Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vibes and beats

music: Flowers From the Man Who Shot Your Cousin - Childhood

I know (almost) nothing about jazz, and because of my tone-deafness* I don't think I'll ever be able to learn much about it. But I try.

A few months ago, I was watching TVR Cultural, and there was a show about this Romanian vibraphonist**. I jotted down his name -- Alexandru Anastasiu -- and later added him on my MySpace page. I've been waiting for a concert of his in Cluj, and the waiting finally ended yesterday.

Alongside Lucian Maxim, Alexandru Anastasiu started a series of concerts under the name "fIRST bEAT, nEXT VIBE".

fIRST bEAT, nEXT VIBE basically means nu-jazz, etno inspired jazz songs and standard jazz songs. The concert in Cluj was really great; so refreshing. I feel that the earthy tones given by Lucian Maxim's beats and the celestial, dreamy tones given by Alexandru Anastasiu's vibes were the perfect mix.

Plus, it was certainly interesting to be in the Radio Hall at Radio Cluj. I've never been there before. I cannot believe yesterday morning I was actually thinking about not going to the concert anymore just because I was supposed to go alone to a place I had never been before. I would've definitely regretted it. Also, I didn't quite feet like being around a lot of ppl -- on Facebook, 150 ppl announced their presence at the concert. So imagine my surprise when I got there, ten minutes before the concert, and all the seats in the Radio hall were empty. I couldn't believe this! And I was worried that I got there too late, and that the Radio Hall would be already full and they wouldn't let any more ppl in (like it happened last week, when I wanted to go to Teodora Enache's concert at the Art Museum). In the end, around ten ppl showed up. So yeah, shame on you, Cluj (to paraphrase that lady from Conor's concert).

*Wiki says Che Guevara was tone-deaf, too ;))
** After having found out about Alexandru Anastasiu, I went to and looked for some vibraphone jazz: Feeling The Vibes: The Short History Of A Long Instrument.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dream voices and dreamboats

music: Scott Matthew - Friends and Foes

I'm currently in a music phase. It's been over a week since I last saw a movie. However, I have been listening to a lot of music, mostly to albums released this year. Besides that, I've been listening to the wonderful music of Scott Matthew and Jay Jay Johanson. I can't take credit for these discoveries, though.

I honestly don't know how this is possible, but I've either ignored Scott Matthew's music or forgotten about it. G. mentioned him, and when I wiki-ed him, I was surprised to find out his music was featured on the soundtrack of Shortbus. And I have seen Shortbus; I have also listened to the soundtrack. I really don't know why I haven't listened to any of his albums until now.

Scott Matthew - White Horse

I've discovered Jay Jay Johanson thanks to M. Apparently, JJ Johanson is going to have a concert in Bucharest this December, which I will obviously miss. I haven't heard of him until now, which is quite the mystery - he's been around for a really long time.

Jay Jay Johanson - Lighting Strikes

Both Scott Matthew and JJ Johanson have such beautiful soothing voices and they're both such beautiful men *sigh*

(for illustration:)

Scott Matthew

Jay Jay Johanson

Say Please

music: Monsters of Folk - Say Please

MoF - Say Please (music video)

There have been so many official MoF videos these days, that I can hardly keep up f(^_^)
Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.) (w/ The Roots) on Jimmy Fallon
Right Place on MySpace
The Sandman, the Brakeman and Me on

Also, yay again for my crazy sleeping pattern. I was able to listen to the live stream of their concert from the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on WXPN (it was 4 a.m. *grin*).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

(theater x 2) + kumm = update

music: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Sun Ain't Shining No More

On Friday, it was Rhinocéros (Ionesco), mise en scene and performed by Jean-Marie Sirgue, and today it was Art (Yasmina Reza).

[click on the image to view large]

This post is rather pointless as I can't talk about theater. All I can say is "I liked it" or "I didn't like it". And I did like both plays.

To be honest, towards the end of Rhinocéros, I wasn't really there. Instead of focusing on the play, I had to focus on keeping my eyes open. This was the first time I went to the Hungarian Theater. I must say I was quite bothered by the fact that they sold tickets over capacity. Besides, the seats were so tiny; it's like they're saying "overweight ppl are not welcome". Seriously!

Art was really funny. I wanted to see this because it touches a subject I have to study this semester: modernism. Plus, I really want to read Bourdieu, and it seems to me that some of his ideas about art can be found in the play.

In other news:

On Friday, after having seen Rhinocéros, I went to Kumm's concert, even though I was dead tired. I was really disappointed by their performance. I think the release of their new album, Far From Telescopes, was much better in Bucharest (judging by this video). I first saw Kumm in 2007. It was more of an accident. I went to see this French group, GOMM, (you can read my idiotic comment about their concert here) and Kumm was the opening act. I really liked them back then. I don't know when they became so blah. Actually, I have the feeling that all these Romanian indie bands are overrated just because there is a need for indie music and they're all we've got.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oaxaca and sugar skulls

music: Henryk Górecki - Amen, op 35

It's that time of year when I dream again of Oaxaca and sugar skulls...