Monday, July 30, 2012

Meszecsinka @Močvara 27Jul2012

Začarana Močvara (Enchanted Swamp) is low-key project of Močvara club and it hosts world music or indie  bands with artsy proclivity. Friday night we had an oportunity to see three bands - number that I usually consider too big for a live show but it turns out the program was well pieced together.

First ones on were Amarchord, if I understand correctly promo materials for the evening, project that only got together after they were invited to perform at this show. Their singer is magnifficent rubenesque creature of unearthly, etheric beauty and even greater voice and for the next show I'd put spotlight more on her than current  band lead. I hope he was just very very nervous and that he really is not a person that always divulges point of a joke before telling the joke itself. Musically they werent bad but I think they should strive for a bit more coherent act.

Second act was a surprise to me and I was so taken with auditory affluence of their voices I got goose bumps all over.
Trio Vuge are singing fairies, part of Etno Udruge Vuge (Ethno Association Vuge) and they sing, sometimes accompanied by old instruments music, bunch of beautiful traditional songs from Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Romania,... They were dressed up and adorned by flower garlands and they sang wonderfully. I did not understand half of what they were singing about but I immensely enjoyed their playful voices - cornucopia of sound - spilling over audience, makin' us forget all except the music. Fairies, I tell you! Wonderful stuff!

And then there were Meszecsinka - stars of the evening...
... band from Hungary consisting of three middleaged guys and very sensual girl singer. They played bunch of Balcan-sounding ethno songs and many Spanish ones. You can sample their work on their bandcamp (link above) or soundcloud pages - they do not offer same selection of songs. They played fine and had good connection with people but what I liked the most in their act (beside Annamaria's wonderfuly skittish voice) is their body language: very relaxed, joyful, at ease and notably gender-defined. Annamaria is so abundantly feminine and guys so masculine and protective that it oozes from ther act and makes this one extra-special crossover experience. It's a bit sad they are visiting here in the height of summer, when it is too moist and too hot for meaningful loving because this would make glorious first date, one after which everyone would most certanly get lucky.

I love how live music experiences never are just music.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Graf Orlock @Attack! 25Jul2012

Last night's Graf Orlock gig at Attack! made stunning entrance into top 5 of my favorite concerts of all time.

Allthough it started over an hour after announced time it was well worth the wait. Guys from the band were talkative and friendly, they set up stage in front of the stage close to an audience and they were so well played in and rehearsed it was raptutous to watch them play. Sound was set up loud, real loud, and there were few objectioners in the audience but in my opinion it was not over the top. Also, albeit loud, sound was crystalline clear - ringing clear - with a warm ting that was very distinctive and pleasurable to listen to.

Cinematic grindcore sounded like an interesting concept while I was browsing through their work on and I am very pleased I went to see and hear that because I feel that Graf Orlock have successfully wed two of my great loves - punk and movies. I especially liked the fact that there were no visual cues to this parade. As opposed to recent Meniscus gig in same venue, which had a lot of visual material to accompany the music making it a crossover experience modality-wise, this gig and its auditory directiveness was refreshing and vivacious, grabbing attention from the very start and making this experience intense and personal. In fact, it was so personal that I stood there grinning and taking pictures and tapping and hopping and enjoying the moment so much it resembled the  experience of "being churched" (you can read about that on this great Virtual Church of The Blind Chihuahua: What is Church, Anyway? page or if in need of more scientific explanation here are some notes on limbic resonance).

Which brings me to next logical point - Why do I go to "real" punk concerts anyway? I do not listen to that much grindcore or hardcore or any kind of punk exclusively. I dabble in indie and enjoy piano driven Japanese nu-jazz  post-rock. WTF?

