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"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

A Chainsaw, night out and a question…

Posted by quirksalight on April 7, 2009

One thing that Hannover is also known for is its Flea market on Saturdays. I like to shop, and I like unusual things, so it was a good plan to start off the day. There was a large sign, posting the rules and regulations of the market, which I thought was amusing.
But the strange items… I saw one booth selling US license plates (no joke!) and another one selling a coat hook made of the lower leg and hoof of deer. Plus the Bonaza western food truck. But the oddest thing was the chainsaw.

Now, the backstory for the chainsaw has to do with a tradition in Hannover. Apparently when guys turn 30 in the Hannover region, their friends organize a rather strange set of events. First, a bizarre costume. Then a mess of stuff that they have to clean up. For the guy in question, O, he was to clean up large amounts of bottle caps off the steps of the main University building with a toothbrush while dressed up as Heidi Klum. Uh huh…

Not only that, but for them to stop cleaning and looking rather foolish, the birthday boy has to accomplish a task. This being persuading some girls to participate in a “Top Model” photo shoot using some odd props. Hence, the chainsaw. Since MR was part of the group getting the items together, his job was to get a chainsaw. No, he didn’t buy the one at the market, but damn, that was an odd coincidence. 🙂

It wasn’t until Saturday that MR and I made it to Neus Rathaus – the new city hall. This is an amazing building… the design, inside and out, is over the top with fantastic carvings. The structure is in a Rococo style, and in great condition. Several neat things – you can see how the city of Hannover changed over the centuries with accuate scale models. Also, it was possible to go up to the very top of the building with an elevator that doesn’t go straight up, but at an angle, as it follows the curavture of the dome. There’s a glass ceiling and floor that lets you see the curvature as you go up and down.
And the top! An amazing view of the city… the flatness of the city makes it easy to see it unfold in front of you.

Another cool thing was the Museum fur Textiles Kunst, or the Museum for Textile Art. It’s actually a private collection of clothes and textiles from around the world that a Hannover designer and her husband collect and manage. MR and I were the only ones there and got an amazing tour of the place. Definitely owe MR a big one… he did a good deal of translation for me. Interestingly enough, the designer made the stage clothes for the band Scorpions.

“So, is it normal for German guys to grab and hold onto a girl’s butt withoout speaking to them first?” That’s the question I posed to MR when we were out Sat night with another friend of his, O. After meeting with GO over drinks (and analyzing the variety of Becks beer types available), O joined up with us and we (minus GO) went back to Steintor for another interesting evening, which is proved to be. Besides the musical impression – apparently I flew over the Atlantic to hear 80’s pop, Bryan Adams, and Vanilla Ice mixed with techno and German folk music, MR and noticed O grabbing a random girl’s butt. But not just a grab, but a grab and then he just held on!

And the oddest thing was that neither party was reacting to this, and both just slightly dancing, with the only contact being the hand to rear, still not facing each other.
MR’s answer was even funnier: “Hmm, it’s not going to work.” Note that the question wasn’t answered. 😀 Though, he was right… O showed up a couple minutes later, shrugged, and we all continued on as it that interlude never occurred.
Later that night over the post-partying kebobs, I asked O that question once again. His reply: “OH…Oh dear…”

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Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, crafty, dancing, friends, fun, Humor, museums, Music, nightlife, travel | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Friday night, there was a party… Hannover part II

Posted by quirksalight on April 7, 2009

Friday was a bit more lazy… I think I got up around noon? Hahah… it really is indeed a vacation. 🙂

This was art day. I went to hit two main museums – the Kestner and the Spengler. The former is known for its antiquities, old coins, and a rich collection of Christian art and manuscripts. The latter is a modern art gallery – eclectic and totally eye opening.

I went to the Kestner first as MR also wanted to go to the Spengler.
Another thing I noticed and really liked at all the museums was the readily available lockers for your belongings as you tour the place. Much better than a just a cloakroom, and plus your get your euro back. 😛

The Kestner was pretty neat – the ancient coin collection was very cool… coins with Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, Elizabeth I, pluse more were there. The Greek and Roman antiquities were also impressive, but the collection of glass was a favorite of mine. And of course, the couch shaped like a pair of lips.

Spengler had several interesting collections, but what I just missed (because it was starting up after I left Hannover) was an exhibition on Franz Marc. I saw some of his work at the Spengler and was totally wowed by it. A little weird, actually. I like art, but generally don’t have the “must get a copy” feeling over the works of a particular artist. But definitely, I wanted copies of his painting and woodblock prints. More the latter. But… no go! Only the color prints were available.

And the infamous Steintor area. It’s the party district, and pretty amusing. MR and I met a couple of his friends for some amusement. Which they did provide. 🙂 The guys were amused that we were actually hitting the clubs in the lonely planet guidebook. (Which, btw, all of my German friends read and totally got a kick out of it) Not a bad evening.

Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, dancing, friends, fun, Humor, museums, Music, travel, traveling | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Next Door ’08

Posted by quirksalight on July 6, 2008

Next Door is an annual music festival on the banks of the Han River at Hangang Park (close to the Seoul World Cup Stadium). This year, it was June 27 & 28 (Friday and Saturday).
A couple friends and I attended the Friday show this year, with a bit of an adventure to get there. Starting off it was normal; take the bus to Hongik to take the shuttle there. We couldn’t find the shuttle bus. So we walked to another subway stop, asking people about directions on the way. We were told that the closest subway stop was the World Cup Stadium station (TRUE) and that the park was a 15 minute walk from there (FALSE).
But, thinking that it was both true, we went to the station, and started walking. And walking. And walking. Until the sidewalk ended at the expressway with no way to get across. Grr….
Faced with this obstacle, we decided to find a cab. Nope. Nothing available. Walked BACK to the World Cup Stadium subway stop, still no taxis. But, of all things, the shuttle bus to the festival was sitting at the subway stop, just waiting. I mean, WTF?? So we hopped on and got to the Festival over an hour later than planned. But as we saw from the ride, it really wasn’t possible to get there by walking.
The music was fabulous! I really wanted to see a trance group from Israel called “Infectious Mushroom” and we got there about 40 minutes before their set was to begin. This group alone was worth the 20,000 won admission fee (about $20 USD).

end of encore.AVI

More pics and photos here:

Next Door 2008
Was definitely considering attending on Sat, but between Kumdo and the rain, it was too much.

Posted in amusing, ancedotes, Bizarre, dancing, festivals, Korea, Music, outdoors | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy New Year!!

Posted by quirksalight on January 1, 2008

First Night Alexandria Fireworks

More pictures from First Night Alexandria here.

Posted in Alexandria, festivals, fireworks, fun, Music, volunteering | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Bands and Beer

Posted by quirksalight on December 30, 2007

Yesterday was the night of the small get together of people from high school that I organized at Sweetwater Tavern, a bar/restaurant chain in Northern Virginia. Turnout was low; in fact, it ended up being me and one other person. Which actually was a good thing; CL was a friend of mine from HS that I hadn’t talked to in 10 years and we spent a long time catching up and seeing how our lives had taken us. Interestingly enough, we had both gone into the biological sciences with her starting a Ph.D as I was leaving it.

One of the people (DP) who couldn’t come had a gig with her band, Don’t Panic, on the 29th at Bistro Europa in Alexandria, VA. CL and I headed over there after beer and dinner to catch the show and catch up with her.
Pretty sweet… it was a good time. One of the band’s first incarnations and performances were for our high school talent show. The band practicing a cover of U2’s “With or Without You” in the chorus room is a memory that’s flashed through my head over the years, as I associate the song with that scene. Turns out that they still play it (and did tonight); yep, still the memory flashback.

Posted in Alexandria, amusing, annoyance, Beer, Don't Panic, Food, high school, memory, Music, musings, restaurants, VA, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Just in time for the holidays

Posted by quirksalight on December 22, 2007

A British atheist poet, Carol Ann Duffy, has written a series of new Christmas carols that’s been set to the music of Sasha Johnson Manning.
Called the the Manchester Carols, several of them are re-vamping of the traditional carols without the religious overtones that are in the more familiar traditional carols. You can read the lyrics to one of them here in an article by The Independent.

Other news articles on this from various sources: BBC, Manchester Evening News, The Times, The Agonist

Posted in amusing, atheism, atheist, British poet, Carol Ann Duffy, carols, Christmas, holidays, Humor, Music, news, religion, Sasha Johnson Manning, world news | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scores, the Hustler club, the N and L trains?

Posted by quirksalight on December 11, 2007

The New York Daily News had this interesting article:
Subway Pole Dancers Enrage MTA

Apparently there was a $10K prize to the best pole dancing in public and these girls took the prize for their performance to Prince’s “Erotic City” on the lovely MTA.
What’s really funny are the commentary at the bottom of the page, ranging from, “hey those girls are assaulting that man by dancing on his lap,” to “you go, girls!”

Posted in amusing, dancing, Humor, MTA, Music, MY, news, NYC | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Manu Chao, baby!

