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


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 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


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


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, 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.