Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blogger: La Roux at Budapest Essentials

Before I tell you about the concert, I want to tell about why I love La Roux.

I can still recall the first time I heard I'm Not Your Toy. I was in a store looking at shirt (very manly T-Shirts, of course, because those have better designs on them. Have you ever noticed that? Oh nevermind), and I heard a beat in the background. I am one of those people who listens to the lyrics, writes down a couple of lines and then googles it. But I have good hearing, so that works about 99% of the time.
Got home in a hurry, youtube, and repeat until I got tired of it - which, FYI, still hasn't happened -, and then quickly I got hold of the album. I was 18 years old and it was the first album I heard on which I adored every single song. I know that she's going In It For The Kill, that it's only Growing Pains, that her Reflections Are Protections and that this time, baby, she'll be Bulletproof and that now we're all in the Quicksand. I know them all by heart and I just kept listening to it over and over again, waiting for the next one...

If you are a La Roux fan you will know that she had a problem with her voice and it took her a while to get back into the game. But she did and although I survived on the Gold Edition of the first album, which featured Under My Thumb (my favorite) and Finally My Saviour, as well as amateur videos on YouTube of live performances of Sexotheque (grateful for those!), but I was slowly going insane... Each year I checked her site, wikipedia, forums, awaiting some miracolous news of a possible new album on the way!

And then it happened: the announcement of Let Me Down Gently coming to YouTube and I went apes*it and started running around the apartment yelling to my sister and screaming out of joy.

My friend told me that he is scared maybe we've been waiting too long and the album won't be as good and I just told him: "It's La Roux. It's gonna be awesome." And it totally was :D I loved every single song - although I would like to direct a new video for Let Me Down Gently -, anyway, now when I wake up and there you are I know I got The Feeling, that I cannot Kiss And Not Tell, and that the temperature is rising Uptight Downtown, but Cruel Sexuality, am I fool to let you bother me? And since Paradise Is You, it's no wonder that the title of the album is Trouble In Paradise.

We all have a favorite don't we? Sometimes you can't explain why. Either the lyrics, or the melody. Mostly it's both or their ability to get you! Music understands you. And I feel that every single song is a bit different and they actually managed to reflect various stages in my life. Sometimes it's her voice, sometimes it's the fact that although the lyrics are very depressing, they have a catchy tune and it helps me cope with the situation. La Roux's music has saved me, I don't know how many times and for that she will always be my favorite artist!

Unfortunately - due to negligence - I missed her concert on Sziget last August, and I have regretted that decision more than anything else in my life. So you can imagine my surprise, and the feeling of a dream coming true, when she posted on her facebook page that "We're going to Budapest Essentials". This was followed by an immediate google search and two hours later I had tickets for the concert. And here's what happened:

It didn't.

Waited almost half a year for this and it didn't happen. Technically it's not her fault, so what can one do? Nothing. Wait, I guess, wait for the chance to see her here in my city. I cried on my way home, because this year was quite horrible for me, and I was hoping for this night off, but I apparently can't catch a break. And well, I don't have the money to go see her anywhere else, unfortunately. But as always, she'll help, so I'll put on her album in the background and try to smile.

Get well soon Elly, please do come back!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Blogger: The Reason I Love Gordon Ramsay

There are a couple of things that I noticed while binge watching food related reality shows with my sister. I will also write a list of my favorite cooking TV shows, but beforehand, let me introduce the topic by telling you how many things we learned:

  1. British reality shows are 100% different from the American version (sometimes even of the same show!).
  2. If you put bacon into something, you are taking it "to a whole new level".
  3. The cake is too big, it will not fit into the van!
That said, I want to talk about one person in particular whose shows I have been watching for over three years now: Gordon Ramsay.

If you don't watch cooking shows then you know Gordon Ramsay one way: the yelling as*hole who curses all the time in a reality show about a restaurant. Right? Well, that's even less than the tip of the iceberg. Allow me to elaborate!
I will admit that that Ramsay is the character he was paid to play on the show. Remember: a character, it's key to understand where I am headed with all of this. That's, or more precisely he was what the American people need. And I am not being judgemental here, it's simply a fact. I dare you to watch a sweet baking competition like The Great British Bake Off and an episode of Hell's Kitchen. Go on! Google it, see it on YouTube, it's ridiculous how different they are! The structure of certain reality shows is to build up suspense - which is fine in certain cases -, but otherwise it is very annoying. Oh and yes, they had the bake off show in America, entitled The American Baking Competition and it was cancelled after one season. So in case you are an American who would enjoy such a relaxed and sweet smiley show where people are awarded for their achievement and not just sh*t on, check it out! But even the American had somebody who did everything to break the rules, and he won... so yeah, Americans and their mentality...

