decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

December 22, 2011

Europe 2011 Holiday : Music stuff we saw…

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music,Reflections,Travel — decoded_ @ 10:54 am

Berghain (Berlin, Germany)

Before I forget, here are the DJs, live acts, and bands we saw on our 2011 EU holiday…

AUGUST 2011…

27.08.2011 : Marcel Dettmann, James Ruskin, Ben Sims Vs Boris Werner, Speedy J [Live], Dave Clarke @ Mysteryland 2011 – Floriade , Haarlemmermeer (Outside Amsterdam, Netherlands)
28.08.2011 : Fiedel, Hey-O-Hansen [Live], Mark Ernestus, DJ Pete @ Wax Treatment – Horst Krzbrg (Berlin, Germany)


02.09.2011 : Ralphalfa, Alex Stacey @ Skrufix Label Launch Party – Edelweiss (Berlin, Germany)
03.09.2011 : Sandrien, Ratio [Live], Marcel Fengler, G-Man [Live], Norman Nodge @ Berghain 05 Mix CD Launch Party – Berghain (Berlin, Germany)
03.09.2011 : Prosumer, Soundstream, Vril, Dinky @ Panorama Bar (Berlin, Germany)
04.09.2011 : A Guy Called Gerald [Live] @ Vakant – Kater Holzig (Berlin, Germany)
04.09.2011 : Blake Baxter @ Blake Baxter & Friends – Tresor (Berlin, Germany)
05.09.2011 : Orchestral Manouvers In The Dark (O.M.D) [Live] @ IFA, Sommergarten (Berlin, Germany)
08.09.2011 : Duran Duran (Rehearsal Show) [Live] @ Junction 1 (Cambridge, United Kingdom)
10.09.2011 : Surgeon @ FACE Meets BUNKA – The Rainbow Hotel (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
16.09.2011 : Mike Dehnert Vs Roman Lindau @ The Mint Presents Fachwerk Records – Club Favela (Munster, Germany)

On Wednesday 21st September I left EU to head home to Sydney, Joanne stayed in EU/UK for 10 more days and also went to…

21.09.2011 : Phonique, Clé, Diogo Accioly @ Bonito House Club – Globus Tresor (Berlin, Germany)
22.09.2011 : Matt John, Benno Blome @ Bingo Bongo – Schoenwetter (Berlin, Germany)
23.09.2011 : Joey Beltram, Alan Sommerville @ Horst Krzbrg (Berlin, Germany)
23.09.2011 : Radio Slave, Vs Stacey Pullen, Lee Van Dowski @ Rekids Nacht – Panorama Bar (Berlin, Germany)
24.09.2011 : Svreca, Regis, Oscar Mulero, Marcel Dettmann @ Semantica Nacht – Berghain (Berlin, Germany)
25.09.2011 : Rabih Beaini [Live], Mark Pritchard, Mark Cremins, DJ Pete @ Wax Treatment – Horst Krzbrg (Berlin, Germany)
28.09.2011 : Function (Vinyl DJ Set), Alan Sommerville @ Bonito House Club (Vinyl Only Night) – +4Bar Tresor (Berlin, Germany)
30.09.2011 : Sandwell District, The Black Dog [Live], Richard H. Kirk @ Drumro[ll] 1st Birthday – Park Hill (Sheffield, United Kingdom)

Here below is how/where we spent our time in EU/UK…

AUGUST 2011…

Thu 25 : SYDNEY (Australia) / SINGAPORE
Fri 26 : FRANKFURT (Germany)
Sat 27 : FRANKFURT (Germany) / SCHIPOL / HAARLEMMERMEER (Netherlands)
Sun 28 : SCHIPOL (Netherlands) / BERLIN (Germany)
Mon 29 : BERLIN (Germany)
Tue 30 : BERLIN (Germany)
Wed 31 : BERLIN (Germany) / PRAGUE (Czech Republic)


Thu 01 : PRAGUE / KUTNA HORA / PRAGUE (Czech Republic)
Fri 02 : PRAGUE (Czech Republic) / BERLIN (Germany)
Sat 03 : BERLIN (Germany)
Sun 04 : BERLIN (Germany)
Mon 05 : BERLIN (Germany)
Tue 06 : BERLIN (Germany) / LONDON – Heathrow / WINDSOR (United Kingdom)
Wed 07 : WINDSOR / PORTSMOUTH / LONDON – Lee, Croydon, Lee (United Kingdom)
Thu 08 : LONDON – Harlesden / CAMBRIDGE / LONDON – Harlesden (United Kingdom)
Fri 09 : LONDON – Harlesden (United Kingdom)
Sat 10 : LONDON – Harlesden / BIRMINGHAM (United Kingdom)
Sun 11 : BIRMINGHAM / LONDON – Harlesden (United Kingdom)
Mon 12 : LONDON – Harlesden (United Kingdom) / STOCKHOLM (Sweden)
Tue 13 : STOCKHOLM (Sweden)
Wed 14 : STOCKHOLM (Sweden) / DUSSELDORF (Germany)
Thu 15 : DUSSELDORF (Germany)
Fri 16 : DUSSELDORF / MUNSTER (Germany)
Sat 17 : MUNSTER (Germany) / PARIS – Montmartre (France)
Sun 18 : PARIS – Montmartre (France)
Mon 19 : PARIS – Montmartre / BORDEAUX (France)
Wed 21 : BORDEAUX (France) / FRANKFURT (Germany) / SINGAPORE
Thu 22 : –
Fri 23 : SYDNEY (Australia)

Joanne stayed in EU/UK for 10 more days…

Wed 21 : BORDEAUX (France) / FRANKFURT / BERLIN (Germany)
Thu 22 : BERLIN (Germany)
Fri 23 : BERLIN / POTSDAM / BERLIN (Germany)
Sat 24 : BERLIN (Germany)
Sun 25 : BERLIN (Germany)
Mon 26 : BERLIN (Germany)
Tue 27 : BERLIN (Germany)
Wed 28 : BERLIN (Germany)
Thu 29 : BERLIN (Germany) / LONDON – Dalston (United Kingdom)
Fri 30 : LONDON – Dalston / SHEFFIELD (United Kingdom)


Sat 01 : SHEFFIELD / LONDON – Heathrow (United Kingdom) / SINGAPORE
Sun 02 : –
Mon 03 : SYDNEY (Australia)

August 15, 2011

Still Here / Europe 2011

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,General,Live Comedy,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 12:52 pm

Hello, yes I’m still around.

It’s winter here in Sydney. I’ve not been up to much really. Lots of indoor activities, watching TV shows and movies, playing Portal 2, making music with Ableton Live, and spending hours sorting through digital music files, as per usual spending more time doing that than actually mixing with any of the music, or sorting out how to use my MIDI controller with Traktor Scratch Pro, which reminds me I need to install the new version I bought ages ago. I’ve also been putting my track ID skills to use on the mixesdb site, track-listing a bunch of sets.

Still listening to lots of music, a lot of my own creations, but also John Tejada‘s ‘Parabolas’ album, is getting a lot of plays, it’s really grown on me to become one of my favourite recent electronic music albums.

With nothing much on music/club/techno wise of interest to me, I’ve had a 2 month break from clubbing. I couldn’t miss seeing Jesper Dahlbäck in early June, and Alex Smoke [Live] on the w/end just gone though, both at Chinese Laundry, but that’s all I’ve got out to recently. I enjoyed their sets, heard some great sounds, but they were far from special nights out.

Seeing Sandwell District play in Melbourne for 5+ hours in a small underground venue, through a Funktion One, back in April was a special night out, heard so much excellent techno music. Hoping for more of that on our holiday…


Joanne and I are heading off to Europe soon for a holiday. We’ll be visiting these places:

Netherlands / Amsterdam
Germany / Frankfurt, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Münster, Hamburg
Sweden / Stockholm
Czech Republic / Prague
France / Paris, Bordeaux, St. Emilion
United Kingdom / London, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Windsor

We’re looking forward to visiting new places, re-visiting some places we love, doing lots of walking and sightseeing, catching up with friends and family, eating lots of fine food, and drinking fine wines (Bordeaux!), and of course checking out a lot of techno/music events and club nights.

Joanne has done an amazing job of researching, and booking things for our holiday. It’s going to be a busy one, but we’re both keen for that.

We’re not spending as much time clubbing in Berlin as we did on our last holiday, but I think we’ll be enjoying a lot more music we’re passionate about. We had a lot of nights out in Berlin last time, that were fun, but we heard way too much uninspiring tech-house/house music.

We’re both very much back into techno these days, sounds from people like: Function, Regis, (Sandwell District), Silent Servant, DVS1, Peter Van Hoesen, Mike Dehnert, Surgeon, Marcel Fengler, Roman Lindau, Marcelus, Lucy, Planetary Assault Systems, Xhin, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Norman Nodge, and Skudge, you get the idea. So, we’re planning to try and see many of them play while on our holiday, they are all pretty much EU based.

Some music/club/techno things we’ve locked in already, that I’m excited about…

The day after we arrive… Mystery Land 2011 in Amsterdam, which techno wise features: Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Richie Hawtin, Ben Sims, and in the Electric Deluxe area: Marcel Dettman, James Ruskin, Marcel Fengler, Speedy J and Dave Clarke. The event is huge! Hoping to see Rodriguez Jr. as well.

A Fachwerk label night with Mike Dehnert and Roman Lindau in Münster.

Seeing Surgeon playing in his hometown Birmingham.

A night at Berghain in Berlin with G-Man [Live], Norman Nodge, Marcel Fengler and more. Just excited to be going to Berghain again really.

I’ll list up the events properly soon.

As excited as I am to be heading off to Europe, still a little disappointed that back in Sydney while I’m away in September, I’ll be missing music events with Robag Wruhme, and Lucy. I’ve actually seen Robag Wruhme play before anyway. Plus stand up comedian Louis CK, and legend of comedy John Cleese. Have some laughs for me if you’re going.

Stephen Merchant
Stephen Merchant

Speaking of comedy, whilst we’re in London, we’ll be heading to dubstep’s home Croydon, to see UK comedy legend Stephen Merchant of Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington fame, doing his stand up show. Looking forward to that. I enjoyed hearing him voice Wheatley in the Portal 2 game. Enjoyed that game, but found it a little too easy puzzle wise.

More soon.

March 24, 2010

April / Comedy / Music

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Live Comedy,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 10:28 am

Sydney Comedy Festival 2010

So the Sydney Comedy Festival for 2010 is coming up, it’s on 19th April – 9th May, with a heap of international, national and local comedic performers, at various venues around Sydney. Go here for more info:

Joanne and I are going to see these guy’s stand-up shows:

Jeremy Hotz
Eddie Ifft
Russell Kane
Tom Green

We’ve seen Jeremy and Eddie a couple of times, and always enjoy their show, very different styles, both very funny. I’m scared and exited about seeing Tom Green for the first time live, we’ve got front row seats. Russell we saw recently on a Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala TV show and thought he was very funny, keen to check him out live. Hoping Arj Barker announces some shows soon. Might see if we can get to one of the Cracker Night events too.

Not many of our friends seem to share our enthusiasm for live stand-up comedians, but we love it, laughing till we hurt, great stress relief.


