Archive for July 2007

Rock’n’Roll on a broom

Yesterday, I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was a rather disappointing experience. The editing was horrible; really, really horrible. Earlier on I had read in a book about film editing that this part of making a movie should at best be invisible. In this movie it was ruining quite a lot. SPOILERS ahead! There was a part in the current Die Hard installment where McClaine tells Farrell to stay in the car while he inspects an abandoned gatehouse; and in the next both of them are running across the helicopter landing site. Apparently the scene of McClane knocks off the guard had been cut. I had the same feeling several times during the newest Harry Potter movie, most of them towards the ending. Not good. The richness of the plot helped the book over the fact that the main story line is only about a prophecy. The movie fails not only to condense the essential background stories, the major twists remain insufficiently portrayed. I guess it’s partly the fault of the director and the screenplay, as well. After all, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had been an excellent movie – with great acting, enchanting music – and a different director.

That being said, there are a few positive things to say about the film:

  1. Tonks rocked!
  2. Azkaban looked amazing!
  3. The scenes in which Luna Lovegood had dialogue stood out, because she seemed to be the only person in the movie who actually had a “character”, not just a role.

The Hooters live in Winterbach

Wow, what a show! I’ve already written a German review and a long, verbose report in the new Hooters forum. (There you can read about the Hooters gig in Tuttlingen last week, as well.) So yes, this is already the condensed version.

The Hooters really rocked the tent last night! They played 110 minutes and (finally) managed to keep the energy of the regular set during the encore (partly due to “Catch of the Day”, partly due to the euphoria of the crowd); they even had to return a second time, because the tent was indeed going crazy. The audience was great and the band apparently enjoyed the gig. The sound (in front of the stage) was amazing, very clear vocals, not too much bass. All good, all good!

There were about 2000 people; hardly anyone left right after the Hooters (although most people got outside to catch some fresh air and get something drink; you see: a Hooters show makes your throat sore, because you can’t help but sing along all the time. Later on, Asia (who were supposed to be the headliner) played for about 100 minutes, but the energy level – both on and off stage couldn’t compare to that of the Hooters!

The concert was organized by the Kulturinitiative Winterbach. They’ve done an amazing job. Not only did they bring the Hooters to the Remstal area, they also made the actual concert very enjoyable, i.e. you weren’t allowed to smoke in the tent, and you were allowed to take pictures (without flash). Two thumbs up! Check out their Zeltspektakel homepage for additional photos. Here’s the Hooters’ setlist:

  1. I’m Alive
  2. Time Stand Still
  3. Time After Time
  4. Day by Day
  5. Fightin’ on the Same Side
  6. Graveyard Waltz (slight return) / 500 Miles
  7. Until You Dare
  8. Where The Wind May Blow
  9. The Boys of Summer
  10. Twenty-Five Hours a Day
  11. Johnny B
  12. All You Zombies
  13. Karla With A K
  14. Satellite
  15. And We Danced
  16. Catch of the Day
  17. One of Us
  18. Free Again
  19. South Ferry Road / Brother Don’t You Walk Away

John Lilley (The Hooters) live in Winterbach (2007-07-20)

It’s the Library

The University of Konstanz has an excellent library. The collection of books on data analysis is excellent and you can spend many hours in the computer pools on level B6 with STATA. There is also a growing number of audio-visual resources, mainly video tapes. As a connoisseur of comedy, absurdity, and statistics I can highly recommend the Black Adder-series, Airplane!, or the complete introductory course in research methods lecture.

With the advent of DVD technology most new items are on DVD and therefore more popular among the students. In other words, there is a reservation list for most of the good stuff. I don’t really mind and hope I don’t sound complaining. The reason for this long introduction escapes my memory, so here’s the thing: I was quite surprised to find the English version of She’s the Man on the shelf. It’s “based on Shakespeare”, I know, but it’s not sorted with the rest of that stuff. Could it be that someone working there realized the sheer brilliance of the movie? Grasped its timeless kind-heartedness? Experienced the exuberant joy upon watching it?

Practical tips for statisticians (part 1)

Don’t try to say “tilde” (~) whilst brushing your teeth.

The Hooters live in Aschaffenburg

Last Wednesday, the Hooters played the gig of their current European tour. The venue was small (200 people), so there was a rather familiar atmosphere. There were still some minor technical flaws here and there, but the spirit was there and the band apparently delighted to be back on the road/stage. There was, however, hardly any improvation. They basically played their hits and almost the whole new album. Early in the set they played a rock version of “Time After Time” (which was co-written by Rob Hyman) and a mixture of “South Ferry Road” and “Brother Don’t You Walk Away”. Both weren’t really necessary in my opinion. From then on things got better. “Catch of the Day” was the best new song. The band sounded really mellow at times. Just compare the current (album) version of the song “Time Stand Still” with the version they played two years ago and you get the point. Also, Eric Bazilian played more mandolin than on previous tours. All in all it was a good show that. A few more surprises in between wouldn’t have hurt, though. Here’s the setlist:

  1. I’m Alive
  2. Time Stand Still
  3. Time After Time
  4. South Ferry Road / Brother Don’t You Walk Away
  5. Day by Day
  6. All You Zombies
  7. Until I Find You Again
  8. Until You Dare
  9. Catch of the Day
  10. The Boys of Summer
  11. Karla with a K
  12. Twenty-five Hours a Day
  13. Johnny B
  14. Satellite
  15. And We Danced
  16. 500 Miles
  17. Where the Wind May Blow
  18. Morning Buzz
  19. Free Again

Rob Hyman (The Hooters) live in Aschaffenburg

Lethal live in Hechingen

Since I already wrote a long review for Vampster, a short summary of has to suffice. The whole show (21st July 2007) was supposed to be a warm-up for the Bang Your Head festival. Lethal rocked! Incredible vocals, fantastic songs, all good. Right before them, Age of Evil delivered a top notch set and a very tight performance. Pleasant surprise! Onslaught weren’t my cup of tea, but I enjoyed Vicious Rumors. They had Thaen Rasmussen on guitar. He used to be in Anvil Chorus in the early 80s; they were the best band that never got around to release an album. But back to Vicious Rumors: they played “You Only Live Twice” and, of course, “Digital Dictator” (among many others). Yay! Here’s Lethal’s set list:

  1. Fire In Your Skin
  2. Programmed
  3. Swim or Drown
  4. What They’ve Done
  5. Down
  6. Obscure The Sky
  7. Balancing Act
  8. Immune
  9. Pray For Me
  10. Killing Machine

Tom Mallicoat (Lethal) live in Hechingen