Monday, April 29, 2013

MIMO 5 - Ivan Vragolovich and The Bonebomb @MSU 26Apr2013

As you all already know MIMO or Media Inventory of Music Originals is a recent project in Zagreb that brings forth Croatian most original quality music through the (back) door of Croatian mainstream media. Every second Friday beginning 01Mar2013 they arrange concerts in MSU (Museum of Contemporary Art) Gorgona hall that are transmitted by online streaming on the Internet, broadcasted on Croatian Radio Sljeme and can be viewed and listened to live at Gorgona hall - and that's where I was this Friday, April 26th 2013.

MIMO concert concept is such that on every separate event there is one solo performer in the first part of the concert, then stage is re-set and a little talking intermezzo moderated by Jelena Balent, MIMO charming hostess, featuring two commenters is broadcasted from Gorgona hall. In second part, after commentaries, performs a band and that nicely rounds up this versatile event.

I had an honor to be asked to join in as one of the commenters and it was an immense pleasure both because I feel strongly about this project and also because other commenter was no other then Ravno Do Dna author and long time music authority Zoran Stajčić.

So how it went down?

Solo performer this time was Ivan Vragolovich, cute and funny looking youngster, walking around in an aura of effortless easygoing artfulness. As it happens he was the winner of first Croatian Blues Challenge in 2009. and subsequently has released wonderful blues album I am a Man, parts of which you can check out on his myspace page and if you like them you can buy the album here from his label Spona web page.

People frequently ask me why do I have to go and see live concert if I can listen to the music in the comfort of my own home and this is why:

If I were home, just listening to Ivan making music, I would not be curious and perplexed as to why does this musical picture feel so complete and intricate if there is only one guy with the guitar there singing live. I would not notice contraption holding harmonica around his neck and I would most definitely not notice bundles of wires and some strange tapping thing below his left foot that is really a kind of electric drum that completes the acoustic picture here. I just cannot see that listening from home and being here and seeing this I cannot help but admire his skill as a musician as well as his dexterity - and this admiration breeds respect.

He sang and played beautifully, he talked between songs and he growled at times toward the sound guys like any true musician would: "Mmhm, a little less monitor please, will you, there! It goes straight to my head." At times he was almost apologetic of his lyrics and he was just wonderful mixture of humility and taking pride in one's own work. All this AND he can make music!

After his act there we talked a bit - Jelena, Zoran and I - for the audience there in Gorgona Hall and Internet streamers and Radio Sljeme listeners. Zoran told some anecdotes about Vragolović and The Bonebomb and Ćato records and state of music scene in general from his unique position of  music expert and longtime member of the scene and people told me I had some interesting things to say too, but I have to take their word for it because I was so overwhelmed my mind just erased itself in the spur of the moment. Damn you, Cortisol! Damn your hindering of short-term to long-term memory consolidation process!

And then, there were The Bonebomb.

Their act is a celebration of grandeur and of splendid, immaculate, professional sound. They play and move around like only professional musicians can, with effortless dexterity and ease, flowing from place to place and from musical passage to musical passage like a river - powerful and undeterred.

As much as I was amazed and startled with the excellence of their music I also did not like listening to it there, in the dark, sitting down, not moving around or dancing. It was just... too much, somehow. Leaving MIMO I immediately bought their CD and I have already listened to it more than a few times and it is just great musical investment, acoustic picture evocative of old-school Hollywood and great big bands in contact shows from our childhood memories.

There are beautiful photos here on MIMO Facebook page and here on photographer Ivica Drusany web page (accompanied by his impressions of the concert, in Croatian) and please go browse through them and feel just how nice a project this is.

And, come! Come listen to music, mingle, see stuff and be a true music lover that can both enjoy the experiences and share and teach them to your children and your loved ones - next MIMO will be up soon, on May 10th 2013. in state-of-the-art Gorgona hall at Zagreb MSU. See you there!

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