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2014 in a nutshell
fm014
fm014

January 2014:

I started the year with the “Fnord News Show” and with summarizing my music stats of 2013. I also started reading “The Physician” by Noah Gordon (, which I still need to finish).

My first cinema visit of the year was on day 5 for a good coming-of-age film.

I read “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, which I find quite strange as a story.

I helped painting walls of what would become sort of my second home that year.

I’ve spent quite a few nice evenings with K..

My family got a new car.

My music journal reached its 300th entry.

I continued producing my podcast on a monthly basis.

One remarkable night included a 9 hour club tour - as part of my voluntary support of LOHRO.

The beginning of America’s award season let me get to know new artists.


Films I watched that month: “Walter Mitty”, “Enough Said”, “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, “Only Lovers Left Alive”, “12 Years A Slave”, “Meine Schwestern”


February 2014:

I challenged myself with cooking chicken curry.

I took part in a radio workshop, that would be the foundation for me being in charge of a radio show.

One highlight evening was a film music quiz night with friends.

Another great bit of February was my short trip to Berlin so see Russell Brand live (with his “Messiah Complex” show).

I began to realize that I was developing some kind of daily grind for certain weekdays.

My (German) main blog reached its 500th post.

One of my computers made me spend hours with backups and stuff.

I saw one of the first live shows by a band called diemeeresindblau..

I had one of my first of those Sundays that included a radio show, cooking pudding and an IT group meeting.


Films I watched that month: “Le Week-End”, “39,90”, “Machete Kills”, “RoboCop” (both from 1987 and 2014), “Wüstenblume”, “The Monuments Men”, “Philomena”


March 2014:

I cooked some sort of Canadian pancake with cheese and bacon. (Never again.)

I met a bunch of cool people and we ate a burger place.

There was one party night I should never forget, because it was epic and it made me miss hosting a radio show.

A few days later I had my very first hosting duties on my own, which was very exciting. Also it was on Pi-Day.

I started reading the latest comic book volume of the Marvel character “Magneto”.

I cooked my very first risotto and it turned out to be very tasty.

I wrote about new music by Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias and Shakira, because I was so frustrated about it.


Films I watched that month: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “Last Vegas”, “Pusher”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Die Kunst des negativen Denkens”


April 2014:

This month started with an end. I watched the final episode of “How I Met Your Mother”.

I took the chance to see Lee MacDougall (& Paper Aeroplanes) live in Greifswald.

I had one of the quickest dentist appointments of all time.

I started spending lots of free time at Frieda 23 (a place for culture and stuff).

I visited the hackspace of Rostock for the first time.

I got myself a new computer. (see February)

April ended with a very nice party night.


Films I watched that month: “Snowpiercer”, “Idioten”, “her”, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”


May 2014:

I started getting to know the new broadcast studio at Frieda 23.

We said goodbye to the old home of LOHRO at Margaretenplatz - with a bbq plus party. I was supposed to have a small DJ slot, actually, but instead I went to the JAZ club for the first tim, which turned out to be an epic night.

I met nice couchsurfers travelling through Rostock.

And within one week I had another epic party night, that should not be forgotten. (thanks to MM)

I was asked for help with Windows 8, which gave me the opportunity to work with that system for the first time.

I had second thoughts about my every day structure, because of all the exhaustion I was feeling.

There was the first barbeque session at the city harbor.

We had elections.

I joined the hackspace community, which must have been very entertaining for some folks there.

Also very entertaining was a birthday party at the Bunker club, that let me end that month in style.


Films I watched that month: “Godzilla” (2014), “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “Sharknado”


June 2014:

I took part in an open air campus quiz event, and my team almost won first place.

I tried a vegan kebab for the first time - it was okay.

I was aked to take photos of a sports contest at midsummer.

The football world cup provided some nice evening entertainment.

I went to my old campus for their annual summer festival - and it was a crazy night. Even crazier was the fact that I managed to make it to an interview appointment on the following day.

Goldfrapp’s “Stranger” video made it into my soundtrack of the year.


Films I watched that month: “Maleficent”, “Boyhood”, “The Fault In Our Stars”


July 2014:

I started that month very early because of a special radio show including listener charts.

There was this wonderful evening with friends in Warnemünde, which could have included an open air show - but some of us chose not to go there in the end.

I managed to go to two birthday events in one evening.

I could not celebrate Germany winning the football world cup, because I had one of my first morning radio show hosting duties the day after.

