Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Violeta Violeta (volume 1) - a modern tragedy

The album is dead, they say.
The concept album is dead and long burried, they say.
A good pop song need to follow the usual ABC, they say.
Whoever they are, they are wrong. Because halleluja for Kaizers Orchestra and their new album 'Violeta Violeta vol. 1', which is part one of a trilogy telling the story of little girl Violeta who's mother Beatrice is a first class psycho who makes her husband run away with his daughter and hide in the world for Beatrice who as a result of losing her husband and daughter not only goes even more insane but cries 7 buckets of tears, pours gasoline over herself wearing her wedding dress, smokes a cigarette, lights herself on fire, saves herself with her tears and then vows only one thing: revenge. This in Norwegian, Stavanger dialect, playing a style of music with influences ranging from rock, pop, gypsy, ompa, psychodelia, using organs (the instrument!), oil barrels, guitars, standing bass, a string orchestra, and that's doing them way too short.

In case you never heard of Kaizers Orchestra, this Norwegian 6-piece rock the airwaves since 2001. Their first three albums where oil barrel goodies telling a maffia story about a country that doesn't excist suffering from a war that doesn't excists. Corruption, battles, betrayel, sing and dance, depression, mental illnesses, that's roughly what it's all bout. Their very loyal fanbase growing ever since, also outside Norway where most may not understand a single thing from their absurd but fascinating stories (I speak Swedish which makes it a tad easier to understand) but sing along anyway. Kaizers Orchestra live is pure energy. If they'd recite the phone book of the town Bergen in the same way they're playing their songs it would be the same energy. They even manage to make ME dance. After releasing a live album, a sort of compilation album of lost goodies they did lose a bit of following which only means more room to dance. They rock, they ompa, they fascinate, they make you happy. That's Kaizers Orchestra. If you don't feel these things you're most likely to not particularly like them much.

Volume one of the Violeta Violeta trilogy comes in 10 songs which belong together, tell you a story, sketch the atmosphere but the songs are perfectly capable of standing on their own two feet (or organ, oilbarrel, ...). Opener 'Philemon Arthur & The Dung' takes you not only away in a strange but catchy rhythm, it also invites you for a coffee (honestly). There's no turning back from their. 'Violeta Violeta vol. 1' is catchy to the bone, invites to dances which make your body bent in unnatural ways, contains wonderful ballads (single 'Hjerteknusser'), even a pure pop song 'Tumor I Ditt Hjerte' which is more brilliant than radio friendly. 'Diamant Til Kull' doesn't follow any sensible rhythm or chords and makes it brilliant that way. For the old school Kaizer fans there's 'Psycho Under Min Hatt', which is already a live favourite before being played live.

Isn't there anything that is a little disappointing? Well yes, it's 'En For Orgelet, En For Meg'. In essential it's a great song honouring the organ (orgelet). The downside is that there's a tiny rap in there. If you manage to get the Norwegian version of the song you're lucky, a Norwegian lady raps for about ten seconds which is okay. The guys in Kaizers Orchestra though thought it would be a nice way to thank their most loyal foreign fanbase with a rap in their language. Which means, there's a German rap for the Germany, a Dutch rap for the Netherlands. I'm not sure if this song is supposed to go on the actual CD or is download only because despite buying the album in the Netherlands in a store on disc, I got a Norwegian rap which I'm only thankful for. Nice novelty, thanks but no thanks.

Bak ett hallelujah for Kaizers Orchestra because they have something beautiful in their hands right now and this is only the beginning. Bring it on, this is good stuff. If you're up for it, that is.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

People, get a (vintage) grip!

"Oh my god, will you look at that? He had tapes, I mean, TAPES, when he was a little kid." I know it's cool to be a vintage whore (is it? I'm not really up to date to things cool, and hip for that matter) and to listen to TAPES is oh so marvelously vintage and damn, don't we all love a good old mixtape.

I love tapes too, I do. I got a few left from when I was a kid/teenager and bought some on a record fair a few years back. All in the name of nostalgia. I would love nothing more than make genuine mixtapes and send them out to people. Problem is, who still has a cassette deck?

