Sunday, December 30, 2007

Grammy bore

-PS I have changed the date, this was posted on the 12th February (but I don't want first post after the blog header to be politics )-

Well, things are kind of silly these days. Grammys were definitely cheesy, seemed more like a prom night or a barbie dress up contest in Texas..... really, these aren't the oscars, it's music!! (only ones to be saved from the wreck as far as attitude goes were the Foo Fighters and little more) . Onstage K. West's first performance was good, second was also silly, sorry, but if this had been anybody else onstage singing that mamma mamma mess, people would vote him for next person to ridiculize in American Idol's auditions (I don't mean to be insensitive -unlike the said contest- but pushing feelings aside and seeing it as the music performance it was...). Beyonce and Tina, sort of entertaining but the version turned out quite blah as far as real emotion goes, and Winehouse, really, sort of sinister to watch, can't enjoy and take my mind out of her physical frame; and still she was one of the best of the night. I know most of the musicians are not known for their rosy cheeks and healthy glow but there's a line . And then the politics, of course, not to be missed in any event, with Will.I.Am, most eminent wise man, pointing his very infalible finger to the right vote........... enough already!!!. What a nightmare if the people with more records sold should tell us who to vote (so Spears, Aguilera, Carey and Will.I.Am - Michael Jackson and Hanna Montana are probably in the list too- would make a great choice, I'm sure. Great, I trust these people's careful pondering of things so much it's one thing I won't have to think about anymore!!). Really, enough already.......feels like real music and its spirit only briefly touched the Grammys stage. And there were a few good jokes too...
Probably the same will apply to the next oscars (does the academy actually update its files? seems a party of friends, same people getting the same awards every year. I get it, I see this week's top 3 movies at the box office, and I guess they're all just a bit massively depressed). I hope they also agree with Will I Am in who to vote or else my mind will snap and and my brain will shortcircuit!!

PS I know probably Will.I.Am's intentions are good, he'll feel very strongly about it an feels that in his position he has some kind of duty to do all he can. But the more influential you are, the more careful you have to be, these are shades of grey we're talking about here. And there's a time and space for politics. And there are some minimum necessary rules to the game, you just can't cheat like that.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas and a wonderful new year to all! I would have liked to post a Christmas pic or something but I can't. I'm away, and trying to figure out the equation for happy (or at least peaceful) holidays once more.
Would like to feel at least as happy as these two!!

PS 24th December. I made a little effort and I've taken these pics today, went for a walk and it was an amazingly beautiful morning, anyone guess where?.
Sunny and quiet.

And in this yacht a familiar song was playing: ' could be the end of everything so why dont we go somewhere only... ' (like the ghost of past times. These days I keep listening to The Wallflowers, specially If you never got sick, don't know why) - (and it was still sunny, but my camera was set to "candlelight", hence the blue, experiments...).

Again, happy holidays

PS 25 dec. Today I took this one, and a slightly better one. I'll be back to my usual music topics when I return from these déjà vu holidays ...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ingrid Michaelson at the WCL

Last Friday I went to see Ingrid Michaelson at XPN free at noon (for those not from around here, it's a Philly based radio station located in the University area, that organizes free concerts every Friday at noon, among many other things) .

The setlist included, among others, Breakable, The way I am, Keep breathing, Overboard, and a holiday song she said it was the first time she was performing live, and it lasted a little less than an hour.
The place was quite packed, and audience was very mixed in ages, styles, you name it. Pics are taken from the distance, I'm afraid, I could have gotten nearer but I was very cosy in "my" staircase and had a "panoramic" view!!
Ingrid's singing was impeccable, and specially poignant in Keep breathing, which is the song I like best (the lyrics are so spot on on such a difficult theme to write about), as opposed to "The way I am" which has the type of easy tune that tends to get on my nerves after listening to it a few times . On stage with her were 4 more musicians that managed to do a very good job of all songs. The following day was her birthday, and the radio people not only brought her a cake (click to enlargen, see the candles?), they also gave away fake glasses to the audience (not to me, I was five minutes late so...) and at one point the cake came out and everybody sang happy birthday to her wearing those glasses (you can see them on a few people onstage too), which was really cute.

In between songs she'd talk about things and the songs "stories" (like Overboard, which she made notes for during one of those typical lobster boat ride excursions in Maine, where a very handsome-manly fisherman was explaining lobster facts to them and her friend kept saying how cute he was and that she felt like fainting and falling overboard so he would rescue her. Or something like that.). She was fun and charming. Then she had a mini interview and she was asked things like her afterthoughts on lending her song to an Old Navy commercial, how fans had reacted. She gave a pretty good answer, and main reason (apart from $$) was that many more people were going to get to hear her music, and at this point in her career it totally makes sense to me.
She also talked about Grey's anatomy, she pointed out that they're doing a great job of promoting new artists. It really works for both ends, it's got one of the best sountracks around.

And that's about it. Then they raffled a cool white electric guitar that I had no chance of winning (again, since I was late, I didn't enter it, there goes my chance to learn to play guitar!), and I went home in broad day light, which is weird for an after-concert!
You can listen to the concert clicking here (XPN's archives), then in "hear the complete show". There's also the setlist for the show.
PS Feb'08: It made it to youtube, watch Keep breathing here.

Next spring records will bloom

More and more artists are planning to release records next spring:
* Alanis Morissette will release "Flavors of entanglement" early spring (good!!)
* Dido will try to have hers ready for March
* Madonna will launch "Licorice" in april (Kanye West will be helping out, he seems to be everywhere!!)
* Wheezer will do so in April
* Sheryl Crow is releasing Detours in February (whatever... I don't say it to be mean but she did one of the best 007 themes ever and then... come on, Sheryl)
* Portishead are releasing their first record in 10 years in April too (looking forward to that, really curious, could go either way)
* Moby will launch "Last night" in March
* I bet Coldplay's Prospekt (or else) will finally have bloomed too
* And Jakob Dylan's solo album will also spring, hopefully (whoeee !!!, can't wait for this one)

Others supposedly releasing new records in 2008 are: Keane (september as per Q magazine), Franz Ferdinand probably, The cure, Kaiser Chiefs, Oasis, Morrisey (later in the year), REM , U2, maybe Blur ... tough competition next year!! (a few heavyweights from the past among them returning from years of slumber, interesting).

