Category Archives: Music

Reviews, shows, CDs

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


Concert videos: together PANGEA, Audacity, Useless Eaters

 together PANGEA, Audacity, Useless EatersI wrote this last month about a show in March, but it was just as true for a July show I went to: “Another month, another interesting venue for a punk show put up by Pizza Punx.” This time, on July 6  it was in a warehouse (/production facility?) of Ah Shayh. When I asked them what link I should use to attribute them they suggested the Ah Shay Collective, but I don’t mind plugging their skincare company page. I was late enough to fully mix the first band, and only caught the last accords of the last song of the second band. So I can only share my impressions and videos of the last three. This was the first time I could use my then new monopod, hence I managed to shoot the videos from a slightly higher angle. I still need to practice thought to get better footage.

The Useless Eaters were a bit too noisy and random for my taste, but liked their energy.


Next up was Audacity. They were more melodic, with catchier tunes, but bit simple and repetitive for me. Maybe I’d enjoyed it more had I not be clean and sober.

The headliner band was together PANGEA. Now here was a band that knew how to have and provide a good time even in  a small space. Their enthusiasm was contagious and I think the whole audience had a fun time. Me including. On this playlist you can check out all 26 sings I shot this evening, including 11 from this band:


Concert videos: White Fence, Twerps, Tony Molina, Sheer Mag

Poster for White Fence, Twerps, Tony Molina, Sheer MagAnother month, another interesting venue for a punk show put up by Pizza Punx. On March 31 I saw four bands downtown Santa Rosa. (Missed the first one Peach Kelli Pop.) The event (Facebook) was in the “Refuge Christian Fellowship“, a kind of “storefront church“. It was basically a big room on the ground floor of an office building with walls painted white. There were no pews, just a few chairs no the side, but it was clearly a Christian church. Most of the time. For this evening it was a punk venue. I managed to capture 19 songs from the four bands I saw: three from the first two each, the whole set of the third, but only three from the last, because then I was too tired to stay for more. Here is my video playlist for the whole evening.

I knew nothing about Sheer Mag, except that they are from Pennsylvania. I love that punk doesn’t discriminate: the lead singer was not your stereotypical skinny dude: a strong woman. She and her bandmates did a solid rock show, see:

Next up was Tony Molina (formerly of Ovens) doing his noise-pop thing as part of a four-piece band:

The third band, Twerps, was the one I liked the most. This Melbourne, Australia based band was less frantic and with more pop/melody than the others. They also reminded me a bit of Joy Division, which is often a plus in my book. Here is a fun song:

Finally, way too late in the evening for me the “headliner” White Fence started. They might have the largest following from these four bands, but I didn’t like them that much.  Sorry. Here is their “Wolf Gets Red Faced” song:

Concert videos: Born/Dead, Orden Mundial, The Coltranes

Poster for Born/Dead, Orden Mundial, The ColtranesOn the second day of this year I went to a fun show , produced by Pizza Punx. A big part of the fun was the location: in the living room of a nice old (by local, California, standard). There was no furniture at this point in the spacious room and the rest of the ground floor was also mostly emptied for merchandise tables and some food/booze. Still, it felt like I, along with probably a 100+ people invaded somebody’s living quarters. Some of the decoration was left on the wall, so it still felt like the personal space of someone I don’t even know.

Getting there after 9 PM I missed the first few bands: Agantavis, Isotope and G-Spot, who was not on the poster, but mentioned in the Facebook event for the night. So the first one I saw was The Coltranes (bandcamp) Here is one of two songs I captured from them:

Next up was Orden Mundial from Spain. Again, I only got two song from their set:

Finally, way too late in the evening came the headliner, Born/Dead (bandcamp), for whom it was one of their final show/tour. I recorded all of their songs, including the end, when the police came and shut down the show. The band was respectful about it, but it still frustrated some people that their set was cut short. Here is the video playlist for the whole evening.

Concert videos: The Illumignarly, Standish Hickey, Screaming Mimi’s

Rock n Roll ugly Xmas sweater partyA month ago I went to a concert at Aubergine (now called 755 After Dark) titled “Rock n Roll ugly Xmas sweater party“. This was before Christmas and indeed there were people in ugly sweaters, there was even a competition.  I am proud to say I don’t have such sweater so I was only there as an observer. Four bands played that night, but I missed the first one, The Corner Store Kids. I have a two songs from each of the other 3 bands on my YouTube channel, check out the full playlist. Continue reading