The music project Zvíře jménem Podzim (An Animal Named Autumn) is the brainchild of Jakub König, who also goes by the name Kittchen. However, on Září, their recently released second LP, Zvíře jménem Podzim have expanded to become a veritable orchestra and now include such players as Terezie Kovalová, Tomáš Neuwerth, Marie Puttnerová, Ondřej Mataj, Ondřej Zátka and Veronika Linhartová. Ably abetted by producers Aid Kid and Pjoni, the collective’s second LP is a triumph.
The 1966 film Daisies by Věra Chytilová has come sixth in an extensive new BBC poll of the 100 greatest works by female directors. But what makes the surreal, anarchic Czechoslovak New Wave film such a classic? I discussed Daisies with journalist Hynek Pallas, who wrote a description of it for the BBC project.
Prague has obviously changed enormously over the last 30 years. But what have been the city’s most, and least, impressive construction projects since the Velvet Revolution? After the Dancing House, why did interest in audacious projects seem to cool? And how has Wenceslas Square fared? Who better to answer those questions than architect Jan Kasl, who is president of the Czech Chamber of Architects and served as mayor of Prague from 1998 to 2002. We chatted recently on Na příkopě St., in the very heart of the city centre.
As Czechs marked the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and the return of freedom to the country, streets and squares resounded with the iconic protest songs linked to the Prague Spring and 1989. Songs reflecting people’s hopes in 1968 and the frustration of Czechs following the crushing of the Prague Spring became underground cult hits, going from hand to hand, recorded on the old cassette recorders and played in the privacy of people’s homes. Among them are Karel Kryl’s famous Bratříčku zavírej vrátka (Keep the Gate Closed, Little Brother)composed
In the first episode of this two-part series we got to know Barbara Day, who first came from England to Prague in 1965 and whose life has been closely connected to this country ever since. She talked about her interest in Czechoslovak theatre, and her involvement with some notable Czech theatres over the last five decades. Azadeh Kangarani continues the story.
At the turn of the millennium, the group ‘minus123minut’ was among the most innovative and important of Czech bands, known for their live shows and heady mix of rock, jazz, blues and funk. The band was named Discovery of the Year in 1999, cut a few LPs, toured Europe, and then broke up in 2009 after the release of their album ‘Dream’. A few years ago, original singer-guitarist Zdeněk Bína and lyricist-bassist Fredrik Janáček reformed the band, along with Slovak drummer and vibraphone player Dano Šoltis. Today’s show features their newly released
Prague’s Lennon Wall has a new face and will newly serve as an open-air gallery. The famous tourist attraction, which before the Velvet Revolution served as a symbolic location of unofficial anti-communist protest, underwent a month-long revamp after being vandalised with vulgar graffiti. Prague authorities vowed to officially designate the Lennon Wall as a memorial site. Its new look was unveiled to the public on Thursday afternoon.
Prague’s historically working-class Žižkov district is perhaps best known today for its abundance of pubs (even by Czech standards) and colossal TV Tower – once voted the world’s second ugliest building. Lesser-known is the rich cultural history of what some natives proclaim the “Independent Republic of Žižkov”. Two of its proudest sons, Jaroslav and Miroslav Čvančara, have just published a sweeping illustrated book about the Prague 3 district, literally filling in the historical picture.