No BEDA post written by myself today but instead an article recommendation; I really liked the points made in this article about rape victims and the (non)existent consequences for the people involved.
If you want to share your thoughts about this, leave your comment down below! I’d love to hear what you have to say. (I wish I could have written a comment on this but I’m running short on time, I have to pack for holidays.)
Note: Because I started BEDA 3 days late, this post is going to be a “substitute” for my missing BEDA #2 entry.Time for another music recommendation! I haven’t done one of those for a while now and when I went onto my categories list… I noticed that I’ve only done it once as part of my “from the cd stack”-series so far and only 2 other times all in all. (Proves again how rarely I post things around here.)
Today I’m going to introduce you to Mighty Oaks, which is a “Berlin-based indie-folk band”. They were founded in 2010 by their lead singer Ian Hooper and guitarist Claudio Donzelli. Later their bassist Craig Saunders joined the two founding members and completed the band. They’re now a three-man group from three different countries even: the USA, the UK and Italy.
So far they’ve only released one EP and that might be the reason why people outside of the scene probably haven’t heard of them yet. I myself got to know them Sunday two weeks ago – Shout Out Louds are touring at the moment and a friend of mine gave me the tickets for their Swiss concert as a birthday present – and Mighty Oaks happened to be the supporting act for Shout Out Louds.
From the beginning on Mighty Oaks had me enraptured. I bought their EP later but when you’ve listened to them live, you’ll surely agree with me if I say that the EP is only narrowly a substitute for their live music. They are good. They are really, really good. Ian Hooper’s voice is amazing and the guitar playing is amazing and those guys are nice, funny people. In general, I’d describe their music as a rough-but-also-smooth voice paired with mood-brightening guitar tunes making you want to sway to them all day long.
Because I obviously have trouble expressing myself eloquently, let me write out two lists for you:
1.) Words I associate with Mighty Oaks’ music: green, wind, summer, spring, forest, trees, nature, road trip, morning, dawn, grass, meadows, earth, fun, happiness, smiles, heartache (of the good and the bad kind, I suppose), blue skies, gardens, breeze, bare feet, freedom
2.) You’ll probably like Mighty Oaks if…
- you like indie music, folk music and optimally indie-folk music;
- you like bands such as Mumford & Sons or Angus & Julia Stone;
- you like music played mainly by guitars;
- you like music which reminds you of words from the list above.
What do you think? Did I get you hooked on it? (I admit I’m terrible at selling things to people… but I have a possibly sprained ankle at the moment and it hurts and my head does too… excuse me for not thinking clearly right now and being so ineloquent.) If not (yet), you might want to listen to the two samples below (the second is my favourite):
I hope I could got some of you hooked on Mighty Oaks – they’re one of my favourite bands now and in most places still unknown, so I felt the need to spread their music out because in my opinion they surely deserved the support. I’m only afraid that I couldn’t give you more information – I didn’t have that many to begin with and I don’t like to analyze music before listening to at least a whole album of the artist and they have only their EP out… if you want some more information, you might want to check those links out:
Note: I’m sorry – somehow it’s not possible for me to embed the two video samples above. Just click on the link, it’ll redirect you to their vimeo pages.
So last Tuesday I had the absolutely exciting opportunity to go to a “Of Monsters And Men” concert. Actually it was a birthday present for a friend – I invited her to go since we’re both into this sort of music – indie rock and folk rock – and they happen to be on a “shooting star”-like course in the scene.
For those of you who don’t know “Of Monsters and Men” (OMAM) – maybe you’ve already heard of their most known single “Little Talks” and this would be the band behind it – and if you didn’t, well let me tell you that they’re a group of 6 amazing musicians from Iceland. Founded 2010 they have released one album so far, namely “My Head Is an Animal” last September.
So, as I said, I went to watch them on stage last Tuesday with my friend. I’d already been super-excited that day and the previous day and the day before the previous day… you get it. Ironically though, as excited and giddy as we were – we weren’t able to sing along. To practically no song – which is rather a no-go for a concert. I think we were both just too busy, too caught up in other things this summer that we never bothered to learn them so that one day before the concert – in between studying for exams and working on our final paper – we were in quite a frenzy to cram the lyrics into our heads. Looking back, it seems really pathetic to me now. I could have as well just let it be – to get twelve, rather complex (in comparison with some of the charts/pop songs nowadays) written lyrics in under 24 hours is hardly able to accomplish for the average (wo)man.