I had a very thrilling boat trip at the coast of Rügen, because of the motion of the sea.

I’m glad that I went to a shared birthday party at Studentenkeller, although I had another morning show scheduled for the following day. Also that following day I made jelly shots and I saw Mark Forster and Andreas Bourani performing live at the beach. And this day was followed by an even more extreme day for me, that included another DJ gig at a LOHRO party and tons of glitter.


Films I watched that month: “Transcendence”, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”, “Monsieur Claude und seine Töchter”


August 2014:

As every year I went to the HanseSail with friends.

I took the chance to reconnect with a friend from my uni days.

Although I lost quite some sleep, I decided to go out with friends - even though that black music motto wasn’t my cup of tea. The fun was worth it.

I read Kevin Smith’s script of a Superman film, that was never made.

I finally made it to see the rest of Doctor Who’s series 6 - just in time for a nice motto evening.

I tasted the black Tatratea for the first time.

A goodbye party did not end very well for me… and the morning after was one of the weirdest in my life.

That month ended with lots of deep house music and another sad goodbye.


Films I watched that month: “Maman und ich”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, “Tom At The Farm”, “Guardians Of The Galaxy”


September 2014:

I began vlogging again (because that is the appropriate time of the year I guess).

Lots of new faces started working at LOHRO and I contributed to several workshops in that context.

There was a nice work-related burger session at Freigarten.

I had lots of free time filled up with preparation for a special broadcast about questions that were raised with the material released by Edward Snowden - in regards to a worldwide reading event.

I had an awesome evening meeting old and new friends at Pleitegeier, that somehow ended unexpected.

One evening included a concert in a theatre and a fun karaoke party somewhere else afterwards.

I had a great day trip to Lübeck, although I was very tired.

I took a few days off - (my first vacation in 2014) - during which I read many comic books and I cooked bœuf bourguignon.

The plenary meeting of LOHRO turned out to be quite difficult for me. And just a few days later I had a hell of a party weekend including house music at JAZ. Sadly it was because of a few more goodbyes.


Films I watched that month: “The Way Way Back”, “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For”


October 2014:

I read Mark Millar’s “Starlight” that seems like a mix of “Flash Gordon” and “R.E.D.”.

There was another sad goodbye happening, that came with a crazy night out… and once again, deep house music.

I spent an afternoon with a couchsurfing friend who was in town and remembered me, even though we hadn’t seen each other in months.

Then there was my first 26 hour day - thanks to voluntary work at LOHRO (morning show + Nick Cave themed party).

A train strike ruined my plans for the weekend.

I started reading “Persepolis”, which gave me a lot think about.

I tried “Kvass” for the first time - “as refreshing as bread”... not really.

I went to a sold out concert of “AnnenMayKantereit”, that clearly was one highlight of the year.


Films I watched that month: “The Normal Heart”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”


November 2014:

I started this month with a news workshop.

I went to a poetry slam at the Peter-Weiss-Haus, which turned out to be quite strange.

The 2014 EMAs made me write a whole blog post about the awards and the performances.

I had the Sailing Conductors as studio guest (on the radio), they performed live in front of me and I saw them again that day at the MAU club.

I cooked chili con carne for 10+ people (also with a veggie option) and that was challenging. I also baked two cakes that day, which was also the date of yet another goodbye event. But hey, at least I could celebrate into my birthday.

Speaking of birthday… I prepared my party on a boat for months and I’d say it was worth it.

Also worthy was the tasting of precious whisky and gin brands, that I got to experience a couple of days later.

I went to some kind of “IT career night” thingy, where they had delicious food… and talks, of course.

The month ended with another birthday party, that continued at Warmbad, and two leaked Madonna songs that provided me with new haunting tunes.


Films I watched that month: “Under The Skin”, “Interstellar”, “Im Labyrinth des Schweigens”, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1”, “Sharknado 2”


December 2014:

There was some sort of reconstruction going on in my flat… and of course, they had to start early in the morning.

I finished reading “Persepolis” - a very good book.

I went to an annual classical concert event at the HMT, that featured also a good buffet.

I was invited to another very nice Doctor Who themed evening with snacks, a board game and a Christmas special.

There was another goodbye after a long day with editorial meeting, cinema visit and trash music party.

I went to a welcome party of “project:raum” that featured salsa dancing and… waffles.

There was a tough week for me doing an hour morning show every workday - and it ended with another special broadcast and a fun Christmas party at Frieda 23.

