Kristiansand, Norway

The Accelerator Festival went better than I ever thought possible! It felt like being on tour for 3 days with all those awesome bands, especially being able to see certain bands more than once and seeing the same people every day. Sonic Youth was AMAZING! I haven't seen them since Jim O'Rourke started playing guitar for them and completely understand why he should be an official fifth member. Also, he's a really cool guy, super friendly. I enjoyed hanging out with him a bunch. The first day I watched Joanna's set from the back with him and Jim White. Jim W. plays drums for Smog and is also in the Dirty Three. I had met him a few times before but it was nice to talk with him for longer. The guys from the Magnolia Electric Co. were also playing, and they're super nice as well. Everyone was nice, actually! I talked to Lee Ranaldo for a while about photography and we took photos of each other. The music was really great, Sonic Youth played old stuff like Expressway to Yr Skull, Bull in the Heather, Teenage Riot, and some new stuff that was really good. I felt honored to not only see them play 3 nights in a row but to come down to an amazing hotel breakfast and see them there, too. It was just really surreal. Driving through Sweden was beautiful, all the cities were lovely, and the sun never fully set the whole time. Even now, in Norway, it stays light until way after midnight and starts getting brighter around 3 or 4! I liked Malmo a lot and the area there was neat, kind of smaller and more intimate with a carnival in the background. Goteburg was fancier and in a gorgeous park very close to the hotel with a giant greenhouse next door similar to the Conservatory of Flowers in SF. And Wyatt from Aislers Set and his lady Josephine came!Hairy Fairy (Dev's band's official name) played while it was still light out and the clouds were backlit from the sun going down. I tried to take some pictures of them playing with the clouds in the background. The venue in Stockholm was a little more awkwardly set up, but the view over the river was stunning.
I think we're all a little sad that Accelerator is over. It's a wonderful festival, very organized and very focused on the artists having a good time. We had a l-o-o-o-o-ng drive to Kristiansand, including a lovely ferry ride, and got in really late last night. I realized the Earlies were in the lobby and got to hang out with Nathan from Micah's band. I love that guy! He made me go wake up Andy and get Dev out of the shower so he could say hi to them and they didn't mind at all. Today we didn't have to be at soundcheck 'til 3:30 so Andy, Dev, Jona and I went down to the beach here. It was really crowded and not really a beach, more like a concrete swimming spot, but Dev and I actually got in the water and it was cold but refreshing. I haven't been in the ocean in a long time. There were swans swimming past us!
So after tonight's show at the festival here, we have a lot of travelling and the next show is the Montreaux Jazz Festival!
Be sure to check Jona's blog for his stories and photos (and video!):

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