Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Garou in Yerevan. concert review

I got invited to Garou's concert on March 22. It was organized in the framework of the "Journées de la francophonie" by some "Black Ban Productions" company i've never heard of before. It was supported by the Government of RA, some ministries and the French Embassy in Armenia.
The tickets were quite expensive (10 000 - 70 000 AMD) and i wasn't even planning to go there until i got invited :) My mom, a big Garou fan, was asking me to find cheap tickets for a long time already, but i couldn't do anything. At last, she bought tickets on the last day with a sale !!! 30 000 AMD tickets costed 10 000. I can imagine thoughts and feelings of people who bought earlier with unreasonable prices while discovering the last day "discounts".
So some people payed about 100$ for this piece of paper, and yet this was not the most expensive one.
The concert took place in the big hall of the Sport & Concert complex (where the ice skating-rink is). Many people like my mom were quite disappointed to discover that it will be in the big hall instead of the small one, since the sound could be not satisfactory and it could be cold in that big hall. Despite of the ticket prices, we noticed some hard traffic on the way to the SCC and the huge crowd downstairs and the difficulty of parking in the parking slots of complex. The places in front of the stage were the cheapest since there were no seats and were mostly for youth, for jumping and dancing :) Garou invited the public downstairs "to rock" several times, but i bet people who paid tens of thousands for their seats weren't be so eager to join the crowd in front of the stage :)

I wasn't very much familiar with Garou's music. I didn't listen to anything besides Belle, Gitan and the French album "Seul". I was pleasantly surprised to discover his English songs and the album "Piece of My Soul". I was mostly impressed by the performance of the song "You and I" on a piano. At first i thought that it's again a cover for some famous song that i should likely know. I liked it so much that listened the entire song with closed eyes. Then I typed some of the heard lyrics on my phone notes to find it later :) Now i found that song and can't get enough of it !!!
On last.fm Garou has got only 447.854 plays (it's really not much comparing to other similar artists). He's way too much underrated! I'll slightly increase that number on the following weeks though ;).
Since the audience wasn't very familiar with most of his songs, he made a clever decision to sing covers of other famous French songs. He was actually asking the audience about the french songs we know. He performed "La Mer" (Charles Trenet) and "Beyond the Sea" (Bobby Darin) mixed, also "La Boheme" of Charles Aznavour (piano solo), Celine Dion's "Sous le vent" and some others.
The public was much surprised hearing the beat and chords of "Come together" (of The Beatles) that was smoothly transitioned to "Belle".
Since the "Notre Dame de Paris" fever in Armenia, Garou became famous here and had been claimed to have some Armenian roots. As it usually happens, rumors have it that many of worldwide celebrities' have relations sounding like "grandmother's cousin's son's wife's neighboor was Armenian". He neither confirmed nor denied the fact of him having an Armenian ancestry (also during the press conferences), but pronounced from the stage  "Armenians, we are cousins".
He asked for an Armenian brandy/cognac right on the stage and was given it on the next break :) He kept giving compliments on how kind and hospitable our nation is and saying "genatsed Hayasdan" :)))

This was an amazing show with a truly high-quality sound and organization (not counting the ticket prices). The tickets had several types of protection from fakes, and they were being checked on the entrance by their numbers and attendees had to pass a scanner and have purses and bags checked. And Garou.. well he got some hundreds and why not thousands of new fans. He was worth to be seen on the stage.

* photos are taken by my friend Tata

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 21. to remember

What a day!!!

March 21 - It was a memorable day. I did something that will remind me of this day all of my entire life. I made an artificial scar - a tattoo in the form of a shooting star :) Don't ask me why permanent, why on that particular place, why star... i just don't know it. I've been guided by some unknown force. Today, i've been looking  it and feeling that it was something that had to be there sooner or later. Something was giving me a hint, guiding through all those diverse reactions and inner pros and cons discussions. I had that exact image in my mind !!!!!! it should be right there and right that picture!

Spring officially starts today in all calendars. It was a sunny, warm and nice-in-all-means day. I managed to meet all of my closest friends, my most recent bziks (random, on the street!) and saw a potential bzik in one guy i knew for already years now.

Besides, i started the day out of home. Having lots of fun at Yves Larock's party!

thank you, spring.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 8 and spring. partying in Yerevan.

