That was the month that was: April in music and stuff

Pew, another month goes by and as summer approaches I am feeling the slightly terrifying pressure that a year going by without major changes puts on twenty-somethings with no real outlook. Anyways, despite that I enjoyed the first warm days and despised the first truly hot days when my pores turned into geysers and my skin crumbled like bacon in a pan.

I did quite a few interviews, most of which where on what you call ‘Promodays’, meaning that some poor musicians travel miles and miles only to talk to journalists the whole day long. Young aspiring musicians out there, this is the point where you decide that this job at the cafe around the corner is actually a wise choice.

Here a couple of nice things about these interviews:

– Crocodiles complimented me on my cheap-ass sneakers which was great because they are very comfortable but – to me – looked slightly uncool. But if a kickass Shoegazeband tells you otherwise, you got a free pass.

– Eugene McGuinness made me feel very underdressed because he has a very dashing appearance

– If you ask musicians about the most embarrassing albums they ever bought, chances are high that they will name one of your favourite bands (what the fuck is wrong with Pearl Jam?).

– Even nice clubs can have horrible “Hostel”-like backstage areas with a lot of weird mirrors that seem to invite everyone to an occult séance with some virgin sacrifice.

– Tired musicians not necessarily make for bad interview partners

One band that was there for an actual concert was Maps & Atlases and although I haven’t mentioned them on this blog before, I will say that these guys are magical. They do a weird mixture of mathrock (or what I always compare to Frank Zappa’s less humorous and more technical pieces) and pop which makes for something incredibly seldom: very fickle guitar and rhythm parts with some of the most beautiful melodies you’ll hear this year. Their current album is called “beware and be grateful” and even has some songs that channel a little 80s pop but only in the good and refreshing way.

(such calm and melancholic songs are quite unusual for them but I like the direction, this song is incredibly gorgeous)

Maps & Atlases are also a very peculiar band. I would call it the musical version of being unphotogenic. What’s that, you ask? Well, dear reader, there is something weird happening when you watch them playing live on youtube and co. They do play their songs quite straight forward and they are not really what you would call stage personas. So on video that makes for some rather dull-ish experiences. However, even though I was fearing that the live show would turn out the same it was completely different because there is an energy at their concerts that is truly captivating and a lot of people danced, so if they ever play somewhere near you, I would definitely recommend it, the atmosphere during their concerts is very intense and happy throughout.

I started to read a couple new books which marks the number of unfinished books in my household around the dozen. I got on to “Gangs of New York” after I read about the book at Kate Beaton’s tumblr. The book is hilarious and if you ever search for great band-, gang- or characternames, this is the book for you, the number of awesome names that actually existed is so high that you will immediately hate nowadays criminals for not having so much suave as the guys back in the days.

Bowery Boys, Dead Rabbits, Roach Guards, Mose the Fireboy, Sadie the Goat, Daybreak Boys, Patsy the Barber, Cow-legged Sam McCarthy, Slobbery Jim, Hop along Peter, Pugsy Hurley, Tom the Mick…I could go on, it’s awesome.

I also started “I am Legend” which I got from a colleague who probably already is wondering why it takes me weeks to read a book of merely 160 pages. What can I say, I love the story but the writing style is not my favourite. Either that or my mind can’t focus on relentless self-pity and drunkenness. If I want that, I get a bottle of red wine and pretend I am my own therapist. I also read about 6 books simultaneously always, so…yeah.

I did finally manage to get through Stephen King’s “Full dark no stars”, though, and I am kind of cheating because I finished it on the bus ride back from Denmark wich was this month but fuck it, I want to talk about one thing that bugged me like hell about this book and it’s not King’s weird habit to have every single character get a phrase that they repeat over and over like a mantra (no one I know does this, seriously no one but in the King universe, everyone does it, it has become such an annoyance for me, like a writing stutter).

No, most of the stories deal with revenge and I am just very concerned about the way he portrays vigilantism. I am not a fan of killing someone who has done you wrong, I know that the legal system is not perfect but I oppose the death sentence very strongly because I think the moment I wish death on someone who wronged me or even execute that wish on that someone, I lose something and it will break me forever.

That might be naive and I understand victims and relatives, friends and family of victims that would commit murder for revenge but I hope that I never in my life feel that this would in any way make the world a better place. Ok, sorry for being such a downer, let’s pretend the last paragraphs didn’t happen and get on with it.

Speaking of vigilantism…

I got into “Dexter” this month, I remember that I started to watch the series when it started and then abandoned it because I thought it was a little ridiculous (which is somewhat stupid because I also watch “True Blood”). But Deborah – who I hated during my first attempt and still don’t like very much – is such a brilliant character that I am always astounded how tv people (who are not good with realistic characters) could create such an irritating yet so realistic character. Jennifer Carpenter is amazing and I really get why many people would think that Jennifer is exactly like Deborah because you never feel like she is acting a certain part. But she is and that’s why she is the bomb.

I generally like the writing of the show, sure, there are many moments that feel very contrived but in the end this is a very crass premise and in contrast to the almighty Mad Men that would suffer from any forced plot points, this one can use them without being annoying because in the end it is so extreme and over the top that we actually expect them.

(Whenever I watch this intro I have to think that he probably spends at least one hour each day preparing breakfast and then washing the pile of dishes because that is a lot of stuff he uses just for some eggs, bacon, coffee and orange juice)

Most of my favourites songs and albums this month were discussed, I think it’s fair to say that Young Colossus stole my heart but I also spend a lot of time with Tu Fawning’s beautiful sophomore “A Monument” which has the same epic proportions as Bat For Lashes who I always listen to if I want to feel like I am trapped in a dark fairy tale. I quite possibly will write an individual entry about them, so I leave it at that for now.

The invention of this month is somewhat vague this time but hear me out. I don’t smoke. I never did. But I consider to smoke every now and then for the mere fact that you a.) meet people when you smoke (you can laugh now but you will find deep within that this is true) and b.) always have something kind of cool looking to do when you are waiting on your own.

So, my idea for an invention would be something equally cool looking with less health damaging and I am not talking about the electric cigarette because that is really dumb. So, if anyone wants to team up with me and figure this out…

That was it. I am not too happy with this edition of “that was the month that was” but I had a lot of things to do in the last month and hope that the next version will be the chipper and confusing thing that it always is.

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