Well, no indie Japanese post-jazz gives me the feeling of joie de vivre and absolute invigor'ation punk gives. When I stand there and listen to punk musicians, as good as those four were last night, play, my consciousness is wiped clean of everything except pure joy. All I feel is happiness, destructive wonderful happiness, sexually arousing exculpating happiness, violent and deafening happiness pure as the blood that runs through all our veins. No white, black or yellow, no straight or queer, no vegan or kosher, no inprisoned or free. It does not cross boundaries, it negates them. There is no "do". Only "be".

It is such a wonderful and liberating feeling, hologramic, wholesome,.. like being a cell and Consciousness Embodied simultaneously.

Here you can sample some of Graf Orlock work and by all means do support artists by buying their stuff.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Descendants (2011)

Picture/Poster property of Fox Searchlight 2011.

I watched The Descendants yesterday.

I liked it.

It takes a  few minutes, especially during his voice-over beginning of the movie, for me to overcome waiting to see if this is going to be another one of George Clooney's beauty movies. In this movie his beauty does not carry the plot. I kinda like that kind of movies because he really is beautiful and it seems to me that because he has been like that for such a long, long time he somehow looks "more natural" in roles powered by his charm and good looks. But this is not that kind of movie.

The Descendants is real life drama. I have not seen real drama, good drama, made for a longest time. Filmmakers somehow went overboard with dramas lately, traversing hyperrealism and serving us with unnecessary private details without any meaning, l'art pour l'art-isticly and stupidly treading across any real emotion that could come out of movie experience for a viewer. But this movie is not like that.

The story keeps description to a minimum - sharing only details that life would serve us in a similar situation. Feelings are shown as they are; discreet, muffled, difficult to understand from both ends - to a protagonist and spectator both. There are no tractates on both sides of a story just fragments of truths, half-truths and blatant lies. To watch it gives an impression of watching real life play out in front of you.

George Clooney's acting is exquisite. He actually makes us believe this could be his life. "...backup parent.  The understudy." he says in one voice-over and it FEELS GENUINE. Fervor in his realestate lawyer worktasks, silent despair in parenting tasks, anger smothered by decades of good manners - all this becomes him so oddly yet it rings so true. "Paradise can go fuck itself." resonates with living loss.

Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller both did a great job in their roles, more so by being so similar in their demeanor, expressiveness and non-verbal mood indicators as to make beliavable King family; sanguine yet composed, emotional yet deliberate - as royal family descendants ought to be.

Lastly, it is a movie of identification and comfort, movie that therapeutically shows us our own flaws and short comings and makes ways of resolving them not merely ostensible but real, true, authentic.

Friday, July 20, 2012

"There is only one greatness in life: seeing the world as it is and loving it."

Many things are happening every day - horrible, heavy things - happening in the midst of all my happiness with new place, visiting friends and re-vigoured life. There is so much going on I'm afraid I'll let something important slip by me and I'm going to make some notes here to compare them once things tide over.

I managed to help my parents return their life on track - it has been three months already and things still look very good.

One of my friends was hospitalized after botched suicide attempt that revealed many, many of things in his life have gone awry and this does not look good at all.

Another friend was nearly murdered by someone close and subsequently all kinds of horrible stuff, including rape and molestation, surfaced.

As my ex-husband is very explicitely threatening to kill me I went to report this to the police and they said that they cannot help me but they'll make a notice of me reporting this that will be useful if I decide to raise civil lawsuit against him or if he really does hurt/kill me.

Many, many things are happening.

          x          x          x

Some days, like yesterday, good and awful come together hand in hand. Same actions produce laughter and tears. Funny ol' world, that is. So many, many people barely coping with interpersonal relationships that they hope to make romantic in nature - so many thinking they're failing on daily bases.

