Yeah! It was a great night, and no, I wasn’t lucky, nobody talked to me.
Friday started with some wi-fi connection in my room corner, finding out on Twitter (glad I opened an account last week) that Black Sabbath are playing in Azkena Rock Festival 2012. The day couldn’t have better start.
My friend Joaquin wasn’t supposed to join me till the evening, thus, I had plenty of time to wander by the city. With my warm hat, and many clothes, I was ready to hit the road.
Thanks to the previous night walk I more or less knew where to go, thus I only had a map in my pocket and started walking towards Gamla-Stan, very beautiful area full of antique shops, pubs, restaurants and really nice corners, several churches and the Royal Palace.
Eventually I ended my first 3 hours walk at the Moderna Museet. There was an exhibition of late paintings by Monet, Turner and Twombly and there were waves of old people queuing to get in, thus I decided to have a coke and start writing my first travel notebook.
It’s shocking the honesty and correctness of people overseas. In Spain we’re more cheating and tricky. This often shocks me whenever I visit other countries, and this time, at the museum, there were two remarkable things I have to mention. On one hand, no security was at the entrance, of course I paid my ticket, but when I got in, there was no one to check whether you had purchased it or not. On the other hand, there were lockers, but not enough for all the visitors, and cloakroom was unattended. It didn’t matter, everybody was leaving their coats there, even bags and luggage, without feeling uneasy nor thinking of the possibility of getting stolen at all. This reminds me also that, the night before at the theater, I was carrying a backpack with my reflex camera and nobody bothered to check it. Unbelievable!
I didn’t like the exhibition so much, like both Monet and Turner’s earlier paintings, and regarding Twombly, seemed like a joke to me. I really don’t understand his work, and cannot figure out how this kind of paint can be successful and praised.
EN ANNAN HISTORIA / ANOTHER STORY, MODERNA MUSEET
Moderna Museet’s photography collection is said to be one of the finest in Europe, with material from 1840 up to date.
The concept of the exhibition started with the idea that an art collection can’t remain static, in order to stay alive and even evolve. Thus, by arranging the collection from a radically different point of view, it renews energy, and highlights other aspects previously unnoticed.
First step of the presentation, Possesed by the Camera, contained pictures from 1970 to 2010. Camera is used not only to emphasize the reality, but also to build identity by means of role-play. Artists such as Cecilia Edefalk, Annica Karlsson Rixon or Hirogi Sugimoto, and photos belonging to the collection New Topographics. Photographs of a Man, were exhibited.
See the World (1920-1980), had to do more with photo journalism , documentary, and surrealism. This was the part I liked most. Famous photographers such as Nan Goldin, Irving Penn, or Diane Arbus, were present. I was really shocked by the Tulsa Series by Larry Clark, portraying real white trash, full of junkies shooting and scum. The super underground atmosphere and such realism eventually turn into fiction, as our daily lives are not familiarized with such environment.
To finish, Written in Light (1840-1930) reveals the birth and infancy of photography, including mostly portraits, landscapes, nature and architecture, typical in those early years.
While moving from one area to another, there was a compilation of daily living pictures submitted by visitors and people interested in the museum activities, because, according to the philosophy of this exhibition, everyone can be a photographer. A point of view don’t think is shared by most of professional photographers.
As a photography lover I am, and starting to dig into history, names and information, this exhibition really was worth seeing. It was long time since I hadn’t gone to a museum, and am glad I did it.
Joaquin came to pick me up to the hostel close to 7pm. The plan was having a walk and some drinks and go to Nalen Klubb to see three Swedish rock bands there. I knew of one of them, Marulk, because the guitarist is also an Instagramer and we follow each other. As soon as I knew his band (from Gothemburg) was playing in Stockholm on my free night, the plan was set.
We complain about not supporting local nor national bands, and it’s true, but seems that this is a common disease everywhere. It’s hard to get a name as to move 100 people to a venue, especially if raining.
The klubb night was named Pussy A Go-Go & Who Killed Marilyn, and the bands playing were Propane Propane, Lanfinger and Marulk. The first ones were like Kyuss, the second ones reminded us of The Hellacopters, and Marulk sounded more like 70’s hardrock. Gotta remark that the level was really high and musicians were awesome. Guess Dregen was right when he was saying, there was nothing else to do but playing, when he was a teenager.
It was a good night, and we got quite drunk too, but definitely we had fun, and yes, we talked to people. Surely they thought we were nuts.
Saturday was a very looooong day. To start, I had massive hangover. Haven’t told you at the hostel I met 5 German kids in party mood who gave me a can of beer after taking them to a 7Eleven, so had gone to sleep at 5, and girls I shared the room with woke up at 8 and were nonstop talking till I yelled at them.
We headed to the Vasa Museet to see this old vessel recovered from the sea, and had another beautiful walk by the river, because it was a very sunny morning. But after crossing a gate, we started to see record shops and couldn’t resist such temptation, and went for hunting, forgetting about the museum. Beside we had to eat something and meet some acquaintances in Södermalm for the pre-show.
Buying spree was awesome in terms of stuff, but will eat pasta, rice and lentils till the end of this month. Everybody pays the price, right?
THE HEAD AND THE HEART / MY MORNING JACKET, MÜNCHENBRYGGERIET, November 20th
Finally the day had arrived and we were attending the last show of the Americans in Stockholm, no less!
It’s curious in both shows I attended, most of the audience got in the venue as soon as doors opened.
The place was beautiful, venues there haven’t anything to do with those we are familiar with. This was a former brewery, completely reformed inside. Architecture and decoration are fileds in which Swedish are outstanding. It was fabulous. The hall maximum capacity is of around 950-1000, and obviously tickets were sold out.
The Head and The Heart were responsible for warming the audience up, but wasn’t very difficult, as many people seem to know them well already, and the response was really enthusiastic. I had only heard they belong to this new American folk wave, such as The Avett Brothers, so I was eager to discover what they were up to. So impressed I was, right after the show, I went to the merchandising stand and got a copy of their album. Not only they reminded me to the North Carolina guys, but also to Dr Dog and others. It was a very beautiful and intense show they offer. Very emotional.
At 10pm sharp, My Morning Jacket came onto stage, starting the show with the same song as Circuital, Victory Dance, which I particularly find hypnotic and really atmospheric.
Most of the set list was based on their last work, including 8 songs, but they also squeezed Z and Evil Urges most memorable themes, and 4 of It Still Moves were also included.
Some song before the encore, I had already convinced the security guy to bring me the set list, and he really did it!
Jim James wasn’t talkative at all, and wasn’t much communicative either. Considering the way these Swedish people are, probably this wasn’t any inconvenience to them. To be honest, the singer is kind of a divo, very pretentious and theatrical. I’m not questioning his talent at all, but is his attitude of I-am-freak-and –proud-and-cooler-than-you, what gets on my nerves.
We were in first row on the left, so we could see Carl Broemel perfect, and I enjoyed lots observing his guitar tech, a more than 60 year old man, tuning both guitars and bass guitars, selecting from the gear case for each song, and what was incredible, was how fast to put the guitar belt to Broemel. We are always aware of what’s going on on stage, but, back, or in this case, sidestage was as interesting and fascinating as the show.
Broemel was the real hero of the night. He really spreads elegance and class when playing any of his instruments, guitar, saxo, and pedal steel. Focused, professional, he, and the rest of the band, in a discreet position, were executing song after song with severity and perfection. They were perfect.
It’s really taken me a couple of days to digest and analyze what I saw on Saturday. Not only because I was overwhelmed by the quality of the show, but also because the comeback, at 6,30am and what such departure schedule implied, was really hard stuff.
It’s a pity such awesome bands are not visiting us, so we have to arrange these crazy contingency plans to see bands we love. Of course, this makes the experience more intense and fulfilling, but it’s sad, we are stepping back as crabs, and Spain is returning to the era when it didn’t belong to the European tour circuit, so we were missing most of the American bands shows.
I’m very glad for having visited Stockholm and sure I will come back in the future. Beautiful city, I strongly recommend you.