Jason Matthew Thirsk, this one’s for you.

Or, rather, because of you, you old, dead bastard. Rest in peace.

I recently listened to Bro Hymn again. And Bro Hymn… Bro Hymn was the song to one of the most magical nights in my early 20s.

So, first, listen to the song.

The lyrics are simple, but to the point. And I fully agree with them. Well, not… Fully. It should be a “Sis Hymn” for me. So I simply declare all my close and wonderful female friends to be honorary Bro’s! Mr. Stinson will oversee the ceremony. And I’ll have to make sure to keep him away from all of you afterwards. … You all rock. :)

“When you’re feeling too close to the bottom
You know who it is you can count on
Someone will pick you up again
We can conquer anything together
All of us are bonded forever
If I die you die that’s the way it is”

This is me. To you. As it always was.
And as I could always count on you.
Thank you.
And to another ten years.

But…

This one night.

2002 or 2003 or even 2004. I know I was single then.
A Thursday.
It was a punk/hardcore night at the Saint, my favourite club.

I was there with some friends from school. Again, all female, as my male friends at that time were kinda… Introvert.
It weren’t even close friends. But they sure as hell knew how to party.

There was also… This other girl. Woman.
About as small as I am. But fitter. And hugely more attractive. Dreadlocks, long and blonde. A grin to die for. Khaki cargo-trousers. Multi-coloured shirt. White scarf. Black Boots. And moves… By the stars… She could move.

As the night went on, we came closer in the mosh-pit. We threw ourselves against each other. And shielded us from others. We danced closely. We hugged. We kissed. We shared a drink or two. We moshed and danced some more, with all the energy someone has at that age. … And we didn’t share a single word. We didn’t speak. We just… Watched. Moved. Danced. Smiled. Grinned. Bowed. Thrust. Pulled. Bit. Scratched. Pushed. Moshed.

And it was a magical night.

When it was time to go, she pulled me to herself and gave me a long, warm kiss. I responded in kind. We hugged. Smiled. Bowed. And never saw each other again.

I came away with multiple scratches, uncountable bruises and a bit, bloody lip.
And until those went away, I treasured their pain. This pain was a reminder of this night. All that bonded me with this woman. This… Magical creature of the night.

And they faded. Some quickly. Some slowly. But they faded.
And in the end… It was just memories.
And it’s now ten years later, and the memory remains.
The memory of connection, of closeness, of a shared moment.

It’s a blessing and a curse.
A blessing, because it was simply one of the brightest moments in my life.
A curse, because it’s damn hard to NOT compare any other moments to this one. Also… The identity of this mystery woman is something that won’t let go of me. I wonder… Always wonder.

With this, though…
Remember your magical moments.
Your dream nights.
Your magnificent days.

And smile. :)

Lindsey Stirling.

I apologize in advance, because what now follows will be a drop. A Lindsey Stirling drop. Because that woman has skills, because she can move, because she’s charismatic, because she’s a nerd and because she’s utterly beautiful besides all her talent to boot.

Peter Hollens also does very, very well here. He’s got a great voice with a nice range. The fact that I love Skyrim didn’t have as much to do with me liking this video as I thought it would… The locations is also amazing. Ms. Stirling tends to find exquisite, beautiful locations for her videos.

Even after more than ten years, the Lord of the Rings soundtrack still captivates me. It’s simply… Good. It’s beautiful. (I’m gonna use that word a few times today…)
And this medley gives it a fresh and really fitting overcoat. I really like it. And again with the amazing scenery. She can also sing. Which is… Truly nice.

One of the really cool things about this video? Well, let’s see how Ms. Sterling got there: “I had an opportunity to go to New Zealand so we filmed this while we were there. Kim Dotcom funded this whole trip and he not only provided for our travel but he treated us so kindly and he gave us full access to a helicopter. I don’t care what the media says about him, I consider him a friend.”

She’s also got original stuff, which is to say… Most of her videos are original. And they’re very, very good. They again mix stunning scenery with great cinematography and the almost painful mixture of musical skill and stunning cuteness.

