Browsing articles tagged with " Drum Beats"
Apr 24, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Thee Oh Sees’ album explores psychedelic, leaving behind punk greatness

When John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees announced the band would be going on an indefinite hiatus from touring, critics undoubtedly had nightmarish prospects of the band going the way of artists like David Bowie, who just returned from a decade-long hiatus. (Yes, David Bowie is still making music.) People who are less familiar with the group might have thought that an indefinite break would mean years of anticipation and conflict between band members. The band’s “hiatus” really meant a few months away from the head-thrashing, mosh-pitting and crowd-surfing that are intrinsic to Thee Oh Sees shows; if anything, it meant more time to focus on their latest studio album, Drop.

Dwyer described the break as a well-needed and a transitional period. If anyone in the music world deserves a break, besides perhaps Jack White and fellow California punkster Ty Segall, it’s Thee Oh Sees. Formerly Thee Ohsees and, even before that, OCS, the band has morphed like an amoeba, changing membership and musical style over a dozen studio albums and enumerable EPs, 7-inch records and compilations. As their booking agent Annie Sothworth put it simply to SF Weekly, “They need a break after five years straight, so yes … hiatus time.”

But the California punk and heavy rock band have returned from a brief break with a noticeably more psychedelic and contemporary sound. Evidently, the transition that Dwyer was referring to was not purely related to the band members relocating from Silicon Valley where they got their start. Their music, too, went through a significant metamorphosis.

Drop is a major departure from the band’s previous work, which was often weighed down in heavy guitar riffs and a low rumbling bass that made you want to air guitar while squirming on the ground in your best Iggy Pop impersonation. The album is marked by slower melodies and styles that hark back to the time of Bowie and even further back to San Francisco-centered psychedelic rock. Because Dwyer is playing most of the instruments on all of the songs, some distinct features of the band’s previous albums are missing, like the harmonies with the female vocalist, the syncopating drum beats and chest-bursting bass. It’s a genre that fits somewhere in between the traditional grooves of Foxygen and the more experimental sounds of Tame Impala.

Some things have remained consistent from their previous work. The tonality is still dark and somber, although Drop’s lyrics are not nearly as creepily graphic as they were on the band’s last album, Floating Coffin. The album’s first track feels like an assurance that the band is remaining true to its loyal punk following. The song, “Penetrating Eye,” feels like what Ozzy Osbourne was listening to when he decided to bite the head off of a live dove while meeting with record label executives. It starts with an electronic sound that quickly escalates and then transitions into a classically heavy-metal guitar, with a whiny electronic background noise checked frequently with Dwyer’s refrain of “La la la la.”

The next few tracks slowly evolve into the newer vibe, adding more syncopated beats and experimentation with feedback. “Savage Victory” adds soft and airy vocals while “Put Some Reverb on My Brother” adds reverb. By the fifth song and the title track, the tone shift is completely realized, and the metamorphosis is done. What emerges is a creature that resembles what the offspring of The Beatles and Bowie would look like. Except this creature goes through an edgy shoegaze phase on “Transparent World,”  marked with traditional wall-of-sound guitar and interesting techno background noises. In its final track, the album rounds out with a somber ballad enhanced with a violin and saxophone.

It’s impossible to say Drop lacks variety. But it doesn’t tell a consistent story. In an attempt to be experimental, Dwyer lost some of what made the band’s tone unique in the first place.

3 out of 5 stars

Apr 23, 2014
Rock D Fresh

And the Drum Beats On

You can hear them even before you cross the bridge. Heart-rattling, solid booms echo throughout Mesa Parking Structure and blast out into the surrounding community of Mesa Court and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. But it’s not just noise––the closer you get, the more you can hear the steady  beat that the booms maintain and the rhythmic melody that shakes the concrete walls and floors of the structure itself. Every sound is deliberate, and it doesn’t take long to realize that what you’re hearing is music. From the fourth floor, Japanese drumming ensemble Jodaiko makes itself known.

Courtesy of Akari Sunaga

Courtesy of Akari Sunaga

Created back in the summer of 1992 under the name Tomo No Taiko––”Tomo No” drawn from the already-established Japanese and Japanese American culture club on campus, Tomo No Kai, or “Association of Friends” in Japanese, and “Taiko” drawing from the name given to the broad range of Japanese percussion instruments––UCI’s first taiko group began from the ground up. Practices were held in Torrance at the home of one of the group’s founders, student and trained taiko drummer Peggy Kamon, and with no money to purchase professional taiko equipment, members practiced their striking technique and stances on old car tires and discarded wooden tables.

Much has changed since 1992. Today Tomo No Taiko is called Jodaiko, a name adopted in remembrance of the spirit of the original founders. UCI just crowned Jodaiko Organization of the Month for the month of April. And, as the 27 current members unload equipment from the trunk of one of the director’s cars in preparation for practice, it’s clear they’ve upgraded from the household items of decades past. In total, Jodaiko owns six chudaiko (normal sized drums), four shime daiko (small drums), and one odaiko (large drum). Drums are named as such with respect to the drum size of the group. Some groups have drums as large as Jodaiko’s biggest one and may even call that their chudaiko.

There are also Japanese terms Jodaiko uses for the various parts of the drum. “I feel that by understanding and learning these terms you become more well-versed with not just the playing itself but the culture of taiko,” Bryan Le, fourth-year chemical engineering major and internal director, says. “For example, there is the ‘kan’ or the handles of the drum and the ‘meme’–pronounced me-me–which are the curled up edges of the drum head.”

