Category Archives: Characters

And 37 years ago a MIRACLE happened in Heildelberg

FASS-BEN-DER

…And the world became a much better place.

fassy miracle.

Michael Fassbender

michael-fassbender

Fire Walk With Me

tp

Gorgeous Norma refills my cup with one of the best black coffees I’ve ever tasted in my life, while I’m waiting for Shelley to bring me a piece of that fantastic cherry pie. Agent Cooper sits next to me, and we both smile at each other in pleasure, and deeply inhale at the same time. Everything is so peaceful here! The warm scent that makes me feel home, the buzz created by Donna and Maddie gossiping, the doorbell sounding, the noises coming from the kitchen and… the lady with the log chewing gum hysterically. That little bitch of Audrey Horne flips a coin into the jukebox, and this sensual and hypnotic jazzy tune spreads in the air, and makes me feel like dancing with her, in the middle of Double R diner, moreover, I wish I was that little adorable creature.

horne

Yes, I’m back in Twin Peaks, after so many years, and it feels like being at home. You know, a familiar place, surrounded by objects, sets and people you get the feeling of having been acquainted with for long time.

This is how I feel these days while enjoying my third time watching the series. And you know what? The more I watch the more I want. This time I’ve enjoyed the comedy remarks, the characters, the locations, and the coffee you know it has to be terrific but cannot smell nor taste.Every single detail is there for a reason, everything is planned and designed to fit perfectly.

laura 25

It’s been few days since I wrote this, and today it’s March 26. I’m very bad at calendar references mentioned in series and films but Twin Peaks fans sent me a remarkable reminder. March 25th 2014 was the date Laura Palmer referred to when she said to Agent Cooper she will see him in 25 years. Did it happen anything last night between them? In our minds it did, even though we didn’t have any news about it, but it’s amazing and way too cool to realize there are still people celebrating this kind of events, proving the magic of great and catchy stories which really left a mark on us, a particular generation .

Damn Lynch! You had a great day when your mind created all the Twin Peaks universe. It’s so unique! Let’s dance with the dwarf to celebrate!

ALBUM OF WEEK 12: TRANSGENDER DYSPHORIA BLUES

Against Me! has burst onto my life intensely. Not only thanks to their last record, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, but also because of the fascinating leader, Laura Jane Grace.

To be honest few I knew about this band, only that they had an album named Reinventing Axl Rose, with, obviously, Mighty Axl on the cover, and a couple of songs heard. You know, sometimes you can’t cope with everything and have to set your priorities. Against Me! Wasn’t one, even though some friends had told me I had to give them a chance.

against me transgender dysphoria blues

With the release of the new album, the right time to start digging arrived. The impression caused by Transgender Dysphoria Blues was very positive. A pretty intense 10-track album, a straight declaration of principles, with lots of released energy, revelations and deep lyrics full of message. Solid composition and compact sound, and very very powerful.

The case of Laura Jane Grace is terrific. She was born Tom Gabel, and ended up leading a quite respected and popular band. After lots of years of inner struggle, having wife and kid, two years ago he discloses his change into HER. Tom is now Laura Jane, and will go on leading Against Me! No matter what it takes.

The more details I got acquainted with, the harder my crush on her was, up to the point that, giving so much thought to the impact of her decision on his/her female fans, I decided my monthly text for Rockzone March issue would talk about her. The thought of his fans in shock after discovering Laura Jane was no longer Tom, and their teenage crush fallen to pieces, was very inspiring. On one hand your concept of someone changes completely, and on the other the fact that he proved great balls going under treatment and making it public. Very brave.

laura jane

Her guts, her story, her suffering…everything in Laura Jane is inspiring, and now I only wish some day I get the chance to talk to her.

