Jutze 52 #24 – Zigaretten

Diese Woche war ich kurz davor, das 52-Sekunden-Projekt abzubrechen. So wie eigentlich jede Woche. Dann kam die Einsicht, dass ich das ja genau deshalb mache, damit ich übe, produziere, schreibe usw. Ich hatte erst mit einem Polka-Rhythmus in Dur gespielt, aber dann fand ich Moll passender. Da ich gerade mit Manticess-Zeug im Hintergrund gut beschäftigt bin, fehlt mal wieder eine aufwändige Produktion. Dafür gibt es ein Video von der Aufnahme.

#24 Zigaretten

Es wird euch vielleicht wundern, wenn ich euch jetzt sage
Dass ich in meinem Glockenspiel eine Zigarette habe
Die liegt da schon seit Jahren, ich schau sie manchmal an
Dann frag ich mich, was ist denn so schlimm daran
Zigaretten sind harmlos, solange man sie nicht raucht
Sie schaden nicht, legt man sie so auf einen schwangeren Bauch

Die Form der Zigarette sieht soweit recht hübsch aus
Nur dumme Leute zündeln und machen Asche draus
Man darf sie auch nicht essen, das wäre echt fatal
Wenn du es doch probierst, tust du das auch nur einmal
Zigaretten sind harmlos, solange man sie nicht raucht
Sie schaden nicht, legt man sie so auf einen schwangeren Bauch

(words and music by Johannes Schult 2015 Creative Commons by-nc 4.0)

Jutze schaut Babylon 5 – Folge 12

Diese Folge war für mich beim ersten Anschauen ein Wendepunkt. Zumindest habe ich es so in Erinnerung. Auch jetzt hat mich “Any Means Necessary” wieder begeistert.

Jutze 52 #23 – Zerbrechlich

Dieses Lied entstand Stück für Stück in recht kurzer Zeit. Das Video zeigt die Aufnahme. Mh, alles nicht so informativ. Meine Lieblingslieder auf Englisch zum Thema sind “Fragile” von Kamera und natürlich “Handle With Care” von den Traveling Wilburys.

#23 Zerbrechlich

Es klingelt an der Tür, es ist der Postbote
Mit einem Päckchen für mich
Auf dem Päckchen steht: “Achtung! Zerbrechlich!”
Ich öffne es vorsichtig
Und während ich es öffne, denke ich bei mir
Zerbrechlich ist die Welt; zerbrechlich sind auch wir

(words and music by Johannes Schult 2015 Creative Commons by-nc 4.0)

Dar Williams live in Krefeld

Dar Williams has been touring in the United States steadily for over 20 years. She also played a few shows in the UK and in the Netherlands from time to time. On Saturday, 30th May, she played her first German concert in 17 years. I was thrilled! Much to my delight, I wasn’t the only one at the Kulturfabrik that evening. About 100 people showed up, filling the small club to the last row. The opening act was North Alone, a singer/guitarist with a fiddle player. The voice reminded me of Tom Waits, but the music was quite folky and upbeat. The audience (myself included) needed a few songs to warm up to the duo. I liked the songs “Missing Heart Shadow”, “Scatter My Ashes in the Sea”, and the closer “The Road Most Traveled” best. That last song in particular sounded really good and had everybody sing along at the end

Dar Williams entered the stage with a somewhat lengthy welcome speech that included the German translations of babysitter and hippie. Her first song was consequently “The Babysitter’s Here”. Dar accidentally said “The play was called ‘The Babysitter'” in the middle part, which was funny. Each song was met with friendly applause. “Emerald” and “Buzzer” were two highlights early in the set. When Dar asked for requests, many different song titles were yelled – and she played pretty much all of them! First came “Iowa”. Dar timidly asked us to sing along and someone in the audience replied “We won’t let you down!”, which drove any tension that might have remained at this point. Sing along, we did! It’s such a great song. Dar’s voice shone on “You’re Aging Well” (another request). <fanboy>She really is the best!</fanboy>

There was the usual banter between songs. Some stories did not really relate to the following song (e.g., her husband had asked her to thank the Germans for improving the passive house building techniques over the past few decades), some were funny, some were graceful, some were sincere. It still baffles me that Dar never seems tell any anecdote twice. Much too soon, she had played her final song. Thankfully, she came back for two encores (“February” and “Are You Out There”, both fantastic in their own way). Afterwards, she patiently signed cds and talked to the fans. There seems to be hope for future concerts in Germany. I’ll be there!

Dar Williams live in Krefeld (2015-05-30) - Picture by Johannes Schult

  1. The Babysitter’s Here
  2. Spring Street
  3. The Beauty of the Rain
  4. Emerald
  5. Slippery Slope
  6. Buzzer
  7. Empty Plane
  8. Iowa (Traveling III)
  9. You’re Aging Well
  10. Something to Get Through
  11. The One Who Knows
  12. Mercy of the Fallen
  13. New York Is a Harbor
  14. When I Was a Boy
  15. February
  16. Are You Out There

Jutze schaut Babylon 5 – Folge 11

“Survivors” ist eine Folge mit Krimi-Flair (und Alkoholismus).

Jutze 52 #22 – Mayday in Tokyo

This song was written on March 10th, 2012. Back then, it had high-pitched vocals that sounded quite terrible. In desperate need of a song for the current week I revisited this recording. I redid the vocals after 10 pm. So now I have little time to give you the back story. In short, I’m not a fan of nuclear power plants. I am a big fan of WatchTower.

