Thursday, January 31, 2013

no shirt, rum and coke in hand

what it is: no shirt, rum and coke in hand
where i found it: canadian TV

A friend form New Jersey turned me on to this no-budget Canadian comedy series called Trailer Park Boys. The name sounds so unpromising that it took me a few months to take a look, but now I can't stop watching and I can't stop laughing. There are so many great qualities about this show that would sound oh-so-dumb if I tried to describe them, so you should really check it out for yourself. I will say that my favorite characters so far are the guy with no shirt and the guy who always has a rum and coke, but the competition is tough. You can stream all the episodes on Netflix or start digging them up on youtube HERE. I will say that it took me two or three episodes to really start appreciating it, but it's worth the point of entry to come to know and love what goes on in a trailer park in Nova Scotia.






Tuesday, January 29, 2013

bye bye dave, hello clean syringes

RIP DAVE PURCHASE
 
Purchase was a needle exchange pioneer, setting up a TV tray and fold out chair on a street corner next to a heroin spot and handing out clean needles at the height of the AIDS epidemic, on the front line of harm reduction. I work a lot with addicts and ex-addicts who may not be alive if it weren't for this guy. Thanks, Dave. If you want to read more, here's his obit.

Monday, January 28, 2013

see how they run like pigs from a gun

what it is: see how they run like pigs from a gun
where i found it: the walrus

I know you've heard THIS a million times before, but listen to it ten times in a row and you'll start to see how this could be the band that would inspire Charles Manson a couple of years later.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

interview #10 - greg wildes



The Mr. Becos interview series continues with Greg Wildes, a musician, instrument builder, laser maker and traffic offender who currently lives in Hong Kong.

Mr. Becos: So, you were in a band where all of the instruments were gas tanks and car parts, which is kind of easy to imagine. But you were also in a band where all of the instruments were skis. Please explain.

Wildes: Serendipitous use of available materials, that's the short answer.  I wanted to sidestep conventional music and explore a more organic way of people making sounds together.  Are gas tanks really easier to imagine than skis as instruments?  What could be more straightforward than a one string ski, me being from Maine originally? Besides, skis were a lot more practical than the electrified piano string board I left behind at my mom's house. 

Ski instruments weren't even my idea.  Dr. Ahmed Fishmonger (aka Seth) had left one at a house I moved into in Somerville, Massachusetts, and, it just so happened, there was a pile of old skis in the basement.  The next thing I knew, I had talked a bunch of friends into forming the Ski-A-Delics.  My engineering advancement was to use Fender Rhodes electric piano pickups for amplification to get a nice fat electric sound.  

The Gas Tank Orchestra was quite different in some ways, and more about the resonance.  I moved to a neighborhood in New Orleans where old car gas tanks were lying around everywhere on street sides, from folks avoiding the disposal fee at the dump.  I intuited they'd make great acoustic bodies for whatever I could think of to build onto them.  I used piezo contact pickups on the gas tanks to capture their resonance, and built not only of stringed, but also reed, brass, didgeridoo, kalimba, and percussion instruments.  I had band members change place after every piece, so that everyone had a chance to learn all the different instruments.

And so why not just play guitar?  I did that too, but it didn't satisfy my curiosity.  I've followed a trail, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, sussing out nuances of vibration and resonance in simple electro-acoustic instruments   I like to focus on elemental aspects of sound, not so much towards writing music or putting on a premeditated show, but rather, try to channel a sort of pure direct communion of people and sound through music making in the moment.  It's a never-ending, if sometimes frustrating, pursuit, with little if any reward of fame or fortune, but it's what I live for.

Mr. Becos: You've also been involved with something called SHARE for a long time. What is that all about? I attended one of the SHARE events one time and came away confused.

Wildes: A first time visit to SHARE is like my favorite scene in Apocalypse Now where they are looking for the commanding officer.  It looks and sounds like chaos, but it's not, really.  There's a core of facilitators who help folks plug in their audio/video equipment while everyone jams, all at once, every Sunday night, since 2001, with satellites nowadays all over the world.  It's a great place to try out hardware/software/instruments you've been working on/with and meet up with like-minded people to experiment and discover.

Mr. Becos: I once saw a laser you had built that responded to soundwaves. If one of our readers wanted to build an awesome homemade psychedelic pulsating light show, how would they put together this kind of device?


Mr. Becos: What are two great things and two horrible things about life in Hong Kong?

