Monday, August 25, 2008

Enon Acoustic

As mentioned a couple of posts ago, i had a chance to see Enon live again recently at the HereIStay festival in Sardinia. A couple of days later, while in Cagliari with Tostoini, we climbed into the car to hear Enon once again, performing and being interviewed for a local radio show called On Repeat.
The following week, back home in Duino, i tracked the show down online and found most episodes to be downloadable on its website. Something we hadn't heard at the time were the two acoustic versions that Enon played live in that occasion.
Since i've been listening to them over and over for the past weeks, i separated them from the rest of the recording for enhanced comfort. And since i've been appreciating the songs so much, i've decided to share them here.

Enon - Sabina (Acoustic live @ OnRepeat)
Enon - High Society (Acoustic live @ OnRepeat)
(right click to etcetera)

Unplugged sessions from Enon are something extremely rare, especially considering how versatile they are with electronic implements in studio (most of their creative process admittedly occurs there), and how energetically electric they are live. Sabina -from the recent Grass Geysers Carbon Clouds album- is rearranged here in an almost bossa fashion whilst maintaining most of the strength of the original. High Society, from the eponymous 2002 album, is performed in a slightly lackluster form but is still an interesting listen.

OnRepeat, the radio show which apparently generates live acoustic sessions only because the studio reportedly isn't big enough for electric ones, also has a fair amount of other interesting podcasts available at this link. There's plenty of good stuff to choose from: i personally ran immediately towards an episode with Comaneci and another with a band called June, of whom more will be said in an upcoming post.
Even Trabant recorded with them back in December. Here's hoping they release that podcast soon, too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dorival Caymmi, 1914-2008

I was shocked this morning to hear the news of Dorival Caymmi's death. He was 94 years old, so it shouldn't have been that much of a surprise, but it still feels like a strong presence is suddenly gone. Oh, he's still here of course, his songs are still all over the place and inspiring people every day. (Coincidentally, my winamp had been playing his songs on random much more often than usual over the past 2 days. Maybe it was trying to tell me something.)
You've heard his songs, even if you may not know it. Over the years, from the late forties onwards, his songs have been all over the place.

I've made a little compilation, with a dozen of his songs - as performed by himself and by many of his colleagues and a couple of tributes.
You can download it here. Link removed due to a DMCA copyright claim! The whole thing can be heard at this Spotify link, minus the offending track (the one from Jobim's final studio album, which apparently is now in copyright limbo).

Dorival was one of the giants that came before our musical forefathers, and his songs are part of the cultural mud that links us all and it's always good to go back to the genius and the simplicity of his songs, as if we were lizards remembering the time they were dinosaurs.


A quick runthrough of the compilation contents:
Gilberto Gil & Nana Caymmi - Buda Nagô
A tribute to the master, penned by Gilberto Gil and sung with Dorival's daughter (and Gil's ex-wife) Nana. I first heard this song at my first GG concert, back in 1997. It's from the 1991 Parabolicamara album.
Caetano Veloso - Coqueiro De Itapoã
From the 1982 Cores, Nomes album.
Stan Getz & João Gilberto - Doralice
From the quintessential Getz/Gilberto album, 1962. Once again, 24 years after the first time, a Dorival song is included in an international hit album.
Arto Lindsay & The Ambitious Lovers - Dora
Even in the New York post-No Wave, a Caymmi classic can't help showing up.
Tom Jobim & Dorival Caymmi - Saudade da Bahia
A beautiful, heartfelt rendition from two masters of 20th century brasilian popular music.
Carmen Miranda - O que è que a bahiana tem
From the late thirties, the first brasilian superstar makes this Caymmi song an instant classic.
Garganta Profunda - 365 Igrejas
I love the arrangement on this version, it works so perfectly.
The song has one of my absolute favourite lyrics, beautifully simple:

365 Igrejas, a bahia tem
Numa eu me batizei
Na segunda eu me crismei
Na terceira eu vou casar com uma mulher que eu quero bem

It doesn't get much simpler, or better than that. Why try to write complicated, thoughtful lyrics when things like this exist?
Elza Soares - Rosa Morena
An exceptional version from an exceptional voice.
João Gilberto - Rosa Morena
No version is however better than this one. This is from the famous session where João used up an inordinate amount of takes - 59 i think - just to get the right sound on the first "o" of the first word.
Gilberto Gil - Marina
Too poppy and overproduced perhaps (it was, after all, 1979)
but it still works. Some songs are exceptionally hard to do wrong.
Tom Jobim - Maricotinha
From Jobim's final album, another duet. This time with plenty of jobims and caymmis on the backing track - they both had very extended musical families, most of whom were part of Jobim's recording team. A video of the rehearsals can be seen here.
Marlui Miranda & Ulisses Rocha - Promessas de Pescador
Even in such a different arrangement, the basics remain.
João Gilberto - Na Baixa Do Sapateiro
João's guitar sings one of Dorival's most famous songs. A classic rendition, Caetano recorded a cover of it (yes, a cover of a cover) on his Livro album, in 1997.
João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil - Milagre
The way the three voices blend together is a true marvel.
Gilberto Gil - Buda Nago
Gilberto Gil reprises his tribute, this time solo voice and guitar, at a 1993 concert in Umbria with Caetano Veloso.
Dorival Caymmi - Na Baixa Do Sapateiro
Just Dorival and his guitar.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One of those posts which don't really need a title (couldn't think of one)

Seriously, we have to reinstate some stereotypes in the world. Like eskimos. Do eskimos really exist, do they build igloos, fish from holes in the ice and make friends with seals? Or mexicans. Most mexicans i've met are a bit of a disappointment. Don't get me wrong, they were mostly fascinating, intelligent and friendly people, with interests varying from poetry to anthropology to music to easel painting. They were a disappointment because none of them was large, sported a moustache, wore an extremely wide sombrero and carried a guitar around to accompany their rancheras and boleros. Damn it, that's what mexicans are supposed to do. It's what we're taught at an early age. (They do eat bugs though)
When you're tiny, you will be shown picture books which occasionally display what is commonly known as foreigners. These are described as having standard appearances and behaviours. Living in a place with very strong ethnic diversity, a day does not go past without me witnessing somebody else's perfect idea of the world destroyed by reality, for example when europeans or south and north americans meet an african for the first time and discover most africans do not live in villages. They live in Cities. Cities. In Africa. You see something die within the poor westerner's soul as he realizes the world is not as interesting as he thought. Later he will even find out that africans are not cannibals. That in reality, they do not cook white people in a large pot, while one of them slices a carrot and adds it to the boiling water for flavor. Such a pity.
(Of course africans don't eat white people, that would be daft. Ever tried tasting a white person? Pretty disgusting. It would be an insult to african cuisine, which to my experience is quite delicious and has very rarely included bits of people inside.)

