Saturday, 28 February 2009

Video visualisation of "Wrong" by Depeche Mode

After presenting their pilot single "Wrong" from the album "Sounds of the Universe" just a week ago, Depeche Mode released the accompanying video to the song. "Wrong" keeps on being an excellent catchy track with meaningful lyrics, although I cannot say that I am very impressed by the video itself. Let's say that it is just fine, but they could have done a little bit better. Still, to me Depeche Mode are among those bands that have proved as pretty ordinary when it comes to visual presentations. Actually this is perhaps one of their best efforts, although a lot more could be done.

The video:

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Review: Blutengel - Schwarzes Eis

Chris Pohl and company released just a month ago their sixth studio album "Schwarzes Eis" and they have been on a long vacation and decided to record some stuff in the very last moment and to fill the wholes with some older material. At least that is how I wish it had happened, when they started working on their newest project. "Schwarzes Eis" is one of those albums that you can listen for days and still not be able to point out anything favourite out of it. When "Labyrinth" (their previous album) was released many defined it as too accessible and poppy, probably because of its more radio-friendly and club-orientated sound, but in no time it managed to establish itself as one of their most elaborate works. It will take time before the new album prove as worthy material.

"Schwarzes Eis" may be considered as a return to Blutengel's older material in a rather dissatisfying way. Don't expect to be struck by unique originality or to find any conceptual relations between the songs. There are too few dance tracks and the so called ballads are more emotionless than the album title. For some part of the record Chris Pohl is pretty annoying and if you catch yourself changing the track, don't worry...I am pretty sure even he'd do it. Luckily Blutengel keep on singing in German, which actually makes "Schwarzes Eis" bearable. If there was a scale between boring and satisfying, "Schwarzes Eis" would be somewhere in the middle. Mediocre is too harsh to say, nevertheless not too far from the truth. The filling has the biggest portion in the track-list, which extends to the impressive 15 songs.

The album is available in an exclusive limited addition, which actually is a must have! The bonus tracks happen to be a lot better than most of the content in the standard edition. "Schwarzes Eis" fails to be memorable enough in order to make it to the top of Blutengel's releases and there is nothing really impressive or distasteful to be noticed throughout the tracklist. Honestly Chris Pohl has to decide which project is of greatest importance to him as he obviously cannot concentrate long enough in order to bring out a real smash! Fingers crossed for a better Blutengel album next time...otherwise, just don't release it. Bitte!

Songs to hear: "Dancing In the Light", "Kind der Nacht", Dreh dich nicht um", "Pure Life"

Personal rating: 5 out of 10

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Two new videos on the blog

I know, I know, I could be pretty annoying when it comes to certain bands, but I just couldn't help myself and had to share these two new videos with you.

The first is by the Norwegian duo Röyksopp from their upcoming third studio album and the other one is the second single from the highly-praised debut by Swedish Fever Ray. The videos are on totally different, but I am posting the two of them together as they carry different feelings situated on the opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. "Happy Up Here" can be described as a colorful eye-filling candy-galore and "When I Grow Up" as gothic influenced ambient filled with fright and despair of the eminent future which carries changes.


Monday, 23 February 2009

Stuck in my mind - Depeche Mode - Wrong

Depeche Mode's pilot single from their newest album "Sounds of the Universe" was presented just two day ago at the Echo Awards in Berlin, Germany and it immediately draw the attention of millions eagerly expecting DM's new album. I am may not be among those who have lost their sleep after this performance and I am not very thrilled about their upcoming studio release, but have to admit that "Wrong" has all the potential for a hit. "Wrong" has great energy and radio stations will soon pick it up for their favourite playlists. Many believe that such a good track could only be an indication for an excellent hopes are still not that high, as sometimes the best is released first and the rest is just filler. Not to be the pessimist this very moment I am posting the live performance, which buy the way sounds excellent! We are all looking forward to a mind-blowing Tour of the Universe!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Bulgaria's choice for Eurovision 2009?

First of all, I should admit that I am really not very much into the whole Eurovision song contest, but as a Bulgarian myself I feel the urge to share a few words on the choice for a representative for this year's edition in Moscow. The Bulgarian National Television produced the sloppy and irrelevant reality show called "Be a star", which was to select the best song which would go straight to the finals. Well, let's say that its ratings were hitting the floor and many would qualify the show as boring and annoying even to elderly people or with words "Much ado about nothing".

After several months of selections and pure blabber Bulgaria has its newest Eurovision "star" in the face of Krasimir Avramov, who is bestowed the name "The voice". He describes his music as a fusion of pop-opera and world with a fine touch of electronica. I have not had the chance to hear much of his works, but after last evening I am not very willing to do that. I wish at this time I started praising his song "Illusion" and being proud of what we are sending to Moscow. Sadly this is not the case and positivism has failed to arrive on time for this show.

