Friday, May 30, 2008

5th International Book Fair of Thesaloniki - it's great!

The 5th International Book Fair of Thessaloniki opened yesterday - the fair opened from 10:00 in the morning while the official opening ceremony was held at 19:00 in the afternoon. The attendance was very good for a normal working day - while lots of schools attended. Friday morning is even better, the crowds of children are amazing - and are having fun! It is so great looking at all those happy smiling faces going from stand to stand, looking longingly to all the books on display! What a better hopeful message for the future than children happy to read books?

Of course the show is not only about children. The main theme this year is, as mentioned on my previous post about the fair, the political book. We designed and made the stand for the main theme, which encompasses not only political books but also an exhibition of political posters in Greece throughout the years.

The graffiti incorporated with big paintings about important political moments in world history give the stand a dramatic look.

We also designed and made the EKEBI stand where one can be informed about the fair and all that is happening about books in Greece now.

This is where the French writers and illustrators of children's books will be presenting and signing their books!

The children's library - designed and made by our team again! There is a great comic for children on the back wall.

The tree of knowledge?

And our friends from Muzine have their stand in the show, Pavilion 13, stand no.64 - go get Muzine from there with a discount! There will be gifts too!!! And the party is on tonight!!! Be there or be square!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Muzine party in Thessaloniki - 30/05/2008 - and Muzine 4 is out too!

This Friday (30/05/2008 at 22:30), Muzine magazine is throwing a party for it's Thessaloniki friends at Nikis 35 café-bar, with the co-operation of Highlights magazine. Some of the magazine writers (Elafini, Aggelos, Enteka, Nektarios) will be there to share their music knowledge with us, and also hit the decks too, along with the other usual suspects! We expect some serious fun here people! Of course everyone is invited!

Meanwhile, the 4th issue of Muzine has hit the streets: having just finished reading it (it was delivered personally into my hands by the publisher no less), I must say it is one of their best issues so far. Some of the interviews, reviews and articles are exceptional: Soti Triantafyllou (famous Greek writer) writes about concerts that have marked her life, Enteka about Lena Platonos, Elafini has an interview with Trouble Over Tokyo (with a special review by Markos Fragkos). Also illustrations by the talented T-drom, Dustroad (for Soti no less) and Pan Pan (for Enteka's R.E.M. piece). And to cap it all a very interesting conversation of the writers about "alternative" or "indie" music scene, with additional comments by music insiders such as Mixalis E. and veteran music writer Argyris Zilos. Do not miss it!!! It will also be on sale at the 5th International Book Fair of Thessaloniki - check out Haramada Publications at Stand 64, Pavilion 13.

Update 30/05/08: unfortunately Aggelos, will not be joining us.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nan Goldin: amazing photographer

Last Saturday, Nan Goldin's The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency was played at the Tate Modern. The setting was the massive Turbine Hall: a giant screen was set up there, and live music accompanied the projection of the photographer's slide show.

The film is different every time it is being projected around the world. Reports tell that this time around it was as strong and current as ever, the drug queens. junkies and sleazy demi-monde of New York found their place in the dramatic setting of the Turbine Hall as easily as any modern art masterpiece ever installed there.

For the first half, dedicated to cross-dressers, music came courtesy of John Kelly, a New York-based actor, visual artist and singer. The second part, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, was accompanied by the extraordinarily talented singer/songwriter Patrick Wolf. What an amazing performance that must have been. He even sung "Che faro senza Euridice", the Orpheus's lament from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.

While most of us are not fazed anymore by the once very controversial photographs of Nan Golding, people around the world are still dying of AIDS or drugs or both, they are still desperate to find meaning in their lives. Goldin's photographs are still relevant in this way and in the fact that they are beautiful in their own, mysterious, uncompromising way.

I hope we can see this slide show or an exhibition of hers in Greece soon. You can see Saturday's performance on Youtube for the moment.

Monday, May 26, 2008

5th International Book Fair of Thesaloniki

The time has come again for the International Book Fair of Thessaloniki, one of the major literary events of the year, to open for us a door to the magical world of books. As usual, we are actively involved in designing and setting up the major stands for the show, namely the thematic area (this year dedicated to the political books), the Greek National Book Centre stand, the Children's corner, the amphitheatres, the teenager's library, an exhibition area for political posters, and the resting areas. All major Greek publishers will be there with stands, to promote their finest books. For the very first time, there will be a country guest of honour: this year it will be France, so there will be lots of connected activities around this.

There will be 150 events from every day from 10.00 to 21.00 (Saturday 22.00) in this four-day celebration of books:
  • literary meetings of writers from Greece and abroad; book presentations
  • special tributes
  • seminars - conferences – round tables
  • professional seminars
  • parallel events in the city
The theme of this year’s exhibition, political books, will involve a book exhibition, an exhibition of political posters, as well as film and documentary screenings.