We made it up though by appearing extra early for the concert. We read on the internet that it was sold out and decided to come a few hours early (even missing out a bit of school) to get the best places – preferably at the utmost front! Stupidly we forgot that it was a weekday and that most of the concert attendants wouldn’t come before an hour before door opening due to their jobs. So we ended up being the only ones there… for quite a few hours. Luckily we bought something to eat so we could pass the time. Also the door was partly open and we could hear them during their sound check – which only increased our excitement.
At about 6 pm the first other concert attendants came and then the whole rush at about 7.30 pm. And again luck was with us because when the crew set the queuing zone we were already there (standing at a very convenient place) and we ended up indeed at the very front! At about 8.45 pm it finally started. We on the front actually got to stand right under the handrail which later turned out to be very convenient for my photographic needs. The whole concert took place at Abart, Zürich a music club of middle size with a quite small stage but which also allows high intimacy and interaction with the audience.
The show started with supporting act Lay Low, a musician from Iceland as well. She played us about 6 songs which I would categorise into alternative country and folk. I actually liked her quite a lot – she was very friendly, modest and energetic. (The way she plays her guitar and slams her boots on the ground – intimidating and fascinating alike.)
Then, after a long break, came the long-awaited “Of Monsters and Men” accurately on 10 pm. As you see from the set list photo above they started with their second most famous song “Dirty Paws” – and already enthused the whole crowd. People left and right from us were dancing and I was trying to record the show but it was hard not to give in to the shaking and swaying of the bodies around me. (In the end I gave in though and as a result all my records are slightly blurry now.) It went on with “From Finner” to “Love, Love, Love” to “Lakehouse” and finally the long-awaited “Little Talks”, which everyone, even we, were able to sing. And it was a fantastic feeling too, because the whole crowd was pressed into this tiny space and the band on this tiny stage and everyone was singing with their loudest voice and everyone was swaying and shaking and jumping up and down. It’s always in moments like these that I get this feeling of infinity; a certainty that this moment will stay forever in my memory and a wave of euphoria rushing over me as I give in to the music, give up my body, my soul and just obey rhythm and melody for that one song…
Needless to say now that “Of Monsters and Men” are fantastic to watch and hear live. They are completely worth it, if not only for the charisma of the two lead singers (Nanna and Ragnar) and the passion of the drum player Arnar (he plays so crazy, so passionate – it’s thrilling to watch).
After an hour it was already over. As an encore they presented my favourite song “Sloom” and “Yellow Light” and stopped on schedule at 11:10 pm to release the euphoric audience into the night, full of music fever, of heat and passion and especially a feeling of complete satisfaction.
Well maybe I’m a crook
for stealing your heart away
and maybe I’m a crook
for not caring for it.
And maybe I’m a bad, bad, bad, bad person
Well baby, I know
And these fingertips
will never run through your skin
and those bright blue eyes
can only meet mine
across a room, filled with people
that are less important than you
All cause you love, love, love
when you know I can’t love.
You love, love, love
when you know I can’t love.
You love, love, love
when you know I can’t love, you.
So I think it’s best
we both forget
before we dwell on it.
The way you held me so tight
all through the night,
till it was near morning.
Love, Love, Love – Of Monsters and Men
Have you ever lived in an other country or just an other region than your original one and then get so accustomed – to its shape, its look and smell and traditions – that you got, after some time, bored by it? You thought you’d seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already?
I did. I got bored with my country. I thought I’d seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already.
Truth is, I didn’t. I haven’t seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already. Truth is, there’s no way that in a region, as small as it may be, you could have ever seen everything. Everyday new things happen, occur, come along and add itself to this very region. Or old things change, turning and twisting into a new shape. I guess, there’s no way that you could have seen everything there is to see in a certain area or even in this whole world. There’s no way you could have seen everything because in this world there is so much undiscovered for each one of us; so much left to see, when we thought we’d already seen everything – so much that no amount of time – except eternity maybe – can give us the time space we need to discover all these wonders.
