Blind Guardian live in Stuttgart

Zum 30. Geburtstag spielten die blinden Gardinen am 6. September im LKA/Longhorn (erstmals seit 1998). Zu Beginn gab es nette Homevideos von 1992 inkl. Thomen, aber es zog sich und die Stimmung war verhalten. Als es schließlich mit “Time What Is Time” losging, verschwand aller Unmut. Der Sound brauchte zwei Minuten, bis alles eingepegelt war, dann gab es die Vollbedienung. Das Publikum war dem Anlass angemessen eher älter, mit unzähligen Blind-Guardian-Shirt-Motiven, die meisten davon verwaschen. Man sang lauthals mit, ein paar Headbanger gab’s, aber – ähnlich wie auf der Bühne – herrschte weitgehend Standfußball. Die Dynamik war somit ganz anders als anno 1995 bei meinem ersten Blind-Guardian-Konzert (gleichfalls im Longhorn).

Nach dem ersten Song stellte sich dann die bange Frage, welchen Unsinn Hansi wohl verzapfen würde. Tja, er erzählte, dass er sich über die Rückkehr nach Stuttgart freue, die Stadt möge. (Gähn.) Und dass er hier ja mal aus einer Bank rausgeschmissen wurde beim Versuch, Geld einzuzahlen. “Damals habe ich nicht gestunken.” Der Sicherheitsdienst habe ihn dann aber hinausbegleitet unter dem Beifall der anderen Leute in der Bank. (Oha!)

“Black Chamber” war live richtig genial. Heiter dann im Anschluss: Hansi kündigte das Lied nochmal an. Marcus verdrehte die Augen. Nach “Theatre of Pain” laberte Hansi dann von Tolkien. Marcus wieder so nonverbal: “He, wir sind woanders im Set.” Hansi kam dann mühsam zu Moorcock. “The Quest for Tanelorn” war als einziger “Somewhere”-Song sehr gut und nicht überragend. Nundenn, das Finale mit “Ashes to Ashes”, den “Bard Songs” und dem Titelsong war furios – alles sang mit, kein Moshpit aber frohe Gesichter und ein mächtiger Chor. Die Band war gut eingespielt. Und es gab keine Luft. Hansi: “Hier ist ein wenig wenig Luft.”

Nächster Mitsinghöhepunkt war gleich “Lord of the Rings” – sensationell, die Band hörte man kaum noch. Es folgte grandioses Mischprogramm von alt bis “Violent Shadows” (guter Refrain, dazwischen eher Mittelmaß). Zum Ende “And the Story Ends”, hui. Anschließend kein Durchschnaufen, nein, laute Zugabe-Rufe und Guardian!-Chöre. Applaus, Zugaben.

Nach “Mirror Mirror” gab es einmal mehr frenetischen Jubel; ein Roadie machte ein Foto von der Band vor dem Publikum, Frederik warf Stöcke ins Publikum. Hansi: “Wir lieben euch!” Stuttgart: “Majesty! Majesty!” Wie aus einem Mund. Die Band beriet sich. Hansi beichtete, man habe das Stück auf der Tour bislang vermeiden können und hätte es auch gar nicht geprobt, also vor allem er nicht. Doch sie spielten es, ooooooh Majesty, wunderschön; klar: nostalgisch. Hansi ist nicht mehr jung! Fit war er schon, alle schwitzten, auch auf der Bühne. Ich war sehr glücklich, vor Ort zu sein.

  1. Time What Is Time
  2. Journey Through the Dark
  3. Black Chamber
  4. Theatre of Pain
  5. The Quest for Tanelorn
  6. Ashes to Ashes
  7. The Bard’s Song – In the Forest
  8. The Bard’s Song – The Hobbit
  9. The Piper’s Calling
  10. Somewhere far Beyond
  11. Lord of the Rings
  12. Nightfall
  13. Lost in the Twilight Hall
  14. Violent Shadows
  15. Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill)
  16. And the Story Ends
  17. Sacred Worlds
  18. Valhalla
  19. Mirror Mirror
  20. Majesty

The 50 Greatest MTX Songs

Now we are 21 years older than I was when I attended my first MTX concert (MTX = The Mr. T Experience). To celebrate the occasion I present the 50 greatest MTX songs according to me.

