Amsterdam Dance Event

I didn’t think anything could top Thursday night…and then came Saturday/Sunday.

Saturday afternoon started with my lovely host, Carlos and Luke, making me Dutch Pancakes. Had 3/4 of one with pineapple, and a 1/4 of one with banana. Yum!

Disco nap ensued, once I’d calmed down after finding out that Tony (Surgeon) was playing a secret gig, and got all the details.

Then it was drinks and pommes frites with Xhin at his hotel, and bumping into Tony, who’d just had an interview, and was on his way to his secret gig. Was great to finally meet Tony’s manager, Natasha. She thought I’d be really tall for some reason – HA! Little did she know…

After 2 extremely strong vodka’s with apple juice, I drunkenly made my way to the barber shop (!) that Tony was playing at. He thought, as did I, that he’d be playing some tracks in the background whilst people got their hair cut. It ended up being a proper gig in the basement! About a hundred people, in a dark sweatbox. Bloody excellent. Full on techno set that had everyone going off. Really lucky that Nensi and Andrea told me about this (thanks!!!). Didn’t stop dancing the whole hour. So hot, some guys took their shirts off (!). How not-techno! Afterwards, got to briefly chat with Tony, Natasha, Jamie (Blawan) and Steve (Ritzi Lee). And got some photos with Tony and Jamie 🙂

Then it was back to the apartment to shower, change, have an hour disco nap, and then out for more techno.

Firstly, Trouw. Got to hear some of Developer’s set, which I quite liked. Then almost 1.5 hours of DVS1s set. Been waiting to hear him play out for so long. Really enjoyed it! Trouw was actually quieter than other nights, but I much preferred the crowd this night here. Didn’t get elbowed in the head once. It was really hard to leave, as I was enjoying it so much. But Surgeon’s gig was calling. And then as I was leaving, DVS1 played a Surgeon track 🙂

Then it was off to Hotel Arena for the last 1.5 hours of Surgeon’s set. What a great venue. Think it’s an old converted church. Found Nensi and Andrea in the locker room, and proceeded to head downstairs for Tony’s set. Found Natasha and her friends pretty quickly. All up the front. Tony played another excellent set. Very thrilled to get to hear him twice in one day. The crowd was a bit too much for me though. WTF is it with these really tall morons who jump around and fling themselves about, to the detriment of my head and body? I’ve got some bruises, I can tell you! I didn’t want Tony to stop playing. It was just too good.

Went to say goodbye to Tony, as I thought it would be the last time I’d see him this trip. Got to meet Vince Watson, who was really nice, and bumped into Steve again, and then harangued Tony about coming back to Australia. Which he took in very good humour 🙂 I was feeling quite sad after this, as I knew it would be the last time I’d get to hear Tony play on this trip. And if he doesn’t come back to Australia soon, it might be a few years 🙁

Then it was back to Trouw for the last half hour of Xhin’s set. I really wanted to hear more than this, but knew that I’m going to see him play Tresor this Friday. I got there, and the door was shut, but, thankfully, the bouncer remembered me, and let me back in. Loved it when he played “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode. Sang along, like a girl 😛 I had tears in my eyes from it. Such a fantastic track, and always reminds me of Davo, who I really wish could have been with me to enjoy all this.

After Xhin finished, I got to chat with him and Zac (DVS1) for a short while, until they went for the artists’ breakfast. Zac was lovely, gave himself only 3 out of 10 for his set (!), and found out I’d be seeing him at the Melkweg afterparty for Sandwell District. Met Xhin’s greatest fan (this is what Natasha keeps calling me about Surgeon). Good to meet other like-minded people once in a while 😀

Raced back to my apartment to shower, change, have a quick 30 minute disco nap, and then out for more techno (sound familiar? 🙂 )

Then it was to Melkweg. Karl (Regis) had apparently told a fan of his (who then told me) that Sandwell District was going to be on at around 8am. So I arrived at 7.30am, and found Nensi and Andrea. Speedy J was on, and played a great set, and played until 8.30. By this stage, I was wondering where Karl & Dave (Function) were. Asked someone who worked there if there were set times, and he said that there weren’t any. Then Rod came on, played quite hard, but too much playing with the effects started annoying me, so went looking for a drink at around 9.30am, and then found the set times. In which I found that they weren’t playing until 11.30am. ARGH! So I had two more hours, and was pretty tired by that time. 5 days of clubbing does that to you!

