Category Archives: Pix

Flashback Friday: London 2015

Argh! It’s been two weeks already since I don’t update this site and I feel like shit about it, but honestly I wasn’t in the mood nor didn’t find the right time to do so, and the past days have been so weird my mind was to stressed to write. I hate when I have this shitty writer’s block. One of the reasons I keep this blog alive it’s because it usually works as some sort of funnel.

On this day two weeks ago I was having a veggie burger and a tasty spicy Turkish salad with my friend Veronica near Old Street in London. We came back to this beloved city again to attend a Ryan Adams show at Hammersmith Apollo on Friday 27th and the trip was amazing. Now there’s no point in talking about  the show, which was a blast, nor how great was to meet friends who were also spending the weekend there for the same reason, so instead I’m posting some pix of that wonderful time .

tetis

apollo

foreros

ryan4

setlist ryan adams

ryan5

crobar

vero

pints and postcards

Thanks to all the people who contributed to a weekend of laughs, lots of pints of beer, friendship and happiness. Now it seems to be ages ago, but it was fantastic.I love you! ❤

Against Me! and Vitoria.

Few months ago I commented so hooked I was with one of my favorite album releases up to date, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, what a great surprise that discovering Against Me! had been, and my fascination for Laura Jane Grace, and her circumstances, struggles and late gender change choice.

I don’t think there’s a better way to reaffirm your passion for a band than to culminate the learning cycle with a live show, and I was lucky Against Me! decided to visit Europe to introduce their last work, and even luckier when a headlining show was scheduled in Vitoria, just one day before Azkena Rock Festival took place.

mary joe against me

I love attending shows in different cities and at new venues, because not only the quality of sound differs a lot, but also the vibe of the audience.

This time I was attending the show with bunch of people who I’m acquainted with at the forum I regularly participate on, so the experience of seeing this band with people I don’t usually hang out for geographical reasons, sharing the same passion I have, or even more, was a great motivation for me.

Before the show we were having some drinks, getting more acquainted with “new” friends (we already knew quite much of our lives for so many years sharing this common space on the net). Some of them were huge fans of Against Me! and some others were just in the mood to discover something new. I think everybody ended with their expectations fulfilled as the show was the blast.

I had already heard of the venue many times. In fact Jimmy Jazz sound techs were involved in Siberia fest last year, and I had the memory of a great quality in sound and much professionalism. I liked the venue right away with a fine stage, and as soon as I heard  The G.A.S Drummers, the second supporting band, playing I knew it was going to be great.

with laura jane grace

Some time before the show while accompanying a friend to the ticket office we could meet Laura Jane Grace. She was really tall, but looked very nice, and she was smiling all the time. it was a pleasure to greet her. She also agreed to take a picture with us immediately. She seemed very relaxed and glad about the way things are going on this tour. After this meeting I was ready for the show.

I think it lasted approx. one hour and a half. To be honest I wasn’t checking the time because I was very excited, and as soon they jumped onto stage and starting with ‘Fuckmylife666’, followed by‘Cliché Guevara’ and ‘New Wave’, the audience got crazy.

against me

I don’t have any previous show as a reference to compare, but the band looked in perfect shape, and sounded pretty solid. The work of Atom Willard on drums was brilliant, the voice of Grace was excellent, and the energy and passion of the band members was contagious. The setlist was quite balanced going over all their career and playing not so common songs such as ‘Miami’, for instance, and didn’t forget hits such as ‘New Wave’, ‘I was a Teenage Anarchist’ or ‘Pints of Guinness Make you Strong’. Really, it was a party, and I was thrilled.

against me2

I reckon it’s never too late to discover a band, yet it’s even better if it’s still active and you get the chance to enjoy a live show, as it’s happened to me this time. I’m glad and grateful, and I’m looking forward to seeing Against Me! soon.

MY FIRST SHOW IN 2014

Wow! I had never thought that the first show I’d attend in 2014 was performed by Depeche Mode but I guess I was lucky to be invited at the very last minute, and I’m glad I accepted, because this event has been by far the highlight of this rough week.

Never been a huge fan of the band, to be honest, but Violator was one of these first albums  learned by heart when I started digging music at age 14, and they’ve been always releasing cool singles. It’s a band I feel respect for, and David Gahan seems quite a character, very interesting.

This was not the first time I attended a show of this band. Many years ago I was invited to sneak into Palau St Jordi through an access from the Euroleague headquarters. Heh! i was a very funny night and my first contact with one of my best friends at huge events and festivals: Mr Beerman.

