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Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here
Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010
Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 
kafka-on-the-shore:

Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. My flickr set here

    Stars @ Heaven, London, 1 September 2010

    Bear with me while I’m having a little nostalgia moment. 

    kafka-on-the-shore:

    Stars @ Heaven, London, 01 Sep 2010

    A few songs didn’t do much for me and the sound quality wasn’t always great (I’m blaming it on a poor sound check) but there were so many highlights (“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Take Me To The Riot”, “Dead Hearts”, “The Aspidistra Flies”, to name but a few) + Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan’s vocals are pitch perfect + they showed great energy and performed their asses off. It was clear that they were psyched to play London tonight — they showered us with roses throughout their entire set, that’s how pleased they were. What a cool band to see live. 

    My flickr set here

    Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 
What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart. 
Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 
What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart. 
Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 
What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart. 
Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 
What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart. 
Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 
What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart. 
Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 
What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart. 
Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 
What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart. 
Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.

      Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

      And me who thought I had outgrown Murakami. His characters and their inner lives sound all so similar to me though – they’re almost interchangeable from one book to another. That’s how I explain why most of his books blend together in my mind in one big Murakami vortex and I can’t for the life of me remember where which plot points and which characters belong. That said, I always find Murakami’s characters appealing. Their depth, their rigour and meticulousness, their taste for minimalism, their hyper awareness, all stuff that I find very attractive on the page. Plus they always take all the crazy supernatural shit that happens to them with remarkable cool. 

      What Murakami never fails to be amazing at is setting atmosphere and create suspense. Colorless is a gripping mystery novel and I absolutely love the fact that some important questions are left completely unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, the book ends with enough resolve for me to feel satisfied and with enough ambiguity to make the experience linger in my head for a while. I’d like to think that in a few years I won’t misplace Tazaki in The Wind Up Chronicle, the Franz Liszt piece in Norwegian Woods and the dream rape in Sputnik Sweetheart

      Note on the English translation. I tend to be paranoid about translated works and how accurately they convey the author’s original voice… Something I read in the Guardian's review of Colorless that really struck a chord with me: 

      A reader without Japanese is completely at the mercy of Murakami’s translators; when the prose lowers to cliche or commonplace – as it seems to do surprisingly often in this novel – there is no way of knowing if Philip Gabriel is accurately representing his client or letting him down.

      Lazar Berman - Le Mal du Pays

      Le Mal du Pays

      Lazar Berman

      Berman Plays Liszt: Années de Pelerinage Book 1: Switzerland, Concerto No. 1

      Lazar Berman plays Liszt - Le Mal Du Pays

      Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki:

      Once he finished packing, he took out Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage for the first time in ages. The three-record set performed by Lazar Berman, the set Haida had left behind fifteen years before. He still kept an old-style record player for the sole purpose of playing this record. He placed the first LP on the turntable, B side up, and lowered the needle.

      "First Year: Switzerland." He sat down on the sofa, closed his eyes, and focused on the music. "Le mal du pays" was the eighth piece in the suite, the first track on the B side. Usually he started with that piece and listened until the fourth composition in "Second Year: Italy," "Petrarch’s Sonnet 47." At that point, the side ended, and the needle automatically lifted from the record.

      "Le mal du pays." The quiet, melancholy music gradually gave shape to the undefined sadness enveloping his heart, as if countless microscopic bits of pollen adhered to an invisible being concealed in the air, ultimately revealing, slowly and silently, its shape. This time the being took on the shape of Sara-Sara in her mint-green short-sleeved dress.

      The ache in his heart returned. Not an intense pain, but the memory of intense pain.

      What did you expect? Tsukuru asked himself. A basically empty vessel has become empty once again. Who can you complain to about that? People come to him, discover how empty he is, and leave. What’s left is an empty, perhaps even emptier, Tsukuru Tazaki, all alone. Isn’t that all there is to it?

      Still, sometimes they leave behind a small memento, like Haida and the boxed set of Years of Pilgrimage. He probably didn’t simply forget it, but intentionally left it behind in Tsukuru’s apartment. And Tsukuru loved that music, for it connected him to Haida, and to Shiro. It was the vein that connected these three scattered people. A fragile, thin vein, but one that still had living, red blood coursing through it. The power of music made it possible. Whenever he listened to that music, particularly “Le mal du pays,” vivid memories of the two of them swept over him. At times it even felt like they were right beside him, quietly breathing.