понедельник, 16 сентября 2013 г.

Los Treinta Principales. #27. The New Raemon "Libre Asociacion"

#27. The New Raemon "Libre Asociacion" (p)2011 BCore Disc

In the end of 90's the Barcelonian Ramon Rodriguez started the band Madee, and that was the time when he - as many of his peers - have chosen the english lyrics as the way to spread his vision to the world. And it took almost 10 years for him to change the template. In the middle of 00's he appeared solo - now under the moniker The New Raemon, and while the stage name was english again the lyrics were not.
"Libre Asociacion" is the most accomplished album of Ra(e)mon to date, and it contains the fully arranged songs - unlike its mostly acoustic predecessors "A Proposito de Garfunkel" & "La Dimesion Desconocida" - with the wide pallette of instrumentation. When you start listening to this album you quickly may consider the opening title "La Bella y La Bestia" the best song ever penned by Ramon. But until the album ends you may change your mind at least three times, finally establishing "El Refugio De Superman" as the best one (in fact, "Libre Asociacion" has no bad songs at all).

The best songs: La Bella Y La Bestia, El Refugio De Superman, Kill Raemon, La Vida Regalada

Los Treinta Principales. #28. Second "Fracciones De Un Segundo"

#28. Second "Fracciones De Un Segundo" (p)2009 DRO Atlantic

The remarkable voice of Sean Frutos is the trademark of Second, the band from Murcia. "Fracciones De Un Segundo" was the 1st album of the band fully sung en castellano (the previous effort "Invisible" was a mix of songs sung in English and Spanish). Starting from the majestic hit "Rincon Exquisito" and throughout the album "Fracciones De Un Segundo" delivers great pop/rock tunes with strong danceable potential ("Rodamos", "Todas Las Cosas", "Dicen"). But the most winning moments are the songs which are coloured with sadness and/or built on the contrasting bittersweet emotions, such as "Nuevos Secretos", "Para Bien O Para Mal" and especially "Mas Suerte", another gorgeous song situated close to the end of the album.

The best songs: Rincon Exquisito, Mas Suerte, Conocerte, Nuevos Secretos

четверг, 12 сентября 2013 г.

Los Treinta Principales. #29. Tulsa "Solo Me Has Rozado"

#29. Tulsa "Solo Me Has Rozado" (p)2007 Subterfuge

Led by Miren Iza, Tulsa were also from Basque Country. On their first longplay the band made an attempt to recreate the alternative country sound - and did it very authentically. In fact, you may expect it to be the album of some american band before Miren starts to sing. And her voice makes the great deal to make you fall in love with the songs.
Though thematically the album is mostly dark it doesn't sound moody. Free of any odd steps or studio trickery "Solo Me Has Rosado" is nevertheless bright, hopeful and full of great alt-country melodies.

The best songs: Carretera, Estupida, Limonakis, Tengo Hambre.

вторник, 10 сентября 2013 г.

Los Treinta Principales. #30. Delorean "Silhouettes"

I'm starting the new topic now.

For the past 6 years I've listened to approximately 500 albums by 150 artists/bands within 'rock en espanol' community. I suppose I can make some conclusions.

So, "Los 30 Principales" is underway.

#30. Delorean "Silhouettes" (p)2001 Underhill

Delorean were, in fact, the 1st Spanish band I’ve ever heard – it was their eponymous album in 2005. But before this band of Basque Country origin started playing their warm sunshine electronica (with which they reached almost universal acclaim in 2009 when "Ayrton Senna" EP was out) there was the initial 'rocking' period of the band marked only by "Silhouettes".
Starting with that simple riff that made Smashing Pumpkins glorious 8 years ago "Silhouettes" sounded like a mixture of New Order and Jimmy Eat World spontaneously adding to the mix the elements of jangle pop and melodic progressions more characteristic for... ummm... Elliott Smith?
Leaving aside Delorean's further achievements, this album can be considered fresh and warm and melodic and free of any possible las faltas provinciales. But in the discography of the band it is (and probably always will be) some kind of a bastard child.

The best songs: Break Concrete, Automatic, Mini Skirt Girls

пятница, 6 сентября 2013 г.

Sonorama Ribera 2013. The Report. Happylogue

In the final part I'd want to put out some additional thoughts on Sonorama. Tips or something like that.

