24 December 2014

My 2014 in Music

It´s that time of the year again, to browse my ipod and the folders of illegally downloaded music to see which bands have been with me the entire year.

This is a tradition I have been keeping since my Hebrew blog days. Here is the post from 2013.

1. Agalloch

Agalloch have become to be kind of like Opeth- they are always with me and speak to me more than any other post punk band. I have been enjoying the album Marrow Of The Spirit especially this year. I must say that I´ve listened to only 2 Agalloch albums so far (The Mantle was the first) and it takes me eternity to move along from one album to the next. I feel like I can enjoy the same songs over and over again without having the need to check out other stuff.

To Drown / from Marrow Of The Spirit

2. Siekiera

I know I have mentioned this band a lot lately, but I have been into Siekiera since a couple of months this year, and I couldn´t emphasize checking their Nowa Alexandria album enough:

3. Burzum

A second metal band (musician, whatever) on the list! I don´t know why Burzum accompanied this year. Maybe it´s the dark atmosphere, maybe it´s how pretty Varg was when he was young, or maybe it´s because I find this type of music to serve for angry, relaxing and sexual purposes at the same time? Either way, I still think Varg is a nazi racist son of a bitch. But don´t hate me for liking his music.

Feeble Screams From Forests Unknown

Here is a great contemporary band which I had the honor to see live twice already. I adore their album and their live acts, because DS are great on stage, and because I am having such a kick imitating Max´s Italian accent (guilty pleasure, I admit). I went as far as to stand front row at a gig and sing the lyrics with that accent the entire time while laughing my ass off. I never have so much fun at other live shows. But if to be serious, Dystopian Society make very good dark punk and I totally recommend checking them out. I still want to see them live again and again!

Death Signals

Here is why this year has been more full of live music than ever. I have practically been swimming in whatever Boris is doing with TWOD, his recordings (and recent mixes that hopefully will be out soon!!), new band members which have helped to shape his post punk project into a psychedelic wave band, and I pray for him that it only will get better from here. I have observed how hard he is working not only on the music but on organizing gigs, finding people to play with and writing to basically every living human in Europe in order to hopefully organize a tour. I am very happy for him making his dream a reality, and it looks like my part as stylist/ makeup artist/ photographer/ dancer is yet to be over.

Still Remember The Day

Moving along the live acts, the other band where Boris plays guitar have become not only good friends but also an opportunity to travel and see the world in its subcultural glory. Many thanks goes to Sergej the bassist for making me able to hop along Totenwald gigs to travel with them to Copenhagen, Poland (where I visited my first ever music festival!) and to be able to contribute and help them, whether by sitting at the entrance or DJing, and finally- introducing the band here on my blog. I am more than happy to help whenever I have the chance.

Stereotypes, live from Copenhagen

7. The Smiths

On the one hand, I kind of wish for listening to this band more in my teenage years. On the other hand- if I would have listened to them I might have not been among the living today. Which is why I sometimes find the favorite sad angsty songs of The Smiths too childish for my current, mature mind. Yet they still are my happy music, in an ironic kind of way Morrisey would probably appreciate. It´s their melodies and lyrics which do it for me, and I mostly keep away from lyrics in songs unless I find them utterly beneficial for understanding the music. The Smiths´ whimsical touch can really brighten a lovely cynical day.

Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (I love how the guitar reminds me of the Russian Kino).

The only band which followed me from last year, that I can say I am still obsessing about as before. I have told you about them already, and probably will continue until I will finally see them live. They have released a new album lately which I am yet to check out, I am saving my spirits for it to grand a special day where I would consume it´s content. Scofferlane are the best thing to come out of Russia yet, so make sure to check them out!

On Predators

Those are the main acts. I can include a huge number of honorable mentions, as I have discovered a ton of bands that I like more by songs rather than albums, and which have inspired me to create playlists for DJ sets. I was happy to see Monowelt and their live concerts, supporting my friends felt great and I loved to hear how they developed their darkwave sound through each gig. I also enjoyed bands as Kryzys, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Auction (enjoyed so much as if I have discovered them for the first time) and some more which have left a song or two to keep playing in my mind.

What musical acts have made your year? You are welcome to do this kind of post as well, I would be thrilled to read about your musical 2014.

N. Finsternis

19 December 2014

Blast From The Past: first makeup experiment

It´s december 2009, I am 18 years old and had free time on my hands to experiment first time with eyeliner. My face was 90% cheeks in previous years, so you couldn´t really see my eyes. That´s why I came to makeup so late in my life. It just didn´t suit me. Now I cannot go in public without it (because of the permanent dark circles under my eyes which you can partially see in the photo).