I almost cried watching the final episode ot “The Late Late Show with Craig Fergusson”. I will miss that show.

I had a very quiet Christmas, and it was okay.

My very own special radio broadcast (to honor my first anniversary on the radio) was one of the best evenings of the year - thanks to friends.

And also this years NYE party turned out to be very good.


Films I watched that month: “Piranha 3DD”, “Rubber”, “CITIZENFOUR”, “The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies”, “The Homesman”, “Madagascar 3”
Tags: ,

the rest of 2013
fm014
fm014
June 2013:
This month gave me an emotional rollercoaster. Why? Because I spend epic times with lovely people - and then I kind of lost them from my daily life.
There was this trip to the beach which I will always remember as one of the best days of the year.
Then I had one highlight of a breakfast thanks to a friend who was destined to be a chef.
Also that was the month in which I got in touch with the folks at the local radio station LOHRO. Soon I would become a regular guest at the meetings of the editorial staff.
I watched some of the worst films of the year - "After Earth" and "Olympus Has Fallen". Also "Man Of Steel" was just good instead of epic.

July 2013:
Oh, I remember a very disappointing looking weekend that turned out to be great.
I started reading a book that I just finished yesterday. In between I've read a couple of books, though.
Another beginning marked me starting to code in Python, a language that is still growing on me.
There were a few more goodbye sessions that really kept me thinking.
Also in July I got to know the fantastic comic series "Saga" - I'd like to include a big "FINALLY".
A special night included hot weather and a living room concert at one of my couchsurfing friends. That night was great.

August 2013:
This month started with a burger challenge.
I had a wonderful short trip to Hamburg - with friends, plants and Franzbrötchen.
I started reading "Hawkeye", which was a very good idea, because it's now one of my favorite comic books.
Also "Y: The Last Man" is a comic series I can recommend to anyone.
I enjoyed watching "Elysium", because it was original and good scifi.

September 2013:
There was another goodbye to a dear couchsurfing friend.
My internship began - so days were filled with exciting IT work - no pun intended. I was really thankful for that.
I had another epic short vacation - this time in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Lots of footage was used for my vlog series on YouTube.
I started reading another highlight comic book series called "The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man".
I re-connected with a friend and spend some time Berlin - again.
And a lot of tv shows started with new seasons.

October 2013:
"Gravity" was another cinema highlight - even with 3D.
I had a very great party night - including Bad Taste music.
There was a nice living room concert that turned out to be a challenging night.
I made one of my dreams come true and saw John Mayer live in Amsterdam.
So that was the main holiday of 2013 - 2 days in Amsterdam - and I pretty much enjoyed every minute.
Also noteworthy are a few nice LOHRO events where I got to know new people.
And then I had very special shopping trip to Hamburg - that ended with watching the second "Thor" film.

Novermber 2013:
I went to a local meeting about politics.
My 30th birthday came and I had some preparation going.
I went to a great club night - including 4 clubs.
I had my first DJ gig as part of a LOHRO party - just before another wonderful weekend with friends in Hamburg.
Again there were several nights at the movies.
And I could not wait for Black Friday.

December 2013:
I went to a special concert by music students.
Heavy storm weather hit Rostock.
There was another living room concert that turned out to be an epic experience.
With LOHRO friends I recorded my first podcast which was about music.
Of course, I watched the second "Hobbit" film in the cinema.
There was kind of bad news regarding my job that let me have a depressing weekend.
I attended 2 very different Christmas parties.
My holidays were very quiet and relaxing.
And I had my first live broadcast at the local radio station.

13.5 months - compact
fm014
fm014
This time I'll try to sum up all the stuff that went on since I made a real post.

April 2012:
Before the start of season 2 I managed to catch up on the "Game of Thrones" tv series - during one weekend.
I watched "Titanic" in 3D.
Then came Easter, which was relaxing as it shoudl be.
I started going to the gym on a regular basis.
"Chronicle" was my film of the month.
And "Fefes Blog" became one of my most visited news sites, because he gets a lot of input.
The end of April gave us another "German Idol" (although he is Swiss actually) and I saw it live while having wonderful holidays in Vienna.

