Category Archives: Music

Reviews, shows, CDs

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.

RIP Árpád Göncz and László Lugosi

Árpád GönczTwo famous Hungarians passed away today, that I know of. Árpád Göncz was the president of Hungary for ten years, between 1990 and 2000. Before, and possibly more importantly, he was a writer and translator. Some of his notable translations include E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime,  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and many more. As the commentators and obits mention He might have been one of the last politicians in Hungary who was respected and even liked across the political aisles.

László LugosiLászló Lugosi was the guitar player in the band called Beatrice. It’s a famous/infamous band with a rich history, see the linked wikipedia page. One of the first LP’s I ever got, probably when I was around 13-14, had 4 songs from by them. I listened to it repeatedly and that probably influenced me quite a bit in my formative years. The song below has Lugosi’s signature guitar sound. After the video I share the lyrics in Hungarian and my attempt of a translation. The song is called “Meditation” and a good one to reflect upon passings.

May the memory of both of them be a blessing.

Ha elnémul a város, oly magam vagyok
és egyedül sokszor rámtör; a depresszió,
Ó, nem, ó én nem tudom, hogy ki vagyok
Minek születtem választ nem kapok.
Mond miért él az ember és hol van a cél?
… és tényleg van-e Isten, mely bennünk él?
Ó nem, ó én nem tudom, hogy ki vagyok
Minek születtem választ nem kapok.
És sokszor sírnom kellett, ha nem bírtam már,
a cinizmus mögé rejtem, ha valaki bánt,
Ó nem, ó nem tudom, hogy ki vagyok
Az álarc lehullt, hát itt vagyok.
Ha elnémul a város, oly magam vagyok,
és egyedül sokszor rám tör a depresszió,
egy könny lefolyik az arcomon,
ha elhagy minden; hát meghalok…

When the city quiets down I am so myself
and when alone it often attacks me: depression.
Oh no, oh I don’t know who I am
What was I born for – I won’t get an answer.
Tell me why do we live and where’s the purpose?
… and is there really a God, who lives in us?
Oh no, oh I don’t know who I am
What was I born for – I won’t get an answer.
And I often had to cry, when I couldn’t stand it any more,
I hide behind cynicism, if someone hurts me,
Oh no, oh I don’t know who I am
The mask has fallen, so here I am.
When the city quiets down I am so myself
and alone it often attacks me: depression,
A teardrop runs down my face
If everything leaves me behind, then I die.

Concert videos: Service @ Santa Rosa, August 28, 2015

Concert PosterI went to someone house for a show, but the garage was too tight, warm and the sound system was not good enough so I only stayed for the first two bands. The second only, because I was in the back of the garage and would have been too disturbing for the tight room to try to get out. The band, whose whole show, all 5 songs I did see was called Service. I believe this was their first concert ever. I don’t think they have a website or Facebook page yet, so I can only link to their SoundCloud page. I liked their music, I thought it had potential. But the venue and the sound system didn’t do them justice. Here is what I got from them:

Serendipity Trio playing Brahms and Grieg for Nepal

I went to a benefit dinner/concert at Gaia’s restaurant in July to “Help Nepal to recover and rebuild, after two powerful earthquakes kill 8,000 and leave more than 500,000 homeless.” After dinner The Serendipity Trio gave a classical concert for more than an hour. Rabbi Mordecai Miller (of Congregation Beth Ami) and Paul Alexander played clarinets and Beverly McChesney was on bassoon.

Here is the audience:


And two pieces from the evening that I shot:

Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 5

Grieg: Gavotte from Holbert Suite