#22 Mayday in Tokyo

The unleashed power of the atom got out of control in Japan
Meltdown in Tokyo
At the mercy of the wind

A thousand nuclear power plants
Every single one unlikely to fail
Meltdown
A product of probabilities
In Tokyo
Waiting for the fallout

(words and music by Johannes Schult 2015 Creative Commons by-nc 4.0)

Jutze schaut Babylon 5 – Folge 10

Schon wieder eine Folge, die die Rahmenhandlung nicht voranbringt.

Chris de Burgh live in Mannheim

Perhaps the most magnificent element of the Chris de Burgh concert in Mannheim last Tuesday was the perfect sound mix. Unlike most live concerts, it wasn’t too loud. The vocals were crystal clear, the bass present but never obnoxious, the drums a piece of the puzzle instead of a bulldozer driving all across the puzzle. The acoustics of the Mozartsaal certainly helped transporting the sound to the audience’s ears. The light show was inventive but again never distracting from the actual star of the show: the music. Sure, some fans might indulge in seeing Chris de Burgh. I, however, was there for the music. Once again, the setlist (see below for pic and details) contained a balanced mixture of old and new material. There were plenty of songs that hadn’t been played for many years; there were the inevitable classics; there were seven songs off the new album “The Hands of Man” – some great (like “Where Would I Be?”), the rest at least good; there were other songs that were neither classics nor obscurities – “Where Peaceful Waters Flow”, “The Spirit of Man”, “The Same Sun”.

The mood was good on stage as well as in front of the stage. In addition to the usual presents (flowers, wine) Chris also got tomato soup. The first few songs were presented without comment. Later on, the banter between songs grew longer. It was generally filled with thankfulness and a bit of wit. In my opinion, the only flaw was the use of click tracks and samples during some of the band songs. Don’t get me wrong, “Go Where Your Heart Believes” sounded brilliant with those strings. It just made the show seem a bit like a TV show rather than a live show. I’m sure the band could have easily played the songs without additional help. I still enjoyed the songs, of course, even with the diminished tempo dynamics. As for the highlights, there were plenty.

“Transmission Ends” was wonderful, “Say Goodbye to It All” made me cry, the acoustic session proved that the players on stage don’t need to rely on backing tracks. And the solo section with “Carry Me”, “Borderline”, and “Where Peaceful Waters Flow” demonstrated that Chris de Burgh is still very much an amazing singer, musician, and performer. Then there was the cheesy synth sound in “Man on the Line” (awesome!). “Spanish Train” and “A Spaceman Came Travelling” were a blast from the past that got lots of applause. And for the encore, “Patricia the Stripper” made an (acoustic) appearance!

This was my fourth Chris de Burgh concert. Once again, the Irish singer delivered a fresh performance with just a few inevitable repetitions (which, by the way, haven’t lost any of their appeal – “don’t do it!”). And not only did he cover most periods of his career, the fans embraced pretty much every song with equal appreciation. The “cost” of this is probably a slightly smaller audience (the hall was pretty much sold out with maybe 1,700 people) compared with the draw of a pure best of program. The ticket prices were rather steep, so you certainly won’t find me at another concert of the current tour. Yet, from a musical and emotional perspective, it was an excellent show, sincere, uplifting, thoughtful, moving, and towards the end even rocking.

Setlist Chris de Burgh Mannheim (2015-05-26)

  1. The Hands of Man
  2. Big City Sundays
  3. The Light on the Bay
  4. Have a Care
  5. Go Where Your Heart Believes
  6. The Candlestick
  7. Ship to Shore
  8. The Same Sun
  9. Spanish Train
  10. Through These Eyes
  11. Transmission Ends
  12. A Spaceman Came Travelling
  13. Man on the Line
  14. Missing You (acoustic)
  15. Pure Joy (acoustic)
  16. Love of the Heart Divine (acoustic)
  17. There Goes My Heart Again (acoustic)
  18. Carry Me (Like a Fire in Your Heart)
  19. Borderline
  20. Where Peaceful Waters Flow
  21. Where Would I Be?
  22. The Words “I Love You”
  23. The Keeper of the Keys
  24. The Lady in Red
  25. Africa
  26. The Spirit of Man
  27. Say Goodbye to It All
  28. Don’t Pay the Ferryman
  29. High on Emotion
  30. Patricia the Stripper
  31. The Moonfleet Finale

Jutze 52 #21 – Everybody Farts

This song developed over a couple of days, which I thankfully had at my hands. The chorus came first. Then what? It made me think of Shania Twain’s marijuana experience, which she described in her autobiography: “I mean, it did make me dizzy and giddy, but at that age, so did having a good laugh over an unexpected, loud fart.” (p. 94)

Once I had the chords and the melody, I wasn’t sure what rhythm to use. I could have turned it into a fun 4/4 punk song. The acoustic approach makes the lyrics stand out, though. I think. After a few video-less weeks, I also made a video. Hopefully, the next video will feature not just the lower half of my face. The final chorus should be “some do it quietly”, right? But hey, I’m a German. I’m ignorant of adverbs. Ha! (Sorry.)

#21 Everybody Farts

Hillary Clinton, Prince Charles, the Pope, and the King of Spain
The husband of Natalie Portman, your mum and Shania Twain
Everybody farts
Everybody farts
From time to time
No, it is no crime
Everybody farts

Jonathan Coulton, Tom Cruise, and Angela Merkel, too
Your significant other, and sometimes even you
Everybody farts
Everybody farts
Some do it quiet
Some cause a riot
Yes, everybody farts

(words and music by Johannes Schult 2015 Creative Commons by-nc 4.0)

Jutze schaut Babylon 5 – Folge 9

“Die Wahrheit ist ein dreischneidiges Schwert.” (Kosh) Ansonsten ist “Die Todesbringerin” trotz der viele Konflikte keine essentielle Folge, finde ich.