For many of you this may seem like ancient history; a matter of fact so clear to you that you even forgot it’s something one has probably had to experience first to understand. But not for me: The truth of this epiphany was in fact something I had to realize first.
About a week ago, my mum, me and my sister went on a trip. We had these super convenient day tickets which were valid for whole Switzerland (and which you can get via your municipality) and agreed to spend the day in the region around Lucerne.
The thing is, when we came to Switzerland about 10 years ago we all were very interested in getting to know this country. We travelled quite a lot within Switzerland: we visited the French-speaking part, the Italian-speaking part and even the Rhaeto-Romanic part of Switzerland. We visited a lot of cities, saw almost all places of interests and so on. It never came to my mind that almost is not equal to everything, concerning this topic.
So when we decided to spend the morning on visiting the Pilatus, the local mountain of Lucerne, I didn’t really care much. I’ve never been there before (and my mum was there 17 years ago) but I thought it’d look no different that all the other Swiss mountains I’ve already seen.
Of course, I thought wrong.
It wasn’t a particularly wonderful day, when we went for our trip: it was quite cloudy and I worried that it might even rain. But when we were sitting in the train, we saw a blue sky, and I hoped, that maybe the sun will shine up there. Not that I cared very much – yes, my mum had gushed a lot about the view from up there, on the mountain, but as I said before I thought it’d be like any other Swiss mountain. I just thought it’d be nice if I could get some photos with a blue sky in them. (Yes, that was what was important to me.)
But then standing in Alpnachstad, the station from where we would have a ride with the cog railway up the mountain, I felt excited. I don’t know if this was because of the fresh air surrounding me or because the sky was blue at that moment or just because I somehow knew that it’d be a good day – but I was suddenly in a very cheerful mood and wanted to be up there as fast as possible.
As you have all guessed by now, I, of course, have not been disappointed. My mother was right. I still didn’t know if the fresh air had any influence on me at that moment, but
it everything was beautiful. The view was stunning. Plain stunning and amazing and captivating and fascinating and a lot of other nice adjectives. It was a bit foggy, rather cool, and the sky wasn’t partly that clear any more the higher we went, but somehow the landscape of Pilatus managed to enchant me.
Still have in mind that I thought it’d look like on any other Swiss mountain? Well… yes, partly the landscape looked the same of course. Many cows, very green landscape, big parts of forest, steep, rocky flanks and some of these little cottages… everything known as a Swiss trademark could be found there. (We even saw some farmers up there.)
But on the other side it looked very different too. I remember that I couldn’t describe what it really was that made the Pilatus so special – I still can’t – but there is something. Yes of course the view on the Lake Lucerne and Central Switzerland that could only be seen from this mountain, but also a certain charm that belongs to this mountain and makes you fall in love with it.
Sitting in the cabin of the cog railway and just admiring this beautiful, stunning countryside I realized that, once again, I shouldn’t judge so fast. I was so wrong and big-headed to think I’ve seen this all before – I completely forgot that although I’ve seen much of Switzerland, I haven’t seen everything. And that there really are many mountains, but somehow each one of them is unique in their own way. And that this revelation applies on the rest of the world as well; no matter where I’m going I’ll never be able to see everything in that part of the world. There’ll always be something left to see, something you have yet to discover. And with that in mind, I went silent for the rest of the way up.
Then we were at the top. I’d like to think that it was quiet up there, very idyllic and such but that would be one big, enormous lie. Of course, there were loads of tourists there (mostly Japanese). But the nice thing was, I was such in a good mood, that they didn’t stop me from enjoying the nice, fresh mountain air and the glorious view. I made quite a few photos up there; I chose the best ones to share with you here: They are all the “rawest” I could find. I didn’t want to edit them so they’d rather look like art; I wanted them to look as “raw” as possible, as true as possible so you’d get to see what I saw in its (hopefully) original way. Here they are:
I love this picture; it’s my favourite one, in fact. I love these flowers – and the fact that they grow in such heights and at the very end of these steep mountain slopes; it reminds me that the fewest things in this world are impossible to reach. There are no boundaries for true beauty.
So that was it for part one. Part two will be posted next week (probably) and will be about the following shipping on the Lake Lucerne. See you soon!
If you’re interested, more on Pilatus, the local mountain of Lucerne here.
As you probably know by now, I’m a great fan of indie music (and everything else indie, of course). And normally, I have a great interest at keeping this music indie – which means not spreading them to, like, everybody. But then again, they won’t get the attention and support they deserve and worked hard for in each country or in my example – in Switzerland. That’s why I usually recommend bands to maximum three different persons.
But a few weeks ago, I was sick and laid in bed almost all day long. It was incredibly annoying and the only thing that cheered me up was my music. In fact only one band. Listening to them made me so happy and cheerful that I just thought: “I have to recommend this.” They’re already quite famous by now – internationally, but they’re not all too known yet (I asked some people in my circle of friends and none of them knew this band). So this is “Those Dancing Days” for you:
It’s probably no surprise to you when I tell you that these girls are Swedish. Because, let’s face it, Sweden has emerged to one of the most musical talented countries. Remember? There are The Hives, Mando Diao, Shout Out Louds, Sugarplum Fairy… and I only mentioned a few of them. So it was really no surprise to me when I read that they were from Sweden.
And concerning the alternative music scene, I find it hard to find good girl bands. You know, there would be female singers or female guitarists or bassists, sometimes even drummers – but only one or two per band. Rarely in large groups. Which is sad, I think. Half of my iPod consists of bands consisting of a majority of males – and maybe one, maximum two females participating in it.
In my opinion, it shouldn’t be like this – I’m all for girl power and I was so, so happy to find this amazing band.
Those Dancing Days were founded in 2005 by drummer Cissi Efraimsson and guitarist Rebecka Rolfart. Gradually the other members – singer Linnea Jönsson, organist Lisa Pyk and bassist Mimmi Evrell – also came along and they started playing local gigs. Not long after they got their MySpace site – like any other band – and did a lot to get attention. It was in 2007, when they got their first gigs in Stockholm that they were discovered by a blogger and since then their career has been going on upwards.
One year later their debut album – In Our Space Hero Suits – was released and this year their second album brought out: Daydreams and Nightmares.
What I personally like about them is their attitude. Just by looking at their style, whether it is their album booklet, their videos or just themselves, I kind of get a total cheerful mood. I literally feel like dancing. It’s also in the way that they’re able to do good sad songs. I think, that it’s really difficult to write good sad songs. Normally, when someone writes a sad song, it consist of a sad lyrics and an unbearably slow melody (Well, of course this is just a generalisation. There are many people who don’t do it that way, but still, to me, you have to be talented to write a perfect sad song.). As a listener I often think: “Well, it’s not like I haven’t heard this before.” Those Dancing Days put some of their not so happy texts with the exact speed of melody – check out their song Actionman.
What I also like about them are their lyrics: Somehow they’re really touching because they seem (and surely are) very truthful; you can relate to them very easily without having them to use clichéd phrases. For example this passage from the song Hitten:
Slow down, please slow down
I need to find peace, anywhere in me
I feel like I’m under water
struggling to get air
I feel like I’m lost in this body
trying to get inside my head
You probably didn’t know before but I really, really like deep voices. I myself sing alto in our school choir and I prefer to listen to rather deep voices – and also one of the reason I love Those Dancing Days is surely Linnea Jönsson voice, which is really unique and catchy, I think.
So please check them out! They really do great music (and their videos are just so cute…) and are fantastic in any other way as well.
PS: Oh my. I feel like this post needs a lot of editing… I’m only writing shit tonight, sorry.
Yesterday evening I went out, to the cinema, to watch a film with my best friend. First we wanted to watch Black Swan, the Oscar nominated film starring Natalie Portman, but unfortunately my 15 years weren’t enough to let us in (I personally think that if the parents of today didn’t let their daughters out of the houses with faces full of make up and clothes in the size super-mini, people having contact with age controlling at their work wouldn’t be so suspicious and had easily let me in.).
