Saturday, December 31, 2011


Last blog post of 2011 folks! And no, it's not going to be about myself. I realize that the title is very distracting, but it's a band's name. The name is quite bad yes, however let that be the only negative fact to be said of this London-based, originally from Melbourne act! Okey, that's pretty much what I know of them, so a missing bio will be the last minus said! I can assure that, by proudly declaring [ME] being the first support act, whose performance I didn't see, but ended up being on my 'new favorite bands' list.

You can read the story from my Evanescence gig post, but shortly we got to the gig a bit late and just saw 30 seconds of [ME]'s performance. Luckily someone was there handing out flyers of the band, which I found a month later under a pile of clothes when I was cleaning up my room. Poor flyer was thrown away after doing its job well, as I did check the band's sites and gave the songs a listen.

And hooray! Proper rock is back with style!

The music is like Panic! At The Disco and Muse having a lovechild and somehow Billy Talent's singer getting in between.

Speaking of which, the band will be supporting Panic! At The Disco in their winter UK tour (previously they've supported Evanescence and Kasabian). I was kind of 50/50 whether I'd go see Panic!., but having a support act like that, I'm definitely going. I'll also try to go to the HMV Next Big Thing (last year's acts were for example James Blake and Anna Calvi).

If you aren't convinced yet, then I need to mention of the label they're on; Lizard King Records. This record label has previously had e.g. Santigold signed to, and the owner has before been the co-owner of the label, which signed and launched the career of The Killers. Quality? Yes!

And why so many '!', because I'm in a hurry to go celebrate the last day of the year!  
Have an awesome 2012! and let it be full of great music as 2011 was.

Ps. you can like my blog's Facebook page here, and also give ideas of what my 100th blog post could be about either there or here! Thanks! X

A Surprise Visit


England vs Spain football game and see some of the top players or baby shower?

I've never been to a baby shower, I wouldn't be home for Christmas, which meant I wouldn't see the big tummy of my sister-in-law at all and feel the baby kick. And I needed some fresh air, peace and quiet, so a visit to Finland it was. It had to be a surprise as well, since I wanted to see how it would work out with only my father knowing that I was going there.

It was a bit stressful since I would have either been ringing my mother's door bell after midnight or stayed the night at my friend's place in Tampere and get home the next morning. My friend had to go to work early so the latter didn't work out.

But let's get back to the start of the trip. Just getting to the airport here in London takes ages. First you have to take the underground to get to the right bus stop, which takes 40min or so and then the bus to the airport which takes about 90min if the traffic jam isn't awful. And it seems that RyanAir in London is the only one, which really follows the 100ml in your hand luggage rule. No one checked them in Eindhoven or Dublin. So you can imagine there were a lot of people including me, who had to wait for a longer time at the security check due to those +100ml bottles. Time was running out for the gate to be open. I got there on time to just remember that it's RyanAir; they're always late with boarding.

That's when I also remembered that hearing people talk Finnish at airports isn't the prettiest thing to listen to. You also know when Finnish people are on the same plane with you is when a woman orders 3 beers. I'm used to that, but imagine the steward thinking 'tea' first and going 'oh my God' after hearing it correct the third time.

My friend was at Tampere's airport to pick me up, for which I'm thankful for and also we haven't seen each other for almost 1½ years. We had less than an hour to catch up and pick up some food, before I got on the train to home sweet home.

I can't believe I went on for a year in The Netherlands without visiting home, and now not even 3 months had passed by in London, I was already leaving the city. Wonder what the reason could be for that...

Anyways walking from the train station to my mom's place was refreshing; once again the fresh air, the peace and quiet during the night. I was back in a city which sleeps. My home.

Coming up with the plan how to make my mom open the door was last minute and goes as follow; basically I just called  the home phone, and told her that a friend of mine had left a package outside her door that she needs to take it inside.

You can just imagine her reaction when she saw someone standing outside her door in the dark. Worst case scenario was someone being hospitalized. Either one of us.

