Friday, November 27, 2009

The Dodo's Live in Dresden

That Slaughterhouse Five medallion – it haunts me! It haunts me still!

I woke up, showered, and headed out. I headed right back to the same slaughterhouse, intent on finding the little medallion in the ground. I passed the same green striped building, the same biking ampelmann, the same erotic car wash sign, and the same park. I arrived back at #6 Messering with knowledge of what I was looking for. I – failed.

And it's not that I just kind of failed, I failed gloriously. I hopped under security checks, I ran around in “should have been locked” areas, and I made sure to check the whole perimeter of the building. And still – I found nothing. Nothing. Not a single sign that there was a little numbered medallion in the ground.

But I know it's there. It must be. This is worse than geocaching. At least they give you hints for that!

But after an hour, what could I do? I had to head back. I came close, and saw more than most of the internets pointed towards. So I didn't feel at a total loss – and walking back, I was treated to the low sun illuminating the brightly coloured glass dome of what looks like it should be a church, but has a sign indicating it's a restaurant.

And then I walked up the pedestrian strip north of the river, watching as all the christmas booths were set up. Christmas is no small deal in Germany. Every town has a Christmas market, and Dresden is said to have the best. So – like so many other times in this trip – I'm missing it by one day. It will official open only a few short hours after I board the train bound towards Hannover – where I'll meet with someone I met way back in Helsinki.

Still – I saw the set up. I can imagine crowds of people, and bright lights, and stalls and stands that are open, rather than boarded shut. It's practically the same! Right?

But no – there will be no Dresden Christmas town for me.

From there I made my way back in the direction of the hostel, but did not stop when I got close – no. I had to head towards Sax Tickets. This is the ticket booth in North Dresden that you might remember existing back in the eighties and early nineties. The place where you'd go and buy all your concert tickets, and perhaps line up outside of for the big shows.

It's lovely not having to pay service fees, or handling charges, or anything of that nature. Nope – you just walk in, hand over your thirteen euro, thirty cents, and walk out with your brand spaking new, hand written, ticket to The Dodo's later on that night.

Once again – I have no idea what this band is, or what they are about – but a show is a show, and it has been a long time since I've thrown myself into one concert after the next. Germany seems like a fitting place to see a marathon of American bands, right? Nothing strange about that.

On the way back, I bought some nutella and bread. Chocolate sandwiches would be my dinner. As would the second terrifying tuna pizza. Two for two euro – it seemed like such a deal when I thought that it was ground beef. But it was not. And it would not be this time either.

So much like Michelle Tanner, I discovered that tuna, no matter how much you may love it, does not combine well with other favourites. In my case: pizza. In hers? Ice cream. You'd think I was coming out ahead in this comparison – but after all, she was but an infant. And fictional.

The few hours leading up to the show were spent in a flux of trying to figure out my plans for tomorrow – would I stay an extra night in Dresden, or would I head over to Hannover? I hadn't heard back from my contact there, and if I wanted to stay here I'd have to book soon. But right at the deadline I received an email. A flurry of back and forth replies ensued. And that was that – off to Hannover.

I cried a little when I saw how much this would cost. And was slightly annoyed by the fact that it would put me in Leipzig for a change over, but not one long enough to even poke my head out and look around.

Then it was off to the show – with much less confusion, and missed street cars this time.

The opening act was named Megafaun. When I saw them, I wondered how long it would take for them to notice me in the crowd. You see, they all looked like me. My size, shaggy hair, beards. And the beard respect is something that is ingrained in all of us hairy beasts. A nod at times, a quick word. Think of it as a secret club – I hear tall girls have one too.

As it turned out, it took no longer than them to start their first song before they saw me, gave me a shout out from stage, and then began playing their set.

Their music was – well, lets just say it was different. It reminded me a little bit of Moxy Fruvious, and a little bit of something that should be found on the soundtrack for Firefly. There was one moment where the lead singer/bassist found a sound he liked, locked it in, and then proceeded to play with it using his laptop for a good three minutes. Normally I'm not sure if this would be a good thing – but, in this case, it worked really well.

After their set, I chatted with them, and they said they play at Lee's Palace every now and then. I'll have to keep my eyes open for them whenever I get back to Toronto.

Next up was the Dodos. This was the band we came to see, and for the first few minutes I wasn't sure that that was really such a good idea. Their opening song left a little something to be desired, but as the set went on, I found myself moving towards the front of the crowd and getting, quite literally, lost in the music. When the show ended and we were talking about what songs we liked, it dawned on me that I hardly remembered any of them at all.

The music itself was a continuous wall that managed to block me from – well, any other thoughts. And for that hour and a half, I was grateful to have it. But, much like last night, and every night, these things end.

Streetcar back, hostel entered, night over. Dresden days are done.

However – before I went to sleep for the night I grabbed a good load of media from one of the guys laptops. All sorts of movies were copied over onto my three empty memory cards: The Bourne movies amongst them – which I've been told I should have watched ages ago. And more than I can actually remember.

There were a number of tv shows that I could have grabbed as well. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia would have been a key one – however, I opted to spend a full card and a half on a show that would fill me with all sorts of nostalgic pride, and terrible terrible memories. That show? Spider-man: The Animated Series. Not the old terrible one, not the new terrible one, but the middle one. The middle one, where the art was solid, and the voice acting was - well, clever at any rate.

And once I watch through seasons 1 through 4 I can finally watch the clone saga that I never caught on television back in the day.

Hey – I am going to have a good long time on boats, and planes, and other such things. I need something, yeah? Well – maybe not. I didn't really watch all that many movies on my laptop thus far, but... when the time comes, I'll be glad for it. Plus – at eighteen minutes an episode? That's a good quick fix.

Watch that crazy red eyed lizard go!

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