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What will all tomorrow’s parties be? A bike-ride in Utrecht, The Netherlands? Maybe.

Moonface. Photo: Elizabeth Radzikowska.

On Monday I came back from a long lovely trip with two of the world’s best festivals ringing in my ears. All Tomorrow’s Parties hosted two last weekends of their marvelous concept where they let one band chose what other bands should play. This next to last weekend however was curated by themselves and their friends at the Primavera Sound festival (the very last the weekend after was curated by Loop). I had been to one ATP before, when Slint reunited, back in 2005. Now I made my way to Camber Sands yet again. Camber Sands is a beach resort for the English working-class but during the winter it occasionally transforms into a music nerd Mekka. I booked my ticket on a whim when I heard that they were about to sell out and I so very badly wanted to see Television perform their masterpiece Marqueen Moon in its entirety. One of the reasons I haven’t made it back to ATP since 2005 is the sleeping situation. You normally have to buy a whole room, a chalet. This time however, you could share a 4-berth room so I bought a ”half-chalet” and hoped someone would come to their senses this time and join me. It’s gotten a lot easier finding peeps to tag along to these fests with because of twitter and the lovely little Primavera Sound Crew group on Facebook, a group for people who are nerdy enough to go to festivals in other countries on their own and there meet up with kindred folk. A Swedish guy, Mattias, whom I had just spoken to once in person, took the chance to join me. We arrived with a crowd-funded bus (We can go dutch, I love y’all for that!) with a few of the others from the PS group. An hour later our new flat mates, Charlie and Ollie, two young brits, showed up. Naturally they would have to cuddle up on the sofa bed. Me and Mattias had gotten their first and in true viking manner just taken the two single beds.

I’m not gonna go into detail about all the bands, you can check out tiny little ”reviews” on every one of them at if there’s something special you would like my take on. The Thursday started with me trying to figure out if it really was Scout Niblett in a wig behind the drums at Magik Markers. Of course it wasn’t, she was upstairs and when I got up there she and her guitar gave me goosebumps, the very best thing that a band can give you. Icarus Line blew me away while Low made me so sleepy I literally went to bed, even before they had finished. I felt incredibly old.

On Saturday me and Mattias took a stroll along the beautiful beach and it was all sublime. We left for Eraas, which I just found out is the new duo behind postrock band Apse. I was happily surprised and then blown away by the marvelous instrumentalists Tortoise. The other band to give me goosebumps was of course the old men in Television during the title track of Marquee Moon. Brilliant stuff, still. Then laying down in the back listening to Godspeed You! Black Emperor was just blissful and someone brought a pet dino to Feel the pain with Dinosaur Jr.

Sunday’s lineup felt a little weak, but if you look at it in a positive way, then it felt like these were the band that were the future, instead of old-timers like Dinosaur Jr and Television (except for Los Planetas, enough with them already, Primavera!). These were the new noise-makers; Haxan Cloak and Pharmakon being the two who made the most, and most fucked-up noise. I liked Forest Swords, who had realized it’s much more fun to watch a guy with a bass instead of just having a bass track on his computer. Hebronix had really beautiful passages and stood for the best party trick at the entire festival when he came in to one of the chalet parties that played pretty awful music and asked to plug in his toaster. When he finally found an outlet the thing short circuited the stereo and everything went quiet and black. Brilliant!

Leaving the fest, hung over as the queen in Maida Vale fellow PS Crewers Joao, Blanca and me endured the bus ride and chilled a few hours at a Syrian restaurant. Our minds were pretty empty and it was lovely to just stare into the air for a while. I took a more comfortable than I had thought bus to Amsterdam (£1.60!) over night and continued chilling with the obvious visit to Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank house and a visit to the Documentary film festival and the lovely film Everyday Rebellion before it was time for the next festival.

On Thursday morning I got an email from the ceo of Spinlister, a site where you can rent locals’ bikes that my rental in Utrecht would be the first bike rented in ”Amsterdam”. I wonder what the good folks in Utrecht would say about that! Utrecht is a lovely university city about the size of Gothenburg half an hour away from Amsterdam. Here the festival Le Guess Who? takes place every year at different venues throughout the city, you could say it’s like Way Out West’s club programme Stay Out West but without all the massive queues you get with 25000 people. The biggest venue is about the size of Pustervik (appx 1000 people). I heard that the festival started as a birthday party and that it celebrated Canadian bands (hence Le Guess Who?) the first year and the next year they cheated with Beach House and Jana Hunter (both American). There’s still a lot of Canadian bands on the lineup and a lot of garage rock. My friend Ola was there last year and I agreed that they had a remarkable sense of what was ”up and coming” so I bought an Early Bird ticket for this year’s fest. I felt that they would give what I wanted and yes, the lineup made me smile.

When I got to Utrecht I walked to a part of town with schools and little family houses everywhere. I rang the door bell of one, where Wouter, the manufacturer of the interesting bike I had rented answered and led me out the back where he had these new chainless bikes he had designed and made. I rode with a backpack on my back and a smaller one on my tummy until I made my way to my Couchsurfing host, Eduard. Le Guess Who? has realized that the amount of hotel and hostel rooms in Utrecht is limited but they have an almost unlimited amount of students so you can actually ask for a couch directly on their site! Love that! Anyways I met three little Poles that were also couchsurfing at the same place and we got along very well, one of them, Szymon, runs a music blog called Kilof. A fun bunch. We all stayed in the attic of this kid Eduard who wasn’t really going to the festival until we were… Not the best situation, but yeah yeah. Wednesday started with the brilliance that is King Khan and then a little older brilliance by The Fall and after a little bike-ride to a smaller venue where there was a, mostly Norwegian, line, we saw Night Beats who performed last year as well. I can really see why they let them come back again. It’s always a good bet to go see a band that gets booked two years in a row. Biking around in the darkness a little drunk is fun and frankly, that’s exactly what I did at Stay Out West this year too. And you do manage to get into more than one club that way. In Utrecht everybody bikes. It’s the way to go.

Friday started with a few so-so bands before the marvellous Braids filled my heart with soul and my body with goosebumps. Sheer brilliance. I stuck around for The Black Angels instead of going directly to the Ty Segall curated night and they’re always a treat but in hindsight I feel that maybe I should’ve checked out Magnetix because if they were anything like the band Ty chose after them, J.C. Satán, I would’ve loved them too. J.C. were amazing, one of the best garage acts I’ve ever seen. Brilliant guitarist and it never got boring which garage can get sometimes if it’s too repetitive. None of that. Good shit!

On Saturday there was something called Le Mini Who? which meant free gigs at little art clubs and cafés throughout the city. Me and my new couchsurfing host Dominique (I couch-jumped – didn’t stay the whole time at one person’s home) went to see ZZZ’s but they had swapped times with Pins who were awesome, really good stuff. They had been on my ”first band of the itinerary” but this way it was ok that we had so much Mexican food that we didn’t get there in time for their ”proper” gig. Unfortunately the upstairs was full, too bad, I really would’ve wanted to see Thao & The Get Down Stay Down but the goosebumps from Scout Niblett once again was more than enough downstairs. The only Swedish band on the lineup were The Thing, the jazz trio Neneh Cherry made a brilliant album with recently. On their own they play so incredibly loud and fast you almost get sweaty just watching them. Fire! in a condensed form. Happy to be a Swede. After them even Metz sounded kinda lame. A bike ride over to ZZZ’s and a little queueing before I managed to hear the last two songs these Japanese noise women performed. Great stuff.

