Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mind blowing

music: Beirut - Cherbourg

The Hidden
by Jonas Akerlund

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"A Hundred Years' War"

music: Calexico - Roka

"Despite the troops mustering in the Gulf, or the tanks out at Heathrow on Thursday, the storming of the Finsbury Park mosque, the reports of terror cells around the country, and Bin Laden's promise on tape of 'martyrdom attacks' on London, Perowne held for a while to the idea that it was all an aberration, that the world would surely calm down and soon be otherwise, that solutions were possible, that reason, being a powerful tool, was irresistable, the only way out; or that like any other crisis, this one would fade soon, and make way for the next, going the way of the Falklands and Bosnia, Biafra and Chernobyl. But lately, this is looking optimistic. Against his own inclination, he's adapting, the way patients eventually do to their sudden loss of sight or use of their limbs. No going back. The nineties are looking like an innocent decade, and who would have thought that at the time? Now we breathe a diffrent air. He bought Fred Halliday's book and read in the opening pages what looked like a conclusion and a curse: the New York attacks precipitated a global crisis that would, if we were lucky, take a hundred years to resolve. If we were lucky. Henry's lifetime, and all of Theo's and Daisy's. And their children's lifetime too. A Hundred Years' War."

-- Ian McEwan, Saturday

[thank you for the book, R.]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I can't believe I'm missing this!

music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2T274bXIxU

Why the fuck am I not at the Leonard Cohen concert right now? Because I depend too much on other people, that's why (none of my friends expressed any interest in this concert T_T). But then again, that didn't stop me from going to Brussels for Conor's concert... Oh, this is going to be one of those things I'll regret not having done. Especially because this is a very special concert, since today it's Cohen's birthday. I can't believe I'm missing this!

I discovered Cohen's music in high school, when a friend lent me "Ten New Songs" (on cassette -- yes, we were still listening to music on cassettes in '03 or '04; CDs were too expensive, and we didn't have much music in a digital format -- we hadn't heard of SoulSeek haha). I immediately fell in love with his music. It was so different from all the crap I was listening to on a daily basis. And then I remember I was on a train when I heard some college students talking about Leonard Cohen, and in that moment I felt like I was part of some sort of a secret club (basically because, except that friend who introduced me to his music, no one I knew had ever heard of him).

Leonard Cohen - Who By Fire


Besides, I think Cohen's music made me more receptive to Conor's music. One of the very first Bright Eyes songs I listened to was We Are Nowhere, And It's Now, and my first thought was "this sounds a lot like Leonard Cohen". I often think it's such a pity I didn't discover Conor's music earlier, but then I wonder if I had been able to really appreciate it when I was 15-16...

Later edit: this threw me into a state of depression. Not only did this article make me regret I didn't go to the Leonard Cohen concert in Bucharest, but it also made me think even more about Conor's concert from Brussels. Fuck, I think I'm developing an unhealthy obsession for Conor...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brussels - Part 4: I died and went to Heaven

music: Bright Eyes - The Vanishing Act

I don't even remember how many times I said that while I was in Brussels.

I love music, movies and books, and most of the times I have a hard time finding the stuff I want to listen to/watch/read in Romania, and especially in the area where I live. On the one hand, I can understand why an indie label like Saddle Creek, for example, is not interested in distributing their music in a country where people don't buy music. But on the other hand, I don't understand why there is not one music store in this country that addresses music lovers, and not music consumers. I don't think it's that complicated to buy music from abroad and then sell it here. Of course, you would need tons of authorizations, and I guess that's not worth it when you think that not a lot of people are willing to pay for music when they can get it for free (and when so many Romanians are still listening to crappy music). But I digress...

In Brussels I discovered two great record stores. They had lots of great stuff (well, except Bright Eyes on vinyl): Dylan, Reed, Bowie, The Who, Patti Smith etc. etc. They even had a Salif Keita album on vinyl, and now I'm sorry I didn't buy that one. And of course I went to FNAC, where I knew I would find some Bright Eyes CDs and manga. What I didn't know was that in Brussels, there are lots of BD stores where you can find manga. If I lived there I think I would spend most of my time in those stores reading manga :P

I also discovered a quasi gay bookshop, Darakan, where they have lots of books about cinema and music. There, I found "Cinema 68", a perfect book to feed my Mai 68 obsession.

