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Pink Floyd

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I like live performances for a number of reasons, depending a little bit on what kind of music it is and what mood I’m in. The social aspect of being together with lots of people who really like something is quite interesting and perhaps a little bit addictive. The most important factor, however, is listening to good music with good sound. I strongly believe that good music is mostly (but of course not only) the result of familiarity and habit, so attending concerts with bands I really know well is most likely to score high. Thus, previous concerts with Infected Mushroom and Vnv Nation have all been quite enjoyable, to say the least. However, these memories fade when compared with this:

Taking a quick glance at my Last.fm account will reveal that Pink Floyd has been the sole leader ever since I initiated the account more than five years ago, and they would probably have done the same even if the list was started another five years back. Pink Floyd has simply stayed a favourite for a very, very long time. There are many reasons for this, but thought-provoking lyrics, interesting concepts and music I like are all part of it. The studio album The Wall (1979) can be said to epitomise everything I like with Pink Floyd. The album is really one continuous song that suffers badly from being broken up. The general story of human isolation is something everybody can relate to, even though it’s also evident that there is a personal story behind it all. The Wall features amazing concept art (especially when including the film from 1982), something which lends itself beautifully to live performances, posters and t-shirts alike. Check this clip from YouTube for a good example.

So, when learning that Roger Waters, the main creator behind The Wall, had determined to make one last tour around the world with the old album, I asked my father to see what he thought about it (he also likes Pink Floyd). The result was that the whole family went, including my brother and my mother, who aren’t perhaps big Pink Floyd fans, but were still willing to give it  a chance. Thus, we left our home in Linköping and left for Stockholm and the big adventure.

In summary, I think the concert was among the best I’ve ever attended. The visual/auditory effects trumped anything I’ve ever experienced before. Pictures won’t be able to convey this, but I’ll show some pictures anyway:

What made the visual effects so dazzling was the fact that they made use of a large number of projectors, so the background constantly changed, partly using themes from the film, but also presenting entirely new ideas. A physical wall was gradually built up in the first half of the concert and this was ingeniously incorporated into the visual effects (for instance, a virtual wall was projected on the physical wall, meaning that it was possible to create really cool effects which made it look like things happened physically whereas in reality, it was just light).

The music and the content was almost identical to the studio album, which was a good idea. Roger Waters is getting old, but I still think he managed quite okay throughout the concert (it’s not as if I like the album because of the beautiful singing anyway). However, adding a visual layer to the entire show, Waters was able to convey a lot more than he did in the original album. A sequence with aircraft releasing various symbols (dollar signs, crosses, Stars of David, etc.) to bomb and cover the earth with blood was particularly effective. The fight against war, fascism and anything else that might separate people and create isolation was strongly felt, perhaps even more so than in the original album.

This concert will probably remain my best live performance experience for quite some time, simply because it’s difficult to beat in all the different areas I mentioned at the beginning. It is my all-time favourite band, a band I’ve listened to more than any other, it was a beautifully crafted show and I enjoyed it in an atmosphere which only is possible with lots of other people present who think as I do. These conditions will be very hard to recreate, which makes me even more happy that I got to see The Wall live.

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One task on the101 tasks in 1001 days project involves compiling a CD with my favourite music. I did this a while ago, but since I think that compilation was too heavily influenced by temporary eddies in preferences, I have now revised it to be somewhat more enduring than the one before. So, here we go:

1. Covenant – Stalker (club version)
2. Deine Lakaien – Return
3. Frontline Assembly – Vigilante
4. Fleetwood Mac – Tango in the Night
5. Infected Mushroom – Frog Machine
6. Juno Reactor – Pistolero
7. KMFDM – Professional Killer
8. Melotron – Kein Problem
9. Pink Floyd – High Hopes
10. Project Pitchfork – Drone State
11. Rammstein – Herzeleid
12. Röyksopp – Whate Else is There?
13. The knife – Heartbeats
14. Vnv Nation – Chrome

I will still count the two swaps I have already made with Martin and David, and I have already got another one. This leaves seven still to go, so if you feel like it, compile your own favourite music and nudge me gently. Remember not to exceed 74 minutes and the maximum of one track per artist.