The Sunday was suitably timed a lot earlier with Matt Elliott, Moonface and Destroyer as my opening trio in a modern church. The Moonface album Julia with Blue Jeans On that landed about a month ago took my friend Madeleine by storm and I remember thinking ”What the hell” when she gave it 9/10 a few hours after it had been made available. It took me a little longer to come to realize she was completely right and when Spencer Krug performed these piano pieces I was in a trance and was very close to crying. Between these remarkably beautiful pieces he seemed to be another man, though, joking about getting shat on in Lissabon and whatnot. I got to think it through, but that might very well have been the concert of the year. The fact that I’m thinking about going to London just to catch see him again should tell me ”yes, it was”…

I sat through most of Destroyer but mostly it felt like just watching a drunk getting more drunk. It wasn’t getting better with Spencer Krug refilling his whiskey. Speaking of sad, the next act was Damien Jurado, whose songs might be the saddest of the bunch. The man himself, though, was very jetlagged and had been up 24 hours. In spite of that he was a lot of fun joking around and speaking about his artwork for the Le Guess Who? totebag that was inspired by ads of companies doing their ”final” sale. In between that he sang his songs while the entire Tivoli fell quiet. I realized I haven’t listened to him in years and that it was time to correct my mistake.

Maybe the biggest name on the bill was Yo La Tengo, who I hadn’t seen for ten years. They played for an hour and a half and I especially enjoyed The Story of Yo La Tengo off my favorite record of 2006, I’m not afraid of you and I will beat your ass. Love it.

I had already returned the bike so I started walking back, the Poles taking the bus and on the way was the other Tivoli, where Wooden Shjips were playing their psychadelia. I couldn’t NOT swing by. It was as packed as ten sardines in a condom. I went for the bar, that’s a good excuse to get into a crowd like that with your coat still on and that Beck’s beer might very well have been the best beer on-site during this, my new favorite festival, Le Guess Who?

PS. The best lager all-in-all was the Hertog Jan! I heard the festival was still doing minus on their account. This should be their beer sponsor!

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What does King Khan eat? Cobras. Naturally.

A few weeks ago What We Do Is Secret arranged the great two-day festival Summerfest and we had a talk with the coolest dude playing: King Khan. Naturally about food.

King Khan: We just played in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan. Yeah, I actually ate the weirdest shit I’ve ever eaten in my life. Oh, wait, [Khan farts], OH! As I said I ate the weirdest shit I’ve ever eaten.

So you’re still farting from your weird food?

I think so, it’s the cobra blood.

Cobra blood?!

Yeah, that was crazy. Jakarta was my favorite place and before me and BBQ hit the stage we went out on a street-food quest. We ended up sharing a cobra snake. A fresh one! This twelve year old just whips it out of its cage and chops its head off and then drains his blood in a glass and puts its still beating heart, chops that up and puts it in a glass and takes out its spine and throw that in the glass and chop it up and then you’re suppose to drink it. So we drank it. Then they strip the meat off of it and barbecue the meat so you eat the whole cobra. And it was delicious.

That was in Jakarta?

Yeah, that was in Jakarta, yeah. And then after that we hit the durian. Durian is this stink fruit. I’ve always wanted to do that. After eating the cobra, I washed it down with half a durian. And you get wasted off a durian if you eat a lof of it, because it’s a bit alcoholized, because it’s fermenting inside of the thing. And I found out that the term ’popping a cherry’, you know, which is like the term for losing a virginity, in Indonesia, is ’breaking the durian’. That’s pretty weird because the smell is to be acquired. I actually enjoyed the smell of it, I in fact I tried to eat it in different formations, I had this like dumpling, a durian dumpling, it was like a donut, it was really nice. A custard donut. But it has a bit of a funk. [Khan spits]. That’s why I love China actually. In China you’ll see these noodle houses where there’ll be twenty guys with their shirts over their bellies smoking and eating noodles at the same time and spitting — in the restaurants. I’ve never seen so many people smoke and eat at the same time.

What do you feel like eating right now?

I definitely don’t feel like eating raw squid liver. That’s something I would never eat again. They serve it in Japan. It’s on those little conveyor belts. I think it’s one of those challenges. And I lost a challenge. I tried it twice. It’s like a squirt of cold blood mixed with chocolate and fish. And I unfortunately had the experience of having to throw that up in the morning. ’Cause I ate it really late at night, again. Because I thought I should conquer my fears with liver.

Yet you ate it twice?

I ate it twice, stupidly. The second time totally drunk and then woke up just throwing it into the sink and it was like an abortion out of my mouth. It was disgusting. Just raw liver coming out of your mouth, it’s almost like a Dario Argento.

It’s very Argento. So, have you had any food here yet?

You know what, I haven’t. I had a cheese sandwich which I made for my kids and they didn’t eat that I took on the train. No, wait, I did have some nice food here, they had some very weird pulled porky kind of thing with chick peas and it was almost Indonesian actually, some weird tastes in there that I didn’t recognize.

What kind of bread is Welfare bread?

Welfare bread is a reaction to welfare cheese. Welfare cheese is this cheese that, in America, you get if you’re on welfare, it’s this processed cheese and there’s this song about it, a soul song a long time ago and I thought I would write welfare bread to go with the welfare cheese. But it’s basically poor man’s bread. I don’t think you’d wanna eat it. There’s no nutritional value in it.

So what kind of cheese is it, though?

I think it’s a typical yellow, American, like cheddar, but it’s not real cheddar, it’s like made by Kraft. By some nazi scientists. Some Italian nazi scientists.

Italian nazi scientists?

Actually, who would be responsible for cheese? The Swiss, maybe? But they weren’t really nazis. One of them created LSD, though. I can’t believe I can’t remember the name of the person who invented LSD. It was LSD’s birthday not so long ago, a few months ago. Aldous Huxley was administered LSD on his death bed after he wrote a little note: ”LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular” and then died. Oh my god, I can’t believe I can’t remember who invented LSD.

I thought it was an American invention? Maybe I’m mixing it up with some other drug?

Yeah, you’re mixing it up with AIDS.

I’m thinking of crack, I think.

Oh, yeah yeah. That’s a CIA thing.

Where do you take your lady out to dinner?

Where they serve welfare bread. I take her home. I go home and I cook nice meals for her. It’s expensive to take the woman out. We like cooking for each other a lot. It’s like fore play, you know? Cook something nice, put a lot of passion into it, enjoy the flavors.

So what do you normally cook for her?

I love to cook lots of different foods. I like cooking Indian food, I like cooking Chinese food. These days we’ve been making really interesting salads, try to lose a couple of pounds. Yeah, cause you can’t live off the Indian and Chinese food. Goat cheese can go a long way. I’ve been doing this thing where I put corinths, they’re not raisins but they’re like mini raisins. And if you dump a whole bag of those in a glass of pastis, the liquor from France, Ricard, and leave it there for like a month it’s a very nice dressing on goat cheese salad. Put a little bit of goat cheese and heat up some pine nuts or sunflower seeds. You throw them on there and you sprinkle some of those raisins and pastis and with some goat cheese type of thing, they’re delicious. It’s a total afrodiziak, though. That’s one thing, my mother, she would never teach me how to cook, ’cause the rule was that I had to get married first. So that’s probably why I got married so early, when I was 22.

So she thought it was an afrodiziak as well?

Well, she didn’t want me to use it as an afrodiziak. Once I got married my grand mother and my mother showed me the ways.

How did that come about? Did you go there once a week to train?

No, I would go and visit every year or every two years and hang out and watch. A lot of Indian cooking is like painting, you know, it’s like throwing in colors into a pot. My grand mother never measured anyhing, she would just throw stuff in there and then taste it and then know what to do.

