April 2011

The hills, sea, and sky are powerless to the blush of a setting sun. So am I, compelled as I am to stand and stare as it changes the way things look. We crawl through the midnight water to mountains in the northern sea: Shetland. The ferry is a gypsy ship overflowing with musicians on their way, like me, to the Shetland Folk Festival. Lively sessions spring up in the bars on deck six throughout the night.

The sunset is like a goodbye kiss that would hold even more power if we didn’t know better. How many woeful pleadings for the sun to return have been forgotten in the passing eons? I stagger out on to the aft deck at 4am as the sky slowly drains of black. This brightening is like the knowledge of the impending arrival of a longed-for other.

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Traveling Savage at Skene House Rosemount, Aberdeen

I’ve got this horrible White Snake song stuck in my head. You know the one that goes “here I go again on my ooooown” followed by some clunky power chords? It’s been on a seemingly infinite, really short loop (I don’t know the rest of it) in my head since Sarah dropped me at the bus bound for O’Hare on Monday. It’s Tuesday afternoon in Scotland as I type this on the Glasgow-Aberdeen train. I’m still traveling. On my own. Again.

It’s a great cosmic irony that a homebody like me is trying to make it in the world of travel writing/blogging/what have you. Especially as a solo traveler. Still trying to figure that one out. But I’ve traveled a lot in the last six months: five weeks in Argentina, three weeks in Scotland, one week in San Antonio, and now I’m on the front end of another five weeks in Scotland. Read more...

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Edinburgh's Farmer's Market

I’m pleased to present this first guest post on Traveling Savage by the Grantourismo duo of Lara Dunston and Terence Carter. Believe me, they love Edinburgh as much as I do. It was the final stop on their year-long grand tour, a travel experiment in living like locals and traveling more slowly, more sustainably, and more experientially. Lara and Terence believe the key to doing this is to stay in holiday rentals rather than hotels – they stayed in a whopping 36 rentals over 12 months and admit that they’re now finding it hard to stay in hotels.

When the couple found out I was heading to Edinburgh, they offered some tips for “going local” that they learned from their stay there in late January. Read more...

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On the walls of Edinburgh’s Old Town buildings, afternoon light matured into dusk. Skeletal trees on the brink of spring clattered in the sharp winds. Flags snapped overhead. I stood in the gulf between ages: Princes Street Gardens, the site of the old Nor’ Loch, once a reeking cesspool of filth and disease. Today it’s a liminal green space dividing old from the really old.

There’s a tension between Edinburgh’s towns here, like being in the gap between two poles of the same magnetic character. It’s a small joy being on the brink of
something. Gilded in the late afternoon light and perched on the bones of an old volcano, the Old Town is an old definition of majesty. Read more...

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Trackpacking: Nickodemus

by Keith Savage · 1 comment

Sun People, Nickodemus

Thievery Corporation has introduced me to entire genres of music I would have never found a way to enjoy on my own. From Bhangra to Afrobeat and Cumbia to Arabic hip hop, the guys of Thievery have a masterful way of curating talent and finding musicians to slot into their songs and remixes. They’re not shy about looking in their own backyard, either. Enter Nickodemus, a Brooklyn-area DJ/producer with world-spanning musical tastes that make him right at home on Thievery’s ESL Music label.

Let me put it simply: this is feel-good house music. Read more...

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