So we spontaneously choose the first film that was on the program, which was Kokowääh, the new movie made and written by and starring Til Schweiger. He’s one of Germany’s best and most successful men in film business. I’ve already seen two of his films (also made and written by and starring himself) Keinohrhasen (Engl.: No-ear-rabbits) and Zweiohrküken (Engl.: Two-ear-chicks). From what I’ve known I expected some light-hearted (romantic) comedy with no particular psychological focus on the central problem, that is presented in the storyline.
Kokowääh’s (which in the movie is a “mishearing” of the French dish Coq au vin) central question is “What is a father?”; this sentence was also part of the description that the main character (played by Til Schweiger himself) used for describing the situation he’s in(He pretended to write a book about his situation while, actually, he was living the very story in his life.).
The story begins with the everyday life of Henry; screenwriter, 42, unsuccessful except of the soap he writes (which is dying by the way) and most of all, a playboy, left (or slung her out by himself) by his girlfriend Katharina, a famous and very successful writer. Suddenly he gets the offer to write the screenplay to Katharina’s book with her. He agrees and they instantly get closer to each other again; besides their almost everlasting bickering about their failed relationship it feels like the old times again, for Henry.
But there are other news as well. One afternoon a girl sits in front of his flat, alone, with only a letter from her mother in her hands. He first struggles, but then reads the letter to find out that she’s without much doubt his natural daughter and that he has to take care of her for the next 4 weeks.
During the next few days and weeks he learns a lot about children; about how to love them and take care of them. He gets to know his daughter’s “other” father, who goes through a hard time, knowing that his child was never his, biological seen. And most of all Henry learns about taking responsibility.
As I had expected the film focused a lot on the comedian aspect, it was very funny and witty written. I especially liked the dialogues between Magdalena (Henry’s daughter) and Henry, but this also could be because of the great atmosphere between them on-screen: Magdalena is played by Til Schweiger’s daughter, Emma Schweiger, and so to create a convincing father-daughter relationship on-screen was not that hard, I guess.
The problems of being in a patchwork family and having two daddies at all for Magdalena was not much set in focus; it was considered as rather easy and unproblematic for her. The drama part was in fact rather concentrated on the feelings of Henry, how he has to cope with and make up for all the mistakes he did in the past and how he tries to find an acceptable solution for the situation he’s in.
All in all a very good movie; it entertains the audience with the witty banter (mostly between father and daughter) but also had heart-wrenching moments; the acting was not brilliant, but convincing and especially Emma Schweiger was a joy to watch (She’s so cute! And plays an 8-year-old exactly like it should be.). The film was shot in Berlin and I personally think, that the camera did the best job on this movie; I don’t know how this style is called, but the color and light settings were perfect – the pictures are truly beautiful.
And last but not least the Soundtrack, which was fine as well: I mean it had rock music in it, so I was pretty easily convinced of its quality.
I’m no experienced reviewer and actually don’t know what it takes for a good review at all, but from my point of view this is definitely a movie to recommend!
As you’ve read, I’m totally tired lately and I’ve started my holidays (we in Switzerland get “skiing holidays”) with a long, long sleep. This whole procedure of getting up, eat, Facebook, read a chapter in a book and sleep again lasted until this afternoon. It was such good weather that I had to go out for a walk. At the fresh air my mind became clear again; I took photos of the landscape and as soon as I was back home I got very enthusiastic to get inspired. (Sadly the short-circuit in our kitchen just before didn’t help me to get inspired, but instead…)
I discovered a new, very inspiring, very mood-lifting band! Well not exactly discovered as I’ve heard about them before, but I never got a copy of one of their cds and it was not until today that I listened to their songs. (Don’t ask me why I never search for them on YouTube, I don’t know either.)
Sugarplum Fairy is a band from Borlänge, Sweden, founded by Kristian Gidlund, Victor and Carl Norén (who, by the way, are the two brothers of Mando Diao‘s Gustaf Norén! For me, already an indication, that SF has to be a good band…) in 1998. Until now they’ve released three albums: Young & Armed; First Round, First Minute and The Wild One.
