Archive for the ‘Latvia’ Category

We all have a bunch of favourite songs that we like. Some of them are really, really good.  They’re also socially acceptable, for example if you’re caught while listening Jimi Hendrix’s “All along the watchtower” people will generally assume that you have a good taste. The songs you listen, while drinking beer with your buddies. And then, there are those….other…songs. Songs that have caught your attention, that you sometimes hum along to, but…oh my…if your friends would hear you listening to this….music, it would result in about the same level of embarrassment as finding out that you forgot to wear pants to work today. And you have a bucket on your head. And your girlfriend has sex with eels. This post is dedicated to those songs. And, yes, I know I’ll regret this one day, after the Vogons take over.

10. Lonely island (feat Akon) – I just had sex

The good:
Firstly, this song is catchy. Secondly, I love how Akon has the balls to perform with these guys (who have produced such hits as “Like a Boss” and “Jizz in my pants”) who are basically a huge parody of the whole pop industry. Thirdly, yes I have played this, and sang along, just right after a consensual sexual intercourse. And it felt awesome! ^_^’  Except that I got punched afterwards. Repeatedly. And she didn’t make me a sandwich next day.

The bad:
It’s cheap. Really, really, really cheap. The song has absolutely no meaning, neither artistic nor political, and – let’s be honest here – it’s basically a praise for the animalistic feeling of pleasure you’ve just received in your genitals. Also, it’s pop/parody of pop – and, as we all know, Poe’s law says: Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing. Originally, it was about fundamentalism, but it can be applied to anything really. At one point, the parody comes around, and becomes the very thing it’s parodying. And with this song, lonely island have reached that point. It is a parody no longer, because people treat it as a real pop song. And like I said, it’s really, really, really cheap. And stupid. And I love it. And I’m a philosophy student. Go figure.

9. Nena – 99 Luftballons

The awesome:
It’s a song about a war, started by some people, launching a couple of red floating thingies in the sky, and some other people, mistaking those things for military planes and bombing  freeing the SHIT out of them! And it’s in German! Seriously, though, I love the anti-war message, and the song itself got into my head during the summer I spent working at a construction worker (I was 14 and did a lot of dumb things) when I had to remove paint from a LOT of window frames. My employer tried to learn German, but this was the only song the stupid dolt had in the said language, so he played it for days and tried to sing along. Unfortunately, old fat Latvian males aren’t Nena. They aren’t even clone to Nena. And he thought the song was about a toyshop, and saying goodbye to summer. Because that’s what’s in the English version. -_-

The ugly:
It’s the 80’s. Everything had to look ugly back then. And the song is…ehh…cheap pop again. Surely, at that time, it had to be something more, right? Well…judging by the cover of the German version of the single…ahh, just see for yourselves.

If I'd see people dressed like this on the street right now, I'd give them some change.

Apparently, the only people that care about a thermonuclear genocide are some bums. And their cameraman is a ghoul already. Seriously, every album cover from before the 2000 should be banned from existence. The guy in the far right looks like “eh kills aliens and doesn’t afraid of anything” though. But let’s not judge these people by the cover, right? Well…to be frank, the song IS simplistic, and follows the very same cheap Verse – Chorus – Verse theme as every pop song ever. And it’s not much…anything really, if you take the lyrics out. But…I still like it. It’s like a relic from a different time, when people thought that the country I was born in would free bomb the shit out of the everyone, and…frankly, that’s awesome too.

8. Celtic Woman – Spanish Lady

The attractive:
It’s a celtic song, about an extremely beautiful lady from Spain, sung by extremely beautiful non-Spanish ladies. It’s got the rhythm, the mood and…actually, some pretty cool lyrics! Yeah, these beautiful ladies skip the last verse, where we find out that the man obviously in love with the Spanish lady goes and spends some time with Napper Tandy and his crew – the united Irishmen. Who were, no less, Irish rebels, fighting against the English in the 18th century. So, some beautiful ladies sing about an awesome dude, who becomes a rebel and fights for his country, after seeing an extraordinarily beautiful lady from Spain. And I can understand him. I mean…just look at this:

This is Juana Galán. A Spanish rebel, who kicked out Napoleonic troops out of her village, using a baton and leading a bunch of other women. (All the while being awesomely hot, if you trust this picture.)

The repulsive:
I’m a man. That’s basically a love song. Sung by women of celtic origin.  And I’m not a woman. Also, I’m not Irish, in fact, I have precisely zero percent of Irish blood in me, so it’s double lame of me to sing along this thing. That, and when you mention that you like any celtic-sounding semi-folk songs, people stare at you, and treat you like an old drunkard. Or, just a weird person, who doesn’t understand what “proper music” is, and listens to this just to annoy everyone. Actually, It’s pretty hard to write anything about why it’s bat to like this song – people just look at me strangely when I listen to it, and that’s about all. So, you know, if you dislike it for some unknown reason, no more free beer from me, ya’ twats!

