Tuesday, November 29, 2005
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 11:24 pm
That was a song by Contantin Veis. In an album that to me, at least, sounded like a concept album about Tom Sawyer. It’s a world of impossible things, I think it said. But then today the title of this post doesn’t come from that but from Jens’s song:
“we’ll never be as beautiful
as the parakeets
and we’ll never be impossible
and do impossible things”
It’s quiet, almost whispering, soft, and it has me melting in sadness tonight. Partly because I still miss Jens. Chris posted three mini-videos of that night (here) which only makes it worse, especially because the last one ends so abruptly… I find myself singing along –“cause you are the light by which I travel into this and that”– and by “that” I am left singing on my own. It somehow feels so lonely.
Then I think of how he said he’d miss us when we said goodbye and I smile because it might just be happening.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 10:23 pm
It’s a nice name, isn’t it? It makes more sense than mine, too.
I’ve no idea why the “song of the day: November 5, 2005″ was posted on the 28th but never mind: go listen to that. And that too. It’s all quite perfect Dimitra-pop, and the names of the songs are rather great too. (Of course I heard about it all at the boyfriend’s.)
On other news, I bought the boyfriend and his sister Sinterklaas-presents today after having spent all of last night (honest: I went to bed at six am) shouting life-changing things to my parents. The world seems strange tonight.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Our Jens (again)
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 9:01 pm
Chris took some rather brilliant photos. Here’s an example. I love it because Jens seems to be walking and/or falling over Athens. Click on it for a coloured version – the colours are suberb. He didn’t Photoshop the sky, by the way. That’s how blue it was.
So, if I told you Jens is a sweetie, rather sad and loves telling stories, would I be telling you something you didn’t know already from his songs?
Friday, November 25, 2005
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 6:52 pm
(As in, “I think our Jens is falling asleep, it’s time we threw you guys out” – said at 4 am on Sunday morning to a crowd consisting of the support band and his ex-girlfriend, after we have sang songs in Greek, Japanese and Italian…)
One reason I haven’t yet talked about it is that it’s hard to. The memory of Saturday night brings tears to my eyes just now –it was that great– and I’m not the only one to feel this way. Since then I’ve read a review stating he was “wonderful, wonderful”; got three emails along the same lines; and had a couple of people after the gig tell me they could hardly speak. And, in this land of moaners (Greece), I haven’t heard one negative thing about it all. And did I mention it was nearly sold out? We actually made money.
I have never before felt so successful in my life. And to think I didn’t do that much about it. Okay, I did to a fair bit of the organising, but the idea was Lupe’s, and it would never have happened without Chris, Nick, Georgie, Martijn, and of course Jens, who even while touring America was decided not to cancel this show. The funniest thing about it is that back then I was too drunk (on excitement, mostly) to realise how great everything had gone. For a few hours, between, say, 10 pm on Saturday (when I stopped panicking) and 5 am on Sunday (when I finally fell asleep), I didn’t realise, think or even feel anything. I just was.
I don’t know what the best part was.
Perhaps it was when he climbed on those stairs next to the stage and sang an acoustic version of ‘Julie’ to an audience that was almost holding its breath. I know, because me & Chris were singing along occasionally, just the words we could remember by heart, and even though we were rather quiet, I could still hear us perfectly clearly
“… and all your friends are moving to London, while the sherry trees are still in blossom, oooh, Julie…”
Of course it says ‘cherry trees’ but the Swedes have a problem with the ‘ch’ sound and we had fun imagining sherry bottles hanging from trees.
Or it might have been when he said he would do two more songs, and because we should go away happy, he’d do the sad one first and I, almost unable to hold it back, said rather loudly “we’re just happy to have you”. It took my breath away, just how much my words reflected the general feeling in the room – and how Jens smiled (rather shyly).
Or it might have been the fact the he hardly paused between songs, which made the whole thing seem like a party. Just as I had promised everyone it would be. Of course later on Chris told me it was because it was best not to pause the i-pod which isn’t the most romantic reason but perhaps it makes it even better.
Or perhaps it was ‘Higher power’. The last song before the first encore (there were three!), and my favourite one… That Blueboy sample gets me every time. (I’ve always thought ‘So catch him’ is the best song ever, anyway.) I hardly remember much of that in fact, I must have died of happiness by then, having sang my heart out through most of the gig – particularly ‘Black cab’ and ‘Maple leaves’ and ‘You are the light’, I think everyone was shouting along during these… And the boyfriend said he would propose to me there and then if he hadn’t done it already.
“She said let’s put a plastic bag over our heads
and then kiss and stuff ’til we get dizzy and fall on the bed.
We were in heaven for five or six minutes, then we passed out
and I was so in love I thought I knew what love was all about.”
The funny thing is, I would have probably said yes. Even though I’ve done it already.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 11:33 pm
You know, the reason I hate cleaning is that once I start doing it I always want to do just a little more, this thing and that, and oh, did you see, there’s a bit of fluff behind the door and some dust on top of the record player, and let’s just re-arrange this self too while we’re at it, shall we? And it goes on and on, until I am feeling exhausted and decide I hate cleaning. Until the next time that is. Which usually takes a while, since I have decided I hate it. And since it’s taken a while, there’s a lot to do – and did you hoover under the sofa?
But now our little house is rather clean and tidy, and the airport site says Jens’ flight is on time and we even have some time to get excited before setting off for the airport. It’s been a long, full day but rather enjoyable, despite (or, if I want to sound all grown-up and mature, even because) the two arguments we managed to sneak in.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 1:40 pm
It’s raining today. It always rains so suddenly in Athens. We went to the supermarket yesterday evening and I remember there wasn’t a cloud in the sky; then I woke up at 6:47 this morning to the sound of rain against the girl-upstairs’ back yard. I try to like rain but it’s hard because I come from people who adore sunshine; and it’s only made harder by the fact that my flat is a few stairs below street level and it has flooded once before (during a torrential downpour, a few days after I’d moved in)… and even harder when it decides to rain when we have two loads of washing hanging from the washing line, and it’s so early in the morning. Thankfully the boyfriend volunteered to go out in the rain in my place to rescue it which was very kind. Still it didn’t help much as it took me ages to fall back to sleep.
And now it’s still raining; Jens will be here in less than half a day; ‘tidy up’ still holds a prominent place in my to-do list; I have (hopefully small) problem concerning a university and an interview and I’m listening to these kiddies which sound rather perfect. Rainy weather always put me in a jazz mood; and I have discovered nothing makes jazz better (for me) than a bunch of happy-sounding children singing it. Well I do want to become a teacher after all. And have lots of children. And they sound adorable.
So. You should listen to Au cafÃƒÂ© d’ Henry while I go and do something useful with the rest of the day. Okay?
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
White collar boys
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 9:45 pm
Belle and Sebastian are a weird, weird phenomenon. The problem is I have just discovered I might still like them. At least when they’re shouting their hearts out together I might do. Old loves die hard I suppose. Although, do they really need those rock quitars?
On second thought, I might not like them that much. We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The San Marinos – Half a million
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 3:13 pm
They sound like Po!
Or no, perhaps they don’t – perhaps they only feel like them. Yes – that’s what it is. But it is fleeting. One moment they do and the next they don’t. It is mostly in the vocals I suppose. Anna sounds like Ruth Miller a bit – and oh, how do I like it.
There’s also something else they remind me of. An essentially indiepop something –it’s in this untidy passion, that rainy guitar sound– but I don’t know what it is. It’s something just as fleeting that can be found in Razorcuts recordings, Leamingon Spa compilations and Girls at our Best songs. Oh, and in the Magic Whispers covers too. (But then they covered both Po! and Girls at our Best so that’s not so surprising.)
And I love, love they way Anna sings
“how do I know it?
I felt it in my heart
I felt it in my soul
when I saw you standing there
standing out for what you think is true”
I heard about them from Jyrki and you can read a little more about them here.
Listen to ‘We’re beautiful’
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
grey, sweet, and tired
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 11:10 am
One thing I really like about life is how it can seem totally wrong on one night and completely right on the next morning. I’ve no idea how it works.
I didn’t do anything in particular in between, other than sleep –rather badly at that too– and dream of the gig. I dreamed of the Occasional Flickers playing ‘Flat and gray’ – a song I’ve never paid much attention to. (And yes, he spells it the American way – what can I do?) Even in the dream (I knew I was dreaming) I was impressed that I knew it so well.
And now I’m listening to the Clientele on KCRW sounding every bit as perfect as you’d think. Especially the second song –it has what I’d call a really sweet, Nick-Drake sort of melody– and ‘Saturday’ –which of course is one of the best songs ever. It’s making me swear that as far as it depends on me, they’ll be the next ones to play for us in Athens. But as KLM has just kindly reminded me, Jens will be here in a day and a half which means I should stop plotting for the future and go tidy up.
Now if only I didn’t feel so tired…
Friday, November 11, 2005
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 5:46 pm
It all started in May 2003 when me and my friend Nick decided to start a record label. A few days after the initial decision I got a text message with list of prospective names, which I proceeded to write on the back of a supermarket receipt and promptly lose. Later on, when we had to chose one, I remembered only three: Basement Bar (which was Nick’s favourite but already taken), Pink Lemonade (which I had added myself and thus was my favourite) and Sprinkled Pepper (which was our shared second). That name came from a Fairground Attraction song (you know, this band that sings that “it’s gooot to beeeeeee peeeeerfect”) called ‘A smile in whisper. It says:
“An orchestra of tiny harps / it’s like pepper sprinkled on our hearts”
You can guess what the label got named; and why, when I thought of keeping a diary of the process of setting up a label, it instantly got named ‘the sprinkled pepper diaries’. I never did keep the diary of course, and we never made a label. Life got in the way too much and after a couple of years it didn’t seem like a good idea anymore. But both names lingered on. Today Sprinkled Pepper is what I call “an (almost) Athenian indiepop collective” –meaning me and some friends of mine, organising a few gigs and parties around Athens and occasionally agreeing on what good music is– and the sprinkled pepper diaries are, well, this.
I’m not sure why I kept the name. I was fond of it, and it was catchy, but it’s not only this. I think I like the idea of the things I write sprinkled like pepper on our hearts.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Namedays, christenings and declarations
posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 11:50 pm
Ehm. There’s nothing like a little break to induce writer’s block, is there? The list of unfinished (which means: just about started) drafts is getting longer by the day which in its turn only makes it harder to find something to say. I start wondering why I’d want to write this, or who would want to read that, or what really matters – naturally I get lost. But there are things that show me the way. So I wrote this today. It started as a definition of who I am and ended up more like… a declaration of faith, I suppose. I specialise in those. I like the way they sound – and I like to hear them. It also serves as is a semi-official introduction, I suppose. I’m not sure I was ready for that but then I feared I’d never be, and I impulsively jumped. So tomorrow –11th November– is not only the boyfriend’s nameday (they don’t really do namedays in the Netherlands, but we seem to be making our own tradition by mixing the best bits from everywhere we feel we belong to) but this blog’s christening too. Not in the name giving sense but in the “hello small world out there, here we are!” sort of sense.
By the way, how great is this phrase? How much does it say (to me) in these eight words? I’d write an essay on how it nearly is poetry and how the Budgies and the boyfriend share the credit of making it sound so but it is so late. So I’ll just say that.
Hello small world out there. Here I am.