Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This kettle is seeing red

My last visit to the labor office left me with mixed emotions. I met the person who was in charge of me, who seemed really sympathetic and sincerely caring. I asked him whether it was possible to get any financial support for unpaid internships- a good company of my own field was looking for someone. He explained that the law had just recently changed in a way that financial support will only be granted for unpaid internships, if you are being introduced to a new field.

4-5 years of studies and you want me to get to know a new field?

There were a couple of good reasons for this, but obviously I remember only the bad sides. Those scenes in Kill Bill when Uma Thurman sees those she is supposed to kill and the screen goes red and the music starts... It was just that.

"Everywhere is illogical, here it´s just the most", my friend once said. Although he was talking about The Netherlands then, it fits perfectly this situation. I have come to the conclusion that as a graduate you really are not that better off. It´s like a limbo, when companies either want people with a lot of experience or students. Ie. people with a lot of experience or free work labor.

After realizing that the music and media industry is so vague, and the company offering the unpaid internship does things that I never had done, I sent an email to my supervisor asking if it was possible to get support now for these reasons. In my follow up email I asked for a quick response as the deadline for applications was looming.

You can take a red pen and rule out sincerely caring.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Friday Feature: The Dead Formats

My first thought when listening to The Dead Formats was that I haven´t heard anything as British as them in a very long time. The Essex sextet have it carved so deeply in their accent, attitude and style. The guys believe in pushing social and musical boundaries, and that´s exactly what they do. The Dead Formats are as fresh and exciting as The Clash were during their time.

What I love the most about the band are not the amazing hooks nor the melodies that get stuck in your head- but the two out of the world vocals, which are like day and night. The singing for me sounds like a friendly battle, which makes you want to root for both sides. But well the whole band makes you want to do that.

Bloody love them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Värttinä @Hannikais-sali, Jyväskylä

When I visited for the first time the beer advertising museum in the Dutch city, Breda, the owner came to ask where me and my friend came from. As soon as she got to know we were Finnish, you could see how her whole appearance just lit up.

"Do you know Värttinä?!", she asked.

You can probably imagine our positive huh? expressions on our faces, while telling that yes we do know the band and at the same thinking how the heck does she know them.

"A few years ago with a group from this museum we went to see them in Tilburg!", she continued with the most utterly excitement I've ever seen someone have. And to make our visit even more surreal, she put on the band's music for the rest of the night. Can't speak highly enough of that place's customer service.

Two years after that, I got the chance to experience Värttinä live myself. Now, I completely understand the museum owner- the gig was the second best I've ever been to, but by far it was the most exotic. It's something that I'm not used to seeing or listening to, I was simply intrigued for the whole 2 hours. Perfect acoustics, singing, playing, performance, grannies getting wild... It was both hilarious and emotional.

Though, the best part of the whole thing is that most of the time I didn't have a clue what they were singing. I wondered if it was only me, so I asked my friend if she knew. For my relief she shook her head. Ironically, a lot of the band's foreign fans have started to learn Finnish because of them.

I hope the next time I see Värttinä will be abroad. I want to be part of the crowd, which gets all crazy taking their shirts off and that stuff.

Monday, April 15, 2013

After 249 blog posts...

... and I'm not able to comprehend 250 as nothing else than just a number. My friends tell that 250 posts is a lot. I don't know, is it? My brain doesn't think it is, but my fingers for sure do. When I reached the first milestone with my 100th post, I realized after a while that it actually wasn't. You see, I had a couple of unpublished drafts- empty ones. This time I made sure that the same mistake wouldn't happen. Content- wise I didn't want to repeat what I had written before, even though I knew that I would do a bit of recapping.

I read the first three posts ever to get some inspiration and to just see how all things started. Even if I say myself that some things made me laugh, in the end it was mainly depressed feelings that I felt. It wasn't about me missing my exchange year and city, it was more about missing the writing style and how I used to be, I guess. My writing back then was more relaxed and care free, and everything was so exciting and new. Now everything seems to be so calculative and strategical.

When I mentioned about this to a couple, they were telling me not to stop writing. Hold on, I didn't say anything about not wanting to write. Actually, I haven't enjoyed writing this much in a while, although I do have to admit that a few months back I felt like quitting. And at this point I would like to thank Christian aka Shelf Nunny for continuously sharing his music with me and inspiring me to develop some awesome future projects, which meant that this is the best time to keep writing. You'll see at some point what we've got in store.

But back to the problem, or let's say that I don't even know what the problem is, then therefore how to fix it. Maybe it's about not knowing what the future holds. It was much easier to live when you knew that next autumn is about starting a new school year. On the other hand it's exciting when you can basically do what ever you want.

What ever I want. This is something hard to keep in mind, when you're used to going down a structured path. It's also hard when your dreams keeps changing or worse, are forgotten.

The problem also could be that reading those posts made me miss the wit that came out so naturally out of me. I know that person is still in me... Wait, is this what they call growing up? Momentary insanity?

One way to get rid of these thoughts is to travel and have new experiences. What I've noticed, though, is that  it's just a temporary solution to everything. You end up back home anyways, and everything starts from the beginning.

Earlier this afternoon I talked about this issue with one of my dearest friends, and she basically was able to sum up almost everything I believed in life.

You taught me how to live every moment and everything deeply! What I always say about you is that you are this kind of person who likes to enjoy everything as much as you can and you taught me that.. Maybe you didn't notice it but at the end [of the exchange] I felt like I lived my life as I wanted to and I tried to enjoy everything at the same moment I was doing it. I remember you smelling the food, the wine, the beer before eating or drinking. And I was always like what the fuck..But I don't know later I thought okay I want to be like Jaleh! She knows exactly what she wants every moment and how. And after my reflection about that I started living my life with all my senses. I remember biking near the lake, smelling the air and being happy for that, you know what I mean? Now before lunch I sat down outside in the sun and I was just being there watching and feeling the air.. I always use you as a good example of living the life. So now don't tell me you are sad or whatever.

I've known my friend for almost 3 years and it's the first time she's said anything about this. Her response was simply: "now I think you needed to hear something like that". And all I remember from my side was watching and thinking that I need to be more like her. 

Isn't it ironic?

In January 2010 my aunt died of a heart attack. I realized that life can be taken anytime from you, so why not concentrate on doing the things you want instead of those which would look good on your resume. This thinking resulted into picking a different exchange school. I believe things happen for a reason and for such a long time I was wondering what was the purpose of me being in that particular Dutch school and city. After that conversation it became clear to me.

Knowing that someone has learned to enjoy and appreciate the little things of life made me happy. 

It makes the whole "life-changing-educating-mind-blowing-rumble-hassle-i-will-never-be-the-same-i-will-(maybe)-come-back-(maybe)-as-a-better-person-than-i-was-when-i-left-experience" way more worth than it already was. 

I do often speak highly about that exchange year, however I admit being a bit sick of it. I dream of a new phase in life, which I can call the best time of my life.

dedicated to judit, who is more like a sister than a friend to me and after some rough days is still able to listen to my perhaps non-existing problems, and at the same time joke and be serious about them.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Feature: Maven Fiction

Maven Fiction started as a solo project of Scarborough born Aaron Ward, but now acts as a York-based trio after a very common realization- without live drums, you'll end up looking karaoke. Note: only look like, as Maven Fiction has got several tracks, which set a high standard in melody, lyrics and atmosphere. It's kind of the type of indie rock/electro music you've probably heard before, but at the same not. There's that unique type of freshness and cleverness in the tracks that get you hooked immediately. It's also very British. Very.

Their first gig was in New York, when a random acoustic demo went viral in some Manhattan schools. This Is My England got 11,000 views on its first day with the help of NME. 

However, Maven Fiction is yet to have a final breakthrough. And that is just ridiculous. I'd sign them myself, if I could. You know their music can bring in a lot of money, when even one of Pete Doherty's producers stole Ward's hard drive for something valuable you get on the streets. That would be Halal fried chicken for me, dunno about the producer.