Unfortunately, that was too much for Nensi and Andrea. They were exhausted and headed home. I saw Zac and had a quick chat with him, finding out that the location of Karl and Dave was unknown at that stage! They’d had a pretty hectic week of gigs, so I expected they were in transit.

After Rod, Hans Bouffmyhre was next. His set was ok, but I was really just making myself stay awake, so that I didn’t miss Sandwell District. I found out about 10 minutes before they were due to start, that they were on their way. Tequila time! The woman gave me a double though, so I was a BIT over exuberant.

When Karl and Dave turned up, they looked completely exhausted. Hours earlier, they’d been playing in Fabric London, and now they were playing in Amsterdam. Their set was dark and suited my mood (probably theirs too). The lighting and smoke machines seem to make Melkweg pretty dark at times too. Barely could see anyone! Found Natasha and her friends again though 🙂

I didn’t want Sandwell District to finish. Was the last time I’d hear them this trip. They played for about an hour and 15 minutes. Danced non stop, wore myself out. I was completely tired by the end of their set. Karl disappeared quickly, said a quick goodbye to Dave, Natasha and her friends. Wanted to say bye to Zac, but he was in an unreachable place behind the stage, listening to Nina Kraviz.

Got on the tram, and Xhin and I decided to meet at his hotel again for drinks, before he took his flight back to Berlin. Walked in to find Tony eating breakfast. Quickly told him I was there to meet Xhin, not trying to stalk him!!! Xhin and I had bacon and eggs, and then Adrian (Developer) joined us. Then it was time for Xhin to head, we briefly chatted to Tony, and I wandered back to my tram. Finally got back to my apartment at 3.30, and fell asleep an hour later.

It was the last day of the Amsterdam Dance Event. I had a bloody excellent time, so glad I came here. Was quite a bit solemn when I got back, thinking about all the great music I heard, and all the lovely people I met, for it to be over. But I have some excellent memories and experiences now.

Had 3 hours sleep this afternoon, waking up at 7.30pm. It’s now 3am and I am only starting to get tired now. Been chatting with Carlos my host, and Szilvia, Mark, Ben and Xhin online, which has kept me very entertained!

It’s time for me to sleep and dream. Thanks Amsterdam for this. And apologies to everyone for my many many posts about this. I’ve been overexcited and overstimulated, like a child. Now, it’s time to chill out! 🙂

Amsterdam Dance Event

So these are the events I’m planning on going to at Amsterdam Dance Event in October. I’ve bolded the acts I really want to see.

Who else is coming?

Wed 17 Oct
21:00 – 00:00
EYE Cinema 1
I Amtechno presents Jeff Mills | Cine-Mix | “Woman In The Moon”
Jeff Mills

Wed 17 Oct
22:00 – 05:00
TrouwAmsterdam
Late Night Society & Imprint – ADE Special
Seth Troxler / Ben Klock / Makam / Boris Werner / William Kouam Djoko / Sandrien

Thu 18 Oct
22:00 – 06:00
MC Theater
Co-hosted by Kinetic AM Dekmantel ADE – Blueprint, Sandwell District, Mote Evolver and Time To Express
Planetary Assault Systems (live) / Sandwell District / James Ruskin / Donato Dozzy / Peter van Hoesen / Samuli Kemppi / Silent Servant / Thomas Martojo

Thu 18 Oct
22:00 – 08:00
Gashouder – Westergasfabriek
Awakenings ADE special Adam Beyer presents Drumcode
Adam Beyer / Ben Sims / Joseph Capriati / Paul Ritch (live) / Joel Mull / Alan Fitzpatrick / Patrick Siech

Fri 19 Oct
22:00 – 05:00
TrouwAmsterdam
Clone x Delsin x Rush Hour ADE Special
Delta Funktionen / A Made Up Sound / Tom Trago / San Proper / Legowelt & Xosar / Dexter / Conforce / Alfabet / Aroy Dee / Gerd / Antal / Serge

Sat 20 Oct
22:00 – 05:00
TrouwAmsterdam
RA VS ADE Special
DJ Harvey / Andrew Weatherall / DVS1 / Xhin

Sat 20 Oct
23:00 – 08:00
Hotel Arena Two rooms connected
I Amtechno presents Tresor meets Deeply Rooted House
Juan Atkins / Surgeon / Mike Huckaby / Terrence Dixon (live) / Patrice Scott / Bleak (live) / Marcelus / Mondo

Sun 21 Oct
06:00 – 14:00
Melkweg The Max
Electric Deluxe : ADE After Hour
Speedy J / Sandwell District / ROD

Sun 21 Oct
18:00 – 00:00
OT301
Dekmantel ADE – A Night With Jeff Mills
Jeff Mills

Europe 2012 – First Post

Europe 2012

Sunday 10th June

Sydney
Chinese Laundry was so bad, that I gave up on Chris Liebing after 1.5 hours, and actually managed to get a decent nights’ sleep for once before a flight.

5 minutes after I woke up, I heard a bang coming from the fish tank. Edward the orange fantail goldfish had sucked on a rock way too big for him, and crashed into the side of the tank. I quickly yelled for Dave, who promptly came to the rescue. Thanks to a combination of skill and tweezers, Edward was now able to live for at least a little longer. Thankfully, no dead goldfish on the day I was to leave.

Lots of the usual last minute pre-flight hassles. Continuous repacking, Phillip & Alannah turning up on time when I wasn’t quite ready, friends trying to call me whilst I was getting ready, and an accident (thankfully not us) close to the international terminal.

Check in was simple. Saying bye was hard. Gonna miss everyone, especially Davo. I’ve never gone for two whole months before.

Thanks to Phillip & Alannah for driving us. Was quite a good way of keeping everyone in a good mood, by hassling the sh*t out of me!

Realised when I finished saying goodbye that I wasn’t going to have time to see Cat before her flight to Hong Kong. Which would have been great, but I got to her terminal just in time to see her flight leave!

Customs was fine, getting my tax back was excellent (they are always nice to me in there) and grabbed some Aussie food stuffs for some friends (hope they appreciate the hell of carrying all this!).

Went to Godiva for my Dark Chocolate Raspberry milk drink. They gave me white chocolate instead. ARGH. I asked her why she had made that for me, and she couldn’t believe I wanted a dark one. Seemed there was no point arguing. Tried one sip, and it went in the bin ☹ At least I got a few of my favourite little choccies for the plane.

Flight to Singapore

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ222. A380. One of the ones that doesn’t have any economy in the upper deck. So decided to get a middle row where they only have 3 seats, and I was on the aisle. Nobody in the seat next to me (YAY!) and nice French lady in the other seat.

Asked for a gluten free meal. Got served first (woohoo!!!). Couldn’t sleep as was too excited. Watched:

Breathless (German movie set in Vienna). Great movie about a boy who is coming to terms with the guilt of killing someone at 14, and who seems determined to make his life quite difficult as a result. Was really impressed with it.

This Means War. Please don’t blame me. Only watched it because Tom Hardy is in it. Truly a piece of execrable cinema. So many bad plot lines. Didn’t seem to make any sense at all. Don’t waste your time. Worst acting I’ve ever seen Tom Hardy do.

Untouchable (French film set in Paris). Recommended by lovely French lady near me. Had me laughing and crying at the same time. Really really excellent film about a paralysed man and his assister. Wasn’t keen at first as I didn’t want a miserable film. But it wasn’t miserable at all. Apparently the actor who played the assister won a French film award for it. Not surprised really. Based on a true story too.

So the first flight was only (ONLY) 8 hours long, so this took up most of my time.

Great flight though. No major turbulence. Only one screaming sh1t head child. Most of which was blocked out by my noise cancelling headphones.

Singapore

Arrived at Terminal 3 to find out my plane to Frankfurt had been delayed. Which really made me regret not getting some sleep on the plane. By the time we left Singapore, it was past 3.30am Sydney time.

