Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade Under the Influence.

What better way to leave the Noughties than with a song by a band that's one of the biggest representatives in a genre I used to like a lot, then grew tired of; used to be full of emotion and excitement, and then turned big and ... shit. Just like the Noughties. To hell with you and all your friends, 2009.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Iconic Noughties.

Phillip Niemayer did a graphic review of the past decade for the New York Times.
Very cool.
(Via Pascal and The Junction.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Or We Could Move On.

One of the most beautiful songs I discovered in the past, say, half year is Or We Could Move On by Happiness. I discovered it as a download on Karo's blog. And now, Karo herself did a wonderful version of it. Do check it out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Your Idols are Dead.

A recent survey conducted by the British-American Tobacco funded Stiftung für Zukunftsfragen asked 14 - 29 year olds, who they would name as a role model/idol (Vorbild):
Mother Teresa (24%), Martin Luther King (20%), Mahatma Gandhi (15%), Anne Frank (14%), Hans and Sophie Scholl (11%) and Graf von Stauffenberg (7%).

Yes, they're all dead.
Doesn't really surprise me, though. I, too, would have a hard time to come up with a lively answer for that question, especially among "public figures". If pressed, I at the moment would feel least uncomfortable with Michele Obama (seriously).

What does surprise me, though, is that no athlete or popstar pops up in this top 6 list. Maybe (hopefully) my/the next generation did* finally understand that stars aren't role models**. Yet most people probably might still have "famous" people in mind when talking about role models/idols. Unfortunately, I'd say, since in my opinion, family members and everyday heroes are the best role models - maybe the only role models one should have, if one doesn't want to reject the concept "role model" entirely.

I found this survey in a post on Mädchenmannschaft, which describes hard time the participants in a recent discussion had to find a female role model. One interesting example that cought my eye was that somebody mentioned Lena Odental - but the participant wouldn't specify whether he meant the Tatort character or the actress portraying her, Ulrike Folkerts.
Maybe today's idols are dead - or fictional.

*Or the survey is just flawed. The list is way too conventional - and neat.
** Rockstars are either "just like us... or dicks"


Friday, December 11, 2009

Young Rebel Set.

Young Rebel Set, the new band on the wonderful Grand Hotel van Cleef label, fit right into the musical scope of this blog. Folk. Indie. Alleged Springsteen & Dylan references. Beards. Hailing from Stockton-on-Tees, they're also something for people who listen to Artic Monkeys, Maximo Park etc. 'because of the accent'. Here's the video for a charming litte ditty called "If I Was":

And! - they're coming to Freiburg on 29.01.10
Young Rebel Set might just blow up or fade away - haven't quite made up my mind. But for now, you can believe the hype.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drain the Blood.

The Rural Alberta Advantage, probably my best discovery this year, released a video to Drain the Blood today. Apparently it's their first official video. Nice!


Evolution of Storage

An amazing graphic documenting the evolution of storage devices:



Evolution of Storage by Curtiss Spontelli

via.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

“I’ve always wondered something. Why is it called a ‘revolver’?”

I can't even begin to express the condescending creepiness of this 80s video teaching women - mothers - how to use - and accessorize - guns. For fun and protection, ye know?

Isn't the internet amazing, how it keeps bringing (hilarious?)crap like this up? In this case, everythingisterrible.com dug it up. And you're never going to unknow this. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Edward stalks Buffy.

An mash-up of Twighlight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, adding a interesting perspective to the Edward craze:
“In this re-imagined narrative, Edward Cullen from the Twilight Series meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s an example of transformative storytelling serving as a pro-feminist visual critique of Edward’s character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy’s eyes, some of the more sexist gender roles and patriarchal Hollywood themes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed - in hilarious ways. Ultimately this remix is about more than a decisive showdown between the slayer and the sparkly vampire. It also doubles as a metaphor for the ongoing battle between two opposing visions of gender roles in the 21ist century.”




(Via.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Top Ten iSongs.

