Randnotiz – “Männertag” auf EinsLive

EinsLive hat kürzlich den Kampf der Geschlechter ausgetragen, bei dem die Männer aus dem Sektor knapp gewannen.

Deshalb wurde letzten Freitag der “Männertag” gefeiert. Dabei wurden besonders “männliche” Hymnen gespielt, unter anderem von Pearl Jam, AC/DC und den Queens of the Stone Age – alles Bands, die man sonst nicht gerade täglich im Radio spielt – und über die ich mich riesig gefreut habe.

Schon einen Tag später ging es dann wieder gewohnt “unmännlich” zu in der Playlist. Jason Derulo bot den girls an, den 1. Klasse Sitzplatz auf seinem Schoß zu nehmen. So wie sonst 50 Cent großzügig anbietet, seinen “Lutscher” zu teilen. Etc., etc.

Leicht ironisch, dass ich mir da wünsche, es gäbe öfters einen offiziellen Männertag im Radio – der wäre zu den sonstigen inoffiziellen während des restlichen Jahres eine nette Abwechslung.

 

Soundtrack of 2013

This is so 2013! Aren’t you supposed to post something like this in December? Well yes, you are.

I didn’t, though. I almost decided not to post it all, since it’s so late – but here we go:

My musical 2013 – biographically sorted, including guilty pleasures…

The Smiths – Asleep

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Biffy Clyro – Black Chandelier

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Imagine Dragons – Radioactive

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Battleme – Hey Hey, My My

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop

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Listener – Wooden Heart

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Brand New – Sowing Season

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold us

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Miriam Bryant – Finders Keepers

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Audra Mae – Forever Young

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Regina Spektor – All the Rowboats

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Florence and the Machine – the dog days are over

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Milky Chance – Stunner

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KRS – One – Sound of da Police

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Daughter – Get lucky

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Jimmy Fallon, the Roots & Miley Cyrus – We can’t stop

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Lorde – Royals

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Jobkongress für Studierende und Akademiker/innen in Wuppertal

Heute findet in der Stadthalle Wuppertal ein Jobkongress statt, auf dem sich Interessierte über unterschiedliche Unternehmen aus der Region informieren können – eine tolle Chance, gerade für Absolventen. Organisiert wird das Ganze durch die Bundesagentur für Arbeit und das Bergische Städtedreieck/die Bergische Entwicklungsagentur; erstere war es auch, die mich persönlich eingeladen hatte.

Die Mehrzahl der Unternehmen, die sich in der wunderschönen Stadthalle eingefunden haben, suchen nach Leuten mit ähnlichen Studienrichtungen, wobei besonders IT, Technik und Wirtschaft sehr gefragt sind.

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Ich war heute Vormittag da. Immer, wenn ich mich als Geisteswissenschaftlerin vorstellte, erntete ich mitleidige Blicke – und wurde angeschaut, wie ein Mitglied einer aussterbenden Rasse, die den Schuss noch nicht gehört hat.

Dass auch Versicherungen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit leisten müssen, daran dachten die wenigsten Personaler.

Dass auch die Automobilbranche Texter, Redakteure und Social-Media Experten braucht – darauf war man heute nicht eingestellt, wollte man doch lieber Maschinenbaustudenten an seine Stände locken.

Das soll nicht verbittert klingen, ganz im Gegenteil – die meisten Leute, mit denen ich gesprochen habe, sagten etwas wie: “Stimmt, eigentlich bräuchten wir echt jemanden mit Ihren Qualifikationen!” Nur eben nicht jetzt im Moment … 😉

Vielleicht erzählen sie aber zurück in der Firma, dass jemand wie ich da war. Und sind beim nächsten Kongress etwas offener.

Gelohnt hat sich der Besuch auf jeden Fall – allein schon wegen des tollen Gebäudes:

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Aber auch, weil ich am Ende noch eine nette Bekanntschaft gemacht habe.