I have decided to actively search for and encourage stereotypes. They take us back to a simpler, happier world where all italians dress up as gondoliers and sing serenatas and where all canadians are mounties and lumberjacks.
More people in their countries should dress up in traditional garb and adopt stereotypical behaviour. It would definitely make the world a more interesting place.
Now russians, they're already in a good position. I've known a fair amount of russians, and most of them when prompted would actually do the cossack dance of old, legs swinging in the air and hands clapping to music, imaginary or otherwise. Also, all the russians i've met are alcoholics. This supports my argument even further.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Here I Stay Festival 2008: Day One, 25.07.08

We arrived while Il Moro E Il Quasi Biondo were finishing their set, and we put our tents up (and Roberta started to build her stand) while Vanvera was playing at the White Stage. Vanvera was good and enjoyable, but since there was a lot of running to and from the car with boxes and struggling with vegetation involved i can't remember a thing of it. What we did manage to see was Lupe Velez, who played at the Black Stage while we helped Roberta finish setting her stand up. They sounded a bit like Beatrice Antolini but without keyboards, a bit better and doing it for longer than her. Then there was a break for an hour while another band played at the White Stage, but since our stand was next to the Black one we stayed put around there. The next Black Stage band we saw was

Lush Rimbaud

Great job. 4-piece band quoting Fugazi and Disco Drive on the press release, sampled beats the drummer someties struggles to cope with but he needn't because they're doing great. Their Post-prog noise punk with uneven, sometimes oblique rhythms sounds a bit like what the Grateful Dead could have been in the '00s minus the blues, the beards and the embarrassing fans. I'd heard of them before but never seen them live: the former is well-deserved but the latter isn't. Had to resist the temptation of buying their cd.

After that Enon did their line check at the Black Stage, and Dos Hermanos started their set at the White Stage. Since things were pretty slow we decided to close shop and go watch

Dos Hermanos
Dos Hermanos will liven up your birthday party. They will bring girls to your party. They will bring the strongest booze you've ever tried to your party. They ARE your party. And they're sending you to bed without your supper.

More? Standing on his chair, the left half of the duo croons "Da Da Da" into a loudspeaker while Hermano #2 drums an obsessive beat. Obsessive and repetitive, but funky anyway. We don't know how they does it, but they jus' does it.

For fairness, Roberta's opinion was "perfect running-away-from-peasant-lynchmob music". Yes, she liked them too.

After them came Enon, who had obviously made the most of their soundcheck. I didn't take any notes down because i was too busy enjoying the show, but what i can say is that they sounded enormously better than last time i saw them (in Udine, in December, in a cellar), and i had already enjoyed it quite a lot that time.

The sounds were perfect and nice and loud - especially for those of us right in front of the stage. The sheer energy of the trio was something that has to be seen to believed: definitely one of the best bands currently active who you can still manage to see in DIY places like Friulian cellars or the Sardinian countryside. Their setlist (which -in its physical incarnation- i kept after the show and is quite a feast for the eyes) was fundamentally most of the latest album plus most of their previous hits, all played amazingly tight, surprisingly fast and with almost no breaks inbetween. The drummer in particular, clad in a Neil Young squared shirt and sporting a lumberjack moustache, stood out for the sheer energy of his performance. All in all, they played the best possible set and if it had been any better there would probably been a police intervention due to excessive coolness. No, they didn't play Daughter In The House Of Fools. Yes, it was that cool anyway.

Enon's setlist, w/guest

We were positively knackered after their set, so we headed back to our tents and fell asleep in mere minutes completely oblivious to how close the White Stage was and to how long the all-night deejay played.

That's all for day one of the festival. I'm going to skip day two because due to the things that happened that night i didn't manage to take notes on the concerts - or enjoy them, for that matter. But this is a topic that must be dealt with elsewhere.

The italicized comments are the ones i had written down during the festival, sometimes even during performances.

Hereistay Records/Festival official site here

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sardinia. Population: 1,655,677. Eyebrows: 827838,5 (figure it out for yourselves)

Since my feet are finally starting to recover from the long Livorno-Sardinia voyage, to the extent that there are now some parts of them that no longer hurt as long as i don't touch them too hard, i think i'm still in time for writing a post about my stay in Sardinia.
I don't plan to write too much, though, because i wouldn't know where to start nor where to end. The plan is therefore to take the twitter updates i was compulsively sending while on the road and expand on those with images and small anecdotes.
I wish i could embed twitter updates the way Warren Ellis does, but i don't really have the technical knowledge to do that on Blogger.


Background: It was Sunday, the 20th of July and Italia Wave had just ended. It had ended around 4 or 5 AM after something of a staff afterparty and something of a general falling over from exhaustion. So in the late afternoon/early evening we made our way to the ferry, which considering how little we were paying was expected to be of the dirty and dangerous kind, with rusty metal bits sticking out and sailors who have had pretty bad marine accidents ("his face was eaten by the seals, it was. Twice. They had to stick the bits back on with blu-tack" etc). Instead it was a luxury boat of the type where you see people with top hats and monocles. We got to sleep *indoors*. On a carpet, even. I had especially brought some heavy clothes for the crossing as i expected to have to sleep in a segregated corner outdoors ("there's no place left on these decks for your kind, only place available left's the plank") with seawater splashing over me and keeping an eye open for thieves, stowaways and mutiny. Instead, Luxury. Which means i had to lug a pair of heavy winter trousers and a warm heavy sweater in my rucksack for our entire trip through sunny Sardinia in late July. Just my luck.

anyway, on the morning of the 21st we got to Olbia:

Week begins in Olbia, basically an extension of the ferry arrivals ramp rather than a town. The roads are mysteriously uphill both ways.

11:45 AM July 21, 2008 from txt

Olbia is quite the ugly town, apparently existing only as a place for people to get off their ferries and bugger off towards the beaches as fast as they can. We had to spend the whole morning there, coming across nothing but cement, abandoned houses that were probably once beautiful and were now about to be thrown down, and one extremely bizarre church:


Bizarre, indeed. I'm still wondering what those hand signals in the tainted glass are, they look like something out of a Steve Ditko Doctor Strange comic.

Then we managed to bugger off to Alghero, on the opposite coast. A word of commentary on sardinian public transport: There isn't any. There's usually one bus or two a day to and from medium-sized towns, maybe more from larger ones. If there's a bus station there might be timetables scribbled on the walls. If there isn't one, which is usually the case, you're on your own. We had to make it across Sardinia using only public transport, in about five days. It was going to be a long five days.
Day 2, north of Alghero, coral reefs. What is coral anyway? Animal, vegetable, mineral, frenchman?