This time was a proper invitation, perhaps the entrance to the same venue wasn’t so exciting, but considering the expensive tickets, it was a good gift. The location in press area was a great one, and I could focus on the audience vibe and all the visual work through screens. Spectacular. There were videos recorded for each song, integrating live shooting at the same time.

My feeling is that it took some time to the band to warm up, and even though Gahan is a wonderful frontman, too dramatic and theatrical, I was surprised by the lack of interaction with the audience, which by the way was average 35-45 years old.

It was wonderful to listen to ‘Policy of Truth’, ‘Walking in my Shoes’, ‘Enjoy the Silence’ or ‘I Feel You’, but I don’t know, I missed more enthusiasm or intensity perhaps. Don’t know how to explain it.

Anyway, if there was a moment my eye won’t forget was during ‘Enjoy The Silence’, the main screen was showing some contortionist girls in awkward positions against a see through floor, breathing, moving and blinking for near 8 minutes. It was fascinating yet at the same time disturbing, but I couldn’t move my eyes from them.

Impressive, huh?

Depeche Mode

ROUGH DAYS, DIE HARD AND A UNIQUE COUPLE.

john

Rough day McClane? 

Probably this doesn’t make you laugh at all, but sometimes when most of my day has been crap, I think of John McClane (yeah, the cop) at Nakatomi building, heavily bleeding, trying to remove pieces of glasses nailed to his feet after Hans Gruber, noticing his enemy was barefoot, had shot glass screens in order to hurt him and find his bloody trail easily, and this question comes to my head. Rough day McClane? I reckon his is much worse than mine and I feel some sort of relief. I know, I’m a freak, but you must admit John McClane is a great hero, and Die Hard is one of my favorite movies ever, and at the end of the day it’s better finding some self-consolation in this, rather than getting in bad mood or start self-pitying.

Anyway, today it’s been a shitty day at work. I felt like Queen Midas. Everything related to my tasks turn into shit. Problems with official documents, delays in deliveries, incidences with cargo, lots of phone calls (I hate phone at work) and people basically breaking my balls. I’ve finished work mentally exhausted.

Fortunately I’m lucky being able to separate work and personal almost as soon as I close the door of the office, and if I have a beer with my coworkers right after, it’ll be a matter of 15minutes to forget about all the issues bothering us.

And then, back home, when looking for some cool pictures to shit-design a poster for a DJ’n night at Hey Ho! Bar in Barcelona (August 10th, stop by if you’re around, it’ll be fun), I’ve found this one which has made my day.

diamond dave and madonna

I don’t have any idea what happened during that encounter, I wonder whether they had sex, drugs or just booze, but really, the sight of classic Madonna in her best moment, with mighty Diamond Dave, is the best thing that could happen to me today. And I wanted to share it with all of you.

Also, and before I forget it, it was the third birthday of Since My Baby Left Me on the 28th, and wanted to thank you for the support, regular or occasional, and the (not so often) comments. Stats and many recent subscriptions reflect that, somehow, I’m not so bad at entertaining you, so let’s hope we can celebrate the 4th birthday next year. Thanks a lot!

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF RUSSIAN CRIMINAL TATTOOS

eastern promises

One of the last films directed by David Cronenberg, Eastern Promises, was an approach to the subworld of the Russian Mafia families that we barely know anything about for obvious reasons. Leaving the story and the plot aside, there was something which caught my interest right away: the importance of tattoos.

For many years tattoos have been related to sailors, prisoners, criminals…disreputable people in general. This is a supporting confirmation of such belief.

We all are aware of the Japanese Yakuza families, and the hierarchic distinction marked by tattoos. In the case of Russian mafia this tattoo language is fascinating.

Every symbol has a meaning, and the location of certain pieces determine the rank within the family.

RussianCriminalTattoosGuide

Thus, for instance cats mean pickpockets, the number of domes in churches have to do with prison sentence years, and bats are related to criminal acts at night.

Danzig Baldayev had to work in Kresty,  an infamous Leningrad prison, for 33 years. Getting acquainted with the convicts and observing a pattern in tattoos, from 1948 he made over 3000 drawings of their tattoos,  recording codes and writing down all sort of information.

His relationship with the inmates had to be very close and special he managed to obtain such secret information. Seems kind of unreal such dangerous people allowed Danzig to access to their world so easily.

Baldayev record

For some time he was ordered by his superiors to quit his activity until KGB realized how valuable his illustrations were as a resource to understand the codes of the criminals.

