Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Alfred Tarski

Logician. Mathematician. Genius.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant is one of the bands I do not listen to in my spare time but for some reasons I have already seen live three times. First, by accident, after work in Pure Groove surrounded by a sea of overexcited teenagers, waiting for the main, a bit ashamed to find out they were the main act. A young man jumping on the speakers, jumping in the crowd, girls painting his face neon orange and green. Needless to say, the two of us, after work, we felt old. Then I saw them in Scala, nearly crashed to death because the singer decided to jump into the crowd right above were I was standing where I had thought I was safe. Naive. Now we arrive at 22nd May in Koko, an early show preceded by horrendous Joy Formidable as annoying as can be. I did not expect much of Cage the Elephant but somehow, driven by my instincts, I was pushing my way towards the stage. Smartly, at the side. Smartly, the flying plastic glasses luckily spared me, and so did the craziness of the youth. But Cage the Elephant were a joy to see, the lead singer does have a stage persona proper, he is jumping jumping and jumping. You get tired merely watching him. As expected, he jumped into the crowd, this time from a speaker, at which point a guy standing before me turned to say that he had seen him jump in Scala and it was much higher and dangerous, we did not want to ruin the moment for him and just looked with disbelief. Had he known that we were in the eye of the storm that night! So much for the frolics on stage, let us, dearest readers, focus on the sound now. They sounded a lot better than last time, well rehearsed, still not my music, but I appreciated their efforts.

And so the night, seemingly, ended. I was ready to head home when, suddenly, Paulina decided to join me and we danced all night. We had to move to Proud Galleries where I caught a pickpocket red-handed and searched him, in vain, for my wallet, demanding the wallet to be returned ensuring that there was no cash in it. And the said pickpocket just looked at me saying 'I do not know what you are talking about'. Having searched him, I decided he had already given my wallet to an accomplice so it was gone forever, my cherished wallet. But a minute later the pickpocket came up to me holding my wallet so I said 'Thanks' and took it. It felt weird but I was grateful.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Crystal Antlers

They are currently on tour, Crystal Antlers, so, certainly, Pure Groove on 19th May 2009 was a small venue for a band like of an upcoming profile, with a potential to become famous. And why famous my dearest readers might ask. Simply, catchy tunes, a bit of reggae, a bit of techno. The lead singer with an attitude and a man without a face with a talent. On top of that, they were quite funny and distanced to what they were doing. They still need a bit of Dutch courage before a gig, lovely to see. So armed with my elderflower green bottle treasure purchased beforehand and which is being consumed at present, before your eyes so to speak, not the bottle of course; I was enjoying and wishing all the best but was more than glad that it was just an instore gig and that I could get back home and revel in Gang Gang Dance. It will remain a mystery why the quality is so low as I was really close and my hand was not shaking. But perhaps Crystal Antlers were.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Jean Genet

I feel that I have neglected the arts part of this blog, my dearest readers must be as concerned as myself. Fear not, I felt prompted today to publish this non-music related post. Summer being a bit delayed, I neglected my visits to Charring Cross second hand bookshops where I usually take ages to pick up books and, instead, enjoy the comfort of ordering books on ebay, which I am ashamed of. So I finally managed to get a copy of Jean Genet's The Thief's Journal and I am graced with the above image every day. But the book is worth the torture.

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Hence the delay. The reviews will come.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Acorn

Not so charming. Paulina did not enjoy that much.

I am glad, because this gig was an incentive to have a lovely meal at BFI's Waterfront with a bottle of wine. Unfortunately, it did not help. At Scala, on 12th May, nothing could bring Luminaire's magic back and this is where I fell in love with the Acorn. Last time, I felt there was a story being told, a powerful story, whereas at Scala the story got washed away. No doubt, it is an achievement to play at Scala, quite full, but from my perspective more was lost than gained. As much as I tried to recreate the intimacy, it was gone forever. The band were happy to be there, the crowd was mildly happy to see them again. All a bit lukewarm, the band pleasing the crowd and vice versa.

And yes, I really find the supporting act's vocals annoying. Oh Canada.


Most charming, review soon.