Equipment set-up for practices can take as long as six minutes, but for the rest of Jodaiko’s twice-a-week, four-hour-long practices in the structure, members must constantly work on their individual techniques and perform select pieces for upcoming performances until they look and sound relatively perfect.

“The biggest challenges, like in most groups, is making everyone happy,” Le says of the grueling weekly practices. “Jodaiko operates on a schedule and is between a remedial group and a business. Sometimes members are unhappy with the internal affairs but as directors, it’s our job to keep the group moving forward to how we see fit.”

Courtesy of Akari Sunaga

Courtesy of Akari Sunaga

Jodaiko spends its practices cycling through nine different pieces currently in its repertoire of songs. While the directors give its members opportunities to create their own pieces––five to six minutes of artfully-choreographed striking, floorwork and arm movements––they’re also known to recycle their more classic songs for special events like sister organization Tomo No Kai’s Culture Night, which they’re preparing for now. Some of these older pieces, 10 of which have been around for more than 20 years, serve to remind Jodaiko members of their roots and rich history.

Though practices may be challenging, they also serve as a way for the members to bond as a family. Members chat while setting up equipment and do homework together during their downtime.

“I owe it to this group for always making me laugh and have fun while constantly striving to get better at taiko,” Akari Sunaga, third-year business administration and studio art double major, says. This is her third year in the program and she participates in almost every event Jodaiko has, whether it be performing for campus events like Autism Speaks or cultural events like the summer Obon festival in San Jose.

“The best part about performing in this group is being able to make the audience go “wow!” or have fun clapping to our beat, too.”

During a run-through of one of the songs, the performers, holding deep lunges behind their angled taiko drums, circle their drumsticks around their head twice before striking hard onto the canvas. The collective boom is what is heard throughout the empty parking structure. It’s music, but it’s also a choreographed dance. It’s a choreographed dance, but it’s also years of hard work, culture and struggle from a small team of Tomo No Kai cabinet members, who decades ago had no experience in drumming, but wanted to celebrate their Japanese culture nevertheless.

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Apr 21, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Mercedes-Benz Coupe SUV Concept previews X6 rival

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

As expected, Mercedes-Benz revealed the Mercedes-Benz Coupe SUV Concept at Auto China 2014. The Beijing showcar, a BMW X6-style machine, is said to be “sensual as a coupe, visionary as an SUV” by Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes.

The four-door, all-wheel drive Coupe SUV Concept has a length of almost five metres, and an imposing two-metre width thanks to broad shoulders and flared wheel arches. At the same time it has a modest height of around 1.75 metres, exhibiting the flat, extended roofline that is typical of a sports coupe.

The recessed door handles and frameless side windows blend perfectly into the concept’s flanks to further accentuate the coupe character. Like all recent study vehicles, the Concept Coupe SUV comes with an “Alu-Beam” paint finish reminiscent of the Silver Arrows of the 1930s and 1950s. The wheels are large 22-inch items.

mercedes-benz coupe suv  3

The upright sports grille with a single louvre, framed by the all-LED “Multibeam” headlamps, is the major feature of the face. Soft cubes dominate the grille insert, and the sloping bonnet features power domes. A discreet reference to the SUV world is provided by the integrated, illuminated side sills, like running boards on off-roaders.

At the back, an S-Class Coupe-style design line, which will feature in all future Merc coupes, takes centrestage. The line bridges the slim band of rear lights with their ruby-like, 3D look. Another feature that has distinguished large Merc coupes is the rear window with a rounded off top. A discreet SUV reference is made by the simulated underguard.

Mercedes says that the Coupe SUV Concept previews a more sporty and dynamic “on-road line” of SUVs, seperate from the GLA, GLK, M, GL and G-Class, which are in the “off-road line”. Based on the ML, this concept is being planned for production in 2015 in the US, and will be called the MLC, according to reports.

mercedes-benz coupe suv  4

mercedes-benz coupe suv  3

mercedes-benz coupe suv  2

mercedes-benz coupe suv  1

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV, 2014

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV, 2014

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz at the Auto China, Beijing 2014Mercedes-Benz auf der Auto China, Peking 2014

Mercedes-Benz at the Auto China, Beijing 2014Mercedes-Benz auf der Auto China, Peking 2014

Mercedes-Benz at the Auto China, Beijing 2014Mercedes-Benz auf der Auto China, Peking 2014

Mercedes-Benz at the Auto China, Beijing 2014Mercedes-Benz auf der Auto China, Peking 2014

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV

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Apr 20, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Art Alert: Peace drum beats

This week marks the International Festival For Drums and Traditional Arts (19-25 April). 

Under the slogan, “Drums: Dialogue For Peace,” comes this year’s festival directed by its founder, Intesar Abdel Fattah, under the umbrella of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. This year the event features drum beats from around the world, including: China, Namibia, Uganda, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Jordan, Tunisia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Sudan, Kuwait, Tanzania, South Sudan, Liberia, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Yemen and Guinea.

As for Egypt, this year participants represent the multicultural layers of Egyptian society through a variety of drums and beats drawn from across the country, including: The Oasis, Nubia, Port Said governorate, Toushka, Sharqia governorate, Alexandria governorate, Cairo, Beni Suef governorate, Al-Arish governorate, and Minya governorate.