My sole and only point writing this is: look, if a thirty-something tells you they found their old collection and you scream out "OH MY GOD, TAPES!", it just makes me think 'how much of a retard are you?'. It's all vintage and cool now, but back in the days, it was all we had because LPs were expensive to buy with our pocket money. Every person over thirty owned tapes. We're sorry for being cool by the faith of time.

Video: The Thermals - Never listen to me

The Thermals have released their new video for the song 'Never listen to me' from their latest album 'Personal Life'. The video is shot using Kodak's Kodachrome film which no longer will be produced nor developed. It gives this video indeed a nice vintage touch fitting to the laid back sound of the track. It's really lovely so if you don't like the Thermals have a look anyway. Vintage dancing including, which is cool. Also, barefoot drumming which is not so cool. Move your mouse over the nice still to play the video.

The Thermals are currently touring in the USA and will head soon to Europe. Go see them live, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Revolution is of all times and ages and there's a new one coming

If I had been granted unlimited internet access, lived in Olympia or in a sleepy UK town and a little bit older and had the right friends (absolutely nothing wrong with the friends I had, they lacked the exact same things I lacked), I probably was a riot grrrl in the early nineties loving all the riot grrrl bands playing it right at that time. I probably wouldn't have been able to see them play, I'm not even sure how I would even know about them, being a teenage girl in Rotterdam, the Netherlands who's friends were into Metallica and Dream Theatre and (later on) Nirvana. I would have had to rely on mixtapes from America. I had none. But without all that I think, looking back, I might have been one all along and ever since. Because, it's not a music genre, it's a social subculture. This is pretty much what it was and what it still is. It's not death, it never was. A movement can be small and pushed back by male dominance and the media (which could be regarded the same thing).

I've always loved music more than the average person (except a few years after Doe Maar broke up, I must have been that upset that I shut down from music altogether and when I saw a poster of ballet shoes in the room of a friend I thought 'So, this must be this Spandau Ballet everyone is all about.' No shit.), listening to the lyrics of one of the Doe Maar albums I seriously questioned why my mother would let a 6-year-old listen to that, it's Dutch so I understood every word, I just didn't know what they meant. But I'm grateful today and my mother told me she let me have the albums as she found them educational for me. I enjoyed playing DJ in my room, made re-mixes of my favourite songs with my records and a tape recorded, made hit lists, made my own music magazine, wrote my own reviews, even about albums that didn't exist. My music evolution knows some questionable choices but you got to know your enemy before forming an opinion right (coughs)? And one Easter break I sat with my sister in a caravan and we talked about forming a band together. I wrote down some lyrics and we both were content with them. The idea of forming a band together returned a couple of times in our lives. I own a guitar, an electric guitar, a ukulele (a green one and it's the coolest you'll ever see). I've played drums on a friend's kit back in high school to which he informed me I was the best player of everyone there (I at least knew how to hold the sticks). I wanted to be a harmonica player and owned a few cheap ones (much to the stress of my parents). My aunt actually gave me her guitar when I was about 14. I've always been aware of the politics of our country, I've always questioned the role of women in this world, I'm a socialist ever since I was able to vote (and probably before as well), every job test I made in school said I should be a social worker (not regarding I'm really socially awkward and don't trust people that much. If you're my friend consider yourself lucky), I've been called a true punk throughout my life without seeing myself as one ('I don't have the looks!'), and if I do something on a regular basis it's kicking against society. In the comfort of my own home.

Why on earth did I never form that band you say? There's one very good reason and it's not even my voice (I auditioned for a band once and let's say my friends were not impressed though they never told me directly). I have the music ability of a penguin. Place a penguin at the carnival in Rio and it will dance as hopelessly I will. A penguin has just as much chance to play a decent chord on a guitar with its wings than I have with my hands. I often do not sing at concerts because I don't want to insult the band. Usually the only person who can hear me sing is myself and that's enough to put me off. I may have all the inspiration and intentions to be in the best punk band you've ever seen but, to use the wise words of Joost Belifante about violist in my own situation; I'm a trans-musician. A musician in the body of a total none-musician. It sucks doesn't it?

There are others things I could do. Yesterday when I saw the Socialist Party handing out their newspaper for the States Election this March I approached one of them and he happened to be the chairman of the division where I live. If they needed some helping hands. I have no idea if I'm able to do it, if I can get out of the comfort zone of sitting on my couch with my laptop and being utterly passive aggressive behind a screen, ranting about music, politics and social atrocities in a blog and on twitter. I feel a revolution happening. And who knows, I might dis my inner penguin and play protest songs for real. I'm not too old. No one is too old. As Ernst Jansz told me "It's entirely up to you".

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The beauty of aging

How to describe a band no one has heard of, I didn't even know what they sounded like until yesterday, playing a style I usually don't listen to and not that familiar with (except for knowing it exists). How to write a review when you don't know the titles (except for the 3 Nederpop classics they played plus one more). As far as the band regards, they are described as being 'the Dutch oldest hippie band' (founded 1967) and posting a fairly recent photo of them below, it could give you an idea. The audience? It's fair to say, 50+, men were either grey or bald, women grey or having good dye-jobs. Add three giggling young men dragged along with their parents and their friends (who turned out to be Massive Fans) and me. In a small theatre with the most comfortable chairs. Not knowing what to expect but knowing Joost Belifante is in the band, who most notable (for me) wrote and performed Doe Maar's classic song 'Nederwiet' (a 7 minute spoken word epos on how to grow your own weed) and two other Doe Maar legends being Jan Hendricks and Ernst Jansz who is my hero in many ways. I couldn't describe them and I still can't.

So this is not about the band. Being the youngest person there for the band felt weird but I soon realised the people were incredibly nice. And really excited about the show. The anticipation was high. And the responds massive. After every song there's be clapping, not just polite but filled and fueled with appreciation. Every note was appreciated, and people waited until the last note echoed away only ti burst out in a wave of appreciation. 'Beautiful, this is wonderful' I heard so often around me. Feet stomped on the floor to the rhythm (I'll try to explain the sound, think Seasick Steve as a band). And these men, all well in their 60s, had so much joy playing the songs. They talked about them with passion. They told anecdotes, they made jokes about Amsterdam parking (Belifante was being fined for unloading his vehicle in front of the venue). It was that joy they desplayed that also came across in their playing that made it wonderful, so incredibly enjoyable. They loved it, everyone in the theatre loved it. Everyone was loving it and it felt great. And again, the appreciation, it's something you don't get that often, it's not that when I'm in a crowd at a gig I feel the appreciation from the crowd. They're loving it, sure, but don't we take the band not for granted? We expect them to play for us but where's the appreciation? It's not in record sales, downloads, t-shirt sales. It's a feeling and you can express that. It's not often I felt it before and I'm not playing holy saint that I'm always full of appreciation, I'm having a good time and loving it, love it when they play that one track I love so much. Of course there is some form of appreciation. It's hard to describe, it was just different last night.

Maybe it's because when you're older you start to appreciate things more. If that's the way to go I'm signing up. Well, I have. Officially. I told Jansz that they are truly inspiring and he said that it's all up to you whether you keep on loving music that passionately. What I'm saying is, never stop loving music. Appreciate it. Keep on going to gigs even when you think you are too old. Or too young. You love it, keep on doing it. If there was anything learnt last night, even though I already knew it, it's that. And I will. Janet Weiss said in an interview that she could see herself playing covers in a band at the age of 70 and that it wasn't a bad faith. Not at all. She's right you know.

Please note I completelty left out the surprise guest musician. Who was, I may add, golden.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Here are the boys from the Opel Gang!

rude t-shirtsThe first time I got consciously in touch with punk music was in a rather delicate time in my life. In the summer while my parents were going through their divorce I was sent to my grandparents in a little village in Germany. My uncle had just bought a double album by German altpunkers Die Toten Hosen and while I was going through his rather cool record collection I found it and practically claimed it as well. I'm not sure what went through my mind when I heard them for the first time but reality was that I went home with a couple of cassettes of Die Toten Hosen - and my uncle's CD. A young teenager with parents going through a divorce getting her hands on a punk record. It might be every parents' nightmare. For me it was an eye-opener, especially when they released 'Learning English, lesson one' only one year later which included only covers by their favourite punk bands, mainly with their favourite punk bands. Of course I already learnt about the Sex Pistols and the Ramones but there was so much more! It was like they sent out a mixtape with punk favourites. No such thing as youtube, wikipedia, google, spotify, lastfm and internet my friends, we kids had to learn about music in other ways.

times were good thenI spent the majority of the nineties listening to Die Toten Hosen. I also got to learn about another german punk band, Die Ärzte, who I've seen live a few times, met even (really nice guys, very laid back) but who I quickly fell out of love with because they started to somewhat annoy me by flirting with commercialism. With then releasing an album about a barber shop they lost me completely. I'm not sure why I stopped listening to Die Toten Hosen after a while as well because they didn't quite do that, even though they were fairly decent cover stars of German pop-bible Bravo. But I guess I got other interests and with me not being in Germany so frequently, that was a connection that somehow cooled down a lot as well.

