Forget the Whale - Leave the bottle

Please enjoy "Leave the Bottle" by the excellent Forget the Whale.

This is song gave me an instant stinging pain in the heart the first time I heard it. It evoked the feeling of driving klezmer flow and made me remember quite vividly my turbulent year in Jerusalem. Good times, whirlwind of experiences and emotions, and if I think about it, an important step in forming my identity.

And some stories, man, I got some stories. Crazy times, special people. A buddy of mine - who used to rent a tiny flat just down the street from Bibi Netanyahu with his equally insane roommates- brazenly pinching a bottle of Jack from Uganda bar and the following morning once again being entrusted with the keys to the great archives of Yad Vashem. Hours spent on the roof of the Austrian Hospice, overlooking the old city. The souk. The beginnings of Protective Edge. Shelled-out houses in the Golan Heights. Camping and hitchhiking between the national parks and having endless trust in other people. Good times.

I guess nothing quite captures the highs and lows you used to experience in your youth. But one can reminisce…

The whole album "You. Me. Talk. Now." is available from FreeMusicArchive "for free" under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA). Don't forget to pay for the music you like though! There is a small "tip the artist" button on the top right corner of the FreeMusicArchive page. I've pitched in $25 and you should too.

Listeners to "Forget the Whale" also enjoyed: 17 Hippies, especially "Der Zug um 7.40 Uhr" or "Die Frau von Ungefähr". You don't have to understand a word of German to be swept up in their music.


Tu vuò fà l’americano

Here's one of my favourite scenes from 1999’s "The Talented Mr. Ripley": Tom’s first peek into the good life as Dickie and his friends are having an absolute blast in a Naples nightclub1 and performing Tu Vuo' Fa l'Americano (alternative link).

I seriously wonder how the productions of Patricia Highsmith's novel inevitably ended up being so… glamoruous. There's nothing remarkable about Tom, apart from his insidious, innate drive to claw his way up the top of the bucket of rats. Neither is Highsmith's spiteful and contemptuous writing - yet I find myself quite pulled toward her Novels, be it the full Ripliad, "Strangers on a Train" or "Cry of the Owl", or dramatizations such as the excellent BBC ones or "Carol" (The Price of Salt).

The films, however, are a sight to behold. The Talended Mr. Ripley's cast is riveting. Quite the difference to view them as young as they were back then:

  • Jude Law, a charming young philanderer, as opposed to the creepy old philanderer he now seems to be,
  • Gwyneth Paltrow still interested in acting (and being great at it!) instead of hawking poison to the most gullible of affluent suckers,
  • Matt Damon still possessing enough edge to hide his immense charisma and charm behind the mask of Tom's shifty, untrustworthy, barely-hidden malevolence,
  • and Philip Seymour Hoffman, well, being alive.

So, please enjoy this blast from the past with Tu Vuo' Fa l'Americano as performed by Rosario Fiorello and the Guy Barker International Quintet. Or perhaps you'd enjoy the song as performed by the Gypsy Queens?
The meaning behind l'Americano fits with some of the story’s themes in a funny way, with Tom as narrator remarking that Americans immediately go for Italian suits, while in turn Italians have a penchant for English cuts.

The rest of the soundtrack is also swell, with Sinead O'Connor’s Lullaby for Cain eerily setting the mood, and composer Gabriel Yared building great soundscapes as well.

  1. Well, the supposed "Vesuvio" nightclub was apparently really in Rome 


Video: Sing Jan Swing - Kinetic Type

The flow of Benny Goodman's "Sing Sing Sing" visualized by moving letters. Neat.

Sing Jan Swing - Kinetic Type by designer Krystina Burton on vimeo


Music: Gerry Rafferty - As Wise as a Serpent

Calming, late-night highway music. Great for finding your inner peace in case you've lost track of it.

So we sit in empty rooms and dream our lives away
While the spirits come and go without a sound
Yeah just like you and me, they're tryin' to find a way, find a way, find a way home.

Official Video - Lyrics


Music: The Dead South - In Hell I'll Be In Good Company

I'm beginning to warm up to Bluegrass music. Damn shame the Banjo's so heavily associated with red-state hillbillies when in actuality it is a very demanding and soulful instrument. The lyrics are wandering into darker territory, a welcome change from Country banalities.

Official Video


Working with online tango databases 


There’s a plugin for MusicBrainz Picard that works with, which has previously been discussed. Support for tango releases on MusicBrainz is notoriously spotty, since its focus lies mainly on English-language music released by major record labels in the Anglosphere. Hence, relying on MB tag data is not a viable option for mass tagging.

‘El Tango - Pasion y Emoción’ is a good example. The listing makes a few critical mistakes, so another source is needed. Probably the most complete and accurate information is provided by

This script that takes any URL as input and spits out formatted text that can be pasted into puddletag or MP3Tag:

The pattern, which of course can be modified: %title%~%artist%~%album%~%genre%~%year%~%composer%~%lyricist%~%vocal%
Best to use only a single album at a time.

Before writing the plugin for Picard, I had been using a hacked-together snippet of code for scraping It is available here:

··•·· and MusicBrainz Picard

Since there wasn't a working one, I wrote a small plugin for picard that automatically fetches album and track information from

Just put it into your plugin directory, and if your tracks have barcode tags, it will do all the magic for you. It currently sets genre, date and vocal(singer/s) metadata, but it can be easily adapted for other fields.

The code is here, including usage instructions.

Update: The plugin has been merged into picard-plugins, which means you should be able to download it directly from the picard website. It should be included in the next release of picard, which will be version 1.4.0.



The Indepentent of all papers managed to publish a heartfelt obituary for the magnificent Juan Carlos Cáceres. You should read it, if only for this snippet:

Fleeing the military dictatorship, he travelled via Spain to Paris, arriving, by chance but to his delight, in May 1968.

Imagine Phil Davison sitting there, smirking and altogether being very content with himself for producing this one great sentence.

Onto the music; very refreshing to hear nuevo without the ubiquitous presence of the bandoneón, and the rhythms… not really Candombe; something very similar, simple and moving.

Two pieces for late-night listening: Toca Tango and the great Tango Negro


Guus Meeuwis - Is Dit Alles?

What could a man who has everything possibly want more?


The Tango Decoder on 'La Colegiala'

Such an upbeat tune, sure to put a smile on anyone's face.

Listen to it here. There is also this version which is played more often.