May 2012:
Another big film of 2012 got released and I watched it several times - "The Avengers" (or "Marvel's The Avengers").
I started playing "The Darkness" (part 1) on my PS3 and was quite happy about the game concept.
Episode 23 of the "Alternativlos" podcast ranked among my top infotainment sources - and I still like that one today.
Spotify was made available in Germany and I had a few sessions on Soundrop, where you can experience a playlist with others.
I ate the biggest burger I've ever had - at the Meatropolis restaurant.
The news flashes from Greece made me a bit depressed - and unfortunately nothing has improved there since then.
Alanis Morissette had a comeback with the song "Guardian" and as a fan I had this tune stuck in my head for days. :P
I was in London for the second "Kapow Comic Convention" in Islington. I stayed at the Hilton hotel right next to the venue and got pretty much all the signatures on my comic books that I wanted to have. It was a great weekend.
The third "Men In Black" got released and left me quite disappointed.
John Mayer's "Born And Raised" album made me very happy, however.
I had a nice walk through Warnemünde with a complete stranger - well, not completely complete. :D
I bought my first issue of "GQ" - mainly just because a new issue of the German "Wired" came with it. I did not enjoy reading "GQ".

June 2012:
I watched "Moonrise Kingdom" with a few friends - another one of 2012's best films.
I read a free ebook called "The Flinch", which I did not like that much.
"Trembling Hands" by The Temper Trap was one of my most played songs that month.
Sophie B. Hawkins finally released her latest album "The Crossing" and it made my day to get to know all the new songs.
I stopped going to the pub quiz on Mondays, because I felt that I could use some more extra time for sleeping.
I'm not a fan of Chris Brown, but his song "Don't Wake Me Up" was one of my favorite tunes at that time.
One of the saddest news was the closing of the Hansa Filmpalast cinema.
I went to my first potluck party - via couchsurfing friends - and had one the best nights ever.
The blogger project "52 songs" ended. For 52 weeks I was contributing my favorite songs for different topics. (see my German blog)
I was at a Madonna concert in Berlin - and yes, I totally loved it. Her MDNA will soon come out on DVD and stuff. :P
"The Newsroom" started - a very good tv series about... news.

July 2012:
That was the month when I first was kind of impressed by Lana Del Rey, because of her video for "National Anthem".
The summer festival of my old faculty was awesome.
Right after that I sort of tried to enjoy my first Bollywood party - the food was great, the music not so much.
I started watching Doctor Who again.
I had my first visit at the DejaVue club, which was okay.
I dyed my hair red.
I visited London again - this time with my friend G. - it was awesome.
Speaking of awesome - "The Dark Knight Rises" came out. :)

August 2012:
I was reading "Zeitgeist" by Bruce Sterling those days - a quite strange book.
An then I also read "50 Shades of Grey" - another not so great read.
I watched the 1979 film "Alien" for the first time - a true classic.
Then came "Prometheus" - a very weak SciFi adventure (although the CGI was ace).
I went to London (again) for "Summer in the city" - a YouTube gathering/event.
The new "Total Recall" film was one of worst films of 2012.
"Havoc And Bright Lights" (the latest Alanis album) got released - and made me happy.

September 2012:
It took many months until I finally got to see "Cabin In The Woods" - but it was worth the wait.
For a weekend I had to look after a cat - that soon became G.'s cat.
I had my first brunch in Rostock - that was fun.
Another first: a medieval dinner at the Petrikeller.
I met two very fine British for the first time at a couchsurfing meeting.
I attended Lady Gaga's "Born This Way Ball" in Berlin. :)
The day after that I was at a Kakkmaddafakka concert.
And the day after that I was at a Bodo Wartke concert.
At the end of the month I travelled to Dublin (Ireland), had lots of fun... and saw Darren Hayes live.

October 2012:
"Looper" was another film highlight of 2012.
I had a lot of fun at one of the best "Bad Taste" parties ever.
I went to Essen - for a German comic convention, where Greg Capullo was signing my books.
I read "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" in anticipation for the new film, which sadly never was shown here.

November 2012:
"Skyfall" came out. I found it quite entertaining.
I was dressing as Joker for the "Fasching" party at the Moya club.
I made banana bread for my birthday. And I prepared some kind of quiz as well. We had a fun evening.
I visited Rostock's Irish pub for the first time.
I went to Hamburg for a concert (Alanis Morissette).
I saw the end of the "Twilight" saga - one of the worst films ever.
I went to a living room concert and met two lovely Swiss musicians.
I made my first apple crumble.

December 2012:
I had one of the best weekends of the year - with friends in Hamburg. There I also went to a handball match.
I went to a fusion cooking event.
I read "The Hobbit" - and watched the first part of a new film trilogy.
I had a gig as DJ at a faculty party, which was an amazing experience. :)
I made another London trip for a weekend - and bought lots of presents.
I went to the new LiWu cinema for the first time - for an odd film called "Fraktus".
I had a bad cold during the Christmas holidays.
I celebrated New Year's Eve with friends in Rostock.

