Susie Asado

October. This is my favorite month of the year. Because of the O and the colors. The mild misty air gloom, the trees. Today is the 11th of October. This is the official release of our new album “Onward Aeropuerto”. It is a quiet birthday. I am sitting on my couch wondering what it all means. How making things changes things. How suddenly there are these songs that climbed out of me and that got transformed by the hanging out with them, the elaborating of the bones with my friends, Marko, Tomi, Noel, Ariel, Mathias, Matt and Alex. Norman recording and taking care of all things frequencies and knobs. The songs are about con artists, spies, getting older, starting over, about Susie, plants growing, growing, immigration officers, about clouds and a calling out to the life of it all “onward aeropuerto”! This year has propelled something inside of me to I’m-not-sure-where-yet, but it all started with these two words. The best of it so far has been a trip to Buenos Aires. I took a very long plane ride to the country of Asado and came back even more Asado. I am growing into my name. I am growing into words. And they are growing out of me. Ok, I am feeling sentimental right now, birthdays do that to me. I don’t always talk like this. Just right now for the “O” of it. Thanks to everyone who has helped make this album with me, who helped make all the plans and made sure people will find out about it. Who made videos and took photos and made beautiful packaging. Thanks to KOOK, Broken Silence, amSTARt and Paper and Iron Booking. Here is a list of some of the awesome people who are part of the “Onward Aeropuerto” mission. I write some, because there is a list much longer and far more tangled, but I will start here, with these lovely people: Marko Hefele, Tomi Simatupang, Noel Rademacher, Ariel Sharratt, Mathias Kom, Matt Colbourn, Alexander Paulick-Thiel, Norman Nitzsche, Bo Kondren, Daniel Nenwig, Sebastian Maschat, Philipp Conrad, Ran Huber, Florian Aumüller, Anja Conrad, Jannis Kilian Kreft, Franziska Morlok, Till Beckmann, Falk Quenstedt, Emily Poel, Donna Stonecipher, Lisa Birman, Jonathan Peters, Helga & Michael Conrad, Jan Böttcher, Alexander Gumz, Charlotte Bartels and the wonderful Sebastian Hoffmann. Thank you!

