Chorus and Verse
James Dalton
Chorus and Verse Blog
Posted: October 15, 2009 10:40 am (-05:00)
James Dalton
Amager Style or Asbury Style?

So, I am sitting in a comfy little cafe, little bits of sugary foam left in my coffee cup, orchids in the sunny window, tattooed chicks with fiddle cases and good English, pirated WiFi and, lucky me, I get to be the one to choose what vinyl to play on the only sound system here, a record player.

Ricco's in Amager (pronounced "Ama") rests on a little corner about 5-10 minutes away from the musicians' flat here and, despite the falling temperatures, I trek it out in order to enjoy a little sweet caffeinating and to get some work done.

Today, I've got some last-minute gigs to look for in Scandinavia before I fly home, maybe some blues harmonica spots are open in Stockholm or perhaps this Irish Pub in Finland I know and, along with the other affairs, I had a specific date here at the cafe: to listen in its entirety, John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" album, start to finish.

Of course, since there is a record player, and customers get to be DJ here, how could I resist? I mean, I am a WBGO man back home in Jersey when I am driving around but you can only get excerpts and not all four parts. So, I started typing this as it was closing and, man, what an experience. It got me all riled up for music, and since I have basically been playing four or five sets a day, pretty much every day with a day off for over a month, I could use the inspiration.

Amager is an island section of Copenhagen, a large island with a long beautiful beach, the legendary squatters and hash-smoking haven of Christiana, a lot of industrial, a lot of seediness and well, a lot of everything. The people here are hip and happy, riding bikes and a little rough.

The city is expensive, but things are a little cheaper out here. The only thing I can relate it to is what Brooklyn was and what Asbury Park is aspiring to be, and I don't mean that statement to dis either place. All three places are in transition, I think, with a lot of people moving out into Brooklyn (I do most of my yearly sleeping in Sunset Park, thank you) in search of cheaper rents and lots of people moving into Asbury Park to create some new dream for themselves.

Amager, has all of these vibes from both ends and, for some reason, I feel very comfy. A couple blocks from my flat there are tons of rehearsal and recording studios, tons of old brick warehouses and, right off the water, there are a line of active power producing windmills, all going off, in the strong winds that are without a pause.

Either way, it's pretty cool and I am pretty happy, but I'd be happier if the flat I was sleeping in now had better heat. The Baltic Fall is pretty chilly, almost like a mid-Atlantic winter. Anyway, Ricco's is at the corner of Holmbladsgade and Woltersgade, has goodies and chocolates and atmosphere. I know we've got some good cafes at the beach in Jersey, notably, Green Planet in Point Beach and the Twisted Tree in Asbury, but now that I am seeking a flat that way for the winter, I wish I could bring Ricco's with me and bring a little of this Amager Style with me.

Questions? Comments? Email me at

James Dalton
James Dalton is a New Jersey-based singer/songwriter/performer that has had his ups and downs but still pushes forward and stuff.
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