Category Archives: Trash

My World Cup 2014.

world cup

Did you ever think I’d write a post about soccer and a World cup? Well, me neither. I can’t remember everything I’ve been writing here for these 4 years, but there are chances to find some old hate post talking about the shitty soccer business in Spain and how the game has turned into money interests. If such is the case on court I will apply temporary mental disorder or something like that. Ha!

This time I don’t feel like cursing or blaming all my problems on the World Cup but the opposite. More or less I’ve been following the tournament from the beginning and I’ve enjoyed some moments and games a lot.

I think there was a key fact that allowed me to get into Brazil 2014: the awful performance of the Spanish team and their elimination on group stage. The fuckin’ Red only won their match against Australia when there was no option to pass, after the shameful exhibition in the previous games.  It also happened with Italy (I was supporting hot Pirlo from the beginning), and England, but the arrogance of Spain was vanished in a nick of time, and honestly it was a relief.

andrea pirlo

The Spanish league of soccer is one of the most distinguished and praised worldwide, but I don’t really think it’s because of the national players, but for the insane and outrageous money business involved at the time of signing , especially in the case of  two clubs mainly: Real Madrid and F.C Barcelona. Thus both teams have a great percentage of the world best players. In my opinion there should be some rules and limits to this signings, as NBA applies, thus clubs would be more balanced. But of course, this is just my point of view.

Anyway, traditionally Spain didn’t pass from second stage to quarters, in fact there were some megastores offering free tv equipment if the team was reaching quarters or semifinals (of course with some small letter  accompanied). The team has lived a period of glory, always keeping the same formula and varying the players quite few. But eventually repetition starts failing, players get older, and the strength, the tactics and the attitude become obsolete, therefore the strategy turns into shit. Fuck off! It’s time for a new era, and both the team and the supporters reset their attitude towards struggle and competitiveness and humbleness.

This been said, in the era of social networks and communications, the opportunity of enjoying such a popular event through forums and Twitter is a blast. You can comment the game in streaming, faults, penalties, highlights, spread as fast as gunpowder, and memes and GIFs are terrific. You support teams for many reasons, some related to proper soccer, and most for empathy or weird feelings. And something very funny is the way your support to a team changes as the final gets closer. One day you hate Deutschland and a couple of weeks later they make your day humiliating Brazil. That was AWESOME!

ger bra

There’ve been some unexpected surprises too. I loved the evolution of the US team, and I’m pretty sure soccer will be another category Americans will be good at with time, as it’s started to be taken serious and not just as a sport for girls at highschool.

The role of the goalkeepers has been decisive as many matches have ended with penalties: Courtois from Belgium, Tim Howard from USA, Argentina Romero, Julio Cesar for Brazil or the German Machine Neuer , are some of the most successful names. Two more days for the final match. Argentina VS Germany. My support goes to the European team. I hate Messi and his fans, and on the other hand I love Muller and Klose’s style, and Mertersaker and Schweinsteiger have the coolest names ever.

So from now till Sunday night:

SCHLAND, SCHLAND, SCHLAND!!!

**Janos! Good luck!

** Reckon I finally understand Offside and I’m very happy 🙂

10 years in Barcelona Shitty

Few nights ago, while talking to my friend Tani, I realized that on June 11th 10 years ago I arrived Barcelona with a suitcase, ready to start a new life in this city. Time goes so fast! It’s unbelievable!

The main reason for moving to a big city was that I needed to live in a more musical and cultural scene, looking for something resembling my experience in London, but this time being an adult and with some lessons already learnt. I had been working for a toy store chain for 2 years already in my hometown, and had requested a position in Barcelona, which took some time, but was firm. It was great this happened at the right time, when I was recovering from my 10 year relationship breakup, so I had new horizon ahead and cool expectations, so as the willing to have fun and live new experiences.

Sagrada Familia

As with every change, the beginning wasn’t 100% easy. I had a couple of incidences with some people until I found a decent place to settle, but I remember that summer as one of the funniest and craziest ones.

Sometimes I think of the reason why I chose Barcelona instead of Madrid, and the only certain explanation is that I knew the city and how to handle living in it, and I got friends. Plus it was a time I used to go to the beach. Not anymore. I don’t regret my choice either, but it’s curious how friends change depending on the kind of live you carry out and most of the close ones back then have disappeared, except for Jaume, one of my main pillars.

Let’s start with the result of a quick brainstorming related to ramdon personal facts:

1. When I arrived it was taking place the Universal Forum of cultures. I never visited it. I’ve been in the place attending festivals afterwards.