April is going to be a crazy busy month for us, on top of those comedic outings, music wise we’re also going out to see Seth Troxler, Agoria, and Redshape [Live]. If Chymera wasn’t on the same night as Agoria we would probably go to see him too.

Derrick May is also coming to Australia in April, but, is only playing one gig Alchemy in Melbourne, annoyed about that, keen to see him play again.

*UPDATE* Just announced! Derrick May (5 Hour Set) @ Picnic Presents… – 202 : Sunday 18th April (4pm-Midnight)

Speaking of Detroit techno, last night Claude Young announced he’s also playing in Australia in April at Every Picture Tells A Story, but looks like he’s not playing anywhere else, and it’s a super short visit downunder, damn!

There are heaps of other tech-house internationals on in April too, but I’m going to be a lot more selective as to who I see this year.

We’re also having an 80’s flash back in April, going to see Tears For Fears and Spandau Ballet together live in concert.

May starts off busy with the Creamfields festival at the Entertainment Quarter on the 1st with some tasty old-school techno names: Dave Clarke, Steve Rachmad, Green Velvet plus Joris Voorn and a whole heap more. Hoping for a dedicated techno area to keep ‘that’ crowd well away.

I think after all this, we’ll be content to stay home for months and save $ for our next Europe trip later this year, looking forward to getting crazy with our Sydney friends living in Berlin and London.

September 8, 2009

U.S.A last week of the holiday…

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,General,Live Comedy,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 2:20 pm

So, jumping in back in time a couple of weeks here. Before I forget, here’s a list of what we got up to in the last week of our U.S.A holiday, in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

San Francisco – 4 days

– Door to door SuperShuttle mini-bus van to/from the airport.
– Stayed at the Orchard Hotel on Bush Street.
San Francisco Movie Tour – filming locations tour on a mini-bus
– Visited the Yoda statue/fountain at the Letterman Digital Arts Centre which also has the HQ of Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts & LucasFilms, visited the foyer of LucasFilms, full of Star Wars stuff.
– Saw San Francisco City Hall used in films like A View To A Kill, and Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
– Saw the Golden Gate Bridge.
– Saw the Painted Ladies (houses) in Alamo Square, and Lower Haight.
– Checked out Pier 39, saw the stinky and funny sea lions at early evening one day, and afternoon another.
– Walked up and down hills.
– Rode on the MUNI cable cars, trolley cars, trams, electric buses (trolleybus)
– Ate chinese food for lunch in Chinatown.
– Visited Tweekin’ records, where Sydney’s club Tweekin’ got it’s name.
– Walked up and down Lombard Street, very pretty.
– Shopped in the Westfield and around Union Square area.
Transamerica Pyramid (where Miles works in Electic Dreams (movie)).
– Saw Miles & Madeline’s apartment 1117 Mason St. from Electric Dreams (movie).
– Had a drink in Francis Ford Coppola’s Cafe Zoetrope.
– Saw TV show Trauma being filmed in North Beach.
– Got annoyed at restaurants all closing their kitchens at 9.30pm when we were ready for dinner.
– Bought Levis jeans, so cheap!
– Walked around The Castro area, saw The Castro theatre, showing Bruno!
– walked up Haight Street, saw the Haight & Ashbury intersection.
– Ate and drank at the Magnolia Pub.
– Saw the Grateful Dead house.
– Saw Janis Joplin’s house.
– Visited the free San Francisco Cable Car Museum.
– Went to M5 Industries (Mythbusters) and took photos outside.
– Rode in taxis.
– Saw John Tejada & Steve Bug DJ at Mezzanine club.
– Saw Washington Square Park (Dirty Harry movie opening scene).
– Saw Saint Peter & Saint Paul Church Washington Square, North Beach.
– Bought Depeche Mode CDs and 12″ at Rasputin Movies & Music.
– Bought more plain T-shirts at Gap.
– Night tour of Alcatraz Island.
– My girlfriend Joanne broke her ankle on Alcatraz Island, an hour into the tour.
– Rode in a San Francisco Fire Dept ambulance.
– Spent hours at St. Francis Memorial Hospital ER department.
– Ate take away pizza at 2am at the hotel.
– Joanne spent a lot of time talking with, e-mailing and faxing the travel insurance people.

Los Angeles – 3 days

– Upgrade to premium economy class because of Joanne’s foot/splint from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
– Because of Joanne’s foot, she got assigned an airport security person to push her around in a wheelchair and we went to the front of every line/security checkpoint.
– Door to door shuttle mini-bus van to/from the airport.
– Stayed in the Hilton Checkers in Downtown, very nice! Great staff too.
– Saw Inglourious Basterds at Laemmle’s Grande 4-Plex theatre.
– Pushed Joanne around in the hotel’s own wheelchair, which we borrowed a few times.
– Caught up with an L.A based Internet techno friend Greg Riot Nrrd for Japanese lunch, in Little Tokyo.
– Saw the Disney Concert Hall.
– Ate a lot of room service, and at the hotel Checkers Downtown restuarant.
– Went to the Laugh Factory (West Hollywood), laughed for 4 hours, went to see secret guest stand-up comedian Jeremy Hotz (thanks to his Facebook update), and got the awesome surprise bonus of Dane Cook turning up. Other comedians performing on the night: Neal Brennan, Bobby Lee, Sebastian Maniscalco and a bunch more I can’t remember.
– It cost us almost $100 in a taxi to get from Downtown to West Hollywood and back, not cheap!
– Joanne spent a lot of time talking with, e-mailing and faxing the travel insurance people.
– Bought space invader key chains from the MOCA shop, didn’t get to visit the MOCA gallery/museum.
– Had a look around the downtown area we were staying in, walking by some filming locations of the movie Collateral.
– Pushed Joanne to/from Macey’s Downtown in a wheelchair, for some last minute shopping.
– Ate spanish food for late lunch, early dinner before heading to LAX.
– Travel insurance arranged for Joanne to fly home in Business Elite class, I stayed in economy.
– Bought a bunch of Godiva chocolate, perfume/edt, and alchohol duty free at LAX, so cheap!
– Watched on-demand movies on the flight home: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Matrix Revolutions, The Soloist, Pride & Glory.

