Friday, June 29, 2007

The Magic Shop in Keane's "Under the iron sea" DVD

Well, it seems I'll keep blogging now and then after all, it's just that I keep finding things that complete my previous posts so..
Latest finding: footage of Keane inside the Magic shop. When I found it in youtube, I was really surprised as I didn't even know there was an UTIS (Under the iron sea) DVD. Seems I am a little clueless after all.
Anyway, it was a curious sensation seeing them there where I too set foot almost two years later (if you want to see the pics go to my previous post, The Magic Shop in NYC ). I really couldn't picture them there when I visited, neither could I feel any "kean-a-normal" vibe or anything if I tried.
The documentary also shows the band working on their songs with their producer, really working on the songs (not pretending they are while striking poses, etc), it's something I didn't think I'd get to see, so any portion of it .... a total treat (thank you, whoever had the idea). It definitely sheds a lot of light on this record and this band. Maybe their official web page should mention these DVD's??.
Labels: Keane Under the iron sea dvd, Keane magic shop, Keane UTIS dvd
Back to Keane stuff

Friday, June 22, 2007

Message in a bottle

I wasn't supposed to blog anymore but I have just read this article (by chance) about messages in a bottle that is so curious and worth reading that I couldn't resist posting it (it's worth a few minutes, really). It is a great example of chance's role in our lives and how ironic it is, it actually makes us feel at times that life's just a bad joke, or a good one. Such a good article and yet nobody signs it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Magic Shop in NYC

The Magic Shop recording studio in NYC

Magic shop facade Magic shop engineers

On my last week’s “day off” it was time for the Magic Shop in NYC, a one of a kind recording studio with an impressive list of clients (yes, Keane among them, ‘course, but Cranberries, Bjork, Lloyd Cole, and more of my favourites too, as well as legends like Liza Minnelli or The Rolling Stones, and soundtracks like Great expectations or The matrix). Here are some of my pics, though I’m afraid that again the quality is less than perfect: one in the blue room with super engineers T. and W., and another one in the reception, as well as a view from the street. I could not go inside the actual studio because it was being used at the moment but there is a photograph in their official site. The place was surprisingly unpretentious, small and cosy and the people there were tops.

As much as I love music I couldn't’t name more than a couple of producers, and, hmmm, no sound engineer, which isn’t fair, really, but still I’m "aware" and intrigued and love what they do (lucky them!). I’ve discovered a few internet sites that are very illustrative for beginners in these matters like me: in you can find interviews with many well-known producers like Richard Rainey (U2…) among others, and tour different recording studios. It also gives you a blunt look at what that job means for the people involved (takes courage!!).
I also found this site about Glen Ballard (one of the few producers I know the name of). And going back to Keane (yep, once more!), there’s this interview with their producer (and co-producer in the second album) Andy Green.
There's also Mix magazine, about these issues of professional recording and production technology, for the specifics (a few articles on Keane's equipment too).
Anyway, I’m afraid I’m done with my “excursions” for a while, so I’m back to my rosetaupe life and I don’t know when/if I’ll be posting my “bits” again.
Tags: Magic shop recording studio New York, The magic shop studio Crosby Street

Friday, June 8, 2007

My visit to the Tower

Tower Theater Hall

orchestra level Tower Theater Philaldelphia Orchestra seats Tower Theater Philadelphia (pit)
One last post on the Tower, as promised, adding some spare data to what can already be found in this blog after my visit there. I’m also posting more photos from the inside/outside (one of them of seats in the PIT, the first two rows had different ones though), I'm afraid the pics are not good/arty at all but when the concert was over I wasn't very much in the photo-taking mood. This post is based on my experience, so things could be very different as time passes by or other circumstances change.
I really liked the Tower, it has some special glow and it’s like you step back in time when you enter (the inside set up is still fully 30’s).You can nicely hang around before and during the concert either in the main hall, which is fairly big (on one side there’s a bar with a few stools) or upstairs (I liked that one better, it has very comfortable sofas and little TVs where you can see what’s going on onstage). Things you’ll find in the bar: food (pretzels, pop corn, a little weird things for a concert) and drinks (beer was very popular that day, cost about $6; Coke, etc 2 or 3 dollars).
The place is in good shape though some things are too worn (tough to maintain). This place has a personality of its own, and the profusion of mouldings and marble columns everywhere, the signs (all in a very Mucha-like symbolism stylish letters) and the ample stairways make it a very beautiful one.
The personnel were nice, and would happily answer questions; they also let me go look to all the levels and peek around (except the “forbidden doors”, which had serious tagged men posted before them). The sound was very good but I was not a good judge as I was in the pit (best place to be, if you ask me). Nobody asked if I was carrying a camera or said anything about it, and people were flashing their cameras inside all the time even before the concert (I believe it depends on each artist's instructions ). But people who were recording the show were asked to stop.
There was talk in the corridors before the concert started, people with the idea of abandoning their seats and conquering the Pit asap (actually some of the people in the first rows were also talking about that possibility and thinking of tactics not to hand over their positions), but it actually never happened, not even close. Ushers know all the tricks by now!. Also one of the ushers checked everybody's tickets in the first rows (a few people were sent back to their actual seats).
**Update 08/27/07: somebody just left a comment on the main tower theater info post saying that in the concert they attended yesterday "the aisleway became a general admission area and nobody was watching the area", so it seems that it depends on each concert, and that there’s no way of knowing which way it’s going to go until you’re actually there. They also remarked how hot it gets inside.** The toilets were fair enough (no queues), and there was a nice girl taking care of the women’s one downstairs, handing paper towels to wipe your hands and offering candy, etc … Regarding parking, there’s one that is fairly big, quite near the theater, it’s signalled clearly, and it costs $10. We were told by locals that people parking in the street are very often fined on concert nights, even if they park after 9 pm. That would not really be fair, but I’ve already had bad experiences with parking tickets myself, so!! (Update 06/18/07: I've just read here that there's been car breaks in the Tower's parking recently as it seems there's no one there to look after the cars all night, which stinks after the money they charge, if it's true, so if anybody comes up with a good solution for the parking issue please write).
Hope this is helpful. And just a little reminder, sorry to bring this up again, but this was meant to be an interactive site, so please come back to add your comments , share your experience at the Tower, it will be useful to others...thanks!!!

