Category Archives: Music

New post ideas

I wanted to write a clever post on why I don’t update so often. It’s not like I don’t have time for my site, and it’s not like I’m not interested in jefflion.net anymore. And it’s not like I don’t have ideas: I have tons of ideas.

I just… Can’t. It happens to me when I’m depressed, or anxious, or when I worry. I become so fucking unproductive in those situations. I also suffer from insomnia. I can’t sleep at night. I just can’t.

But to make this post somewhat positive, here are some post ideas:

Race & yours truly (race blogs, racism, and what’s in it for me, because I’m white and I’m non-Westerner, so it’s not an issue that usually affects people in my part of the world. Unlike, you know, almost all the other issues you can think of).
Movie reviews (I love doing movie reviews, and I don’t even care if a movie is new or not. I’ve been planning on doing a review for In Bruges for so long, and there are also some new films I’m interested in: new Sherlock Holmes or Tin Tin, or just some little independent movie I watched and loved).
Stereotypes about Eastern Europeans (that are actually true).
Novel writing (How to and How Not To)
Vampires and the Balkans (and the way popular representations of vampires, based on stories about Dracula, were actually formed as cautionary tales about the wild Balkans, a dangerous region that can corrupt the West – yes, that’s right kids, there’s an ugly story behind this).

Anyway, this song always makes me feel better for some reason:

R.E.M. – Electrolite

My favourite song at the moment.

Not sure why. I mean, I like R.E.M. and I think they’re a quality band, but for some reason, I’ve never though much about them.

Unexpectedly, this song hit me two days ago and now I can’t stop plying it over and over (and over) again. That’s what I do, BTW: when I like I song, I put it on a repeat until everybody around me is sick of it. And if it’s a good song, it takes a while to get there.

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On Amy Winehouse debacle

Note: This post started as my take on Amy Winehouse disastrous concert in Belgrade, but somehow transformed into a personal rant on hate speech against Serbia.

In case you didn’t hear, Amy Winehouse’s Belgrade concert turned out to be a complete debacle. There are various videos to prove it what happened a few nights ago at the Belgrade fortress.

The author of these videos is my friend Iva. One of her YT video gained a huge popularity, but then YT disabled it without offering a good reason. The fact it’s a bootleg wasn’t the reason given; after all, so many other concert videos are still there. No. They called my friend a spammer and a scammer. So, I guess somebody doesn’t want people to see this video, which is silly; you can’t stop the Internet. AP has it, and it’s virtually everywhere at the moment.

To watch it and read the full story, visit Iva’s website. But please, remember this is not an opportunity to laugh at Amy Winehouse and her condition.

Amy Winehouse video disabled on YT

But, there’s more. The Amy Winehouse thing is a popular stuff at the moment, and it’s saddening to see how little respect certain journalists (and others) have. I’m not talking about Amy at the moment (though that one is saddening, too), I’m talking about my country.

Amy’s newest embarrassing performance happened in Belgrade, Serbia, and not in London, UK; and for some reason, there are reporters who seem to think that it’s quite different because it happened on the Balkans. That the audience and the country somehow deserve less respect than, say, US audience in New York. Or that it’s somehow our fault or our embarrassment.

But in a way, the situation IS different for us. First of all, it’s much, much more difficult for us here to spend 40 euros on a concert ticket (many people work for less than 200 euros per month). It doesn’t mean we deserve a special treatment, but is it so difficult to grasp how disappointing and humiliating this was for people here?

The latest slap in the face came from Chelsea Handler (who the heck is this person anyway?), who tried to mock Amy Winehouse, but ended up throwing hateful comments on Serbia. This kind of ignorant junk we haven’t heard since… Well, yesterday. It never stopped; the hate speech against Serbia is still going strong. But do we need yet another ignorant Westerner and her hate speech? Is this really what Americans see as funny? Laughing at other cultures?

