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

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

Finally: The Brandos – Los Brandos – Extended Single

Finally. Finally. Back in 2015, the Brandos were crowdfunding the recording of their next album (“Los Brandos”). Backers were to receive an exclusive single. I blogged about it. Now – finally – the perk(s) have arrived! Rather than commenting on the epic delay, I want to share my experience of listening to the single.

Music can be fascinating when it provides new, original, possibly progressive ideas – it can be a sonic journey into the unknown. Music can also be fascinating when it provides the feeling of belonging, of familiarity, of home – it can be like meeting an old friend and falling right back into a conversation that went on a break when the two of you last met. The extended single I received a little while ago belongs into the latter group. By the time I heard the acoustic live version of “My Friend, My Friend” I had a melancholic smile on my face. By the time the pipes in “The Warrior’s Son” kicked in I had forgotten about any delay. It was pure bliss.

My first contact with the Brandos was their debut “Honor Among Thieves”, a great piece of guitar rock with a special mood and amazing vocals. Next came “The Light of Day – the single”, a compilation of b-sides and unreleased live material. It showed a much more versatile band. There were rock and roll classics. There were acoustic ballads about longing for “Cheyenne” and “The Other Side” of the Berlin wall. There was the energetic title track about not giving up. I was intrigued – and impressed enough to check out the upcoming concert in Stuttgart. That was back in 1995. (The band delivered a flawless gig; I was hooked.)

Now in 2019, I got that single-feeling once again. I had hoped that the single would have some rarities, sure. Not just a remix of an album track and a live version of “Gettysburg”. Well, this extended single delivers the goods! After a couple of album tracks there is a solid rock song (“Love Man”). And then it’s time for a collection of live gems. I really like the balance of acoustic and amplified recordings, of original Brandos material and cover versions. The sound quality is good. The songs just flow. Finally, we get a proper recording of Ernie singing “Stepping Stone”. Frank Giordano belts out “Jailer Bring Me Water” – and I feel like I’m back in 1996. Awesome!

The 1987 live recordings of “Hard Luck Runner”, “A Matter of Survival”, and “Honor Among Thieves” are among my favourite tracks on the disc. They sound familiar, yet a bit raw, played with a lot of passion and determination. It’s been a while since the band played these songs live so it’s a real pleasure to indulge in this piece of rock music history.

There are two songs that were already on the “Light of Day” single: “We Are No Man” is now an acoustic live version and “Have Love Will Travel” in 1987 lacked the harmonica but still rocks. All in all, I (and the other backers) got an hour (!) of rare Brandos material that brings back plenty of good memories.

Lektüre 2018

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

  • Christoph Hardebusch: Feuerstimmen
  • Flake: Heute hat die Welt Geburtstag
  • John Green: Schlaft gut, ihr fiesen Gedanken
  • Robert Jordan: Lord of Chaos
  • Robert Jordan: A Crown of Swords
  • A. Lee Martinez: Zu viele Flüche
  • Robert Jordan: New Spring
  • Ernest Cline: Armada
  • Robert Jordan: Der Weg der Klingen
  • Stanislaw Lem: Der Mensch vom Mars
  • Annie Darling: The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts
  • Robert Jordan: Winter’s Heart
  • Tom Winter: Der Sirius-Schatten
  • Jana Burbach & Hernán D. Caro: Stimmlos
  • Becky Albertalli: The Upside of Unrequited

Quiet Lane live in Fellbach

Gestern spielten Quiet Lane in Fellbach im Blue U. Obwohl der Auftrittsort gut unter der Erde versteckt war, kamen einige Leute und hörten sich das Pforzheimer Duo + Bassistin an. Der Großteil des Programms bestand aus Stücken der neuen CD “When Dust Dances on a Quiet Lane”. Es gab aber auch ältere Songs, ein Gospel-Lied, ein neues Stück (“Feet”) und eine Premiere (“A Different Kind of Sorrow”?). Die Musik lebt von der dynamischen Akustik-Gitarren-Basis und den sich darauf entfaltenden Stimmen. Mal gemeinsam, mal abwechselnd lieferten die beiden Sänger eine beeindruckende Leistung ab, die man so zusammen mit ein paar Dutzend Gleichgesinnten aus nächster Nähe erleben konnte. Das Tempo wurde auch innerhalb von Liedern häufiger variiert, so dass niemand einschlief, der Auftritt aber auch nie in Stress ausartete (oder gar Ohrstöpsel erforderte).

Nur sporadisch bietet das Liedmaterial poppige Hooklines. Stärker werden Stimmungen und eben das Miteinander der Stimmen betont. Zwischen den Stücken gab es schwäbische Anekdoten zur Musik und zu kohlensäurehaltigen Getränken. Nach “Cyanide” gab es dann noch Zugaben inklusive dem melancholischen “Neverending”.

Quiet Lane live in Fellbach (Foto: Jutze)

  1. Heavenly Peace (The Gospel)
  2. Limits
  3. Feet
  4. Praise the Lord – I Saw the Light
  5. Summer Nights
  6. Dance
  7. Maybe Just a Broken Heart
  8. I Wish
  9. #41
  10. When Dust Dances
  11. A Different Kind of Sorrow (?)
  12. Cyanide
  13. Neverending
  14. Heute hier, morgen dort
  15. Another Day

Lektüre 2017

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

  • Christoph Weißenfels: Ischen Impossible II
  • Hagen Liebing: Meine Jahre mit “Die Ärzte”
  • Ernest Clive: Ready Player One
  • DJ BoBo & Judith Langhans: Popstar – Der ganz normale Wahnsinn
  • Jessica Winter: Break in Case of Emergency
  • Mischa Kaléko: Das lyrische Stenogrammheft
  • Benedict Wells: Vom Ende der Einsamkeit
  • Markus Zusak: Die Bücherdiebin
  • Eoin Colfer: Artemis Fowl
  • Eoin Colfer: Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident
  • Eoin Colfer: Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code
  • Wolfgang Hohlbein & Heike Hohlbein: Der Greif
  • Tommy Jaud: Vollidiot
  • Robert Jordan: The Great Hunt
  • Trudi Canavan: The Magician’s Guild
  • Andreas Eschbach: Exponentialdrift
  • John Fogerty: Mein Leben – meine Musik
  • Robert Jordan: The Dragon Reborn
  • Lois Tilton: Babylon 5: Im Kreuzfeuer
  • Trudi Canavan: The Novice
  • Trudi Canavan: The High Lord
  • Isolde Heyne: Lösegeld
  • John Vornholt: Babylon 5: Tödliche Gedanken
  • John Vornholt: Babylon 5: Blutschwur
  • Mape Ollila: Once Upon a Nightwish – Die offizielle Biografie 1996-2006
  • Ingo Siegner: Der kleine Drache Kokosnuss auf der Suche nach Atlantis
  • Felix Huby: Bienzle und die schöne Lau
  • Felix Huby: Paul Pepper und die tickende Bombe
  • Felix Huby: Bienzle stochert im Nebel
  • Janusz A. Zajdel: In Sonnennähe
  • Robert Jordan: The Shadow Rising
  • Andy Weir: Artemis
  • Robert Jordan: Die Feuer des Himmels
  • Bruce Dickinson: What Does This Button Do?

Jutze live in Konstanz (Splitternacht)

Am letzten Donnerstag hatte ich das Vergnügen bei der Splitternacht im K9 in Konstanz ein paar 52-Sekunden-Lieder zu spielen. Außer mir traten unter anderem die lauffreudigen Motorsensen auf, deren Lied “Mein Projekt” mir besonders gut gefiel. Meine Setlist sah so aus:

  1. Die wichtigen Fragen
  2. Einkaufszettel
  3. 79 Jahre
  4. Tapirlied
  5. Konrad
  6. Fremde Leute
  7. Der Speckgürtel von Paderborn
  8. Reis

The Brandos live in Metzingen

It was my 20th Brandos concert, yet the first in almost ten years. The band was on a bit of a hiatus. Now they have a new album (“Los Brandos”) just in time for the tour and speaking of tour, the current line-up is 3/4 of the 1997 summer tour line-up. I approached the concert on 7th June with few expectations. The first positive surprise was the venue (“Hirsch”), a rock pub with more than decent food, a charming staff, and an attentive audience.

Just to see the band on stage again was refreshing, no, rejuvenating! Those melodies and lyrics all came back (well, they never really left) and I found myself smiling while grooving along. Naturally, we all have aged. This wasn’t the sweaty no-compromises act that made me a fan back in 1995. Surprisingly, the show was rather hard rocking with only a couple of acoustic ballads in between. Songs like “The Solution” and “The Keeper” showed the band’s melodic side. Most of the newer songs rocked more heavily. The lead vocals were spot on, the rhythm section more controlled than it used to be.

The old material drew a lot of applause. The songs off the new album were received well, but hardly anyone had heard them before. It didn’t help that half of them were in Spanish and lacked the distinctive choruses that dominated earlier Brandos albums. Also, the newer arrangements take more time to build. The drums usually set in slowly, the rhythm guitar often remains tame until the refrain. I’m afraid that the hook lines didn’t stuck with me the first time around, very unlike my first Brandos live experience during which I heard and simultaneously inhaled killer tracks like “The Siege”, “Hard Times, Come Again No More” and “Not a Trace”.

One of the highlights was the acoustic rendition of “Love of My Life”, which had the audience singing along all the way to the back. The following song, “What Kind of a World”, was probably the most convincing new track. Performed solo by Dave Kincaid, it sounded more like Phil Ochs than CCR. I guess no one would have minded if he had added a couple of old classics right there and then (“The Other Side” from “The Light of Day – the Single” comes to my mind, or basically any other melodic Brandos song).

Was there anything to complain? Well, not really. I enjoyed the concert and I was (and am) happy to see the band back in the limelight. This being said, I could have done without the (in my ears) boring “Let It Go”. Finally, the live energy, the harmony vocals, and (yes, I’m nitpicking here) the fingered bass playing by Ernie Mendillo was missing. Frank Giordano did a fabulous job on backing vocals, make no mistake here. It’s just, well, after eleven shows I’ve seen with Dave, Frank AND Ernie on vocal duty, I’m probably spoiled. Speaking of Frank: In my opinion, he would have deserved lead vocals on a song – be it with “Jailer, Bring Me Water” or his great version of “I Got It” (or “Glory of Love” off his solo record?).

All in all, I’m happy that the Brandos are back and that I’ll be seeing them again this Saturday in Bad Rappenau!

The Brandos live in Metzingen-Glems

  1. Fight for Love
  2. The Only Love I Can Get
  3. Let It Go
  4. Anna Lee
  5. Señor Coyote
  6. The Solution
  7. The Keeper
  8. Suffer in Silence
  9. Querer a los Niños
  10. Love of My Life
  11. What Kind of a World
  12. She’s the One
  13. Woodstock Guitar
  14. Bella Encantadora
  15. Over the Border
  16. Pass the Hat
  17. Gettysburg
  18. Can’t Go Home
  19. Maligna Presencia
  20. These Troubled Times
  21. Nothing to Fear
  22. The Light of Day
  23. Gunfire at Midnight

Lektüre 2016

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

  • Poul Anderson: Rebellenwelt
  • Peter Ames Carlin: Bruce
  • Bronnie Ware: 5 Dinge, die Sterbende am meisten bereuen
  • Poul Anderson: Ehrenwerte Feinde
  • Frank Böttcher & Sven Plöger: Klimafakten
  • Michael Schumacher: Tankard – Life in Beermuda
  • Ashlee Vance: Elon Musk – How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Is Shaping Our Future
  • Max Frisch: Homo Faber
  • Jojo Moyes: Me Before You
  • Götz Aly: Unser Kampf 1968
  • Javier Marías: Die sterblich Verliebten
  • Grady Hendrix: Horrorstör
  • Joël Dicker: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
  • Max Frisch: Stiller
  • Meghann Foye: Lügen haben runde Bäuche
  • Elizabeth McKenzie: The Portable Veblen
  • Frank Portman: King Dork
  • David Safier: Mieses Karma
  • Julia Neumann: Odins Auge
  • Bernd Groot-Wilken, Kevin Isaac & Jörg-Peter Schräpler (Hrsg.): Sozialindices für Schulen
  • Andy Weir: The Martian
  • Roger Willemsen: Das Hohe Haus
  • Marie Fredriksson & Helena von Zweigbergk: Listen to My Heart – Meine Liebe zum Leben

Accuracy, Readability, and Mplus

The idea to create an algorithm that automatically scans scientific articles for the results of common statistical tests and evaluates the accuracy of these results seems straight-forward. Statcheck performs this, well, stat check. Now a lot of available papers have been automatically evaluated and the outcomes were posted on PubPeer.

So far, none of the (two) papers on pubpeer I co-authored raised an error flag. That’s reassuring. I went and (stat)checked my other publications, and behold: There was indeed an inconsistency in one of them. In Schult et al. (2016) I reported “chi-square(33) = 59.11, p = .004″. Statcheck expected p = .003. The cause of this discrepancy is the rounding of rounded results. The Mplus output showed a chi-square value of 59.109 and a p value of 0.0035. I rounded both values to make the results more readable, accepting that, for example, a value such as 0.00347something would be mistakenly rounded to 0.004 instead of 0.003. For the record: Whenever a test statistic’s p value is close to the chosen alpha level, I do use all available decimal places to evaluate the decision of statistical significance. Of course, I could just report all available digits all the time. Still, that smells of pseudo-accuracy, plus I like to think that I write for human readers, not for computer algorithms.

What’s the take home message here? I won’t be surprised when this error/discrepancy/inconsistency (what’s in a name?) is discovered and posted by the big machine. I will keep writing my papers with care, double-checking the results etc. (something my senior authors always condoned and enforced). And did I mention that I put replication materials online (unless privacy/copyright laws or, sadly, busyness prevent me from doing so)?

Jutze live in Waiblingen

Ich spielte am 18. Oktober in Waiblingen im Kulturhaus Schwanen bei der dortigen Open Stage einige 52-Sekunden-Lieder. Den gesamten Auftritt gibt es nun zum Runterladen und Nachhören. Falls das wen interessiert. Neun Minuten Kurzeweile mit einer Ansage und den folgenden Liedern:

  1. Einkaufszettel
  2. Konrad
  3. Fremde Leute
  4. Tapirlied
  5. 79 Jahre
  6. Reis