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Waking up from deep sleep. Dreams. There is a corridor, there are wardrobes. Each time I enter a wardrobe, duck my head through the door, a new room reveals itself. A kitchen, A library, a dressing room of costumes. Pablo and I are at the Platforma Lavardén in Rosario and have just climbed through one of the wardrobes. Games are waiting for us. Is this a test? Is this where we finally battle each other? Table soccer, a game withe coins and a frog, boule, and ping pong. We end up playing ping pong with a broken ping pong ball. It bounces funny, but for a while we keep up with the strange game. I continue to feel as if entering wardrobes. Ducking my head. Time scrambles. The day before at Malba in Buenos Aires our backstage was a library of art books. I am nervous and start horsing around and loose my balance tumbling backwards I knock my funny bone. Everything is wobbly and exciting. Right before we go on stage Pablo also takes a fall down some stairs with guitar on his back. Nothing broken, no scratches. Clearly we have entered something unpredictable. Our first show ends up sweet and awkward. I am still discovering new things inside the songs and searching for chords as if trying to catch flying balls that zoom past me. When I look out into the audience I realize that in just this short time here I have made friends. This isn’t a room of strangers. When I look to my right there is Pablo, a proper song and dance man elegantly sitting on a high chair sending his voice into the microphone. It is all so very real and unreal and I feel so grateful to the people who have brought me here: Carla, Hendrik, Stephan, the Goethe Institute, the sweet people from Filba, Amalia, Patricio, Pablo. Suddenly it is Saturday morning. I scrabble out of bed. I haven’t slept much. I pick up Pablo and we head to the bus station. We duck our heads into the bus. I knock my head above the seat. Another wardrobe. We tell stories and translate another song: Retrospective. It is as if the song too is entering a wardrobe, putting on a new dress, revealing itself inside another world. So much joy speaking Spanish with Pablo. Everything so familiar and unfamiliar. Always searching for words and my mind doing summersaults. It is not as disorienting as the first days being in Argentina, I have started to enjoy teetering through sentences and laughing through phrases. We arrive at the Festival de Poesia in Rosario to a building full of poets and poetry hungry people. We are at the Platforma Lavardén, the place I was writing about earlier. I am making a circle in time. I hope this isn’t too confusing. But confusing enough so you get some of my drifting through time and place and wardrobe after wardrobe. We are back stage. Pablo writes out the set list in his bottom up painterly handwriting. I bounce around again not being able to sit still. We practice “Retrospective” and enjoy the reverb room. In the pauses Pablo reads the translation. Suddenly everything is strangely doubled and the sound and images become ghostly. The show in Rosario is calm and we climb into the songs, the wardrobes, easily in and out. There are surprises and there is something familiar. Something has settled and we have turned into a duo: Asado Dacal. The beautiful room is filled with a generous attentive audience. It is very late at night, but I feel awake and happy. The next morning we leave a city I have barely seen. We tumble back into the wardrobe that turns into a bus. We read the paper and tell stories, I draw our feet resting on the wall in front of us and occasionally glimpse at the movie that is playing. Back in Buenos Aires I head back to Malba to participate in the Bitácora, where a group of authors were sent on adventures to write about. A visit to Borges library, a tango class. Federico Falco and I read from our excursion to the closed Reserva. The ecological reserve that is right in the city. Below you can read my text. The evening continues with all kinds of magic. I watch completely spellbound the collaboration between Leticia Mazur and Alexander Gumz. Words into strange movement illuminated by lights strapped to the dancers head. I am all goosbumps and dizzy and feel thrown back out into the world at the end. I would have liked to hover there a bit longer. Watch elbow and hand and eye and flickering lights shadows and sure feet. But there is more. Daniela Seel’s poetry transported into a world of fable creatures in a fairy tale forest with twin musicians clad in school uniforms wearing bird heads, by Emlio García Whebi. Here is another wardrobe that opens into a kind of chamber of marvels. Oh. And now I am sitting here sipping tea. A wardrobe opens to another few days in Buenos Aires. Vamos!

FROM SUMPF TO CITY UND ZURÜCK

swamp sumpf pantano laguna de los coipos
donde tortugas con sangre frio
are hiding and a bird stretches
its stoic giraffe neck next to the reeds
camouflage, no puedo ver te sin gafas
ich sehe was was du nicht siehst
a shiney cowbird hiding eggs in anothers nest
lazy lazy songbird

ich höre was was du nie sehen wirst
el tick tick tick-a-tick del junguero
wren like rushbird der so tut als ob das hier
der jungle, jungle swamp sumpf pantano
dentro de la ciudad
donde el pico de plata con ojos blancas
parece como un clown
y un arbol con orejas negras
parece come un arbol
con orejas negras

ich höre was was du nie sehen wirst
the sound of a city collected by the colectivos
the drone, the tack tack, the brrrrrrrrmmmmmmm
traffic of a million taxies
amarillo y negro con motorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
flotierende platik flaschen
and little candy wrapper memories

eso son los cuentos que te diga
soy una paloma domestica
vive en buenos aires
swaping one nest for another
just as I have stolen this nest
little cozy places in denen
die stadt kurz verschwindet
ich sehe eine stadt die du nicht siehst
tiene rojo y amarillo and tiny gray dapples
an den federspitzen
und den kopf under the giant planket
of el swamp sumpf pantano

el arbol con los orejas negras
listens to my thoughs
reconstructing the sound of numbers
reconstructing the limbs of dogs
reconstructing el balneario
reconstrucing the seconds missing between
the blurred movements of a hummingbird
donde los lenguas scramble
und ich mich immer wieder
zwischen den palabras finde
und doch wieder verliere

I sink my cuerpo dentro los abrozos
of this city, walk across a map until my legs buckle
lauter unsichtbare fussspuren vom sumpf zum beton
vom beton zum rascacielo
von brücke zur carratera
von semáforo zur verkehrsinsel
bis ich wieder von vorne anfange
und zurück will to the silver river
el rio de plata
where the city ends
and the water begins