Ich wollte gerade gehen, als ich in der Halle einen netten, silberhaarigen Mann kennenlernte. Er brauchte Hilfe damit, ein Plakat auszuwechseln – und kämpfte mit dem dazugehörigen Rahmen. Ein paar Handgriffe später, die mit vier Händen statt zweien erstaunlich leicht waren, hing das neue Poster. Noch einmal den Rand angedrückt hing es sogar gerade und wir konnten uns, im übertragenen Sinne, ob des guten Jobs high-fiven.

Jetzt erkannte ich den neben mir stehenden Mann auch als den Anzugträger vom Plakat – Vladimir Burkhardt.

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©Vladimir Burghardt

Er lud mich zum Dank für meine Hilfe direkt für Dezember auf seine Gästeliste ein. Als ich erzählte, dass ich Anglistin bin, freute er sich – denn er wollte schon lange seine Website auf Englisch übersetzen lassen.

So ist es wieder einmal typisch gelaufen – ich gehe auf einen Jobkongress, doch die einzige handfeste berufliche Möglichkeit ergibt sich für mich am Spielfeldrand, in einem Zufallsmoment.

Ich mag, wie das Leben manchmal spielt!

Was haben Rayman Legends und Incubus gemeinsam?

Die letzten Wochen über habe ich immer wieder das neue “Rayman Legends” in die PS3 gelegt – manchmal habe ich gespielt, bis meine Finger weh taten und ich nicht mehr konnte.

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Es ist ein einfach großartiges Jump’n’Run, sehr detailverliebt, spannend, einfach lustig – und teils total schwierig! Laut Hubby schwieriger als Dark Souls, und das will was heißen!

Am besten gefällt mir am Spiel das Artwork und die Musik. Oft hatte ich gar nicht das Gefühl, ein Game zu spielen, sondern in ein Bilderbuch eingetaucht zu sein (hier lohnt sich die große Ansicht!):

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Neben den tollen Grafiken ist die Musik meist großartig – was mich nicht mehr wundert, seit ich weiß, dass Incubus ihre Hände im Spiel hatten:

Gern würde ich noch etwas zur Musik sagen, das mich im Spiel umgehauen hat – aber ich möchte nichts spoilen. Per PM rücke ich es aber gern raus 😉

Listener – Wooden Heart

Take a poetry slammer, put him on a stage and cue the music – that’s what Listener‘s “Wooden Heart” sounds like.

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“She’d always show us her dreams, they were crumpled up like leafs from holding on too tight”

Considering the band’s been around since 2002, I can’t believe I haven’t heard of them until now.

They’re intense; whatching singer and bassist Dan Smith in the video to “Wooden Heart” is like watching a madman, desperate  to get his message across.

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Talking about his music seems like dancing to a construction manual, so I suggest you head on over to their bandpage and listen for yourself.

Listener’s new album “Time Is A Machine” will be out next Tuesday, and what better way to spend the time than listening to “Wooden Heart”?

Soundtrack of 2012

This post has been coming up for a long time. Thankfully the world didn’t go up in flames and I can share it with you now.

This is what made me dance, sing, laugh and shake it in 2012,

in autobiographical order:

 

Imagine Dragons – It’s time

Kraftklub – Ich will nicht nach Berlin

Gotye – Somebody that I used to know

Walk off the Earth – Somebody that I used to know

Jovan Perisic – Sunce se radja

Mars Red Sky – Strong Reflection

Lennon & Maisie Stella – Call Your Girlfriend

Lyykke Li – I follow rivers

Jex Thoth – Seperated at birth

Flo Rida & Sia – Wild Ones

Lianne La Havas – Age

Flunk – Morning Star

Cookie Monster – Share it maybe

Triggerfinger – I follow rivers

Alphabeat – 10,000 Nights

Hoyle – Unwed Mother

Steven Foxbury – Heaven and Nature

Kyle Cox & Rachel Smith – All Year Long

Greg Perkins – Carol of the Bells

Doom: a scientific approach. Part I

 

As we’re walking towards the Posthalle in Würzburg, I know I’m neither over- nor underdressed.

