floatingleaf: (hutz)
Still working on updating my music collection. <3 Yesterday, I accidentally discovered this glorious piece of insanity:



Goran Bregovic, better known as an international film score composer than as a former rocker from the former Yugoslavia, in cooperation with Eugene Hutz, best known as the Ukrainian Gypsy punk rocker from New York.:D I had no idea they wrote (and performed) two songs together - though they are obviously a perfect artistic match, in many ways. Too bad they didn't do an entire album...

I'm too tired for a proper post tonight, but I just wanted to share this, because it made me LOL and basically turned a gray, murky December Sunday into a world music dance party.:) If you are too new to this journal to remember any of my enthusiastic posts about Hutz and his band Gogol Bordello, just take my word for this right now: I am a HUGE fan. *points at icon* ;D

(And a link to their website, just because: http://www.gogolbordello.com/)
floatingleaf: (gothic)
So, like I mentioned, several of my favorite musicians have new albums available for download on Soundike.com. One of them is Mirel Wagner. Her first album came out a few years ago, and captivated me instantly with its unique style. This - second one - is even better. She is clearly maturing as an artist, honing her seemingly effortless ability to create a powerful atmosphere with very minimalist arrangements (in most of the songs, the only two instruments you hear are her deep velvet voice and an acoustic guitar). She is, without question, my favorite type of singer/songwriter: one who can tell rich, complex stories with very few words. A true poet of amazing depth. Fortunately, I found some clips on YouTube, so I can illustrate my point.:) Here's a live performance from a Seattle radio station:



This is actually one of the "happier" songs on this album. A few others are very, very dark (just like on the first one). Looking at that fresh, young face, you can't help but wonder how she can possibly have lived long enough to have such intimate knowledge of so many aspects of human suffering. But since I have come to believe in reincarnation (and I have; which probably deserves a whole separate post, much like several other topics I haven't had a chance to touch upon in this journal so far), I can only conclude that she is an old soul.:)

Case in point - another excerpt from the same live performance:



And one more. Just a sweet little lullaby... or is it? More of a seductive epitaph, perhaps. At any rate - two minutes you will never forget:

floatingleaf: (crave)
This is just a FYI post. I have a new favorite singer. Wendy Rule. She's from Australia, and her music is simply magical. To quote her official website: Wild, passionate and empowering, Australian Visionary Songstress Wendy Rule, weaves together music, story and ritual to take her audience on an otherworldly journey of depth and passion. Drawing on her deep love of Nature and lifelong fascination with the worlds of mythology and Magic, Wendy’s songs combine irresistible melodies with rich aural textures and a rare personal honesty to create spiritual music. For once, this marketing blurb actually doesn't exaggerate.:) Here's a sample:



Just listen to THAT VOICE. It's fucking intoxicating. And some of her songs truly are a religious experience. She has a whole album titled Meditations on the Four Elements, which consists of precisely that: deeply calming, atmospheric soundtracks for the contemplation of air, fire, water and earth. Funny I should discover that just as I am beginning to explore my own interest in meditation and pagan spirituality. I wasn't necessarily looking for a guru or priestess... but it looks like I might have found one anyway.:P
floatingleaf: (music)
OK... here goes another Muse video. This one is actually fan-made, and it won a competition launched by the band. Pure genius. I couldn't resist sharing.



This is how the world works, and it needs to end. That is all.
floatingleaf: (Rossetti with harp)
You know how YouTube would "suggest" similar videos to the ones you're watching? Even if they're not really similar? In this case, there was one feature in common: the song was in French.:) I clicked on the pretty girl out of pure, shallow curiosity... and boom. Her voice pierced my insides with inconsolable longing.;) She sounds almost too angelic, too perfect, to the point where it borders on the saccharine... almost. But not quite. Or it doesn't quite cross that line for me, at any rate. You're welcome to judge for yourselves:



Wikipedia says she's a French singer, born in Paris, but of Algerian, Indian, Cambodian AND Egyptian descent. Ooookay. Sounds pretty uncommon - which is right up my alley. I just downloaded the full album (which appears to be her first one) from Soundike.com for $1.20. And it's all enchanting. They classify her as "Oriental pop" or "R&B", which sort of fits in places - but for the most part, I would say she's a French version of Enya.:) Which, from me, is a compliment.

