Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October's Music Box

October has been a month of many many releases, of which some aren't that good actually. Well at least at the moment those particular tunes haven't grown on me yet or the videos are just bad, but as they're coming from bands that I adore(d), they need to be included here.

Bloc Party - Kettling

Probably the best song of their latest album, though the video doesn't impress that much, but I get why they did it if I understood the lyrics correctly.

Feed Me & Crystal Fighters - Love Is All I Got

Crystal Fighters are a pretty decent British band, a great live band as well. I've also been in one of their music videos, unfortunately though not in this super hero London party clip.

The xx - Chained

Indie wonder kids are back. Some think the song and video are boring, but naah at least it's beautifully shot. Slow motion always does the trick.

Bon Iver - Beth/Rest

This could be probably the awful song and awful video. But the tune is actually quite good when you get into it despite the 80s love movie vibe. The video on the other hand..UGH. Just stick with the music Justin...

Franco and the Dreadnought - Platt Fields

There's nothing wrong with promoting the artist I work with, especially when Platt Fields is my favorite tune from him, and everything for a good cause.

M83 - Steve McQueen

I was surprisedd M83 released a new video from his album released a year ago. But yeah it's only been a year and Rihanna for example released like almost every track from her albums. Steve McQueen is a great great song.

Paul Banks - Young Again

It's always a joy to hear Paul's voice and the video is so sympathetic!

fun. - Carry On

Completely fell in love with the band at their Helsinki gig and this is the song they started the show with. Inspiring lyrics!

Crystal Castles - Affection

I end this month's music list with a last minute addition. I end it with the best of the month. All you CC fans were probably like *?* when you heard this, no doubt it sounds like electro r n b, so not them, but still so amazing, which is them.

Which were your favorite songs and videos of the month?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday Feature: Buke and Gase

Last year in February I attended an indoor festival called Cross-Linx in The Netherlands just to see The National. But anyways the evening was filled with other bands too and of course I wanted as much as I can get for the price I paid, so I started listening to the rest without hearing of them before.

One of the bands were New York- based Buke and Gase (formerly Gass, and pronounce Buke as byook almost like a British would pronounce Björk). I was already convinced by a two-minute video of theirs I watched and insisted we'd go see them, even if it sadly meant missing Owen Pallett. The place where the gigs took place was in a beautiful building in Rotterdam, in which I guess classical concerts are rather held. Although the duo performed in an area, which I could imagine been used for a bunch of people selling useless items seen on shopping channels. However as soon as they started playing it felt like the whole huge sterilized-ish area became more intimate and warm like a family room on Christmas.

It's safe to say that there's been some sort a debate of what genre(s) Buke and Gase represent. Very recently they've been quoted as "fiery metal-infused indie rock" and "avant-folk". Well avant-indie for sure! Besides that it's quite hard to say. All I know is that the instruments they've crafted themselves and after which the band is actually named, create a unique sound. Plus the singing blends in so perfectly.

Just hear and see for yourself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Amateurs on Ice

As the weather is getting colder and everything seems to be freezing slowly, I thought it would be good to continue The London Stories. In other words nothing special is happening at the moment that I need to dig into the archives of my life.

Last November me and some of my friends hit the ice rink surrounded by beautiful Christmas trees. You know like in the movies (real life) situated in New York. It's funny how you get more excited of an everyday thing abroad than in your own country. Or maybe they should just put up festive lights and have music in the background to motivate me here. Aah but yes, the natural ice doesn't really freeze properly until January, plus the thermometer shows about -30 C.

So no need to say that it was great to skate with my rain coat on! And absolutely necessary with my helmet.

When I was about to enter the rink the overseer asked me with a surprised look on her face whether I was going to use the helmet. No, I'm just going to be throwing it at people.

The reason for her dumb question though was justified as I was the only one protecting their head. Another thing what surprised me was when I remembered being one of the worst skaters at our class I really didn't have to relive those moments there. People on ice for the first time was amusing, but life threatening! Imagine a scenario of you wearing out the ice, doing your thing, and all of the sudden someone jumps on you like a lion squeezing like an anaconda! And all you want is to yell "Geez if you're falling, you don't have to take me with you!".

Those are the amateurs on ice.

pictures by the nice for a dutch person esther

Monday, October 22, 2012

Samuli Putro @ Lutakko, Jyväskylä

October 20th, 2012

A musician who was named this year's significant Finnish songwriter performing at a music venue voted as the best by artists in 2010... Easier said, the legendary Samuli Putro at legendary Lutakko.

Although he can look overly serious on stage, the lyrical genius who is known of being direct and truthful in his songs has the witty sense of humor and politeness in his complete essence to warm everyone's heart.

Putro explained how the gig was the best of the tour so far and the venue being one of his favorite places to perform. He thought it was funny that he had his first show with his band Zen Cafe at Lutakko 15 years ago and clearly the front row fans were 15-year-olds. It was a good thing that I wasn't in the front.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Feature: Alina Devecerski

I think this is the first time I'm featuring a non-English singing musician, but it really doesn't matter if you don't understand Swedish at all, since Alina Devecerski brings on the catchy catchier catchiest tunes you could hope for. When listening to her music I find myself reminiscing those days when I used to be an A student with the useful Scandinavian language. Like when I was 13!

