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|Waior's 15 Countries, 15 Albums|
Hello. Since 2014 has begun, I have been in 12 countries, and will be radding three more to the list within the month. I'd like to share some of the rweird journeys I've had with a few remarks about the beautiful albums that rhelped define some of those hectic times. I was initially destined to go to rRomania for a while, and my work visa for the UK expired earlier this year. rHope you enjoy!
All Things New
LONDON, ENGLAND: I?ve now officially lived in England for more than three years, and
have spent the time gigging a lot in London and the surrounding area. I locked myself
in a derelict factory building and recorded a six-song EP that I?m pretty happy with in
December, and I finally released it on March 7th. I?d be honoured if you gave it a wee
listen, you can hear it at calebmcalpine.bandcamp.com -- I hope to be continuing to
tour and record more as I return to Canada. Give ?er a go!
Curse Your Branches
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: I took a coach from London to Amsterdam with
nearly no money in my pocket when my work visa in the UK expired knowing I had to
leave England legally. ?Hard to Be? and ?Bless This Mess? in particular struck me as
some of the best songs written last decade -- the degree of honesty and creativity in
chord progressions has inspired me to try and be a better man (after another drink).
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Busking on the streets of Amsterdam helped me make enough
money to start traveling south, and I hitch-hiked with a French man who I thought
would take me to Germany, but actually, I ended up (much to my dismay) in Belgium.
Belgium is lovely, but it was in the wrong direction. Noah Gundersen?s emotive voice
and reliably strong songwriting was relieving all stress as I tried to evaluate how the
hell I would get to Germany after this mishap. Strongly recommended. Also
recommended: delicious Belgian beers (Leffe is always a go-to).
From the Bird's Cage
LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG: One hitchhike journey later, I ended up in
Luxembourg city (which was still closer to my destination). At this point, I?d been
repeating Hrvrd?s latest LP over and over and being mesmerised by the creative
arrangements the bands put together. Vocally, songs like ?New Information? absolutely
astound me as the falsettos climb higher and higher as sparse, haunting
instrumentation throbs forebodingly behind them. What an album.
Modern Vampires of the City
BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY: I eventually ended up in Cologne, Germany (the same
night I started in the Netherlands). I then hitch-hiked with a Pakistani man who drove
at 220 km/hr to Baden-Baden while blasting Vampire Weekend in a rented Audi. This
was the first, but not the last, moment where I realised I could die on this journey.
|6||The Civil Wars|
The Civil Wars
Seeing the Swiss Alps over the icy bay in the distance is an invasively poetic
experience, and the quiet, gorgeous town has delicious lamb baguettes and truffles as
far as the eye can see. The Civil Wars? newest album I dove into during this time and
I without a doubt think it miles ahead of their debut. It was stirring to ride the water-
side trains of the Zurich area with ?Same Old Same Old? ringing in my ears.
|7||Half Moon Run|
VIENNA, AUSTRIA: I busked a lot in Vienna because I had no money. I slept in a park
the first night I was here and performed the next day so that I had enough money to
pay for more travel and a bed in a hostel. I played a couple of songs from this album
and they go over fantastically -- ?Call Me in the Afternoon? was a surprise hit with the
passing Austrian public, and while Vienna is imposingly bureaucratic, the people
proved to be friendly and the public transport system is welcomingly easy to navigate.
|8||The Dear Hunter|
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: I took a train and booked a hotel in Budapest, in one of the
scabbiest hotels I?ve ever laid eyes on. I think I have diseases both sexual and
mental from sleeping here. Budapest is my favourite city from my trip though, being a
fascinating combination of Western and Eastern Europe... wrought with history and
buried in scaffolding, the city is heart-breaking historically and engulfing
architecturally. I also made over ?100 busking in six hours, so there?s that.
|9||The Lone Bellow|
The Lone Bellow
BELGRADE, SERBIA: I only listened to this album for half an hour on my 12 hour train
from Budapest to Bucharest, Romania before things got hectic. I spent my very last
penny on this train and in the middle of the night was stirred out of sleep by the train?s
ticket-verifying men, who yelled at me loudly in Romanian repeatedly on different
occasions over a few hours. I was forced to change train cars, but in true eastern
European fashion, the passages between different train cars was much like one
between a pick-up truck and a trailer attached to it. Trying to get from train car to
train car with a backpack and a guitar with one available hand and 3:00am Serbia
racing past me at ungodly speeds on either side was the closest I?ve ever visited
death, as I swung haphazardly over the speeding train tracks bleating out frantic
prayers. Eventually, the train authorities kicked me out in Belgrade, Serbia at 4:30am
with no money to call my own.
