2010 m. balandžio 17 d., šeštadienis

roof-edges and sky-reflecting windows

I've been listening to Jelly Roll Morton for a while. I even fell asleep at night and woke up with him still playing about making a pallet on the floor. This is the spring time music to me. Last time I felt the right playback for life was in Ljubljana park, where actual spring has begun to me this year. I don't care about the new years or christmas. Life starts in spring and I believe in nightingales, silent steps and sweet piano sounds. In this state of mind people start writing poetry I think. But I would rather just wander around with that crazy inner smile and look up to the roof-edges and sky-reflecting windows of the old Vilnius town.

2010 m. balandžio 16 d., penktadienis

Mind-blowing experiences on the road to LSSF (part IV)

Tonight is the begging of HARLEM and the right time to finish the story of love and laughter in Ljubljana. I might get sentimental, because of seeing so many happy people in one place recently. Happiness is sentimental when you let it last...

So we left Sputnik bar at 4pm and we were already late. Late for my work on Tuesdays morning. So we kissed, hugged, packed, changed and ran. We took Mias' suitcase and off we went. Everyone fell asleep when Šlimas and Dangis once again hit the road. They kept a good secret that they actually went the wrong way and we have spend some time in Italy that night. We were in Austria when me and Vytas went to change them. It started pouring as hell so I asked Vytas to tell me everything he knows about the car motor. Fascinated with the complexity of the vehicle I admired the Alps through the wall of rain.

We went on and on and it seemed to me that we were trying to stop the time: most of us were asleep the whole way home. It took 27 hours to get close to reality. (It took another 48 for me to get back to reality. I came back, kissed my mom, hugged my dog and went to the office.) When I was not watching the road ant talking to Vytas I took notes. Being on the road impresses me much. It felt like our zest colored van is a matchbox. It is big enough to carry a hundred thoughts that we had and is small enough to be a matchbox in the worlds' pocket.

A matchbox in the worlds' pocket went through Polish woods. It is amazing how big can its sleeping fire be and how much one little match can change in the world. I imagined how many fates could be changed by two, three or four matches taken together. You may play puzzle with eight little pieces of wood and never get the final answer.

Ant those matches were us with bare feet, wife-beater t-shirts, Zasu caps, dirty clothers, tangled hair, humming stomachs, blue eyelashes and jazz in the ears. I would go on a road trip with all of you a hundred times again.

I bet you are courious to know how did we manage to kidnap Mia Goldsmith? It's all about loving the adventures, if you know what I mean.

April 2, 04:05

Mind-blowing experiences on the road to LSSF (part III)

After bundling up our stuff and being kindly kicked out by the Festivalna Dvorana guard we settled down on the stairs to put up a little jam session. It reminded me of sitting on the stairs of the United States Post Office in New York City last year.

The night was warm and so we grabbed bureks at the kiosk near our home and headed to the Park (Hotel). We became the experts of Bureks. In general that is a piece of macaroni batter filled with pizza kind of stuff that all together tastes like a glass of oil but works so well that we ate this thing the whole weekend.

So there, at the Park, Nina, Todd and Christoffer were already waiting for us. We landed on and around one of the green benches under the overwhelming nightingale chorus. These birds sounded as crazy and their voices were sending shivers down the spine. I just floated in memories for some time enjoying the mellow tones of music. It was a perfect mixture for cosmic excitement. I’m sure even people peacefully sleeping at their homes felt that way.

Dangis was playing washboard barehanded, making harsh sound with his ring touching the thing which I call dogs plate. Todds and Deebs guitars got together as old friends, dragging along sleepy Vytautas fiddle. There also was Christoffer who’s ended the early morning jam playing with his trombone mouthpiece and slide only. And I totally forgot my phone recording the sound in the pocket.

We waved goodbye and went to sleep. Green nines worked just perfect and we did not think about tomorrow.

Sunday was the day for socializing. It brought a nice surprise for lindy dancers who were at Todd and Ninas class. They had Christoffer, Deeb and Vytautas playing live at their class.

