Category Archives: Music

Reviews, shows, CDs

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.

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:

Concert videos of A.E.Bizottság and Kontroll Csoport

A.E.Bizottság and Kontroll CsoportIn the early 1980’s, when I was a teenager, A.E. Bizottság (Albert Einstein Committee) and Kontroll Csoport (Control Group) were among the the top underground bands in Hungary. Going to their shows was the highlight of my week/month. Both bands disbanded by the mid 80’s, but most members kept playing music in newly formed bands. Last week two of these bands played a sort of reunion show in Budapest I managed to go to. It was the last stop of their mini tour. Continue reading

Extra Action Marching Band + El Radio Fantastique (with Video) @ Petaluma’s Mystic, April 2, 2016

Extra Action Marching Band + El Radio FantastiqueOne of the wildest concerts I’ve been to was by Crash Worship‘s sometimes in the late 1990’s in San Francisco. It had drummers hanging over the audience, firecrackers, and a topless women throwing honey and grape and other food items into the crowd while being carried around on a big board. In the mid 2000’s, when I realized that Crash Worship disbanded I found at that some of them, mainly Simon Cheffins, formed a band that is similar to some extent: Extra Action Marching Band. Ever since then I wanted to go to one of their shows. They played January 1 in Oakland but I didn’t make it there. However last Saturday they had a gig in Petaluma’s McNears’s Mystic Theatre, so finally my wish came true.

There were two support band, but I missed the first one. I arrived in the middle of El Radio Fantastique‘s set. I’ve seen them once, a couple of months ago and they were just as fun then as now. (At the end of the video playlist down, you can listen to four of their songs that I recorded.). During their song members of Extra Action Marching Band came on stage and joined them. It was quite ecstatic. It seemed that the main attraction of the night didn’t need amplification, as there was not set up time and they just jumped into their set. As you can see below they played about half of their set interspersed with the audience. Beside wind instruments and percussion they had pom-pom girls and boys and flagwavers. It wasn’t as wild as Crash Worship, but it was still rather rapturous. I videoed most of their show. After I stopped they payed a few more, but I decided I want to join the show instead of just observing it. Next time I hope to take my wife to it too.

QSS: Propaganda-gépezet

Ahogy nézem a magyarországi híreket egyre többet jut eszembe ez a 30+ éves szám a QSS-tól

Jól mûködött hazánkban
A propaganda-gépezet
Bár minden trükkjén átláttam [Bár nyakig ültünk mocskában]
Ránk hazudott szépeket

Hiába a propaganda
Be nem vesszük még egyszer
Rossz, demagóg handabanda
Jövõtök nekünk nem kell

Nem veszünk be több dumát
Nem vernek még egyszer át

Petruska András első videói?

Petruska András és barátaiMost, hogy Petruska András szombaton megnyerte A Dal első középdöntőjét előkerestem a videókat, amit 2009-ben lőttem róla. Kettő is van, lásd alant: Paul Simon: “Loves me like a rock” és Beatles: “I’ve just seen a face“. Sajnos a körülmények miatt nem túl jó minőségben, hiszen villamosmegállóban vettem fel őket. De azt hiszem ezek Petruska első videói. Én legalább is nem találtam az interneten korábbit, mint az én 2009. június 21-ei felvételemet.

Concert video: Radioactivity, Culture Abuse, Lunch

Poster for Radioactivity, Culture Abuse, Lunch concertIt’s too bad that I missed the first of four bands (Service) at a concert on October 13, because I liked them at their very first concert. But I am glad that I caught the second one, because that was my favorite from the whole evening: Lunch (from Portland) . They played the kind of postpunk reminiscent of Joy Division and Cure that I like. (MP3 album @ Amazon.)  It was a pleasure to listen to songs I never heard before, live. After them the was an angry little punk band by the name of Culture Abuse (LP @ Amazon). They were basic fun and their members were more diverse than their music. Finally the headliners, Radioactivity,  played a bit of an aloof set. (CD @ Amazon) I was not impressed with their boring rock. Here are the 21 songs I recorded tat night:

Concert video: Destruction Unit, Gag, White Wards, The Coltranes, Health Problems

Destruction Unit, Gag, White Wards, The Coltranes, Health ProblemsCouple of months ago (on September 3, 2015) I went to another concert organized by Pizza Punx at the Arlene Francis Center, where I didn’t know any of the bands. I tried to check them out online in advance, but you only get a basic impression when you listen to them at bandcamp which often doesn’t com[pare to their sound when live. I’ve already seen The Coltranes once and knew what to expect. Three of the other four bands playing that night (Health Problems, White Wards and Gag) were different varieties of punk, which I like to listen to in general but didn’t find too interesting. The only surprise was the Destruction Unit, “headliner”, who ended up playing something like I used to dream of when I was a teenager: improvisational noisy jazz-punk. Admittedly more punk than jazz, but just the fact that they were not afraid to have long, open-ended songs and include noise as part of their repertoire made them stand out from the lineup. I am glad I took earplugs with me though. I videoed most of the show, see the 4-6 song from each band in this playlist below. This was the first time I had a chance to use my monopod and it was fun, but made the beginning and end of the footage of some of the songs shaky.