PS 15th January: Q magazine's editor's letter in this month´s issue talks about 2008's expected releases too, read it here .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas stuff - Carol of the bells

Every Christmas there's some new cool stuff around, I've already found a few things this year :
*A spectacular version of Carol of the bells by The bird and the bee, you can listen to it for free in their Myspace, you'll have to select it (quite Michel Legrandish, totally 70's but wrapped up in 2008 bling). By the way, click here for the lyrics (google's sending people looking for them to this post , so there you go).
*Hilarious christmas card (muchh funnier than it looks here once it's done), you cut out whatever faces you want and stick them to the elves, the result is really funny. Somebody (Ouchouch) did it with The wallflowers in their message board, you can see it here (you may have to wait a few seconds).
*And an idea for a Christmas gift: the BBC's Planet Earth series DVD, see a trailer here . I'm not normally a documentary watcher but the other day this one was on in this mega hi def screen in a shop and I had to find a chair, sit down and watch it, it was so impressive (actually I also had to stop the dvd and push eject in order to find out, oops).
Another cool thing I've seen if you're into plush stuff (I usually am not but these are eye catchers) or have to shop for children are the Ugly dolls, I took a pick but it's blurry. Love them (didn't buy one though, no use for me and I've moved enough times in my life to try to keep it as simple as possible).

PS This is not one of those blogs where I get money to talk about certain things, so what I put here is whatever I please. The only ads on are google's adsense which change everyday and I have no control over, other than to filter them.
And a curiosity, this is my blog's visits graph, peaky, huh??
peaky chart

The bird and the bee at the North Star

Inara George Philadelphia The bird and the bee played at the North Star, which is a very "informal" type of venue. So, going with the flow, they mingled with the audience to listen to and cheer supporting act Charlie Wadhams and after the second supporting act (Orphan family) they simply climbed onstage and helped finish the technical issues, then started playing. I was surprised it was only the two of them, as usually they seem to bring along more people on the road. And when your music has almost more layers than Bach's, being two can be a problem, humans having only two hands and one voice. So they had to make up for it with lots of pre-recorded stuff (even brought a tape recorder). And that is something you always resent in a live performance. Inara's voice is amazing and Greg is so skilled at the piano, and the music is really good but also more than difficult to play live, and maybe they should have attempted to do it without so much fuss. It's fine if it doesn't sound exactly like the record. Or they could have met somewhere in the middle, half like that and half "acoustic" or else, but there were few songs free from it (maybe the two I've selected from youtube as highlights), that wasn't their approach. So you could hear Inara singing the lead and Inara in the chorus at the same time and that does sound a little too funky live. At the same time there were moments when you could not know what part was Greg really playing at the keyboards (he also played guitar). That said I enjoyed it a lot, I love many of the songs and Inara's voice, again, is superb. She had the stage to herself as for the most part Greg was not really participative with the audience, and she did pretty well. They kept well up their Bird and the bee image/attitude, I love seeing people who bring freshness, boldness and difference to their appearance (but red light, Inara's dress fabric resembled a little too much a wrinkled bedsheet). Inara even made soap bubbles at one point ...
Probably most of the lows of the show would disappear with a higher budget.
During the whole concert people could walk up to the first row anytime they wanted, that's a change from what I'm used to. More than half the audience was having a great time listening to them and cheering and another group was by the bar having animated conversation (that's what happens when you put the bar in the same room as the stage on a Saturday night, and it's past 12, I guess). The setlist included Preparedness (one of the first songs they played), La la la, The birds and the bees, Again and again, Polite dance song, 2 versions of F***ing boyfriend and covers of Pyschokiller and How deep is your love (I may be forgetting some). As they said "there's only so much that the two of us can do alone" so some of the songs they just couldn't play. I don't think their Bee gees version's any interesting but the rest of the setlist is fantastic, and the other cover, Psychokiller, rocked. There's some of the best moments posted on youtube:
*The Talking heads Psycokiller cover
*La la la
(sound in videos doesn't come close to how it was there).
A pic of some of the audience in the balcony and another one of Inara.

And I'd like to write a few lines about supporting act Charlie Wadhams too, I'm on it. Pics:

The problem with supporting acts in this type of tours is 1. they are not known, most people haven't got a clue how they sound and some just want them to be done so they can listen to the main act 2. they know it 3.The audience knows that they know, 4... and so on, like a game of reflecting mirrors with further implications... So combining those things it is a damn hard job to go up there and deliver, more so when they are alone. But they have to forget about it, do it and act like they're the stars, believe in their music, look at us in the eye, really, because that is the only way to go, to move forward (that or amazing luck). I can only imagine how hard it must be.........though, come on, let's not get over-dramatic, it is also a lot of fun!!!. First: these guys are lucky, they knew what they wanted and they've gone for it, so that's something they won't regret. Second (I'm into making lists today, sorry):they do what they like. Maybe not how they like it but what they like after all. Third: it has its perks...
I watched "I trust you to kill me", a documentary about a band starting out (Rocco Delucca), I recommend it, really fun. They had lows, drop down lows but overall I think they had a good time and a great experience (I know, it's more complicated than that).
Wadhams gave the impression he wished it was all over before it even started, he wasn't at ease, seemed like he was trying to shut himself out from everything and sing to himself. And that's too bad because hey, a part of the audience in any concert are listening to them, we love music, we're willing to give it a try. And he's got assets, otherwise I whould just shut up and choose a different example, I'm not cruel.
Sorry for my raw talking but (one more list!!): 1. few people are going to read this (that gives broader freedom) 2. Meant to be helpful.I'm seeing this happen with enough supporting acts and it makes me want to have a little chat with them, so here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The bird and the bee

the bird and the bee north star

Well, I won't be talking about them (and the supporting acts) in a while after all, since google has gone totally bonkers and it's decided not to index some of my posts (the most interesting, actually), and instead it ranks my blog first in those searches but with the wrong topics (????). As I'm not feeling like writing to myself about these things I'll wait until I try some things and fix this.
In the meantime, just in case, I've include another pic (not too good, sorry).
PS 1st dec: Google seems to have made up for it a bit, finding some of my stuff again (not all...), and now there's some images of my blog that can be found through google image, about time!! so no more excuses, I'll be finishing that post soon.
PS OK, done (see next post).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pat Monk,Torpedo factory, Alexandria (VA)

OK, it's not really in the spirit of arts (does that mean anything or am I just messing up with my English again??) to only dedicate posts to Hopper and Klimt, so I'm posting some pics of Pat Monk's sculptures. When I recently visited the Torpedo factory in Alexandria (an old torpedo factory turned to art center with lots of artists studios, galleries, etc, pretty interesting place) his was the studio I liked the most by far. His work is really original, interesting and beautiful. He has quite a biography too, read it here in his website. Turns out he's not exactly a newcomer but when I saw his sculptures (through the windows, it was closed) I knew nothing about it. So here are some pics. See for yourselves...

pat monk sculpturepat monk studiopat monk torpedo factory

Signs Slideshow

Here is my "latest" slideshow. It started out being about signs but it ended up as just different stuff. I took the pics during the summer, in my trips to the Jersey shore (Atlantic city (fire), Cape May ,etc).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Klimt exhibition at the Neue Galerie -NY

