31 December 2015

Last December party outfit + face

Not my new year´s outfit, but from last weekend, when I actually took the time to take some pictures. Lets finish this year by looking all pretty and trad.

I have also had my hair cut in the beginning of the month, I´ve missed teasing my hair and bangs are a must.

 A new makeup routine- smudged cut crease with gel eyeliner and bordeaux pencil and lips. I love how this makes my eyes look huge and requires minimal effort.

Boris had a fancy outfit that night as well, looking more feminine than ever. His mother made the shirt which goes well with everything we own.

And for once, the party we went to turned amazing. Now to celebrate the new year with good friends, champagne and food!
I wish everyone an amazing new year celebrations! And thanks for sticking around with my blog :)


24 December 2015

My 2015 in music

Today I sum up the bands that have been accompanying me throughout this past year.

Join me, in this genre-broad overview, and here is the post from 2014.

1. Placebo

Live 1999

Boris´ and mine lives will never be the same after this year´s  placebo fever. I finally got Boris to acknowledge that this band was not crap (he HATED them before! Can you imagine?) and it turned to be a success:
Not only was he inspired musically, gender-wise and had his (and mine) long awaited homosexual awakening, but now he also has his hair short like Brian fucking Molko, over whom we are still happily fangirling. Placebo have given us so much charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent this year and it felt amazing!!

2. New Model Army


I was introduced to this band by a dear friend, in fact the first friend I´ve made in Berlin, and had this album for 2.5 years before I actually got into it. It has inspired me greatly this year and has given me strength and a lot to think about, not to mention giving me insane bass goals. 1984 is one of my favorite songs, there is so much more than post punk in this band.

3. The Underground Youth

I Need You

Well, I think I have mentioned this band enough this year. I went to see them live twice and it was amazing each time. I am mostly not impressed by quiet, monotonic music, but live it had a different dynamic to it that had me very convinced and sucked into the atmosphere. This is not about guitar solos or crazy vocals, it´s something different, and that´s why I like this band a lot.

4. Jayne County and the Electric Chairs

Peels Sessions

Boris has tormented me with this band making me listen to them every damn day, but they were one hell of a discovery. Proto-post punk from the CBGB fronted by one of the first Trans* women in punk - it can´t get any better than this. They were very inspiring as well, and County´s voice made it sound melancholic at times and a lot less punky, not to mention sassy song lyrics, like "I like it when you smell my dirty sock. toilet love"; or - "I´m getting ready to meet my midnight pal".

5. A Perfect Circle

live @ Stone & Echo

Like with Placebo, I have come back to a band that I´ve been listening to in my teens, to see if they would still speak to me, and they did, more than ever! I just love Keenan´s troubled voice tone, and it´s exactly the kind of "progressive rock/metal" I enjoy. Instrumentally and bass-wise they made a lot more sense than when I was a teenager. And no, I don´t like Tool if you´re curious. But I do like these guys.

6. The Mars Volta

Speaking of progressive rock and coming back to bands, I did the same with The Mars Volta. For a long time I couldn´t listen to them properly due to this band being introduced to me by my ex, and has always reminded me of a bad period of time + breakup Boris I´ve had a few years ago. But time goes on, and the need for amazing music grows. 
The only album I could digest by this band has always been Octahedron (their most popy one, ah well) but I got into their first one and was happy to hear tons of Led Zeppelin and (expected) post hardcore influences (no, I don´t like At The Drive In, if you´re curious). I fell in love with Omar´s incredible voice all over again.

7. Various Nowa Fala acts

Republika - obcy astronom

I have dug more into a few Polish post punk bands this year, inspired by Return To The Batcave festival. Republika, Maanam and Madame were the ones I listened to more than ever and liked the most, but by songs rather than albums. Republika has to be my favorite so far, since it gathers so many influences like ska, jazz and what have you and mashes it into brilliant post punk, which is exactly the kind of music I like and want to make. 
And most of all, they have set a very nostalgic feeling in me for things that have never happened (that´s the only way I can explain the feeling I get when I listen to them, Thank you, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, for this brilliant description).

Madame - moze wlasnie Sybilla

I am happy to have come back to familiar bands and discover them all over again. 
Aside from the mentioned above and many more, I have attended many concerts of Boris´ secondary band Totenwald and spent a lot of time perfecting his newly composed songs for our band together, Girls Like Us
I am excited to what musical adventures, discoveries and fruits the new year will bring.

You are all welcome to write a similar post and share your favorite music from this year, and send me some band recommendations!


21 December 2015

Holiday Nostalgia

Post in cooperation with Man Crates

The holiday season is here, and so is the feeling of excitement for me, since the biggest holiday of all is coming- The New Year.

As mentioned numerous times before, I do not celebrate Christmas, but the New Year on December 31st.
I grew up in a Russian speaking home which followed Russian tradition despite living in Israel, where the New Year is not being celebrated (not in December, since it´s not a Jewish holiday).
And in Russian tradition, December 31st is BIG. So big, that people still celebrate it into the beginning of January, and well, that involves mainly getting drunk.

Some things are a New Year must, like decorating the pine tree, preparing a huge ass table full of traditional food a few days before the 31st, watching special New Year´s eve movies on television even if you´ve seen them a hundred times and know them by heart, and so on....

Here are a few things that have always made the New Year a special time, that I love having around me since childhood:

Ирония Судьбы, или С Легким Паром! - The Irony Of Fate, or Enjoy The Steam!

