Pleasure Leftists + 3 band (Concert videos)

Pleasure Leftists + 3 band (Concert videos)Couple of weeks ago I saw four bands at an interesting venue. The Monroe Hall is a dance hall from a different times. The walls’ wooden panels host lot of relics from agricultural and hunting times. It was like stepping into a world that was hidden from me.

The main band, Pleasure Leftists, reminded me the 80’s in so many ways. Their sound was a typical post-punk, similar to joy Division and other bands too. I grew up on that stuff, so was happy to hear a fresh variation of it. The singress’ cloth also reminded me of that era. Even her dancing consisted of the kind of steps we did back in high-school.  Yet it was not a total memory trip, because the circumstances were so different. The room was weird, the stage was low, the audience was young (and me not so much.) I was toying with the idea of buying one of their t-shirts, but probably wouldn’t want to wear it, so instead I purchased their record (online, because I am trying to reduce my CD collection not grow it.)

The evening, organized by Pizza Punx started off with OVVN. They played some heavy music that could have used better mixing.

Next up was The Down House, with two female members. Their version of pop-punk–rock was fun, but would have been even better with a working mike for the singer. They tried two, but ended up doing an accidentally instrumental set.

The third band was Face The Rail from San Francisco. Nice, energetic hardcore with quite a stage presence. Again the mike could have been better, but I don’t complain, because they finally got some audience participation in a minor version of a mosh-pit.

The “headliner” band, Pleasure Leftists, from Cleveland Ohio, started so late that they only had a chance to play 8 songs, before the venue had to shut down. The video below is part of the playlist that includes all 16 songs I recorded that evening.

Upcoming concert: MUSICAL SANCTUARY (with my videos)

I recorded 52 songs in August at a showcase of local talents. Two of these videos are used to promote an upcoming show. The event will be October 25 at the same place, Arlene Francis Center. Here are the details

MUSICAL SANCTUARY Artists’ Showcase Concert presented by
A Miracle Production – AMP % Shekeyna Black.

MUSICAL SANCTUARY Artists’ Showcase Concert presented by A Miracle Production [AMP] which produces and promotes concerts, festivals and events focusing on economic and environmental sustainability.

The concept for MUSICAL SANCTUARY is to showcase some of the unique talent based in Sonoma County. Mixing musical genres in the artist line-up offers a smorgasbord of songs for the audience.

Featured Artists:
* ODELL
* Guthrie Galileo
* Ova Nova
* The Linda Ferro Trio
* The Howlin’ Tramps
* DJ Loisaida 369

And the two songs are:

#8 of 10Q: Investigate in 2015

The eighth question of 10Q*:  Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2015?

My answer: My (inter)personal relationships. I am a father of two girls, and not one, now and that already changed my idea of what being a father means, and how I am one. Similarly, I’ve been a husband for a while and as the dynamics of our family and relationship is changing I want to explore, solidify and keep my husbandness relevant and strong. I’ve been the son of my parents all my life and it means different thing now than 10-20-30 years ago. But what? Finally who am I in the wider communities, circles? w=What are my relationships and positions there?

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#7 of 10Q: Self Improvement

The seventh question of 10Q*:  How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

My answer: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#6 of 10Q: Achievement by Next Year

The sixth question of 10Q*:  Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

My answer: I have a minimalist and optimist goal. The minimal is to keep my family afloat financially in a way that I can enjoy my days and my connection with them. This means creating and keeping  a work-family-life balance. Right now it is hard or me to imagine how I will achieve it, but I believe it is possible with the right kind of focus and priority setting and consistency.

The optimist goal is a variation of this: work only 40 hours a week and make more than enough money in a way that includes lots of fun and learning. That would allow spending more time with aforementioned family and other interests.

Security (or a sense of it) is important for me and so is family. Why? These are more core values and these make me happy.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#5 of 10Q: Spiritual Experience

The fifth question of 10Q*:  Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

My answer: For four months I ran a diary earlier this year. In it I answered three questions on most days: What did I do to be/stay cheerful? What did I accomplish? How did I feel? This exercise made me more self-aware, in touch with my emotions and happier.

During the last 12 months I took and finished four online courses (1. Creativity, Innovation, and Change, 2. Modern European Mysticism and Psychological Thought, 3. The Camera Never Lies, 4. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects) and am in the middle of doing the fifth one (Scandinavian Film and Television). (I also started two courses that I didn’t finish.) These series of independent studies stimulated me, reminded me of my capacity of learning and encouraged my growth.