06:12 PM July 22, 2008 from txt

Alghero is a wonderful place. The camping we found was luckily within very short walking distance from the train station and even next to a bus stop. It bizarrely had the same name as one of the bands i work for, and was probably the best camping i've ever been to (long story short: Things worked). What the hell, i'm linking to it in case anyone needs a cheap and comfortable place to stay in Alghero because i was so damn pleased with the experience.
Day 3 outside Bosa, vegetation draws equally from 50's B-movies and Dr. Seuss illustrations. The rest of the landscape behaves accordingly.

08:03 PM July 23, 2008 from txt



If these ain't Dr. Seussish, i don't know what is.
Exploring natural caves, doing our best not to wake or offend any ancient phoenicio-atlantidean demigods, as usually happens in these cases.

08:08 PM July 23, 2008 from txt


Yes, this is the part that counts as having WACKY, WILD ADVENTURES.

Which reminds me of the time derf and i went to an abandoned slovenian village and accidentally activated some ancient magic stones or something and ended up getting chased out by a legion of cardboard cut-outs. Remind me to tell you about that someday.
Day 4. Leaving Bosa, where the sunbathers are usually gone by 6pm. Not because it's late, just because the sand is actually quicksand.

02:55 PM July 24, 2008 from txt

A word of information about Bosa Marina. DON'T GO THERE. It is that kind of beach you hear about in tabloids and newscasts. Bosa Marina is where you end up when you've been very very bad. It's not just that, it's the kind of place you end up in if yourself, most of your ancestors and a fair amount of your yet-to-be-born descendants have been really really viciously nasty.
Having no web is ok, it's the no mp3s that fries the mind. Hey Steve Jobs, where's my brain-implanted broadband wifi celestial jukebox?

10:41 PM July 24, 2008 from txt

I still stand by this assertion. without permanent connection to my mp3s, i am nothing. Almighty techie guys, what are you waiting for?
It must also be noted that after all that time away from the internet it took me a while to remember what Steve Jobs' name was.
Day 5. Morning: quartz beaches of Is Aruttas. Night: Enon live at Hereistay Festival with @Tostoini. Not bad, Sardinia.

02:56 PM July 25, 2008 from txt


Yep, pure quartz.

These pictures were taken around 7 AM because we wanted to be there before ANYBODY.
Small advice: if you go to the beach in Sardinia at 7AM, the water will be freezing.

From Is Aruttas we made it to Oristano, from Oristano to San Gavino and it was there that Tostoini came to rescue us. We were much darker, had lived in a tent for a couple of weeks, had lost some limbs and had also forgotten what the internet looks like. From there we went to Guspini, where the Here I Stay Festival was being held. More about the bands that played, and more importantly about what happened there, will be told in future posts.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Hear A Symphony - a photoset on Flickr



"Instead of resting, as i was on the good side of tipsy, i started taking pictures of the very, very rare Pizzicato Five DVD box set which i had recently acquired, and of the images it created on my monitor.
This is probably the nerdiest photoset i have ever made and that i ever will, period.

This series is intended to be viewed as a slideshow
."


Taken between 19:26 and 19:31 of Saturday, 29th of March 2008.
The Mp3 of the video pictured is here. (single version - 6.4Mb 201kps VBR Mp3 - Right click to download)

Sardinian posts coming soon, promise.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Kitty quote of the day.

If I can't get them to live in peace, I may have to move my computer out there and blog from the back yard while I play Traffic Cop at the cat dish.

-Mark Evanier, updating his readers about the inhabitants of his back yard.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Plan.

You wake up and it's August and it's 7 AM, an hour after you went to sleep.
You get up, close all the windows and then turn the air conditioning on, setting it to maximum. You shave and shower. After the shower put your best clothes on: shirt, tie, long trousers, the whole works.
You then go to your room and get back into bed, and sleep until the remaining hours of daylight are over.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Closing tabs

I am in the process of closing tabs which have been open in my browser for some time. These are three of the most recent, and also interesting.

-Dave McKean finally has something like a website.
His name was one of the first things i ever looked for on the internet, now over a decade ago, and for quite the long while i had to make do with the very-excellent-anyway-but-still-not-official dreamline.nu, which has been closed for almost a year now.

-Rediscovered Delia Derbyshire experimental tracks, one of which (listenable at the link) sounds like it was made last weekend in somebody's basement but was actually done around 1967 at the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop.

-David Byrne and Brian Eno's new album, the very reassuringly titled Everything That Happens Will Happen Today will be out in a couple of weeks. David himself spills the beans on the project in this blogpost, and an official website is available for when the thing is released into the wild. I'm quite looking forward to this.

More, interesting if possible, content to come. August is a closing loose threads month this year.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Very personal post which nobody will really get anyway.

(I'm actually surprised i'm still logged into blogspot after over two weeks of not touching it, besides a single aborted attempt to post pictures of Danger Mouse's equipment for the Gnarls Barkley tour)

Small post just to say that the Cristina Donà poster on my door just slumped over on itself and apparently died due to the bizarre phenomenon of my door expanding a bit during the hottest days of the year, also causing it to be much harder to close and to sometimes open in a manner completely independent from human (and sometimes even feline) touch.

This is the same Cristina Donà poster i took off a wall while wandering through Rome at 2 or 3 AM with Andrés, Cristobal and Agi back in autumn 2003. The same one that has since been visible on various parts of my room since, including when i first made M. listen to the Goccia EP (ft. Robert Wyatt) the following year or so and when, last year, i was preparing to interview her for Fucine Mute. An instant after turning my sound recorder off, she proceeded to say something about my features being handsome. If i had left the recorder on a few more seconds, you would have been able to hear the sound of me blushing. The poster was also on my wall when i first listened to her sing TTD's song Sign Your Name, which was one of my favourites as a teenager (and let's admit it, it still is), on her 2008 Piccola Faccia album.

That's all, i just wanted to capture this little train of thought and send it out somehow. No big messages or morals or anecdotes, more like just the outline of an object i hadn't paid attention to in quite a while and the thought processes it activated by, well, slumping onto the floor.

UPDATE: And why, i hear you asking, haven't you just stuck the poster back up? Well, my dear reader who makes non-clever questions, the answer is that i've tried. And failed. I tried sticking it back up with the original sellotape, it flumped to the floor after few minutes. So i tried with new sellotape: same result. Further attempts involving blu-tack and industrial black tape (both of which i have a discreet supply of which i hide religiously in an undisclosed location somewhere within my room, considering they are two of the most requested human necessities on earth) were of no consequence. I have therefore resolved that the poster is no more, it has lost its will to live, and shall soon be rolled up and placed in the dark place where unused posters are placed, which in this case is not dark at all because i have no space left in my wardrobes or cupboards. How sad.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Things are all right.

