September 27th, 2013
Back in August I received an e-mail from SongKick, they were alerting me that Moby was playing in Seattle:
Being in town I thought it would be cool to see him. I love his “Play” album and every now and then he releases something good. Tickets purchased.
When printing the tickets yesterday, I realized it was “Moby DJ Set” and I thought it was trouble. And it certainly was.
We arrived the venue at about 10:00 pm. The tickets stated that it was gonna start at 9:30 so we would have time to skip the opening act. There were a couple of clowns spinning turntables, mesmerizing a few zombies that moved back and forth to the beat.
I have never understood this “DJ” thing. People pay to see one or two idiots click play on their laptops and at most mix tracks? In this day an age, computers can find out the Beats per Minute (BPM) of a song and match it to another song and mix it for you, so basically the challenge of DJing in all of its glory is gone. I don’t understand why people call these things “concerts”, there are no musical instruments around and the songs they play are not their creations (with a few exceptions like Paul Van Dyke, Armon van fucking whatever Beuren, etc).
We came back again at 11:00 pm and the clowns were still playing music. At that point I went to the ticket booth and requested a refund but I guess I was a bit drunk to be taken seriously.
Moby started playing close to midnight. And it fucking sucked. It was, as I found out when printing the tickets, a DJ set. This means that we get to relive Moby’s pre-album career when he used to be a DJ. That’s right, no “porcelain”, no “why does my heart feel so bad”, no “one of these mornings”, no nada. I was so disillusioned, all that gin I had drunk for nothing, it was gonna be a super lame show. It was. Basically, the worst show I have ever been to in my freakin life.
At least the sour taste is quickly fading away as this horrible experience is quickly shadowed by the awesomeness of “The National” at the Paramount Theater last week. More later on that one.
Oh yeah, almost forgot…Songkick people: learn to send the right artist information when alerting fans of upcoming music shows!!!
September 15th, 2013
Today is September 15, 2013. Independence day in Costa Rica. Today is a day which baffles the fuck out of me for many, many reasons. For starters, as I had already posted, kids all over the country are forced to march. Yay, independence from a foreign country that would make us do shitty things otherwise, now shut the fuck up and march, your nation commands you!
Secondly, we have local supermarkets and liquor stores prohibiting the sale of alcohol because it’s independence day. What better way to make people in Costa Rica understand that they are free than to limit their (my) freedom of getting drunk when we please? Worst part is that I had no idea this had taken effect until today. I almost had to show up empty handed ay my sister’s lunch today. Fuckers.
And last but not least…the fucking “memes” that make no sense whatsoever. Please make them stop. Point in case, the picture of this post:
“Keep calm and puta, que lindo ser tico”
Really? The “keep calm” deal has been so overused that the original reason has long been buried in oblivion, but this one really takes the trophy to the “I have no idea what a parody is but I’ll just make a meme” award.
There, a rant long overdue. Now excuse me while I scavenge the coverts of my house and try to find some alcohol to celebrate my freedom of not being able to buy alcohol on this day. Yay, independence!
August 24th, 2013
Not that you give a shit, and not that anyone should, but seriously NIN. Seriously?
Are you even trying anymore?
I am not listening to the new album, and not that anyone should. I am just sitting afar, looking at all these” industrial fan” wanabees praise your soul for making “the Copy of A” and “some other shit that I was bored and I made in 60 seconds”.
You know what I miss? Violence in music. The Downward Spiral. The putrid long lost message with a rusty industrial feeling. That’s I miss, Mr. Reznor. The lyrics,…nothing comes close to Heresy, Closer, and the song covered by none other than Johnny Cash.
The opening track to “The Downward Spiral”, “Mr. Self Destruct” is what industrial music should’ve been back in the day. Back in 1995, I wore your shirts, I bought your stupid cap, and I looked fucking stupid in it. And I did not care. Because I was a part of something else.
Nowadays, what exactly is this a part of? Besides recording songs with your wife that sound like a cat having their balls torn apart, you have nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
And nothing, Mr. Reznor, nothing comes even close to the mean shit you did back in the day. Have you heard at the the solo in “Piggy“? The induced violence with the opening synth in “Heresy“? Don’t come back haunted, just don’t come back at all until you get your shit together.
