When I was planning my Scotland trip earlier this year, of course some of the travel guides mentioned the traditional and very popular Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond”. I didn’t know it then and somehow never thought of finding it online somewhere to listen to it. Before I left for Scotland I told a few acquaintances about the trip and one of them (a 60-something guy) immediately sung the song for me. Very beautiful song indeed.
The “Museum of Scotland” In Edinburgh hosted a special exhibition about Scottish pop culture in the summer and they showed short clips of various Scottish singers and bands, Amy MacDonald, The Hooters etc on TV screens all around. There also was a clip of a band doing a live version of “Loch Lomond”. I just saw these few seconds, but it really moved me, because it is such a powerful song, when it’s sung by thousands of fans. I still didn’t know who the band was, but after some online research I was pretty sure that it had to be Runrig. During the rest of the summer I actually planned to download the song somewhere, but I never got around to do it and then I forgot about it.
Among my “Hockey-Weekend in Munich” travelgroup were two huge Runrig fans. I accidently found out about that when they talked about their trip to Edinburgh this summer and when I asked about it, they told me, they went there for the Runrig concert. They even spent their honeymoon in Scotland, which I didn’t know before either. Turns out that he has been a huge Scotland fan for years and years. After we got back from Munich I went to buy some CDs and decided to look for Runrig as well. I found a “Best of” for a rather reasonable price and ofcourse it includes “Loch Lomond” in a live version. The booklet (which I read on the train on my way back home) states about this song:
My last.fm profile might be confusing for some folks, because there are very different artist on top of the list. Yes, I actually do like this variety of music. Best proof for that, were the two very different concerts last week.
I had a great time at the Ingrid Michaelson concert in Cologne on Tuesday. There are so many “artists” around, that need a large band and a huge production on the stage (with dancers and lights) to cover up the fact that the sound of their music is very much artificially manufactured in the studio with the help of programming and computers and such. Just like last year Ingrid was only accompanied by a female background singer, who also played the guitar on a few songs. Ingrid herself played keyboards and her ukulele and that was it. And it was awesome. Can you imagine any of the Idol or Superstars casting show winners to enter a stage with just her/his own voice and one simple instrument? Of course that would imply that these guys actually can play an instrument.
Ingrid can not only sing and play instruments, she’s also a very funny person on stage. Kind of crazy sometimes, but very funny. She definitely enjoyed being up on the stage and it’s always a plus during a concert to see that the artist actually enjoys what she/he is doing. One of the highlights was “The Chain” in which she asked for a third female singer from the audience, because the song is a round [“Kanon” in German] and needs three singers. She told that in the US usually there a dozens of volunteers, but it would be important that you really CAN sing, so noone should volunteer if she didn’t feel capable. Of course no girl volunteered after that remark ;-) There was a guy though who did and he got up on the stage and he was awesome! I think neither the audience or Ingrid herself expected him to be that good, so it definitely was a highlight of the show
Greg Laswell was the opening artist (just with guitar and keyboards as well). I knew a few of his songs from last.fm and Grey’s Anatomy and I enjoyed his performance very much as well. Just like Ingrid he is a great singer and musician and doesn’t need more than one instrument and his voice to capture an audience. And he was funny too. I’m still grinning, when I remember his tiny story about the spinning toilet seats at the restrooms along the German highways.
Thursday night meant a different venue and different music, but equally enjoyable concert. Hai_di and I saw Sunrise Avenue in Dortmund and had a great time. I have to admit that I’m really bad when it comes to Sunrise Avenue lyrics (except for “Fairytale Gone Bad” and the chorus of most of the other songs). It was fun to sing along and dance along anyway. They let the audience sing quite a lot actually. They had some funny stories to tell and stuff to act out as well, which was very very entertaining. I will definitely go and see them again on a new tour some time in the future.
There are a couple of posts still on hold, thought through in my mind or almost completey written down, but I just can’t bring myself to actually finish one of those tonight. My brain’s too tired. After work I spent 2 hours in a meeting with fellow town council members, people from the administration and some consultants. 16 guys and one woman. Me. Typical gender ratio in these meetings. Half of the population is female, why am I always the only woman in these rounds…
Today’s thought I’d love to share: I actually like the new Robbie Williams album a lot. The last two albums were crap. I bought them both (I think, too lazy to check) but only once listened to the last one and just a few times to the one before that. The new one though…. sounds like good old times :-) Like it!
It must have been the year of 1996 or 1997 when I discovered the wonderful music of singer / songwriter Nanci Griffith, because videos of some of her songs were shown on Onyx TV. (Does anyone in Germany remembers that music televison channel *g*). I’m not sure if it was her version of “From a Distance” or “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” which I’ve seen first. I know it was one of those songs, which completely mesmerized me. (I tried to find those exact clips on youtube, but… no luck)
I just loved her clear voice, her way of storytelling and of course her music. Simple, but wonderful. Piano, acoustic guitar and traditional folk music. Handmade without (a lot of) synthesizers, electronic programming, computers or anything. I bought quite a few or her albums of the 80s and 90s and really loved a lot of the songs. I have to admit that I didn’t buy many of her albums from the late 90s or even the 21st century. I just didn’t feel that connection to her newer stuff.
I didn’t listen to Nanci Griffith music a lot during the last few years. There were other female singer/songwriters I get to know and grew to love. Quite a few of them I discovered via Grey’s Anatomy. Like Ingrid Michaelson and Brandi Carlile, who I both think are amazing. I can’t wait to see Ingrid in concert again in about 4 weeks and I’m a bit sad that it I won’t have the chance to see Brandi Carlile on stage anytime soon. At least it looks like she isn’t touring Germany or Europe in the near future.
Last week I got the new Brandi Carlile album and I just love it. And this afternoon while I listened to the song “I Will” I suddenly was reminded of Nanci Griffith. I’m not saying that Brandi sounded like Nanci or tried to copy her style or anything like that. But I just heard the line “You can’t break a heart that wasn’t even yours to break” and I suddenly felt like that song could have been a wonderful Nanci Griffith song as well. I really can’t explain where that feeling came from :-). But it made me get out all my old Nanci albums and marvel at the brilliance of some of the songs. Quite a few actually. She just released a new album a few weeks ago and maybe I really should order it and give her newer stuff another try…
For almost a week I’m planning to write this blog post and never got around to do it. I was either too busy or too tired to actually write it. I hate being too busy or too tired to blog. Not that I have a lot to write about at the moment except moping about how stressful my life is, but I’d still like to be able to at least write about that. I hope that part of the stress will be over tomorrow, even though I already thought the stress would lighten on several occasions before now and that never happened. But I don’t want to give up hope anyway :-)
The past weeks have kept me busy with our Green election campaign, but the local elections are finally going to take place in my federal state tomorrow, so all of this work is done. Hopefully with a good result for us, but I really can’t make any prediction yet. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow evening to know how it all turned out for us. We only get a short break, well no break actually, because we have to keep campaigning for the federal elections at the end of September. But that’s not going to be such a workload than the local campaign. All of it will still keep me busy at work as well, but I’m still confident hopeful that the stress will lighten a bit after tomorrow. It just has to.
There are so many different blog posts in my head, but I just never got around to write them this week. Or I didn’t feel like writing or I didn’t know how to put my thoughts into words. And I’m not even talking about the idea for a post I had even two weeks ago and still haven’t written yet. This will be one of these posts with various topics. They also might seem rather random…
We had an eventful week at work. Not a lot of big events took place, but some bigger issues were solved. For the better I hope. I still feel bad about some things, I neglected to do or forgot about. Maybe I need some re-organisation of my field and schedules as well. And I definitely need to keep better track of assignments and to-do-lists and such. Yeah, I still feel bad. And then I’m annoyed that I feel that bad, because in my mind these mishaps always are bigger and I messed up much worse than I actually did. My screwed up mind and low self-esteem just like to make me feel worse than I actually have to. On the other hand, it’s a good thing that I at least catch my mind playing these dirty tricks on me and I can take a step back and re-evaluate and in most cases realize that it’s not all that bad. I don’t know… I just spend quite some time thinking about these things this week and how I can change my way of thinking and feeling.
I also spent a lot of time listening to a song I heard for the first time on Tuesday. Well, according to last.fm I have listened to it four times during the last three years, but I honestly don’t remember. on Tuesday evening though I was enjoying the sunny weather outside on my patio, I had just painted my toe nails (because it’s freaking summer, even though it doesn’t feel like it since Wednesday) and was listening to a really great song collection on my personal last.fm station on my wireless headphones. Life was good.
Suddenly there was this new song, which I liked from the start and during the second verse I was totally hooked. The song is “Calling You” by Blue October. [follow the link to listen to the complete song on last.fm]. And it was one of these moments you can’t explain, at least I always have a hard time explaining why I’m crazy about a song. It might be the lyrics or the music or the voice or a combination of all of it. I can’t say. Maybe I was and still am just in the right mood to like a song about being madly in love. Which I am not at the moment, so maybe the song should rather make me depressed. But it doesn’t. Not at all. I just love it.
But now on to the happy stuff. I wrote most of this post yesterday, so this should be quick. All the frustrating things this week once again made me realize that I spent too much time dwelling on all the “bad” stuff and that I have a hard time to let it go and move on. I’m determined to try harder though and to pay more attention to the good and happy stuff. And thus I will follow Steffi’s example with a “happy moments diary”. I won’t post these moments on a daily basis, but rather compile a post at the end of a week. I did something similar a few years back, with “Good & Bad” lists, but now I want to focus on the good and I will definitely try and note at least one happy moment every day. Today that would be
The three very nice and helpful shop assistant/waitress/barista I met in various locations this afternoon.
There were actually a lot of happy moments during the last few days, even if the “Rambling – Part 2” post might have left a different impression. I was just too busy to write about all the events properly before now. And even this will just be a short compilation of the great moments I experienced since last week. Last Wednesday I saw the new StarTrek movie with some friends and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure I would, because I don’t know much about the original series (even though I was diehard fan of StarTrek TNG in the 90ies) but I loved this movie. It was typical StarTrek stuff, but also extremly funny. And I got kind of sentimental to see the Enterprise and the bridge and was tempted to get hold of some TNG DVDs to watch some of it.