quinta-feira, outubro 27, 2011

De.con.struc.tion



After a fantastic debut album, Reservoir (2008) - in which I highlighted in the past the song Ghosts - comes the single De.con.struc.tion, taken from the forthcoming album (which the name is still to be revealed).

Since I started listening to this track, it's been on a sistematic replay... I'm really addicted!

terça-feira, outubro 25, 2011

Bon Iver @ The HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London - 24.10.11

When it got to my attention that the American band Bon Iver was coming to London, I tried to gather a group of friends to buy a few tickets, but as always, dealing with a lot of people has it's issues, and so, in the mist of getting a few "yes's or no's", eventually the tickets got sold out and my hopes to see them live vanished like seats at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo.
Fortunately I was able to re-candle this fiery desire of going to the show when I found out that a friend of mine, with already a ticket in her hand, couldn't make it that day...

Yeah... she sold it to me... otherwise I wouldn't be telling this story! If not for this friend, I would probably miss out one of the top gigs in recent years...

My thanks go out to her ("life saver!!")! I owe you big time and this post is in great part dedicated to you, as I did my best to gather nice pictures and videos from that night...

Anyway... The big day had finally come! The much anticipated Bon Iver gig arrived in all it's splendour to London, for the second time in two days!

After getting off work, I rushed immediately to Hammersmith so I could settle in easily into the comfort of the chair that would later on accommodate me for one historical show. But... let's start from the beginning!



I got there way before time, so decided to eat something at the local MacDonalds. While there, stroke conversation with a gentleman who approached me asking if he could share the same table. I curiously asked him if, like me, he was attending the Bon Iver gig. He said that he was going to a play, but showed a lot of interest in the band for which I bought a ticket. This generated a conversation that ended with a comment on his part that helped to make my day. He said: "never would picture myself having a interesting conversation at a MacDonalds!" That certainly meant a lot to me due to the topic of discussion and the way it was raised.

You could tell he was a very well educated man that in those few minutes was able teach and be taught as well, under random circumstances... And as I left towards the venue, couldn't help thinking how that exchange of opinions, that came in such unpredictable conditions, was in fact very enlightening and only came to show how people can benefit from one another, just from the smaller things in life.

But moving forward...

I still had more than enough time... Doors only opened at 19:00h and I showed up a little bit after that. Since I didn't know who the opening act was I thought that I might just give it a try. Had the spare time, but unfortunately not the right frame of mind. As I got to my seat in the stalls and waited for the supporting band, I took a few minutes to gaze around the venue in genuine fascination, dreaming of what was to come!

Three people stepped in, being their leader a girl by the name of Kathleen Edwards. Funny enough... turns out she is Justin Vernon's girlfriend... but anyway...

Not that her music was bad, but I was immensely distracted on the phone, messaging friends and checking emails, while anxiously longing for Bon Iver to take the stage. That's why I said I wasn't in the right frame of mind for the opening act! Instead of just taking the chance of getting to know a new (upcoming) artist, I just wasted that opportunity away. The fact that most of the room wasn't tuned with Miss Edwards helped a bit... but that doesn't serve me as an excuse! Be it as it may, I must confess that "regret" didn't stagger in my mind much time, mostly due to the wonderful performance of the main act, that made everything else seem like irrelevant.


From the get go, Bon Iver "made a lot of promises" to the fully packed Apollo... Promises that were maybe a bit too ambitious for them to keep!

As they entered the stage, I counted 9 musicians! Big surprise... Wasn't aware of that I must say. Two drummers, three horns, guitars and bass... Here and there, some would switch into other percussion instruments or a synthesizer.


Those instruments came to play, giving the audience the first tune of the night... and what a magnificent tune: Perth.

Here was their first statement of the night: "Get ready for a unique and special ride".

To give away such a track right at the beginning, made me wonder what sort of line-up they had in store...

A few tracks later, followed Flume and Holocene. I couldn't believe it! It seemed like they were throwing away all their aces! It was very impressive to think how a band with such a recent repertoire made of only two albums, has so many good tracks capable of bringing the house down!