The song "Illusion" is a tasteless, blunt and even irritating example of kitsch that some try to pass as contemporary music. Style fusion may be the newest trend, but this doesn't mean that everything created under its influences is worthy. Few can have the commercial success of Sarah Brightman, who managed to establish herself as both an opera singer and as a new age/contemporary singer, and obviously Mr. Avramov is still somewhere in between. Unfortunately for him "Illusion" is anything but soothing to the ear and if I were him I'd reconsider my professional strives. His vocal abilities are doubtful and rather mediocre compared to what other contestants showed at the Final. In addition Avramov lacks any stage presence, despite his efforts to be original.

Definitely I am no expert when it comes to opera and I am not in the right to comment the vocal abilities in this music sphere...and still I am not deaf. This high-pitched operatic voice of his just did not match the whole concept of a Medieval battle and a lust crusade. Few are those who may find anything sexy in a man who sounds like someone has squeezed his dignity, especially when this is to reach millions of households. I've watched the official at least several times and still cannot figure out the idea behind it. Oh, and I wonder how it managed to pass censorship having in mind the visible frontal nudity...wasn't this video to be shown at daytime? Not that I've ever had the chance to watch it anywhere but the internet.

After Bulgaria's Eurovision Final I do doubt whether we have to participate in this year's edition. Probably nobody is going to notice our absence and I am pretty sure no one is to support "Illusion" when it comes to voting. It just doesn't deserve it and I don't fell guilty when I am saying it. It will remain the absolute mystery how this song actually received 55% of all the votes sent last evening, but let's say that with the right amount of money any dream can come true. It is another question on what price!

Live performance from the Bulgarian Eurovision Final

The official video to "Illusion"

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Теn unappealing album covers

Yesterday I posted ten of my favourite album covers and now it's time for ten more, but this time of my non-favourite. This certainly doesn't mean that they may not appeal to is just that they do not fit my aesthetics for an album artwork. As you may notice most of the covers are from albums issued in the last decade, which I believe is more than an indication that art is becoming of a lesser importance than ever before. Definitely one can find some uglier examples of album covers, only proving that the appearance is not be undermined.

José Gonzales - Veneer

Missy Elliott - Da Real World

M.I.A. - Kala

Cansei de Ser Sexy - Cansei de Ser Sexy

Madonna - Hard Candy

Client - Client

Depeche Mode - Ultra

Michael Jackson - Invincible

Björk - Volta

Peaches - Fatherfucker

Friday, 20 February 2009

Ten of my favourite album covers

The cover of an album is an essential part of it and very often it is the first people think of it when an album's name is mentioned. There are covers that have become more famous that the product itself and even people, who don't listen to the singer/band can immediately make the connection. For the last 50 years the music business has developed to such an extent that the artwork to an album may be indicative for the quality and content of the album without even playing it. Some compete with themselves creating more bizarre covers with every next albums, others keep up to the plain, but well known artistic work and there are some to which this is a full load of nonsense. No matter which ones you support one thing is for sure: you all know very well the covers of all your favourite albums!

Here are ten of my favourite covers and they are showed in no strict order:

Björk - Homogenic

Röyksopp - The Understanding

Kylie Minogue - Impossible Princess

Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animals

Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth

Boards of Canada - Geogaddi

Deep Forest - Music Detected

Delerium - Chimera

Madonna - Erotica

Enigma - Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Take me to the hospital! I've got my ticket for Madonna!!!

I am exhausted, my thoughts are all mixed up and all the attention today goes to only one person: Madonna! I have waited for this for more than a decade and it one of my greatest music dreams cam true: I am going to see Madonna live! You are right, it is not such a big deal, after all this is nothing more than a regular concert and still this is going to be my event of the year. This day I may forget, but the feeling of holding a ticket for my favourite singer in my hands is unforgettable! To some an experience once in a lifetime, hopefully not the same case with me. Words fail to describe the whole euphoria, people singing Madge, talking about other concerts and impatiently waiting for the doors to open. There were some fans waiting at the ticket office of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia from the previous evening and I can assure you that at 7:00 AM it was freezing cold (around -8 C), let alone att 2:00 AM (brrrr).

Anyways cold and heat are no obstacles to a real fan, although the bad weather did stop me from going any comes first, I am not sorry, Maddy! Despite the whole hysteria there were no more than 350 people waiting minutes before the sales started, but all of them had their tickets immediately. On the other hand anyone waiting for the online sales to begin or in queue at another ticket office was to the extreme of their nerves as the online system crashed down and people could not buy tickets for the next hour. No wonder thousands of people are trying to access a single server at the same time and rarely they are backed up and after three clicks you are just spitted out of the system, which has closed down for indefinite time.

For the time being the official information constantly changes, but TicketPro (the official ticket company) announced that at the end of the day only tickets from 50 euros and 55 euros were left, making this the fastest selling concert in the history of Bulgaria. Unofficial statement from the promoters Sofia Music Enterprises has it that during presales were sold 22,000 from all of the 55,000 tickets for Madonna's Sofia show narrowing down the chances of getting a decent ticket after the presale ended.

Don not ponder to much, but get yourself a ticket before it is too late! It is Sticky & Sweet time! Although I am really not into the whole Hard Candy era I just cannot miss Madonna, even if she is going to sing only crappy songs (yes, she does have shitty stuff too)!

Oh, and before I have forgotten congratulations to Serbia and Romania for being included in this tour. You all deserve it!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Review: Combichrist - Today We Are All Demons

For the last few years Combichrist have established themselves as one of the biggest names in the aggrotech/dark electro music scene and all of their albums have reached a cult status among fans. It is no wonder Andy LaPlegua has been named one of the alternative electro geniuses of the decade as he has three quite very successful projects, managing to keep them stylistically separate without conflict of ideas.

Just a month ago Combichrist released their fourth studio album names "Today We Are All Demons", a follow-up to their aggressive electro album "What the Fuck Is Wrong with You People?", which to many is their best release up to date. When you reach a certain level of quality it is always difficult to top it and perhaps "WtFISWwYP" turned out to be a real challenge. "Today We Are All Demons" may be an adequate opponent, but definitely cannot win the fight. Although it carries the original spirit of Combichrist this album has a poppier sound and at some moments it just fails to be relevant to the whole aggresive electro concept of the band. I do not mean that Andy is on his way to a crucial stylistic change, more likely he is giving some more space to experimenting.

This album, of course, is anything but radio friendly, despite being more melodic and softer than their previous two releases. I have to admit that this release is more appealing to me than "The Joy of Gunz" and to some extent it more diverse than any of their previous albums. You can be sure that it will smack you up and it's gonna burn down the clubs with some excellent tracks. There is a hidden part in track 13, but don't get your hopes too high.

"Today We Are All Demons" contains excellent tracks to be added to any electro set and despite the overwhelming comments it received it still lacks to be on the Combichrist top. Nevertheless it is a must for every fan of the group and of alternative dance music.

Songs to hear: "All Pain is Gone", "Kickstart the Fight", "Spit (Happy Pig Whore)", "Get Out of My Head"

Personal rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Review: The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die

"Invaders Must Die" is The Prodigy's fifth studio album and the first for the last five years. A month ago there was a leak of a demo version of the album, but either it was full of fake tracks or the demos were really very old as the original songs included in the official tracklist distinctively variate. Anyways "Invaders Must Die" is a fact and marks the big return of one of the most important names in the electronic scene. They released the single "Invaders Must Die" on 4th November as a big teaser to the upcoming studio release. Honestly I had no idea what to expect, but had my hopes that it will sound at least a bit better than "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned", which to me was their weakest album. I wish it had stayed their least appealing album, but "Invaders Must Die" manages to be with an extra idea more annoying. Not that the album is lame to the fullest, but a release like this is more suitable to someone who has just recorded his debut and is about to figure out his stylistic niche.

For some time I used to believe that The Prodigy has ceased to exist and was really surprised to hear they were back in the studio. Is it that they've changed their label or they are out of ideas, but tracks like "Warriors Dance" and "Run With The Wolves" reminded me of their debut "Experience". It will remain a mystery to me the inclusion of the reprise of "Omen"...absolutely pointless. The album could do perfectly without "Stand Up" and "Piranha", which are less than mediocre. There is no drama when picking up the best songs from "Invaders Must Die", they are too easy to be spotted and the rest is more of a filler than actual new material. The Prodigy nowadays are just no match to what they used to be in the 90s: either their time has irrevocably passed or Liam Howlett and company need urgent lessons on contemporary dance music. The Prodigy may be one of the biggest name in the electronic scene, but this doesn't mean that their music should be praised just for the sake of the good old times and glory. Despite the big name that stays behind "Invaders Must Die", this album easily falls in the category of albums that the world could perfectly do without. If the invaders must die the band has to come with better ideas to kill them all!

Songs to hear: "Invaders Must Die", "Omen", "Thunder", "Take Me to the Hospital" and "World's On Fire"

Personal rating: 5 out of 10

Stuck in my mind: Felix da Housecat - Hunting Season

Felix da Housecat drilled my head for the whole day. I had the good intentions to write something about House music, but was pretty busy listening to Mr. Stallings. He is not in my favourite top 50, which is a big mistake of mine having in mind all of his stuff I discovered the last few months. For the last week his album "Devin Dazzle and the Neon Fever" is on heavy rotation in my I have already mentioned this is my number one Housecat's album and a song like "Hunting Season" is nothing more than a proof that this is a wonderful electroclash album, full of catchy tunes and playful lyrics.