Recently  I’ve been dissecting one of the most likely to 5 albums of 2014 (sorry, I cannot tell yet), so obsessed, I’ve been listening to the same record nonstop for 5 days, until Tuesday, when the mailman finally brought me my copy after  long delay. Today I’ve spent my evening with Transgender Dysphoria Blues. 28 minutes of emotional release, passion and rock. This album easily gets under your skin, as if the poison of a mosquito was, getting hooked right away. I’ll have to wait until mid June though to get the chance to enjoy them on stage.

Don’t want to start with forecasts yet, but I got the feeling I will talk about this album again at the end of the year. totally dig it!

GARCIA: WHAT HAPPENED?

No doubt John Garcia has one of the most powerful and unique voices in stoner-metal rock. His role as the lead singer and frontman of Kyuss created a pattern and meant a huge influence for many bands and musicians. The legacy left by this band is outstanding and meant the foundings of the style.

kyuss band

Unfortunately at some point, like many bands, members decided to split ways, being Josh Homme the most successful thanks to Queens of the Stone Age, a project whose first album saw the light back in 1998 and has been following a rising career up to the stardom. John Garcia though, throughout these years, has been trying luck with different projects, which were never steady nor constant, and characterized by remaining in a more underground (almost nonexistent) scene.

Many people sure think it’s not fair to compare both artists, but as a fan, in an attempt to understand what’s going on with Garcia, it’s difficult not to do so.

Back in the day, Garcia released with Slo Burn one of the most epic ep’s I can remember, Amusing the Amazing. 4 songs of pure energy and rage, proving there was life after Kyuss, and creating great expectations among fans, who were delighted. Slo Burn kept part of the desert essence of Kyuss, but at the same time it was more metal, and very straight to the face. I missed their last show in London for 2-3 weeks, a pity. I’m sure probably I’d be adding it to my fave shows, but fate didn’t want to favor me this time.

Once the project was over, Garcia set up another band he led named Unida. They only released an album, Coping with the Urban Coyote, which was also terrific. I remember back in Spain, when internet was a modem (not modern)  luxury and downloading a song used to take ages, there was a second album rumored which never saw the light, and there were leaked songs circulating, which were pretty good, actually. I never understood what happened. Again, the project didn’t manage to stand for itself, and the band disintegrated.

At the same time, Homme, who had been collaborating with Mark Lanegan among others, finally created QOTSA, a band which has been rising step by step, with no major quality failures except for the weird Era Vulgaris, but lots of changes in the lineup, which didn’t affect the evolution of Homme, who was and still is in control of everything.

Garcia came up to the ring with Hermano, band which released three albums. Only a Suggestion, the debut, was pretty cool, the second, Dare I Say, is expendable and not quite remarkable, and the third, Into the Exam Room wasn’t that bad. And then again, the union failed. Hermano hasn’t officially split, but hiatus has lasted for long time.

garcia

In the last years Garcia has been attempting to try luck by resurrecting his old projects, including Kyuss, under the name of Kyuss Lives, with Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork, which was followed by a lawsuit from Homme and Scott Reeder, for bad use of the trademark. I saw them a couple of times at two festivals, and it was a good exercise of nostalgia, obviously, and the band was tight and solid, but…you know, that wasn’t Kyuss. After this trouble, Vista Chino rose from the ashes of Kyuss Lives as a trio, but frankly speaking, the work sounds repetitive and monotonous, and eventually I’ve finally lost my interest completely.

Last week Unida were confirmed as part of the lineup of a Spanish festival and I just couldn’t believe it. Unida again? WTF? John, man, what the hell is going on?

Trying to be as much respectful as possible, these continuous attempts to succeed through the reunion nostalgic effect are, in my opinion, a way to creep after your legacy in a classless way, and I find this whole decline a bit pathetic. I don’t care whether it’s for the money or the success, I thought Garcia was really taking care of his business, trying to go on with his style avoiding becoming mainstream, but now, I only see a caricature of the powerful leader he used to be, and that makes me really really sad.

John, man, what happened?

* Currently listening to Coping with the Human Coyote

MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW

I’m sure many people thought he wouldn’t make it, but against many odds Mr. Richards defied the reaper one more year, and now he is 70!

keith richards cigar

Not many comments need to be added, just this awesome picture I hadn’t seen before and one of my favorite Stones songs.

Happy birthday guitar man!

THE NEKO CASE SUNDAY

I think perfect days are kind of utopia, although I must admit there are certain days everything flows so smooth and in such a good vibe, perfection seems to be round the corner. Last Sunday was one of those days. It was wonderful.

I woke up quite early considering I had gone to sleep at 5am after my Company Xmas dinner party (also a very funny event). Luckily there was no trace of hangover, and I remark luckily because I had a very important task to do which required some effort and focus. I had been so busy last days I hadn’t had enough time to get the interview well prepared since Thursday evening when I was confirmed I had an appointment with Neko Case on Sunday afternoon before her show at Apolo.

neko2

I had also scheduled a meeting with my friend Jaume for vermouth at 2pm, but perhaps due to pressure and excitement, I had to cancel our date because I was experiencing one of these block moments and a bit of panic thinking I was going to fail. You know, I had the same feeling as when I used to have exams. As soon as I cancelled the pressure was gone and settled the questions for the interview in less than an hour.

Why was I so nervous? Neko was my first face-to-face interview victim, and she’s a woman I respect and admire not only in the musical sense but also for her personal side. I’d never done that before, I had to buy a voice recorder at the last minute and I wanted to submit intelligent and interesting questions. I’ve realized being a fan is good on one hand because it helps to know the artist better identifying the kind of questions to be asked, and also because in terms of research you already know part of the info and/or know what to look for. On the other hand being a fan means that you got an added silent pressure which consists of staying cool in front of that person you admire so much, ask the right questions and behave in a way that person feels comfortable enough as to reply all the questions in detail.

I met her at 5pm as arranged and first thing that surprised me was how tall and thin she was, and how expressive was gesturing and putting faces. Because the band was starting the sound check, Neko wanted to find a quiet place for the interview, but didn’t like the dressing room much appropriated nor comfortable, so we ended in the roof of Apolo, open air, during sunset, with our coats on making confessions to each other. She was relaxed, not in a hurry, and there was nobody near, so we weren’t bothered at all.

neko1

During some parts of our conversation I felt so identified with her you couldn’t believe it. at the end of the day we belong to different countries and environments, but we are both women, music passionate, and she’s only 6 years older than me. There was a point I ended the interview because I could be talking to her for hours. It was wonderful to know the personal side of the artist you’ve been following for so long time and realize she’s a human being you enjoys, suffers, struggles and moves on in the same way as you can do.  When we said goodbye, Neko gave me a tender hug, thanked me for my thoughtful questions and congratulated me for my first interview. I was thrilled and moved. For real.

The show was so wonderful. The double melodies share with Kelly Hogan, the band, her voice, the lyrics…all the people I knew who attended the show were as delighted as I was, and the only complaint, if we had to complain, would be that we needed an extra half an hour more. Leaving that aside, listening to ‘This Tornado Loves You’, ‘Hold On’, ‘Man’ or ‘Calling Cards’  was something magic. I loved the girly chat on stage between Neko and Kelly, and their complicity. Wonderful!

After the show my friend Joaquin and I met a very nice girl who had just come from Bristol on her own to attend the show. I hope she eventually stops by and we can keep in touch. It’s great to know people as passionate with music as me, which are capable of taking a flight for staying in a city for 20 hours just to attend a show.

neko3

Thus Sunday was the Neko Sunday, with the brainstorming to prepare the interview, half an hour talking to her, and to close the circle the beautiful show. It wasn’t 100% perfect, but when I went to sleep I did it with a big smile in my face, invaded by a wave of happiness.

LONDON CHRONICLES: MY OWN JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE.

Today Jimi Hendrix would be 71 if he was still alive. Well, I wish him happy birthday wherever he is, probably with a dozen of chicks, and a Fender Stratocaster.