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I’ve been wanting to write. Hola, me llamo Josepha. Hola Susie, how do you feel now that you are in the land of Asado? Yes, I do feel home. That’s the strange thing about names. They give you a sense of belonging. I arrived last Friday in the in the magnificent city of Buenos Aires and I fell right into its arms. The bustle and warmth is intoxicating. Well, not warmth literally. It is a chilly spring over here and I didn’t pack quite right for the weather. I usually pride myself on packing well, but on this occasion I failed. But that doesn’t matter, because this crazy city makes up for it. I am preparing two shows with the Argentinian songwriter Pablo Dacal. One in Buenos Aires, at Malba and one in Rosario. We’ve been learning each other’s songs and speaking funny Spanish. Well, I speak funny Spanish and Pablo laughs with me. His songs are beautiful and being inside them singing and jumping through the chords (sometimes they do feel like a bit of a juggling act for me) is like sight-seeing. Many are inspired by Buenos Aires and I run into them at street corners. I am also doing proper sight-seeing. Walking my feet silly. Yesterday I managed to walk so far that when I later looked at the map it didn’t seem possible. I also managed to get a proper sun-burn in my face. So today I’m going to look for a sombrero. Yesterday Carla Imbrogno from the Goethe Institute took me and the Argentinian writer Federico Falco on a walk to the Bitacora, the ecological reserve. Francisco Gonzales Taboas came with us to tell us stories about the local trees and birds. Unfortunately the reserve was closed, but there were plenty of trees and birds right outside in the swampy waters of the Laguna de los Coipos. Francisco was able to spot many different birds, I would have never noticed. See birds necks camouflaged by the reeds. And little red birds flicker flackering between branches. My favorite bird was the pico de plata. A litle black bird with white eyes and white in the insides of his feathers. He looked like he had a clown costume on. A little Susie bird. I was also very inspired by a tree with black ears. I will have to go back and photograph it for you. I stole one of its ears. Curious if it will help me hear things. Supposedly it makes soap. It is called Oreja de Negro. Black ear. Oh. Later I walked all through the city and to the Cementerio de la Recoleta. A grave yard with lots of little tombs, houses for the dead. Some of the doors and windows were broken. The insides of the tombs all in crumbles and caskets cracked. The stairs that go to the below, inside of the tombs, often littered and clearly visited at times. Perhaps looted. Perhaps the dead having escaped. There were some ancient looking scraggly cats that added to the atmosphere. It was a life sized sculpture of of young woman with a dog that gave me the rest and sent me off feeling terribly melancholy. I regained my sense of humor at a playground nearby climbing around on twisting and turning structures. Then I walked walked walked and made it to the Japanese gardens where I watched giant gold fish lazily float while sexy girls in skimpy dresses posed near a water fall. I meant to make it too the Aeroparque, the airport right next to the Rio de la Plata, but I will leave that for another day. Supposedly it is a very Susie Asado kind of place. So much for now my dear firends. I will continue on my adventure. Ta ta!

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It is amazing how things continue. How there seems to be a motor inside it all doing its motor thing. The last few years were rocky and I’ve had many moments of doubt and cold feet. I would call out “Onward Aeropuerto” to get myself through traffic jams, creepy nights, my taxes, dizzy spells when thinking about the future and when on my bike racing the rain. I also called out “Onward Aeropuerto” after an awesome night of dancing, when I saw bunnies in Tiergarten, sitting around a campfire with friends in the forest of Darmstadt last weekend, when I jumped around Tempelhofer Feld during sun set, and after speed cleaning my closet this morning at a ridiculously early hour. It’s a good slogan. A good one to keep handy for special moments. So now I want to call out “Onward Aeropuerto” to you. “Onward Aeropuerto”. There is a new album coming out. And guess what it is called. Yes, “Onward Aeropuerto!” It’s been an amazing summer of recording and imagining the onward of things. The album will be released on October 11th and on the 22nd of October we go on tour. October! Tour! In September I will also take a trip to Buenos Aires and find out more about the Asado of Susie. I will be sure to report all adventures and moments of “Onward Aeropuerto” right here. At the end of the week I will also post our new video and a teaser track. So look out!