Parking + Some pics: Tower theater's Street (surroundings)

Tower Theater from 19Th StAnother view of the Tower from 19Th StTower Theater Parking
Regarding parking, there’s basically two options:
1. The parking lot near the theater, it’s signalled clearly and it costs $10 (last pic). It's fairly big.
However apparently there's no security once the concert's been going on for a while (quite unacceptable of the parking management), and there have been cases of cars burglarized more than once. Don't leave anything of value in sight (as always...).
2. Parking in the street (metered area). Beware because we were told by locals that people parking in the street are often fined on concert nights, even if they park after 9 pm (when meter-feeding time is over). Also be careful where you park, it's a rough neighborhood.
I've parked in the lot when in a hurry, on the street when lucky, haven't had any problem.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Next posts

Posts to come: my last one on the Tower Theater + my pics, plus the legendary Magic shop studio in NYC (my visit).


I will be writing some "silly" things from time to time from now on, as with the new link system I have included in the heading people who come to the site looking for info on a) the Tower Theater or b) Keane (my two sources of visitors) will be taken directly to the links and they won't even read these posts, so these "things" are here but with all probability they'll be sort of invisible, which has its charm (or absurdity, more like it).
Today a book fell in my hands, the typical "best 10000000 quotes of the world" and as you do in such occasions I opened it and pointed at one randomly with my finger. It said: "Shut up, he explained" (it was by a R. Lardner). Actually I liked that quote.
Maybe the explanation to my latest "meandering" posts is my parents are home visiting, that is something that makes you come out & gasp for air from time to time. You can't shut up explain to them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Keane -"That's All" cover

I have found a link here to download Keane's recent cover of Genesis' song "That's all ", if anybody's interested. They haven't released it (as far as I know), so it feels ok to download it.
Anyway, silly thing: today I happened to go to Bath and Body works and started testing products (one thing led to another... I ended up testing men's, women's, nori seaweed cream, cool spring water, raspberry gel, breathe happines boost body lotion...). When I got into my car I had to quickly open the window, it smelled like I had fallen into a weird punch bowl, aaaggg!!!. >With such names I had to try them, though.
PS Sorry, as of jan08 it can no longer be downloaded there.
Back to Keane stuff

Friday, June 1, 2007

Mount Nemrut

Nemrut reliefs Nemrut's guard hut

Antiochos cheek to cheek Nemrut in the snow

As I said in my profile, I love to travel, so I figured I'd write a post on the most special place I've ever been to. And my pick is Mount Nemrut, in Turkey.

The place was breathtaking of its own right but of course in order to be one's pick it takes something more: the circumstances. Tourists visit there from spring until October, as after that the weather makes it impossible. What everybody does is if it's going to be sunny you go there at dawn to see the sun come out; if not you go later having had your good sleep and healthy breakfast. We went there at the very end of October some years ago and we were told the next day it wasn't going to be sunny but stormy. Still as we had paid for a guide and car, there was always this 1 % probability and this was one in a lifetime kind of thing, so we insisted we wanted to go anyway. We woke up at 3.30, had an hour ride with a very upset guide who was wondering why on earth did he get the cuckoos, and then when the car could no longer go on, we were shown our way, (the guide would wait at the "cafeteria"). And we started our journey in the dark, in the snow, the fog so thick we couldn't see three feet ahead of us. Now I'm not exactly an adventurous soul but once there what are you going to do?... So I was really scared (the stupid idea that I had seen bears' footprints in the snow wasn't helping), thinking at any moment I was going to bump against one of these sculptures (or the bear) and have the scare of a lifetime. Thank god when we finally got there it was all more than worth it. We had the place to ourselves (so we thought), the day was beginning and it was a magical sight (See the pics, excuse the no face and their being photos of photos -no digital camera then). We had to clean the snow from the reliefs in order to see them and we were doing so when we saw a man waving his arms at us and saying something we didn't understand. Now That was scarier than the bear, by then the place had its danger because of the PKK being active there, so we got scared and had the clever idea to pretend to ignore him (hmmm). The poor man came back after a while to give it another go at trying to check on these weird tourists and finally managed to say to us he was the guardian (see pic), and to go inside his hut and have tea!!. Hot tea tasted really wonderful, the guardian was soo charming and then we stepped outside again and walked around the most beautiful sculptures I've ever seen in the best setting I've ever seen, all to ourselves. I am sad that these faces are there unprotected (from weather and men) and slowly going to waste but at the same time it's as if they belong there and taking them to a museum would end the most beautiful scene.
So see, it was overall so impressive (and yes, there are bears, wolves, jackals and foxes inhabiting the nearby forest!!!).
This post was posted on the 13 august 2007 but I've changed the data to hide it and not having the people that are looking for info on the Tower stumbling upon these somehow eerie no face photos. By the way, I'm usually the one behind the camera.