What was that I said about great cinematography? Well, yes. Just look at the nice stuff here in “Shadows”. It’s nothing big, but it really fits the video and gives it that extra “oomph”. It’s also funny.

There’s also the fact that I love it when artists look like they’re also really enjoying themselves. And Ms. Sterling does that. … That smile… :)

I’ll end this drop with a cover, though.

Mostly because I want to show how NOT using autotuning and actually having some creative fun with the music can make music I loathe most of the time worthy of a listen.

If their version were the one that got radio airplay I wouldn’t turn the radio off every time that song came on.

This also nicely mirrors the development I see in the current PC gaming scene: Talented, driven, independent artists free from corporate oversight simply make BETTER art. It so deeply saddens me that most of them will never see the success and recognition they actually deserve. Because that would take away sales from the next Rebecca Black album. *vomits*

But, on a positive note?
That last video?
See those smiling and grinning people?
THAT’S what makes music, and art in general, truly great. When the artists are invested with their own energy and spirit.

Matt out.

Spring is in the air. So’s Spring Music.

At least now thanks to a friend of mine.
Yeah. Well. Thanks. I didn’t have enough to do right now ANYWAYS.

So, then, onwards to adventure!

Spring music is a wide and difficult terrain for me. It’s not that much wider or more difficult than summer, winter and fall music, but… It’s happening RIGHT NOW, so there’s that. It’s got that immediate danger glowing around itself, staring at me with its damnable intensity. So I crack my knuckles, sit down, kick iTunes to “on” and start listening to music and writing this post. A post of impressions, memories, thoughts and peculiar patterns.

First of, in a spoiler-quote-box, the initial comment which inspired all this. With some initial music in it. As well as accompanying pictures. As well as being in German.

[expand title=”Post”]Death in June – Runes and Men – Dazu: http://sgtscrap.deviantart.com/art/Drama-Cloud-213590765?q=gallery%3Asgtscrap%2F22493494&qo=3 [Es ist das perfekte Lied für Wochenende im Frühling, wenn man draußen ist und die Wolken schweben sieht. Foto ist selbst gemacht.]

Human League – Don’t You Want Me – Dazu: http://sgtscrap.deviantart.com/art/Sun-over-Denmark-Ray-of-Hope-18176823?q=gallery%3Asgtscrap%2F22493494&qo=14 [Später Frühling, Abends, mit guten Freunden und vielleicht auch der Person die man wirklich gerne hat. Auch hier selbst gemachtes Foto, also gerne benutzen wenn du magst, auch für Andere Einträge]

Dead Can Dance – Black Sun – Dazu: http://sgtscrap.deviantart.com/art/Last-Sun-213591740?q=gallery%3Asgtscrap&qo=1 [Mein Frühlingsabendlied. Perfekte Stimmung. Und wieder eigenes Foto]

Depeche Mode – Leave in Silence – Dazu: http://enklave-23.de/Bilder/Meeting/Green_Light.jpg [Nachts, im Auto. Fenster offen. Frühlinhsduft. Ruhrpott-Grün und Ruhrpott-Blau um mich herum. (Und wieder eigenes Bild)]

Für Autofahrten am Tag? Ceasars – Jerk It Up. Der Song gibt einfach gute Laune.
Für Früling und Club und Party? Das Ich – Gottes Tod. Ich habe das Lied das erste Mal im April 1996 gehört. Und es wird für mich immer mit wundervollen Parties umgeben von tollen Menschen verbunden sein. Es ist eines meiner seltsamen Gute-Laune-Lieder. Ich kann nicht anders als tolle Erinnerungen und das Gefühl von Sonnenstrahlen am Frühlingsabend dabei empfinden.

Ich habe noch… Andere. Freebird und Grenn Grass, High Tides und Carry On My Wayward Son und noch mehr. Aber… Das würde den Rahmen sprengen.[/expand]

From those three songs I mentioned last in my comment (Freebird, Green Grass and High Tides, Carry On My Wayward Son), I’d like to pick one, because they all fill a certain niche. The niche of music to drive to during sunny, windy, clear and warm spring afternoons. They are NOT interchangeable. I don’t want to even imply this. But for me, they work for the same emotions, the same feelings of being happy and free. So, take a few minutes out of your life, let the sunshine in, and start up this song. Then close your eyes and imagine you’re in your car and the wind is blowing into your hair. And you listen to this. With a stretch of free highway before you. It’s just… Bliss. Pure bliss. And when it combines with one of the first warm and sunny days after an abysmal winter? … Near Perfection.

