Category Archives: cool places

Flashback Friday: London 2015

Argh! It’s been two weeks already since I don’t update this site and I feel like shit about it, but honestly I wasn’t in the mood nor didn’t find the right time to do so, and the past days have been so weird my mind was to stressed to write. I hate when I have this shitty writer’s block. One of the reasons I keep this blog alive it’s because it usually works as some sort of funnel.

On this day two weeks ago I was having a veggie burger and a tasty spicy Turkish salad with my friend Veronica near Old Street in London. We came back to this beloved city again to attend a Ryan Adams show at Hammersmith Apollo on Friday 27th and the trip was amazing. Now there’s no point in talking about  the show, which was a blast, nor how great was to meet friends who were also spending the weekend there for the same reason, so instead I’m posting some pix of that wonderful time .

tetis

apollo

foreros

ryan4

setlist ryan adams

ryan5

crobar

vero

pints and postcards

Thanks to all the people who contributed to a weekend of laughs, lots of pints of beer, friendship and happiness. Now it seems to be ages ago, but it was fantastic.I love you! ❤

My first Roller Coaster

September 2014 is being weird. Trying to get back to my routines, fortunately gigs are back and at this point heat is weakening and days are getting shorter. However my office is a mess, and we haven’t yet overcome the fucking summer peak season, so I’m doing lots of overtime and I’m working frenetically, so I feel tired and frustrated quite often lately, and it’s hard to keep this thing updated, which annoys me even more. Really, can’t wait to see the day everything goes back to normality, at least temporarily.

Few weeks ago I said I felt like going to an amusement park to spend any random day. I was thinking of the typical shabby local park in my hometown, or perhaps Tibidabo in Barcelona. You know, beers, carousels, boats, candy floss, the labyrinth and the fun house… as if I was 10 years old again. In my mind it was a very simple plan. I only needed the right company.

Partners in crime

Partners in crime

There are some times I think people don’t pay me attention, but when my friend Jack reminded me of this wish I expressed out loud, I realized how wrong I was. He told me he wanted to visit this huge amusement theme park in Salou, Port Aventura, the most popular in Spain after almost 20 years since its opening, and one of the most established in Europe. I was so surprised I confessed him that I had never had a ride on a rollercoaster, and that I felt like trying at least once in my life, but of course I was thinking of some humble and harmless ride. It didn’t him much to convince me to go to this hue park with him, and he even set the day, September 24th, as our target. Being local holiday in Barcelona on the second half of September would grant less visitors and nice and warm weather. Everything sounded perfect, so we went ahead.

The last week before the event was a bit distressing due to tons of work and a very changeable weather, which might ruin our plan. We couldn’t decide whether going or not until 12 hours before catching the train. Everything done at the very last minute.

We got really lucky. It was a magnificent day in all senses, too damn perfect.

It’s hard to choose the first attraction to start with, especially when I was a virgin on the subject. Many people was stuck in the first tough one, and there was a 90min queue, so we decided to move forward, and start in the typical water ride which gets you  completely soaked (thank Universe for not wearing a white tee!), especially when you are sit in the first row. It was sunny and warm so to be honest, the shower was even a reward., but my hair was a mess for the rest of the day (I couldn’t care less).

shambala2

We decided to go towards Shambala, aka the expedition to the Himalayas, and wait for half an hour. In brief, this is Europe’s highest (78m) and fastest (134 km/h) hyper coaster, and that was to be my christening in roller coaster. Cool, huh? Not for me, really. I was observing the fall and it seemed that the angle was so vertical (actually 86º) I started to shit on my pants and get nervous, so I had a beer. Jack adores roller coasters, but he hadn’t tried this one either and seemed to be excited yet relaxed. So the ride started and the wagon went upwards. It seemed like an eternity, and I took a watch around and saw how beautiful Tarragona port was, but at the same time I was very concerned about the height, till we reached the top, and all of a sudden

Zzzzzzzzzzzzuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmm!

Holy shit!!! that fall was endless (apparently it has also the longest drop in Europe) and I had this funny feeling in my lungs, and then it went up, and down, up and down, quite violently and I couldn’t do anything but cursing yelling. My feeling was that the action was quite long (3 minutes ride), I never felt I was going to die or end up smashed against the floor. The fear was what if I couldn’t handle that overwhelming body feeling. When we to left the wagon I was shaking, my legs were weak and I was laughing and crying hysterically. I know my friend didn’t expect such reaction and got frightened not knowing if I was ok. My inner self was questioning if I could spend the whole day having these feelings, and then I went for another beer, to calm down. It worked. As usual.

dragon khan

I’m not gonna recall all the roller coasters I rode, but believe me I had a great time and even though I was yelling all the time. I had a crush on Dragon Khan’s loops, rolls and its 8 inversions. In fact it was so dynamic I flipped. It was fuckin’ awesome. And Furious Baco, an intamine accelerator coaster, was absolutely insane. That feeling of being propelled from 0 to 135km/h in just 3.5 seconds was one of the most exciting ones ever.

furious baco

Thus it took me almost 38 years to realize that I like roller coasters. Never too late they say. It’s similar to my taste for horror movies. I got scared, I shit on my pants easily, but when the tension ends the relief invading my body is one of the greatest pleasures I can enjoy, and the final conclusion is that I’ve had a great time. The difference is that with roller coasters I can’t stop yelling and laughing with every ride.

It was one of the most perfect days of 2014, with the best company.

There’ll be a next time, I swear.

Against Me! and Vitoria.

Few months ago I commented so hooked I was with one of my favorite album releases up to date, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, what a great surprise that discovering Against Me! had been, and my fascination for Laura Jane Grace, and her circumstances, struggles and late gender change choice.

I don’t think there’s a better way to reaffirm your passion for a band than to culminate the learning cycle with a live show, and I was lucky Against Me! decided to visit Europe to introduce their last work, and even luckier when a headlining show was scheduled in Vitoria, just one day before Azkena Rock Festival took place.

mary joe against me

I love attending shows in different cities and at new venues, because not only the quality of sound differs a lot, but also the vibe of the audience.

This time I was attending the show with bunch of people who I’m acquainted with at the forum I regularly participate on, so the experience of seeing this band with people I don’t usually hang out for geographical reasons, sharing the same passion I have, or even more, was a great motivation for me.

Before the show we were having some drinks, getting more acquainted with “new” friends (we already knew quite much of our lives for so many years sharing this common space on the net). Some of them were huge fans of Against Me! and some others were just in the mood to discover something new. I think everybody ended with their expectations fulfilled as the show was the blast.

I had already heard of the venue many times. In fact Jimmy Jazz sound techs were involved in Siberia fest last year, and I had the memory of a great quality in sound and much professionalism. I liked the venue right away with a fine stage, and as soon as I heard  The G.A.S Drummers, the second supporting band, playing I knew it was going to be great.

with laura jane grace

Some time before the show while accompanying a friend to the ticket office we could meet Laura Jane Grace. She was really tall, but looked very nice, and she was smiling all the time. it was a pleasure to greet her. She also agreed to take a picture with us immediately. She seemed very relaxed and glad about the way things are going on this tour. After this meeting I was ready for the show.

I think it lasted approx. one hour and a half. To be honest I wasn’t checking the time because I was very excited, and as soon they jumped onto stage and starting with ‘Fuckmylife666’, followed by‘Cliché Guevara’ and ‘New Wave’, the audience got crazy.

against me

I don’t have any previous show as a reference to compare, but the band looked in perfect shape, and sounded pretty solid. The work of Atom Willard on drums was brilliant, the voice of Grace was excellent, and the energy and passion of the band members was contagious. The setlist was quite balanced going over all their career and playing not so common songs such as ‘Miami’, for instance, and didn’t forget hits such as ‘New Wave’, ‘I was a Teenage Anarchist’ or ‘Pints of Guinness Make you Strong’. Really, it was a party, and I was thrilled.

against me2

I reckon it’s never too late to discover a band, yet it’s even better if it’s still active and you get the chance to enjoy a live show, as it’s happened to me this time. I’m glad and grateful, and I’m looking forward to seeing Against Me! soon.