Ok ok, let me share my thoughts on Telepathe at 93 Feet East on 11th May 2009. First and foremost, they are two utterly cool girls, merely looking at them is a proper feast. Starting with girls themselves carrying heavy pieces of furniture packed with keyboards along with all the electronic gizmos. Oh, my feminist heart gently stroked by Telepathe's force. Yes, dearest readers must already know and forgive that I am partial to all female. Anyway, battling the bad taste of the supporting acts whose names I do not remember and whose ridiculous performances better be buried and forgotten. And you know who you are, shameless you. I was anxious to see the two princesses spin the crowd right round as Dance Mother is one of my favourite albums recently. Behold my recently, I do not even trust myself these days, sadly. And I used to be so opinionated. But back to Telepathe who were gaining confidence with every song, in the shadow, facing the exhausted crowd unable to nod their heads let alone dance. Even though the music and the album title are urging, we did not. Which is a pity because the music is perfect for a dance. And the drums, the little drummer boy, did not disappoint, quite the contrary, it was astonishing to see what a great drummer the little drummer boy was, promising. Only later did I learn that she used to be a drummer in a band. It shows, it does show. I can now start chirping about the vocals, because that is another aspect of Telepathe I admire, precisely, how they work together and the punkish moments. Talking about punkish, dearest readers, the girls have proper attitude, nothing fake, fresh from Brooklyn.

It was a tiny little gig. Very short, without audience begging for more. But I am begging for more, curious about the next album.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Primrose Street

Zombie Zombie

I love Zombie Zombie. Photo for now, review later this week. That is, maybe on Sunday.

Sunday is here and I have a little more time to elaborate on what an amazing live act Zombie Zombie are. I do not know where to start. Let me, perhaps, ignore the two supporting acts - Lime Headed Dog and Provokief, the latter name very intriguing for a bookworm as myself. Bringing to mind one of the most fascinating characters in Russian literature or not. Anyway, it was Zombie Zombie I was looking forward to on 6th May 2009 in Monarch. Gently sipping redbull with vodka and chatting to my dearest friend and fellow music lover who I was genuinely hoping would not be disappointed. For the sea of vodka or whatever it may take. They came on stage and brought back the magic. They are a team in rhythm, improvisation and immersion in sound, the two gentlemen. Not a huge venue, not many people, but Zombie Zombie as good as ever. Although I was a bit sentimental, as last time I saw them in the middle of summer, in Rough Trade East and the drummer clad in ripped jeans shorts was jumping on a stool. But that day audience was absolutely crazy and genuinely sharing their passion for sound. Those were the days! Anyway, dearest readers, my friend was smitten with Zombie Zombie and I was the happiest person to see them again and share my joy. I know it may sound controversial, but they are the closest anyone got to godlike genius of Kraftwerk and that is a compliment of a lifetime. So, my dearest readers, I recommend Zombie Zombie more than anything else. Especially in small venues, in the middle of the week. Redbull and vodka optional. As long as you do not get drunk easily.

Of course, I need to comment on the photo which you have the doubtful pleasure of seeing above. Miserable as usual, but this time I would like to add that it was coupled with me feeling miserable while taking it. Recently, music journalists have started to criticise the members of audience who, instead of enjoying the gig, concentrate on taking poor quality pictures with their camera phones. I feel this criticism is aimed at me, and god knows, I always feel guilty when I outstretch my arm to take a photo, stopping my breathing to prevent shaking, praying that nobody kicks me or passes me, to sum up, touches me, for that matter, as the camera phone is very moody. Especially in low light. Yes, now, on top of that, I sense, more than usual, hostility being fully aware that this blog is not enough to justify my silly ways.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Dulwich Upper Wood

Tiny but well worth a visit.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Record Store Day

Tribute to Pure Groove and Rough Trade.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

On 26th April, not at my most cheerful, having listened to Arthur Russel much too much, I was subjected to Yeah Yeah Yeahs experience in Shepherd's Bush Empire, yes the venue of my famous fainting. Safeguarding myself. Deceiving myself and you, dearest readers, that I could actually enjoy Yeah Yeah Yeahs had it not been for my painful memories, meditative mood, venue and what not. Courtesy of Arthur Russel. And looking into people's faces on the tube, staring at them relentlessly, seeing them puzzled and ashamed. But back to the creators of this guilty pleasure of mine, Maps. Ignoring the shamelessly kitschy stage design, with an eye/moon dominating the scenery, frantic audience jumping, spilling beer and being as enthusiastic as you can imagine, all I could see was void. Yes, you have heard it, void. Karen O with her Joker smile and well-reahearsed moves and lines seems to be devoid of any emotion. She can deliver, perfect voice, great on stage but it was all so insincere and artificial it hurt. Mass production of gigs, random fans, easy listening, yes, for me what they do is pretty much easy listening, which I define as 'oh, a good tune, I think I have heard it before'. So let us ignore all that. I wanted to see Karen O, raw, cutting to the bone and all I got was a tired performer, with a potential, as they say. Unconvinced, I left. Blame it on Arthur.