The Outlaws – Green Grass and High Tides

Then there’s something else that spring has going for itself when you compare it to winter: Warm, early sunrises. It’s cheating a bit, because this is more true in late spring than in the beginning, but it BEGINS in spring, so here is where I put this song. This feeling. Those moments when you just had a wonderful night behind you. Be it dancing, roleplaying, great sex or “just” hanging out with friends, cocktails and enough topics to talk about to fill a novel. Then you’re in your car. It’s 0500. It’s an hour until you get home. The memories of great people and great moments are still fresh. The sun is rising. There’s thaw on the sides of the road. There’s mist rising up besides the empty and forlorn looking Autobahn which is just waking up to the beat of the cities. And it’s warm. It’s fucking warm. So you put on this song. Put an arm outside your car. And smile. Smile all the damn way home.

Tsuneo Imahori – Never Could Have Been Worse

But, let’s also not forget all those times driving TOWARDS good times. In the evening, in the oncoming dark. Surrounded by people who also head out towards parties, dances, dates and generally good times. And you’re happy to see people outside of ANY professional context. Meeting them just as friends, at a place you connect as being “that fun place”. Where there’ll be no sorrow. Perhaps some maudlin reminiscing about past deeds and lost chances. But there will also be good music, good friends and good drinks. So you help each other up and you get on to have a great night. And there, on the way towards this, when your mind is filled with possibilities and hopes and stories you want to tell, you put on this song and head towards a perfect night.

B-Movie – Nowhere Girl

But, how about those moments of budding, fresh romance? How about spending an evening or a night with that person you had a crush for so long. How about finally getting that kiss you wanted so dearly. How about that? Well, for me there are quite a few songs which work well with that. But one will always hold a dear place in my heart, due to some personal experience. It’s got a sympathetic link to a person and some memories. But apart from that… It’s cool. It’s downtempo. It’s dark. It’s perfect for those first, early days of spring. Where romance and emotions and desires start to run high, but where there’s still rain and dark clouds and rain aplenty. … So you’re on the couch. That special someone is with you. You put your arm around her shoulder and pull her near. She stiffens for a fraction of moment, then gives in. She sighs, barely audible and presses her head against your neck and shoulders. You pull closer. You enjoy each others warmth. And for some time… There’s nothing else. There’s just you.

Silke Bischoff – Under Your Skin

And… I think that this is a good way to end this post.
To let you alone with those thoughts.
And with the knowledge that, for me, this is music fit for spring. Music which invokes that fresh, lively feeling of this season in me. And which, in turn, is summoned by this season of chaos and emotions.

Some doom and glom can be allright. In the right doses. And the right style.

And Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio have that style. In swathes.

Today, I want to push you to listen to their release “Songs 4 Hate & Devotion (For All Of You, Who Mean Nothing To Me)”. I know, it’s hard to get. But it’s worth the hunt.

They play Apocalyptic Folk, a very moody blend of NeoFolk, slightly experimental Electronica and sexually as well as politically/socio-culturally filled lyrical themes. (“In Heaven, Only Abstinence Remains”, “Long Knives and Little Men”, “If Christ Is The Answer Then What Is The Question?”)

They weave wonderfully dark and deep tapestries of sound and thought. And in this album it’s… As if Death In June took “Of Runes and Men” and “Rose Clouds of Holocaust” and made an antire album following the footsteps of those two songs.

This is modern, modern-sounding!, music for candlelight, wine, whiskey, intimate erotic moments and gazing at the stars.

This is music you can think to. Think with. Think about. It can make you open your mind and examine those thoughts you don’t want to think about for too long most of the time. But sometimes, sometimes it can be cathartic to let thoughts of apocalypse and dystopia wash over you. Like the Bene Gesserit litany against fear says. Sometimes you need to let fear wash over you, to defeat it and crown yourself as the emperor of you own being again.

“A World Not So Beautiful [a Song 4 the Emperor]” (A hauntingly beautiful song, and so frighteningly… Frightening right now.)

London is burning, ignited with love
Misunderstandings, descend from above
Paris has fallen; the flag has been raised
A nation in ruins, once pompous and great
Brothers are fighting, in pleasure and pain
There is no refuge, in the ladies of Spain
Brussels is drowning; the flood has commenced
The secrets of Europe, are waking again
Berlin is falling; it has been besieged
Europe is burning, for you and for me
Rome is collapsing, just like before
This is the future, it’s Europe at war

Let me take your little hand, let me make you understand
That the world is not as beautiful and free, like you believe

Belgrade is bleeding; the past was retrieved
Prague under siege, in tears we concede
The uproars in Munich, in crystals they march
Amsterdam trembles; there’s no light in the dark
Brothers are fighting, in pleasure and pain
There is no refuge, in the ladies of Spain
Vienna has perished, consumed by its past
Zurich is ruined; the gold did not last
Berlin is falling; it has been besieged
Europe is burning, for you and for me
Rome is collapsing, just like before
This is the future, it’s Europe at war

This is also music to which you can shut off your conscious thoughts and simply let the mood and texture and beat lead you towards those slightly obfuscated areas in your mind. Those thoughts that push you towards your darker urges and desires. And with the right person, this album can take you both there. Enjoying yourself all the way towards the end. Sharply smiling, heading towards mutual satisfaction outside of common norms.

“Lucifer in Love” (Dark, twisted, yet honest love and romance.)

My body is cleansed with flowers and wine
Bodies of passion in linen entwined
Your body undressed and stockings reveal
You’re naked and longing and yearning to feel
Venus is rising to salvage the earth
A flower ascending in blossom through dirt
In blood and perfection this world shall be cleansed
So lust and cumpassion may flourish again
The angels are feasting on blood of the meek
In blossom with treason I play with the weak
Fading roses cover me
And semen makes my spirit free

“The sacrifice was made in the name of me
The sacrifice was made in the name of you
You call me by my middle name
I’m Lucifer in love, in love with you”

The words you have heard and the things you have seen
Shall vanquish the morals you’ve tried to defeat
When time has demised and mankind has burned
Then madness shall rise and love shall return
The nectars I drink from the cleft to your soul
Shall nourish the yearnings and murder control
I see how you ache from the crown that you wear
I cut out your heart just to see if you care
Your lips shall devour the flesh underneath
My sperm in your mouth is the proof that I need
Fading roses cover me
And semen makes my spirit free

If you can, get this album.
It’s really worth the hunt.

This was money exquisitely well spent for me.

And, yes. You can’t just listen to those songs without a critical eye. They’re not meant for that. At least not the first time.

A little contrast never truly hurt somebody.

Yes, it’s about The Smiths today.
And about my post yesterday.

This album is a peculiar thing in itself. It came out in 1984. And The Smiths’ debut album “The Smiths”… Also came out in 1984.
What this is, then, is a sort-of compilation of BBC1 radio session [Peel and Jensen] recordings.

And if you ever see an album by an artist you really like and it says “BBC Radio 1 Sessions” or “John Peel Sessions”… Just buy it if you can. Those recordings are often spectacular beasts. The bands often took some time to slightly re-tool their songs for those sessions, they were recorded in a very professional manner and they have a certain feeling to them. It’s… Hard to explain.

It’s also hard on me when it comes to provide a sound-sample, as there is sparsely anything on youtube from this particular album I could let you listen to, and if I’d take a version of those songs from “The Smiths” it wouldn’t offer the distinct quality I’m talking about. So I take one song that wouldn’t have been my first choice, but which still is a powerful offering. And a powerful change. They took out the keyboard part found on “The Smiths” from this and gave the bass part a slightly different twinge.

So, just take a listen to The Smiths – You’ve Got Everything Now.