On the next day Saturday it was time for surprise #2. My mom called my brother to ensure they were at home. They had a peephole on their door and I had to cover it and hope they'd still open the door. My brother's reaction was 'Hui, what are you doing here?' and my sister-in-law 'WHAT?!' when she thought she heard my voice.

That was the end of secrecy! And I think the surprise worked.

The plan for the evening was to go to a Thai party. All I remember was the spicy food and the everlasting beauty contest.

the buffet table was 4x bigger than this

beauty contest judge

On Sunday our church's nun had made lunch for us. That meant a lot of salad and pork for me! Salad because English people eat shit and pork, because of my Muslim landlord. Was too full to eat much later at the baby shower, also felt really tired but still enjoyed it.

my sister's comment on fb; 'jaleh... shouldn't you be in london??' 'oh my lil sister... full of surprises'

no vacation without thinking

 And I was glad that not many came to ask how everything was. Now I understand my sister, who never wants to meet with anyone when she comes to Finland. Explaining the same things over and over again..

Start of a new week meant also a visit to school. Talking with my teacher of next spring and the future in general made me less distressed. The fact that on our first year only 2 out of 50 passed the computer skills test and being told that's it's not compulsory to pass, then later on our last year told that it is, made me really angry and stressed. Just think that not getting the 1 study credit meant no graduation, but luckily there wouldn't be a chance for that. Also hearing that being uncertain of the future is completely normal, eased my feelings. The main tip was not to be hungovered during a day off, but.. Hahahah.

In the end when she told me that when you're in your thirties your highlight of the day can be a wildlife documentary on TV. That's when I started to get worried of the future again.

A German friend of mine, Sarah who was also in The Netherlands with me was doing her exchange in my school was the only friend I met with. Or actually the only person I told that I was in Finland. I didn't say goodbye to her when I left for London, and she's leaving soon to LA to be best friends with Christina Aguilera so I had to meet up. But of course when your at school it's inevitable to run into school mates.

After answering many questions we went to Coffee House (Dutch people like to think it as Coffee Shop), and Sarah complained of me buying ice cream during that cold weather. Which leads to the fact that if you need to complain about something, go to a German person. They're professionals in that field.

They feel you, they understand.

I had a good time catching up with her, and I'm glad she's fallen in love with Finland and Jyväskylä. I hope to see her in paparazzi pictures with Christina.

Being more relaxed now, I wanted to spend the last days doing nothing, but to listen to the latest album of Arcade Fire and watching the short movie 'The Suburbs' based on the album. The theme fitted those moments, since it's all about childhood and changes in life; my brother and sister-in-law were just packing their stuff to move to another city. Last chance to be at their student apartment. So at the same time I came at a bad time, as people were yelling at each other and feeling stressed. It was like I brought London with me. Hmph.

Another thing I was glad of was the chance to play the air guitar to the whole Nevermind album, if you read my Nevermind, you depress me article, you'd understand. You'd also realize the funny moment when I left their apartment for the last time, I got my birthday gift in advance;

Seven years late. But still love it, and now for the first time I officially have two copies of one album.

The most pleasant thing though was to feel the baby move a lot on my last day! We were thinking that he hates me, because he didn't move at all during the other days, even though I yelled 'HALOO' to him ;) But he warmed up at the last moment!

Glad I didn't go watch football.

Ps. this is my 97th blog post. 100 is up soon. Any ideas what I could write about? You could either leave a comment here or in In Jallu's Words Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @Jazz Cafe, London


For a couple of years I've been a fan of Chicago-based brass group Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. It features eight sons of Phil Cohran on horns and a drummer. It had been hard for me to see them play anywhere, as they'd play in cities to where I wouldn't have a chance to go to at that moment. But finally I was in the right place in the right time;

Here's a performance from Later with Jools Holland to show you one of the reasons why this indie music fan loves this brass group.

The support act was Hackney, London's own Hackney Colliery Band. Not only did they play covers like Under the Bridge and Sex on Fire (which made the audience go crazy), but also their own songs.

 Taking pictures of a bunch of moving people isn't the easiest thing!

