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Author: Subject: ZPZ Review 9 November 2013, Melkweg Amsterdam
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[*] posted on 10-11-2013 at 16:46
ZPZ Review 9 November 2013, Melkweg Amsterdam


Let This Be Known To The World, For I Said No To Dweezil

This lengthy report comes in three posts: to read the concert bit, please skip to the second post. The first one deals with my travel to Amsterdam and awaiting the concert (during which I met up with Pete Jones the techie), the second part with the actual concert and all the little fun I had at Melkweg afterwards including a meeting with Unica, and the final post deals with the Hellish Return Trip That Was Still Pretty Decent Thanks To Tom Waits.

Mood: Relaxed
Feeling: Sore all over
Music: Because of Zappadan approaching, I'm limiting Zappa airtime and playing that one album that's been hogging my CD player anyway: Dir En Grey - Withering To Death.


Part 1
C Raider's Swoll
In which I have numerous interesting encounters and pull legs

The journey to Amsterdam is a bit long to commute all the way from Eindhoven, but at an hour and a half train trip, it'd m-o-normally be a smooth run. Were it not for two things:
-My sister and I, years ago, had a lengthy exchange. I lent her my 4 string fretless bass,a cheap little Stagg monster that has such bad paint job that, if you let your fingers slide across the neck, they'll be black from paint. She let me borrow her Fender Telecaster, since she didn't play it as much anymore and I was guitarless after I gave mine away to a talented sweetheart whose guitar was smashed by cops in an evil act of police state-ism. It would be a perfect instrument if it wasn't for the fact that it is Vintage '57 PINK (shudder). Oh, and there's that triumphant Cookie Monster sticker she put on it.
Anyway, she got a new job, and her new boss plays guitar but he only has Gibsons and wanted to try out a Fender, so I offered to drag it to her. She said that she didn't have any amps, which gave me the idea of bringing her mini-amp. On the day of the concert, when I offered to bring it to her, she declined. I took it all the same, in a little trolley.
-The other thing that tempered my travel was the large amount of track maintenance going on: somehow a lot happened on my traject.

It's November 9th. The day when the GLOW festival in Eindhoven starts, with lots of light art. The grand attraction is a 3d dragon projection on water, and I was very interested in seeing it, but it'll have to wait for now.

Cycling to the station with such heavy loads: one trolley with amp on the side of the luggage carrier, guitar on my back and my backpack at the front: a very unesthetic way of presenting yourself.

Unfortunately, the railroads today were riddled with rail maintenance: somehow quite a few on my traject: between Eindhoven and Den Bosch (meaning there'd be less trains) and around Amsterdam. Around Amsterdam there were replacement buses. I couldn't get in one of those with all the luggage, so I had to make a detour around Weesp, had to spend twenty minutes there. You know what one can do at the station in Weesp? NOTHING!

All the same, it's rather fun carrying a guitar around. People do talk to you. It's especially fun when you can say, honestly, that you're going to a concert.
Even more fun when they ask you what instrument you play, and I reply, again perfectly honest, "piano".

So I took a detour, had to rush to get a train to Weesp, then was stuck in one of those trains that stop at every station ("the next stop is Naarden-Bussum"), then was stuck at Weesp for 20 minutes before I could get on the train to Amsterdam Muiderpoort, where my sister lives. Another train that stops at every station: "The next stop is Diemen."

My sister has an apartment in Amsterdam in a pleasant location, close to the station. Unfortunately she lives on the 3rd floor (4 for Americans), it's 64 steps up, and there's no lift.
So I dragged the guitar, the amp and my backpack all the way up to my sister's. Who wasn't able to plug in and play: I forgot to pack a cord. D'oh!

Sis spoiled me with hot chocolate, I played a little on her guitar and on my bass. 'Course I could hardly bring my instrument back, but it'd have been cool to get that signed. Even if it's a Stagg.

My sister had a play to go to, so we went to the Leidseplein, the heart of Amsterdam evening entertainment, close to Melkweg. We had a drink in the cinema across from the concert hall, read magazines and said goodbye. I then went along to look at where I'd have to walk to get back to the station, visited some book stores and bought some buns and cheese. I prefer a simple picknick over a full-blown dinner sometimes.
It had gotten dark, and it was raining. I took cover underneath the emergency exit of Melkweg, and ate some buns and cheese. Dark rainy pick-nicks, I love it, the sounds and smells of the falling water with a nice cheese sandwich to stimulate even more senses... The hall wouldn't open until 7 and there's not a lot of place you can sit down without having to order a drink. I did hang in the Melkweg briefly, enjoying the beautiful red neon playing with the rain and the wooden floorboards, occasionally watching tour technicians buzzing by. One recognized me, though he didn't remember my name. It was Pete, who I got to chat with at the Melkweg 2010 and Hengelo concerts. We chatted while he was on smoking break, he showed me pictures of his son and I gave him the address to my web site and showed him the JUMP comic I brought. You know, the comic by Charel Cambré that has a character called Dweezil?

After our chat I went to the cinema again, had a cup of tea and went over shortly before the hall opened. We were made to wait outside: while it was pouring. There were giant umbrellas set up, but they weren't sufficient and it was a hubble. After ten gruelling minutes I finally got in. Please remember that, from this point, I was standing or walking up to 0:40, when I finally found a place at the station to sit.

[Edited on 10-11-13 by BBP]




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music1.gif posted on 10-11-2013 at 18:22


Part II: The One Where I Did Something I Wouldn't Have Expected If You Asked Me Four Years Ago: I, An Ex-Dweezil Celeb Crusher, Said No To Dweezil.

In the concert hall, I whipped my pen and camera out of my bag, and found me a place at the front. Since most of my concerts were spent by me being at the right, Jamie Kime side of the stage, I opted to stand at the left and get some good shots of Scheila. It took me some time to appreciate her, but now I fully enjoy her awesome.

It turned out not to be a very pleasant place at the front. My view on Scheila was great, but Ben Thomas was never in view when he was singing, the combined fan and electronics stands gave me only view on Dweezil's arm. A nice arm, but still... If I was lucky and peered through the fan or leaned way back, I could see a bit of bassist or Chris Norton. Stage antics often were a bit hidden, especially during Dummy Up. Combined with the way the lighting was done, I had little opportunity to make good photos.

Fortunately, the music was full-blown ace. I jotted the setlist on my arm, giving me a nice blue Post Concert Temporary Tattoo. The band came in with Gumbo, started off well with a Scheila solo on tenor sax, DZ solo with that awesome violin sound (dude, please play that further on in the concert when you're on fire, and if you take requests I'd love to hear Ruud Bos's Harem (off Fata Morgana) on it).

The recurring theme of the day was Pindakaas (peanut butter), popped up throughout the show. The full Roxy album started. Pigmy Twilite is just what I need to get set on fire! The gym sock was still owned by Carl Zappa, kinda twangy, and at the remark "Where've you been, Reseda?" the reply was "No, Rotterdam."
(Rotterdam is a place by the river Rotte, famed for its huge harbour, but the major WW2 bombing of the place left little old architecture there, it's one of the ugliest cities in The Netherlands. There's a whole Amsterdam/Rotterdam friendly rivalry, kind of like Arnhem vs Nijmegen or Eindhoven vs Helmond.)
During Village I sang along entirely, and Echidna... I love that one. In, I believe it was Don't You Ever Wash That Thing, Dweezil's pack ceased working, low on batteries. We had to wait while he got a new one attached to his pants.
Pete handed him a new one and he carried on, with Cheepniz and much pindakaas. During Be-Bop Tango, the hall lights went on and Dweezil was looking for two ladies to come dancing on the stage. The first one refused. And then he pointed at me, which took me a while to see since there was a fan and a stand blocking my view of Dweezil. But when it hit me he asked me, I said No. I'm not a dancer. Upon hearing my No he said "She's very Dutch, she said no." Oh yeah!

It could've been the same guy who asked it in Eindhoven and on a few other occasions. Why does he keep on asking for Space Cadet? Anyway, DZ played some Space Cadet, band joined in, and after thirty secs of space cadetting things went back to normal, and they picked up The Torture Never Stops.
Firm BB favourite, although I prefer the Zoot Allures version to the later one with the tootling flute they were playing this time round.

The 80s were nicely represented in the show. Starting with Teenage Wind. Refreshing for me, since I have a fond dislike of the album and play it on Zappadan only. Chris Norton was singing on it, he has the perfect teenager voice!
Scheila put on her knee pads and viking hat and burst into Teenage Prostitute. I love Teenage Prostitute! Ship doesn't nearly get enough love, there's some great songs on it!

After that, it was the turn to Black Page pt I and II. With some great soloing. If my counting was correct it was already DZs 6th improv of the evening. Makes it all very lively. He got nice and loose during Roxy, and it'd be hard for me to pick a favourite solo.

Dweezil took some time to introduce some of the songs, and it was a bit of a sport to guess what he would be playing. I kept thinking "Ya Hozna!" as he was talking about a track that was never performed live, a studio track with deliberate off-key vocals, and how he thought "what the fuck?" when he was first played it, but that's what you're supposed to think...
And it was I Come From No-Where.
I won't lie. That was awesome! Scheila did the vocals with a very strange effect on them that sounded a lot like the record.

Somewhere during the show somebody tossed a bra onstage. And someone gave him a present, which he revealed at the end to be Merci chocolates.

After that came Flakes, where Scheila did a very decent impression of Bob Dylan, and it continued into Broken Hearts Are For Assholes. The show closed with Florentine Pogen.

The encore began with a sing-along Cosmik Debris. Then, DZ brought a guest guitarist, Richard Hollebeek up to play a solo on Zomby Woof. The show closed with a rendition of Muffin Man.