Today is the first day of the last month of the first decade of the new century. So, of course, everyone is doing Top XY of the Noughties lists.
I want(ed) to do that as well. Of course. But since I'm 'working' on it for a month now and still haven't made up my mind how to sort, include, publish the list, or if I want to do it at all, I'll start with a Top 10 of songs that have been scrobbled onto my last.fm profile. I changed the list a bit to include only 1 song/artist. The list is by no means representative, as I only started last.fm in 2006, only started to include songs listend to on my iPod last week and still listen to a lot of music not on my computer. But anyhow, here it is:

1 Bon Iver – Flume
2 Portugal. The Man – AKA M80 the Wolf
3 The Rural Alberta Advantage - In the Summertime
4 Port O'Brien - I Woke Up Today
5 Karo - Schweinfurt
6 Muff Potter - Das Frozen Man Syndrom
7 Why? - The Hollows
8 Jimmy Eat World - Table for Glasses
9 The Joy Formidable - The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade
10 Popup - Lucy, What You Trying to Say?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!

Neil Patrick Harris is a shoe fairy, sings; got shoes for Sesame Street.


via Sneakergirls.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Bra-Burning Myth - Uncovered!



From Indexed

Healin' and Killin': New Zealand Is Doin' It Right.

Okay, that might be a bit oversimplified. But New Zealand is spending 18.4% of its budget on health care, and 3.1% in its military. Actually, that's quite similar to the spending in Germany. And are "we" doin' it rite? Compared to others, maybe. The US is spending ruffly as much on its military than on health care (at the moment).
Compare these statistics yourself on Visual Economics and Sociological Images.
By the way, the US is spending 17.1% of the budget on education, New Zealand 15.1% and Germany - 9.5%
Ah, comparing statistics to turn them into populist slogans - it ain't easy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Freiburg is on fire!?

In the last couple of weeks, and especially today, a large number of protest are going on all around Austria, Germany and other European countries as part of teh so-called Bildungsstreik. This is (or is supposed to be) a map of all universities where students are taking part in the protest against the the past introduction of tuition fees, the Bologna reform and other education related issues..

Unsere Unis auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

Here in Freiburg, a demo with ruffly 5000 participants just ended and the main auditorium is occupied by students since Monday night. More info on twitter and on the corresponding website. The motto is "uni brennt" or "Freiburg brennt" (Uni/Freiburg is on fire), which is catchy yet, due to the implied violence, problematic.
We'll see where this goes. I wouldn't go as far as claiming that the broad student protest movement is "back", but there is certainly something going on. And the protest and demands are even slightly more differentiated and creative than in the past. It's also interesting to see the participation of high school students. Might add my 2 cents later, yet first I have to get back to... studying.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poetry or Prose?

Once again, I am at a point where I ask myself: What is the better way to express all those timeless, priceless moments in life, good and bad, beautiful and ugly, sublime and vulgar? Poetry or prose?

So, if you can be arsed, let me know in the little poll box on the right hand side. Or, even better, start discussing in the comments section. Or both. Or whatever.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Clay Shirky on Copyrights, Prohibition and Access to Knowledge.

In an interesting interview with GRITtv, Clay Shirky talks twitter, technology, access to knowledge, journalism - and compares copyright law to the prohibition.



(via netzpolitik)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Homeward Bound.

Traveling down
a road you know
too well -

Travelers enchanted
by the sights are
too peculiar -

Pressing their noses
against windows you
don't need.

Mechanically you put on
your coat to arrive
before they remember
their suitcases.

Asti on the Train.

Sixteen-year-olds,
giggling,
discover the joy
of popping bottles
of Asti on the train.

Traveling and drinking,
talking 'bout boys,
for no good reason.

Twenty years from now
they'll have to join
clubs and societies,
to talk, travel and drink.

Boys turned into husbands,
the bottles multiplied,
the giggles got louder
- but rare.

Drink and dialect remain,
only the sixteen-year-olds
get lost on the way.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Everybody's Gonna Be An Author.

An interesting chart showing facebook and twitter authors and comparing the development to book authors:



Seed Magazine: From nearly universal literacy to nearly universal authorship.
(via Andrew Sullivan)
The post title is of course borrowed from this. Somebody should do a corresponding cover.
Come on baby let me tell you
All the things I wanna say
Come on baby let me tell you
All the things I wanna say, and
Everybody's gonna be an author,
which means you and me, my love.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

(Un)favorability.

The anniversary of his election is coming up, time for a litte Obama related quiz.
A recent poll shows 2 variants of his favorability-unfavorability rating:
a) 28-67
b) 68-23

Guess which rating is for the Southern states.

Via marbury.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Hell.

