Compact archive October 22, 2007

Apocalyptica Prague Concert

Apocalyptica Prague Congress center Apocalyptica is a Finnish Cello metal trio (formerly a quartet), composed of classically trained cellists and, since 2005, a drummer. All three cellists are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

Apocalyptica are a singular voice in music. From their days as a cover band in Finland to one of the most original metal bands in history, they’ve long since left their days as a musical curiosity behind them. Sold out venues the world over say it all – the band that closed the chasm between Shostakovich and Metallica, between concert halls and rock venues – has become one of the most respected groups on the planet.

This world-wide famous group comes to introduce their new album Worlds Collide, in Prague Congress Center, Trida 5. Kvetna street 65, Prague on 5th November 2007. Tickets at TicketPro, from 770 CZK (26 €)

President Vaclav Klaus' essay on Kaplicky's Blob library

Vaclav Havel, the ex-president of the Czech Republic, has criticized Klaus’ attitude to the building of National Library, by publishing an essay on this topic. The present president Vaclav Klaus has answered – by an essay. The following article is a shortened transcript of Vaclav Klaus’ piece, published in MF DNES.

vaclav klaus see kaplicky attacking democracy Vaclav Klaus: I have already stated my opinion on the construction of the new National Library Blob earlier, and I don’t wish to change it. Neither I wish to interfere to the technically-administrative arguments, whether the project comes up to the terms of assignment or not.

I just want, as a Prague citizen, point out it is a debate about ‘the handling of Prague’. The often mentioned comparison of the Blob project with the Dancing house is erroneous, because it was a case of one block of one street.

What is much more important: we get again into an argument of the very foundation of our democracy, about decision making in public matters. This whole dispute is about private and public property. If a private submitter orders a construction, nobody will ever infirm he has the right to say whether he likes the design or not. And if he wants to carry it out, or not. Concerning the public constructions, it is not possible to say it is the opposite; it is not possible to say, that the decision about the project is a matter of professionals, or even a professional.

If I am not mistaken, it has never happened that an architect would enter a public decision-making like in this case. It is necessary to realize one trivial thing – the decision making of The professional committee is about the design itself. Decision about the building realization, financed from public sources, is a different matter. To not differ those two fact would be a fatally wrong.

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Varttina in Prague

varttina in Prague Värttinä (Finnish for spindle) is a Finnish folk music band which was started 1983 in the village of Rääkkylä, in the southeastern region of Finland.

Many transformations have taken place in the band since then. Värttinä shot into fame with the release of their 1990 album Oi Dai. As of 2006, the band consists of three lead female vocalists supported by six acoustic musicians.

Their list of concerts and successes are quite impressive, but not least impressive are the members themselves. Their musical education is something the author have never seen to form a World music band. Let’s go through.

SUSAN AHO – vocals. Playing accordion since the age of 13, she played accordion on Värttinä‘s Vihma album before moving to vocals.

MARI KAASINEN – vocals. Her first public performance took place at the age of 2 ½. During her career she’s studied classical singing, accordion and fiddle and majored in folk voice in Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department. Partly because of her own North Karelian roots and dialect, she’s always been keen on Kalevala poetry and has become the main lyricist for Värttinä.

JOHANNA VIRTANEN – vocals. Johanna studied folk music at the Central Ostrobothnian Conservatory in Kokkola and is now studying folk music and singing at Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department. Also plays harmonium, kantele and 2-row accordion.

varttina in Prague2 JANNE LAPPALAINEN – bouzouki, soprano saxophone. Janne is involved over the years with Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department. A wind instrument specialist.

HANNU RANTANEN – basses. Hannu Rantanen is one of Finland’s top bassists. Having studied and now teaching at Helsinki Pop Jazz Conservatory and brilliantly skillful on double bass and electric bass, Hannu has been involved with numerous Finnish groups and orchestras.

MARKKU LEPISTÖ – accordions. Playing Ostrobothnian folk music on accordion since age five, Markku Lepistö later entered and graduated at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department before finally joining Värttinä in 1998 just after the Vihma recordings.

LASSI LOGREN – fiddle, jouhikko, nyckelharpa.
Also playing nyckelharpa and jouhikko, Lassi graduated from Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department in 2002.

JAAKKO LUKKARINEN – drums, percussion.
Jaakko “Jaska” Lukkarinen is one of Finland’s most versatile and energetic drummers/percussionists. Having studied under Jukkis Uotila, Marko Timonen and Mika Kallio in Sibelius Academy and also in Espoo Pop/Jazz School and Helsinki Pop/Jazz Conservatory, Jaska has developed a personal musical style that accentuates and propels Värttinä‘s rhythmical music to new directions, particularly those with jazz leanings.

ANTTO VARILO – guitars, stringed instruments.
A professional Helsinki guitarist since 1985, Antto joined Värttinä in 1993. Has performed with numerous rock, Afro and jazz artists and bands including Hasse Walli, Badu N’Djay. He played in Finnish National Theatre and with singing star Reijo Taipale.

From this impressive list it clear their show is of such professional standards that are anything but ordinary. For the Czech settings it can, however, be very unusual, so our recommendation is to youtube it first. If you know what is good for you, you can go to their concert in Palac Akropolis, Kubelikova 27, Prague, on November 1th 2007.

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Petition for Referendum to Prague Olympics

olympics prague Czech Mayors of smaller cities and villages demand a referendum to the Prague Olympic Games. They are afraid the Games would suck money out of their budgets. A petition for a national referendum with more than a thousand signatures was brought to the Municipal office by a Senator Jana Jureckova today.

Jana Jureckova states the signing action was initiated by Pavel Bem, when he said last year. “If there must be a referndum to the Olympics, so national only.” Jureckova stated that they just took him at word; “indebted Czech Republic is not able to pay for the Olympics”.

According to the speaker of the Municipal Office Jiri Wolf the petition should be discussed by the deputies in two months. The law proposal on Olympics in Prague was prepared by Stanislav Polcak. The mayors believe if people voted for the Olympics, it would be their decision made with awareness of the Games will be at the expense of other needed things.

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Gwen Stefani's last solo concert...?

GwenStefani in prague On 22th October 2007, Gwen Stefani made her solo performance in Prague for the last time, as she is planning a comeback to her group No Doubt, after getting back to the USA.

Not just by her voice, but also by her direct show she just overpowered her Czech fans. Just a few empty seats and the huge Sazka Arena of Prague would be completely sold out. She started her performance by getting out of a golden cage in a ‘custodial dress’, and singing the song that gave name to the whole tour: The Sweet Escape.

Gwen Stefani (1969), is an American singer, songwriter, fashion designer and occasional actress. Stefani debuted in 1992 as the frontwoman of the third wave ska band No Doubt, whose 1995 album Tragic Kingdom propelled them to stardom, selling sixteen million copies worldwide.

Stefani recorded her first solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. in 2004. The album was primarily inspired by music of the 1980s, taking Stefani’s work further into pop, R&B, and dance music, and enjoyed international success with sales of over seven million. The album’s third single “Hollaback Girl” became the first U.S. digital download to sell one million copies.