As of thirteen minutes ago as of writing, this blog is now five years old. To celebrate, i will proceed to pack my bags and go across the country to work at a big music festival. And then i will cross a sea wearing only clothes that will be very, very dirty by then and visit a nearby island i've never been to but that people have been asking me to visit for the past twelve years already. Who knows, i might even tell those people i'm coming.

The first part of the project vaguely described above is Italia Wave Love Festival which, as Pitchfork (oy) wrote recently, has one of the best festival names around. Vinicio Capossela sort of said the same thing when he played there ("there" being another town completely) and i prefer the way he said it, even if i don't remember the exact wording. Amusingly, in a way i would never be working there if it wasn't for this blog, which gave me visibility among certain particularly illuminated web people. For this website and the very-healthy-despite-not-updating-much eelst.splinder.com blog. Coincidentally both that blog and this one were born from the cinders of disastrous relationships, and both blogs brought me a great amount of luck both professionally and otherwise. I think this is a good thing, and at the same time i hope not to have to open any further blogs. I feel lucky enough as it is, thank you.

A couple of words about which way i see this web stuff going. I'm currently online on several different platforms both for personal and professional reasons. This has brought to less output on this blog, mainly due to lack of time (partially also due to nagging perfectionism, as the staggering amount of post drafts in my blogger dashboad can testify). I still hope to find more time to post here, because i still see this page as my online home. And i don't mean homepage, i mean "home" as in "place you can lie down on the sofa and take your shoes off and leave them on the floor and just relax".*
I have for example resolved to write less on twitter, and blog more. i've got the "write less on twitter" part figured out, it's the second bit that still fails me a little. The tone of my past month or so of tweets has been positively Gonzo, and it goes without saying that i have enjoyed it immensely and that considering what the past month was like it could not have been otherwise. From tomorrow it enters travel mode, like last year in Guča, and i will probably be updating via mobile again. Unless i find a way to sms my way to this blog, which i'm probably tech-savvy enough to do but definitely not nerdy enough.
Also, over the next week i'm one of the people in charge of the official ItaliaWave twitter. I suggest keeping an eye on that, too.
Tracklistmagazine is currently on brief hiatus while we refurbish it a little turning it into something different but similar at the same time. There will be shakeups. There will be music. There might even be updates. It's gonna be fun. Meanwhile, feel free to go back there and enjoy the archived content, there's some stuff there i'm still quite proud of.
I'm still covering the role of privileged guestblogger on VuotoSpinto.it, where i tend to go for a more political edge. Some examples can be found clicking here, but by all means read the other two guys' stuff too.
El Blog De Fidel, which more than one person has actually believed to be legit, is sort of retired although some people say it's still controlling everything from behind the scenes.
Cat Walking On A Keyboard is happy and purring and has shown interest to start blogging again. He has shown this interest by sitting on my laptop in random moments and blocking stuff.
The dreaded MySpace page is only there because it's there and i sort of loathe its being there. The less said about it the better.
Flickr is now Pro and will continue to be updated. I didn't have time to lately but there's loads of stuff i'm aching to put on.
All my personal networking is currently pretty much on FaceBook and if you've tried to add me even if i don't know you you are either very stupid, or very italian, or very both.

As for this blog, it will continue the way it always has, intermittently but intensely. I don't mention this page much in public but one time i did i was asked the question "Oh, you have a blog? What about?" which made me realize i'd never really thought blogs were supposed to be about anything, i always thought they were just there. It will however continue to be about what it is about, whatever that is. From what i recall in these past five years, it's a blog about how much Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica is absolutely wierd and reassuringly natural at the same time, it's about pictures of my cat taking a beauty nap on my bed, it's about me struggling not to write a post justifying my love for Pizzicato Five because guilty pleasures aren't fun if you take away the "guilty" and put in a "justified", it's about weekend downloads being given out on weekdays, it's about music videos from classic black and white comedies found on youtube, it's about whatever the wind brought through the window that morning and whichever shape the birds were flying in. I don't know what it's about but it's here. And now, it's five years old. Happy birthday to it.


*i would like to use this opportunity to divulge the definition of "home" which i personally coined in Pala Dayroom oh so many years ago: "Home is where you don't need to smell the carton before drinking the milk".

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Snippet

The players: Myself, M. (i know a ridiculous amount of M's, so it doesn't really make any difference)
The place: online.


Her: on the other hand, did you make your blog's layout unreadable on purpose?
Me: Funny story actually, 'cause you can see everything perfectly from my laptop. But then one day, months after changing template, many months after, i opened the page from my home computer and realized you can't understand a word.
Her: hahahaa
Me: What happened next is that i laughed for about ten minutes, then said "perfect" and turned everything off.

(end of anecdote)

(pause)

(announcement)


On Monday, July 14th this blog will be five years old. It was created on Monday, July 14th 2003. I don't know how it's still on a monday and even if you explained i wouldn't understand it. Coincidentally, on that same day (of 2008, not of 2003) i shall be departing for yet another Adventure. Updates from said Adventure shall be quite frequent, 'cause i'm even sort of getting paid to do it. To do the Adventure.
Hopefully i will manage to post again before that, perhaps rehashing one of those 22 (!) post drafts i just found in the blogger basement.

Oh, and i've had a new template for this blog sort of ready approximately since november. I'll actually install it one of these days. Hopefully before 2009.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Murphy's law: the evaristo deviation.

Things inevitably going wrong while organizing cultural events (clashing roadie egos, backup bands messing up the headliner's personal toilet, constant inspections from three different kinds of police one of which partially fictitious, official permissions only being given fifteen minutes before the gates open, show merchandising only reaching the venue some days after the show, co-stars climbing around drunk and completely naked in full view of the audience, stage exploding due to monsoons accidentally visiting the wrong continent) are, thanks to the butterfly effect, the only thing that's keeping our planet from being hit and destroyed by a passing meteorite.
The instant a show actually goes smoothly without a single flaw or screwup and even actually - god forbid - makes a profit, well, Boom and goodbye world, hello bigfatmeteoritewithallournamesonit.

I call this the evaristo permutation of Murphy's law as applied to event promotion and global holocaust.

And yes, all examples mentioned above are real.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Boxes

Unbeknownst to most mortal humans, boxes are not really for keeping things inside.


Boxes are actually vehicles that cats use for going nowhere in particular.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And then suddenly, a weekend download.

Since i've already had to email it around three times, i've decided to make this a weekend download. Exceptionally, it's actually being posted on a weekend. Huzzah!

A bit of backstory. I first heard this song a couple of days ago in the latest edition of Polypunk, the sort-of-monthly podcast by Digiki which i listen to regularly and often repeatedly much to my hard disk's chagrin. This time around the podcast was Daft Punk themed, so i suggested it to people via Twitter.
The item which captivated most people's interest is the one i'm sharing here today, a completely acoustic cover of Daft Punk's Digital Love by Alphabeat, a scandinavian band i was previously unaware of.

Alphabeat - Digital Love (128kps Mp3, 2.7Mb - Right-click to download) File removed because it was taking up loads of bandwidth even going past googlepages' limits, which is quite impressive but also means you've probably all downloaded it by now and i might as well upload something else instead.

As i was saying elsewhere the other day, it's the kind of thing that makes you feel like learning those three or four chords on the battered-up guitar you keep on top of the wardrobe and go out and entertain people on beaches. Possibly people with an attention span short enough to be entertained by the same song over and over.

In completely unrelated news, the webmaster has once again entered an only-listening-to-kahimi-karie loophole and is actually thinking of devoting an entire week of posts to her works. He will gladly accept bribes to keep him from doing this.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

June 2008: random picture post

Oh blimey, it's june already and my posting is once again at an all-time low. I keep reading good blogs which makes me feel like posting interesting things, the problem is i keep forgetting i have a blog in the first place. That, and i'm busy doing work and stuff. And if i blog about nonsense i feel guilty about not blogging about the interesting things i'm doing and so on. Therefore, to break the vicious circle, i will now post a few pictures i've taken in 2008. Without context or logic, just because i like them and it feels right at the moment. Oh, and as of writing this i have no idea which pictures i'm going to post.

If any one of these is found interesting by eventual readers, just ask and i'll provide context, commentary and eventual related pics.






Um, those were quite boring. Ok, here's a nicer one from a blogpost i've been planning since (gasp!) april 2007:


All this just reminded me that i'm planning to get myself a flickr pro account tomorrow morning. Which means Pelodia wins, damn everything.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

More snippets

Just a few tidbits found across the interwebs on a particularly procrastinating (procrastinative?) day.

Quote of the other Day:

"My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back because the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven."

-Steven Moffatt, writer, new executive producer for Doctor Who starting in 2010 and genius.


Also notice how cool the Guardian commercial in that there link is.
(it feels kind of wierd to type "2010" and realize it's only about a year and a half away. Can't help thinking of the Cornelius track of the same name from 1996, which still implied it to be in the distant future.)

Extramegafuckingbig download of the day:

All the sample sources for DJ Shadow's seminal Endtroducing... album. All seventy of them.
(via Ted Mills)

Cats are the new porn:

Gato island: new cat pictures added every weekday.
Which reminds me i should post some pics of Gato which i've been promising people for some time. The internet is, after all, finally revealing itself as just another part of the big secret plan for feline world domination.

On the Winamp: Akron/Family - Lake Song/New Ceremonial Music For Moms

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First thought of the morning

When people make absurd requests, give them absurd answers and see if they learn from that. (Spoiler: they usually don't)

Also: an anecdote as it was told to me.

"So this one night we were walking through Basel in the middle of the night stoned off our heads, and we suddenly started saying 'Dude, we need to listen to Moondance. We really need to listen to Moondance!' So i found it on my mp3 player and we listened to it six or seven times, and in the end we said 'this is such a Robin moment.'"


And finally: my latest column on Tracklist, featuring plenty of japanese tracks (player at the bottom for non-italian speakers) a couple of which will be quite familiar to regular readers of this blog.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Awesome Mixtape Live@MagazzenoBis

I didn't think i'd be linking to video again so soon, but i just found out that tonight's concert of one of my favourite bands, My Awesome Mixtape, performed for one of my favourite radio programmes, Magazzeno Bis, will be filmed and shown live on MTV and on the Mogulus Player embedded below.


EDIT: player would rather annoyingly start playing on its own. Here's a link to the channel instead. And yes, the concert i was yapping about in this post still blocks 2 minutes in. The rest of the stuff is good though.


Concert begins at 22hrs GMT+1 of the date this post was created (which i can't be bothered to remember for the obvious reason that it is a saturday morning). There is an offhand chance you might catch a glimpse of myself+friends since we will also be attending the show.
In all other moments you will see reruns of previous concerts by the band, and The Lord only knows what else.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream


As performed by Mariposa in September 2004 (and released last year), originally composed/performed by the mighty King Crimson back in 1994/95.
The video, on the other hand, was created this year by se_mm_ai, a trio of artists who then saw it refused from a videoart exposition held by Siena University because, in the words of the organizers, "no image must damage other people's ethical freedom" whatever that means. I just think it's a real pretty video and the song is real good too.

Plus i just realized this post is going to get quite a lot of rather unwanted visitors just because it has the words "sex" and "video" in it. Darn.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Links for 15/04/08

In lieu of blogging, here's a list of things i've been linking to on various social networks or instant messengers over the day.

-Elio e le Storie Tese on TRL, yesterday (no music, just talking. Sorry, non italian-speakers)

-Of my recent articles on Tracklist, the London one is i think the one that turned out best.

-Takeshi from YMCK interviewed. They're one of the best bands currently active worldwide, and that's not just a personal opinion, and deserve to be checked out. I particularly liked this passage:


Unlike the real 8bit consoles, you can have as much polyphony with my plug-in as you want, so always have to be aware not to overdub it too much, so that the cheapness isn’t spoiled.
(Via JeanSnow)

-Latest work from Banksy. He's been sort of repeating himself over the past five years or so and no longer thrills me like when i first found out about him, but the accomplishment on such a grand scale is still impressive. Perhaps we should stop considering his works only physically and rather also take in account the risk factor involved. Or even only consider him an artist who works with risk and efforts not to be caught, and stop considering the painted result altogether. (Tnx to Ceci)

-A new cure to cancer - featuring hot dogs! (via RStevens)

-BIGGEST KEBAB EVAR (Tnx to Pelo)

-Adult Swim soft vinyl blind assortment from KidRobot.

-Motionportrait: an example of what can be done with Flash. (What can't be done with Flash?)

-Massive 16giga will-eat-your-parents nineties eurodance torrent. Haddaway, Dr.Alban, Corona, the whole lot. (Raw torrent file in link - beware)

-Groovisions official website with work samples. Lots of them. I don't even know what most of this stuff is but i know i want all of it. Also, it's interesting how their Warhol exhibition design is so similar to certain work they've done for Pizzicato 5, like the International Playboy&Playgirl album boxed set (both are visible in the "Works" section). Ah, but i digress.

-Tostoini plugs Gato (Grazie Roberta!)

-Suggested listening: Neil Gaiman - instructions. (128kps 4.7Mb right-click to download) A poem about what to do if you find yourself in a fairy tale.

These are all things i discovered, linked to, was directed towards, read and/or enjoyed in one day, whilst desperately attempting not to think about the results of the italian elections, and what to do about them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a sort of big sort of update

I've felt like blogging for ages - and still have plenty to tell - but haven't had the time for, well, about two weeks now.
Much has been going on, often with my involvement, sometimes even successfully.
So this is just a much-delayed what-i've-been-doing update, hoping to be able to post more of the usual amusing ephemera sometime later (maybe in an hour, maybe next month).

I've been working for a band called Mariposa for the past three or four months. I'm doing online publicity for them of some sort, helping them out with their myriads of projects such as Magazzeno Bis, the concert/talk show/radio show they host every two weeks, and Indipendulo, their minifestival held within the annual independent label meetup of Faenza (MEI).
I'd been aware of them for some time, a listener for about a year and when i finally managed to see their live show two weeks ago i realized it was the closest i'd ever seen to the original Mothers of Invention from the late sixties. Hopefully we'll have some video online soon to give further proof to that comparison.

I'm still working for Elio e le Storie Tese, doing various unmentionable and ultimately minimal background stuff including but not limited to pissing the fans off on their forum. With a new album out and a week-long high profile late night tv show in the past month, things have been rather hectic on that front but luckily for me it was my longtime associate Pelodia who had to do most of the actual work while the rest of us sat around on the sidelines, boasting about our involvement to our real-life friends.

In addition to all that, i've been busy with a third much more ambitious project which launched at th end of last month. I've been invited to co-edit and write for a new online magazine called Tracklist. It's about music, about different tracklists based on our various moods or past experiences(hoping not to get too nickhornby-ish), about cool music stuff found online, and just about anything else that meets our fancy. The rest of the team and myself have put a great deal of energy into the project, so it's a gigantic satisfaction to have things up and running smoothly, at least at the moment (fingers always crossed).


A snapshot of what the site looks like as of this blogpost.

Considering all this stuff i've been doing just over tha past month or so, it's time for an arguably well-deserved break. I'll be in London and Oxford for a week from tomorrow, chilling with friends and visiting what i refer to as the Three D's: Duchamp, Doctor Who and Derf.

As always, updates will be present if and when time and unashamedly stolen wifi connections are available, and when i'm back i will hopefully manage to update with more pictures of the cat, girls kissing computer screens and myself on stage with one of my favourite bands. In that order because cuteness has a priority ticket here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A couple of very personal considerations which have nothing whatsoever to do with anything or anyone officer, now please put that freaking gun away.

1. If you think the answer to "what will students do now that we've removed any trace of entertainment from their everyday lives" is "study more", then i have the nagging sensation that you just might be utterly and absolutely wrong.
2. I can't wait for the time to come when we will no longer have to depend on energy sources that can essentially be described as "things that EXPLODE".

That's all for now, a bigger and stronger blogpost is coming soon (as soon as i'm done adding all the links).

Friday, February 29, 2008

Just like when you fold a piece in paper in two so many times that it just disappears into a tiny parallel dimension.

Half of the times i say i'm reading a book, i'm actually reading comics.
Half of the times i say i'm reading comics, i'm actually reading webcomics.

Friday Cat Blogging

When in doubt...

Sometime in august 2007.
I'll post a newer one, one of these days.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The webmaster loves his parents.

Lunchtime, yesterday.
My Father: I gave the cat a gigantic chicken wing, did he eat it?
My Mother: Yep, gobbled it up. I'm surprised he left the bone.
My Father: Well, that means your cooking must be improving.

Bonus links:
John Cleese Interviewed (Via NewsFromMe)
Stunningly beautiful site where children's drawings are recreated as photographs (Via Neil Gaiman's Journal)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Link of the day(s)

David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars

I've kept a tab this in an open tab for over two months, marked for "immediate reading". I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. All i know it's David Byrne, writing about new models for musical distribution. Which is more than worth a read.
Go along now and read it before i do.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Attention Italian Music Lovers

New Elio e le Storie Tese single/video:



New album on the 20th of February, sold mostly in unconventional places (newsagents and internets. Ok, record shops too).


Which is one of the reasons i haven't been able to keep up with my one-post-per-day project: work got in the way.
I don't usually post too much about work here on the blog, mainly because it would feel like selling out in a "have a look at the cool stuff i get paid for making you look at" way. But lately i've found myself in the unexpected position of working on projects so innovative and stimulating that i spend most of my time thinking about them even when i'm not working, and am just as surprised about how this actually feels quite good.
And of course when i say i'm "working on the projects" it goes without saying that my position in the project is slightly lower than "janitor's clumsy helper".

Another reason i haven't been posting is that in my previous post i broke one of the golden rules of blogging regularly: never announce a post for later that day, because if you do you'll be jinxed and will be lucky if you post again that month.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One of those little posts you don't really notice because it's between two bigger posts with images inside

So, you may have noticed i haven't very good at the updating-every-day thing lately. I have a good reason for this: i was mostly at home with a sore throat, and being home with a sore throat isn't the best environment for coming up with groundbreaking new blog material. Well, unless you're Neil Gaiman of course, in which case the tissue paper is made of fairy wings and the throat medicine is made of pure awesome. In my case, it would have just been a bunch of posts about "oh hell i feel terrible", "i feel like i woke up with two throats today and they're both blocked", "my voice makes me sound like i'm the bastard child of Tom Waits and Nick Cave (whom i don't want to know how he would exist, but would almost certainly have a tail)" and other such amenities. So thank me for not blogging, and you're welcome. What i did do was fix a couple of things on the sidebar which i wasn't too comfortable with, and the fact you can't really notice the difference is a great victory for me in the field of not-fucking-things-up-completely. So if you were paying attention there should be one or two new things, although of course i don't vouch for them being very interesting.

Later today: a weekend download. Yes, it's a tuesday. No, i don't care.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Now all i need is a good graphic designer and, um, some music i suppose.

Ripped off from Randy of SomethingPositive*:


Instructions:
1 - Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to Random quotations: http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr's "explore the last seven days" http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Put it all together, that's your first album.


Our main inspirations are heartbreak and opossums.


*(which is my favourite webcomic by the way even if i don't mention it half enough here and even if when i show it to people nobody really gets it which is weird because it's one of those comics which deal with everyday people and situations instead of fermat's last theorem and retro videogames like 97% of other webcomics. I tend to reread the full archives once a year, last time it took me almost three months. Considering it updates every day, i'll achieve critical mass approximately by 2011)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh ok, here's a post

Had fun learning how to use last.fm tags today:



For reference:

(Sorry Wikipedia, never again will i go around saying you're useless. Not for the next eight-to-ten hours at least. Maybe.)


I then retraced the history of giant crabs on the internet:
-Telegraph Article, 28/2/2004
-Neil Gaiman Extremely Alarmed Blogpost, 3/3/2004
-Radio 4 BBC Science/Travel Report, 14/1/2008
-Extremely Whimsical Momus Post, 20/1/2008
Who knows if these inspired forms of mixed media will continue multiplying before we are all invaded and enslaved by large red stalin-moustached crustaceans.