Wildes: Our son. He was born here in Hong Kong and will turn three this April. We live in rural house by the beach where there's plenty of space.  Next fall Aldin will go to the local Buddhist school in Tai O, where class is taught in Cantonese.  Hopefully, he will develop language skills that greatly exceed his parents'.

The isolation. I live in a remote place, even by Hong Kong standards, far from friends, extended family, and most of the people and places I've ever been familiar with.  It's a chance to start over, where anything might be possible.  Where I'm at right now is a good place reassess and develop a way to move forward.

The isolation.  We don't speak the language and don't have much in common with the other expats who mostly seem to be either airline pilots or work in financial services.  There is a small cultural scene, but it's pretty hard to really connect beyond seeing the same people at gallery openings.  The cost of living is very high here.  People tend to have serious jobs and not so much serious fun.

Traffic cameras. If you can't remember to drive past these cameras with your foot on the brakes, you'll be sure to get a speeding ticket in your mailbox. Out here, on Lantau Island, all four of the traffic cameras are on the downhill side of the road.  Of those four, two are on a steep mountainside, and of these, one is actually in a passing zone posted at 50 km, which is only 31 mph.  WTF!  I've got two tickets from that one already.  The vibe here often feels overly cautious.  Local drivers, for the most part, clearly appear to have internalized this cautiousness, as I have witnessed on numerous occasions while passing them on mountain roads and especially while watching them attempt to drive in reverse.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

???

what it is: ???
where i found it: san francisco

The world's most confusing band, the Residents, are continuing their several decades long pattern of perplexing behavior by releasing a limited edition boxed set that costs $100,000 and comes with a working refrigerator. I've made several attempts to get my head around the Residents over the years with zero luck. They have a ton of videos on youtube which you can spend a lot of time checking out. They're creepy, unsettling and not quite like anything else. They're also touring right now, which I imagine is a sight to see.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

banana slicer

what it is: a banana slicer
where i found it: mr. a. dubin of new jersey

Some time ago I posted about a wolf shirt that had received thousands of unbelievable reviews on Amazon (e.g. "since wearing this shirt I can control stop lights with my mind"). Similarly, there's a gallon of milk that reviewers have been raving about (e.g. "one day I was just walking around outside when a strange looking man walked up and put me in a bag"). Now there's also a banana slicer in the same boat that's come to my attention (e.g. "it slices my banana in color"). Each is worth spending at a least a few minutes with.

Friday, January 18, 2013

interview #9 - christopher morda - part two

The Mr. Becos interview series continues with Christopher Morda, a guitarist, philosopher, expert in alternative tuning systems and Detroit native. Part 2 of 2.
Mr. Becos: You've been engaged in some sound healing practices involving really long strings, resonances, possibly some pyramids, etc. Is there anything you'd recommend our readers either seek out our stay the hell away from?
Morda: I think the main thing is to remain open minded when seeking out new things.  I think the world of "sound" therapy can be so big that it can be challenging for someone to make a choice of what to try.  As I made analogies with my last answer I instantly think of one for this as well.  The world of sound and music therapy is like a microcosm of the alternative healing world in general, there are so many different things and it can be overwhelming trying to find one to try let alone work.  I think it's fascinating how one thing that works for one person can completely not work and possibly even detrimental to another.  The main thing is to keep an open mind heart and mind and try a few different things that you are drawn to and see where that leads you.
Mr. Becos: I agree. Having an open mind at least allows you the opportunity to get something out of experiences that may seem absurd our dubious at first. What are some of the more unusual our unique approaches or techniques you've come across? I think it was through you that I first heard about people blasting themselves with the sound of bees at deafening volumes.
Morda: Layne Redmond does the work with bees (http://thebeepriestess.com).  I think the one of the main differences of sound therapy to music therapy is to the extent that inducing theta brain states is utilized.  Theta states basically get the individual into the "twilight" zone, the state between sleep and awake, I have practiced, off and on, for a number of years a yoga practice called yoga-nidra that induces this state.  Some people believe in this state the mind and body can move into a very conducive state for healing.  From a hedonistic point of view I like the things, the practices or exercises that get you into that state.
So things that are similar to the Dream House experience (see part one of interview), gong baths, where you are in a room with a number of large gongs that are being struck, a monochord table, where you're basically laying on a wooden frame that has hundreds of strings built into it and as you are laying on the bed the practitioner is strumming the strings, taking a small group of people and putting all of your heads together while you hum, and a holotropic breathwork session can be some fairly unique experiences.
Mr. Becos: You can also manipulate your brain waves by creating "binaural beats", that is, by playing two close tones separately into each ear. If the difference is, say, 10hz between the tones your brian entrains to that frequency. I tried this a few times, but it left me really fuzzy headed and confused, like I was in a mind state where I had no business being. Maybe the technique didn't allow for enough transition in and out. Have you ever had any luck with this kind of approach?
Morda: I have done some work with binaural beats and find it very similar experience as the "Dream House" effect.  The Dream House sound frequencies are actually somewhat similar to the binaural beat phenomena only instead of headphones they have 4 speakers situated throughout a room. But the concept of frequencies that are very close to each other this part is the same. 
I've never really done any work with the different brain state recordings for like super learning or anything like that, I have usually used recordings that put you into a deep meditative space.   I too have noticed still being in the space when maybe I shouldn't be there anymore.  Robert Monroe, who first started making the binaural beat recordings used to have out of body experiences when working with the binaural beats and wrote a few books about that.
As a musician and also when working with sound I found myself in trance states when playing music, which is what let me to an interest in what we're discussing. I kind of got stuck at a point where I was trying to decide that I wanted to try to become more present in my body, I've never felt completely in my body, and over the last few years I find myself not listening to or playing music much, which is something I never would have imagined I would do.  
Mr. Becos: You've also done some collaboration with another Michigan native, John Sinclair: the poet, White Panther, manager of the MC5 and noted jailbird. What was that like?

Morda: Playing with John was fun, John is a tireless worker and is basically always working on something.
Mr. Becos: Why is Detroit so fucked up? If any of our readers should visit there what are some things they should expect to see?

Morda: This one is hard for me to answer, I grew up about 20 minutes from Downtown Detroit but left 20 years ago.  I've only been back a couple of times in the past 10 years.  In Seattle, where I've spent the majority of the last 20 years you have a fairly large city that has a small area that is not so desirable to live in.  I had been gone for three years and when I came back so much development went on (and is on-going) that it is hard to recognize some parts of the city.  There's a famous picture of a billboard from the 60's that says "will the last person leaving please turn off the lights" or something similar.  Seattle had a boom around the gold rush, than everyone left, then World War II Boeing was very prosperous, than by the 60's people were leaving, than the tech boom of the 90's.  So there's been this migration of people moving back here, it's fairly rare to meet someone that actually grew up in Seattle.  

So in Detroit you have kind of the opposite, In the 50's or so I think there was this big push to move to the suburbs then you had the riots of the late 60's which left a good portion of the downtown area pretty devastated.  For at least 20 years there were hundreds of buildings that hadn't been touched since the riots.  Around 15 years ago they tore down a lot of those buildings trying to rebuild and put in some casinos but I don't think this really helped to rebuild the city.   When we moved to suburban Detroit in the 70's behind the house across the street from us was basically a large wooded area, 10-15 years later that was fully developed as was most of the area.  There were neighborhoods much closer to Detroit that were also developing to the point where it was inevitable that development was going to move into the city and then I think the recession hit.

One thing I think you could expect, while going through neighborhoods in the city you'll see pretty shoddy looking houses, sometimes with boarded windows and weeds (or snow) in the yard and a brand new Cadillac in the driveway. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

troll hunter

what it is: troll hunter
where i found it: can't remember

You probably have never seen the movie Troll Hunter, but you should. It's about a troll hunter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

interview #9 - christopher morda - part one

The Mr. Becos interview series continues with Christopher Morda, a guitarist, philosopher, expert in alternative tuning systems and Detroit native. Part 1 of 2.
Mr. Becos:  You know a good deal about "alternative" tuning systems. Can you give a brief overview of what this means for the ignoramuses who read this blog?
Morda: I think of this in two different ways, both shaped primarily by musical background as 1) a guitar player and 2) by studying for a bachelor's degree in Ethnomusicology (primarily because of a love of Indian music and a desire to understand more about music of non-western cultures) and 3) my obsession with blues guitar for a number of years.
From my guitar player perspective "alternative" tuning systems for me are using a way to tune the guitar that isn't based on the "standard" guitar tuning.  I mostly use "open" tunings on guitar that were used by either delta blues guitar players or electric slide players.  Many "delta" blues players such as Son House or Muddy Waters (rooted in the delta before moving to Chicago) used an open A tuning which is basically tuning to an "open" a chord.  So for this tuning you take your typical a chord in standard tuning with from low e to high e, open e, open a, E (d string 2nd fret), A (g string 2nd fret), C# (b string 2nd fret, and open e string.  I mostly use a this tuning tuned a whole step down to g (dgdgbd).  I like this tuning for acoustic slide, for electric slide I like the open E tuning (tuned down a whole step to Open D).  This tuning is based on an open E chord and then tuned down a whole step (ebeg#be tuned down to dadf#ad).
These tunings are alternative in the sense that I am using an alternate to standard tuning but are still based on a typical "Western" system using the a note at 440 cycles per second as the basic standard of tuning relationships being based on the Western "Equal" temperament system.  What I think of as "alternative" tuning systems on a broader musical sense takes into account systems of tuning that are used by other cultures as well as creating tunings of my own that are based on a mathematical basis. 
Historically tunings were based more or less on simple mathematical systems.  Classical Indian music for instance still uses an older tuning system based on whole number musical ratios.  Any musical system based on whole note ratios is referred to as "Just Intonation".  Just Intonation systems are fine when staying in one key or playing more "modally" based music, music with very little harmony. 
Mr. Becos: La Monte Young has done a lot of work over the years with Just Intonation and Indian music and I know you spent some time in his downtown compound. Did you learn any important secrets there?
Morda: Interesting question, I was a monitor at the dream house a few times a month for a few years so got to spend a lot of time there.  I'm not sure if I learned any "secrets" but it was interesting to spend time in the environment which has been there for 20 years or so now, and La Monte and Marian have lived downstairs from the dream house for like 50 years. 
The dream house, a sound and light environment features 32 or so sound frequencies in a mathematically based tuning system being pumped out at around 107db (one night I was working there and an old sound engineer and his buddy who was a jazz professor from Cleveland I think, had a db reader and that was the reading they recorded), the tuning of these frequencies are digitally generated and haven't changed over the period of the installation.  While you are in the room very slight changes in how you're holding your head will generate the auditory sensation of hearing totally new sounds, the volume and frequencies really make you aware of hearing sound and "music" in completely different ways.
I think from a kind of "Zen" kind of thing, and this is totally in my mind, nothing I was taught or anything while there but just thinking about the time I was there and things I’ve thought about it really brings to my mind this whole idea of how timeless each moment is, but at the same time how as we get older we have a tendency to look back at the past or our childhood as something we are trying to aspire to return to.  When I studied music cultures, especially blues traditions and the folk revival of the 60's and my "romanticism" with those times as a child growing up in the 70's and 80's, I noticed how then when reading about ancient musics while studying ethnomusicology that there was this tendency for musicians, I think both very serious and not so serious as they age always look back to some time in the past when the music was "pure" or hadn't lost something and how we need to go back to that.
I have thought about this idea for a long time, I also look at in the context of the whole idea of the Apocalypse and the recent interest in the end of the Mayan calendar, etc.  Basically since the book of Revelations, Western culture always looks at the current times and think we are leading up to the times spoken about in the book. I thought to myself, shit I understand that people always think that way but it seems we really are!! Maybe we are, but maybe we're not.  Getting back to the Zen thing, it doesn't really matter in this moment. 
There was a Woody Allen movie that came out last year or so where Owen Wilson goes to Paris and he's a movie writer and then each night at midnight he is miraculously sent back to his golden age time in Paris and meets Dali, Hemingway, and a number of famous characters that are his heroes and in his version of the nostalgic Golden Age, he meets and falls in love with a woman and then ironically they are transported back in time to her Golden Age and she wants to stay there and then she explains to him how crazy he is, she lives in what he thinks is the Golden Age and she lives there and it's not it's this other time that they have now arrived in.  
So this idea that things are never really what they appear to be to all the people in the same room at the same time.  Everyone perceives things differently and this perception is very interesting to me.
So bringing it back to the Dream House, I really think that room really encapsulates this idea of the changing and the not changing and this sense of kind of look backward and forward while being in the moment and how hard it can be to be in the very moment because you are always thinking about the future or the past. 
Typically I would find myself in the Dream House all alone and would have a fairly common experience, I would grab a pillow and lay back and try to listen to the sound, I would then at some point think, holy shit this is way to loud I can't stand this. Then oddly enough I would fall asleep for anywhere from 5-20 minutes and wake up and realize I had some how fallen asleep in 107db of sound and go through the whole cycle again, man this is fucking loud, and then I’d get so focused on thinking how loud it is and somehow I would start thinking about this so strongly that I would cease hearing any sound and be absorbed in my thoughts how fucking loud it was, even thought I'd thought so hard about how loud it is that I couldn't actually hear it anymore, I'd then doze off again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

the legend of er

what it is: the legend of er
where i found it: long ago on wkcr

I got reprimanded by a reader for posting about Xenakis but not saying anything about his massive Legend of Er. I avoided it partly because I get overwhelmed by it's scale, but also because I can't listen to it more than every year or two as it freaks me out. Another excuse might be that to hear it properly you're supposed to have six speakers surrounding you and be inside of a red sculpture, which I am not quite yet able to beam out to you via a blog platform. At any rate, here's a post of the piece anyway, which is still an experience to make yourself have, even if broken into five parts and delivered through crummy computer speakers.

Monday, January 14, 2013

writing music after you get shot by a tank

what it is: writing music after you get shot by a tank
where i found it: the 20th century


Today’s short post is about Xenakis, probably the only Greek architect composer to be shot in the face by a tank and live. Xenakis catalog is dense, deep and wide, but here are two of my favorite pieces, Bohor, a long form electronic piece made mostly of highly amplified soft sounds made with metal bracelets from the Eastern half of the world and Rebonds B, a percussion piece.  Here you can also follow the score to Metastasis. His music is highly mathematical and organized and was both composed for and influenced by architectural works, but even without knowing about all of that just listening to it can be deeply affecting and intense. MODE records has been systematically recording and releasing his works over the last few years on CD, which are more than worth buying (in my opinion, as long as you skip the vocal pieces) so check that out if you like. In the meantime you could spend your evening sight reading through this score:



Friday, January 11, 2013

dry cattle

what it is: dry cattle
where i found it: harry crews

I've posted about Harry Crews before, one of my favorite authors, back around the time that he died. You can read that (short) post here for a little overview of who the man is. Something recently inspired me to pick up one of his books again and I came across the below passage, describing his father, which has had me laughing for days. The entire book is available here on google reader, but that sure is a poor way to read much of anything. If you like this passage, Crews' A Childhood: the Biography of a Place is full of them.

There is no doubt that in that time he was, as they say in Bacon County, fond of lying out with dry cattle. Maidens, or at least those young ladies who had never had a child, were called dry cattle after the fact that a cow does not give milk until after giving birth to a calf. An unflattering way to refer to a woman, God knows, but then those were unflattering times.


He was also bad to go to the bottle, as so many men have been in the family.  He drank his whiskey and lay out with dry cattle and stayed in the woods at night running foxes and talking and laughing with his friends and was vain enough to have it recorded as often as he could with somebody’s camera.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

music history

what it is: music history
where i found it: someone sent it to me

The other day someone sent me this band bio, which I have to agree is one of the best I've seen. I think I've heard this band, but there is probably more than one band called Blasphemy. At any rate, aside from their claims to skinhead-dom, any band that is as much into power-lifting as they are into power-violence is alright with me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

interview #8 - tour swede




The Mr. Becos interview series continues with Mattias, also known as “Tourswede”, a European tour van driver and tour manager (as in bands, not tourists) and road drama logistics master based in Berlin. Highly recommended for your next tour of Europe.

Mr. Becos: To make sure I have my facts straight, you are a Swedish man living in Berlin who makes a living carting touring bands around the European continent? How many months a year do you spend in a band van?

Tour Swede: Correct!  I probably spend about three to five months of the year on the road . . .as an average. I am mainly involved with tour managing and driving.

 Mr. Becos: What do you do with the other half of the year?

Tour Swede: I spend most of the off-time biking around Berlin with a book looking for cafes to hang out in. Drinking coffee and buying/trading and playing records is a big hobby.

Mr. Becos:  Your job requires a lot of lifting. How do you keep your physique in optimum condition?

Tour Swede: I don't!  And one day it will all catch up with me! 

Mr. Becos:  You're also an outspoken advocate of daytime drinking (obviously when you’re not driving bands around and being the only responsible party for miles around). What are some of the benefits of getting intoxicated in the daylight?

Tour Swede: You usually have more energy and you are more awake.  And you are less likely to wake up with a hangover. 

 Mr. Becos: Sure, it gives you less morning hangovers, but don't you feel like shit after dinner?

Tour Swede: The trick is to avoid a big dinner . . . because that will for sure make you feel like garbage. You gotta snack your way through it. Cheesy toast, nuts... that kind of thing. 
Mr. Becos:  For better or worse, riding in a tour van is one of the most intensive ways of getting exposed to music. Can you recommend a couple of recent discoveries that our readers should either seek out and/or avoid?