Don't mind me, btw. I frequently self-medicate with music. I seem to be going through a French phase at the moment. It may or may not be coincidental. And just because I gush over something like a giddy schoolgirl, I am not automatically happy - but I am coping, and that is good enough for now.
floatingleaf: (music)
I wasn't planning on another post this weekend. But I must have spent hours today stalking this Stromae guy all over YouTube... and I absolutely HAVE to share this video. It's got to be one of my favorite songs of all time. Like, on my personal Top 40... or something. The amount of raw emotion this guy puts into his voice gives me the shakes. And there are English lyrics provided... which adds a whole another layer of awesome. <333



Of course, it's a heartwrenching song about a breakup. I have always had a soft spot for those. Or at least since my mid-twenties. Can't think of why..... *massive snort*
floatingleaf: (bridge)
So, I spent most of yesterday with the two friends mentioned in one of my recent posts, playing tourists in our own city. First we went to the Art Institute of Chicago, for the Magritte exhibition. I hadn't been to the Art Institute since 2006, so I took my time revisiting the permanent exhibits as well. There is a ton of interesting stuff to see in that place. We were there for a good few hours... Then we had late lunch/early dinner at the famous Exchequer Restaurant, which is nearby. After that, we strolled towards Lake Michigan and settled ourselves on the waterfront to wait for the 4th of July fireworks display. Which wasn't as grand as we expected, but still... I had never actually been to the official Navy Pier 4th of July fireworks, so there goes one item to check off the list of obligatory things to do in Chicago.;) After the show we all needed to use the loo, and there were no public restrooms nearby... so we went to the Miller Pub (another famous Chicago landmark) for desserts. I had an obscenely giant piece of tiramisu (which both my friends were happy to help me conquer, LOL) - and Agnes had a shot of cinnamon-flavored whiskey, which we also shared (it went perfectly well with the cake, I might add). By the time I got home, it was well past midnight...

I do hope we are going to get together more often in the near future. It feels good to hang out with people who pretty much take you as you are, with no veiled judgments or unrealistic expectations. Yes, we are all middle-aged women with various silly quirks and a lot of baggage. We are far from perfect and we know it - but we respect one another. No ego trips, power games or high drama acts in sight. What you see is what you get, from each of us. I always appreciated that, I think... but now I appreciate it more. For reasons, as some people like to say. *wry smirk*

Oh, and my friend Adriana introduced me to this awesome singer/songwriter/performer from Belgium - Stromae. He sounds like a modern, gender-fluid version of Jacques Brel. Simply delectable:

floatingleaf: (meadow)
I just realized I never finished my 30-day-meme - the one I've been doing, on and off, since 2010 - and there is only ONE topic left to finish it, and it just so happens that the topic fits with something I felt like sharing anyway. So, in the vein of happy coincidences, there you go.

Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail )

On an unrelated note (or perhaps not really), I have been rediscovering one of my favorite bands. The Waterboys. I just realized I only had an old, creaky cassette tape with some tracks from that legendary first album, Fisherman's Blues. So I looked them up on my fave download site (Soundike.com), and found a few gorgeous songs I had never heard before. Including this one:



I have a feeling a few people on my flist might really love it.:D

And another one - a live performance this time, because it's amazingly vibrant in this particular clip:



The sensual and the spiritual, combined. The very essence of the universe. I must be attracting some incredibly good energies lately for some reason...;)
floatingleaf: (vampire OTP)
We had another massive snowstorm last Tuesday night. So massive, in fact, that I didn't make it to work on Wednesday morning. Public transit just wasn't up to the task. *sigh* I did make it two thirds of the way there, eventually, but then was faced with the exciting prospect of waiting about an hour for the next bus... and so I hopped on the train back home instead.;P At that point, I was able to say that I had made and HONEST EFFORT, and felt no guilt about enjoying an unexpected day off.:D Which was, incidentally, a blessing, because I'd been up until about 2 a.m. the previous night. Unintentionally, of course - it's never intentional with me, I swear. It just HAPPENS. The fandom discussion on Dreamwidth was just too stimulating... LOL. [livejournal.com profile] burnadette_dpdl can attest to that. We both happened to be participating at the same time, seeing each other's comments pop up as we refreshed the page... and so, inevitably, at some point around midnight I received a text message telling me that we really should go to sleep.:) To which I replied that I honestly had no CLUE how it got to be so late... or something to that effect, LOL. And that I had actually meant to go to bed early that night, not having slept too well the night before. To which I received the following reply: SAME HERE EXHAUSTED WANTED TO GO TO BED EARLY AND THEN I WAS HELPLESSLY AT THE MERCY OF THIS ADDICTION.:D So yeah... we took some time discussing this obvious problem we have, and other things. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (violinist lestat)
Ahhh, Gods... life is a whirlwind of crazy at the moment. Work is getting hectic, and it shouldn't be, not at this time of year - I wasn't expecting that, and I do not approve. *scowls* We have a fucking PHONE CALL PROJECT (my favorite thing, right next to pushing a boulder up a steep hill, or poking myself in the eye with scissors, or... well, you get the picture). I may not actually feel suicidal because of it... but I am certainly pissed off. I almost wish the boss hadn't returned to the office after her surgery; it was so blissfully quiet while she was gone...

