Tag Archives: 2013

LAST CHAPTER OF 2013: MY HIGHLIGHTS.

This is the last post related to 2013 I’m gonna write. It’s been another rough year (the second in a row), with many ups and downs, and some disappointments, but fortunately not everything was dark, and thanks to some people, music and some personal achievements I survived it, and pounding both good and bad things, I prefer using the adjective rough instead of shitty.

I reckon writing down a list of highlights is a positive way to close a year in the best way possible, so with no particular order I’m starting to remember my personal best of.

JORDI AND RICHARD

It’s still shocking that after living so many years in Barcelona I still don’t know, or haven’t been introduced to certain people I’ve seen thousands of times at bars and shows. At the end of the day, the rock scene in the city is quite reduced, so it’s easy to know who is who. It’s also funny the fact that it was Andrea who properly introduced us, considering she lives in our hometown, and not in Barcelona.

toi jordi and richard

And it’s wonderful to feel a crush at first sight on these two guys with whom I share so many things in common, especially the passion for music and this will to enjoy and have fun. And I love their strong friendship, and the way they connect and complement each other.

I reckon 2013 is the starting point of a long relation with them, and feel very happy and proud of feeling so welcome by them.

ALVARO LLORAR

carmen

I think it was a great idea to start a dark year getting tattooed by one of the artists I admire most: Alvaro Llorar. The result was Carmen, a gorgeous woman with a flame coming out of one of her eyes. The design, the palette of colors used, and the composition are amazing, and I’m very pleased and proud of my girl.

KRISTONFEST

This festival will last in my memory for several reasons. First, the lineup, Orange Goblin and Clutch; Second, I could spend some time with my British pals; Third, I met adorable people I already knew virtually but nor physically (Iñigo, Ostaika, Alberto…); Fourth, it was my first assignment for Rockzone Magazine.

ROCKZONE MAGAZINE AND MY FIRST INTERVIEWS

I started writing for Rockzone in June, and since then I’ve been doing some homework reviewing albums and shows until I was assigned my first interview to Dave Wyndorf, of Monster Magnet, and I’ve been doing few more in the last 3 months.

I love music and writing, so you can imagine the possibility of combining these two passions is a blast. Again I have to thank Jordi and Richard for the support and trust.

JAUME AND TANI

I’ve always expressed how lucky I am for having the friends I have, and the meaning of this highlight is not making any favoritism, but I feel like celebrating my friendship with these two people, who are so important and dear to me.

On one hand I’m supper happy of Tani coming back to my life in a solid way. I’m positive there won’t be more distance between us, and it’s great to have the funniest chick in the world (apart from me, heh) by my side. Every minute we’ve spent together has been top quality and I know there are many more to come.

tani and toi

As for Jaume, my first internet friend, my best supporter and my best confidant, his life’s changed quite much this year, and I only hope I have supported him enough. Truth is that such change has also strengthened our friendship one step beyond. Cubism, gossip, movies at The Hellhouse and many nights of fun. For many years!

DJ’N SESSIONS

It’s been a very busy year with sessions almost every month at different venues: Psycho Club, Hey Ho! Bar, Es Xibiu tapas bar, La Caja Tonta and La Ley Seca in Zaragoza, and the most remarkable event, with Veronica, as guest djs at Siberia Festival in Vitoria.

djn

Playlists I post here are becoming  popular and the crew seem to be pleased, and as for myself, I’m getting more comfortable and confident with the sessions. Very proud, to be honest.

#DADDYCOOL

I’m especially pleased with the current relationship with my father. We can have different points of view, argue, and get pissed off with each other, but I reckon we’ve never been so well as nowadays. Perhaps certain circumstances have encouraged the closeness of it, and I regard it as something very positive.

We still got some Japanese beers pending at the basement. I remember, Randy.

NEIL YOUNG IN NIMES

I feel lucky for being able to attend another show of the old man, with Crazy Horse. You never know when it’ll be the last chance, so whenever it’s possible I’ll move wherever to see him. The show was neat and beautiful, the place, wonderful, and the experience unforgettable.

HUEY MORGAN

As weird as it might sound, Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ singer, Huey, has managed to cheer me up every day thanks to his philosophy quotes, his jams of the day, his replies on Twitter, and his show on BBC6 Music. I’m positive I’ll meet him in person in the future, and I hope that future comes soon. #jeah!

