Continuing North Towards the Finnish Border

Apparently a couple days ago Jack ‘borrowed’ someone’s camera and took a picture of his nuts with it.  Tonight that ‘someone’ recognized him and told him she thought the picture was two hamsters fighting to get in someone’s zipper.

jackson huffmans nutsThe two shared affections towards each other and got progressively flirtier as the eve wore on.  Sadly we had to go home in a different direction leaving the two high and dry (aka drunk and unfixably horny).  I’m not sure about her but I can attest to Jack’s, um, frustration.  We referred to Jack’s condition following this particular act of cock-blocking as Stockholm Syndrome.

Val says: that was my last night with the ‘Songs, and I was sincerely bummed out to go back to K-town where a pile of books and papers’ deadlines were awaiting me. But seriously, those 5 days were the highlight of my Scandinavian semester and I will never thank Craig enough for giving me the chance to go, and Jack, Seth and Brad for keeping me entertained and enriching my vocabulary with all those vivid idiomatic expressions. One last night in Stockholm (Daniel and Christoffer hosted us again), then the doods dropped me at the station and we said goodbye before they embarked on their endless traversal of Sweden…

...And thank you, Valentina, for teaching us words like 'idiomatic' and 'traversal'! You are sorely missed but I understand that sometimes when new underwear calls one must answer. Arrivederci, nostro amica...

jackson peeing in Umeå, sweden
Going pee, sometimes it's a beautiful thing.
craigums peeing in finland
Especially when it's in nature
jackson and seth peeing in germany

We listened to 4 straight hours of Dio’s Holy Diver on the way to Umeå, a city so vegan-ized by the likes of Refused and Raised Fist that even the McDonald’s have vegan options (not that we went there for anything other than to use the bathroom).

kaj wasted sounds Umeå sweden
Kaj, aka Most Helpful Person On This Trip - a large title in a field of so many worthy candidates.
He runs Wasted Sounds, a sick-ass distro. (This was also the 2nd WHN? skull tattoo I've seen on this trip. This was doctored to say NYKPG (Nyköping), the other tattoo was Dirk's and his flipped up cap said DIY - that's so rad.)


Dodeskaden - Lineup #1, Nyköping
Dodeskaden - Lineup #1, Nyköping
Dodeskaden - Lineup #2, Umeå
Dodeskaden - Lineup #2, Umeå
Dodeskaden - Lineup #3, Luleå
Dodeskaden - Lineup #3, Luleå

It was about time we arrived somewhere cold.  We packed like we were gonna go snow-camping but so far the weather has been almost shorts-worthy.  But Umeå finally put us in our place.

love songs in umeå, sweden

We walked around guided by a gentleman named Sven and his kid.  We were at sea level but for some reason we were all short of breath.  The club (and everything else in town) was closed when we arrived and we found the public toilets to be the warmest spots in town (too bad the people using them were 'moved' to have poor aim).

umeå toaletter
sven and son - umeå, sweden
Sven's son's picture to us.
Kinda like San Francisco, but not.

The show was fun, as usual, and we played Holy Diver, sung by a young man voted Worst Singer on Idol 2004 (Scandinavia’s version of American Idol).

The big news in Luleå was that six months ago someone’s car got stolen.  The driver is unsure how it happened.  He says he just pulled up to a restaurant, left the car running, got his food, came out and it was gone!  In Oakland the thief would have at least stuck around to shoot him before taking his car…

Luleå seascape
The scene outside the venue in Luleå at 8pm.
Luleå seascape night
The scene outside the venue in Luleå at 11pm.
Luleå, Sweden - Lilian, bibliotek
The venue in Luleå, located on the bottom floor of a library. During Dodeskaden's soundcheck I was upstairs using the internet in the library lobby and I could clearly hear the band.
sven in Luleå, sweden at Lilian
Sven, kicking ass.

Luleå is far and away the Coldest place yet.  And what’s worse – the city is on the northern tip of the Gulf of Bothnia and it's streets are parallel to the direction of the bitter cold winds coming off the water, making it not only cold, but fucking got-damn cold.

Another fun show, another night spent hanging out in someone’s flat with the locals while they drank and smoked.  It’s a good thing we have Seth and Jack to keep our band from appearing as total party-pooping squares.

Huh, I was just thinking about the term ‘party-pooper.’  Is that someone who poops at a party and ruins it?  How funny, I bet I’ve been that person. < next >