I am quite upset will all of this. And I’m not even sure why; I’m sure not particularly patriotic (and nationalists call people like me “traitors”). But I do feel hurt, and I do feel insulted, and I do feel so fucking tired of being reminded how unworthy, evil and disgusting my country and its people are. I’ve been listening that since I was 10. I’ve been hungry, and humiliated and treated as inferior, and I was forced to hide in the basement while the bombs were falling. I’m tired, and I’m so fucking angry and sick of it.

Here’s the thing. People in Serbia love good music. And my generation lacked the opportunity to see and hear their favourite musicians. It might seem disrespectful, or simplified, to illustrate all the mess and humiliation and hunger and embargo and war and bombing and other shit with the fact we were unable to go to concerts… But it’s a telling example.

I rarely resort to “you don’t know what is like” speech, but, seriously, do you know what is like to be desperate for this kind of events? It’s not just the concerts, though my generation IS desperate for it. Musicians visiting our country – that simple thing (that was taken for granted in the generation before mine, and yes, it was during socialism, btw), that simple thing means so much to us here.

We’re all sick of being insulted as a nation, and called names (and compared to Nazis: which hurts tremendously, because this country had suffered a lot during WWII and people here were never Nazi supporters), and seen as a source of all evil (accompanied with the usual hate and disgust for the Balkans), and humiliated and treated as inferior. It continues even today. And I’m sick and tired of it.

A song that can break your heart

It’s too pretentious and utter pathos to claim this, but there ARE songs so powerful that can make you feel both sad and full of hope, and so alive.

Pearl Jam is one of my favourite bands. I don’t really believe music has the power to change the world or save it, but on the individual level, it helps.

This is a type of song I usually dislike. I’m all for slow songs, but I loved Pearl Jam’s angry, wild style. And this one is sure different. But the way he sings it… It’s impossible not to lose yourself in it.

Like I said, I need to relax. It’s one of those moments when you want to get drunk and forget, but there’s no booze. So I have to go with music. :)

Pearl Jam “Black”

This is one of the best live versions (though many prefer the Unplugged one). This was performed back in 1992, at the Pinkpop festival. He cries at one point, and adds “we belong together” line. His voice is powerful, but breaks a few times, which only adds to the overall impression. Such a powerful song.

Lyrics:

Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me as her body once did
All five horizons revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn
Ooh, and all I taught her was everything
Ooh, I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything?
Oh, the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed Everything…

I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
I’m spinning, oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can, drop away
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…
All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I will be…yeah…
Uh huh…uh huh…ooh…
I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star
In somebody else’s sky, but why, why, why
Can’t it be, can’t it be mine

Is there a song that makes you feel this way?

The Best Songs of the Decade

This list was incredibly difficult to make, since I completely lost the track with the new music. Especially when it comes to quality new music. I haven’t searched for the new indie bands, and these are usually the ones rich of secret gems and wonderful songs. As for the more famous bands, most of the shit I like is old(er).

So, I’ve realized I can’t make this list in any coherent way. Most of the new stuff is what I’ve picked up on TV and other places, so it’s undeniably commerical and mainstream (it’s not that mainstream sucks by default, but you usually need to search deeper to find the best stuff, even made by popular bands… The most popular hits are not always what you truly find remarkable).

So take this list as the “random memorable songs of the decade”.

Also, the list surprised me as well – I had no idea I liked some of these songs that much. They are way to catchy for my usual taste, too.

Random memorable songs of the decade

… without any coherent shape, list or form.

Nine Inch Nails – Right where it belongs
Travis – Sing
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
The White Stripes -Seven Nation Army (the fake bass guitar riff … THE RIFF!!!!!1111)
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Don’t Forget Me (a little known song from their “By The Way” album… Not many people are crazy about it, but I find it irresistible).
Evanescence – My Immortal (I know, I know…)
Eddie Vedder – No Ceiling (it’s only about 2 minutes long, though. :( )
Richard Ashcroft – Break the Night With Colour
Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Nostalgia (probably one of the best songs of the decade)
Mika – Relax (the feel good song of the decade)