Huey Morgan

THE SOCIAL NETWORKS

Again, they must be included as a highlight. The ARF forum, Facebook, Twitter and this blog, have allowed me to get to know very interesting people, get closer to artists I admire and be in touch with people living far away. How can anyone hate internet?

***

I only hope 2014 is a bit more positive, or at least steadier, that these last ones, with no extreme ups n’ downs. There are cool events ahead which make me feel optimistic at this moment but you can never trust Fate whims, right? Let’s see what happens… I got my fingers crossed.

ALIVE N’ KICKIN’ 2013

Let’s go on with the best of this year.

Checking my daily planner I’ve counted  approximately 46 shows (probably some more I forgot to write down), and 4 festivals attended: Primavera Sound (2/3 days), Kristonfest, Cruïlla, and Siberia. Compared to previous years I’ve been more relaxed this 2013 at the time of choosing which bands to see.

The variety of live shows available in Barcelona is huge lately, hard to cope with, and there are on one hand very expensive tickets for barely 1 hour performances, and on the other hand promoters booking small bands every 6 months which eventually get audience bored. Personally speaking, I reckon those promoters should look after both the bands and the potential audience to start with, assume more risks bringing different bands, and start seeking for sold out shows at less benefit which will ensure bands to feel like coming back and achieve fans loyalty for future shows. Of course I’m not a promoter, and I don’t put my money on the table, but I’ve attended shoes enough as to assure a sold out show for 10 Eur/ticket rules much more than a half empty venue for 22 Wur7ticket, if you understand me. Considering the tight and hard times we’re going through live music must me supported and audience encouraged, and not the other way.

Once this said, let’s talk about my top 5 favorite live shows of the year.

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE, Àrenes de Nîmes

neil young

The best show for obvious reasons. You never know when it’ll be the last time you will be able to attend one of his shows, plus this time he was accompanied by his pals, as I had seen them the first time in 1996. Promoters in Spain don’t think it’s worth taking the risk bringing him here, thus we had to move our asses to France. The whole experience was tiring yet very cool, as some guys in Girona hired a mini coach for the trip, and 20 people met by chance only moved by our love for the musician. Patti Smith opened for him offering a surprising excellent show, and then the boss came onto stage and made the old stones of les arenes, vibrate with his tunes.

CLUTCH, Music Hall (BCN)

Even though the set list was reduced due to the early curfew imposed by the venue, the atmosphere, the crowd, the band, the attitude and the powerful songs, and of course, the wonderful companion, contribute to turn this show into something memorable. I felt the fan scent I was missing, the passion and the excitement, and I went crazy.

VALIENT THORR, Razzmatazz 3 (BCN)

sadat n nitewish

Every time I see these guys on stage I have a crush, really. They are so powerful and straight and on the other hand so good at interacting with the audience, their shows are a blast. I loved ther previous show in 2012 in Madrid, and this one was excellent. There were some friends who had attended the show just because who finished very enthusiastic about the experience.

THE SWORD, Razzmatazz 3 (BCN)

I was pretty sick of my stomach and had been sleeping 18 hours straight because I felt like shit, so I wasn’t at my best for the show, but as soon as Kyle Shutt started playing his riffs and the crows d started headbanging uniformly as a respond I started to feel better and better and enjoyed lots.

Can’t wait to see them again soon. Here’s their show at the Hellfest few days earlier, so you can get an idea.

ORANGE GOBLIN, Kristonfest (BIO)

chris and toi

What can I say? I’ve attended to their shows since 1998 and always claimed their live act is solid and amusing. Any time I get the chance to see them I’ll be there. I reckon their show at Kristonfest was superior than the previous I had attended years ago at Azkena Rock Festival. No doubt A Eulogy for The Damned has been a great pusher to finally get more recognition and attention, although here in Spain they haven’t been booked for playing at venues yet. A pity.

I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring up. At the moment there are already several awesome shows ahead: Monster Magnet, Red Fang, The Wildhearts…We’ll see.

 

MY TOTAL 13

Happy holidays to y’all!

Once the few family Xmas commitments successfully finished, it’s time I start focusing on closing this 2013. I’m gonna start with the easiest part, which is the list of my 13 favorite album releases.

I reckon this year has been marked by harder sounds and styles compared to the last years. Somehow it seems that my current mood is also looking for more energy in music. Truth is that, as usual, there are many albums I haven’t listened to yet and perhaps with the passing of time the list would change, but right now these are the albums I’ve been enjoying most this strange 2013.

