Archive for the ‘Berlin Germany’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: JENDRIK-“I Don’t Feel Hate” (Germany, Eurovision Entry 2021).

I couldn’t really leave Eurovision without mention the German entry which raised lots of eyebrows with its dancing foam middle  finer.

The melody is very catchy–reminds me a lot of Wham or a George Michael song except he’s playing it on the ukulele.  After a quick clapped beat, the bass kicks in.

The song is pretty over the top in terms of everything, but his heart is so on his sleeve that I 100% support his message of tolerance.

So you can wiggle with that middle finger, it’ll never wiggle back to you

And then came the big surprise.  He sings “I don’t feel”  and the song explodes with orchestral hits.  It turns into a big dance party and then ends as quickly as it started.

There’s a middle section that begins

I really don’t mind (ah, ah-ah) to be your rival (ah-ah, ah-ah)
‘Cause for your kind it’s essential for survival (say what? He did not just say that)
Yes, I did (yes, I did), and I feel sorry (so sorry)
I don’t feel hate, that’s the whole point of this song (that’s the song)

and then segues into a twenties-era melody with muted trumpets and very fast vocals:

I guess you need patronization as some kind of validation
You won’t cope with the frustration that your random me-fixation
Is another affirmation that you’re just a hateful person
Who’s not really better than me

Then comes a muted trumpet solo which toes in perfectly to the following, yes, tap dance break.

Jandrik really couldn’t have put anything more into this song.  It is so over the top, so very much too much, and I really like it. The foam middle finger is crazy cheesy though, which fits pretty well.

The actual video though is quite well produced–his extras are really excellent.

[READ: May 21, 2021] “How I Spent the War”

Do you want to know what went through the mind of a Nazi as World War II was ending?

Well, this essay by author Günter Grass–whom I have never read although I have often intended to–tells you.

When he was fifteen, living in Danzig, he volunteered for active duty.  This was not youthful folly.  He wanted to support his country and his Führer–he offers no excuses.

He had been serving in the Luftwaffe auxiliary–a group of boys too young to be conscripted.  It was compulsory but many viewed it as a respite from school routine.

They felt like they were guarding the front line–the last line of defense before Germany was destroyed.  They were allowed to go home every two weeks but Grass’ home wasn’t great.  He hated his father–probably because his father was a peace loving man.

So he would watch the newsreels and revel in videos of Germany’s subs returning victorious.

He volunteered to serve on a submarine, was rejected–they had too many volunteers and he was too young.  He was later called up for Labor Service like everyone his age–three months active duty—giving up the chic Luftwaffe uniform for Labor Service’s shit brown. (more…)

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2000SOUNDTRACK: BERLIN“Sex (I’m A)” (2019 version) (2019).

berlinBerlin had a few more hits than most people remember.  There is of course, “Take My Breath Away,” and “The Metro” but also had and the infamous hit “Sex (I’m A)” which is the most 80’s song I can think of.

So here it is 2019 and the Terri Nunn has reunited with Berlin co-founders John Crawford and David Diamond for their first Berlin album together since 1984.  That album, Love Life, featured “No More Words” (I had forgotten that one).

I also didn’t know that Terri Nunn was not the original singer of Berlin.  Their first album, Information had Virginia Macolino on lead vocals.

But in 2019, the three got together to release Transcendance.  And this album has an update of “Sex (I’m A).”  Terri Nunn pointed out in an interview that she still wanted to sing about sexuality now that she is in her fifties, but didn’t want to make songs that made it sound like she was still in her twenties.

So why they decided to cover this song, I don’t know. It’s not very different.  The lyrics are (I think) the same (It’s hard to remember all of the things she “is”  in the song.

The music is different–the drums are bigger and the synth is a little less plastic sounding.  The vocals sound almost identical. Terri Nunn’s voice sounds great.

The one big difference is the inclusion of a lot of guitar. Both in the chorus (which rocks a bit more) and in the occasional solos after the verses.  And after the chorus there’s a more modern pulsing rhythm which sounds pretty good.

It’s a fine update–adding some things and not really losing anything, but it doesn’t seem entirely necessary.

[READ: September 10, 2019] “Beulah Berlin, An A-Z” 

This story was created with a kind of gimmick, but it works.

Almost every paragraph (some sections are longer than one paragraph) starts with an oversized capital letter, A to Z.  And each capital letter is the first word of the new section and (almost) the last word of the previous section.

So paragraph one begins with “Angst” and ends with “Berlin.”  Section two begins with “Berlin” and ends with “cooler.”  Section three opens with “Color” (so there’s a slight variant at work sometimes).

This formal structure sort of makes the story forced, but not really.  Mostly it’s fun to see how Boyd set it up. (more…)

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