And to end this completely random post with something of a vague continuity, here's a similarly themed image i came across last night and was waiting for an excuse to post (as if i needed one):

I think it was somebody's avatar.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Blindfold Test.

Here's a little game you can do at home too. Ever read those articles in music magazines where they make someone listen to a bunch of random tracks and they have to guess what they ae and comment on them? Ok, in magazines they're usually unoriginal enough to include stuff by the interviewees themselves, or stuff they produced or played on, and the guy has to act surprised. Not here, ladies and gentlemen.
What we're presenting is Ye Olde Blindfold Test, est. 2007.
Rules:
1)You grab your WinAmp and put all your music folders in the playlist. All of them.
2)Then you set it on random and press play.
3)Then you turn the screen off or look the other way and try to identify what's playing, and write a couple of words' commentary about it if you feel it's necessary.
4)You post the results on your blog, or on your myspace profile, or as a Facebook note, or print them and nail them to the local church doors, whatever.

In my case, the playlist goes well over 30000 tracks (31352 to be precise), so setting that to random accounts for a rather satisfying level of unexpectedness. I did the test some time ago, and this is how i fared:


Ten songs - Blindfold test

1. Gilberto Gil - Domingou
Os Mutantes? The intro was a giveaway. Of course i like Os Mutantes but never found them all that focused - i appreciate their imaginative use of instruments and the wide and wild color they give to their songs, but only their best songs are actually going somewhere as a song and lyric. Plus, most of their best songs were actually by caetano, which doesn't really surprise anyone. (Is told what the song actually is) This one is a song with Gilberto Gil from one of his first albums. I need to listen to more Gil from that period!
2. PUSA - Shortwave
Presidents of the United States of America! God i love this band. They were important to me in the mid-nineties because they reminded us all that this kind of guitar music (i'm trying not to call it "grunge") could also be cheerful and joking, not just deep and angsty like Kurt made quite an extreme point in convincing us. This one's from one of their more recent albums - they had broken up at their peak, and reformed some years ago with a strong new repertoire. of course i know the old ones better.
3. Towa Tei - Technova
Technova, Towa Tei. Featuring Bebel Gilberto! I think this was the firt time Bebel got international exposure. The album itself is great, it has Arto in it, and Bebel of course, and even Maki Nomiya if i remember well! I remember once attending a videoart retrospective in Santiago, and being most surprised when the video for this song was shown. It was probably quite groundbreaking at the time, with the digital animation, the three arms...
It was Towa's first solo album, a special edition came out reently for the tenth anniversary. I first heard of Towa from his presence in Arto's O Corpo Sutil, which is one gem of an album. All-star participations, opened me to the work of so many geniuses: Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Vinicius Cantuaria of course, Yuka Honda, Amadeo Pace... plus Sakamoto and Eno! Going back to Technova, it seems to foreshadow so many things... coming from the NY dance scene, with bits of the london hip hop jazz, not yet exactly shibuya-kei...
4. Cassandra Wilson - Wichita Lineman
Wichita Lineman. Sounds like Cassandra Wilson! Yep, that's her. Beautiful song, i've developed a loving for Bacharach so strong i even went to see Dionne Warwick live this summer! This Cassandra album is my favourite (certain others i find, excuse me, rather boring), she covers some great songs: Only a Dream in Rio by James Taylor, Aguas de Março by Jobim, Hot Tamales by Robert Johnson...can't go wrong!
"i know he needs a short vacation"...that bit always stops me on my tracks!
5. Frank Zappa - Do it in C
Oooh, The Lost Episodes! The Blackouts! this is just a really short spoken track of Zappa's very first band. It says a lot that he published a spoken part but none of their playing... he had high standards and needed to live up to them! This one's off the Apocrypha bootleg, a precious and very elegantly designed affair. First time i heard it, it was as the first track on The Lost Episodes which is much, much easier to find. And legal, too!
Oh, this version also has some Studio Z muddling in it. There's Beefheart doing some of his trademark voices back before they were trademark. Before he was Beefheart as a matter of fact!
6. John Zorn - Avelut
Hmm. plenty of classical guitar, sounds chilean...Oops, couldn't have been wronger, it's John Zorn! it's a track from Masada Guitars. His Masada project is something wonderful, there's another double album i highly recommend but can't remember the title right now... this one's great too. It's funny, it does actually sound a bit like something played by John Williams with Horacio Salinas!
7. Flaming Lips - Thank You Jack White (For The Fiber Optic Jesus That You Gave Me)
Oh dear, what's.... OOOH! Flaming Lips! Thank You Jack White! It's a b-side, or rarity, but you really should track it down. The full title is indication enough! The first time i heard it i had it on loop for an hour... So simple, so spontaneous, so funny, so beautiful!
8. Arto Lindsay - Counting The Roses (self-remix)
Hmm, arto sounds involved... a remix perhaps? There's a sample and it's on loop, i'm waiting for something to happen... (peeks at screen) Counting The Roses. It's Arto! Lovely track from his remix album (ecomixes), only came out in japan... had to ebay for it! This track is apparently the soundtrack for some videogame. It says "self-remix", but i have no idea where to find the original, and actually doubt it's ever been released anywhere! But this is more than enough... lovely track. i'm glad we got Arto in this round of the game, after talking about him earlier!
9. Koop - Vuelvo al Sur
Vuelvo al Sur, probably by Gotan Project? plenty of background effects... it's not their beat...koop! I missed them when they played in trieste this autumn, I was in Faenza. I have very, very fond memories of their Summer Sun video (and the song of course!), always makes me feel a bit melancholy but happy at the same time. The first time i heard Piazzolla's Vuelvo Al Sur was when Caetano played it in Venice, back when he was touring for the Fina Estampa albums. Beautiful version his, but a tad too slow...i like this one better! How blasphemous!
10. Luis Alberto Spinetta y Fito Paez - Dejaste Ver Tu Corazon
Speaking of argentinians... this is Fito, from his album with Spinetta. A great, great, great album. the title is fairly simple to remember: La La La. I had this on a tape i'd copied from my cousin, it kept me company for so long... It's really hard to find on cd, i'd love to own a copy. I make do with the mp3s nowadays, but will probably pull the old tape out again one of these days.


That's it. Hopefully next time i won't be rambling insanely about Arto Lindsay. Now what i hope is that other bloggers i know see this and have a try, it's great fun despite being sort of self-centered. But then again, so is blogging.
Oh, almost forgot! There's also another rule:
5) If you have the time and the bandwidth, upload a track or two you've commented for all to hear!
Which, of course, i didn't.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekend Download: O Futebol

We're sort of staying in the same world as last week: after all there's not much of a distance between Vinicius Cantuaria and Arto Lindsay. Today's song is quite the rarity, a cover Arto recorded in 2006 of Chico Buarque's composition O Futebol, for a football-themed compilation called PlayUp.