I never stopped liking Die Toten Hosen and to be honest, these guys are still cool after all these years. They released their fun punk album 'Opel Gang' in 1983 (my cassette looks like it was purchased right then but I bought it 7 years later) and as the years went by they got more political but never lost their fun side either. Opium für's VolkFor instance, on their 1996 album 'Opium für's Volk' (my favourite album and the last one I was massively into) they had 'Viva la revolution' followed by 'Zehn kleine Jägermeister' which lists down what happens if you drown 10 Jägermeister, or something like that anyway. It's quite genius and they get away with it as it's their nature. They sing mainly in German as you might have guessed but started to sing more in English which personally I don't like that much. It's not that Campino's (the singer) English is bad, his mother after all is British, but his voice is very German in my ears. They're not only being political in songs, but also in campaigns such as posing naked for an anti-fur campaign. And they are big football fans and with their cash they have sponsored their favourite team Fortuna Düsseldorf which indeed resulted the players wearing a skull on their shirts.

I'll leave you with this classic clip from 1993 (hence the bad quality) of 'Wünsch Dir was' before diving into my archives and getting a Tote Hosen fix.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

So, you think rock is dead.

Oh no! Rock is dead! Rock doesn't chart anymore! Rock does not sell anymore! Panic is spreading over the internet faster than the Mexican Flu. At first I read with a slight feeling that vaguely resembles interest but over the past days this has changed into, if I take the time to read the panic bulletins, something that resembles annoyance. So, rock is dead you say? I'm not even going to investigate whether this is true or not. Does it even matter whether rock is dead or not? Does it really?

Rock is predicted dead since the 1950's. Music doesn't need to chart to be alive. Does Jazz chart (Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua do not count)? North Sea Jazz pulls thousands and thousands of people to an arena every year. So, is it dead? Of course not. The fast-media-generation who is the most interesting for commercial purposes might not care, but there's a lot of (different) people outside that group.

As long as there is one band who makes music I thoughoutly and shamelessly enjoy, as long as I can listen to that band, to their music, enjoy their sounds, it's not dead. It's very much alive, maybe just for that band and me, but it's alive. The band is alive. I am alive. Rock is alive. So think again when you read ROCK IS DEAD over a lengthly article. If you still like it and enjoy it, it's not dead.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A vintage feeling

Thanks to the internet we often have already heard the albums we've bought. It's not a bad thing, you at least know that what you bought is good, but the magic of cycling home with an LP, hoping that it will stay unscratched until you're home is a little lost. Also, the CD has taken care of that issue already.

The unthinkable happened yesterday. I found two LPs, that's these big, heavy, black round vinyl things with grooves in them, of Quasi. The turn up of about 50 people last May when they played in Amsterdam massively surprised me, who in the Netherlands does know about the band Quasi? I'm one of those 50 and how do I know them you may ask? The internet of course so I'm not dissing the internet by one bit. Only the nostalgia is a bit lost. But there, two albums! As if a light shown down from the heavens on these albums and angels were singing hallelujah. I do not have a poker face so the salesperson behind the counter knew very well he made one person very happy that day.

There was something extra special about these albums, dating from 1999 and 2001. One was completely unknown to me. I knew they released that album but I had never heard it. So today, it was like 1987 again. I took the vinyl out of the sleeve, placed it carefully on the record player and softly put the needle into the grooves. And while cutting my photos into a nice square (talking about vintage activities) I heard 'The sword of god' for the very first time. On an actual music carrier. Just like the music gods have always meant it to be.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The king is dead! No, really.