June 13th, 2013
Previous years have marked Apple as losing its edge when it comes to innovation. Every years thousands of Mac fanatics look down in shame and ponder why the hell are they still fanbois. Fatal flaws such as Maps system that was not ready to see the light, disappointing features in the iPhone 5, and lame updates on the iOS part left a sour taste. That’s it, it’s time to move on.
This year, I totally forgot about the World Wide Developer Conference. Usually they announce new hardware/software at these events, and quite honestly I had given up hope. I thought “if they don’t excel at every possible angle, they are done for”. As I was adding panniers to my bike, I received a text from a Microsoft buddy that read “brb, I am getting an iPhone”. I did not get it and then it me, something good must be cooking at the WWDC.
I contained my excitement and watched most of it during the evening. It was fucking surreal. I was very happy at everything they announced, it basically was an amazing keynote that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I loved how they subtly dealt low punches to competitors every now and then. And I loved this:
“Can’t innovate anymore my ass!”
That is priceless, and that’s what the announcements were about: Mavericks, iOS 7, the Mac Pro; each with a plethora of features that made my blood rush all over the place…yes…all over the place. And most importably, it was a concealed, act of defiance, aimed directly to those of us who had given up hope.
If you haven’t seen the keynote, do yourself a favor and watch it. Get some beers, popcorn…and tissues…lots of tissues.
April 17th, 2013
I first visited the Hunter Valley two years ago. I loved the place even though I only spent one night, it seemed to have a bit of everything: wine, good weather, friendly people and did I mention there’s heaps of wine?
Plan at least two nights – chances are you will get there in the afternoon. Aim to attack the wineries early in the morning, most of them close around 4:00 p.m., so be wary of their schedule.
How to Get There?
The Hunter Valley is situated in Cessnock merely two hours away from Sydney, quick drive with pleasant views. Hire a car and make your way there!
Where to Stay?
There’s tons of places to stay – I’ve had good luck with the “Potter Hotel” the two times I’ve stayed there. It’s a brewery in the middle of the wine country, which is odd. Make sure to have a tour of the brewery, it’s very personal and you learn quite a bit. They have very good beer, I enjoyed the 8% IPA called “Cranky Pants” (how appropriate, huh?):
How to get Around?
If you have a designated driver, then that’s your best bet. If none of your friends want to play that role, then there’s tour buses around that will take you to certain vineyards. They are somewhat expensive but beat spending the night in prison due to a DUI. Another option is to hire a bike and cycle your way from vineyard to vineyard. The gradients are not bad at all, and with the exception of a couple of hills, it’s a very easy ride. The nice thing about riding is that you get to see things you would otherwise miss, like these guys:
Where to Drink Yourself Into Oblivion
The Hunter has lots and lots of vineyards, all at your disposal for free tastings. That’s right, no charge for tasting wines on any of the wineries (although this might change soon due to a tax law that is still pending approval). I visited the following vineyards, enjoyed them quite a bit:
Hungerford Hill (http://www.hungerfordhill.com.au/page/about_us.html)
2450 Broke Rd Pokolbin NSW 2320 Australia
You won’t miss it, its amazing architecture will attract you from the street. They had an amazing Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. They also have a fancy Muse restaurant which looked good.
Tempus Two (http://www.tempustwo.com.au/)
This one is the one I used for the cover photo of this post. The place is quite amazing, it has a Japanese and Seafood restaurant, a small shop that specializes in smelly cheese, and the winery that had very friendly staff who are eager to get you to taste everything. The tasting room is quite exotic, unlike any other I saw during my stay at the Hunter:
Make sure you try the Gewürztraminer (if, unlike me, you can pronounce it) and the Botrytis, a dessert wine which I can testify falls under the category of “FUCKING AWESOME”.
