Thursday, January 31, 2013

Music Thursday - Rens Argoa

Another fine specimen of Croatian rock bands to notice and adore is Rens Argoa.

I first heard Rens Argoa play when they were opening for Maybeshewill at Attack!. That concert was sold out months in advance and I waited for it so eagerly that I assumed there was nothing that could even remotely capture my attention but this guys managed to do just that.

Later on, I found out that they made this  fun video:

...and months later, after listening through their excellent album The Black Hole In The Room (free download from Bandcamp) for a billion times I contacted them to see if they would be willing to chat a bit with me so I could praise them online.

And they were.

 DF: Rens Argoa sounds totally interesting and exotic, like Latin name of some big predator, but what is that? How did you come up with that?

Miran: [Laughs] It sounds like a different thing to everyone. We even got some comments that it sounds like fertilizer brand, but, like most of our song names, it doesn't have any meaning whatsoever! At least not that we know of. We toiled thinking up a name for the band and in the end it just got out like that. You know, you go to sleep and your subconscious rummages through your verbal centers and in the moment of maximum confusion spits out silly whatnots.

DF: So, you are from Koprivnica. Where did you meet, start a band?

Miran: We are from Koprivnica, but we met on college, we studied together. It was spontaneous; Marko and I were talking about music to run away from gloomy boredom and misery of printing presses and I told him about a demo album I made at home. At that time I really did not plan to play that with anyone else but I sent him the demos and next day he called me, something like:"OK, let's play this! Dejan will be our bass, when is the rehearsal?" So, in actuality Marko is the one who started up the band.

DF: I liked the description of your band from bandcamp/ pages: "made with pure slave labour love in the basement factories of Croatia. Its flavor can be described as a fine blend of caramel, cinnamon and ginger. If you try hard enough, you might just hear some noise when you consume it -that's Dejan Halusek on bass, Marko Kuhar on drums and Miran Katar on guitar". It is kind of cross-over of caramel recipe and intro of Smurfs - who thought of that? And under what conditions?

Miran: If by "conditions" you mean drugs - we swear we have never tried them! [Laughs] Well, we needed a description and as we thought nobody cares about typical biography of a band they never heard about we decided to go with humorous approach. Also, beside music, my biggest passion is babbling, especially in foreign languages, so this description seemed most logical.

DF: You released self-produced first album "The Black Hole in the Room" last year in May, made excellent and fun video for title song, played with Maybeshewill, filled the year 2012 with gigs to the very end - what are your plans for 2013?

Miran: That's right, we went with DIY on the album and I admit we had a great time doing that! Plans include playing as much as possible until the summer, in Croatia and neighbouring countries, at the moment we're arranging for gigs in Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia and on Croatian shore, not an easy task for a bend without a booking agency so we're deep into that now.

DF: So, now you're working under patronage? Can we expect you as a part of Rocklive Festival?

Miran: That's right! Rocklive is our daddy, but we're not sure about the festival. It depends what our and their plans will be until then, but it is possible!

So, it remains to hope we'll see and hear more of Rens Argoa in 2013. and until then listen to the album, notice and adore!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It Takes A Pair To Beat The Odds

As I was watching 50/50 last night I was moved by Joseph Gordon-Levitt's nuanced performance and I admired his character's great portrayal of bullshit tolerance. I love how his composed demeanor crumbles with more and more evidence shown and I love how the filmmakers have shown Kübler-Ross model at work.There is a great movie there and great underlining to the story of what happens when one's love exempts someone from marketing forces.

I love how his friend Kyle (in Seth Rogen's brilliant performance) manages never to reveal the depth of his shock and his fear at the same time being biggest blabbermouth on the planet (talk about hidden in plain sight).

I love the part when it is finally clear to Adam that there is such a thing as the duration of "forever" and also crushing finality of "never again".

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Music Thursday - We Can Surely Rock! - She Loves Pablo

Reexamining impressions during list-making season I noticed that there have been many Croatian band concerts in 2012. that I really loved but just like the old proverb says: "No man is a prophet in his own land" this societal idiosyncrasy rules Croatian sound scene.

I do not like that and it does not seem fair to me so I'm going to point out some of the finest specimens to be noticed and adored. Three to be exact, in bussiness of making rock music that really rocks.

First one up, my longtime favorites - She Loves Pablo.

I have first noticed them in 2011. when they opened for Been Obscene and they almost stole the show, fact that was immediatelly and wholeheartedly acknowledged by guys from Been Obscene as they went onstage.

In March I went to see them on El Stonero and they were even better. I loved the show and I loved their sex and their energy. I also loved their audience and I loved being their audience - energized, aroused, ready to sin and to sacrifice. Their music is all you would want from a rock band and then some, and their 2009. album Mother of All (still available for free downoad) lost nothing of its freshness and its power.

But they were already preparing new material at that time and Gamblin' was first official video released:

Second one, even more to my taste, was Impassive, Massive and Aggressive:

And tomorrow, on Friday January 25th 2013.,  their new album will be out and presented  to the loving public at KSET. You do not want to miss that.

Ticket 20 kn, door at 20:00. See you there!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Let there be Music... Thursday!

Work crazyness and new home shenanigans have ceased a bit and in forseable future there should be more time for me to write here about things that make me happy.

Happy like music makes me happy..

End of the last year brought on quite a lot of chart-making and summary writting and I enjoyed remembering and summarizing but I've also hated the arbitrary note of choosing the best among music released in a single year. I do not listen to music in terms of new or old releases. I do not care for release date in any way but to give the music in question its sociocultural background, context that intensifies the experience seldomly by looking at one album or one song. Sociocultural background and time-space coordinates are the parameters that make a difference in context of work and growth and changes and discographies. Out of that context, one of band and its music as a living organism, one album or one song is but a fleeting snowflake - every one different, but all just the same.

So I think I will invest some time talking and writing about music I like the way I like it. Taking sides, praising tries, glorifying successes and mourning failures. With no regard to release-date-freshness of the material, but with regard to its freshness to my own feelings and to function music fulfills to me, the recipient, and to music makers as senders of the message.

Additionaly, I like my happines served regularly so I'll do this every Thursday beginning today.

Today I share few photos from gigs I haven't written about. Yet. But I loved them nevertheless.

Dosh Lee (Velika Rock Eksplozija #5 @Močvara)

Zvonka adjusting before gig on Strossmartre.

Bernays Propaganda at Močvara.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Moss Set

During last couple of weeks I knitted like crazy in every waking moment because there were deadlines to be met and Gift season waits for no man but I was also very inspired so I designed and made this lovely set.

First I made small cowl as I needed one at once, and then I progressed along with some short fingerless gloves.

And the gloves were so satisfying to knit I made them in a day...

... and then I had so much yarn left over I opted to make a slouchy hat to go with.

I am so pleased with the results I even wrote the directions down and I'm going to format them and upload them so you could make one for yourself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

To Make Myself Proud

In July 2012. I wrote about Penny Arcade and how they are going to employ crowdfunding to make some of their dreams come true and to experiment some in the process. Kickstarter campaign was a sparkling success and I was thrilled and overjeyed to see that through as a backer. 

And now, I even got a Certificate of Appreciation to show for it!

This just got here by snail mail and it is the loveliest thing ever, and a thing I'm aspecially proud of since this is solid proof of me standing up for my beliefs and puting my money where my mouth is.

I like that.

So often I doubt myself and see myself lazy, inert and hypocritical - talking instead of doing - and this is but a first firm step in the right direction: growing the tree of realization from the seed of resolve.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, Day One

New Year started well. I cannot remember when I was this relaxed. And I even managed to go running in the evening. I like this. This will be a good Year.