I’m basically not dressed wrong, either, it’s that my attire simply just so misses the mark, as I’m comparing my outfit to that of others around me.

I am dressed in black, sure. And wearing a skirt. But, though above the knee, it is still a couple of inches too long. At least compared to the skirts belts I see other ladies in. And mine has white polka-dots.

Oh well.

My black high-top sneakers aren’t helping my case, either, as the other girls’ shoes make up in inches what the length of their skirts is lacking. Darn it.

We’re standing in line to swap our tickets for festival-bands, basked in beerfumes and eau-de-I-haven’t showered-in-days. Behind us are a couple of guys that remind me of Garth and would later inspire me to the following textmessage to my brother:

 

“Remeber Wayne’s World? That’s what this looks like”

 

 

They are all acting very civilised and make me wonder what I was worrying about earlier, when posting on facebook:

Lisa Prosch is looking forward to Hammer of Doom with Nick, Leo and Maria!

Hopefully they will take care of her and protect her against the hordes of Doom!”

to which I was friendly reminded:

“Remember WE ARE THE HORDES OF DOOM!!!:D”

Ooops! My mistake.

I never made it a secret that I’m a doom novice. Sure, I’ve heard about some of the bands that would be playing. But what doom exactly was, I wanted to find out. Besides being the perfect opportunity for catching up with our Maltese Posse, Hammer of Doom posed the possibilty for a scientific endeavor:

Finding out what doom is, first-hand, and observing, maybe even inter-acting, with the common “doomster”.

And finding out if you call doom-listeners “doomsters”, anyway.

Before travelling to Würzburg I had a vague picture in mind of how such a guy would look. I envisioned long, dark hair, lots of leather, possibly tight pants and an overall mean appearance.

I googled for a picture to show you what I thought of, but all I found was this:

 

 

Yes Google, that’s a metal-fan, thank you for your help!

Most of the guys crowding the Posthalle weren’t as scary as I had imagined. I wasn’t new to metal concerts, as I had visited quite a few in Rock City No.1, and the mixture of species I encountered were what I had expected.

There were those of the “Metallus Blackus” type, with tight black leatherpants and long dark hair, as I described above. Kind of like these guys, who named themselves after a bloodtype:

Then we had the common Viking type, hair as long and blond as that of a Northern Maiden, soft and shiny in most cases. Terrifying. The “Vicus Northernitis” seems to have a practical demeanor and carries his own drinking horn attached to his hip, so that he does not have to drink out of unworthy plastic cups. He may warm his chest either with denim or fur and his legs and groin-area tend to have more breathing room than the above mentioned species.

When I heard that Vikings would be attending, I was hoping for guys like him:

 

 

And was deeply disappointed. No Erics around. I got these guys instead:

 

 

and actually enjoyed them. Though they fall more into the “Epic Metal” category, as I learned.

There were lots of those fans around, clad in denim wests covered in patches. Or just lots of patches with glimpses of denim inbetween. I even saw one guy with a pants covered in patches. There were so many that you couldn’t make out the original trousers anymore. It made me wonder what he would do if he gained so much weight that the pants wouldn’t fit anymore. Remove them all and transfer them to another pair? Or just add another row of patches in the top, to make more room for the belly? I will never know.

My favourite patch of all the weekend was a very scary one, though.

 

 

(Excuse my cellphone’s crappy pic, they wouldn’t allow my Nikon at the venue)

 

The female metal-head basically fell into two types (except my lovely Maltese friends):

  1. The “Metallus Bitchus”
  2. The “Metallus Butchus”

The former I already described in this post’s beginning, all short skirts, high heels and low shirts. And loooong hair. Most of them looked really good in their stuff and were ogled by all the male species mentioned above.

