The Obvious

some i-songs

Posted in meme, music, nablopomo by theobvious on November 14, 2009

This is a sort of a meme I came up with: I’m going to list all of the songs on my phone (man, this does sound much lamer than ‘my iPod’!) whose titles begin with the word ‘I’, to make up a sort of portrait of a fictional person created by the music I listen to. Or something. And so it looks as though I worked at least a bit over this, I’ll add links to YouTube videos of all of them so you can check them out if you like.

I ain’t afraid
I like Chinese
I need something
I think it’s going to rain today
I took it out on you
I’m not giving up yet
I’m Shady
I’m so worried
I’m yours
I’ve got two legs

Some of the videos are less than impressive, but that’s just YouTube for you (seriously, since when one photo imposed on a song is considered a video? Pull yourself together, providers of gratuitous video content for my blog!) – and for some reason, most of these are either by Newton Faulkner or Monty Python. It is up to you to work out which.

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frank london and lens trouble

Posted in event, gear, music, photos by theobvious on July 25, 2008

A. called me yesterday about lunchtime and announced: ‘We are going to the Frank London concert today!’ This had been discussed quite a while ago, with me assuming, after said discussion ending in complete inaction, no tickets having been purchased, and the concert not having been brought up for over a week, that we weren’t going. Suddenly, though, A. got us tickets; we went.

It was not just Frank London, of course. With Petras Vysniauskas playing sax, Anthony Coleman at the piano/keyboard, Arkadijus Gotesmanas as the drummer, and Brad Jones on bass, this was quite the dream team. They played some of the very obscure sounds I am told are called free jazz, and some wonderfully rich melodies, inspired partly by Jewish traditional music and composed by the musicians themselves.

I was busy running around the church wherein the concert was taking place, trying to get the most out of my D40 with the kit 18-55/3.5-5.6 lens. Obviously, nothing really good could come out of it. However, I did learn things.

Brad Jones

 Frank London admiring his trumpet

So today, I’ve been reading through dozens of LiveJournal communities, pages upon pages of Ken Rockwell’s website, online shops, and second-hand auctions – all to get at least some vague concept of an idea of an understanding of what lens I need to aim for next, and how much it would cost me. And you know me well enough by now to tell that I found out precious little; otherwise I wouldn’t be whining here.

All that can be said for sure right now is that it’s going to be a lot of time and money before I can enjoy myself while shooting a concert in a very dark hall. Word of the day – absolute befuddlement.

sounds of poinnnng

Posted in music, valuable lesson by theobvious on March 15, 2008

Usually when watching a band or an orchestra perform, I need to know exactly which person is making which sound, and for that it is necessary to see all of them. Also, I always pay attention to sounds familiar from cartoon soundtracks and suchlike. I think to myself, oh, that is what makes that noise!

Today we had unfortunate seats, flung far left to the very edge of the hall, and as the orchestra were sitting in a semicircle, we found ourselves facing the tail end of the string section. We could see no faces, but each and every hairdo. No prodigy virtuoso pianist, but both the harps and the girls playing them.

Well, who knew. That turned out to be more than enough! Did you know how many of those special movie sounds are made by harps? Even the ominous hoom-hoom when the good guys enter the empty cave, even the poinnng when Jerry breaks Tom’s whisker! What a fascinating instrument, the harp.

There is a woman in Jerusalem, playing a harp on the main tourist street, dressed usually in a medieval (or maybe just really old-fashioned) dress. I used to think she was quite mediocre, but now I have new-found respect for her. Next time I’m there, I’ll put ten sheqels in her hat if she can do hoom-hoom.

chanticleer – wow!

Posted in good, music by theobvious on February 13, 2008

Mom and I went to see these gorgeous men sing in their angelic voices at the Philharmonic yesterday. I, for one, am delighted that Vilnius was included in their European tour this year, because the concert was outstanding. They began with early music and ended with gospels, and we audience clapped our palms raw. They took about a hundred bows, and then decided to sing one last song, and the whole thing was a blast!

I’m sorry we couldn’t buy their CD, especially after reading the section on their website dedicated to their Merch Team, where they describe the painstaking process of lugging the huge suitcases full of CDs back and forth. Well, at least those things were definitely lighter after yesterday’s performance, even if through no merit of mine.

If ever you get a chance to hear these people perform, I wholeheartedly recommend you hurry up and buy a ticket for everyone you know and want to make very happy. Also, seriously, they are a treat to behold! Check out their nice and friendly website, featuring their music, and even some photos of the Vilnius Philharmonic right here.

look it’s the cd-cover meme

Posted in link, meme, music by theobvious on February 11, 2008

I’ve seen this all over the place (with slightly different rules). Actually sniped it from the blogoversally-famous Rachel at Feel free to snipe in turn.

cd cover
Picture by Ognen Bojkovski

The rules are simple: (1) The first article title on this random wiki page is the name of your band, (2) the last four words of the very last quote on this random quote page is the title of your album, and (3) the third picture here, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

It’s all I can do to think about the quote. Restlessness is something I experience more often than anything else. Maybe it’s time to start viewing it differently?

a symphony

Posted in music, random by theobvious on February 8, 2008

The door opens click-whistle-swish, and thump-thumps closed. There are people inside, and their voices are swooshing back and forth like the tide: swooooooooosh-rumble-rumble, swooshhh-murmmmmur. Someone is whispering jokes to a group of friends: fshhh – hahaha – fssshh – hahaha. The woman behind the counter is intoning quietly: nonono-no-no-no-no-yeeees, nono-nono-yeees-no.

The copy machine comes on: hum-hum-hooooooo, click, hummm-hummm-hooooo, click. Pages are being flipped: pshht. Pshht. Pshht. Books are being put down: whap! Whap! Keyboards are clacking: tap-tap-tap-tah. Feet are walking on the carpet: slorp-slosh, and then get onto the parquet: clop-clop. Bags are being opened and closed: zippers – currr-whirrr, and velcro – kkhss!

It’s a busy day at the school library.

katie melua, nine million bicycles

Posted in music by theobvious on November 23, 2007

I’m a little sad right now. I don’t think I can come with anything worthwhile today, though God knows I tried. I wanted to suggest you listen to this lovely song, because sometimes words are better sung than typed, but there is no apparent way for me to embed it here. Technical difficulties will kill modern education one of these days. Well, I recommend you find this song and listen to it.

music is my fahrenheit

Posted in music by theobvious on November 13, 2007

It’s snowing. Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling grows. It gets dark at 4 pm, and after school I feel that the day is over.

Every venture outside is a quest. I put on my warm green coat, wrap on a scarf, tie my new winter shoes, and plug my ears with music. Every quest needs a soundtrack. Mine is ska, jazz, brasileiro, klezmer, and indie rock. Warm music.

Adam Green has a warm voice, Nazare Pereira has a warm background, The Squirrel Nut Zippers have a warm attitude. Franz Ferdinand give me a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia. Frank London is plain fire, inside and out.

A. is still in Russia, he has most of our equipment, so I can’t change the music in my phone every day. I walk out, pressing the Play button, and the sounds I hear are familiar like an old sweater. I move my lips, singing along, warm inside.

I follow my ears to school, then to a coffee shop, where I lazily decide whether to listen to what they’re playing or to what I brought, then the music and I take a trolleybus home. Here I shut it off and sit in silence. It’s warm enough here.

on musical terms

Posted in music, news by theobvious on October 26, 2007

I have renamed my blog. Mostly because I felt the title was too self-deprecating (I’m not all bad now, am I). But also because the new name speaks to me. El bilbilico means ‘a nightingale’ in Ladino. I found this word in the lyrics to this song:

La rosa enflorese / En el mez de mayo
The rose blooms / In the month of May
Y mi alma se oscurese / Sufriendo delamo
And my soul grows dark / Suffering from love

Los bilbilicos cantan / Sospiran del amor
The nightingales sing / They whisper of love
Y la passion me mata / Muchigua mi dolor
And passion is killing me / Multiplying my pain

This is one of the most beautiful Ladino songs I know, though granted, I don’t know that many. And I’ve been singing it a lot these days. I’ve been singing – that’s all the news.

We used to sing so much, my voice was sometimes hoarse by the evening. We sang on the underground, yelling over the noise of the wheels. We sang in parks, on buses, at school, and at home. A. played the old guitar I free-cycled off the Internet, and my ‘impartial observer’ inner voice kept telling me we sounded cute together.

And then we didn’t sing anymore. Just like that. We were still very much about the music in that we listened to it all the time, and we hummed to ourselves, and we always participated in sing-alongs. We just didn’t sing to each other, the two of us. The guitar was propped against the wall, and I went back to thinking I was completely tone-deaf.

Which I’m not, and I’m slowly understanding that now – when the music is returning. Fingers crossed, we might get it fully back into our lives pretty soon. It’s not easy, as we are now living with the family, and there is much less time and space for music, but damn it, singing is a basic human right! Right?

Also, I’ve downloaded the soundtrack to The Sound of Music. Bliss. On the other hand, I had to erase my whole history, which, ohhh the pain. I am, however, determined to view this as a fresh start.