Saturday, August 11, 2007

remotecast:random remote 02082007

An utterly random podcast. The second hosted by podomatic. As usual, I intend to do more, sometime.
ryoji ikeda - zero degrees
amparanoia - en algun lugar
regina spektor - summer in the city
clint mansell/chronos quartet - ghosts of things to come
warsaw village band - matecka (at my mother's - remix)
lars pellarin - an of
tujiko noriko - robot hero (live)
nina simone - the other woman
matera - same everywhere
propeller - untitled
sigur ros - svo hljott
artie shaw - comes love
amorph - loss
yann tiersen - la dispute
rokia traore - sara
bad sector - alvin 1953
nymphs - death of a scenester
heather nova - talk to me


Location:Vigeland Sculpture Park

Sunday night I arrive in Oslo, a flight to Torp, and a bus from Torp to Oslo which takes longer than the flight itself. And I get a text from Aisha, "its going to be sunny tomorrow, rain the rest of the week - suggest you go to Vigeland". I look at my freshly bought map, Vigeland is about 10 minutes from my hotel i guess. Sounds like a plan.

I wander round, looking forward to the Sculpture Park, ignorant of what Vigeland is - an area of Oslo? That would be me guess. Instead, Vigeland was a Norwegian artist - born April 11, 1869 – died March 12, 1943. Oslo is full of his work, as you explore the city, there is a good chance of stumbling upon one of his many pieces. But it is no surprise that the Sculpture Park and Vigeland Museum are Oslo's top tourist attraction.

The sprawling park is full of sun bathers, this Monday lunch time, people just taking it easy. As I work my way to the centre of the park, I start to get my first impression of just what I am getting into. Through the park there is a river, over the river is a bridge, every couple of feet along the structure of the bridge is a statue by Vigeland - mostly a naked figure or two, men and women, serious and gleeful, angry children, laughing adults. Across the bridge the park opens up, flower beds, leading to a large fountain. Four giants hold the fountain's bowl on their backs, water flowing across their naked bodies. Again every couple of feet round the edge of the fountain we have statues by Vigeland. This time each is a tree, with naked figure amongst the branches, lovers, the dying, children playing.

Stairs lead upwards. Squares of grass, lined with benches, some more subtle fountains, and wrought iron gates depicting men and women. Once you get to the top, you come to the master piece. The colossal monolith. A finger that reaches for the sky, dozens of bodies, layered together, crawling, climbing, men, women, young and old. A strange and impressive piece, surrounded by circles of stairs, and in sets equidistant round the centre piece more of his statues, groups interacting. From the metal of the bridge statues to the stone of the monolith, we have the sum of Vigeland's work, the emotion and strength of his figures.

I loved it. I spend a good number of hours in the park. Taking pictures. Studying the sculptures. At times just sitting on a bench, reading, enjoying the sunshine, and the constant bustle of people. Before having a particularly late lunch in one of the handful of cafes within the park.


Support:holy fuck
Venue:ABC, Glasgow, Monday 25th June 2007

I was reminded in conversation the other night that I never actually wrote about the Deerhoof gig in June, one of a number of things that I have intended to catch up on. Despite having known about this gig for months, the decision to actually go along was something of a last minute one. Currently I get up at 6am for work, so I have to think about how late a gig might finish on a Monday night before deciding whether I can make it or not. As such, it was the Saturday afternoon when I decided to take a wander into the ticket office. Doubt crept in when the band were no longer listed on the wall, when I asked the reply was hesitant - how many tickets do you need? One. Oh, ok, we've got one. Turning up on the night, it was clear I had just made it, the banner across the front of the venue "Deerhoof- Sold Out".

Often I will turn up at gigs really early, even when I did not actually intend to. So this night, I made an effort, sick of standing around for ages waiting for delayed doors to open, or for average support bands to appear. Turning up a good half hour over the doors time, I arrived to find I had just missed one of the support bands, and that the second Holy Fuck were about to go on. With piles of electronic gear on a couple of table tops, and a backing rhythm section, I formed certain expectations of the band from the start. Which were not met. For all the gear, they might as well have been the most average of four piece indy rock bands. A few token gesture, cliched, vocal samples to start pieces, and then they sank into electronic rhythms which suggested nothing new or interesting.

Deerhoof are a three piece, who I have heard one album by, along with the stray track here or there. But I admit, I am not especially familiar with them, deciding to go along mainly for the sake of seeing a live band. After the clutter of Holy Fuck, they seemed to have a much more minimal stage presence. John Dieterich the guitarist took the typical drum position on stage, middle and to the rear, while the drummer Greg Saunier was set up to the far right of the stage, and singer/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki was set up on the far left. The attention focuses on Satomi Matsuzaki, being the vocalists, and the bouncy, quirky element of the band, though at times, given her height she seemed to disappear behind a sea of too tall people. Between tracks Saunier and Dietrich would offer random banter, with "funny" members of the audience talking back.

The gig was reasonably fun. I was surprised by how familiar i felt with a lot of the material, given that I wouldn't have suggested I particularly knew the band's material. Even for a sold out gig, the venue didn't feel too busy, and there was a generally good atmosphere through out.

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