2. First series I watched on TV was Falcon Crest.

3. I moved 6 times. Sant Antoni, the current hood I’m living in, is becoming quite fashionable. I love this area anyway.

4. I lived with a hooker for one month. She never admitted her activities, but there were lots of signs which which proved it.

5. I’ve had 7 different employments and spent 6 months unemployed.

6. I must have attended approx. 600 shows. Wish they had been more.

7. I rarely speak Catalan no matter I studied this language at college in my hometown.

Barcelona port by Toi Brownstone

8. I hate the popular fests in the city. I hate national popular fests anyway.

9. I don’t have a favorite bar nor restaurant here.

10. The fact that they don’t serve free bread without requesting when having papas bravas or any other tapas still pisses me off. A lot.

11. I met some of my best friends during these 10 years.

12. It’s been said Barcelona people are close and cold, and it’s true, however I’ve never felt aside or rejected. Completely the opposite.

13. I don’t discuss about politics and even less about independence of Catalonia with anyone.

14. I support any soccer team but Barça just to break balls.

15. I hate humidity. Don’t get used to summer weather.

Festes de Gracia

Will I celebrate another 10 years in this city? Who knows. Right now I’d say yes without hesitating thinking of the kind of life I have, but you never know. Truth is that Barcelona has lost lots of its essence and charm on behalf of becoming one of the most touristic places in the country and in the world, so lots of business, commodities and services have focused on this money target, so the locals are getting more and more disappointed.

We’ll see…

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

N-O.

Since the day we were born, we’ve all been raised in the belief that NO only means prohibition and rejection. This reminds me of that day I questioned why we are not taught to lose. We are chasing the acceptance, the success, and all the positive connotations of everything, we are brought up to be obedient and act for the sake of the others.

Let me tell you something. At age 37 I’ve finally learned to say NO, and for the first time I’ve understood that it can also mean freedom of choice and determination. And I’ve recently discovered there’s some deal of satisfaction and pleasure in saying it.

Just think for a moment.  How many times have you accepted doing something you didn’t want to which wasn’t implying any benefit for you except for pleasing someone? I might sound selfish, but I’m not. I’m devoted to my beloved, been an idiot and a puppet when I was deep into a relationship. and  love making people around happy, so as to contribute to their happiness. And I really mean it. But at some point, in order to make sure you are the number one priority in your own life, sometimes you have to set a limit, always bearing in mind you’re not really bothering anyone.

Few days ago I was chatting with my parents and the subject of summer holidays was brought up, because I was considering my attendance at a festival near my parents’ summer getaway. I saw some hope in their eyes for an instant, as if they were expecting me to say something about joining them for few days. Of course that wasn’t gonna happen, and for the first time in all these years, rather than repeating the same excuse (which is real), I explained them I don’t fit there anymore, and would feel locked and wouldn’t have fun. Perhaps it was shocking at first, but at the end of the day it was honest, and I’m sure they perceived it as such.

This is an example of what I’m talking about.

Sometimes you get involved in plans you don’t feel like participating in, just because. Sometimes you don’t feel like doing something for no apparent reason, and if you are honest, people look at you disappointed, because honesty is sometimes not so well assumed as a lie. You know, I was telling someone that if you are committed to do something is because you want and you’re 200% convinced and motivated. Otherwise it’s a waste of time, and you won’t get satisfied, and probably the others won’t be as pleased as they’d expect either.

There are sometimes you have to say NO because you also know your limits and your capacity to face and focus certain circumstances and events, and your performance will be worse than usual. It is time to be humble and admit you just can’t do it. And if it’s not a life/death extreme situation it’s not that bad.

Thus, this chance to say NO can apply to many different scenarios, and if you use this option without abusing, I’m sure it can improve your life.

So, give it a try someday and just say NO.

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

INTERNET, SOCIAL NETWORKS AND NEW FRIENDS

I’ve never denied the fact that I’m addicted to internet, and never had a problem to admit it. Since I signed in my first e-mail account in January 31, 2000, and started discovering the possibilities of the net, I’ve been using and abusing.