THE FIRST VERMOUTH OF 2014 @ ES XIBIU.

Last weekend was meant to be a relaxing one. It wasn’t. I’ve decided not to mention words such as “relaxing” or “chilling out” to plan my weekend because lately there are always events bringing out at the very last minute.

Last Thursday evening Fe, one of the guys at Es Xibiu, invited me dj again on Saturday afternoon, for the vermouth, and since I didn’t have any plan and love playing music, feeling sorry for not having too much time to spread the word among friends, I accepted.

vermouth torero copia

Attendance wasn’t that bad all things considered, many friends stopped by to have a beer and say hello, and I’m proud to say there was a 4 month old kid, Mireia’s baby, gorgeous Marc, smiling and not bothered, so now we can confirm rock suits babies. It was an experience to be changing songs with a baby grabbing my finger, hahaha!

Definitely musical vermouths are a blast. People can go out with kids, it’s in daylight, and dj’n while having wonderful tapas, believe me, it’s a huge pleasure. Also the venue, a proper bar, it’s like quite accessible for people to interact with the dj, so I could talk to my friends and move from the table, and the volume is not deafening at all, yet songs can be identified easily.

As usual I didn’t have any stuff ready but on Saturday morning while picking up the CDs I decided to play unusual stuff, for instance The Modern Lovers, Big Star or Iron Butterfly, thus the final result was a very eclectic session, quite interesting from my point of view.

Once again here’s the list for the first session held in 2014. As usual, not all the songs are available on Spotify, so there are few missing. Hope you like it and enjoy it as much as I did playing this stuff.

Thanks again to Es Xibiu for the invitation and especially to Bel, who was feeding me all the time with wonderful tapas so I didn’t starve nor got too drunk. That was with her, afterwards. Ha! I’m quite sure we’ll repeat the experience.

VERMOUTH ON THE ROCKS

What an awesome day, yesterday! I’m so exhausted after so many events, beers and vermouth, shows (I saw 5 bands yesterday!), music…I don’t feel like writing too much, but I have to tell you about the vermouth session I told you about few days ago.

The experience of djn in daylight from 1 till 5 pm was very positive. On one hand because some friends with kids could stop by, have some drinks and some tapas, and enjoy some music at a place suitable for children, avoiding the inconvenience of having to find someone to look for them. Also because while I was playing music I could enjoy some tasty nachos with cheese and guacamole. And finally because dj’n at a limited volume and at the same level as the attendants allowed me to interact with my friends.

es xibiu

I can’t thank enough for the attention received by Fer and Samuel, who made me feel very comfortable, and also fed me and supplied with drinks all the time. The atmosphere at Es Xibiu is excellent, and food outstanding. Everybody seemed to be delighted with the tapas they enjoyed and prices were very reasonable. This place has turn into a regular option at midday, and the combination of music sessions with food and drinks is unbeatable.

Last but not less, I wanna thank all the friends who came by for their support, and chats and the laughs. I think we all had a great time and I can’t wait for the next event with them.

Yesterday everything was perfect.

As usual, here’s the playlist. Hope you like it.

LONDON CHRONICLES: THE (OLD) INTREPID FOX

At the end of this month, 13 years ago, one of the most valuable and rewarding life experiences came to an end. Those 2 years in London were the schooling for life which shaped me in the way I’m nowadays. The intensity and weight of experiences abroad, in an alien environment and a narrow period of time were far more influential than 5-10 years in my hometown. I stopped being a dependent teenager to become a young adult. But hey! Don’t think I was a nun or a saint! Well, I already know you can’t imagine me being such, after what you’ve been reading here.

