Tue 28 Mar 2006
This sabbatical is all about quiet contemplation: reading, writing, etcetera. That said I have tried to get out a bit to check out the local music scene with the help of my friend Kjell. Last night we saw a Norwegian band play at a venue called Rockefeller. The venue reminds me of DC’s 9:30 Club (similar layout, but about 1/3rd the size). Another cool bar/venue here is called Cafe Mono, which seems to be the equivalent of DC’s Black Cat only minus all the cigarette smoke! Smoking was banned here a year ago in all bars, clubs, restaurants…
The band we saw play is called Kaizers Orchestra, currently one of the most popular bands in the country. The show marked the completion of a very long tour through North America and Europe. The crowd knew and sang the lyrics to every song. There was body-surfing, floor-thumping, oil-drum beating action, plus a stagehand dressed as Elvis. The dishy lead singer wouldn’t strip naked despite some chants from the crowd. When I told music critic Brian Liu about the band, he said they look like “a ripoff of the Hives and Interpol.” Whatever. He wasn’t there.
I’ve managed to avoid other genres of Norwegian music such as the ever-scary “Black Metal” or bands like the ever-present “A-ha,” but on Friday night Kjell and his brother dragged me to a highly entertaining hip hop showdown between some Norwegian and Swedish rappers. Sorry to say I left before the breakdancing battle. This ain’t a vacation: I got books to read & papers to write!