It seemed that closing party came too soon. We danced and talked for hours just switching chairs outside the dance floor. Sadly, the music was not swinging. It felt really WEIRD, cause farewell party must be freaking burning down the place! Luckily I had the most interesting conversation with Luka and laughed listening to Sakarias school days stories. There was the party going on outside and folks started jamming again. Peter Loggins counted about 11 people playing in the festival closing party. We all were so happy and sad at the same time. Just like the sound of St. James Infirmary…

[the last part is coming soon]

2010 m. balandžio 7 d., trečiadienis

Mind-blowing experiences on the road to LSSF (part II)

The next day in the afternoon we went up to the castle and made up a crazy summer plan. To make the long story short – we’ll hit the road once again very soon! On that hill in Ljubljana our hearts beat together in a Junkie way more than ever before. Laughing and jumping we rolled our stones down the blooming hill and went to the first class.

After crawling around Bežigrad district for a while we called our friendly cabdriver to pick us up and bring to the venue. Nina introduced the girl, who was working with children in Africa. I‘m sure her speech touched everyone in the room. And then Peter Loggins stepped on the stage. I could listen to Peters’ stories for hours and I‘ll be surely sitting in the front row at HARLEM.

We had a very good time listening to The Folkets Hus Fem band later that night. Mias’ soothing voice got every song straight to one's heart and there was nothing to do but dance off the feet. All of us had so many wonderful dances and so many new acquaintances that we just couldn't stop. Standing outside with a shaky cigarette in one’s hand and talking to people in all possible directions I heard someone say – “it’s the best place on earth tonight”. P.S. I could sing every song Zala dj-ed. Zala, do you come from Vilnius?

I don’t remember sleeping with so many people in one room for years! We had so much fun there. Once again, Matthea, sorry for those tons of jokes and screams we made there while you’ve been sleeping. When I woke up in my room today I missed Šlimas, Dangis and Vytas dirty jokes in every sentence that made us rofl every morning.

And then the classes started… Well, we didn’t have enough guts to keep concentrated there. Many thanks to the teachers that where doing their best to make better dancers out of chattering crowd of adults.Gašper and Dragana – you are lovely!

It was Sunday lunch when all big seven sat down round the table and voted to stay at LSSF till farewell party… I kept my mouth shut while being the reason to rush home.

Saturday gala night was just great. Milda sung a few songs with Slovenian band Six To Go which is a very sweet band to dance to. I’m not afraid to say Ella would be happy to see us dance like crazy to the music that was once written for her. These guys warmed up the atmosphere before Jack&Jill started. The main prize of the competition, a full pass for HARLEM 2010 or 2011, was given to Mihaela (SI) and Rudolf (A). I hope they’ll make it to LT and we’ll have many more fun dances with these amazing lindy hoppers.

We ended up the party jamming in the backstage and getting to know each other better through the green nines. This was the beginning of the other dimension party and I will tell about that later on.

[to be continued]

Photos: Luka Dolenc

2010 m. balandžio 6 d., antradienis

Mind-blowing experiences on the road to LSSF (part I)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 1:30pm

We supposed to leave Vilnius early Tuesday morning, but some wise men said we must go Monday night. Some of us didn't even have time to hang their underpants on the string, while others were still teaching the class. The team of seven united their powers and the time was set. After kissing goodbye some loving friends and giving cozy hugs we directed our zest color French engine down south.

Through wintry fog Šlimas and Dangis tandem herd the vehicle all night long. All day we pushed through traffic jams and ran across pale fields until the car accidentally stopped. And then a long story of misunderstandings has begun. All in all were embattled by Bruce Willis kind of looking men and brought to the gipsy style motel. After putting all our efforts to understand their Czech language we were left with a bill bigger than everything we all together had. Then we sung a Lithuanian drinking song in front of that freaking autoservis and went back on road.

With a 98,7% enthusiasm we passed Wien at night pouring 20 liters in every petrol station, for saving purposes I assume. Zest Citroen flew like magic carpet carrying us to the Green Rabbit's hole. In the moment we were making up acclamation words the magic zest stopped and refused to go six more kilometers to Ljubljana. The panic of being late for the meeting was diminished then Šlimas got back with the lively liquid.

After dropping our multiple suitcases at Matthea, our kindest hostess, we whizzed to Green Rabbit's into the arms of long time no seen buddies and that's where the Sweet Swing started. Some showed us little balboa room with hundreds of books, some introduced us with the taste of absinthe or told stories.

The other day in Ljubljana we went busking in the center square and people stopped to listen and watch. After pealing of our big furry winter coats we were soaking rays of spring sun and admiring easy old town atmosphere. We sunk our blasting emotions with good coffee and Laško under the waning moon ladja and then went dancing...

[to be continued]

Photos: Luka Dolenc