liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Wednesday night I went to the most amazing concert ever ever ever!

too much raving to call a review )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] redbird and some friends have set up a blog to collect songs that portray healthy love. This is a fun game; I think there are more songs about breakups than about happy relationships, but even among songs that are supposed to be positive, there is a lot of sexism, stalkery possessiveness, co-dependence, deeply back-handed compliments and other such junk. So, can you think of any songs which describe a relationship you'd be willing to aspire to?

My suggestions: Nothing else matters (Metallica); Independent love song (Scarlet); Hey there Delilah (Plain White Ts); When I was a boy (Dar Williams); and If I could save time in a bottle (Jim Croce).

I'm making a playlist of some of the suggestions, but as usual it's pretty random what is available at any given moment.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
VNV Nation are fantastic live. Just real artists, wow.

concert review including girlie stuff about clothes )

Oh, and I have no voice left at all, cos when there was no room to move I was screaming instead of jumping!
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
I've spent this week learning how to be a better microscopist. microphotography )

Not a particularly major event, but something to note: Making Light posted a link to kd lang singing Hallelujah. If you haven't heard this already, you really should; it's the first time I've been motivated to find software for saving YouTube videos (though really I only want the soundtrack, the video is just of a concert at Sidney Opera House). I am a purist about that song; I care too much about Leonard Cohen's original to like most covers. And I don't generally like kd lang all that much. But this performance is seriously awesome. And then there was some discussion about Cohen covers and I found out that the Jennifer Warnes cover album Famous blue raincoat has been rereleased. And it's even on eMusic, so now I have a copy of Warnes' duet with Cohen himself, Joan of Arc, where she sings Joan and he sings the fire. [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel played it to me when I was in Montréal in 2005, and it is just about the most emotionally powerful song I have ever heard.

On the planning front, well. I tend to stress about travel more than is really required, and in this case I'm not nearly as pre-organized as I would like to be. However, I have booked all the travel from here to London via Finland, Estonia, Germany, Holland and briefly Belgium, and all the accommmodation I need at the stopover points. That's the important thing. I reckon once I'm in England I can be flexible and if some of my planned meetups don't work out, well, it's a pain that I don't get to see people I'd hoped to see, but at least I won't be stranded. And I haven't planned what I'm going to do in any of the cities on my whistle-stop tour of northern Europe. But if I'm only going to be in each city for between a few hours and a day and half, I think I can get away with just wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere, rather than going to specific Tourist Sites. (I have to do it all on a 64Mb camera memory, which should be an interesting discipline, as apparently they no longer make the cards that fit my camera.)

Not connected to anything else at all, but while I'm posting, have a link to the writer Catherynne M Valente's thoughtful and personal essay on porn.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Back when I first started blogging, there used to be a thing called "Friday Five" where you would answer a series of five questions as a way to generate content when you couldn't think of much else. I never did this Friday Five four years ago when it was doing the rounds, and for some reason it popped up into my brain recently. I think it's because I've been expanding my music collection a bit via emusic, and because the listy format appeals to that part of my brain.

playlists ) Five songs you're really digging right now
  • Hem: Radiation vibe
      I heard this on Pandora just before it was blocked to US only, and the singer's voice grabs my heartstrings while the melody is really catchy.
  • Catie Curtis: People look around
      I don't normally bother with songs about US politics, but Curtis' voice made me sit up and take notice, and then I realized that the lyrics are very clever too. Another Pandora find.
      If they can keep us fighting another endless war,
      How many tears before the truth cannot be ignored?
      And the truth is bigger than these drops of rain, falling,
      Falling in the ocean
  • VNV Nation: Chrome
      Both Judgement and Matter + Form are on emusic, to my great delight. I love both albums, probably the most recent, Judgement, more as an album but some of the tracks on Matter + Form from 2005 are absolutely sublime. I thought Futureperfect was great until I heard these. It was [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel who introduced me to VNV Nation.
  • Peter and the Wolf: Killing Time
  • Modernaire: Faites tes jeux [sic]
      I've been scouring [livejournal.com profile] j4's and [livejournal.com profile] blue_mai's journals for music recs, and those are the two tracks that have grabbed me most just now. There are several others though, so thank you both.
I'm not a great believer in pressuring people to do memes. If you like this one, you're very welcome to it. I think I probably picked it up from [livejournal.com profile] darcydodo, but I filled it before going back to look up the details so my memory wasn't precisely accurate. The same goes for some of the lyrics, they might be a bit misheard or misremembered.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
There is a fantastic early music festival going on at the moment. They seem to be defining "early" music to include baroque, whereas I would have used to the term to cover pre-Bach material. But that's ok, because I like baroque as well as early.

concert reviews )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
So, Levellers gig. Not an easy one to review; I bounced and bounced and bounced and screamed until I was hoarse and relived the emotions associated with most of the past fifteen years and sweated and bounced and it was loud and a lot more primal than verbal.

babble )

All in all, a brilliant night, and thanks so much to [livejournal.com profile] ploni_bat_ploni for agreeing to come along to a concert of a group she didn't previously know.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Verdict: Very cool, really quite subtle and intricate.

Reasons for listening to it: I already knew some Joy Division (thanks, Russian M), which I'm fond of, so I thought I might sample some more.

How it came into my hands: Library

detailed review )

I think I might look out for a copy of this one to own.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Musicians: Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal conducted by Charles Dutoit. Dame Kiri te Kanawa (soprano) & Sherill Milnes (baritone).

Details: (c) 1988 The Decca Record Company; Opus 48; Orchestral version 1901

Reasons for listening to it: I've been completely obsessed with this Requiem since I was 12 so it seemed good to hear a new version.

How it came into my hands: It happened to be in the local library. (For some reason they shelved it under 'Easy Listening'; they seem to imagine that anything which doesn't have a dominant drum beat falls into this category...)

Verdict: Ummm. The balance of instruments is wrong. Obviously technically excellent with such big names, but when it's wrong it's wrong.

detailed review )

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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