German backstage accomodations won the gold star, once again. Unlike the meal-ticket partitioning that happens elsewhere, at Immergut, there was a tent with constant buffets which served all three meals. We were Cossacks. We ate as much as we wanted and we threw people overboard if we didn’t like Them. We were informed about the recent German E. Coli health scare after we had gobbled down a helping of cucumbers, which were the vegetable accused of spreading this virus. The cooks had facetiously labeled the bowl of sliced cucumbers, “Ehec Salat,” Ehec being the name of the virus. We laughed when they explained it to us, and, happily, two days later, signs of the epidemic have yet to emerge. In the festival brochure, the first line of the Darwin Deez page read, Darwin Deez ist ein Hippie. “How do you feel about that?” Miles asked. “I’ve come to terms with it,” Darwin quipped back, dryly and logically.
Under the protection of bug spray, the Darwin Deez band adventured along the train tracks through wood and field. We hung out for a bit in a wooden tower that we assumed was for duck hunting. We reminisced about Duck Hunt, the Nintendo game. “Was it ever really possible to shoot the dog?” We checked out a bustling anthill and watched the ants react to small deposits of our saliva. There were some tall piles of cut logs along the path. Possible evidence of a nearby lumber operation? Darwin, Greg, and I scaled the slightly unstable stacks and marched along top. There was something childlike about wandering and exploring nature in this way. It’s the sort of thing that you think about when you work a bad office job. You think, “Shouldn’t life be a little more like that?” Climbing those log piles, I felt lucky to have the freedom to be scurrying about, following whims, like a kid.
Darwin’s on a 90′s kick, musically. Beck’s Odelay, savoring the guitar work on Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun. On the topic of Superunknown, he reminisced, “it had song titles that, as an 11-year old, I really wanted to like. 4th of July, Limo Wreck. I really wanted to like those songs.”
Wake up call was brutally early. Our driver showed up with a hopelessly small vehicle. “I’ll be back in 15 minutes,” he promised before vanishing for 45 minutes. We zoomed up the autobahn, everyone simultaneously sleep deprived and anxious about missing our plane. Despite this, Darwin did not waste the opportunity to blast a CD-R of obnoxious German techno-polka by Onkel Bernie. Despite my limited proficiency in German, I noted that one hearty chorus was about beer and Schnapps. Our French crewman, Seb, was in hell.
Now I’m in Newcastle. The staff here is sort of pushy and strict. There’s a raging wind that’s wreaking havoc on the PA system. Summer seems to be nowhere in sight. At the end of May, I continue to wear my winter hat and scarf and birthday teddy bear jumper. We are in a backstage trailer that reeks of egg salad. But I can’t complain.