January 2013:
One of the cinema visits was for "Silver Linings Playbook" - a brilliant comedy/drama.
I got to know M., who was a new face at our couchsurfing meeting at the Trotzenburg brewery.
He also was part of my first visit at the "Nightparc", which was one of the most extreme night outs ever.
Via couchsurfing friends I had my first snow ball fight in ages at the harbor area.

February 2013:
A friend of mine got her doctor's degree - it was a special day, because it ended with me going to an Erasmus event in the Bunker club.
I learned about "Desperation Day".
Me and some friends watched "Die Hard 5" on Valentine's Day.
I saw "Les Misérables" - it was okay.
I read "Gun Machine" by Warren Ellis - a good crime novel.
My last university contract ended.

March 2013:
I watched "Black Mirror" - an awesome British tv series.
I joined a day trip to Copenhagen, where I saw universities over there.
I went to a concert by Lee MacDougall and Tom Lüneburger - great musicians.
A funny Bollywood party brought me to Lichtenhagen.
I catched up on "Breaking Bad" - saw all the episodes that aired so far.
I tried a burger from "Liberty Delis" - the best burger place in Rostock.
I was at one of the best 80s parties ever.
I got invited to an Irish evening - stew and whisky included.
I had a lovely and quiet Easter weekend on Rügen island.

April 2013:
There were lots of papers that needed to be sorted.
I had one of the most extreme "Bad Taste" night outs ever - but friends took care of me.
I had my first job interviews - sadly without a happy end.
I got a bit ill again.
L. made me try the new frozen yogurt place in Rostock.
I had a family visit - something that is not fun to me.
I went to the Laing concert - awesome band.

May 2013:
"Iron Man 3" was this year's (great) start of the blockbuster summer.
I had my first steaks at the "OId Western" restaurant in Rostock.
I had an awesome day going to the Freigarten, then to a small concert and to a birthday party afterwards.
I watched a rugby game - and tweeted about it.
I went to the preview of "Star Trek Into Darkness", which is likely to be one of the best films of 2013.
I had morning pints for "Herrentag". :)
I read and watched "The Great Gatsby" - one book and two film adaptations.

Waiting... and what I still remember about German grammar
fm014
fm014
OK, first some basics:
There a four cases: Nominativ (1), Genitiv (2), Dativ (3), Akkusativ (4)
Each of those cases can be determined with certain question words:
(1) wer oder was?
(2) wessen?
(3) wem? (oder wo?)
(4) wen oder was? (oder wohin?)
For a personal pronoun like "ich" this would give you the following possibilities: ich (1), mein/meiner (2), mir (3), mich (4)

Now to the waiting part:
It's "she is waiting for me" in English, but "sie wartet auf mich" in German.
("Auf wen wartet sie?" - "Auf mich.")
That means that the preposition "auf" refers to case 4 here, although "auf" could also refer to case 3 in other contexts.
Examples:
"Das Buch ist auf dem Tisch." (case 3) <> "Er steigt auf den Stuhl." (case 4)
"Auf ihrem Kopf sitzt eine Spinne." (case 3) <>  "Du schießt auf Vögel." (case 4)

In general there are groups of prepositions that refer to...

  • case 2: bezüglich, angesichts, (an)statt, außerhalb, bar, bezüglich, diesseits, einschließlich, entlang, infolge, innerhalb, inmitten, jenseits, kraft, längs, mittels, oberhalb, seitens, trotz, unterhalb, unweit, während, wegen, zugunsten

  • case 3: aus, außer, bei, entgegen, entsprechend, gegenüber, gemäß, mit, nach, nahe, seit, von, zu

  • case 4: bis, durch, für, gegen, ohne, um, wider

  • case 3 or 4: an, auf, hinter, in, neben, über, unter, vor, zwischen


By the way: a fun fact about "late" / "spät"
A person may be late (in English), but the direct translation ("Die Person ist spät".) is rarely used in German. Instead it is more often used as "zu spät" (or "spät dran") in this context (or combined with verbs like " kommen "). -> "Die Person ist zu spät." or "Die Person ist spät dran." ("Die Person kommt spät. ")

Madonna and me
fm014
fm014
A post like this seems to be overdue, since I'm thinking about it for weeks.

The biggest question that came to my mind yesterday was: am I a fan at all?

But first things first: I've known Madonna (her music and "art") since the early 1990s, when she was all shocking with "Erotica" and "Justify My Love". That was also when I got to know the classic hits "Like A Prayer", "Get Into The Groove", "La Isla Bonita", "Express Yourself" and "Vogue". I liked the songs, but it did not made me want to buy any album or compilation. Then there was the time around 1996 when I was really in love with the song "You'll See" (which then made me really like the song "Rain", which was also featured on the single that I've borrowed from a friend). So until then it was all about a selection of songs which I really liked and videos like "Bedtime Story" which I found visually stunning - that was my relation to Madonna.

Everything changed in 1998 when "Frozen" was released. This song is such a brilliant piece of music. Even when I listen to it these days, it makes me realize how timeless it sounds. Needless to say that I was hooked once more. The single was my first Madonna CD. But 1998 was also the year when I bought my first Madonna album - "Ray Of Light". And I guess it was in those days when became a fan - so many times I've listened to tracks like "The Power Of Good-Bye" or "Skin".
A few years later the "Music" era began. Tbh it took me quite some time to actually see the congeniality of the song. But the album (with the same title) was a perfect blend of the William Orbit produced "Ray Of Light"-like tracks and the new Mirwais-sound. Yes, this album also convinced me pretty quickly (although it only had about ten tracks - "American Pie" was only added, because it was a major hit).
In late 2002 Madonna was still/again working with Mirwais and released the James-Bond-film-song "Die Another Day", that somehow still is controversial because of the mixed reception. There are a few good comments about the song, but many people hate it. Like in 2000 with "Music" it took me some time to get into the song. But a bunch of brilliant remixes on the Maxi Single really helped with that. And I still think it's an achievement to make a song for a film that also fits really well into an album.
That said record was "American Life" (2003) - another quite controversial piece of work. Though it is generally seen as a flop, I think it's one of the most sophisticated albums she has ever done. And even though a few tracks sounded odd to me in first listening sessions, there's also much artistic creativity and freedom to be found. As a fan I really believe that this was how she wanted to sound and those were themes she wanted to sing about - like the criticism on fame and success.
And maybe because of the mild success, I think this is when she stopped to set trends. Again I was a happy fan those days. I really wished there would be a DVD of 2004's "ReInvention Tour" - I'd love to see that.
By the end of 2005 Madonna made a comeback with dance music. The album was called "Confessions On A Dance Floor" and came out around my birthday. (I think "Hung Up" was her last real number 1 hit without the help of feature artists). This time it was really easy to fall in love with the album - thanks to the production by Stuart Price. The album versions of most songs could only be topped by slightly reworked live versions - and I'm glad that her "Confessions Tour" (DVD) won the Grammy for best long music video. It's a really epic experience. However, most of my friends did not like the modern Madonna music at all - they only could stand the classics, which I thought was really sad, because I liked her work (regarding both aspects - tunes and lyrics).

A few years later she released "Hard Candy" - and tbh it still feels like a trauma to me. Why? Because this whole album is so hard to love - I mean, just look at the cover. Who on earth told her that this would be a great album cover? Sure, there are gems on it - like "Give It 2 Me", "Miles Away" and "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You". But other tracks like "Heartbeat", "Incredible" and "Spanish Lesson" are kind of hard to deal with. Overall the album did not feel coherent. Even worse was the fact that Madonna chose producers just to sound hip and urban. So it seemed that it was less about what she would like to sound, but more about what American charts would like to have. And back then I wasn't a happy fan anymore. My icon was sort of lost - on a mission to sound like the rest.
Then there was the "Celebration" phase, when Madonna released two new songs that were nice pop tunes, but nothing special. I even doubt that she really "worked" on the song "Revolver" (which came from a Lil' Wayne demo).

And now it is 2012. Madonna is back. She gave us "Give Me All Your Luvin'" and "Girl Gone Wild" - two songs that fit well into her discography. But those tracks are "just" well produced modern dance pop - again nothing special. Recently the new album "MDNA" was released and tbh it is not as hard to love as "Hard Candy". But as a fan I get the impression that it's once more an attempt to sound "as hip as" other upbeat chart toppers. On a positive note: the album does not feature just another workout playlist, but also a few more quiet songs (dare I say ballads?).
Am I happy with the new album? So far it is okay. It's a nice pop record, but somehow I wish it would have been more unique. And I'd also like to have more "American Life"-like lyrics. Thematically it's often about changing the game, calling a name, being a girl or living in a happy world. But we all had that before. (Also the "bitching" isn't new - see "Erotica".)

