Arts Desk

E.D. In the E.U.: Nuremberg, Germany

"What are you, like, 80?"

Dispatches from E.D. Sedgwick's winter tour through Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

We wake in Wurzberg with only a one-hour drive to Nuremberg and little to do but check email until mid-afternoon. This is good.

In Nuremberg, we play at "K4," a venue I first played in 2002. I am able to confirm this because, in the dressing room, a poster from the 2002 tour is wheat-pasted to the wall. The dressing room, a dirty room three stories above the stage, is drab, chilly, and unchanged in the past decade. One might say, however, that because I have gone bald since the last time I was here, the room has weathered the aughts better than me.

Before the show, the band attends Nuremberg's enormous Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas market. This is the same Christmas market that I attended before I played K4 in 2002, and much of the same merchandise is on offer, including hot wine, sausages, and Santa-shaped chocolates. The market confirms something that I have long suspected: Germans are absolutely bonkers for Christmas. Small German children pose with an animatronic German Santa. (Do animatronic figures have a nationality?) Though temperatures must be below freezing, a merry-go-round whips tiny screaming Huns about. (I can say "Hun" because I am German. My father's family emigrated in the mid-19th century. "Moyer" is a German name. Don't believe me? Look it up.)

The Nuremberg show goes well. About 50 people are there. We make 300 euros and sell about 100 euros of merchandise. After the show, we engage in a familiar European ritual—loading out our equipment through the club's post-show techno party. We are assisted by a huge German man who looks like Channing Tatum of Magic Mike. We talk for awhile about harDCore. It turns out that he visited DC in 1992 and saw a few shows at the 9:30 club and the Black Cat. The Black Cat did not open until 1993, but I do not point this out. Then the conversation turns to age.

"You seem older to me," Magic Mike says. "What are you, like, 40?"

At the end of the conversation, I learn that his name is actually Mike.

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