But now I'll have to make do with my visits at the French Cultural Center, where, thank God, I can find my favourite French magazines about music and movies.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brussels - Part 3: Exhibitions

music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Danny Callahan

While I was in Brussels I found out about some really interesting exhibitions: Oriental Fascination and It's Not Only Rock'n'Roll, Baby!


[There was a manga book from the XIX century. I wish I could read that.]

I didn't even look well at the flyer for the Rock exhibition. When I saw the names Bianca Casady and Devendra Banhart, I didn't need any more information to convince me to go to this exhibition. So, when I got there I was like "OMG! Riceboy Sleeps! And Antony! And Nick Zinner! Wow!!" (I must admit I haven't listened to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's yet, but since Nick collaborated with Bright Eyes I had googled him, so I knew about his work).

Unfortunately, I couldn't stay too long, and didn't get to see Yoko Ono's and Brian Eno's work.

[the map of the exhibition]

Monday, September 15, 2008

Brussels - Part 2: Botanique

music: Bright Eyes - Easy/Lucky/Free

The venue where Conor played was really amazing. It's true I didn't do a lot of sightseeing in Brussels, but from everything I saw, Botanique was definitely my favourite. It's just such an unique place.


A few more photos on flickr

Monday, September 8, 2008

I saw the face of god.

music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Sausalito

His name was... Conor Oberst.

OK, I stole Justin Taylor's (Queer As Folk) line, but now I can confirm that what everyone else has been saying is true: Conor is a genius, he's a god!

The concert in Brussels was absolutely amazing! (I think I've already said that like a 100 times, but anyways, no words are enough to describe the unique feeling you get when seeing Conor play live.)

Sky Larkin opened for Conor and the Mystic Valley Band and they were pretty great (it's a shame Katie's vocals couldn't be heard so well). After their performance, they rearranged all the instruments and there were three mics in front of the stage, and I just assumed the one in the middle was Conor's. So you can imagine my surprise when the band came on stage and I realized that Conor's mic was exactly the one I was in front of. It still feels wildly surreal when I think I was so close to him! During the concert I was constantly looking at him, trying to convince myself he was real and that I wasn't watching a youtube video. I can't really explain (not even to myself) what was going on in my head at the time. I didn't even get to take a lot of photos because I was so mesmerized by Conor and was enjoying the concert so much that by the time I remembered I had my camera on me, the concert was already over. I just took a couple of photos during the encore, and they're not that great (I need a better camera). Btw, during the encore there was a little weird moment, when a lady -- who must have had too much to drink -- said she was ashamed of Belgium because we were not moving enough. I don't remember exactly what Conor said, but I think he told her to apologize. But that was actually the only time when Conor talked more to the audience. (I guess it was one of those days when he didn't really feel like talking to the audience). The end of the concert was really special: Conor took Nate's place and played the keys (and sang, of course) on Breezy.



What surprised me was that I didn't see any posters announcing the concert (not even at Botanique), and that people started coming at the venue at around seven (so, just one hour before the concert). I was there at 4.30. And earlier that day, I went to Botanique -- basically to check the place out --, and when I was on my way back to the hotel (which was just a few minutes away), I saw a bus and when I realized it was Conor's, I looked back and who do I see?! (No, not Conor, unfortunately, but still...) Macey Taylor and Nik Freitas! I immediately went and asked for their autographs, but I think they are not really used to people doing that. I dunno...

Anyways, after this, I'm even more obsessed with Conor (obviously!) and I'll definitely try to see him in concert again. I hope I won't have to wait too long. But until then, "I Will Be Grateful For This Day".

P.S. More about Brussels during the following days.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's here! *happy thoughts*

music: Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band - Eagle On a Pole

My ticket is finally here!
I can't believe it arrived in only two days (they sent it through DHL this time). Well, I ended up paying €27 for frais d'envoi (plus the €10 phone call to France), but hey, anything to see Conor!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Damned postal services!

music: Bright Eyes - Patient Hope In New Snow

I got the “retour de commande” mail from fnac.com. And that “commande” was my precious ticket for Conor’s concert in Brussels. They said they got the ticket back because the address was incomplete. WTF?? The address was complete, so I really can’t understand why the Romanian postal service sent it back. The only possible explanation would be that they’re a bunch of incompetents.

