Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Richmond Fontaine at Tvornica 22Mar2012

Last Thursday - March 22nd 2012 - I went to see Richmond Fontaine at Tvornica.

In October 2009 when they played in Kset I went there with expectations of a fresh, few-months-worth-of-listening fan and I was surprised, overjoyed and pleased with the experience.

This time around Richmonds were not presented as a whole band but just by Mr. Vlautin and Mr. Harding performing for us.

When I saw them in 2009. I was surprised how their music sounds post-rockish and firm as opposed to mellowed down sound you hear on studio recordings. During the time from 2009. until this concert I spent more time re-listening old stuff I had, listening to new that just only got out and getting better acquainted with Vlautin's poetics (Listen here to beautiful short story "A Motorcycle for a Horse"). Two weeks ago, for my birthday, I got few of Vlautin's books as a gift from a dear friend. All this made me more susceptible to this kind of show - small-scale, intimate, streaked with humorous remarks and acoustically beautiful - show that has the best of both worlds: both music-making and storytelling as it should be relayed from producer to recipient, direct, un-mediated, relaxed.

It felt like getting together with an old friend and catching up by the campfire.

I like how the sound was adjusted and so did the Richmonds as they specially thanked the sound guy.

I like how they were honest and confident telling: "We will be a bit indulgent now but we wrote a song this morning and we're gonna play it out for you now. So don't  clap yet, until you hear it."

I like how Mr. Vlautin was genuinely moved and happy and thankful when couple of us asked him to sign his books for us .

I love how all this concert-going business is becoming more and more involving and personal and how it shows, more than anything else, that wonderful people exist all around this planet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Violet violets

Last couple of weeks I've been so tired at evenings when I got through my usual and extra chores I used to fall asleep sitting up and I was so anxious I used to wake up at night and could not sleep.

Last night I read a book in bed and went to sleep and I woke up from a dream when the alarm clock sounded morning.

I dreamt an ordinary day.

I dreamt getting work done, coming home, talking to family, cooking dinner, sounds of chattering in the background. I dreamt reading a book in bed and falling to sleep and waking up when the alarm clock rang and getting and giving a good morning kiss.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snowdrops, finally

I realize I'm too quiet last couple of days, but I'm hoping to catch up once life changes I'm going through right now tide over.

I'm knitting Gemini.

I'm enjoying 20 Celsius in Zagreb.

Air is sweet with life and sun warm and rewarding. There is fondness and pride and truth revealed in words and deeds around me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

God Is An Astronaut - Mocvara - 09Mar2012

I had Friday 09Mar2012 months in advance reserved for God Is An Astronaut live show in Jedinstvo hall at Mocvara and of course I got there early to soak in the atmosphere and prolong the experience.

As I arrived, the Hall was almost empty and already very warm from all the smoke being produced on the stage. I wondered how this would fare and have expressed my concern that it would be too foggy and that photos will turn out awful but the truth was it turned out great, both for visibility and photographing purposes, giving elaborate light patterns something to be visible on and making a memorable, glorious show.

The schedule said concert would start at 22:00 and on the dot it did.

After a bit of fine tuning due to some technical difficulties they "started again" 20 or so minutes later and I was very impressed how they handled the pause and how nice and communicative they were during the break.

God Is An Astronaut play powerful, evocative music, music that sends shivers of pleasure down my spine and their show was multiplying all that. Elaborate game of light that draws, shows, blinds and deludes was closing the composition for music presentation...

... and I loved it!

Surrounded by warm bodies, of whom many were stupid enough to smoke in that crowded place, I could easily detach myself from immanent experience and drift on the waves of music and imagery inside my own mind.






We surely are just troglodytes watching shadows play on the walls of our caves.

There is nothing that has to be done but to be.

They played all my favorites; Route 666, All Is Violent, All is Bright, Suicide by Star, Worlds in Collision. They played and talked through their whole career span to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

I danced and smiled and moved and smiled and danced and hummed and watched and watched...

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. "

God is indeed an astronaut.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

El Stonero at Željezničar 03Mar2012

Last night I went to see El Stonero programme at Željezničar in Zagreb.

Envisioned as a three band stress relief concert it was advertised as the cure for all present day illnesses: low salary, disconnectedness, lousy work environment - and I was intrigued to say the least. Of course, one of those three bands being brilliant She Loves Pablo I watched play before Been Obscene also pushed me in the direction of "definitely going".

Allthough the gig was supposed to start somewhen after 9 pm, it was a long, loooong wait before first band climbed the stage.

Husta - "Happy three friends from Croatia trying to riff & psych-out their riverside atmosphere.", as they say on their Reverbnation page started just before half past ten and  they kicked it off heavily from the very start. It was plainly visible Nino, Tomislav and Igor are good friends that have fun playing together and their well rehearsed  bravuras put them right next to any foreign band in the drone/sludge business but it seemed to me that the set-list could use some tuning as it was uneven, chaotic and vapid at times. Nevertheless, they make very good music and you could sample it here, on their Soundcloud profile.

After a short settling in and equipment check, She Loves Pablo started at quarter past 11...

... and I am glad to say they fulfilled all my expectations and then some.

The audience changed - surely quadrupled in number and proportion of women in the crowd skyrocketed - understandable as guys make music imbued with sex and energy.

Confident showmanship at its best; relaxed, in good spirits, fun and funny they played through fiery set-list of mostly new songs in front of a crowd that knew old ones by heart and danced, danced, danced. There was passion and enjoyment all around and their 45 minutes flied by too quickly.  At this time they could easily be the best, both music quality and entertainment-wise band Croatian demo/small scale scene has to offer. I feel enormously proud they got even better since the last time I listened to them and that their audience got bigger, more committed, more of something a band can rely on. You can still download their first album for free from bandcamp.

And right after their set, the crowd dispersed.

Three bands are often too much for an evening, but late hour was not favoring Concrete Sun's first live show in Croatia.

Not exactly my cup of tea, being too old-school for my taste, Concrete Sun gave its best to show us "how it should be done". Praised by critics they surely delivered for average listeners too. Styled appropriately, with whiff of professionalism around their act, they even came prepared carrying merch; T-shirts and Cds - process that often eludes Croatian band priority lists. You can listen to their music here, on Reverbnation, to get a taste of what we had last night.

El Stonero delivered as promised. I am pleased.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MOCP Day 29 - Your Latest FO

My latest FO is this cabled cotton sock. I got it on my foot for this picture but it will be worn by someone with foot 1 size smaller than mine and in dire need of looslely cast off socks.

Bottom-up, 2x12 stitches cast using Judy's magic cast-on, grown to 56 alltogether and worked in small mock-cables and one simple cable for the middle of front. 2 stitches added for gusset on each side of front panel so the pattern can be worked for back of the leg also (58 alltogether on leg part). Short row heel.

2x2 rib on the top of the sock cast off very loosely, adding one extra loop on the end each knit side rib.

Kinda looks like ruffles on top. I like that.

I think I'll make myself a pair after I finish beautiful Filigree Hat from this week's CEY Webletter.

And with this A Month of Craft Photos is over. Go to this Flickr pool and see all the treasures that have risen from this wonderful idea.

MOCP Day 28 - Simplicity

I made this saucery French hat when I was twelve.

I was in sixth grade of elementary school then and I made it in a day, trying to teach myself to follow written knitting instructions. Cast on loop was a bit too big, but all in all it is a really nice hat; warm, lovely shaped, festive like a pinwheel.

My daughter loves it.

She wears it to school on days she has "special hairstyle". This is the only hat that keeps her warm and covers her head still allowing for hairpins and ponnytails to get to school intact.

MOCP Day 27 - The Wrong Side

Two crocheted flowers I made to show you the wrong side.

I love how they are simple but effective and I made a bunch of them before to adorn slippers and fasten them to hats. I think those two will make lovely brooches stitched on felt.

Thing I love the most, watching the wrong side of this flower, is that engineering aspect - mathematical/geometric construction of something made by drawing thread through hoops in various ways and which would in the end - seem like a flower.

Products are always more than sums of their parts.

MOCP Day 26 - Organization

Well yes, I do keep all original packaging, thank you for asking!

On the photo there is my needle/hook collection in bunch of jiffy bags and original cellophane individual packagings for every pair/set/size and the like.

I like to keep my stuff clean and organized and it feels easiest for me to do it by keeping original packaging. I just keep it always in the same place so it doesn't get lost or thrown away. I have been thinking about making organizer bag for some things or small stuff but I still haven't came around to actually make it. To tell you the truth, I haven't really needed it.

So why repair things that are not broken?