Archive for September, 2011

Time flies – Grunge was 20 years ago!?

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 | Music, Reviews | 1 Comment

I recently started to realize how frickin kewl a lot of bands from the peak of the Grunge era are.

For me, these songs are still very present and it was kind of a shock that for me this started 20 years ago. That’s quite some time for a 34 year-old 🙂 I remember that at the age of 13 I started to really get into music – and a few years later music and the scenes behind the genres defined a lot of the stuff we did back then (like Straight Edge, Metal and obviously Grunge). I loved Nirvana‘s Nevermind, probably the most popular Grunge record ever, yet this post should not cover this stale release. I wanted to reminiscence about some other pearls of that genre.

I cannot say how much I love Smashing PumpkinsSiamese Dream (1993). Often dreamy and fragile yet rocking pretty hard as well. Ingenious.

Most people will remember Today and Disarm, but one of my all time favourite songs is Soma. A pity there is no real video available, just a few live versions. Awesome song that I play on the guitar every once in a while.

Funny thing – I just wanted to consult for some info and it was covered in Nevermind reviews. It’s been exactly 20 years (and 5 days) since it was released. So I changed my mind and will put it into this post as well. It’s iconic and should not be ignored …

I remember listening to BFBS‘ radio taping songs when the hosts announced a song that “is a bit loud” and recommended locking up your Granny. This is the original recording from 1991:

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (taped 1991 BFBS)

Smells Like Teen Spirit instantly blew my mind and I had to play it to my best friends immediately. A few weeks later this song was everywhere and paved the road to Nirvana’s success that also ultimately led to Kurt Cobain’s death.

Somewhat lingering in the shadow of Nirvana but not less genre defining was Dirt by Alice in Chains (1992)

Sometimes it feels hard to pick good songs, because most of the time I listen to albums as a unit rather than just single songs. Outstanding songs of Dirt may be Them Bones, Rooster, Angry Chair, Down In A Hole and … surely Would? – this is almost the whole record? Correct, this should prove how good it is 🙂

Another band that I like a lot is Soundgarden. Jesus Christ Pose was the first Soundgarden song I ever listened to (watching MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, yeah! \m/) but Superunknown (1994) is my favourite album.

Skipping through this record songs like Fell On Black Days, Black Hole Sun and The Day I Tried To Live seem to be the ones that I liked the best. I did not like Spoonman. Not at all. It might be the memory of that freaky old chick dancing to it every time they played it in our local rock club (post-Getaway Exit) or maybe just the fact that it is just a plain boring song to dance to and every time they played it it felt like wasted time that could have been used to play Slayer or something 😉

These bands came to my mind in this exact order, and suddenly I remembered another album that is also one of the best things that ever happened to me – Pearl Jam‘s Ten (1991)

I can hardly describe how great this record is. Maybe I just tell you that my favourite songs may be Black and Garden. Both made it to numerous tapes I recorded when I was a teenager.

This makes 5 great albums by 5 great bands. So basically this is also an homage to Nick Hornby‘s High Fidelity – my five all time favourite Grunge records. Here they are. (A pity Faith no More cannot be considered Grunge …)

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Solinger Lichternacht 2011 impressions

Sunday, September 25th, 2011 | Activities, Photography | 5 Comments

Graf-Wilhelm-Platz was too crowded to hang out and the eagerly awaited “world premier” show was a downright embarrassment! So we decided to stroll back to the Südpark, yet got stuck on the way in the lovely Biergarten of Birkenweiher. Here are some shots from that night:

Next year I have to 1. go there earlier and 2. know my gear better (why does the camera refuse to release the shutter, damned!?) – btw, I was test-driving my brand new AF-S 50mm 1.8G lens.

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Visiting Phantasialand Brühl

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 | Activities, Reviews, Sites | 1 Comment

It’s been over a decade since I visited this local amusement park – last time I’d been there the Mystery Castle freefall tower was brand new – the interwebz tells me that was 1998 🙂

Basically it was a journey into childhood – almost all attractions seem to not have changed a bit since I was a kid. A fun day, but beware if you are too socio-phobic – there a humans out there…

Btw, the sole reason we went to that place was because I invited a friend of mine to go there as a birthday present. Five years ago. Hrhrhr!

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