Archive for April, 2007

Critical metrics

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Today a friend pointed me to a collaborative music site Critical metrics that collects the recommendations and favourite songs of artists, DJs, music tv networks, newspapers, magazines, retailers and bloggers. In otherwords it represents all media types and is open to all angles of opinion. It is easy to click and listen to music and read the reviews. Part of my afternoon’s procrastination has been listening to 100 songs we love’ with the likes of Joan as a police woman, Peter Bjorn and John, The Long Blondes, Nick Drake, Rodriguez. This just might be the perfect late afternoon pickup for some of you.

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Rêve boheme

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Recently on a spontanious whim, I went to see a group called Rêve boheme at the Copenhagen Jazz club. The concert was so warm and uplifting that I still find myself absorbing the atmosphere days later. The music of Rêve boheme which translates to ‘dreaming gypsy’ is inspired by the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt and the Quintette du Hot Club de France in the 1930s. The story of Django’s life, as a gypsy and an artist in the context of two World Wars, to becoming one of the most influential guitarists in Jazz history is a good read.

As they played, I noticed that Rêve boheme were using unusually shaped guitars. (Wikipedia: Sekmer Maccaferri acoustic guitars that are uniquely shaped with a wider D-shaped soundhole and a peghead that is slotted and tapered to produce a cleaner, warmer sound). I wondered how the the lead guitarist Jens Fuglsang stayed so relaxed when his finger movements and improvisations were so fluid and complex, there was no tension what so ever.

A video of Django along with violinist Stephane Grapelli (a favourite of mine) and the Hot club de France:

she said….

She said ‘what lovely whistling, you totally woo me’…..

‘Young folks’ by Peter, Bjorn and John – Swedish trio

we are just so happy here in Denmark

Yet again an article has talked about about the ‘happiness of danes’. I have to say I’m pleased that I live amongst the happiest people in the world, it ends up making you feel quite content.

Yes it is true that maternity/paternity leave is good here, the standard of living is high (especially due to a strong economy right now) and people feel secure because of the high unemployment benefits and a generally uncorrupt bureaucratic system. The pressure to ‘work to survive’ doesn’t really exist and when the sun comes out, its generally accepted that you can go out and enjoy it. Thats life, great isn’t it!

I just suspect that the reason behind ‘happiness’ is a bit more complex that that. Happiness is an affected state of mind caused by many things, love, money, self-satisfaction and these days probably dependant on the amount of anti-depressants people take. Last but not least, it is largely determined by expectation. If you set low levels of expectation, for instance in the number of work hours, in academic achievement, in the need to be healthy, thin and to accomplish things efficiently, then things are a lot happier and a lot less stressful. If you drop out of school, become a single mum, can only afford budget foods and smoke a heap, thats also okay. Maybe there is just too much expectation out there in the big ‘unhappy’ world.

More than anything else, I think mantality has more influence on the state of ‘happiness’. I have noticed that most Danes in general have a very strong sense of nationality, community, and virtually fall over backwards if something negative is said about their country. Its almost a betrayal to themselves and fellow countrymen to talk down about their lives to others, it would never cross their mind. Thats sometimes a hard thing for outsiders to swallow and understand, especially if you are used to thinking that the grass is greener all the time….here in Denmark the grass is the greenest if you think like a Dane 🙂

The figurines – back in the day

Is it a woman singing? After closer inspection it appears not, what a great voice! The Figurines ….. they are a Danish band from Jutland (just to point out that its not all about Copenhagen in Denmark).

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Summer means the return of the buskers. On Saturday night I saw this guy play his glasses on strøgget, the main pedestrian street in the middle of Copenhagen. Its amazing what he does.

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A void

At the beginning of March in Copenhagen, thousands of young people staged a number of protests against the forced removal of the inhabitants from a well known squatters house and its subsequent demolition.
Riots and violence spread to other parts of the city and many people that were unrelated to the event joined the mayhem for the sake of challenging authorities and advoking anarcist rights. Fires were set, vehicles were destroyed, shop windows were smashed and hundreds were arrested. Police from neighbouring countries were brought in to help control repeated resurgances. For the citizens of Copenhagen, this became a situation of inconvenience because roads were blocked for weeks and the continuous drone of police helicopters could be heard in the sky in the days surrounding the event.

On the way to work I pass the site of the previous Ungdoms huset. The space is like a void and the flowers that litter the ground are reminicent of a grave-yard.

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