Because there was another event, signing took place at the merch booth. After hanging out a bit at the stage, shaking hands with the adorable Ben Thomas (who took up trombone, took a staged tumble that accidentally knocked down his trumpet... Geez I should've taken better notes.
Moved to the merch booth. I spent some time hanging there, watched DZ sign a blind man's stick which was very charming. I used the opportunity to make a lot of pictures, since I couldn't during the show. Dubbing what to do... go to him for a handshake? Get that Jump comic signed? My agenda perhaps?
I went back to the stage, said hi to Pete and moved back to the merch booth. Managed to shake Dweezil's hand, said "Sorry I said no to you", not sure what he replied since it was noisy. Scooted off towards the train station, which is about 15 minutes on foot.




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[*] posted on 10-11-2013 at 18:47


Phaze III: The Return Trip From Hell

Of the two points I mentioned in part 1, I'd omitted to look a bit further into one of them, although I should have: the train maintenance and the delays it caused.

I arrived at the station, checked where the next train in my direction would be leaving, hurried to the platform, and watched it leave. Shoot.
The train sign didn't offer much consolation: the next one in my direction would only go a third of the way, to Utrecht, and if I'd take it I could end up getting stuck there. 'Course, one of my best friends lives there but I didn't want to bother her.
I checked up with the information guy: he looked it up for me. There was no way around it: I'd have to take the 1:27 train to Utrecht, get to Den Bosch somehow from there, and take the bus from Den Bosch to Eindhoven: expected time of arrival would be 4:06.
Spent about an hour in the freezing cold on the station, feeling very sorry for myself and crashing. After I sat for a while it was a bit better, and by the time the train to Utrecht finally arrived, I had a warmer place to sit.
It turned out to be The Train That Would Normally Go To Eindhoven But Not Today Because Of Maintenance. So it didn't end at Utrecht, but took an extra stop at Den Bosch. Thank heavens.
At Den Bosch, a station that's a lot smaller than Utrecht and Amsterdam, I again had to wait an hour, it was already 2:40 when I arrived. I still had two buns and some cheese left which I consumed, but by this time I really needed to go and of course the public conveniences were closed. Toughing it out... The station hall was a bit warmer than the platforms, but still cool, and there was no good place to sit. After some time I noticed the escalators were still working and to take my mind of things, I rode down and found a nice sign explaining the complex station renovation. Den Bosch has an old, pretty station, but the architect used iron for the arching over the platforms and didn't take into account that iron shrinks and expands, so it had fallen into disrepair: all the little tearing had left cracks, which then got filled with water and started corrosion.
Then the bus came. Feeling miserable, for the fifth time that day I had to explain to the conductor that something went wrong with printing my E-ticket, and that it said PP instead of BB at my name. The conductor was incredibly friendly, and suddenly I felt a little more at ease. It got better when I hopped into the touring car and noticed a very familiar, soothing but strange sound. I wasn't very familiar with his non-Primus work, but that voice and that music could only be Tom Waits. And the driver confirmed it. It was Earth Died Screaming.

In the bus I had to wait again, for another train. That train took so long that after 15 minutes we got to leave anyway, or else we would've had to wait another hour. The trip back went smooth, accompanied by the music of Tom Waits I got to relax a bit.

Back at Eindhoven, at 4:20, the station was closed, and I had to walk around it to get to my bicycle. Since I guessed it would be likely I'd get back after 1AM, I parked it outside, with 2 locks. And it was still there, albeit wet with rain. Initially I was scared of cycling home in the wet night for 15 minutes, there were a lot of party goers returning home. Until it occurred to me that I cycled the town a lot at this time of night, for my newspaper round.

Finally, at quarter to five, I arrived home. Finally! Toilet!
But no. My father had latched both doors, after staying up very late. He thought I might be staying over with my sister. Which I should've done perhaps, but I just wanted to get home. Rung the doorbell. Dad was fortunately swift with opening the door, I told him about my trip, brought the bike in and visited the little girl's room.




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[*] posted on 10-11-2013 at 19:08


Here follow my photos! Not much, but enough to remember the evening by!

pica.jpg - 130kB picb.jpg - 93kB picc.jpg - 107kB picd.jpg - 125kB pice.jpg - 89kB picf.jpg - 119kB




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[*] posted on 10-11-2013 at 19:10


BTW In the previous post, Scheila is holding the College Degree which FZU and "magna cum louder".

picg.jpg - 143kB pich.jpg - 151kB pici.jpg - 130kB picj.jpg - 125kB




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[*] posted on 11-11-2013 at 15:02


Merch booth:

picc.jpg - 97kB




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[*] posted on 12-11-2013 at 12:05


Now I gotta pee! :lol:
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[*] posted on 13-11-2013 at 00:14


Unica mailed me to say Hi and shared his videos and photos, thanks Unica!
http://www.youtube.com/user/unicapb21/videos?sort=dd&view=0&...

(He got a picture of me shaking hands with Ben Thomas. Ben's got a bad rep at Zappa.com but I think he's pretty good.)




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