So, back to the question whether I'm still a fan. Well, I guess that's still a fact. I'd just like to see myself as a sceptical fan. I don't like everything Madonna does, sings and says - but I like quite a lot of it [including re-worked classic hits for the tours]. :-)
OK, she might not be innovative anymore, but Madonna still is a good pop music artist.

iSincSupport
fm014
fm014
Yo random reader,
you might wonder what this title is about. But I won’t explain it that much to an outsider. It’s just some sort of fan feedback.

OK, sir, so here I go.

First of all: this is just an opinion by me (who’s not a musician and listens to much pop music). I’m also sorry that I can’t refer to the song titles (I know you posted a screenshot of the album progress on tumblr... but the texts were very tiny).
I’ve listened to this record for about 5 times (at home, at work, on the road) - via sound system, multimedia speakers, headphones.
I don't want to sound rude, I'm just trying to be honest and nice. ^^ Let's start with a picture.



Track by track
1) a great opener, but the ending feels a bit cheap (I mean the fading)
2) you might have heard the slang term “eargasm” - anyway, that’s what came to my mind. (but can it be that there are tiny glitchy noises when the piano tune kicks in?)
3) one word: solid (in a positive way), I bet this one will grow on me.
4) that one is a surprise/challenge (at this point my colleague asked me if it’s still the same album). I especially like the piano outro (but the ending feels a bit badly cut)
5) good (is the LQ noise at the end intented? - the last 10 seconds)
6) again a “challenge” because of the chaotic structure, the drum lines could be a bit louder (especially in parts without vocals)
7) this track starts very loud (I sometimes had to volume down a bit), the first chorus comes very sudden (a small instrumental bridge maybe?), the following or the third chorus could be better with an echo line (“else but you”) and more drums
8) a very sudden beginning to this great mellow track (^_^ when the strings come in) that becomes so epic! :-) (the end is a little bummer though - the last 30 seconds - too much of a fading)
9) fan-tastic! (though the chaotic beats at the start feel a bit funny)
10) the song is good, though a bit monotonous - and the ending (fading again) not so special
11) at 6:00 minutes I thought why is this song not over yet (it could have ended at 4:00 minutes already), it’s also a bit monotonous (especially because there are no parts where there is a break from the high “ghost sound” - it’s always repeating - and I’m not sure if the bright clap beat isn’t too dance-y for this theme), then after 6:30 minutes a sudden change of piano tune breathes new life in it, but the ending feels really drawn-out - and the last 8 seconds seem like a bad joke

And that’s it. Questions?
F.

endless duties
fm014
fm014
It's funny how I tend to think that it wasn't that long ago since my last livejournal post. And then the homepage proves me wrong.
There used to be a time when I was really trying to write more often... but there's sort of no way to keep such a schedule when you actually would like to have a life as well.
And yes, I have a life. Yesterday I was out on a club night - we visited four different clubs in about 5 hours. It was fun (and a bit exhausting, of course - considering we mostly went by foot).

That brings me to the question why there is such a term like "bad taste" or "trash music" that both refer to the 1990s euro dance tracks of acts like Cappella, Culture Beat, 2 Unlimited, Snap! ... etc.
I can hardly think of a reason to call it trash, because - just take a look at today's charts. You can't tell me that pop songs back then were less well produced than today's smash hits (think of Miley Cyrus, Cascada or certain casting show winners).
I guess it is just because people don't want to call it 90s music like in 80s music, because 80s music is kind of trendy whereas 90s music is too diverse to handle - they had Nirvana, Cher and Will Smith :-D
Btw. can you imagine kicking off a party with Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun"? Well, I would not recommend it (happened yesterday). ^^

Another thing that should be mentioned is time management.
You might know "Sixty Second September" - an attempt to vlog 60 seconds on every day of September. Well, I'd love to say I did it... but I'm actually still busy with it. Today I edited 7 minutes of footage. That took me about 3 hours. :-/
(it was for part 2 of a 4 part series)
I guess I can combine a vlogging month with an editing month now. ^^
But I'll try my best - even with minutes becoming hours.

