Monday, July 30, 2012

Winter Wonderland

November 30th, 2011

For the first time we got together with a few of our work mates after office hours for some Christmassy experience at Hyde Park, London. Winter Wonderland offered great mulled wine, food from different countries, all sorts of things to buy and rides with flashy lights. What I wondered the most were the German- typed serving areas, I would have hoped for some typical English ones, but it didn't matter in the end as the beer was good!

psycho santa claudine

Everything was lovely, and we clearly enjoyed ourselves.

And as music industry enthusiasts, we had to take a few "band pics". How hard could it be, when everyone just needs to look in different directions?

pictures by l.lundberg

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Feature: YACHT

When I think of what to write about YACHT, I start to think that this post/music might be the most wtf for you readers (except perhaps the swamp floorball experience). Time to look at the world in a different way.

Coming from "Western American Utopian Triangle", YACHT is one of the many alter egos of Jona Bechtolt, who dropped out of high school in order to play drums in a punk band. In the latter part of the '90s he began working with electornics. He embraces an eclectic playful blend of electronics, acoustic percussion and noises of all sorts, which to me sounds like disco sometimes. Bechtolt is joined by noted science writer Claire L. Evans, who after a long time collaboration was made the other half of the full-fledged duo by 2009. Additionally, YACHT is completed by touring members.

The band has toured with LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Architecture in Helsinki and Vampire Weekend, and they've preached their philosophical provocative message on boats, in caves, bathrooms, art galleries, museums, rural China and at the Hollywood Bowl. Somehow listening to their music takes me back to the time well-spent during philosophy classes in high school. Maybe teachers should play some YACHT and take it from there?

 YACHT is what YACHT is when YACHT is standing before you.

YACHT - Shangri-La from Jona Bechtolt on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Suosähly 2012

For the fourth time I participated in the modern spa treatment at the annual swamp floorball. Swamp what?

Well it's basically people running around with sticks hitting the ball inside the opponent's goal. That's the idea, but in reality it's about getting stuck in the swamp and trying to get out of it.

The ridiculous part was when we thought we didn't make the quarter finals, so we just had a mud war amongst each other getting really dirty. It turned out that we had the same amount of points and goal difference with the other team, but we scored more goals; a lot of energy wasted and completely wet clothes! Well, our camouflage wasn't useful as we got knocked out of the competition the next round anyways.

This definitely is one of the most fun events of the year, despite the mosquitos and flies flying around. And the exhausting laundry at the end of the day (month).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday Feature: Purity Ring

If I'd have to choose a North American city in which to live in, my choice is more and more pointing to Montreal. Earlier when I featured Grimes, I started to believe an article stating Montreal to be the indie city of North America. Purity Ring is another brilliant proof of that.

Purity Ring consists of Megan James and Corin Roddick, who while touring with their previous band started to experiment their love towards hip hop. There's been quite a debate of what genres and sub-genres the duo represents. Is it dream pop, synth pop, hip hop, witch house (?!) and so on. The band itself describes the music as future pop, so let's just go with that. The coolest thing though is that I keep having Justin Timberlake's My Love video in my head, when listening to their songs.

I actually hope they'd release a black and white video with a lot of hip hop dancing.

The first song I heard was their third single "Obedear". It sounded alright, but when the album came available for streaming (which you can do here) I immediately discovered the wonder and freshness the combination of heavy hip hop bass beats and indie-minded lyrics can bring to the music scene.

More please.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chelsea-Liverpool Carling Cup

November 29th, 2011

After a decade of supporting Liverpool Football Club, I finally got the chance to see them play live. However my first game wouldn't had been at home, it was at Stamford Bridge against one of the other top teams, Chelsea. I owe this to my friend David, who was able to purchase a ticket for me with the remaining money he had on his account.

Although he kind of almost indirectly sentenced me to death by getting me a sit in the middle of the Chelsea fans.

Despite of his warnings not to clearly show that I'm with the opposite and sending all kinds of videos of football hooligans, I wanted to enjoy the match to the full;

Even my boss was up for it, as he sent me to get coffee wearing red to the canteen owned by massive Chelsea fans. Luckily the coffee wasn't poisoned and all I got was fingers pointing at the door.

You can't imagine how stoked I was when I got to the stadium. You can't also imagine how fast that excitement turned into disappointment and anger; due to stupid rules at Stamford Bridge, no cameras were allowed. That's because they don't want people to sell pictures. Even the guy working there said it's stupid. Firstly you can take high quality pictures with phones nowadays, and second what about those people, who go to matches for the first time and aren't able to capture those memories?

Well, at least I concentrated fully on the game now.

When I was about to enter the stadium, of course the security guy told me that I wouldn't be allowed to enter with red showing, as I was sitting with the Chelsea fans. That was alright, but then the interrogation started;

"How did you get your ticket here?"
"I live in London, so I was only able to get a ticket from the fan stand."
"Why do you live in London?"
"Well, I actually come from Finland, but I'm doing my internship here."...