What am I trying to say? That American reality shows suck? Yeah. Yeah they do, because 90% is about watching people fail miserably and laughing at their misfortunes and at the judges telling them off. I don't enjoy that. What I do enjoy is teaching and actual criticism.

So why am I talking about Gordon Ramsay? Because he is that person. Go ahead and tell me I'm wrong, but I'll let you know that you have not seen a single episode of The F Word or of his travels abroad, or any British production or interview with late night hosts, then you don't know anything about him. That man is hilarious and he is the kind of teacher who will tell you off when you really are shit, and get you motivated, but will gently pat you on the shoulder if you are too inconfident and when you do a good job. He doesn't like pompuos or overconfident people, but if you prove yourself you will be awarded. And for me that's a good teacher. All my life I have been told I'm shit, so when I am told now, I don't really hear it anymore, it doesn't even make me want to do better, it's like "Oh yeah? Okay, I guess. Moving on." and I just agree with it. But you will see a significant difference between an American Hell's Kitchen and a British The F Word. In one he exaggerates, like a lot, and that's not necessarily his fault. Americans are born winners, have you noticed that? "I am the next (insert title of show here)". Failure? Not an option. The American competitors do have big mouths and are excentric and have a certain pride to themselves. It's no wonder you will see less shoulder patting. But that's fine, because that's what the audience wants to see, the American audience that is, somebody cursing and the students cursing back and so on...

But not me. I don't enjoy that. When you are standing in front of a chef who's got successful restaurants, has travelled the world, can basically make anything with anything in 10 minutes - even if your palate is a bit different - when he tells you that what you made is "sh*t", you should probably go ahead and believe him. And why? Because even if you like it (and I know people who eat oranges with ketchup, so hey, you're not alone!), you should still accept the opinion of a trained professional and shut up. Learn. You are here to learn.

Humility? It's a wonderful trait, and you cannot learn without it, trust me, I know! Been there and done that, seen it again, taught people who didn't have it, NOT fun. The basic idea is that you are loser if you admit defeat, right? Americans and there rules... society sucks over there. Overconfidence will only get you so far! And the British? They do have humility.
When Ramsay yells they try to be better, even if they already gave it their all, they will die trying! I'm not saying Americans won't, but you can only watch so many shows with people yelling into your face that they are the best of the best! I've seen kids and moms tremble in front of Ramsay, and others just laughing and talking with him and not even taking him seriously! He knows people, he is able to create a relationship with everyone and that's fabulous. I remember in last year's Masterchef, when my favorite contestant, Jamiee Vitolo was eliminated and for her memory video of her best moments in the show they actually showed footage that has never been seen: in it she was sitting on the floor in the studio with Ramsay and they were just talking and laughing. That's the man I love, not the version mass media wants to sell you!

That said. I have seen a lot of Gordon Ramsay. Not just in a kitchen calling someone an "Idiot sandwich", or something way worse... (here's a list of the best: 25 Of Gordon Ramsay’s Greatest-Ever Insults), but interviews where he keeps laughing, even Masterchef Junior is ten times more humane than the adult version, along with British shows where he is with his kids and family. Not to mention the discovery shows, where you find out that there are things even Ramsay is scared of!

Why did I write this entry?
Yes, the final question, well, let alone the fact that I too am preparing to become a teacher and that I have been blessed with teachers who see through the bullshit of some people, I wanted to write about Gordon Ramsay from a bit of a different view. That is, him as a role model and not so much as a chef. There is a reason he acts the way he does and I can't blame him. Actually, 99% of the time (unless it is hyped for TV) he is right when he tells somebody to "F*ck off"

I hope I made you want to look up his work, because really, there is more than meets the eye! Still, he does curse a lot. But I kinda don't mind, because they are usually well positioned! And when he is mean to someone it is usually very much justified! That said I would like to end with a quote:

"I have Gordon Ramsay parties. We sit around and tell each other to f*ck off."