Thirty-fifth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place this time in two locations. Ostrava: 19th of January 2022 in Stará aréna Ostrava theatre and Prague: 26th of January 2022 in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United). You can find the background of this project in an article about the first session here. I was warmed by a production of both locations that January and February tend to be the weakest months. Due to a word of mouth the January event in Ostrava had the biggest audience so far.
Ostrava: Congratulations to Electro Deluxe, Toundra and Estas Tonne feat. Peia
Prague: Congratulations to Hans Zimmer, Estas Tonne feat. Peia and Pain Of Salvation
|01 – Mastodon – Teardrinker||6.5|
|02 – Pain Of Salvation – Beyond The Pale (Live)||9|
|03 – Electro Deluxe – Where Is The Love ? (Live In Paris)||22|
|04 – Lacey Sturm – Awaken Love||1.5|
|05 – BadBadNotGood – Talk Meaning||7|
|06 – Audience Choice #1 – Gogol Bordello – American Wedding||3.5|
|07 – Muse – Won’t Stand Down||5.5|
|08 – Toundra – El Odio. Parte 1||18|
|09 – Estas Tonne feat. Peia – Bird’s Teardrops (Live)||17|
|10 – Madhouse Express – Is It Tomorrow||11|
|11 – Audience Choice #2 – Sting – The Hounds of Winter (Live from Durham Cathedral)||11|
|12 – Bonus: Hans Zimmer – Dune – Ripples in the Sand||14|
Ostrava’s playlist included a couple of tips on upcoming music events in Ostrava region.
Mastodon is one of the most popular and mainly stable metal band on the scene. There might be some complaints their music is more and more accessible, but I always believed in the fact that those who are skilled in progressive music can make quality very melodic song. Look at Genesis with Phil Collins and activities of Steven Wilson. There is some serious musicianship from Mastodon on each of the late album, including dark ambient masterpiece Cold Dark Place EP. Latest album Hushed And Grim follows a trajectory of Emperor Of Sand but it’s still damn good, catchy and melodically heavy. Before the video, I just had to play also a bday gift video from Brett’s girlfriend Raísa of her smashing a bottle on Brett’s head. My most favorite track Sickle and Peace doesn’t have a video, so I played another awesome piece Teardrinker.
Mastodon on 11th place in The Best Of 2021
Finally these events are events and going well, without any pandemic breaks. Therefore it’s necessary to have a dozen of great songs ready every month. But there are also many incredible things from the past. So I started to take notes and gather anniversaries of some of the masterpieces from the past. Pain Of Salvation’s Remedy Lane album is one of the most legendary prog rock pieces in history and in January 2022 it had a twenty years anniversary. Plus it’s an album that saved me not to freeze or fall asleep on one late night return home from the center of Ostrava around Christmas. We have a family house in the village on the edge of city. It takes about an hour to get home and I had to use change two between buses and trams. I needed something storytelling, progy, slightly heavy and melodic. I thought of Remedy Lane right away. Epic performance that was highly appreciated by the audience.
My older interview with Daniel from 2017
This next thing, which was also very well received is something I discovered just lately. I was just preparing an extensive article about Jon Batiste, which is now having eleven Grammy nominations. I kept Spotify going while cooking and cool stuff was coming naturally. First of all, there was a song from Cory Henry I interviewed during Colours of Ostrava festival. Second track which followed was an instant catch. I played this track on repeat whole day and I was impressed they even managed to come to Czech Republic during fall multiple times. Looking forward to make it up next time and see them live. This track won the audience vote in Ostrava.
Next track is also highly connected to Ostrava. When Korn arrived to Ostrava for a show they brought Flyleaf as their support band. I was absolutely blown away, as I discovered them just very shortly before that for two reasons. First all, I was pretty much concentrating on one area of music to become very well informed and those were female fronted bands. Another thing was obviously going to a cinema to check fourth Die Hard movie as a huge fan of the whole series. Their track I’m So Sick showed up in the movie, before one the hackers gets visited by John McClane. Their frontwoman Lacey Sturm went solo some years ago, still presenting very solid music. I love her cover of The Police classic Roxanne. She is very religious and God helped her to fight through her drug addiction past. We can still see some remains from the past on her look, or more precisely she is incorporating her journey to sobriety into her work. All the best Lacey!
January was also a great opportunity to include a few items from my The Best Of 2021 albums list. I played a track from BadBadNotGood a couple of months ago in thirty second session, as a I did an one hour show about band’s saxophone player Leland Whitty. But in order to present a band I used an older track. As their latest album Talk Memory is by my opinion of the absolute best albums of the previous year, I really had to play them this time again. Plus they recorded a video for each track of the album and Talk Meaning is just so damn beautiful.
Extensive Spotify playlist on Leland’s works here
Audience choice #1
As the first choice from an audience, in Ostrava, my uncle asked for a wild folk fun song American Wedding from Gogol Bordello.
In Prague a friend of mine and the supplier of incredible sound system for our events Jan Szkatula asked for legendary Czech singer Hana Hegerová and her track Já Ráda Vzpomínám.
|01 – Mastodon – Teardrinker||8|
|02 – Pain Of Salvation – Beyond The Pale (Live)||10|
|03 – Electro Deluxe – Where Is The Love ? (Live In Paris)||9|
|04 – Lacey Sturm – Awaken Love||4.5|
|05 – BadBadNotGood – Talk Meaning||6.5|
|06 – Volba Publika #1 – Hana Hegerová – Já ráda vzpomínám||5|
|07 – Muse – Won’t Stand Down||6|
|08 – Toundra – El Odio. Parte 1||6.5|
|09 – Estas Tonne feat. Peia – Bird’s Teardrops (Live)||15.5|
|10 – Madhouse Express – Is It Tomorrow||0|
|11 – Volba Publika #2 – Kudykam – Štvanice – Karel Dobrý||4.5|
|12 – Bonus: Hans Zimmer – Dune – Ripples in the Sand||17|
After The Break
I am doing my best to stay up to date with latest releases, but to be honest Adele’s (except for My Little Love) or Jack Black’s new tracks didn’t click with me. However, the latest single from Muse that’s a completely different story. Very popular band in Czech Republic released extremely strong single Won’t Stand Down which also fitted into a request from a couple my Ostrava friends: “Please include sth with an element of electronics.” My good friend Alex, who helped me multiple times to promote these events, called this track a “mixture of three other Muse tracks”, but it’s worth checking, not only because of very strong video.
I am a huge post rock/metal fan, but during the recent years I took a break from this genre, as there were not many interesting releases. However lately I came across some fascinating albums, including from Japanese Mono, young German band There’s A Light and especially Spanish band Toundra. Their latest release Hex follow’s a tradition of their previous albums including 2018 album Vortex I was obsessed with. Introduction three section song El Odio is a masterpiece. It was an ideal soundtrack for me recent trip to Javorník mountain. I believe post rock music works incredibly with nature extremes and mountains greatness. The only issue was to pick the ideal song from the three. At the end I went for a second part. More post rock/metal tracks in work-in-progress Spotify playlist A Touch Of Singularity based on the extensive article made of interview with numberous post rock/metal bands.
After a well-known area, I gladly played something I discovered completely accidentally. I am a huge fan of Ibrahim Maalouf and especially Dhafer Youssef, whose live version of the track called Soupir Eternel is one of the best tracks I ever heard in my life. Therefore I am extremely sorry his show in Prague was cancelled. YouTube provided me a random follow-up one day and it was an instant click. Ukrainian artist Estas Tonne describes himself as a “modern day troubadour” and another description of his life I read was that he never spent more than a year at one place as an adult. This talented wanderer was accompanied by a singer called Peia, which is by her fans described as an “elf queen”. Simply beautiful performance in a track called Bird’s Teardrops which did well in both locations.
One of the coolest cultural experiences I visited was a performace of Czech psychedelic rock band Madhouse Express at Prague’s planetarium. Projection on the massive ceiling including both sequences from the planetarium as well as some those that band’s team prepared, with a live band performace. Absolute visual and sound perfection. They were also so cool to share this event among their followers and I played their video for a track called Is It Tomorrow including many of the experiences and shows from the band’s history.
Audience choice #2
As the second choice from an audience, in Ostrava, my good friend Jakub Frey asked for a live performace of Sting in Durham Cathedral with a track called The Hounds of Winter which he often listened to during Christmas. Funny enough, as my dad is a massive Sting’s fan, it applies to me as well.
In Prague Jan asked for another track. It was a track called Štamgasta from a lyrical called Kudykam written by Michal Horáček & Petr Hapka, performed by Karel Dobrý.
Hans Zimmer – Dune: Ripples in the Sand
While Madhouse Express show was the most interesting live music show of the recent years, the best movie I have seen in the last years was Dune. I am in the middle of the first book, but movie experience was so epic that I went to see it twice already. Story-wise, visually and musically everything clicks with me and it sits in my personal hall of fame right next to Interstellar. I was so happy to have great sound system in both locations because this masterpiece deserved some shaking of the walls.
Next sessions: Prague – 9. 2. 2022 & Ostrava – 16. 2. 2022