No, not a commentary on this foggy, tired, late fall Monday. It's the new Tegan and Sara video 'Hell'. I like the tune, haven't made sense of the video yet. Especially of the flower-print-little-house-in-the-prairie-dress-Burqa-esque-thing. But well, here it is:

Hell - Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara | MySpace Video


Pretty neat nevertheless.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From the Mighty Streets of Freiburg.


Chin Up!
Nice to see that at a tram station on the first day day of class.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Anti-Beatles.

Last night I saw Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback, a documentary about The Monks, a fairly experimental art garage beat band of 5 GIs. They were designed to be the Anti-Beatles - and their sound blew me away! Active between 1964 and 1967! Beat-Proto-Punk-Heavy-Metal-Noise-Art! Wow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lonely for So Long.

This nice new video from Olli Schulz reminds me of my long trip through the night in a Greyhound from San Francisco back to Oregon in 2006. So lonely and yet so wonderful. And I could barely keep myself to singing along to the music I was listening to as well.
The song, 'So lange einsam' is pretty nice as well.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Live Disintegration.

I've spend my last night
strung up and pulled tight, holding out
sleeping proud.




Sadly, Disintegration (along with Stay on My Side Tonight companion Closer) is the last really great song Jimmy Eat World wrote since 2005. The album version features Tony Hajjar (Sparta) and producer Mark Trombino on additional percussion. I'm glad to hear that their teaming up with Mark Trombino again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Will Is Good.

The video might be a bit too cute, but the tune is really nice: Port O'Brien's "My Will Is Good". It's going straight on my imaginary autumn mixtape.

A Bear with Chainsaws for Paws Still Loses.

Once again, Jon Stewart is hilarious when angry - and is right. His commentary on the Democratic Super Majority and the mess in congress:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Democratic Super Majority
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nevermind the Bollocks, Here's the Birthermercial.

The infamous birther conspiracy movement has now spawned a late night infomerical. The woderful Rachel Maddow takes 'em on:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zoot Woman's Memory

Here's a pretty cool pretty new pretty video for Zoot Woman's Memory. Boy-remembers-girl.
Polaroids + Animations + Heartbreak + Cute Couple = Indie Cliché Bingo.
But still witty and good. Like the tune as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wow, White Middle-Aged Males Do Not Need Maternity Care.

Dialog of the day from Feministing:

[US Senator John] Kyl: "I don't need maternity care" in my benefits package.
[US Senator Debbie] Stabenow fires back: "I think your mom probably did."




Yeah.. This also shows how incredibly 'valid' the claim was that women/people of color, e.g. "wise Latinas", speak from a heavily biased position but white, Middle-aged men are totally neutral in their thoughts and decisions.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Boss.

Bruce Springsteen turned 60 today. Apparently he celebrated by performing Born to Run in its entirety on the eve of his birthday. What a way to turn 60.
Here is an amazing performace of "Lost in the Flood", one of my favorites from his first album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J..

It's All A Bit Too Much For Ol' Copyboy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Psychedelic Zombie Mummies from Outer Space Love Geometric Shapes!

Portugal. the Man released a new video for "Do You".

Portugal. the Man - Do You from Ryan Rothermel on Vimeo.


Weird. Wonderful!

Update: Kanye and i have something in common now..

Monday, September 14, 2009

San Francisco: The Literary City



A map of San Francisco filled with literary quotes refering to the city or a district in the city. Awesome.
More at Strange Maps and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dies.

Fata morganas
of empty vessels.

Ought to bring
precious gold from
coast to coast -
instead rotting
on the vast ocean floor.

Failed remnants of
wood and water.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

To Work a Crowd.

Al Franken, former comedian and author, now the Junior Democratic Senator for Minnesota, actually managed to have a calm, intelligent, constructive, productive discussion on health care with a group of tea party protesters.


via.

Monday, September 7, 2009

In the Summertime.

A glass of red wine. The window wide open, the last summer night breeze. Remembering the smell of fresh cut grass and hot blacktop. A special person on the phone. This song on the stereo.
The only way to end this summer.



The daytrotter version is even more beautiful.
Rural Alberta Advantage - In the Summertime

The Library of Guantanamo.

The prison on Guantanamo Bay has a library of 13,500 books. The list of books that are most requested is surprisingly... normal.