I am aware that the question focused on the spiritual and my answer refers to changes in my emotional and mental state. However these are the defining experiences of my life that contributed to my well-being. No, I didn’t have a spectacular spiritual experience that I could recall now. However during the course of my journaling and studies I had lots of moments that felt like little awakenings.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#4 of 10Q: World Event

The fourth question of 10Q*:  Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

My answer: The Gaza conflict, the situation in Hungary, Putin’s activities in Russia and the Tea Party in the US. I see a common worrisome tendency in these three: the “truth” is defined (and defiled) by how media savvy the media spin doctors and their masses are. I am concerned that if the basic facts are covered up and distorted than there isn’t even a chance for shared reality and to have a civil political discussion. Let’s see one by one.

Yes, there were lots of civilian Palestinian casualties in the Gaza conflict and that’s terrible and the images are heart-wrenching. But due to the successful (social) media campaign of Gazan most of the world doesn’t even think about why, what and how the Israeli army attacked. Why: because Hamas made great strides to their declared goal of destroying Israel with the building of the tunnel system. What: localized, military targets, that were often hiding amidst civilians on purpose, so they could use the images of casualties in their propaganda war.  How: The Israelis called ahead the targets and let them know about the coming attack to minimize losses in human lives. It saddens me that millions of people are incapable of seeing the whole picture and take only one side.

The same (lack of) logic the government owns the tax-supported public media and dictates what appear there. As a result people who only get their news from there live in an alternative reality, that, in my opinion, has little resemblance to the real political landscape. They, the prim-minster and his lackeys are in the constant process of redefining not just such words as “nation” but also basic economical and political terms, like liberalism, expenses, debt, honor… Again, the result is that people on the two side of the divide are incapable of communicating with each other, because the part of their mental reality that can be shared is shrinking.

Same in Russia. Majorities of Russian believe that the Ukrainians were the aggressors, while it was Russian soldiers in disguise who invaded the Eastern part of the country and forced its questionable independence. The truth that we on the west know is the polar opposite of what the Russian populace knows.

The US is not an exception from this kind of distortion either. Riding on Benghazi, coffee-cup salute and other non-issues fuels the hatred of the far-right with a steady support of lies by Faux News. We , who don’t swallow in whole what that channel spews no longer share the same space or even country with its followers.

So how/why does this affect me? I care for the people of all of these nations I mentioned for different reasons. I am a Hungarian Jew living in the US, who’s been to Ukraine a long time ago. I don’t mind ideological differences. I think it is natural that people have different values system. I enjoy intelligent conversation and analysis that comes out of confronting them. But when they don’t know/believe the foundational facts the chance for such progress is limited. It scares me for the future as I don’t know how to bring the lines closer to each other.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#3 of 10Q: Major Milestone

The third question of 10Q*:  Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

My answer: The biggest change in my family is the birth of my second daughter and nothing else comes close to it. However I mentioned her in the answer to the first question, so now I feel pressed to give another answer. That would be the passing of Ron, my wife’s godfather, of essentially cancer. He was a major figure in her life. He was not jst present in the room, when she was born, but was also my father-in-law’s best friend and musical partner. Ron was present at every stage of my wife’s life, like a second father. I only met him a couple of dozen times or so and found him a sweet and funny guy. My wife went through a serious mourning after his passing and I supported her as much as I could. She still regularly dreams of/with him.

My maternal grandmother’s brother-in-law, Jancsi bacsi, also passed away, of old age. When I heard the news my feeling was that she was last of his generation in his family and with him a connection to the past and the stories are lost now for forever. I wasn’t that c;lose with him, but throughout my childhood I saw him at almost every Sunday family lunch. That first feeling isn’t fully true though. One of my grandmother’s cousin is still around, but I rarely saw her, even when I lived in Hungary. And on my father side one of his aunt is also with us. I saw her more often and even visited a few times on my return trips to Hungary. She has three daughters and lots of grandkids and great-grandchildren. A lot of them on facebook, so I keep in touch with them to some extent. On the other hand my maternal grandmother’s cousin has no kids, not on facebook and her political and literary interests are very far from mine. So I only know about her through the accounts of my mother’s visits.

The point is that Ron’s passing affected our family too a greater extent than Jancsi bacsi. Neverthless it is a good point to stop for a moment and think of their lives, celebrate what they gave to us and their beloved

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#2 of 10Q: Differently Done Wish

The second question of 10Q*:  Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life,My answer: Sweating the small stuff. I wish I would do it less. I know that worrying about possible negative future outcomes and being annoyed by past things doesn’t help me, my cause, my health and my family’s mood. But too often I spiral into that.  I even read the book (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life) . Still having a hard time putting it into practice. Conclusion: find tools and keep using them.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur