Everyone in Auckland told us that Wellington would be cooler. Things are more hippie here, more artsy, more laid-back, they say. It’s interesting how all over the world, various rivalries and dichotomies and stereotypes exist between the regions of every country. Inverse to Wellington’s hippie description is Auckland’s reputation for being snobby. It’s not all that different from the rivalry between New York City and Los Angeles, between North England and South England, or the micro-rivalry between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti in Michigan.
Everyone told us to go to Cuba Street. So a few moments ago, I did. I ate vegan Malaysian stirfry. A fountain was fitted with hobbling multicolored basins that cascaded water into one another. I read a brochure advertising Lord of the Rings tours (it was filmed around here). A ragtime jazz band played outside on the street. Agonizingly brief glimpses of an entire world of discovery.
The Wellington airport is named “Wild at Heart.” The name took me off guard, but I find myself strongly in favor of it. With Shea Stadium having been replaced by Citifield, and all the venues in England being named after O2, it’s refreshing that an airport, of all places, would still select such an unconventional and even poetic title for itself in 2011.
Last night during our Miike Snow dance routine, my (by now) beloved koala hat flipped off my sweaty head and out of sight. During Coma Song and Radar Detector, I was admittedly distracted, scanning the corners of the stage the entire time for any trace of that cute hat. It was nowhere to be seen. We marched backstage amid shouts for an encore. “Barter with them!” I urged Darwin. “Okay,” he agreed, “I’ll tell them we’re not playing Constellations unless your hat is given back.” Darwin Deez has experienced so many problems with people who love our music that, nevertheless, steal our clothes without a second thought. We reemerged onto the stage, but before we could even start our Weepies cover, a face in the crowd gave a shout, voluntarily offering my koala hat back to me. I was so grateful for his honesty. I thought for a moment about Anthony Kiedis and his Scar Tissue book and his passage about “giveitaway giveitaway, giveitaway now” and I decided to give my special hat back to the boy in the crowd. I told him that I really love the hat and that he should take good care of it. I think he will.
A few music agencies manage all of the musical acts that tour through tiny New Zealand. Our tour manager’s project next week will be to manage Big Boi from Outkast. He told us a hilarious inside scoop about Big Boi’s rider. (The rider is the thing you submit to venues, asking for backstage food, hummus and pita, a case of beer, etc). Apparently, the three things on Big Boi’s rider are: a BMW, Cristal, and chicken.