That's the bad crazy. The good crazy is my new enthusiastic VC friend, who is almost single-handedly trying to revive the semi-catatonic fandom, and doing a pretty good job of it, too.;) Read more... )

Oh, and another thing before I sign off: I've been itching for some new music, and I've found a perfect cure for that particular affliction.:) Abney Park. As recommended by [livejournal.com profile] meathiel. I just finished downloading over 40 tracks from Soundike.com. They are AWESOME. I have a feeling I'll be playing them to death over the next few weeks...:D

Here's a lovely fanvid to illustrate my point:



So thanks again, Kerstin. And feel free to throw more recs at me, whenever. Your taste in music is exquisite...;)
floatingleaf: (rockstar lestat)
Again, just a brief check-in because I feel bad about not being a very active LJ-er of late. I do read my flist, by the way - but I'm afraid I won't be doing much commenting in the forseeable future, unless someone posts something that absolutely REQUIRES a comment. Like I mentioned before, there has been a lot going on at my favorite comm over on Dreamwidth; and I'd rather invest my time in keeping up with that, because that's where my heart is at the moment.:) Read more... )
floatingleaf: (dreamy)
Bullet point update, because that's all my grey matter seems capable of at the moment...

1) The weather keeps acting confused. It was really nice and warm for a few days, but then it got cold, wet and gloomy all over again.:/ Then the sun came out, but hasn't brought any warmth so far. I wore my winter jacket yesterday and today. Unsurprisingly, the heating in my building was turned off during those few warmer days - and I don't think it's coming back. It's nearly the middle of May, after all. Usually, they shut it off sometime in April. I have my little space heater on at the moment, but it isn't doing a hell of a lot to keep me warm...

2) I managed to injure myself in a really stupid way. I tore a strip of peeling dead skin off my left heel, exposing a raw, sensitive spot - which caused me to put my foot down sort of sideways for the next 2-3 days, in order to avoid putting too much pressure on that sensitive area. Which, in turn, resulted in somehow messing up my knee.:/ It doesn't quite hurt, but it feels slightly swollen, and decidedly less flexible than the right one. I can walk OK on a flat surface, but I am sort of limping while going up or down the stairs.:| By the way, this reminds me why I don't wear high heels; if I am unable to comfortably rest my body weight on my entire foot, my knees get fucked up. I'll be sure to keep that in mind as I get older... *scowls*

3) I just finished going through the entire discography of Charis Alexiou on Soundike.com. Took me close to a week. )
Charis
floatingleaf: (crave)
Ehhh... my brain is just not cooperating this weekend. I thought I had so much to say, and I was going to make a long post last night... and then it just didn't happen.:/ Could be because there was TOO MUCH going on through my mind. I am in a classic premenstrual state of frenetic mental overdrive and high-strung emotions, and I have those endless paralell monologues bursting out of my skull that just go *POOF* when I try to write them down.:/ If that makes sense. Or rather, I know it doesn't, but that's just how it is. *sigh*

So, first I wanted to write about how suddenly the weather changed and how absolutely lovely it was to walk outside without a jacket. Then I wanted to write about the movie I watched on Friday night, because it was epic, and Heath Ledger was in it, and he just absolutely blew my mind. But I just ended up going through his profile on IMDB, reading all the interview quotes, and getting all gushy and emotional and wanting to cry because he's dead. So then I just wanted to post some of the quotes, and talk about how awesome the guy was, and how he would have made an absolutely PERFECT Lestat if he'd had the chance. Because OMG I can't even. But then I got distracted, because my favorite mp3 download site had a promotion that ended this weekend, and I had been meaning to look for some new music... and before I knew it, I had acquired a brand new obsession. Voltaire. As in, Voltaire the musician. This guy: )
floatingleaf: (crave)
And now for something completely different. Here's what I accidentally discovered while looking up something online. A new promising talent on the European music scene. Ifi Ude. Born in Nigeria. Raised in Poland. Currently working on her first album. Btw, this video was produced - in Poland - by an avant-garde film company run by two sisters with obviously Vietnamese names. It's such a small world, non?... *blinks in amazement*



Looks like my old country is moving forward.:) This is the aesthetic of a new, colorful, multicultural universe. This is the future. Oh, and I love her voice, by the way. *hums along*
floatingleaf: (rockstar lestat)
Well, a few more things before the weekend's over. The next week will be more of the same at work, so I may not feel particularly chatty in the evenings. Just saying.