Guess I discovered it in the most appropriate time for myself. I had just got back from UK and was in my hometown again, limited by a standard city, so quiet and relaxing compared to London, and limited in terms of rock and culture agenda, there were moments I used to feel suffocated. You have to understand I had met so many people in a big city and enjoyed this anonymous status implied, all of a sudden it seems that I was a prisoner in my own city. Not that I didn’t have friends, because I had and met new ones, but you know, there weren’t many people around sharing same passions and interests as me. I’m talking about rock, of course.

keyboard

I started visiting a cyber cafe close to college to check e-mails from all the friends left behind. You know how these romances start and end. Very intense and constant in the beginning, till they fade out as in a film and people ends up forgetting and feeling lazy. Usual shit. Anyway. I had heard of chat rooms and discovered there was a general one focused on music, so I checked what it was about. My username was LadyEvil, as an American friend used to call me. The beginning was quite disappointing, as the rhythm was frenetic and in order to catch someone’s attention and start interacting it took me some time. But eventually I managed and started visiting the café and spending several hours a day during the week, until I begged my dad to install internet at home.

Since then a new universe opened to me, and I found out it was the perfect way to get acquainted with people from everywhere to share interests, to be updated on anything going on around the world, look for stuff, and learning. You know I’ve talked many times about my friend Jaume, right? I met him in that chat room, and we’ve been friends ever since. Thanks to forums I also started dating theonewhocannotbenamed, met lots of people who have become friends and participated of events. And of course, I’ve learned lots about music, films and useless stuff. Social networks, which are so criticized, have also been good to me. I’ve discovered lots of bands, tattoo artists, helped me to get acquainted with musicians and music journalists and also to stay in touch with friends regardless of our geographical situation. Finally blogs and the possibility of having my own have encouraged my writing as a way of expression I thought it had died when I stopped writing letters.

Even though social networks have always been criticized as killing the actual social life of people, I must say I’ve never felt as much accompanied as I am nowadays. It doesn’t matter I stay home with flu, because someone will interact with me eventually. And at this point, it’s needless to remark my social life is a very active and rich one.

When you are in your 30s and aging, there comes a stage in which lots of people around are in couple, get married or have kids, and it’s difficult to keep up with the relations in the same way as when you were in your 20s. Not only because of family ties but also due to responsibilities at work, schedules and other stuff. Life changes a lot, it’s unavoidable. Friends are not as available as they used to and getting new acquaintances gets more difficult. Well, I’m not talking about that “lonely-people-looking-desperately-for-a-couple-crappy-sites”, but about Twitter for instance, where you start meeting people in your same situation with shit of any kind in common. I know people who love Star Wars, others dig Guns N’ Roses, and others share my passion for tattoos…whatever you might think of, really.

If you are in touch and get on well with people through 140 characters, at some point one of the parts will try to step forward and focus on a more personal (and private) friendship. Then I guess we’d talk about Facebook, the great monster of social networks. Whatever you share is also a reflection of who and how you are, and everybody gets a picture of the real individual they are getting to know. Or it should be like that, unless you’re capable of performing DeNiro 24/7.

And why all this? Just because. Last weekend I finally met this great guy I can call friend now who I met thanks to Twitter nearly two years ago, and the experience was terrific. Prospects that everything worked fine were high, yet, to be honest, I was careful not to have great expectations to keep from feeling disappointed, but the end everything worked awesome, and I enjoyed a fantastic weekend. I only hope it’s been the first of many. For years now I’ve been swallowing bullshit related to all the dangers of internet and blah blah blah… Of course, you gotta be cautious, but you know? Nice people and assholes are everywhere, and the chances to meet them are the same, so, why being so close? Why do people deny and reject the possibility of finding wonderful people in different places? Why are we so stupid and don’t take advantage of the possibilities we have at just a click?

Breezin'

I’m tired of listening to some narrow minded people who still burn my ear saying I’m too hooked to internet and that kind of crap. At least I’m approaching all the chances I have at hand to accomplish my vital target, which is something as simple as enjoying as much as possible.

This been said, thanks Gab, you might be reading this and have a laugh thinking I’m a nutter, but it was great to spend quality time with you, and I’m grateful that you contribute to my search for happiness and fun. Well fuckin’ done!

LONDON CHRONICLES: THE NIGHT TOI MADE WEIRD FRIENDS

Did you think I had forgotten about my London Chronicles or that all the stories had been already told? I find your lack of faith disturbing, really, ha ha ha!

Let me put you in situation. Do you remember that day I had to spend several hours wearing my pajamas at a pub in my hood? It took 6 hours or so till one of my flat mates came back home and opened the door for me. Well, I barely spent 30 minutes there, because I was to meet my friend Lukas at 6,30pm at the Fox for having some drinks and clubbing, you know, the usual Saturday night thing. Booze, booze, booze, some random rubbish fast food, dancing, booze, dancing, booze…and at 2.50am the feared bell announcing the party was over.

