Archive for May, 2010

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Big City Lights: Frida Kahlo Retrospective

May 27, 2010

by Maya


“I paint self portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”

Last Saturday my fellow goddesses and I went to the Frida Kahlo Retrospective that is currently being shown in the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum in Berlin.

Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) was one of the most influential female artists and surrealists of the 20th century.

I have been interested in her work since my teens but have never had the chance to see an exhibition of her paintings. One piece of information that I didn’t have before was the fact that her father was an immigrant from Germany. So somehow it makes sense to celebrate the 100th anniversary of her birth (she changed her birth year to 1910 to coincide with the year of the Mexican Revolution) with such a comprehensive exhibition in Berlin. Bringing together the over 150 paintings and drawings that are owned by private collectors all around the world was an extremely complicated and tedious process.

The most striking aspect of her work is its utter expressiveness and how unbelievably personal it is. Nearly half of her paintings are self portraits. It is evident that her art is a manifestation of her emotional turmoil and physical pain. Her work is extremely rich, full of metaphors and symbolism. Its complexity makes it so difficult to grasp all the facets at first glance. Kahlo’s art makes you think. Her paintings are not just beautiful decorations. Actually some of them are the complete opposite of beautiful. They are highly disturbing and even painful.

If you are not familiar with Frida this exhibition will give you a great introduction to her art. The chronological display of her life and work helps to recognize her growth as an artist.
I was particularly fascinated by the many private photographs because they make her seem so real.

I can also recommend the movie “Frida” (2002) with Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina who plays her husband and famous muralist Diego Rivera. Of course this Hollywood-esque introduction to Kahlo does not compare to actually seeing her paintings in real life but Salma Hayek’s performance is really impressive. I remember loving this movie.

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Big City Lights: Snow Patrol in Concert

May 25, 2010

by Maya

Hello world! Finally I can write my first concert review for our blog.

Last Friday Charlie and I saw Snow Patrol at the Tempodrom, Berlin. Before I start with my in-depth analysis I want to thank Charlie for a wonderful evening and for coming up with the idea.

I must admit that even though I enjoy this band’s music you cannot call me a fan. And I definitely think that the perception of a concert always depends on one’s personal relationship with the band playing.
Snow Patrol is often compared to Coldplay and I can understand where people are coming from by making this connection. I have a very ambivalent relationship with Coldplay. I saw them live in 2002 and it was an amazing show. But I’ve always had a problem with Chris Martin’s voice. I really tried to like it but I couldn’t. The other thing is that I am not a fan of “slow” / “romantic” bands playing huge venues. I get bored very quickly because I have the feeling that quiet, romantic songs drown in arenas. And I remember feeling that way after Coldplay’s gig. So before the show on Friday I was rather anxious that I would experience the same with Snow Patrol. But it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The Tempodrom is definitely not the mega arena I expected it to be. Snow Patrol has far more energetic and upbeat songs that can really rock on stage. And fortunately Gary Lightbody’s voice is very different from Chris Martin’s.

Berlin was the first concert of their tour so the boys were still fresh and motivated. Despite some initial problems with the equipment, they put on a great show. They tried to interact with the audience and played for nearly two hours. And I loved their light show.

In my opinion there is only a bunch of bands or solo artists who possess the kind of force and charisma that is necessary to create an amazing atmosphere on stage which can totally captivate the audience and make magic happen. Personally, seeing Snow Patrol live was not an experience that flooded my body with endorphins and transferred me into a blissful state of ecstasy making me grin like an idiot for three days. In all those years there were only two bands whose live gigs did this to me: Garbage and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. But I am not the most unbiased here since I totally adored both these bands and generally prefer the more “aggressive” and edgy bands on stage.

But it was definitely an evening to remember and I want to thank the boys for playing my favourite song: “Crack the Shutters”.

Here is a rather decent recording from Friday’s show:

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“Bomb In A Birdcage”- vis-à-vis with A Fine Frenzy

May 25, 2010

by Charlie

A tiny, pale, red haired but oh so powerful woman, four handsome guys and sparkling drums, set with a couple more instruments in a small club make the perfect music night.

A Fine Frenzy was on tour with her sophomore album “Bomb In A Birdcage” and Kaede and I were amongst the lucky ones to get tickets for this event.

Alison Sudol, who uses “A Fine Frenzy” as a pseudonym, and her band came on stage and swept along the crowd in no time.  Only the tea the singer drank during the show reminded the fans of the cold she was suffering during last week.  But that did not affect her crystal clear voice at all. Au contraire she showed the crowd how versatile her fine voice is and how powerful this petite woman can be.  The set list contained, of course, many of the new songs which are mostly fast, loud and colorful but also the beautiful, melancholic ballades from her debut “One Cell In The Sea”

And before calling it a night Alison played “Near To You” solo on the keyboard. A song one of the fans asked her to play.

http://www.afinefrenzy.com/

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Big City Lights!

May 24, 2010

by Maya

Hello everyone. I am finally back on track.

I’ve just returned from the most amazing weekend ever. Leaving behind my provincial hometown I visited our fellow goddesses Charlie and Kaede in Berlin. I spent four gloriously blissful days that were filled with amazing things that I simply need to share with you. Therefore you can expect several posts describing my cosmopolitan adventures.

These were the ultimate highlights of my trip:

Snow Patrol live at Tempodrom

Frida Kahlo Retrospective

– Finding the coolest party dress at the Galleries Lafayette

– and the most thrilling experience in a very long time: seeing the opera “Turandot” at Deutsche Oper Berlin

Stay tuned!

Photo credits: Marcus Klepper (www.fotocommunity.de)
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hilarious ellen

May 24, 2010

by Gibson Hummingbird

Ellen working out 😉

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Love J.Crew!

May 19, 2010

by Maya


OMG! The most amazing news was sitting in my mail box today: J.Crew is coming to Europe!! Net-A-Porter is now offering a small selection of their gorgeous designs and they ship to Germany. I’m in love with this U.S. label and had to go to great lengths to lay my hands on some of their adorable cashmere sweaters. It’s a pity you cannot choose from a wider range of styles but it’s a good start. I hope there is more to come!

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Danish Charm: ARENA CPH

May 18, 2010

by Maya

Hello everyone! Today I would like to introduce a jewellery line that some of you might already know: Arena Copenhagen. I came across this Danish brand several months ago and instantly fell in love with their delicate and feminine creations. I simply adore the utter elegance and minimalism of their pieces. They totally reflect my personal taste in jewellery: simple but special due to elaborate details.
Arena has gathered some of Scandinavia’s most talented designers who work as a team but are still contributing their individual ideas. Despite having their roots in classic goldsmith traditions they all are dedicated to innovation and contemporary designs.

They work with sterling silver, 18k gold plated silver and gold. The combination of gold with precious stones such as onyx, agate or amethyst is particularly lovely. The warm glow of the gold emphasizes the beauty of the stones in the most wonderful way.

Their prices start at 80 € for sterling silver / 18k gold plated silver. I think these are rather reasonable considering the fact that precious metals and stones are used. I can imagine their pieces being part of a highly personal and timeless jewellery collection. Hopefully some of them will be part of my collection soon. 😉

http://www.arenacopenhagen.com/