I’m in Manchester UK en route to Philadelphia after some plane delays and craziness, but it will all be better when I’m home tomorrow. My friend ben (wandering european ben) was supposed to be hanging out here tonight, but he’s sick, so i guess that’s okay. I’m finishing up the last details of the Saxon Shore design so it will be printed properly. Anybody want to join in on a debate on printing a spot pantone color? We’ve got an artist, a graphic designer/screenprinter, a stubborn self-taught print “expert” by merit of printing 70 different releases, and an architect with a keen sense of design. These are the finest moments of decision making at btv hq.
More trip synopsis…Lucas helped me recover from a tragic mishap where my cell phone got all wet and stopped working. He took everything apart, let it dry, and got it working again. Lucas, Diana, Sarah, and I went for a road trip to Belgium to visit the Chouffe gnomes. We weren’t able to see them work, but could celebrate the results. We cruised into Luxembourg and stumbled on an abbey overlooking the town in the middle of a beautiful forest. We opened the door to the sanctuary just as the monks were chanting their service. Incredible. It was a good runner-up prize for not making the trip to the Trappists at Rochefort or Achel.
Lucas and Diana showed me Haarlem where they live now and we had a nice lunch on the town square. It was a lot cozier than Amsterdam. Who knew? Stephan and Lydia came back early from camping and I got to finally see them after a couple of trips without them around. Stephan is the singer and a guitarist for Satellite 7.
One of the interesting things about Amsterdam is that squatting empty buildings is legal until challenged by the owner in court who must have plans for development. It’s not about getting something for nothing, but about creating sustainable rent levels and using all available city space to its fullest potential. Some of the most interesting bars and venues for concerts and arts events are squats, including the ij brouwerij and a free internet cafe, ascii. It’s really a fascinating thing. Lately, the government has been evicting some squatters more violently and prematurely using various loopholes in the law. A few of us went to a demonstration supporting one of the houses, afrika, which was recently shut down. It’s always great to visit everyone in Amsterdam.
The Hidden Cameras are in Philadelphia on Thursday. I’ve been waiting for them to show up since Sean (who did the Bosque Brown layout) hooked me up with a copy. It should be a good show, I’m looking forward to it.
Woven Hand and Brother Danielson are on for Friday at the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the LP represses will finally be available at that show and for back orders.

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