Due to recent hair doubt I have been enjoying looking at these old pictures. Waist long hair and fringe looked nice, I am thinking of bringing the fringe back. You can tell I was excited doing this experiment; the realization that eyeliner made my eyes BIG has changed my life forever.

I am also still very happy about this edited picture, which would become my first FB profile pic. One could never underestimate the editing program of a Sony Ericsson phone.

This is by far one of the first "darkest" images of myself at age 18. I am a late bloomer when it comes to looking alternative, and I am glad it has turned out that way.

N. Finsternis

13 December 2014

Face of the night: braid hair

much punk, very contrast-saturated edit. I got inspired by Marika´s latest selfies!
Last night I sat at the entrance to a Totenwald gig, they played together with Dividing Lines from Leipzig in the infamous squat, Köpi. Unlike usually the concert was held in the basement of the place which was horrifyingly cold. I may look oh so stylish in the photo, but I never got out of my winter coat the entire evening! 

I was happy to help with djing after the gigs as well, and to finally blast some multi-cultural post punk! I had so much fun during last night putting music that I like, we all danced, my set got sabotaged by some italo disco towards the end (thanks, Trish!) and we even listened to some German rap after my set ended thanks to the punks at the bar. That should have been filmed on video, but unfortunately wasn´t.

Hair obviously didn´t stay in braid for more than 5 min. I missed doing black eyebrows!

Also, for some reason, taking part in subculture related events makes me beyond satisfied and happy, as if I have been dreaming to do just that (and I know I haven´t thought it to be possible while living in Israel). So I do hope to DJ, sit at the entrance and contribute in any way I can for future events, which are all being organized by friends anyway so if you won´t do it yourself, whoever will?!

Weekend continues tonight with a movie night at a friends´ place. Have a delightful weekend everyone!

N. Finsternis

11 December 2014

Musical Obsessions- Zimna Fala -or- Polish Post Punk (part I)

A lot of you were interested in a post about Polish post punk, yet I only got myself familiar with bands from the genre a short while ago, namely exactly after Return To The Batcave festival, and felt like if I to do a post about the genre I would still miss out of a ton of bands which I am yet to be familiar with (fearing to piss off a lot of you Zimna Fala experts! :x )

So instead I have decided to write about my occasional musical obsessions, making this into a sort of post-series. This way you would get a small portion of bands every post and could (and should!) recommend me on additional bands.
As probably said before- we are all here to learn...

I shall bravely disclaim this by saying that I am indeed nowhere near knowing all the classic Zimna Fala bands, the mentioned here are just the ones I have been obsessing about the past time, as the title suggests ;)
So if you know about other Polish post punk bands which you believe I will like, please do share and educate me on them!

1. Maanam

Courtesy to Ra The Luppensammler for introducing me this band! They have been everything to me this past week. Maanam make very catchy new wave music, oftentimes very popy with occasional melancholy tunes that make my heart sink. I can guess that their singer is like a star ever sine the 80s? Correct me if I´m wrong.

Maanam/ To Tylko Tango

Unfortunately I wasn´t able to find my 2 favorite songs from youtube with the blogger app, so if you are interested to hear more please visit the following links:
1. One of my favorite songs is of course Lipstick On The Glass. It is on repeat practically every day.
2. Another one is Luciola, a very touching song (minute 2:27 in the song is when I really melt down)

For some reason, these 2 songs make me veery nostalgic, throwing me into a feeling as if I am trying to remember something that never took place, or fail to remember a time in which I have never lived. It is a very special sensation which is hard to express with words. I have no idea why Maanam´s music makes me feel this way, but they somehow found a very deep place in my heart and I totally recommend them! I am yet to find a website to download their music from....

2. Republika

Another jewl introduced to me by Ra, thanks girl!
I found Republika to be heavy and ska sounding at the same time. The piano parts are so awesome, which makes into very unusual compositions, in my opinion. In comparison to a lot of Russian post punk, I have noticed that Polish post punk is a lot better produced and recorded, and it seems like a common thing in East European post punk to mix instruments like piano/ sax/ flute in their music, which is the exact kind of stuff that I like.

Republika / Smierc w bikini (Death in a bikini)

I have yet to explore all their stuff, here´s another song which I have posted before:

Republika / Biala flaga (white flag)

3. Siekiera

Unlike the mentioned above, I have been aware of Siekiera since last year after being introduced to them by 2 very good polish friends who live here in Berlin. I have sort of ignored the band until a few months ago, and I was so overwhelmed by their music I cursed myself for not listening to them properly before!
When it comes to Siekiera, I have noticed a similar tendency in Polish post punk to repeat words during the song, and not singing really lyrics, rather making a cluster of words which builds a certain atmosphere within the song. I find this very mysterious, I´ve never encountered this sort of thing in other post punk bands (aside from Belgrado who have a lot in common with Siekiera in my opinion).

Siekiera / Bez konca (no end)

Siekiera (translated as ax, btw) have their early punk period and the late new wave period. I haven´t listened to their punk period, but from people who love the band I understood that you either love this or that.

Siekiera / Ja stoje, ja tancze, ja walcze (I stand, I dance, I fight)

Here is another favorite of mine from the album Nowa Aleksandrija.
I am waiting for the day I can DJ this song:
Siekiera / Ludzie wschodu (people of the east)

I really recommend listening to the entire album Nowa Aleksandrija, as every song there stands out. You can listen it on youtube here.

This is all for now, till the next Zimna Fala post, as there are some more gothy and even dub inspired post punk bands which I would love to share.

N. Finsternis

7 December 2014

Impressions of Wroclaw and more Return To The Batcave memories

During the second day of the Return To The Batcave festival we had a chance to take a walk in the center of Wroclaw (Breslau?). I wasn´t expecting much of Poland, thinking I will see the stereotypical post soviet union land shaft, but I was luckily wrong with my assumptions and Wroclaw, which was a German city turned to be a magical place with colorful doll-like houses, much history and magic.

I then hugged a chicken.
The center of the old town revealed a christmas market. it was very beautiful though very cold.

I absolutely loved the city and would love to return there again.
The festival itself left a few band-highlights as well. From the remarkable performance of the Polish Joanna Makabresku which I didn´t know before, the kicking ass gig of The Mescaline Babies (killer pogoing was guaranteed, the guys nailed it, they were amazing live!) and new discoveries such as the Polish Alles who played very minimal yet energetic synth wave, 
I was overall very impressed by the choices of bands, mixing post punk, deathrock and contemporary wave music giving each sub-sub genre it´s fair place on stage. Totenwald rocked as well, from reviews I heard they were liked by the crowd, cheers for that!

And then there was the other less sober part of the night: sharing a hostel room with Soror Dolorosa, being sensually kissed on the forehead by their bass player (as a result? who knows...) meeting very amusing and lovely goth people and just hanging out backstage with friends was absolutely amazing.

And then this bigos and goulash happened:

courtesy to the lovely Anoli Nicure
I have been drowning in Polish post punk music ever since the festival, thanks to Ra who has been introducing me to some amazing bands. I would so love to write a post about all of them, but more research and youtube digging shall be made before I do that.
But here´s a taste:

N. Finsternis

3 December 2014

Outft of Return To The Batcave Festival

What a weekend we had in Wroclaw! Great live acts, amazing people, delicious food and lots of booze. This and many more, as I cannot sum up the experience of the festival in just one post!
I had so much fun and I would love to come back there again. Tomas Woodraf who organized the festival is doing a huge favor to the scene indeed.

Here are some pics of our outfits for the festival. Being away from home and given the cold temperature I ended up wearing the same outfit to both days, simply because I wanted to stay comfortable. And well, a nice outfit could have been ruined thanks to the killer pogo we had. I am still bruised ever since!

a pic from the first day
I proudly wore my Totenwald shirt the entire time, might as well work as a mascot for the band! 

On the first day I also met the beautiful Ra the Lumpensammler and Lucienne, both have awesome bloggs you should check out! How exciting it is to meet bloggers for the first time!

I also met Joanna Invisiblemartyr for the first time in person. I really love her photography works on DeviantART, you should check her out if you haven´t already!

Here are pics from the second day, before Totenwald played their gig and before another massive alcohol consumption.

I really loved the venue of the festival, which was a kind of squat spread on 2 buildings, so that one served as a concert on the first floor and the backstage on the second, and the other as a bar and merch room. 

I only slightly altered my makeup each day. Sleeping with teased hair and teasing it again the day after seems like a good recipe for everlasting huge hair. I don´t miss bringing it back to normal though XD

I will write a following detailed post about the gigs I loved the most and impressions of the beautiful Wroclaw which we had a chance to browse on the second day. I am still so happy that I had a chance to visit the festival, I met so many nice people and made new friends, the atmosphere was just right!

N. Finsternis