God forbid that I have translated the title for you, it sounds completely ridiculous, but this film is the film of all films, of all Russian films, and of all Russian New Year films.
This film is a romantic comedy, a drama, a holiday film and a music film. It has so many things in it I find it hard to point down what makes it so magical. Here is the plot:

Moscow, and the main character gets super drunk with his friends in a sauna/public bath on New Year´s eve and ends up accidentally flying to Leningrad. Confused and still drunk, he takes a cab to the street number where his house (originally in Moscow) is located, takes the elevator to "his" floor, and opens "his" apartment with his key. This is made possible in the film as an anecdote that all soviet houses are built the same. When the main character is drunk and asleep (believing he has reached his own apartment in Moscow) the real inhabitant of the apartment comes in: a beautiful woman,
A scandal begins when she discovers a drunk stranger in her bed, and the main character understands awkwardly that he is in fact not in Moscow at all, but in Leningrad! (you can read about the film here)

A love story develops later, as beautifully touching songs are being played (or sung by the characters in the film) in between. Don´t get me wrong, it´s not a musical at all, and the songs come very naturally during the scenes (no dancing, thank god).
Also, some scenes in the film are so iconic they have become jokes, understood by any Russian person. A good few generations can quote this film from start to finish.
Have I seen this film more times than I´ve celebrated New Year´s eve? Certainly.

But I suppose the real magic of the film is that you grow up watching it, and each period of time you watch it with different eyes:
Once a child laughing at the drunk main character oblivious to the situation he´s in
Then a teenager admiring the love story, the beautiful blonde woman whose apartment in Leningrad the main character intrudes, and how from a drunk man he sobers up and falls in love
Or listen to the songs instead, how they portray a certain loneliness that contradicts the cheery mainstream holiday spirit
Then as a grown up you put all the above together, and realize how this film has spoken to so many generations, regardless of age, music taste etc etc. How it will always stay with you and if you happen to be alone among strangers, it would be enough to find another Russian speaking individual to cite the film and feel at home again (I am writing this with tears in my eyes I am not kidding you).

One of my favorite songs from the film

Cone ornament for New Year´s tree

We have never put a star on the head of the tree in our family, we´ve always put a cone-shaped thing, and I think it´s pretty common in the tradition. I don´t know why. I couldn´t find a nice cone in the stores in Berlin, people use stars here, so our tree has no head ornament, but that´s ok.

I also love the old tree decorations. When I was little we had a few glass ones but they all broke with time. Most of ours were in the shape of pine cones, icicles or diamonds.

Mandarin oranges and caviar

Not much to say here. You would lay a few mandarin oranges around the tree and eat them all through December, and caviar on bread with butter is a must on each New Year´s table. It´s no luxury, it´s a standard. Caviar was always there. Add champagne to the mix and no doubt you will soon be speaking The Mighty Language.
Speaking of tables, nothing surpasses the enormous New Year´s dishes which lasted for at least a week after New Year´s eve and you were happy to eat leftovers cause it reminded you of how amazing celebrations were. 


Grandfather Cold and Snowy the granddaughter

Ok, this is where we get even more traditional. In Russian folklore, what you might guess is "Santa Claus" comes to visit the children on New Year´s eve. He has a slay, a staff that shines and a granddaughter, wearing blue with long blonde braids (usually one braid though) to accompany him. The closest I could translate her name was Snowy. 

Here´s the cool part: you might think all this winter imagery was somewhat ironic due to me growing up in Israel, where there is no snow. Well, it was, but what wasn´t is that each New Year´s eve there would be people (married couples mostly) who would dress up as both characters whom you could "book" to come to your apartment to entertain the children, so that no Russian traditions would be lost during your Israeli socialization.
My parents always did that when I was little, even till my early teens, and me and my brother loved it. The people who role played Grandfather Frost and Snowy got paid to do it of course, and always got their share of alcohol from the parents who would book them. The later they came during the evening, the drunker they were. It was fun for everyone.

In Russia they would come to the kindergarten and the entertainment would be more thought through, like leading a circle around the New Year´s tree with the children etc etc.

All in all, I like keeping my New Year very traditional. No goth tree decorations, no thank you. It is also very important for me to celebrate with family, or at least with closest friends. Because, and that´s the most important lesson of the New Year: how you will celebrate it, that´s how your New Year will be.

Happy holidays everyone, a summary of 2015 in music will follow.

N. Finsternis

11 December 2015

Some GIFs

Lately my friend Trish showed me this really cool app called GifMe, where you can create your own gifs! Now my phone-spending time is even greater than before.

The only down side is that you cannot post the GIFs to instagram, but at least I can do it here. Phew, it won´t go for nothing at least.

For instance, watch this footage of Boris cutting a pumpkin:

Or me doing what I do best:

Look at the Hanukkah candles (with the pentacle and iconography in the background XD):

Or my artistic attempt! This will blow up on Tumblr!

This reminds me of stop motion animation. You can even shoot a band video with this!
Although I bet Jan Svankmajer would have a lot to say about stop motion:

N. Finsternis

5 December 2015

Girls Like Us - our new band!

I am very excited to share our band at last! We have 2 songs up already, Not Enough & Manifesto. Click on the links to go to our Bandcamp page.

We don´t have a clue what genre our music might be, so I prompt you to give us a listen and write your feedback here in the comments!

You are also very welcome to like our Facebook page.

I am excited to share our little project, tell me what you think and spread the word!
A wonderful weekend to all!

N. Finsternis