I got two kids and they’re incredible cooks and we just let them do it. A lot of parents are like, ”Oh no!” and ”You can’t”. I think you gotta give them their room as early as possible. My daughter, when she was six she was like ”Dad, I wanna make an apple pie!” and I was like ”Make an apple pie, go for it!” And I remembered she googled it and watched this explanation on some thing and I swear to god, it was the best apple pie I’ve ever tasted. And I’m not saying that just because I’m her father. Any kid at that age are gonna follow instructions and they’re gonna learn from it and then now she’s gonna be thirteen in a couple of days and she’s inventing things with no sugar, with only wheat-flour, that’s in her mind, you know, healthy stuff. She invented this thing called Apple drops, incredible breakfast food. Yeah.

So what’s in it?

If I say it, she’s gonna get angry. She’s turning thirteen this week, so you know what’s gonna happen. I get a summons and she’ll take me to court. I don’t think Ronald McDonald’s dad talked to much about… You take a piece of meat, you but some bread on it, put some cheese on it, my son is a very gifted clown but he’s also avery good chef! He’s a better chef than he is a clown. He scares the whole family but he entertains the whole world now. Actually I saw a Ronald McDonald in Japan, I think it was Japan, yeah, doing, like a hands together, like a Japanese greeting. It was very frightening, he changes his views wherever he goes. If they’d make one in Germany he’d be like sieg heil! That would be good for that artist, Banksy! He should do that!

So, what’s was your best afrodiziak, then? Was that the sallad you were talking about?

Afrodiziak, hm, my wife makes a mean gulasch. But usually you eat a lot of it so you don’t feel like making love afterwards. Feel like going to bed, watching a movie. Afrodiziaks… I guess alcohol has always been a pretty good afrodiziak. Chocolate is always wonderful. Motivational thing.

How do you spread your love like peanut butter? How is that exactly done?

That’s actually an homage to Iggy Pop. Cause of that concert that he does where he’s on top of the audience and someone gives him a can of peanut butter and he puts peanut butter all over his body. He disappears in the audience and then suddenly pops out like a phoenix rising out of the ashes of Detroit city. It’s definitively legendary punk rock stuff.

You say you wanna be a girl. Do you think your diet would be different if you were a girl?

Ooh, I would probably drink more red wine and eat more red beets. You know on particular parts of the month. Yeah, I would have to change my patterns, definitely.

You mean you would eat like color-wise?

I think so, I mean if your body’s putting out something you might have to put something of the same color back in? That’s probably medically inaccurate but guess I have more of a Van Gogh type of approach to medicine than most people. I might be saying this because I had leeches on my foot a few days ago when I was in Oslo, that’s something that shocked me.

You got leeches in Norway?

Yeah, at the lake. My body needed to be leeched, you know? It’s like karma. Divine intervention.

You got a Sweet tooth for something?

I do, actually I’ve shut down the sweet tooth because I had to. But normally I use to have a big sweet tooth. I use to eat a lot of sugary treats. And, it’s all poison now, it’s really scary when you read about how food is processed and manufactured. But I’m happy with my two kids, we raised them in a good way, trying to keep them away from these poisons. It’s possible to do that but it’s a crazy way, you know? You gotta be real smart. It’s terrible when you read about these hormones and shit in chocolate and it’s the worst people, it’s like Nestlé and all these fucking terrible companies, they’re murderers and I guess some kind of justice will happen sometime soon, but it seems like people are too weak to fight against these big things, you know? It’s sad.

I just read that Walmart is trying to build some kind of building in Alabama and it’s gonna use the dirt from the Native American monument. This really special Native American ground where people are buried, ancient warriors. They wanna use the dirt from that thing to fill in some Walmart. You know it’s like, I can’t even believe that that is an actual story. It’s like, what the fuck is happening? It’s really strange.

When I was a kid my grandmother use to say ”when I pass away you can go to the mountain and talk to me” so it’s suppose to be this really beautiful kind of exit or funeral ground, you know? But yeah, the world is a pretty sick place. But I think that, nature’s gonna eliminate those that have to be eliminated somehow.

So you think there’s gonna be an apocalypse?

Naw, not really, I don’t think it’s a massive apocalypse, I just think that the floods are gonna get bigger. It’s like this explosion that happened in Canada just recently, you know. They’re talking about fracking and all that shit. Major pipelines of flammable material going across the country. Humans are kind of stupid in a way. They’re idiots.

So this explosion was related to the fracking?

No, but it was a train full of fuel or something that exploded. It almost obliterated a whole city. I guess the powers that be are really idiotic.

They’re just looking for short-term profit, right?

Yeah, but hey, at least we’re alive in Sweden. Entertaining some wonderful people. Sweden’s pretty good about environmental stuff I guess, no?

We use to be a lot better, to be honest. Seven years ago we got a right-wing government and since then…

Oh yeah, really? So it’s super right-wing right here now?

It’s not super right-wing, it’s still…

Is Denmark right-wing? It appeared to me to be quite right-wing. We played there at the Roskilde Festival like twelve years ago and had some run-ins with some pretty fascistic kind of people but none in Sweden.

Well that’s growing everywhere in Europe because of the recession and in a recession you gotta have somebody to blame, you know?

Yeah, it’s like that everywhere. Except Germany! I find Germany’s quite a peace-loving place. I mean, I live in Berlin, so it’s not really a representation. If you go to East Germany, to small towns you probably have the same issue, with the Indians getting hunted and shit.

But every day is a new day you know, as long as the sun keeps rising. Put a smile on your face and do your thing. That’s the most important thing. Eat good food! That’s actually, it’s funny, I’ve been married thirteen years now and basically for me the biggest fun about it is to eat the good foods of the crazy places. Like I’ve been in Oslo for about a week now with my family visiting some friends and enjoying the brown cheese.

Yeah, I like the brown cheese too!

Brown cheese is amazing!

So you got a gig up there as well?

Yeah, after this gig, we’re just doing four gigs in Scandinavia right now and then we have a new album coming out in September and then we’ll come back to Scandinavia. We use to play here quite a bit but for some reason we started touring in America a whole bunch and that occupied a lot of our time and stuff. And I was pretty busy doing other stuff. But now with the new album you know we’re gonna take the whole world by storm again.

Do you have something special on your rider food-wise?

Oh. Ron, our percussion player, he’s in his sixties now and he doesn’t drink, but he will eat copious amounts of vanilla ice cream! I’ve seen him eat two or three liters of ice cream in one go. If you actually went and bought him ice cream you would make an old black man very happy. I don’t think they have vanilla ice cream at this festival. He use to work, as a child, in an ice cream factory, he eats so much ice cream, I have never seen. And he’s the healthiest in the band, too. I would definitely think that ice cream is a link to longevity and good health… He’s got a lot of fake teeth, though. His dentist bill was too much.

There’s a place in the city (Johannebergs glass) that makes their own ice cream that’s awesome.

Where is it? Is it near the hotel?

Where’s the hotel?

I don’t remember. I don’t even know the name of the hotel. I’m like a bat following my sound. Following my farts. My spitting. I’m glad you have recorded proof of my flatulence!

King Khan and The Shrines’ new album Idle No More is out on Merge on September 3rd.

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Mark in Woodpigeon: The way to a man’s heart is via tuna

Woodpigeon. Photo: Paolo Calamita.
Woodpigeon. Photo: Paolo Calamita.

Woodpigeon are a Canadian (hey, we didn’t ask about poutine this time, ok?) indie rock band from Calgary based around Mark Andrew Hamilton. They’ve released a handful of albums and today Fierce panda are releasing their new LP, Thumbtacks and Glue. We emailed Mark with a few questions about food primarily based on these new songs! Listen to the album and the three old songs these questions are based on here.

If you could bring a person back from life. What food would you serve them to enjoy life again?

I’ve learned how to make Kaiserschmarrn in Vienna, and that would definitely be at the top of the list for things worthy of coming back to life for.

Do you grow your own vegetables?

I used to, actually. I had quite a nice garden while I was still living in Calgary. We ate quite a lot out of that little piece of land every year.

What do lies taste like?

Bad cigarettes.

What’s your favorite wine? And your favorite cheese to enjoy it with?

I don’t actually drink a drop of alcohol, but the person the song is about was definitely into a bit now and then. As for Cheese, I really like the harder ones. I really love Swedish table cheese in those large cylinders.

I once stuffed a goose for halloween, when we couldn’t find a turkey in the German black forest. What do you normally stuff your bird with?

Inspiration. Ideas. Hope.

If you were having a love affair with a man on a pirate ship, what do you reckon you’d offer him food-wise on your first date?

I’ve recently just tried whale fillet for the first time (while in Iceland – don’t be mad at me, readers!). But I know a good route to a man’s stomach is via tuna.

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Liam from Suuns is a green curry kind of guy and has agreed to do the dishes!

Suuns are Ben Shermie (vocals/guitar), Joe Yarnush (guitar/bass), Liam O’Neill (drums) and Max Henry (bass/keyboard). Their music makes me think of Clinic and there’s definitely some Suicide influences in there. We sent our Montréal writer Éric Morrissette to see Liam O’Neill and ask him about food. It hasn’t been announced but they’ll come to Gothenburg in May! Also Stockholm. My guess is that WWDIS will announce that booking shortly, Suuns are totally up their alley. But enough speculation, here’s Éric’s words!

Your name comes from the thai translation of Zeroes. Any background story on this?

We just used to be called Zeroes, but when we signed with Secretly Canadian there was a copyright issue, but we wanted to keep the old name so we tried it in a whole bunch of languages and Suuns was the one that sounded the coolest and looked the best. We got like 89 emails of name suggestions. Some of them were so bad…

What’s your favorite Thai dish?

I guess I’m a green curry guy. I recently started making my own green fish curry at home with coconut milk, chili peppers, cumin, garlic, ginger, green onions, fish sauce and tons of fresh coriander. You can use any kind of white fish you like. I use tilapia because it is cheap. I’ve also tried it with trout and that was really good!

Robin, the founder of Llama Lloyd, thinks that thai food sometimes tastes like piss. Do you agree?

Like piss? I guess that would be the fish sauce, eh? I can see what he’s talking about but I disagree. However, I will say that kidneys taste like piss for obvious reasons. I was dining at a French restaurant with Max, the keyboard player, who had kidneys. I asked him how the kidneys were. He said: ”good… [pauses] it tastes like pee”. That’s the only thing that I think tastes like pee. It smells like your first piss in the morning that’s kind of yellow and stinky. It’s like that. But you should try it!

Have you ever toured in Sweden?

No, we’re gonna go in May. I think we’re going to Göteborg and Stockholm. [Edit: Don’t look that way at their tour schedule unfortunately. :( :( ]

What do you know about Swedish food?

I guess I only know about meatballs. Could you enlighten me?

Gravlax and pickled herring are classics for instance.

How yeah! I love pickled herring. Pretty intense, but good!

Do you listen to any Swedish music?

Shit! When I was really young, my older brother had Ace of Base on tape, you know? I listened the shit out of that tape when I was a kid because whatever my older brother was listening to I thought was cool. I guess that’s the Swedish music I’ve listened the most to but I’ve listened to [The Knife’s] Silent Shout quite a lot too.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten while being on the road?

Hákarl [fermented Icelandic shark] is definitely the grossest thing I’ve ever had.

Éric: I almost vomited on the pavement when I had it.

I did! The weirdest thing I’ve ever had would actually be something from Tim Horton’s [Canada’s Seven Eleven]. Once on tour in Canada we stopped in the middle of the night at a Tim Horton’s drive-through and I ordered a chicken salad sandwich on a bagel. They didn’t think it was worth mentioning that they only had raisins and cinnamon bagels left. It was the first time I had food that made me laugh. I actually laughed out loud when I took a bite into it!

What do you miss the most from home when you’re touring? Poutine? Montréal’s bagels?

No, I don’t necessarly miss food from Montréal. I miss doing the dishes. I like to cook food for myself and clean up after myself. I find the process very therapeutic. I miss food from Lola Rosa, a vegetarian restaurant where I work.

Robin believed Pie IX to be a pie [it’s a street in Montréal named after a pope. In french, ”pie” means ”magpie”, not ”pie”]. Can you make his dream come true and think of a flavor for it?

Haha. It’d be a burned blood pudding pie. All black, like in the video.

Do you have one fetish item in the kitchen? Something you use religiously?

A small serrated knife that I use for everything. A good knife is indispensable.

What music do you like to listen to when you’re having breakfast?

It depends what kind of a day I feel like having. I’m a slow starter. I don’t listen to techno in the morning. I actually listen to CBC [Canada’s public radio] on my portable radio, but if I’m gonna listen to music I would rather listen to Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson trio or if it’s a cloudy day I like to listen to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall 1971.

What’s your favorite comfort food on a typical snowy day in Montréal?

Last year I had this day where a bunch of people at work went skating at Parc Lafontaine. I never go to work hangs, I was hungover but I decided that I should go, so I went and I was the only person who showed up! It was minus 22, really sunny and I skated around until I thought that my dick was gonna fall off. Then I went home and listened to Leonard Cohen and roasted a chicken and made ratatouille and risotto. That would be my go to winter meal with a salad and red wine. It heats the house as well!

Do you have a recipe for a great soup? Maybe something Canadian?

Canadian, eh? I don’t know if they even exist.

Pea soup for instance. But since it’s for Sweden, you can make up anything!

Haha, yeah they don’t know. My go to soup isn’t Canadian but I fry some garlic, onions, lots of ginger. Get them all translucent. You get some red lentils in there, water, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coconut milk, grated sweet potato and lots of spinach. It’s really fast and makes your bones feel warm. Very nice. I like food that you can eat every day. That’s what I miss about Lola Rosa’s food when I’m on tour: beans, sweet potatoes, tomato salsa, rice. Very simple food that you can eat everyday. I feel that way about music too. To me, listening to John Lennon is like eating rice and beans: everyday I find it nourishing. It’s not a specialty kind of thing. It’s basic and you can get lots of nourishment from it.

Any emerging band from the local scene you think we should check out?

The number one would be Valleys. We toured across Canada with them and they’re just an amazing band. They’re putting a record out sometime this year. Pat Jordache.  I’m a big fan of his first record. I’ve heard the new stuff and it sounds really good. I don’t know when his record is gonna come out but it’s gonna be a big deal when that happens. Number three would be the new Constellation release: Jerusalem In My Heart. It’s Radwan Ghazi Moumneh’s arabic psychedelic project. He does performance art style concerts, usually really short. He sings, plays oud and  droning synths with cool visuals.

Your new record is coming out in march. If Pie-IX is a blood pudding pie, what kind of pie would this record be?

Maybe like a spicy tourtière [French-Canadian meat pie]. It’s meaty but full of flavor. It’s a little bit more full and fleshed out. When we made the first album we had no plan to release it, we just wanted to make a record just for our own amusement. We got kind of caught off guard. This time, we knew that people were listening so we spent a little more time on it. We were a little bit more picky. We’ve definitely grown a lot and matured. There’s more singing, more spiritualized textures.