This guy from fnac I was on the phone with said they will send the ticket again. But if I don’t get the ticket until the 1st of September, I can only hope I’ll still find one on the day of the concert, at the venue.

Oh, fuck! This is a complete disaster! If on the 3rd of September I’m in Brussels, and I don’t get to see Conor in concert, I’ll have a fucking nervous breakdown.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sweet death thoughts

music: NPR: Sneak Previews: Of Montreal, Okkervil River (All Songs Considered)

I remember I read somewhere that according to a study, people who think too much about their own death tend to eat more sweets. At that time I completely agreed. But now I’m starting to have some doubts…

This morning I've had ice cream for breakfast and now I’ve just had an éclair. All this without having thought about my death.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Happiness only real when shared"

music: Eddie Vedder - Society

You just have to break away from society for two hours and a half and watch Into the Wild (if you haven't already). It's the most amazing movie I've seen in a very long time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

More Conor

music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Get-Well-Cards

Last night I saw Conor and The Mystic Valley Band on Jay Leno (we get see it one day later here, in Romania):



Also, I came across this:

The album reaches its peak with "Eagle on a Pole," which begins as a gentle folk strum before stepping out as a brisk military march with curling piano figures as accompaniment. (Saul Austerlitz, The Boston Globe)
This is one of my favourite things about Conor’s new album. I just couldn’t find the right words to say it. Thank God (or whoever) that there are people who can actually write.

AND the first video is out. They posted it on youtube yesterday. *2xjoy*

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Souled Out!!!


Monday, August 4, 2008

"There's nothing that the road cannot heal"

music: Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band - Lenders In The Temple

"Conor Oberst"
  1. Cape Canaveral
  2. Sausalito
  3. Get-Well-Cards
  4. Lenders In The Temple
  5. Danny Callahan
  6. I Don't Want to Die (In The Hospital)
  7. Eagle On a Pole
  8. Moab
  9. NYC - Gone, Gone
  10. Valle Mistico (Ruben's Song)
  11. Souled Out!!!
  12. Milk Thistle
Today's the European release of Conor Oberst's solo project. The album will hit the stores in the US tomorrow. You can also listen to this album on Conor's official website or on his myspace page.

I've been listening to it all night long, and I'm officially obsessed with it. So, you can expect a more extensive post on this album (one that will hopefully say more than "it's absolutely amazing!!").

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Aphex Twin/Bright Eyes Mashup

music: Jack Conte - Aphex Twin/Bright Eyes Mashup



Although I still prefer Conor's trembling voice, I have to say that Jack Conte did an amazing job with this mashup of Aphex Twin's Flim and Bright Eyes' First Day of My Life.

And if you visit Jack Conte's youtube channel or his myspace page you'll find some more great music, and a quite surprising mashup: Radiohead/Chopin.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Book[keeper]

music: Bjork - Alarm Call

Some women buy lots of shoes. I buy lots of books. And then I complain about not having enough time to read them.

[I've tried to organize my books today]

At least I know that if I ever lock myself in my room, I won't get bored.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Plans

music: Bright Eyes - Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)


Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band

le 3 septembre 2008, Bruxelles
@Botanique


Because of some bureaucratic shit, I'll have to wait until next week to get a ticket for Conor's concert in Brussels, but the rest (plane tickets, hotel) is arranged. I don't want to jinx it, but I have reasons to believe that this is really going to happen. I'm going to see Conor perform live!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nyaa

music: Conor Oberst - Sundress


more on flickr

Friday, July 11, 2008

R.I.P. Republik (2005-2008)

music: Antony and the Johnsons - For Today I Am A Boy

Unfortunately, it was confirmed to me that the June-July issue of Republik is the last one to be published. It's such a shame because from all the Romanian magazines that provide information about music and films, this was the only one worth buying. Even if the magazine will be published again under the name of Republik or under another name, it won't be the same because the people writing for it won't be the same. The quality of the magazine was assured by the fact that it was written by some of the best music and film critics in Romania.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

5:16 AM

music: CocoRosie - God Has A Voice, She Speaks Through Me

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Lua

After doing some research, I found
this website where there's a HQ recording of one of the shows that Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band played in December last year. All the songs (except for the Bright Eyes ones) will be on Conor's new album.

Enjoy!