Below is the schedule

Opening and closing ceremonies will start at 6pm
Performances start at 7pm
Performances at the Child Theatre and Al-Andalus Garden start at 11am

Saturday 19 April
Venue: Beir Youssef Theatre, Saladin Citadel
Performance: Opening ceremony, an international workshop including all participants, directed by Intesar Abdel Fattah

Sunday 20 April
Venue: Beir Youssef Theatre, Saladin Citadel
Performance: China, Namibia, Uganda and Algeria

Venue: Al-Ghoury Dome
Performance: Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria

Venue: Al-Hanager Open Air Theatre, Cairo Opera House premises
Performance: Sharqia governorate, Jordan, Liberia

Venue: Banha Culture Palace
Performance: Malawi (Minya governorate), Yemen, South Sudan

Venue: Ain Helwan Cultural Palace
Performance: Sudan, Al-Anfoushi (Alexandria), Zimbabwe

Venue: Al-Fustat Pottery Centre
Performance: Beni Suef governorate, Jordan, Azerbaijan

Monday 21 April
Venue: Beir Youssef Theatre, Saladin Citadel
Performance: Zimbabwe, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, China

Venue: Al-Ghory Dome
Performance: Toushka (Upper Egypt), Azerbaijan, Kuwait

Venue: Al-Hanager Open Air Theatre, Cairo Opera House premises
Performance: Hasaballa troupe (Cairo), Switzerland, Guinea

Venue: Banha Cultural Palace
Performance: Sharqia governorate, Sudan, Liberia

Venue: Ain Helwan Cultural Palace
Performance: Malawi (Minya governorate), Yemen, Jordan

Venue: Al-Fustat Pottery Centre
Performance: Namibia, Al-Anfoushi (Alexandria), Sri Lanka, Uganda

Venue: Child Theatre
Performance: Beni Suef governorate, Indonesia, South Sudan

Venue: Al-Andalus Garden
Performance: The Oasis, Jordan, Nigeria, Guinea

Tuesday 22 April

Venue : Beir Youssef Theatre, Saladin Citadel
Performance: The African workshop (the Nile Dialogue), including: Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, South Sudan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, Guinea, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Port Said, Nubia

Venue: Al-Ghory Dome
Performance: Malawi (Minya), Jordan, Al-Arish governorate

Venue: Al-Hanager Open Air Theatre, Cairo Opera House premises
Performance: Toushka (Upper Egypt), Jordan, Thailand

Venue: Banha Cultural Palace
Performance: Al-Anfoushi (Alexandria), Sri Lanka

Venue: Ain Helwan Cultural Palace
Performance: The Oasis, Azerbijan, Sharqia governorate

Venue: Al-Fustat pottery center
Performance: Switzerland, Beni Suef governorate, Kuwait

Wednesday 23 April

Venue: Beir Youssef Theatre, Saladin Citadel
Performance: Sri Lanka, Azerbijan, South Sudan

Venue : Al-Ghory Dome
Performance: Sharqia governorate, Zimbabwe, Yemen

Venue: Al-Hanager Open Air Theatre, Cairo Opera House premises
Performance: China, Al-Arish governorate, Saudi Arabia

Venue: Banha Cultural Centre
Performance: Toushka (Upper Egypt) Switzerland, Thailand

Venue: Ain Helwan Cultural Centre
Performance: Port-Said governorate, Tunisia, Sudan

Venue: Al-Fustat Pottery Centre
Performance: The Oasis, Jordan, Liberia

Thursday 24 April

Venue: Beir Youssef Theatre, Saladin Citadel
Performance: China, Liberia, Guinea, Nubia

Venue: Al-Ghory Dome
Performance: Uganda, Malawi (Minya governorate), Tunisia

Venue: Al-Hanager Open Air Theatre, Cairo Opera House premises
Performance: The Oasis, Indonesia, Kuwait, Guinea

Venue: Banha Cultural Palace
Performance: Beni Suef governorate, Jordan, Nigeria

Venue: Ain Helwan Cultural Palace
Performance: Al-Arish governorate, Saudi Arabia, Namibia

Venue: Al-Fustat Pottery Centre
Performance: South Sudan, Port Said governorate, Switzerland

Venue: Child Theatre
Performance: Thailand, Al-Anfoushi (Alexandria), Algeria

Friday 25 April

Venue: Beir Youssef Theatre, Saladin Citadel
Performance: Closing ceremony, workshop by all participants, directed by Intesar Abdel Fattah

Short link:

 


Apr 19, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Live This Weekend: Night Beats, Star Anna, Cataldo, Slick Rick!

Friday, April 18


Local psychedelia by way of Texas—where the Austin Psych Fest has embraced the band—Night Beats play basement trance rock; it’s reverb-laden, muffled, and delivered with sass, grit, and a disintegrating beat that demands that you dance. Last September’s Sonic Bloom is filled with mind-bending revelations that can warp the walls of a small club like LoFi. With Cosmonauts, The Pharmacy, Black Sea. 9 p.m. $10. MB

Fading West perfectly encapsulates Switchfoot, despite being more of an organic pop effort than previous releases. Fading was inspired by the band’s 2012 world tour, which was chronicled in a documentary of the same name. Jon Foreman’s lyrics are as thought-provoking as ever, and remind listeners that you can still find hope in rock roll. With The Royal Concept. The Showbox. 8:30 p.m. $25 adv./$28 DOS. All ages. BRIAN PALMER

Da Mafia 6ix Five of the original Three 6 Mafia members (alas, no Juicy J or Project Pat) have reunited to honor their former bandmate, the late Lord Infamous. The new project, which was encouraged and supported by fans, keeps the hits alive, while new material moves toward a more EDM-influenced sound. With The Menace, guests. Studio Seven, 110 S. Horton St., 286-1312, studioseven.us. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$17 DOS. MICHAEL F. BERRY

All sorts of feelings will be had tonight as endings and beginnings collide in a big swirling goop of all-ages goodness. Us on Roofs have sadly declared this its last show. Conversely, the band formed in the wake of Nude Pop’s demise, Mallows, have declared this its first show. The all-ages Lord giveth, and the all-ages Lord taketh away. The night also sees Special Explosion ride home from a massive nationwide tour for the hometown release party of The Art of Mothering EP. With Seacats. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372, theveraproject.com. 7:30 p.m. $10. All ages. KELTON SEARS

Saturday, April 19

Star Anna This performance comes near the end of the Blue Moon Tavern’s two-week celebration of its 80th anniversary. If you’ve missed the others, don’t worry; this is the show to see. Star Anna’s country balladry is as beer-soaked and filled with heartache as the tavern’s walls. She also happens to be just as resilient as the old bar, soldiering on through her split with backing band the Laughing Dogs and putting out her strongest album yet, Go to Hell. With Blackheart Honeymoon. Blue Moon, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116, bluemoonseattle.wordpress.com. 9:30 p.m. $10. MB

After growing restless musically, Cataldo’s Eric Anderson decided to pair his brainy lyrics—for example gems like “Noli me tangere, motherfucker”—with newfound pop sensibilities. The resulting album, Gilded Oldies, serves as a new beginning for Anderson and crew. Its solid danceability comes from stark drum beats, bright acoustic riffs, and warm vocal melodies. With Arkomo, Jason Dodson. Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave. S., 723-0088, columbiacitytheater.com. 9 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. 21 and over. ACP

Hip-hop duo The Underachievers may hail from Brooklyn, but its abstract sound channels West Coast hyphy and Chi-Town soul. While MCs AK and Issa Gold aggressively trade bars, tripped-out, swooning beats keep the atmosphere cool and soothing. The act’s old-school flavor belies the fact we’re living in the digital age. With Denzel Curry, Dillon Copper, Azizi Gibson. The Crocodile. 8 p.m. SOLD OUT. 21 and over. DH

Those lucky enough to see the Dillinger Escape Plan in the late ’90s know that very few bands come close to the intensity of those early performances. Chaotically fusing jazz, metal, and prog, DEP has always been at the forefront of heavy music, practically creating its own genre. After replacing original vocalist Dimitri Minakakis with Greg Puciato, the band’s ensuing record, Miss Machine, was a game-changer in extreme music. Ideas were fleshed out and more melodic, causing some fans to turn on the band. Since then, DEP has gone through several other lineup changes while losing little vitality. Last year’s One of Us Is the Killer, the band’s fifth LP, stands among some of its best work to date. With Trash Talk, Retox, Shining. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 262-0482, elcorazonseattle.com. 7:15 p.m. $20 adv./$23 DOS. All ages, bar with I.D. JB

Snoop Dogg is pleased with Washington. With the passage of I-502, Snoop Lion is bringing his 4/20-inspired “Wellness Retreat.” It’s worth noting that opener Wiz Khalifa is one of the two people, Snoop has said on record, who have outsmoked him. (The other is Willie Nelson.) Contact high included with price of admission. WaMu Theater, 1000 Occidental Ave. S., 381-7555, centurylinkfield.com/wamu-theater-booking. 9 p.m. $47.50. All ages. DH

Sunday, April 20

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, a masterpiece of hip-hop storytelling. Rick’s charismatic charm, conversational flow, and clever punch lines made him one of the game’s most influential MCs, despite the legal problems that may have stifled his output. With Fearce Vill, Thaddeus David, DJ Kun Luv. Neumos. 8 p.m. $20 adv. MFB

Dark Star Orchestra continues its popular program of Grateful Dead songs. On 4/20, naturally. The Showbox. 8 p.m. $25–$30. SW

The Temptations Motown’s popular R B group has retained just one original member, Otis Williams, but the new configuration still delivers with soul and continues to record, releasing Still Here in 2010. With the Four Tops. Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234, snocasino.com. 7 p.m. SOLD OUT. SW

Any thought that the Portland Cello Project was just some sort of gimmick has long been dispelled. Seven years in, the Project continues to grow under the stewardship of Douglas Jenkins, its showmanship growing along with its vast and diverse catalog, which numbers more than 800 songs at this point, including everything from Bach to Britney. For this performance, the Project will play with fellow Portland group Alialujah Choir, featuring members of Weinland, Norfolk Western, and M. Ward. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, thetripledoor.net. 7:30 p.m. $20–$28. MB

Apr 18, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Cow marrying a bull and eggs soaked in urine: Ten weird and wonderful Easter …

  • Christians nailed to crosses in the Philippines in reenactment of Jesus’s suffering
  • ‘Penance processions’ through the streets of Spain performed by Catholic religious brotherhoods
  • And Spring eggs hard boiled in children’s urine in China

By
Suzannah Hills

23:33 EST, 17 April 2014


|

23:35 EST, 17 April 2014

As Christians around the world gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, MailOnline looks at some of the more unusual religious ceremonies and Easter traditions happening across the globe this week.