1. Harry Potter books, J.K Rowling.
2.
Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes.
3.
Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama


Could be any city library, really.

More at marbury.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

All Is Love.

So this is the (first) single from the OST of the upcoming Where the Wild Things Are movie.
Charming. Sounds like Tilly and the Wall and Arcade Fire were in the same children's choir conducted by Karen O.

Karen O. & the Kids - All Is Love

Monday, August 31, 2009

To The Ghosts Who Write History Books.

To them ghosts that write history books
To them ghosts that write songs
Everyone asks would you write one about me




Do yourself a Monday night favor and hook this haunting beauty up to your stereo or your headphones. (Unfortunately the volume level is quite low on this performance.)
Then, head over to Daytrotter to get more beautiful folk songs by the Low Anthem.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A bear wrestles a fiddle..

..in a raw dance of beauty and passion: Chuck Ragan did a daytrotter session. Goddamn amazing.

photo by badjonni

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The President's Opinion.

To complete my little US health care hat-trick here, a link to a op-ed piece from the New York Times, by Barack Obama himself*:

This is what reform is about. If you don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. You will not be waiting in any lines. This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health care decisions but you and your doctor — not government bureaucrats, not insurance companies.

The long and vigorous debate about health care that’s been taking place over the past few months is a good thing. It’s what America’s all about.

But let’s make sure that we talk with one another, and not over one another. We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed. This is a complicated and critical issue, and it deserves a serious debate.
Anybody volunteer to spray this on every house wall?


* Or at least published under his name. You never now these days. Nor do I care, really.
Image: wikipedia.org

Friday, August 21, 2009

Health Care Snaps.

The video of Barney Frank is all around the internet, but I just had to include it here as well:

I have few issues with this video. Of course, there is the entirely crazy Hitler-Obama comparison. Then there is the discussion of whether these protesters are "liberals" (in new American meaning: leftists) or right-wingers. Apparently the young lady in the video - who looks suprisingly normal - is a LaRouche supporter. Ehm.
Concerning Nazi comparison from the left and the right: I attended a lecture by Dr. Michael Butter here in Freiburg a few weeks ago, the topic was the use of Hitler in North American literature since the 2nd World War. After being used for war time propaganda, several war protesters (from the left) took up the comparison to protest the Vietnam War. And finally, the practice shifted to the right, in order to frame any opponent as quintessentially evil after the end of the Cold War - the absence convenient commies made the Nazi comparison 'necessary'. Which brings us to the current 'discussion', or rather screaming at townhall meetings. And to Barney Frank.
As much as I appreciate his response to this nonsense, and personally like the arrogant-fun way he responded, I would've prefered it if had taken the lady more seriously. Do state that the comparison is ridiculous and extremely offending, but don't talk down to her. Otherwise you'll appear like a out-of-touch, arrogant D.C. elitist, or in other words, just as that 'evil' figure that the crazy right-wingers, including all the pundits, want to see in you. I think the response was good, because somebody finally had to find a few strong words, but I don't think they were the perfect strong words.

And now excuse me, I have to go back to pretending to live in a world where Fox News isn't the leading new channel in the country I still quite fancy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Worrying about Health.



The numbers that stuck the most with me this week come from a poll in this weeks Time magazine:
33% - percentage of people who are worried they could lose their health insurance in the next 12 months
11% - percentage of people currently not covered by any form of health insurance or health-care plan

Now, I do understand that health insurance and the health care reform are incredibly complex and difficult issue and that I have to do a lot of catching up on this before I can even start a qualified, in-depth criticism. I also understand that our German system might not be the most effective, best or even perfect system and that here a lot of people, i.e. self-employed people, artist, also have to worry about their health insurance.
But still - those numbers are way to high for the world's superpower, the City on the Hill. I just don't get it - more than 1 out of 10 Americans has no coverage, and every 3rd American feels like he or she has to worry about it. I also just don't understand why a "Washington bureaucrat" should be any worse than a corporate bureaucrat.

I just don't get it.

(image source: Library of Congress via pingnews)

Monday, August 3, 2009

For Those Summer Moments.

to the east, to the east/
the road beneath my feet

to the west, to the west/
I havent got there yet

and to the north, to the north/
never to be caught

to the south, to the south/
my time is running out


Frank Turner - The Road

Friday, July 31, 2009

Those 15 Minutes.

"I think Andy Warhol got it wrong: in the future, so many people are going to become famous that one day everybody will end up being anonymous for 15 minutes."
Banksy in an interview with Shepard Fairey. (via.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recession Folk

This recession/global economic crisis is not quite like the Great Depression. Also, the guy I'd like to introduce you to tonight, is no new Woody Guthrie. But his still pretty good: Dan Costello
His new album 'Recession Songs' is available for free ( or as pay-as-you-want). And he did a pretty neat version of Woody's "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You Woody" in a Berlin S-Bahn.



(I found Dan Costello via an achtmilliarden post on exactly the same topic, it's just more eloquent and in German.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Transatlanticism.

Because it's Monday.
Because dear friends are leaving, transatlantic.
Because the clouds opened up once too often.
Because back in the days, everything was different.
Because long distance is too long sometimes.
Because a chorus says more than a thousand words.
Because it's swelling up.
Because I need you so much closer.
Because, because.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Childhood Nostalgia.

I have a B.A. in literature and still am studying cultural studies with a bit emphasis on literature. No wonder, since Reading Rainbow was among my first favorite TV shows.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On Jimmy Carter and the Southern Baptists.

A good, nay, great article by Jimmy Carter has made it's rounds through the blogosphere the last couple of day, either on the Guardian's platform or on Australian website the-age.com It's a worthy read; Carter explains why he severed his ties with the denomination - based on the treatment of women, - and he also comments on why non-retired Presidents seldom dare to open the padora's box of status of women in traditional religious circles.

While reading, enjoying and agreeing with the article, I wondered why I haven't seen any coverage on this article or version of this piece in US media, i.e. the New York Times.

Then I found this article from 2000: Carter Sadly Turns Back On National Baptist Body:

Jimmy Carter, a third-generation Southern Baptist and the first United States president to call himself a born-again Christian, has reached what he calls ''a painful decision'' to sever ties to the Southern Baptist Convention, saying that parts of its ''increasingly rigid'' doctrines violate the ''basic premises of my Christian faith.''

Mr. Carter's decision, announced on Thursday in a letter that is being mailed this week to 75,000 Baptists nationwide, comes four months after the Southern Baptist Convention, the country's largest Protestant denomination, declared its opposition to women as pastors.



Though it doesn't really change anything about the recent article, I think it's pretty interesting to see that this is no new development. And at the same time it is also interesting that it is being portrayed as one.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Alive.


The neat video to Alive by the Beastie Boys. Posted just because.
[Plus: I'll probably start a "Monday's Music" series.]

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Jack Kerouac's Big Sur

This looks pretty interesting: A film on Jack Kerouac and his time in Big Sur and the resulting novel.


Neat. Although, what a commenter proposes over at Siliman's Blog (where I got this from) would be pretty cool as well:
There are plenty of men still in Lowell (I know some of them) who are working class guys who dig Kerouac's books and can read from them with his accent and intonations. I'd rather have heard that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dear Readers

Dear readers,

you might have noticed, if you actually read this blog on the site and not just in your feed reader (which is cool, I do that all the time and I stopped caring how many people read this mess good while ago), that I'm currently toying with the design of the blog a bit.
Anyway, I got a question: Are you folks interested in the delicious link section on the right hand side (now called "In other news")? I'm not so sure whether anybody is interested, and I'm not that satisfied with that part of the design. So, if nobody clicks on the links anyway, I'd get rid of that bit.
Just vote in the poll on the upper right side and/or leave me a comment. Your input is always greatly appreciated.

And as a little bribe - a neat song by Dear Reader (get it?)




Tuesday, July 14, 2009

00:41


Cutting caress of air on
late night sweat.
Tasteless foam on sweet lips
unlicked, unkissed.

Heavy cotton damp over
sleepless wonders.
Empty containers dust,
unreturned, unfilled.




Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick Thought... on Hate.

Nowadays, the word "hate" is pretty quick to cross 'our' lips. "XYZ is annoying/a mess, I hate him/her/it", when, really, XYZ is just, well, annoying. A bit nerve-wracking. Or we just have a perceived bad day.
Meanwhile, stuff like this happens:

"Man Puts In Headlock, Shoots, Kills 8-Year-Old Daughter of Estranged Wife's Boyfriend"

"Private club boots kids who might “change the complexion” of the pool"

"Conservative Free Republic blog in free speech flap after racial slurs directed at Obama children"

Etc. pp. You get the picture. That's the kind of thing (not necessarily person!) I hate. HATE.

Most people I know are just annoying or I disagree, sometimes even dislike them. But they really are not horrible enough to be hated.

I'm grateful for that.

And at the same time incredibly angry, that not everybody is in my lucky position.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

American Heritage.

Like in any country - or even more so - the question of cultural foundation, identity and tradtion is a difficult one, a contested notion, up for interpretation and (re-)definition. By chance, I found two items on the net that examplify how odd and/or difficult this negotiation can be, especially when one tradition or definition of identity is preferred, for example (but not limited to) by people from the right wing.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Importance of Being Idle.

I can't help it - every time I see a reference to Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, I immediately have to think of Oasis' The Importance of Being Idle. One of those (random) associations that's hardwired in my mind.


One of the more recent Oasis tunes I actually like. The video is pretty cool as well.
Enjoy your Monday.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One for the Night.

Norman Palm stumbled around Paris singing his nice rendition of Boys Don't Cry for La Blogotheque:

Norman Palm - "Boys don't cry" from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


As usual, the video features toy pianos and charming by-standers. I like those Take-Away Shows.

Al the Policy Wonk.

I used to be a fan of Al Franken. I enjoyed his "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them", his appearances on talk shows and even listened to his Air America show once in a while. (Air America is a good breeeding ground for intelligent commentary. If you haven't seen Rachel Maddow before, do so now) I liked his well-researched, intelligent and angry comedy. I did not think he had a real chance to win the Senate seat in Minnesota, but am quite pleased that he did win it. I would've preferred a clear, ealry decision on election day and not a month long battle through the courts, but hey. Anyway, I'm looking forward to his input in the Senate, and am not suprised at all by this comment from Paul Krugman:

Second, Al Franken’s dirty secret is that … he’s a big policy wonk.

I used to go on Franken’s radio show, all ready to be jocular — and what he wanted to talk about was the arithmetic of Social Security, or the structure of Medicare Part D.

In fact, the only elected official I know who’s wonkier than Al Franken is Rush Holt, my congressman — and he used to be the assistant director of Princeton’s plasma physics lab. (The campaign’s bumper stickers read, “My Congressman IS a rocket scientist.”)

So what will Franken do to the level of Senate discourse? He’ll raise it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Feels like summer.

Funny thing happened to me the other day. I sat in the sweaty tram, listening to The Hold Steady's "Constructive Summer" and wondered what the summer hit of 2009 might be. Think for the general public it'll be Emilia Torrini's Jungle Drum. Nice, cheery, cute, pretty agreeable. Not a really bad song.. summer-y.
Still, I was looking for something more (and preferably something people by now do not associate with Heidi Klum and Germany's Next Topmodel) And I came home, opened my laptop and tada - a serious contestant for summer hit 2009: Johnny Foreigner - Feels like Summer.

Johnny Foreigner - Feels Like Summer from eds209 on Vimeo.


Really fits this summer in Freiburg. Hot, sweet and sweaty with a dash of thunderstorm. Plus, their EP including this song is available for free download. They sometimes remind me of The Wombats, You Say Party! We Say Die! and especially Los Campesinos!. By the way, Los Campesinos! just taped an amazing daytrotter session.

Runner-up for summer hit '09 so far is The XYZ Affair. Their "2 Summer Jams" are also available for free download and especially "No One That You Love Will Ever Die" is a feel good gem. (At least from my subjective position.)

Plus, stereogum.com compiled a pretty nice 4th of July "Independents Day 2009" compilation.

But the summer record of the year is just coming up: Portugal. the Man's The Satanic Satanist. See more and yeah - it leaked already. But do buy it when it comes out on July 17th - what I heard so far is amazing. Guaranteed sunshine during the thunderstorm.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Desire, Sex & Power in Music Video.

Any reader of this blog will have noticed that I'm slightly into music videos. I think they can be so much more than just promotional tools, they can stressor expand the artistic genius of the music or even make a mediocre song really interesting. Though that's mainly true for good, usually indie video.