These ladies get quite close, though those that I witnessed looked somehow classier, even dressed that skimpily:

 




The “Metallus Butchus” got less attention, but had the advantage of being able to move freely through the crowd and could flip through the merch at leisure, not being interrupted by drunken advances. Their long, loose cargo-pants and jeans vests just didn’t seem to attract as much attention as the mini-skirts of the “Metallus Bitchus”.

 

 (This is the first part of my doom-tastic encounter at the Hammer of Doom, stay tuned for Part II)




If not now, when?

I’m finding myself in a dilemma.

The event that started all this lies eleven years in the past. I hadn’t yet started to subscribe to Visions Magazine, so when I found new music it seldom was new to the market, just new to fifteen year old me.

That is why I was sitting in a friend’s garret, in the middle of being blown away by S.C.I.E.N.C.E. I had never heard of the album, released in 1997, let alone heard of the band: Incubus.

 

 

Following that discovery lots of internet research, frantic cassette recordings, learning of lyrics began. “Make Yourself” had just been released, and though there will always be a special place in my heart for “Pardon Me”, I loved all of its songs.

 

 

I listened to them on the way to school, thinking of nagging classmates and the peer pressure that occurs even in the nicest of classes. The album’s title song always helped to give perspective, encouraged not to blindly follow where there were shallow leaders.

It would stay on all my playlists until the day I received my secondary school diploma, the long worked-for Abitur, when I had it played during the actual awarding of the certificates.

 

“Make Yourself” would stay my favourite album, though I loved “Morning View” almost just as much.

 

 

Following its release I visited my first Incubus concert, in Düsseldorf, and it is my favourite, til this day. I lost all my companions in the crowd, but that didn’t matter. I wouldn’t have had an eye for them, as it was.

With “A Crow Left Of The Murder” a development began that changed my relationship to the band.

 

 

It was released the year I left school, 2004, and though “Megalomaniac” and “Sick Sad Little World” were part of my after-school-parties, the album didn’t sweep me off my feet like the previous ones had. I still liked their ballads, like “Here in my Room”, but the CD as a whole didn’t manage to produce that cottony-warm “Incubus-feeling” that I had had before. Of course I still saw them when touring started.

I began feeling a bit anxious for my favourite band, but I thought, so what, they grow, I grow, but we’re not growing apart. There’ll always be another album, maybe one that can evoke the feelings the band once was capable of conjuring.

Two years later I was again hopeful, as I was in 2004, that the new album would fall into line with “Morning View”, making the previous record just a slip-up in Incubus’ discography. But “Light Grenades” would somewhat disappoint again.

 

 

It’s not that I didn’t like “Anna Molly”, I did. I enjoyed “Oil and Water” and “Paper Shoes”. But. There was “Love Hurts”, probably Incubus’ most successful song since “Drive”.

 

 

Oh dear. It certainly is a good song. A Pop-ballad, but a well-done one. The only problem: it was playing on all the radio stations. All the time. Commercial success isn’t what put me off the song. It was through this endless repetition that I realized I didn’t really like it. I must’ve heard “Pardon Me” at least ten times more a week when it was released, but I didn’t tire of it. I sure tired of “Love Hurts”.

But it wasn’t only that song. It was that in its entity, the entire album had the highest count of songs I didn’t care for since listening to “Make Yourself” and just leaving out “Battlestar Scralatchtica” when recording tapes.

 

Monuments and Melodies?

 

 

Oh well… Only some of the songs were new, and those that were, I didn’t like that much. It seemed Incubus had run out of steam.

 

Which brings me back to 2011 and the dilemma I’m facing. On July 8th Incubus’ brand new album “If Not Now, When?” was released and I’m confronted with the same decision I was in 2006.

 

 

To buy or not to buy? Critics said that Incubus were steadily on their way towards mainstream and that the newest record was just the climax of this development. They said that the boys that recorded S.C.I.E.N.C.E had grown up.

I guess I have, too. And I might have to own up to the fact that, at last, Incubus and I might have grown apart. I still might have to work up the courage of finally buying the record to find out for real.

 

 

“Hold me closer Necromancer”

… is an entertaining YA novel about, you guessed it, a young necromancer.
Sam flips burgers for a living after he dropped out of college. Once day he ticks off the wrong guy and is being threatened by him- the scariest necromancer of the Seattle area. Good thing he’s a death-raiser as well. Though he isn’t that sure if it really is a good thing, he soon learns that there’s no alternative: if he wants his life and that of those near to him to be safe, he has to act fast. And his one-week deathline deadline is running out.

 

 

Author Lish McBride created an enticing tale about necromancer Sam and his friends. It is freshly written and one can not help but sympathize with the story’s hero. Especially charming are the chapter titles that embody nods to Pop and Rock songs of times gone by. Added to that are several popculture references, but the book doesn’t try to fit into the league of oh-so-cool nineties/early 2000’s popculture novels, where namedropping brands was the latest hype.

A recommendable read that leaves me hungry for a sequel.

I mean: music, funny people and the occasional zombie. What more can you ask for?

RED Rocks: Cara Beth Satalino & the Mindfulness

Facebook called and half of Solingen listened.

At least that’s what it felt like when the RED opened its gates at 20:00 sharp and the hordes poured in.

In the days prior to March 11th several electronic invites clogged the Facebook mailboxes: one from the opening act, the Mindfulness, one from the Cow Club and one from the RED.

These tripple-invites obviously worked, as the RED was packed last night with people hungry for some good tunes.

And good tunes they got: Singer/Songwriter duo the Mindfulness got on stage and started to enchant the audience with their melancholic Indie-Pop.

Singer Diane Müller has sung on Solingen’s stages for ages and already graced Fox Force Five with her voice. Sometimes softly, sometimes with gusto she creates sounds that lead to goosebumps- even during the soundcheck.

Guitarist Nicolai Wöller again proved that he too should have rocked Solingen’s stages years ago as he put many noteable guitar players to shame with his melodies.

It didn’t take long til feet were tapping and heads were bopping.

After a set of the band’s first few songs and a quick check-in with Moe they came back for an encore of Johnny Cash’s „Hurt“ and at each chorus a pub-wide sing-a-long ensued. Instant classic.

 

 

After the Mindfulness disappeared the small figure of Cara Beth Satalino entered the stage.

Soon a voice reminiscent of a childhood in the American South filled the RED, warm with a hint of laid-back-ness and an aftertaste of sweet oranges.

Usually singer of the Georgia-based band the Witches, Ms. Satalino comes from the college town Athens that has a vivid music scene and is home base to bands like R.E.M.

Now she brings her indy-pop to Germany with songs from her solo album „the good ones“.

While she was playing she appeared to be caught in another world, which brought its advantages and disadvantages:

On the one hand it was nice to see her so lost in her music and she really transported emotions while singing, waving a thick carpet of sound.

On the other hand the audience couldn’t make up its mind whether Cara Beth was only shy or if she didn’t think the audience was worth her attention, as there was barely any interaction between her and the horde in between songs.

Luckily she didn’t make a hasty retreat after she finished her set. She stayed and sold a few CDs and LPs, chatted with anyone brave enough to approach her and really made it worth their while:

Once away from the stage and its spotlight she seemed to lighten up.

She happily answered questions about her tour and her hometown.

Little sparks appeared in her eyes as the said how glad she was to return to Europe in May, this time with the support of her band. She was really looking forward to seeing the places she visited before in another season.

This other side of her, the off-stage side, really dissolved the first formed and slightly frosty impression she left during the concert.

Cara Beth Satalino left us with an autographed CD in each hand, a warm feeling inside from a great gig and hint of orange-blossoms in the otherwise to smoky air in the bar.