Category Archives: music

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring”- David Bowie

collage-2017-06-08If you go to London, Brixton is a must see place. It’s the last station of the Victoria Line and it’s a pleasure for the eyes as soon as you go out of the Tube, for, just opposite the street, in Tunstall Road, there’s a mural painting of David Bowie made by the Australian artist James Cochran. It’s a personal version of Aladdin Sane’s album cover and I first saw it last year in January, when the place was full of flowers and grieving messages. On January this year it was the same, save for a glass put to protect the artwork.

Bowie was born in Stansfield road in Brixton and there are several places to see if you’re a fan of him or just a music lover, like the Arts Lab, the hair salon where the Ziggy Stardust hair style was created or the park where he performed in 1969. When I was in London there were two different walking tours that offer people an all-encompassing journey from birth to death of one of London’s biggest icons, with passionate guides able to enrich the visit with stories and anecdotes. There’s a 2 hour tour and a 4 hour one that includes a trip to Beckenham, browse the web and look for the most suitable for you.

Brixton of course, it’s not only Bowie, its market is the Europe’s biggest Afro-Caribbean food market. You can get there with just a two minute walk from Brixton tube station: Brixton Village and Market Row (just across the road) are basically a collection of narrow streets called ‘Avenues’ where you can find everything, tasting a large variety of street food and have a good meal for £10. As I’m gluten intolerant, I looked for something for me and it was a pleasure to see there was a wide choice. Beside of the always trustable Honest Burger, I personally tried Sansla creperie and I wasn’t disappointed. Remember to order a galette and not a crepe if you need to avoid gluten. The Banoffee tasted heavenly and the vanilla shake was delicious. Since I want to go back there to visit the windmill, I will surely hit Sansla for a different option. Here’s the link: http://www.senzalacreperie.co.uk/

In addition to all the open market stalls, the area is full of shops (included my beloved Poundland) and many interesting things to see (as I stated before, I need to go back to visit all the art galleries and the music shops) like the O2 Academy (or Brixton Academy), that was once a cinema and now it’s an important  centre for live music. The Academy was built in 1929 and still have its wonderful art decò style.

So, if you’re in London, don’t miss this incredible borough.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Guns of Brixton – The Clash

 

 

 

 

“Music can change the world because it can change people” ― Bono Vox

On Sunday the Old Trafford Stadium hosted the “One Love Manchester” tribute concert made of the performances from some of the biggest artists in the world. This benefit concert generated around $2.6 million in donations for the “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund”, to help victims of the terrorist attack on Ariana Grande’s gig.

I saw this show also as a statement of people saying “you can hurt us, but we’re still stand together supporting music and the right to have fun without fear”. Because the aim of assaults is to scare us, to bash everything that generates fun and happiness, to force us living in the constant fear of being attacked. What happened in Turin, where thousands of people who were watching the final match of Champions League, panicked after hearing the noise of some shots and turned into a human avalanche that generated over 600 injured, is a consistent example of the constant tension that lingers in our countries.

The best answer is keeping on travelling, on attending concerts and sport events: all the smiles and happy faces I saw last night are the best answer to hate and the reason why  my favourite part (in addition of Coldplay, of course) was the Parrs Wood High School Choir exhibition. Not only because the young and talented soloist (she is only 12 and has an incredible voice) was overwhelmed with emotion and calmed down only after being hugged by Ariana with whom she was duetting, but mainly because those kids represented the new generations who stand together and aren’t afraid to live their lives.

As regarding myself, I have experienced once again the healing power of music, because while I was singing out loud Coldplay and Oasis’ songs, I forgot my miserable condition and my sick sad life.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Fix You – Coldplay

 

“Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”- Martin Luther King Jr.

Many things have been written about what happened in Manchester. I read disgusting sarcasm like “Here’s what you get for listening shitty music”, a lot of hate, too many useless theories, a few jackals/journalists stalking victim’s relatives in order to get the perfect moving story, the usual comment of people who state that we only get indignant because it happened in Europe.

My opinion is: too many young angels grew their wings too soon and their families deserve silence and respect. They don’t need our silly conjectures.

Also, big, tragic events like this can make feel like that the world is falling apart, so, in your lifes,  look for one of the tiny acts of kindness that still hold it together.

The words that inspired me to stay positive, came from JD: “Even in the most fucked up times, look to the light. It’s the only way to fight the darkness.

TRACK OF THE DAY: One more time- Ariana Grande

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams”-Arthur O’Shaughnessy

It is said: don’t wash your dirty linen in public; what wise advice to follow! But it is inapplicable when it’s up to International music competitions where Italy has to show out her artists. I’m always ashamed to show that my fellow countrymen listens and what there’s on the top of Italian charts: it’s time for Eurovision Contest again, this year the Italian contestant is a nice guy with a catchy song named “Occidentali’s Karma” which won Festival di Sanremo 2017.  I can call myself lucky after past years critics regarding the Volo trio (“Oh. Italians never age! Those old men look so young!” or “Who are those mummies?” a few of my friends’ kindest comments) or singer Emma Marrone (“Where are her clothes?”).

My foreign friends seem to like Francesco Gabbani, they find his dance funny and his song pleasant and easy listening. So, what am I complaining about? That everybody wants me to translate “the dancing ape song”. And it’s a quite difficult task since there are a lot of unusual terms; in the end I made it, but the song lost a bit of its wit.

