Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Hello. This is me checking how blogger's image upload option works. And therefore uploading totally random images from my hard disk. Pretend this didn't happen. Everything is ok. Nothing to be seen here. The town is in no immediate danger.

There's no pleasing some people...

I got an email this morning telling me that my webspace had been temporarily closed. It also explained why: not enough uploads.
This means the provider actually wants people to upload stuff.
So i guess i might as well share some more music.

Georgie Fame - Mercy, mercy,mercy/Vanlose Stairway.mp3

This medley will probably make most people happy. Taken from a Van Morrison tribute compilation.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

by the way

This webmaster will be in chile from the 5th of july to the 15th of august. He would like you all to know that missing one of the best summer concert seasons friuli venezia giulia has ever offered upsets him to no end. He hopes to make something useful of his absence, too. And will probably have time to update more often, so you'll be getting the same pointless banter albeit from a presumably better-fed person.
In preparation, here's a nice guide to chile i'm enjoying. Some parts i obviously disagree with, others are my thoughts entirely, as they say in the trade.


Update: Link was down for 24hrs, now it works again.

I was going to just post the link to this mp3, say something like "pretty tune" and leave it at that. But there's far more to be said.

Inti Illimani - kalimba (live, ft.Angel Parra Trio).mp3

You all know what a kalimba is, don't you? Small finger-piano thing. Caribbean. Metal bits plucked, nut base resonates. Beautiful little instrument, i've got a couple of them lying around which on occasion i pull out and enjoy playing, if nobody's around. But that's not what we'll be talking about today.

This particular Kalimba is played by Efren Viera, Inti Illimani's resident percussionist, saxophone player and of course Kalimba guy. The saxophone you will hear at one point in the track is also of course played by him.
I remember when i first met him, i was at Santiago airport waiting to board my plane, and recognized him in the opposite crew. Wasn't hard to recognize, mind you: a large, dark-skinned cuban among dozens of short and pale chileans kind of strikes out. A television crew was on hand, covering a handball team that was also leaving for Italy, like mr. Viera and myself. I found it amusing that while sthletes were interviewed, chilean music lovers would have seen one of their best resident musicians standing in a queue for a boarding pass.
Seems he was off to catch up with the rest of the band in Italy, to start that year's italian tour. During the long, boring flight i gathered some courage and went over to say hello.

And interrupted his game of tetris.

He was terribly kind about it, we chatted a bit and i made it a point to congratulate him on the other day's recital - i had seen him perform live with the rest of the band at an open air free concert in one of Santiago's main public gardens, an event to promote clean air consciousness (highlights: the girl next to me continually asking me song titles of what was going on onstage, continuous woodstock-style chants between sets which culminated in a drunkard behind me shouting "WASN'T SANTANA SUPPOSED TO PLAY TOO???" once the event was over). He also told me they would be playing in Trieste some days later (Inti Illimani, not Santana), which put me in the uniquely cool situation of having seen the same band perform twice in the same week in two different continents.
So anyway. We chatted, autographs were signed, greetings and even an invitation backstage popped up. Then i went back to my seat and he continued playing tetris on his little gameboy clone.

Plays tetris. Funny guy, i thought.

Then at the Trieste concert some days later(which was actually in Prosecco, but don't let that be a distraction) he whips out the Kalimba for the same-titled song, and plinks dreamily, beautifully away. And it was then that i understood: tetris wasn't a diversion, it was professional practice.

Although i do have a tape of that event somewhere, the performance i'm sharing today is far more relevant. Recorded live in Santiago on the 31st of march of 2001, it represents the first ever incursion of electric instruments in Inti Illimani's thirty-year wholly acoustic career, thanks to guest artists Angel Parra Trio.

Kalimba (Horacio Salinas, 1996)
Musicians - Inti Illimani
Horacio Salinas, Jorge Coulon, Horacio Duràn, Josè Seves, Marcelo Coulon, Efren Viera, Daniel Cantillana.
Musicians - Angel Parra Trio
Angel Parra, Roberto Lindl, Moncho Perez, Camilo Salinas, Raùl Morales. (Yes, there's five of 'em. Long story. Cope with it.)

Ok, now forget about all this rubbish i just wrote. Turn the lights down and listen to the song. All i wanted to do was share something intrinsically beautiful for once.

in general

One of those mornings: woke up with my hands full of cuts and a funny hairstyle. And it's sad that this is the best thing that's happened to me recently.
In other news: my stereo broke down.

Partial list of albums my stereo will no longer play:
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica
Los Amigos Invisibles - Arepa 3000
Paco De Lucia - The Collection
Elio e le Storie Tese - Ho fatto tre etti e mezzo, lascio? Vol.3 (live in padova)
(list to be updated throughout the next days)

Common reactions to stereo not working: Thumping on cd player, thumping on table, thuming ground with feet, abandoning into despair, getting really really angry, ripping shirt, turning green and becoming incredible hulk, smashing manhattan.
In that order.

The good news: going to see eelst for the first time this year next saturday in Treviso. Setlist here. (ooh look! alfieri!)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Cross-cultural reference overflow

Funny how much Patrick McDonnell painted by Gary Baseman looks like Frank Zappa painted by Cal Schenkel.

Image from Arflovers, a highly recommended series of books dealing with "The Unholy Marriage of Art and Comics" (link and definition ripped straight out of drawn.ca), which i absolutely need to get my hands on now that i know it exists.

Also: Bluegrass tribute to Air. (tnx to Gnapppo)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Afternoon musings

If Beethoven were alive today, his look and hairstyle would be seen as terribly outdated.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New and exciting adventures in apathy

The scene: Bedroom, daytime. The webmaster is sitting at his computer, playing Microsoft Spider.
The phone rings, we do not hear the voice of the person on the other side of the line.

Robin: "Hey Fred. Yeah. No, no problem."
(while speaking, he continues playing cards on the computer screen)
Phone: "..." (inaudible)
Robin: "Tonight? I'd love to go, but i haven't studied all day, i-"
Phone: "..."
Robin: "Yeah, tomorrow would be better. We can take the six twenty bus so when we get to the osmizza there's still sunlight."
Phone: "..."
Robin: "I really couldn't today, i was hoping to start studying now actually"
Phone: "..."
Robin: "Oh yeah, that would be cool. Five, five thirty tomorrow afternoon then. Yeah, sounds good."
Phone: "..."
Robin: "Ok."
Phone: "..."
Robin: "yeah, thanks, i'll do my best. Bye." (Puts the phone down)

He continues to play Microsoft Spider.
Image fades out.

(Based on a true story.)

Pictures of fridges

The day has finally come when the refrigerator has become a status symbol. And when posting pictures of your fridge on the internet has become a trend.

(Plus, i'd never realized that it's possible to take pictures from inside your fridge while it's closed. And i'm ashamed of not having thought of this first.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

hay fever is killing me

Him: So, what do you do in your spare time?
Me: Oh, i blow my nose a lot.