Music Monday is a Thing Now I Guess: Ennio Morricone

Stockholm was a destination on Ennio Morricone’s farewell tour. Or 60 years of music tour. Hard to say what the proper title really is. Either way, if you have a chance to see a living legend, you take it. Nothing like a live performance of “The Ecstasy of Gold” conducted by the composer.

And probably the only time in my life where the audience whooped, cheered, and whistled for an orchestral performance, which is almost too bad. People should always be that excited for concerts, no matter what the genre.

Friday 5: Teal This Record

I didn’t realize that “Africa” had become a thing again in the year of our Lord 2019. Along with Weezer and Weird Al? Time is meaningless anymore.

Where in Africa would you like to visit?

There are lots of places, really. Soudha is in Singapore for university right now, if memory serves, but her travel logs series on Of Stacks and Cups really made me want to visit Mauritius. One of my teacher friends and former coworkers studied in Ghana for a semester when she was in university and made it sound like a lovely place to visit. Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt are also on my “someday” travel list.

 

If you ruled the world, what would you forbid people to talk about in the company of strangers?

Nothing, actually. Even the most banal smalltalk has its purpose.

In what way do you tolerate (or enjoy) being used?

I can’t think of any. Moving on!

When did you recently have an a-ha moment?

About something or other at work, I’m sure. I feel like I have at least one every day.

What’s something you know about turtles?

Nothing that the average person doesn’t already know. I’m not terribly knowledgeable about these little guys.

Friday 5: Movement

A man performing a skateboard trick in front of orange graffiti on a wall. His face is obscured by a red baseball cap and he's partially reflected in the puddle under him.
Photo by Rob Potter on Unsplash

What’s a song that recently moved you?

I still cry at “Rhapsody in Blue.” Every damn time.

What’s a song that recently moved you — right out the door?

Not a song as such, but a request.

When I lived in Korea, I used to go on long, late-night walks with another teacher friend of mine. By this time the pedestrian mall and downtown (“downtown”) Uijeongbu had been fully refurbished, with bits of greenery and benches and sculptures. It soon attracted any number of buskers, and in the warmer months our walks included stopping to take in a few songs.

One time we passed such a performance in front of an audience including a few drunk white men who were already on their way to behaving badly. We lingered, unsure if we could enjoy the music over the poor behavior.

“If one of them requests ‘Freebird,’ I’m going to lose my shit,” I mentioned to my walking companion, quietly and out of earshot of said potential troublemakers.

“What? Why?”

And as if on cue, one of them slurred “FREEBIRD!” and I had to feign a coughing fit to cover a scream of frustration. I nodded to my friend, who was still confused, and we kept walking while I explained the pointless tradition of requesting “Freebird” at concerts, regardless of artist or genre.

What kinds of dance performances interest you?

Not many, I’ll admit. I don’t have much interest in watching anything except tap or swing. I’ve watched to many Hollywood movie musicals, I guess.

What’s a good song with the word move (or some form of it) in the title?

I will never not post a Janis Joplin song if I have the opportunity to do so.

How do you feel about prunes?

I’ve never had them. But since I like raisins, I’d probably like prunes.

Tiny Moments of Joy: Mozart’s Requiem

Seven months after dropping in on a few minutes of a concert at Storkyrka during Kulturnatt, I went pack for a whole, proper concert: Mozart’s Requiem.

Mozart’s Requiem is one of my workhorse pieces to have on while I work, so I know it very well. That makes it the ideal concert piece for me. Unfortunately the only seats that were left were “low visibility” seats so I spent most of the concert with a pillar blocking my field of vision, but that doesn’t stop the music, so what does it matter?

The way things are going, I guess this is shaping up to be a music blog? There are worse fates for a blog to suffer, I suppose.

Friday 5: Stay and Let Me Look at You

Nothing like tackling some Friday 5 questions about September in November!

Image courtesy Chris Lawton

(Earth, Wind & Fire) Why are you dancing in September?

My last month of freelance life before buckling down for the nine-to-five.

 

(Neil Diamond) September morning still can make you feel what way?

Cozy. Refreshed. After a million years I’m still so entrenched in the academic school calendar that September and autumn feel like a new year.

 

(Green Day) What are some things you have to endure until September ends?

Again: my last month of freelance life before buckling down for the nine-to-five.

 

(Kool & the Gang) What place or thing is your September love?

It’s now the right season to switch from the fruity teas to the spicy teas. So much chai!

 

(Willie Nelson) What is your September song for the rest of the month?