Sometimes I can get lost in work. And when I think of all the hobby stuff that I'd like to do in my free time - I feel a bit sad. There are times when I even doubt putting something on a todo/wish list, because chances are I might not be able to manage all the time needed. For now I think it's all worth a try - even when you end up wishing you had more time.
Maybe I will finish producing a remix, creating some sophisticated vector art, writing more lyrics or reading a book or two this year - maybe not. And that's OK. There's a saying that the journey is the reward.
Maybe there is no finish at all.

The thing with alcohol
fm014
fm014
Long time no post here... but that's like the default condition.


Anyway I read this article about how alcohol is a social must... and to a certain point I can understand it. There was a time last year when I was avoiding alcoholic drinks (several months). And tbh there were a few times I missed it or times when I thought this event could be better with a tipsy feeling.
So I definitely would agree that not drinking can make you an outsider with the certain company. But I'd also say that you (and your friends) can get used to the not drinking part. That's why there's this sort of hesitation when you finally try to start again after that absent phase.
It's hard to tell if alcohol is such a social drug. Of course, you can get addicted to it. It also can be cause of diseases and tragedies - but what can't?

That's the time when I quote one of the ultimate answers to everything: it depends.
You can have fun at a party without alcohol - I even joined a karaoke night this way. :-D
You can also be frustrated while intoxicated - that also happened to me once or twice.

And that's about it - you decide. So blaming alcohol for ruining a night out (etc.) would be a kind of narrow-minded point of view.

Should one try to avoid booze? Hm, there are certainly worse ideas. Your body might even thank you for it. On the other hand it could help you connecting. It depends.
Tags: ,

What is left of this summer
fm014
fm014
Hello there,

don't get me wrong. I'm not that much into small talk about the weather and such... but this year's been sort of lame regarding to summer days. If I had to describe our summer at the Baltic Sea in three words, I'd say: wet wet wet
Yes, there've been a few dry and hot days... and as a person who works in an office at with windows to the south I don't need that much heat. ^^ But the rain was very dominant this year.

OK, enough about the weather.

What about Africa? I don't know what your news tell about Somalia, but ours is very much raving about the sad situation there. And there are also charity "offers", of course. But have you ever thought about what that is good for?
I mean, can you really feel comfortable when you have spent a certain amount of money to an organization that you can't tell whether it is able to make a difference?
Don't get me wrong again. I'm not saying that organizations like this are not working. It's just that based on media coverage it is very hard to get some kind of help through all the political barriers.
Do you know that saying that every nation has that kind of government it deserves? Looking at africa it's kind of hard to believe that all the poor people don't deserve something better than "kings" who do not care about dying children.
So what is a good way to deal with all that? I don't know. I'd say that it starts with thinking about the way things are, though.

Should I continue writing my thoughts about the so-called financial crisis? Hm... well, there ain't that much to write, I guess. It could be worse... the system had to face such challenges someday. And although it may look dark, it's mostly stupid digits that don't automatically make lives miserable. It's the way people deal with it... so maybe it's best to just keep calm and try your best.

OK, that's about it what I wanted to write down.

F.

A system is a system
fm014
fm014
Hello again,

long time no read.
Well, I changed that tonight. I've read the first book of Brian Michael Bendis' creator-owned series "Scarlet". And it made me think a bit, which is a good sign for a comic book (or graphic novel).
On the one side the story has a great hook - it deals with our society and how we are part of a system that makes us believe that we are powerless regarding authorities. There are also parts when we are asked if we really can live that way - knowing that a person with "power" can easily mess with us and get away with it.
On the other side there's this idealistic progress that makes me doubt the objectivity. That is because it's a very simplistic view when there's just a mob protesting for the views of Scarlet - and where are the haters?
See, nowadays it doesn't really matter how convincing your arguments are, because there will always be a group of people that is against your view or at least with a different perspective.

Perspectives - I guess that is a keyword here. The story of "Scarlet" highlights basically only two perspectives, namely the one of Scarlet and her "followers" and the view of the authorities (that may include politicians, police officers and corrupt individuals among those groups). What is missing here is the lobby aspect (lobby as in pressure group).
It just seems too easy that one individuum with strong beliefs (and yes, that may refer to a kind of terrorism) is actually able to threaten a powerful group and get away with it for quite some time. A powerful group has powerful allies and spies and all that stuff. And that would mean that any kind of rebel would have a hard time to escape the eyes of the powerful enemy.

OK... so I'll stop here with my critical aspects.
Again... "Scarlet" Book 1 is a very good read, and it features stellar art by Alex Maleev that alone is worth a look. I for myself could easily feel sympathy for the main character because of her looks. ^^

F.

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