On the other hand, Sergei Vasiliev, a photographer who used to work for the newspaper Vecherny Chelyabinsk, spent 4 years (1989-1993) taking pictures of tattooed Soviet prisoners in prisons and reformatories settled in Chelyabinsk, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Tagil and Perm.

As you can observe, the results were amazing.

russian hands

man and chair

On one hand this was the confirmation of the language code inherent in the tattoos remained intact throughout the years, and on the other, all the information compiled by Baldayev was proved in individuals.

Saatchi Gallery in London exhibits selected works by the photographer.

russian prison guy

The Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia divided into 3 volumes include many of Baldayev’s illustrations combined with Vasiliev’s photographies, being this collection a unique document including tattoos and codes, proving the existence of this occult disguised and hidden language even more remarkable in the Soviet era, when the individual was repressed and mute.

russian criminal tattoos

If you are into tattoos, these three volumes are a must, and if you are not, I think they are worth having a look anyway, so as to learn a different language and culture. At the end of the day the evil and dark side is always the most appealing.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GUITAR MAN

keef

Few words to tribute mighty Keith Richards. Today it’s his 69th anniversary, and even though somebody could say life’s treated him bad, every furrow in his face means excess, fun and ROCK.

This been said, I don’t feel like listing his most remarkable moments in life, nor his greatest achievements. I just like to share my favorite Stones song with Keef on vocals, Thru and Thru, and these last two pictures which have impressed me most recently.

Keef, beyond good and evil, just grab your guitar and play some chords for many more years.

richards guitar

 

Happy birthday Guitar Man!

A TOURIST IN MY OWN CITY

Do you really know your city? Have you ever visited the most emblematic monuments and buildings (school visits do not count)? I don’t think so.

It doesn’t matter where you live, all places have something worth discovering. A town or a city, as long as they have a story behind, are potential attractions.

Zaragoza, my hometown, is growing bigger and more populated every day, and It seems that I’m acquainted with many remarkable places, both touristic or just for locals only, but still there are many things to discover, and some to recover. Getting to know these places also bring me closer to the history of the city, and forgetting about those endless lessons learnt by heart at school, Zaragoza is absolutely attractive on this regard. Many cultures left their fingerprint in the shape of ruins, walls, churches, palaces…

I’ve been living in Barcelona for more than 8 years now, and despite the fact that I’ve got to know most of the most popular locations, there’s endless fun on the streets. Old buildings in beautiful facades located in Eixample areas, parks, private houses, gardens, beaches…

Believe it or not, I haven’t seen the insides of Casa Batlló, nor Sagrada Familia cathedral. I know, that shouldn’t be tolerated, and for that reason, I’ve decided to become a tourist, while I’m still unemployed.

The idea came out last week, when my friend Arantza was here visiting me for few days. She hadn’t planned anything but admitted she wasn’t too familiar with the city. We didn’t take any subway, and moved by walking all the time, thus we approached several monuments, buildings and cathedrals, visited popular neighbors, and took pictures.

The only cons of my plans are that we are in the middle of the peak season, which means the city is packed with tourists, and also heat striking with humidity is almost unbearable. Still, I’m fully motivated, and have plans of covering different aspects.

Therefore The starting point were the walks I went for with my friend Arantza, and Gràcia fests, and visiting Montjuïc fonts, cemetery and castle, are my next targets, hopefully to be accomplished within this week.

If motivation was there, it’s just happened something which has definitely encouraged me to go on with my photography project. I uploaded some pictures last night, and even though theey were mostly captures of buildings, I thought of adding a couple of shots of street art, which I adore.

One hour ago I received a message regarding this capture a girl saw on Flickr, asking for permission to publish it on Enzo and Nio FB page. What can I say? I feel very flattered.

I’m not a pro, I don’t even shoot in RAW yet, and my photo gear is quite limited, however I got time, I love observing things, and right now, I got plenty of time. It’s easier to take pictures with your mobile device and then upload them on IG, but we all know quality is not the same. From here I encourage you to take your cameras with you (you can carry your compact with you anytime), and stop the world for a second when you see something whose image is worth keeping for good. You’ll be glad in the future, because it’ll bring you nice memories.

And one more thing. Whenever we go out of the city, to a town, a beach, the countryside, the mountains, overseas, or wherever, we take pictures of things we find fascinating because we are in the mood and we’re open to welcome any experience and stimulation… well, you can find those just 50m from home. And remember, the best postcards from a city are the stamps you recreate.