13. VALIENT THORR: OUR OWN MASTERS

vt

Rage and pure energy, Valient Himself and his guys nailed it once again with this album. Lyrics with message, so to speak, wrapped in exploding riffs and superfast speed. Very happy I could attend another of their burning shows last month.

12. SUN & SAIL CLUB: MANNEQUIN

ssc

This is the project of Scott Thomas Reeder, Kyuss former bass player, Bob Balch and Scott Reeder (the drummer) of Fu Manchu. Vocoder robotic voice melodies can prevent some people from loving this album which is a masterpiece of powerful riffs, intense bass lines and kickin’ ass drums. Respect for the veterans!

11. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ: IS SURVIVED BY

touche amore

Post-hardcore bands are not within my usual range of music, however some of them manage to step into my universe from time to time. This time was Touché Amoré, recommended by my dear friend (and mentor) Jordi, personally and through the magazine. Confessional lyrics, lots of yelling, weird writing, but with an overwhelming intensity.

10. MONSTER MAGNET: LAST PATROL

last patrol

The return of Dave Wyndorf and his gang to the fields of psicodelia. I had the chance to interview the leader for Rockzone magazine and thanks to his explanations and remarks I could enjoy the album even more. As a whole, as a journey, some sort of confession of experience and release of emotions. There are great songs such as ‘Paradise’ or ‘The Duke (of Supernature)’ of ‘I Live Behind The Clouds’. A great comeback superior to their previous releases. Can’t wait to see their show in February.

9. NEKO CASE: THE WORSE THINGS GET, THE HARDER I FIGHT, THE HARDER I FIGHT , THE MORE I LOVE YOU

neko case

This is the hardest album of the artist and the most confessional. She leaves the story telling aside and focuses on expressing what’s she’s going through, marked by the loss of important members of her family, and a state of depression she eventually underwent to for some time. it is Neko, the woman, the human being here, you can feel closer to her, identified with some of her songs. ‘Man’, ‘Nearly Midnight, Honolulu’, ‘Calling Cards’ are thrilling.

8. ORANGE GOBLIN: A EULOGY FOR THE FANS

eulogy

This live album is the celebration of the success achieved with their last and most solid up to date studio album A Eulogy For The Damned. The only BUT I find here is that sound doesn’t capture their performance 100%, but still it’s a good document to confirm that not only their at their best moment but also that the Brits are a live band.

7. AMERICAN SHARKS

american sharks

This crazy trio from Texas blew my mind with their single ‘Overdrive’ and reached my thrashy side with their debut album. Every time I have a dj session I play one of their songs. Energy and fun, sometimes they remind me of Gluecifer for some reason. Wish I can see them playing in Spain in 2014.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/09/19/the-power-of-a-single/

6. DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD: STAY TRUE

danny

I feel ashamed for not having written about this wonderful album already, because it deserves a special attention and I don’t think many people are aware of this wonderful work. I couldn’t find the proper time or the mood to write about it as a week album, however I’ve been constantly listening to them when looking for a realm of peace and relax. Danny and the Champs leave the Bruce Springsteen formula so present in Hearts & Arrows and focus on more rooted sounds.

5. MICHAEL MONROE: HORNS & HALOS

hh

The blonde Finnish is a God of some kind. every time he releases a new album everybody’s expections end up completely fulfilled. This time I was a bit afraid of the change from Ginger Wildheart to Dregen of Backyard Babies as the main guitar and writer, but the result has been very positive, in fact Horns & Halos is superior to Dregen’s first solo album which has left me completely indifferent and not interested at all. Listening to any Monroe’s album means feeling  something inside you unsettled, which at the end of the day you realize it’s the need for partying crying for good times. I don’t understand the reckless energy of the singer, and I don’t care. I just take it as it comes and enjoy the most of it.

4. RED FANG: WHALES AND LEECHES

whales and leeches

No need to comment much about this album after what I wrote. It’s brutal and can’t stop listening to it. I really needed this badass music in my life. Exactly one month remaining for their show in Barcelona. I know it’s gonna be insane.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/11/10/album-of-week-45-whales-and-leeches/

3. HEY! HELLO!

heyhello

Ginger is a sort of Kind midas in music, but fortunately every project he starts is worth listening and the results are usually great. This time teaming up with Victoria Liedtke, he’s surprised the fans with more partying and very fresh tunes, and perhaps it’s been the key to retake and resuscitate his main son, The Wildhearts.

