Music Blog Romania

New category – Snowboard


As the summer is officially finished – and so are the every-week escapes to the seaside -, a new target is set: the first snow and the snowboard on my feet.

Thus, the new category, “Snowboard” featuring mostly music to listen on the board. There are 2 articles so far in this category, one of them containing my snowboard playlist from last winter. This year, along with a new board, new music is going to come.

To get it off for a quick start, here are 2 snowboard tracks:

- Me and the Gimme Gimmes – All your lovin’ – a punk band which only singes covers. They sound quite nice and it’s interesting to listen to blues tracks remixed in a punk version. Goes along fine with some speed on the board.

- Authority Zero – One More Minute – a track which I first discovered in a motorcycles video, it combines a rock-punk attitude with some ska sounds. Also a nice thing to listen to for the more relaxed rides and jumping on kickers on the refrain.

Trends and the fight against them


I’ve been following blogs for quite some years now – both personal and business / tematic oriented blogs. Each of them with the individual “personality”, style and subjects to write about.

Still, I cannot help to notice how some trends just appear in this communities and are quickly followed up by everybody. Why is that? Most likely, noticing a subject that might generate some popularity will quickly inspire fellow bloggers to write about it, in the same quest for more readers, more comments and more appreciation.

For example, some of the trends which are or have been present in blogs (i will reffer mostly to Romanian blogs or Music blogs):

- indie – All the music blogs suddently started posting about indie bands, indie culture and such since about half a year ago. Now they kind of stopped, they are turning back to the old school.

- emo -  If you look carefully, in most of the Romanian blogs you will find the “emo” word mentioned at least once every 5 posts. What the hell is emo after all and why is it important ??

- uber – this was a trend some 6 months ago or such in Romanian blogs – everybody was using “uber” instead of “super” of “very”. Damn, this was weird. Good that they stopped now.

Also, another thing which annoys me is the type of people who tend to post about anything that happens to them on their blog, in search of sympathy or whatever. I think this started somewhere with Scoble’s style of blogging and just spread out – why on earth would people like to read about everything which happens to someone most of the times they never ever met ??
Maybe it’s just me not understanding much of this blogging culture, or maybe some of these things are really being weird….

Back to the old purpose of this blog, some of the constant trend-fighters were Rage Against the Machine. Being one of the first bands to combine rock sound with rapped lyrics, they carried on a constant fight against politics and various social issues.

Even though they did not last very long as a band – from 1996 till 2000 -, they managed to produce some excelent tracks. One of them, featuring an awesome guitar solo, is “Bulls of Parade” – [mp3] or [video].

Edwin Marton – tommorow


Edwin (or Edvin) Marton is one of the top Hungarian violonists, mostly known for his performances for the skaing championships.

The guy sounds trully amazing, he is playing a Stradivarius and looks very proud of it :) And even better, he is comming in Romania, the concert is tommorow, 28.09, at Polivalenta. Hopefully I can make it !

Listening to him reminded me of one of the best concert experience I ever had – going to a violin concert of one of my friends, while he was playing Khatchaturian. While I am not a great fan of classical music, that was trully an amazing performance and that kind of music is definetely worth attending to.

Some samples of Edwin Marton here and here.

A Robbie sound I don’t like


I recently heard the new single of Robbie Williams – Lovelight. I must say he did a much better impression with his usual / natural voice, not with this too balladesque one. I don’t know why, it just doesn’t sound like his real him.

I tend to like his performances a lot, I think his a great artist, specialy on live. But this single….well, maybe for the most romantic of his fans would go fine, but I think I’ll pass.

The video is here.

Some new stuff – Michael Dickes


While he is not really a new-comer, i first found him some days ago via some music blogs. Michael Dickes is nothing of a popular star, or maybe he is in his own community – but nevertheless his music is trully worth listening to.

The style is a mix of pop, blues and rock-and-roll, with an up-front guitar and the voice of Michael. The lyrics are also quite witty and they go along fine with the music.

You can listen to most of his tracks over as well as the lyrics. Some ar also for download, like After All This Time. My personal favourite track is Small Town Song. Enjoy !

Working from seven…


…to eleven every night. Yes, this is quite how this last two weeks have felt like and it’s not about to end.

But coming back to that phrase – it actually is the first verse of one of my all-time-favourite tracks – Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve been loving you. A great track with some dull but marvelously interpreted lyrics and an extraordinary guitar solo.