Posted by quirksalight on October 10, 2007

Manu Chao's La Radiolina Cover
Manu Chao has his first CD out in 6 years, called La Radiolina. The first time I heard his music was live at the Montreal Jazz Festival and it was fantastic. Outdoors, on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence river, with thousands of people, it was a unique experience. So it’s not too surprising that I’m a little let down by the CD, as it’s a little anti-climatic after such an experience. But at the same time, the music is a trigger for one of the best concert experiences I’ve had; the hook from “Panik Panik” and “Rainin in Paradize” trigger memories of dancing on the hillside at dusk.
The songs are catchy, the hooks stick with you after you’re done listening, and makes you want to get up and dance. It’s surprising that he’s not more popular here, but now, I’ll be going back to check out his older cds and those produced when he was with Radio Bemba Sound System and Mano Negra. In fact, I just ordered Clandestino (Manu Chao) and Puta’s Fever (Mano Negra). 🙂

Posted in La Radiolina, Manu Chao, Montreal Jazz Festival, Music | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Montreal Jazz Festival – aka, the second week

Posted by quirksalight on July 16, 2007

The title is slightly misleading… I didn’t spend ALL my time at the Festival, just nearly every evening and night. I visited the Jardin botanique de Montréal (Montreal Botanical Garden), and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. The former was so huge, that we couldn’t see it all in one go… and that’s after walking around for four hours! Also walked up Mont Royal to get great great views of the entire city in multiple directions.
I did take a LONG bike trip along the length of the Lachine Canal, up the St. Lawrence westward, then back to Old Montreal by edge of the St. Lawrence River, passing the rapids.
Lachine Canal Map
Picture taken on canal map posted along the trail.

The path I rode is in red, though I went off of this map, and the park circled in green is the Parc des Rapides, where I walked about and saw this:

For the Festival, here’s some of the artists that really caught my eye (and ear!)

Carlinho Browne (Brazil) – Great dance music, though people were complaining that he wasn’t playing his older (aka, favorites) music
Nomadic Massive – Montreal funk…
Son de la Frontera – Spanish guitar and flamenco….
Ojos de Brujo (Spain) – Amazing live show!!!!
J’tadi – gypsy style… very upbeat
Shakura S’Aida (Toronto) – Powerful, yet cheeky, blues singer
Manu Chao – It was great music, but what amazed me was how enthralled the audience of thousands were of him
Seun Kuti – AFROFUNK!
Emily King (US) – young guitarist from Brooklyn with great vocals
God Made us Funky (Toronto) – interesting… great, amusing music with a lot of sampling
DJ Dolores
Nomo (Ann Arbor, MI) – one of the few instrumental groups that I saw/heard, but very good brass and sax playing
Wax Poetic (US) – avant-garde… not sure if I like them, but it was an interesting show

Posted in biking, Canada, Carlinho Brown, Emily King, God Made Me Funky, J'tadi, Jazz, Manu Chao, Mont Royal, Montreal, Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal Jazz Festival, Music, nightlife, Nomadic Massive, Nomo, Ojos de Brujo, outdoors, Seun Kuti, Shakura S'Aida, vacation, Wax Poetic | Leave a Comment »

…And I’m back….

Posted by quirksalight on July 10, 2007

Holy Moly…. I am in love with Montreal. At least in the summertime, anyhow. It is a very bike friendly city, especially in the downtown and in the canal/river region. I ended up renting bikes 4 times in the two weeks I was there – three short trips and one crazy long one that had me riding about 30+ miles.
One thing that really surprised me was that most everyone that I met through the two weeks were extremely friendly, even though I couldn’t really speak a word of French. Absolutely contrary to the rep of the Quebecois as a rude bunch…a delightful surprise.
The Montreal youth hostel lived up to it reputation – it was well run, clean, and organized a lot of events to showcase the nightlife, events and areas of the city. Most definitely would recommend them for anyone who’s looking for a cheap, but good place to stay in Montreal. Though next time, I would stay there for a couple of days and then find a temporary sublet if I were to stay in Montreal for more than a week.
And the Jazz Festival… it was amazing. Literally swimming in music, though the crowds were insane! I found a dozen artists that I’ve never heard before, but am going to follow now. Will update fully, with photos and the like. Right now, I’m still readjusting back into my regular life and getting over this bug that I caught in the last days there.

Posted in amusing, Beer, biking, Food, Jazz, Montreal, Montreal Jazz Festival, Music, nightlife, People, sick, travel | Leave a Comment »