  1. …And I Will Be With You

This song can never be not included in such a list. The American Ninja 2 line is my personal highlight, even though I now practically nothing about American Ninja 2. (Or American Ninja 1.) The modest beat prevents it from a higher rank, though.

  1. She Did Me In

An early song with Dr. Frank and Jon Von trading vocals in the chorus. It has a lot of energy, hence rank #49.

Continue reading ‘The 50 Greatest MTX Songs’ »

Lektüre 2021


A list of books I finished reading in the last 12 months:

  • J. Michael Straczynski: Becoming Superman
  • Steve Lukather & Paul Rees: The Gospel According to Luke
  • Yuval Noah Harari: Eine kurze Geschichte der Menschheit
  • Toivo Kaartinen: Foxes in Love Vol. 1
  • Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim: Die kleinste gemeinsame Wirklichkeit. Wahr, falsch, plausibel? Die größten Streitfragen wissenschaftlich geprüft
  • Stuart Ritchie: Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth
  • Frank Herbert: Gefangen in der Ewigkeit
  • Nadja Hermann: Erzaehlmirnix – Leben mit Menschen
  • John Green: The Anthropocene Reviewed
  • Dirk Rossmann: Der neunte Arm des Oktopus
  • Isabella Benz & Susanne Wolff: Sirenenbann und Seegesang
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton & Louise Penny: State of Terror

Dave Hause live in Hahnstätten

Yesterday, I was at my first concert since 2019: Dave Hause (along with Tim Hause) played in a garden in the middle of nowhere between Cologne and Frankfurt (Hahnstätten). What a relief! What a joy! And what an almost sacred feeling of cherishing music, hand-made and live, intense, soft, deep, flawed, spontaneous. Speaking of which, after the premiere of a brand new track (“Little Wings”) and a stunning rendition of “Saboteurs” came “Damascus” followed by an unplanned performance of the entire “Devour” album, which was then followed by the actual set. 25 songs, 2 hours, old and new, energetic and emphatic.

The audience was a bit shy, hell, I was shy. Can we sing along? Whistle? The dog next door had fewer reservations; he gladly barked whenever the audience clapped and also sometimes during the songs. The church bells at 9 pm interrupted the show for a minute or two. The audience was attentive, to say the least. No chatting, no murmuring, no stage-diving, either. “The Flinch” was one of my favourite songs of the evening. “Sandy Sheets” brought happiness and lightness and summer despite the chilly evening air. Thankfully there was no rain. Ending with “Fireflies” underneath the lightbulb cable in the tiny stage pavilion, the Hause brothers once again brought all the feelings, leaving everyone happy and moved.

  1. Little Wings
  2. Saboteurs
  3. Damascus
  4. The Great Depression
  5. We Could Be Kings
  6. Same Disease
  7. Before
  8. Father’s Son
  9. Stockholm Syndrome
  10. Becoming Secular
  11. The Shine
  12. Bricks
  13. Benediction
  14. Autism Vaccine Blues
  15. Shaky Jesus
  16. High Hopes
  17. Hanalei
  18. The Flinch
  19. Civil Lies
  20. Time Will Tell
  21. Surfboard
  22. Sunshine
  23. C’mon Kid
  24. Sandy Sheets
  25. Fireflies

Lektüre 2020

A list of books I finished reading in the last 12 months:

  • Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren Myracle: Let It Snow
  • Ian Kilmister & Janiss Garza: White Line Fever
  • Mark Haddon: Supergute Tage

Lektüre 2019

A list of books I finished reading in the last 12 months:

  • Robert Jordan: Crossroads of Twilight
  • Wolf Welling: Die Wächterin
  • Robert Jordan: Knife of Dreams
  • Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson: The Gathering Storm
  • Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson: Towers of Midnight
  • John Strelecky: Das Café am Rande der Welt
  • Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson: A Memory of Light