Like we were taught on our freshman year- it's not about the music, it's about the money. Luckily in this case the music is well worth the money.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

This Monday will mark the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, made famous by The Hollies topped that UK Christmas charts last December. With the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Mel C and Robbie Williams, The Justice Collective Version's proceeds were given to support the families in their long legal battle to claim justice for the 96. Until last autumn the police did not take any responsibility of what had happened, stating that it was the fans' fault they had died. The families and supporters had to wait over 23 years for them to finally acknowledge their mistake.

Naturally, as a Reds supporter myself I wanted to contribute by buying the single. I actually did that at Heathrow Airport, and I don't remember when is the last time I held a physical single. But the best part of it all is that supporters of different teams bought it too.

Football is the best way to unite people.

absolutely love how the 96 are remembered on the newest lfc jersey

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tree - Splitting Branches

by zane prater

Once upon a time I was part of a huge Brooklyn-based indie music site's team. Brooklyn + indie + writing = uuh. I worked hard to get there, just to basically get kicked out after a spell shorter than the time used to get in. It was devastating to be punished for not liking mediocre music. There were too many bands and artists sounding unsurprising, and I was looking for something that was fresh and exciting. Acts which made finding and listening to new music all worth it. If given the time I would have written about those few acts I fell in love with and provide them with way more deserved exposure than I'm able with my own blog.

But always look at the bright side, they say. 

I've found many positives after this experience. First of all it's more fun to write, when you follow your own rules and most importantly write about stuff that you sincerely like. There's no one breathing into your neck and the clock isn't ticking. Secondly, like I said already I'm not able to give as much as exposure, but I'm able to give even more devotion. The music I write about more than once is not something that I just quickly need to come up with some kind words for to kiss ass or look up what words other music sites have used about the "hottest new music at the moment". And after meeting the strict deadline, completely forget about it and move onto the next relevant thing.

Before you start thinking that I'm delving in some sort of self-pity, the final positive out of all this was when my email was graced by San Francisco- based producer Tree's music. Then when I take it a bit further, without hearing his stuff I would have never come across with so many other brilliant artists Tree is buddies with. But about Tree aka Oliver Nickell himself, he's one of the very first acts I've featured on this blog and for over a year now I've been waiting when I could interview him. It's not now, but soon. This is what happens when you get a record deal- the folks over there want to make sure things are planned well and that the young artist is ready and not turning into a douche.

Before Tree's debut EP is released very soon, he treated his fans with a compilation of tracks he had worked on the year and a half earlier when he was 17 and 18. I was kind of disappointed to see that one of my favorite tracks Stuck Down The Wrong Rabbit Hole wasn't part of the compilation, and thought it couldn't be absolutely amazing. Splitting Branches is only amazing.

Even if my favorite isn't there, I've gotten myself hooked with other gems like tully and Sacred Elements. I think it's safe to say that Splitting Branches is in a very non-offensive way a radio friendly compilation with a radness in it, which radio friendly music drools over. 

It works perfectly as a whole, which is an important factor for me when listening to an album. It's not about having a couple of hits nor is it about having all songs be hits. It's about building the record in a way, which keeps the listener interested from the beginning to the end. Taking them to an ear spa.

Listen to Splitting Branches below and download it for free here.

ps. nickell sings in the song revival "i'm angry and bloody like a bitch on her period", some might get offended, but that line is actually pretty funny. especially when you imagine it being said in a british accent. 
pps. this post might have been more about the cons of writing for a music site. i'd like to think it as a long introduction to the review itself. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

French Films @Lutakko, Jyväskylä

I've said it many times that French Films are for me the best Finnish band. They're also great live. I was stoked to go see them play at the legendary Lutakko venue, but... I think it was the most disappointing show I've ever been to. Hate to say it, but it's only my opinion. Well, not really. My friend who saw them for the first time, thought so too. "It can't get lamer than this", he said.

The last time the guys performed here was at a packed indie club. I remember them apologizing for the short set, since they only had their debut out. Completely understandable.

Their recent gig felt shorter, which is weird because they had just released their sophomore a day earlier. Also, there was no one selling the freshly out of the oven album at the place itself. Maybe it's because they were in such a hurry to hit the bars. Dunno.