First of all, I'd want to say that I could write it in Spanish. Pero si escribia esta cronica en espanol, la cronica seria preparada antes de la proxima Sonorama. So I decided to use English to speed up the process.

1. Schedule.

The fact that I have prepared the schedule with all the bands coloured three types (blue - obligatory, pink - maybe, white - no muy interesante) makes it possible to attend most of the shows at the first line before the stages. I may call it 'the competent planning'. But, in fact, having all the bands coloured three types prevented me from acquainting with the new musicians. Really, The Handicapes, Sin Rumbo and Garamendi were just the lucky coincidences. We should've not seen them at all because they were all white in my schedule. And we didn't see the shows of Pasajero, Izal, Jack Knife because there was no intention to see them - but these shows were amazing, as far as I know now.

2. Social networking.
All these new technologies became very useful, really. Now you can always be in touch with all the possible changes of the schedule or know what's up for the next night - or, more likely, what WAS up for the moments you have slept over. Or learn that Garamendi is not Llum. But remember that constant posting or streaming really kills the espiritu of the moment. You may become involved into networking more than into simple enjoying the shows. Not the best way, I suppose.

3. Communication.
It's always useful to communicate with the people around you. For us, it was a bit harder as we're not the native speakers. I met no trouble in buying a bottle of wine in the winery shop, or receiving a cup of tea in the hotel. But to talk with the girls and the guys you run into casually - it's pretty hard even taking in mind that 90% of people around are knowing more than you about what's going on here and there and elsewhere. Learn Spanish, you lazy dude.

4. Photo camera.
It was a bit disappointing for us to have our Canon camera banned - especially if to know that we had purchased it for Sonorama. I believe that it's a kind of inevitable, but for us who made it for 4000 km. (5,5 hours in a plane and 1,5 hour in a car) to get here and and to finally lose the main operating tool leaving us with only the poor-quality mobile photos as the snapshots of our memories it's anyway a bit frustrating.

5. Life.
'La vida es aquello qe pasa entre Sonorama y Sonorama' (Life is what passes between one Sonorama and another) says the slogan of the festival. No lie. I do confirm.

6. People.
Finally, just look at the happy people.

четверг, 5 сентября 2013 г.

Sonorama Ribera 2013. The Report. Day 3, 17.08.2013. El final and other hesitations - Part 2

We missed the show of McEnroe so the 1st band we saw in the evening were Barcelonians Stay. Stay are the britpop act with the psychedelia touches, and as for me their presence on the main stage was kinda difficult to explain. The venue was definitely too large for these guys. I don't want to say they were bad or playing poorly or anything. No, they were playing well and bandleader Jordi Bel was really good in stretching the psychedelic vibe out of his guitars - but it was really too large for them. Plaza del Trigo or Carson Camping would be much more appropriate.


Havalina is one of the bands whom I really adore. But for Tanya, they seemed to be too loud to fall in love with before Sonorama. So the Castilla y Leon stage was lucky for loud bands this year. And two of us were on the first line of defence again - we were standing pressed to the security bars right in front of the bass player Ignacio Celma
In terms of the playing techniques all three members of the band - Manuel Cabezali, Ignacio Celma & Javier Couceiro - were amongst the best musicians on the fest. Their control over the sound they made was almost unbelievable. They produced such the solid wall of sound that it would be undistinguishable for many bands of larger 'capacity'. We were absolutely stunned during their show. We were so stunned that even did not noticed how the man behind the scene turned them off while they were in the very beginning of "Incursiones" due to they got out of timing so the rest of the song was some kind of unplugged with the audience singing all the lyrics.


After the unforgettable set of Havalina we started running to the escenario principal - started and... all of a sudden stopped at the same moment. In the falling curtains of the dusk we saw the 'footballfieldful' sea of people who were just standing there. All of them were awaiting for Xoel Lopez. So the mean plan to get to the stage as close as possible fell apart.
Xoel Lopez is the reason I'm here. Not only in Sonorama. Globally 'here'. This is the musician who, performing under the alias Deluxe opened for me the door to the world of the spanish indie music. Searching for his recordings in Internet I had discovered all the rest of the bands I love now. So this would be the heartwrenching moment for me. And it was, really. Xoel and his band were playing, and I was standing in the middle of the crowd with my eyes shut and listening to his voice not being able to make a single move. The set consisted mostly of the songs from Xoel's lates release "Atlantico" with only one new song and only one song from his past days (it was gorgeous "Historia Universal"). And his supporting band was so harmonious that there was no single wrong note in the whole hour-long show. And Xoel's artistic magnetism kept the crowd as the whole entity with the thousands of hearts beating as one.

