It has been lost, it has been found, and now finally it has been scanned: my first film, shot on the Lomography Fisheye! The fisheye effect is cute, but unfortunately both the camera and the film leaves some to be desired, not least because many of the shots came out quite dark.
Alors, my very first film:
I like all the photos here, and think that the fisheye effect has worked pretty well for these scenarios: close-up faces and wide areas — but notice the silly built-in flash on Guinness Envy, covering only half of the frame..
On the second film I’m most in favour of Summer Time! for the same reasons as above, and Green Bike for it’s distorted lines (colour tweaked digitally):
Both films are the Lomography Color Negative 400. And while I wouldn’t say that it’s a particular good film given the others I’ve tried at this point, it’s probably not supposed to be and in fact it fits nicely with the silly camera.
During the five years I lived in Aalborg I only missed the annually carnival once (it was the second year, where I’d forgotten all about it and had said yes to working). Although every year it was just before the deadline of big projects, we always took the day off to join the parade. By now it has become tradition that I don’t want to be without, and the more recent years where I’ve been away from Aalborg I have managed to find excuses to visit on the carnival weekend. This year the excuse was my girlfriend whom had never seen it before, nor had two friends from the office.
It is an unique event, where everyone in the city are friends for a day. The energy level is high, like the music, and the creativity can be surprising. And last but not least, there are so many good opportunities for taking photos – even of people that on any other day would run away from the camera – that I ended up at 825 files on the memory card. Here’s a few of them:
It was also, a bit unexpected to be honest, a nice experience to visit the city again. Before I moved out of the city I couldn’t wait to leave. Too small, too boring. But I do have a lot of good memories from the place, which I guess have been slipping out of my mind. And to be fair, on a nice spring/summer day, it does has it appeal (and people with less of an attitude than in Aarhus).
Concert-wise this was been two expensive weeks. Last night I saw Oh No Oh My opening for Giana Factory at Studenterhuset. Rightfully, Pitchfork describes Danish Giana Factory as
frozen cold, electronic minimalism, heightening drama through an eerie starkness. [The Bloody Game album] is little more than pulsing bass and ricocheting keystrokes, as Loui Foo recites the lyrics with clinical dispassion.
They seem to have good success, and are among other things supporting Glasvegas. However it’s not my kind of music and I found myself a bit indifferent during their very minimalistic concert. As one of the only electronic bands I like, LCD Soundsystem understand that even for this kind of music you cannot replace someone playing proper old-fashioned drums with computer synthesisers ;)
Oh No Oh My was more to my liking. These guys from Austin, Texas are clearly solid musicians. A bit déjà vu, a bit innocent, would have preferred more edge, yet the indie rock band was still convincing enough for me to buy a copy of their latest album People Problems at their stand after the concert.
A small part of the decision to buy their album comes from wanting to support indie bands touring in Europe. I didn’t ask these guys about it but similar bands have said that touring Europe more or less balances out; what you get for playing is just enough to cover expenses. If this is true for Oh No Oh My then of course it means a free tour of Europe for the americans, in addition to increasing their fan base. However, a lot of time goes into production before the tour and it is still many days without cashing in a pay check; this was around day 40 for Oh No Oh My and they had yet to cover the UK. If it helps increasing the motivation for these bands to keep coming across the water then paying a bit more than I normally do for an ok album is fine with me, at least when the entrance fee is as low as 60 DKK, or roughly 8€, for two bands.
I talked to one of the band members briefly. Apparently they are friends with Okkervil River, a funny discovery as they reminding me of this other Austin band during the concert. Is there a special thing called the Austin indie sound? We briefly talked about the South by Southwest music festival and no doubt he heightened my interest in attending this monster at some point: 5 days of music in down town Austin which apparently can be made quite cheap as bands often give one official ticketed performance and then several unofficial free ones. Lastly, he mentioned that they played earlier this month at La Maroquinerie in Paris (for 13€ together with Maps & Atlases). Thinking that Murder match these guys it added a piece of evidence to my thoughts in the recent post about them.
I went to the Murder concert last night at Studenterhuset in Aalborg. A Danish band, their latest album, Gospel of Man, is a brilliant work of folky music and the concert lived well up to the record. I strongly recommend that you take a look at their website if you’re unfamiliar with the music – it’s not unlike Fleet Foxes in a more masculin or less barber shop kind of way. See also Gaffa’s album review (5/6) and interview with the lead singer.
Their performance was quite naturally soft and intimate, and they managed to create a surprisingly relaxed and very welcoming atmosphere. Quite easy to find these guys cute and charming. And very easy to identify the lead singer with the popular outsider described in the above-mentioned interview. They played a good mix of songs from their three albums. I bought a copy of the Gospel of Man album and need to take a second look at the other previous two on Spotify – I may have dismissed them too quickly. Oh, and one peculiar thing. The violin sound on No Room For Mistakes was made by drawing a bow across an electric guitar. First time I’ve see this.
Having just returned from a week of concerts in Paris I kept thinking that these guys could easily match many of the bands playing at some of the better semi-underground places there (such as La Maroquinerie or Flèche d’Or). I base this purely on the quality of their music though as I have yet to figured out the politics of getting a gig. Maybe what puzzles me is the, to me, more and more visible independence of good music and big venues. I have often wondered about this when going to concerts at my favourite venue in Paris. There you never know what you get: sometimes crap and once in a while a pearl. But all bands play for free. On the other hand, you can easily pay 20€ to go to another venue to watch a semi-boring concert by a lesser band simply supplying semi-interesting tunes to the mainstream. Of course some of this is due to fame. But if nothing else, it’s a reoccurring remainder as to how hard it must be to try to make a living out of music: being really good is simply not enough – you still have to play for free.
While Murder played for 12€ in Aalborg I suspect that they would play for a lot less in Paris, if not for free. When The Blue Van – the Danish band supplying music to one of the first iPad commercials – played at Flèche d’Or less than a year ago the entrance was 8€, for three bands (they weren’t even the main band) and a drink. Kudos to the guys who find the motivation to do this :)