BUCHAREST, ROMANIA: I pulled some cardboard out of a rubbish bin in Belgrade and
whipped out my Sharpie in order to write ?BUCHAREST BY 9:00am?. 45 minutes of
standing on the Serbian streets yielded the attention of a Dutch man who spoke no
English, but seemed to want to take me to Bucharest. I fell asleep in his car and
awoke much later in the morning to see Romanian flags (sigh of relief), and to hear
Lord Huron?s beautiful album playing softly in my headphones.
LYON, FRANCE: Later in the journey, I ended up in Lyon, France. Let me tell you: Paris
is a heaping pile of litter, but Lyon is one of the most beautiful cities I?ve ever been in.
I never expected to like France. But it?s stunning in Lyon, and you need to go there.
Neck of the Woods
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND: At the end of the journey, I spent a few weeks in the
beautifully hospitable and painfully divided Belfast. If you love history (especially
recent), Belfast is a heartbreaking and compelling place to be. Silversun Pickups
proved to be a beautiful soundtrack to this haunting time, and I am more compelled
than ever to return the Northern Irish coast, one of the most beautiful destinations a
human could ask to be.
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND: In eleven days, I will travel back to my beloved Iceland.
Another stunning country, brimming with bearded men in knit-wear with unreasonably
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: One more stop-over before returning home fully, Seattle is
my favourite American city and one I feel very at home in. Let me know if any of you
from this area are keen to grab a pint or something, I?m eager to spend a few
moments in this great PNW town.
VANCOUVER, CANADA: In two weeks time, I will be home (if I ever had a place to call
home). It?s been a surreal journey these past three years, and I hope this has given
you some insight into it... or at the very least, some confirmation that there is still
great music to be heard and I am still trying to listen to it, even if I?m regrettably
detached from the Sputnik community. Be blessed.
|www.calebmcalpine.bandcamp.com -- if you want to stream or purchase the EP, please give it a go|
sorry that i've been so distant sputnik. i expect that 95% of you don't actually know who i am anymore, and i accept my fate
|I am convinced Curse Your Branches is one of the most underrated records of the last 10 years.|
|LET OUR SILENCE BREAK TONIGHT|
|oh, this list!|
sounds like you had a heck of an adventure and that makes me happy. I remember thinking the other day if something like a novelized adventure could possibly happen and it seems like it can. stay true
|you should have never come back caleb, just run away, you're too good for this site!|
|best list I've read in a while. Enjoying the EP as well.|
|most interesting man in the world|
|SO MANY GREAT LISTS LATELY|
|Ah, your trust in all these hitch-hikers makes me nervous. But, this list is awesome as is your EP.
The most enchanting girl I've ever dated was from Belgrade. She had to move back, so I sometimes
fantasize about making an adventure out of flying there and surprising her.
|Hey I'm living in Lyon, France right now :)|
How long did you stay, Waior?
|Also damn dude, awesome list, loved reading this, and to think you did this in the past three months
I'd love to do something like this sometime, it sounds like an incredible experience. I myself am in
Lyon right now studying at the university Lyon 1, but I prepared for this through and through, unlike
you who seemed to just let life take you wherever it happened to take you.|
|RunOfTheMill: I spent just over a week in Lyon, assisting with a conference near les cordeliers. It's a stunning city, and it's so easy to get around as well. I would love to go back to Lyon with nothing to do but spend time with somebody else. And drink wine. I'm jealous that you're doing school there.|
Living life and travelling uncalculatedly comes with bitter-cold, having trust betrayed, and perpetual exhaustion, but its reward is knowing you could be anywhere, meet anyone, and do anything so as long as people are happy with buskers. I deeply desire a chance to travel when I can know certainly where I'm sleeping the next night, and to have money to eat regularly, and even do things that cost money. I look forward to doing this the other way some day soon.
Nikkolae: You know me, I probably won't be around long, but it IS good to see some familiar faces
|this list is awesome. never been to europe unfortunately. gonna have to make a trip sometime soon|
|most interesting man on sputnik|
|You came to Brussels and you didn't hit me up omg we could have gotten drunk together|
|sounds like one amazing trip man!|
@Tyreal: lived in Brussels for 10yrs meself ^^
|didn't you live in tijuana for a little bit, too? or am i remembering things incorrectly|
|Are you coming to Russia?|
|yay a waior list|
|ben howard is so great|
|Tyrael: I'll come back to Brussels some time in 2015, I promise! A real promise! Slash, ANYBODY who lives in Europe needs to let me know if you want to grab a drink, because it's not a place I won't be back to! |
Kris: Tijuana was 3 years of my teenaged life. These countries are only the ones I've seen since 2014 began... I think my actual country count is like 22 or something although that is only 9% of the world...