Both were brilliantly executed, but Flume has a special meaning as it is THE song that introduced me to the band, gripping me after only the first listen. Even thought Vernon's voice and the instruments that go along with him seem like they were taken off the album, their arrangements go beyond what people know, adding a much more eloquent and complex sonority to their musical themes.




Then followed Blood Bank and others more, until we came to three of their master pieces in a row:

Creature Fear, Re-Stacks and Calgary.

Creature Fear was played beautiful as ever, while Re-Stacks was performed in a very intimate one-on-one between Vernon and the crowd.


Calgary was introduced under the sign of being about "when you believe in something really hard, that it actually happens", said Justin Vernon.




Beth/Rest came as the middleman right before one of the highlights of the night...

Vernon approached the audience and asked if they could sing along with him... Well... not actually sing along, but more of a demonstration that showed "we were all together in this one", as he put it.

"What might have been lost" - those were the words that he wanted us to chant in a ever, unifying, growing voice... it was: The Wolves (Act I and II)




With the ending of this song, the packed and pumped up Apollo instantly got up while clapping and cheering enthusiastically in a clear sign of affection, respect, and most of all, in awe to their superb performance that evening! Everyone knew the "encore" was still to come, but that standing ovation was in such an outstanding fashion, like it was certain that it was the last song of the night!

It was after brief (but "chillin" minutes) that they came back for what it seemed like the two obvious songs left to play...


For Emma and their everlasting Skinny Love, in a very nice rendition with most of the band supporting Vernon without their instruments.

.

For those of you who haven't seemed them yet (and this goes out especially for my Portuguese friends who I'm assuming didn't had the chance), please make your best efforts to watch them live! It will leave you marks that you will carry throughout your own personal musical portfolio!

(note: I do not own any rights for the pictures and videos uploaded into this post)

domingo, outubro 23, 2011

Clinton Foundation Celebrity Brainstorm


A friend of mine just dropped this video last friday on my Facebook page.

It's an extensive collaboration between celebrities associated with the Funny or Die website and The Clinton Foundation.

Hope you guys like as much as I did...

quinta-feira, outubro 20, 2011

quarta-feira, outubro 19, 2011

I'm my own hero!

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell

terça-feira, outubro 18, 2011

Set The Dark on Fire



Magical track with beautiful set of violins that give a smooth and eloquent sound...

Combined with the troubadours voices of Turin Brakes gives it a deeper resonance!


segunda-feira, outubro 17, 2011

Happy Birthday IMDb



Taken from IMDb website:

Twenty-one years ago today, IMDb was created by a group of volunteer enthusiasts who wanted to share their love of movies with the world. From a newsgroup, to a database, to mobile apps, that same love of movies and TV keeps us working on new ways to make watching films and shows exciting for us all. We’re glad you’re here to celebrate with us! 

What would you like to see from us in the next 21 years?

Easy... just keep up the good work!

There is a name in Portugal for guys like these...

... Máquinas!!!



More than an album... A concert "celebrating Miles Davis & John Coltrane" !


domingo, outubro 16, 2011

We Were Promised Jetpacks (Live @ XOYO - London 12.10.11)



I've waited for this day since 2009 when I first got in touch with the album These Four Walls. It was the début studio project of the Scottish kids known as We Were Promised Jetpacks. They were soly responsible not only for what I considered to be the best album of 2009, but one of my favourites in general [1] [2] [3] [4]. So obviously, I longed for their tour to reach Portugal, however, that never happened. I hoped they would play in a summer fest... after all they were quite popular among the indie community back home (at least that was what I thought) and I even went so far as dropping emails to a lot of companies, requesting them to bring WWPJ. 

Years went by, and nothing! I admit losing some hope on ever seeing them... So you can imagine my reaction when I found out they were playing here in London!

I was pumped as I never was in my life to watch a gig in recent years!

It came to me like a dream come true! But, I had my concerns...
This year I went through the experience of attending a gig of one of my favourite bands and leaving somewhat disappointed. Not because they pulled of a bad performance... I just pictured them in different way! Maybe it was my mood... I don't know... I just didn't want anything to ruin WWPJ for me that night.

After work, went to Shoreditch to meet a few friends before going to the XOYO venue. The Jetpacks only started at 10pm, so we still had the opening band to listen to, but I didn't want to go inside just yet. I preferred staying outside having a chat, while at the same time getting ready for what I believed it would be an epic night!

As we walked in, we saw a crowded room holding in anticipation for the musicians to come up on stage. Discretely I tried to get a spot near the stage and in this time I came across a group of girls holding a Sagres, one of the most popular Portuguese beer brands. That obviously left me with a smile on my face because, to a certain extent, it made me a bit closer t home.



Meanwhile, the youngsters finally came in! They were nicely greeted by many fans like me, who were longing to see them live in action. 



WWPJ didn't want to disappoint the people attending and from the get go, they showed the audience they meant business... Their start was basically a full on demonstration of an attitude that said "we are going in for the kill and we aren't taking any hostages". Explosive and with loads of intensity, their set-list began with Circles and Squares, the opening track of their latest album In The Pit of My Stomach (2011), followed by probably their biggest hit Quiet Little Voices, much the to the crowds delight. Both these songs gave away the full blast and high paced entrance that instantly took people to ecstasy, who reacted by throwing their hands in the air, jumping and shouting the chorus.

I personally was going out of my mind, trying to keep up while I sang in full lungs while poring my emotions out! The day finally came where I was able to sing along with one of my favourite "contemporary bands".

Quick aside note, while in the middle of the chorus for Quiet Little Voices, some random douchebag decided to throw a beer on stage, in which Adam Thomson replied with a very nice remark (You can listen on the clip below).


Throughout the rest of the evening, the tracks were very well balanced between their first and second album! Obviously, since I was much more familiarized with their first-born project, I got heavily involved. It's maybe the best quality of These Four Walls from personal perspective. It was able to take my feelings in this crazy roller-coaster, making me experience different things from one track to another. Made me feel young and crazy, while on other occasions, left me on a more nostalgic and emotional state of mind.
This condition is due to some of their singles are of the most profound and dense that I have met in recent years. This is My House, This is My Home, probably the biggest highlight of my night, is a great example of that. But that doesn't mean to say, their most recent work didn't cause an impact. Quite the opposite!

Their live performance added some more emphasis In The Pit of My Stomach, briefly making their cd "redundant" on my computer/iPod. I became even more in love with tracks such as Medicine. Human Error, Pear Tree, Picture of Health or Act of Impulse, most of them with those growing dynamics that just left me absolutely delighted in the mist of their trademark guitar chords!

Reaching the end of their one hour gig, WWPJ decided to finish in great style with It's Thunder and It's Lightning, much to my disappointed because I was still hoping to hear Conductor and Moving Clocks Run So Slow, this last being what I thought more than appropriate to send people off home.

All and all, couldn't really complain... I was rejoicing in great happiness, knowing that I witnessed a colossal display of music. The best so far since my arrival to London...

Here's how it ended (very sorry, but with all that jumping around, I accidental turned off the camera, only realizing a few seconds later)

segunda-feira, outubro 10, 2011

Blue Valentine




She sends me blue valentines
All the way from philadelphia
To mark the anniversary
Of someone that I used to be
And it feels just like there's
A warrant out for my arrest
Got me checkin in my rearview mirror
And Im always on the run
That's why I changed my name
And I didn't think you'd ever find me here

To send me blue valentines
Like half forgotten dreams
Like a pebble in my shoe
As I walk these streets
And the ghost of your memory
Is the thistle in the kiss
And the burgler that can break a roses neck
Its the tatooed broken promise
That I hide beneath my sleeve
And I see you every time I turn my back

She sends me blue valentines
Though I try to remain at large
They're insisting that our love
Must have a eulogy
Why do I save all of this madness
In the nightstand drawer
There to haunt upon my shoulders
Baby I know
Id be luckier to walk around everywhere I go
With a blind and broken heart
That sleeps beneath my lapel

She sends me my blue valentines
To remind me of my cardinal sin
I can never wash the guilt
Or get these bloodstains off my handa
And it takes a lot of whiskey
To take this nightmares go away
And I cut my bleedin heart out every nite
And I die a little more on each st. valentines day
Remember that I promised I would
Write you...
These blue valentines
Blue valentines
Blue valentines

quinta-feira, outubro 06, 2011

Steve Jobs




Whether you like him or hate him...

Whether you are Microsoft or Apple fan...

Whether you own an Apple device or not...

There's no denying that Steve Jobs was a one of a kind! 

A brilliant and revolutionary man who has contributed immensely to our present lives...
But also to our future!

You might even call him... one of the "good apples"!

With his passing, we can expect a lot of tribute messages, feature articles and long hour shows on Jobs life, from a personal and professional stand. 

From his childhood memories, going on to his university days, where he spent most of his hours locked up in a garage in California, trying to come up with new devices, we are bound to get a more close and accurate retrospective of all his life steps until reaching his prime at Apple, a company that he began out of nothing and that now enjoys the status of being a ground breaking brand that offered comfort and quality, while at the same time setting high standards for others to be inspired from.

After seeing my Facebook wall this morning and watch nothing but comments (from friends but also admirers like Google, Barack Obama, YouTube, and so forward), pictures, quotes and videos towards Mister Jobs, I felt the need to share some of it with you readers... 

Let me leave you a few articles, videos and quotes all related to one of the most influential and remarkable men of our generation!



Quotes

"Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

"I believe life is an intelligent thing, that things aren't random"

 “My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

Articles

- International Sources -





Videos







Last but not least...

Check out APPLE's tribute

and this interesting site called All about Steve Jobs with loads of info on the iMan.

quarta-feira, outubro 05, 2011

Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix (2011)


Reviews [1] [2]

I'm a BBC fan! I like their style and their sound... so everything that comes my way belonging to the group, I will try and put my hands on!

Even though their latest album isn't fantastic, I can't help myself of sharing this with you just because of who they are and what they sort of mean to me! I won't make a review of the album, but just a comment regarding probably my favourite track of their 2011 studio project.

It's called Still and it reminds me of an old fashion Radiohead ballad, heavy on the piano and on the suffering voccalls, exposing a broken heart and the pain of a lost love!

Below you will find a different version from the album... and altough I prefer the studio one, couldn't help myself of sharing it with you...


-- Post Updated --
I received a notification saying that due to lack of owning rights I wasn't allowed to post the track, so you should just type on YouTube if you want to have a listen of Still.
Meanwhile, after listening the album a few more times, I have to say it grew on me, making way better impression than before (being now one of my favourites of 2011), which obviously would have some influence into what I wrote before. The album is better than I gave credit for and therefore making it easy for me to recommend it to friends outside the BBC fan core.
Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I have...

segunda-feira, outubro 03, 2011

Friends With Benefits (2011)



Upon Friends With Benefits (2011) trailer releasing, it seemed like a good romantic comedy was on it's way. A different, fresh and outrageous romantic comedy... but here's the thing:

Friends With Benefits tries too hard to be cool, when it´s not that cool... and it tries to hard to avoid clichés, when in fact is the biggest cliché of them all!

Sure... I like Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis! I think both are charismatic and make a good pair!
There's a funny and sexy vibe to them and yes... they have provided some good scenes with sharp dialogues. But did they make this film worthy of me recommending to someone? No! Unless you want to fantasize of how great would be to have a "friend" like Mila Kunis's character!

I got to admit, while I watch the "best friends get along" I secretly wanted that for me! Wish things would be so easy that you would hook up with an extremely hot, yet smart and funny girl, and just enjoy a great time without commitment, until collapsing into the obvious state which is realizing that you want to settle down with that person! Sounds familiar right?

The end of the movie... Saw it coming?! 

Everything turns out to be predictable, even when they don't want it to be!

Anyway... I will now stop pouring negative things about this film! It has it's moments, you get a few parts with excellent music in the background (watch out for the soundtrack) and the fact that you get to see such an ensemble cast with the likes of Woody Harrelson (always a pleasure watching this guy on screen), Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, (long time missing in action) Jenna Elfman, Andy Samberg and Emma Stone... puts a smile to your face... however, it's just not enough to make this (OK) average movie into a good one!

domingo, outubro 02, 2011

Critical Drain



Ken van der Sar - The Art of Flying


As a Benfica Fan, it's great to "relive" that moment in the C. L Final between Alex Stepney and Eusebio...

As a Manchester United Fan, it's great to see some of it's history...

As a Edwin van der Sar Fan, it's great to see such a wonderful tribute!