And with real-life reenactments of the crucifixion in the Philippines and the lavish wedding of a cow to bull in India, there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of bizarre traditions.

Here are MailOnline’s top ten:

Crucifixions, Philippines

Christians are nailed to crosses in the Philippines every year in a real-life Good Friday reenactment of Jesus’s suffering.

The annual ritual, dating back to the 1950s, takes place across the country – often attracting a crowd of thousands of people.

Last year, nine men were crucified in Pampanga province’s San Pedro Cutud village, while at least eight others were crucified in neighbouring villages.

Many take part to atone for sins, pray for the sick or for a better life, or to give thanks for what they believe were miracles.

Grim reenactment: Three Filipinos are nailed to crosses in a Good Friday crucifixion in Barangay Cutud, San Fernando. The event last year attracted a crowd of around 10,000 people

Grim reenactment: Three Filipinos are nailed to crosses in a Good Friday crucifixion in Barangay Cutud, San Fernando. The event last year attracted a crowd of around 10,000 people

Agony: Penitent Bobby Gomez grimaces as a nail is hammered into his hand in the Good Friday celebration

Agony: Penitent Bobby Gomez grimaces as a nail is hammered into his hand in the Good Friday celebration

Ruben Enaje, a painter, 51, last year took part in the crucifixions for the 26th time. He began taking part in the annual event to give thanks after he survived falling from a building.

He added that despite the crucifixions being condemned he still took part because the Church ‘stay at home during Good Friday instead of reaching out to penitents to explain their side’.

He had three-inch steel nails hammered into his palms during the ceremony.

The spectacle is a unique brand of Catholicism that merges church traditions with Philippine folk superstitions. More than 80 per cent of the Philippines’ estimated 90 million population are Catholic.

Bloody: Jon Jon Tanael looks at the nail going into his hand as a man holds a rag covered in blood during the event. 17 people took part last year

Bloody: Jon Jon Tanael looks at the nail going into his hand as a man holds a rag covered in blood during the event. 17 people took part last year

Close-up: Participant Percy Valencia. 41, has a nail going all the way through her hand during the re-enactment

Close-up: Participant Percy Valencia. 41, has a nail going all the way through her hand during the re-enactment

The Holy Week procession in Spain

Traditional marches take place throughout Spanish towns and cities to mark Holy Week – the last week of Lent .

The ‘penance processions’ through the streets are performed by Catholic religious brotherhoods who wear different coloured robes to tell themselves apart.

They also don conical hoods for the haunting processions as they carry life-size effigies of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary through city streets accompanied by dramatic drum beats and mournful music.

Oath of Silence: Penitents from the 'Cristo de las Injurias' brotherhood fall silent for Holy Wednesday

Oath of Silence: Penitents from the ‘Cristo de las Injurias’ brotherhood fall silent for Holy Wednesday

Catholic celebration: A Christ of the Hearsay brotherhood member holds her hooded baby during 'Procesion del Silencio' in Zamora

Catholic celebration: A Christ of the Hearsay brotherhood member holds her hooded baby during ‘Procesion del Silencio’ in Zamora

Procession of silence: Brotherhood members stand in front of a statue of Christ during the Holy Week procession

Procession of silence: Brotherhood members stand in front of a statue of Christ during the Holy Week procession

Candle-lit procession: Penitents march in the 'Procesion del Silencio' to mark Holy Week in Spain

Candle-lit procession: Penitents march in the ‘Procesion del Silencio’ to mark Holy Week in Spain

The sobriety of the processions varies between regions with some more glamorous than others. 

While
some processions are noisy affairs, with bands accompanying the
penitents, one of the most famous is El Silencio, which is conducted
without any musical accompaniment.

Up
to a million visitors head to Seville for Holy Week (known as Semana
Santa in Spanish), collecting programmes of the varying processions and
following them through the city.

The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages when penitents would be dressed in the robes before walking through the streets.

Uniform: The fraternity is identifiable only by the colour of its hood and dress - which shows the badge of the brotherhood on their chests

Uniform: The fraternity is identifiable only by the colour of its hood and dress – which shows the badge of the brotherhood on their chests

Colourful procession: The brotherhood wears red hoods and white tunics to take part in the Holy Wednesday procession

Colourful procession: The brotherhood wears red hoods and white tunics to take part in the Holy Wednesday procession

A penitent falls with his horse as they take part in the 'Procesion del Silencio' by the 'Cristo de las Injurias' brotherhood during Holy Week in Zamora

A penitent falls with his horse as they take part in the ‘Procesion del Silencio’ by the ‘Cristo de las Injurias’ brotherhood during Holy Week in Zamora

Church selfie: Penitents take their photos inside a church in Malaga, Spain, as part of Holy Week celebrations

Church selfie: Penitents take their photos inside a church in Malaga, Spain, as part of Holy Week celebrations

It
is still an annual event throughout Spain and many who take part walk
barefoot while others have shackled feet as penance. Other carry
ceremonial candles or wooden crosses.