Not coming to Russia as far as I know, but I didn't mean to go to Serbia either so... anythings game!
|@Waior: Stockholm's a nice place. I'll buy you a pint.|
|wait, these are only since 2014? holy crap dude that's rad as fuck!|
|No Slovakia? come on man :/|
|damn dude, you're all over the place|
|Your travels make me nervous but I enjoyed vicariously sharing your experience.|
|I'll keep that in mind, Waior. I suppose I take it for granted that I have a bed, that I have food and money, and that I can afford small luxuries (on a student's budget, of course). However, I find it incredibly appealing to be able to go pretty much anywhere and not be tied down to one place. I feel great being in Lyon, as I'm far away from my home in Canada and have found it incredible to be living on my own, meeting people from all over the place, and figuring things out for myself, but I still have an anchor here.|
Granted, I have no idea how I'd deal with wandering from country to country with no place to go.
|7 is great|
|also, I just (this afternoon) participated in a 'Poor Man's Son' Noah Gundersen cover, and you should watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFsriVPT73w|
you will be happy with it
|yayyyy I love this kind of list|
you're gonna be back in Vancouver whaaaat
|"also, I just (this afternoon) participated in a 'Poor Man's Son' Noah Gundersen cover, and you should watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFsriVPT73w"|
dude on the right looks like casey affleck
this is great though
|"Seattle is my favourite American city and one I feel very at home in."|
Definitely my favorite city to visit
|If you ever plan to visit Estonia/Finland in the future, lemme know. Would love to catch a few beers with you. |
Sweet list, some really inspiring stuff. I feel pretty grounded right now, but I'd love to just go with the wind in the future as well.
|^Someone who sees where I'm coming from ;P|
|Haha, yeah. I don't feel (yet) as independent as Waior here, though, and would love to undertake something like this with a friend or few. The problem is, most of my closer friends aren't really into this kind of backpack traveling and going wherever the world leads you.|
|dat civil wars tho|
|OMG YOU'RE ALIVE???|
|Great list dude, sounds like you've had some crazy times, and I respect that a lot. Thanks for sharing this|
|this is awesome man, glad to see you're being able to have adventures and do what you love.|
|Awesome list. I love the idea of doing something this care free, but actually doing it is another thing.|
caleb i'm in portland when will u be in seattle?
|I'm in Seattle on the 7th/8th/maybe longer. But I want to do a tour of the PNW some time in the summer, so I'll definitely be down Portland way |
guys, if you were to crop up in a random country and start something like this, where would you begin?
|southeast Asia probably|
|agreed, my next trip is gonna be India/South Asia. I'm dying to see Cambodia and Laos so there's my pick I guess.|
|i am trying to go to thailand in september actually|
|Keep beeing awesome|
|Man I'd have come to watch you gig in London!|
|I might play one before I leave, Sanders... are you in the city? |
|What are your thoughts on Bucharest? We Romanians in the western part of the country loathe it because it's full of gypsys and lousy rednecks (well, Romanian redneck-likes). If you ever come back, check out Sibiu or Cluj or even Timisoara, they are a lot more beautiful and cleaner.|
|My friend, Bucharest is the worst. But I was looking to work with roma-gypsies when I came to Romania. I spent most of my time in Medias, near Sibiu and a lot of time in Constanta. Radically different places!|
|I'm not currently, but it's not too difficult for me to get to :) I'm up in the west midlands|
|Agree totally about Belfast and the Northern Ireland coast. So very under rated! Great list also...|
|@Waior - the western side (with cities like Cluj, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Timisoara, Deva and Brasov) is a lot more developed than the eastern part of Romania. Plus, the hystorical buildings have been reconditioned and look a lot better. Bucharest is a filth hole, everybody here hates it lol. Constanta is nice too, tourism helped a lot the whole area.|
|yo fool. i thought you grew up in culver city. (also mad gypsy-nomadic swag keep it up)|
|Amazing list. Its really neat to get to listen to some of the music after reading about these inspiring travels.|
|ooooooooooo so this is why the name "Caleb McAlpine" was so familiar to me|
been listening to the EP all month and didn't put two-n-two together
|nice to see you're doing well waior, sounds like a fantastic trip.|
|dimsim is now officially obsessed |
|nah this ain't like my new Love American, mostly because I don't have a cred card and can therefore only listen to it when I'm on Bandcamp|
|this list answers the question of waior have you been|
|@ire 3/5 would read joke again.|
waior for staff!