Unfortunately there is no video to the song, neither official nor fan made that is why I will post this video which uses it as a background:

Sunday, 15 February 2009

I don't need 14th Ferbruary to say "I Love You!"

St. Valentine is such a dumb celebration and I've never understood the whole concept of it. Why do I need a special day in the year in order to show my love towards anyone? 14th February is nothing more than a date in the calender and if you are not in love or in a relationship, perhaps, you are obliged to drink till you blackout in despair. These are five of my favourite songs, which are suitable for anyone, who doesn't need a special day to show their love.

Björk - All Is Full of Love

Nelly Furtado - Try

Faithless - Miss U Less, See U More

Röyksopp - Only This Moment

Madonna - Rain

Friday, 13 February 2009

Впечатления от видеото на Röyksopp - What Else Is There?

Снощи се бях впуснал в дебрите на емоциите и веднага си пуснах любимата си песен на Röyksopp "What Else Is There?", която винаги ми е въздействала по един особен и неповторим начин. Та, слушайки си песента си спомних, че в първи курс имахме да правим анализ на видео клип и аз моментално знаех какво ще анализирам. Издирих си умотворенията от преди две години и ги пускам в оригиналния им вид. Песента ми е любима още от преди времето да стана супер запален по шведското дуо Дъ Найф и може да се каже, че е изиграла съществена роля в навлизането ми в земите на скандинавската електроника.

Музика: Röyksopp
Текст : Карин Дрейер Андершон
Изпълнител на песента : Карин Дрейер Андершон
Аранжимент : Торбьорн Брундтланд и Свейн Берге
Режисьор : Мартин де Тура
Албум : The Understanding (официално издаден 12.07.2005г.)
Сингъл : What Else Is There? (официално издаден 05.12.2005г.)
Лейбъл : Astralwerks
В клипа участват : Карин Дрейер Андершон и Мариане Шрьодер

Студените и пронизващи вокали на Андершон, от шведското електропоп дуо The Knife, често сравнявани с тези на Björk, заедно с мистичната подобна на кошмар концепция на видеоклипа, създават усещането за един ясен баланс между визуална реализация на текста и допълнителна символика от страна на самия режисьор.

Идеята за съня недвусмислено е изразена чрез движещата се във въздуха героиня, която търси самата себе си в напълно пустия свят около нея. Видеото не случайно започва в звуково отношение като някакво стремително гмурване в мрачен сън, а в визуално като реене по средата на пътя, през който е миналата бурята, навлизайки в кошамара. Самата буря, която изтръгва къщите, политащи в небето и осейва пътищата с перата на безброй птици, станали нейни жертви, говори за интензитета на самия катаклизъм, който е индикатор на моментното емоционално състояние на героинята. Различните символи на природното бедствие са летящите къщи, мълниите озаряващи небето, осеяността на пътя с пера, черното куче застанало в профил и реещите си кабели, всички създаващи мистичния, зловещ и силноемоционално натоварен характер на съня и депресивността струеща от самотата. Героинята определя самата себе си като бурята, но въпреки всички светкавици и гръмотевици, човекът, чийето внимание иска да привлече все така не я забелязва, както сама горчиво споделя в текста. Пътят, по който се рее, е пуст , неосветен и дълъг, а тя самата е боса, всичко това навяващо , че ще трябва да преодолее много трудности докато отново успее да спечели доверието на човека, когото е изгубила.

Не е ясно точно каква грешка е допуснала, но млякото , което се стича по десния й крак , капейки върху мрачния път може да бъде свързано с изгубването на невиността на връзката й с този човек. По този начин може да приемем, че кучето легнало на пътя е нещо като единственото желание, което има тя в момента, но го подминава неможейки все още да разбере самата себе си. Продължавайки по своя път не спира да размишлява върху това колко е важен този човек, опреличен от нея като самото слънце, което отново ще върне светлината в нейния самотен свят.

В търсене на отговора на въпроса „Какво друго има?”, тя търси самата себе си във всяко кътче на собственото си подсъзнание. Гората , в която навлиза е без ясен път, говорейки за една безизходност от ситуацията, чувство засилващо вилнеещата буря някъде далеч от нея. Мъгливите и сумрачни кътчета, пушещите гъби (скрит символ на норвежкото дуо) и гъстотата на растителността дават ясна картина за тъгата и студенината обзели душата на героинятта. А някъде там в гората намира постоянно осветявана къща, която символизира и нейното съзнание, пропито от егоизъм, желание за контрол и високомерие загатнати в самия текст. Занемареността на повечето стаи и липсата на светлина в тях създава чувството за една западналост в мисленето и прекаленото много грешки допускани от нея самата. Може би точно те са тези, които са виновни за раздялата й с любимия човек, а и продължават да я карат да изпитва съмнение спрямо него, обвинявайки го, че има тайни от нея.

Визуалните картини като класическия натюрморт и женското аристократично облекло от ХVI век, говорят за една закостенялост на мисленето, останало някъде в пределите на самовлюбеността и лакомията, изразени чрез вглъбяването в собствения образ и отрупната маса. Ябълката, която отхапва е типичен символ на грехопадението, допълнително изразено от космите , които израстват от нея и я правят крайно отблъскваща. Героинята намирайки първообразът си, бурята се засилва визуално, музиката става по-рязка до кулминационния момент, който тя самата попада в окото на ураганния вятър, който я подмята в различни посоки, говорейки за чувството й за безизходица. Поставяйки ръцете си върху живият образ от картината, героинята се опитва да разбере къде е грешката й и как може да я поправи, единствено и само чрез собственото си съзнание.

Краят на кошмара е загатнат с утехата, която героинята търси загъвайки се с юргана, чакайки утрото да настъпи. Тя няма вече какво да сподели със самата себе си и остава единствено музиката, която е началото на края на съня : движението по пътя се ускорява, появява се човек и слънцето е на път да изгрее. С това не само, че приключва кошмара, но може би и поставя началото на една нова самоосъзнатост, в стремежа да се върне любимия човек.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Concert + money = a dream come true?

Have you ever given a thought on the amount of money you could spend on a single concert? Honestly, I have thought a lot about it, but never as serious as the last two days...because it is just now that my biggest dream is coming to my home country and it is for real. Madonna is one of the most important figures in my music life and seeing her live is the best thing that could happen to me, right now. I have always been very opened about my true love of her and I've said many times that I am ready to do a lot of things in order to get a ticket for her concert. I am far from being a little Lord Fauntleroy and surely cannot afford traveling round the globe just to see someone, but when there is the chance of a lifetime when should just take the risk.

I know people who have traveled across Europe for a concert and have spent a little fortune in order to make dreams come true, but let's face it! How many of you wouldn't like to go to another country and spend some time sightseeing? I am sure there will be almost no negative answers, but just think about how much you would spend just to see the Eiffel tower or The Statue of Liberty and do nothing as a whole. The answer is simple: quite a lot! Virtually it is pretty much the same when it comes to your favourite group or singer, you could open up your pocket a little bit wider. I do not refer to this as a hobby, but more as of a way to accomplish your dream.

Money is to be spent wisely, but sometimes priorities change and you could indulge yourself into the world of music. I haven't attended that many concerts in order to say that I am a concert addict and that there is this burning feeling of emptiness if I am not present at a gig. Anyways, once you have seen live at least one of your favourite singers or groups you start to understand the whole thrill that accompany the pre-concert period, the concert itself and the emotions afterward.

I may sound very harsh and my thoughts not to follow any order, but sometimes people just shouldn't act that pretentious and judgmentally when it comes to fulfilling a dream. Unless you've been to a real concert and further comments made by you are meaningless. Period!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Madonna To Perform In Sofia On August 29th

It is official - Madonna is going to visit my home country for the first and hopefully not last time!

Here is the statement:
Bulgarian fans, we are happy to announce that Madonna will perform at Sofia's Vasil Levski Stadium on August 29th.

While the public ticket sale will start on February 19th, at 10am local time, please note that a fan club devoted pre sale will start on February 12th, at 10am LOCAL TIME for Legacy members and at noon, LOCAL TIME for newer members.

Negotiations for concerts in Bucharest, Belgrade and Moscow are still on, but I am pretty sure she will not let her fans there down. The concerts in Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Finland are already sold out for less than a day, making them the fastest selling concerts in the local history of music. In the UK she added two extra concerts after selling out the first two shows for less than half an hour. Obviously people just can't get enough of Madonna. Hurry up and book tickets before it is too late!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Top 50 Music Scandals according to

Yesterday I was browsing the net and I came across a very interesting list named "Top 50 Music Scandals" and published on The list contains some of the biggest downfalls in the music business among which Michael Jackson's accusation of pedophilia, Madonna's infamous video to "Like A Prayer", Sinead O'connor tearing a photo of the pope and the mysterious death of Michael Hutchence. Of course the list is not the fullest possible, but still manages to compile some of the stories that made the headlines for hell of a time.

