Author Archives: Gabor Por

Thoughts after/regarding Nick Cave’s concert in Budapest on June 20, 2018

Yesterday afternoon we caved and bought tickets for that night’s Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show in Budapest. First we found the the tickets bit out of range at $73, so we waited till the day of the show to purchase them at 75%, when people started to sell them off.  First reaction after getting down to the moshpit a few minutes before the music started was a sense of pity. The house was not even half full. My half-Polish fiancee mentioned that in Poland it must have sold out. I was feeling empathy for the artists wondering how does it feel for them to play at less than full house. They, headed by Nick Cave, of course ended up being not just professional (i.e. playing a full set), but enthusiastic too.

I have to admit I haven’t been listening to his much the last few years, but between 1990 and 1995 he was on heavy rotation in my CD player. (I bought his first few CDs at Berkeley’s Amoeb store and out of my first 20 CDs ever 2 or 3 was from him.) His live show reminded me of the poetic quality of his lyrics. I remembered the biblical and lyrical tone, but the variety of topics, ambiances and nuances amazed me this night. I also think he is less of a singer in the traditional sense (meaning a wide range of vocals and singing technique) and more of a storyteller and performer. He was super at that as I experienced in person last night. I think his vocabulary must be at least the double of an  average English  speaking person.

I enjoyed the show’s lighting was great and the stage design in it its simplicity. They had one big canvas behind the band and two smaller on the side. For most of the show they projected Cave or the band live there. I noticed that during the first song the video was black and white, while in later songs they added more grays too. Color never became part of the picture, or maybe I am just too colorbind to see it. The background screen only showed other images than the band during a few songs. In one of them it was an abandoned pier, that I happily recognized from Brighton. Then during the next song we were tormented (in a good way) by destructive visions of a tropical storm.  The last thing I want to mention regarding the visuals was the first thing I noticed:  a sign on the side of piano saying “smoking melting boiling burning“, which are the key words from his 1988 song, The Mercy Seat. These really set the tone.

I believe that performing artists feed of the audiences energy and I mean it in the most positive way. It was rather visible that he enjoyed being adored by fans, most of the time. The hands that extended towards from sometimes touching, more often not, gave him the energy that he must crave. There are two reasons this didn’t create a negative reaction in me is two fold, but first I have to explain why would it at all. I don’t like energy trolls in the internet, whose main purpose (unless they have other more hidden agendas) is to suck energy out from their conversation partners. This is a behavior that is best handled by not engaging with them. Artists can behave like internet trolls, i.e. live of the audiences’ energy. The big difference is that Cave was personable. He gave/reflected it all back to the audience. He truly gifted us and everyone in the audience this night with his presence, energy, songs and care. He is an international superstar and at the same time a genuine human being.

The best, albeit unfortunate examples for this is what happened towards the end of the evening. For the last 2-3 songs he invited dozens of people from the audience on stage and interacted with theme even more. I was close to the stage, but not close enough to be one of the selected few. However close enough to see that someone was taken out to the side, horizontally lifted by 6-7 people. It was obvious that something happened to that person and needed medical attention. After the last song, and before a supposed encore there was a longer than usual break. Finally Cave came out alone, visible chocked, looking for words. This was the first time when he seemed lost that night. Then he told us that a woman has fallen off the stage, he doesn’t know how she was and under the circumstances he could not play any more. This was just a genuine  moment;  not everyone would have been capable or even inclined to feel/show this level of empathy. Kudos to the audience, who after having waited for so long for an encore accepted that the night is over. People felt disappointed by the lack of ritual closure, but also satisfied that they saw a great concerts. Houselights came on and we started to walk slowly out. We were already outside the room, trying to find the exit on the corridor, when we heard Cave’s voice saying that she (the fallen person) is OK. Then he asked the technicians whether they already unplugged the instruments. They did not, so after one by one all the other band members were enticed back to stage we got 2 more hit songs, providing perfect crescendo for the evening.

Thank you Nick, the band members and my ever-spontaneous fiancee, without whom I would’t have seen one of the greatest bands existing today.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel / Iratkozz fel a YouTube csatornámra!

Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel, so I could reach the new 1000 subscribe threshold. (Here are the details of why  YouTube increased the number.)

What to expect? Just like in the past  I will mostly keep posting videos of songs from concerts as I attend them and plan to do more original content too, e.g. film reviews.