Some time ago I shared some insights with a dear friend and did not think about it much at the time. But days flow by and it still resonates with my inner unease so I'll make a notice here - publicly - and I think it will make me good to do so. In this exchange of insights I said:

"I do not want these things from a lover, ones you talk about

I do not need them to carry my bags or change tires
but I do not need them for fucking either
or to bounce ideas off of them
or to affirm me
or to spend time with
or to share interests
or "to love me" because love is a thing I GIVE to someone to show them attention, and the experience of being loved is a feeling inside me - one that can be unprovoked by another person's actions

high correlation of "showing attention" from someone with "experience of love" could really mean that they love me, but it can also mean that they have good manners or that they have been trying to trick me

either way , love (toward someone) is inside me
that experience, chemistry, thoughts or emotions
are my construct
one that is easier to maintain if there is someone outside me who positively responds to my behavior
but that is neither sufficient, nor critical factor

I feel I can say that I "love all people" and "I do not love anybody"
and both of these statements are equal in value

Up until now I have loved men and women I dated in many ways and I have showed them my love in many ways
but if I would have to sum up most important bits - the reasons I engage in relationships at all - I think that would be:

1. because they have some excitement in their personality/behavior/coping that intrigues me
2. because I think they can teach me something
3. because I want to do things for them - from carrying bricks to cooking lunches or directing their lives (psychological category - it seems spending time with me cristalizes other people's intereses and affinities)

I do not need them for fucking because as much as sex is fun social activity, one can give more pleasure to oneself  alone

I do not need them for company because I know how to be alone and that is not unpleasant to me

I do not need them to formalize relationships because to cave under peer pressure once was enough - and they can bite me now

Luckily I do not need them for raising my life standard either (and I am very happy and grateful because of this)

All things considered, the only reason I would engage in a relationship is because I'm madly romantic. I unbeliavably like the thought of a partnership with a person that is aware of, and can handle the fact, that my thoughts are my own (and his coversly).  I like the idea of existing through time with a person while acummulating knowledge about each others' lives what in time makes for communication void of excess reiterations. Partner for experiments and partner in experiments. One that has his own intrests and we share the resolve to be pleasurable PARTNERS.

That seems like an ok plan to me. To hope to find someone like that."

          x           x           x

I thought about those words, my words, a lot lately - many times engaged in my evening workout as pictured in photo above - and it reaffirmed my oppinion this is a worthy goal. I will search high and low, through time and space, under rocks I already turned over and through landscapes (peoplescapes?) I am yet to come to.

And we'll go to PaxEast for our honeymoon.

Because "There is only one greatness in life: seeing the world as it is and loving it." and that is home.

          x           x            x

This is tenth post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one, twothree, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine below.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Penny Arcade Sells Out

There are only two comic-based sites I love in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, come hell or high water - and Penny Arcade is one of those two. I cannot count how many times something Mike or Jerry or Gabe or Tycho said made me pause my default existence to think, investigate, browse, research and explore. Numerous times I veered off PA  to Kotaku or somesuch just to get back and finish my reading enriched for a bucketfull of information. And now my favorite comic/gaming source of information and inspiration has decided to try to use crowdfunding to run ad-free for a year and in addition serve us with more free content as a reward for us helping them deliver us this kind of service.

Idea train is in station and I'm getting on!

Watch here, on Kickstarter, short movie about how this came to be and maybe cry a bit, as I have, watching this video show us the world as it really is - a beautiful and fun place powered by someone's fervor and ideas. Not everyone is made to lead, and it is a good thing 'cause it would surely crowd the goal zone, so in this here instance just try to follow.

Follow +5K of people like you and me, backers to this project, in donating cash so it can free good people providing us with free content.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Simple Peanut Ice Cream

As I have recently bought ice cream machine now I'm making fresh batch every three days so there will be many succesful experiments posted here. Usually I get inspired by beautiful photos like the ones here on Oh, Ladycakes - and then I scale down sugar and improvise with what I have on hand.

Few hours later I have some simple peanut ice cream and to make it mix in a blender:

one handful of peanuts
2 tbsp honey
400 ml milk (or 200 ml milk and 200 ml heavy cream)

Blend into more or less smooth liquid according to taste, pour into container that can be covered and refridgerate few hours or overnight.When thoroughly cold pour into your machine and churn according to manufacturer instructions.