Here is the list, which is entirely according to
1. Milli Vanilli Caught Lipsynching
2. Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction
3. TaTu Solicit Nude Teens
4. R. Kelly Sex Tape
5. Madonna's Catholic Crisis
6. Chuck Berry's Piss Party
7. Suge Knight Dangles Vanilla Ice
8. Hawthorne Heights Disses Ne-Yo
9. Elvis's Pelvis On Milton Berle
10. Whitney Houston Smokes Crack
11. Sinead O'Connor Tears Up The Pope
12. George Jones Lawnmower Ride
13. Phil Spector Accused Of Murder
14. The Beatles More Popular Than Jesus
15. Dixie Chicks Diss Bush
16. Michael Jackson Pedophile Scandal
17. Miley Curis Vanity Fair Nudes
18. Sex Pistols TV Swearfest
19. Michael Hutchence Strangling
20. Jarvis Cocker Bum Rushes The Show
21. George Michael's Bathroom Bust
22. Rick James Torture Party
23. Duran Duran Dildo
24. Ozzy Curses The Alamo
25. Dick Clark Payola
26. Britney's Bipolar Breakdown
27. Creed Singer Lured To Denny's
28. Garry Glitter Gets Busted
29. Go-Go's Groupie Abuse
30. Courtney Love Gets Wasted At Wendy's
31. Jim Morrison Arrested For Flashing
32. Jerry Lee Lewis Marries His Cousin
33. Mystikal's Bad Haircut
34. DMX Airport Hijack
35. Keith Moon Hits the Pool
36. Al Green's Grits Attack
37. Amy Winehouse
38. Fred Durst Sex Tape
39. Euronymous Murdered
40. Woodstock'99 Riots
41. Vince Neil Kills Razzle
42. Axl Rose Makes Stephanie Seymour Use The Catbox
43. Pile Opens Fire
44. Judas Priest Suicide Solution
45. Prince's Baby Deformed
46. Led Zeppelin's Fish Taco
47. Akon Gets Freaky
48. ODB cashes welfare checks on MTV
49. 2 Live Crew Banned In Florida
50. Altamont Deaths

For the full stories visit

Monday, 9 February 2009

Recommendation Weekly: Azam Ali

Azam Ali is anything, but a new name in the music business and still she may not be familiar to many of you. Perhaps you remember her from the world projects Niyaz and Vas or you might associate her with Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance. All of your assumptions are quite right, although the born in Iran, raised in India and living for many years in the States Ali stands for herself. She had a very distinctive singing and quite an amazing vocal range, which many compare to such singers as Lisa Gerrard and Loreena McKennitt. I'd agree with these comparisons only to a certain extent, because Azam Ali is an excellent performer of her own and she only demonstrates the inspirations drawn Medieval, World and Gothic music, without trying to resemble anyone.

Her solo works differs from her teamed up projects Niyaz and Vas, although the ethno element has the biggest part in any music she creates. Her debut album "Portals of Grace" is closely related to Medieval music, in contrast to her second release, which can be classified as contemporary ethnic music. Most of her songs are slow tracks, which some define as lullabies of the forgotten times and others as emotional ballads with a mellow touch. Her music is definitely not for fast consumption and it is not accessible to every ear, which doesn't mean that her music is just requires time and desire to go beyond the borders of music and embark on a journey back to a past where honor, love till death do us apart and spiritual purity were still not just articles in a dictionary.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Stuck in my mind: Herbert Grönemeyer - Mensch

Es gibt Lieder, die ohne Sagen gehen! Ich wollte etwas sehr voll und emotinal zu diesem Lied schreiben aber die Worte fehlten mich, weil die Inhalt mehr als ausreichend ist. Ein Mensch ist Mensch nur wenn er fühlen kann und wir alle brauchen die lebensvolle Unterstüztung der Liebe und die positive Energie der Menschlichkeit.

Es ist okay,
Alles auf dem Weg,
Und es ist Sonnenzeit,
Unbeschwert und frei,
Und der Mensch heißt Mensch,
Weil er vergisst, weil er verdrängt,
Und weil er schwärmt und stellt,
Weil er wärmt, weil er erzählt,
Und weil er lacht, und weil er lebt,
Du fehlst.

Where did the smiles go? (part 3)

After some criticism on the negative tone of my previous two posts on "Where did the smiles go?" I decided to comment on the media and fan pressure most groups and singers are. First of all, I should make my self as clear as possible that despite the fact that I see money as the greatest evil of all times, I do admit that it is more than necessary, especially if you want to be successful. The thing is that money should be used for music, not music used for the mere sake of making more money, otherwise you just turn into the next sell-out counting every album sold and bursting into tears every time your album drops with a position on Billboard, for instance.

