Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We're back in business!

February 26th, 2012

5 years since the last final.
6 years since the last trophy.
The most thrilling hours, credit to Cardiff. 
Victory to us!

Can you think of another team, which has fans like Liverpool does?

This would have been the only reason of me wanting to be in London.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart.
Because you'll never walk alone.
You'll never walk alone.

(pictures from LFC)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wiidakko JKL Shows

February 24th, 2012

Some years ago, Wiidakko used to be my favorite Finnish band, but I never got the chance to see them play live. Then the love kind of faded away. Or actually my love towards Finnish music, in general. Now when I'm back in this country, it's about time I go back to 'my roots'.

What a perfect way to start that journey was to enjoy Wiidakko's free gig at Pub Katse, which used to be our degree program's 'living room'. The last time the band was performing in Jyväskylä was at least over two years ago, if I remember correctly. Way too long ago. So no wonder that there were so many die hard fans, screaming and dancing like crazy. It was like all their needs were finally satisfied.

I was myself very shocked of the gig starting at midnight, when I got so used to them starting around 9pm abroad. Normally, I would have been sleeping already at that time. I think I'm getting old.

February 25th, 2012

As if one gig wasn't enough... They went on giving an in-store performance in one of the coolest clothing shops in town the next afternoon.

I preferred the acoustic gig, not only because of the better lighting and free shirts the band gave away in the end, but the relaxed atmosphere too. Making the songs more subtle gave them a whole new level, which was great.

One of the band's songs, which they've nick named 'Katkarapu' (=shrimp), is my all time favorite ever. Of all of the songs existing in this world, that's the one I can relate to the most. It's a song about travelling, going towards the unknown and every goodbye being too much.

I can admit that I listen to it everytime I'm about to hit the road, hop on a plane or just dream about doing so.

Ps. it feels so weird to write about gigs in my hometown!

Friday, February 24, 2012

päk aken

It's funny that after spending a year in The Netherlands, I left with one luggage. Now after spending half a year in London, I left with two. During my exchange year I didn't visit home at all, I didn't even want to. But London made me want to go home for a while, only after two months. We were talking about this with Maria, and wondering if it was about the person or the place. Probably both.

But one thing I'm sure of... I'm happy to be back! Here are some reasons;

1. No more dealing with noisy kids.
2. I can have pork and beer in the fridge again.
3. Fresh air and nature. It's not even cold, as I'm wearing the same clothes I wore in London, and yet I'm sweating.

4. It's affordable to keep the houses warm.
5. Thick walls, so you don't need to listen to your neighbors' life stories.
6. Being surrounded by people, who understand social awkwardness. Or actually not being surrounded by people at all.
7. Bye stressed, miserable Londoners. Hello depressed Finns.
8.Home food. Though I will miss the foreign beers, which one of them, the best English beer, I took with me to enjoy here.

9. Just in time for some Finnish winter delicacies.

9. Clean water and proper mixers.

and finland
10. No need for an adapter to charge anything.

And most importantly, I get to be with my family. Especially my nephew Nate, who I finally got to meet and spend time with!

first time holding him

already a head banger

watching our first liverpool game

And for my surprise I found this from the cupboard:

It seems that everywhere I go, there's a piece of Breda waiting for me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hearing French Films

What is the first thing you think of when talking about French films? For me, it is the eternal question of why the French have to include so many erotic scenes in their movies, that it could be classified as soft porn. While I’m figuring out an answer to that, I could also think about ‘French Films’, as in the indie band from Finland.

Formed in 2010, French Films consist of five members coming from cities called Järvenpää and Espoo aka The Ass of Helsinki. When I listen to their music, for sure they’ve been influenced by post-punk acts such as Joy Division and The Cure. However, it is officially stated that dreaming, cold and dark winter and being alive are what is driving them musically forward. 

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the climate is one reason for the depressing and melancholic music the Finns/Nordic people are known for. This comes clear in the song ‘Living Fortress’ with lyrics;

Oh winter. You're looking kind of mean now. You take away a lifetime. 
And never pay it back.

Although, the upbeat melodies and photos of the band posing by the water and sun shining on their faces; I can’t help dreaming of a summer spent on the road in a hot car with the cooling wind blowing from the windows, giving me and my friends exactly what we need. So, here’s another thought when discussing about French Films; SHOT GUN!

When the band’s first single ‘Golden Sea’ was released in 2010, it was well-received on blogs, which made singer-guitarist Johannes go ‘shit, we gotta top that…’. I guess great makes fantastic, as French Films’ debut album ‘Imaginary Future’, released the following year, is full of gems. My personal favorite is ‘The Great Wave Of Light’, which I could say to be the ‘happiest’ track of the album. I play the air guitar to it, and the lyrics are simply brilliant; 

So I wanted to live in the clouds or the cartoons or the clouds in the cartoons.  
But it goes like this every time we wake up in the afternoon.
It just puts a smile on my face, as does the whole album.

© Tuomas Välinen

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Friend's Day! Whatever, I'll see you on Facebook.

February 14th, 2012

Valentine's Day is called Friend's Day in Finland, and as it was my last evening in London too, I decided to bring the tradition amongst my Erasmus friends. It was like a circle closing, since the place where I stayed the first days, I was going to stay the last one as well. With the same menu; sushi and beer.

you gotta fight, for your right, to paartee!

The cheesecake Maria baked was amazing. The blueberries on top of it, inspired by the Friends' gig, were not.

I'm so lucky and thankful to have those people who went through the same experience in Holland around me. They understood how great it was. I will miss them, but I guess we all are tired of saying goodbyes, and we know we're going to see each other somewhere, someday again.

doesn't matter where, just as long as it's this year!

Ps. this was the invitation photo.

And people's comments for the event;

Noooo waaaay!!!! Biach!!!! You leaving tooo?!!!!! :( PERKELE!!!!!! I hate you!

I'll be there to show my last respect..... and to drink beer obviously!!

Nobody's having any specific plans on that day, we're no couples or anything:P right?

Why there is a bloody heart on the picture??

HMV Next Big Thing

2-12 FEBRUARY 2012

February 7th, 2012
On The Garage's special menu we had fiN., Dog Is Dead and King Charles. The first two we had no idea about until that evening. All I could say that it was a successful night of discovering great music and cherishing the one already discovered. Keep in mind that last year's festival had acts such as Anna Calvi and James Blake, and look where they are now.

Southwest Londoners with an ungoogleable name, which makes Finnish people smirk. That mixed with indie rock, you'll get a music enthusiast going nuts when trying to search for some good tunes. 

I thought the stage was too small for them, as the members moved around like crazy... Eventually causing a guitar to break.

Dog Is Dead

Don't let Nottingham-based quintet's name fool you, since they do also have cheerful songs, which will make the audience jump and sing as a choir. Most notably, the band has appeared on Skins and supported Bombay Bicycle Club. The best part, though,  is that one of our bands Athletes In Paris will be supporting them in Newcastle February 27th! That's a great match that one.

Last but not least, the King himself! The Londoner with the big hair, moustache and who is much shorter in real life for my surprise, is what someone from the audience called 'hot, steamy, sexy'. Pure love!

Long live King Charles!