My "Informal Guide"
Finally visited the exhibition, these are the main Klimt works that can be seen there, in the central room of the exhibition (second floor, second room) along with some of my notes:
*The park of Schloss Kammer
*Forester house in Weissenbach on the Attersee (1914)- Klimt at his most Van Gogh-ish moment. Beautiful
*The tall poplar tree (1900) - (look at this one for a while: the strange composition, the depth he achieves, the light in the painting so determined by a tiny piece of sky, the color of the grass, beautiful)
*Pale face (1903)
*The dancer (1916-18) -personally I have never liked this one at all
*Adele Bloch- Bauer (1907) (it's funny to see how "sloppy" Klimt was at times, some of the eyes in the dress are almost smudged and unfinished, but he gets away with it; hands in such an awkward position as in so many others of his paintings (a few theories about it), and it's interesting to see how the armchair she sits in is suggested, few or none could do that).
*The black feather hat (1910)
*Hope II (1907-08) (I don't remember if this last one was in the same room)
All these works were exhibited in frames with glass.
Again, none of them were in my Klimt all time favourites list (and the number of major works is scarce) but the first three alone were worth the trip to New York. (Those to me were the best in this exhibition, together with some charcoals).
First room of the exhibition displays a number of photographs (some of them really beautiful), some jewelry and documents that are curious to see.
Then the third room shows many charcoals, black chalk, and pencil studies for different works. It's clear that before starting to paint in a more personal way he achieved almost perfection at academic painting. Note in this room: lighting was very poor (I don't know if it was intentional to preserve the works).
Then up the stairs we go and there there can be seen more charcoals (again, poor lighting) (a big percentage of these charcoals have a very "sexually explicit" content), photographs, a huge painting smock of the type he liked to wear whenever he was able to (curious to see it), and the re-created interior of the receiving room from one of Klimt’s studios. That was curious but nothing more, it's unpretentious and functional, could have been his or somebody else's. There is also a recreation of the "Beethoven Frieze" in another room, not very moving.
The museum is beautiful, the wood floors and paneling giving it a very warm beginning of XX century look, but it is small so avoid crowds. There's nowhere to seat (except in one room in the third floor) and some rooms are cold and others are hot. Drink are not allowed inside so if you are carrying a water bottle you'll have to leave it outside. A considerable portion of visitors were pretty "stiff" (the exhibition seems to appeal to them because of some of its characteristics), the type that thinks that the world revolves around them and manners are relative, so don't expect them to cooperate much during the visit (they'll stay in the middle,...), avoid them!!.
I visited it last Thursday at about 2 PM and it was pretty crowded so it might be better to wait some time to visit (it opened very recently).
PS I felt too "overconfident" or something calling Klimt sloppy at times, I feel better after finding this article on the New York sun , using the exact same word. Nice article (cough cough).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Weird day

Yesterday was officially one of the weirdest if not the weirdest day of my life. It involved a day out in NY, hesitating, art exhibitions, Hillary and Bill Clinton sightings (more strange than impressive, brushing shoulders -or better "brushing tips or the shoes"- with their entourage was definitely an experience), along with Elvis Costello and the Wallflowers, tv crews, a Rolling Stones photographer, coffee with Stuart (Wallflowers, that was cool) , and listening to a part of the Beacon Theater concert, in the street, through the back iron door (happened to pass by, couldn't resist) next to a homeless woman who danced to the rythm. Just so radically different from my everyday life. Learned a lot.
And now for my idiotic usual line. JD, Birdcage-ing?, saw him literally fleeing the Theatre (the photographer taking pictures didn't help matters). Such a contrast with less than a week ago. It was a very haunting scene for me, don't know why, most powerful.
Wondered what was he doing there anyway, he just covered "Gimme some truth"? ... I don't know if it hit him there and then or if I'm just imagining things. (*** see PS at the bottom, I was imagining things).
Anyway, aaaaaaaaaaaaagggg today's going to stink.
And by the way, for everyone's sake, if Hillary is going to be the next president, I hope that yesterday she was just having a bad day.
PS I didn't bring a camera (wanted an "easy" day), so no pics, then you always regret it, but not really.
And good news for last: Jakob Dylan's solo album: almost finished (a few things left, incredible that I have news, who'd have said)

**...and yes I was imagining things, JD's profile pic as of today (29th nov 07) is Bill Clinton and a semi-hidden him behind. None of my business but I wonder, isn't Jakob Dylan a musician first? Really confusing that he "hands over" his place, retreats and fades into the background for political purposes in THIS context. I really admire his music and I find him one of the smartest guys around so this doesn't quite fit. What’s the purpose of lending his image as in a perfume ad? (can’t find any explanations/reasons of why he’s supporting Hillary). He may get some of the right votes but for the wrong reasons…(and by the way I don't know which are the right votes, not what this is about)
PS 2 , Jan 07: By the way, I haven't seen those photos anywhere. The photographer (A. M.), went to his black limo when he rushed inside it and asked for him to roll down the window so he could take more pictures. JD didn't, and he came back and told me that that wasn't very nice of him. I said that wasn't surprising, after the way they/press usually handle news about him. And I added that he's usually a really nice person (well, I had only seen him once before that day, I shouldn't act like I know him, but). A.M. agreed with a nod, he knew (just doing his job, not a bad guy). It's a tough world for everyone.
PS 3 I've re-read this post and it sounds sort of silly and sort of pretentious so I'll explain myself a little further.
There was sort of stuff going on at the time, so in the end I decided to take the day off (at the very end, when it was already too ridiculously late to do the trip from NJ, only then I realized I really had to go) and wander around the city rather than .... Once there apart from the Klimt art exhibition I had been planning on visiting for some time I didn't have any other plan so, for once in my life, I sort of went with the flow.What I like most when I go to NYC is Central Park and then just looking at the people, walking by the streets, so I walked around Central park and then since I knew there was this Hillary Clinton / Wallflowers concert / bash I decided to take a look, it was nearby, and it might be curious to see all the fuss. And once there I meant to stay for some minutes but, letting myself "go with the flow" as I said, because I had nothing specific to do, I ended up being there until late at night and things kept happening, and I kept meeting the most different people, and, I have to say, all of them really nice - doesn't usually happen either!. Overall it was really special. Hope this explains it a bit better.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Wallflowers concert review, The Keswick Theatre