Being a star surely is not as wonderful as it looks from the distance of a tabloid and it definitely takes more than just pretentious smiling and theatrical waving in order to keep up to the impossibly high expectations of your fan base. In fact fame is a heavy burden which requires more than the average sacrifices and sometimes on your way to prosperity and stardom you have to drop out some of your positivism in order to make more space for all the puke that is about to be thrown in your face. Some time ago there was a case with an obsessive fan of Björk, who was in such painful affection and adoration for her that wanted to kill her. Luckily he never managed to accomplish his grim desire. Which brings me to the murder of John Lennon, who became a victim of a man's uncontrollable nature of violence. Having in my mind all of these and many more examples of people violating one's personal life in any way, it is not that difficult to understand the rather mediocre social interaction on behalf of most stars.

Have you ever given a thought on why you are always searched before you can enter a concert venue. Perhaps, many would never think of doing anything bad to their beloved singers or bands, but truly there are people who can do harm. People that are so fanatical that are capable of anything: from going on stage to hug someone to taking a gun out of a pocket and shooing someone right in the bull's eyes. There is an Enigma song "I love you...I'll kill you" and this title perfectly matches the extent of someone's affection. I do not say that there are hordes of crazed fans ready to kill their beloved singer, but one should always keep a decent distance from his audience and never forget that danger lurks around every concert.

The media pressure to follow

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Stuck in my mind - Client - Can You Feel

Daddy, come home for dinner earlier, Client released their newest video already! Yep, my most favourite Clients released the video to their new single Can You Feel and it is adorable. Definitely not the highest moment in their carrier, but still has the magic of its own. "Can You Feel" sounds pretty nice and I have pretty high expectations for Client's new release.

Friday, 6 February 2009

My appreciation for Enigma

Enigma is the group that has the longest and biggest influence on me as long as I can remember a single thing. Michael Cretu's project is my first encounter with music and then on it became a vital part of my life. Recalling the many times I watched stared at the TV while "Sadeness" or "Mea Culpa" were on TV bring wonderful memories to me even now. First time I heard "Sadeness" I just couldn't take it out of my head and although I couldn't say a word in any language than Bulgarian I was doing my best to repeat the lyric. Almost twenty years after the founding of Enigma they still are the most successful New Age groups of all time and it's pretty sure that there will be no other project to outscore their success.

Years went by, but my love for Enigma only grew stronger and I dare stay I have a stronger connection to them than to any other singer or group I have ever liked. Michael Cretu has certainly had his ups and downs with Enigma and no matter how difficult it was for him he managed to keep alive his wonderful idea. Cretu himself is a prolific composer and songwriter working on every single song included in Enigma discography. He liked to keep an eye on his product, although his last albums cannot match the praise his first works received. Perhaps, some of his idea wore out and others were just not suitable for Enigma or he just wanted to experiment, which resulted in some rather negative responses from the fan base.

Nevertheless Enigma's true followers have never been let down and every album has the beauty and uniqueness of its own. For instance, the critically acclaimed "MCMXC a.D" is based on Gregorian chants, "Le Roi Est Moi, Vive Le Roi!" is like a rejoice after a deep sorrow and "A Posteriori" is a cosmic trip out of any boundaries. It's almost impossible not to find at least one Enigma song that you cannot relate to: starting from songs of faith and devotion and ending with lyrics filled with lust, pain and desire out of reach.

Music is what matters and it's sole purpose is to convey emotions and ideas, not being turned into a piggy bank. That is why I support Enigma's lack of desire to embark on a tour. They just want to keep things the way they are, without renditions, improvisations and craze about their concerts. Another thing is that Enigma is a project that has no strict line-up and people come and go leaving their prints on the project and having a tour can never provide the uniqueness of the sounding of an album. This music is a private experience that deepens into your mind, guiding through emotional landscapes and visualizing the sound of your soul.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Where did the smiles go? (part 2)

As promised I'd like to share a few more thoughts on the connection performer - audience. The thrill about the possible upcoming Madonna concert is all in my head and still it just doesn't feel the way I expected it was going to be. Perhaps it was all just to unreal to me, before it actually became a mere fact and thus making someone's concert a dream come first.

On a second thought you start remembering all the stories of how the concert did go, of how your life-time favourite singer actually faked his smiles and did come just for the money. Money is of great importance, no doubt, and they'd make even the grief-stricken shine, probably. But isn't money that killed all the joy of a dream-come-true, isn't it the one to show that we are all of a mere existence and even music exists just to generate more of the colorful papers than be a fundamental part of ones life. Perhaps I am deepening too much or I am being to persistent with my true devotion to music, but my mind cannot take that easy the idea that the singers and groups that I grew up with and which played a major role in my formation as an adolescent are nothing more than a bunch of sell-outs and posers. Commercialism manages it all and it plays big and when I say big I mean tremendously enormous, not just for the sake of good old music.

