UK Trip Report [en]

Write-up of my 5-day trip to the UK. Movies with Aleika, Bombay Dreams in London, an IRC meetup.

The nice thing about having a laptop is that you can fire it up on the airplane and type in peace, without being distracted by IRC, instant messaging, e-mail and stats checking, or simple bloghopping. With iTunes in the background playing Bombay Dreams, my only concern is that the plane will start descending towards Geneva shortly.

My trip to the UK was short, and last-minute. I heard some people from #joiito were going to meet up in London on Sunday, I checked my easyjet flights, called Aleika–

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be landing shortly in Geneva. Please return to your seats, make sure your seatbelt is fastened and your seat is in the upright position, and switch off any electronic equipment.”

There goes the laptop, and I now find myself with a post which will be hard to date. Anyway. (Warning: this is a “cheese sandwich” post to some extent, so if you’re bored already, don’t bother reading it.)

Where was I? Yes, last-minute trip. I found a friend to house-and-cat-sit for me, which was nice, and spent the first couple of days at Aleika’s. We did our usual “girls at the movies” thing: get dressed up a bit, leave home late, grab some food which doesn’t come fast enough (well, it took long enough to arrive that I drank my pint of cider almost entirely before the meal, and can now testify that it’s all it takes to make my head spin quite a lot), jump into a cab and run to the theatre (slightly inebriated), only to find that the timings on the internet were incorrect, and we have another half-hour to wait before gleefully drooling all over Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing (OK, I got a bit carried away here, but you get the picture).

I got to spend nearly a whole day alone with Akirno, which was really nice. I didn’t get to see him much on my last visits. He’s grown so much! And he talks so much! (Yes, I know, that’s what I say each time I come back from Birmingham.) He’s a real sweetie. I love him very much.

Unfortunately, I caught a cold (over the top of my first one!) waiting for the bus after Van Helsing, so all my pre-London shopping was done in a rather feverish state. Looking at the bright side of things, it means I didn’t spend as much as I might have, which is a good thing, as my suitcase was already quite full enough (and my bank account empty enough, but that’s another story).

Driving to London went fine. We found a parking space right next to the Apollo Victoria Theatre. (Remember: Sunday matinée shows are a good idea if you’re going to London to see a musical or a play.) Bombay Dreams was really fun, specially as I know most of the songs Rahman re-used for the musical.

Still dressed up (I chose the pink dress), I headed for the #joiito meet-up. Despite this nagging feeling of being somewhat overdressed, and my cold, I had a very nice evening.

As always, though, I had to cope with the frustration of group meet-ups: not enough time to talk with everybody, not enough time to get into interesting conversations with those I talk to. Or maybe I’m just more of a one-to-one person? Anyway, standing invitation for any of you who would want to visit the beautiful town of Lausanne or practice French in the area — just drop me a line, or better (since e-mail is soon to be a dead form of communication, thanks to spam), catch me on IRC.

So, who was there? Well, as I’m nearing the ages of senility, I’m probably forgetting a lot of people, so please bear with me if you’re not mentioned, and let me know if it bothers you too much.

First of all, imajes, my kind host, who was so busy taking me through his iTunes collection on the train back that he missed his home stop. (Can it get worse than that?) Suw prevented me from being the only woman present (I can’t thank you enough for that). Joi was so utterly bored by my presence next to him that he left early to go back to his hotel and sleep — imagine that! (Actually, it seems jetlag also had something to do with it…)

I chatted quite a bit on the way there with imsickofmaps, and on the way back with snowchyld. Hugh managed to mess up my first blogcard somewhat (or whatever those things are called), so I am now the lucky owner of two of them. Gerard aka insert-coin took a nice bunch of photographs and has already put them online. I stole Suw’s camera to take a few photographs, but she’s not home yet, and those I took with my phone are stuck in there until I lay my hands on a Windows PC (thanks, Microsoft).