There are also those other videos, that merely stuff as many scantily clad women and cars, bling and booze in a frame as possible, often degrading women and legitimizing sexual violence. Most they accompany (commercial) rap, but enough rock or electro, techno examples exist as well. Sud Jhally did a good documentary on this topic called "Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Video". I have to say that though I was shocked, the events and circumstances shown sadly didn't really surprise me.
See the trailer here:



Hat tip to Anna.

Note: If you can't view the YouTube Video (my tip is because it used clips from Universal Rec. clips..) then go to the Media Education Foundation site. A full-length preview is also available for home use.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Young Boys.

Seems to turn into a Gaslight Anthem appreciation week. Don't worry, this won't turn into a fanboy blog (or at least to a greater extend), but this is just to great not to share

The Gaslight Anthem performed "The '59 Sound" with Bruce Springsteen. Yes, the Boss himself. At this year's Glastonbury.



via merely thinking.

Speaking of Springsteen references: Simon Indelicate of The Indelicates wrote a pretty interesting, and for the most part pretty good, article against anti-americanism or rather a defense of America.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Not tonight, not tonight."

The Gaslight Anthem. One of the two reasons why I almost regret not going to the Southside festival.



It is great, all of this
Or just what might have been
Where we could take a seat at the bar with the other broken heroes

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We can dance if we want to.

Wanted to post this wicked deep analysis today, to revive the reading journal category.
But that gotta wait until tomorrow, cause the inscrutable ways of the mighty internet have led me to Men Without Hat's "Saftey Dance" video. The opposite of deep. Or good taste. But screw that - it's fun!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Downturn.

Cars in their coral,
awaiting their last drive.
A storefront sale
of hopes and hoaxes.
Slashed prices
too big to fail.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Heavy Cross.

While I had an actual, non-music related reason to post The Gossip's Listen Up video last week, today I'm just going to post their new video because it's new. And cool.



A note on horrid commenting on the net: A Stereogum (where I got the video from inicially) commenter posted this gem:

All joking aside, would this girl be remotely popular if it weren't for her obesity and lesbian-ness?

To quote my girlfriend this weekend: Ah, the voice! Sadly enough, he was one of the nicer commenters, even when considering a certain tendency towards (odd) irony.


(Maybe I should introduce a "Gossip Monday" category..)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Show Some Street Sign Love

This is just to kitschig cute cool not to (re)post it:


(via i can read)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Don't Be A Fool Like the Rest of Us.

In class today this really cool video by the Gossip was referenced and it was completely appropriate and in context. Sometimes I really like my degree program.



It's shot in Portland, OR, by the way.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hungry?

Then just take a look at how tabloids and other outlets of the old media (in this case the German media, but sadly I'm sure this is no different in other "developed" countries..) treat the victims of the recent airplane crash.
Die Opfer des Todesfluges at BILDblog
And this seems to be standard operating procedure, not an exception to otherwise spotless journalism. The coverage of the shooting in Winneden was even worse.
I kinda lost my appetite.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First Weekend in My Life.

This weekend, with all its highs and lows and mids, was pretty much perfect. And sometimes any given day can feel like the first day in your life.

First Day Of My Life By Bright Eyes from Rich Shook on Vimeo.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Clickclickdecker, Mario Adorf and the Forest

Clickclickdecker released a video for one of my favorite tunes of this spring - Dialog mit dem Tölpel - today. I had completely different images in my mind when I listened to it, but the video's pretty good. And features a wonderful Mario-Adorf-as-woodsman character.

ClickClickDecker - Dialog mit dem Tölpel from Hick Pix Bewegtbildproduktion on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama is Cliff Huxtable.

Once again proving that they offer the most precise commentary on US politics, Wyatt Cenac convincingly argues that Barack Obama = Cliff Huxtable of The Bill Cosby Show.

IndecisionAn Indecision Exclusive!
Barack Obama Is Cliff Huxtable
indecisionforever.com
Funny Political VideoPolitical GamesJoe Biden Jokes

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Quick Thought ... on Nostalgia, Memory and Media.

Sometimes my memory works in mysterious ways. These days I often stumble upon things and feel a certain warm feeling of nostalgia coming up. Often these things are connected to (perceived) fond childhood memories. Often they are connected to moments that appear to be part of the past, but I can't immediately sort out just how old these moments are. I just read Mortiz' post on Sockenblog. He recently rediscovered a clip from the movie Mulan. He still had that movie on tape. Yeah, on VHS.

