The Red Top 5: The silliest magazines for women*

By The Red Witch on 8:07 PM

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Yesterday I first tried myself at macramé and I didn't have time for an Indie Friday entry. But to make up for that, I have something really special coming up for next week's Indie Friday!
Well today is the day I'm finally writing the first entry from The Red Top 5 column! In short, it's an improvised, unpretentious chart on various topics, reflecting only my personal opinion(So if you don't like it, just don't comment. Haters aren't welcome here.)

For the topic of my first Red Top 5 Chart I chose something which really annoys me. It's one of those tiny, eeky, annoying little bugs existing in the life of every woman coming from an advanced, civilized society.It's staring at you from the TV, from the newsstand, begging you to buy it(because then, and only then will you get a "unique" handbag as gift!).It's the archenemy of every woman's self-esteem. It's...a magazine for women.

Have you ever noticed the pictures of gorgeous women in men's magazines? Yes, well, it's kinda natural, isn't it... But the pictures of even more gorgeous women in women's magazines? Or the "shopping" columns? (Please, get over yourselves, sisters! "Shopping" is NOT an existing word in Bulgarian language! It's just plain stupid to use it instead of the Bulgarian word. No, it's not trendy, it's stupid.)

Several trees have been sacrificed for the making of about 40 glossy pages, whose content is roughly divided in : 50% ads, 20% gossip, 25% "shopping advice", 5% "articles" on fashion, dieting, broken heart...oh yes, and let's not forget the horoscope, and the various kinds of fortune telling: from coffee residue, tea leaves, tarot cards, chopsticks, runes(?!)...wow it seems like all these magazines have hired pro fortune tellers!

Well I think I made it pretty clear why I don't read women's magazines.

Without further ado, here is The Red Top 5 Of Silliest Magazines For Women:



#5 "Kosa i Krasota [In English: Hair And Beauty]"

This magazine is at the bottom of the chart because it occasionally publishes articles which are well written, and not about fashion, style, cosmetics etc. So it has deserved the prestigious #5 position.


#4 EVA

If you're lucky, except from the regular gossip, beauty and shopping columns you may find something worth reading (not a big chance for that though).


#3 ELLE

Defining itself as a magazine which focuses mainly on fashion and style, ELLE is completely incompetent and superficial about all other topics it writes about. In the new Bulgarian issue: Should we wear a bra or not?
Read at your own risk! :р



#2 "The Woman Today"

On the unfortunate second place in our little contest today is a magazine which is a total classic in the genre of Bulgarian women's magazines- "The Woman Today" [Bulgarian: "Jenata Dnes"]. "The oldest Bulgarian magazine", as it proudly proclaims itself to be, is, indeed really old. Too old to be interesting to any one any more. You can't expect anything else than the "regular" columns( health, beauty, shopping guide, gossip, etc).



#1 "Cosmopolitan"

The absolute winner of the first Red Top 5 Chart is the Bulgarian issue of the magazine, famous for being written for women who cannot think for themselves - Cosmopolitan.

Looking through the pages of its issues, one gets the feeling that this magazine is written for women who, apparently,
-can't dress well (don't worry, ladies, Cosmo shopping guide comes to the rescue!);
-can't do a blow-job;
-don't know what a blow-job is;
-don't know how to satisfy their partner(s) in bed;
-don't know how to find and keep a guy;
-don't know what to do when they get a stomachache;
-still can't get over their small breasts;
-like to look at pictures of pretty models(done with professional equipment,make-up and lightning and then edited and retouched in Photoshop) and feel sorry for themselves for not looking like them;
-are looking for a wallpaper of a half naked guy for their desktop;
-are looking for a place to spend over a 1000$ for a pair of tights and a belt(Cosmo helps best here!);
-are searching for yet another diet, that will weaken their body and make them hate it even more;
-have some time to kill while waiting in line at the beauty salon/the plastic surgeon's office.

Fortunately, I don't fit into any of the above mentioned categories:), but I am sincerely very sorry for all the lost female souls who spend their money to read this..crap.

But I don't want this entry to have a pessimistic ending, so here's what: for all of you ladies out there, here is a real, divinely talented woman (who doesn't look at all like a Cosmopolitan cover girl and that doesn't make her any less unique and amazing):



Meet PJ Harvey.




*The Red Witch

* This article deals entirely with women's magazines, published and circulating in Bulgaria.

To Vidin and back

By The Red Witch on 11:40 AM

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After the morning cup of tea(I am really more of a coffee person, but having a sore throat tea seems to be the better choice now...), the breakfast and several episodes of The Penguins Of Madagascar it is high time I wrote about the weekend we spent in Vidin.

We started out on Saturday morning. I won't go on describing the bad state of the roads, the road signs hidden amongst huge bushes, and how we missed the right turn several times because we couldn't see the sign... A lot has been said on the state of roads in Bulgaria, and a lot more will be said, until some people remember to get their job done...

We decided to visit the Magura cave, before we go to Vidin. We almost got lost on the way, because of a sign saying "Magura cave" but placed on the wrong turn. We got lucky we found someone to ask for directions.
Despite the cool weather and the rain there were at least two or three buses full of tourists and lots of people.

Having decided to visit the cave when we were already on the road, I had to walk inside the cave on high heels. It was wet, uneven and very slippery(doh, it's a cave!). But I'd like to say that though I was with high heels, I never once fell down ;р (which maybe is due to the fact that I was hanging onto either my brother, or his friend, Fori, almost throughout the entire way, for which I am very grateful.)
I won't talk much about the cave itself, because the pictures say enough. It is very beautiful inside.








After we got out of the cave, we got on something resembling a hybrid between a train, tractor and steam-roller which was supposed to take us back to the entrance of the cave.

Well, we survived the rain and the bad service and took off to Vidin, because we were really cold and hungry.

It was getting dark when we arrived so the first thing we had to do was to look for a place to stay for the night. Now I should mention the wonderful folks at Zora hotel, who gave us a great big apartment and top quality service at a really decent price. If you ever go to Vidin and don't have a place to stay, I highly recommend this hotel.

Vidin is a very beautiful town. Frankly, I was very nicely surprised, because I didn't expect to like it that much...





Here is my attempt at art photography ;-) (I think it turned out really nice) :



Here we are on the Danube river bank ;-)




You can't leave Vidin without having visited the famous Baba Vida fortress. And that is exactly what we did on Sunday, before leaving for Sofia:









After having had lunch at a great boat-restaurant,we left for Sofia. Actually we wanted to visit Belogradchik on the way back, but we had some car troubles and decided to do it some other time.
All in all, despite the bad weather and the horrible cough(that I still have), I had an awesome time!

I can't wait to travel again.

*The Red Witch

Indie Friday : JERIHON

By The Red Witch on 1:42 AM

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After a long, rainy, boring and tiresome day I can finally rest for a while and tell you about some really interesting stuff that has been going on with me these days...

First of all, I am really excited that for the very first time I am going to present a BULGARIAN BAND in this week's Indie Friday! ;-) They are called JERIHON and they are very cool.

But, let's see the news block first:

1. My newest jewelry creations now have pictures in FLICKR in the RedWitch Crafts Jewelry Spring/Summer 2009 photo album. Please stop by to look at them and comment;-)

2. This weekend I'm off to Belogradchik/Vidin/somewhere around this area with my brother and some friends. Bye bye, dirty big city;-) Of course, afterwards I will post lots of pictures as proof of how awesome it was:р I have already packed the few things that I plan to take with me and I really can't wait to go...will have to wait for tomorrow morning though.

3. MADE IN SWEDEN:)
If you have read some of my previous entries,then you are quite aware of my love for Scandinavia and all things Scandinavian( especially literature, cinema and design!), so this last piece of news won't come as a big surprise.
Several months ago, on Youtube I saw a wonderful Swedish short film, called 'Skeletons In The Closet', and presented by the famous FutureShorts. This short movie is a truly impressive piece, and I was very nicely surprised when I opened Youtube today, and saw that it was featured on the front page, along with other "frightful shorts" -



Go ahead and watch it! I assure you it'll worth all 10 minutes you will spend watching it;-)

And now, moving on to Indie Friday! :-)

On Tuesday night I attended a concert of a band named Jerihon in the new sleek Sofia Live Club, and now I can honestly say: "Bulgarian rock music is NOT dead!" In general I am extremely skeptical when it comes to new Bulgarian bands, and especially new Bulgarian rock bands,(well, they aren't that new, but they are new to me),and since I am a music snob, in the beginning of the show, my expectations for it weren't that high. But after the first 2 performances I was intrigued, and by the end of the show's first half, I was dancing and jumping like crazy, along with almost everyone else in the club. We heard remarkably good covers of songs by KISS, Cream, Guns N Roses, The Rembrandts, Pink Floyd, but the more interesting thing was that for the first time the band presented their own song material, and not bad material at all! They managed to make a great show, and their new debut album is coming out in Bulgaria this fall! Finally, some fresh blood on the Bulgarian rock music scene!

Here is a little info about the band:

Name: JERIHON
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Genre: hard rock, alternative
Members: Martina Baldzieva(violine, vocals), Stoyan Bozov (guitar, vocals), Boris Samarinov(bass guitar, vocals) and Mihail Russev(drums, vocals)
Where can you find them on the WWW: they have an official page, and also a profile in Facebook.