The Children’s Corner will include visits from school parties, meetings with authors and illustrators, workshops, theatrical and musical events, and a whole host of other events in the children’s and teenagers’ library.

I hope many of you will be able to visit, I will be happy to see you there! I will post photos from the Fair next week.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kylie in Athens!

She came. Finally. I had the ticket reserved from January (and it arrived in May but that is another story all-together), so I was really anxious to see the show: I have all of her live DVDs and the expectations were really high. Did she meet them?

The stage before the concert begun.

YES! But let's see the whole story: The concert was in Terra Vibe, a venue outside of Athens, which meant that one could go only by car, bus or train. Secondly, this meant that it would be an open air concert, forcing the staging to be the "lesser" version of the show that premièred in Paris. We saw what Sofia and Constantinople saw. A whole act of the show called "Naughty Manga Girl" was left off, there was no entrance at the opening sequence with the web/circle of cables and no huge skull hanging over the stage with Kylie on top during "Like A Drug". We also missed the sloping video floor, which would make the whole stage look like a giant screen.

Overture: the video wall starts...

But... we did see a brilliant Kylie, at the height of her career, no different than all the times I have seen her perform on her live DVDs. Of course she is no opera singer, she is no ballet dancer, her music is not the apex of pop music history. But she gave us two and a half hours of pure fan, she made us dance, laugh, sing and filled us with joy.

First Act: Speakerphone

We in return gave her some amazing ovations, clapped without stop, cheered her all the time, forcing her many times to stop speaking and just let herself enjoy the appreciation of her fans. I think we even made her emotional at one or two points. She even fell on her knees and bowed to us after a prolonged ovation!


The set list was:

Act 1: Xlectro Static
Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Greg Kurstin Remix) / Boombox
Ruffle My Feathers
In Your Eyes

Act 2: Cheer Squad
Heart Beat Rock
Shocked (DNA Mix)

Act 3: Xposed
Like A Drug
Slow / Free
2 Hearts

Act 4: Beach Party
Love Boat
Spinning Around

Act 5: Starry Nights
I Believe in You

Act 6: Black versus White
On A Night Like This
Step Back In Time
In My Arms

No More Rain
Love At First Sight.
I Should Be So Lucky

First Act - Can't get You Out Of My Head

Every act was accompanied by a different video projection and set of costumes. The 14 dancers were amazing (as they usually are - her shows have some of the best dancers in showbiz today for many years now) and Jean Paul Gaultier's (who was there) costumes were perfect for each incarnation Kylie showed us.

Ruffle My Feathers - one of the side projection screens

The opening sequence started with Richard Strauss' "Also Sprah Zarthustra" introduction, known to most Greeks from either Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey 2001 or, more amusingly, from an ad about a recording tape production company (Raks Petrakis anyone?)

Act 2- Heart Beat Rock

Kylie appeared through dry ice smoke behind a couple of huge speakers - in the Paris version (closed venues) she was brought on stage, on a big podium shaped like a spider web, from behind the huge video wall, whose panels were movable, while in Athens they were static. Otherwise, this act was exactly the same.

Heart Beat Rock

The second act was the cheerleaders/jocks one: pure Americana. In Paris supposedly she had excerpts of "Lose Control" mixed in Shocked - elsewhere I read it was the DNA mix of the song. It was fabulous anyway. If you see photos of Paris, the floor projection was very evident here, continuing the backdrop theme of stars and stripes. Lots of acrobatics here from the amazing dancers.

Intro clip to the third Act

Third act started with "Like A Drug", albeit sans huge human scull to hover over the stage with Kylie writhing on it. Would have been quite the spectacle, but I did not mind missing this and any other extra effects, the overall feeling was great even here. In Paris she did an extra song in this act, "The One", which should be the next European single (yes! It is my favourite from this album). The Gaultier costumes in the video were even more outrageous than the ones she was wearing on stage.

Slow was a huge hit with the Greek audience. The only song out of her Body Language album (not surprisingly), it was performed with an interesting choreography, alas no beach towels... The red long dress with the huge matching over-the-knee boots and military hat reminded me of a favourite US Vogue photo shoot with Christy Turlington in Russia wearing only red. Spectacular.

After a great performance of "2 Hearts", the show started to warm up really well. The Beach Party act was on now, with her Love Boat interspersed with the original TV tune in the starting video, then seguing on to a great rendition of Barry Manilow's signature hit "Copacabana".


The 40's style clothing, hairdos and accessories, the fake palm trees and lounge bar props reminded me of period films and descriptions of famous New York and Los Angeles clubs of that era. This was one of the best parts of the show by far. In Paris, there was another new song here called "That's Why They Write Love Songs", and the whole act was near the end supposedly.


Change of pace for the ballads act, Starry Nights. wearing a lovely blue satin bias-cut gown, Kylie sang "Flowers" and "I Believe In You" in ballad form. In Paris she did not perform "Flowers", doing "Into the Light" and "Cosmic" instead.