Eat immediately or freeze in freezer-safe container until you're up for it. Thaw for 10 minutes before serving. Looks and tastes great crisscrossed with some chocolate sauce.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rosetta @ Attack! 12Jul2012

I do not usually come late to concerts but things became complicated really fast on Thursday so I just managed to arrive to Attack! as Man Zero were closing. I was not pleased because I like Man Zero quite a bit but Biškup said I was excused so it all went well. Short conversation and some laughing later Kings Destroy took the stage.

I managed to listen through about half of their act before I was so upset I had to go out and have some air and release steam and I will eventually get to what ticked me off like that - after I type a few words about Rosetta act.

Rosetta performed beautifully.

From the first moment throughout their act their sound was superb and there was so much love and devotion in the air that it was moving to watch. Lead singer was so thrilled with the reception he almost never wandered two feet from the audience. He hugged with them, allowed them to sing with him, smiled, had people climb on stage and take his picture from a foot away, he seemed to enjoy the attention and crowd loved to see him enjoy it. It was a beautiful experience as it seemed like a personal performance - acoustically exquisite and emotionally fulfilling - like having your favorite band perform in your living room, like songs are all bits of conversation flowing effortlessly between loving friends.

Which brings me to Kings Destroy and me being apalled, hurt and confused.

Kings Destroy were so utterly fucked in this endeavor I cannot fathom to understand how this happened.

I did not listen to their material before nor did I know anything about them but from this here experience I can say that they can play, they have handsome and adaptive frontman who tried to make the best of it and has great showmanship "string" - communicating and bonding with the audience both on and off the stage (as opposed to Rosetta gang who were autistic off stage, never leaving their smartphones for a second). Also I can say that it is not seldom for supporting band to be wronged by equipment and sound being set up for main attraction but this was not funny at all and if it was me on that stage performing - hearing how it all comes together would cause heads to fly. Last thing I do not understand is - how this fit was made?! Who got up one morning and said; "Hey, I got it! I think Rosetta should tour with Kings Destroy!" because that guy should have his head examined. Final impression seeing and hearing these two bands together was a lot like Miss Pennsylvania going out with a fat girl-friend. It does not raise her rating, it does not look like friendship, it just looks like somebody sat on her self-esteem and now verified beauty queen wants someone to go out with who will make her look beautiful by contrast.

I do not know how this actually happened and I am fond of fat chicks personally but this did not look good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Today I wanted to type about silence, about conflict avoidance, about  how expensive some inactions are, about how my first three posts in "What is home?" series are all about very pricey experiences that could have been avoided with me speaking for myself and how relationships are fleeting but love lasts forever.

But I'm not going to.

I came home and made myself one pot of ridiculously hot chilly - with sausagge slices and bacon bits!! - and now I'm going to have myself a bowl of chilly with freshly toasted bread and frosty cold glass of beer. After that I'm gonna put my feet up and read Mushishi manga or two and later still I'll go to Rosetta at Attack! and treat myself with some socializing and maybe another beer, if opportunity arises.

Because more than anything else giving chances - not closing myself to the world - is home.

          x           x           x

This is ninth post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one, twothree, four, five, six, seven and eight below.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cooking is home

I've been living in our new flat for almost a month and I've been cooking like crazy: cookies, cake, pasta, veggies, sandwiches, stews and snacks.


Even ice-cream and sorbets.

I even made tarts for friends at work.

Shelves and pantry are filled with everything I could need. Fridge is tidied daily. No dishes spend the night uncleaned. My vast cookbook collection is searched through every day and home-made meals are enjoyed both at home and carried to walks and work.

I've really, really missed my cooking.

And cooking is home.

          x           x          x

This is eighth post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one, twothree, four, five, six and seven below.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Moraines and Meniscus @Attack! 07Jul2012

Intrigued with the notion of a post-rock band having female band members yesterday evening I went to see Meniscus gig at Attack! It may seem trivial to care about gender in questions of good music but I assure you - there's no triviality in organizational behavior and any female being part of post-rock band is no small feat. Also, post-rock being truest of my true loves I had an urge to be there and experience it firsthand.

And it was an evening of sex and surprises.

First surprise were Moraines, opening act from Zagreb. As I did my homework listening to some of their materials to familiarize myself with their work before the concert I was a bit perplexed when their drummer went on stage and said something like: "We shall play all new songs for you now... New chapter in our creative process... Last album was eaten by the Internet and now, let's play!" and played they did and it was... It was absolutely great! Firm and persuasive post-core instrumental sound with vibrant, violent guitars and rhythm that spares no lives. I was so shocked and so moved my first impression was stirring of a memory of when I first heard Sepultura's Refuse/Resist, with wild unforgiving drums and bestial sexual desire it provoked. The act yesterday was nothing like somber and sepulchral "The Perfect Pantheon Of Absence" they made before. It was instrumental only. It was lively, salubrious, pounding and heartfelt. Sound was excellent and I stared and listened hypnotized, overjoyed.

When I was still in Medika yard, soaking in the atmosphere while waiting for concert to start, one elderly couple came in in search of venue where their loving relative from Australia would perform. People were endeared with their presence and eagerly helped them find their way and settle in and that was so lovely to watch and to witness. We hear every day that times are violent and that it is a dog-eat-dog world everywhere you turn but that may not be the case as much as it would be expected from those words. There are nice people everywhere and we should all nurture personal responsibility to be good people.

And in a short instant, there was our Australian relative and his two friends on stage.

Alison, Cameron and Daniel served us with luxorious audio feast accompanied with VJ Marty Wong's video selection. Shoegazerly and emotive, sonorous and relaxing. As much as Moraines gig had that feverish penetrating urgence of new lovers, Meniscus show had that comforting, reassuring feel of lovemaking only couples that know each other well can create. There's nothing wrong with predictability as it weaves fine net of security and belonging. Meniscus act was void of vapidness that characterizes so many post-rock bands. It was familial, societal and friendly. It was slow and encouraging. It was intimate.

I felt enriched being there. Almost loved. I highly recommend that experience. Here you can stream their new album and see if it talks like that to you too.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pistolrays and Eke Buba @Attack! 05Jul2012

I last saw Pistolrays at Tvornica 17Sep2011 opening for Threesome and at that occasion the only complaint I had on their act is that they weren't comfortable enough playing before an audience. That has changed now.

Pistolrays I saw on Thursday were different band alltogether preformance-wise. They were confident, relaxed, persuasive, passionate. They played through their set-list with vigor and tangible pleasure of performing, conversed with crowd and gave themselves fully to their craft. It was wonderful to listen to them play, and on a different notice - to see them play as they have the cutest and most feverishly energetic drummer I've seen in a loooong while. It seems I always end up typing about drummers but it was purely rapturous to watch him do his work as there seems to be unquenchable curiosity and overzealous abundance of life inside the vessel of his body

After the show, which flied by in an saddening instant as I could have watched and listened to them much, much more - and that sentiment was shared with many more form the audience - they sold physical copies of their EP "Moon Riot" and I treated myself with a copy. Same EP can be downloaded from their bandcamp pages for free but please consider donating because making music takes time and money and this is indeed one fine piece of music.

Some 15 minutes later, Eke Buba were on stage.

This was my first encounter with energetic Zagreb trio playing old-school rock n' roll.

They are very young and this is the first thing that catches attention because their on-stage behavior epithomises RNR youth. With confidence unparallel with performance they either raise symphaties or antagonize in an instant. Bold and overbearing, it is good they surfed on Pistolrays wave and I am curious to see how this would fare in less favorable circumstances.