Wikipedia sorted their music into Pop rock; for me it’s rather (pure) Rock. I don’t think of them as Indie; although I’ve only listened to their latest album, there’s this typical rock-rawness that I assume is part of what defines them; and compared to Mando Diao their music is less experimental and more solid Rock.
This is the song that has especially lighten me up this evening:
“People will probably say that this is the most uncommon song on the album, but in a way it’s the most “Sugarplumish” song of them all. We never have any limits when we write our music, and we like so many different styles. It’s inspired by Bob Marley and every time you hear Bob Marley you forget all troubles and problems. I wanted to write a song like that, that just makes you smile. Music shouldn’t be so complicated, sometimes a smile is enough.” – Carl Norén on Never Thought I’d Say That It’s Alright
On cold, rainy days like these I like to sit at home, reading a magazine. Currently the Kinki magazine. In their editorial they asked us, the readers, what keeps us going on dark days like these. What gives us motivation, inspiration, imagination. For me it’s definitely not my school books (which are waiting to be read). Also not a rain dance. Or my bed – it rather temps me to stay in there forever.
What keeps me going on (or even just waking up) are photos, good music, exciting articles… all these cultural stuff.
My list (yes, a list again) of inspiring things on cold, rainy, dark winter days:
- The Grease soundtrack: (for example this:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHFbhhi_XVc
- Books like The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff or So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
- The Kinki magazine (http://kinkimag.com/) with creative photography like these: or cool recommendations like this one: http://kinkimag.com/articles/handbuch-fur-spione/ (for English readers: Guide for Spies)
- This blog with its amazing photography: http://laurenlibor.wordpress.com/
But you know what’s best? What gives me motivation, each day and each week (not that there are already many of them): You. It’s really, really nice to have actual people reading my blog and commenting it as well. It supports me, because after almost 2 weeks, I’ve already posted all of my ideas and it’s getting hard to find topics to write. So sorry for my posts recently, they weren’t very interesting or well-written. But I’m trying to improve my posts. Promise.
So, a great, great thanks to all of you! You’re the greatest support these days.
Today I went to the cinema to watch… The Tourist! That’s the absolutely brilliant and awesome film starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. 😉 The whole story takes place in Venice and during the opening credits I, once again, got lost in the wonderful, amazing and enchanting pictures of Venice – the city of lovers, secrets and lots of history. When I was at home again, I instantly had to stare again at the photos me and my dad took last spring in Venice. This city is totally amazing: it was once the maybe most beautiful city of whole Europe, but now you’ll only see hints of it: most of the old buildings have turned their colours into many different shades of grey. Nevertheless you just get captivated by the atmosphere of the city; you can really feel the history around you. It’s told in the walls, it’s told in the many little alleyways, in all the narrow canals, in their traditional art of living and in the gondolas, these typical, richly decorated Venetian boats. Venice is simply a city you just have to see once in your lifetime.
Here are my three favourite pictures taken on my trip to Venice last spring:
As for the movie I only can recommend it. I’m not good at writing recommendations, so I’m just going to spill everything out, that’s coming into my mind. The movie’s synopsis you’ve surely read on the internet or in the newspaper; I don’t want to write it down, because I fear of maybe spoiling too much.
Reasons why you should watch The Tourist:
- You like Johnny Depp. Or Angelina Jolie.
- You like action (that means pistols, chases and such).
- You like Venice.
Or, you know what? This list doesn’t work out. Next try:
The Tourist is a movie with many surprising turns in the plot, witty dialogues, awesome acting actors, amazing camera work and enough action. Eh yeah, that’s why you should watch this film.
(I know that this recommendation’s really, really bad – but it’s my first time. And my head’s not very clear at the moment, I’ve got concentrations problems – I want to watch this film a second time and just can’t think clear. Sorry.)
Oh, and yeah, reasons why you shouldn’t watch The Tourist:
- Eh, you neither like Angelina Jolie nor Johnny Depp (although that shouldn’t keep you from seeing this/a film, I think).
- You don’t like action.
- You don’t like Venice (although that also shouldn’t keep you from seeing this film, I think).
As you see, there aren’t many reasons for the contra side. So feel free to watch The Tourist! 😀