Simply, I was missing some of their songs, the sound was a bit off and the atmosphere would have been better at a smaller venue (can't blame them for that though).

Anyways, still love you guys, hope it was a one night thing, if not then you should get your act together.

*oh dear*

Saturday, April 6, 2013

March´13 Video Box

I prefer audio over video, but the video box is now here for those addicted to visuals. Hope you find some inspiration for your own projects!

1. Holm. - Day 174 Could You Hear Me?

2. Lloyd Yates - Runs Like Fire

3. Buke and Gase - General Dome

4. The Computers - Love Triangles, Hate Squares

5. Frank Turner - Recovery

6. Mumford and Sons - Whispers In The Dark

7. The Strokes - All The Time

8. French Films - Latter Days

9. Maven Fiction - We´ll Get Clean Together

10. Rilo Kiley - Let Me Back In

11. Azealia Banks - No Problems

AZEALIA BANKS - NO PROBLEMS from Rony Alwin on Vimeo.

12. The Knife - A Tooth For An Eye

Athletes In Paris - Borrowed Time
(Just noticed this was published in February, but never mind.)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Feature: Droid Daughter

Hailing from Warminster, Pennsylvania, 18-year-old Connor Lepre has spent the last 12 months expressing himself through his electronic project- Droid Daughter. I'd say the year has been awfully busy for him having released, wait I'm not sure if I even counted correctly, but at least 3 EPs of his own and two full-lengths. In addition there are just loads of remixes, split EPs and all sorts of collaborations with other great local artists that Lepre has done.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of jazz, hip hop and synch electro. For me Droid Daughter represents electronic music in its purest format. No tricks or gimmicks, just raw passion and talent mixed with a hint of groove. I can notice that Lepre takes his musical path seriously with a great sense of DIY attitude and professionalism. So, I won't be surprised when we see him hitting it big in the years to come.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Junk Food Restaurant

If you read my We Need To Talk About Kevin book review, you might have learned that I hate spoilers. Another thing that I hate is throwing food away. Sometimes it could even ruin my whole day when I see something spoiled in our fridge in the morning. Not to mention seeing and smelling the same stuff for months at our office block's fridge. I do admit being guilty of letting perfectly food to rot every now and then, but luckily it's happened more seldom now than when I started my studies. That's when I was mainly after the cheapest products, which quite often tasted bad.

I remember when one of my flat mates had this habit of throwing all of her food away after returning from the grocery store with two bags full of new food. I also remember cleaning the fridge of five persons and finding rotten food to fill a huge black trash bag. There was no one to yell at except for me.

I've always sworn to stick a picture of a skinny African kid with a speech bubble "Stop wasting food, douche" on someone's fridge. I still haven't done it. I can already hear my friend saying "you're always talking about the African children". If I could I would send some people to Africa to starve for a while, maybe then they'd appreciate more what they got.

When we'd go to a restaurant with my friends, I would not only finish my plate, but theirs too. They'd go "how can a tiny girl eat so much?!", well it's actually really easy when you eat SLOWLY and ENJOY. The slower you eat, the more space you have and you also feel full longer.

Yesterday a top chef and some culinary students created these gourmet dishes out of ingredients local shops would have thrown away and served them for free to people. The amount of food that shops throw away is huge, and most of it is still perfectly edible. Although, you can't blame them for it, since EU and government regulations are hella stupid. Our senses have become blinded by those Best Before prints. Personally, I think it's just another way for food companies to keep producing more products and by then profit.

Sometimes though you can't blame regulations, when someone deliberately wastes food. This has happened for example with our chain doughnut store, which name I won't disclose (Arnold's). Half an hour before closing time several sheets of freshly baked goodies are thrown into a huge black trash bag. Couldn't they have just sell those "left overs" for a cheaper price or just bake less? I think they've gone with the latter option.

The funniest thing for me is when I hear news anchors talking about the lack of food we're going to be suffering from here in Finland. These people would do well in poker.