Xoel Lopez

Then was the time for us to spend a couple of sonos for sparkling water and calimocho. Our legs were crying for us to give them some rest so we placed our tired bodies on a sidestep against the FutureStars stage, where we noticed the band playing in there. The band was good, so we stood up again and came in. According to the schedule this would be Llum. I had never heard about this band before so it was another good discovery for me (later that night that band revealed to be Garamendi, not Llum). We had made some jerky dance for half an hour anf then came to Castilla y Leon for The New Raemon


For the last couple of years Ramon Rodriguez is acting in the close connection with the band Maga from Sevilla, and here they were promoted as The New Raemon & Maga. Before their show started we had to listen to the part of Standstill set. Standstill is the renowned band who began in 90's as 2nd wave emo act but lated changed the direction and started making music with post rock-tinged chamber pop in its core base. What the fuck were they playing there I could not understand. It was something tribal, with doubled drumkit on the stage, dense strumming of acoustic guitar, all very repetitive and disturbing. Sorry, not my kind of music at all.

The New Raemon & Maga were the opposite thing. With the whole bunch of the good songs where the Ra(e)mon's songs were interleaved with Maga's power-pop singalongs this show was driving and upbeat. Both acts were very warmly received by the audience. But at the end of the show we hardly could stand on our feet. Fatigue have knocked us down to the ground, and three Supersubmarina songs ago the Sonorama Ribera 2013 was over for us.

The New Raemon y Maga

It's a pure grief and disappointment that we have lost the chance to watch the show of L.A. and now I am deemed to cope with it. The only reason to lower the grade of self-disappointment is the fact of L.A.'s "Dualize" album purchase on the mercadillo

And for the most part, that's all.

среда, 4 сентября 2013 г.

Sonorama Ribera 2013. The Report. Day 3, 17.08.2013. El final and other hesitations - Part 1

Day 3 schedule: 
Plaza del Trigo: Igloo, Angel Stanich, Izal. 
Red Bull: Tres Notas Project, La Doble Fila, Raisa, Mi Pequena Radio. 
Carson Camping: Andres Garrasparri, Sethler. 
FutureStars: Margot, Musst H, Trajano!, Garamendi, Llum, Wiggum, Los Madison, Ultima Experiencia. 
Castilla y Leon: McEnroe, Havalina, Pony Bravo, The New Raemon & Maga, L.A. 
Ribera del Duero: Stay, Xoel Lopez, Standstill (presenta Cenit), Supersubmarina, Estereotypo. 

 The 3rd day of Sonorama should start for us at midday with Igloo. Then would be some time to walk along the town before the set of Mi Pequena Radio on the Red Bull. Carson Camping aside, in the evening we should be on the first line at the Castilla y Leon stage, where Havalina would destroy our ears with the possibly loudest show of the 16th edition of Sonorama. Then - Xoel Lopez, el unico man of sorts. And after Xoel's there would be only three obligatory POIs for us: The New Raemon & Maga, Supersubmarina and L.A. We were not prepared to the fact that saturdays are the dias de mercado in Aranda. So we had lost some time searching for appropriate parking place. 
When we came to Plaza del Trigo Igloo were already there. The band was plugging in, the technical personnel was sticking the Sonorama stickers along with Carson ones on the equipment. Then the band started playing. They played 3 songs and then abruptly stopped playing and walked off the stage. People got stuck unconscious. Minutes had passed away, at least one third part of the crowd seemed to pass along with the minutes. It was good for us so we could get much closer to the stage. The stage was empty for 8 or 10 minutes. I have noticed that there were 9 songs in the set list - as long as the set list was at the arm's lenght from my eyes. So the band finally walked from behind and started playing. With four albums (and one EP where they covered not less than "Twin Peaks theme") in the back catalogue they had plenty of great songs to play. Led by the charismatic leader Beni Ferreiro the band was as powerful as intimate. Beni looked pretty shy saying 'Somos Igloo' to the crowd. Also, he mentioned the trainwreck tradegy in Santiago de Compostela as the band members are the province of Galicia natives, and dedicated a song to the victims. The consistensy of the band's sound and the quality of songs quickly made Tanya the massive fan of Igloo as a whole and of Beni Ferreiro personally.

After the show we had some time to kill before the next stop. We walked down the river Duero to have a can of beer (me) and of orange drink (Tanya). When we came to the Red Bull Tour Bus the sun was in zenith ruthlessly burning the skins of the spectators who were pressing themselves into the walls of the houses. Mi Pequena Radio was the fourth band (the first three were Deluxe, Love Of Lesbian and Tulsa) I had discovered in rock en espanol years ago when their first album "Esquiando Hacia Arriba" was out. Having the new album issued less than a year ago this band led by 'migrant bird' (Huesca -> Madrid -> Barcelona -> back to Madrid) David Tabuena was one of the last ones to be confirmed for Sonorama 2013. As I have mentioned before, the Red Bull Tour Bus escenario was really the bus, so the musicians should get on it for the show and later get down after the show - and in that moment one could manage to interact with them.Taking this in mind I got one more matryoska for David. Mi Pequena Radio had the brief stint of popularity earlier this year when the glorious Iker Casillas, the goalkeeper and the captain of the national football team posted the video for the song "Valor Galactico" in his Facebook page, and the next day marked the 20,000 youtube views for this video. David and his guys played the songs mostly from the latest LP called "Donde Esta Lo Que Un Dia Fuimos" for the empty square and the audience somewhere in the shadows. I considered it not fair for such a great band doing such the great work and for the hit "Valor Galactico" I stepped off the shadows in the center of square and made a song-long tribal dance. Sadly, my heroic performance was less than well-documented by anyone including my beloved wife.
Mi Pequena Radio onstage
When the band stopped playing I placed myself closer to the ladder on the rear side of the bus. David came down, I came to him shouting "David!!!" and put the matryoska in his hand. He looked really surprised to know that his band had the fans in the dark and snowy Russia. Tanya came and hugged and kissed him, and finally we took a photo together. It was fine.
  David & me

вторник, 3 сентября 2013 г.

Sonorama Ribera 2013. The Report. Day 2, 16.08.2013. Travelling and running - Part 2

When Jero Romero and his band walked off the stage we came closely to the stage trying to occupy the best places before Travis show. It was the 2nd Travis show we attended and it had all the remarkable moments of this band's arsenal: full-band strumming on the same acoustic guitar while performing "Flowers In The Window", Andy Dunlop's walk (limited by the lenght of the guitar cord) through the people during "All I Wanna Do Is Rock", and obligatory audience jumping in the last chorus of "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" This band is really fine onstage. Fran Healy is pretty good in interacting with the public ("My Spanish is not good so I will talk to you in Scottish"). And all the new songs from the new album "Where You Stand" are mostly good. When the show came to an end no one walked away disappointed.


There was some time for us to spend before Pumuky. We might walk to Castilla y Leon to look at Delafe y Las Flores Azules or stay at Ribera del Duero and kill some time with the hot indie darlings Lori Meyers - but instead we made a short run to the car to leave there the bag with CDs and t-shirts which irritaded me so much. When we run to the car, Delafe y Las Flores Azules caught our attention so when we returned to the 'recinto ferial' we watched the end of their show. Their music had some similarities to England's punk leftists Chumbawamba - full of the hip-hop singalongs flowered with the beautiful voice of the female vocalist Helena (who is in fact 'Flores Azules' in the band name) and remarkable stage behaviour of the male vocalist Oscar (who is 'Delafe').

Pumuky is the outstanding band for me. Spearheaded by Jair Ramirez, this quintet makes music so somber and so sad that you can never imagine that it was born in such the heavenly place as Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Their 2nd LP called "El Bosque En Llamas" ("The Forest In Flames") topped almost all the possible Spanish indie charts in 2009 (as long as entered my own Spanish indie rock all-time top10 at 3rd position) and the band became a kind of sensation while their presence on the mainland music festivals was still limited. The 3rd effort "Plus Ultra" was issued in 2011 and it marked the widening of musical pallette as band had incorporated the elements of dreampop and pure shoegaze to their core base of the mournful folk rock mixed with synths and even theremin. Me and Jair became amigos in Facebook not so long before the Sonorama, so me and Tanya prepared some pequeno regalito for him. The absence of the security gap between the FutureStars stage and the audience fitted well for the transfer of the regalito. We only had to wait when the show ended.
First of all, the band faced some trouble when plugging in and tuning. This delayed the show for 10-15 minutes giving the band less time to perform.
Sad and detached on the albums, Pumuky stayed the same live. But while their albums are mostly quiet, en directo they gave us the full-blown three-guitar swirl that could make the bands like A Place To Bury Strangers or God Is An Astronaut jealous. We stood right in front of the monitors, and every punching beat of the drums has tossed the quantums of life out of our bodies. It was not the show - it was the experience.
I suppose, there was the largest audience for FutureStars, and all the people was as shocked and amazed as were we. We all shouted 'Escenario principal!!!' three times as long as the band surely deserved much larger audience. And then the show ended, and guys just walked away and that's all.


