Monday, July 30, 2012

Favorite Songs from 2nd 1/4 of 2012 (MusicMonday)

My favorite songs from April - June 2012. A bit more poppy than usual maybe. And there could have been entire albums on there from several of the groups (Best Coast, First Aid Kit, Silversun Pickups...). Since by now it's the end of July, I'm already building the next list...

  3.    Ambitions / Liechtenstein
  5.    The Only Place / Best Coast 
  6.    Quick! / The Magnetic Fields
  7.    Disconnected / Keane 
  8.    Why I Cry / Best Coast
  9.    Hit The Ground (Superman) / The Big Pink 
11.    Carry On / Fun.
12.    How They Want Me To Be / Best Coast 
13.    Small Town Moon / Regina Spektor
14.    Bright Lights & Amplifiers / American Opera
15.    Never Go Solo / Islands
16.    Mean Spirits / Silversun Pickups
17.    Dread Sovereign / Shearwater 
19.    Bad For Me / Brendan Benson
20.    To a Poet / First Aid Kit

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Abandoned Gardens - Verlassener Schrebergarten - In A Berlin Minute (Week 117)

Abandoned Gardens - Verlassener Schrebergarten - In A Berlin Minute (Week 117) [HD] from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

This is one of the most atmospheric places I've been to in Berlin. Schreberg√§rten aka allotment gardens have been quite popular in German cities. People who live in apartments rent a little garden with a house and spend their summers there.

In Berlin a few of these garden colonies have been abandoned due to development plans. 

During my time in Berlin I've had the opportunity to visit a few of these gardens for true random raves and to take pictures. Yet, I can't tell you where any of them are because, you know, Berliners wouldn't want the tourists to show up...

During my explorations it became clear that plenty of people come through to party and to crash for a little while.

This was also one of my favorite shoots. If only it hadn't been so hot I could have stayed there all day. I have too much footage as it is and will make an extended version soon. It certainly was a special thrill to climb through a fence, remain undetected by the people in the neighboring still functioning allotment and explore this place full of forgotten memories. It certainly had a feel of "after the rave is before the rave" and the continuous cycle of nature and man replacing each other.

For the soundtrack I slowed down Jason Matherne's song "Indus III" and left in the original audio of the shoot, with the birds and the bees and the whispers and stepping on broken pieces that go crack.

UrbEx garden

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lana Del Rey: "Summertime Sadness" (MusicMonday)

Let me just skip the part with the "guilty pleasure" and "for some reason I just can't resist" comments - or a paragraph about pretty women and atmospheric videos.

Let's just enjoy this song, shall we?

"Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sunrise Time Lapse - In A Berlin Minute (Week 116)

Look who's back in Berlin! Me... and the sun.

Well, actually the sun mostly hides behind clouds. Only one of many challenges in trying to film a sunrise.

For one: do YOU know the perfect spot for watching a sunrise in your city in July (the further you're from the equator the more the direction changes throughout the seasons...)?

Sunsets are so much easier since you watch the sun go down. For a sunrise time lapse you need to be in perfect position before the sun rises! And once you realize you're not in the perfect spot, it's too late to move.

Also, of course, you have to stay up all night, which in Berlin is less of a challenge - especially when you have good company. Thank you Andreas Janke, Andreas Rohde, Judith Hecktor and David Yates for almost making it to sunrise on the respective nights.

The challenge is to still function right now after having slept less than 4 hours to make sure I get this put together and online on time.

I won't get into all the other challenges and I'll stand by the first shot, that's out of focus, because to my bleary eyes that's exactly what it looked like on sunrise morning 2. And once I had the epiphany that after sunset in Brooklyn for the last "In A Brooklyn Minute" video (for a while), the first "In A Berlin Minute" had to be a sunrise in Berlin. Too bad I only had two nights/mornings to work with.