Every
brotherhood carries floats which depict different scenes from the
gospels related to the Passion of Christ or the Sorrows of Virgin Mary.

It is considered one of the most emotional moments of Holy Week.

Tourists
are often seen lining the streets as scheduled processions weave their
way through the city from early morning until late at night.

Religious fervour: Penitents of the San Gonzalo brotherhood take part in a Holy Week procession in the Andalucian capital of Seville

Religious fervour: Penitents of the San Gonzalo brotherhood take part in a Holy Week procession in the Andalucian capital of Seville

Paying penance: The San Gonzalo brotherhood marched through the night, their red candles leaving their hoods stained with wax

Paying penance: The San Gonzalo brotherhood marched through the night, their red candles leaving their hoods stained with wax

Countrywide: While Seville has the most famous Semana Santa processions, villages and towns across Spain stage their own Holy Week events

Countrywide: While Seville has the most famous Semana Santa processions, villages and towns across Spain stage their own Holy Week events

Everyday event: Children play in the background as a penitent watches a march from 'Jesus en su Tercera CaiŒda' brotherhood during a procession in Zamora, Spain

Everyday event: Children play in the background as a penitent watches a march from ‘Jesus en su Tercera CaiŒda’ brotherhood during a procession in Zamora, Spain

Spectacle: A woman and a boy look from a window as a penitent of San Gonzalo brotherhood walks past them during Holy Week in Seville

Spectacle: A woman and a boy look from a window as a penitent of San Gonzalo brotherhood walks past them during Holy Week in Seville

And the marriage of a cow and a bull, India

A sacred cow Ganga and a bull Prakash
were married during Easter week in a Hindu ceremony held near Indore in Madya Pradesh.

The nuptials were organised by Ganga’s guardian, Gopal Patwari, to save the state’s harvest from a ‘natural disaster’.

Most are farmers growing wheat, barley, beans and cotton and so heavily depend on a good harvest to survive.

More than 5,000 arrived in droves on Monday,
April 14, 2014, to witness the no-expense-spared wedding which is promised to bring the region good luck.

'I Moo': Ganga the cow (left) is married to Prakash the bull during a lavish Hindu wedding ceremony in Indore, India

‘I Moo’: Ganga the cow (left) is married to Prakash the bull during a lavish Hindu wedding ceremony in Indore, India

More than 5,000 people turned up to see the happy couple married during the unusual ceremony in Indore, India

More than 5,000 people turned up to see the happy couple married during the unusual ceremony in Indore, India

Prakash the bull arrived at his wedding on board a specially decorated bugee; the wedding had all of the traditional rituals associated with a Hindu wedding

Prakash the bull arrived at his wedding on board a specially decorated bugee; the wedding had all of the traditional rituals associated with a Hindu wedding

The wedding took two months to organise and cost Rs 1million (about £10,000) – half the cost of the average British wedding.

Invitations were sent to 10,000 residents of three closely connected villages, encouraging them to donate what they could spare.

The special wedding had all the traditional rituals of a Hindu wedding including Haldi, Ganesh Pooja, Mandap and Fera.

Organisers
hope that the nuptials will bring good luck to the farmers who paid
£10,000 towards the ceremony after neigbouring regions were hit with
monster hailstones and heavy rain.

Organisers arranged a chef and DJ to ensure that the 5,000 onlookers enjoyed the wedding of Ganga to Prakash

Organisers arranged a chef and DJ to ensure that the 5,000 onlookers enjoyed the wedding of Ganga to Prakash

Ganga was specially prepared for her wedding to Prakash with a specially designed outfit

Ganga was specially prepared for her wedding to Prakash with a specially designed outfit

A marching band with drummers led villagers towards the unconventional wedding ceremony

A marching band with drummers led villagers towards the unconventional wedding ceremony

Not forgetting eggs boiled in urine, in China

Here’s a weird one. It may not be a strictly Christian tradition, but in China around this time of year Spring eggs hard boiled in children’s urine have been a treat for thousands of years.

Chinese chefs in the city of Dongyang, in the province of Zhejiang, eastern China, claim the tradition gives eggs an especially sour taste.

The eggs, which have an official ‘cultural significance’ status in China, are then boiled in the urine, first with their shells on and then with them off for a day and a night before they are ready to be eaten.

Chef Lu Ming said the urine is gathered from local schools. He said: ‘They pee in buckets and we collect it fresh every day.’

‘The eggs are delicious and healthy. They stop fevers and can help you concentrate if you’re feeling sluggish or sleepy,’ said Ming.

This year's harvest of eggs boiled in boys' urine has been described as being of an 'exceptionally high standard'Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2594284/Just-time-Easter-Chinese-chefs-try-world-enjoy-traditional-delicacy-eggs-boiled-boys-URINE-apparently-great-vintage-year.html#ixzz2zC4Ztp79Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

This year’s harvest of eggs boiled in boys’ urine has been described as being of an ‘exceptionally high standard’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2594284/Just-time-Easter-Chinese-chefs-try-world-enjoy-traditional-delicacy-eggs-boiled-boys-URINE-apparently-great-vintage-year.html#ixzz2zC4Ztp79
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

The eggs are boiled in urine collected from local schools, first with their shells on then with them off, for a day and a night before they are ready to be eaten

The eggs are boiled in urine collected from local schools, first with their shells on then with them off, for a day and a night before they are ready to be eaten

The eggs are said to be 'delicious and healthy' with the ability to 'stop fevers' and can help people 'concentrate if you're feeling sluggish or sleepy'

The eggs are said to be ‘delicious and healthy’ with the ability to ‘stop fevers’ and can help people ‘concentrate if you’re feeling sluggish or sleepy’

An Easter whipping in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

In both the countries, women can expect to get whipping. As a part of the Easter tradition, men beat girls and women with decorated handmade whips.

