My new niece, Catarina Elixabete Bea. :)
Duuuuuudes!! Happy Holidays!
I just back from a mama’s birth to twins at home. Although maybe I should say I got back from half of the birth because I only got there in time to see the second one born. Her contractions started at 12:10 am and baby A (later named Evelyn Grace) was born at 1:35 am and baby B (who became Thomas Maxwell) at 1:42 am. And they were perfect.
As both of them laid on her tummy and at her breasts they wriggled in their raw pink skin, whilst looking upon each other so familiarly and already aggressively suckling at the source of all the finest nectars. Ha ha :)
It was fast, intense, and if the mother’s face didn’t show it, her body did. She laid on the ground uncontrollably shaking and quivering as her body recovered from an act she could not completely fathom herself. It simply took over.
This was an exceptional experience. One that I am quite honored to have been apart of, as a 35-year-old woman who is now considered AMA (advanced maternal age) bearing twins would have been classified as high-risk and an automatic scheduled cesarean. Most physicians these days are unfortunately not trained for births like this anymore and simply perform surgeries out of fear, ego, and inconvenience.
However, this instinctual mama was followed by truly one of the most brilliant, caring, and trusting team of a doctor and a midwife present to support her in this seamless and dreamy birth.
I am elated and in love.
Updates? Do I! Well for starters, I just checked into our hotel in Aalborg, Denmark. Now for the historian and SYV native that I hope you are, Aalborg is known as Solvangs sister city. Yep big deal. We didn't have much time to enjoy the sights because we came in late after driving for ten hours today. It has been the biggest drive day thus far for the whole trip. Most of the drives have been 1-3 hours a day, which to us a piece of cake.
We just wrapped up a ten day run in the UK. We started in London and made our way west all the way to Dublin and back. The UK was supposed to be a dreadful place to tour from all of the stories we've heard. It wasn't that bad. It reminded us alot of the states in that you had to play shitty stages, in run down venues, with a staff that doesn't really go out of their way to feed you or accommodate you. This was only partly true. We lucked out with a booking agent who is a 24 year old dude from Glasgow named Jason, who we got to meet in London. He booked us at a lot of upstanding and legendary venues that pay well and have promoters who do a damn good job. London was an awesome night. We played to a pretty sizable crowd that came to see us which was super flattering. We played really well and made a big dent in the city for sure. We played in towns like Bristol, Brighton, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, the whole nine yards. Each town has incredible history and artifacts the second you step out of the door. In Bristol we walked through a cathedral made in the 12th century right before a ceremony was starting. One of the church peeps played the pipe organ where legend has it the legendary composer Handl had performed on back in the day. We walked through the same town and on this old cobblestone driveway they were filming a movie which was a period piece based in the 1920's. Everybody was dressed like they used to in London and there were old working trucks and bentleys and motorcycles playing the part with cranes and camerman and catering and crew and the like. I think it's intense putting on a rock show every night, I cant imagine planning all of the parts to make a movie.
That same night, we played on a Moored boat turned night club. We played on a Saturday night "where they don't normally have bands," said the sound guy. Right when we were about to play, we walked out on the balcony and there was a line down the street of people! We're talking hundreds of people. We soon realized that the entire high school population comes out to this spot every Saturday for club night in the downstairs room. We played to a packed house....of people on their way to get drinks and chat with their friends. There were about 4 people actually listening to us. It was a very funny night.
But there were some incredible nights with people who came to see us and only us, filled up rooms and made a really great night for us, especially in Birmingham. We played this old club called the Hare and Hounds where Zeppelin and the Stones apparently got their start. It was really awesome to actually check out these dreary cold foggy towns that bred all of these legendary acts. These people really had to fight their way through the muck to get noticed in the cities. Liverpool was also another crazy day. Liverpool, the home of the beatles was where we played a rad show at the Mojo, and had a day off the next day to explore. We walked down to the docks of the town, went to a couple of free art museums and continued to walk across town checking everything out. One of the biggest and oldest cathedrals in the UK, the Liverpool cathedral was one of the spots we saw on our walk. This fucker was huuuuuuge. Towering way into the clouds until its peaks went missing in the fog. So old! Nothing in America is that old. The ground you walk on is so seasoned here in the UK.
I could go on an on really. Another highlight for me was yesterday where we had a day off to travel to the coast and we picked up scent that a really cool town was only 45 minutes away from where we stayed the night before, the town of York. This was an old viking town that is completely surrounded by an ancient wall made in the 11th century. We have been going this whole trip without smart phones, so finding a good spot to eat had proved difficult. Luckily, when we got to York, we saw the Red Lion pub which was serving food. We walked inside this old run down wooden pub and had a seat in the corner. There was a roaring fire which kept us warm while we ate some Yorkshire pudding roast and drank Guinness. Yorkshire pudding is like a hand made bread bowl with pot roast, mashed potatoes, carrots and green beans mixed inside. It was the perfect frickin meal. I couldn't have asked for a better fix for the day. The lame part was we only got to explore a bit of the town before we had to leave to catch a ferry from eastern UK to the Netherlands. It was our first time taking a ferry that left at 11pm. We took it through the night and we each got our own rooms, a delicacy and a rarity. And wouldn't you know it, instead of me reveling in the solitude of my own room, I spent most of the night in the public deck drinking heineken and playing blackjack until 2am(i lost 10 euro). Adam bought a cheap bottle of whiskey before we boarded, so off an on beers with shitty whiskey didn't sit to well when I had to wake up at 6am and get into our van...for a 10 hour drive. I've been slamming airborne all day feeling a bit wooooozy. I've been surprised at my body's resilience. It's going to be put to the test this next week in Scandanavia. It's getting dark at 2:30 over here, and we wake up at 10 or 11. Not a whole lot of sun to soak in. Time to buy some vitamin D supplements.
Dude, and Dublin. AAAAH! Another town that we barely got to explore but wish we did. After a ferry ride and a lot of traffic, we only had time to play the show and soak up as much nightlife as we could before a 6 am departure BACK to Leeds. The club we played in has had some of the best bands of all time play there, everybody from U2 to Fleet Foxes and other indie bands like us, but the crowd was good sized and LOVED us. Hooting and hollering and dancing and smiling. Alot of people told us that Dublin has been hit really hard by the recession, and the fact that so many people came out to see us was a great accomplishment. I felt really honored. The recession apparently, doesn't effect entertainment and bars because the place was packed with people. The guiness was off the charts fresh and tasty, I swear it gets a little sour making the journey to the states. The promoter at the club put us up in a hotel for the night, which is rare in the UK, and luckily for us were weren't in the mood for sleeping. It was a scene where after we stayed at the venue until 2am drinkin, we walk up to check into the hotel and the guy looks at us with a funny grin, "you're in 156 tonight". Oh jesus. Behind the front desk there is a raging night club. Its like the Tonic of Dublin. People in kilts and bottles rolling on the ground and people dancing to Euro pop. Our room was right next to the dance club. Literally. We ended up rollin 7 deep into the heart of the dance floor and bumped and grinded with girls who slowly sifted back to their ever angrier boyfriends who were quite weary of us. We were too happy to notice. Most of us didn't sleep at all. I have my magical earplugs(which are my best friends on tour, I use them in the van, at night when I sleep, at the venues when you have to sit through shitty bands, so awesome) so I got 3 hours. Dublin had such a great vibe. I definitely want to go back there with more time someday.
All in all we've made our mark this year to say the least. I can't fucking wait to get home. We have 2 weeks left and then I get to go home, play a gig in LA the day after we get back (at 9am), then i'm freeeeeee. 2 months of no touring.
Did I tell you that we're playing *********(I can only tell family as of now:) ) next year? Keep it on the hush hush, it's not announced yet. But for us, and me personally, that's pretty crazy. Oh, and our song will be on Gossip girl tonight(monday at 8). Yahooo!! OH MY GOOOOD.
"10,000 filled the areas around the Occupy Portland encampments last night as the deadline approached for eviction. 12:01 am came and went but the cops could do nothing: too many supporters blocked their path. It was peaceful."
Two earthquakes yesterday in the bay!! It was thrilling.