I still haven’t seen Crazy Rich Asians but I’ve long been a fan of Awkwafina so I love this cover:

Tiny Moments of Joy: Say Sue Me at Landet

I thought I’d share a little peek behind the curtain today: what, exactly, do I do in my free time? When I’m not helping to organize the Stockholm Writing Group, Stockholm NaNoWriMo, or reading? Once in a while I go and partake in culture, like Busan-based surf rock group Say Sue Me.

Say Sue Me performing to a packed room at Landet Restaurang in Stockholm, 2018.

I took this photo during their encore, “Let’s Don’t Say Anything.” I don’t have any other pictures from the night, because I’m short and because I’d rather spend a concert listening to the experience rather than trying to document it.

Life is hard. I’ll take what tiny moments of joy I can get.

Friday 5: The Whole Trial is Out of Order!

What’s something in which you took first place?

God, not really much of anything. I used to joke that when I was a rich and successful adult I’d go back to my high school and set up the Katherine Koba Second Banana Prize Scholarship: for a student who hadn’t won any other award but still participated in a bunch of extra curriculars and did pretty well in almost all their classes. I’m not successful enough yet to be able to do so, but maybe one day!

What’s something at which you’d like a second chance?

I should have been less lazy about my musical studies. Not that I’m not well suited for the work I do now; I’d just like to be more competent at that particular hobby.

When did you last feel like a third wheel?

I suppose another friend and I were a collective third wheel during our Kulturnatt outing back in the spring, but that lasted all of maybe ten minutes before we peaced out and did our own thing.

What’s to look forward to in the fourth quarter of 2018?

My new job! Though by the time this goes up I’ll have been at it for a month.

Who had an especially good fifth film, fifth book, or fifth album?

Does anyone keep track of things up until the fifth? Wish You Were Here is a pretty good album, I suppose.

Friday 5: Lyrical Gangsta

A Caucasian hand holding a small sheet of paper with a typewritten poem.
Photo by Sarah Brink on Unsplash

What’s a stupid lyric from a song you like?

“Kilimanjaro rising like Olympus above the Serengeti” is one of the worst lyrics ever committed to record and yet it doesn’t ruin the song.

What’s a pretty good lyric from a song you dislike?

I refuse to give any song I dislike the satisfaction!

What’s a good non-Weird-Al-Yankovic lyric about food and drink?

“Alcohol” by Barenaked Ladies is a perennial favorite of mine.

What’s a good song lyric to describe your week?

I’m writing this entry far ahead of time, so I’ll have to do a bit of prognosticating here:

Sometimes I think sitting on trains
Every stop I get to I’m clocking that game.
Everyone’s a winner, now, we’re making that fame.
Bona fide hustler, making my name.

What’s a good song lyric about inclement weather?

I mean, it’s not the greatest lyric ever, but “thunder bolts and lightning / very, very frightening” deserves a mention. I guess the actual lyric about weather for its own sake I like best is from “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”:

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
When the wave broke over the railing.
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
‘Twas the witch of November come stealin’.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashin’.
When afternoon came, it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck,
Saying, “Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya.”
At seven PM, a main hatchway caved in.
He said, “Fellas, it’s been good to know ya.”

 

Friday 5: Vive le Difference

Fried chicken in paper boxes.
Image courtesy Brian Chan at Unsplash

What’s a food that tastes completely unlike anything else you can think of?

This one is taking a lot of thought. I mean, lots of things have a relatively distinct taste, right? Even if everything also tastes like chicken.

I imagine surströmming is singular in its taste. (I say that having never tried it. I don’t dig on fish.) I also have a hard time with the artificial sweetener Splenda: it leaves a distinctly coppery aftertaste that ruins anything it touches.

What’s a movie that’s completely unlike any movie you can think of?

Russian Ark  is a weird but surprisingly enjoyable artsy look at the history of the St. Petersburg Hermitage that’s all one long 90-ish minute shot.

Who’s a musician or band you consider completely unoriginal but whom you still like?

I think it’s a given that most popular top 40 bands and artists cleave to the lowest common denominator instead of doing anything groundbreaking, but most of the music on my phone is popular top 40 bops (and obscure international indie bands) because it’s good workout music.

Who or what are two people or things you keep mixing up with one another?

To this day I still confuse Silent Hill and Resident Evil (the video games, not the movies). No doubt there are countless celebrities that I mix up as well, because I’m not good at keeping track of famous names and faces.

What’s something you’ll do this weekend that’s different from your normal weekend activity?

Concerning the weekend after I’m writing this, there’s a small chance I’ll be attending the Japanese Flea Market in Sundbyberg. Concerning the weekend after this will actually go up (about a month later), it’s hard to say.