My London memories are still fresh and vivid in my mind, and I have so many great stories I enjoyed, I’ve been thinking for a while it’s be funny to tell some here, and see if I can manage to bring them back as if they were short episodes of my personal book.  From being fined for sneaking into the train to the industrial laundry factory I used to work, to the night I got pissed with Dave Wyndorf while attending a show performed by QOTSA, there are definitely good moments worth telling.

As a prologue chapter it’s necessary to tell about the center point in the city. My personal Mecca, and one of the coolest places in London, which unfortunately no longer exists: THE INTREPID FOX in Wardour St.

The intrepid fox

Sure many of you will yell at me remarking The Intrepid Fox still exists, but that’s the one close to Denmark st, which opened right after the original one was closed down. Huge and a better looking place, but lacking of the charm my Fox used to spread. Gotta admit they’ve perfectly reproduced the essence of those stinking toilets and those Saturday night floods. Disgusting!

The old Fox was in the heart of Soho, in the very same street at the classic Marquee Club, and it was my personal paradise, the place I hung out most together with my place of work. Really, I used to spend more time there than in my own room.

Many personalities I’ve seen there: Dregen of Backyard Babies, Ginger of The Wildhearts, all the local artists and rock personalities and there’s a popular legend stating that Slash was banned due to a quarrel which finished with someone thrown off to the street through the window pane. It was the heart of the rock-metal scene.

I loved the street floor, full of posters, red lights, very gothic and lively. It was super noisy and packed on weekends and very cool on weekdays, and music, was great depending on the waiters. It was there where I listened to Fu Manchu and Buckcherry for the first time. impossible to forget.

waiter at the fox

Waiters used to rotate very often but I could meet some of the supervisors. It was different than in Spain, if they paid you a beer it was actually they paying, as breweries used to accurately control what was served, and everything was measured. It was a bit distressing for them when I started drinking calimocho and it became fashionable. They had to mark a price and set some kind of measures, thus, a pint of calimocho was a glass of red wine, ice, and coke for filling. It was 3,25. Ha! And it tasted awesome!

It was funny when a couple of night ago when chatting with my Achilles’ Heel, he started remembering the crazy nights live which always started at the Fox. We shared great ones. All who used to hang around remember epic stories over there. Now it comes to my mind one evening they started playing Iron Maiden songs, one hit after another, people were standing on the tables and I was lifted and moved from one side of the bar to the other, as if crowdsurfing. That place had something and it was great for meeting people and getting picked. I never had a problem being there on my own. There were always acquaintances around.

The old Intrepid Fox was the extension of my house, actually it felt like my personal living room, and definitely it was one of the coolest bars I’ve ever had the pleasure to hang out at. It’s great to think of a place and relate it to good times. Miss those days.

SMELLS LIKE 90’S

Shoes, brick walls and frames by Kate Woods 	http://katewoodsphotography.blogspot.com

Yesterday was a very complete day, quite nonstop. I love this kind of days very much: I finished working for this company I’ve never been too much comfortable in, went to a nutritionist to receive some guidelines fitting my vegetarian condition with the aim of improving the quality of meals because I’m too chaos lately (NO diet), and finally spent 3 hours djn’ 90’s music at Psycho R&R club.

Few months ago, one of the owners, after observing the kind of stuff I’m mostly in, found remarkable my tendency towards more alternative styles, different to hard rock or proper metal, and my 90s music taste, and propose me to perform a 90s music night at his bar. I thought it was great but we never made a final agreement and the idea was left behind.

It was 2 weeks ago when I received a message asking if I was still interested and of course I accepted. Thus, starting from yesterday, I’m in charge of djn’ 90s stuff the second Thursday of every month until further notice. Ace!

Thursdays are quite unpredictable because there are many events and Friday is still a working day after all. Not many could stop by to have some drinks and have a good time, and I know some would have enjoyed the improvised selection, thus because sharing is always caring, here’s the playlist including what you could listen to at Psycho last night. Hope you like it.

***Song #7 right after 3 Colours Red’s Copper Girl was Stoned, by Redd Kross, but wasn’t available on Spotify.