The Story [in short]

In this entry, unlike in previous Indie Friday entries, the story will indeed, be in short ;)
In short, all four members have participated in different projects before forming JERIHON, but together they have the ability to play in a very avant-guarde and passionate way the music which inspires them- 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s rock music.
Jerihon are hardly a year old but have already played in numerous clubs across the country and are well-known on the underground scene. But now we wait for them to com out of the shadows and present us a NEW, FRESH, AWESOME BULGARIAN ROCK ALBUM!

THE MUSIC






Sweet Child O' Mine (Guns N Roses cover, @Sofia Live Club)



Whiskey In The Jar (Metallica cover, @Sofia Live Club)

These videos document Jerihon's concert at Sofia Live Club on 09.07.2009. I sincerely apologize for their poor video quality, but this was really all I could find on the WWW. There is more audio and video on their official web page ;-)

Well, this is it.I'm going to bed to get some sleep before the big road trip tomorrow! :-)
And to all of you out there-have a great weekend, no matter where you are!
And don't forget to give JERIHON a listen ;-)

*The Red Witch

Indie Friday :FRANZ FERDINAND

By The Red Witch on 7:33 PM

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It has been too long since I last wrote an entry for Indie Friday, so today I decided I should make up for that. It has been raining in Sofia for the past month, and to bring some sunshine in, this Friday I decided I needed a HUGE dose of indie rock...with Franz Ferdinand!

Name: Franz Ferdinand
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Genre: indie rock, alternative,post-punk revival
Band members:Alex Kapranos (vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), Nick McCarthy(rhythm guitar, keyboard, backing vocals) and Paul Thompshon (percussions, drums, backing vocals)
Where can you find them on the WWW: Their official website is http://www.franzferdinand.co.uk/, they also have profiles in Myspace and Last.fm
Sounds like: fresh, energizing indie rock:-)


The Name

The name of the band originally came from a racehorse, called Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which the boys saw at a race in 2001. They admit they mainly liked the sound of it, the alliteration, although they also admit their interest in the figure of the Austrian Archduke. The single Take Me Out from their debut album contains a B-side, entitled 'All For You Sophia'. The song is related to the story of the murder of the Archduke and his wife, who's name actually was Sophie, not Sophia(the boys chose to replace it with "Sophia", to give the song a better ring)

The Story [In short]

All band members play in different bands during the nineties (The Karelia, Yummy Fur, 10p Invaders, Embryo). Alex Kapranos and Paul Thompson both played in Yummi Fur and subsequently teamed up to write songs. Around the same time Kapranos started teaching his friend Bob Hardy how to play the bass guitar. Later on Kapranos met Nick McCarthy.

In May 2003 Franz Ferdinand signed a contract with independent record label Domino Records and released an ЕР, entitled Darts Of Pleasure, which entered under #43 in the UK charts.
Soon afterwards, the boys head to Malmo, Sweden, to record their first album. They work with Tore Johansson, producer of The Cardigans. Their self-titled album Franz Ferdinand, comes out in the early 2004 and tops #3 in the UK Album Chart; it receives excellent reviews by the critics, who compare the band to bands like Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Roxy Music etc. The album receives the Mercury Prize.
During the most part of 2005 the boys are in the studio, recording their second album You Could Have It So Much Better, in which they try to broaden the musical range they play. The album is released in October 2005. It receives mixed, but rather favorable reviews, and enters #1 in the UK and #8 in the US.

Franz Ferdinand's third album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
is recorded in Glasgow. The album was officially out on January 27th this year even though the work on it began as early as the summer of 2007. For it Alex Kapranos says "it's a bit more assured and a bit friendlier to the dance floor"

Surprisingly enough, the first single from 'Tonight:Franz Ferdinand' Ulysses, reached higher positions in the music charts in Spain and Japan, rather than the UK and the US. The second single though, entitled No You Girls had a smashing success.
The Third Single from Tonight:Franz Ferdinand will be officially out in just a few days- on July 6th! :-) The song is called Can't Stop Feeling.

In February this year Franz Ferdinand were announced to be the first major band playing at this year's Glastonbury Festival, which took place from June 25th to June 28th.

A compilation containing dub versions of the songs from 'Tonight:Franz Ferdinand', entitled Blood:Franz Ferdinand came out on June 1st.


THE MUSIC




'Take Me Out'- the band's first single.




'Walk Away'- from the album 'You Could Have It So Much Better'. Definitely one of my fave tunes! :-)




'The Fallen', live Top Of The Pops 2006




'Ulysses' - the first single from 'Tonight:Franz Ferdinand'




'No You Girls', second single from the band's newest album.


Well, this is it. Just as I am finishing writing this entry the sun showed from the clouds just for a little bit, just to remind me it will set very soon... I really hope that in the next few days we here in Sofia will finally have proper sunny summer weather... Meanwhile I am cheering myself up by listening to some Franz Ferdinand tracks :-) You should try it too ;-).

* The Red Witch

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