You mentioned Tourtière. Any French Canadian influence on it?

The record is called Images du Future which is the name of an expo that was happening I think at the science center in Montréal in the nineties. It was an expo about new technologies and computers. We thought that spoke well to the kind of atmosphere on the record. There’s a kind of retro-futurist sound going on.

The album is out on March 5th on Secretly Canadian.
Check out the video for Edie’s dream here.

Suuns on Spotify.

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Nick from Islands loves chocolate balls and rhubarb.

Last Monday, at Pustervik, I met Nick from Islands, who has made one of this year’s most under-rated albums A Sleep & A Forgetting. You really should check it out.

If everyday would be a holiday, what would be the holiday cake?

Nick: Oh, you know what that lyric refers to, right? The line is ”Everyday is a Holiday”, it is a pun actually, Buddy Holly is who it’s referring to. When Marc Bolan of T-Rex was killed, he was driving his race car through the rural highway and smashed into a tree. And in his gloves compartment there was a little pin, a little badge that said ”Everyday is a Holly day” and that’s where the line comes from. So it’s a pun if you will. But if there were a cake for that maybe holly… everyday.. I don’t know, something with booze in it because Marc Bolan was drunk and fucked up and I think the pilot who flew the plane that killed Buddy Holly was drunk. And I think Buddy Holly was drunk [takes a zip of beer] Booze cake.

Would that be something you’d wanna have everyday, though?

N: No, an everyday cake should be healthy, it should almost be savoury, lots of greens, lentils, flour, glutenfree, you know. If it’s sugar, stevia. All natural.

Yeah, what ever happened to stevia? I read an article about it years ago but did it ever kick off?

N: No, people just didn’t like it, they just want that good old-fashioned sugar. Or they want that garbage aspartam stuff.

I took this off your twitter, they eat a lot pie in Twin Peaks, right? So what’s your favorite pie?

N: Rhubarb. I fucking die for rhubarb, it’s my favorite. Would you like a beer or something, where are my manners?
R: Sure, thanks. I brought Swedish chocolate balls.
N: Oh, that’s amazing, thank you, holy shit balls! No fun intended. Did you make these?
R: Yeah, I made them.
N: No way, that’s fucking incredible, thank you!
R: I don’t know if I should tell you this because you’re gonna look differently at Swedes but they use to be called N****r balls.
N: That’s pretty fucked up but this is incredible [munches]. Holy shit! This is Peter, our driver, try a chocolate ball!
Peter: Oh, that’s delicious. Thank you. You made these?
N: Is that coconot?
R: No, but you could put coconut instead of sugar on the outside.

If somebody’s ribs are peaking through their fur, what would you feed them?

N: Baby back ribs, it’s the back of a baby cow’s ribs. It’s what you feed Americans in the middle of the country. I’m a vegetarian myself, though, but for the sake of the joke let’s go with baby back ribs.

How do you kick open a coconut?

N: You break it on a rock? And then you kick it. I guess ”kick” is a poetic license, yeah. You smash it with a rock or at the end of a tree. I once was stranded on an island in Panama and had no food, I was stuck, missed the last boat, no one else on the island so I had eat, to survive, on coconuts.
R: Oh, yeah? For how long?!
N: Just for the night, but I was there for the whole day, I was lost. It was fun, though. I had severe diarrhea so I wasn’t exactly hungry. TMI!

If you were to poison someone what would you serve your poison with?

N: These chocolate balls, definitely, cause I would eat a bunch.

Do you often keep bread in your pockets?

N: No. No way, I try to stay away from bread.
R: Yeah, no gluten?
N: There’s no nutrition in bread. It’s just starch.
R: You mean there’s no nutrition in any bread or just industrial?
N: Not really, nothing good, nothing great.

What kind of diet do you have?

N: Well, paleolithic, no I didn’t mean that. But I try to cut down on bread. I eat too much bread. As a vegetarian. And I’m drinking bread. This is bread in a bottle, so yeah, I do carry bread in my pockets.

So where is the meat you eat? I got that off a lyric somewhere.

N: Yeah, that’s from ”Don’t call me Whitney, Bobby”. That was sort of about body dismorphia and body issues, people with body issues who have either anorexia or bulimia or something. I don’t know what the context of the line was but, food, I guess. The food would be the life giving quality that people deny when they have problems.

What have you eaten here in Sweden so far?

N: They fed us here, we had mashed potatoes and sausages. I had a veggie sausage and a little salad, it was good. Last night we came into Malmö really late and I had a salad.
R: You should’ve gone and had falafels. Falafels are really good in Malmö.
N: Really, well we were in the suburbs, so.
R: That might’ve been even better.
N: We didn’t see anything else around, but I will keep that in mind cause we’re going there in a few days.

So where is home and what do you miss from it when you’re on tour?

N: I just moved to Los Angeles, I was homeless for two years, just in between, I would sublet and house-sit and go on tour but I got a place in May in Los Angeles. There’s a restaurant near me that’s really good, an Italian restaurant that I like. But I cook at home a lot when I’m home so that’s probably what I miss the most so I can regulate what I wanna eat and I know what I like so I eat that, it’s very nice. So I miss that. That’s a relatively new phenomenon cause I’m been homeless of drifting for so long.
R: I thought about that, I’ve never been in a band or anything but I’ve done longer trips and I agree that what you miss after a while is cooking. I have this idea of opening up a café at some point and it would be fun to have people who are coming through on tour to come over and cook!
N: You get the ingredients?
R: Yeah, I get the ingredients and people would come and cook.
N: It would be very cool. Yeah, that would be fun. Unless they’re ”naw, I’m too tired”. I mean everybody might not wanna do that. I’d be into it though. Be kinda fun, get to sit around a table. That’d be cool.

So what do you normally cook?

N: I like kale, I like chick peas, I like brown rice, I like avocado, I like onions. Generally those sorts of things. I can make good pastas too. Eggplants, pastas and yeah. But this shit, [holding up a chocolate ball], I gotta save the second half for after the show because I don’t wanna be full while playing. That is fucking gooood. Is that sugar on the outside?
R: Yeah, it’s called ”pearl sugar” in Swedish.
N: It looks like salt or something?
R: Yeah, I know, I don’t know if you can get it outside of Sweden, I was going out with this girl in Spain and she didn’t know what it was either.
N: I’ve never seen it before.

What’s on your rider food-wise?

N: Um, nice meats and nice cheeses and breads and fresh veggies and fresh fruits and local beer.
R: So what kind of beer did you get here?
N: We got Tuborg and weirdly Brooklyn Lager. I use to live a few blocks from that brewery in Brooklyn so that’s weird.
R: You should just go to the bar and get a ”Stor stark”, which is a big strong beer, which is what you say in Sweden if you just want a beer. And then you’ll get a local beer, Pripps, one of biggest.
N: They said they were gonna bring up some local beers.
R: It’s not very good, but it’s local.
N: I like local, I like to see what the locals are eating and drinking.
R: There’s a few micro breweries coming up the last couple of years that are a lot better than Pripps.
N: That’s good.

Do have any recipe you’d like to share with us?

N: I have this really good lentil soup I could make. No, I’ll share my thing which is probably the most exotic for you which is breakfast tacos. I get like sprouted corn tortillas, corn tacos, fry them up on a pan and then I fry up some onions and mix in some black beans and egg. Stir-fry that up, combine it and then I put white cheddar on the corn tortilla. And then the black bean, egg combo thing and then I have cilantro, avocado and tomato.
R: Cilantro?
N: It’s like a green, a parsley-like herb. It’s delicious and makes things taste really good. And then hot sauce and then fold it up and put it in my mouth. I make it every morning, it’s my favorite thing ever. It’s not the healthiest, but yeah.
Islands on Spotify

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FIDLAR likes cheap beer!

I recently got struck by the great track Cheap Beer (stream below) by FIDLAR (stands for Fuck it, dog. Life’s a risk), a young Los Angeles band who’s been stirring the blogosphere a bit and will debut an album early next year on Mom + Pop. This will our shortest interview so far:

What’s your favorite brand of cheap beer?

Elvis Kuehn, guitar/vocals: Tecate
Max Kuehn, drums: Budweiser
Zac Carp, guitar/vocals: Coors
Brandon Schwartzel, bass: High Life

FIDLAR on Spotify

PS. I highly recommend that you check out the video to No Waves.

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Bruce Springsteen, Ullevi, 27 juli — To have tantra sex with a 62 year old.

Bruce starts off with good old songs like The Promised Land and Cover Me then there’s a huge part of where he tries to find what feels good to you and your partner, trying new material and such. Then you realize that doesn’t work and you stick to your older guns. Then your classic gun collection and some traditional positions like Twist and Shout.

I’m still waiting for my orgasm though, can you finish me off, Bruce?

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Galia and Carim from Psapp share everything, including placentas and half-sucked sweets.

Do you know the band Psapp? It’s a duo consisting of Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann from England and you’ve probably heard their theme music for Grey’s Anatomy. We emailed them both and asked some questions about food, with the questions inspired by some of their lyrics. Galia is also the excellent illustrator who made our logo! Check out her stuff here:

A few Psapp tracks, far from all are on Spotify.

Are you feeling peckish?
Carim: No, not right now, I’ve just had some sandwiches.
Galia: Yes! Always. I bet Carim would eat some cake if you offered it to him. He also made a very profound observation which is that you always have room for icecream however full up you are. It’s true — I have never turned down icecream, that would just be madness.

If so, for what?
Galia: I would really like some very smelly cheese on some delicious chewy bread with some chutney and a glass of chocolate milk. And some icecream obviously. Basically just a dairy binge.

You got a song called Everybody wants to be a cat. Do you have cats yourselves? If so, what do you feed them? Mice and canaries?
Carim: Yes, I’ve got a cat called Marbles. I feed her dry and wet food but she tops up her diet with mice and birds. I’ve got a video of her eating a rat in the kitchen — do you want a copy?
Galia: Yes, two tabbies called Badger and Button. They bring in baby rats sometimes and once they’re dead, they try and pretend they’re still alive by throwing them around the room with their paws. It’s horrible to watch but oddly compelling.

Have you ever seen a slug eat a chip?
Carim: No, not yet but I’ll try to tempt some slugs in the garden next time I’ve got some chips. This is a scientific study long overdue.
Galia: The song that the slug eating a chip lyric came from is by David Shrigley from his Worried Noodles compilation — so we can’t quite take credit for it… At the time we recorded the track, we did discuss slugs eating chips. It’s rather improbable as if slugs come in contact with salt then they dissolve.. I just googled slug and salt and found this.

Being Londoners, do you often eat fish & chips?
Carim: Maybe once a year. I know only three places where you can get nice fish & chips: Faulkners on Kingsland Rd., a place on Farringdon Rd. near Mount Pleasant and The Rock and Sole Plaice near Covent Garden.
Galia: Toffs of Muswell Hill is good… I eat fish and chips quite a lot, with big fat sour gherkins and lots of lemon juice but the portions are so massive that even I (a real piggy) can’t finish all my chips. London is very varied in food quality and you have to be careful where you get your fish and chips from as sometimes you end up with soggy precut chips and a cruddy piece of frozen fish with orange breadcrumbs all over it. Be warned, visitors…

What does victory taste like?
Carim: Victory tastes of meat! Arrrgggh!
Galia: Yep, something very bloody and red, maybe a ribeye steak which is just cooked for 30 seconds on each side — is that too specific? I think a big phallic salami might be a victorious flavour too.

Do you bake bread and make milk?
Carim: I’ve only baked pitta bread and pizza dough which is not quite the same as baking bread but I’m quite intrigued by the process of turning flour, water and yeast into solid bread. maybe I’ll start after the next album. I can’t produce milk myself but Galia has donated some of her breast milk for a cup of tea of mine.
Galia: Since I have just had another baby I have new supplies so I am thinking of branching out into breastmilk icecream which is meant to be very nice. I love baking bread — I love the smell and the cosiness of home cooked bread. Carim and i have experimented a little with different yeasts – in Germany it’s much easier to buy fresh yeast and it really makes a difference to the end product — bread made with dried yeast never seems to rise as much.

Have you ever lived on a farm?
Carim: I do actually live on a farm, when I’m not in London making music with Galia. I always used to live in cities so I fancied to do something completely different for a change and now live in the sticks. It’s great fun but I can’t have any chickens, llamas or lambs as I’m away too often and they need daily attention. 
Galia: Only when I visit Carim. We drank some fresh warm milk last time I was over, it tastes very different to the pasturised homogenised stuff you get in the supermarket — more cow-like.

What do you buy tinned?
Carim: Chickpeas, bamboo shoots, kidney beans and sweetcorn but I also have dried chickpeas and dried kidney beans in the basement so does that count?
Galia: My grandpa was a bit of a gastro-adventurer and loved collecting odd tinned things — the best thing in his cellar was a tin of ants in chocolate but i don’t remember them ever being consumed… Perhaps they’re still there…

Do you have a grocery list in your pocket now?
Carim: Nope, it’s sticking to the fridge.
Galia: I did up until about minutes ago when i gave it to my chap as he’s off to the shops to buy onions and smelly cheese. I really, really want smelly cheese.

Is the dad in ”Dad’s Breakdown” your dad?
Carim: No, but I do call him dad to amuse him.
Galia: He is my dad in real life, and I think he feels a certain paternal affection for Carim, who is almost a relative.

What did your parents make you for breakfast at weekends growing up?
Carim: I really can’t remember. An early sign of Alzheimer’s I suppose.
Galia: My dad used to buy the croissant pastry you get in tins in the cooler section at the supermarket and then would make a big deal about assembling and baking them — it was a real ritual…

Would you eat a half-sucked sweet?
Carim: Sure, if it’s Galia’s.
Galia: Thanks babes! We like to set each other dares to eat or drink stuff that is rotten or mouldy or just disgusting, I would give some examples but they’re probably too horrible to publicise. Last week we ate the placenta from the baby — my chap made it into a chilli and we have kept a bit for Carim in the freezer when we see him next. It actually tastes quite nice although it is strange eating your own meat…

What’s your favorite fruit?
Carim: Fruit salad, why just have one fruit when you can have all of them at the same time?
Galia: That’s cheating but I AGREE. Also, we have been growing strawberries in our garden and when they are picked fresh and still warm from the sun, it’s hard to beat them.

I heard you’re working on a new album. How’s that coming along and is there any food that gives you that extra boost to create?
Carim: It’s coming along nicely, supported by a strict diet of too much cake and PG Tips [tea].
Galia: Carim and I have a very good symbiotic relationship where I obsessively bake cake and he eats unbelievable amounts of it. At our last session we ate loads of cheap chocolate and crisps. I do like the extremes of good food and crappy processed rubbish — there’s a place in my heart for both.