I cannot say I’m a huge fan, my dad is the one who likes him a lot, but I dig some of his stuff, and I don’t mean just Fire, Hey Joe or Foxy Lady. It’s the typical artist from time to time I recover and listen nonstop for a week or two and then I forget for ages. Things go like that sometimes.

His anniversary has refreshed my dizzy memory and has brought me back an unforgettable experience which happened when I was living in London. It’s nothing amazing, I don’t want to raise your expectations, but I feel like talking about it because of some similarities in my current physical condition.

Mom, dad, don’t panic, I have a flu. I’m working in the mornings and vegetating in the evenings. That’s how I must roll these days, but everything’s under control, thus I haven’t phoned you.

© Jim Marshall Photography LLC

It was January 1999. It was a super cold winter and my daily routine used to force me to expose to open air too much. It was a long way from Manor House to Ilford to take the train to Chadwell Heath (zone 6 in Essex, pure Cockney area) to work at the industrial laundry company Sunlight fuckin’ Services Group Ltd, and then the return. And then because the decks of the warehouse had to be open to load and unload trucks and lorries, that horrible place was freezing. Being hanging wet shirts and overalls wasn’t the most appropriate task to keep away from catching colds.

At that time my life in London was boring and frustrating. My relationship was falling to pieces, I completely lacked of social life, didn’t have many friends, wages were shit, and living and working so far away from downtown was killing all my illusion. I was actually depressed. Me? Can you imagine? I was 22 and felt down (thank God things changed a month later).

I think it was a mixture of being down plus all the physical issues at work which weakened my immune systems and my inner defenses were low, so much, I caught flu twice in 3 weeks, until I went back to my hometown for 10 days holidays and all the symptoms vanished immediately, hahaha! I was sick of not enjoying real party time!

Anyway, this first flu hit me very hard, and I didn’t have the right amount of antibiotics because I had given them to a flat mate who got really sick a month earlier. You must understand that national healthcare system differs a lot from one country to the other, and so do the prescriptions, so it was really difficult to access to antibiotics while we were living there, and they were generally sold in much less quantities than in Spain, thus while Brit people were taking 200mg of paracetamol, we were used to have 650mg, and ibuprofen was dispatched under prescription, but here it’s sold without it. These differences, as ridiculous as they might seem, can impact a lot in your recovery from illnesses.

 I spent in bed 3 days, sleeping, having soup and orange juice, sweating, coughing and crying. I had no TV, internet didn’t exist, I was so weak and temperature was so high I could focus on reading or writing a letter…shit! I felt lonely and miserable. When Joe was finally back from work or his endless rehearsals we could chat a little, but I didn’t really have the energy for anything.

Because we were limited to our room, and I was sleeping most of time, Joe asked me if he could play some music in our small stereo with my CD player attached (resources were limited, but music was necessary) and because I didn’t give a shit I only asked him not to play very hard stuff.

In one of these eternal evenings I had a very pleasant dream. A strange journey through the universe, and I was floating. But I could hear the sea, and a sequence of beautiful images passed through my eyes (mind). I half opened the eyes and was seeing our bedroom, but then I closed them back and I was in the unknown. I’ve never had pure acid or LSD, but I’ve always thought that the trip should be close to my dream.

The following day, fever had gone, and I was feeling much better. I tried to make sense of my dream but I couldn’t remember any plot, just the images I’ve told you about. But I had this peace of mind and body I don’t even know how to describe. It was as if all the negative stuff had gone.

It took me some time to discover the song I had been listening in my dreams it was ‘Moon, Turn the Tides…Gently, Gently Away’, which belongs to the album Electric Ladyland, my favorite Hendrix’ album. I love it and always gives me good vibes, but I’ve never experienced such journey again, even though it’s perfect for it, so progressive, very evocative, and also increasing intensity in some parts.

So this is my tribute to one of my favorite left handed heroes, my own personal Jimi Hendrix Experience through a trippin’ song. Ha!