The Wallflowers Philly

Part 1: The concert
I'd never been to a Wallflowers concert before, so I didn't know what to expect. The setting turned out to be a low key staging, lack of colour even in their clothes (very black and white-ish), dim light. That simplicity did work for their music much more than anything else might have. There was nothing to distract the audience from Jakob Dylan's voice, Stuart Mathis and Greg Richling's guitars and Fred Eltringham's drums. They did not wander around the stage or switch positions, and Dylan's face remained restrained in expression (not inexpressive) through it all. Your only focus was the music. That is a pretty brave thing to do, and it shows how much they believe in and trust their songs (another brave thing to do: not including their biggest hit "One Headlight", a statement that this group doesn't live off past hit songs). These are even more brave if you consider that this is their first tour in years and that there's been major changes in their line-up...But it turned out great. The songs sounded amazing and though the keyboardist was missing, for someone "new" to their sound like me they didn't feel flawed or unbalanced. Still there was the occasional tiny detail that might lead on that they had not toured for some time and when that'd happen (to deal with those killer lyrics!) they didn't try to cover it up but just rolled on.
Now and then they would take some time to tune their guitars in between songs and J.D. would talk to the public a bit, he didn't say much but he said enough, he won us over with his dry and witty sense of humour and his mater of facted attitude - I don't think he's ever had a problem in that department. There were the occasional technical issues (a few songs into the show Dylan stopped dead in the middle of a song to let us know he was getting shocks from his microphone and it was OK with him but he wanted to let us know in case he'd explode before finishing his set list...had us all laughing but a little worried as he never let us know it had been fixed, what did I say about his humour...). He also thanked the audience for being there despite their not having any new album out and said something about fans not forgetting about them. He remarked that he was enjoying this Philly concert more than the one they played some years ago, and he avoided making any reference to his new solo album in the making.
Some of the songs sound much better live than in the record ("Everything I need", absolutely)
All the performers were tops, super, but this band's core is JD's voice above all (his sheet music and the lyrics coming right after that). Not only is it so personal, but what he manages with it, its shades... it probably won't have been any easy for him to control a voice like that but now it's just breathtaking at points.
Part 2: meet and greet 1 - Jakob Dylan solo album
Jakob Dylan and Stuart Mathis A while after the show they showed up for the meet and greet, they didn’t really keep people waiting long. JD seemed a quite different person offstage, not even pale anymore! (must've been the lighting onstage). The atmosphere was great, not the usual “worshiper fans” versus “condescending artists” but rather like everybody had been introduced by mutual acquaintances and had stuff to talk about (mainly due to them, they may have fooled me but it really felt like they did enjoy talking to the people there - or at least they were curious- there had to be the usual people that’d get on their nerves among us but also others that really understand and feel their music, and it had been a while-), no barriers in sight. And everybody was ignoring the thin rain that took its time to stop. Stuart was receiving congratulations for his guitar playing, he seemed quite happy with how it went, said he would love to tour in Europe eventually (had already been there with Jewel) when I asked him, Greg was talking about the advantages of being in a band like theirs, the flexibility to change set lists from one day to the next if they felt like it, and also how nice it is to play at a venue like the Keswick where they could actually hear themselves, I was so enjoying his conversation -I never have a chance to talk about these things- I was so bummed they had to leave. I didn't get to see Fred. And Jakob was asked about the record he's finishing, said it was just him and a friend, acoustic (I hope I'm not misquoting this part but maybe I am, that's what I seem to remember, but at that point I was quite tired, long day, and quite clueless, I figured everybody knew about it, I'm explaining it later on. By the way, it's almost finished, I was told some days later).-*Acoustic part finally confirmed by Rebel Dreamer in the group's message board on the 11th Feb!- Somebody told him he’d changed some lines in a song ("How far you've come", I think) and he said he had not realized, that those were the original lines he wrote that now he regretted he had changed, he liked the initial ones better so they’d just pop up. I asked him if he was looking for innovation on the new record, like other groups that are recording albums for next year (Coldplay, Keane,... they are making an issue of it: "I can guarantee that we'll continue to do new and different things rather than treading water, as we say"- Tim Rice Oxley-Keane; The new work will be "very original and very different from what they’ve done before"- Bryan Eno (one of the producers of Coldplay) and that is just an example, they are saying it over and over), I asked if he was also in search of "new" and “different” (well, sort of, I wish I had been that articulate but I got "a bit" stuck, my English brain cells give me these surprises...JD waited patiently for me to finish my question) and he answered" No, I really don't think about that at all". Period. Of all the questions I could have asked him this one is sort of silly, I know, but he was just saying “new” and my mind snapped with this issue, I had been bothered with this need to force oneself into that type of impositions that’s driving composers lately. To me it shouldn’t have to face that kind of limitations, so I was happy to hear J D say that, he's in "my team" on that one.
Nevertheless now that I've heard much more of their music, it's obvious he doesn't need to think about it either, he's diverse as the universe (or sort of, cursi sentence of mine).
3 Downside:
the wallflowers tour busThe downside of the show for me was the public’s sort of “passiveness”. Some of the songs were very weird to hear sitting down in your chair. JD said at one point that having the audience sitting used to make him “go nuts” before but that he even kind of liked it now. Nobody reacted to that, they remained seated until the encore, when everyone stood up to clap and after which half of us remained standing. I’m pretty shy and far from being the dancing type, specially when in the first rows, but I had just felt so uncomfortable sitting down while they were playing some of those songs like they were. Not used to it. And I don't think I was the only one, but how do you manage to make people stand up? (I told JD about that too at the meet and greet but he brushed it off saying that they do both, standing and seating, as if it were actually totally fine with him, but I don’t know, he had a really hard face to read at times. Be it that or something else, I had the feeling he had been somehow uneasy about something onstage that night. Ok, I'm going to say something really silly but it sort of makes sense to me: he has an overall attitude that somehow sways between that of a defeated person and that of a toughened winner. Still I don't know him so I don't really know what I'm talking about). Anyway, I know each person feels it and expresses it differently, but hell, they should have been up and active.