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A few years ago, when I played a show in Erfurt, I spent the night in an apartment that had a collection of spoons on the wall. The spoons were carefully placed and framed like a rare butterfly collection. Each spoon different, with the name of a place written next to it in a strange all caps handwriting. Stolen espresso spoons from all over the world. I didn’t meet the man who’s collection it was that night, but I didn’t forget the spoons and have since contemplated stealing a pretty spoon or two. Thanks to the wonderful magic of touring, this loose strand of an encounter with a spoon collection got picked up and tangled further into a story. On Saturday I drove from Berlin to Erfurt with my friends Sibsi and Andy to open up for The Burning Hell. We drove through insistent rain and shortly before Erfurt, the clouds dispersed and we met up with our friends in front of the sun drenched building of Franz Mehlhose. I love meeting up with touring friends. The Burning Hell have been on the road for about two weeks and are full of stories and music and a bit unhinged from gas stations and strange accommodations. When I walked into Franz Mehlhose I was instantly transported back to the night I marveled at the spoon collection in Erfurt years ago, because there was that same spoon collection hanging on the walls of the venue. Back then, Philip Neues had put together a show for me and Haruko at the Woodstock Record store in Erfurt and we got to spend the night at his fathers apartment while he was away. So on Saturday, Philipp and his father Ralf, who have reconstructed the historical venue of Franz Mehlhose, were our wonderful hosts and I could finally meet the espresso spoon collector. As a lady always on the lookout for signs, I knew this would be a special evening. Since I have toured with Ariel and Mathias from The Burning Hell before, during sound check, Ariel and I shook the dust off our bare bones Susie Asado arrangements and Mathias joined us for a few songs. It was an early show, and soon after sound-check we were back on stage nervous and excited that the grand room of Franz Mehlhose was filling up with friendly people. Being on stage nervous is a funny thing. An experience that I’ve gotten more and more curious about with time. Sometimes odd impulses charge through me, unpredictable notes and postures, embarrassing stories that blubber out between songs, jerky uncontrolled movements. Have you ever seen musicians play a guitar solo with a funny face, or the tongue sticking out in fierce concentration? I prefer these moments of involuntary movements to the awkward out of body experiences that extreme nervousness can lead to, or the horrible feeling of being on auto pilot and forgetting what part of the song I am motoring through. Yes, this happens too. But this is not the story I want to tell. I want to tell the story of what happened during that wonderful evening of music in Erfurt when something strange happened with the frequencies of music zooming through the room as we were standing up there playing songs. The sound waves started resonating with the chandeliers, a kind of feedback, an odd electronic sound that was deep and bright and sent the hairs on my arm up like little antenna. The chandelier right in front of the stage shook and parts started flying off into the room like fire works fizzing out. Things in the room slowed down for a moment and it felt like we were all inside of something mysterious and other worldly. That’s when the ghost of Franz Mehlhose appeared in front of us mid-song. I recognized him right away from the t-shirts that everyone working at the venue was wearing. A man with one dramatic curl of hair on his head and a twirled mustache. He hovered above the stage and sparkled from the chandelier glow. He held a spoon in his hand and spoke to us in a voice that sounded as if put through a tremolo effect. He proceeded to introduced himself “I am the ghost of Franz Mehlhose. I am here to present the secret of the warp spoons. Any spoon from the collection on the wall will instantly transport one to the location of which the spoon is from. Just put it in your mouth and . . . poof!” He then gave us a tiny espresso spoon that belonged to the kitchen of Franz Mehlhose to be sure we could return to this very spot after such an adventure. Suddenly a strange electrical current went through my ukulele, my mouth tingled and I found myself mid-song again, clearly on autopilot right in the instrumental part of “Dear Immigration Officer”. I quickly got my bearings back like a proper song and dance lady, looked around to Ariel and Mathias, then smiled into the audience as if nothing had happened. We played one more song, bowed, and when I went to clear the stage for The Burning Hell to go on, right next to my ukulele’s D.I. box, there lay a little silver espresso spoon. I put it in my skirt’s pocket, took my cables and instruments to the band apartment, kicked off my Susie high-heels and put on my sneakers. I was ready to dance to The Burning Hell. And this is what I did. I danced through their wonderful set silver spoon in my pocket. After the show I had sweet conversation, ate Kalter Hund (a tasty cake called “cold dog” made out of crackers and chocolate”) and spun out the story of the warp spoons with Jake from The Burning Hell. Before we went to bed at the cozy band apartment in the back of Franz Mehlhose our conversation got loopy and my cheeks hurt from laughing. Ahhh. In the morning we had breakfast with our hosts Philip and Ralf, Jake drew the story of the warp spoons and before we were all back on the road to different directions, we jumped around on some trampolines and talked into the telephones of a nearby playground. Sibsi, Andy and I drove back to Berlin as if flying through perfect sunny weather and puffy clouds. We drove straight to our friend Heiko’s place whose birthday it was, celebrated, ate delicious foods, then made our way to Madame Claude (which I like to call Madame Cloud) to attend the always entertaining open mike that Heiko runs, the open Michael J. Fox. This morning I woke up all glowy from awesome adventures and friends and music and spoons and the knowlege that Franz Mehlhose is an airport from which to travel from via spoon. To spoon: to travel via spoon. Two spoon: to travel via two spoons. Too spoon: the effect of two spoon, when spooning get’s too much. And so, off I go. Go.
And here the story illustrated by Jake Nicoll:

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We have become collectors of moments. A former butchery turned venue called Malacarne. Very fitting for a grilled Susie. A Susie Asado. A room, almost psychedelic, a heart on the floor. A room probably once used for something meat, something terrible. But in Verona it is our stage. And when suddenly the room was filled with kind faces, big eyes and mischievous smiles we sang to and into the rooms warm and precise acoustics. Oh “in fair Verona, where we lay our scene” it was raining and we didn’t get to see you, but we came to the heart of you, I am sure of that. After Verona we drove to Switzerland, to Bern. “Ciao Italy” we said. We played at a studio space called “Werkstatt 14″ with a local band called Chevre Chaud. Which means “Hot goat” and so we continued with the meat, with the hot and the grilled. So much fun to listen to music before our show. And our show another unplugged one with sweet acoustics. The next morning Valentin, the upright bass player from Chevre Chaud took us on a bike ride around the city. It was sunny and beautiful, Everything blooming and it felt so romantic to ride on bikes and zoom by the bustling city. All packed up we drove back to Germany. To Stuttgart. After sound check at Galao we go to a play ground near by and play ball. A little girl called Vanessa showed up and soon we  played ball with a group of kids. Sweaty and all body again we return to the venue. Our show in Stuttgart felt like a home coming. Friends came to the show and we felt like we crossed a border. Suddenly we are very close to home. And last night we got even closer. Jena, another house show. A cozy living room packed with sweet people. After the show we sat on the roof of the house and contemplated a strange righ rise that supposedly looks like a Zeiss lens from above and an antenna. Oh antenna. And now after a good sleep I am sitting back in the living room where we preformed last night. Noel has already started packing up the car and we are about to go have breakfast with our hosts from the “Wohnzimmer Sessions”. Later we will drive to Leipzig and tomorrow back home. Home. What a sweet adventure we have had. Onward Aeropuerto.

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We arrived in Perugia with an empty gas tank. Gasoline stations are closed on Saturdays. Noel jumped out of the car, asked a nice looking man for directions to a gas station that was open and the man mumbled some words in italian and then gestured us to follow his car. We took all kinds of windy roads seemingly out of town and eventually ended up at an open gas station. Then he drove us all the way to the hostel we couldn’t find because our GPS didn’t recognize the address. The man’s name is Philippo and we marveled at this welcoming friendliness. We went to the hostel washed our clothes and headed back out to the old city of Perugia. You need a lot of imagination to drive a car through the narrow of these streets. I imagined my car pulling in its belly, its ass and being skinny for that moment of passing a seemingly impossible passage. At one point I wanted to give up, there was no way the car would go through. I wanted to crawl into the seat of the car, disappear inside the upholstery. But Noel started jumping around the car finding possible angles and guided me through tight spots. It took a long while, but eventually we even figured out how to park the car. Yes, driving and parking can be quite adventurous. We set up at the venue Loop and then wandered the streets of Perugia. Noel found a little shop called Dinamica where one can build a robot out of all kinds of garbage and found objects. Check it out here: www.dinamicadinamica.wordpress.com A man named Fabrizio showed me where the glue was and I got to work. My hands dove into the pile of cables, bottle caps and toy parts and quickly a little nanny bot came to life. I completely lost track of time, it was already 11:30 p.m. and realized we were already supposed to be on stage. My nanny bot found a home on a shelf with all kinds of other lovely robots and we hurried back to the venue. Oh Perugia. What a lovely inviting place you are with your futuristic mini metro and your mediaeval buildings and kind audience. In the morning we took another long walk through the city and then drove a very pot-hole ridden street to Faenza. Here we played at the awesome Clandestino run by the inspired and crazy hard working Morena. Imagine a feisty Italian lady catering a wedding, setting up the stage, plugging cables, decorating with flowers, cooking, talking with guests running circles around the place all at the same time. Look at the photograph of the stage all set up:

We had a wonderful night and sweet conversation after the show. Now it is the next morning. The stools are upside down on the bar. Clandestino is one of the few venues that looks good in the day time. The big plastic bubbles filled with cacti and sparkling chandeliers. I am sitting on the stage on the stool where my amp was propped up last night. Morena is already bustling around the place and everything is being cleaned and straightened out. We are about to pack up the car again and drive to Verona. The city of Romeo and Julia.

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7 shows behind us. 7 shows ahead. We are sitting in 909 Café in Castigliano de Lago and having a sleepy breakfast. I haven’t made much time to write. I’ve been wrapped up in traffic, driving through mountains, through tunnels, flirting with truckers, listening to audio books, watching clouds from the car and rest-stops, oh places we’ve never been and lots of lovely people. A highlight of the last few days was the show in Besançon. We played at a former public bath house turned community center in a beautiful room for the people of the neighborhood. An early show where a little girl danced to our songs and I had the feeling that everyone was there from young to old. The above photograph of the show is from François Roussell, you can see the room, our audience. Our host, Christophe runs a music series at Les Bains Douches, which sounds like bathtubs and showers. Christophe is musician as well, and so pulled all stops to keep us fed and comfortable and our sound perfect. After the show we had dinner with Christophe on the sidewalk while neighbors walked by calling out “bon appetite”. So we felt right at home and welcomed in this friendly open place. The next day we drove across the alps down to Italy. We listened to the biography of Lotte Lenya and Kurt Weil. We took turns driving and crying. By the time we arrived in Italy we were drenched in sweat and tears. The letters of the two were so moving and funny and the many twists and turns of their lives inspiring and heart breaking. Oh. And now Italy. ITALY! We’ve already eaten a good amount of Pizza, marveled at palm trees, olive trees, an old fortress and roman remnants. We stayed at a beautiful apartment in Padova with two cats called “Cat One and Cat Two”. Yesterday before our show at 909 Café we walked down to the lake. Took narrow dark paths that run between beautiful old houses. It was creepy and beautiful and when we made it down to the shore of the lake we couldn’t believe the blossom sweet warm wind, the water dance and the moon. Now everything is packed up again. We are becoming quite professional at packing and unpacking. The Beatles “Abbey Road” is playing on over the PA. We are secretaries with our laptops chop chop. We will take another trip to the lake and then drive to Perugia la la la