"What..." - could only say I. The regalito (now revealed to be the tiny matryoska) was still in my pocket and there was no one to give it to. A couple of minutes we just stayed there being not able to make a move. And then the band came in and began to unplug the instruments. Jair was in 1,5 meters from me. "Jair!" - shouted I. He raised his head, and I threw the matryoska at him. He caught it and without a glance put it in his pocket. "What..." - could only say I, again. But at that moment Tanya shouted 'Rusiaaaaa!' - and it worked well catching his attention. He just understood who was throwing things at him. We just waved hands, shook hands - but it was enough for me and Tanya to become absolutely happy.

But the night was still not over. So we should move quickly to attend Miss Caffeina show.
With the new album "De Polvo Y Flores" ("Of The Dust And Flowers") the band distinguished almost unbelievable level of melodicism. The songs 'Gigantes', 'Venimos', 'San Francisco' and especially 'Hielo T' got such the armour-crashing choruses that it seemed like the band had wrote them for the pan-universal song contest where Miss Caffeina would be the only contestant from planet Earth.
The members of Miss Caffeina looked onstage like the glamourized hipsters - with the glittering guitar belts, pink drumkit plastics and the superhero make-up of the singer Alberto. But the songs were really great, and "Hielo T" was the perfect ending for this massive gig.

Miss Caffeina

Honestly, we could withstand only four songs of the 2nd day headliners Dorian because at that moment they started playing we got absolutely exhausted. The Ribera del Duero stage was upgraded especialy for them, and it was all beautiful around with all these blue and violet lights but... It was 3 a.m. and I could only quote Det. Murtaugh: "I'm too old for this shit". Sorry, Dorian, we will catch you later.


Sonorama Ribera 2013. The Report. Day 2, 16.08.2013. Travelling and running - Part 1

As long as we came here only for 4 days we needed some time to spend it for travelling around and sightseeing. The 2nd day of Sonorama perfectly fit for this intention because all the important bands were gathered in what I called 'the main unit' giving us half a day free of duties. So we travelled to Valladolid and spent a couple of hours walking the streets of the town, and on the way back we made another one hour-long stop in Penafiel town, a home to such famous bodegas as Protos and Arzuaga, amongst others.



The day 2 schedule was as follows:

Plaza del Trigo: Banda de Turistas, Tuya, Jack Knife.

Red Bull: Dune, Sick Devils, Sharon Bates, The Panteras.
Carson Camping: El Capitan Elefante, Plank, Wolrus.
FutureStars: Mummuc, The Chinese Birdwatchers, Alis, Dehra Dun, Pantones, Egon Soda, The Tea Servants, Pumuky, Perro, Capsula.
Castilla y Leon: Tokio Sex Destruction, Leon Benavente, The Corner, Delafe y las Flores Azules, Miss Caffeina.
Ribera del Duero: Cyan, Jero Romero, Travis, Lori Meyers, Dorian.

The marathon should start for us from the show of Cyan, then Leon Benavente, then back to Ribera stage for Jero Romero, then short timeout, then Travis, then Delafe y las Flores Azules, then another run to FutureStars for my personal favourites Pumuky, while the successive shows of Miss Caffeina and Dorian long after midnight should celebrate the end of our day. That was an intention.

So the marafon had started from mercadillo. As long as I'm not the mp3-pirate anymore I'm always in the state of the rage searching for new CDs (and thank you God for not making me a vinyl die-hard) so I couldn't just walk through and then away. 70 Euros ago we came to Cyan show with 3 CDs and 3 t-shirts more.