7. Metronoms – Nāk Nakts

The elegant:
There’s not much to say about this Latvian ’80 poprock thing. It’s about a girl who’s sad and how someone should cheer her up *wink, wink* – came out in 1988, if i’m not mistaken, and is catchy as hell. First heard on a weird radio station on a bus. As you, rich capitalist pigs nice foreigner people, probably don’t know, Latvia is a small country – and we can get to whatever place of our small, crappy postagrarian country we wish by a bus or train from our capital in about 4 hours or less. And that’s if you want to go near the Russian border. The problem is – all those inter-city bus drivers listen to Latvian Radio two, which plays awfully terrible German schlager analogues. And…this wasn’t one, so it just got more attention.

The debased:
What happens when you mix 80’s with poprock and a bus? Awfulness. This song, exactly because it isn’t AS crappy as everything else played by that ONE radio station, listened-to by bus drivers (no, seriously, they listen only and exclusively to Latvian Radio 2, as if…as if they had some sort of a crooked deal…hmm.) gets played everywhere, and has received at least nineteen crappy dance remixes. It’s played at cheap parties, it’s associated with cheap people, mostly from the countryside, and it’s just not polite to even mention it in polite society. And, yeah, in my opinion, while the remixes are crap, there is a reason why they’re made out of this? Is there? Please tell me there is, or I’ll have to shoot this kitty!

I'm dead serious. Also, you must like this on Facebook, and leave a comment.

6.  Nickelback – If Everyone Cared

The cool:
I know I’m treading a narrow path here, but this song has a purely emotional value for me. It’s one of those songs I listen to, when I’m slightly intoxicated and want to think globally for a minute or two. Also, the way how the video raises political awareness and globally important issues is of importance. Seems like these Nickelback fellows are nice guys, and, yeah, I can relate. Also, these emotionally touching songs is what I like in Nickelback – because, frankly, that is their only redeeming factor. But what the hell, this and “leader of men” and “fighting for all the wrong reasons” pulled me through my teenage years and, without doubt, contributed to my willingness to study philosophy – and that’s kind of awesome too.

The sad:
It’s still Nickelback. Cracked.com chart about the differences shows us quite nicely, as of why the poprock is the lowest common denominator of the music industry. (At least, in the parts that can still be called music)

Listen to: "Tool - 10,000" days to understand.

What also makes it terrible is the fact that, although, Nickelback tries to raise our awareness, they’ve sold out as much as a 40-year-old Thailandian prostitute. And Thailandian prostitute will, at the very least, admit that she sucks. (And she’s probably good at that too) Mass-produced, audio-tuned music that, yes, touches you emotionally, still is…well, just bad music. And not nearly enough of art. But still…wasn’t that the point? Making me feel something, making me feel different? And, if their music works, then why the hell do we judge the song by it’s author? Again, a lot of questions, which I, hopefully, will be able to answer after my aesthetics course. But then again, Nickelback – the poster boys of every other crappy pop-rock band out there. I recommend death by a vacuum bomb.

5. Despues De Todo – Un Minuto Mas

El bien:
I’m running out of acronyms, so, as this song’s in Spanish, might as well. Yeah, this song is in Spanish, and it’s nu-metal. My Spanish teacher, mr. Fernando Torres once showed us a couple of songs in Spanish, so that we could study the language better, but…yeah, Enrique Iglesias isn’t for me. So, I just searched for this in youtube, and it seemed nice. Now I put this on, every time I have to study for a test. As far as I get it, the song’s about not being able to say goodbye to someone, before they died in a fire. (Mm…chicken) It’s rhythmic and supplies me for just enough distorted electric guitars to study a bit harder than before.

El mal:
Apart from the fact that this song’s in Spanish, it’s just about as dull as every other nu-metal band out there. Heck, even Disturbed are re-defining themselves as hard rock, so all of that pseudo-rapping has been tossed out of the window and left to burn, while at least seventeen retarded gnomes mutilate it’s dead body with poisoned pickaxes and hand grenades. As it should be, because at one point, it really did go too far. Now, not to say that there weren’t any good songs, no – it’s just that most of the time, when something good hits mainstream, a lot of bad, crappy rip-offs are made, and then we’re all sentenced to hear them on the radio, while our ears and eyes slowly bleed out. A while ago, this happened to the “alternative” genres – they became mainstream, and we, Latvians, had to see this:

This dude was on a singing reality TV show, and got quite popular here.

Turn into this:

Everything is better with spikes and darkness and brooding evil!