Evening was continued socializing and I must say this was one of most relaxed and sociable crowds I ever saw in Attack! and it seems we should also thank Pistolrays boys for this as they mingled, smiled and interconnected vast group into big cuddly mush of friends. I loved this. Can't wait to see them again.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Hi-yo, Silver! Away!"

I bought myself a bike.

I bought one for my offspringess too, but mine had to be taken out of a box and put together - so I had to wait to use mine.

Yesterday evening my brother came, carrying toolbox, and we assembled my new bike. He screwed it together while I was asking 100 questions and we pumped the tires and went into the parking lot.

Butterflies in my stomach already got dizzy from excitement.

I climbed up and tried to ride. It went well.

I tried the brakes. I tried to come off of it and to leave it by the fence. I already tried to lock it and it works.

Then my brother took it for a spin and he was pleased. He said: "We're done here. I'm going!"

So he went off.

And I stayed in my parking lot and rode it for a few laps between the cars. The neighbour, the talkative one, asked from his balcony:

"Is it a new bike?"

And I said "Well it is!", teary-eyed and happy. "I has been 20 years since I last had one. And now I can even ride it anytime I like, I can ride it to the store and I can ride it to cool off."

Neighbour laughed jovially at my happiness and then he and his wife watched me spin through the parking lot.

I rode it through our parking lot, and then one parking lot more, then down the street. Gravel was singing under my tires, my hair was flying, air was buzzing by my ears.

I rode it up and down the street once, twice, countless times. I smiled and rode it until the night came and then I was a bit sad I don't have lights on my new bike so I could ride it in the dark.

I am pleased. I will procure some lights.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Enjoying nature is home

I went for a walk to the forrest yesterday.

It was warm and very bright and grass was still covered in dew. Forrest was singing, fragrant and inviting.

I met this guy on the road and he showed me the way...
... to sunbathed spring...
... where I washed my face and shivered and smiled, and drank cold water 'till my teeth froze.
Place was buzzing with life and some of it came to greet me and to taste me a little to see what I am made of.
Bug said I'm ok to go so further into the wood I went to explore feeding grounds for boar and dear.
Lilac linseed plants were so welcoming, I had to take a peek...
... while polkadot bugs were playing on nearby flowers.
And then I grew tired and sat on a moss-covered log...
... adamant to wait for a frog to come and say hello and surely he came.

There were hikers hiking, there were runners running, there were dog-people carrying on after their pets and there was me - interacting with nature. Looking under logs and being landed upon. Frog almost went out of the water to come closer to me and I could have sworn he winked at me when I got up to leave.

It is a serenity immersion. It is a cleansing of thouhgt and of spirit.

It is home.

          x             x             x

This is seventh post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one, twothree, four, five and six below.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Caring is home

This is our hamster, Nibbles.

He's less of a nibbler, really, and more of Tasmanian devil but the name suits him nevertheless. He sleeps through the day and when night falls comes out of his burrow and wreaks havoc: climbing, running, hopping about, carrying stuff, rearranging bedding, coming out to ask for a treat, jumping from balconies.

He does not like to be petted but he enjoys eating and taking treats from extended hand.

He appreciates frequent changes of fresh drinking water and not having his house cleaned too often as all his scent cues are lost when cleaned.

He also likes toys and having someone watch him do stunts and award him with linseed or sunflower seeds afterward.

It takes a lot of watching and trial and error to learn how to please solitary crepuscular animal but learning that is immensely rewarding. My daughter also seems to share my pleasure of learning that and her caring for Nibbles is exemplary. In many things Nibbles is, beside being wonderous creature and a family member, an educational prop. With his help I mold raising my daughter and through caring for him I share my thoughts and notions of ethics, of  common ground, of interconnections of worlds and of caring for people.

Caring is important. Society is important. Hand washes a hand and nothing gets left out of the loop.

You do not do unto others what you would not want to be done unto yourself.

Only individually tailored care is good enough to be called care.

And caring is home.

          x           x            x

This is sixth post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one, twothree, four and five below.