This is a special album. A special band. All alone, you can buy this album, play it to some indie-hipster and tell them to shut the fuck up because being indie isn’t some sort of “new thing” and The Smiths really showed the world that it certainly was a thing you could sustain. … If you wanted, that this. They didn’t manage more than four main-line albums before breaking up in 1987, managing only five years of “being a band”.

Particularly striking is also their choice of the band name, choosing “The Smiths” to NOT appear ‘pretentious’. Well, music shares something with movies and RPGs then, too: Some things were “first” once and then copied until the breaking point, making their use a highly ironic statement at best. I dare you to give me a “The [X]” these days that isn’t pretentious, ‘ironic’ or trying very, very hard to be ‘edgy’.

It’s like with Tolkien. He made his elves haughty and his dwarves stoic. And generations of later Fantasy writers took his concepts and copied the shit out of them so that nowadays every fantasy world with haughty, long-lived elves and stoic, short-tempered dwarves draws rolled eyes. The same seemed to have happened with The Smiths. They started something to try to NOT look like something else, and the band that followed their footsteps found it cool and copied it… Well… Are the reason why no well-stocked music shop will ever put 90% of all “The” bands under “T”.

But, yes. They were (some of) the first ones of calling themselves “The” and being indie and walking a darker, gloomier road. And back when they did it… It was truly new. It was besides New Wave and after Punk and all-between Hair-Metal and Radio Rock. And it was a success.

Also, compare this with yesterday’s offering, which came out eight years later, which also was different and truly independent. And is now lost to near-total obscurity. That’s the difference proper rotation and “marketing” can make, be it on a national or sub-cultural scale. No word-of-mouth means that even great artists will fade. And proper marketing and huge coffers of cash mean that we get much of the last 12 years in popular music. Because this, The Smiths, was Pop once. As was Madonna. And Michael Jackson. Which is to say… Fuck you, AAA Music Indutry. You fucking sacks of money-hungrey vultures stiffling creativity for selfish gains and easy earnings. Fuck you. I hope your whole industry collapses into itself and never rears its ugly head again.

Err.
Yes.

Go, buy yourselg some Hatful of Hollow.
Even 28 years later it’s still well worth a listen.

Let’s start a new season.

It took longer than I though it would take.
But now this damn thing is back on-air again!
Or, err, rather… It’s back in-action.
Daily updates, mostly music, some personal, some utterly, revoltingly weird.

Today will be music and something else.
A mini-review of a novel I recently read.
And by “review” I mean that I will be quoting some marked passages and explain why I think that they were a good idea.
And by “recently” I mean that I got it Saturday evening and finished it Sunday night.

But first, the music!

A change for the next posts: I will include the cover picture of the track/album/EP/compilation that I want to showcase. Simply to imprint this in all your brains and make you buy it the next time you’re in a record store, looking for some new music and should around seeing it sitting in a shelf. Which isn’t too likely with most of you with regards to most of the music I will present. But it might push SOME of you in the right direction. And that’s a risk I’m frankly willing to take! (Yes, I’m selfish this way.) [EMPEROR BE DAMNED! I always want to do that fucking “shellfish” pun. Stupid punny literature…]

So, behold today’s offering, my old, new and virtual audience!

—-

ODST OST Cover

Today I will let you listen to a piece from the phenomenal soundtrack to the videogame HALO 3: ODST [2009].
Cards open: I’m a big fan of all the HALO soundtracks. They offer wonderful ambient landscapes of hope, loss, desperation, action and deliverance. They could score AAA movies and would blow some of the current crop out of the water, if they were used correctly. And ODST… Is the best of the lot.

Here you get martial drums, whiskey-fueled saxophone passages, strings, subtle and hard percussion and wonderful electronica.

I’ll showcase this with the help of two tracks. The first being “Overture” and in itself a sampler of the things to come. It’s a bit disjointed at times, yes. That’s why I will later let you listen to a fuller track. But it DOES give you a good picture if you’d like the soundtrack or not. If you feel that you don’t like most of the parts of this track, simply skip to the part where I talk about the book. Or, just wait ’till tomorrow. But if you DO like those parts? Or even just many of them? Stick for a bit more. :)

So, without any further ado… Overture!