Have you got a recipe you’d like to share with us? Maybe a soup or a cake?
Carim: I don’t bake cakes as I know too many great cake baking people feeding me but as for soups: make your own stock:
It’s amazing to witness leftover bones and veg being transformed into fresh stock. Especially chicken stock tastes delicious but I also make lamb stock and a mixed stock which I use for sauces. At least once a month I take all the bones and veg cuttings out of the freezer and first roast or fry and then boil them for half a day, let it all sit overnight and then boil it up again the next day and finish it off. My freezer is usually full of bones but no human ones as I don’t think they’ll develop a good flavour.
Galia: This is a recipe from loveable fat-tongued Essex boy Jamie Oliver — a celebrity chef in the UK. These brownies are the best brownies ever, and really easy to make. The sour cherries cut through the fatty sweetness of the brownie in a really good way. If Carim is cross with me, I can usually be guaranteed forgiveness if i knock some of these up. Try it with any angry person in your life.

xx Gal and Carim xx
Psapp on Spotify.
Domino Artists: Psapp.

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Alex of Dirty Beaches prefers squid ink paella over Facebook censorships.

While we were at Primavera Sound in Barcelona Éric had a little talk about food with Alex Zhang Hungtai who under his moniker Dirty Beaches make dirty, slow rockabilly that is inspired by the movies of Wong Kar-Wai, the passage of time and travelling without a home to return to. It might make you think of Alan Vega and his old band Suicide.

Hi Alex, what does your tour diet consists of?
I guess it depends where you are. While being on tour we mostly eat at the gas stops, so we eat the paninis a lot everything else is pretty expensive. But here in Europe we have a nicer treatment because the promoters take us out to dinner in every city and usually it’s pretty nice, especially in Italy, Portugal and Spain where the food is amazing.

Is there something in particular you like to eat here in Spain?
Yeah, last time I came I tried the squid ink paella. It’s all black and it’s really really good because they give you home made garlic aioli sauce with it.

Where is home and what do you miss most from there when you’re on the road?
I live in Montréal now. I miss the Portuguese rotisseries, Romados is a good one. There’s another one close to where we live, Ciranos. That one is really good too. Yeah, the Portuguese just know how to make chicken.

You were born in Taiwan, right? Is there something you miss from there?
I miss Taiwanese food the most because for me that’s comfort food. I would eat compulsively when I got back. Usually I gain a lot of weight when I go back, I’m not joking. My record is when I went back for two weeks and gained 15 pounds [about 7 kg].

Is there a Taiwanese dish in particular that you like?
Yeah, there’s a lot. The most famous ones you can get are at the night market eateries. The famous ones are oyster pancakes with a sweet sauce that they use. There’s also this kind of noodle, they stew the pork in tea and all the herbs and it’s really amazing. The soup is really earthy because you can taste all the herbs they use. I really enjoy that too. It’s really good during the winter time when it’s cold and you get a nice warm hot stew.

What would be the ideal picnic to take on a dirty beach?
Oh, that’s a really good question. I guess it depends what mood I’m in. I’m addicted to this hot dog place in Montréal. I think the owner’s family is from Chile and they make these crazy hot dogs, they call it completo and it’s a really nice sausage with a stemmed bun, with diced tomatoes, guacamole, mayonaise and hot sauce. It’s amazing. An ideal picnic, I would have two of these hot dogs, drink a horchata, maybe I’m saying it wrong, I think it’s Mexican. It’s a rice milk kind of drink, I think I’m pronouncing it wrong, but that would be really nice. And maybe for dessert I would get the gulab jamun, the Indian dessert, the little donuts that are soaked in sugar water, those are really amazing. I like really fatty food, or slow cooked pork belly. Haaa, I love that.

What’s your favourite food coming from the sea?
I really like sea urchin. It’s the kind of things they used for Japanese sushi, it’s mustard coloured. And it’s called uni in Japanese. It looks crazy because, I don’t know if it’s categorized as a shell fish, but it’s from the sea and it’s a black ball with spikes coming out but if you crack it and you open it, it looks like a really soft and mushy yellow substance inside. When it’s fresh and you make it into a sushi, it’s really fucking mind-blowing. I almost cried the first time I ate it.

What’s your favourite poutine flavour from La Banquise in Montréal?
I just like the regular one. I tried the Elvis one and I almost fucking died. It’s so disgusting. It has steak, sausage, bacon and pork chop, a bunch of really fatty stuff. I just thought ”I’m gonna go all out and try the fattest poutine”. It was so disgusting! I couldn’t finish it and I had really bad diarrhea the next day. So no, I like the classic poutine or the Italian poutine with meat sauce.

Do you have a soup recipe that you could share with our Swedish readers?
Yeah there’s this one that my mum makes that I really really love. It’s very easy to make. It’s tomato based with eggs. What you do is you pan grill the tomatoes first until they are kinda soft, you take them out and put them in chicken stock and you stir until it becomes red. Feel free to use less tomatoes because the base of the flavour is chicken stock. You add some garlic and at the end you crack an egg in and you stir it continuously in a clock wise motion until they become fluffy kinda like clouds and then it’s ready.

The set you just played here in the park, was it new music?
No, 99% was improvised but there was one drum beat that was programmed that I improvised on top of.

Are you working on new music right now?
Yes, lots. I’m scoring three films: two documentaries and one Italian horror film. I’m doing one EP and two albums and a bunch of 7 inches and splits with friends. I don’t know if the world is gonna end so I wanna get as much music out as possible before December! That’s optimistic, right? Live the most of your life.

Speaking of apocalyptic feelings, do you have a word for the student protesters of Montréal right now?
Yeah, you’re aware of the Sunday tam-tam jams and the people who play the cos-play, the Dungeon and Dragon guys? So if they pass that law that no more than 40 people can gather there’s no more tam-tams and there’s no more Dungeons and Dragons. That’s on a funny, lighter side of things. As much as we dislike that kind of things it’s also what makes it special and unique for Montréal. It just sucks when people tell you ”you can’t do this!” when ”why the fuck not?” Another thing that I’m really scared about is that everything my friends post on Facebook about the riots or if they’re doing anything that’s defaming Harper [Canada’s Conservative prime minister] it gets taken down Facebook the next day. So, this is really fucked up. That’s really bad censorship. That’s like fucking communist China. Maybe the world is not so fucking different, you know? It’s like when something doesn’t go the way they want, the government, they’ll fucking shut it down, whether you like it or not. This is the illusion we all live in, you know?

Dirty Beaches on Spotify.

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Primavera Sound 2012.

Sleigh Bells, photo: Robin Olsson

Sleigh Bells, photo: Robin Olsson

Since there aren’t any Swedish vowels on this keyboard I’ll just do this in English, otherwise I would have to tell you about “Navel”.

The festival started with a free gig for all at Arc de Triomf. It’s a very nice idea to have free gigs since a lot of the young in Barcelona can’t afford coming to the festival any more. When I was here for the first time, in 2006, Swedes were so rare that when I ran into José González he thought I was in one of the other Swedish bands, I’m from Barcelona. These days, 40% of the festival-goers are from abroad and you can hear Swedish everywhere.

The first act was Jeremy Jay at the packed park, he went by without striking any chords with me, after that The Wedding Present played their beautiful album Seamonsters, it was alright, but pretty much just another reunion show. The Walkmen were ok, but they seem to have had their hay day. Black Lips, who closed the park are always fun, but I prefer them on album. We took a taxi but still had to queue for an hour or so to get into the “secret gig” at Apolo with very good Chairlift, so-so Beach Fossils and boring Kindness.

Thursday means the first day at the beautiful Parc del Forum, last year it started with a wonderful gig with Spanish postrockers Toundra, it’s the best slot for Spanish bands since nothing else is playing. This year it was an electronic duo called Pegasvs, it was decent, but an hour later another Spanish band, Unicornibot, played the stage right next to it, they had tinfoil around their heads and played wonderfully bizarre music that made me think about Lightning Bolt, but they had a full band, this year’s Toundra, for sure! I went over to the stage right next to it, to check out one of the most hyped bands at the moment, Purity Ring, who were a girl in an old-school dress and a guy playing these strange lights, it was a strange but rather beautiful thing, I liked it, but went back to see another dose of Unicornibot and then onto boring Baxter Dury, whom I left to burn away in the sun. Way over at the Mini stage Friends were playing. No, no, not the Bert Karlsson bullshit, this was group of friends from Brooklyn who played a very nice ESG-influenced indie-disco, the singer Samantha Urbani sat on a security guard’s shoulders and sang a song moving around the audience. Fun with friends. After that the boring Danish kids in Iceage performed, I couldn’t really care less. I was mostly just waiting for one of my highlights, Grimes, who were to perform at the same Pitchfork stage. She had some sound problems but we had had just the right amount of beer to get to dancing. My friend Éric took the lead and took us up front and he was waving his flag in support of the Montréal protests, the flag wandered to the hands of Grimes’s brother who were dancing on stage with some other friends, it was a lot of fun.

When I saw this year’s lineup I was intrigued to see Death Cab for Cutie again, it’s been eight years since I saw them last, but then I made a podcast where Lars recommended White Denim, this rock trio from Texas. I ended up choosing them over Death Cab, who’s last album is quite dull anyways. The Texans had an extra guitarist along and the four of them jammed forever, it was great to see, really marvellous musicians! Then I saw the last song by Mazzy Star which was a lot louder than I thought it would be. Good stuff, then onto well-known and well-seen Wilco, who I was about to leave for Thee Oh Sees, but then Jesus Etc came on. You just can’t go then… The night continued with a dash of nicely done hardcore from Refused, a little of boring The XX, then some desert rock from lovely Bombino, dull rap from A$AP Rocky, a lovely set from Spiritualized with it’s mix of shoe-gaze and gospel. Then we closed the night with a little dance with Spanish electro-man John Talabot.

We were early to get our hands on Jeff Mangum tickets and hung out in Auditori with Nick Garrie doing his nice singer-songwriter album The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas. I almost fell asleep. I kinda tried to be honest. Laura Marling was more interesting and “Alas I cannot swim” gave me goose-bumps. After the gig the queues for Jeff Mangum were huge and I got really annoyed with people jumping it. After a while I had to realize this isn’t Sweden and the world (Sweden included) is becoming a really terribly egoistic place. Jeff Mangum was all by himself, just a few guitars, a chair and a mic. Todos. With this he performed most of his masterpiece with Neutral Milk Hotel, In an Aeroplane over the Sea. More goosebumps! Best grade you can get! After that there was one of the biggest clashes; I Break Horses and Lower Dens. I started with the Swedes, they were good but I went over to Lower Dens and came in the middle of the lovely “Brains” and thoroughly enjoy them. Then a little African Cubanese music with Afrocubism, loads of guys on stage. A nice rhythmic detour from the indie scene. Then straight into straight rock with The War on Drugs. It was very straight, not gay at all. The Cure were kinda boring, but we might not have giving them our ears’s full attention. We mostly attended our mouths with beer in the VIP section. The beer weren’t free anymore and I will probably not buy the VIP next year since the first “normal” tickets go for a lot less and I prefer to drink my beer where I can see the bands. I left a while in to go see Sleigh Bells who I really enjoyed, I was a bit intrigued to see if there was gonna be a live insane drummer or not, it was just a bunch of Marshall stacks instead but I loved it anyways, danced like a mad man. Went over to the clashing Dirty Three, had a beer and I totally loved the brilliantly alarm that was Some Summers They Drop Like Flies which closed their set. A friend had told me that I had to see M83, who I think has a good song here and there but live was kinda dull so I left after a few songs. Codeine were a lot better, sounded like Slint. Good stuff. SBTRKT were boring and I fell asleep to The Men. When I woke up Éric had texted me four times and he had been kicked out because of the flag, you see it’s a red square without any text so naturally people here in Spain won’t know that it represents a solidarity to the kids in Quebec, I can totally see it rings differently here. But he got in again when they found my booking in the computer. I’m glad he could come in and enjoy this festival’s best gig; The Rapture, they were totally amazing, I really love the bass player and highlights included “House of Jealous Lovers” and the track that stood out from last year’s album In the Grace of your love; “How deep is your love?” To answer that question is easy; very.

We hung out in the park for Dirty Beaches, who Éric did an interview with. It was a little slow and minimal, but hanging out in a park is always nice. I met a girl I made friends with when I gave her my Sufjan Stevens ticket to last year’s amazing gig in the Auditori. A little more sedative Nick Garrie again and some nice rock tunes from Obits. Bleached were the shittiest band I’ve seen in quite some time. Straight outta their mother’s basement where they spent an hour or two.

We went over to the Forum area and had the same kebab as the day before, we’re Swedish after all. Being Swedish I went to see Jeff Mangum play another, different, set. This time with more b-sides and rarities than before. Before that I passed by the dull Sharon van Etten and the equally boring Tall Firs. After Mangum I checked out Buffy Sainte-Marie, the indian singer most well-known for the classic track “Universal Soldier”. Her new approach was a lot more rock, but when she did her stuff from the sixties it was a lot more satisfying. All in all quite boring, though. Saw The Olivia Tremor Control perform “Jumping Fences” and then went over to Mini where almost everyone seemed to be watching Beach House. They’ve gotten too big, I liked them a lot on smaller stages and you know what you’re going to get so I went over to another gig where you know what you’re going to get; Shellac.
Their annual gig seems to always clash with something, I saw most of it where they performed two new tracks and it was the usual bliss that Steve Albini, Todd Trainer and Bob Weston gives us. When they did “The End of Radio” I jumped the fence and ran over to Chromatics and saw them do their last three songs. It was insanely packed. For the first time in Primavera history (at Parc del Forum at least) they sold out, 42 000 people were around this day, normally it’s around 30 000. Chromatics were good and closed their set with “Into the Black”, their beautiful cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My”. I finally understood where the VIP section at Mini was and I felt a bit awkward having a secluded area right by the stage. Yo La Tengo started a bit boring but came to and did great versions of “Mr Tough”, “Autumn Sweater” and the wonderful noise of “Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind”. The last went on for more than the normal 11 minutes I believe. Just lovely noise. On the way back I saw some of the old dudes doing the punk that is The Pop Group. So-so. Had two chocolate pancakes and hung out in the food court, checked out boring Neon Indian and bought a poster from a nice German before heading back.

Milk Music were a rocky bunch that didn’t catch my ears at all, Zacharias filmed the gig, though, so I guess he liked it. Girls Names were pretty nice and I liked the twee that is Veronica Falls. Then we wrestled in the park and I won over Zacharias in a sprint. Good park fun. We continued with orange fights instead of the packed gigs at Arc de Triumf. Finally there was truce and we saw a little of boring Yann Tiersen and the Morrissey-esque Richard Hawley. Took a perfect break for the rain with sangria. I still suffer from that, or maybe it’s the six days drinking that I’m suffering from. All in all, this was the less interesting Primavera I’ve been to, especially Saturday was quite uninteresting, I want to be blown away a few times more. Better luck next year.