lunch destination. While en route we came across The Zwinger Museum. The architecture was amazing and as with a lot of buildings in Dresden, parts of it were under reconstruction. There is still a lot of this work going on to repair the damages from the 1945 bombings.

 

 

 

 

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We continued on to El Rodizio:

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This place specialized in Brazillian cuisine and I ordered the Feijoada. Everything looked amazing and my dish was excellent! The owner even came out when he heard some Americans were hanging out, a few ordering tequila at noon. He brought out a top shelf brand and did a shot with us. I don’t drink but I took a swig just for taste and spit it out. If I was a tequila drinker this would easily be a favorite, I think it was Padre Azul, it had a leather jacket on the bottle which the owner gave to us, the jacket, not the bottle of course. Such hospitality and amazing food, highly recommended!

We ate well and high tailed it out of town…next stop Berlin!

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All pics by Jeff K. 2018 All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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European Tour Journal Day 11: Salzburg

All the best for 2019 to everyone!

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Salzburg

It was almost a year ago back in February that we embarked on this journey through parts of Europe. I’ve been, very sporadically, posting pics and video from each town/city we played in. There are still a few more to go, so bear with me. It’s worth it for some of the pics! This post is particularly photo heavy, so dig in. Actually, I have no video to share from this show or the next one, so enjoy the slideshows from the journey.

The drive to Salzburg was a winter wonderland:

 

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This old tunnel bridge was cool:

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We made a pit stop to touch the snow and this guy approached us, ranting in broken Germanglish about some esoteric shit while drawing this bird and devil dude in the frost on our rear window, perhaps warning us about Austrian Chupacabras?

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It was cold but pretty:

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THE ROCKHOUSE

Salzburg was a bust as far as attendance. The venue we played at had had a huge festival event the prior evening and pretty much everybody in town was burnt out. It was also Sunday. We weren’t too concerned as we expected fluctuations throughout the week. When you perform every night of the week and you are relatively unknown, you know that every night is essentially a crap shoot and to roll with it. That being said, the venue was a really unique space and the promoter/club owner was really nice. We were set up back stage with plenty of beverages cold and hot. It was somewhere around 25 degrees outside, so a hot beverage was quite welcome! Another nice thing was that our room was just around back, behind the venue.

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The Rockhouse was once an old beer cellar carved out of a mountain, bunker style. It still had exposed walls of rock everywhere and the curved ceiling made for an excellent aesthetic and acoustics.

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I encountered a giant squid during my explorations:

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SALZBURG

Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. We had to explore the city by night. Jonesy, Ziggy and I ditched the pizza party at the venue and went on a jaunt in search of a  good meal and Mozarts abode. Crossing the river gave us a great view of the old buildings along the banks all lit up.

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In search of The Mozart museum.2018-02-18 18.03.172018-02-18 18.05.44

Lovers of keys…and doors.

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Mozart Museum

Jonesy wasn’t hungry and he wandered off to explore the streets further while Ziggy and I continued to search for dinner. We window shopped along the way.

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Instrument shop

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This beef soup dish was amazing:

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We got back in time to catch some of the opening band and we played a tight set to a small crowd. I have no video to share from this show, or the next one in Dresden, so enjoy the pics and there are a few more installments left in this rock and travel series.  Stay tuned!

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All photos by Jeff K. All rights reserved

 

 

European Tour Journal Day 10: Winterthur, Switzerland

We crossed back into Switzerland without a hitch, since we knew the drill by now. We stopped and declared our merch and did the tally and left the deposit and were on our way to Winterthur. I didn’t get many pics since it was wet out and the windows were filthy by now, but the drive was another beautiful one.

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THE VENUE

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Big Room
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Bigger Room

The venue was a sizeable space with a rather large room that we would play in, and an even larger room for name acts. We arrived to a prosciutto spread and a bustling kitchen where a small staff were preparing home cooked meals for the bands and club workers. The communal aspect really made for a welcoming environment and everyone was really friendly.

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Again this was one of the shows we played that were govt. subsidized, which removes a lot of tension and headaches which can make for an un-enjoyable show for everyone involved. I really grew to love this model for that very reason.

One thing I also loved was the compact yet powerful industrial turbine heaters they used to heat the giant space, I had to record it for future sampling. I was maybe ten feet away and I could barely stand it long enough to record for 10 seconds:

I knew we were hooking up with Motorizer again, we played with them in Bludenz as well, but I kept asking who “Turoffnung” were until I finally got a local to inform me that “Turoffnung” means doors opening…Hahahaha! I thought ‘what a clever name for a band’

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THE SHOW

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We had another good crowd and the sound was excellent, it was also nice to have a bit of a bigger stage to move around on. Enjoy these pics from Phillip Reinhard, some of the best we got this whole tour:

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An excerpt, Nick Doom shreds:

Our encore, including a nice moment when the crowd serenaded us with that Scott McKenzie song:

It was such a fun atmosphere that after the show, many if not all of the staff stayed until the wee hours playing drinking games that involved bottle-caps, and talking and listening to music, and of course smoking a boat load of cigarettes, which again, occurred right next to the room we were to sleep in.

One refreshing thing I have to acknowledge is that I barely saw any kind of cell phone or smart phone the entire night. Everyone was content to enjoy each others company and the music and the simple games that got them through another cold winter night in the Swiss Alps.

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Either way, we rocked that place and had a nice time hanging out with the promoter and staff afterwards. It was such a different experience than we’re used to in the U.S. The Switzerland shows will surely stay with me.

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Christopher Lyman Drummer and a “G”

Next stop Salzburg, Austria.

All pics by Jeff K. other that the live band series by Phillip Reinhard

All video shot by Jeff K.

European Tour Journal Day 9: Bludenz, Austria

Continued coverage of Turn Me On Dead Man’s European tour from Feb 2018.

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We continued our journey through Switzerland but actually had to leave for a bit to cross over into Austria for a show at Villa K. a  youth center in Bludenz.

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We had to hang out at the border for a bit to handle our business with customs, who retained a deposit from us against any merch we sold, so we paid them whatever taxes owed and continued on to Austria!

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Random Smurf Sighting

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Border lurkin’

ONWARD!

Driving through the Swiss Alps was breathtaking and these pics do no justice.

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Villa K.

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The surrounding area was a quaint little ski village surrounded by enormous mountains

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Our View

The Show

A few shots from our set. I took the first one, I forget who took the rest. We had a good turn out and a responsive crowd.

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here’s our encore from that night:

Stay tuned for our next stop back in Switzerland at Gaswerk!