Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Guinness Jazz Festival

WOW. What a weekend.

There were thirty members of the UCD Jazz Society that journeyed out to Cork for the festival, and we essentially took over Sheila's Hostel for the weekend. It was a very nice place, if only by virtue of it's putting up with the lot of us. We got there Friday evening and were assigned our rooms; I was in with Jen, Jessica (an American who goes to Bryn Mawr and knows Rachael), John (an Irishman I knew already who looks like Kevin Bacon), and Emma and Niall (an adorable, proper Irish-Catholic couple who slept in the same bed for the first time ever while on the trip). The first night, Niall enjoyed playing up the stereotypical Irishman for Mandy, Jessica, Jen and I, while Emma looked on in a slightly head-shaking way. We wandered Cork for a while, had some drinks at a pub to some live music...a pretty low-key evening.

The next day, Mandy and I walked around Cork and did some shopping. We had breakfast in this cute little juice bar called The Berries, which I also recommend to anyone in the area. The owner was extraordinarily friendly and the food was quite tasty. And for lunch, I had the best curry ever at some Thai place. Eventually we made it back to the hostel and relaxed in the cinema room. Somewhere along the line two other girls and I got talked into getting in the sauna with six guys, and let me tell you, it was not a large sauna. I was very sweaty, but very little of that sweat was my own. So naturally that was followed by a shower, and eventually everyone made it out for the 11:00 gig JazzSoc had gotten us tickets to.

This brings me to the highlight of the weekend: JazzKamikaze! THEY WERE AMAZING. They're a five-piece band, based in Denmark, that place jazz with, in some pieces, a touch of metal. Go, listen, and be happy — though their recorded stuff can't compare with the thrill of seeing them live and experiencing the amazing energy and chemistry they have. There's nothing quite like seeing a guy with a mohawk play the soprano and tenor saxophone at the same time. They did one of the coolest covers of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" I've ever heard. And best of all, I was right up front, practically sitting next to the guitarist (who's my favorite, coincidentally). It's a shame for the next band that JazzKamikaze went on first, because there was just no way more traditional jazz like that of Greg Abate and the Organics could live up to it.

The next day, more Berries, and then at 3:00...another JazzKamikaze gig! Which managed to be even better than the first! I really hope University of Buffalo is running their field school in Denmark this summer, because I want to be able to see these guys live all the time. Anyway, the rest of the afternoon was whiled away with more cinema room and goofing around and a certain degree of semi-humourous sexual harrassment directed at me, until the next gig. I had a significantly lousier seat for this one, and found it pretty unremarkable anyway. Jessica, Mandy, and I ended up leaving to poke around Cork a little more and grab a snack. I ended up in bed pretty early on, which was good, since we had to be out at 11:00 the next morning.

Monday was spent mostly in traveling, and by the time I got back I was too tired to do much more than make dinner and do some token schoolwork. Oh, and load both JazzKamikaze albums onto my computer. All in all, it was a pretty fun weekend. Thanks, JazzSoc!

Oh, and here's one of my favorites from...guess who:

This one is longer but jazzier and also amazing.

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