"Delapso", the 3rd album of Cyan, made some kind of a splash in Spanish rock community this year, taking the band from relative obscurity into relative recognition. While Cyan is on the same plate with Sin Rumbo in terms of musical progress, the presence on the much bigger venue (possibly due to the contract with BMG) did not spoiled their show. The band looked potent and viable though the audience they played for was not so large. We missed the start of the show but when we came we easily approached the security bars before the scene and then were standing, jumping and dancing in front of the bandleaders Javi Fernandez and Gorka Dresbaj carrying out their performance duties.


The next point of interest for us was the show of the new sensational supergroup Leon Benavente gathered around the person of Abraham Boba, renowned multi-instrumentalist of the Nacho Vegas supporting band's fame. The band recorded and issued an album in 2013 but one might face some hardships in trying to listen to the recorded material still the album is not on sale and only the single "Animo, Valiente" is available as of now (UPDATE: the album is up for free download from Marxophone label site - you should only subscribe for newsletter).
As far as the music of Leon Benavente is strict and cohesive in studio (as we might know from the only possible source - aforementioned "Animo, Valiente") so it is absolutely outrageous onstage. The show was fully centered at Abraham Boba whether he was sitting with his 'Farfisa' on the very right side of the stage or standing with the guitar in front of the crowd. His behaviour could be described as explosive - with occasional tribal jumps, gutar smashes, chair kicks and finally something that seemed like having sex with 'teclados' - all accompamnied with the loud thunder-like but tight music. And I could not imagine the members of Tachenko and Nacho Vegas' band could produce the music that would be absolutely out of their previous bands' system of coordinates! This was the shock, and it definitely was the positive shock.

Leon Benavente

The next show we have watched from afar as long as Jero Romero had already started performing when we came from Castilla y Leon stage to Ribera del Duero.
Jero Romero is the ex-vocalist of The Sunday Drivers, the band from Toledo who gained some internetional attention in the middle of 2000s with their brit-oriented indie rock sung in English. Now he is accompanied with the string of musicians including, for instance, Charlie Bautista, ex-member of Havalina who also have worked with Tulsa, Christina Rosenvinge, Nino y Pistola amongst others during last few years. Jero Romero's music is now far from the britpop euro-rock and based on the folk rock including the touches of blues and other related genres. And while the music itself was not our kind of pie, they played it so soulfully that we stuck in there for some time.

The crowd for Jero Romero

понедельник, 2 сентября 2013 г.

Sonorama Ribera 2013. The Report. Day 1, 15.08.2013. The arrival, the first impressions and disappointments

Sonorama is a multiple-staged festival with the daily schedule for almost 30 bands. In 2013 it had 7 stages divided for 3 units:
1. Old town unit: 2 stages - Plaza Del Trigo & Red Bull Tour Bus located in the old town of Aranda with operating time starting in midday.
2. Campus unit: 1 stage - Carson Camping located in the Park of General Gutierrez with operating time starting at 5 p.m.
3. Main unit: 4 stages - Ribera del Duero, Castilla y Leon Es Vida, FutureStars & Carpa Electronica in the 'recinto ferial' starting at 7 p.m.

The 1st day had something to offer us:
Plaza del Trigo: The Girondines, full, Pasajero.
Red Bull: Mine!, Para Normales, Los Zigarros.

Carson Camping: Los Nastys, Sin Rumbo.
FutureStars: Drow, 84, The Handicaps, Sexy Zebras, Santos, Autumn Comets, Kuve, Los Maranones, Klein.
Castilla y Leon: Los Tiki Phantoms, Solea Morente y Los Evangelistas, Mucho, Triangulo de Amor Bizzarro.
Ribera del Duero: Luis Brea, Jaime Urrutia, Belle & Sebastian, Loquillo, Mendetz

The most interesting ones from this list for us were, definitely, full, Los Tiki Phantoms, Mucho and Autumn Comets, not to mention Solea Morente y Los Evangelistas - the project of the daughter of the passed flamenco performer Enrique Morente and the supergroup Los Evengelistas consisting of the members of such the renowned bands as Los Planetas and Lagartija Nick.

First of all, the timeslot of our arrival in Madrid - plus time we should spend for driving from Madrid to Milagros, plus time we should spend for accomodation in the hotel - made the gig of full undistinguishable for us. 

First time in Aranda

So when we finally came to Aranda and entered the gate of old town there was some band playing on the Red Bull Tour Bus stage (and it was really the top of the tour bus as the scene) at the time when no one should be playing at all. And this band (unnamed for us) was really cool.

