Monday, January 18, 2016

Plastic Knives, Rens Argoa and Portman @Tvornica 16Jan2016

I rarely dance.

I mean... I do move to the music appreciating it with my body but I would be hard pressed to call that dancing. Somehow I feel true that I enjoy it more "from the inside" then it could be appreciated by watching me do it. I have previously been complimented on my dancing but, considering context of those compliments, I ruled that there cannot be lot of authority in those assessments. Or should I say ASSesments lol.

I went to see live gig yesterday at Tvornica; Plastic Knives, Rens Argoa and Portman. I could not believe my luck that this gig is happening on my "weekend off", when my offspringess is at her father's. Sometimes having this "me time" really feels like being off the leash. But I digress. Anyway, another ticket bought through Entrio (I love that service), got all dressed up to show off my brand new boots and then spent half an hour driving around the block in search of a parking spot. When I was almost at the end of my patience a spot appeared right across the street from the venue.

It's all in the good omens.

Got in, bought beer and Plastic Knives started to play.

Plastic Knives at Tvornica. Good spot in the front row.

There was just this one tiny moment, just in the start itself, when they started to play and after half a line music momentarily stuttered, just like the performers have startled themselves by loudness of their music (like a shifting reference frame) and from that moment on everything (and I mean everything!) was perfect. I made a few photos with my phone and I stood there completely in awe. At some point I got out my phone and typed short text exchange:

wow indeed
And I stood there, mesmerized, thinking:"This is how I look like, when dancing, to other people. Like a sloth on speed - with exactly zero natural grace." but the music was beyond amazing and  Damjan and Nikola's musician chemistry was amazing and the shitload of doodahs and doohickeys on the floor around Damjan added and subtracted sounds and loops and delays and it was un-fuckin-believably good! Fresh and potent and so much more alive than on the albums (which are also awesome and you can sample them here, on their bandcamp page).

Then they were over. It was a performance so amazing I cannot stop talking about it.

And then there was a longest pause between two bands in the history of multiple-band performances. Gazzilion things were subtracted from stage set and some were also added. I drank lot of water, got myself another beer and stood there, in the front row, while overdressed, weird-smelling guy pitched himself to two very petite girls, unsuccesfully.

Rens Argoa finished setting up and started to play.

Rens Argoa at Tvornica

I've already seen five of their live gigs and all of them were one better than the next. They are, by far, domestic music act I listen to most at home. They are in my top 5 most listened to artists overall. This gig was no different, delivery was just as beautiful as expected: relaxed, professional, rehearsed to perfection, adding flare of impeccable live act to familiar sounds from the albums. I always take a peek if the drummer started wearing shoes while playing but no - all is well with the world. They played some new stuff and some old ones and for most of it I just forgot myself and danced, danced, danced in my new boots. A guy from the middle front row came and said:"I'm holding a spot for you there." and I smiled and blushed and just kept on stomping there where I stood. Muscles felt supple and strong, boots fitted perfectly, music flowed like thunderous whitewater.

And then there was Portman.

I already wrote about them a bunch of times and have seen several of their shows and whenever I see announcement of their gig I try to go and see them again. And again. And AGAIN. They are that good.

They are also very appealing to see.

Thanks to some unknown reason there were two metallic foil fringe bushes decorating the drum set. Ivan always looks like the force that takes care of operational details, guitar guy felt like he spent quite a deal of time dressing up for the occasion with his Jethro Tull T-shirt and slouchy hat and frontman was so overwhelmingly relaxed, with his aura of not giving a ... care.. and this awesome black matt bass. That must be the single most beautiful bass I have ever seen, pulling the light into itself as a black hole.

This guy is just so cool it is beyond comparison. I love that.

Josip Zupčić - Portman
The music was alive and strong and uncompromisisng, leaving no space for dilly-dallying. When I listen to their music at home I find it very melodic and very math-defined deliberate. I find it precise and spaced in time intentionally and measured, like crop circles. But on live gig it feels like a wild animal attacking you - it may still be measured and precise, but there is no way of noticing that considering how strongly it advances.

The three performances we saw during this concert night were so excellent, each in its own right, it felt like I attended three full gigs. Absolute awesomeness.

You can also see this review on Terapija in english here:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best Experiences of 2015

Flying over Stockholm

I wouldn’t be much of an experience connoisseur 
if there wasn’t list like this made in my mind frequently and regularly
and even though that enjoying experiences is just a different way of telling that I’m enjoying the process and not only results
I do treasure some of them more than others

The ones that will leave lasting impression

and I wish to treasure these by making them public, therefore forever-lasting.


Upon arrival to somebody’s home being greeted by person wrapped up in robe only, naked and ready is new experience for me, one that shoots its way to most wonderful experiences of my life with unprecedented ease. This will be one of the things I’ll cradle in my consciousness on my deathbed, revisiting it for comfort.

Ocean Drive

There is a reason this song is not on the list of best songs of 2015 and it is not that this song was not one of the best. It is an awesome, catchy and dance-compelling song, one that I’m certain will sound just as awesome in a year, ten or 25. But there is something else making a difference for this song. I was driving to work one morning when I first heard this Duke Dumont song on Soundset Plavi. It has a lovely Drive-esque start oddly reminiscent of Kavinsky’s Nightcall and instant intoxicating bitter sweetness pulls my attention completely in. Robert Owens vocals paint most wonderful picture of despair. At 1:22 there is tiny Britt Daniel-Spoon riff appearing what causes bout of piloerection. I can hear my heartbeat in carotids. My heart is lost.


Year after year I am surprised and humbled by the fact that there are still soft bits beneath my diamond-hard armor. Lot less frequently I am treated with an experience of meeting a person that just walks through the minefields and armors and reaches the soft bits with complete grace. I do make an extreme effort of tossing them out, eventually, but from the struck-by-lightning feel of meeting them to complete broken-heartedness of exiting this arrangement it surely is enthralling experience. Rarer than rare. Maybe even unique. Pure love, one that includes complete honesty and unyielding truthfulness is rare and incomparably beautiful beast.

Simultaneous Orgasm

I never had one before and not for the lack of trying. Mechanics and timings are familiar to me as well as ability and willingness to manage and direct/submit to directions. But this was not an orchestrated event. It was spontaneous and effortless. It only took genuine emotional involvement.

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

I read this Eric Klinenberg’s book through this entire year. It is not that long - it is that awesome. I read it slowly, thinking about it, returning to paragraphs, commenting and speaking to friends about it, even touting it to strangers. I always knew that living alone is my favorite living arrangement but I also try out other arrangements for size and enjoy them intensely while they last. What this book brought, on top of immense pleasure of reading scores of statistics and experiences (I highly recommend reading the method he used!), is a kind of warmth and kinship; sweetest, lightest, brightest sense of belonging - one that was as pleasant as is was surprising - since I usually feel as much warmth toward belonging as I do towards plague.

It was a wonderful year, enriching and growth-bringing year.
I am off to spend its final day celebrating it 
and I wish you all lots of pleasure and prosperity in the next!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best Songs in 2015

I think it will come as a surprise to nobody that I like writing things down and making statistics at the ends of periods - ends of relationships, closing points, arbitrary markers.
End of year is always good for such statistics;
gives  perspective and data to mine,
allows for answering questions that wouldn't even be asked without it.

This year I chose not to participate in Gorilina Godišnja Glazbena Gozba (Gorilla's Annual Music Feast) even though I signed for it. It just did not feel right after making my list and reading it twice.
So I've cut it down to 10 of my favorite and most listened to songs (listed alphabetically and links will take you to youtube/soundcloud sources so you can hear them too):

This song excites my inner hunter. As an experience connosieur I love when lyrics make my eyes glaze over with recollection.

EL VY - I expected no less from Knopf but Berninger senior has raked some more pluses in my book with this project after Mistaken For Strangers (see why in my review here). Even though there is no second-rate song on the album Need a Friend took lead as my favorite.

This is - by far! - the song that thought me most this year. There are things I had to google to learn in each sentence. Also, even though I'm more of oxytocin than lean junkie this is the song that spoke to my mood most.

Intelligent, hymnic, awesomely produced and also one of the songs that can teach you how great a service Genius lyrics are.

 I already wrote about Emily this year. And after I wrote about it I listened to it gazzilion times more. Ellis Ludwig-Leone is a god and Allen Tate his just voice.

One more song I wrote about this year, in my "On Relationships" series. There's no way of knowing how many times I listened to it (171 times only on my and it could be 10 times as much unscrobbled) but just like hearing it for the first time it still produces complete meltdown in my mind with its first chords. Even now, listening to it while writing this, I can feel my heart skipping a beat, making room for that desperate sigh.

Intoxicating earworm. That is how you drown in addiction - voluntarily and joyed up out of your mind.

 Sheer energy that went into this is stupefying. Drum and bass line out of this world.

Seems positive and uplifting by tune but follows the same pattern as the rest of the songs on this list. Grey areas are not grey while happening, only in retrospect. While happening it truly is black and light collage.

Great velvety voice, sense of humor, lurking mischeif.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


 - on a particularly trying day on the job -
when I raise my eyes from my hands typing frantically on keyboard
(can you believe this is how I concentrate?!)
and I grab mouse and click send
I am just so unimaginably glad this is my work
and am so happy I was brave enough to pursue my dreams.

I freakin’ love this job.

Every day I am out of my comfort zone
and every day I learn something insane,
and amusing
and when I look inside myself
I can hardly believe who I grew up to be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Let's embrace the point of no return."

As time goes by
as a creature of discipline and intense introversion,
feel that I’m getting closer and closer to my true self.

Immersing into experience more
And also wielding the sword of truth with yet unprecedented resolve,
Dividing reality from fiction.

Pain is no longer bordering with pleasure.

I went for a run night before last.
It is finally cold enough to run comfortably
And it was so late it was almost tomorrow
But the night was cold and crisp and beautiful
And even the dog-walkers were absent from the world.

Such unearthly bliss.

I’m listening to Disclosure’s Caracal while running now.
It dissolves daily toil into nothingness.