Should any readers find themselves touring with Maps & Atlases, they can expect a food-centric experience, unforeseen adventures with the locals, and loud polyrhythmic indie rock. The band officially kicks off its North American tour at the Metro on May 11. Frontman Dave Davison assembled an exclusive world tourist pamphlet for The A.V. Club, just in time for Maps & Atlases’ globe-trotting tour in support of their new album, Beware And Be Grateful.
Dave Davison: Each time in Berlin, we’ve stayed in a hostel called Rock ’N’ Roll Herberge, which is super affordable, comfortable, is in a good walking neighborhood, and the people who work there are really nice. In addition to that, they have good music-themed meals, a lot of which are vegan-friendly. I recommend the Jello Biafra breakfast.
DD: We played one of our wildest shows ever in Austin a couple years ago at a coop that had people hanging from rafters during our set and it was a perfect balance of frightening and fun. Austin has so many great things to do, such as going to Barton Springs, going to see the bats at the Congress Avenue bridge, eating at Bouldin Creek or Mothers, both of which are fantastic! Both Halcyon and Thunderbird are great coffee shops. The Chilantro food truck is really good too.
DD: Once on the way to Philadelphia a tire fell off our van in the mountains and we ended up stranded for several days in a small town, but it ended up being fine. As for the city itself, Honey’s Sit ’N Eat is a place that we always stop, even if we’re just passing through Philadelphia. As for music stores, Delfino Guitars is definitely worth checking out.
DD: When playing in Copenhagen last, we played in an area of the city called Christiania that is a pretty incredible place that somehow has its own laws independent of the EU. There is amazing art and graffiti all over the area and we were taking pictures and some guy ran and jumped into our van freaking out, threatening to take our phones. Apparently because of government crackdowns and spying they are really sensitive to photography in the area, but it’s a really interesting place regardless.
DD: We’ve only been to Prague once and unfortunately didn’t get to spend much time there, but we did eat in some kind of strange cafeteria where these old men made us vegetarian Czech dishes that were delicious.
DD: Outside of Denver, we’ve gone hiking in Estes Park, which was a great experience. The Mercury Café is definitely my favorite spot to eat and hang out in Denver. Everyone is nice there, the food is great, there are a bunch of interesting activities going on there and they also have a bunch of books that you can take. Last time I got Lance Armstrong and Alan Alda’s biographies and thoroughly enjoyed both. Watercourse Foods in Denver is also good. If you’re passing through Fort Collins definitely eat at Tasty Harmony and go to the Bean Cycle for coffee.
DD: Mexico City is incredible and there is an endless amount to do and see and it’s a great walking city. Coyoacán is a really interesting neighborhood and there is a great coffee shop there called El Jarocho that serves Veracruz-style coffee. Caravanserai is a fantastic tea house in the Colonia Roma neighborhood. I also really enjoyed eating this baked sweet potato-type vegetable that people sold on the street called camote.
DD: There are so many good food trucks and delicious Stumptown coffee everywhere!
DD: There are so many excellent places to go in Chicago and it’s tough to narrow down, so here is a list of places we love:
To eat: Irazu, The Spice Thai, Karyn’s, Lula, Bite, Native Foods, Handlebar, El Cid, Flying Saucer, Soul Vegetarian, Big Star
For coffee: Intelligentsia, Café Mustache, Wormhole, Star Café, Filter
Venues: Schubas, The Hideout, Lincoln Hall, Empty Bottle, Metro, Subterranean
Record Stores: Reckless Records, Saki, Permanent Records, Logan Hardware, Dave’s Records, Laurie’s Planet Of Sound
DD: My two favorite things about Amsterdam are the multiple games of [giant street chess] I’ve witnessed while there, as well as the gigantic swans everywhere.