Yes, once again, this fine contraption that I call MusicSnobbery.com is venturing beyond the American boarders to explore the wonderful and strange world of the international music scene. I pride myself in being a music snob, but I also like to think of myself as a jetsetter and man of the world.
Last year, I went to China and Japan and found that I will never fully understand K-Pop and J-Pop. Previously, I experienced good times with MGMT, Dum Dum Girls and Black Angels in Brussels, the mega-club scenes of Germany, the passion of Spain and Portugal and the beautiful people of Paris.
This year, I wanted to do something different and visit countries I've never been to. I wanted old stuff, but a different culture. For most of the summer, I was thinking of going back to Italy just to eat everything and gawk at the beautiful Italian women.
Then it dawned on me that bunches of my friends rave about Scotland. It's a five-hour train ride from London, they speak English (somewhat) and has a fantastic music scene. We're talking Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, Jesus & Mary Chain, Travis, Bay City Rollers and Average White Band. I won't be seeing those bands, but you never know.
Edinburgh with a day trip to Glasgow will be the first stop on the International Snobbery tour 2012. I get to see a bunch of old stuff, drink the best whisky in the world, eat a lof of fried food and maybe get beaten up by some angry football hooligans.
Luckily, the one band I will be seeing is an up-and-coming group I've written about plenty in the past year. It's the English foursome Two Wounded Birds. They are touring behind their debut album and will be rocking out at a venue called Sneaky Pete's. According to my guide book, it's a must visit for rock fans. I just like the name Sneaky Pete's.
Glasgow does seem to have the better music scene, and more popular venues. As much as I want to see a show in Glasgow, there's no god damn way I'm going out of my way to see ass clowns fun. or Slash. BUT, Nine Black Alps is in town and I could be convinced to see them at the Wah Wah Room, since I hadn't seen them since 2005 and they did stop by for a chat back in the day.
In any event, Edinburgh is stop one.
Stop Two is something I totally getting excited about. As you can guess by the picture of the Swedish Chef above. I'm going to hop a plane to Sweden, mainly capital city Stockholm. I like it because it's a different pace and attitude from the rest of Europe. Also, it's not a major "tourist" destination in the fall.
When you think about, all of the stereotypes of Sweden and things you first think of about Sweden are goods ones.
- Blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and gorgeous
- Universal healthcare
- High quality of life
- Swedish meatballs
- Swedish fish
- Swedish massage
- Stylish, flat-packed furniture
On the other hand, they are responbible for extremely bad pop music via Max Martin, who produced all of the 90s boy bands and Britney Spears' early work. Luckily, that trend has died down. If anything, the Swedish music scene is dominated by death metal bands. I've been looking for gigs to see and it's mostly prog and metal. Halestorm? Still haven't seen any names I recognize, but I might just pop into a random club. Who knows? I might see the next Peter Bjorn and John or I'm From Barcelona. The First Aid Kit girls are from Stockholm, but will be on tour in the U.S. at that time
Then there's the other music that Sweden is known for. You know it -- ABBA. I just rewatched the Tony Bourdian episode where he dumps on ABBA. Come on, it's harmlesss. I remember when I was a wee lad, and my parents had an ABBA album, and I looked at it trying to figure out how sound came froma black, circular thing.
I bring ABBA up because I will visit the ABBA museum for the kitchy fun. Housed in a converted customs building on Södermalm, the museum’s three floors will trace the supergroup’s rise to pop immortality in what promises to be an interactive, multimedia extravaganza. A series of linear, interactive ‘scenes’ will have you hanging out in the recreated Polar recording studio, shaking your booty on stage and even creating your own chart topper. Then there’s the glittering memorabilia, spanning everything from the group’s awards, photographs and instruments to those criminally outrageous costumes.
Also, I'm staying at the ABBA hotel. Well, not officially the ABBA hotel, but the Rival Hotel is owned by Benny Andersson. It's Rated No. 2 on TripAdvisor. I'm only hoping Benny is there to help me with my bags.
My only worry that it will be relatively cold compared to the U.S., mid-40s, and sunset is 4pm. In the summer, the sun shines for like 20 hours.
My final stop is the new culinary capital of Europe, Copenhagen. If anybody can help me get into Noma, I'll be your best friend for life. Everything I've read about is about openface sandwiches, coffee and innovative food techinques. I can handle that.
As far as a local music scene, Lars Ulrich is their most famous musician. Alphabeat and Aqua hails from there. Most of the music shows are from outside bands passing through. Chris Isaak will be there while I'm there. He is a guilty pleasure of mine, so that's a possibity.
As always, if anybody has any recommendations hit me up.
I'll return in time for some of CMJ, but probably hit up the Friday ad Saturday only. I leave for London Rocktober 3. None of you are coming with me