Music listening sessions

Recent activities have been related to music.

Last weekend I went to see Eva & Manu at Gloria. Nice gig, just as expected. I’ve seen them once before back in the summer of 2011 pretty much by accident, as I was called there on a short notice to photograph the gig by a friend who organized the event. Here is one of the photos below.

Eva & Manu @ Fanny (Helsinki, 2011)

Eva & Manu @ Fanny (Helsinki, 2011)

They really haven’t changed that much from the small outdoor gig, which is nothing but a good thing because their simplicity and warmth in their music is their ultimate strength. Nice to see things have been going well for them.

The Next Album by Bowie

I’ve been listening to David Bowie’s new album The Next Day, which I bought last week the old fashioned way: from a record store. Yes, I could have had it faster and cheaper via iTunes (through which I’ve heard the album in advance plenty of times thanks to the preview stream on iTunes), but since I own all Bowie’s other albums on CD, it is a sort of a tradition for me to have it in plastic. Even when I rip it right away into my iTunes library and transfer it into my iPod.

Bowie's new album in old-school plastic.

Bowie’s new album in old-school plastic.

When I listened to it for the first time, my reaction was surprise. I was afraid it would suck because I wasn’t convinced by the first two singles (although “The stars (are out tonight)” has grown on me now). Then, for a moment I thought there might be greatness in this album. But after several additional listens, it became clear that Bowie pretty much picked up where he left with Heathen and Reality. The result: another decent pop/rock album. Fair enough.

I suppose the album art itself hints how Bowie feels about people expecting him to come up with something industry breaking like he did back in the old days. He is not going to do that. He can’t. Time has moved on and the world – his world in particular – has changed massively from the days of “Heroes”. That was then and now is now. Get over it.

While listening to the album, there are moments when I imagine what if some of the songs were released during certain earlier career moments in his life. Would I view them in a completely different light? Would the lyrics pop up in a different way? Am I just missing the young voice of Bowie and a different kind of production mix than what Visconti is offering us now? Could be so.

Didgeridoo music in 3D

To wrap this music flavoured post, I also went to see the opening movie for the Asian Film Festival named Flashback Memories 3D. It was a mashup of a musical performance and documentary of a Japanese didgeridoo musician named GOMA, who lost his memory in a car accident and has struggled to come with terms with it.

The groove in the film was great and at the same time it was a good reminder that just having a free functioning mind is something to cherish by itself. All this in 3D! Before the film there was a short video greeting from the director of the film, who hoped that the film would raise the atmosphere in the theatre like he has witnessed in many other foreign venues outside of Japan.

Sorry mate, we Finns are as reserved as Japanese people are, but I can certainly imagine it can do such a thing as I did notice myself nodding and quietly tapping my feet with the music.

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