Thursday, January 26, 2006

Nohavica concert and download his music while you can

Last week we went to one of the eleven concerts Jaromir Nohavica is playing this month in Prague. Akropolis is small, Nohavica fans are enthusiastic, so we arrived fifteen minutes before the concert was slated to start. Outside the hall fans held signs up, asking for tickets; inside most people were already in their seats. We were relieved when we found places to sit down - two spindle chairs in the corner of the balcony - and as I padded mine with my coat I made a mental note: Nohavica concerts - get there early.

I knew only a few of the songs he sang, but the rest of the crowd seemed to recognize each one, and they sang along in perfect pitch, quietly but all together. The music never stayed the same - he sang ballads and louder rocking numbers, finger picking some songs, playing the accordion on others. There was even a blues rock piece where he and his guitar performed under lights choreographed to remind us of B.B. King and Lucille, rocking out for a concert, in Austin, Texas or Memphis Tennessee.

Jaromir Nohavica stands on the stage like it is his living room, and his audience are friends visiting for the evening, so calm he is and so composed. He played and he chatted - making jokes about the afflicted Pendolino fast trains, taking the crowd’s picture with his phone, telling everyone to go to his unofficial website and unofficially download some of the music from the tour. I didn’t understand most of what he said, and that was the only time that I felt the loneliness of not being Czech, wishing I could be part of the conversation that had everyone leaning towards the stage to catch every word he said. Luckily, it didn’t matter once the music started again.

I am at home tonight, listening to the songs we’ve downloaded from his site and transcribing them. My transcriptions are listening practice only, because you can find the Czech lyrics easily on the web. I'm currently cracking myself up with my ludicrous efforts though. Here's my favorite:

V letadla Praha Montreal
Pade jizlo a jak slzy do lavoru
Na nebišutsi stany jol
Stany jol, z cokolada za 35 korun

On the plane from Prague to Montreal
Dripping acid like tears into a volcano
Don’t bang on this tented yacht
Tented yacht, and it’s 35 crowns for the chocolate.

Something more like what he actually sings

V letadle Praha Montreal
Padají slova jako slzy do lavoru
Na nebi šustí staniol
Staniol z čokolády za 35 korun

On the plane from Prague to Montreal
Words fall like tears to the pit
Tin foil whispers in the sky
Tin foil from a 35 crown chocolate bar

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