Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Music is my BFF

                          I guess everyone has a story to tell when concerning music, lyrics, rhythm...... And whether it`s a good one or a  bad one, it`s sure as hell is a story worth mentioning. Well, what music did for me sounds more than just words, but since you can`t get a ticket for a ride in my head, it goes something like this...........
             It saved me. Saved me from my bad moments, celebrated my good and best ones, cried rivers with me, cleansed me, made me beautiful, showed me how to feel the rhythm, dance and move my body  and most definitely gave me hope that not all is lost and that good times lies ahead. So its  fair to say that music is truly my BFF. When I think of the time when I was a kid my memories always go back to the first band that captured my mind and my heart, it was U2.  I was 13 and I remember running from school to see companion rockumentary from their sixth album “ Rattle and Hum” in the cinema, no matter the consequences. Today I couldn’t be further from them, in fact you can say that hate is the word that pretty much describes what I`m feeling towards them. But like everything in life each moment in time brings you to another potentially changing one.  U2 brought me or better say introduced me to Bob Dylan. He remained a constant in my life and I was lucky enough to enjoy his music live numerous times all over Europe.  Around the same time I was caught up in the musical web of Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin….each one of them is another story, joke, laughter to tell. Back then it was a time of actually buying albums, precisely cassettes (yes it was that long ago and no I`m not that old), something that`s becoming vintage for the new generations. If you wanted to listen any kind of music you had to pay up. Although I traveled and lived abroad i didn`t get to see all I wanted to see so I started to collect albums, a lot of them and I mean A LOT. I remember one day seeing a poster for performance of Pink Floyd in Udine, Italy. The memory of that day is still stamped in my head like it was yesterday. Traveling by car with five of my friends, crossing the Italian border, police searching for pot and finally arriving at the stadion. At that moment it all came down to that  familiar feeling when you know that you are exactly in a place where you`re supposed to be. It was a cloudy day, but nothing could ruin our day, not even pounding of the rain which came heavily with the beginning of the first song and lasted till the end of the show. But our high on the ecstatic feeling of PF lasted much longer than the fumes of that previous mentioned pot. And then something completely different blew my mind. Beastie Boys! I guess you can say that some music speaks to you, and I mean speak in words you couldn`t begin to express yourself and yes, it was a love at first sight. And Body Count. And Cypress Hill.

           Moving from my familiar background to London only fed my music obsession more. If I thought that I liked music before this was a whole other level now. Back then London was THE place to be for listening great music live. OooooH and I was so listening it live all the time. That was when Nick Cave became my new favorite music guy, so as brit pop groups Blur, Pulp, Sneaker Pimps, Suede, Skunk Anansie, but when I think of my fav concert there then my mind has no doubt, Sonic Youth was THE BEST.

           Since I was becoming  a citizen of the world so was my BFF. So it was fair to say that what happened in London happened in Luxembourg as well. She was still my main focus, although I started to work in movie industry which came pretty close to my Nu.1 passion. Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead joined my circle of music friends and since Tricky was kind of a regular due to the amount of brit people who lived there, he was the closest as well.  Among this great friends I discovered DJing, which gave me a whole new perspective to music world. Like I said before each moment brings you to the next, so after 3 foreigners years I decided to come back to the point of origin, my home, Croatia. It was probably meant to happen in that exact moment cause shortly after, I met the love of my life. Since my life was kind of linked through music it`s no wonder that I met a guy who loved music and film even more than me. He was into jazz, old hip-hop, funk, soul and once I got a look at his music selection it brought my horizons to music I`ve  never even heard before. I loved it from the start, so today whenever I bring my earphones to listen I end up choosing hip-hop most of the time. Yes, who would`ve of thought. On the other hand it can all be explain scientifically. I`ve discovered recently through my research that Montreal Neurological Institute proved that the pleasurable feelings associated with emotional music are indeed the result of dopamine release in the striatum. What it actually means in plain language is that music touches the same anatomical areas that underpin the anticipatory and rewarding aspects of drug addiction. Yes, it`s true and written in black and white, we are addicts! So everyone who experienced the joy of listening the same song over and over again (me!) is suffering from a sweet music addiction and painful withdrawal when the song run out from our system only to be replaced by another fix/song.
              So, you can say I came a long way from the girl who once thought U2 was her addiction which rocked the world out of her (and at the time it certainly did). Nowadays I think what`s great about music is that evolves through time same as us, but the feelings you have each and every time you hear a specific song, are bringing us back to a moment/feeling/scent. Instantly you are there, reliving it over like it was yesterday. That`s her legacy. The feeling. The Pleasure. The Motion. My BFF......

Here are some of my BFF`s;

1. J DILLA - no words can describe his music, I call it "speechless beauty"

2. MF DOOM - illest lyrics, supervillain

3. Q-TIP - best for dancing and mmmmmmm

4. MADLIB - few words man, but beats are crazy

5. COUNT BASS D - just love it

6. TOO SHORT - pimpin ain`t easy

7........... Dj Quik Scarface, Digable Planets, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, The Notorius B.I.G, Outkast, Slum Village, 2Pac, Digital Underground, E40, Redman, Dr Dre, Bone Thugs-n-harmony, Cypress Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Ol`Dirty Bastards....... and the list goes on and on, but at the end big tnx to another supervillain, George Clinton........

