heartbeat

te-am cautat. nu te-am gasit,
dar tot ce nu am simtit
se rascoleste de la sine-n
mine
si cauta tot felul de poteci ascunse,
iar eu n-am decat feliile de paine unse
cu unt, untura, margarina,
si inima mea-i doar terina.
ascund si fierb in ea
imaginatiuni traite,
dar mereu de altii,
ascund si fierb in ea
ganduri nedeslusite,
traite doar de altii,
iar eu am in mine viteze nebanuite,
ganduri neobosite,
creiere pe repeat si sentimente mii.
sunt toata ghem – senzatii, nebunii…

I’m trying to put it all back together.
I’ve got a story and I’m trying to tell it right.
I got the kerosene and a desire.
I’m trying to start a flame in the heart of the night

Carry On

Walking through life balancing both of my left feet on a single sharp blade,
I know you’d say that this is hell, but I simply call it home.
I’m used to it – the harsh sound of spilling blood,
The drinks I forgot to have and all of the friends I forgot to call,
All of those times when I said I’d eat healthy,
And that I’d call my mom,
All of those are gone, and I’m just screaming my lungs out,
Drowning in silence,
Drowning in pain.
I know I’m vain,
But I’m not in vain.

Review: IAMX – Metanoia Tour 2016

Last time I saw IAMX live, I was complaining about the static audience, but nothing had prepared me for March 14th. Nothing!

IAMX has released two more albums since our last encounter, one of which is practically amazing, and the other one is Metanoia. I thought about reviewing it a few times, but somehow it felt redundant for me to do it.

iamxMetanoia is a weird, weird album. It is said to be rooted deep into Chris’ depression, and it certainly sounds like it. However, early fans will love it, because it sounds so much like The Alternative and Kiss + Swallow, without the lyrical depth that made me scream „Chris, you decadent god!„. Newer fans might be a little confused, though… Metanoia is so rough, so blunt, painful at times and confusing. The album is missing the poetry that makes Chris what he is.

This is the first time I had to wait (not counting the pouring rain at the Killers & White Lies concert) so much to see one of my favorite bands. IAMX got a little lost on the Transylvanian roads, but the wait was totally worth it. Even though the band started playing 3 hours after the intended timeline.

As usual, Chris was so visual. The background played on loop disturbing images of love and loss, of hate and despair, of desert, naked bodies and broken hopes. How else would you know you’re at an IAMX concert?!

He started violently with I Come With Knives, one of the best songs he ever wrote. His keyboard players were demanding all of the attention, yet his voice managed to rule us all.

I never really liked The Alternative – not the song, and not the album, but this time it felt different. This time, Chris had a beautiful crowd all to himself, all of whom paid to see and hear him, and all of us were his devoted fans. In this light, the song made so much sense than it did a few years ago.

Happiness was the first song off Metanoia, and one of the few I really like. Depressing, raw and broken, Chris sang of despair and what more could I ask for? I was truly happy then.

No Maker Made Me is my personal anthem off Metanoia. I truly love the song, the message, the sound of it. I like its bluntness and the raw feeling I get when I listen to it, especially the screaming part of „you fucking sinner”…

In the Tear Garden we meet again. A song with so much meaning, so special and sad, it could only be followed by OCDEM.

Oh Cruel Darkness Embrace Me feels very ambivalent to me now. I sorta have a love-hate relationship with it, though the song is great. Sometimes it feels like irony, sometimes it plays out like demand-able hope. Who says it’s not the both of them?

Last time when I saw IAMX, Spit It Out ended the concert. It’s still my favorite song, my sad song, my beautiful song, and I really thought that’s the best I can get out of it. Yet, somehow, Chris outdone himself. Spit It Out grew up and this metamorphosis was incredible on so many levels. The song sounded like Chris was covering an oldie, so different, so mellow, still angst-y and depressing. I wish I could listen to this version and dissect it all day long, because it’s so different, yet so familiar.

Nightlife is one of Chris’s most used songs in movies and TV shows. You can hear it in How To Get Away With Murder (I think), in vampire movies and so on. This track reminds me of 90s ravers, even though I was never part of that scene. It has urgency, it’s raw, it’s primal and wild, and one of the best songs written by Chris. Even though it’s not universal, I really appreciated the inclusion on this set-list.

The holy trio of Metanoia was up next. Insomnia, North Star and Aphrodisiac followed up what was, I think, one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Insomnia is so demanding, so lost, but there comes North Star, determined and mature. Only Aphrodisiac can be played next, because it’s the only song suited for this color scheme. All three songs have different shades of grey, but Aphrodisiac is so evil, plotting weird stuff under tones of make up and promoting promiscuity in a way that allows you to go through the gates of heaven.

And because Chris is the master of emotional roller-coasting (is that even a word?!), he ends this with the amazing Your Joy Is My Low. This is one of the first songs I listened from IAMX, so I hold it dear and close. Keyboards all over the place, jerky rhythm, a bassline to die for and the amazing poetry that made me fell in love. With such lyrics, who can judge me?

You shift the play, push the curve to sit between your thighs
It’s a sign, it’s time to exercise the lines
You want the double cut through to wet, invade and slide
You slide and I’m awake and I’m the slave tonight

You lie, you lie to spare my life
You needed it, he tasted you inside out

Say it, your joy, your joy is my low
So you want yourself to stop
Say it, your joy, your joy is my low
And when you crack the whip, I crawl again

How can you remain complete after hearing this live? After witnessing Chris’s debauchery with such unaffectedness that makes me run after his bus tour and beg him to take me with them?

Of course, this could only be followed by Kiss + Swallow. Electronica through the roof! The bass rules this piece, and the way Chris says „zero” is so sinful and lovely…

It’s only natural I should admit by now the fact that listening to I Am Terrified live scared me. Not because of the lyrics, but because of the mismatch. It felt weird to hear it after the Kraftwerk-like gem that is Kiss + Swallow, however it wasn’t that bad. Just awkward. And sad. Terribly sad.

If the first encore came with Kiss + Swallow, the second one saw me amazed by the fact that Bring Me Back a Dog is still a thing. It’s one of my favorite songs, and this time Chris had a whole army spitting these beautiful lyrics back at him with voracity and passion. It was amazing!

The night ended with Mercy, one of the songs I avoid at all costs. Well, I avoid it after the first 60-70 seconds. It’s beautifully written, of course, and the vocals are perfect for it. But the chorus makes my heart ache, I almost feel like crying, so I try to keep myself sane by avoiding it.

I thought that this concert will bring me nothing new. Boy, was I wrong! Last time, I complained that Chris needed a better audience, but this time everyone present was there to support and love him. We were all one soul, mixed together with agony, anticipation, love, distrust, disappointment, hope and Chris. I’m so glad I was there, this was the concert I’ve been waiting for two years now.

Pic. The whole setlist here.

Nice and True

The time is blind,
and maybe dead,
but all that counts
is how to hide
inside my head.
Nothing to love,
nothing to cherish,
nothing but stabbed eyes,
wads of cash,
I’ll feed you scars and ashes,
tell me – is it all about the gashes
of truth and dare.
There’s nothing behind me but blank stares.
I’d love to watch you dance,
undress your sins,
unclench your fists,
I’d feed you drugs and fame,
you’d do me on your knees
wouldn’t that be lame?
I’d use you
and abuse me,
I’d feed you nothings
and pieces of everything.
All of the hate,
all of the dirt,
the jizz and the squirt,
the spit and the shit.
And you’ll fall for me,
and I’d fall for you,
wouldn’t that be nice and true?

Review: Brandon Flowers – The Desired Effect

I’ve been a The Killers fan since 2005, and they are one of the most important bands I stumbled upon during those dark days post-highschool dramedy that was my life, so the solo efforts of Brandon Flowers were a must listen, at least for me.