Will he win tomorrow? Hope so: somebunny owes me to dance and sing “Westerners’ karma” via face time.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Occidentali’s Karma- Francesco Gabbani

“Ocean separates lands, not souls”-Munia Khan

I’ve just finished to read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, well, read is not the proper word since I literally devoured it, I love her prose, she is a poet indeed because she has the ability to keep the reader stuck on the page. There isn’t a dull moment, an unnecessary part, she presents people, places and situations through her eyes and her attention to details, clothes, smells or tastes, helps to have a clear picture of what she writes. This book is an autobiography and it’s centred mainly on her relationship with the artist/photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and their struggle to realize their dreams in New York. It’s an inspirational book, above all if you have artistic ambitions and it’s an honest overview on two cultural icons who trascend their times.

There are many reasons why one can find this book interesting, but what I loved the most is the kind of relationship between Patti and Robert. She promised him to write their story after his death (he passed away in 1989 after battling against AIDS) and she fulfilled this promise many years later with this heartfelt book. Their bond was so intense that it hold out against lack of money, it endured after both careers took off and despite of Robert’s homosexuality, it spiritually survived even after Patti got married and had kids. When Robert died, she knew it before anyone told her about it and I think that’s the best example how two souls can be deeply related besides time, distance or other relationships.

I believe in what Goethe called “Elective Affinities”, that somewhere there is our perfect half and that we can recognize them through simple details (same interests, a food you both like, a particular scent, a song…), you don’t need big things to say “You’re my person” to someone, you just feel it.

Unfortunately fate is mean and it often happens to meet the right one too late or that there are insurmountable obstacles to your happiness. There’s no biggest punishment than can’t be together with the person you’re destined to. But this is called life.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Ask the Angels- Patti Smith

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor”― Suzanne Collins

As you can notice, I change mood often. Today was a high pain day, I was emotionally down, but texting with my special medicine gave me the strenght to face this day. And this reinforces again my theory, according to which, any random kind of kindness or any supportive act could have a positive effect on the recipient’s mood or day.

Talking about positive things, here we come to today’s topic: Ed Sheeran is coming to Italy, only one date in a quite small venue, so getting the tickets was worse than winning the Hunger games. I had my future  tickets paid by a generous person, so I only had to be that lucky to get them (and hope in a low pain day on the gig’s date).

Besides of this not interesting informations, what I really wanted to say is that this time we experienced the shameful thing called secondary ticket sellers, that always happens when there are big events (Coldplay, U2, Red Hot and so on). The tickets are gone in five ten minutes and it’s not the fans that get them, but those scammers sites who buy a lot of tickets and sell them again overpriced.

This must end, but unless people stop buying from this sites, it won’t happen. At my concert of The Cure  I had a coveted seat and I was the only one who had her ticket bought from the official seller at the right price.I know you all are big fans, you want to see your idols and you don’t matter to pay a little (or much) more to see them, but you’re only stoking the secondary tickets phenomenon.

It’s so sad reading angry tweets for those who couldn’t get the ticket, the illusion of those who got to put them in the cart, but when they confirmed, the system said they were already sold out. I know we have so many bigger problems in Italy and in the world, but music is something people hold on to and it should be easily affordable for everyone.

What about me? Were the “Edds” in my favour? I won’t tell you 😉

TRACK OF THE DAY: Castle on the hill-Ed Sheeran

“Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine”- Charlotte Brontë

I was listening to the so relatable “Till the sun comes up” by Gavin James and I started reflecting on the lines “take me out of the water, out of the rain” asking myself if one day my cries for help and my attempts to escape from depression, will be successful. I have hope, but it’s as thin as tissue paper.

I’ve always been depressed, since I was twelve, when I understood that what was cool for my family about me, it wasn’t that cool for the others, that my tastes about music, clothes, sports and habits made me “the weird one” “the childish one” and even if I’ve always been proud of my being one of a kind, I developed a deep insecurity and the constant feeling of being out of place. And the worse happened when I realised that not only I would never marry Johnny Depp or become a writer, but that the guy I was madly in love with, only saw me as a friend.

Some people call it life, some people cope with deception better than others, but I wasn’t that strong, so depression triggered a lot of wrong choices that I’m still paying for. Since the only person I loved rejected me, I ended with the worst man I could choose for myself and spent my life to make things right. I tried to commit three times: at sixteen, at twenty and at twenty-two, but I never had the courage for it, so through the years I’ve been trying to kill myself in a more subtle way: by refusing food, but that’s a story that deserves its own post.

But suddenly, I found happiness who came in the most unexpected disguise and at the most unexpected time. I must admit that it was a sort of deep, bright, complete happiness that only changed my mood, my inner self and helped me to build self acceptance; it didn’t change the reality I’m living in (I’m trapped in a life I can’t escape from, unless I won a lot of money and gain a healthy body).

Chronic pain and invisible illness ruined everything again for they caused tremendous changes in my lifestyle, limiting my individual mobility and independence. The quality of my life got worse, I wake up hoping to get to the end of the day with the least pain or troubles possible. The worst thing is the lack of emotional support from the people I’m living with, who think I’m faking it, that it’s all in my head, who call me: useless, lazy, burden…

Pain, emotional violence, lack of my own money, made me fragile, I’m often depressed, but I have my magic medicine and the hope that the sun will be up for me… someday.

 TRACK OF THE DAY: ‘Till the sun comes up”- Gavin James