Too bad their merch sale ended so quickly after their gig, it would have been nice to own their debut album. But at least you can listen to it on their website.

After a great support act, which played quite a long set than usual for warm up bands, it was time for the long-waited moment.

Have to say that I was disappointed that there was more talking than playing, though they managed to entertain and interact with the audience pretty well, as for me that was the best English audience I've seen so far. Usually they tend to be dead boring and conservative, but now everyone was jumping around.

Everyone was having fun, except for the ones who came with me! Even the guy in the wheel chair moved more than them. They claimed the band's approach to the audience was too American. Too American or not, you don't go to a gig to sit down, unless it's someone like Celine Dion performing.

I loved the energy the band brought and the brilliant chemistry between them. Well brothers, so it shouldn't be a surprise. I also loved the drummer's glasses, and how he stood out with the hipster-liked look. I bought their latest release, but too bad they didn't sell their other releases and shirts. I reserved just enough cash to get them all, but only ended up with one CD :( #firstworldproblems

But for your information the CD is still great. Kryptonite is the name. And it was very nice for the group members to sell the CDs and vinyls themselves.

Until the next time I see them, TOUCH THE SKY!

Monday, December 26, 2011

You could go 'wau' for this.


It was time for me to visit the rest of the exhibitions of Tate Modern, as I didn't have time during the earlier visit, which you can read from here, if you haven't yet or don't remember. Hint; a museum tour with a French person.

There was a really interesting exhibition by American Taryn Simon.

For this work she spent over four years travelling around the world researching and recording bloodlines and their related stories. In each of the eighteen 'chapters', the external forces like religion and territory collide with the internal forces of psychological and physical inheritance. The subjects included genocide victims in Bosnia, the body double of Saddam Hussein's son Uday and the living dead in India.

Some subjects were more interesting than others, but I don't think I've ever learned so much from an exhibition before. I had no clue that Muslims were the target in Bosnia, that people pay money in India to declare someone dead so they could own their land, after which the 'dead' struggle to prove that they're alive, that poachers are after albinos in Tanzania because their blood and limbs are believed to have healing effects (there was a picture of a baby whose arm had been cut off) and so on.

Watch Tate's interview with Simon

Here's some other museum treasures from that day;

And a treasure from the streets;

Still sad I didn't see it in the cinemas, though I'm a bigger fan of the traditional animations. But the final battle between Simba and Scar would have been cool to see in 3D!

Hope you learned something new from this post.

I've also finally created a Facebook page for my blog, though I still haven't put it on my blog's actual site (really bad in coding), but anyways you can like it here, if you like! And thanks to those who already have. X

Friday, December 23, 2011

From Silence to Explosions


Autumn had arrived in London, my favorite season. I wanted to enjoy the colorful leaves before they all died, especially when I had booked a surprise visit to Finland the following weekend. My first plan was to walk Russia Dock Woodland in Rotherhite, but Eme and Mishi were going to Hampstead Heath, a large, ancient park, where you can see London from above. Of course I wanted to see that.

The most surprising thing was the silence. It was the first time that I was able to hear only the nature. No yelling people.

I didn't know that it can be quiet somewhere in London, and I also thought that if I need peace, no need to go all the way back to Finland. I hadn't taken much pictures here, but there I took quite a few as the area was really beautiful.

And London from above, mm not really.

Perhaps you think that without the fog it would be prettier. I think it was there to save the situation.

Later in the evening Eme suggested to go watch some fireworks in some other park. Now I finally understood the reason of explosions around me for the past few days;

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Those who have seen V for Vendetta will recognize this poem. I thought that the plan to blow up Houses of Parliament 5.11.1605 was a fictional story! 

Basically a lad called Guy Fawkes was caught (there was a traitor in the group) in the cellars of Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes thought that everything wasn't quite right in the country (still isn't) and wanted to do something about it. But instead of having a nice building blown up, he was hung, drawn and quartered.

And ever since the following year that day has been commemorated, so people wouldn't ever forget that crime! 

In the end the park was too far and we didn't see much. We did hear the explosions though! Quite the opposite of the first part of the day, eh?