Me & the band on the bus top

The guys played fast as hell but melodic guitar-driven garage-like rrrrock using the microphone stands and the stage protection bars (preventing the musicians from falling from top of the bus to the ground) as the tools for playing their guitars at the final part of their gig.

Only the band

5 minutes on the festival, 1 and 1/2 songs - and I was already in love with this place!
The band finalized their show with the loud feedback drones and we came along the narrow brick-paved street to find the Plaza del Trigo stage empty.

That was OK but we had at least one problem - we did not know at all where to go to convert our printed confirmations of tickets purchase into the wrist tapes which should be used for the tickets. There were lots of people around who had already obtained them - but I was in trouble formulating the question even in Russian. ''Donde podemos..." - what?
We decided to follow the crowd, and the crowd appeared to approach the Park of General Gutierrez. At the gate to the park I noticed a guy and a girl who were unmistakingly defined as the servicemen. Pulling the printed tickets off my bag I run to them, shouting my famous ''Donde podemos...?" And somehow it worked. The guy have shown me the right direction adding the misterious term 'taquillas'. Despite my some nervous state of mind I understood almost 100% of his speech (except the aforementioned 'taquillas') and we followed the specified direction to find (from the 2nd attempt) the magic 'taquillas' which appeared to be the wooden booth with the smiling girls inside. One of the girls have made for us all we needed at the moment and we left the place absolutely happy with our white-and-silver wrist tapes on returning to the park to look at the bands Los Nastys & Sin Rumbo.

Tanya with the smiling girl in taquillas


Happy 2

The park was crowded with the tourist tents and the young people mostly slightly drunk on cheep beer and calimocho, the mix of red wine and cola.

Los Nastys didn't impress us at all. They played garage rock mixed with the light-weight version of latinocore, and they tried to diversify it with the convoluted bass lines, but the picturesque-looking bass player missed the timing too often, and the band sounded disorganized at times. Their 40-minutes set away, we were sitting on a bench awaiting the band Sin Rumbo who, as I had known from youtube, got at least one good song in their back catalogue.

Los Nastys

Sin Rumbo came onstage and started playing. During the 1st song Tanya came close to the stage to make some photos of the band. When she returned we looked on each other and both said 'Let's go dancing' because the band was really great. Not to say 'they got one good song' - they had no bad songs at all! The music was melodic, driving, cohesive and well-performed. The guitarist who looked as the twin brother of my good pal Danil Senchishin made the high jumps never missing a stroke. The guys were really cool and their show made us feel so happy we never thought we could be. And it was only the early evening!

Sin Rumbo

But the things went absolutely wrong a little bit later when we followed our steps to the 'recinto ferial' to enter the main stages territory. At the entrance we were banned for possession of the photo camera Canon EOS 60D which was considered 'professional'. We left our car too far to run to it, leave the camera and then come back - and while there were not so many bands interesting for us to perform at night we decided to return to the hotel to have the supper, drink some wine and have a good sleep before facing the next day which seemed to be much more eventful for us with the trip to Valladolid and the string of sets in the main unit of the fest.

P.S. The band we saw at the Red Bull revealed to be The Handicaps.

воскресенье, 1 сентября 2013 г.

Sonorama Ribera 2013. The Report. Day 0. Why Sonorama

Being hardcore spanish indie rock fan for the last seven years of my life I always wanted to do this. To look at my favourite bands live. The first five years of longing were clouded by the lack of funding (you know what I mean). In 2012 we (me and mi mujer Tanya) almost did it  - we have tried to attend the spanish indie music fest ManchaPop but it was cancelled in a week before due to poor tickets sales. So the choice for the current year was based on the following precautions:
1. The relatively large renowned festival with the history (to minimize the risks of cancelation).
2. Mostly domestic lineup (not to mess up with zillion of international stars which are none of my interest).

'The chosen few' were: PortAmerica (Nigran), Contempopranea (Badajos) & Sonorama (Aranda). And Sonorama won due to its more convenient location. Also, Aranda is the co-capital (along with Penafiel town) of D.O. Ribera del Duero - the wine region famous for its red dry Tempranillo wines.
So, the preparations were made: the schedule, the map, the tickets, the rented car awaiting us in Madrid Barajas airport and the booked room in a hotel of Milagros (tiny little pueblo near Aranda) . Let's start!