Thank you,

Gábor


Iratkozz fel a YouTube csatornámra, hogy elérjem az új, 1000 fős miminumot. (Itt vannak a részletei annak, hogy a YouTube miért emelte meg a határt.)

Mit várhatsz? Ahogy a múltban is, ezután is dalokat rakok majd fel az általam látogatott koncertekről, illetve tervezek eredeti tartalmat is felrakni, például film kritikákat.

Köszönöm.

Gábor

Films viewed in 2017

Poster for 1945 filmIt’s the ninth time that I share the list of  movies I watched in a  year:

  • 2017: 127 movies, see below
  • 2016: 86 movies
  • 2014: 105 movies
  • 2013: 204 movies
  • 2012: 210 movies
  • 2011: 243 movies
  • 2010: 142 movies
  • 2009: 140 movies
  • 2008: 153 movies

As you can see I skipped 2015, when I didn’t track at all movies watched.  I may have forgotten to track every watched movie in 2017 as well.

Here are some stats about the films I watched in 2017

  • 40 of them was from 2017, 53 from 2016, and 6 from before 2000
  • 55 from the USA, 15 from France, 11 from UK, 10 from Israel, 9 from Germany and the rest from 13 other countries.

Continue reading

Films viewed in 2016

Barney's VersionIt’s the eighth time that I share the list of  movies I watched in a  year:

  • 2008: 153 movies
  • 2009: 140 movies
  • 2010: 142 movies
  • 2011: 243 movies
  • 2012: 210 movies
  • 2013: 204 movies
  • 2014: 105 movies
  • And 2016: 86 movies, see below

As you can see I skipped 2015, when I didn’t track at all movies watched.  I may have forgotten to track every watched movie in 2016 as well.

Here are some stats about the films I watched in 2016

  • 17 of them was from 2016, 19 from 2015, and 9 from before 2000
  • 36 from the USA, 10 from France, 9 from Israel,  and the rest from 17 other countries.

Continue reading

Do too frequent elections undermine democracy?

Infomocracy by Malka OlderYesterday I finished reading Infomocracy by Malka Older. (Thank you Bryan, for the recommendation.) Part of the plot was about what to do when elections go awry, i.e. one or more sides influence or hack elections in ways that are illegal according to the rules. One option is to repeat the election and hoping that the changes in voters’ behavior due to the fact what it was repeated election won’t be too anomalous. But what happens when the second election as the same or similar issues. Should the authorities just keep repeating elections until they get the results they want?

Today I came across a short AP piece in The Washington Post, titled “What’s Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung?” and included this:

It’s “Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung,” or “postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election.”

The tongue-twister was born of the record time it took to elect Austria’s president, and was announced following a poll of 10,000 people carried out by the Research Unit for Austrian German at the University of Graz, in cooperation with the Austria Press Agency.

A first round in April was followed by a May runoff between the two most popular candidates. This was annulled because of irregularities. A new date set for October was then postponed because of faulty absentee ballots to Dec. 4, when the vote was won by Alexander Van der Bellen.

Right now there are a number of suggestions running amok on Facebook about what should happen in the US:

  • electors should not elect Trump as POTUS,
  • they should set Clinton, Pence, Sanders, or Romney as president,
  • there should be a new presidential elections.

I cannot avoid noticing the pattern in my readings that new elections are called for or happening. In a lot of areas of life scarcity equates value. The rarer a stamp is the more expensive and collectible it gets. I am wondering whether the value of elections is similar or not. The less frequently we have them the more valuables they can get. The aforementioned book touches on this. Meanwhile I keep chewing on this idea/ What do you think?

*”Connections” are ideas that occur to me as I read books, watch movies and TV shows and sometimes even connect them to current events.

Worrify.com is for sale at ebay

worrify.com is for saleBid on this site on Ebay.com:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/302092312601

Current registration (at google.com/domains) expires November 3, 2016

This auction is for the domain only. If you want to have/build a site you will need to have it hosted at an ISP.