There are TONS of vineyards available of testing, so just take your time to enjoy. After some tasting, your palates will deceive you and every wine will start tasting similarly, so make sure to have enough breaks between vineyards. Oh – and don’t bother checking for weather…the Sydney Weather Bureau predicted rain on my second day, and we had none of that. Salud!
March 3rd, 2013
No, I am not one of them. I wish I could’ve coined the term, but it is from Morrissey, the ex-singer from the best British band that ever existed. I’ve been listening today to this song on repeat today for no apparent reason. Besides the song having amazing drums, I always thought it it had something in it, thought it had to do with something we could do to attract someone we were always keen on, especially the lyrics:
I AM NOT NATURALLY EVIL
Such things I do Just to make myself
More attractive to you HAVE I FAILED?
I then wondered who were the people that Moz (we’re good friends, I can call him that) was referring to:
Reggie Kray – do you know my name?
Ronnie Kray – do you know my face?
Back in high school (yes, I’m that old) I had no reference to find these names…I could’ve got to the library and done some reserach, but serioulsy, the library? Fuck the library.
Anyways, Reggie Kray and Ronnie Kray were two twin brothers, English gangsters who did their fair share of havok back in the 50′s. And then it hit me: the song is of a copycat killer trying to gain fame from these two, and asking them in their grave, if he had succeeded in becoming “more attracted to them” by following their footsteps.
Further inspection of the lyrics are an obvious giveaway, but I guess I was too lost trying to find an alternate meaning…you have to admit that being the last of the famous international playboys is not a dead giveaway of being a serial killer
In our lifetime those who kill
The newsworld hands them stardom
Creepy? Absolutely. Queer? Not as much as Morrissey himself on the video I saw today for the first time today. Long live Moz!
December 14th, 2012
I was lucky enough to be in Sydney to be invited to one of the best shows I have had the pleasure to attend in my life. First, and foremost, with a bit of shame I have to admit that I knew very little about Gotye other than “Somebody that I used to Know”.
There were a couple of bands that opened for Gotye: one that I did not give a rat’s ass and Bertie Blackman (who I incoreectly identified as Bat for Lashes), who was an amazing performer with a great band (lots of percussion…me like lots of percussion)
As the frustrated drummer I am, I immediately sympathized with the extended use of percussion throughout the show. It was not uncommon to see Gotye walk back into his percussion set and tear the living shit out of the song along with the drummer and another percussionist fellow. You can see how the first song finished on this clip:
At the moment I thought “well, the show can finish right now and it was worth it!”
The show was far from over. Gotye and his band kept rocking with many songs I had never heard before with a HUGE screen behind them of the music video they were playing. Gotye’s videos are as estrange and captivating as his music. Some are very “Dali-esque” and others, such as Bronte, have a japanese anime influence on them. Mixed with the amazing show the musicians staged, the whole audio-visual experience was simply mesmerizing.
Speaking of “Bronte”, what a great fucking song. I first heard it when someone posted it as a comment with the news that Fiona Apple had recently cancelled her South American show because she wanted to be with her dying dog. The song is incredibly sad and is even more striking when heard live.
One of the many things I loved about the show was how dynamic it was. Even Gotye at one point asked for round of a applause for the crew who, after each song, rushed and move every instrument around in accordance for the next song.
What a great night (not in chronological order):
- Somebody that I used to Know
- Eyes Wide Open
- What do you Want
- Thanks for your time
- Night Drive
- Hearts a Mess
- Easy Way Out
- Smokes and Mirrors
- Dig your Own Hole
- Learnalilgivinanlovin (encore)
Some concert footage:
August 11th, 2012
I’m getting there, my little evil creatures. Many have often pondered when this old bloke will succumb to alcohol and anger to fall back into a life of bitching on the Internet. The time is now.
I thought that if I ever wanted to split open my guts and have aneurysm by reading fucktard comments, all I had to do was open nacion.co.cr comments and read away. Dead wrong. All I had to do was follow Telenoticias Facebook feed and try and digest the news when Chavela Vargas died.
Who is Chavela Vargas? Good question. She is a born Costa Rican musician who hated and despised this country due to how she was treated because of her sexuality. Eventually she left Costa, and from what I read, she sold all of her chooks to get a plane ticket to Mexico, country that welcomed her and her career.
Personally, I don’t like her music that much. I’ve heard her in Pink Martini’s “Piensa en Mi” song, which is somewhat disturbing, but I have to admit there is a certain… (no, I am not going to say je ne sais quois) agony in her voice that is worth listening to.
The day Chavela died was the day that this country raised itself in a pathetic whimsy voice and said “GOOD RIDDANCE!”. Good riddance to what, may I ask? To a woman who did not give a shit about the status quo and simply left the country that despised her to live her life? To an artist that has been quoted in a Joaquin Sabina’s song and has recorded with Pink Martini? Pardon my ignorance and my lack of counting skills, but the last time I checked, ZERO Costa Rican musicians had reached those goals.
So why is that Chavela’s death was such an anticipated glorious event for Costa Ricans? Because (fuck, am I pulling clichés left and right tonight?) this country cannot handle the truth. No one even cares abut why this woman despised this country, they just hate the fact that she did and reciprocated with biggest vile of hate you could imagine. Costa Rica is a country where everybody likes to be sweet talked and if you even dare to say that the national beer is shit (which, may I add, is utter truth), then you are in a world of hurt.
I thought for a second getting into an argument in Facebook with all these moronic souls who peravsively and cowardly gathered together to annihilate a common enemy, a human being who found indifference, discrimination, and hatred in a country that is labeled as the happiest mother fucking country on this planet. But then again I thought: “I’d rather masturbate and be happy”.
April 22nd, 2012
About 3 weeks ago I included “Telenoticias” in my Facebook. ”Telenoticias” is Costa Rican television news network in Costa Rica. I could say it is the most respectable, but in a country where television networks are a fucking joke, “respectable” loses quite a bit of credibility.
Anyhow..Telenoticias and some of the blogs I read have been plagued with comments around the news that some cop in Costa Rica is a neonazi. Apparently there are plenty of these clowns. They get together, get drunk and celebrate that they find some kind of logic in Hitler’s beliefs. The photos can be striking – I think we as human beings have developed a “Pavlov’s dog” instinct and twitch in disgust and rage when we see a swastika:
People immediately see a threat and have demanded that this person has no place in police enforcement. That how come he could pass all psychological tests considering how dangerous he is.
I for one, think the whole situation is a joke. If Hitler was brought to life today and saw the photo above, he would immediately proceed to take a cyanide cocktail. The irony of dark-skinned people being nazis is beyond this blog post could ever hope to explain. The guys above are only seeking attention and they have found that by being different in this matter will make them stand out. That is all. Perhaps they have found some kind of logic in “Mein Kamp” and if they have, who the fuck are we to judge? I’ve never read any of Hitler’s books, but I doubt they can be as dangerous as the bible in the hands of any fucktard extremist.
Now the question that begs to be asked is: “should this guy be allowed to be a cop”. A cop should be a person that protects and serves the community regardless of their sex, age, religion, or any trait in particular. Following neonazi beliefs would go against those principles, so I think there would a conflict of interests that would not make him a good cop. I’m seriously debating this one and I really can’t reach a conclusion. I know he is not the best candidate, but at least he’s open about it – how many elements of the Costa Rica force are sexists, homophobic, racists underneath and are allowed to continue working because they haven’t exposed their demons (yet?)
And if you think about it – an aptitude for a particular position based on beliefs can be a touchy subject. Think for instance of doctors…do you think a doctor who is a catholic and could make a decision based on “god’s will” is the best candidate for the job?
Food for thought.
February 14th, 2012
Regardless of your faith, this is one hell of an image:
The debt collector is at your doorstep, and he means business!! Isn’t it scary how his head is titled towards the door as if to listen if someone’s home?
I really hope whoever lives in that house had faith in good ol JC, cuz he will royally fuck them up if they thought otherwise – AMEN!
BTW: I get these images from a Facebook friend who keeps posting this type of shit…why I don’t erase her? I’m a masochist, that’s why. :-)