Samstag, April 22, 2006

A torture camp close to home

Sometimes the shocking (historical) news come via television: The British Guardian has found out after a long and deep research that the British had an interrogation camp - or, to call it bluntly as it was revealed: a torture camp in Bad Nenndorf, near Hannover.

The German high-quality television magazine Panorama tracked this trace, met with local witnesses (which are now, 60 years later, trying to put together the faint memories), British officers and soldiers and the last survivers beyond their victims.

Well, Bad Nenndorf is close to the place where I grew up, the town I went to school in. I remember 11 years ago in 1995 there were many local "oral history work groups" which dealt with the war and post-war time. But a topic like this never came up, even though the time "under" the Brits was a huge topic. The detailed German outline of the tv documentary can be read here.

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Freitag, April 21, 2006

And the dwarf is running after...

In Flames, Hamburg Docks

"My" favourite music e-zine Metal-Inside is already having it's official In Flames concert review at this location - but I'm still too excited about their last concert on the European leg of the tour - so what's a blog good for, isn't it?!

The Docks is no nice place to be around when packed - it was unbearable to go just some steps into the audience when Sepultura played. Hell yeah, they played "Roots Bloody Roots", "War For A Territory" and some other old and beloved songs - but the sound was too noisy anyway. And I wanted to save my power for Gothenburg's mighty In Flames.

Funny they took the outro "Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Me" of their latest cd "Come Clarity" as the opener for the gig - and here they are: Behind a white curtain on which the heightened outlines of every band member appeared: First Björn Gelotte, then bass player Peter Iwers, Jesper Strömblad and last singer Anders Frîden. Ok, and how did they let all hell break loose? With the good old hit "Pinball Map", followed by the recent single "Leeches". First jumping areas spotted - even though there was just a certain change of air during the break between Sepultura and In Flames. Anders announced it: "It's so fucking hot here, so welcome to the longest In Flames show" where they seemed to be in danger of a heat stroke. But "don't worry, it's the last gig, so if we die on stage you'll experience a even more special In Flames gig". It was special though: Brilliant sound, stunning light show - and Anders Frîden's mother wit in between songs: He let the audience sing "Happy Birthday" in German for the support band's lad. But everybody sang "Happy Birthday" in English which was stopped again by him "No, I know English and Swedisch, but isn't there a German version?" Yes, it is, but the German version "Zum Geburtstag viel Glück" is rather uncommon. For - I don't remember exactly, was it "Trigger" ? - he called the people to wave their hands from left to right in rhythm - "I never did this when I was attending metal shows in the past, but it simply looks marvellous from here". Ha - and - yes - gasp - they were playing "Behind Space" from the "Lunar Strain" album. And "Moonshield" off "The Jester Race". Memories - hey, suddenly I was a gangling just-twen again, dancing a waltz in the Soundgarden disco in Dortmund and Dörte the green-haired "Samael girl" who destroyed her car on a suddenly freezing street after an In Flames concert in the mid-nineties!

But it's not only a marvellous show so far, it's the last show - which means crew and band are poking fun at each other: Anders is announcing "Moonshield" as the "Nothing Else Matters" of IN FLAMES, and Biffen (legendary, caring & longtime guitar tech of Entombed - and huuuge) entered the stage only in is pants seemingly to "play" as a "regular" third guitar player on "The Quiet Place" - funny enough for all who know Biffen...

Something's missing?! Of course! I desire to hear "Reflect The Storm" live during the festivals - but I guess as well this song is too much for the throat on a long tour... Something's bummer? You mean except of the sweat, the lack of air and space and the heat? Yes, sadly the very new songs stayed pale in comparison to the even only 2 year elder ones. Maybe because they depend very much on Anders' clear throat. Try the "green-haired girl" next time, she's a real healer by now ;-)

Tracklist Hamburg:
Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Me
Pinball Map
Behind Space
Crawl Through Knives
Black & White
Take This Life
Come Clarity
Cloud Connected
Only for a week
The Quiet Place
Touch of Red
My Sweet Shadow

Samstag, April 08, 2006

The "One" Thing

Do you know this moment when your all-time-favourite song gets spoiled and you can't get it out of your head no matter how much you dislike the new version? Looks like this is my tragedy with "One" by U2. This songs accompanies me now for 16 years, I still remember going to the shop in Bad Nenndorf the day the album came out in 1990. When Johnny Cash interpreted it on his third American recordings the song almost got an sacred aura - wow, there's so much in it, and I digged it even more when me & my boyfriend found our similarity in listening to it together. But then came The Grammys and I already burst our laughing when Mary J. Blige paddled in the air like a death-ringer for love. One shocking gasp, but one evening's presentation doesn't ruin a 16-year-old love to a song. Not one night's. But this permanent thing now. I should have already been suspocious and look for another heart-and-soul song of mine, but why the heck should I really think that they do a video for it?! Don't get me wrong, there's nothing about Mary J. Blige's voice. But it's visuals. Now 16 years of history of me and "my song" are overlayered with an image of Bono spitting into the mic and Mary J. Blige standing wide-legged and batting the air. I can't stand it.