That is a method to determine just how old a memory is, in what part and phase of my life I first discovered this band/song/book/poem/film - I sort them by two categories: storage device and the way I had to wait to get hold of the next release/episode/rerun. If I can remember first discovering it via computer - let alone the infamous web 2.0 - it's probably not that old. And as much as I love my recent discoveries, recent favorites and the new technology - somehow having to wait 'til next Saturday to see another episode, to tape it on VHS or to waittto buy the new CD without ever hearing a single track of the record before or to wait to have a reason to go out and celebrate and have a beer with friends - somehow that forced process made those moments even more precious, the memory of them even more nostalgic. The input more important.

Maybe the longing for slower, more concious moments is the reason for these nostalgic moments.

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Other Beatnik Intellectuals Thugs" and the Way to Punk

Jeffrey Lewis takes us on a wild 8 min. anti folk ride through the history of punk.



Via Monarchie & Alltag

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Those 7 Words.

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the F.C.C.'s shift to a harder line on "indecency" on the air. Thought I might "celebrate" this important decision on such a pressing issue these days with presenting you the "Yes We Can - The George Carlin Remix" by Jay Smooth. It feature's all those bad, bad words, based on George Carlin's "7 dirty words" routine (and it's probably NSFW)
Enjoy.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

All Your Friend Are Smiling.

The next time when it's one of those days and you're feeling completely down and out, go listen to the Loch Lomond EP "Trumpets for Paper Children" you downloaded here and let the tunes pull you out of the dirt.


Loch Lomond - "All Your Friends Are Smiling" from HUSH Records on Vimeo.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Might Shed a Tear.

Karo is coming to Freiburg's White Rabbit on Sunday, May 3rd. And it'll be more than just amazing, I bet.



Schöftland will perform as well.
Be there or be square!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Possibly the Most Mind Numbing Groove Ever.

Ralph Wiggum - "Ente (jungle RMX)




Okay, this might be even worse. Via nercore et. al.
Have a good start of the week - and always remember:

Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente Ente

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jay Smooth on Beauty Pageants

..and the truth about Perez Hilton & Miss California, the future and marriage.
Brilliant.



Via.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mariokart vs. Kettcar

This is what it would sound like if I was making music at the moment. Adolar's smasher Mariokart vs. Kettcar, full of childhood nostalgia, peer pressure, odd attempts to be different and passion.



Download the song here
Check out their 7" EP Planet Rapidia.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ein ♥ für Blogs.




note: This one's in German, since it's a German topic and it really wouldn't make much sense to do it in English. This might happen from time to time. This is, afterall, a more or less bilingual blo
g.

Heute ist der von stylespion ausgerufene "Ein ♥ für Blogs." Tag. Ein Tag, an dem die Digitale Boheme und sonstige Blogger und Web 2.0 Opfer (your truly) seo Schmarrn mal seo Schmarrn sein lassen und sich wieder ohne Hilfsmittelchen vernetzen. Durch simple Empfehlung. Like in the good ol' days, als Leute noch Blogrolls hatten.

Unter anderem habe ich heute meine Blogroll verändert/ausgebaut. Dennoch sei aber an dieser stelle auf 5 deutschsprachige Blogs verwiesen, die mir schon manchen Anstoß für ein postig hier oder bei Twitter geliefert haben. Oder mir auch nur einfach eine Welt eröffnen, die woanders und anders ist als meine, mir aber gleichzeitig zeigen, dass meine Scheibe Welt gar nicht so anders ist. Sie ist nur nich geografisch definiert oder hier in der Stadt der Fahrradfahrer verankert.

Et voila:

Texte auf Cornflakespackungen
Acht Milliarden
Karo erklärt die Welt (und scheitert)

und

Coffee and TV. Wobei dieser blog, ähnlich wie Stefan Niggemeier's, wohl nich unter "unbekannt" läuft. Er sei dennoch empfohlen.

Good Ol' Copyboy

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ólafur Arnalds - 'Found Songs'

Fantastic Icelandic artist Ólafur Arnalds - who I mentioned in the Balmorhae post - is releasing a song a day for 7 days for free:

'The songs will be different from what's on my albums, they will be short, mostly just made up from piano. Something to keep me going. Feel free to send me hatemail if I miss out a day!'


Found Songs (via itstoolong)