The albums of 2011. I was quite happy to hear the Decemberists not just releasing a new album but also playing live in Amsterdam this year. Double score. I picked up 'Picaresque' in 2005 when it came out by pure curiosity as it was displayed at the 'new arrivals' table at my favourite record store in Rotterdam, Sounds, which sadly no longer exists. I made many great music discoveries there, it's the place that made me a big fan of Kaizers Orchestra. It was a sound I didn't listen to much at the time, but I loved that album and took it home upon first listen in the shop. Fast forward, a few albums later, maybe it was time to finally go see them too? The first song from the album 'Down by the water' was tremendously promising. That's how I love my Decemberists! Impatient as I am, I listened into the album already, 'The king is death' which is out next week. Bummer is, apart from 'Down by the water', of what I heard so far of the album, it's all pretty much country. With me you can swing in various music directions (honest), hip hop is not one of them - and nor is country. Which in the end made me relieved I hadn't bought a ticket for their show yet. I might go after all, but if I have to judge on 'The king is dead' I probably won't.

here's a clue of course
Which is the first album I was looking forward to this year being a little bit of a disappointment. Shame. Here's good hoping for Kaizers Orchestra ('Violeta Violeta' out january 31) and The Boxer Rebellion ('The cold still' one week later).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why the young downloads and the old cherishes vinyl

best of both worldsCurrently the talk about the death of physical album releases has become more prominent again, triggered by the announcement by HMV that they'll be closing 60 of their stores in the UK. That's a massive amount of stores and yes indeed, this may mean a lot of towns in the UK will lose their very last music store. This is a sad thing. A very sad thing. Are people really so ignorant to not care about owning the real deal anymore? I do admit to listen to most of my music on my walkman or on my laptop while spending my time online (this sounds so much sadder than it really is I suppose), my walkman is just convenient and my laptop, that's laziness for most part, I'm too lazy to go to my CD cabinet, pick out a CD, make that choice (torture) and change the CD when it's finished. I however cherish the album and when I don't feel like listening to random songs (like on the radio but then only songs you like), I listen to the album, be it on my walkman or on my laptop. Nothing beats the sound of the CD or LP but that's the price I'm paying for being a lazy bastard.

The world is at our fingertips, we slide through our mobile phones, play and share, it's all so easy and so fast. Do we even remember what we're listening to? Those who grew up with this technology, who know no better than to slip and slide through a screen only a few inches small, can you blame them? Why would you go to a store, buy some silver disc and then go home to rip it before being able to listen to it. It's too much hassle for today's younger generation and the older, well, why bother right?

It's not really surprising that in this age where album sales drop dramatically the demand for cassettes and vinyl grows every day. Those who don't want to conform to modern times yearn back to the good old times, before Napster (or, maybe not quite before Napster because before Lars Ulrich heard about Napster, it was like being a kid in a candy store) and what's older than the MP3, what's older than the CD? Exactly, vinyl and tapes. It even sounds old and genuine. We can hold it, gaze at the artwork, read the booklet. Back to the times where we actually went into the store, bought an album and hurried home to put the needle on it or press play and read the thank you notes in the booklet. It was one of the first things I always read, the thank you notes. I actually still do that and I'm really disappointed when it just says 'family and friends'. I want names! Even though I wouldn't know who these people are and how they relate to the artist, the thank you notes... you don't get that with an MP3!

Record stores aren't allowed to die, not in the streets and not online. Music is important. Music is something you want to be happy about. Did you know you don't even own the MP3s we download? We buy the right to listen to the MP3, but we do not own them. It's just a file. A CD, LP, a cassette, that's something you own. You can touch it, feel it, read it, and unlike an MP3 album, you can give away a CD as a present. Seriously, think about that and then try to put a ribbon on a MP3. You can't. I got a CD gift check for my birthday last month, I'm going to own myself some music this Saturday. But in the end, the only person who really owns their music is the artist him or herself and that's the way it should be.

While writing this I listened on my laptop to 2010's most amazing album 'American Gong' and 2008's masterpiece 'Real Emotional Trash'. Ripped from the actual CD, naturally.

It's the apocalypse! Do you remember? Hello?

Birds fall dead from the sky! Fish die in lakes! Chemical plants go up in flames! The apocalypse is there!

