Back to the U$$A, day 1

From March 10th to March 25th, Frank is visiting the good old US of A. First a 6 day trip to Portland, to visit ZXZW artist Khris Soden. After that, Frank is visiting the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. He will try and write a blogpost a day on his whereabouts.

Got up early, my girlfriend decided to bring me to Den Bosch trainstation, since I could take a direct train to Schiphol from there. However….Traffic jam on the way up to Den Bosch, and trains delayed. Stressfull moments, due to bad experiences on my last trip back from the US. Dreamt about missing my flight a couple of times too, the last few days. But, I made it.

Got at Schiphol airport, checked in and was in time, about 1,5 hours prior to take off. Had a pretty decent chicken-mangochutney sandwich and a biological coffee. Got some US dough and went to the boarding area.

Everything went fine, I went into the airplane. Sat in the window-aisle, the guy next to me was already there. I noticed he was reading the David Lee Roth Autobiography. Cool. Introduced myself as his neighbour for the next 8 hours. He replied \” you\’re not as cute as I hoped you would be\” . I made a remark about the David Lee Roth book, and everything was cool.

8 hours of flight ahead of me. Spend my time reading Godel, Escher, Bach, but I was a bit too tired to read a book which I had to concentrate on that heavy. Read a cool feature on American Psychedelic music in the Mojo, listened to some Sun Ra Arkestra, watched the Quantum Solace (which sucked) and had a little chit-chat with my neighbour, who was also a big Iron Maiden and Judas Priest fan. His name was Mike, he came from San Diego, owned a construction company, and just returned from his first trip to Europe. He had a 10 day beer-journey in England and Belgium, and ended his trip smoking weed and checking out the red-light district in Amsterdam. How stereotype….;o) It was an entertaining talk though…

We arrived at Philly airport, I made it through customs pretty easily, although it still feels a bit tense to pass the talk. Got my bags, had a pretty decent ceasar salad and two beers, and went to the gate.

That\’s where I noticed the 2 long haired hippy kind of characters who I also noticed in Amsterdam. They had guitars with them and were wearing wristlets of the Kraak festival, the music festival our friends from Kraak3 put up last saturday in Brussels.

I talked to them for a while. They where also heading to Portland, so that was cool. They play in this band called Kurt Vile and the Violators, a psychedelic guitarbased rock band, and returned from the Kraak festival in Brussels. They are going to play Portland tomorrow with Eat Skull, whom I really wanted to see anyways, so that\’s a cool coinsidence. They will also play the SXSW festival, on a showcase of the No Quarter label, with Endles Boogie, and psychedelic boogie-band that apperantly lives up to its name during live-shows. Could be interesting. We talked a bit about common friends and acquintances. They gave me some interesting advice on record stores in Portland. Always welcome.

We got on the plane to Chicago Airport, a 2 hour flight, that got delayed about an hour. The plane was full of business people, all carrying a roller-suitcase. Horrible people, that probably take a flight like this 5 times a week, looking at their routinous ways. The flight was bumpy, boring and with really little leg space. But we made it to Chicago.

Chicago Airport is so big that I had to walk for about 15 minutes to the gate where my plane to Portland departed. I was beginning to get pretty exhausted, I was travelling for 20 hours straight already. I checked in, had a little chat with Kurt and his friend, and went to sleep directly when I sat down in the plane. 4 hours of flight ahead of me, but didn\’t really spent 5 minutes awake of them. The descent of the plain was long and painfull in my ears the last 15 minutes, but all in all it was one of the smoothest landings I ever had.

Got out of the plane, and Khris was waiting for me at the baggage-check. Always good to see old friends after half a year. We went to the baggage-claim, but due to the short lay-over at Chicago, my and the Kurt Vile guys luggage didn\’t make it to Portland. I sort of expected that, so no worries there. I only needed a toothbrush, for the rest I was fine. Reported my lost luggage, which was promised to be delivered the next day between noon and 4 p.m., fine with me.

Of to Portland! We took a cab to Khris place, but first stopped to get some beers and a toothbrush. Forgot to buy the latter, but we had beers anyways. Walked to Khris\’ place, and talked for an hour or so. Khris has got a really nice appartement in a really cool part of the city, Southwest, near Belmont Avenue. An up- and coming part of Portland, but still affordable. Him and Heather made me a nice bed in my prive room, I couldn\’t ask for more. Went to bed around 2 a.m., and fell asleep like a baby!


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