Between my questions, my record signing and my umbrella (I'll explain later) I don't think JD will come anywhere near me in the future (joking, he won't remember me by now!!!-hopefully!!!!!!) -Naaa, these people I admire so because of what they do, bet we all would like them to think that we're special too. Obviously, even if we were, it's just not possible. Nobody's fault.
The Wallflowers at the Keswick Teatre, Philadelphia, 10/19/2007
Part 4, misc. (you can easily skip this part,really, most of it is my musings):
* Meet and greet part 2: there was the usual photo taking but I think I was one of the few who actually asked them to sign anything -sorry for that, but for once I was prepared, I had been carrying the “Breech” booklet around the whole night and I couldn’t resist, but I should have-. Specially because being the klutz that I am I unawares brought a broken pen, one of those with a resort inside, and when Stuart (first to sign) started to write it just popped open, the upper part ejecting itself high before falling to the floor. So I kneeled to get it, at which point (it was raining) the umbrella I was carrying in my hand descended too (I keep forgetting these things) and hit Jakob (hopefully not hard), who was just behind me (I had no idea anyone was there), in the head (heard these people saying careful, JD seemed to have already forgotten when I turned around, uff, he's really tops ). Honestly, I was sort of embarrassed but at the same time it so seemed like out of a bad comedy’s script, I couldn’t help laughing. I was thankful when Stuart told me he had a pen in his pocket and I was able to put the evil creature back in my bag (second part of the adventures of the evil pen: it behaved with Greg but not with Jakob, his signature is half written, half engraved – no ink!!!!)
*Why does JD downplay his looks like that?. Either his worst enemy dressed him for the stage or he saw to it himself (& Greg too, looked 20 years older in that suit). Way better at the meet and greet
**When reading stuff about them on the internet I came across cliches nr 1 and 2 time and again. Nr 1 I refuse to mention. Nr 2, “they haven’t achieved success”. I don’t agree. Do they mean they haven’t sold over a certain amount of records? They’ve certainly sold more than a few. Music stores have their records, people are familiar with them and appreciative. So what are they talking about?. The day before the concert when I went to the record store, a twenty-ish years old employee came to my help. I told him I was looking for the record where a song was, I didn’t even give him the right name (said “sleepwalking”, that was more my state!). He knew the Wallflowers, he knew right away in which of their records it was and he handed it to me saying they are a cool band. I was surprised by that. A few days ago, when I was outside the Beacon listening to a few of the concert’s songs through the back door (that I didn't plan but I was around and I just heard it when I was leaving and stayed a while), some people passing by would stop and ask who was playing. Most of them knew the Wallflowers and liked them. Number of records sold is not my idea of being successful, I’m sure it’s not theirs either. And of course that if you keep doing that music for that long you should expect a much higher status but since when is this about getting what you deserve?. Surely if some of those songs had gotten better marketing the Wallflowers would be many notches up in hit lists but frankly, I don't think they would be doing better music than they're doing right now (if anything, probably worse), so -in maybe a selfish way- I say they’re in a very good place.
--Anyway, JD must have thick skin, he knew what was coming when he decided to be a musician, and he’s handled it really well (being damn smart, "cool" and likeable, that helps...surely he has a dark side too, so much the darker since it's so hidden you can't even point at it).--
But cliches are a common problem, there’s few bands out there that don’t have one stamped on them over an over again, and though some enjoy theirs, most hate it. Thankfully in this case that type of criticism doesn’t seem to affect their music anymore (unlike other bands that are really getting caught up in it while kidding themselves they're not affected).
* Songs sounds great but why does he mess up every now and then?. Music and phrasing are always superb but lyrics, sometimes he’s another brilliant sloppy one. Like in Sleepwalker, that line about Sam Cooke and then the clapping, really dispensable (to me). Many songs mix the most impressive sentences with “funky” lines that shouldn’t be there (and I don't mean when he throws all these words together as paint to get a colour). And he abuses certain words, keeps bringing them up over and over. Like he knows but he doesn’t care. Like little acts of despotism.
*I probably was the only one there that had not heard most of their songs before that night. I had obviously heard “One Headlight” back then, and a few more over the last 2 days. There was something there that I liked, though (but I also had the impression that their music was maybe too "rough and tough" for me, not the case) so when I found out they were playing in PA don't know why I thought about going, headed to youtube to hear more songs, then went to the mall and bought “Breech” (decision based on “Sleepwalker”, which is one of the songs that stick faster but not the best by far) and then did some ticket searching as I liked what I was hearing. But tickets were not really good, it was almost sold out and the concert was 1 day away. I sort of need some kind of push to take the concert decision, my lifestyle right now doesn’t make it easy to go, so I was almost about to let go when I decided to call the Keswick Theater directly and ask if maybe later better tickets would be released. They said maybe and then they offered me this amazing seat – I still don’t understand how- so I couldn’t say no, that was the push. Then since I had to go to the public library anyway I checked out “Rebel, sweetheart” and was in for a Wallflowers 24 h. immersion. If you know the songs you enjoy it so much more, but there was hardly time left for that.
* Pit section should just NOT be sold to anybody.A certain person in the first row comes to mind. He acted like he was at home watching a football match, as he divided his time between chatting to his girlfriend, choosing between his various colored drinks in the paper cups collection under his seat, wandering off the place and back (you know the consequences of pouring so much liquid inside), then plain trying to reach for something in his girlfriend esophagus with his tongue. All of this while J D was singing right in front of him pouring his soul out. Unfortunately this guy was very near to where I was sitting, quite big, wearing yellow and right in the middle my field of vision. Thankfully, eventually I managed to block him out. Humans.... And talk about metaphors, JD!. Anyway, JD should have made him climb up to the stage and sing choruses on the stinging mic for a while.
So this concert turned out to be quite an adventure. I keep listening to the Wallflowers and I keep being stunned by their music. And I'm still puzzled, 'cos there goes a VERY intriguing individual...
Four links I recommend:
* This interview (all parts).
* Stuff
* This article on Rebel, Sweetheart (this I read after writing the above)
* This article too
* People discussion their lyrics here, some comments are amazing, some totally hilarious.
In homage to their taste for hidden tracks and the sort I've not listed a posterior post with one more short experience with them in NY (sort of unimportant for others though), and a little something more in another post.
Wish I'd written the best post ever for this one. They deserve it.
Labels for this post: the wallflowers concert review, the wallflowers live 2007, the wallflowers philadelphia, red letter days