What I love about this video is the song "New Adventure" by Jason Matherne. I've been wanting to use this song for a long time and was just waiting for my "moving back" video. However, one minute really is too short for this song, because next come beautifully harmonized vocals by Hollie Greer and Jason about staying connected to the person "left behind". So I pledge right now, I'll keep chasing sun rises and morning moods to put an extended version together with the full song.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka: "Home Again" (MusicMonday)

Michael Kiwanuka (from his website)
One of my favorite songs of the year: "Home Again" by British singer Michael Kiwanuka, whom I got a chance to see play live a few weeks ago in Prospect Park (and mentioned during that concert week post).

Because this week I arrived back in the town that is my original geographic home (and happen to be at my parents house right now), this seems only fitting - although I wouldn't take the song so literally, which is really what makes it fit even more. Anyway, that's personal.


Also, check out his session on the fantastic Daytrotter Sessions. I will as soon as I'm back somewhere with faster Internet (and less beautiful countryside). 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sunset Time Lapse - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 115)

Sunset seen from my new favorite (urban) sunset spot: Bark on Pier 6 (part of the outstanding Brooklyn Bridge Park), where you can watch the sun set between the Manhattan skyline and Governors Island over New Jersey -  across the water - with boats and planes crossing through - while eating vegetarian hot dogs and drinking beers with your friends.

Sunset Time Lapse - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 115) [HD] from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

This was my last social outing before I moved to Germany, where I arrived today. So this will be the last "In A Brooklyn Minute" in a while. But if you ask nicely I'll continue to show you a weekly "In A Berlin Minute". ;-)

Sunset over New Jersey seen from Brooklyn

The song is "Bahama Mama" by Jason Matherne. Special thank you to Scott Solary for his help and company on this and so many videos. Your input is always valued greatly.

GoPro shooting the sunset in Brooklyn

Monday, July 9, 2012

Paul Banks - "Summertime Is Coming" (MusicMonday)

Paul Banks photographed by Helena Christensen

Just heard this on the radio and thought this is the perfect song to celebrate the amazing summer week I've just had with my friends in Brooklyn before moving back to Berlin... and to celebrate the upcoming summer with my friends in Berlin... and letting go of doubt and other things... 

"Summertime is Coming" is on the new EP by Paul Banks (singer of Interpol) called "Julian Plenti Lives...". The song is available as a free download and there is supposed to be a full album out in October. Can't wait to hear the rest of the songs. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Park Slope - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 114)

Park Slope is the gorgeous Brooklyn neighborhood I'm lucky to call home. It's beautiful at any time of year, but summer is especially nice when the trees and flowers add color.

It features luscious green trees, lots of flowers, classic Brownstones and other grand buildings, gas lanterns and slate sidewalks, mostly local businesses, the infamous Park Slope Food Coop, lots of strollers, dogs and cats - and last but not least slopes up to wonderful Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza with the Brooklyn Library and The Arch.

Fancy homes on Union Street
In Berlin I established the tradition to make a video about a neighborhood whenever I moved to another one. Thought I'd pick up the tradition now that I'm leaving Park Slope to move back to Berlin. That's right, the next video will be posted in Berlin again - although because I'm leaving on a Wednesday, I might still shoot the next video in Brooklyn instead of just in the airplane.

The song is the instrumental version of "In A Tree" by Jason Matherne. I have to admit I slowed it down just a tiny little bit to slow down the speed of the cuts a little bit.

Not-so-fancy laundromat on 8th Avenue

Monday, July 2, 2012

Latest Motivational Songs: Do It Anyway [Ben Folds Five] + Carry On [Fun.] (Music Monday)

Haven't quite made up my mind if in the near future I'll be sharing here some of my frustrations with the recent release of my documentary All's Well and Fair - because, you know, you're always supposed to be all positive.

I'd like to think I'll soon be getting back to writing more personal blog posts again. But for now there's just my In A Brooklyn Minute to let you know what I saw the past week and the Music Monday posts, which mostly feature a favorite recent song, but sometimes reveal what else might be going on.

So today I'd like to share two songs that I keep playing lately just to (mentally) sing along to the chorus (even if the actual meaning of the song doesn't relate directly) to help me keep it all going despite some letdowns.


Thanks, guys, for the (unintentional?) motivation songs!