Monday, August 29, 2011

Music Monday: "Morgens Immer Müde" - Laing + Trude Herr

Trude Herr

I just couldn't agree more with the popular song "Morgens immer müde" (Always tired in the mornings) by the Berlin band Laing - especially because it includes the sentiment that at night when the lights come on and when there's music playing, I'm quite awake...

What made it even more special to me was to realize that the song was originally by the vivacious Trude Herr  as  "Morgens Bin Ich Immer Müde"

Also I just happen to be a Taurus as well, although I believe I was born on 2 - on a Saturday, of course.

The lyrics (feel free to try your luck with Google Translate):

Wenn der Wecker morgens rasselt
Und der Tag nimmt seinen Lauf
Ist die Stimmung mir vermasselt
Denn ich steh’ so ungern auf

Doch wenn tausend Lichter glühen
Bin ich jede Nacht ganz groß
Und wenn dann noch Musik erklingt
Dann geht es los

Morgens bin ich immer müde
Aber abends bin ich wach
Morgens bin ich so solide
Doch am Abend werd’ ich schwach, so schwach

In der Bar „Zur flotten Biene“
Bin ich außer Rand und Band
Und ich tanz’ mit heit’rer Miene
Alle Männer an die Wand

Cha Cha, Swing und Boogie Woogie
Tanz ich ohne Unterlass
Und dann ruft gleich der ganze Saal
Die ist ein Fass

Morgens bin ich immer müde
Aber abends bin ich wach
Morgens bin ich so solide
Doch am Abend werd’ ich schwach, so schwach

Ich bin nachts um zwei geboren
Und mein Sternbild ist der Stier
Falls ein Mann mich auserkoren

Hat er es nicht leicht mit mir
Er darf morgens stets nur flüstern
Denn dann stört mich jeder Ton
Ist er mal laut, dann sag ich leis’
Du weißt es schon

Morgens bin ich immer müde
Aber abends bin ich wach
Morgens bin ich so solide
Doch am Abend werd’ ich schwach, so schwach

Friday, August 26, 2011

Portugal (Algarve + Lisbon) - In A Berlin Minute (Week 69)

This week we made a dream come true and traveled to beautiful and mysterious Portugal. We visited our friends Marisa and Nuno, whom we had met in Berlin last year.

Our first few days we spent in the Algarve: the lovely South coast. Then we drove up to Lisbon: a city full of angles, tiled houses, hills and ancient trams.

Of course, it seems crazy to try to fit an entire country into a one-minute video. But you know I had to try. So as usual, bare with me if shots are too short for you. Just pause, take a breath and enjoy.

The music is a song called "Some Other Guy" by Jason Matherne of Goonygoogoo Productions.

Padrao dos Descobrimentos

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CBN News Reports on MK Abuse

 Courageous Kari Mikitson of Fanda Eagles

Last week the Christian television station CBN News aired on Pat Robertson's The 700 Club a segment about the abuse of missionary kids in the mission field and at boarding schools. They used some footage from our documentary feature All God's Children, which focuses on the abuse of children of missionaries at the Mamou Alliance Academy overseen by the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

You can watch the segment right here.

However you might want to also visit the blog post on the CBN News website, where an interesting discussion is taking place in the comments.

For example, here is a telling comment by Beverly Shellrude Thompson of MK SafetyNet regarding the investigations of other C + MA schools:

Thank you for reporting on what for many of us has been a life-altering childhood that the Christian community has not wanted to hear about or be accountable for. There is a measure of hope in having our story told by media which that community listens to and respects. Bob Fetherlin said, "If we had to do it over again we would have taken the stories seriously right from the start. We should have responded with greater care, greater sensitivity and greater love." Fetherlin and others in the C&MA did not understand then, nor do they now, that it is not just care, sensitivity and love that we need and want. Their responsibility and our call for justice requires full, independent investigations into allegation of abuse in each of their schools. We fought hard for an independent investigation into Mamou. Since then there has not been one independent investigation into credible allegations of abuse from their other schools (Dalat, Zamboanga, their dorms at Ivory Coast Academy, Quito Alliance, Bongolo, etc.) Their investigations have been by a group called the SICG - almost all members having very direct ties to the C&MA, and Scott Ross from New Tribes Mission. What is equally disturbing is that when they have fired their employees working in those schools because they were pedophiles, they were quietly sent back to North America without being placed on sexual abuse registries, generally they did not ensure the churches they returned to were fully informed that they were sexual predators, and often these people just "disappeared" into communities where they would have free access to children. For many of us who were victims of abuse by employees of mission organizations, "greater care, greater sensitivity and greater love" involves treating sexual assault and other abuse as crimes, and not as "failures" or sin. It is time for reform.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Street Art 2011 - In A Berlin Minute (Week 68)

"Street Art 2011" - In A Berlin Minute (Week 68) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Almost exactly one year since my first "Berlin Street Art" video, I thought it would be time to show you the street art pieces I discovered around Berlin since then.

Did you notice the print that I found in both Berlin and in Brooklyn (check "Brooklyn Street Art" video if you don't remember). Pretty amazing I think that both pieces are in both cities and that just by chance I discovered both (on side streets!). 

There are enough things to see around Berlin that I could do a whole minute with just the "Lucy" wheat paste prints - or one about El Bocho in general - or one that I'd really still want to do: slogans found in Berlin. But my time in Berlin is limited and I'm looking at my last few weeks here... 

What do you think my last "In A Berlin Minute" video (for now) should be? Do you think I should keep going with a weekly 1-minute videos after I've returned to Brooklyn (for now)? 

The song used in the video is called "Reglar Wiglar" and was written and performed by Jason Matherne of Goonygoogoo Productions.

"2011 gehört den Mutigen" und XOXO Street Art
"2011 belongs to the brave" and XOXO street art

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music Monday: Band of Horses - "Georgia" (Cee Lo Green)

I'm neither from Georgia, nor am I anybody's son.

But for some reason I just can't get enough of the song "Georgia" performed by Band of Horses.

Maybe it resonates so much because I just visited my parents in my childhood home or maybe it's because I know I'm getting ready to leave my home country Germany again very soon. Or maybe it's just that some songs you just connect with for no apparent reason. 

Although I think the original version of "Georgia" by Cee Lo Green is great as well - the cover version just has more emotion for me. Somewhat ironic maybe, Cee Lo Green is actually from Atlanta, Georgia - while the band is not. However they have other connections to Georgia.

They also recorded the song in return after Cee Lo Green covered the Band of Horses song "No One's Gonna Love You". Both covers were released as a 7-inch split. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

1920s Silent Movie - In A Berlin Minute (Week 67)

"1920s Silent Movie" - In A Berlin Minute (Week 67) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Did you notice? That's right: this is Berlin in 2011 shot with my iPhone and the nexvio 8mm Vintage camera app - and not an actual silent film from the 1920s.

The phone app offers several different lens effects and film styles - not just black and white. Probably the one I like the best is XPro look the best, which has great retro color saturation - but I had wanted to make a "silent movie" with modern footage of Berlin. This week my TZ-10 had to be sent in to Panasonic to have the lens internally cleaned - so the timing was perfect.

Brandenburger Tor
Brandenburg Gate
Some of the sights you see in the video:
Siegessäule (Goldene Else)

Französischer Dom
Deutscher Dom
Berliner Dom
Hackescher Markt
Brandenburger Tor (at Pariser Platz)
Retro Tram on Oranienstrasse

The music called "Hurry" is from the Sam Fox Silent Movie Book and was played on a Hamilton Vertical by Richard Frohlich. The song falls under Creative Commons License and is available for free download at freesound.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Odd Luminary

I love The Odd Luminary and I want everyone to love him with me. I suspect him to be slightly grouchy (who wouldn't be at his age?), yet always offering a cup of tea. A slightly dusty smell lingers around him and a feather of his owl Bubo slowly floats to the ground. And of course, he is full of amazing and curious stories...

Bubo's Favorite Note Cards
Sorry, totally getting ahead of myself... What I wanted to tell you about is the wonderful "online curio shop specializing in fine art and handmade oddities from around the world" called The Odd Luminary. It is run by the talented and very hard-working Katherine Guttman and Daniel Mathers out of Brooklyn, NY. 

Ossuary Relic (Rat Skull Necklace) by Nouveau Motley

It's no wonder though that my first thoughts go to the character of The Odd Luminary, whom Daniel drew and whom Kate has given life through her beautiful and imaginative ghost-writing.

So instead of me trying to describe what the curio shop is all about, I'll quote from the website:

The Odd Luminary travels the globe accompanied by his faithful owl Bubo. Together they search for strange and wondrous things, which they bring from the four corners of the earth, back to the seven corners of their centenarian home in Brooklyn, New York.

The sleepy house is brimming with odd creatures, beautiful handmade art, and many peculiar one of a kind pieces that often defy description. You may uncover the details of his travels and possibly gain insight into the man himself by sifting through his online journal. Please stay awhile, explore his gallery and feel free to purchase from his collection.

The Winter Book by Elizabeth Beronich Sheets
He keeps a fascinating online journal and is known to share his thoughts on Twitter. Even the descriptions of the items sold at the shop are little literary pieces.

Which brings me to the most important part of this (also very well-designed) online shop: the actual items for sale. Kate and Daniel themselves as well as an array of international artists and craftspeople have created a unique selection of wares that are sorted into six different categories: The Laboratory (statues, dolls and other creatures), The Library (books, note cards, stamps), The Attic (jewelery, apparel and bags), The Parlor (trinkets, iPhone skins and odd ends), The Gallery (prints and photographs) and The Vivarium (plush animals and bird cages).

Glo by Stitches & Glue

And yes, they DO ship internationally.

Happy exploring, shopping and following along The Odd Luminary and his friends on their adventures... 

Bubo Sketchbook

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Asterix Recommends: "Little Numbers" by BOY

It's been a while since I've posted one, but my brother Asterix still has lots of great music recommendations up his sleeve.

For this rather grey and cool European summer he would suggest the upbeat song "Little Numbers" by new international (was it French and Swedish?) female duo BOY, who will release their debut album "Mutual Friends" in September on the German label Grönland Records.

The music video was directed by Meeto Grevsen.

Monday, August 8, 2011

MusicMonday: Favorite Songs of 2nd 1/4 of 2011

My favorite songs from the second quarter of 2011. 

Go (feat. Karen O.) - Santigold

Two Against One - Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi

Is Love - White Lies

L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. - Noah and The Whale

Little Surprise - The Wave Pictures

Live Alone - Debbie Harry & Franz Ferdinand

The Other Girls - Vivian Girls

Forget That You're Young - The Raveonettes

Some Boys - Death Cab for Cutie

America! - Bill Callahan

Codes and Keys - Death Cab for Cutie

Hold Me Now - Sara Lov
Lovesong - Adele

I Know I Fucked Up - Darren Hayman

The Last Goodbye - The Kills

Like New Year's Day - Matthew Ryan and Hammock

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cleverly set-up, One Day by David Nicholls gives close and lively insights into the relationship of Emma and Dexter by visiting their lives only on the 15th of July over the course of almost 20 years - with other events described in flashback. The set-up actually doesn't feel too forced - but works mainly because the events or significance of those days are quite different. The characters become so real over time, with great attention to detail and many resonating facts about growing up from your early twenties into your early forties. I was sad to see it end and kind of miss the characters. It's actually the kind of book, I wish I would have written.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dong Xuan Center Asian Market - In A Berlin Minute (Week 66)

Dong Xuan Asian Market - In A Berlin Minute (Week 66) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

In Berlin's Dong Xuan Center around 240 different shops and vendors (mostly from Vietnam) offer a fascinating mix of clothes, jewelry, toilet seats, Dollar Store wares, Asian groceries and magazines, bulletin boards, restaurants, hair and nail salons, travel agencies, mannequin heads and rubber chicken... to name only a few things I saw.

Prices are low and get even lower if you buy wholesale, which is really the point of the market.

In an unusual move for German commerce, the Asian market is open on Sundays (but closed on Tuesdays). The center is located at Herzbergstraße 128 in Lichtenberg (Eastern Berlin). "Dong Xuan" means "spring meadow".

The Vietnamese population in Berlin is significant due to ties between the former East Germany and Vietnam. A reason why there are so many wonderful Vietnamese restaurants in Berlin and why I consider Vietnamese food to be just as much "Berlin cuisine" as Döner Kebab, Falafel and Currywurst.

Heads at Dong Xuan Center, Berlin

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Extended Brooklyn Street Art Video - Bonus Clip for Week 63

Extended Brooklyn Street Art - Bonus Clip for In A Berlin Minute (Week 63) 

Every once in a while I have so much material that choosing gets too difficult or it might actually be more effective to create a longer version of one of the weekly 1-minute versions.

Because I got footage of so many amazing pieces of street art while I was in Brooklyn, I decided to make a longer version - featuring the same song "Life of Crime" by Jason Matherne.

For more info and links, please check out the post for the original 1-minute video: "Brooklyn Street Art" - In A Berlin Minute (Week 63)

André The Giant is tiny

Monday, August 1, 2011

Music Monday: Foo Fighters give garage show gifts!

Again my original Music Monday plans (long overdue Favorite Songs of 2nd 1/4 of 2011) are foiled by a "current event" - but this time it's good news.

In spring the Foo Fighters gave the gift of playing shows in the garages of lucky winners from all over the US and Canada.

Over the weekend a charming, rocking, not-overproduced 40-minute tour documentary with live cuts was released on YouTube under the name: Foo Fighters Garage Tour Full Length

Clearly the audiences were kept purposefully small (how did they keep the secret?) to maintain the personal "we're just some guys playing in a garage for friends like we used to" feeling. The hosts, who had written letters to win a show at their house, are so stoked - one of them even gets to play on stage with the band.

Through all the antics with the "regular folks" (including getting a tractor stuck in the mud), Dave Grohl and his guys prove again that they are some of the most down-to-earth, likable and personable stars in the music world.

In addition to the official tour documentary, a bunch of people from the audience uploaded their own videos, which creates a whole other level of viewing as you pick and choose which points-of-view you want to see. Of course, those videos have been up since the days of the shows - so the devoted fans have probably already seen them.

Here are a few highlights:
The first show featured in the official full-length video

The last show featured in the official full-length video

Intro from the guy who ends up playing with the Foo Fighters

Obviously a dream coming true!

Surely in some way this is a marketing strategy - although I'm not sure if the Foo Fighters would need to do something like this. But the whole thing really comes across as a band of guys who really love playing music and are having an amazing time doing so right there on the same floor as their fans - and not always just on a huge stadium or festival stage. They have my respect.