Hey! Hello! will open for The Wildhearts in April and I’ll be at The Electric Ballroom to tell you about it. it’s gonna be awesome, probably one of the best 2014 shows.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/08/29/album-of-week-32-hey-hello/

2. CLUTCH: EARTH ROCKER

earth rocker

Clutch has been the greatest discovery of this year. They’ve become a complete reference and have also awaken the spirit of the fan which was a bit in stagnation. Earth Rocker came demolishing and I devoured it with devoted passion. The impact of the self titled single on my was one of the most intense I remember in the last years. It left me breathless, and when I recovered I had the full album which was an injection of energy I really needed. I also relate the album to many personal highlights this year, among others writing for Rockzone magazine and coming back to the company I had been fired from last year.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/03/19/album-of-weeks-10-11-earth-rocker/

1. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: …LIKE A CLOCKWORK

Well, after not so much thinking I’ve finally reached the conclusion that Like a Clockwork is my favorite album of the year.

like

It was an instant crush since the very beginning and has been settling throughout these months. When I first listened to the album I compared the experience as dating someone you idolize, therefore now I could regard my relationship with the album as a consolidated. Yeah, we’re a couple, we can flirt with others but at the end of the day it will be Like a Clockwork the one I’ll always choose.

Josh Homme has improved not only his singing but also his writing, and his evolution, very criticized by many of his fans in Kyuss, is fascinating from my point of view. Probably ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’ is my favorite song of the year, but I love the whole album and regard it as an indivisible unit.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/05/17/like-a-clockwork/

THE NIGHT OF THOUSAND HOURS

2013 Xmas season primed the pump last Saturday with a dj’n night at La Ley Seca in my hometown in Zaragoza. And it was a blast, and the night turn to be an endless epic one, so at this moment I’m in better mood to face the real Xmas thing, if you know what I mean.

ghostbusters cartel

After having some beers with friends and attending a show of a Spanish band named Nueva Vulcano, which wasn’t too much of my style, I was ready for the session.

To be honest I didn’t know how many people were attending, because the night before some friends had gone out for their companies’ Xmas dinner parties, and the word I had read and heard most during the day was “hangover”. Fortunately the pilgrimage was fluid, stepped and constant, and even though the night started a bit cold, temperature and moods were rising until that chaos and fun stage that I love so much, was reached, with Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall song ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get It On’ as the peak of the night and everybody dancing madly.

If there’s one thing I like in my hometown is that whenever the crowd feel like dancing regardless of the place, they dance. I love dancing, my friends love dancing and we all love having fun.

I quit playing music after 60 songs, because I was exhausted, wanted a relaxing gintonic with those friends remaining, and also to focus on some other interesting options to go along with the night of thousand hours as I christened last Saturday.

I only hope 2014 can give me as many chances to DJ as this year, which has been quite generous in this sense and I reckon it’s helped me to improved the quality of my sessions a lot.

Thanks for the support, for listening the playlists and for the feedback, and moreover expressing my eternal gratitude to all those who’ve managed to attend any of the life sessions.

Here’s the list!

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!

VERMOUTH ON THE ROCKS

What an awesome day, yesterday! I’m so exhausted after so many events, beers and vermouth, shows (I saw 5 bands yesterday!), music…I don’t feel like writing too much, but I have to tell you about the vermouth session I told you about few days ago.

The experience of djn in daylight from 1 till 5 pm was very positive. On one hand because some friends with kids could stop by, have some drinks and some tapas, and enjoy some music at a place suitable for children, avoiding the inconvenience of having to find someone to look for them. Also because while I was playing music I could enjoy some tasty nachos with cheese and guacamole. And finally because dj’n at a limited volume and at the same level as the attendants allowed me to interact with my friends.

es xibiu

I can’t thank enough for the attention received by Fer and Samuel, who made me feel very comfortable, and also fed me and supplied with drinks all the time. The atmosphere at Es Xibiu is excellent, and food outstanding. Everybody seemed to be delighted with the tapas they enjoyed and prices were very reasonable. This place has turn into a regular option at midday, and the combination of music sessions with food and drinks is unbeatable.

Last but not less, I wanna thank all the friends who came by for their support, and chats and the laughs. I think we all had a great time and I can’t wait for the next event with them.