                                                                                        Personal story from the life of  Vesna Libric
                                                                                        Editing by Melina Marelja


Saturday, March 1, 2014

And The Oscar goes to........

       Every year since 1929, The Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences gives ceremony honoring achievements in the film industry by giving the The Academy Award of Merit or better known worldwide as the Oscar. It would be nice to think that is all so simple and that the award always goes to the one that deserves it the most but.......But it`s not only about the film, it`s also about the red carpet, the glam, the dresses and the It designers at the moment, the host, the who and who came with who. But (yes it s another but) to studios, agents, managers and many of the nominees, winning the Oscar is not only first recognition and honor, it also means money, money, money in box office receipts and future contracts. Well, let`s hope it`s not all about the business and money, that it has to do with a little thing call fun as well and some outstanding motion pictures. Yes, you can really call it outstanding cause the year 2013 in film was certainly  that, in both pictures and the actors. 

                Beside the awards and who won what, it`s also about a good host. Good host means good ratings, and good ratings means again money, money, money. Through the years we were graced with good ones, mediocre ones and definitely the bad ones. In the last category goes, and we are not making this up, an animated (and bare bottomed) Donald Duck who co-hosted show, in 1958, with Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, Rosalind Russell and James Stewart. No words left on that, enough said on duck departament. We can put David Letterman in the same category after critics blasted him for his Oscar hosting abilities in 1995 when he told, then retold the same joke over and over again not been able to stop himself with his "Oprah, Oprah, Uma, Oprah" gag. But the Oscar for worst hosting ever is most definitely in the hands of Anne Hathaway and James Franco, which earned the merit award for Hathaway`s trying too hard  and for having his head in the Franco clouds. Guess you can say that the person who chose them didnt get to choose hosts or anything else in the film industry again. Ever. 
            Well, it wasnt all that bad for Oscar hosts, after all we have some of them in long term relationship with the man, believe it or not. One of them is Billy Crystal who hosted Academy Award 13 times, 1990-2012 and then again in 2006. Its no secret that he knows how to put a good show. One of his most notable skits took place in 1992 when he took the stage wearing  a Hanibal Lecter mask, because " The Silence of the Lambs" was nominated for seven awards. The fact that Bob Hope hosted Oscars 14 times, more than anybody before him is enough praise from critics and acknowledgement that he delivered each and every time. Among the company of men there was a first African - American woman to host the Oscars. Four- time host Whoopi Goldberg has found plenty of creative ways to open the ceremony, from dressing as the "African Queen" in 1999 to entering from the ceiling in 2002. But it was in 1996 that had her remembered as one of the good ones. "So. Didja miss me?" was her opening line referenced to David Lettermans failed attempt at hosting the year before. 
               In the sea of comedians some of the best proved on the stage through out the years such as Johnny Carson, the king of late night, who hosted from 1979 - 1984. Jon Stewart who hosted 2 times and was very entertaining as ever when he took the stage in 2008 after the Hollywood writers strike has come to an end. With best picture nominees such as "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men", Stewart joked "Does this town need a hug?" Referencing another contender "Juno"; " All I can say is thank God for teen pregnancy". And at the end we come to my two favorite people in comedy world; Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres. Chris learned a valuable lesson from hosting 2005 Academy Awards: Dont diss Jude Law. While Rock was praised by some critics for being himself, he was also chastised by those whose egos simply couldn`t take the jokes and that is my Dear why we absolutely love him. We hope that Ellen DeGeneres makes her return to the Dolby Theatre stage this weekend along with the ego battering jokes when she hosts the Academy Awards for the second time. We are sure she won`t disappoint in giving us a humorous night to remember. So, everything looks promising for the evening on March 2, 2014 when all eyes will be on only one man, The Award, Oscar Award. 
                Here are the most expected categories and The Nominees; 

Best Actress in a Leading Role:     Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
                                                    Cate Blanchett, "Blue jasmine"
                                                    Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
                                                    Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"
                                                    Judy Dench, "Philomena"


Best Actor in a Leading Role:       Christian Bale, "American Hustle"
                                                   Bruce Dern, " Nebraska"
                                                   Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
                                                   Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years of Slave"
                                                   Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"


            Best Actor in a Leading Role

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:    Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
                                                        Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
                                                        Lupita Nyong`o, "12 Years a Slave" 
                                                        Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
                                                        June Squibb, "Nebraska"


              Best Actress in a Supporting Role  

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:     Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
                                                      Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
                                                      Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
                                                      Jonah Hill, " The Wolf of Wall Street"
                                                      Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"


  Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Picture:   "American Hustle", David O. Rusell
                       "Captain Phillips", Paul Greengras
                       "Dallas Buyers Club", Jean-Marc Vallée
                       "Gravity", Alfonso Cuaron
                       "Her", Spike Jonze
                       "Nebraska", Alexander Payne
                       "Philomena", Stephen Frears
                       "12 Years a Slave", Steve McQueen
                       "The Wolf of Wall Street", Martin Scorcese





                                                                     The Academy Award of Merit, Oscar, March 2 , 2014