No need to say that music is no longer a pass-time activity,indeed, it has become a multi-billion industry, which is in coexistence with all the other modifications of show-bizz only to make more and more money. When you get into this big machine and your biggest goal is the cash could you really smile for real? A very good friend of mine told me some time ago that the famous French singer Mylene Farmer was believed to have all of her emotions staged. All the tears and the smiles were part of a compelling and touching script which was to show how much human can a star be. Really? I didn't know that Farmer was from another planet, but I guess her manager takes her for an extraterrestrial, who is supposed to shed a tear on schedule.

I am giving this example with Mylene Farmer not to accuse her of anything, but to give another example of how time, fame and money can have a great impact not just on a single performance, but on one's carrier as a whole. Surely neither Madge nor Mylene forgot how to smile or cry, they are just tоo tired to do that truthfully and soul-shakingly. Do you remember the Michael Jackson trial and all the attention he got from the media? Even if you don't my point is that all of his reactions were nothing more than excellently rehearsed and of all of his smiles, pledges and tears looked and sounded like coming out a robot. Is he really that bored with life?

more to follow

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Stuck in my mind: Danny Elfman/Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween

It is clear to me that Halloween is ten months from now, but these days I've been revising my appreciation for the Tim Burton's films and watched once again my favourite stop-motion movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas", which may not be directed by Burton himself, but he is the one behind the concept of it. I remember watching it like more than a decade when it was firs available in Bulgaria. I was really fascinated and as I watched it today it was even a greater experience than the first two times. The beginning is my most beloved song from the whole score and it was more than a pleasant surprise to me when it was reissued last year, including cover versions of all the songs. My personal favourite is Marilyn Manson's version of "This Is Halloween", which perfectly suits him. His rendition of the song is next to best and I am pretty sure that Manson himself had the desire to record it. Although a bit of the original magic is lost the whole song still carries the gloomy touch intended by Danny Elfman.

I am posting both version as I love them both:

Danny Elfman - This Is Halloween

Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween

Monday, 2 February 2009

Where did the smiles go?

With this whole hysteria with Madonna's second leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour I had a few talks on concerts as a whole and how different singers/groups perform and interact with the audience. I wouldn't say that I've been to that many concerts and have quite the experience, but I think I can tell the difference between performances. A friend of mine was wondering what the whole fuss about Madonna was as she didn't enjoy her that much as she enjoyed a concert of a Bulgarian singer. It took me some time and a few more talks to assimilate to its fullest what she actually meant. At first I was like: What?! This is Madonna!...but thinking it over I was like: Hmm, she might be right.
I remember how excited I was when I went to my Marilyn Manson concert. I just couldn't believe that I was about to see one of the most important musicians in my entire life. I wouldn't say that I had great expectations, but I do admit that I was a bit disappointed. Yeah, I really say my idol, but it just wasn't the way I imagined it. On the other hand I had a wonderful time going to Clan of Xymox or Diary of Dreams, bands that less known and pretty much underground compared to the stature of Manson. Still, they kept all the time their connection with the audience and one could feel special.
Should this mean that the more famous you become the greater distance you have with your audience or just everything is up to the bands/performers themselves? Perhaps some are just too tired of being friendly to everyone and constantly cheering up the audience that expects the best. Could it be that we are too needy and we exhaust our idols, we turn them into greedy piggy banks that would say anything (mostly fake) just to make sure we visit their next tour. Imagine you are in the music business for the last two decades and you have had like six major tours with some over 300-400 gigs in total and you are still expected to be the guy that you used to be in the beginning. Let's be realistic, no one can last for ever and be as emotional as they were ten years ago.

to be continued...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Review: Apoptygma Berzerk - Rocket Science

Just a week ago the Norwegian band Apoptygma Berzerk released their new album "Rocket Science". It is no secret I really like Stephen Groth and company and appreciate most of their recordings. "Rocket Science" is their sixth studio album and the long anticipated follow-up of "You and Me Against the World". I am among those fans who find "You and Me Against the World" a rather blunt and mediocre album compared to their earlier works. Luckily their new album is more of a return to their synthpop/dreampop style than the pop-rock they've been playing for the last four years. "Rocket Science" is more of a mixture between their newer pop-rock and older EBM and synthpop, but this time with less pop affiliation and more electronic inspirations. It may be no match to "Welcome to Earth" or "Harmonizer", but it has charge of it own and sounds pretty fresh.

Songs to hear: "Apollo (Live On Your TV)", "Asleep or Awake?", "The State Of Your Heart (Sh't End Of The Deal)" and "Black vs White"

Personal rating: 7 out of 10