I am full of sandwiches right now, filthy from my voyage to Frankfurt (8 hours on trains in 2 days? WORTH IT), and it's our last Monday in Schwaebs. Pretty unbelievable. That's all you're getting in terms of an introduction, onto the body paragraphs:
I WAS WITHIN SPITTING DISTANCE OF JENS LEKMAN AND I DON'T THINK I HAVE EVER BEEN HAPPIER. My roster of Indie Shows isn't anything to be ashamed of, but it's definitely pretty meek in comparison to people who live in cities that bands actually tour through (see also: Not Tulsa, Oklahoma). And I've been that close to the stage before - thrashing my brains out basically on stage with Man Man, trying to touch Thurston Moore's sneaker at Cain's, within paper-airplane-flying distance of Stephen Malkmus in a crowd of 1 billion at Pitchfork - but this was pretty phenomenal. I took off for Frankfurt on Sunday afternoon, discovered that my hostel, while very near to the train station, was also surrounded by sex shops, and that Frankfurt itself is pretty seedy and bum-addled, and took to the streets like a vagabond in search of food and photo opportunities. Ambling by myself is almost preferable, because I really don't, and didn't, care where I ended up, so long as I made it to the show - so I had myself another precious and over-priced bottle of Arizona Green Tea (trendy sandwich joints tend to import the stuff), ran into a church, went into another church and quietly watched a Catholic Mass auf Deutsch, bought some postcards, and had a long ramble along the river. Frankfurt's skyline is straight out of Metropolitan, but I was more impressed with my own ability to ask a stranger for the time and interact with dog-walkers in German. And the weather - Germany's under a false spring right now, making my Paddington toggle coat too heavy, and I've busted out that old brown corduroy pocketful jacket from my Booker T days, because its collar is so very pop-able.
So. The show. I got there, after a magnificent cross-city quest, bought a celebratory beer and a T-shirt, and then there I was, against the stage itself, in a crowd full of polite Frankfurtians who did not steal my spot even when I ran back to the bar for another beer. Jens himself was surrounded by beautiful Swedish girls who did not look real or like they were actually playing their instruments, but did look like they modeled for American Apparel in their spare time, and they launched into "I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You" which became "The Opposite of Hallelujah" and basically I died of sheer joy and jubilation. Afterwards, I ran into some fellow Yankees and we all made our pseudo-tipsy and meandering way to the U-bahn, and aside from sleeping on a bed that felt like it was made of rocks, and by sleeping I mean lying, and by lying I mean trying to ignore the fact that the bed was made of rocks while some Italian girls whispered and giggled all night, it was pretty goddamned awesome.
When I saw Modest Mouse, before "Lonesome Crowded West" became the soundtrack for my rapid descent into potentially-Accutane-induced insanity of senior year and when we all just thought Isaac Broke was shouting "PIES BURY ME WITH THEM," I was pretty satisfied with the show, but I thought, Damn, they didn't play 3rd Planet. And then, Encore Time rolled around, and whammo--they played it. The exact same thing happened at the Jens show - though he went through all my favorites, I was missing Pocketful of Money, and then, for his 3rd encore (3rd!), we were all singing the chorus and it was glorious. Also: Jens Lekman soloing on glockenspiel. At least, I think it was a glockenspiel. Also also: Jens Lekman WILL YOU MARRY ME AND TAKE ME TO SCANDINAVIA?
The weekend alone was pretty damn glorious, too. We screened The Third Man on Friday and all I wanted to do afterwards was run around Schwaebisch Hall and cast huge shadows and shoot at things and pretend I was part of a penicillin racket. On Saturday we lived decadently, feasting on Chinese, going back to the castle-church in the next town over, and getting the inaugural gelato.
AND ON THURSDAY WE ARE GOING TO VIENNA.