Took me a while to realize that I was suffering from a bit of sleep deprivation. Wandered aimlessly around the airport for ages. Had trouble finding anything.

The typical yum cha place I like seemed to have disappeared. I asked at information, but they seemed to think it was in Terminal 2. But I eventually found the area I was looking for in Terminal 2, and the place had changed. No more cranky older Singaporean lady. All new place, and lots less choice. Had some dumplings and some glutinous rice, but it wasn’t really satisfying.

Found my way to the transit lounge. $35 Singapore Dollars to stay there for 5 hours and use most of the facilities. It was and extra $20 Singapore Dollars to be able to nap there! Had a shower and started feeling more human again, as the humidity was getting to me, even inside the terminal. I think that airport is always tropical! Sat in the lounge and charged up the laptop and phone, and chatted a bit with Davo on Facebook. The free food wasn’t worth it, so I didn’t bother. Bloody hungry by the time I arrived at the plane.

Got distracted again and went the wrong way when going to my gate. Note to Seb: I did look for that spread that you wanted but couldn’t see it anywhere. This wasn’t helped by me being possibly late!

I like Singapore Airport mostly for it’s quiet and ease of transferring. But I don’t like having to go through a gate where there are no opportunities to buy water before boarding. Nearly every time I get a flight from Singapore, I get dehydrated by the time I arrive at my next destination. Unfortunately, I got one of those gates this time.

Flight to Frankfurt

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ26. A380. Upper deck exit row seat near the window this time. Yay! Lady next to me doesn’t say boo the whole flight.

I’ve worked out not to get the seat 71A next time as it’s very close to the flight attendant button. Works out you can get woken up every few minutes. And there’s no chance of getting a spare seat to lie across, as everyone wants exit row.

Used my brain and decided to not open up the entertainment system, and see if I could get some rest. I tend to have a terrible time sleeping on planes, most of the time waking suddenly and wondering where the f*&k I am. But I was ok this time. Managed to sleep for almost 8 hours, only waking up when the attendant button went off, and mostly going straight back to sleep.

At about 5.30am Frankfurt time, I couldn’t sleep anymore.

Watched “Wish You Were Here” (Australian Movie set in Sydney and Vietnam). I’ve been wanting to watch this for ages, and couldn’t convince a single person to see it with me. Glad I saw it now. Was much better than I expected for most of the movie. The ending seemed really rushed, so that was a bit of a let down. I’d recommend it to anyone though. Didn’t seem to be a typical Aussie movie storyline.

Another great flight with little turbulence. Very attentive staff, who seemed weirded out when I wanted to go for a stretch. Actually, I was more weirded out by not seeing anyone stretch in economy for that flight. It WAS 12.5 hours!!!

Frankfurt

Landed at 7.37am to a crisp 13 degrees celcius (hello German summer!!!). 10 minutes of taxi-ing to the gate.

Usually when I arrive at Frankfurt, there’s about 2 people who don’t have EU passports, so I get through very quickly, with the customs staff barely saying a word.

This time, there were enormous queues. Most planes I get to Frankfurt arrive at around 6am, so our late arrival meant a lot more people around than usual. But it got quite strange. At one point, the immigration stopped processing people. Wasn’t just in my queue. Didn’t know what the reason was – computer error, maybe? So I stood in the queue for at least 20 minutes. Still wasn’t as bad as Sydney or Heathrow, but I was concerned that Iris waiting for me.

And then the immigration staff decided to have a bit of a chat with me! Never seen this happen before. They both seemed to be in quite a good mood. They commented to each other in German on me being Australian, and I concurred. Then they asked me where I was going – Berlin! And then they wanted to know how long I was staying in Europe – 2 months. That had them laughing and complaining. He couldn’t believe I had 2 months holiday. Then he asked if I was a pensioner!!!!!! Lol. Then he looked again and said, no, too young. Continued to complain about the length of my holiday, and stamped my passport.

Considering I’ve never heard one of the immigration guys in Frankfurt say barely “boo” before, this was entertaining.

My lovely new – and now scratched – Cosmolite bag was waiting for me, and then it was out to see Iris.