Now, I don’t enjoy much of pop music myself (practically, the only pop songs I like are on this list) but this…was awful. A crappy pop-singer decided to become darker and edgier, but – alas, as his producers wouldn’t allow him to write anything that is’s sugary and sweet as hell, he ended up playing soft poprock, with miserable guitars and meaningless, shitty vocals, while trying to be one of the cool “hard” guys. About at that point, everyone understood that he sucks, and now he’s working in some hotel in UK. At least, real life has happy endings as well. I can only imagine this to be better, if he’s also stabbed with swords, tortured with fire and made to listen to his own songs on a daily basis.

4. Gackt – Redemption

Firstly, Gackt is awesome. Going to repeat that AGAIN! Gackt. Is. AWESOME! He has a higher musical education, he plays a bunch of instruments and this song is about “The Crow”  movie. I don’t care if it isn’t, it IS! Plenty of nifty goth thingies, plenty of distorted guitars and, an XBAWKS HEUGE amount of Japanese epicness! ^_^ And yes, I know that I sound like a fanboy here, but yeah…I love this song. That and kittens. I was serious about that cat, you better comment!

 It’s J-rock. Imagine everything you know is wrong about Japan, and you’ll get this. Yes, their culture is full with bad-asses, such as Hattori Hanzo, but today, everything we think about them is filtered through a bright lens of a wending machine for used girl’s underwear.

At least, they're neatly packaged.

Also, now and then I watch some anime. My favourites are Trigun, Cromartie High and Hellsing. That alone is enough to get me prison time in some countries, because, obviously, everything that comes from Japan is in two flavors – pervert and childish. And, as weird as it may seem, sometimes, I have to agree. Except this time – because Gackt is AWESOME!

3. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

The kinky:
Firstly, yes, she’s talented. Yes, she has a musical education as well, and you should really, really listen to some of her acoustic stuff. But this song, it’s so surreal, so weird, so…awesome. Yeah, Lady Gaga is pretty awesome, really! Much better than all the Beyonce’s and Biebers and whatever. The quality is epic, the lyrics make sense, the style is….just WOW! I love this song, because it. Is. ART! In it’s purest, untouched form, giving my ears and eyes a small orgasm every time I listen to this. And no, I don’t care whether she’s a hermaphrodite or not! My neurosis are kept in check, unlike yours! You pervert!

Even more of The Kinky:
Lady Gaga shows that people with talent will choose to create insane amounts of terribly weird things. She started it, and now she’s associated with everything that’s wrong with the music industry today. (Don’t flatter yourself, Rebecca Black! You’re just shitty!) Now, most of my friends are hardcore metalheads. I’m a metalhead quite often myself. So THIS….thing…is more harming to my reputation than that one time, when I had to run around the block in my underpants (and the block we’re speaking of is in Old Riga, in the middle of our capital, right in front of the monument of freedom) because someone purchased Games Workshop PVA glue. But seriously, what’s wrong with Gaga? She’s worked with the Lonely Island guys and made a whole bunch of parodies of the whole pop industry. Hell, one of her videos even contains a reference to Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars series! Seriously, she’s more geeky than you think!

Caine would be proud of her! /From Telephone

2. БГ – Cтаканы

This song is all about drinking and not giving a damn! And…and BG’s band – Aquarium enjoyed a lot of Soviet fame back in the day. Blah, to explain this to you, non-russian-speaking audience, I’ve translated the lyrics for this awesome Russian mentality song. (No, they didn’t have any on google.) So, just read this. Except that it’s much ruder in the original:

Come on, put your cups on the table,
Come on, put your cups on the table,
Come on, put your cups on the table,
And the other dishes as well.
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
I reply that I WILL!

Early in the morning while it’s dark,
While it’s dark, while it’s dark
Early in the morning while it’s dark,
And the world is still in bed.
To understand where to go,
To understand why to go,
Do not hesitate to drink one hundred grams [of vodka]
And you will reach the goal.

Come on, put your cups on the table,
Come on, put your cups on the table,
And the other dishes as well.
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
I reply that I WILL!

I did not want to pull the barge,
So I’ll go, I’ll wander around,
When i’ll reach the end of the Earth –
I go for a walk on the sea.
If i’ll break the old, cranky machine,
I’ll become a pirate and will be happy
Without hesitation, gonna drink down a battleship
But I won’t disgrace the navy!

Come on, put your cups on the table,
Come on, put your cups on the table,
And the other dishes as well.
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
Everyone says that you mustn’t drink,
I reply that I WILL!

If this isn’t epic enough for you, then I don’t know what is. So….awesome. ^_^

Yep, if the celtic song didn’t make me an alcoholic, then this does so, 100% sure. Otherwise, I’ve no idea. Some people (mostly women and homosexuals) dislike this, and say that this is a bad song. I’ve no idea why, except that they’re all idiots – and, it’s not socially acceptable to like this, apparently –  so I’ll just drink my 100 grams and be off with it. Yarr, mateys! But yeah, why it’s on this list, then? Because, for no apparent reason, liking Russian songs in Latvia is terribly bad. Go figure.