Apart from bumping my head on a couple of low doorways and leaving my coat there, I brought two things back (not literally) from james’ flat: VoodooPad, which I have not adopted as my official scrap-book application, and a book which made me discover a blog (how often has that happened to you?): Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers: Best of Blogs, a collection of great weblog posts. I read a few pages, and it looked really neat. It’s on my wishlist now.

I think this post is long enough, for a short trip!

Sunday CD's #3 [en]

Five CD’s in my CD rack: Khoobsurat soundtrack, Khakee soundtrack, Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack, U2’s Unforgettable Fire, and Véronique Sanson comme ils l’imaginent.

This is turning into a bi-weekly feature, though through no intentional design. We’ll see how things evolve during the next weeks.

Here for today:

Khakee soundtrack (playing)
Khakee is the first Hindi movie I saw during my most recent trip to India. I didn’t particularly like the movie, but the soundtrack is actually really nice. I wasn’t intending to buy it, but nearing the end of my last visit to Crossword, they were playing Dil Dooba (sung by Sonu Nigam). I grabbed the CD and fled.
Khoobsurat soundtrack (playing)
Khoobsurat was a pretty popular movie/soundtrack when I was living in Pune. I didn’t really like care for it until I went to Alibag with Danielle and the driver played the cassette during the whole trip. By the time we got back home, I had a serious crush on the song Main Adhuri Si (avoid it if you have trouble with high-pitched female voices) and found the title song was a perfect souvenir-soundtrack to the trip.
Roberta Flack: Killing Me Softly
Who doesn’t know the song? CD of my father’s, which I borrowed to be able to rehearse the song for karaoke (haven’t dared sing it yet, though). And for those of you young’uns, Killing Me Softly was made famous by Roberta Flack way before the Fugees sang it!
U2: The Unforgettable Fire
Many years ago when I was entering my teens, U2 was singing With or Without You. Around that time, either my brother or I asked for a U2 LP for Christmas. Was it The Joshua Tree or The Unforgettable Fire? I’d have to go to my father’s to check, but I think it was the latter. I remember clearly that we used to play a cassette of the former in the car quite a lot around that period. Anyway, I bought this CD a year or so back, because it was on sale (surprised?), and I’m not really sure I’ve listened to it since. I bought if for Pride (In The Name Of Love), of course.
Véronique Sanson: comme ils l’imaginent
I’ve always liked Véronique Sanson but I never had a CD by her. So when this one came out (a collection of her songs sung by or with other popular male singers), I was offered it as a gift for Christmas (or my birthday? must be one of the other).

Five more next week, or the week after!

Sunday CD's #2 [en]

5 CD’s in my CD rack: Blue Touches Blue by Noa, One Day At A Time by Joan Baez, Bienvenue chez moi by Florent Pagny, Southside by Texas, and Ricky Martin (album by the same name).

Sorry for letting you down last week, I was busy showing these two frenchmen around.

Here we go:

Noa: Blue Touches Blue (playing)
My sister gave me this CD (for my birthday?) a few years back. I own three Noa CD’s, and this is the one I’ve listened to least (although there are some nice songs on it). I put it in the CD player about an hour ago before taking my bath, and I’m listening to it now.
Ricky Martin: Ricky Martin
I discovered Ricky Martin during my year in India, as a couple of his songs were regularly playing on the music TV channels I watched — I enjoyed drooling in front of the TV set while he danced. I particularly like Livin’ La Vida Loca and (even more) Private Emotion, but I’ve hardly really listened to the CD in its entirety.
Texas: Southside
One of the first CD’s I got when I was a teenager. Listened to it quite a lot for some time (actually, I’m going to put it in my CD player right now, I haven’t listened to it for years!) I played the drums in a vague school band at the time (we tried to get something going for the 10th school anniversary, but dropped it after three months or so), and I remember we were preparing I Don’t Want a Lover.
Joan Baez: One Day At A Time
Well, although this one spends a lot of time in my CD rack, it isn’t actually mine — it’s my father’s (maybe I should give it back one of these days *ahem*). A long-time favourite, Joan Baez having been my first “favourite singer”. I’ve listened to it a lot again these last few years (it regularly finds it way back into the CD player).
Florent Pagny: Bienvenue chez moi
I was a teenager when Florent Pagny arrived on the French music scene with the song N’importe quoi. Over the years, I heard more songs from him, and I’m clearly impressed by his vocal skills (he had training in classical singing). This CD is a best-of with a couple of unreleased songs on it, and as far as I can tell from the little green sticker on the cover, it must have been part of a discount sale. It’s not a CD that I listen to regularly, but I’ve had my phases with it.