More as I remember it.

September 4, 2009

Back home in Sydney via Los Angeles…

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Films,General,Live Comedy,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 9:45 am

Hello, just a quick update, sorry for the lack of info. We arrived back home in Sydney mid last week. It’s sad the holiday is over, and it’s no fun to be back at work. I miss being outside, walking around, doing and seeing new stuff.

So, as you may have heard, we had some drama during the last week of our holiday, my girlfriend broke her ankle on a tour of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. She’s doing ok, much better now that she has a proper cast on (done here in Sydney this week) that she can walk on, to replace the temporary splint. She had to wait for all the swelling to go down from the injury and from the flight home before a cast could be put on. She got a little bit of DVT too, it’s all being looked after. Travel insurance should cover all the U.S.A medical, hospital, and ambulance $ costs. She got an upgrade to business elite class for the long haul, Los Angeles to Sydney flight home, allowing her to keep her foot/leg elevated, but not the best way to experience an upgrade is it. I have to say, everyone we came into contact with when it happened, and for our last days of travels and accomodation in the USA, was really helpful, friendly and genuinely concerned.

Being on crutches didn’t stop Joanne going to see Steve Bug & John Tejada DJing at Mezzanine in San Francisco, on our last night there, and then having 4 hours sleep before flying to Los Angeles. John Tejada was great, similar set/sounds to what/how he played in Chicago, starting with more deep-house/tech-house sounds, then getting into tougher, percussive and jackin’ techno beats in the middle, and then ending with some of his trademark melodic styles/sounds. We’re loving his remix of Bomb The Bass, due out soon, and his rework of Opus 3/Orbital’s Fine Day/Halcyon that he’s been ending his sets with recently. Steve Bug was great for the first 40 minutes, but then I kinda lost interest. Cool club though, great crowd, they know how to tune/run their Funktion One systems over there, that’s for sure. Smart Bar in Chicago had the same.

So, after San Francisco, we were in Los Angeles for 3 days, staying in downtown. We didn’t get up to a whole lot there, we ate a lot of room service. Made it out to the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood one night, and saw 4 hours of stand up comedians, with special secret guests Jeremy Hotz and Dane Cook! Laughed till we hurt, enjoyed that a lot. We decided to do that instead of seeing Steve Bug @ Avalon, and from what I heard after about that party/crowd, we made the right choice, too many people not there for the music I heard. We also got out to the movies on the other night, to see Inglourious Basterds, it was good, but not one of my fave Tarantino movies I have to say. Not sure if I mentioned, whilst we were in Chicago we saw a couple of movies there too: District 9 and Public Enemies, I loved District 9, was disappointed in Public Enemies, expected more from Michael Mann, Johnny Depp was great though. On the flight home to Sydney, I really enjoyed the new Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx movie The Soloist, fantastic, go see it.

Anyway, will update this with more travel memories soon.

Will start blogging about Sydney’s techno/minimal scene again soon too. Some sh*t has gone down, looks like no more Lost Baggage, and those who were involved, have split and are doing separate things now. There are a heap of house/techno/minimal internationals coming to play down under over the next few months… Audion[Live], Oxia, Dave Aju, Omar S, Ame, Robert Hood, Michel Cleis, Slam, Steve Bug, Johnny D, Butch, Umek, Format B, Erol Alkan, Aeroplane, Henrik Schwarz, Glimpse [Live], Move D, Junior Boys, Alter Ego, DJ Pierre, Kolombo/Mugwump, Miss Kittin & The Hacker, John Dahlback, Laurent Garnier, Jamie Jones, Marco Carola, Nick Curly and more. No doubt many will be on the same night, which is always annoying. I hope to get out to a lot of them.

More soon, hope you’re all well.

August 20, 2009

San Francisco…

Filed under: General,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 6:34 am

Hello from San Francisco. We’re having a lazy, sleep in, late start today, something we’ve not done much of at all so far on this holiday.

I’ve just been updating the previous couple of posts on my blog, and Googling around for some details of things we want to see and do here in San Francisco. We plan to take it easy, and only do a few things here. Later this afternoon, we’re doing a mini-bus film/TV tour thing again, we’ve really enjoyed doing these, a nice way to see around a city, see sights and entertaining filming locations for many of our fave films and TV shows. They have video systems on the bus, so you get to see clips of the actual location you’re visiting.

The hotel we’re staying in here, The Orchard Hotel, is really nice, probably the nicest, largest, quietest, most comfortable room of our trip so far, and one of the cheaper ones too, go figure. Joanne has done a fantastic job of researching and booking all the places we’ve stayed. They are lower end hotels, affordable, and have all been clean, safe, modern, quiet, comfortable, well serviced, and located close by to all the things we’ve wanted to see and do, makes for a very enjoyable holiday.

So yesterday was our first day here, starting late in the afternoon. Door to door mini van from airport to hotel. After checking into the hotel, we ventured out and had a walk around. We see cable cars, buses powered by overhead electricity, and… it’s colder here! About 10-15 degrees cooler than the east coast, a cold wind, no humidity. We finally get to use the jackets we brought.

They don’t have meals on flights here (well not with AA economy) across U.S.A. So we had nothing to eat for 5-6 hours, between breakfast and late afternoon, choice of food on the flight, for purchase, is nuts, potato chips, crackers and cheese. Hungry! We ate some Chinese food from a dodgy looking place in Chinatown, that had a bunch of people inside. The food was great, we over ordered but ate it all anyway. We’re staying close to the Chinatown area, so I can have… Big Fun In Little China!

Speaking of food, over the last few weeks it seems we’ve eaten from all over the world: Chinese, Italian, Japanese, French, Spanish, American, Modern American, Modern Asian, and Korean. I think we need to find some Thai, Greek and German restaurants now. We did try to find the Halo Berlin carts in New York but failed. I guess we could add Australian food as well, we brought along a jar of Vegemite, and had it on buttered muffins and bagels in Chicago for breakfast at the hotel one morning.

So anyway, here in San Francisco, yesterday afternoon, we had a look around Chinatown, saw the Transamerica Pyramid, and then ventured to Market Street, checked out the Westfield, saw Union Square, did some shopping, ventured up Powell Street, came across a massive, multi-level, new and second hand movie and music shop, called Rasputin Music & Movies, spent an hour in there looking at CDs, DVDs, and Vinyl. I bought some more old Depeche Mode albums on CD, ‘Some Great Reward’ and ‘People Are People’, brand new for $7 each. Had a quick look in the vinyl area, and found and bought a 12″ of Depeche Mode ‘Personal Jesus’, which I didn’t have. I seem to be buying a lot of Depeche Mode music this trip, I wonder why? Speaking of Depeche Mode, Joanne and I can’t seem to empty our heads of the Depeche Mode song ‘Shake The Disease’, I think we heard it at the after party, more than 2 weeks ago… “You know how hard it is for me… To shake the disease… That takes hold of my tongue… In situations like these… Understand me… Understand me…”

Anyway, must wake Joanne, and get into our day. Thanks for reminding me of Tweekin’ records Matt too, shall check it out.


August 19, 2009

Hello from the sky… Between Chicago and San Francisco…

Filed under: General,Travel — decoded_ @ 6:48 am

Hello, I’m posting this from the plane, using American Airlines Gogo Internet Wi-Fi service, it works well. We’re about 40 minutes away from landing in San Francisco. Joanne is reading her San Francisco Encounter Lonely Planet book, doing research and ‘enjoying the silence’ with her noise canceling headphones on. I’ve got my iPod blasting into my ears, listening to various Depeche Mode songs. I scored the ‘Black Celebration’ and ‘Music For The Masses’ albums on CD for $11 each in Boston, at a Barnes & Nobble.

There are some amazing landscapes down below flying from east coast to west coast, mountain ranges, cities, towns, mountain tops with snow, forests, rivers, lakes, deserts, salt pans, canyons, farming lands looking like a patch work quilt from this height. Hope you’re all well. Speak again from the ground.

August 16, 2009

Hello from Chicago, via New York, Boston…

Filed under: Art,Clubbing & Gigs,Films,Food,General,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 5:49 am

Hello from Chicago, via New York, Boston…

Sorry for the lack of posting here. We brought along Joanne’s laptop with us to the U.S.A, excited to be able to easily update our blogs with all our travels and adventures, during them. But, it’s been difficult to find the time, with so much to see and do, then collapsing at the end of every day into bed. We’ve been doing so much walking around, it’s great, but sore feet! It’s been awesome having a laptop with us, very handy. I wish Joanne’s iPhone’s Internet/data was working though.

We’re having a fantastic time, so much fun. I’m really surprised at how much we’re enjoying the U.S.A. This trip has really changed our (media influenced) perception of America and Americans. They are lovely people, polite, friendly and helpful, although that’s seen mostly through their amazing customer service, and obviously $ play a part. But we’ve had some great chats with random people we’ve met too, who are interested to hear about your travels and experiences, people are not afraid to strike up a conversation with strangers, like they are in Sydney.

Our flight with Delta from Sydney to Los Angeles was great, good cabin service, excellent on-demand video system, watched many movies and TV shows, decent food, smooth flight etc. The Los Angeles airport experience and flight to New York was far from great though, and very scary. We had the worst turbulence coming into land at New York JFK, I really thought we were going down any moment. Then we had a worrying 30 minute wait for the other half of our bags to finally turn up on the carousel at baggage collection. The queues and security checkpoints are a long wait, we’ve had many. I can’t believe how dirty, old and rundown LAX and JFK airports are, maybe it’s just the terminals Delta use. Customs and immigration all went well, was pretty quick, photo with glasses off and electronic scan of fingers and thumb of prints each hand, and welcome to the U.S.A.

Weather here has been hot, very hot, and it’s a lot more humid than I was expecting. And we’re had more hot days in a row than we’re used to in Sydney. We’ve probably had equal amounts of clear blue and overcast cloud covered skies. We’ve only had a couple of days where it rained or there was drizzle, but it didn’t last for long, quick storms. I think I’m going to be coming home with a tan, crazy! It’s certainly nice to be in warmer weather, coming from Sydney’s winter. Speaking of winter, it’s hard to imagine everything being covered in snow and ice during their winter when it’s this hot here.

So, Depeche Mode in New York, the main reason for our trip. The first concert we arrived late, missed 2 songs, and were seated side on to the action, half way down the arena, which was disappointing (these were the fan pre-sale ticket seats!), but they sounded fantastic, and the show looked amazing. Huge LED RGB giant (TV) screen behind them, with a half sphere LED RGB screen in the top/middle. Every song had a unique look, and visual/video. I’m sure there are loads of photos and YouTube clips around so you can see what I’m talking about. They used a lot of red and blue colours during the show with the lighting. I loved how they moved the lighting rigs around as part of the show too, and I don’t mean just up and down, during one song the lighting rigs looked like a bird flying, or ocean ripples, like a modulating syne wave, amazing. I tired to take some photos but our little old digital camera is really crap for photo’s at night in low light, and 3x optical zoom didn’t get anywhere near close enough to make it worth while.