The track starts slowly with some of the most sharp guitar chordes I’ve ever heard. It then builds up to an over a minute long solo by Jimmy Page, but this is just the beginning.

Then, one of the things I love most about this song is the passion Robert Plant put behind the lyrics. While I could not say that they are extremely inspired, they are sang with a true passion that makes them excellent. The way he sings parts like “Everybody trying to tell me that you didn’t mean me no good” and “Lord, yeah, that ain’t right… no no” is trully amazing. I rarely heard someone put so much passion behind some words, mostly in studio recordings.

In the middle of the track then follows an amazing guitar solo, which Jimmy Page performed several times also on stage, in various versions. I think one of the best is the album one, along with the Madison Square Garden one in 73. This part can easily go into any of the top-guitar solos ever.

The song then continues with an even more dedicated Plant’s voice and his famous screams .. “Just one more“.

But this is enough of a description, here is the real thing – the video of the live performance from 73 and the studio version (remastered). Enjoy !

Finding MP3s over the web


I am not sure that this is legal – actually, I am pretty sure it is not – but anyways it deserves posting.

A nice way of searching and, most important, actually easily finding MP3s of your favourite band over the web is nothing easier than a simple search on Google. This way, using Google’s algorithm of searching over the web you can easily find full albums to download via http.

Here is the general search string. Just replace the “band” in the beginning of the string (in Google’s search field) with the name of the band you are actually looking for. And press Enter again.
Enjoy ! Still, remember that buying the legal albums is a good thing to do. Really.

Picasa over the Web


Google just released what can become a flickr killer – Picasa over the web. This new Picasa web space – 250 Mb available to any Google-registered user – allows you to upload and manage photos over the web and then share them with your friends.

The application has some nice functionality, all in the Google-old-style of keeping it simple and convenient. Still, what I think is missing is the ability to comment on other users pictures or to search for pictures among Picasa users. But this should follow in later versions
Meanwhile, here are some snapshots of this summer – things I did and places I visited.

Tandarica at Stufstock 2006


I wrote previously about the Pheonix performance at Stufstock 2006 and Tandarica‘s awsome solo – now you have the chance to see a sample of it here. Not very high quality audio, but still you can get a feeling how it was like.

Stupid Bookstores


I am trying for some time to find a nice bookstore in Romania, preferably one that also has a good online store so that I can quickly search for what I want and order online – but I find it very hard to find one.

Recently I decided to try, a site which appears listed in as the second best in its category. I open the site, looks pretty good and simple. So I decide to browse and search for some business boks.

Browsing: The closest category I could find related to business books is called “Management, marketing, sales”. Ok, fair enough, let’s look. The first thing that strikes me is that the books are listed in an apparently random order…the criteria is not popularity, nor the author name. After browsing through some pages, I got it – their are ranked by price, from the most expensive to the cheapest ! Wow, this is an interesting ranking. Probably they thought that if they list the most expensive ones first people will buy those, so that they make more profit… but it’s so stupid ! Never in a bookstore I found this ranking, it’s just so unfriendly to usability.

Ok, could not find many interesting things in here, just a lot of mistakes – for example, the book of Ferdinand F Fournies – Employee’s psichology has as picture the cover of a Peter Drucker book. So, if I order it, what would I get ?? Fournies or Drucker :)
Search: Ok, browsing did not work, so let’s search for what I was interested in – “Gene Zelazny – Say it with charts“. As I expected the title of the book had been translated in Romanian in some stupid manner, I decided not to risk anything and search by the author. Search for Zelazny did not return any results, so browsing by author might have been better. Ups, another surprise – there is no letter Z in the authors list ! This is quite strange, but let’s see maybe it is starting with G, so I opened the list of authors starting with G. Well, here I really lost it. The list is fully messed up, the authors are falling into the G section sometimes by their first name – like George Bacovia, sometimes by their last name, like Goleman Daniel and sometimes their appear under various names, like having both G. Liiceanu and Gabriel Liiceanu !

Now, an online library is the last place where I would expect this to happen. I used to go to libraries pretty often and I know how strict they are with putting a book on the right shelf – in the right section and in the right author order. How could someone find something in this chaos?

Madalin, all due respect for, but please take this site out of the 2nd place in Libraries, because there is nothing “usor” about this buying experience.

Seems that it’s too hard to find a decent bookstore in Romania, so I get back to Amazon. Just as a comparison, here is what they would return on a Gene Zelazny search.