Five more next week!

Sunday CD's #1 [en]

Five CD’s I own: Live in Dublin by Chris de Burgh, Dil Chahta Hai soundtrack, Asia (eponym album), Rebel by John Miles, and Stereotomy by The Alan Parsons Project. More next week!

Stephanie made me notice yesterday that she had not really figured out what music I liked. In a sudden surge of inspiration, I had an idea for a little game I’m going to play with you these next weeks. Feel free to copy and repeat for yourself!

I’ll try to pick 5 CD’s out of my CD-rack each Sunday (the one currently in my CD player and four more as randomly as possible, with my eyes closed). I’ll list them and tell you in a few words why I have this CD in my CD-rack, if I listen to it a lot, how much I like it — in short, what it means to me. In other words, this amounts to using my CD collection to give you a little insight into my musical tastes, history and culture.

So here goes, 5 CD’s for today:

Chris de Burgh: High on Emotion — Live from Dublin (playing)
This is one of the last batch of 5€ CD’s I ordered at Amazon after Christmas. Chris de Burgh was my second “favorite singer” when I was ten or so (after Joan Baez). We had lots of Chris de Burgh LP’s and cassettes at my parents, which I left behind as I moved out, and now (thanks to Amazon) I’m re-building my collection. I like Live albums in general, so I picked this one up — and I don’t regret it.
Dil Chahta Hai soundtrack
During my previous trip to India, I went to see one hindi movie: Dil Chahta Hai. As usual, I bought the soundtrack as a souvenir. I remember I used to listen to it a lot when I started work just after the trip, and it still makes me India-nostalgic when I listen to it. There are some really nice songs on it (like the title song of course, and I have a soft spot for “Tanhayee” — and Sonu Nigam’s voice.)
Asia: Asia
This is another album I picked out of my father’s extensive LP collection when I was a (pre-)teenager. Probably I heard him playing it once, and noted I liked it. I used to play the LP in the kitchen when I was cleaning up after evening meals. I made myself a cassette with my father’s two Asia LP’s, and listened to it in my room a lot. I bought the CD recently (in one of those “cheap CD” boxes in a store) for historical reasons, and I listen to it every now and again.
John Miles: Rebel
I just love the song “Music” (another one I discovered through my father’s LP’s) and bought the CD just for that song, in another “cheap CD” box. I’m not sure I’ve ever listened to the whole album since I bought it. But I own it 🙂
The Alan Parsons Project: Stereotomy
Yet another out of my father’s collection and my teenage years (they all seem to come out from there, don’t they?) I haven’t listened to it for ages, but I really like all the songs on it. When I was in Gymnase (the swiss equivalent of High School), I had it on a cassette with “Eye on the Sky” and used to listen to it on my walkman, during one cold Lausanne winter.

That’s it for today, folks! Today’s choice gives the impression that all my musical culture comes from my father’s LP collection (not entirely wrong, but not entirely right either), and that I buy all my CD’s at discount prices (pretty correct, actually — I go on CD-shopping binges when they are anywhere below the normal presposterous prices.)

1,2,3 Soleils et Kali Nagin Ke Jaisi [fr]

1,2,3 Soleils et Kali Nagin Ke Jaisi ont la même musique. Qui est coupable de pompage?

Chers lecteurs, je me permets de solliciter votre culture pour tenter de répondre à  une question qui me turlupine. J’ai demandé à  mon copain Google, mais il n’a pas été capable de m’aider.

Connaissez-vous la chanson 1,2,3 Soleils, chantée en 1998 par Khaled, Taha et Faudel?