Second concert, the next night we were on the dance floor, in the middle, about 20 rows back from the main stage, behind the VIP area, perfect spot, it sounded so much better, and the show looked fantastic front on. They give a fantastic performance, Dave Gahan sounded great, and jumps around like he’s 20 years younger. I decided to not bother with any photos the second night (although they would have looked great being so much closer), and just dance, enjoy the show, and make the most of the experience, and I’m really glad I did. I had a fantastic time. They played a slightly different set on the 2 nights too, which was nice. I was really happy that they played so many more of their older songs, I feared they may just play mostly the new album, which hasn’t really grown on me.

I’ve finally seen Depeche Mode live, and they were awesome! Here is the song list of the Monday night…

In Chains
Hole To Feed
Walking In My Shoes
It’s No Good
A Question Of Time
Fly On The Windscreen
Little Soul
Come Back
Policy Of Truth
In Your Room
I Feel You
Enjoy The Silence
Never Let Me Down Again

Encore #1
Master And Servant

Encore #2
Personal Jesus
Waiting For The Night (Bare Version)

On the Tuesday night, they replaced ‘Little Soul’ with ‘Jezebel’, ‘Home’ with ‘A Question Of Lust’, and ‘Come Back’ with ‘Miles Away/The Truth’. The bare version of ‘Waiting For The Night’ at the end, has Martin and Dave out at the end of the catwalk extending from the main stage (5m away from us), singing together, with just the main simple keyboard lines (played by the drummer), then later the other keyboardist and Fletch join in. A really beautiful way to end off.

I was going to write in detail about what we’ve been up to, but I think that would fill a book, so, here’s a list of what we’ve been up to, quickly off the top of my head, in no particular order. I’m sure there will be some forgotten things and spelling errors here, I’ll fix them up with later edits.

New York – 9 days

– Stayed in the Stanford Hotel, on W 32nd Street, between Broadway & Fifth, aka Korea Way.
– Blk|Market warehouse minimal/techno party in Williamsburg, 500+ people, with Euro guests Hugo and Reboot playing live, couldn’t stay awake past 5am, so missed seeing Reboot. Hugo was ok. The party went till noon!
– Depeche Mode @ Madison Square Garden, Mon & Tue night concerts.
– Deep Space @ Club Love (moved from Cielo for 2 weeks) with DJs Cosmo & Francois K, such awesome range of music/set flow.
– Depeche Mode After Party @ Rebel NYC, one of the best after parties I’ve ever been too. Way too much to drink.
– Met a DM fan from Finland who had Violator tattoos on his arms, and travels the world seeing them as often as possible.
– Ferry to Statue Of Liberty, went up inside it to the crown lookout as well, very cool, and hot!
– Empire State Building observatory at night.
– Spent a lot of time in queues and going through security checkpoints!
– Amazed at the amount of people and different races and languages.
– Rockefeller Centre Building, top of the rock, observatory by day.
– NBC TV Studio tour, kinda lame, but the NBC shop, full of TV show merchandise, was awesome.
– Visited Godiva chocolate shops.
– Joanne spent a small fortune in La Maison Du Chocholat.
– Located the Ghost Busters firehouse.
– Went to Chinatown and located Brett & Jermaine’s apartment and Dave’s pawn shop from Flight Of The Conchords.
– Ate Korean food, Korean food, and more Korean food, our hotel was on Korea Way, and just down from Madison Square Garden.
– Ate lots of healthy food from a place called Speedys.
– Got drunk and danced, and got drunk some more. Love the heavy pour with spirits here, or is it the altitude that makes us drunk quicker?
– Guggenheim Museum.
– MoMA Museum.
– Went through Central Park… in a taxi.
– Restaurants: Buddakan, Balthazar, Grand Central Oyster Bar.
– Times Square by day and night.
– Theatre District.
– Grand Central Station.
– Caught lots of subway trains.
– Went to Warm Up 2009 @ PS.1 MoMA – DJ Lovefingers.
– Hung out with Sydney friends, their friends and relatives, made new friends.
– Ate a pastrami on rye with pickles at Katz’s Deli.
– Shopped in SoHo, and all over Manhattan.
– Bought sneakers, sneakers and more sneakers, $40-$60 USD for Adidas Superstar IIs! Nike is king here though.
– Clothes are so cheap here! So much range too.
– Flatiron building.
– Cocktails & tapas at Bar Onda in the financial district.
– Wine Bar called Cava in the upper east side.
– Bunker @ Public Assembly Brooklyn – Stephen Beaupre, Smirk, Alka Rex live and other DJs.
– Saw Brooklyn by night, didn’t get there during daylight hours.
– Spent too much on hotel laundry services, not doing that again.
– Bought another suitcase because we bought too much stuff.
– Spent a lot of time/days in a T-Mobile store trying to get Internet/data working on Joanne’s iPhone with a T-Mobile pre-paid, it’s still not working properly.
– Got sore feet, slept very soundly.

Philadelphia – 1 day
– Joanne and Motoko (friend from Sydney) went to Barnes Foundation Museum.

