Battle for the sun

Battle for the sun
Battle for the sun

2009 is one of the best music year I’ve ever heard! I really don’t remember a more intense year.
After the first disappointment for U2 latest record, No Line on the Horizon, I started loving it and now I am looking forward to July 18 when I will attend their concert in Berlin.

A couple of weeks ago I also had the luck to see Snow Patrol and sense again that special feeling that comes from listening to live music. By the way, their last work, A Hundred Million Suns, recorded in Berlin, is a masterpiece.

On the other side, I gave up on Tori Amos and I didn’t even listen to her last album, the name of which I’ve completely forgotten 😦 I feel sorry for her, but she simply can’t compete with her past works anymore. Please, Tori, do a favor to yourself and retire.

Apparently Muse are also recording their newest album and touring Europe this fall and surprisingly Skunk Anansie are back with a best of… Better than nothing: I’ve always wanted to see them live, especially after I touched Skin’s boobs a couple of years ago. Don’t ask :mrgreen:

But the best has still to come… Placebo are releasing Battle for the Sun with the new line-up (i.e. new drummer). At first I was afraid, I was petrified, when I’ve been told Steve Hewitt was leaving the band. I always appreciated him, especially live. I thought it was the end of Placebo… and somehow I wasn’t wrong.
Last weekend I’ve been then given the chance, as a fan, to listen to the album before the official release (June 5th or 8th in different countries) and, wow, I couldn’t believe my hears. Wow, wow and double wow. To be very concise: great music, great lyrics and great performance. I think Brian Molko perfectly describes his band new masterpiece:

We’ve made a record about choosing life, about choosing to live, about stepping out of the darkness and into the light. Not necessarily turning your back on the darkness because it’s there, it’s essential; it’s a part of who you are, but more about the choice of standing in the sunlight instead.

And this is me. Exactly how I feel now.

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Nothing really matters

A couple of days ago I accidentally listened to this song by Madonna from her second best album, Ray of Light, her best being Confession on a Dance Floor.
The corresponding video is what, more than anything else, made my interest for Japan and Japanese culture flourish.


Speaking of which, I am probably going to the さくらまつり, the cherry blossom festival that will be celebrated next Sunday in Marzahn recreational park. I attended this kind of festival for the first time 3 years ago when I was visiting New York (more precisely Brooklyn botanical garden) and hopefully I will enjoy it in Berlin as well.
Another Japanese product I really love are anime, although I am currently watching only キャシャーン Sins and actually really close to the final episode. ilGrisa should read between the lines and understand that I need some suggestions for new anime (switching to ドラマ is not an option :mrgreen: ).

No you girls

Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz

Through iPod commercials I always discovered new music (Cansei de Ser Sexy and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour to mention a few), but this time it’s not the case: in fact, Franz Ferdinand are already on the list of my favorite bands. However I should admit that thanks to the iPod touch commercial I rediscovered No You Girls from their last album.
Speaking about music, I bought last week my ticket for the U2 gig in Berlin on July 18th… Yeah! Can’t wait to be there, once more time, at the Olympiastadion. I will be having a great time I know.

After all, U2 always loved Berlin, at least since their albums Achtung Baby and Zooropa. And they are not the only ones who love the city I live in. I love it too :mrgreen: This is not a big news, I know. However, I must say, during my last visit in Stockholm I finally stopped to consider Berlin as a perfect city: Berlin has its limits and I could find more if I think about big metropolises like New York. Nevertheless, Berlin is a good trade-off: cosmopolitan, a lot of green, not overcrowded, big spaces, European, nice north-east location, almost anarchic, gay-friendly, enough selection of international food… This is why I would definitively vote for Berlin in the following survey by AskMen.com: Top 29 Cities for Men to Live In.

Hoppípolla

Sunset
Sunset

It’s not secret I love Iceland, without having been there yet. If Christian agrees we might fly there next year, for our honeymoon :mrgreen:
Anyway, one of the best Icelandic products is music: Björk and Gus Gus to mention some. But my favorite Icelandic band is definitively Sigur Rós.

Hoppípolla is probably their most famous song and can be listened at the end of the trailer for Slumdog Millionaire. I’m not sure whether it’s part of the soundtrack as well since the movie has been released here in Germany just yesterday and I didn’t watch it yet.
Because of my friendship with Danny Boyle I might give this movie a try… No joking, I met him two years ago when he released Sunshine and said a stupid thing like

Everybody thinks that physicists cannot be handsome

I should let him know that

I’m a physicist. I have a working knowledge of the entire universe and everything it contains.

(thanks to The Big Bang Theory producers for letting people know this astronomical truth).

Breathe

Wheel
Wheel

This is another song from No Line on the Horizon that I truly love. It’s great. It’s rock. And it feels new, fresh, finally catching the spirit of the new millennium (not really a U2 strength I would say).
And suddenly I found myself again. A big U2 fan, looking forward to the new tour, which will feature a 360° stage for more audience, for more participation… No other band can let you feel, that you too, you are part of it.

Other highlights of the week include:

  • Christian found a job and now he is working very hard for Bagel Company
  • We went to Hackescher Markt to watch Milk, which we both liked, although the beginning was quite tedious
  • At work I’m as busy as never before, but I enjoy it a lot
  • I finally watched the latest Heroes episodes: I didn’t dislike them, but still, the overall rating for this series is dropping lately
  • Dollhouse and Being Human are two series I started watching: the former is somehow intriguing, the latter, I don’t know, yet, I’m trying to finish watching the pilot first :mrgreen:
  • Ryanair is planning to let passengers pay for the on board toilet… Told ya!

Magnificent

Art nouveau
Art nouveau

I’m completely surprised. When I first listened to Get on Your Boots, U2 newest single, a couple of weeks ago, I was disgusted; then I stared loving its sexy sound; now I guess I found U2 best song ever: Magnificent.

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
And only love, only love can leave such a scar

The whole new album, No Line on the Horizon, is still a question mark for me: it sounds great, but I’m probably not into Bono’s voice anymore and I’m scared that during the live performance could be even worse. After all, he’s not 25 anymore, and he’s not Mick Jagger :mrgreen:
Moreover, my music taste evolved during last year: while many fans wish U2 to repeat a second Achtung Baby, I’m hoping they are going beyond Zooropa and Pop.

Death and all his friends

I was not surprised when I have been told that Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay won the 2009 Best Rock Album Grammy Award. I just love this record and I do believe it has been the best one in 2008.

But I’m not going to talk about music, I just want you to know that I’m going to be off for a while because I’m going to visit my family in Italy and support them after my grandma’s death.
I still can’t realize it and I guess I will be very emotional only when I will meet my mother tomorrow… I feel so sorry for her loss: hopefully she is going to be fine soon. Actually she sounds quite ok at the phone, which lets me hope for the best. Maybe it’s true that women can be more rational in these cases.
It is weird thinking that last time I visited my grandma was the last time. Did I properly say goodbye?