Another great day. Jamie and I got rolling by walking around until I found a chocolate croissant and a 3 euro cup of coffee. Tourist move, I’m told. So be it. I’m not fooling anyone into thinking I’m Dutch with this accent and my difficulty distinguishing a 1 euro coin from a ten cent coin.
We are working in the heart of Amsterdam, folks. A few blocks from the Royal Palace and surrounded by buildings and canals hundreds of years older than the Declaration of Independence. It is an almost impossibly beautiful city, and to a guy who’s spent all but two weeks of his life in the U.S., surreal isn’t a strong enough word. My first reaction is it can’t be real. The 21st Century has been tacked onto a 16th Century world. At least that’s my reaction to seeing a shopping center–complete with Nike, Gucci, and Diesel shops–inhabiting a building (formerly the head post office, and a mighty one, to say the least) that has been tagged a monument by the municipality. The structures are relics through which the modern world flows.
Seeing as that previous line was about as flowery as the tulips sold a 1/4 mile away at the quaint corner stand (tulips available online as well), let’s get to BAMM.tv business. Jasper van der Put and I have been listening to a bunch of Dutch bands in an effort to get a leg up on those heading to South by Southwest in March. We’re hoping to have a strong international flavor at our various showcases. I liked a lot of the stuff he’s into–Jasper is very clearly on the ball in various local scenes–but my favorites were: The Benelux, Moss, and Shout Out Louds. By the way, how cool is my job? I get to come to Amsterdam and have an insider help me search for inspiring music.
Another BAMM employee and journalist over in Amsterdam, Kemal Rijkin, turned me on to a really cool idea over here. Believe it or not, The Hague (third largest city in the Netherlands) values the local music so much that each year it funds three bands’ South by Southwest experience. Coincidentally, we shot one of their selections at last year’s SXSW (John Dear Mowing Club). Wouldn’t it be nice if San Francisco (fourth largest city in CA) spent less time trying to shut down clubs and more time supporting its local art?
Lastly, tonight we are shooting the pilot episode of BAMM.tv programming called BAMM.tv Food Fight. The focus is to jump into tech-related debates with a dinner table serving as the canvass. Our first bout is at the heavyweight division: Google TV vs. Apple TV (neither exist in The Netherlands yet). Jamie is moderating to ensure no biting, but everything else is kosher. We will premier this program, as well as several other pilot programs at–you guessed it–SXSW 2011.
- you will be hit by a biker or car on these streets if you’re meandering. Trust me. I was pinned up against a wall and a van. Missed getting hit by less than an inch. Pedestrians have the right away–I don’t think so. Traffic is dictated by a different set of laws–physics. In other words, whoever is in the most danger of bodily harm should get the hell out of the way.
- Our hipster friends in San Francisco would fall over themselves for the retro, grandma bikes over here.
- Smoothies do not include ice here. Not bad, but I’ll take the ice.
More to come tomorrow. Read Operation BAMMsterday, Day One here.