Arto Lindsay - O Futebol (285kps VBR 7Mb 3:21 Mp3)
Credits here; lyrics here.

This song was sent to me by Guerolito, a very very kind reader, and i think this post shows how much i appreciated it! Incidentally, the original compilation seems like a rather interesting find for anyone who manages to get their hands on it: Besides Arto, it also features occasional collaborators Waldemar Bastos and Jun Miyake, plus italian reggae band Africa Unite (who once published a dvd where my presence in the audience is quite visible, or so i've heard) and a number of acts i've never heard from but seem to be worth looking into considering the top quality of the others. Keeping in line with the coincidences, Jun Miyake's thank you list includes Ramuntcho Matta, a name which is all too familiar to me in more than one way. Yet another thing i'll have to keep an eye on.

(Template color opinion update: blue was kind of bleah, grey slightly better but still bleah-ish.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cheating.

As you probably won't notice, there are still some slight changes going on in this here blog's appearance. I made some minimal changes to the template color and also didn't change the color of certain bits of the sidebar. I'm pointing this out because i had actually *tried* to make things look better but had ended up with one single big ugly mess and had to fight through the teeth to get things back how they were originally, which brought me to decide that hey, those particular bits didn't look that bad in the first place.

What you will see changing are the colors of the template: starting tomorrow, i'll be cycling them around to see how they fit better, which combination i like the most, and if i manage to not make a big ugly mess of things for a change. This you will notice, and please feel free to point out your preferences in the comments bin.

It would make no sense to make these changes if there were no updates, as it has been for quite a while in these whereabouts. Which is why in the past week i've forced myself to update every. single. day. and will try to keep going like this for as long as i can. I have a small backlog of posts for quieter/busier days and will concentrate my online thoughts and commentaries here instead of dispersing them here and there as profile updates, twitter updates or whatnots.
Except for today, of course. Today i'm just rambling about the template which does not at all count as an update. As a matter of fact, it counts as exactly what the title of this post is.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Don.

It's the Captain's birthday, the 67th.
You can start by rereading his story.
Then you can listen to Black Snake Moan(Right-click to save).
And then you can go out and do your own thing, and make up the rules as you go along, because that's what the Captain taught me to do. And if you don't have a plan you can always pretend to have had one all along, because that's a little something i learnt from acting this way and let me tell you, it works.
But most of all, Happy Birthday Don, we miss you, thanks for giving us so much. Happy birthday planet earth, thanks for still giving us the music Don would be proud of.

Black Accountant (1989)
Black Accountant (1989)
Oil on canvas
94 x 82.5 cm

Monday, January 14, 2008

Old and familiar faces 5 - Celeste

My good friend (and occasional presence from the first year or two of this blog) Celeste sent me these pictures the other day, and kindly agreed when i asked her if i could publish her here. The main reason she agreed is that i asked while she was busy watching a My Name Is Earl episode and would therefore have agreed even if i had asked "can i take all your personal possessions and grind them into breakfast goo for my pet truck".

The reason for these photos is that she was telling me she had so enjoyed a certain picture of me dancing at this september's electroblog, that she intended to set it as her desktop wallpaper. Of course i immediately prompted her to do so, and to send a picture as proof of this. Here is that picture:
(As always, click to enlarge in a new window)


I have to admit i look rather flattering in a mac. Then again, i suppose anything does.
To my surprise, she also sent the following one:


Sorry guys, she's taken. And in Switzerland. Where i've been promising to go visit for a number of years already but it's never really happened 'cause i'm a lazy bastard.

And finally, if anyone else is crazy enough to try out the desktop experience, here is the original unflattering pic of me shaking my booty to the 3rd hour of 2manyDJs' live set shortly before almost dying from dehydration. Special thanks to Daria for the hi-res pic!


If you want to follow Celeste's example, feel free to send in your photos too. If gracious enough, they too will be posted here for public mockery.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fun with UbuWeb

Some links from the quintessential online archive, in case there's still someone i haven't forwarded these to personally. I usually visit ubu.com for the avantgarde audio and video archives, but occasionally come across unexpected gems like the following, which deserve greater diffusion.

Kenny G meets John Zorn (No, really)

The Gaylords sing american hits in italian (from the 2007 365 days project)

A visit to the Postojna Caves (Sadly, it makes no mention of the fantastic hot-dog stand outside - a favourite childhood memory of mine. However, may i suggest an expedition to accompany this soundtrack? Pino, ci sei?)

Telemundo - Dificultades tecnicas (probably the funkiest beat i've heard today)

The Most Wanted Song and The Most Unwanted Song (Featuring Vernon Reid on guitar, ladies and gentlemen!)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

First video of 2008


Trieste, 3:15AM, 1st of January 2008. Cinematic!
Someday i'll learn how to lower the volume on my videos so you can actually make out what's going on. I could also try to learn how to keep a camera straight while i'm drunk, but that would be hoping for a bit too much.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Weekend Download: Ominira

I had quite a surprise -and a pleasant one- the other day whilst listening to Vinicius Cantuaria's new album, Cymbals, when i realized one track was most familiar. And no, i'm not talking about the new Jobim cover he records for each new album (this time around it's Vivo Sonhando).
The song was Ominira, which i'd heard before on Lisa Ono's wonderful 2004 collection of lusafrican songs Naima ~meu anjo~. A little bit of research made me discover the song was written by Vinicius in 2002, with lyrics co-written by Angelique Kidjo for her Black Ivory Soul album.
Romero Lubambo, who was the guitarist on that album, brought the song into Lisa Ono's repertoire when working on Naima. And now Vinicius Cantuaria rerecorded his own version, complete with new portuguese lyrics.
Why so many versions? Easy: Ominira is one lovely song. And i've decided to share all three versions here.
(As always, right-click to save)

Vinicius Cantuaria - Ominira (2007) (320kps 10Mb 4:21 Mp3)

Lisa Ono - Ominira (2004) (160kps 5Mb 4:20 Mp3)

Angelique Kidjo - Ominira (2002) (192kps 6Mb 4:23 Mp3) (credits here)

There, now you can decide which version you like best. I already know which one's my favourite!

One last little thing i was wondering: Ominira is the Yoruba word for Freedom, yet this website says the lyrics are in Fon. Can anybody out there confirm or deny this?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No spoilers.

Location: The bar. Time: this morning.

Him: What? You don't know 30 Seconds To Mars?
Me: Um, no.
Him: They're good. The singer's the blonde guy from Fight Club, remember him?
Me: ...
Him: He was also in that movie about the death of John Lennon: he's the guy who killed him.
Me: Well thank you very much for spoiling the ending.