Cet été, j’ai eu la surprise de l’entendre un soir dans un restaurant. Je l’ai reconnue tout de suite, bien sûr, car elle m’avait accompagnée durant tout mon séjour à  Calcutta. Passé l’étonnement d’entendre un tube Bollywood dans un restaurant tunisien, j’ai brutalement réalisé que ce n’était pas tout à  fait la même chanson…

La question est la suivante: qui a pompé qui? Les dates semblent jouer en défaveur des indiens (ce qui n’est pas une grande surprise): 1,2,3 Soleils a été enregistré en 1998, alors que le film Mann date de 1999.

Je semble donc avoir répondu à  ma question. Comme quoi, s’adresser à  son lectorat semble bien la meilleur manière de résoudre ses problèmes! Un doute subsiste, cependant: et si la musique 1,2,3 Soleils et Kali Nagin Ke Jaisi provenait d’une source traditionnelle? (On peut toujours rêver…)

Si vous savez quoi que ce soit concernant cette histoire, ou bien qui a écrit 1,2,3 Soleils… les commentaires sont à  vous!

"Vaincre la peur du vide" [fr]

Vaincre la peur du vide : quelques mots qui me sont tombés dans la tête, à  mon retour de Paris, ou peut-être alors que j’étais encore là -bas. Les mots sont ensuite devenus musique. Quelques jours plus tard, j’avais retrouvé la chanson.

Une chanson d’Étienne Daho. Sur un album qui s’appelle… Paris Ailleurs. Coïncidence ?

Du coup, je me suis mise à  l’écouter. Me voilà  replongée près de dix ans en arrière.

Zermatt. Cinq jours de ski avec trois copines de gymnase. Un walkman, une cassette : Étienne Daho. Peu avant, j’avais regardé Taratata — je m’en étais tirée en achetant le CD que je m’étais empressée d’enregistrer sur cassette afin de pouvoir le prendre avec moi en vacances. (Oui, c’était un peu primitif à  l’époque. Aujourd’hui, je copierais simplement le mp3 sur mon téléphone mobile.)

Je revois le chalet, les rues enneigées du village, une pile de bons de 2 francs pour aller manger ou McDo. En haut du glacier, il faisait -30 degrés. Je me souviens des discussions, des notes de chimie que je recopiais, et des grosses larves que nous étions le soir dans nos sacs de couchage. Je me souviens d’Étienne Daho en boucle dans mes oreilles.

Il y avait un goût de liberté dans ces quelques jours sur les pistes de ski. Entre nous, indépendantes, on était des « grandes ». On avait l’âge où c’était un sentiment nouveau.

En ce mai de fous messages, j’ai un rendez-vous dans l’air
Inattendu et clair, déjà  je pars à  ta découverte
Ville bonne et offerte
C’est l’attrait du danger qui me mène à  ce lieu
C’est d’instinct qu’tu me cherches et approches
Je sens que c’est toi


Où mène ce tourbillon, cette valse d’avions
Aller au bout de toi et de moi
Vaincre la peur du vide, les ruptures d’équilibre
Si tes larmes se mêlent aux pluies de novembre
Et que je dois en périr, je sombrerai avec joie

Étienne Daho : Saudade

Soit dit en passant, j’avoue que cela me plairait bien d’entendre Joshua chanter cette chanson avec sa guitare. J’en profite d’ailleurs pour faire de la pub pour la dernière chanson qu’il a mise en ligne [mp3, 5.5Mb], si vous ne l’avez pas encore écoutée. Elle est fort jolie, et cette fois, ce n’est pas une reprise…

J'aime… [en]

…beaucoup cette reprise de « Celsius » [mp3, 3Mb] par Joshua. Tellement, que je suis en train de l’écouter en boucle. L’original est de Tue-Loup.

Hindi Music [en]

I was lucky enough to make it into a movie theatre once during my six weeks in India. I went to see Dil Chahta Hai, and I’ve been listening to the music for the last two or three days. My favorites:

The others are good too, of course. But one has to start somewhere… Happy listening!