MOKB@Roskilde : Day 3 : A Long Day’s Journey

The theme of 2013 Roskilde Festival is Music Changes Us, but I might suggest a more apt theme, Drink Water, Make Water, given the attention paid to those two pursuits. More about that later.

Our adventure starts on day 3 of the festival. Day 3!? Yeah, well, things happen and it seems that MOKB is not immune to the temptations of Germany. Berlin in particular. So we missed Day 1 and Day 2 of the festival. But missing Rhianna for a chance to hang out in Berlin an extra day was a decent tradeoff.

After a short train ride from Copenhagen to the historic town of Roskilde, we boarded a festival transport train. We also had the option of taking a transport bus, but really, given the choice, the train is always better, particularly when one has the option of a “quiet car.” No sense burning out the old ears on inane cell phone conversations and whooping before I even get to the festival. Regardless of your choice, the transportation infrastructure was first rate, especially when one considers that beer could be freely consumed regardless of whether you opted for road or rails.

That commute was followed by, for me at least, the low point of the festival: a delightful two-and-a-half hour wait in the blazing sun to get into the festival grounds – even though we already had tickets. Read that again. This festival faux pas could be traced directly to the fact that their were no clear lines and three, count’em, three frazzled Danes taking tickets. Bad, bad plan, only slightly mitigated by the fact that I aspired to befriend every Dane with a cooler in tow. (Note to would-be Roskilde patrons: BYOB).

A quick note about the festival’s backstage area. It was a cash- and credit-free zone. To partake in food and/or beer, residents created an online bank account that was interfaced with a wristband containing a computer chip. Scan your wrist, get a beer. Scan it again and get Thai noodles. Very slick, even if a little dangerous for folks who experience difficulty in monitoring and limiting their consumption.

Once our bellies were full and livers reawakened, we packed a kitbag and waded into the actual festival grounds. Calling the area that made up Roskilde 2013 “grounds” hardly does it justice. The festival takes up roughly the same amount of real estate as a rural county in Indiana; at least 1600 square km (sorry, I don’t know how many miles that is). It’s big enough to include a lake for swimming and fishing. If it was in America (which it never could be) it would have a mayor and a meth problem. The sheer number of tents alone made it look like military bivouac. In addition, this plot of terra firma offered festivalgoers all of the comforts of home including a post office, a pharmacy and an H&M, because you never know when you’re going to have the need for a cute, poorly-made top.

Sadly, I never could get an exact number of tickets sold for Roskilde 2013, but safe to say that there were homo sapiens as far as the eye could see. On Day 3, the attendance was at least 100,000 people (sorry, I have no idea how many Americans that is) And not just your usual festival types. Sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads, I saw them all. I saw large families and lone wolves. I saw young and old, including one gaggle of elderly matrons who looked as if their casino bus was hijacked. If you didn’t know Metallica was playing, you’d swear you were at an ice cream social in the midst of the 19th century fin de siècle.

And what do all of these demographics have in common? They all deal in water, both input and output. Of course, beer contains a fair amount of water, but a better source of water is, well, water. And it was everywhere. And rather than rape festivalgoers for precious bottles of the stuff, many of the volunteers (all 32,000 of them) were tasked with handing out H20 pro bono. Seems like every 10 meters you ran into another orange-vested do-gooder foisting a cup of it on you, and they only got more aggressive once you made it to one of the performance stages. And even more aggressive in the pits.

Of course, when you’re drinking all this water (and its cousin, beer), what goes in, must come out. I’m sure everyone has festival horror stories about waiting in line for a filthy biffy only to regret entering that chamber of horrors. Not surprisingly, that (and laziness) is why people (boys and girls) piss outside. Anticipating this, the Roskilde 2013’s big cheeses employed two ingenious strategies to alleviate the hothouse outhouse horror.

The first, I came to affectionately refer to as “the time machine.” As you can see, this temporary toilet allows four gentlemen to simultaneously fulfill their need for release in the fresh air, while preventing them from missing anything. Your second option was the P-Tree, an unobtrusive device that encourages the age-old tradition of pissing on our friends, the trees. Hang a couple of these orange Lomax-infuriators and you literally have a whiz-friendly forest.

And did I mention there was music at this thing?

Concert : Green Day : Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, Denmark

MOKB is heading to the 2013 Roskilde Festival, one of Europe’s largest festivals and purportedly, one helluva party. Of course, once back in the Old Country, one must take advantage of the opportunities offered, whether they be local legends, brews or music. Hence my ladyfriend and I found ourselves for one night, not eating any of a multitude of varieties of herring, but rather, ingesting Billie Joe Armstrong and crew in lovely Copenhagen. For lack of a better description, let’s call it an appetizer to the entree that is Roskilde.

It didn’t take long to discover that part of the fun of a European concert is just getting to the damn thing. A bus, a ferry and a short trudge over what appeared to be a goat path were enjoyed before we came to the venue known affectionately as Refshaleøen, an abandoned industrial cocktail of concrete and rebar that previously hosted the notorious CopenHell metal fest. Imagine seeing a concert at a dilapidated Hormel factory and you’ll have an adequate understanding of the evening’s context.

The opening act was All Time Low. OK, not a terrible band, but certainly not worth an eight hour transAtlantic flight.

Green Day took the stage right on time, a major victory in my mind because I am constantly haunted by the misconception that I have someplace else to be. A word about Green Day and their surprising (some might say misdirected) 15 minutes in this blog. I frankly used to hate this band. I saw them waaaaaayyyyy back in the day, and was nonplussed. I was an expatriate when they started to break, and, as a fella old enough to be Billy Joe Armstrong’s older brother, the multi-platinum Dookie stuck me as little more than a second rate rehash of firstwave punk, slathered with enough pop sheen to send soccer moms spinning off on a Manic Panic bender.

But somewhere along the way, perhaps inadvertently, Green Day became Generation Y’s answer to The Who. Concept records, overblown overtures and struggles between good and evil (or at least the ennui of everyday life) became their three-chord calling card. Green Day, in effect, grew up right in front of our eyes, trading two and a half minute tantrums for grand, some might say pretentious, musical aspirations. American Idiot was a warning shot over the bow, and while 20th Century Breakdown didn’t pack quite the punch of its predecessor, both are embarrassingly strong records. It’s all enough to make me wonder if the recent Uno!, Dos!, Tre! trifecta isn’t what Mick and Joe were aiming for with Sandinista!.

But can they still cut it live, this band that I first encountered playing to lifeboat capacity audiences at St. Paul’s old Steamboat Gallery/Motor Oil Industrial Coffee? And what of Billie Joe’s much publicized (at least in the music community) chemical dependency treatment?

Well folks, I’m here to tell you that Green Day are alive and well; perhaps one of thee most virile bands on the circuit today. Now a five piece, the band’s sound is fat as your unwitting prom date, and twice as foul-mouthed. Perhaps I had forgotten (or discounted) the band’s impressive back catalog, but I seemingly knew every song like the back of my hand. After opening with the anthemic 99 Revolutions, the boys mined their impressive back catalog, plucking familiar jewels Jesus of Suburbia, Basket Case, Longview, When I Come Around that worked the locals into a hot lather before triumphantly returning to new material like X Kid, which crackled with the energy of a shorted circuit breaker in your parent’s basement.

Of course there was an occasional detour. Armstrong donned a saxophone for a well-intentioned, but ill-advised workout, and the band bravely soldiered through a medley that included You Make Me Wanna Shout!, which seemed to leave the locals somewhat puzzled. Either that or no one was in the mood to “Get a little bit softer now.”

Perhaps most shocking was the number of songs the band left on the alter. Chestnuts like Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life) failed to rear their ugly heads, while surefire crowdpleasers like Kill The DJ failed to materialize, truly a testament to the impressive body of work this little band that could has put together while no one was listening.

Bottom line: I have no major gripes with my Green Day experience in Copenhagen. Sure, I would have preferred a tastier opener, but that’s really just me being, well, me. And when Billie Joe implored the audience for the millionth time to “Go crazy,” well, I very nearly did. And then I thought better of it seeing as how it was going to take me two hours to get back to the hotel.

