Twenty-ninth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place this time in two locations. Prague: 30th of June 2021 in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United) and Ostrava: 21st of July 2021 in Stará aréna Ostrava theatre. It was the first series after the spring pandemic and hopefully the new slots until the end of the year will take place. You can find the background of this story in an article about the first session here.
Prague: Bořek Nachtmann
List of songs and their final scores in this order: Prague, Ostrava.
Prague: Congratulations to Temple Of The Dog, Gretchen Parlato, Gojira and Greta van Fleet.
|01 – Greta van Fleet – Age Of Machine (Live)||12|
|02 – R+R=Now – How Much a Dollar Cost (Live)||5.5|
|03 – Wardruna – Kvitravn||3|
|04 – Floex – The Light (Papetura)||3|
|05 – Člověk krve – Natálko||4.5|
|06 – Audience choice #1 – Sogand – Delkhor||5|
|07 – Gojira – Amazonia||12|
|08 – Robert Glasper – Better Than I Imagined||3.5|
|09 – EKV – Oči Boje Meda (Live)||7|
|10 – Gretchen Parlato – No Plan (David Bowie Cover)||13.5|
|11 – Audience choice #2 – Arkona – Zimushka||4.5|
|12 – Bonus – Temple Of The Dog – Hunger Strike||21|
It was massive, when Greta Van Fleet released their hit single Highway Tune. You could hear everywhere: “It’s a miracle somebody can sound like Robert Plant.” They also deserved a credit for their rhythmic section, but to be honest, I was getting bored from the whole package and truly tired of checking who us supporting their concept and who is criticizing it. I was ready to ignore their new album, as I was expecting, they would continue on an autopilot. That’s why I was really happy to hear they progressed big time and released an amazing album proving their huge writing talent. I like the whole album, but I mainly enjoy the second half of the album with longer and more epic tracks. Great job guys. PS: My dad is a fan and I will give him your new album for his birthday in October.
Since last October, I am a member of the team of Czech radio Český rozhlas Jazz. I am doing interviews with local musicians and preparing 60 min profiles about interesting artists. In the line-up of superband R+R=NOW I already covered a career of a bass player Derrick Hodge and a trumpet player Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Their Live album is an absolute masterpiece, but I went for How Much a Dollar Cost, as it has simply an astonishing intro and massively compact vibe for a whole track. It is a cover of the single rap song (coming from Kendrick Lamar) I ever played for my audience a couple of sessions ago.
As I didn’t manage to organize these events since January, there were many great tracks I wanted to play for months. One of my friends once told me: “Choose the best tracks you have now. Don’t save some cool ones for later. Play it now!” Therefore I went for a massive video coming from Scandinavian folk icons Wardruna. They have a massive following in Czech Republic and it was a honor to interview their frontman Einar Selvik for Czech TV Seznam. It was amazing to speak with him again during a release of their new album Kvitravn. I am really glad we share many values including getting lost in our minds during long walks in the nature. There is nothing fake in their concept. It’s pure honesty, connection with true values and here is one of the best music videos I have ever seen.
Recently I was writing an extensive article about game soundtracks. I collected a number of interviews including Tomasz Ostafin (Papetura), Jakub Dvorský (Amanita Design), Floex and Piotr Musiał – Promoting Polish games Papetura and This War Of Mine as well as works of Czech company Amanita Design. Next to it, I have collected many soundtrack tips from my friends and a couple of quotes from an author of soundtrack for an extremely respected Czech game Kingdom Come. Therefore I gladly included a beautiful video from the creation process of Papetura with an amazing soundtrack from Floex.
Every session I also try to include a Czech talent which deserves an attention. This time it was Člověk Krve aka Jan Senft. This young folk talent and his debut album V Kuchyni was mentioned in the yearly lists of well-respected magazines as well as during national music awards. Next to it, a folk session with him and Tadeáš Polák from Severní Nástupiště within the Stop, Look and Listen vinyl series we are organizing in Prague, is the most successful so far. His track Natálko might be slightly depressing, but it’s extremely strong at the same time.
Audience choice #1
First audience choice in Prague, was from my good friend Bořek Nachtmann, who is concentrating on Middle East studies. In Ostrava I played a new video from Norwegian band Leprous, which is very popular among my friends. They are a great example of a band incorporating intelligent pop elements and still sounding extremely convincing.
Ostrava: Congratulations to Wardruna, Gojira, Temple Of The Dog
|01 – Greta van Fleet – Age Of Machine (Live)||5|
|02 – R+R=Now – How Much a Dollar Cost (Live)||8|
|03 – Wardruna – Kvitravn||12|
|04 – Floex – The Light (Papetura)||8.5|
|05 – Člověk krve – Natálko||1|
|06 – Audience choice #1 – Leprous – Castaway Angels||7|
|07 – Gojira – Amazonia||11|
|08 – Robert Glasper – Better Than I Imagined||7.5|
|09 – EKV – Oči Boje Meda (Live)||10|
|10 – Gretchen Parlato – No Plan (David Bowie Cover)||8|
|11 – Audience choice #2 – Clanadonia (Live – Keltisch Midzomer Festival 2012)||6|
|12 – Bonus – Temple Of The Dog – Hunger Strike||10.5|
After The Break
After a break, I always like to play something heavier to keep the blood flowing after the refreshment. French band Gojira is a rare example of a modern metal band which is keeping the standard extremely high and giving many of us a clear message metal is still going forward. Plus, their fight for environment protection is simply great and honest. It’s so cool to read about them in newspapers as The Guardian. Next to it, I always use them to promote the whole concept behind these music presentations. “Yes, you can have Gojira, modern jazz and world music in one presentation.” It’s also so cool when I found out that one of the oldest guests within Prague sessions – Mrs. Vondráčková studying Spanish and Portuguese coming with her dog for every session – is a huge fan of their track Silvera.
As I mentioned, I came across Člověk Krve through Czech national music awards Ceny Apollo. In general, I wanted to stay in touch with local releases, so I watched all three of them: Apollo, Vinyla and Anděl, where I was a member of a jury last year. Next to it, I also watched the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Awards. Unfortunately, Grammy awards were the ceremony I enjoyed the least. I thought the primary motivation was to provoke and get attention whatever the means necessary, including tracks as “Wet-Ass Pussy” and “Call Me By Your Name”, as well as costumes where even J.Lo would say: “Girl, your b**bs are falling out.” Luckily, I was extremely positively surprised when I saw Thundercat won, with his latest work It Is What It Is, an awards for Progressive R&B Album and Robert Glasper The Best R&B Song award for a track called Better Than I Imagined. This song written by Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello & Gabriella Wilson is not complex, yet so powerful and beautiful. I remember my long walks on the edge of Prague listening to it for hours on repeat. Rare example that proved to me Grammy Awards still have sth to offer.
Another tradition within these presentations is including at least one song from the Balkans, as I am half Yugo. Local music is very specific, yet it reaches your heart like a hammer when you understand its vibe and ideally, but not necessarily, the lyrics. This time I wanted to include sth within a rock department. First of all, the plan was to include Serbian band Repetitor, which I interviewed recently in Belgrade, but due to very inappropriate political comments of their frontman, I rather decided to play a band, which is very crucial within Balkan rock history. Ekaterina Velika aka EKV areextremely respected for their melancholic rock sound and they are often considered as a cult. You should see the prices people ask for their early vinyls. Great catch which my audience enjoyed is the fact their drummer was for some time famous Serbian actor Srdjan Todorovič who you might know from Black Cat, White Cat movie.
Another jazz icon I had an honor to prepare one hour Jazz Profile about as well as to do an interview with was American jazz singer Gretchen Parlato. She is probably the most respected female jazz singer on the music scene. Next to numerous solo albums, she participated on nearly a hundred albums. Additionally, her husband is a drummer Mark Guiliana, who was cooperating with David Bowie. Therefore I have chosen a track from her latest album Flor, where Gretchen and her band, including Mark, covered a track from David Bowie’s EP No Plan. A new version of the title track includes a breathtaking cello solo by Artyom Manukyan from Armenia.
Audience choice #1
For a second audience choice, a guest in Prague has chosen Russian folk metal band Arkona, while in Ostrava another friend of mine wanted to show us a the energy of Scotish folk band Clanadonia during a concert.
As a bonus, I usually choose a track based on the anniversary or due to a sudden surprise on the music scene. So far, I could say that grunge was always a great choice and therefore I went for a track from supergroup project Temple of the Dog whose eponymous album turned thirty in April. I love the story how the whole idea started as a tribute for their lost friend Andrew Wood and how they invited Eddie Vedder before he got really well known with Pearl Jam. Extremly great reactions on this track on both locations.
Next presentations will be on 18th of August in Ostrava and on 24th of August in Prague.