Last year these days I was in Rotterdam. March 8 is the International Women's Day and is widely celebrated in Armenia but not in Netherlands. It's not even yet spring there. In Armenia March 8 is the holiday that celebrates also the coming of spring. Lots of flowers, people and action :) City is like waking up after the winter and the streets are crowded, people are happy, all dressed up, happy couples having a walk and all the cafes and restaurants are fully booked up.
Flowers at a Rotterdam market

Last year it was Saturday and as usual I was alone. It was a good occasion to dress up :) I like to dress up. I had taken some stylish stuff there hoping that I'll have the occasion to wear it. After 6 weeks of staying there i didn't have any and despite the fact i was going to celebrate that spring holiday all alone, i decided to get dressed properly as if i was home :) Luckily it was sunny (which was not usual then) and i went out to walk in the city. I walked to the large shopping district at the heart of the city and was happily spending my time :)
Since the beginning of my walk i was noticing people looking at me with unusual interest (unusual for Dutch but not Armenians :) I was thinking that they were maybe trying to recognize a celebrity in me since they usually don't dress up like that and walk :) I spent the day fine... though it wasn't the way i would like to celebrate spring :)

This year i did it my way ;)
Together with my 3 friends, we got dressed up and went partying At first we went to the newly opened glamorous cafe Segafredo Zanetti. I love the interior there and the coffee is great! The service is excellent too and at our arrival all of us got free coffee cocktails with mint . They were non-alcoholic and amazingly tasty !
But we had some dancing plans for the night and we took cosmopolitan cocktails (as our beloved heroes usually do in one very famous TV-series/film ;) and desserts.

Panna cotta and cosmopolitan

It was still 9 and we went out to walk in the streets of downtown... We decided to check the music and ambience in Kami and Cheers clubs.. but it was too early for partying and we didn't stay anywhere and went to our usual place- Square One for a beer

The good mood was guaranteed and after the SQ1 we went directly to Kami club. The party has already started and it was cool! I haven't been to clubs this year yet and the 'opening' was quite promising ))))))) I met lots of my friends there and had a lot of fun! In fact I got home 3AM and my feet needed contrast showers and couple of days to rest and recover after 4-5 hours of dancing in fancy but not very comfortable high heels.

And by the way, you may send me hundreds of links to Wikipedia and other pages, but i won't change my belief ! The spring starts March 1 and not 21 !!!!!!! (at least for me)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lilacs and spring mood :)

It's a sunny day here today and I'm a bit into memories :)
Last year, after my homecoming on April 1, I was in something like euphoria. For more than 10 weeks spent in Netherlands, I hadn't properly seen a sun and missed my life, my friends and everything in Yerevan very much. For some weeks after my return to Yerevan I was living like with pink glasses, nothing could bring me down. I was enjoying every second of my life :)

Here's some photos done on the first days of April.
These two photos are with my BFF Tata in a park where we found a fantastic blooming lilac tree. I love lilacs, especially purple ones, but wikipedia says they symbolize death while white lilacs symbolize first love.


And these photos are made in my room's balcony:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Taxi, Eli Lava" film review

"Taxi Eli Lava" film was produced by Sharm Holding. I promise to be neutral with the review despite of the fact that I've worked over 2 years in that company (i'm no more there for 1,5 years), and I'm quite familiar with the directors and crew.

The film consists of 10 7-minute episodes directed by different people and shows us their view of the Yerevan city. It's format and topic is explicitly copied from "Paris, Je T'aime", "New York, I love you" movies (I love this format also in "Coffee and Cigarettes" and "Chacun Son Cinema"). In fact, the working title of the film was - "Yerevan, I love you".

At the end of the movie I was pleased and also surprised because because i was expecing much less - something like "Mer Bak 3" (the previous Sharm produced film drowned with aggressive product placement and seeming to be a film for advertisers only).

Some of the episodes made me laugh, some - made me cry (really!) and some made me think.
It was different from other previous films also because it contained some "open" scenes not so usual for Armenian "pop" movies.