MOKB@Roskilde : Something is Rocking in the State of Denmark

That’s right, Mom. MOKB is packing an ol’kit bag and heading off to Roskilde 2013. What to expect is anyone’s guess, but given the list of bands (see poster), how can it be anything short of superfantastic?

Our goal? Avoid the pitfalls (mud, cholera, long bathroom lines) and temptations (local brews, local fare, half-naked Danes) long enough to cover as many acts as possible, interview a few famous (and not-yet famous) folks and even provide a little cultural commentary about our gracious hosts and their beloved homeland.

Stay tuned as MOKB gets all Hamlet on yo ass…

[WIN THIS!] : Two Tickets to see Grizzly Bear in Louisville, KY : April 1st

 photo large_zps4c8c63c0.jpg

We love giving away free stuff to our readers, so when we found out that Grizzly Bear was going to be doing a show our old stomping grounds of Louisville, KY, we knew we had to get a hold of a couple tickets to give away. In addition to Grizzly Bear, the always great Owen Pallett will be handling opening duties. To enter, all you need to do is “like” MOKB on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. After doing this, just give us a shout on Twitter with the hashtag #grizzlybearlouisville. We will select a winner on Friday, March 29th. If you don’t want to leave your the tickets to chance, you can purchase them here.

[Win This!] : Two Tickets to see Sigur Rós at Madison Square Garden

Quite a few years back, wanderlust and general distaste for responsibility found me traipsing through Iceland. I had a great time exploring the island nation, its rugged coastline, seemingly eternal darkness (winter in Iceland is not for the seasonally affected) and Reykjavík’s too cool for words clubs (as long as one remembered not to show up before midnight).

Years later, the thing I remember most about my Icelandic pilgrimage is an incident involving the Blue Lagoon, a flybussen full of German tourists and a rented Speedo.

Now the other thing I remember well (and the one that will not haunt me upon my deathbed) was discovering Sigur Rós. And it wasn’t a subtle thing. I literally saw the cover image of Ágætis Byrjun everywhere. Everywhere. And so finally my curiosity got the best of me, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Seeing Sigur Rós live is difficult to describe. Actually, it’s pert near impossible. And that’s where we come in. Sigur Rós just so happens to be hovering over North America for the next couple weeks in support of their latest, Valtari. See what I’m getting at here?

MOKB/Sigur Rós at Madison Square Garden Giveaway: Just in time for Spring, one fortunate MOKB reader is going to score two (2) tickets to see Sigur Rós performing at the world’s most famous arena. Just the tickets mind you, but how cool is that? Airfare is out of the question. Whatta we look like, Pitchfork? The winner will be able to pick up his/her spoils in advance at the Bowery Presents office. To get yer butt in the running, click the Comment link and enter your name and email address. But do it by Friday, March 22nd. All entrants will be tossed in a hat and the winner will be chosen at random. Oh, and don’t forget to follow MOKB on Facebook and Twitter!

And for all of youse in the New York area who don’t like things like this left to chance, get your tickets here.

Sigur Rós on Tour
Mar 24 – Fairfax, VA
Mar 25 – New York, NY
Mar 26 – Boston, MA
Mar 27 – Montreal, QC
Mar 29 – Ottawa, ON
Mar 30 – Toronto, ON
Apr 1 – Detroit, MI
Apr 2 – Chicago, IL
Apr 3 – St. Paul, MN
Apr 4 -Kansas City, MO, Knuckle Rumbler & MOKB Presents…VAYA CON TACOS 3 – Two Days of Party at SXSW!, Knuckle Rumbler & MOKB PresentsVAYA CON TACOS 3 – Two Days!

Thursday March 14th & Friday March 15th – 12 to 8pm

We’re back at Peckerheads on 6th (402 E 6th Street, ATX) for TWO DAYS of party during SXSW! Look at all these great acts that will be performing! RSVP NOW and get in for free!

Swear & Shake, Andrew Combs, Criminal Hygiene, Sam Flax, Calvin Love, DWNTWN, God Des & She, K.I.D.S., Jetta, Houndmouth, Free Energy, Futurebirds, Pokey Lafarge

Solid Gold, Monophonics, Cayucas, Lucius, Blackfeet Braves, Suburban Living, Fol Chen, , Wake Owl, Pacific Air, Helado Negro, Teen, Indians, Reignwolf

We are being sponsored by some awesome folks this year! Check out Fred Water, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, TicketFly, Taco Cabana, JakPrints and DejaSet! Powered by Indigenous Promotions.

Check out the event page and RSVP for Free Entry!

[Win This!] : 2 Tickets to The Outlaw Roadshow Tour : July 1st : White River State Park : Indianapolis, IN

Having recently taken the wrapper off their self-released all-covers project, Underwater Sunshine, the Counting Crows are spending their summer vacation headlining The Outlaw Roadshow Tour. Co-presented by Ryan Spaulding of Ryan’s Smashing Life, this rolling musical extravaganza not only finds the band, nearly two decades removed from August And Everything After, showing off their interpretations of songs from heroes like Gram Parson, Richard Thompson and Alex Chilton, but also chaperoning the next generation of musical breakout stars across the country. Depending on the date, you might see any number of hard charging new acts, including Good Old War, Foreign Fields, Filligar, We Are Augustines, Kasey Anderson and The Honkies and Field Report. Not a bad way to spend a summer afternoon, I think you’ll agree.

MOKB-Outlaw Roadshow Tour Giveaway : MOKB has procured two tickets for the July 1st, Indianapolis Outlaw Roadshow at the White River State Park. Want to win those two tickets? Simply go to and Like MOKB’s Facebook page, and tell us in haiku why you need to go see Counting Crows and all their young friends. Entries have to be in haiku form and received by Friday, June 29th at noon EST. Best haiku, as chosen by our esteemed panel of judges, will win. Can’t write haiku? Buy your tickets here.

The Outlaw Roadshow Tour Dates
June 26 – Simpsonville, SC @ Charter Amphitheater*
June 28 – Tuscaloosa, AL @Tuscaloosa Amphitheater*
June 29 – Snowden Grove, MS @ Snowden Grove Amphitheater*
July 1 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Lawn at White River State Park*
July 17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Waterfront Park#
July 19 – Hyannis, MA @ Cape Cod Melody Tent#
July 20 – Cohasset, MA @ South Shore Music Circus#
July 23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE#
July 26 – Cedar Rapids, IA @ Ragbrai 40th Anniversary#
July 28 – Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Theater#
July 31 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theater#
Aug 2 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks#
Aug 4 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Rail Event Center#
Aug 6 – Boise, ID @ Idaho Botanical Gardens#
Aug 7 – Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Amphitheater#
Aug 11 – Billings, MT @ Magic City Blues Festival#

* Counting Crows w/ Good Old War, Foreign Fields, and Filligar
# Counting Crows w/ We Are Augustines, Kasey Anderson and The Honkies, and Field Report

[With This!] Kool Keith/Ultramagnetic MCs : Music Hall of Williamsburg : Brooklyn

To celebrate the release of his new record, Love & Danger, MOKB’s fave alien is getting the old crew back together. On Sunday, June 17th, Kool Keith will take the stage at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, joined by his former mates from the legendary Ultramagnetic MCs. Tickets are available here.

Excited? You should be. Doors open at 8, and music starts, well, since Kool Keith is involved, let’s say 9ish.

Kool Keith/Ultramagnetic MCs Ticket Giveaway : MOKB has scored one pair of tickets to the show on Sunday, June 17th at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn and will give them to one lucky reader. Airfare, lodging, pills, powders and potions are not included, so keep that in mind before entering. If you want to qualify win, simply drop a rhyme in the Comments section that somehow incorporates your name. For example: First name Paul. Last name Bickets. I live in Brooklyn and I want those $%^&*# tickets. You get the idea. Best rhyme will be chosen Friday, June 15th and the tickets will be waiting for the winner at the venue’s Will Call window.