Sunday, April 24, 2011

The girl with the voice in the city of ups and downs

April 2, 2011

My second Domino artist to see within the same week made me think it was Christmas already. Anna Calvi, the Italian-English freakin’ talented guitarist, who released her debut album in January, was to play in Nijmegen, the oldest or second oldest city in The Netherlands (there’s this eternal dispute about Maastricht being the oldest). Anyways, I went there with two of my flat mates Jazz and Dorothy and Jazz’ friend Jimmy. During the train trip they found the nature to be incredible and went “ooo” every time they saw cows, goats etc, when I was about to fall asleep of taking antihistamine earlier. Very good, very good.

They were fixing the rail ways which meant that we had to hop into a bus at some point, which made the trip even more everlasting. I wondered why Dorothy and Jimmy kept talking about gay people, but apparently “kai” means chicken and “homosek” delicious. 

As we arrived to the central station, I started to wake up slowly again and the first thing to do was to get some döner. I was really surprised that there were some “hills” in the city when we walked around. Probably, because Nijmegen is close to the German border? We wanted to visit the only bike museum in The Netherlands (weird that there’s only one bike museum here), but we didn’t have time since all places were closing, but we had time to take loads of pictures. That’s one thing I realized; Chinese people like to take pictures. 

The outside of the venue, Doornroosje, was really nice with all the cool graffiti. 

I consider myself lucky to see Anna Calvi performing in quite a small venue, because I’m pretty sure that she’ll be huge in a couple of years, considering that at the moment she has many sold out gigs all over Europe. And that you seldom come across with pure unique talent in the music biz nowadays. The first time I listened to her music I thought; if Twin Peaks would be taken to this decade, her music would go with it perfectly.

The performance was hypnotizing. What a charismatic artist she is. Okey, I was disappointed that she was able to play the guitar in only two songs (injury), since I do think that her guitar skills are just mad. Though not concentrating too much on how she works her guitar, I got to realize even better how powerful her voice is. Later at home when I showed Judit the pictures, she said “Oh the girl with the voice!” and did a poor imitation. All of us are still amazed of how her speaking voice differs from the singing one. I guess that’s one of the reasons, which makes her really fascinating, I mean it seems that there are two different persons. 

The gig felt short, which left the audience craving for more. I think that it’s only the second time that I haven’t gotten enough from a gig, which is always a positive sign that surely I will go see the artist again, when I'd have the chance. I was hugely happy to get the set list, which Calvi herself brought to the stage. But what makes me happier than that was the forty-something man who reached out to take the piece of paper from the stage and not keeping it to himself, but giving it to me. And yes the audience was full of middle-aged people, which I can’t see in Finland at all. Before going home I just had to buy the signed CD too. If you have the chance to go see her, then do it! She’s going to perform at Ruisrock this year, so Finns there’s your chance. 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fat Mates have Easter Dinner

April 18, 2011

We haven't really done much together as flat mates, so we thought that an Easter dinner would be the best way to start doing something all together. Though a week earlier than Easter since Jazz had to leave to Paris. All I can say that the dinner was GRRRREAT! A relaxing evening of bonding and feasting. For starters we had garlic soup and salad, main course was rice with garlic curry pork thingy and for dessert anything we found which looked Easterish or had "Paas" written on it.

to be sacrificed or to sacrifice for

They wanted to hear some Easter music, so I put Jesus Christ Superstar's soundtrack on, which I have taken as a tradition to watch the movie the Saturday before Easter Sunday, but the music was too dramatic for them. Then I put classical music, and this is what happened.

Spain (Sara) turned 22 the next day, so when midnight came we sang to her or actually let Stevie Wonder from Spotify do that. 


PS. Stream the new Explosions In The Sky album here:
EITS - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

They really are like in the post cards

April 16, 2011

Exams done, assignments handed in. Two weeks of nervous breakdowns and anti-socializing; FINITTO! All I can hear is Freedom!’90 by George Michael in my head (the difference between the first version of this song by Wham! and this one is quite interesting, you can decide yourself what I mean). I actually bought a double album of his greatest hits for only 50 cents a year ago. I wasn’t a big fan of his music, but buying a CD felt more tempting than a Snickers bar at that moment. Money well spent (though I like to use “invest” when it’s about music).

Anyhow, it was time to travel somewhere again. This is how the conversation went at the train station in the morning:
Maria: “I still don’t know where we’re going.”
Me: “Mean either, but we’ll see eventually we’re we end up.”

It was hard to know where we were heading since my flat mates were pronouncing the name of the place in ten different ways. But there was talk about seeing a flower parade and garden. Yes, it’s about time to be a true tourist again. 

Leiden Centraal is where we went, and caught the bus to Keukenhof, a famous garden in The Netherlands, and expensive. PFF €21 for entrance and bus. And the LINE! It took quite a while to get in the bus, that I and Maria had a quick sightseeing in Leiden. Well, only walked one street and back. 

The bus ride to the garden took about 25 min, and we got to see some interesting monuments of Leiden, but as we were approaching our destination, every now and then people went “WOOOW”, because of the impressive tulip fields. As we arrived there, we went to wait for the flower parade to pass by. Here I would like to emphasize the word “wait”. It’s ok for musicians to start their show late, but not an annual parade, which has a tight schedule and thousands of people from around the world coming to witness. After one hour of people taking pictures of single cars with people selling CDs, the parade finally started. 

First car. 10 minutes. Starts to rain a bit. Second car. 10 minutes. Announcement: “One of the car’s tires is flat; you will have to wait for a long time.” #):@(%#¤” Never mind let’s go to the garden, we’ve seen enough, besides we got the newspapers with the drawings of the cars that we could have seen. 

I don’t think we saw the whole garden, since it was so big. There were a lot of Spanish, Russians, Chinese, Indians etc. It was quite crowded, but I heard it can be even more crowded. 


I’m glad that I got my jumping photos and ran in the tulip fields. After the garden closed, we had to wait in a long line once again; luckily we weren’t going to Schiphol since that line was three times as long as ours. 

I remember us international students asking a Dutch friend of ours if the tulip fields in the post cards are real, and not photoshopped. She wasn’t lying.