Saturday, 24 August 2013

No Reduction's pandora box finally open

Nano performing in the band "No Reduction"
Few days ago, something really good happened and I would like to share my happiness with you all but first of all I would like to write a bit about how everything started back in the 90's so it will make more sense for the reader. :)
Back in 1999, my friend Bruno and I decided to form a metal band 'cause we were quite excited after we got our guitars and we wanted to play some tunes together.
Bruno had his blue Washburn stratocaster guitar and I bought a Cort which has a slightly modified stratocaster design made of a good maple but with not so good hambucker pickup, unfortunately.
The first jam sessions we used to make at Bruno's home or at mine's. We were too few to go to a studio room by then, so we started going to studios only when we got our drummer Rafael, so we could have proper amplifiers, microphones and effects.
It was hard for us to find a bassist but we managed to get Vitor to fill the role. He is a good one, but he didn't have a bass guitar as well as Rafael didn't have the drums, so we had a quite difficult beginning when we had to borrow drum kits and a bass guitar to carry on with our jam sessions.
We enjoyed several weekends having fun playing cover songs in the studio, mainly songs from the Metallica's cover album "Garage Inc." such as: "Whiskey in the jar" (originally recorded by "Thin Lizzy"), "Die die my darling" and "Last caress" (both originally recorded by "The Misfits"), Blitzkrieg (Originally recorded by the band with the same name). But our favourite song was actually a true Metallica song, entitled "Fade to black" released by them in 1984.
We still didn't have a vocalist, but we could count on Leandro for lead vocals in some of our rehearsals (he did pretty good) before we got Thiago as our main lead vocal. The band was finally set and we named the band "NO REDUCTION".

Bruno (blue guitar), Vitor (bass), Rafael (Drums), Thiago (Vocals)

We started then looking for an opportunity to play in some student's music festival or event and we heard about the event named "Maquina do som" (Sound machine - translated from Portuguese). The date was August 16th of the year 2000, over 13 years ago!!
My brother was filming it with the best video camera we could get back in 2000 and it was the only piece of memory we had from that unique moment in our lives - It was our first live performance! 
The time slot given to our band to play was very small since there were several other presentations that day, not only of bands but also dance groups and solo singers. We could choose to play a medley of 2 small songs or 1 big song. We decided to perform Metallica's 7-minute song: "Fade to black".

Backstage photo of us with other random musicians

Everything was taped by my brother and we had it converted to digital format to keep some backup of it in the computer but the backup DVD we recorded was data-corrupted and the video couldn't be retrieved from the DVD anymore and we had the original tape erased. That was our doom.
I tried few recovering tools back then but I never succeeded. I kept the disc anyway with the hope that one day I could recover its data.
That 'one day' has come and the "pandora box" is now open! Thanks to the Linux application named dd_rescue, I managed to bring the footage back to life and I'm so glad to share it in here. 
We were no professionals, just a high-school band. I was a mere 17-year-old boy trying to perform one of Kirk Hammett's most beautiful guitar solos live and I hope I didn't disappoint him too much. The theatre was crowded and everyone felt the thrill of performing in front of a live audience! :P
If I could vote for the best player in that performance I would vote for Rafael, who nicely played the drum part for this classic song.

So here it is, our rare footage of our very first live performance: 

My advice for all of you intending to assemble a rock band is the following: Keep in mind that it's a looong way up if you wanna rock'n'roll! As I wrote in this post we had very tough time in the beginning with lack of proper equipment and difficulty on finding musicians. So, just don't give up too easily. The experience may be awesome!

I found a quick guide for you: How to form a rock band

Good luck and thanks for reading. :)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Český Krumlov

Before you ask: It's in Czech Republic!

This is a small medieval town in the south of Czech, close to the Austrian border. I got to know of this town when I watched Eli Roth's horror film 'Hostel' released in 2005. Most of the outdoor scenes were recorded in there and the torture museum shown in the film is still there.
By the way, don't watch this film if you don't have stomach for strong and explicit torture scenes. I have.

Apart from the castle which is the main attraction of the town, there is also the Vltava river cutting this town and it is possible to rent a inflatable boat for a nice ride even to a neighbour town and return the boat in there. Nice experience that I couldn't try since I went there IN MY NEW CAR. ;)

Only 29km from Český Krumlov, in the town of Česke Budejovice, it is worth visiting the brewery 'Budweiser' which is not the American Budweiser that you may think of. It's the Czech one! The brewery tour takes 1 hour and you can taste some non-pasteurized version of the beer (which is not sold in the market). The tour is not expensive, but I don't remember how much it costed.

The European Union patent regulations give the local brewery in Česke Budejovice the right to use this name since it is physically located in the city carrying its name (Česke Budejovice in German is Budweis). Now you know. :)

But that's nothing! In Český Krumlov, there is a local brewery called Eggenberg which is even better! I tried dark beer with smoked taste and with considerable amount of hop in it. For me, it was the chest of treasures located in the very end of the rainbow. If you ever see such bottle like this below, just buy it a lot:

The weather was nice, so few photos here (click to enlarge):

Better than Czech Republic probably only Slovakia. ;)

Monday, 19 August 2013

My Audi

My car! It took some time but it came, eventually. The present which I decided to give myself as compensation for years of 'suffering' driving low-powered cars in Brazil!
Can you imagine yourself driving a 55-hp car? That's crap! I always dreamed about a Fiat Marea Turbo which had a 2.0 L5 turbo engine but it was out of my financial range back in the early 2000's and this car is no longer produced.

Things have changed! I'm no longer a young boy trying to borrow dad's car for a joyride and now is the time to take my life back! I've gotta have my voice be heard and bring meaning to this life. It's time for an Audi!
It's time to feel and enjoy the thrill of driving a 2.0L turbo-engined car with dual-clutch gear box, BOSE sound system, leather seats and AUDI Magnetic Ride system.

This photo depicts my car, a second-generation (Mk2) Audi TT with 17 inches alloys, 225/50 tyres. 0-100 km/h in 6.1s according to its original specs for this gear-box (because it switches gears in 0.2 seconds - See the video).

I've travelled with this car to Czech Republic (where highways are speed-limited to 130 km/h) and at a certain point I had to overtake three trucks at the same time, so I stepped down (all the way down) the gas pedal and the auto gearbox understood very well my intentions 'cause it reduced its gear instantly from 6 to 4 and overtook all three of them very 'healthfully' and then I noticed my navigation system warning me to slow down since I was riding 180 km/h (without even noticing it).

Definitely, my next car trip will be to Germany. Leipzig perhaps. :)
I'll keep you posted! Bye!

One more photo: