January 8, 2013

David Bowie - Where Are We Now?

First new album in a decade announced today! Here’s the first song and it harkens back to Berlin.

December 23, 2012

Tracks of the Year

Part 10: The Schwarzenbach - Therapeutikum

Tracks of the Year

Part 9: Julia Holter - Goddess Eyes

December 21, 2012

Tracks of the Year

Part 8: Frank Ocean - Pyramids

Tracks of the Year

Part 7: Fiona Apple - Left Alone

December 19, 2012

Tracks of the Year

Part 5: Julia Holter & Jib Kidder - My Baby

Tracks of the Year

Part 4: Sinead O’Connor - Queen of Denmark

(Source: Spotify)

December 18, 2012

Tracks of the Year

Part 3: Dexys - Incapable of Love

December 13, 2012

Unspecified number of Tracks of the Year in no special order.

Part 2: Swans - Song for a warrior (feat. Karen O)

Waitsing

She sends me blue valentines

Though I try to remain at large
They’re insisting that our love
Must have a eulogy

There’s something in Waits’ music that makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. A nostalgic quality of longing for a time that used to be, yet never was, but still could come. If that sounds like the biggest contradiction you’ve read on tumblr today, then I’m happy. Because that’s what it is to me. It makes me stand here, in this cold night, covered in multiple layer of clothes and the biggest headphones I could find and afford (which make me look rather silly but keep my ears warm, which is a problem for me, since I never wear caps), waiting for a friend of mine who was supposed to meet me half an hour ago. Every time I breathe, a long cloud of fog appears in front of me, which provides some melancholic distraction. I’m standing right in front of the bar we’re supposed to go to. The same bar we always go to. Something about a cute waitress. Some 5 meters away from me, on both sides, a couple of prostitutes are waiting. Waiting for clients, this time they didn’t even talk to me. They never bother people wearing headphones. One of the reasons I always wear them when I come here.

I don’t have a husband
he don’t play the trombone
and I need to borrow money
to pay this lawyer
and Charlie, hey
I’ll be eligible for parole
come Valentine’s day

Blue Valentines is now my favorite Tom Waits album. This position keeps changing. Glitter and Doom, Alice, Rain Dogs, Heartattack and Vine, Real Gone all filled that position at one time or another. I love all of them. But right now I’m in my Blue Valentine phase. And it’s a very underrated one, I think. Obviously the above cited “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” is one of the most famous Waits songs (at least according to the youtube rankings). It deserves to be. And it brings me back to the situation I was describing before. Did you ever actually listen to the song while standing next to a hooker and try to figure out her story? Now, for those of you who know Berlin, the hookers on Oranienburger have a pretty okay life. They are the pretty ones, the protected one even though, from what I can gather, they aren’t even the most expensive ones. I don’t know whether or not they like what they do or how it feels like, but most of them won’t be in jail anytime soon. The hookers on other streets, near the place I live on a side street leading to the Hauptbahnhof, on the other hand, are the really sad ones, the fat ones, the ones with no teeth, the old ones and, I assume, the sick ones. The ones you can actually kind of empathize with as human beings even though they try even harder to cover their humanity up. Or maybe just because of that. Waits gets that. I love Waits for just that.

Don’t you know there ain’t no devil,
There’s just God when he’s drunk.

This kind of nights are God’s drunken nights. He has to work all through the weekend ever since people misunderstood God telling them He rest on the Sabbath and thought they were supposed to bother him then. So he takes Wednesday and gets a little drunk and makes this perfect weather. The not yet quite snowy and freezing winter gives you one clear night with just enough fog to make the lights of something as prosaic as a supermarket look like they could inspire someone more talented to write epic poems on capitalism. And you can actually see some stars tonight.

Even the prostitute to my right stopped looking up and down the street for a second to look at the sky. All of a sudden she looks more beautiful than at any time before. She’s within herself. I had never seen one of them look so alive as her in that moment. Unfortunately the moment is interrupted by the first client of the night and she looks baffled, as if she had forgotten where she was. After a quick chat they go, hand in hand, which makes all of this, the whole transaction, look so silly, childish, ridiculous. It seems to please the costumers. I once saw a man coming out from one of their apartment buildings looking as sad as if he had just heard his wife was about to divorce him. They must be something special. On the way she looks up once more. This time she doesn’t take her mask off. It seems freaky. It looks wrong.

Just as they go inside, my friend finally arrives. We go into the bar. I say goodbye to the street which won’t look the same when I come out a couple of hours later. The hookers will be gone, the lights will be out and everything will be less blurry.

And it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on
An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers
The night watchman flame keepers and goodnight to Matilda too

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