Tuesday, June 28, 2005

what music now: Royksopp's "The Understanding"

Royksopp's new CD "The Understanding" contains the song "Only This Moment" that is already a hit in many clubs around the world and will probably be the summer song in all the clubs, especially around the Meditteranean. Check the video here.

Here are some lines from the song:

Only this moment (Holds us together)
Close to perfection (Nothing is out there)
No one to guide us (Lost in the senses)
Deep down inside I know our love will die.

Only this moment (Holds us together)
Lost in confusion (Feelings are out there)
Scared of the ocean (Doubting intentions)
Deep down inside I know our love will die

Stay or forever go
Play or you’ll never know
We haven’t decided
You can’t deny it’s all you’ve been waiting for

Stay or forever go
Play or you’ll never know
Your spirit’s divided
You will decide if I’m all you’ve been waiting for


The CD opens strongly with a trademark Royksopp lush keyboards arrangement called "Triumphant", and is followed by the first single "Only This Moment". As I mentioned above, this song will be one of the most played songs this summer, with its soulful lyrics, sun-drenched melodies, and etheral vocals from the band itself and newcomer Kate Havernick. The rest of the new CD follows in similar steps as their debut, "Melody A.M." but without really copying their previous sound. Check "Follow My Ruin", which has an interesting hook sounding a little like a song from a very well known American musician who has been in trouble with the law until recently. The rest of the CD continues with songs made for the summer. Check out "Beautiful Day Without You", "What Else Is There", the robotic "Circuit Breaker", "Alpha Male", a tribute to both Pink Floyd circa "Wish You Were Here" and Tangerine Dream, and "Someone Like Me" sounding similar to Air's jazzy electronica.

"The Understanding" will be officially released in the U.K. on July 4th, July 12th in the U.S. (it's already out in Japan), and for those of you in the rest of the world, June 28th, according to the band's website.

Peace and Love

Sunday, June 26, 2005

if you could read my mind...

The days of summer are here, and there's nothing different than the summers I was used to in the South - hot, and sticky humid. Just the way I like it, full of mischief, the type of mischief that speaks of untold promises in the languid, humid days to come.

A walk under the green shade of the trees in the park, or a seaside stroll helps a bit to cool things down, keeping tempers and feelings moderate. And then a late afternoon shower comes. But the heat remains...

And the ghosts return...

When the room is quiet
The daylight almost gone
It seems there's something I should know

Well, I ought to leave
But the rain it never stops
And I've no particular place to go

Just when I think I'm winning
When I've broken every door
The ghosts of my life
Blow wilder than before

Just when I thought I could not be stopped
When my chance came to be king
The ghosts of my life
Blew wilder than the wind

Well, I'm feeling nervous
Now I find myself alone
The simple life's no longer there

Once I was so sure
Now the doubt inside my mind
Comes and goes but leads nowhere

Just when I think I'm winning
When I've broken every door
The ghosts of my life
Blow wilder than before

Just when I thought I could not be stopped
When my chance came to be king
The ghosts of my life
Blew wilder than the wind
(David Sylvian, Ghosts)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Speak Low

Speak low when you speak, love
Our summer day withers away too soon, too soon
Speak low when you speak, love
Our moment is swift, like ships adrift, we're swept apart, too soon
Speak low, darling, speak low
Love is a spark, lost in the dark too soon, too soon
I feel wherever I go that tomorrow is near, tomorrow is here and always too soon
Time is so old and love so brief
Love is pure gold and time a thief
We're late, darling, we're late
The curtain descends, ev'rything ends too soon, too soon
I wait, darling, I wait
Will you speak low to me, speak love to me and soon

Kurt Weill / Ogden Nash

Iris Across Water

One warm, breezy afternoon,
she comes into the garden,
bright sunlight casting shadows
on the wall...
sees her reflection in the quenching pool
and wonders, "who tended the irises so
in her absence, and when did the birds
nested here again?"

Sunday, June 19, 2005

what music now: The National - "Alligator"

This is the third release by The National a NYC-based quintet. Not having heard a great deal from their previous releases, this is definitely an impressive CD. One critic has said that even thought they are in essence a New York band, they don't sound like their contemporaries (Interpol, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for example). However, they do owe some of their sound to such 70's New York seminal bands as Television, Lou Reed and Velvet Underground. But, that doesn't mean they are copying someone else's style. On the contrary, this is highly accessible and energetic American rock music, with thoughtful, poetic, lyrics and a slightly alt-country sound. Often compared to Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, although Joy Division's Ian Curtis is closer, Matt Berninger sings songs of lost love, heartbreak and remorse("You should've looked after her better/You should've looked after her more/You should've locked the door").

I find it hard to mention any bad ones, so standout cuts include "Looking For Astronauts", "Daughters of the Soho Riots" (How can anybody know/how they got to be this way/You must have known I'd do this someday/Break my arms around the one I love/And be forgiven by the time my lover comes/Break my arms around my love), and "Baby, We'll Be Fine":

Baby, We'll be Fine
All night I lay on my pillow and pray
For my boss to stop me in the hallway
Lay my head on his shoulder and say
Son, I've been hearing good things

I wake up without warning and go flying around the house
In my sauvignon fierce, freaking out
Take a forty-five minute shower and kiss the mirror
And say, look at me
Baby, we'll be fine
All we gotta do is be brave and be kind

I put on an argyle sweater and put on a smile
I don't know how to do this
I'm so sorry for everything

Baby, come over, I need entertaining
I had a stilted, pretending day
Lay me down and say something pretty
Lay me back down where I wanted to stay
Just say something perfect, something I can steal
Say, look at me
Baby, we'll be fine
All we've gotta do is be brave and be kind

I pull off your jeans, and you spill jack and coke in my collar
I melt like a witch and scream
I'm so sorry for everything

Also check "Karen", "All The Wine" and "City Middle".

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

forgotten lyrics...

I thought I might remind some of you of lyrics from the not-too-distant past, lyrics that make more sense now...

So let's start with Toronto-based The Pursuit of Happiness and don't be afraid to send me your own favourites. I promise to post them.

I'm An Adult Now
Well, I don't hate my parents
I don't get drunk just to spite them
I've got my own reasons to drink now
Think I'll call my dad up and invite him
I can sleep in till noon anytime I want
Though there's not many days that I do
Gotta get up and take on that world
When your an adult it's no cliche it's the truth

'Cause I'm an adult now
I'm an adult now
I've got the problems of an adult
On my head and on my shoulders
I'm an adult now

I can't even look at young girls anymore
People will think I'm some kind of pervert
Adult sex is either boring or dirty
Young people they can get away with murder
I don't write songs about girls anymore
I have to write songs about women
No more boy meets girl boy loses girl
More like man tries to understand what the hell went wrong

'Cause I'm an adult now
I'm an adult now
I've got the problems of an adult
On my head and on my shoulders
I'm an adult now

I can't take any more illicit drugs
I can't afford any artificial joy
I'd sure look like a fool dead in a ditch somewhere
With a mind full of chemicals
Like some cheese-eating high school boy

'Cause I'm an adult now
I'm an adult now
I've got the problems of an adult
On my head and on my shoulders
I'm an adult now

Sometimes my head hurts and sometimes my stomach hurts
And I guess it won't be long
Till I'm sitting in a room with a bunch
of people whose necks and backs are aching
Whose sight and hearing's failing
Who just can't seem to get it up
Speaking of hearing, I can't take too much loud music
I mean I like to play it, but I sure don't like the racket
Noise, but I can't hear anything
Just guitars screaming, screaming, screaming
Some guy screaming in a leather jacket

'Cause I'm an adult now
I'm an adult now
I've got the problems of an adult
On my head and on my shoulders
I'm an adult now

Thursday, June 09, 2005

upcoming events: synch - electronic music & digital arts festival

Here's something for those of you that may be in Greece during the very early part of July:

The event takes place between July 1 through July 3 and features more than 60 Greek and foreign musicians, djs and vjs on 4 different stages. It takes place at Lavrio, itself a historic industrial site, once the home of Greece's first electric power plant, but now the home of The Technological and Cultural Park. The guest musicians are far too numerous to list here, but I will include the following non-Greek ones: Tortoise, Hiroshi Watanabe, Jori Hulkkonen, Swayzak, and the legendary TuxedoMoon among many others. More details can be found in the event's website, Synch.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cape Cod

spent couple of days this Memorial Day weekend at Cape Cod, re-familiarizing myself with the sea. Got in the car on Saturday with few choice CDs and did the "On the Road" thing, except that I had the comfort of my own transportation. Still, I started driving without any maps or directions, just following the road sign pointing me towards the Cape.

The sea and I are old friends. Older I think than I can remember. I have always been captivated by the enormous secrets she's hiding in her depths, and quite often weary by her. I knew a woman who was the same way, her soul an ocean, her eyes a deep blue sea that dragged me in its depths unbeknownst to me. And willingly I let myself be dragged by the currents of her charm. But that's the stuff for a later story.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

what music now: coldplay's "X & Y"

It doesn't matter how many times I listen to this, whether it's the bootleg live versions of some of their new CD's songs, or songs from the actual studio CD, I continue to be impressed by the artistry exhibited in some of the tracks. "White Shadows" must be one of the best songs they've written (although it's a bit reminiscent of U2's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

Let some of the lyrics do the talking:

When I was a young boy
I tried to listen
and I wanna feel like that
little white shadows
that sparkle and glisten
I'm part of a system plan

Do you ever feel like
there's something missing?
things you'll never understand
little white shadows that blink in the distance
part of a system plan

When all our fears are waking up
all the space they're taking up
I said I cannot hear you, you're breaking up

Or how about "What If":

What if I got it wrong
And no poem or song
Could put right what I got wrong
Or make you feel I belong
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life

Then there's "Talk" with that somewhat familiar opening guitar riff. Alright, so the opening does sound like Kraftwerk's "Computer Love", but the song is strong:

Under the great North star
Try to work out where you are
In the silence of the sea
I don't know where I'll be

In the future, in the past
Going nowhere... much too fast
When I go there, go with me
When I go there, go with me

Although the version of "Talk" I'm currently listening has different lyrics:

So you take a picture
of something you see
In your future
Where will I be?

So you don't know were you're going and you wanna talk
You feel like you're going where you've been before
Let's talk
Let's talk

Let's wait for the official CD to come out. In the meantime, enjoy the bits and pieces.

Love, Peace and Understanding