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The WF "reminder setlist" - The Keswick

sort of setlist The wallflowers Yesterday night I went to The WF's concert at The Keswick. Amazing music, amazing musicians. I took the usual sheet they stick to the floor, instead of a "set list" it's basically some lines of four of the songs they played, sort of a a reminder (a curiosity, I took a pic to share it). The actual list of songs they played was posted by "angelonbike" on their website this morning -boy, we're quick!!.
Wish I could see them tonight at the Borgata but it's time to go back to reality. I'm definitely writing more about it (concert and meet and greet), but right now I'm
way too
The Wallflowerssleepy!!!!
Update 10/21: to read my review click here

Friday, October 19, 2007


Tonight I'm going to a concert and the skies know it, I know it doesn't make sense but they do. It's my third concert since I arrived in the US and in all three of them guess what: T-storms!!, and not any t-storm (the Tower flooded -beware Smashing Pumkins concert-goers, wear your wellingtons because your feet may get wet, happened to me, though they may have fixed it; at the Mann, which is only partially covered, these thunder noises that got to be a bit too scary), and today this, again!!! And it's not like it rains that bad all the time, over the weekend we'll have sunny skies luck.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Keane The night sky review

Well, just like Lesley Gore sang “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”, I’m going to say it’s my blog and I’ll review if I want to, if only a little (not that anyone's told me not but...). I just can’t resist. So, about Keane's The night sky, I'll keep it short, just a few silly notes: bad things first: what on earth is going on in the record’s cover? That semi-purpled spaghetti bolognese thing gone wallpaper… not good. Then: 1.Hugues, good, those first bomb-like sounding drums in the song bring an amazing atmosphere to it. 2. Rice-Oxley, those oohs at the end of the song, I bet that’s him, coool (if it's not, I'm not reviewing a thing in a month, deal!).; and the last seconds, The Frog prince touch, nice signature (by the way, those oohs sound a bit America- Johnny Borrell-ish, so it's funny with the frog prince touch thing) 3. Chaplin, doesn't fail, that disquieting, seemingly transparent tone…
And 4. I really like this song, it might be minor considering some of the stuff Keane have released before but it has a beautiful unpretentious simplicity about it and it scores great moments like "to stand at the bus stop...". It may be about war, to me it's about everybody's everyday's war to find peace of mind. And from a child's point of view...not necessarily; they just focus on a very particular aspect of war/life: its noises, its silences... R.-O.'s big, Chaplin just nails it.
One more thing, the commercial strategy, can’t see the point of not letting people buy the record until so much later, will see how that works but it doesn’t make much sense to me.
And not looking forward to the video, won´t probably watch it. C. Hardy already spoiled Bedshaped a bit by making such a raw, gaunt, grim piece (and with these adjectives I don't know if I'm saying the exact shades I want because it's in this type of descriptions where my English fails me the most, but I think you get the idea of what I mean). I don't want the same to happen to this one. That kind of video with such a strong visual impact sticks to the song in one's mind (at least in mine) so they should be cautious because it actually damages the song. And by that I don´t mean that all music videos should be pink cotton candy.
PS 24 oct 07: ok, video already on youtube, sort of what I expected (not so grim but maybe I didn't give it time) so after a minute or so I turned it off. What are you gonna do....something in black and white, very static, nocturnal, big ample settings but revolving around little tiny details might have been nice but whatever. Music's enough.
Back to Keane stuff

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Everybody is in the black mood today

That's what the lady in the fitting room said to me this morning (I was already aware that all the tops over my arm were pretty dark, well, as black as it gets actually). She said that was her mood yesterday but not today, she seemed disappointed, like we were all going to drag her back into it, all of us silly dark clothes try on-ers. Before, while browsing through the hangers, this song I had never heard before started playing, it didn't help matters. It's called "Other side of the world", by KT Turnstall (first song I really like from her, found the black horse one annoying, at first I thought it was Katie Melua), it's really moving, I memorized a few words an googled it, then found it on youtube . It really captures this thing so many people go through, one of the hardest things. Anyway, one could make a sandwich with that and Maria Taylor's "A good start".
Not that I should be unhappy about anything.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Hi, I haven't written in some time but hopefully I will go back to posting stuff one of these days. I was tempted to write about Keane's last week releases, but I didn't get any comment or anything on the sui generis post I wrote on their third album (though it attracted traffic), so it was a bit disappointing (hmm), or boring, or both. I had fun writing it, though. So, anyway, no more reviewing or pre-reviewing or "whatever-ing" in the near future, not even writing the title of those releases to prevent more google search results.
I have an idea or two, one of these days I'll go at it but autumn makes me a bit passive, sort of a stop and think attitude. Leaves falling and stuff... So I've just finished watching the whole Grey's anatomy third season in a week (had to catch up with the fourth on tv these days)...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Slideshow Blue walk

I did this supposedly "arty" slide show about summer. If you feel like it click in the flickr link and then keep clicking the white arrow to the right.

PS ok, it's not good. Somehow, for some reason, you gain perspective when you "exhibit" what you've done. Then you can see more easily how others perceive it and you yourself can look at it with better judgement.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Web pals

Now for a post that has nothing to do with music, which is what I should talk about here, but well. I've already said before that my computer was recently infected with a virus for clicking in the "next button blog" you can see in every blogger blog. That's the terrible part (spending so much time trying to defeat it, getting increasingly upset as it only made my computer more and more incompetent). The good part, that's the reason for this post: in one of my searches for the cure (I wasn't going to give in that easy) I came across the "Spywareinfo forum" in google. As it happens with these things I was quite suspicious of anything containing the word "virus" in it that wasn't universally famous, but I browsed around their forum and I decided to write to them. Basically what these people do is to guide you step by step to get rid of the virus, for free (you can support the site with donations, or clicking on their ads, but I bet unfortunately most people don't) simply because they are fed up with the damn malwares and spywatchers of this world. I didn't want to buy an antivirus at that moment because, among other things, some of the pop ups I was getting all the time were advertising some of them, which made me particularly upset (can they be that shameless). My helper was a "forum deity" (which must mean mine was a particularly bitchy virus), Nasdaq, to whom I am very grateful. Communication went back and forth daily during a whole week and finally this morning my computer was set free again (or so I think). So I'm really glad that there's people out there who do things just to help. So thanks a lot Nasdaq, and if any reader has a virus one of these days, you know where to go.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dido, new album

Well, alas it seems that 2007 is being a highly inspirational year, and one more artist is planning to release her third album early 2008: Dido. Her website also announced on the 6th that she is currently in America recording it. No clues as to the studio.
And Alanis Morissette seems to be cooking something too, though that may be expected later on probably.
PS UPDATE AUG'08: Album out in early November, and you can now download a free track in her website, click here

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Next blog button - do not use

In my navigation bar (top) there's a button that says"next blog", supposedly it takes you to a random blog in blogger. I'm trying to remove it but until I find out how pls don't use it. I used it the other day and it took me to a strange blog with no navigation bar and lots of pop ups that infected my computer with all sorts of spyware, malware...So until Google does something about these "bloggers" they should eliminate this button themselves. I have reported it but I haven't heard from them.
It's a nasty world out there
P.S. 12 Oct 07: OK, here's 3 reasons I've found out about not to remove the button:
1. Blogger will automatically categorize my blog as of "adult content" (I don't exactly know what that implies though)
2. It seems to violate the contract with blogger (not very clear though), so it can close down the blog whenever it wishes.
3. Googlebot isn't particularly keen on "alterations" to the standard so it might not crawl the site as smoothly.