Luckily the English Wikipedia has some information on her e.g. she was born in 1983, she used to be in a girl band when she was 19, she's written songs for other artists, only in 2010 did she launch her solo career... That's pretty much the basic info. Her Facebook page's bio on the other hand is lengthier, but I wouldn't count on Google translator. Just listen to her songs below.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Franco and the Dreadnought - The Platt Fields EP

-You know that guy from Manchester whose song was given to Nelson Mandela as a 90th b-day gift?
- Mean Franco and the Dreadnought?
- Yeah, him alright.
- What about Franco and his guitar?
- Well, he's got his second single out called "Platt Fields", which is an ode to Platt Fields park in Manchester.
- No shit. Is it good?
- I think it's his best tune so far. And you know what else?
- Tell me oh holy new music source.
- The single comes with an acoustic version and two other songs!
- Oh maan sounds like a good deal!
- But that's not even the most awesome thing about it.
- What there's more?
- When you buy The Platt Fields EP on Bandcamp you'll not only be supporting a talented musician, but "Friends of Platt Fields" too!
- Who of what?
- Friends of Platt Fields are a group of hard-working volunteers who maintain the park by keeping it clean, organizing community events, trying to increase the wildlife habitat and so on. ALL PROFIT from the downloads will go to this group!
- Sounds important what they do.
- It is. You can see some of the volunteers as well as Franco's fans in the Platt Fields video produced by local uni students.
- Aah that's so cool that they got to be video stars! Well, I better check the video and buy the EP later.
- Don't wait too long to do that as Franco's goal is to reach £1000 by October 22nd.
- That's already next Monday! Okey I'm going to do it as soon as I get home and spread the word to all my friends on Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media networking sites I'm on.
- Exactly because that's what social media is for!
- And it's a good cause to promote.
- A good cause indeed. And tunes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Flash Bang Band @ Suvizza, Espoo

September 29th, 2012

One cold summer day I received an email from this British band called Flash Bang Band who wanted to play some gigs in Finland and needed a local person to help them out. I honestly had no clue about the music scene in Helsinki and around, so the only knowledge I was able to share was contacting some newspapers and blogs. I did though think the story behind their journey was interesting enough to be printed out on paper. I mean how often do you hear British rockers travelling all the way to Finland just to pick up some reindeer meat so that their local Nordic bar would be able to serve their most popular dish? Not to mention that their Finnish punk legend Pelle Miljoona's friends too.

Anyways some weeks later at work one co-worker started talking to me because of my The Doors shirt, and from there we had a long conversation about music. Apparently he played in a band and I happened to mention something about the Brits. One thing lead to another, and suddenly I found myself going to a local pub to see this band. It was as local as local can get. Five minute walk from our house, a place which I would normally never visit, but there I was. Of course being warned first of how crazy the area can be during nights with all the drunks.

Luckily the only crazy thing was the lads' performance. Got to love their musical skills and the DIY attitude! Not too many bands are able to come up with good promotional ideas and actually execute them. Then the shirts... pure love. It's also the first time I've got two shirts from the same band.

All thanks to my Doors shirt.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Feature: James Blake

James Blake here, James Blake there. James Blake on BBC Sound of 2011, James Blake everywhere.

And how surprising was it for me to ignore the hype until it was too late. Too late I mean to realize that the music is AH-mazing and that the gig was just a few days earlier. Gutted.

This 24-year-old Londoner's interests are burritos, houmous and laptops. Also dropping the base real low, while singing like Stevie Wonder. Apparently it's called RnB dubstep. Not all songs are like that though, sometimes I think of James Blake as the male version of Lykke Li with the gentle way of singing, which my sister-in-law describes as missing your breakfast and being forced into the studio to sing. (Note that her music taste is questionable).

You really just need to listen to his songs to get the point, and what better time would it be than cold and dark autumn days. So don't expect to be all energized and happy, unless you also have discovered a new musical crush.

Ps. use headphones.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Count Me in to the Cottage Weekend

August 24th-26th, 2012

It was funny how exactly two years ago I was starting an incredible adventure abroad, and now I was spending the weekend with some of the people who made that experience special. Janne my beer buddy and one of the Spanish exchange students Laura arranged a really relaxing and fun cottage weekend basically in the middle of Finnish nowhere.

All what was needed was good company, food and beer. And a wine tasting session.

"hello i'm janne's girlfriend"


The middle-aged people in the neighboring cottage were arguing during the night, calling each other names and the next morning two huge taxis came to pick some people up. But only a few left, so apparently their egos were too big for normal-sized taxis. And they say that young people don't behave well...

Best moment I guess was when we were on the dock just watching the night sky full of stars. Those kind of peaceful moments are hard to get, but we were lucky enough that time.

cool pictures takes by laura