Iris was patiently waiting for me outside the gates. It was so lovely to see her. We took the S bahn to Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof, got my Eurail pass stamped, and then had morning tea together.

Morning tea yeah! Mint tea and a chocolate croissant. Always a great way to greet Frankfurt. We had a great chat (I talked way too much as usual). Was excellent of her to meet me and take me to my train too. I rarely get greeted at airports by friends or family anymore. It’s a nice change!

On the way from Flughafen to Hauptbahnhof, Iris pointed out a new massive building under construction. It seems that it will be of an unusual construction.

Hauptbahnhof is still pretty much the same, although I hadn’t seen the place we ate in before. Damn, I forgot to grab some fruit on the way out. Will have to wait until Berlin.

Iris saw me off at the platform. Thanks Iris. Greetings again to Dirk. Tschuss ☺

Train to Berlin

I’m now sitting on the 10.13 am ICE ???? to Berlin Ostbahnhof, in a first class compartment, across from a lady and 4 free seats. The lady speaks English, but I’m having a really hard time figuring out where she is from.

So far, all I’ve done is type this. It’s taken me about an hour to type all this as I’m slow and wordy. Starting to feel a little jetlagged. The journey time is about 4 hours, so I will try and sleep for a little while, then go find the food wagon. Maybe I’ll figure out what I’m going to do in Berlin and Madrid. Then I might nap some more.

Looking forward to settling into my apartment in Berlin. A real shower and a real bed. Yeah ☺

Sleep Deprivation

Well we FINALLY arrived in New York after 33 hours of sleep deprivation. We got to New York on Friday 31st at 4.40pm, but it took us until 11.30pm to get to sleep. I’m now awake (at 11.30am) as we are meeting Rowena and Charles for lunch. But think I need more sleep. Davo is still dead to the world.

I will be more enthusiastic once I get another good sleep.

The hotel we are staying at is great. The room is very quiet, bed very comfortable and enough room to swing a cat. I slept like log. Just need more of it.

We walked around a couple of blocks last night to find somewhere to eat, and thought the vibe was great. Friday night in NYC seems like fun! It’s hilarious as there were 2 Starbucks in very close proximity, so the Chaser were right! Dave has already found 2 huge shoe shops. No chocolate shops close but I suspect I’ll just search for Godiva in the next week.

Ok time to get ready. Will write more exciting stuff (hopefully) later.

Sad :(

Well two of our very best friends are moving to Berlin this week. Lisa and I met at Tweekin’ in 1998 (I think) discussing a similarity in taste of males at the time, and have gotten along like a house on fire ever since. Lisa and Ant started going out in 2000 (I think) at a birthday part of mine, and Dave and Ant have gotten along like a house on fire ever since too.

But they are off to the other side of the world this week. And we’ll miss them 🙁

It seems to happen a lot. Back in the 90s, a lot of friends went over for a year or two, and then came back. In the past ten years, so many of our friends have gone to Europe to stay. Most have moved to England: Beta & Aaron, Bec, Brad & Hayley, Dave & Valli, Samantha & Glenn, Monica (started in Ireland). Some moved to India – Silvana & Ben. And now Berlin: Lisa & Ant, and shortly Natacha.

So I’m feeling a bit sad right now.

Off to bed, and to (hopefully) dream of a one month trip to Berlin next year. August 2010 is in the diary.

Busy-ness

So yep I haven’t posted in a while. Been a very busy 3 months. What’s been happening?