However, if anybody's interested Digital Inspiration's website explains how to do it.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sheet music

What's wrong with the sheet music side of the business?, why do you pay $0.99 to download a song but you have to pay $3.99 to download its sheet music, and then most of the times you sit down to play it and it's so pooor, a far cry from the actual notes and chords. That if you're lucky an it IS released. I wonder. Because there's some gorgeous stuff that is impossible to get -unless you've a winner ear and lots of time, in which case you can look for a comfy chair and sit down to give it a try-, like Ryuichi Sakamoto's "The sheltering sky" main theme, it's unbelievable it's not been released.

Some people are trying to counterattack this through the internet. There was a site, for instance, that offered to try to write down the sheet music of any particular song you liked, "homemade" style ("don't drop the piano"). It seemed to be very successful, had raving comments but last time I tried to visit it it had been closed down, so it's a touchy subject that for some reason is not getting any better.
There's a lot of people out there more than interested in buying sheet music, and it could be another important source of income, but somehow it's a shambles. As I said, it comes out late and sabotaged, if that. A pity.
By the way, some people come to my blog looking for Unfaithful's score sheet music by Kackzmarek. Last time I checked (a few months ago) the whole score had not been released, only one song, and it looks like that's going to be it since it's been some time now. Only the main theme had, it can be purchased through internet (,etc, it costs like $3.99 or so) or in paper in certain stores. I ended up buying Hal Leonards's "Movie music", which costs about double but also has 19 more songs like The English patient's "Convento di Sant' Ana", both of them sound pretty good, they are the real thing, and are relatively easy to play (though there is at least one missing note in the Unfaithful one, after the DC al coda, a do -I believe it's a C in English).

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Coldplay's new studio album

*** Update April 29: you can now download their new song "Violet hill" for free at their website (for a week only). More news on it too regarding two free gigs...
**Update March 23: Album's confirmed release date is 16th June, title: Viva la vida, see here ( Viva la vida being the Spanish for hurrah for life, sort of).
*Update April 10th: I'm told there's at least one track including strings with many pizzicatos and so on. No one knows if it will make it to the album but...

A quick note on what will be Coldplay's 4Th studio album, following X&Y. After the Magic Shop recording studio's last newsletter "Coldplay, joined by Producer Markus Dravs & Engineer Jason Lader, spent the first half of July with us working on their upcoming album; Brian Thorn assisted." It's not the first time that Chris Martin visits this studio. I visited the Magic Shop in May, if you want to see some of those pics/comments go to this other post in my blog.
Date of release is not known for this one either, rumours pointing to early 2008, see this Coldplay blog for a little more (like the rumor that set a release date tomorrow!, we'll find out about that one soon enough). The new work will be "very original and very different from what they’ve done before"- Bryan Eno (one of the producers) dixit. -Mmm, where did I hear that before?-
Yep, Keane. I don't find comparisons between them and Coldplay relevant on a musical level up to this point, but regarding personal backgrounds there seems to be many a common element. It seems both bands will have their new releases out about the same time, that's a feast for critics who will find an easy and worn subject to talk about again. Boring.
PS 4th September: no sight of the new album in Amazon, as expected-

**Update 15th Jan** Chris Martin is in the cover of this month's Q magazine, and Coldplay's new release is also mentioned in the editor's letter. Click here to view it. Since this post has had quite a bit of traffic I figured I'd update.

Back to main page

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Keane third record + latest cover

Keane in Philly 2007 As Keane's third record is in the making, I thought I'd write one of my posts, so let's start with what is known about it (little) FACTS: - Recording studio: their base is located in a Kent barn turned to these purposes, a place conveniently close to their homes (after so many months of touring...). However, they had already visited a few recording studios during their last North American tour in May 2007. -It seems many of the songs had already been written / "demoed" by the beginning of the summer. -There's going to be at least more than a couple of rocking songs, these are valuable goods at live concerts (and Keane have quite a tradition of extensive touring!) and the group led to believe they want more.
- One of the few comments with hints on the new album appeared on the site (March 27, 2007; Rice-Oxley interview ):
“We've just started playing through some new songs that we have. When we made Under The Iron Sea, we didn't really get a chance to play the songs together as a band before recording them – it was very much a 'studio album' - whereas when we made Hopes And Fears, we had spent many months playing those songs together, and we had a lot of fun doing that. So this time around we want to make sure we take time to play the songs together, experiment with them, give them time to develop organically without the pressure of the 'red light' in the recording studio. (…)I don't want to say too much more about the style of the songs, although I can guarantee that we'll continue to do new and different things rather than treading water, as we say. As far as inspirations go, as ever we're always searching around for new ideas in unexpected places. Off the top of my head I'd say the things I've been listening to most recently are ABBA, Jay-Z, Panic! At The Disco, Stevie Wonder and Blur. Also quite a lot of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. ”
“Tom wants to try one of our news songs as a kind of a duet, a bit like 'Two Of Us' by The Beatles, so we'll see how that sounds! I love singing, and it's great to be belting out those songs in the live shows, but when it comes to recording what normally happens is that I'll sing a song in demo form or whatever, and then as soon as Tom starts singing it I think, " that's what I wanted it to sound like!" It's pretty hard for me to sing a song better than Tom sings it. But I'll probably give it a go one of these days.”

-The new album will be sold in a very eco friendly package, as the group is trying to help raise awareness on this issue.
- It seems that the band is quite happy with the material they already have.
Enough to get the picture? .Didn’t think so, let’s scrape up a bit of unconfirmed info:

GUESSES: Tom Chaplin + Tim Rice-Oxley - We can expect maybe guitars, probably more singing from Tim Rice-Oxley, maybe something written by Tom Chaplin.
Regarding the guitar issue (people speculate a lot about this), does it really matter?. Keane may not use guitars but we have heard guitars sounds in their albums by now, so call it x. That they use them more or less won't mean giving up on their sound, I think.

As for Rice-Oxley singing, personally I think he sings much better live than in the demos (in those he seems to try to go too Rufus-ey), I really like his voice and it's in very good harmony with Chaplin's so it would be good to hear him too in some track. Still Chaplin's voice is unique and he loads the songs with so much more.

Tom Chaplin's songs, my guess is that if there aren't any it will have more to do with his own ambivalent feelings about it than with anybody else in the band opposing to it.

- They can **** up with this next one, they'll still release a fourth album from a privileged position. So Rice-Oxley should be less tense this time around, though he probably won’t be. After struggling for so long to get to where they are it probably becomes a bit of an obsession not to fall behind expectations.
Tom Chaplin's “innocent?” words in June's Q magazine: "Today (...) Tim is probably working on band business - he rarely takes time off" come to mind. After the Tower concert in Philly, during the meet and greet I couldn't help but notice he was the only one carrying anything (a big heavy black bag), seemed funny when we had just seen his trainers carried to the bus like two little princesses in a single trip from their assistant. (-Note: by no means am I suggesting with this that he fits the diva-type, he was very kind and considerate with everyone there that night-). That probably speaks volumes about this issue.(Maybe I’m wrong, who knows what was inside the bag, after all) Anyway, Keane have secured a privileged position in the music scene for the next few years, and staying there is exclusively up to them wanting to. And that is a luxury they can enjoy just for having already handed two such sturdily consistent and brilliant albums.
- They have deliberately avoided talking about any specifics nor have they played any of the new songs in the North American gig - as they did with UTIS to test the public's response -, though they had said they might do it this time too. So this is meant to be a last minute surprise.