So, what do you say? Did you like it? Do you want more?
If so… Follow me and take a look at the Skyline.

Skyline is one of the more martial tracks. It’s interwoven with parts of the over-all Halo theme for great effect to kindle a sympathetic reaction in players of the former games. But even people without those connections, who haven’t played a game of Halo in their life will get the sense of urgency, of frantic desperation to get moving, to get shit done! And then it turns out that things aren’t just like they looked. That the rabbit hole goes deeper and it’s much darker at the bottom than you previously thought. But you still jump in and move on. People depend on you. And you hope that you will survive long enough to keep their hope alive.

Shit.

I can’t stop now. Not now.
I should give you just one further example.
Something on the darker and more mellow side. And it’s a toss-up between “Neon Night” and “The Office of Naval Intelligence”.

But, seeing as it’s night now… And I don’t want to give you the most paranoia-inducing track on the soundtrack… I opt for Neon Night.

For this one… Get out your Whiskey. Go watch the city outside your window.
Or get into your car and drive the Autobahn at night.

Because this track will let you see the city in a different light. [And trust me, that one was NOT intended. But my internal thesaurus is offline now, as it’s late and I’m tired.]

And this is just a small part of the full soundtrack.
It’s on two CDs, each giving you about an hour of listening pleasure.
And it really is a pleasure.

It’s good driving music, it’s good reading music, it’s good thinking music and it’s good relaxing music. Even the frantic parts, yes, because the will give your mind the chance to change gears and think about other things than you normally would.

But where this soundtrack REALLY shines (apart from in the game, that is) is in your car, at night, driving through cities and stretches of Autobahn. It’s Rhine-Ruhr Night-Music. (And when you’re reading an exciting book. For me, who reads swathes of military SciFi and Trans-/Posthuman novels… It’s dead on very often.)

And it’s really damn well composed.

Full marks from me.
I love it.
Bought it in 2009 and haven’t regretted it once.

[I decided to split of the book “review” for the next blog post. I think I should keep topics at least broadly seperate.]

Excuse the lack of updates

I’m shuffling between two flats right now and am stressed because of the move, my sister’s birthday and unrelated work-stuff.

Regular updates should resume as of Wednesday next week. Until then, there will be sporadic updates only.

Also, have some awesome soundtrack tunes for one of the best games of last year.

Sometimes things strike later than you think.

We now have 2012. I’m thinking back to 2004. With help of a song released 1994. I could’ve waited two years, but then, well… I wouldn’t have had anything to write today and, let’s face it, I would have most probably forgotten my thoughts on this one until then. I mean… Two years. Huge swathes of stuff can happen in two years.

Anyway, 2004. A long-distance relationship. Several long-distance friendships. Those things began then.
The relationship also ended then, sadly enough. The friendships, for the most part, survived. Some are sleeping now. Some I… Cut. Some are active as ever.

But the relationship ended.

It was intense. It was wonderful. It was filled with excitement, much travel, great sex and interesting people.
It was also, as sad as I am to say this, build on a broken foundation.

We both entered into it with different goals, different states-of-mind and different assumptions.
And we both failed to fully communicate those as we spent most of our communication with more positive subjects.
So when the blow came, it came down hard. Even though I was the one who had been “dropped” it still was hard on both of us.

It was a really sucky time. It was a really sucky situation.
And yet… It made me grow and rise to the occasion and appreciate happiness more.

It wasn’t all bad. It wasn’t even mostly bad. It was mostly great. With a big, fat, unhappy ending.
But the memories? They will remain. And they are good memories. Strong memories.

Like these two songs.

Same Band. | Stone Temple Pilots.
Same Year. | 1994
Same Album.| Purple

I love Big Empty. I really do.
It’s a song that I dream to. I remember to it. Bittersweet memories that coax smiles, regrets, grins and a sense of terrible sadness.
And its mood is so terrifyingly good. It’s dark, it’s sweet-yet-heavy, like a bittersweet honey. It’s serene yet powerful.

But the Interstate Love Song has its high-points, too. It fits the year the most. And hits both of us at the same time.