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Journal Journal · 2018 · 2017 · 2016 · 2015 · {and before that
Stephen Lawrie Live 27/01/2018, Roma @ Stadlin

acoustic set, free entry

 | pall youhideme
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"I took a record of pretty music  / I went down and baby you can tell" - that's my thought as I came back home last night, holding my copy of Stone Tape, latest record by Stephen Lawrie - best known as - THE Telescopes. 20 EUR from the deep of my walle..(hear)t.
I was pretty curious to catch Stephen Lawrie's acoustic solo set, because, I've had the luck to see how that thing called The Telescopes on stage twice in my life, and while the first time - supported by One Unique Signal kids - it was really huge, - the latter, a couple of years ago, everything sounded pretty (FORGIVE ME!) boring. Like the cover band of The Telescopes. I know I know. Before the end of that show, I remember that even Stephen Lawrie got out of the venue, while his band was still playing. And it costs me a lot to say that, since I'm a huge addicted to mr Lawrie's Music, and I feel like.. in debt.. for all his amazing songs. This happens to me with a lot of other 'seminal' bands which changed/shaped my inner self.
Bullshits and personal thoughts told, - so, I was damn curious to see how Stephen would have performed solo. I didn't even know he can play guitar. But, actually, he is the author of all The Telescopes' songs, as far as I know. 
His show started a few minutes around midnight, in a small concert room flooded with drone music, inside a venue more similar  to a place to have a drink and a bite, than for enjoying a live show - Städlin. One beer 5 euro. One gin lemon 10 euro. I had to save my money for my vinyl LP.
I did not take pictures. So, picture this: there are some candles on the floor, inside glass round ampoules, making a semicircle around Lawrie's seat: pretty holy-like atmopshere, fainted lights, one acoustic guitar, and a loooooong keyboard (a Kurzweil), pieces of duct tape to hold down some buzzing keys. 
The room gets easily crowded as Stephen starts tuning his guitar. Finally my dear friend A. reaches me, he steps into the room, he sees me, he waves his hand to say like hello I finally made it..FUCK!!! then he accidentally KICKS one of those bloody candles away, which goes in a thousand pieces against the wall, right under the nose of Stephen Lawrie. Shoe holder 13, I guess. That was the most accidental punk thing of that night to enjoy heheheheeheheheh.
BTW, Stephen Lawrie is a professional dude, he did not even blink once, and he kept tuning his six string. Most people around were sitting down (unaware of the broken glass), then it started Stone Tape hypnosis: Dead Inside, The Desert in your Heart, Silent Water - here, - this renewed, doped, sedated version of what originally was a fiercely fucking wild song - from Taste, -

this drives me crazy.. I mean, it's like being tormented by a song which you sing between you and your inner self since always, until you've started whispering it here and there, constantly.. precisely "Hey I must be dreaming, said the whisper". This song aged together with Lawrie, exactly like the silent water which breaks the dams. And something's broken inside each of us. 
Later, he performs also an ultra stripped down version of The Perfect Needle - again, that passive-aggressive inner rage as key to perform it. I've always wondered if the lyrics here were about drugs or euthanasia. I did promise my-self to ask about that to Stephen later, as I would have been buying Stone Tape LP, then I forgot. Nevermind. He signed my copy, I said hello, and thanks for all your music.
Maybe a 30 minutes set, maybe a life-long set, can't remember right now, - yet, the mesmeric, ecstatic state of sound played its part in it. No encores, though. 
I'll see not to miss his full-band show in Rome next February 8th. See you soon, Stephen. 

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Werner 5

(7tx DGTL - 46'', self-prod. 2018)

 | pall youhideme
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Directly from the hidden, invisible niche of Italian indie & DIY music no-scene, we are enough lucky to be alive and hearing again from Werner
This collection of 7 tracks, revisiting some of their previously released tracks in a slowcore/noise-key, is balsam for the soul of a indie-music addict. 
Annie is so fragile. You want to take care of this fragile thing while you listen.
Winter '74's pace goes like Low vs Codeine, with Stefano Venturini warm vocals intertwining Alessia Castellano's breathy one. Molly goes through a hypnotic dream-like fog. It's like learning to breath again. These new versions crush into reverb and fuzz outbreaks. Ecstatic soundescapes. Like, here, Molly's guitar solo. The holy fire of fuzz pedals burning into reverb. Fuck, this is great. And, still, you are under hypnosis. 
Later, Rooster brings you back into a pastoral as psychedelic scenery, - a delicacy of sounds weaved by acoustic guitar and the grave tones of distortion. Pure class which may move you to tears when it touches the right string. Music growing inner bitterness. So melancholically beautiful. We're not made of stone. Spoiler alert: there's a not deserved abrupt ending.
Russian sky remembers us that Werner know how to play their numbers even only with vocals and acoustic guitar, until later electric and drums enter.
Sunrise/Sundown is deadly buried into a bizzarre intimacy between Werner and the listener. It's aching in the background, while the vocals go sweet and mellow.
Last track Ice is thick as ice while breaking. You can slow-motion dance on it.
A good record indeed, such a shame you won't listen to it.

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Dracula by Tod Browning (1931)

Music scored by Philip Glass

 | pall youbiteme
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Universal (MGM, says Philip..): 'Pick one, Philip: Dracula, The Mummy, or Frankestein'.
Philip: 'I'll do all three'
MGM: 'No no no no, you have to pick one'
Philip: 'Then I had to do Dracula because Bela Lugosi's such a beautiful image, there are places in the film, where his face takes the whole screen..'

I remember I saw for the first time Tod Browning's Dracula, originally dated 1931, when I was a kid. 
Dubbed in Italian, of course. I will never forget how the scene where Count Dracula would not cast a reflection in the little mirror of a cigarettes box, that left a huge impression of my young, fervid mind. An amazing performance, 'the' performance for Bela Lugosi. Unforgettable.
On wiki, I can even see now the very exact date I have been watching this movie, enraptured: Sunday evening, 1986, April 20th, the movie was broadcasted on TV Rai 2. I was 8, and the movie, in Italian, was renamed Dracula Primo. There was no music on that version of the film. But, later, in 1998, for the DVD release, Universal pictures called Philip Glass.

"Due to the limitations of adding a musical score to a film's soundtrack during 1930 and 1931, no score had ever been composed specifically for the film. [..]  In 1998 composer Philip Glass was commissioned to compose a musical score for the classic film. The score was performed by the Kronos Quartet under direction of Michael Reisman, Glass's usual conductor." [wiki]
"It's that perfect collaboration.. the director is dead, the writer is dead, every actor of the movie is dead, the only one left alive is the composer, who wasn't born when it was tourned.. ideal!" - Philip Glass.

Enjoy the full Movie here..

Dracula (1931) from Interact-TV, Inc. on Vimeo.
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