Yerevan was presented as an anthil and through eyes of a stray dog, a prostitute, an art school student, common teenagers. The thread of the story is the taxi driver occasionally meeting the heroes of episodes and expressing his thoughts and positive mood. It makes you rethink of how small is the city indeed and how everybody and every occurance is interconnected and a you'll see a small try to untangle the circumstances that brought to a particular moment in the episode "Yerevan ragtime". I like "Sheko" the most! Directed by David Babayan (who also directed "Ararat" video of Arto Tuncboyaciyan) it's showing the dog's perspective on the city in a very interesting way.

What was good: because of the episodes being short, you won't really get bored of it. There's action, there's melancholy, romance and love.
What was bad: the same faces. Yep, we are a small nation and the population of our country is even smaller and that's the excuse. We have just about dozen (or maybe twice more at most) of good (or well branded) actors and we have to see all the same faces over and over again. The same Nazeni Hovhannisyan and Hrant Tokhatyan (though i do really love his acting just that it's sometimes monotonous), Michael Poghosyan (well, i like him too) ... though some of new faces indeed appeared. The good thing of this was that most of the roles were short, so you were not really getting tired of them.

In front of the Moscow cinema with the big poster of movie

Generally, i'd say it's a new level in Armenian cinema (i guess it's also conditioned by the increasing financial resources and maybe.. experience?). So it's definitely recommended to watch.

The movie was scheduled for screening at all sessions for 4 days (March 5-8) in all 4 halls of the 2 cinemas - Moscow and Nairi (yes, in case you didn't know, in Yerevan we have just 2 working cinemas). Despite of the fact that the screenings were every hour, most of the sessions were sold out in advance (it's kinda rare for Yerevan :).

Taxi “Eli Lava” official website: http://www.elilava.am/

Episode titles:
  • "3000 years ago"
  • "Yerevan flies"
  • "Seven minutes"
  • "Yerevan ragtime"
  • "The second Sunday of spring"
  • "Sheko"
  • "The title comes later on"
  • "The hood"
  • "You, go!"
  • "Known and unknown love"
Catchy theme song of the movie by Reincarnation titled "Eli lava"
(this is also a trailer to the film)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

[Armenian wedding traditions] Tarosiks

I'm continuing the wedding traditions topic in my blog since my best friend is getting prepared for her wedding ceremony and we're into it :)
I have already written about Armenian wedding traditions and mentioned tarosik here.

Tarosiks are wedding favors usually given to the guests by the wedding hosts. During the ceremony, the newlywed couple distributes them among the guests - one for a family or more commonly - to single people. ["taros to you" or "tarose qez" in Armenian means - wishing the same to you], so tarosiks at weddings means wishing bachelors to get married soon.

So tarosiks are small gifts, usually sugared almonds and candies wrapped in an elegant fabric with laces and ribbons. It can also be in a wrapped box and contain a statuette, crystal figure, scented candles and soaps and also cinnamon rolls.

By the way:
Modern gift trends include: CDs with the favorite music of the bride and groom, shot glasses filled with colored candy or silver picture frames with a photo of the couple. Gifts may also be personalized with the couple's names, initials or wedding date. - from Wikipedia
Here's some of the tarosiks we have collected at home in the recent years.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

confused in translation

I need a proper translation of "mi manchi" from Italian. "Կարոտում եմ քեզ" doesn't express it when you feel the lack of somebody, somebody is missing in your life.

"Mi manchi" հավասար չի != «Կարոտում եմ քեզ».. բայց հո չե՞մ ասի «դու ինձ պակասում ես»:
«Քո կարիքը զգում եմ»-ն էլ էն չի... «Կարոտում եմ»-ը ասող անձին ա հղում (ուրագի պես.. :) միշտ դեպի քեզ, միշտ դեպի քեզ) նույնը` "Скучаю".
Մինչդեռ "(tu) mi manchi"-ն ասվողին ա վերաբերում, այսինքն արտահայտության առարկան դիմացինն ա: Սրանով դիմացինը ավելի ա կարևորվում, իսկ «Կարոտում եմ»-ը, ըստ ինձ, ավելի էգոիստական ա հնչում... համ էլ կարող ես ասել «Կարոտում եմ» ու չնշել ում/ինչը, իսկ "Mi manchi"-ում հակառակը` նշվում ա որ հենց դիմացինը կարոտվում ա (ինչ ահավոր բառ գրեցի):

Ափսոս լեզվաբանական կրթություն չունեմ, որ ավելի գիտական լեզվով արտահայտեի մտահոգությունս :)

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