Flamingo was a mediocre album, so it took me a while to get on board with The Desired Effect. But boy, it did have it!

Dreams Come True is a great opener, filled with promises and great poetry written by Mr. Flowers, the god himself, and it benefits from its weird choice of 80s sound combined with some gospel-y vocals. I could see myself driving on a highway, not a care in the world, knowing that everything will be ok. (9.5/10)

Can’t Deny My Love was chosen as a lead single, and it has that anthem-y feel that Flowers seems to love. Still 80s, still filled with synths, a great tune overall, but it fades quickly when compared to the other songs from the album. (8/10)

If you ever wanted to hear a new kind of Bronski Beat, I Can Change is just perfect. Brandon Flowers’ pleas are amazingly tuned into that awkward request employed by the song. Oh, and Neil Tennant! (8/10)

Still Want You is a promise, just like the whole album. Perfectly in tune with my inner self, filled with doubt, but also with certitude, you can „smell” the maturity in Flowers. (9/10)

I wish I could say more about Between Me and You, a song that, with all its Killers-y sound, feels so Flowers-y at the same time, but all I can really say is it delivers yet another promise from this great man from Nevada. (8.5/10)

Synths and trumpets, the backbone of the 80s, mixed with a disco feel, Lonely Town is the perfect anthem for the teenager in you. (9/10)

Diggin’ Up the Heart will most likely please the old The Killers fans, as it’s definitely one of the songs that bears its signature. Angst-y and valiant, I can’t say I don’t dig it, even though it lacks a personal note. (8/10)

Never Get You Right starts off as a Las Vegas story gone wrong, but then it fades into this beautifully crafted 80s gem that is layered with love and despair at the same time. (9/10)

This time touching the glam rock of the 80s, Untangled Love seems to float in a sea of indecision. With pleading vocals, and guitars to lead the way, I’m guessing that this is the most impersonal song off the album. You can’t pinpoint it on Flowers, or The Killers, or anything else, but what it seems to lack in personality is brought forward by the determination in completing it, so that must be something, I guess… (6/10)

The Way It’s Always Been explores the familiar route taken by so many The Killers songs before, but it does so in a melodic way that almost sounds like a prayer. I’d say that it’s a good way to end the almost perfect album of the Killers frontman, but I think that it kinda lacks hope. (8.5/10)

The Desired Effect is a great album, one of the greatest that feature Flowers on the vocals. It lacks the experimentation perceived on Flamingo, but it also helps him get an appropriate, personal voice. The songs blend in perfectly with Flowers’ voice, his lyrics and themes, and the extensive use of 80s sound is mesmerizing. This one’s a keeper!

Pic.

Throwback Thursday: The All-American Rejects

I remember a time when I was younger, when hopes and dreams crashed and fell onto the ground, when regrets were overflowing and when tears were ever present.

That was the time, the lonely time, when The All-American Rejects came into my life, with their not-so-emo sound, but oh-so-angsty lyrics.

Yes, Dirty Little Secret was the one that started it all, but yesterday I stumbled upon Dance Inside, something I tried so hard to forget, something that somehow still hurts, something that was never meant to be…

You don’t have to move, you don’t have to speak
lips for biting.
You’re staring me down, a glance makes me weak
eyes for striking

Now I’m twisting up when I’m twisted with you
brush so lightly
and time trickles down, and I’m breathing for two
squeeze so tightly.

I’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.
this moment seems so long
Don’t waste now, precious time
we’ll dance inside the song

[Chorus]
What makes the one to shake you down?
Each touch belongs to each new sound
Say now you want to shake me too
Move down to me, slip into you

She sinks in my mind as she sheds through her skin
touch sight tastes like fire
hands do now what eyes no longer defend
hands to fuel desire

I’ll be fine, you’ll be fine
this moment seems so long
Don’t waste now, precious time
we’ll dance inside the song

[Chorus]

Ooo, ah [x8]

And I’ll be fine, you’ll be fine
Is this fine? I’m not fine
Give me pieces, give me things to stay awake (stay awake)

[Chorus x2]

Move down to me, slip into you

Review: Peter Gabriel – Back to Front

Peter Gabriel is one of the greatest things that ever happened to music and me, so it was only natural for me to attend the greatest sermon that ever graced my eyes. Yes, I tend to use hyperbole when talking about gods, so please bear with me.

The Back to Front concert hosted on the 8th of May of this sweet year (joking, this year has been everything but sweet to me) was met with great expectations by me, and I am happy to say that these expectations were surpassed by Mr. Peter Gabriel.

I tend to Google the plot synopsis before I watch movies and TV shows, but I never look for set lists online, because I want my live experience to be virgin and genuine. So, except for one video of In Your Eyes, I didn’t know what to expect from Back to Front.

Mr. Peter Gabriel is very punctual, fortunately, and I did know that, but I didn’t expect to see him at 8:00 on the stage, announcing the beautiful Jennie Abrahamson & Linnea Olsson, who served as his backing vocals too.

I was glad to see that this great artist I have loved since I was little was still full of energy, with his raspy voice somewhat changed – it has a deeper, more serious tone, but it’s still sweet and full of hope. Whenever I listen to him I managed to drift away and dream of home, and dream of dreams, all the while I’m dancing and floating in space.

I tried several times to tell you about this experience, but I never had the full dictionary available. I am so sorry for being so poor with regards of words, and I am sorry I lack the imagination to tell you about one of the most awesome experiences I had when it comes to live music.

I remember the crowd, that special crowd you see only when live „old music” is playing. The crowd that suffered the limitations of the old regime, the crowd that found liberation in music, the crowd that still has values and still dreams while having its eyes open.

I remember not fitting in that crowd, because I am too young to fit in there, but not fitting in the Tiesto crowd either, because that doesn’t make me feel safe or warm, but I also remember Mr. Peter Gabriel making me feel at home with his music, so I guess there’s no greater achievement for an artist.

I remember feeling quite unsure of how to dance and act during O But, but I remember feeling full of home while listening to Come Talk To Me. Shock The Monkey was great, of course, and innovator, but then Family Snapshot followed, and I was left WTF?!

Digging In The Dirt was there to remind us of Perter Gabriel’s eclectic taste in music, as were Secret World, and The Family And The Fishing Net. No Self Control was awesome, musically and visually, and with Solsbury Hill the Master touched old fans and new ones alike. This part of the concert ended with Why Don’t You Show Yourself?, a song that’s part of the soundtrack for a movie that’s a part of a trilogy about drugs, prostitution (I think) and religion. The song has a message, but I think its concept was lost somewhere on the way, because the public was very bored during the performance.

The peak of the concert was, of course, the reiteration of So, the 1986 album. Red Rain started this session with red visuals, and everyone singed along with Peter Gabriel. Sledgehammer followed up and everyone was already high on music, but when Don’t Give Up started it was clear that this is the best version of the song. I am sorry, Miss Bush, but Linnea Olsson beat you at your own game. That Voice Again and Mercy Street slowed down the people, but thank god for Big Time, whose only purpose was to renew everything in anything. This song is truly so much larger than life, even after all this time. We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37) is so underrated, and I really don’t understand why, and so is This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds). These two should’ve been taught in music classes, because stylistically they are so out of this world, I can’t even begin to…

The concert should have ended with In Your Eyes. Where else can I see 40+ year old guys singing songs that belong on teen flick soundtrack? But no, the next two songs pushed the public away, at least here in Romania. The Tower That Ate People and Biko ended in a distant note what should have been left at awesome.

The whole concert was a great experience, and I must admit that the crowd was even more engaged in the show than I expected. Even though some of the songs were a little bit too artsy fartsy for their own good, Peter Gabriel pulls that off, so kudos for him. I’d love to see him again!