However, the whipping is not intended to be painful. It is believed that whipping on the Easter day makes women more healthy and beautiful.

Dressing up for Easter

In Finland, the Easter celebrations have a Halloween look as the children dress up as witches with broomsticks hanged around their necks.

They wander in the streets in search of treats. It is believed that during the festival, witches become more powerful and bonfires are made to scare them off.

The Easter Bilby, not bunny

Usually, all over the world it is the Easter Bunny that brings in the chocolates and hides the eggs, but in Australia it is an Easter Bilby that brings the eggs.

One reason behind this interesting change is to create awareness on bilby which is an endangered species in Australia and another reason is a dislike towards the bunnies which destroy the crops.

On Easter, chocolate bilbies will be made.

Forget chocolate, try iguana for Easter

Colombians have strange dinner menu for the Easter day. Instead of chocolates and eggs, they dine on iguana, turtles and big rodents for the feast.

Eggs hanging from trees

In other countries Easter eggs are hidden and children go for egg hunting but in Germany Easter eggs instead are displayed on trees and prominently in  streets. Some of the trees will have thousands of multi color eggs hanged on them.

Red eggs and red eggs only, in Greece

Easter is known for multicolor-decorated eggs, but in Greece you will find only red color eggs. Greeks paint all their eggs only red and use these for making the Easter bread.


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Apr 17, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Lyla Foy weaves rhythmic pieces into a debut full-length

There’s a song called “I Only,” appearing early in Lyla Foy’s debut full-length, Mirrors the Sky (released last month by Sub Pop). It’s a chill synth-pop tune, upbeat and happy, but not a dance track. It develops largely like you’d expect — some keys, some electronic beats, beautiful vocals by the London songwriter. Then at the first instrumental break, a little over a minute in, there’s a solo by an instrument that sounds something like … a bird call? A laughing gibbon?

“Um, OK, so, the squeaking sound,” she says with a laugh, “It’s a toy train. It belongs to my friend; we were recording at his house, and I was trying to record some interesting sounds. We found this squeaky old train and I was just moving it back and forth across the floor and it was making this amazing sound. So we recorded it, and then I kind of chopped up the recording a little and sampled it in a way that sounds a bit, kind of, demented.”

Foy, who’s 25, started playing guitar as a teenager, like so many. Entirely self-taught, she first made a splash with some home recordings she released under the name Wall in 2012. “When I put my first song out as Wall, I only had one song — it wasn’t a planned project or anything,” she explains. “It was literally a song, and I wanted to put it online so my friends could hear it, and I just chose a random name. It wasn’t really a band. There was kind of a nice mystery behind it, but then when we were going to put out the debut album, it was like — I’ll put my name to this now. I’m ready. It wasn’t just a bedroom project anymore.”

Those early Wall tracks were beautiful but starkly quiet; they were literally bedroom recordings, and Foy’s vocals were usually little more than a whisper. As she’s found her confidence, the vocals have blossomed, and while she certainly doesn’t belt on Mirrors, she doesn’t whisper so much, either. One thing that hasn’t changed, though: Foy does most of the writing, playing and production herself, without much input from her band or anyone else.

“I did most of the recording at home or on different locations, with a really simple studio setup which I travel around with,” she explains. “Once I brought the songs to my band to do some final touches, they were on the way to being ready, and I think it was good to write most of the parts myself. I felt like the direction was kind of sorted. It’s good to get other bits and bobs, it wasn’t going to be anything drastic.”

“It’s a bit lonely doing everything yourself,” she quickly adds. “It’s good to work with the band.”

Foy tends to downplay her instrumental proficiency. “I’m not an amazing keyboard player by any stretch of the imagination,” she says at one point. “It doesn’t take much to get OK at guitar,” she later adds. “You can get by with five or six chords, so it’s fun to write songs [on guitar]. I got by for a long time. I’ve added a few more, but I’m still not a wizard.” But that belies the fact that she played the majority of the instruments on her debut record, and what she didn’t play, she arranged pretty specifically.

“Even if other people were playing, I was arranging or writing the parts, or I’d already written them,” she says. “I played bass on the album, and guitar, and bits of keyboard … I designed a lot of the drum patterns on my computer.”

What Foy does exceedingly well is create texture and rhythmic complexity, and not always just by using the programmed drum beats. Throughout Mirrors the Sky, there are moments in which bass guitar and keyboards are being woven together to create percussive parts, even more so than to convey melody.

“I think it was kind of slightly planned when I started writing this batch of songs,” she explains. “I really like the bass as a percussion instrument. On the track ‘No Secrets,’ the bass is keeping time, that sort of four-to-the-floor, mellow, dancey thing going on, which I kind of like. I do like experimenting with percussion … I wouldn’t say it was planned on a lot of tracks, it just kind of happened, but I do like interesting drum beats.”