* Music – Harbour cruise (although RPR cancelled), V festival (Madness & Human League), Deep as Funk (Daniel Dreier, Minilogue), Berlin Sessions (Stimming), Kink (Konrad Black), Metro (Loco Dice), Qirkz (Fourplay), Liverpool St (MotorCitySoul), We Love Sounds (Dinky, Anja Schneider, Guy Gerber).
* Food – Yum Cha (a few times), Bathers’ Pavilion, Tetsuya’s, Epoque, Pendolino (twice), The Longueville (a few times), Globe Bar, Pony, GPO food court (a few times), Almond Bar, Cafe in Chatswood, Settlements Bar, Lindt Cafe (a few times), Fink Chocolate Cafe.
* Trips away – gone to Bowral a few times to visit family, Berry to do some shopping.
* Movies – Berlin Calling, Summer Hours, Star Trek (at the Imax), My Year Without Sex, Angels & Demons, What Just Happened, The Proposal, The Girlfriend Experience, Cheri.
* Comedy – Danny Bhoy, Jeremy Hotz, Reginald D Hunter, Nick Sun.
* Friends from o/s visiting/leaving to go overseas – Hayley came back from England for a friend’s wedding, Beta came back from England for her sister’s wedding, seeing Lisa & Ant as much as possible before they move to Europe, discussions with Rowena & Charles about our upcoming USA trip together.
* Art – volunteering a few times a month at the NSW Art Gallery, Private Eye at The Observatory Hotel, talk about The Opera House, Trivia Night.
* Family – my niece Sasha’s confirmation (and me as her Sponsor), family coming over and vice versa for catch ups.
* Work – too much to do in too little time, with March to May being budget time. I’m still recovering. Now gotta complete training so that I can go on my holiday without stressing too much.
* Home – dishwasher playing up, oven now playing up, but I got half my filing done, and put in my tax return. Now I want my bonus!

And our USA trip planning. 45 days left until we head off. Flights, trains and buses all organised. Half the accommodation organised and paid for. Going to book Alcatraz and Statue of Liberty tonight. Have to figure out what clubs to go to.

The trip has been updated a bit. Now it’s New York (8 days), Philadelphia (1 day), Boston (4 days), Chicago (5 days), San Francisco (4 days) and Los Angeles (2 days).

Gotta save a lot for the trip over the next couple of months, so going out will be done cheaply. And we wanna go to Melbourne (for our 11th anniversary and to see the Dali exhibition) and to Adelaide (to visit Davo’s family) later this year, so I think I’ll be going out to few expensive things in the meantime.

But I’ve found out that the shoes I buy here are 125% less in in the USA. And some other things are very cheap as well. Here’s hoping the exchange rate gets better 🙂

Change of Plans – New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco

So we were planning to go to Europe in July/August this year. But it’s not happening anymore. Can’t get away from work in time to go to Depeche Mode and the Melt Festival. I’m rather miserable that I’m not going to Berlin this year, but I think I’ll make it a present to myself for my 40th 🙂

So now we’re going to the USA. Only ever been there for 24 hours before, way back in 1992, coming back from England.

So Depeche Mode twice in New York should be great – with Davo, Rowena and Charles. Figured out there’s so much to do there, but hopefully 10 days will be alright.

Also planning on going to Chicago for a week – the birthplace of house – and San Francisco for a week. Oh, and Philadelphia for a day (I need to go to The Barnes Foundation).

Tickets were purchased today. Thanks to Delta for such cheap flights.

Planning is well and truly underway.

So hints for places to go in these cities would be great! Got quite a few things in mind so far, but please add more! Especially clubs that play techno, tech-house, minimal house, minimal techno!

New York
Clubbing: The Bunker, Rebel
Everything Else: Depeche Mode at Madison Square Gardens (twice), Empire State Building, Twin Towers Memorial, Central Park, go in a TV show audience (like Saturday Night Live), MOMA, Guggenheim, Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Rockerfeller Centre, Times Square, a zoo, Manhattan Bridge, Coney Island, Kaz Deli, Stage Deli, Meat Packing District, Harlem, Lennox lounge, Soul Food.

Chicago
Clubbing: Ideas please!
Everything Else: Sears Tower, Wrigley Field. The Art Institute of Chicago, Ferris Bueller Self-Guided Chicago Tour (Dave’s favourite movie :)), a zoo, The Art Institute of Chicago.

San Francisco
Clubbing: Ideas please!
Everything Else: Alcatraz, Napa Valley, Trams, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, San Francisco Cable Car Museum, Union Square, a zoo, Audium Civic Centre, SFMOMA, The Castro, Chinatown (esp Nan King).

And if you’re in the US while we are there (either living or touring), it would be great to hang out 🙂

Am excited!