Category Archives: Music

Life Is Good.

And that’s a wrap for January. Time really does go by faster the older you get, huh? In less than three weeks, I’ll be 23. What.

All I can say is, 2014 is a blast. So far, at least. Of course it comes with its challenges, but I’m confident that sooner or later, I’ll master them all. (Oh my god, this is some sort of motivational bullshit speech, I’m realising that, I’m so sorry!)

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(Kevin Devine, 19/01/2014, in Münster)

Apart from the Neujahrskonzert I referred to earlier, I went to two more concerts in January. One was Kevin Devine in an adorable little nightclub in Münster.

I’d seen him sing live twice before, one time was on my birthday four years ago. Man, memories!
This gig was just as great as the others, and a real cute intimate thing. I mean, we were sitting on the ground on cushions! Doesn’t get much cozier than that. It was also a pleasure to chat with Kevin again. What an amazing person, what an amazing artist. I can’t wait until he shows his face in Europe next, hopefully with his band in tow.

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(Cherilyn, 25/01/2014, Osnabrück)

And of course, I made another Dear Reader concert. The last one of the tour, actually.
It never gets old. No matter how many times I hear the stories about the songs, they are always told in a unique way; they really know how to work with the atmosphere in the audience (which, by the way, is always great – must be the awesome music and amazing people).

IMG_7070Their support this time was Lost Lander (see picture), all the way from America. Well, half of the actual band, anyway.
But what a half! Sarah proved some amazing multitasking, keeping up with three different rhythms at times and singing alongside it. Amazing skills.

IMG_6985Other than that, personal stuff has been kind of a rollercoaster.
I am entirely occupied trying to decelerate my life – I’ve got so used to always being one step ahead of myself, that I find it increasingly hard to sit back and be in the moment. That goes down to the simplest things of wolfing down my food way too fast, because in my head, I’m already in my next class, or back in front of the computer to continue watching that show, or whatever.

So that means taking my time. Being prepared so I don’t have to rush. Accepting that I am a little turtle that needs a lot longer for some things (such as getting ready/waking up in the morning) and planning accordingly. It’s a nightmare, really. I’m not making very good progress. But I refuse to give up.

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… and a Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a good start into the new year. 🙂

My first hours of 2014 were not exactly spectacular, but the evening of New Year’s Day was all the more awesome:
We went to Dear Reader’s Neujahrskonzert at the Volksbühne Berlin!

(Signed poster, woop woop! Sad that I couldn’t find Sam anymore to sign it as well)

Now – you know how I won’t shut up about Dear Reader (read up here and here)? That’s because they are pretty darn awesome. And it was so great to see/hear/experience them play on such a famous stage. One of Cherilyn’s big dreams, as far as I know.
The concert was great – they had a very similar set list compared to the last concert I’d been to (Bielefeld), but hey, it’s the same tour, no big surprise there, right? Right.

I’m kind of sad that the tour is coming to an end soon. I’ll definitely be at the gig in Osnabrück as well, but I’d reallyreallyreally love to go to another one.
Bochum would be the closest. But because train times are rubbish, I’d either be stranded in Bochum until the first train at 5 am, or would need someone to drive me back home. Which is an hour and a half. Not exactly something people would just … do.

Oh well. I’m sure it won’t be long until they play new concerts. Right? Riiiiiight?

The rest of my (short) visit to Berlin was great as well.
One day was spent at the Ankerklause (I’m in love with their potato salad!) and at a friend’s flat, indulging in a Supernatural marathon.
On the day I went back, we had burritos. Oh boy, I miss burritos! They are so expensive around here.

Now uni has me back in all its glory. Roughly another month to go until the end of the semester (and on to the semester break)! I don’t think I really know what to do with all that free time. Maybe my broken laptop will be replaced by then and I can watch ALL the films … and not see the light of day for two months! (Yay?)

Happy, happy 2014, may it be kind to all of us.

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He climbed into the belly of the great white duck…

Remember when I told you I had a favourite band? Guess what, surprise surprise, I still love them. So of course, when they were finally playing a gig in Bielefeld again, I just had to go.

I dragged my friend A. with me – who kept on going on about how tiny the concert was; she is, after all, only used to huge concert halls with music to dance your heart out to. (“I can’t believe the people behind us are drinking WINE, what the heck is going on here?!?“)

IMG_6509(Excuse the crappy phone picture quality :/)

The concert was immensly enjoyable – as usual, really. I can go to however many Dear Reader concerts I want, and I’m still baffled by the amazing harmonies, Cherilyn’s kind and happy persona, and the harmony and kinship within the group. I’ve seen her play in three (technically four) different constellations by now, but I do think teaming up with Traded Pilots is the best thing that has happened to the band. … maybe I’m just saying that because I really like Emma and Sam, I may be biased, but whatever!

IMG_6514(Traded Pilot’s Emma)

I think they played pretty much all of my favourites – and did a wonderfully funny little stunt with “Great White Bear” (maybe you can guess from the title reference, the actual lyrics are here) that had all of them in laughing fits. The only thing I am missing, and will probably miss forever and ever and ever, is to see “Heavy” being played on stage. It’s only a B-Side on Dear Reader’s first record, and since they’re now on their third record (or rather fourth, counting the live album that was released, well, would you know it, yesterday!), the chances that I will ever hear it live are slim and getting slimmer.

One thing I always love about their concerts, is that they are always doing the merch stand themselves. Unfortuntately, I’m pretty much running out of things I can buy so I have an excuse to line up and talk to them. Tehehehehe.
(So … thank God for the new album, huh?)

Oh well. I have tickets for their New Year’s Day concert at the Volksbühne in Berlin (YAY!!! I mean, seriously, YAY!!! It’s in the great hall, which is SO HUGE, I’m so happy for them. It’s utterly brilliant!) and I’m also going to the last gig of the tour in Osnabrück. Happy happy. Happy.

Did I mention Dear Reader are awesome?
If you want to check them out, you can find their website here and listen to a stream of their new live album “We Followed Every Sound” on here.

The Past Few Months

Long time no see, etc, etc. I should refrain from starting the posts the same way all the time and just accept that I will always and forever blog very sporadically. Well. Have a little update on what I’ve been up to since the last post.

Travelling.

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I really do miss travelling. I have been doing a lot of the same short term trips to get stuff sorted out lately, but nothing really interesting. So it was incredibly lovely to pack my bags (or my mum’s small suitcase, rather) and leave to visit the wonderful city of Berlin once again. Of course, as I like to combine pleasure with, well, more pleasure, I’d planned to visit friends and see my favourite band playing live.

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Cherilyn and her band Dear Reader were amazing as always. This time around, they played at the Arena, a multi-venue concert/bar/beach thingsy right by the Spree. It was intended to take place outside (on a sun deck, no less!), but because of a somewhat chilly evening, they decided to relocate it to another venue on the premises, the Glashaus – an old factory building. Thanks to some happy accidents, I made a few new contacts. That’s what happens when you go to a concert all by yourself. First you feel like an idiot, because everybody else seems to have somebody to talk to and you just stand there awwkwwaarrrddllyyy, and you might not say another word to another person for the whole night – or you might have some interesting conversations with strangers!

Baking.

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This was my first attempt at a sweet pie. I really, really, really have to work on the lattice, I should have made the strips a bit wider, but they were mini pies and it was all very fiddly – and my first time, after all! Weaving the lattice was definitely fun, though. Incredibly confusing as well, though. I love autumn so much. Apple pies, jams, the colours, sweaters and scarves and chilly weather, curling up with a cup of tea … I will hopefully spend this season with lots more baking.

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I also tried my hand at making jam for the first time. So we got 1 kilo of fresh and local plums from the market and made a little army of jars. 🙂 It turned out a bit too runny and sauce-like to my taste, but hey, again, that’s what first attempts are for, right? Just this week I also picked up nice labels for them, so now they’re ready to be given away. That’s usually the problem I have with baking things – I love baking so much, but I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth anymore. I need more friends to bake for!!

Recovering.

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Those of you who know me a little bit, know that I’ve been struggling with a nasty chronic stomach thing for quite a while now and have always avoided getting it sorted out. A few weeks back, I got a really nagging headache that left me pretty much entirely invalid and didn’t go away for over a week, so I had myself admitted to the hospital. After some tests (and some really nasty liquids to go with it … I don’t suppose I’ll ever forget that), the diagnosis is a chronic bowel inflammation. Sigh. I still have to discuss treatment options with my doctor, but I really hope this stuff won’t follow me around for the rest of my life. What you see in the picture is an iron infusion I got to help with my anaemia. Which is caused by the stomach thing. Which still means daily headaches for me. Painkillers are my best friend.

Moving.

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I’ve moved a few times in the past, and it wasn’t always (read: never) a very pleasant experience. In theory, I like it, because I like new things, packing things, unpacking things, decorating … but it’s also very stressful and riddled with scary goodbyes.

This time, fortunately, it was surprisingly stressfree. It did take a while to organise things, so I ended up moving in a month late (the hospital visit messed up my plans a bit as well), but it was still in time to get things going without difficulties. We had the actual moving part done in a day, and although I’m currently still bedless and only sleeping on a mattress, and there are a couple of boxes around because of lack of cupboards, I’m pretty much settled down. I blame that on good planning. 🙂

My digital camera is currently not working, so excuse the crappy iPhone photos. That’s one thing that kept me from blogging, that I can’t accompany the posts with good (well, better) quality pictures. But I’ll have to make do. I missed this.

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{German} Dear Reader: Idealistic Animals

via

Ich könnte mich jetzt hinsetzen und aller Welt groß verkündigen, dass ich heute schlimme Nachrichten bekommen habe. Ich könnte absätzelang darüber reden, wie das bisher mit das Schlimmste war, was mir jemand sagen musste. Ob das jetzt heißt, dass ich ein sehr behütetes Leben hatte bisher, oder dass ich derbe melodramatisch bin… egal.

Aber ich lasse das mal so stehen. Das hat hier nichts zu suchen. Stattdessen möchte ich euch ein bisschen von der anderen Seite des Tages erzählen. Eine meiner absoluten Lieblingsbands hat heute auf ihrem Facebookprofil einen neuen Song zum Streamen zur Verfügung gestellt. Dabei ist mir aufgefallen, dass ich deren Updates in letzter Zeit nicht so wirklich verfolgt hatte, also forschte ich nach.

Und siehe da: am 9. September spielen sie ganz in der Nähe in Bielefeld. Zudem erscheint auch am 2. September ihr neues Album, Idealistic Animals, von dem auch der vorgestellte Song war.
Sofort meinen Freund mit Nachrichten bombadiert, damit er aufwachte, und ihm davon erzählt. Seit ich sie ihm gezeigt hatte, mag er Dear Reader nämlich auch sehr – und ist um den Konzerttermin rum in Deutschland zu Besuch. SCORE!
Keine zehn Minuten später, und ich war 40€ ärmer und zwei Konzerttickets reicher. Zumindest theoretisch, sie werden mit der Post verschickt.

Ich bin gerade schwer versucht, jetzt auch noch 18€ hinterherzuschmeißen und das Album bei Amazon vorzubestellen, damit ich es dann in der Woche zwischen Release und Konzert in Dauerschleife hören kann, aber wenn ich nicht aufpasse, bin ich Ende dieser Woche pleite und hab noch einen halben Monat vor mir.
Mittlerweile summieren sich nämlich einige größere Beträge hier. Meine Bahncardverlängerung, eben die Konzerttickets, ein Pilateskurs für den ich mich heute angemeldet habe (wobei bei dem stand, die Abbuchung würde erst im März erfolgen, obwohl der Kurs nur von Mitte August bis Oktober geht… häääh?! Druckfehler? System das ich nicht verstehe?), und ich habe dann schon die letzte Woche mehr Geld als normal ausgegeben, als ich Besuch hatte.

Ach, außerdem habe ich herausgefunden, dass die Sängerin von Dear Reader, Cherilyn Mcneil, vor einigen Monaten von Südafrika nach Berlin gezogen ist. Geil. 🙂 Kein Wunder, dass sie es in diese Stadt zieht. Hihi.

Auf dieser Seite findet ihr einen Artikel über Cherilyn und das neue Album, außerdem einen kostenlosen Download für MONKEY, eben jenen neuen Song, und die Tracklist für das Album.
Der Song gefällt mir bisher ganz gut. Auf jeden Fall “neu”. Klingt nicht mehr ganz so “zart” wie die Songs auf dem Debütalbum Replace Why With Funny, eher als hätten sie ihre alten Songs mit ein bisschen Ladyhawke gemischt. Macht mich superneugierig auf das neue Album. 🙂 Noch etwa drei Wochen!