Welcome to the new millennium and to a new employer. As I have already indicated last week I have got difficulties with my directors. To cut a long story short: he put the blame on me because he lost his face in front of all other employees. Because I would not longer stand any other chicaneries in the future I have already applied last year for a new job. With some connections I built up the last years I got a very good job in our capital Stuttgart. It was hard to leave the company and all my co-workers behind after 23 years. But I have also been glad about the new challenge. The first weeks were hard because it was all new and totally different. I used to work in a familiar bank and now I came to a bank that tried to work as a really big bank. Anyway, I did my best to get my position in this bank.
Christiane and I have grown together more and more and we decided to take a longer time out and go traveling to India for 5 weeks. We spent a lot of evenings to plan our vacation. I haven't been there before so it was a great surprise how it will be. I heard about the poorness, dirt and crowded places but I wanted it to see by myself. In fact that this is a very big country we decided to travel 'only' through the southern part of India, Kerala. And we wanted to travel by ourself - not with any guided and fully arranged tour. So we fixed the places we wanted to see not knowing how to get there. We traveled by bus, train and sometimes by a taxi and it worked easily. We have seen a beautiful and for Indian relations a rich country. Kerala produces the most of home vegetables in India and their number of illiterates is less than 20% because this region was civilized by Portugal. Impressed of a lot pictures and places we have seen we spent a week to relax on Goa, a place where the hippies went to in the late 60s. A few of them were still there but most of them toothless and stoned. When you sat at the beach at sundown you could hear sounds that my ears didn't knew before. So I was introduced to the Goa sound.
Not much records this year but it might be my fault because I listened much to old school jazz, funk and soul music this year:
- Radiohead - Kid A: More electronic sounds with influences of Krautrock and Jazz now on it now
- Phoenix - United: This summers record comes from France
- Coldplay - Parachutes: This record is the reason why I listen to them still
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven: Canadian instrumental post rock - fantastic
- Steely Dan - Two Against Nature: They are back on the same high level
- Underworld - Everything, Everything: Just dancefloor but awesome
- Santana - Supernatural: His last good work
Of course we went to the cinema this year again:
- The Perfect Storm: Fantastic novel and a congenial movie as well
- Gladiator: A good period movie
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Martial art at it's best
- Billy Elliot: Great movie about a boy going his way
- Oh Brother, Where Art Though: The Coen brothers going to Homer's Odyssey
- The Beach: I've been there
- High Fidelity: What are your top 5?
- Almost Famous: Movie about the Rock and Roll Circus
- Snatch: Crazy story with an excellent Brad Pitt and Vinnie Jones
Pope John Paul II apologizes for wrongdoings by members of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the ages // Vladimir Putin is elected President of Russia // Civil war in Sierra Leone, Africa starts // The Tate Modern Gallery opens in London // At the Roskilde Festival 9 people die and 26 are injured on a set while Pearl Jam performs // France defeats Italy 2:1 after extra time in the final of the European Championship // The Russian submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea, all 118 members on board die // Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visits Temple Mount and Palestinian riots erupt
Calexico's third record Hot Rail was a great step forward in their career. Sure they played that sound before but now they added horns and violins in their sound. As I was a kid I used to watch a lot of western movies and I loved when the gunman hit the saloon and saw a Mariachi band playing. Dressed up in their suits and big sombreros the played their Mexican instrumental songs and mostly added with a trombone. These pictures comes to my sense when I listen to Calexico. Named by a town in California they play a kind of desert rock (often called Americana but I don't like this classification) with a lot of influence by the Mariachi sound. It is one of these records I have chosen when I had to drive a long distance. There are less records that are so relaxed and cool as this one. The songs slowly develop from easy, almost monotonous rhythms and quiet melodies. Partially these are rather sound collages than songs. Every movement solidifies, the thoughts become pleasantly sluggish. Only the Mariachi inserts rouse the listener over and over again briefly to let feel him, however, immediately that he has mounted again only of one fates Morgana. I know a similar mood from "Siesta" by Miles Davis.
Calexico - Ballade of Cable Hogue
Calexico - Crystal Frontier
Calexico - Drenched
Calexico - Dia De Los Muertos
Calexico - Chach (Tasha Bundy Remix)