And the top pick is….

Los Colorados – Hot & Cold

The Magnificent:
I have to explain? Really? Okay – it’s an Ukrainian polka band, with an extremely shoddy camera and a dreadful sense of humour, playing a cover or Katy Pery’s “Hot & Cold” And…it’s better than the original.

The Hardcore:
I have to explain? Really? Okay, I’ll repeat myself:  – it’s an Ukrainian polka band, with an extremely shoddy camera and a dreadful sense of humour, playing a cover or Katy Pery’s “Hot & Cold” And…it’s better than the original. By being extremely weird. And awesome. No, seriously, if this doesn’t blow your mind, then I don’t know what will, because this is, truly, a love/hate thing that’s going on here.

So, there you have it. I hope y0u liked this, and feel free to link on your own shameful songs here. Also, like this/friend me on Facebook (Kristaps Resnais)/ follow me on Twitter (TorquemadaStark) and…have a really nice day. (Or the kitty gets it!) P.S. Mandatory political sentence: Valdis Zatlers sucks!


Read Full Post »

And here I am, sitting in my Philosophy of History lecture, writing my blog.  Hurr, boring lecture, durr. But that’s not the point. What IS the point, however, is this http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-20/latvia-strikes-blow-to-corruption-in-system-by-voting-out-oligarchs-view.html

Basically, that’s an article which says something about our ex-president and our recent elections. And, frankly, it’s full of shit. At first, Harmony Center is an openly pro-russian, loyal to mr. Putin, pseudo-oligarhical party, and also they’re clearly populist – dropped most of their election campaign promises TWO HOURS after the end of the elections. Well, one has to be said, though: they HAVE made our capital better though. IF they’ll work properly with others, there MAY be some improvements. Second: Our ultra-right-wing Nationalist Union is as much full of crap as is Harmony Center. Sometimes even more. Ach, who am I kidding – they’re far worse. And they also whine about it. And now, after the elections, their members are seen spamming facebook with “boo, woo, Harmony Center are bad people” and spamming views about how multiculturalism spawned the recent Norway island shooting. (by mr. Iesalnieks, idiot extraordinaire)

And mr. Zatlers is on his way to make this country a presidential republic, which just doesn’t work for non-federative states. I think he’s obsessed with some sort of a neo-authoritarianism, and should chill down a bit.

By far the biggest problem that our little, shitty country has is that everyone either doesn’t give a shit completely, or, on the complete opposite side, tries to politicize everything, like we’re living in some sort of Piatigorsky’s “Absolute Politics” sphere. Protip: We’re not.

Both of these are neurotic activities and attempts to escape from this kind of newfangled freedom (and the responsibility that comes with it), just like Erich Fromm wrote in his work: “The Fear of Freedom” (or, “Escape from Freedom” for the US people) Either way, most people out there want to be given everything, they want their money, information, food and entertainment force-fed to them. They want the Soviet way, where you were given a job, either you liked it or not. They don’t want to think, and/or work for their money, because most Latvians have no idea about how capitalism works.

And so, we elect the people who are like us – except they can afford it. So, our government doesn’t educate people or make them better in any way, our government wants us to become more like Sweden. And Sweden is all fun and games, except it isn’t. Political correctness is lame per se and when a country punishes you for being rich, then you just know you’re on the wrong track. (I support healthcare, though. That SHOULD, and thankfully, IS partially funded by our government.) As about 1/3 of our voters are pensionnaries, nothing is going to change here, until all the people who grew up in Soviet Union will die out. Sorry to say this, old folks, but you’re assholes, taking loans which we’ll have to repay, electing people because you find their hair funny and they gave you flowers once or they’re your old schoolmate and you’ll ask them some money afterwards, and making your needs (such as bigger pensions) superior to actual economic growth of this country.

And a large part of them votes for their party, because they either a ) are ultranationalist and xenophobic b ) don’t know Latvian. Also, werent those people the one’s who didn’t resist the soviet union? Some of them fought in the SS legions, some of them fought for the Red Army, and they’re all making such a fuss about it. These people fucked our country in the past, and they’re continuing to do so now.


Yes, they are. No, I won't give you my seat in the bus.

Like a friend of mine once said: “If I’ll ever have to live from my pension, I’ll know that I’ve screwed up my life.” Now, I understand that some of these people are nice folks, I understand that some of these people actually helped to restore our independence, and I understand that some of these people are really, really smart. (Cracked told me so) But, as a social group, they dominate this country with their soviet mentality. And this just has to change.



Read Full Post »