After the release of Mirrors last month, Foy began touring the U.K., and now the U.S., on a trip that brings her to Pittsburgh for the first time, on April 23. She and her band continue to work out the best ways to bring something that started as a bedroom project, and was a pretty complex studio undertaking, into a live atmosphere.

“It’s difficult,” she says. “It’s music for a very certain head-space, a certain environment, and we certainly can do well in a theater, in a quiet situation, but we’ve learned to get by in a noisy crowd as well. We’re trying to pick the right venues for us as well, rather than turning up in any old bar.

“It’s about picking the right songs when we’re playing in certain situations — and that’s been good to learn.”

Apr 16, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Los Lonely Boys bring ‘Texican’ to Carmel

The Los Lonely Boys latest album, quot;Revelation,quot; was released Jan. 21.

Carmel Texas-based trio Los Lonely Boys has seen its share of highs and lows in its decade-long mainstream career.

The Garzas brothers — lead guitarist Henry, bassist Jojo and drummer Ringo — had already toiled a lifetime when they reached the major high of winning a 2004 Grammy Award for the Billboard Top 20 hit “Heaven” off their eponymous debut album, released by Epic Records.

Then last year, Henry took a devastating fall from the stage after a performance in Downey, injuring his spine. Aside from the personal blow to the close-knit family, the brothers were in the process of recording their latest album and faced the possibility that Henry may not recover sufficiently to carry on at all.

But Henry did prevail. “Revelation” hit the streets Jan. 21, Henry is well enough to tour, and the brothers continue to deliver their inspired message to all their fans. Los Lonely Boys will deliver its gritty “Texican” blues rock and emotive brown-eyed soul at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Carmel’s Sunset Center.

“Revelation,” a tasteful, multi-stylistic 12-song album released on their personal imprint LonelyTone in association with respected Austin-based indie Playing in Traffic, has propelled the talented trio back onto the stage with their positive, intentioned music intact.

“We’re always trying to broaden our horizons and advance musically, and that’s something that we were very conscious of in making this record,” Jojo said. “We’re always looking for new ways to communicate and reach people, so we experimented with a lot of different sounds and production approaches.”

With help from Willie Nelson, Santana and Los Lobos over the years, the brothers rose to fame; the band today has a total of 10 albums, including three live-performance releases.

But it was their father, Ringo Sr., who developed their talent by bringing them in as his backing band. The family relocated to Nashville in the 1990s and soon Henry, Jojo and Ringo Jr. began writing and performing their own material, eventually returning to their hometown of San Angelo, Texas.

At the invite of Nelson, they went to Austin to record their first album. The majority of their own music has been written and produced inside the band, but for “Revelation” they decided to bring in a number of producers who helped them home in on new areas of interest.

You can hear the contributions brought to the Garza table by alt-country icon Radney Foster, in-demand pop tunesmiths Matthew Gerrard and David Quiñones, Black-Eyed Peas collaborators George Pajon Jr. and Keith Harris, and Raul Pacheco of Ozomatli. With the added emotional impact of Henry’s injury enveloping the group’s outlook and its lyrics, the album chronicles the importance of grasping every moment and giving positive vibes to your world and the world at large.

The song “Give A Little More” has a reggae lilt to it that goes hand in hand with the message about love and sharing. “It’s Just My Heart” has a familiar Latin roots music rhythm at times, mixed with an acoustic mandolin, heartland vibe. “Everything About You” also has that alt-country singer/songwriter approach, with happy, upbeat rhythms and vocals that embrace the togetherness and special bond the Garza brothers possess. “Rule The World” is one of the hardest rocking tunes of the album — and perhaps of the band’s recording history — feeling a bit like Van Halen dishing out bundles of testosterone for both men’s and women’s pleasure.

Los Lonely Boys has mastered the art of the three-minute ready-for-radio song, and this record combines the concise lyrical craft with a variety of styles that take it beyond the Texican label. The brothers have come a long way since coining that term as young men, and they’ve arrived at a time in their lives where youthful exuberance is tempered by mature musings and mellow introspection.

But don’t get too laid back, because in concert this band is known to tear up the stage with Henry’s searing Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired guitar licks, Jojo’s rock bottom driving bass lines and Ringo’s barreling drum beats. Whether Jojo has toned down the acrobatic moves he’s known to erupt with on stage in deference to the locale or to Henry’s unfortunate fall is for you to find out.

If you go

What: Los Lonely Boys

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Sunset Center, Ninth Avenue and San Carlos Street, Carmel

Tickets: $39 to $59

Information: 620-2048 or www.sunsetcenter.org

Apr 15, 2014
Rock D Fresh

Kollam Pooram to be Held Wednesday

Mata Amritanandamayi will inaugurate this year’s Kollam Pooram – the spectacle of decorated elephants, exchange of colourful umbrellas and drum beats followed by pyrotechnics- on April 16 at 5.30 pm. Pooram, which will be conducted on the Asramam Maidan here, is part of the 10-day festival of Asramam Sree Krishna Swami temple.

 The tradition of thiruvabharanam procession from the Anandavalleeshwaram temple was started in 1964.

 As part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of thiruvabharanam procession, a Vedic Philosophy – Modern Physics Correlation Conference, the first-of-its-kind in a temple, was held on Sunday.

It is also proposed to organise more meetings with greater participation of philosophers and scientists from across the world from next year onwards. ENS

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