28 June 2010

Swinging London!

So I just got back from a whirlwind trip to London. I was technically there for educational purposes (I was taking a course on e-publishing), but between the tours of libraries, museums and other antiquities I managed to squeeze in a some time for music and music-oriented musings. Here are the highlights:

-I finally saw the Avett Brothers live. Of course it's only logical that my friends and I see a band that excels at crafting twangy Americana when travelling across the pond. This totally ruled for several reasons... A) the crowd was epically friendly and polite (a massive departure from the typical Brooklyn hipster scene I've apparently grown immune to) B) it only cost 10 pounds! (that's like 14 American dollars, a fraction of the price I'd pay to see them in the States, which is like over 30 bucks) C) in a venue a fraction of the size I'd see them here (they're scheduled to play the cavernous Radio City in October). Oh and naturally they sounded great, bounding with energy dressed to the nines in their vests and ties.

-Speaking of vests and ties, Harrods (while terribly overrated in my book) was having a 25% off sale on Etro clothing. For those of you who don't know, that's Mountain Goats' bassist Peter Peter Hughes favorite brand for tour wardrobing. And we can't really blame him despite the high price, the designs are so intricate and the fabric so sumptuous. In other words, I'll take any excuse to post this photo of his vest:

-Being able to identify Tube stops from song, i.e. Mornington Crescent and Waterloo Station. Shout out to Belle & Sebastian and the Kinks!

-Hearing Okkervil River's The Stage Names its ENTIRETY being played in an airport gift shop at Heathrow. Instead of waiting at the gate for my flight, I just loitered in the store and enjoyed hearing one of my favorite album's of 2008 being played in the most random of public spaces. I finally got up the nerve to thank the clerk behind the counter for playing it. We chatted about music for about 10 minutes and he even showed me The Hold Steady tattoo on his index finger, (basically just the words "the hold steady" in lowercase typewriter font). If you happen to find yourself in the HMV in Heathrow's terminal 4, tell the man behind the counter I say hi.

And now the only song I know that references both London AND Libraries:
Swinging London - The Magnetic Fields

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