But with the Junk Food Restaurant event yesterday, it simply was a good idea. The dishes looked really tasty, unfortunately the line was way too long. That's what happens when you give something for free to (wealthy) people.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

March ´13 Music Box

A very James Blake month.

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Under The Earth

Click here for the absolutely rad exclusive preview.

2. Ghost Town DJs - My Boo (Aeropsia Remix)


3. Holm. - Day 176 Trying Not To Care

Great beats, great vocals.

4. Kali Ma - Dabbin´ (Demo)

Can't say if the singing is a parody or a cool 80s thing. Correction: while writing this I noticed that the vocals had been taken out.

5. Franco and the Dreadnought - Not Enough

Written with Mercury Prize Nominee Kathryn Williams.

6. Franco and the Dreadnought - Where I'm Calling From

Same as above.

7. James Blake - And Holy Ghost

8. James Blake - Voyeur (Dub)

9. James Blake - Voyeur

10. James Blake - Digital Lion

The best out of all four.

11. Little Boots - Broken Record

12. She & Him - Never Wanted Your Love

I'm tired of being clever, everybody is clever these days.

13. StarWaves - Oblivion OST

14. Austra - Home

It's so great to have Austra back.

15. Mutya Keisha Siobhan - Lay Down In Swimming Pools

And pick of the months goes to... OMG OMG like the most anticipated thing like ever. System OVERLOAD. And it's only a mashup.

What were your favorite tunes of March? Comment below or on Facebook or tweet to @InJallusWords

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We Need To Talk About Kevin

I don't remember writing a book review before. Actually, let's put it this way- I don't remember being forced to write a book review before. Maybe I have at school, but there were loads of things we were forced to do anyways. However, I don't consider the words I'm typing now as compulsory, I am just listening to a reader's request. Now one of you might go "but you still haven't featured any of those bands I've shared with you!". 

Hold on, even if it's been a year or so since you submitted music to me, it still doesn't mean I won't write about it. Or perhaps it does. But here's my advice- keep throwing mud at the wallHere's another advice- there's too much music to listen to, so to actually ask me to do something different, now there's a winner. Thank you for that dear reader.

Last spring the film adaptation of Lionel Shriver's award-winning We Need To Talk About Kevin got its premiere here in Finland. Based on the trailers it was something dark and like my reader would say "it gave me goose bumps". I'm sure it did, and I was like so planning to go see it myself. But I'm glad I wasn't able to. Though, I still want to see it. Even more now. 

I want to see how all the gruesome things I read and all the emotions I felt were transmitted into audiovisual format. How my imagination meets the director's vision. Of course there's that very high risk of being disappointed, when the film is different from the book or misses parts you would have wanted to see. This is why for example Paulo Coelho doesn't allow his books to be adapted into films. 

Then there's those situations when you watch the movie without reading the book first. If you're lucky you'll enjoy the movie. If not then you'll be left with a lot of questions . Frankly, I'd rather be disappointed than not understand. 

Now to the actual review. We Need To Talk About Kevin is simply one of those books you need to read, especially if you plan on watching the film. It's also simply one of the best books I've ever read. But simply there's nothing simple about it.

Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

Through the main character Eva's extremely detailed correspondences with her husband, we get to penetrate her mind, which is seemingly dark. Her personal thoughts mainly about motherhood are something that hardly anyone dares to speak out in case of public disgust. In the society we live in, it's much easier to condemn someone for thinking different than to actually talk about the opinions opposed to your own in a civilized manner. Therefore, the main feelings I had while reading the book was anger and frustration. I continued to have these feeling until the very last pages of the book (540 with small font), until it provided me with the shocker it promised and some sort of an amazed heart-touching ending, which was even more shocking than the twist. Even if I got all the information I needed to be able to answer the question why, in the end I still could only guess.

See, this is why I've avoided reviewing books, movies and shows- I can't tell which parts shook me and why without spoiling the whole thing! And I hate spoilers. 

I think this review just makes me look like a person, who has suffered a traumatic experience without the ability to talk about it. So please do me a favor and read the book. Although, I was wondering whether mothers or pregnant women should read this, and I've come to the conclusion that yes they should. But even more by fathers.