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Noel is driving. It is warm outside. Very warm. We just stopped at a rest stop and sat on a flower clad lawn. We are both sneezing a lot from the pollen. It feels wrong to wish for less blooming trees in Besançon. But that’s where we are heading and it would be amazing if we could have spring there without the sneezing. Not without the blooming. Anyways, I guess we need to struggle a little for all this beauty. Last night we played at a meticulously hand-built venue called O’Brother in Grenoble. A kind of fantasy interior of a cozy venue out of wood and found objects. Almost like a movie set. A movie set built for the scene where the protagonist goes to see a show. Where the evening turns into a late night listening to favorite songs and dancing dancing dancing. Right at the beginning of the set a giant painting that was looming from the ceiling fell onto my head and the evening turned out to be all glorious from then on. The painting falling on my head felt like a kind of blessing. The moment right before the painting fell, some of Noel’s cymbals tumbled off the cymbal stand. I don’t think the two events were related, but there was magic in the room, ghosts or something else moving shit around. Yes,spooky. We played a wild Susie set, where we let the songs fall apart a little and sing through the cracks. After our show we danced with our spunky audience to Georges Brassens and Edith Piaf and lots of awesome songs. At some point Vincent, the promoter came up to us and said “let’s make a beef”. We had no idea what he was talking about. “Beef, let’s make a beef”. When we still didn’t know what he was talking about he said “Beef is boeuf, is what you call jam, let’s make a jam”. Oh, “no no no, we don’t jam.” But it was already too late, suddenly we were back on stage with Vincent and another friend on Guitar. Vincent started rapping and suddenly we were in the middle of a song coming about. I wish I would have understood the words Vincent was rapping. It all sounded very cool and like proper rapping. O’ Brother, really is a fitting name for this venue. We had no idea what we were in for. And so our adventure continues. On the GPS it reads 59 minutes to Besançon. Here we go.

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Waking up in Dijon. I dreamt I followed little triangles on the pavement that lead to an owl. I kept following the little triangles, there is an owl on the triangle, but I never found the owl. Just the triangles. Such an owl exists in Dijon. Or so I am told. We followed the little triangles yesterday, We didn’t find the owl. Just like in my dream, I think. Have I reached the point where my dreams are matching up with my reality. Oh, little owl, I am sorry we have to leave your city so soon and can’t find you or learn more about your story. We have an early sound check in Grenoble. Noel just said, “after all we are not on vacation”. How do you explain that to a little owl? Well I’m not really sure what a vacation feels like, but I do know what this tour so far feels like: a very sweet adventure. We have had two house shows in a row. Two homes that couldn’t have been more different. At the home of a grand lady in Tournai we performed salon style to family, friends and neighbors. A home filled with strange and marvelous objects carefully arranged and placed and the warmest people imaginable. Many of the objects seemed alive, as if having stepped right out of a fairy tale: a crocodile, a kind of bison head, a frog prince, a fish in a fish bowl. Our second house show was part of the Home Sweet Home Festival in Nancy organized by a motivated group of young people called “off kultur”, changing their scene and the way their community listens to music. The apartment we played at was by a canal that reminded us very much of the Landwehrkanal in Kreuzberg. Before the show we went to it’s bank and lay in the fresh spring, yes spring grass. Little daisies and dandelions. Luminous sun. We take off our shoes, we are wearing t-shirts. Hey, it’s spring. We drove straight into it. The last three days we have also done some sight-seeing. Walked the streets of Tournai with our host Catherine and her family and the streets of Nancy with the festival organizers Johann and Edith. We saw gargoyle fantasy creatures looming from gothic walls, art deco houses (In my mind I have moved into all of them), grand art nouveau entrances, boxes of chocolates, strange fluorescent green drinks, a parking lot flee marked, a man carrying a plaster figure of a cook onto the sidewalk in the morning, and crooked mediaeval houses leaning into the street of Dijon. Oh Dijon. I promise I will return and visit the little owl. Perhaps it’s not even little. Now we are in the car. Noel is driving. It seems to be summer outside. Fluffy clouds and traffic signs. Our next stop is Grenoble.

 

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