Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Thirty-Three Teeth

by Colin Cotterill

There used to be a flea market in C.C. El Campanario every Saturday. Not any more. Can’t believe it was in any way hampering the trade there — the commercial centre is still half-empty. It’s a shame, for there are very few second-hand shops in Corralejo. Some time last year, I bought the brand-new first edition of Thirty-Three Teeth for exactly €1 (one euro) — a bargain, especially knowing that the same book on Amazon is priced at over £100.

I have to confess that the reading did not go as smoothly as it was the case with Curse of the Pogo Stick. (At least in part, this probably has something to do with me mostly reading it on the beach.) But it is a great read, full of suspense, as any decent mystery novel should be, gentle humour, and little and bigger gems waiting to be discovered...

A wall two and a half metres high protected the place as if it were something more special than it was.
The ministry of Sport, Information and Culture presently and unofficially occupied a seven-storey building that overlooked the non-spouting fountain at Nam Poo Square. Given the shape of things in Laos, the square was naturally a circle.
‘What do you all do here?’ she asked.
‘Oh. Absolutely top secret. Can’t possibly tell you.’
‘All right.’
‘But these two buildings are Lao secret police.’

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Butcher’s Ballroom

by Diablo Swing Orchestra

Who said art rock is dead? I discovered this fantastic album browsing through Jamendo’s free music collection. The last time I’ve enjoyed listening to heavy metal cum operatic vocals was, um, probably never. The opening track, Balrog Boogie, is a killer, but please don’t stop there and listen to the end. My other favourite songs include D’angelo, Porcelain Judas and Pink Noise Waltz.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

לשבור את החזיר

a film by Oleg Kuvaev

From the author of cult animation series Masyanya (Масяня) comes this funny and touching film, based on a short story by Etgar Keret. The Russian-subtitled version is available here.

Friday, 18 May 2012

what I’ve made

by Tamara Kulikova

My contribution to this new(ish) blog by Tamara is limited by several photos. They are not better or even remotely as good as Tamara’s (remember, we are dealing with a professional here). The reason I did take them is that Tamara was inside of her creations. As all the sessions took place on our sunroof in daytime, I didn’t see much either: I was just pointing the camera roughly in her direction and shooting away.

Friday, 11 May 2012


by Нино Катамадзе & Insight

Green is the latest chromatic adventure of Nino and Insight. (Will we also get Lemon Chiffon, Periwinkle or Papaya Whip?) If the opening track on heavier Red reminded me of King Crimson ca. 1974, then the first riffs of Uncle Klaus brought me straight back to the Discipline era. Wham! A great start of a great album, the rest of which, by the way, sounds quite unlike the first song but no less delightful: from haunting jazz waltz If I Could to psychedelic Vahagn to swinging Les Oiseaux, and so on and so forth, except that every time it is very different on and completely different forth... I am looking forward to the new colours.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Rising Force

by Yngwie J. Malmsteen

The 1980s were lousy times for rock music. At least, in the West. But every cloud has a heavy metal lining: the great rockers of the 1970s discovered that they were ever so popular in Soviet Union. By the end of the decade, they were touring the former evil empire en masse, among them Black Sabbath, Ian Gillan, Nazareth, Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep... and Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force.

Malmsteen probably is the only truly great rock guitarist to emerge in the 1980s. I have no clue what, if anything, YJM is doing now, but by mid-1990s he was already fading from collective memory. Therefore, I arbitrarily declare that Malmsteen was on peak of his career exactly when I saw him (twice) live in Moscow in 1988. The band, fronted by Joe Lynn Turner, was phenomenal. The crowd was as ecstatic as could be under the circumstances (don’t forget the heavy militia presence). And yet, it seemed that Yngwie, still in his twenties, was basking in the past glory. The Force has risen, but it was already time to settle down for bed.

Even if Malmsteen recorded only Rising Force, it should be more than enough to guarantee him the place in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to which he remains to be induced.

* * *

Listening to the album for the first time, Yuri said: “This guitar solo is longer than Rimmer’s special salute”.

* * *

In my Zumba classes, I use the first 22 seconds of Black Star as a break between some tracks.

* * *

On the CD booklet, moſt of the text, including ſong lyrics, is typeſet in blackletter.
Which is probably to the beſt as the lyrics does not make much ſenſe.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


by Нино Катамадзе & Insight

More great music from Georgian prog-rockers Nino Katamadze and Insight. As on Black, the band’s line-up consists of Gocha Kacheishvili, Ucha Gugunava and David Abuladze, plus special guests. Saxophonist Anatoly Gerasimov joins on the opening instrumental Way To Lo, which wouldn’t be out of place on King Crimson’s album of the same name. Beautiful Autumn, probably the only song with a distinctively Georgian feel, features Niaz Diasamidze on panduri. Katamadze’s voice is as powerful as on previous records. More than that: this album is so far the most diverse work of hers.