Metaanalyse zur prädiktiven Validität von Studierfähigkeitstests

Diese Woche erschien “Leisten fachspezifische Studierfähigkeitstests im deutschsprachigen Raum eine valide Studienerfolgsprognose? Ein metaanalytisches Update” (Post-Print bei ResearchGate). Als Erstautor bin ich darüber natürlich in erster Linie erfreut. Die Arbeit ist praktisch die Fortschreibung (bis 2018), Bestätigung (der prädiktiven Validität) und Erweiterung (mehr Fachrichtungen, inkrementelle Validität bzgl. Abinoten) der Metaanalyse von Hell, Trapmann und Schuler (2007). Ich möchte an dieser Stelle kurz ein paar zusätzliche Gedanken festhalten, die insbesondere die Entscheidungen betrifft, die man beim Schreiben eines Artikels unweigerlich treffen muss.

Die neue Metaanalyse orientiert sich stark an der alten, ist aber keine sklavische Wiederholung. So wurde anno 2019 als Software R verwendet. Das ist bei Validitätsmetaanalysen nicht unbedingt geradlinig. Ursprünglich hatte ich vor, das Paket psychmeta zu verwenden. Für die anschließenden Moderatoranalysen sowie für den Fokus auf Fixed-Effects-Modelle war am Ende aber metafor das Paket der Wahl, das die Analyse “im Stil” der Methode von Hunter und Schmidt vornimmt.

Es gab die Überlegung, die Studien der Hell-Metaanalyse auch in die Analyse mit einzubeziehen. Dann wäre die neue Arbeit aber nicht so eigenständig ausgefallen. Vielleicht nimmt sich in Zukunft ja jemand der Aufgabe an, alle Studien (seit 1980?) zusammenzufassen. Wir haben nicht zuletzt dafür die Datenmatrix unserer Analysen online gestellt, um möglichst transparent und replikabel (?) zu sein.

Die Betrachtung der inkrementellen Validität von Studierfähigkeitstests über die Abinote hinaus war mir wichtig, weil das Thema in der Praxis sehr präsent ist. Die Vermutung von Hell, Trapmann und Schuler (2008), dass es ein Inkrement im hohen einstelligen Prozentpunktbereich gibt, konnte numerisch bestätigt werden. An der Herausforderung der inferenzstatistischen Prüfung bin ich allerdings gescheitert. Deshalb fällt der Inkrement-Punkt im Artikel eher knapp aus. Ich bin auch skeptisch, dass es eine Spezialform des Wald-Tests gibt, die den Test mit den spärlich vorhandenen Daten rechnen könnte. Vielversprechender wäre eine Metaregression, für die aber in den Primärstudien die vollständigen Korrelationsmatrizen (mit Abinoten, Testleistungen und Studiennoten) berichtet werden müssen – was bislang nur in selten passiert ist. Dies ist also Zukunftsmusik.

Fazit: Ungeachtet dieser Punkte sehe ich die Arbeit positiv und die Ergebnisse als belastbar an. So freue ich mich auch auf die große, positive Resonanz auf unsere Metaanalyse, die es jüngst bei der DPPD-Fachgruppentagung sowie bei der BMBF-Fachtagung zu Eingangstests gab. Mal sehen, wer 2031 die nächste Metaanalyse zum Thema macht!

Chris de Burgh live in Stuttgart

Chris de Burgh? Again? Yes, indeed. The current tour features two old albums instead of a new one. The first set of the show consisted of the Moonfleet songs. “Moonfleet & Other Stories” is among de Burgh’s best albums. The first half of the concert featured the thirteen tracks that tell the story of the novel “Moonfleet” (from 1898). After the taped symphonic overture, the band began with a very pleasant volume level. The Beethoven-Saal in the Liederhalle was sold out. The audience cheered and was given a wild ride with smugglers, betrayal, storms, love, friendship etc. Of course, Chris de Burgh is not a wild performer. He’s a storyteller. A superb light show augmented the performance without distracting from the music. There were the rocking songs and the emphatic ballads. There was a shanty and a dramatic middle part. In short, there was everything that makes Chris de Burgh Chris de Burgh. I loved every minute of the set.

After the intermission it was time for another album set. “Into the Light” has sold more copies than any other album by de Burgh. “Borderline” was thrown in for good measure, right before the sequel “Say Goodbye to It All”. A few songs felt slightly too out of date. It’s not 1986 anymore. Still, the synth sounds and the relentless catchiness were thrilling. “The Ballroom of Romance” was particularly groovy. “The Lady in Red” was held back until after “The Leader” trilogy and a couple of solo songs. From then on, the audience stood on their feet. Everybody had a good time with all-time classics such as “Missing You”, “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” and “High on Emotion”. The long notes were sung a bit shorter than 30 years ago, but apart from that it was a flawless performance from start to finish. Lots of songs were played that hadn’t been on the setlist for quite some time (or ever). Sure, the encore was all ballads. Still, the audience got 2.5 hours of music. The applause was roaring by the time the band left the stage for good. Below is the setlist from Stuttgart (30th October 2019).

  1. The Light on the Bay
  2. Have a Care
  3. Go Where Your Heart Believes
  4. The Escape
  5. The Days of Our Age
  6. The Secret of the Locket
  7. My Heart’s Surrender
  8. Treasure and Betrayal
  9. Moonfleet Bay
  10. The Storm
  11. Greater Love
  12. The Moonfleet Finale
  13. Last Night
  14. Fire on the Water
  15. The Ballroom of Romance
  16. Borderline
  17. Say Goodbye to It All
  18. The Spirit of Man
  19. Fatal Hesitation
  20. One Word (Straight to the Heart)
  21. For Rosanna
  22. The Leader
  23. The Vision
  24. What About Me?
  25. There Goes My Heart Again
  26. Where Peaceful Waters Flow
  27. The Lady in Red
  28. Africa
  29. Missing You
  30. Don’t Pay the Ferryman
  31. High on Emotion
  32. The Snows of New York
  33. The Moonfleet Finale

My impressions of the 2019 Wizard Rock sampler

Check out the whole thing at wizardrock.bandcamp.com!

PUSSYCAT DOLORES: Ministry Has Fallen – This one has excellent vocals, thoroughly produced, augmented by sublime synths. The music reminds me of FROU FROU. Of course, I have no idea of current pop music. The drum computer ruins the whole thing a bit. It could have been more moody without the hyperactive hihat, I guess.

SONORUS: Arthur Weasley – The ska party starts now. The chorus reminds me of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. Could be worse. Somehow I associate the wizard’s world with drama and struggle. This is a good reminder that there has to be good times, as well.

PERCY AND THE PREFECTS: I’m Sorry Harry Potter – This indie rock song is a bit too occupied with its harmony vocals and rhymes. It could be catchier. The lyrics work well, not just a few words and slogans but fitting throughout the song.

HOW AIRPLANES FLY: Poetry in Motion – Melancholic, yet upbeat folky man with guitar music – yes. Thank you. This is my favourite song, so far.

THE DOLLY SHAKES: I Wish Luna Lovegood Was My Friend – A rather good wizard rock song from the 60s. The lyrics are great, the music is good, the 60s are now, right?

SHANNON SWEENEY: Chocolate Frogs Radio Spot – If you know me, you know I like short songs. I like chocolate. Hence, I like this tune.

LOSING LARA: Owl Post Mishaps – “Wizards through the eyes of Muggles” is a perspective I strongly appreciate. The music is a tad harmless, but so is the topic.

THE SWEDISH SHORTSNOUTS: Scream Like a Mandrake – One can always rely on Swedish hard rock. This one has a nice shuffle groove and a cool organ. The overall production might be a bit too controlled, too much on the safe side. There is also an ALICE COOPER/”School’s Out” vibe going on. What’s the magic spell to make the band open for DEEP PURPLE?

PAIGE 394: Hagrid’s Keys – Why does this song remind of a new DREAM THEATER ballad? Is it the chord changes? The elegy? The music has its own flair, but it’s not really my cup of tea.

TOTALLY KNUTS: Goodbye – There a moments where I’m in the story with the emotion. And then there are moments where I see the singer in a YouTube home video eyeing the lyric sheet.

HOMO QUI VIXIT: Halloween – This is probably the most lo-fi contribution. The spoken interludes are great. Is there a touch of BRIGHT EYES in there? Do I even know more than one BRIGHT EYES song?

THE LOVEGOODS: Invincible – THE LOVEGOODS sound a bit like THE CRANBERRIES going to Hogwarts. It’s certainly a treat for fans of the 90s.