Is this how it feels to arrive in America?

During the match I started to understand the warnings of my friend, the fans were a bit aggressive. Not badly though, but what surprised me was that they spent more time on cussing the visitors than cheering their owns.

"Have you ever seen Gerrard (Liverpool's captain) win the league?!" I was tempted to reply "No, but I've seen him win the Champions League". It's good I didn't, I would have most likely been beaten.

The best thing was to see all the Liverpool fans go crazy, when Liverpool scored, twice. Though it sucked when I was only able to put a tiny smirk on my face. Also, when Liverpool missed a penalty, a tiny smirk too. This was the time when being Finnish was useful; having a neutral face impression no matter what.

In the beginning of the match, when they had the huge Chelsea flag going around the fan stand, it felt like darkness had come over me. But no worries, we won the match and I survived. It's a pity though that even Liverpool's site doesn't have any pictures of the game anymore, but here's one, which pretty much sums up the experience.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Friday Feature: King Charles

Big hair, waxed moustache, bohemian clothing and girls praising his steaminess at live shows. With this striking image, you might not realize how good Charles Costa aka King Charles' music actually is. The folk-pop prodigy has been able to write rocking melodies, which make you dance and mature lyrics that you'd be surprised to know the king is only 24.

Despite of young age, King Charles has already been touring with acts such as Mumford and Sons and Noah and the Whale, while having a huge loyal fan base of his own growing every second. He's one of those acts that words aren't enough to describe; you need to go see him live to understand the whole picture.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 featuring deadmau5

November 28th, 2011

Me and my friends were super stoked to see what Nokia had to offer with the launch of their newest phone Lumia 800. Though, most of the people, including me were more excited to see Canadian (I've always thought he's English) house music producer deadmau5.

The 4D projection started with the retro Nokia Snake game. It was so cool to see the "snake" move on the glass building's surface. However, for the next half an hour or so, nothing special happened, always the same projection similar to your computer screen saver. It started to be really boring, and some even left.

No wonder Nokia is in the grave hole, they've dug themselves.

When we started to become really restless, this happened:

Now that was something we were waiting for! Why couldn't it have been like that the whole time? Okey, it probably would have been really expensive. Also, the artificially turned up cheering in the end silenced the booing of many in reality, when the phone turned up. But of course you have to show the product at a product launch.

As a Finn, it's too bad that Nokia wasn't permitted to launch the touch screen, before Apple stole it. Otherwise, the hole wouldn't be too deep.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday Feature: Hannah and Lois

Today's life is so hectic that even when you lie on your bed you're not able to rest, because your thoughts are running. For this I think I've found a cure, and that's Hannah and Lois.

I don't remember what I was googling, when I accidentally found an article of the band one day. I could have gone "Not another indie folk act", but I didn't. Though giving them a chance, I was expecting for the worst; discovering more music, which doesn't stand out.

Luckily Friday Features are about musicians, who do the exact opposite.

Hannah and Lois are Hannah Nicholson and Lois Osborne who grew up in Colne, a small town in Pendle, Lancashire (sounds like a place in Middle Earth). Living in a hippy-ish community listening to music with simple structures, but meaningful lyrics, the duo started to craft their own tunes with the help of the harp and piano not too long ago.

And it's calming as hell.

It's like you've managed to finish all of your tasks, and the only one left is breathing. Seriously, how many times have you been able to get to that point? Well, listen to Hannah and Lois, and you can reach that point whenever you want.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Museum of London

November 26th, 2011

My boss recommended I visit London's museum, so I did one Saturday, and so many surprising facts were learned during that afternoon. For instance I had no clue that the Romans then Germans had conquered that area before. I mean, who would want to invade a cold, wet land?

Eventhough London not having the perfect weather from time to time, it's amazing how many disasters this big city has survived from. From great fires to deadly sewers, and more recently bomb attacks to riots.

My favorite part of the museum were all the quotes, which were right on.

When reading stories of London today, I didn't realize how many problems there were. The surface looked ok (despite poverty issues), but underneath there was for example so much human trafficking going on. Stories of girls and women being locked in houses, I couldn't help to think that that could be happening next door.

It's disturbing. But as a first world citizen you get shocked first, then move on with your lucky life.

The day ended really nicely with me meeting up with a former exchange student of ours from Czech. The last time I saw him he had pirate clothing and rum breathe. I wondered what we'd be talking about, since it had been so long, but the conversation went on and on of all topics, which included football.

Funniest thing was when I showed him the Liverpool merch I got, he took out his Chelsea bag at the same time, and showed pictures from the game he was just at. This will actually be the next story of my London journey, which hopefully I will get to finish at some time!