I Believe In You

An impressive video of a huge black and white ballroom, complete with velvet curtains and chandeliers appeared and the dancers took their places reminding me of the ball in Cinderella or Viennese waltzes. Kylie appeared in riding habit with long riding coat, singing "On A Night Like This", causing a thunderstorm of applause.

Black Versus White - On A Night Like This

We had the privilege to hear "Your Disco Needs You (not performed in Paris) right after that, which had everyone and his other self dancing madly. It felt like being in a huge open-air Greek island disco - so much fun.

Black Versus White - On A Night Like This

Kids is always an odd choice for me, since she never has a male back up singer to duet with her - the only time I really think this worked good live was when she did it with her sister Danni in Melbourne on her Showgirl homecoming tour. here she performed it with her two lovely back up singers.


Back to dancing mood, she did an old favourite, "Step Back In time", bringing the house down, then followed with "In My Arms" - her current single, with its video clip being projected as a backdrop. By this time we were dancing like crazy.

Step Back In Time

She seemingly finished the concert here - but there were encores to come of course. In Paris, she finished with "Love At First Sight", but here this was performed as a second encore - the first being "No More Rain".

The encores begin...

Having changed into an embroidered silver and nude bodysuit with black pants, she appeared more at ease in this part. She tried to thank us so many times but each time the applause had her lost for words.

No More Rain

The Paris second (and last) encore - after "No More Rain" - was an acoustic version of "All I See", a thing that was greeted with scepticism from the hardcore fans at the official forum at her website. Luckily for us, she chose another song to end this spectacular evening.

Love At First Sight

After telling us how much she loved being in Greece and her first time here, she mentioned an old song that, "as much as I hate to admit" she said, most of the people at the front row probably were not born when it was a hit - and she started singing "I Should Be So Lucky". Cringe-worthy yes, but it really is still a crowd pleaser, even after all these years. I do not thing there was anybody standing still at this one.

I Should Be So Lucky

Then an eruption of golden ribbons and confetti marked the end of the concert. It was over. We stood there for a while, with stupid, satiated smiles on our faces, absorbing the moment. And then it was time to leave, taking the road back to the parking lot first. Which, upon arrival, presented us with this spectacle, perhaps rivalling the stage lights:

So, overall, a stunning performance, a great concert, an amazing experience. Even though she did not sing my all time favourite songs of hers (Confide In Me, What Do I Have To Do, Red Blooded Woman, Butterfly, Fragile and the amazing The One), and we did not get to see the full closed venue version of the show, I did not really mind at the end. I had a great time and that is what matters. Till next time princess.

See better quality pictures of this concert at The Wrong Guy and Thannos1980.
Photos from Paris on her official tour page. Video clips are all over Youtube.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guest Mix at Rodon FM!!!

Getting an invitation from Stereonova to do a guest mix radio show at Rodon FM was a very welcome surprise! After some thought (not much really) I said yes and made the playlist for the two hour show. Here it is:

1st hour: Funplex-ed

1. The B-52s - Funplex (4:07)
2. The Bird and the Bee - La La La (3:18)
3. Jack Peñate - Torn On The Platform (3:53)
4. The Frank Popp Ensemble - goo goo muck (3:00)
5. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights (3:45)
6. Duffy - Mercy (3:40)
7. Richard Hawley - Tonight The Streets Are Ours (3:40)
8. Minipop - Like I Do (3:35)
9. Scouting For Girls - James Bond (3:14)
10. Klaxons - Golden Skans (2:45)
11. MGMT - Kids (5:02)
12. Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma (3:15)
13. Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You (3:31)

2nd hour : Perplex-ed

14. Feist - 1234 (3:03)
15. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Over And Over Again (Lost And Found) (3:09)
16. Candie Payne - I Wish I Could Have Loved You More (3:32)
17. Jens Lekman - And I Remember Every Kiss (2:59)
18. Camille - Paris (3:46)
19. Trouble Over Tokyo - 4,228 (4:20)
20. Mono in VCF - Escape City Scrapers (4:09)
21. My Brightest Diamond - Dragonfly (Murcof) (5:56)
22. Konstantinos Vita - Two (3:46)
23. Info - Periplaneta (4:40)
24. k.d. lang - Love Affair (4:41)
25. Yello & Billy MacKenzie - The Rhythm Divine (5:48)
26. This Mortal Coil - Another Day (2:54)

Check the post here for more details. You can listen to the show online at Rodon FM a little bit after 19:00. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, May 19, 2008


After getting an invitation from my friend Dustroad, I submit hereby the proof of me taking part in this game (hilarious!). Sorry if most of the photos are blurry, we could not stop laughing! Do try this at home, it's guaranteed to make you erupt into fits of incessant giggling and feel like a child again! Recommended!