Yesterday everything was perfect.

As usual, here’s the playlist. Hope you like it.

DECEMBER: LOVE/HATE

Oh shit! December already…AGAIN!

I can’t believe how fast time goes by lately. I always have the feeling I’m running out of time wasting it on shitty stuff, or suffering at work or sleeping too much. Nchst!

Change of weather is not helping much either, in fact I blame it for the flu I caught last week which has weakened me a little bit. I’m still a bit tired and low spirited. And now December. Cold and dark. Ugh!

The last month of the year has lots of pros, but awful cons, which you have to carry out as a burden and it’s impossible you can avoid them.

December

To start with, Xmas is the epicenter of most of our activity during this time.

On one hand, shopping. Not that I dislike making presents to beloved people, it’s just that I hate when this act becomes an obligation. A present for my mum is a real challenge (sorry but it’s the truth), as she’s got everything of everything and there are certain things,which are out of the picture. Our tastes are completely different and it’s hard for me. I want to give her something cool, but my concept of coolness is far from hers. Luckily, my dad is always willing to help and usually gives me a clue. With my brother and his wife I think it’s even worse. They always want clothes and I hate fashion and shopping clothes, plus it’s been clear through these last years that there’s no emotion or excitement in our presents. At least my dad and my nephew are closer to some sort of success, as I can easier identify cool presents for them. All this shopping issue wouldn’t be so stressful for me if I had more spare time to think and search, but December is usually a bad timing in my job, as the workload is huge, and all the holidays have a huge impact on the routine of the tasks I’m coordinating. Aaah! And all the stores are so packed…I really feel sorry for my parents when we were kids. It had to be a pain in the ass looking for the toys we wanted.

mall

Even though it’s the month with more days off and this year I will enjoy 9 days straight without visiting my office, all these breaks contribute to some sort of chaos and variation at work, in my daily life and everything. When this happens I also fall into a crazy spiral which might last till January if I’m not careful.

The familiar events are a delicate subject. They can work out fine or can turn into a complete disaster, and it all depends on everybody’s mood. You know when you grow up it’s been said you’re you and your circumstances, which doesn’t mean that your circumstances match the others’, so you have to be careful not to cause any trouble, but it’s hard sometimes.

Same with business Xmas dinner. It might be fine or it can be a source of trouble and gossip. I think I’m lucky though, but my expectations regarding this event are not very big, as, considering these last months at the office, everybody is tired, burnt, and fed up, so I’m not sure what will be the general mood.

But stop being grumpy about this season. I’m gonna see my family and my friends at home, I also have some interesting plans ahead, and hopefully if I overcome this writer’s shitty block caused by too much stress at work and this feeling of being exhausted, there are lots of interesting posts to write about, including list of the best releases of the year, my personal highlights and some other crap I have in mind.

I’m very happy about having scheduled 3 dj’n sessions in December, two in Barcelona and one in my hometown to open Xmas fests once I start my vacation.

The first one is the most exciting because it’s something different to what I’m used to. This Saturday, the 7th, my session will take place at a cool tapas bar named Es Xibiu near The Hellhouse, at vermouth time. Yeah, at midday, in daylight. I think it’s terrific! It’s like people can have their beers and wine with their kids, and enjoy some rock at the same time, and the atmosphere is not a “filthy” night venue. This will give the chance to some of my friends who are already parents, to bring their kids and spend some time with me. The sound is not too loud, tapas are fantastic, and the vibe at the place is really cool. I’ve already attended a couple of these musical vermouths with Jaume, and we’ve had a blast.

VERMUT ES XIBIU

Second one is in my hometown, at La Ley Seca, just the same day I arrive, as to open Xmas season. it was my best friend Diana who suggested I should talk to someone for arranging a session, as she enjoyed my birthday party lots, so I asked Patxi and he seemed thrilled with the idea. In fact he had said to me I could play music anytime I felt like. I think it will be cool, and a good chance to gather people, especially those like me living outside Zaragoza.

Finally the last session of the year will take at Hey! Ho! Bar, which is becoming a regular venue for me, last Saturday of 2013, the Fool’s day in Spain. I hope there are not many jokes. It will be a good training for New Year’s Eve.

There are also at least a couple of shows I’m attending, and hopefully some interesting plans will come up in the middle.

At the end of the day seems that it’s not gonna be such an awful month as I thought. We’ll see.

What are your plans for this loooong month?