Of course the fire yesterday in the South West (Moerdijk to be precise, an industrial small town between Rotterdam and Breda) that kept the Netherlands quite worried doesn't relate to the mysterious deaths of the birds and the fish in America and Sweden, though if this would occur in the Netherlands these coming days, we at least do have an explaination for it. Because as much the authorities tell us no toxic gasses have been released during yesterday's massive fire at a huge chemical plant, the entire chemical plants has burned down and tanks have been exploded live on television, this material is somewhere, being a hazard to our health or not, they are somewhere in the sky. I'm not one quickly to shout catastrophy and will not do this now, but saying nothing has escaped? Does that mean all the chemicals are left on the ground where once was a chemical plant?

looks familiar?Of course this was wonderful TV. A reporter a few meters away from the fire, reporting with explosions clearly visable in the back (Hollywood must have been so jealous of that footage), saying he's allowed to stand there, the wind blows into the other directions, he does have a dry mouth and his tongue tingles, but all is safe and sound. Kaboom! As you can see, explosions still occur, people are ordered to keep their doors and windows shut. Another reporter reports from an empty street that people do keep inside. The weather reporters explain how the wind works in layers, tell us the rain which was predicted will take whatever is blown into the air down and shows us where the wind will take the remainings of the fire. Amsterdam is safe. However, a friend of this weather reporter has told him he could smell something funny all the way in Schiphol! Sidenote, Schiphol is the airport close to Amsterdam and is an AIRPORT. Kerosine anyone? Still, the whole inferno, as one newspaper called it this morning, made an impression on me. It also launched a lot of jokes, some of which I won't repeat in an open blog. And that were just my jokes!

It also raised one question. Do we remember this apocalypse in a month time? Will it make it to the year-end lists and stand-up shows? As much as we get off on all these reports of catastrophies, we forget about them just as quickly. Ask anyone over 30 and they can tell you all about Tsjernobyl. But try the same thing in 25 years with Moerdijk (where I strongly need to add that Tsjernobyl was a lot worse than what happened in Moerdijk). We have all the media feeding us with news, information and pictures, which we had a lot less of 25 years ago, but the more we know and see, the less impact it makes and how easily we forget. There's something really bitter about that and it isn't falling from the sky right now.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011, will you do me good?

Hello 2011, how do you do? So far, my first day at work has been a bit of a drag. I'm a down right moody bitch and it's annoying myself even. There's something about a new year, like you should start it jolly and fresh and enthusiastic like 2010 did not happen. I guess that just rubs me the wrong way. There are however a few things to look forward to in 2011 and here's three of them.

Kaizers Orchestra
The Norwegian band has completed recording their Violeta Violeta trilogy and will unleash it to the world these two years, its first release is scheduled for this month and in March they'll be playing in Amsterdam which show I will obviously attend, if only it was to meet up with one of my best friends who I met two years ago at the same venue for the same band. As with the first Kaizers Orchestra albums, these albums tell a story. It's a trilogy after all. It tells the story of a family with a small child. The mother gets seriously insane and the father takes the child and runs away, hiding in the world. The mother obviously goes more insane, doesn't leave her house for 7 years, crying buckets filled with tears. During one of her moments of pure insanity, she wears her wedding dress, goes crying through the house and pours gasoline over her dress. She catches fire and gets seriously burned. She survives and her sadness turns into anger and vows to hunt down the father and the child. Expect a grand finale. I can't wait!

back into that basement you two!Janet Weiss
With Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony and Rebecca Cole she has formed Wild Flag which will be recording an album and release it as well. If that isn't enough, it's known that the Jicks, as in Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks where she drums as well, have been messing about in some exciting basement in Portland (the one of Jick Joanna Bolme and husband and Crib Gary Jarman) and the band has already recorded and apparently Beck (yes, that Loser guy) is involved as well. Goody! Quasi is also touring in 2011 so Janet Weiss is very busy. Which means good for music. Let's hope she'll find her way to Europe once more.

I have a Fisheye 2. I have a Diana F+ Edelweiss. Hello??!! When I picked my pictures from the lab (department store HEMA) yesterday, there was one picture that made it all worth while. Do you know these pictures of highways, where you can only see the lights of the cars as a beautiful string of light? That's the kind of picture I made (with the Diana mini) and made me very excited about making more pictures. I want layers! Light effects! Long exposures! No more just snapping the pets (which is a fun thing to do), let's go mess up photos and take pictures of each other in silly settings and poses. 2011, I'll capture you good!