Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Re-post: Heute ist der Tag

...wann alles beendet oder alles fängt wieder von Vorne an.
Es ist nur eine Frage der Wahrnehmung.


14 June 2009
Sunday sunrise Kassel, 4am. Christian tells me what it is like for a dj to work with dancers...

To work in a dance piece is the most extremely enriching experience in my life. Because as a dj, it's logical to work with dancers. I've learned a lot in the last half a year because dancers have a different perception. They percieve space differently, acoustics differently, and movement differently. And they show me how you can always perceive things differently. That's why I'm the richest man of earth right now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Special Skills

Three years ago this week I moved to Germany...

And today, in honor of my other country, I perfected the Deutsches Mädchen Hairdo.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Date Night

in Kassel is funny. Sometimes it's as simple as walking down to the museum,

Where last night there was an opening by local artists.

Other times you end up at the mall.

Eating ice cream in January.

"I'll have Bounty, Creamy Cherry, and COOKIES!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bonus Beats - Neue Deutche Welle edition

New theme music with a nod to the one and only DJ Doogie, a German new wave classic... Lily prefers the video with the bad dancers. So super, Fred from Jupiter.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Translating Innocence

Saw this piece Saturday night (click "bildgalerie anzeigen" for pictures). I was blown away by the set - 3 walls of clothes, a floor of water - the costumes, the performers, and the text itself. Unschuld, it's called in German.

Five different stories of people living on the fringes of society eventually intersect by the end of the piece. There are the illegal immigrants who witness a women drowning, there is a blind stripper and a guilt-ridden mother whose son opened fire on innocent bystanders. There's the diabetic amputee mother-in-law of a man who cleans dead bodies for a living but who won't touch his own wife. Their stories are told in language that is once concrete and metaphysical, like the mundane bus-stop conversation that starts on the topic of a lost umbrella and becomes one about the existence of God.

One of the characters is a political writer married to a goldsmith, a cruel intellectual who admits to having burned all of her books except for one. Her monologues were some of the most inspiring texts in the play to me. Here's a small portion of one.

Ich will keine Draufsicht
Ich will keine Überblickphilosophie
Ich will keine lückenlose Zusammenhangserklärung
Ich hasse Systeme
Ich werde mich ganz dem Fragment, dem Lückenhaften, dem Unvollkommenen, dem Bruch, dem Bodensatz, dem Unverstandenen, dem einzelnen kleinsten Fastnichts widmen.
Das ist die Herausforderung.
Das ist das Leben.
Das ist das Herausforderung des Lebens.
Die Unzuverlässigkeit der Welt.

I don't want any oversight
I don't want a comprehensive philosophy
I don’t want an explanation of seamless interconnectedness
I hate systems
I will dedicate myself completely to the fragment, the incomplete, the imperfect, the fracture, the sediment, the incomprehensible, the single smallest increment.
That is the challenge.
That is life.
That is the challenge of life.
The unreliability of the world.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Spoils

Winter brings out the housecat in me. Desk next to the best-functioning radiator. Low light, cold weather, snow, rain, wintery mix. These days I get deep, deep into the record collection. It acts as a kind of prescription-strength substitute for sunshine. The last few months have found me both sharpening my dollar-bin game and picking up a few essential goodies. What's in heavy rotation?

This is a prime example of how good record companies are making vinyl attractive in the 21st century. Two-lp set, bonus 4-inch single. Alligator-skin textured record sleeve. Great blue-eyed soul album. Lily goes bonkers for this.

This is like the lost Neil Young album that Lily actually likes. It's not, of course, it's a new band from the Northwest. Still, it's progress.

Issue of several 1970s sessions by a Rhodesian rock band. Extensive liner notes. Great label scans. Photos, ephemera. Another example of how a careful reissue can contextualize amazing, obscure music.

The XX "islands" 45. Hard to describe this band... I have a friend who likes Joy Division, so I thought he'd like this. He didn't. People I know who don't like shoe-gazer stuff really love this band. They're making it difficult for me.

Five lp box. My christmas present to myself. Unbelievable.

Another honey, I turned up this Folkways 2lp/book set (withdrawn from the Mpls Public library, natch) this summer in NYC. Really, $10? Happy ending. One hundred 1-minute pieces.

From the dollar bin:

1970s German synthesizer music. Touch my monkey.

A brilliant jazz album I've been searching for a few years. Don Cherry, Nana Vasconcelos, Collin Walcott. Recorded in Germany in 1978. Back cover contains a great quote from Gertrude Stein's "The Making of Americans...

"He certainly was one thinking in being living.
He was completely thinking about some of the things about
which he was thinking. He was not completely
thinking about some of the things he was thinking about
in being one being living. He was completely thinking
about some of the things he was thinking about in being living.
He was not completely needing being one being one completely
thinking in being one being living."

After finding it in the 1Euro bin, I've been revisiting the first TH lp. There are so many tempo changes on this record. Whiplash.

Scooped the DU EP out of an otherwise terrible room full of euro 12." Shock G/Humpty Hump, anyone? (record nerd note: this is the first appearance of Tupac Shakur on wax, rapping on "Same Song.")

oh, and that Neil Young record.

And an electronic shout-out to something I downloaded recently that really blew my mind, by an English guy who started out as a kind of neo-soul singer in the 90s, then recorded this creepy-crazy soft rock/power pop thingy in the early 2000s. It gives me feelings when I listen to it - like, it makes me imagine that I'm hearing it in places I was in the early 1980s, like the roller rink, but I couldn't have heard it there, because it didn't exist yet. But it should have. And I feel sad that it didn't. And happy that it does now. And torn about all of it. See, feelings.

Monday, January 11, 2010


looks like this: traveling by train through blizzard "Schneesturm Daisy" to Düsseldorf despite warnings and recommendations to stock up on food and water for the next 3 days, and arriving only 15 minutes late.

Luck looks like this: playing Scrabble for the first time in German and winning. Definitely a fluke since I am terrible at the game and was up against some superbrilliant germans. But when tränen (tears) hit the tripple word score corner, the deal was sealed.

And luck looks, especially, like this: thinking my laptop was stolen. Being convinced it was stolen. Going to the Düsseldorf police, filling out a report and submitting to a lecture by a (very cute) policeman. Calling the insurance company. Changing all passwords. Cursing Germans, thieves, trains and hospital hallways berefit of videocameras. Balefuls of remorse about everything un-backed-up. Resolving to take it as a Life Lesson....and then finding it, two days later, while unpacking in Kassel, tucked innocently into the same color, same texture, same sized suitcase I had with me all the time. When I called him to tell him the good news Christian said du blöde ku, ich freue mich so sehr - you dumb cow, i'm so happy - du bist ein lucky bastard.

I guess those are the life lessons: don't be a dumb cow. And: I am such a lucky bastard.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010