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One task on the101 tasks in 1001 days project, involves compiling a CD with my favourite music. The idea is to exchange the CD with others, so as to broaden my musical horizons a bit. Here is what I finally decided to put om my disc:

1. Assemblage 23 – Divide
2. Covenant – Feedback
3. Deine Lakaien – Return
4. Frontline Assembly – Vigilante
5. Infected Mushroom – Frog Machine
6. Juno Reactor – Pistolero
7. KMFDM – Professional Killer
8. Melotron – Kein Problem
9. Pink Floyd – High Hopes
10. Rammstein – Der Meister
11. Secret Chiefs 3 – Zulfiqar III
12. The Birthday Massacre – Lovers End
13. The Knife – Heartbeats
14. Vnv Nation – Electronaut

Last weekend I went to Gothenburg and the thirtieth annual gaming convention there. As agreed on beforehand, I swapped music with Martin and David. Though I have started down the road, I still have much left. My goal is to swap with ten others. Of course I will give the contents a chance, which might take some time.

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Från några enkla, klinkande pianotoner och en klocka, utvecklas en av de mest magiska låtar jag har hört. Det beror kanske på den poetiska texten, kanske på den underbara sången eller den välkomponerade musiken, jag vet inte, men magiskt är det.

Det tog ett bra tag innan jag hittade den här låten, men nu finns den på topplistan över favoritlåtar med Pink Floyd. Eftersom texten som vanligt betyder väldigt mycket för mig, kommer den nedan. Eftersom det är svårt att fånga magi med ord, låter jag texten avsluta låttipset och hoppas att jag lockat i alla fall någon att lyssna på Pink Floyd med låten High Hopes.

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun

Along the long road and on down the causeway
Do they still meet there by the cut

There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps
Running before time took our dreams away
Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground
To a life consumed by slow decay

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
With friends surrounded
The nights of wonder

Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide
At a higher altitude with flag unfuried
We reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world

Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There’s a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
though down this road we’ve been so many times

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

Forever and ever


Såå.. nu kunde jag inte hålla mig längre, nu var jag bara tvungen att tipsa om ett av de bättre banden som någonsin gjort musik. Pink Floyd är det väl knappast någon som inte känner till, men jag tror inte det är så många i vår generation som faktiskt lyssnat ordentligt på dem. Det har jag gjort under ganska många år och det blir bara bättre och bättre.

Shine on you crazy diamond är mitten spåret på albumet whish you were here och är cirka en halvtimme långt. Inledningen är ett stämningsfyllt och väldigt lugnt och elgitarr. Känslan av sorg och saknad är överhängande och jag har aldrig hört detta framfört på ett sådant enkelt och bra sätt i någon annan låt.

Därefter tystnar musiken och vi får ett bar ödsliga gitarrtoner varefter trummor och mer gitarrer tillkommer, nu med ett tydligt tempo. Efter ett tag får vi också den underbart komponerade texten och en saxofon (tror jag). Eftersom texten är så stor del av det stora med låten, kommer den här:

Remember when you were young
You shone like the sun
Shine on you crazy diamond
Now there’s a look in your eyes
Like black holes in the sky
Shine on you crazy diamond
You were caught in the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom
Blown on the steel breeze
Come on you target for faraway laughter
Come on you stranger
You legend
You martyr
And shine

You reached for the secret too soon
You cried for the moon
Shine on you crazy diamond
Threatened by shadows at night
And exposed in the light
Shine on you crazy diamond
Well, you wore out your welcome
With random percision
Rode on the steel breeze
Come on you raver
You seer of visions
Come on you painter
You piper
You prisoner
And shine

Nobody knows where you are
How near or how far
Shine on you crazy diamond
Pile on many more years
And I’ll be joining you there
Shine on you crazy diamond
And we’ll bask in the shadow
Of yesterday’s triumph
Sail on the steel breeze
Come on you boy child
You winner and loser
Come on you miner for truth and delusion
And shine

Låten är skriven under en tid då Pink Floyd var ett av världens största band, men hade en hel del problem. Skivan i allmänhet kan man tolka som kritik mot hela musikbranschen (inklusive fansen). Just Shine on you crazy diamond är en låt tillägnad Roger Keith Barret, en av dem som var med från början och bidragit mycket till bandets storhet. Långsamt hade press och ständigt turnerande brutit ned honom tills han till slut tvingades lämna allt vad musikskapande heter.

Har ni inte lyssnat på det här så borde ni verkligen göra det. Om inte annat bara för att ha hört det, för det är en riktig klassiker som, tillsammans med en del annat de gjort, har satt djupa spår i musikvärlden.

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