Monday, January 31, 2011

MusicMonday: Lykke Li - "I Follow Rivers"

Could hardly wait for this Monday to come around to share this excellent song and video: Lykke Li with "I Follow Rivers". The video, directed by Tarik Saleh, is so simple and beautiful.

I'm counting the days until the album's release! 27.

A bit of (not surprising) irony, the YouTube version that is embedded on the offiical Lykke Li website cannot be watched in Germany because, you know, the rights to the song belong to Warner Music Group. Oh GEMA + YouTube + record labels, will you ever figure this out?  

In addition, there's a remix by Dave Sitek (free download).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hipstamatic - In A Berlin Minute (Week 39)

Hipstamatic was declared one of the iPhone apps of the year 2010. It instantly adds effects to digital iPhone photos to make them look like they were taken with an old leaky camera with plastic lenses. In short: it's awesome!!!

Because I've been so busy making videos every week (aside from those activities I like to call "work") - I really haven't had much time for my other extracurricular creative projects, like writing on my blog or posting photos.

For the longest time I've been meaning to write about how much I love the Hipstamatic application and share a few prints. To make that happen there really was only one choice: make a weekly "In A Berlin Minute" video featuring a few photos.

By now you can purchase (there have been some limited additions as well) 7 lenses, 9 films and 7 flashes/gels. So there are over 400 different looks you can create.

An overview of the majority of looks: Photojojo's Ultimate Hipstamatic Guide.

It was really difficult to choose the small amount of photos that would fit into one minute without giving anyone seizures.  So in addition I posted the total of 55 pre-selects in a Picasa album: "Hipstamatic Video Selects".

I chose Picasa since it links via google directly to my YouTube account - all under one name. But since there's a connection between Hipstamatic + Flickr, I'll post them there as well. But I don't have time for that right now because I've got to run to see Nouvelle Vague play...

However I am curious: do you use Flickr or Picasa or just Facebook or twitpic or what? You print your photos on paper?

The song in the video is called "Sunburn" and was written and performed by my friend Jason Matherne

I've created a Flickr album where you can check out some of the other Hipstamatic photos that aren't in the video.

Berliner Dom on Hipstamatic

Monday, January 24, 2011

MusicMonday: Girls Can Be Cute (Best Coast, She & Him, 'Allo Darlin)

With all the tough girls and the mysterious girls and the sex-you-up girls, I thought it'd be nice to feature a few cute, or even whimsical, girls with their playful videos and their more-or-less (2 out of 3) retro-inspired music:

"Crazy For You" (Mexican Summer) by Best Coast

"Don't Look Back" by She & Him

"My Heart Is A Drummer" by Allo, Darlin'

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tacheles - In A Berlin Minute (Week 38)

A few days ago a guy* I know in Philadelphia (US) posted on Facebook an article from a UK paper about Tacheles, an art collective here in my neighborhood in Berlin. The article's focus was the imminent danger of Tacheles closing. With such a global alert it was high time I made a 1-minute video about it.

Tacheles Kunsthaus is a large art house in Berlin Mitte - featuring galleries, studios, shops, cafes, a movie theater and lots and lots of sculptures, grafitti and any visual arts the creative mind can think up.

It used to be a squat - and one of my favorite Berlin memories is going to one of their huge parties in the early 90s when the back wall was still missing, the courtyard teaming with people in the semi-dark and Berlin full of unlimited possibilities.

Later on Tacheles got a proper lease, which has now expired - and with the entire neighborhood having been gentrified and becoming high-rent, it's not clear how long Tacheles can hold out against the desires of developers. The apparent goal of the "I Support Tacheles" campaign is to have the actual art house be turned over to a public foundation so its existence can continue. 

A quick word to the video: I decided to avoid shooting "sell-able" art as much as possible, to not infringe on someone's copyright - and also because of all the "no photos" signs.

If you are (ever) in Berlin, please make sure to check out the actual art on display and, if you can, spend some money...

The featured song "Q" is by Berlin musician Tans.
Tans' YouTube channel:

We found each other via YouTube. I'm always looking for instrumental music I can use in these short videos for free. If you're into that, please let me know.

* For you film people and activists out there: the "guy from Philly" is Scott Beibin of the Lost Film Fest and Evil Twin Booking.

I support Tacheles

Monday, January 17, 2011

MusicMonday: Favorite Songs of 2010

This is the last time, I'll milk some of these songs for a Music Monday posting. 

Out of the 90 songs I had collected for my four 1/4 of 2010 Mix CDs, I just put together the usual two year-end mix CDs, one Up, one Down (kind of based on mood). 

In this case I think I kind of did it with one eye closed. Because there were so many great songs, I tried to stick to the "only one song per band per CD" - when really I would have liked to include the entire The National and Arcade Fire albums and several songs by jj and Standard Fare and...So maybe they're not exactly my favorites - but they are some of them. 

If you want them, you know who to ask.

2010 UP
Get Some  -  Lykke Li
Ready To Start  -  Arcade Fire
Coquet Coquette  -  Of Montreal
Henry Rollins Don't Dance  -  "Allo, Darlin'"
Written In Reverse  -  Spoon
Polly Got Away  -  Clinical Trials
I Hate People  -  Jemina Pearl Feat. Iggy Pop
Crash Years  -  The New Pornographers
Love Doesn't Just Stop  -  Standard Fare
I Learned The Hard Way  -  Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Bottled in Cork  -  Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
We Don't Want Your Body  -  Stars
My Horse Likes You  -  Bonaparte
In Ruins  -  Fol Chen
Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith)  -   Crystal Castles
Rill Rill  -  Sleigh Bells
Dancing on My Own  -  Robyn
Odessa  -  Caribou
I Can Change  -  LCD Soundsystem
One Life Stand  -  Hot Chip

2010 DOWN
A Line In The Dirt  -  Eels
When I'm With You  -  Best Coast
Zebra  -  Beach House
The Dream Song  -  Barzin
Factory  -  Band of Horses
Schwarz zu Blau (Peter Fox Cover) -  Philipp Poisel (free download)
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouller  -  Quasi
Afraid Of Everyone  -  The National
Rope and Summit  -  Junip
Kirschen (Wenn Der Sommer Kommt)  -  Nils Koppruch
F**k You  -  Cee Lo Green
New York Is Killing Me  -  Gil Scott-Heron
The High Road  -  Broken Bells
Heavy In Your Arms  -  Florence + The Machine
let them  -  jj
Lovesick  -  Lindstrøm and Christabelle
I Feel Bonnie (House Mix) (Feat. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy)  -  Hot Chip
Over  -  Drake

Friday, January 14, 2011

Maueropfer / Wall Victims - In A Berlin Minute (Week 37)

From 1961 until 1989 at least 136 people died directly because of the Berlin Wall and border area. These people are referred to as "Todesopfer der Berliner Mauer" or just "Maueropfer" (wall victims). There are disputes as to the exact numbers. Another study puts the number at 245.

Another 251 people died of natural causes during or after crossing the border, mostly through heart attacks.

There are several memorials for the victims in Berlin. For this video I captured these (in order):

- "Todesopfer the Berliner Mauer Fenster des Gedenkens" - "Victims of the Berlin Wall Window of Remembrance" at the official Berlin Wall Memorial (Bernauer Strasse). This is also the source of the audio.

- Several Weisse Kreuze (White Crosses) around the Reichstag and along the Spree River.

- One of several Memorial Stones along Bernauer Strasse tilting up to the Kapelle der Versöhnung (Chapel of Reconciliation), which was built in the place of a church (of the same name) that for about two decades remained empty in the death zone until it was torn down in the 1980s.

Maueropfer Denkmahl - Bernauer Strasse - Berlin
Wall Victims Memorial - Bernauer Street - Berlin

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MusicMonday: Dance Songs

Just got through a rather intense work phase and now could really use a good night of dancing. But because I'm too tired to go out, my disco ball is still in the box and not up on the ceiling yet and I actually still need to do some more work... it won't be tonight.

I purposefully am only posting videos I haven't  embedded on the blog yet (but may have mentioned). Because if I was reposting the same videos, you'd know Lykke Li's "Get Some" would be at the very top.


Lovesick - Lindstrøm & Christabelle

F**k You - Cee Lo Green

Power - Kanye West (Uncensored)

You want to know how tired I am? I JUST realized now that today is already Tuesday. At least I hope it's not already Wednesday. Better embed that last one and publish before I fall asleep... 

Not In Love feat. Robert Smith  - Crystal Castles

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Praha - Prague - In A Berlin Minute (Week 36)

For our fifteenth (15th!!!) wedding anniversary Scott and I went on a super-spontaneous super-short 24-hour trip to Prague, where neither of us had been before. This beat in shortness our 2-day trip to Vienna (10th) and our (personally) legendary 2-week trip to Barbados (5th).

Luckily and by sheer coincidence, two friends from Brooklyn, Perri and Kirk, were on the same train and saved us two seats in the restaurant car, since our reserved car was (again) not part of this train. #%&*@ you Deutsche Bahn!

The view from the train trip was magnificent. Prague was magical.

However, I don't think I've ever seen so many tourists in one place. I wanted to make sure that came across - and all the languages you could hear in the city - and then how quite it was during the cold night up at cathedral inside the castle grounds. 

There is no way I could squeeze in all that I saw and recorded into this one minute. But I hope you enjoy the glimpse I put together for you.

Some of what you see:
Charles Bridge - Karluv most
Prague Castle - Prazsky hrad
Castle Steps - Zamecke schody
St. Vitus Cathedral - chram sv Vita
St. George Square - namesti U sv Jitl
David Cerny Sculpture "Hanging Out" - Viselec
Old Town Square - Staroměstské náměst
Astronomical Tower - Astronomicka vez
Church of Our Lady before Tyn - Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem

Prague - Praha

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thanks, Genius... and Elizabeth Gilbert... and TED

Every once in a while I treat myself to watching a video from the "A Taste of TED Talks" podcast collection. 

Today, while trying to take a break from struggling with doubt and fear of failure, I happened to watch the following TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert - by sheer coincidence. Except that when I watched it, I had to consider that it might have been put in front of me by some sort of genius...

Of course, I don't struggle with the same situation as the author of Eat, Pray, Love does: fear of failure after a huge success. Of course, I wish that was my problem. But a lot of what she says made sense and I found it to be uplifting and motivating.

I thought someone else might appreciate watching it as well. 

Now, I need to go and show up for my part of the job.

Unfortunately this clip with subtitles cannot be resized to fit the blog. But I thought having the subtitles is more important in this case.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year (In Photo and Video)

Because I knew a few people were going to send me holiday cards this year, including ShooterHatesYou (who had announced on his vlog that he was going to hand-draw cards to anyone who asked for one), I decided I should get creative and make one for those people as well.

Almost magically I immediately found the perfect photo that summed up most of what 2010 was all about for me. I should probably mention that in America it's a tradition to include in your holiday card a letter summing up what you and your family were up to during that year.

Marisa steps out of the card
Instead of a letter, this image summed up my 2010: travel, Berlin, adventure, exploration, art, creativity, work, friends, family, love, partnership, marriage, communication, productivity, photography, video, beauty, aesthetics, snow, flowers, seasons, inspiration through work by others, personal view, documenting, constant camera carrying, iPhone, capturing other people's art, participating in meta creations, directions, confusion, options, aging, loneliness, solitude, greeting cards, postcards (Erik and Kate, that's mostly thanks to you) and even the world cup.

Really the only thing that's missing is something resembling music. 

The photo (taken with my phone) shows my friend Marisa Baptista, a video/vj/projection artist, whom I met during the Fussball World Cup, stepping out from behind a photograph by Susanne Wehr (part of her piece Personal View, which is also published as a take-away newspaper print) to take a picture of people looking at other works of art at the Berlinische Galerie in December.

While I made the card originally for specific people, I wanted to share it with all of you here. The following video, however, I made specifically for all of you who have been so awesome to read my blog and watch my videos and encourage my little creative endeavors through your comments. Thank you so much!

This is not the regular "In A Berlin Minute" Video for week 36 - that one I still need to edit and will probably upload on Friday.

This greeting from the streets of Mitte, Berlin, where Scott and I took a midnight stroll amongst the fireworks on New Year's Eve, is ESPECIALLY FOR YOU!

Silvester / New Year's Eve 2011 - In A Berlin Minute (Week 36 Bonus Clip) 

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and productive 2011!
Let's be creative and kind. 

- Luci 

Monday, January 3, 2011

MusicMonday: Favorite Songs of 4th 1/4 of 2010

Here is the list for my mix CD of favorite songs from the last three months of 2010.

As usual there were more favorites than would fit on one CD. And yet I still wonder about songs that I included, like the Kanye West song - not just because of the somewhat questionable text, but because of the long intro and outro, which I actually don't love so much. Other songs are from much earlier in the year, but somehow still found their way on this mix.

All song links below point to official music video when available. 

Get Some - Lykke Li

My Horse Likes You - Bonaparte

Ambling Alp - Yeasayer

I Can Change - LCD Soundsystem
(must-watch video)

Lovesick - Lindstrøm and Christabelle

(new official video)
When I'm With You - Best Coast

Factory    Band of Horses
(live on Later with Jools Holland)

F**k You - Cee Lo Green

Over - Drake

Echoes - Klaxons

Bottled in Cork - Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Living In Colour - Frightened Rabbit

The End - Best Coast