 Tour Swede: The 2-3 minute songs can sometimes remind you of how long a journey can be. Drone, ambient or jazz can make it easier to forget time. And going against what I've just said . . . one of the best on-tour records for me is the Impulse album that John Coltrane recorded with Johnny Hartman. I recently got into Alice Coltrane's Lord of Lords which is a good travelling album. And OM is always good. For difficult and irritating days on tour my "go to" album is still always Entombed's Wolverine Blues. A recent discovery although not so new is the Jenny & Johnny (Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice) album I'm Having Fun Now. I had the pleasure of touring with them in Europe and I loved the music then. But the album keeps growing! I don't know how to describe it so best check it out.

Mr. Becos:  What is the worst country to tour in and why?

Tour Swede:  Italy can be weird because of the EVER-changing schedules and plans. 

Mr. Becos:  I had some friends whose gig got shut down by protesting Italian anarchists in Rome. Have you ever had to make a quick physical escape or physically fight off an Italian?

Tour Swede: Not Italians. But I did play in a band once upon a time and we had a show in Sweden where a bunch of "undesirables" turned up. Fights started happening and at one point, shortly after realizing there were undesirables there, we did a subtle escape down the emergency stairs round the back. It was one of the earliest tours and we were afraid the rented backline and mini van was gonna be stolen/smashed. And apart from us and the undesirables most of the punters were very young kids... so not an ideal place to take a stance for a fight... surrounded by expensive equipment. That night we decided not to stay in town so we drove on... getting stuck on the motorway in a terrible snow blizzard. We had to all sleep in the van, horn section and all, parked halfway down the road-side ditch. Ah . . .good times.

Mr. Becos:  Any other harrowing touring incidents worth discussing?

Tour Swede: Someone being very close to being electrocuted on stage due to faulty electrics. Could have been a real bad day on tour. Luckily a guitar string touched a certain metal part and when we saw the "fireworks display" we knew it was not all good. The local electrician found found it quite amusing for some reason. 

Mr. Becos: Is there anyone who you wouldn't mind slandering who you've been stuck in a van with who is an utter ass? If you do mind slandering/don't want to get beat up you can tell some bad stories and not use their real names.

Tour Swede: One band always spring to mind and they really were complete dick heads (most of them). I was surprised at how they managed to play shows considering how much they hated each other. Then I was not surprised they broke up shortly after the tour! Never heard a word about any of them ever playing in a band again. 

Mr. Becos:  I’ve heard you wax nostalgic about riding your bicycle in the freezing rain. I hate riding my bicycle in the freezing rain. Explain yourself.

Tour Swede: Remember there is no bad weather. Just bad clothing!

Mr. Becos:  What was your reaction when you found out that Rob Halford was a homosexual?

Tour Swede: I don't think anyone was surprised. We grew up in Sweden with a lot of rock/heavy rock and metal. And spending years watching your favorite bands dress in leather and tight pink spandex it was not something that raised that many eyebrows. 

Mr. Becos:  Do you have any time to make music yourself?

Tour Swede: Not any more. I noodle on the guitar when the girlfriend is away and that’s about it. 

Mr. Becos:  I like to ask every Northerner: why do you think that Scandinavians make such good metal?

Tour Swede: The environment. The mountains and desolate areas that surround us. The weather, the dark periods. The folklore of Scandinavia plays a part I think. A lot of the black and heavy metal that comes out of there is melodic and chimes closely with much of the pagan/folk heritage. And that music is in itself born out of the landscape, weather and old religions from that area. 

Mr. Becos:  You also have a good working knowledge of Turkish psychedelic music. Can you make some recommendations?

Tour Swede: I don't have that much knowledge actually... but Cecen Kizi is always a good starting point. Bosporus Bridges is a classic collection that everyone should own. 

Mr. Becos:  By now you would seem to know most of the techniques necessary for living through even the ugliest of tours. Shitty food, unsanitary conditions, nothing to eat or drink for days, sleeping on piles of garbage, etc. What advice would you give to young men and women striking out on tour for the first time?

Tour Swede: We work in bacteria hell and most places don't have soap... so always have a backup plan on how to clean your hands! And a clean pair of socks go a really long way... even on the real shitty days!!

Mr. Becos:  If people want you to be their Tour Swede how can they contact you?

Tour Swede: Well funny you should ask... I just completed my first website. Proper amateur-hour stuff but here it is . . .www.tourswede.com