Also, I do recall wishing someone had written a story that would include "missing scenes" from Interview with the Vampire. Well... someone did. I am reading it right now. Read more... )

And before I sign off for the night, here's my latest music addiction. Linkin Park. Yes, I know. A bit of a departure for yours truly. I never quite expected to like something that even vaguely resembles rap... LOL. But here it is, and it seems perfectly attuned to my emotions of late. You know, acting all calm and collected at the office all day, while there is a veritable storm of insecurity and frustration raging inside... it feels more or less like what this song is about:



At any rate, it feels good to be expanding one's musical horizons.:) Not that there aren't a few absolutely gorgeous ballads on their latest album, Living Things. My favorite one is probably Roads Untraveled... but I couldn't find a video for it. Anyway... I'll shut up now, and go to bed at a reasonable hour for once. *yawns*
floatingleaf: (crave)
Looks like taking tomorrow off was a very smart move. That winter storm I mentioned... it's probably going to roll through the area sometime tonight/tomorrow morning. Today was just wet and dreary, for the most part, but now the wind is really picking up. No snow so far, but I can feel through the cracks in my ancient windowframes that the temperature is dropping. Freezing rain is definitely one of my LEAST favorite things to be outside in, so I'll be more than happy to stay home until it blows over. Grocery shopping can wait until Saturday, which is supposed to be sunny and dry. Tomorrow I'll probably clean the place, decorate my tree (my evergreen potted plant, that is, which does a pretty good job of pretending to be a Christmas tree - I wouldn't bother getting a "real" one, I have no room for it anyway), dye my hair (which is long overdue), watch a movie... Then, either on Sunday night or Monday morning, I'll be heading over to my parents' house for two days of appalling gluttony.;D I'll let you know how well my stomach handled it this time.:P

Also, did I mention I can hardly wait for my new Lacrimosa CD?... I have managed to resist downloading the album so far, but of course I've been listening to samples on their website, and checking out videos on YouTube. For some reason, they are immensely popular in Mexico (though not in the US, as far as I can tell) - so there's a ton of fanvids of their songs with Spanish subtitles. Here's one of them:



I know the English lyrics sound a little awkward at times - that's pretty much the only thing about Lacrimosa that's not utterly perfect to me, btw. They're probably trying to be more accessible to an international audience - but I think including English translations of the lyrics in their CD booklets (which they've always done) is more than good enough for that purpose. Besides, you don't really need to understand every word in order to appreciate the music. Personally, I'd rather understand less than listen to lyrics that obviously need some corrections. But I'm famous for being a grammar nazi.;P Btw, I feel the same way when Polish rock/metal bands try to sing in English, with mixed results. Sometimes their original lyrics are quite good and ambitious, while the English versions sound awkward and simplistic. How is that supposed to be helping the band's image? I have a feeling it's the same way with Lacrimosa - when I read the translations of the songs originally written in German, I can tell they have a lot of depth despite the linguistic imperfections; but the ones written and sung in English are not nearly as interesting. That's just the lyrics, though; the music is unfailingly gorgeus throughout, and in the end, that's what really matters...
floatingleaf: (violinist lestat)
Just a little meme thingy that has been going around:



Your Name is Blue



Your name tells people that you are friendly and caring. You have a strong sense of empathy, and you aren't afraid to wear your heart for all to see.

You can often be found in quiet reflection. You rather think about something than act on it.



People see you as insightful and intuitive. You usually have a wise take on what's going on.

You try to rise above your instincts. You believe that it's important to live as good of a life as possible.




Interesting, since blue is my favorite color. And mostly accurate. I don't always "wear my heart for all to see" in direct human interactions - but I most certainly do here in this journal.:) Also, I'm not quite sure what they mean by "rise above your instincts" - if it's just a pretty way of saying that I hardly ever do anything impulsive, then yes, it would indeed be quite correct.:P

Which is going to sound quite amusing in light of the fact that I just bought four pairs of shoes. Yes, FOUR. )

See? I made a happy post about a mundane, "real life" subject.:) Not all hope is lost, it seems.:P But rest assured I will now promptly go back to reading vampire fanfic.:D Let me just share something inspiring before I go. Snakeskin - an awesome musical project headed by Tilo Wolff from Lacrimosa. Which, in case you don't know, is my favorite goth rock band of all time.:) Snakeskin is more darkwave electronica than rock, I suppose, but it is equally gorgeous - and very much in keeping with my current gothy mood (the album Canta'Tronic has some interesting song titles, btw; like, for example, Mortal Life, Bite Me or Stonecoldhands...;). Here's my favorite track, Etterna (the video contains images of Tilo Wolff - the composer - and the vocalist who accompanies him on this album, the opera singer Kerstin Doelle):

floatingleaf: (Rossetti in green)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, [livejournal.com profile] tindomerel!!! I hope you have a wonderful time tomorrow, and I wish you only good things throughout this next year of your life...

Here's my bullet-point update of the past few days:

1) I did go shopping last Sunday, and I acquired a nice new duvet Read more... )

2) Yesterday I went to see the dentist. Read more... )

3) Since the dental office happens to be across the street from a Sears store (which, in case you don't know, is a huge American mass merchandiser), and it was still fairly early when I got out, I popped right in and ended up buying a few more items. Read more... )

4) I just got my period, and again it was surprisingly mild. I didn't need a sick day - I only "crashed" briefly right after work tonight - and I didn't need any painkillers at all. I can only hope that this is going to become the "new normal"... but I'm not holding my breath as yet. You never know...

5) In the vampire fanfic realm, I have read everything I could find by DarkAngel, so it's become a little easier to tear myself away from the computer screen.;) (The other authors I've found are not quite as captivating.) I very much intend to keep looking and diving deeper into the fandom, but I'm trying to slow down a bit.;P In the meantime, I'm building up a suitable soundtrack for this new/old obsession. Like, for example, my Undead Mix playlist, which is a combination of the soundtrack for Queen of the Damned (thanks again for the download, [livejournal.com profile] meathiel!) and a CD called Dracula - King of Vampires; A 100th Anniversary Tribute (stolen from my sister). I also seem to be branching out into neopagan folk - I just discovered Trobar de Morte (more thanks to [livejournal.com profile] meathiel!), and it took my breath away.

So here's a little something for all you lovely pagan goddesses, witches and nature spirits on my flist (especially the birthday girl, [livejournal.com profile] tindomerel):



Btw, I'm off tomorrow, since it's a long weekend - so I'll be sleeping in, chilling out and enjoying myself to the fullest.:P Which might possibly include more shopping as well...;D
floatingleaf: (un plan)
The trailer for Viggo's new movie is out!!! Todos Tenemos un Plan (We All Have a Plan), filmed in Argentina, opens on August 30th. I'm not sure if this is the date for Argentina only or abroad... but at any rate, I should get to see it sometime this year. If there is no wide release in the US, they should at the very least play it at the Chicago International Film Festival, which happens in October. And who knows... if they do, Viggo might even show up here for the premiere... (he's done it before, so it's not mere wishful thinking on my part)

So, long story short, here's the trailer in question. It's in Spanish, obviously, and there are no subtitles, but the main plot premise is pretty self-explanatory anyway. Viggo plays two different people - twin brothers, who seem to be very different indeed, in everything but physical appearance. I would venture a wild guess that these particular two characters represent the two opposing (or seemingly opposing, at any rate) sides of Viggo's own personality: the refined intellectual and the wild, outdoorsy, reclusive type who doesn't care too much for modern civilization.;) So it should be extremely interesting to see him "switch" between the two (and he's so good at "split personality" roles; remember History of Violence, anyone?...).



Oh, and btw, my new icon (see above) comes from this very trailer (it was made by [livejournal.com profile] liars_dance and posted on [livejournal.com profile] viggo_daily). Isn't it mesmerising?... His trademark "dark and brooding" look gives me the shivers every time...

(Well, that was just in case anyone thought my fangirling fervor has abated. Not a chance, LOL. And since the hour is ridiculously late, other topics need to wait till I've had some sleep. Hopefully I'll find a bit of time to post again tomorrow - or today, as the clock would have it - but in case that doesn't happen, at least I've shared the Most Exciting News of the Week...:D)
floatingleaf: (music)
As usual, it's Friday night and I feel like posting, but I'm too tired to think of something coherent to say.:/ So I've been traipsing around YouTube, looking for videos to share. And I found this. Just one of my many recent music discoveries...



I owe this one to [livejournal.com profile] meathiel, btw. It's the perfect flavor of emo for me, so thanks again...;)

And here's a different flavor of emo, which is growing on me by the minute. This one - and quite a few others - was introduced to me courtesy of the amazing music posts by [livejournal.com profile] tindomerel.:)



Isn't it just... I don't even know what. My brain has shut down for tonight. I just want to close my eyes, hum a loony tune and float away...
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