Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back Rooms and Dreams

It began, they say, in the back room of a bar, a modern equivalent of a speakeasy, in nightly sessions of poker. Hazy cigarettes smoke, a few six packs and half empty bottles of beers lying around, busy shuffling sounds and the beginning of a dream - let's start a band. We've got the means, we've got that rebel spirit, we've got that itch to make it happen.

Most would have stopped at that point, either too drunk or too sober, but not the members of Tony the Bookie. Something was burning inside (and it wasn't just the extra cheese topping). The album The Tony the Bookie Orchestra is a product of that burning, still exploring itself, improving with practice and experience. There may be others, bringing to mind freer, perhaps a little more naive times. The spirit is there.

Do you still have that spirit? Take a ride with Tony the Bookie (website, MySpace, facebook) and try out the album.

Tony the Bookie - True Love {MP3} (from The Tony the Bookie Orchestra)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brace for impact

It seems I'm about to lose my job, again. There will be no semi-divine intervention putting me back this time. In fact, it's likely that I will be joined by most of the rest of the company soon after. Mind numbing as it was in the recent years, this job did provide a shelter through the ongoing recession, almost surviving it. But not quite.

The mood here has an eerily cheerful facade, fueled by a mix of denial, a sense of fatality and the budding realization that C'est la vie, the time to change has come. I will certainly miss my friends and some of my co-workers, but in a way I've been both waiting and dreading it for quite some time. Will this be the push I need to finally get a grip? Or is (my) life merely a series of such moments of realization after which I sink into the usual comfortable routine of the ordinary and boring?

I don't know what tomorrow will bring; I just need to find the exciting part of it, not just the scary one.

To all job seekers, future and present, I dedicate this beautiful and immensely moving song by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush; don't give up.

Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush - Don't Give Up {Video}, from So

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Relationships' Strange Power

Relationships... where do I start? The complexity of interacting with other people over time and context seems to rise in rate equaling that of entropy filling the universe. The results of both processes, gaping holes of pain, may be similar as well on some cases. In other cases, the serene stars littered skies, each in its own place, seem to present a working unified system. But humans defy the cosmos and its mathematical laws; friend is sometimes foe, kin betrays kin, love is found in the most unlikely places.

But I should let indie singer-songwriter Eric Sarmiento (mentioned here before) present this post's track, part of a duo of new released songs, with his own words:
"they both deal with relationships and how they tend to be interwoven with the spaces of our lives, changing those spaces and being shaped by them. As the name suggests, 'strange power' is about the odd and often surprising ways in which we connect with people, and how those connections can seem to change even the most familiar places into something exotic and new. The coda section of the song delves a bit more into the ways that these connections, however powerful they might be, require work and practice to come to fruition... perhaps to really allow them to bloom to their fullest extent requires quite a bit of courage and ambition, I think."

The song itself hit me as inspired by new wave meets early-mid 2000s styles, but I'm no music expert. I just love the stuff. And it comes in a time relationships complexities come from all sides.

Keep tabs on Eric Sarmiento on MySpace and his label, Alchemist Records, as he releases his latest series of new songs, available soon on iTunes, emusic and more.

Eric Sarmiento - Strange Power {MP3}

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Implications of Having an Imaginary Band

"The band, not being a real band, consequently never formed. And so, there is little to tell about its history."

With this brilliant short intro on his page (and a lucky email nudge) I was introduced to the beautifully warm and reassuring music of Ben Romvari. A talented Canadian web designer-turned recording engineer and even more so indie singer-songwriter, he has released two records thus far: Nocturnal Fables and Illusions and the Trust EP.

What can you expect from an imaginary band? Is it like an imaginary friend, only with a larger echoing chorus? Should we expect a fallout between the non existent bassist and the almost-there-but-not-quite drummer? Perhaps, one can simply give Ben a listen and fill in the supporting characters themselves. The potential for a "real" band, and more, is there.

Check out Ben's Imaginary Band to become a true fan on his website, MySpace and His recordings are available for stream and download.

Ben's Imaginary Band - A Reason Why {MP3} (from Nocturnal Fables and Illusions)
Ben's Imaginary Band - The magical Floating Bed {MP3} (from Trust EP)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Such Sweet Sorrow

The pain of losing someone, at least for me, is deeply personal; not only in its obvious meaning but in some odd and not completely out of place egotistical way. It is losing, not gaining; it is the end of a potential, not the beginning. Regrets, sometimes overlooked, surface with a violent vengeance and guilt strikes to the core.

It is the end of the world, the inner world, as we know it. But endings and beginnings come and go every day; death is final.

And what do we really know of our loved ones, our feelings towards them and even ourselves? More and more I agree with Joni Mitchell that it is "life's illusions I recall; I really don't know life at all". It is the shattering of those illusions, our conceptions, misguided hopes, that hurts the most.


Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now {video}