Archive for the 'music' Category


Shit i do when i should write term papers, #24: Fix my phonograph. My academic career is in danger, but i can play my beloved Arik Einstein, Matti Caspi, Broken Social Scene and Genesis records.


Today everyone seems to have to write something about John Lennon. Me too.

I was born in the Soviet Union, where finding foreign records was hard. But my mother was a Beatles fan, so she had Imagine and Let It Be on vinyl. These were the records with which i learned how to use a phonograph at the age of three or four. I was lucky.

I liked Imagine more; many modern critics would probably agree. I loved all the songs on it, but especially “Gimme Some Truth”. I didn’t know English then, but i loved the melody. I loved the line “Ma-ri-pa-ta-oon” at the end of the chorus. Only about sixteen years later i finally found out that he actually sings “money for dope, money for rope”.

But it’s “Ma-ri-pa-ta-oon” for all i care. (Linguists call it “Perceptive phonetics”, but it’s not really important.)

Come As You Are

Entry to the Olympic National Park: $15.

A night in a motel: $55.

Asking the clerk in a convenience store at a gas station in Aberdeen, WA where to find the world-famous “welcome” sign while “Polly” is playing in the background: priceless.


In 1988 i was an eight years old boy in Moscow. That was the time of “Glasnost” – “Transparency”, the policy of unprecedented freedom of speech and openness in the Soviet Union. A lot of American films and songs suddenly appeared on television. One of them was Blondie’s “Union City Blue” (Flash):

I knew a little English and understood the word “union”, so i thought that it’s a song about the Soviet Union. “Americans must really love us, if this pretty woman sings such a beautiful melody about our country”, i thought.

Unboxing – Forgiveness Rock Record

As i already wrote here recently, i love “Forgiveness Rock Record” by the Canadian band Broken Social Scene. I also love the way it was marketed: It was possible to buy a vinyl record and receive a code to download lossless CD-quality FLAC files with all the songs. The deal is great, because vinyl is big, black and cool, and it is great for listening at home and for listening in a car or on a digital player FLAC files are perfect. (Digital players that don’t support FLAC files are bad. Don’t buy them.)

So i ordered the vinyl+FLAC. On the day the album was released i received the URL to download the files and patiently waited for the vinyl to arrive in the mail. After two months it didn’t arrive, so i wrote an email to Gallery AC, the record company, asking them what happened. They apologized, saying that due to changing their computer system my order wasn’t processed properly, and said that they will send the package by air mail without additional charges and will add a CD of my choice to the package, also without additional charges. How nice of them! I chose Jason Collett’s “Idols of Exile”. The package arrived today, about eight days after the email.

So here’s my “unboxing” experience. Unboxing is usually for digital gadgets; i buy very few gadgets and care much more about music, so it should be more appropriate.

Miloopa in Unicode, ya mama

In my last day in Gdańsk i had a few Złoty left and there was a record store near the bus stop, so i spent the Złoty on CD’s. There’s only one Polish band with which i was actually familiar – Myslovitz, whose lovely song “The Sound of Solitude” was played quite a lot on MTV in the early 2000’s:

The original Polish version of the same song is just as nice:

After i got “The Best of Myslovitz” CD, i had money for a couple more. I didn’t have any time to search for anything in particular, so i just tried picking something with a nice cover and immediately came upon this:

the cover of the album "Unicode" by the band Miloopa. The letters in the word Unicode are made up of small symbols.

Miloopa - Unicode

A record with such a title cannot be bad, i thought, so i immediately got it. And indeed, it is very good. Miloopa‘s music strongly reminded of the Israeli band J.Viewz: a female singer with a nice voice, singing in English, mostly electronic beats, good for chillout. Probably every non-English-speaking country has such a band.

The last one i bought was a record named “No! No! No!” by a band called “No! No! No!“. It’s a rather conventional and good indie band, singing in Polish. The lyric sheet for one song literally cites the Wikipedia article Voight-Kampff machine – that couldn’t be more appropriate.

Made Me Cry – Hello

Hello Goodbye” makes me cry ever since Paul opened his concert in Tel-Aviv with it.