*We don't know if Andy Green will be producing again (first and second records he co produced with Keane - first record James Sanger also had a hand in some songs-, third album as natural evolution could be produced by Keane alone). No doubt Tim R.O. is eager to become fully independent but I wish they'd keep Green beside them a little longer, he worked wonders with Hopes and fears (well, this I can only suspect) and he seems to be a very clever and tasteful guy. His advice and flair can't hurt. Maybe some tracks without him would be a wise move. On the other hand, given their quite frenzied search for "new sounds" they might try a new producer too* No clues as to the lyrics (one of the parts I’m most looking forward to). This is a key issue for any Keane album. They won’t probably go back to the UTIS's Tim-Tom trouble, (and they shouldn’t, though it's very possibly still going on if on a lesser intensity. Like for so many other groups before, that was a tainted experience, and as Dolores O’Riordan said of No need to argue: “At the end of the day it was a hard time but a great record”-not that that justifies so much pain). Will also probably move on from the she's long gone- she still haunts me one, so I expect innovation on this issue. (Again I want to explain, I know other songs weren't about either of these two, I just feel these to be the two major "chapters" in the previous records). Maybe some closure, maybe … You take both Keane's albums and you wouldn't guess they're composed by a successful "just married", puzzling lack of reference. The songs that are supposed to be about Rice-Oxley's wife (Sunshine, Atlantic) are not happy but rather troubled songs (a second to say that I think Sunshine is most romantic, only in a different messed up naked way). Either he shuts that part of his life from Keane or he's not happy with how those songs are turning out (happiness, etc don't usually make good strong songs, he's said so himself quite a few times. But still there are things there, …totally out of the picture). Whatever, Keane's bitterness sounds almost sweet, makes you actually enjoy your lowest moments, or something of the sort. Well, Rice-Oxley and Hughes are now officially in their thirties, mmm, time for mixed feelings and surprises about who we really are and what we really want, achieved goals count and life’s choices narrowing down by the minute, a lot of acceptance/resignation to do... plenty to write about (the longing for being forty... right, not me!!!). As Rufus Wainwright put it the other morning on the radio, “when you hit 30 you realize how fast life goes by, so let’s get it down now while we’re still hot”. Rufus knows how to get to the point!. *Release date: anytime before November would be a real challenge. They plan to release the O2 Concert DVD before Christmas. Will they release both at the same time?. Probably not, it doesn’t make much sense from a commercial point of view. But are they going to miss the Christmas’s boost sales then?

My guess is their album will be out in the spring.
Now, the most silly part, but I can’t resist: My wish list:

Keane Philly *I hope Tom Chaplin forgets a bit about “propelling” his voice (-not that I don't like that-) and moves to lower, "husky" intimate ranges (as in Walnut Tree but more?). That would also take care of their overall sounding a bit languid at times *A duet with a female singer (mixing Chaplin's voice with Dolores O'Riordan, Amy Winehouse?, or A fine frenzy's singer could turn out a knock out). With the Blur thing (influence), there is an example of a great light duet too in “To the end” with legendaire Françoise Hardy (well, maybe a pinch too repetiticious).*Hoping they will release the "We might as well be strangers" instrumental version, it's so beautiful (as in the Strangers DVD) *Hoping for some good videos, up till now in my opinion most of them are bummers (I'd love to give ideas but already toooo long 2.will have to do with the song so not possible 3. what for?). They do have these DVD's that are quite good though (Strangers and the UTIS extras). *And hoping for some great art work too (UTIS' was quite outstanding and so original; Hopes and Fears average). * And last but not least, I wish for lots of extra features on the composing and recording of the new album (just leave the camera rolling, I want to see it all....), I would have loved so much to be a part of something like that, so at least having a sneak peek (as in the UTIS DVD, but more) would be great. I'd much rather buy such a DVD than a live gig one.

Whatever, I expect these three brains will not lose a bit of their musical talent so we’ll hear. I hope they won't let themselves be biased by the usual bitchy criticism they endure or by what other colleagues are attempting (or, while we are at that, by abhorrence of a big portion of their "boardies", I hope they don't take them as representative of their audience, or either we're toast!!). I'm afraid it's impossible to ignore all that, but please DO!!.
And after this I’m leaving Keane alone for a looong time, don't want to get so sidetracked. I get a bit carried away, or a lot!, it's just that though I don't think I have much in common with them on a personal level, still if I had had music written "a la carte" for me and my life at that point in time, I don't think I'd gotten a better match (for the most part).
PS By the way, latest cover of the band is Under Pressure (ie, Queen and David Bowie), see details in Radio 1, they certainly aren’t going for the easy ones!. Truth be said, Chaplin's voice can surprisingly sound a lot like Freddy Mercury's at particular isolated moments. If you don't believe me listen to the beginning of Play the game. I was watching The Tube tv the other day and they played this song's live performance video, I couldn't believe my ears!!. Life's full of surprises. Personally, I think Mr Chaplin would nail that one.
PS 2 Well, I do possess one exclusive piece of information, only it will be irrelevant to most (not to me!): the duet with Rufus Wainwright (Try again), Keane chose the song.

PS 1 million, sept 15th: ok, Keane's website is now publishing some interviews that have a little more info on this. I'm not updating, I suppose people reading this also reads the official site (by the way, what did they put in R. Hughes's drink before the interview? hope that was that).

PS 1 million and 1, there's an article in February's Q magazine where they talk a tiny bit about it and mention September as possible release date. And, this time for real, I'm not updating anymore, this post is sort of too long by now anyway and I wrote this a zillion days ago so it's not about now.

One last PS!! Just realized Jon Brion (the producer for this last record) was responsible for Fiona Apple's O'Sailor, which is such an amazing impressive track. It's all about atmosphere, recreates some kind of stifling cloud around you like you wouldn't believe. Keane's best asset (to me) has always been precisely that: recreating atmospheres. So this could actually be huge, these guys together. Songs so thick you could actually pinch them?

Back to main page

Quotes by E. Hopper (painter):"The man's the work. Something doesn't come out of nothing"

(2nd, this time regarding how he chose his subjects)"I do not exactly know, unless it is that I believe them to be the best mediums for a synthesis of my inner experience"