This reminds me of my top 3 old London clubs I will tell you about some day: Gossips, RockScene and The Temple of Metal.

Anyway. Depending on the night and how much drunk I was, I decided whether to hire a minicab or take the night bus and spend more than an hour enjoying the bunch of weirdos in more or less the same condition as me.

That night it was night bus night, and the ride was a funny one.

night bus

I was listening to music with my Walkman. Yes, remember that device that played and sometimes ruined tapes? Anyway, even though it’s not relevant for the story I remember I was listening to Blues For The Red Sun, by Kyuss. I was on the top floor of the bus and at the back. Probably the less save sit yet my favorite. I had seen these two guys 2-3 rows ahead gesturing and laughing a lot, and almost immediately I realized they were Spanish. We are quite recognizable when we move in crowds. I felt nosy enough as to stop my Walkman and start listening to their conversation. Obviously on Saturday night the main topic of discussion was girls. Apparently they had been at a party and one of their lady friends had been prick-teasing  one of the guys real hard, and the guy had been suffering with a huge hard-on for half an hour. Comments were brilliant and I was enjoying the conversation until I cracked up laughing. I couldn’t help it. The guys noticed me and first reaction was to shut up, and then to ask me if I had heard and understood everything and if I was Spanish. When I replied yes to all their questions, the guys passed me a beer and asked me to join them, so I did. There was still a question to be clarified. Did he pick the girl? The answer was No. She only wanted to get him horny and make her ex jealous, so the guy and his friend decided the party was over. The story and its details were hilarious. I guess we exchanged phone numbers at some point but we never called each other, typical short and intense London  acquaintance.

When I took off the bus, still I had to walk a couple of kilometers to my flat. That was the worst part. It was cold, half foggy, and at 5am there was not a single soul on the street. Just me. If I think of it sometimes I get very concerned and scared about being so careless. I didn’t give a shit, and wasn’t ever afraid. With age this has changed a bit. I feel more threatened by possible dangers.

fox

Anyway, I had been walking home, listening to Kyuss, when I noticed there was something behind me, but I couldn’t figure what it was, only that it was alive and it was following. I started walking, stopping and turning around, and I saw it. it was a fox. A FOX! I had never seen one for real in my life, and it looked really cute. I started calling him trying to attract him, but the animal was very cautious although it was staring at me all the time. I started wondering if I was as drunk as to mix up a fox for a cat, but I didn’t care.

All of a sudden, there was a Police van by my side, and the two cops inside staring at me. The good one was the driver, and looked weak and thin. The bad cop, very rude and unfriendly, was huge and fat. The good one started the conversation:

G(ood)C(op): G’night, m’am. Are you ok? Can we help you?

T(oi): Oh, g’night sir! I’m fine, I’m fine. On my way home. Now that I think, can I ask you a question? I got a doubt.

GC: Yes, sure, go ahead.

T: That animal on the corner, is it a cat or a fox?

GC: It’s a fox. They’re quite common around.

T: Really? Been living here for a while and never seen one before.

B(ad) C(op): Rubbish!

T: Well, it might be rubbish for you, but it’s the first time I see one and it looks nice to me.

GC: Do you need anything else?

T: No, that’s fine, thanks a lot, and g’night.

GC: Eeeer, m’am. We’ve seen you’ve remarkably abused of alcohol tonight, and I was thinking it’d be a good idea to give you a ride home. You live far from here?

T: No sir, 5 minutes walking straight. But it’s not necessary, really. I can handle it. Plus, the full moon is shining, I’m listening to Kyuss and I like walking close to a fox. Much appreciated anyway.

GC: Ok, m’am. Have a good night and walk save home.

This conversation actually happened, I don’t make up anything. I have it in my mind fresh as if it had happened yesterday. Once the cops left I started laughing. The situation was awkward and ridiculous.

I learned time after that, in the hoods, if cops find people drunk on the streets, they often give them a ride home, but I didn’t know about it, and the thought of arriving escorted by two cops and my landlord finding out the whole scene, didn’t seem quite appropriate if I didn’t want to be kicked out.

The fox soon left and I finally arrived home. What a crazy day! I think I crushed on my bed fully dressed and slept for 8 hours straight, something miraculous back in the day.

Never saw a fox again, cops never took me home for being drunk, and the only time I talked to another cop, was during a parade, at the coffee shop I used to work, one Saturday morning, without sleeping and still drunk, when I borrowed his hat and friends started pictures of me wearing it it with the cop wearing my apron. Insane! I wonder who the hell has that picture.