SLYTHERPUFF: Rock the House – I really like the band name and I like the song name. But where are the guitars? This could be a radio hit.

POTTÖRHEAD: Jesus Has a Horcrux – Our contribution is a mix of pop/punk and potentially offensive lyrics. The production is too polished, if you ask me. Then again, it’s probably just my voice that bugs me. We only had a couple of song ready, even though we’re currently writing for our next album.

THE ARKADIAN: Aragog – Guitars! Drums! This could become SPINAL TAP. Or is it FOREIGNER with some drive? The cheesy chorus is a bit to light for the topic, I guess. Still, the vocals are awesome. The composition certainly does Aragog justice. Very cool. Well done. One of my favourite tracks on this year’s compilation and one of my favourite wizard rock songs.

THE 8TH HORCRUX: The Sorting Hat (Demo) – The return of the pop hihat. I’m tempted to return to “Aragog”. Weirdly enough, there is a vibe that reminds me of BON JOVI’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”.

HAWTHORNE & HOLLY: Occlumency – The stereo mix makes this one a bit creepy under headphones. The could have been more dynamics, I guess, to give this one more than one dimension.

SOLITARY SNAPE: Brain Room – This is only the second or third ukulele track. The chorus is great. It’s a very relaxed song. I like it.

GRACE KENDALL: Make It Better – Enchanting vocals, more ukulele. The song’s a bit softer than the previous “Brain Room”. It’s probably more difficult to convey positivity, so thumbs up for the uplifting mood and the dreamy atmosphere.

DOTS AND LINES: Pretty Good at Quidditch – Is this an a single-voice cappella song? It is. It somehow works, even though I imagine all sorts of arrangements while listening. I like how it starts somewhat slow and then gets a bit more dense without disturbing the mood. I like song like this because it’s surprising and good and it has its own style.

AUGUAMENTI: Sapphic Magic – This pop/rap/something song has a hard time after the cool DOTS AND LINES track. I guess the rap parts are good, but I struggle with the more melodic parts. Sorry.

THEY MIGHT BE HALF-GIANTS: Slytherin – Oh my, this is fun. I don’t think I’ll listen to this one for pleasure. The ending is just too far out. The whole thing is fun, though, and stands out. It certainly made me smile.

MUGGLE SNUGGLE: Winky’s Hangover – Cheers! I raise my glass to you.

SELF-DEFENSIVE SPELLWORK: Graveyard of Buried Hopes – What a gloomy, moody song; the vocals sound a bit too whispered, in my opinion. Good music, anyway. I do need some sunshine now.

SARA IDANI: Expecto Patronum – Glockenspiel for the win. Then it takes a turn for 80s pop synth/drum music. I already see the single with three different dance mixes in front of me. The vocals are good and really suit the song. The lyrics give the pop music a different feel, I really like this! Now if only Mike Oldfield could add a some guitars…

All in all, my favourites are SARA IDANI, DOTS AND LINES, THE ARKADIAN along with SOLITARY SNAPE, HOW AIRPLANES FLY and PUSSYCAT DOLORES. Hooray for everyone on the compilation and tons of thanks to Grace Kendall for bringing it all together.

Wizards Give a Shit

POTTÖRHEAD contributed a live track to the wizard rock charity compilation “Wizards Give a Shit”. Check it out! The lyrics are listed below.

Last year I went to visit the Bielefeld School of Wizardry
Said goodbye to Hogwarts and took a boat to Germany
All the German teachers really took good care of me
They showed me the city that’s not there in reality
And on the streets I saw
Small piles in rainbow colors
And when I asked the locals
They said that this is Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße – yellow, red and blue
Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße

The Germans taught me potions
The Germans taught me German spells
They explained the rainbow piles and their sweet and pungent smells
The city and its unicorns are banished from reality
Since that magic accident at the Bielefeld School of Wizardry
Still the unicorns produce
Small piles of rainbow colors
And when you step on them
Your foot is stuck in Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße – yellow, red and blue
Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße

Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße – yellow, red and blue
Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße – green and orange, too
Einhornscheiße
Einhornscheiße