Boston – 4 days

– Caught an Amtrak train from New York to Boston, wow it’s green and lush along that route.
– Watched USA FTA TV (so bad!) and bits of movies on cable TV – Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Depeche Mode 101, Batman Begins.
– Stayed on Hereford Street, just off trendy Newbury Street in Back Bay, in a brown stone walk up.
– Enjoyed dragging 3 heavy suitcases up 4 stories of stairs, not.
– Movie & TV walking tour, Joanne loved all the Matt Damon stuff.
– Boston Common (park) & Public Garden.
– Played with squirrels.
– Museum Of Fine Arts – Joanne and Rowena
– Museum Of Science – Dave, watched the Theatre Of Electricity.
– Student led walking tour of Harvard.
– Visited more Godiva chocolate stores.
– Visited 500 Boylston – The building where Boston Legal (TV Show) is set.
– Ate all up and down Newbury street, taking advantage of Boston’s restaurant week, with cheap set menus, ate French, Spanish, and Modern American.
– Quincy Markets.
– Caught the ‘T’ subway trains/trams around Boston.
– Bought a Boston Red Sox t-shirt, didn’t get to Fenway Park.
– New England Aquarium, some amazing marine life there.
– Shopped at the Prudential Centre, ate lunch above the (closed) observatory, at the Top Of The Hub restaurant.
– Ate Italian in the North End.
– Got sore feet, slept very soundly.
– Flew from Boston Logan to Chicago O’Hare airports.
– Used a laptop on a plane for the first time, I can see why business people get smaller laptops.

Chicago – 5 days

– Stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites on E Ohio Street, between N State and N Wabash Streets, in the middle of the city.
– Ate Italian dinner @ Uno, spaghetti and meatballs, we’re not fans of deep-dish pizza.
– Ate Japanese dinner @ Oysy, 2 nights in a row.
– Ate huge meat sandwiches for lunch @ Weber Grill.
– Checked out the Rock’N’Roll McDonalds (just down the road from where we stayed).
– Visited more Godiva chocolate stores, everywhere in the U.S.A, only at David Jones in Australia!
Architecture Foundation River Cruise, got rained on 3/4 through, when a storm came in for about 20 minutes.
– Visited the Art Institute of Chicago, Awesome!
– Had drinks and food at Emmit’s Irish Pub (Where George & Matt chat in Oceans 11)
– Shopped at the Water Tower Place, and rode in the elevators, the same elevators in the movie Class where they…
Chicago Film Tour – Mini-Bus, fantastic way to see much of Gotham City/Chicago.
Millennium Park – Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lurie Gardens.
– Caught the Chicago ‘L’ trains, still a bit confused by them, but we managed to get around.
Wrigley Field, hours after a game had ended, saw lots of drunken Cubs fans everywhere.
– Saw John Tejada DJ @ Smart Bar, danced and danced, until the lights came on, and the music stopped.
– Chatted with John Tejada afterwards.
– Shopped and walked all up and down Michigan Ave aka The Magnificent Mile.
– Went over, under, around the Michigan Ave Bridge, where Keanu escpaes in the movie Chain Reaction.
– Traveled along Lower Wacker Drive, where tunnel like Batman and Blues Brothers car chase scenes were filmed.
– Went to the movies, saw District 9 (packed cinema at 10.30pm on a Sunday night), and Public Enemies
Sears (Willis) Tower.
– Walked along Lake Shore Drive, saw Lake Michigan.
– Saw and heard Air-Force jets screaming overhead as part of the Chicago Air & Water Show, over 3 days.
– Saw the Picaso ‘Chicago Picasso’ and Alexander Calder ‘Flamingo’ sculptures at the Daley and Federal Plazas.
– Bought yet another suitcase, because we have bought too much stuff, and it costs less to travel with more bags than have heavy bags.
– Bought North Face backpacks, so cheap!
– Had our best/fave meal so far, at The Gage, modern American/Euro food.

So, we’re off to San Francisco next for 3-4 days, then Los Angeles for 2 days, and then fly back home…

While in San Francisco we also get to see Steve Bug & John Tejada at a Poker Flat Party @ Mezzanine, and in Los Angeles we’re seeing Steve Bug again. We didn’t plan our trip around seeing these guys, it just turned out they were playing on the w/ends, we were in those cities.

Thanks for reading, hope you’re all well.

Photo’s here:

More coming soon.

Cheers Dave

July 26, 2009


Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 12:26 pm

USA Flag

So we’re off to the U.S.A for a holiday in August, heading up from downunder. I’ve never been to the U.S.A before. Main reason for the holiday is to see Depeche Mode live in New York. One of my all time fave bands and I’ve never seen them play live before. We’re going to both their Madison Square Garden concerts, excitement!

Depeche Mode - Tour Of The Universe 2009

I’m looking forward to having a holiday too, I’ve not had a decent break since our Europe trip in 2007. We’re spending the most time in New York, visiting Philadelphia for a day, and spending an extended w/end in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

It’s pure luck that we’re also getting to see our fave German minimal DJ/producer from Berlin, Steve Bug play in San Francisco and Los Angeles on the w/ends we’re there. We also get to see probably our most fave producer, Los Angeles based John Tejada play as well, in Chicago and with Steve Bug in San Francisco, woot!

No shortage of other minimal/tech-house/techno things happening to get out to whilst we’re in the New York, if we still have the energy after sight-seeing all day, below is what we’re planning to get out to.

~ ~ ~ ~

NEW YORK [Fri 31 July – Sat 8 Aug]

01.08.09 : Reboot [Live], Hugo [Live] + More @ Blk|Market Membership – Secret Location

03.08.09 : Depeche Mode [Live] @ Madison Square Garden
03.08.09 : After Party Of The Universe @ Rebel
04.08.09 : Depeche Mode [Live] @ Madison Square Garden
04.08.09 : After Party Of The Universe @ Rebel

03.08.09 : Francois K, DJ Cosmo @ Deep Space – Club Love (Relocating from Cielo for 2 weeks)

06.08.09 : GummiHz @ We Love Techno – Suilvan Room

07.08.09 : Akufen, Stephen Beaupré, Vincent Lemieux, Derek Plaslaiko, Spinoza, Normal Ones, Smirk, Attentat, Naudio, Kate Lesta @ Mutek Presents Musique Risquée Showcase @ The Bunker – Public Assembly

08.08.09 : Various Artists @ BEMF – Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival – The Old American Can Factory

08.08.09 : Various Artists @ Warm Up 2009 – P.S.1 MoMA Contemporary Art Center – Long Island

~ ~ ~ ~


Just visiting for the day, art museums, American history…

~ ~ ~ ~

BOSTON [Sun 9 Aug – Wed 12 Aug]

Having a rest after our busy time in NYC!

~ ~ ~ ~

CHICAGO [Thu 13 Aug – Mon 17 Aug]

14.08.09 : John Tejada @ SmartBar

~ ~ ~ ~

SAN FRANCISCO [Tue 18 Aug – Fri 21 Aug]

21.08.09 : Steve Bug, John Tejada @ Pokerflat 10 Year Anniversay – Mezzanine

~ ~ ~ ~

LOS ANGELES [Sat 22 Aug – Mon 24 Aug]

22.08.09 : Steve Bug, Dan Berkson & James What [Live], Adultnapper @ Avaland 5 Year Anniversary – Avalon

~ ~ ~ ~

Reboot, Hugo @ BLK|MarketFrankois K, Cosmo @ Love

Depeche Mode - Tour Of The UniverseDepeche Mode - After Party Of The Universe

GummiHz @ We Love TechnoMusique Risquée Showcase @ The Bunker

Brooklyn Electronic Music FestivalJohn Tejada @ SmartBar

Steve Bug, John Tejada @ Mezzanine

November 24, 2008


Filed under: Films,Food,Music,Travel — decoded_ @ 1:27 pm

The Hotel Windsor

I just had a fantastic w/end away in Melbourne with Joanne, celebrating 10 years together. We stayed at the lovely, old, Victorian era, grand Hotel Windsor. Lots of character, so much nicer than the trendy boutique hotels. Old-school service, porters, concierge, a top hat wearing doorman greats you on entry… “Welcome to the Hotel Windsor”. We took advantage of their pillow menu there, made for great nights sleep. Very enjoyable stay.

We had some fantastic food in Melbourne, as you do!

A nine course French degustation dinner at Vue Du Monde for 5 hours. An amazing experience of flavours, textures and innovative food presentation, such rich beautiful food. It’s up there equal with Tetsuya’s for an awesome degustation experience for me. Going there was the main reason we went to Melbourne, and I’m very glad we did. It’s also exciting not knowing what food is coming next, with no menus. They e-mailed us exactly what food and wine we had the next day. Fantastic personal service too.

We had a great Japanese lunch at Yu-U as soon as we arrived into Melbourne. We had some great modern Spanish tapas dishes and cocktails, dropping into Bar Lourinha a couple of times, which was just around the corner from where we stayed. I highly recommend their ‘Stolen Town Bike’ cocktail. We had more excellent Spanish tapas and cocktails at the very popular Movida, also picking up a copy of their new book on the way out. We caught up with friends at Babka Bakery Cafe for some Russian style food for lunch, which was ok, it’s not as good as it used to be there. We had a great breakfast our first morning at the hotel in the grand ballroom. The next morning we had a late breakfast at Madame SouSou in Brunswick, which was excellent. Moments before heading to the airport we also managed to pop into The Supper Club, just up the road from the hotel, for a quick wine, jamon, and olives fix, seated in the comfy, well worn, old-school, red leather couches, great place, we had it all to our selves, as it had just opened for the night.

We couldn’t visit Melbourne without also having some Trampoline gelato. I love their Likrish, and Peanut Nutter flavours, and managed to find/have them again, which made me very happy. Joanne loves the Lemon, and Lychee n Lime flavoured sorbets.


Chocolate! Joanne enjoyed a Melbourne chocolate tour, and visited many chocolate shops, such as; Haighs, Cacao, KoKo Black, San Churro and more. We also got down to Acland Street St.Kilda, with it’s wonderful cake shops, seems to be fewer of them now though unfortunately.

I’m sure this will all be written about in great detail on Joanne’s blog in the coming days. There’s photo evidence of all the food/drink consumed as well.

I enjoyed looking in clothes shops around the city, in Melbourne Central, and up and down Chappel St, Greville St, Brunswick St and surrounds, picking up a few cool t-shirts. A lot more walking than tram action this trip.

We even managed to squeeze in seeing the latest James Bond movie one night – “Quantum Of Solace”, which was great, not as excellent as Casino Royale, but I still enjoyed it. I don’t recommend seeing movies at the Russell St. Greater Union though, horrible seats, and it sounded like the audio was coming from a single mono central speaker.

It was a really fun, special time in Melbourne. Everything was great, well apart from the weather, which was pretty horrible at times, and very un-summer like. Grey clouds mostly, cold, some rain, heavy at times, even a little hail, and gale force gusts of ice cold wind. Sometimes we saw the sun, but not for long. Rain not unusual for Melbourne though. We managed to avoid being out in the heavy rain which was lucky. Sunday was better weather.

The massive queue to check in baggage that took almost an hour on Sunday night at the airport was also not so great, but life can’t all be perfect.

We could have also seen German/Dutch techno/minimal producer/DJ Patrice Baumel @ Tramp, whilst we were in Melbourne, but didn’t make it there. It was the night of our amazing dinner at Vue Du Monde, not wanting to spoil the memory.

This is one of the most relaxed and enjoyable visits we’ve had in Melbourne, and unusual for us to not include seeing a DJ at some club or dance music event. Must be getting old. I love Melbourne’s cool little bar scene.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress