2007: albums of the year

Obviously, this is MY list, completely subjective and with no intentions of being exhaustive. I've certainly not picked up all releases from 2007, but quite a few anyway. Artists such as Radiohead, Björk, The Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Travis, Interpol, Groove Armada, Kings of Leon, Air... released works in 2007. It was a good year I should say!

However, for me it has not been difficult to choose the best three albums of the year. These are

1.- In Rainbows - Radiohead.
2.- Neon Bible - The Arcade Fire.
3.- Boxer - The National.
4.- Our Love to Admire - Interpol
5.- Favourite Worst Nightmare - Arctic Monkeys
6.- We Are the Night - The Chemical Brothers
7.- Soundboy Rock - Groove Armada
8.- The boy With No Name - Travis
9.- Volta - Bjork

Apologies for the lack of exhaustiveness, this is a home-made list ;). Some potential candidates to the list are the albums by The Good the Bad and the Queen, Air or LCD Soundsystem, but I just didn't have the time to check them out! Your job...


A sad day on planet Earth

It's a sad day because today Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan, after an electoral meeting during the campaign for the elections on Jan 8th. Somebody shot her in the head and then immolated himself to kill 14 other people.

Above her particular death and the situation in Pakistan, it is a sad day because she was a symbol. She symbolized democracy, somebody that was brave enough to come back to a country that needed her help to establish a democracy, well aware that half of the population wanted her dead. And nevertheless she went there, selflessly, for her people.

So today democracy died a bit. They say that when we are young we tend to be optimistic about humanity, and believe that time will (must) bring always better times, but that we become increasingly pessimistic and cynic with age. The way I see it, the argument is absolutely correct, and the time it takes us to lose that optimism depends on the resistance our souls have against events such as that of today, and how many of these events we have to go through... myself, I'm close to defeat.

Fare well, Benazir. Fare well, Optimism.


Boys just wanna have fun!

The same way as Cindy Lauper's friends. And we all know that one of the legal ways to have fun is to get drunk. And since it's legal, when a public personality gets drunk, rather than disapproval he's just gonna get our sympathy, because he was just doing a legal thing... I just happen to think that legality is a funny thing in the way it determines a non-small part of our lives and social behaviour. Have a look at these legally happy fellows...


Music store: Sébastien Tellier

So here I bring you another French electronic musician, as if we didn't have enough already. Well, what can I say, I never get enough of them! Sébastien Tellier is another very fine artist. Parisian, he moved with the right people from the beginning, recording with Air's record label and being produced by the master of the universe, Daft Punk.

He claims to have as aim the composition of erotic music, sexual melodies and rhythms. Well, my friend, you are most welcome. To be fair and honest, what I should do is to start from the beginning and speak about the father of all these kids, Serge Gainsbourg, but this will be another time, this was never meant to be chronologically coherent...

This is one of his songs, La Ritournelle. It is, to date, his most famous song and, not surprisingly, his most commercial one. He acknowledge how much this song changed his life by saying “now I’m living in a new apartment, I have a new girlfriend and a really beautiful sofa” . Indeed, after this release he went from an almost unknown musician to French stardom. Enjoy:



Amsterdam is one of those (very few) places that are, in some way, stuck very deep inside of me. Most of all, I guess it simply represents a part of my life (those crazy hasty years) that is now gone but still glows vividly in my memory. But also because it's such a gorgeous city.

I spent the last weekend with the boys over there for old and new time's sake. It was fantastic to see them all there, to walk in the freezing cold, to share a warm chocomelk... but most of all to wonder around once again, as if with no destination, walking the city, laughing, getting over the hangover together, smoking some and, what is best, speaking more about the future than about the past, even when there's so much past in us.

The suspects couldn't be a more talented bunch: David, Joan (my brother!), Edu, Albert, Rubèn, Daniele and the marvelous hosts Manu and Raül. This one is for you, my dear friends. You all fit in my heart.

The jerboa

Have a look at this little fella...


Photo store: Forum, Barcelona

Ara que a barna s'està tornant tothom boig amb el puto transport public...

Amunt el graffiti artístic!


Music store: E.S.T.

Ok, we're back in business, let's see how long it lasts. It is about time I present you e.s.t., or the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. These Swedish guys are an interesting hybrid in the music world. Officially they are a standard jazz trio, but that's only the very surface. Deep down their music, they use electronic landscapes in their compositions, as well as explore countless ways to use their instruments (piano, drums and bass).

We saw them at the Barbican in London a few months back, and it was impressive. It was not a pure improvisational performance, that's not what they do. There was not an absolute lack of improvisation, but these guys know what they want to get from each piece. The freedom has its bounds. It was amazing to see Esbjörn Svensson, the leader, play the piano in ways we had never seen before, specially when he plays with one hand while twitching the strings in the piano belly with the other, to give a kind of magical and metallic effect.

I remember we bought a DVD of a live performance and then we queued up to get it signed by them. I remember telling
Esbjörn "you guys are genius" while he looked at me, and the fact is that he could look more human. Talent is so charming and unfair.

The bottom line is that you got to check these guys out. If you don't die for jazz but like alternative rock musical landscapes and instrument experiments, specially with a piano, you'll like this. Really. And they are a dream when playing live.

It's difficult to select some songs from their extensive discography, since each CD is like a different journey, but if I had to, I'd go for Eight hundred street by feet, The well-wisher or this delicious A picture of Doris travelling with Boris: