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From The Digital Sweatshop
The Music, Art and Travels of Alan D. Oldham a.k.a. DJ T-1000.

The Big Adventure.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Yesterday was one of those adventure days where you leave the house and don't come back for hours and hours.

Started by going to Space Hall to buy records. There was this certain one that Giaxia wanted so I was on a mission. Ended up spending too much money buying records for myself, too. Not a snobby, minimal record shop, Space Hall has everything you want in dancefloor techno. I also love that they aren't all in your grill bringing you a pile of records you know you won't like. They just leave you alone to shop.

Down the street is Groser Unfug, the shop that sells American comics. I didn't buy anything, though. I am so far behind on comics that I didn't know what to get. Plus, they cost so much more here. I'd just as soon wait 'till I got home.

Then I caught the train to visit these girls who have a shoe shop on Uhlandstr. I met them on the way back from Tel Aviv. There was a layover in Milan on the way back and that's where I noticed them; they had been on my flight going, too. There had been some shows in Milan where they introduced the new shoes and they'd gone to it. Bebe and Daniela, very sweet Turkish women, fabulously dressed. They ended up sitting next to me going back. We chatted all the way home.

Anyway, on my way there I stumbled onto an art opening. Nice stuff. This older woman named Jutta was showing who did a lot of stuff using paper, wax and other random elements. Her stuff ranged from '50s style modern (her stuff wouldn't have been out of place on a Blue Note album cover) to stuff that looked like ancient texts. She was really nice and explained the work to me. They even had hot tea and cookies; I hadn't eaten.

Got to the shoe shop and it was closed, dammit. It wasn't even 4:00. But with the prices of those shoes, I guess if you sell one pair, you can take a week off.

Walking home I decided to stop into Lacoste. They don't have Lacoste stores in the USA anymore. I wore Lacoste all through high school. Turns out they were serving free champagne. I was getting all my needs met. Don't ask me how but I struck up a conversation with the security guard, a black brother from Angola. You could tell he was just dying to talk to another black person. He started talking about Africa, colonization, how he had to come to Europe to learn about history, why us black people never work together, all that stuff. It got kinda deep and he was striking many familiar chords. I was into it, though, 'cause I don't know any Africans at all, and am curious these days about the Motherland. I've been damn near everywhere in Europe so I'd like to visit there one day.

We exchanged e-mail addresses. He told me that one day he'd invite me to his homeland. That would be the shit.

I noticed the Tommy Hilfiger store had a live DJ there. I asked the manager if they were taking CD demos. He told me that the DJ there had a contract and that he played there every Saturday, no guests. I was impressed. The guy was job-protected.

Kurfurstendamm was pretty. All the Christmas lights were up. The shops were all lit up. Pretty, well-to-do people were shopping, having dinner, having coffee, going about their day. The streets were bustling. Berlin can really be nice. I notice a lot of these angry, I-hate-Starbucks, I-hate-McDonalds, I-hate-Ikea, blah blah blah kind of people down that kind of scene, but I like the rich atmosphere. Instead of downing it, I'm trying to be as much like them as possible. They look happy to me. It's called the good life.

That night I went to Polar TV to see Saskia. Turns out the place is walking distance from my flat, literally! Sas is a little older now but essentially hasn't changed. Amazingly enough, I'd never heard her play before. She plays like Rush, hard. Too hard for Berlin these days, though. A lot of the people went to the house/minimal room while she was on. There were still a fair amount of diehards who stayed with her, though. Funny thing was, they were older, like 40 or so. This isn't the first time I've seen this here. The old ones from the rave era still go for it; the younger ones act like they're old.

I also met DJ Rok. Heard of him for years. Really cool guy.

Sas brought a copy of "Raw" the new record she did with my artwork in it. The shit looks incredible. I did a full comic book in it, blown up to 12" x 12". It pops right out at you. I could have done a little better with the art, but it was a rush job, like all of Saskia's projects.

Now let me tell you about the chicks there last night. These German women were fucking serious. They ranged from the thick little 5' 5 " shorties to the super-tall amazons, like 5' 10" and up in flats (!). I didn't see any skinny women at all. Really strappin'. These were the kind of women in days of old could pop out 13 kids then strap on a plow and work the land, build a log cabin bare-handed, fight Indians, then make dinner all in one day. The days are modern now, but those genes are still there, and hanging out in clubs.

And I guess the tanning booth is a new thing here, too. Ladies: you're leaning on it too much.

Anyway, hung out 'till 7 am., stumbled home, crashed into bed, slept, and here I am. It was getting dark when I woke up. Dark City.

Rome this Thursday (can't wait), then back to the USA for awhile. I am dying to make new music. as you can see, there's plenty of inspiration here.

-AO :: 9:45 AM ::


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