I am happy to include transfer of the domain’s social media assets as well:

Books posted on JewishBookWorld.org in August 2016

Here is the list of the 21 books that I posted on JewishBookWorld.org during the month of August 2016:

  1. Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger’s Life by Sarah Kaminsky
  2. Benghazi-Bergen-Belsen by Yossi Sucary
  3. Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary Bilingual Edition by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, Paul Glasser
  4. Cousin Joseph: A Graphic Novel by Jules Feiffer
  5. Drawing the Iron Curtain: Jews and the Golden Age of Soviet Animation by Maya Balakirsky Katz
  6. Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend
  7. Holocaust: An American Understanding by Deborah E. Lipstadt
  8. The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn
  9. JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews by Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt
  10. Jewish Salonica Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece by Devin Naar
  11. The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams
  12. Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon
  13. A Life Twice Given by David Gordon Daniel
  14. Midnight In Berlin by James MacManus
  15. Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History by Zev Eleff
  16. Orchestra of Exiles: The Story of Bronislaw Huberman, the Israel Philharmonic, and the One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors by Josh Aronson, Denise George
  17. The Rabbi Saved by Hitler’s Soldiers: Rebbe Joseph Isaac Schneersohn and His Astonishing Rescue by Bryan Mark Rigg
  18. Reading Claudius: A Memoir in Two Parts by Caroline Heller
  19. Revolutionary Yiddishland: A History of Jewish Radicalism by Alain Brossat and Sylvia Klingberg
  20. Seinfeldia by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
  21. What America Owes the Jews, What Jews Owe America by

Balaton/UjRH koncert videoval

Ónódi Eszter énekli az Európa Kiadó "Romolj meg" c.  számát

Ónódi Eszter énekli az Európa Kiadó “Romolj meg” c. számát

A Balaton zenekar nagyjabol kethetente ad klubkoncertet a Hunnia Bisztroban. Mivel mar nem lattam oket harom eve es eppen Budapesten voltam elmentem meghallgatni oket szeptember 10-en. Arra szamitottam, hogy keson kezdenek. Arra nem, hogy azert, mert egy masik, meg nem hirdetett, meglepetes “zenekar” is fellepett es ok hosszan keszulodtek. Ennek a masik, alkalmi formacionak  masnap volt az igazi koncertje es ezen az esten afele foprobat tartottak. Ime a masnapi koncert leirasa:

Elmentek a Fiúk – URH és Európa Kiadó dalok 

Kiss Llaci és Salamon András reinkarnációja került az első koncert középpontjába, mert bizonyos értelemben ők érkeznek a legmesszebbről. 1980-ban volt az URH, a magyar alternatív szcéna rövid életű, de mégis egyik legmeghatározóbb zenekarának első koncertje. Fél éves intenzív underground zenélés után az URH feloszlott és átalakult: lett belőle Európa Kiadó és Kontroll Csoport, majd Sziámi.

Kiss Llaci (zeneszerző-basszusgitár-ének) évtizedekig zenélt az Európa Kiadóban, de mivel Ausztráliában él, egyre ritkábban tudott fellépni itthon. Vele kapcsolatban fontos információ lehet, hogy trükk-animációs szakemberként dolgozott nagysikerű nemzetközi filmekben. Grafikusként is jegyzik, Párizs és Lille után márciusban volt kiállítása Budapesten, melynek anyaga a Szépművészeti Múzeum gyűjteményébe került. A két legendás zenekar legjobb dalai közül jó néhányat ő írt és énekelt.

Salamon András (dob) az URH-ban, majd az Európa Kiadó első formációjában játszott, de egy idő után más pályára lépett; filmrendező lett, számos nagyhatású alkotást jegyez. Az SZFE, az ELTE és a Metropolitan egyetemeken filmrendezést tanít. Nevéhez fűződik az „Ashes to Ashes” című, David Bowie-ra emlékező koncert sorozat megrendezése is.

UjRH- URH, Európa Kiadó és más dalok:
Kiss Llászló, Salamon András, Vig Mihály, Keszei Krisztián, Kamondy Ágnes, Magyar Péter, Horváth Gábor, Somoskői Soma, Bakos Zita, valamint: Hámori Gabriella, Ónódi Eszter és Kamarás Iván előadásában.

Az estbol ket Balaton altal jatszott szamot vettem fel (az Európa Kiadó “Megalázó, durva szerelem” cimut es  a ‘Kínai kormány“-t ami a sajatjuk) es harmat a masik zenekartol:

  • Magyar Péter énekli az URH “Ismeretlen katona-jat
  • Kiss Llászló és Kamondy Ágnes énekli az Európa Kiadó  “Lehet” c. számát
  • Ónódi Eszter énekli az Európa KiadóRomolj meg” c.  számát

Itt van a mind az ot szam:

A multi-angle trip to Berlin and its summary

I love my lifeI am holding multiple perspectives of my trip to Berlin last month that I want to share with my future self along with a quick summary of the trip. I went with my Mother for three days. She was there last time in 1987 and never ventured to West Berlin. I did managed to cross the magical “West” around the same time for a  few hours and I also passed through Berlin a week before the Wall came down in 1989. So we both wanted to check out the new/changed city. Hence the first perspective: comparison with itself from almost 30 years ago. I think the most memorable difference is the contrast between the vast empty spaces back then around the Wall–along with the general  dreary grayness–versus the bustling constructions and new buildings everywhere. Yes, the changes on the streets could not be more tangible. We didn’t venture out too much to the East and West part of the city, so couldn’t fully compare the success of the unification. However we got the sense that it is mixed success. There are parts where it was hard to decide/remember whether which side we were on. Other spots were clearly belonged to one or the other too in their former selves.

We met an old friend from Hungary who has been living in Berlin for decades. He wasn’t the only one who described the city as “livable”. I cannot imagine a highest praise for a city. After all that’s what city folks want to do there live. This is where the second perspective comes in. We came directly from Budapest. Which is a great place to visit. It can also be made quite comfortable if one puts the effort in it and ha the resources to do so. However in Berlin I felt that the leaders of the city do a lot, including legislation and the way they must make decisions (involving the populace and experts) to ensue that the city serves its inhabitants and visitors. This concerted effort seems to be lacking in Budapest. So from the second perspective, comparing contemporary Berlin to Budapest the former comes out as a winner. It was most obvious when we were looking at the people on the streets, buses or S-Bahns. And I am not just talking about the multitude of skin colors and styles/types of people who coexist cheerfully. (After we returned to Hungary and watched the people on the public transportation they seemed so monotone, way less vibrant.) No, the its the general outlook and the mode of the people that I found more interested/interesting in Berlin. Yes, a lot of people look at their smartphone at both places, which seems alienating. However Berliners also looked up and were engaged with their surroundings and people lot more. And their face was more vivid, alive. Hungarians just keep looking stressed and sad. (Of course it is a gross generalization, there are lots of counterexamples in both cities, but I am just sharing trends I noticed.)

My third and final perspective came form the fact that I have been living in the US for 21 years and somewhat internalized its culture and frame of reference. Looking at Berlin as an American tourist was also refreshing. “We, Americans” are used to convenience, we like when things are arranged in a way that is easy to access, digest, consume. Berlin is a vary tourist friendly city. The signs are clear and unambiguous, everyone speaks at least some English, the spectacles are numerous, well maintained and vary enough to keep the visit interesting. One can find any kind of cuisine at any price range, although didn’t see “traditional American” food; not that I was looking hard. So my American self was fully satisfied with the visit.

So what did we do and see? Here are some highlights along with links to the images I took

  • The afternoon of the day we arrived Stiftung Neue Synagoge (official site, my pics) Old, partially destroyed/reconstructed synagogue including a rebuilt dome, with a nice vista I ventured up to.
  • Mitte district (my pics), where we stayed and wandered around quite a bit
  • We started off the second day, our first full by going next door to our lodging to the Designpanoptikum – surreales Museum für industrielle Objekte (aka Surreal Museum of Industrial Object (official site, my pics). It was well worth the entrance fee.
  • Then we went to the free, Tuesday noon lobby concert at the Berliner Philharmonie (official oncert description, video segment of the show)  where we listened to Beethoven’s Romance in F major op. 50 and César Franck’s Sonata for violin and piano in A major. The same day we checked out an outdoor exhibition about the Nazi’s euthanasia program,  the Sony Center at Potsdamer Pl, the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Tor, the LaFayette (French department store)  (see pics of this part of the day).
  • Still the same day  we saw Gendarmenmarkt, the  Ritter Sport chocolate store, Alexanderplatz, had coffee with a friend and took a double decker bus to see the West side of the city (see pics).
  • We packed the next day tight too. Visited two major museums Pergamon and Alte Nationalgalerie (see my pics), utterly enjoyed the DDR/East Germany museum, checked out the Aqua Dom, “a 25 m (82 ft) tall cylindrical acrylic glass aquarium with built-in transparent elevator”  (wiki) and at the end of the day took an hour long boatride on the river Spree (pics).
  • Our flight left on the afternoon of the next day, but that didn’t stop us from going to Checkpoint Charlie on our way to the Jewish Museum, where our visit was cut shor as we had to head back to the airport. (pics)

P.s. From the hundreds of pictures I took on this trip I chose the one you see above, because it represent my biggest experience. I had a strong epiphany that I do love my life, which is how the German text translates.