Horror Movie List: Everyone and everything can kill you in space

Space Horror – what a concept!

Look, you’re up in a vessel with a bunch of people under physical and mental strain, everything outside kills you, everything inside is so delicate that it doesn’t take much to malfunction and then there’s of course the whole thing about eldritch beings in space, aliens, black holes and whatnot. All in all: space is scary.

(if you like this, you also might enjoy people stuck in a submarine or underwater station)

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Favorite Song: Lyla Foy ‘Impossible’ – we can’t change back (do we want to?)

In case you already have seen or plan to see Bojack Horseman (careful, although a comedy, it’s incredibly grim and depressive, in fact, I quit two years ago during the second season because it was such a bummer of a show), you have probably heard this song during one of those many, endless bummer moments and felt a pang in your heart and a twist in your stomach.

Lyla Foy is a singer/songwriter from Britain who started making music 8 years ago. “Impossible” is from her 2014 Sub Pop album “Mirrors in the Sky”. The song is about a relationship or life in general that was so intense and whirlwindy that it left the narrator of this song stuck in a way that made it impossible to get back to where they started. Whatever happened, however it was, it can never be like that again, for better or worse. There’s something to be said about relationships (or life, which is my preferred reading of this, although it’s probably more about relationships) that move with such pace that you twist and change and turn in ways that you are so much different than you were.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we change as people throughout life. As someone who was a total dick as a teenager (and later on) and regrets soooo many things I did to people in my life, I always wonder how much of that is still ingrained within myself and whether, if the people I hurt would meet me again, they would see a change or still see that dickwad because we never truly change.

The same might go for relationships, although I am not the whirlwind type of person. How much can you change with a person and can you go back to yourself or yourselves if you want to?

Favorite Song: Coogans Bluff ‘Sincerely Yours’

There are few joys as titillating as looking at the musical development of my hometown’s local music heroes Coogans Bluff. Starting as a delicious metal band, the group has been through a few line-up changes (more additions than changes, though) and a wild ride along bluesy, psychedelic, hippie-dippie, prog, alternative bits and pieces. Given their new single, “Sincerely Yours”, a song that might just as well be sung by a lot of attractive people in the bus scene in “Almost Famous”, they are not done changing, yet.

 

The song itself is an ode to the lead singer’s father, Harry Marasus, who passed away a few years ago and who was one the biggest supporters of the band.
I remember seeing Harry and his wife in the front row of every single Coogans Bluff concert in my hometown (and many other concerts). I knew Harry myself and can tell you that he was a very funny, warm and incredibly welcoming person. In the North, we tend to be hard to crack, a little stand-offish and cold, but Harry always made you feel welcome, helped out where he could and he would make you laugh a lot. He was also a gigantic Frank Zappa fan (hence the Zappa sculpture, which is – by the way – in Bad Doberan, where there’s an annual festival dedicated to Zappa). Hearing of his death and also thinking of his wife and sons was one of those moments in my life, when the ground underneath shook a little and shifted everything just a little to an odd angle.

“Sincerely yours” is not a sad song, though, because Harry was not a sad person. It sounds like a smile (like a lost Blind Melon song, maybe), something for those calmer moments, to breathe in, breathe out and just let things wash over you. The waterfall-guitars alone are beautiful and I love the strings (they do remind me of Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You”, which has the same mood, this very celebratory moment of peace of mind).

For more on their new album “Metronopolis” (don’t know about that pun, but you do you, Coogans Bluff) check out their homepage.

Horror movie list: Haunted Attractions

I love horror movies and novels and even the occasional horror game (although more as a “let’s play-viewer”, I get too immersed!). But I would never in a million years go to a modern haunted attraction to get screamed at, touched and be filmed for a Buzzfeed list. I mean, best case, the picture/video of my horrified, crying, snot-covered face ends up in a viral listicle and worst-case scenario, I get actually killed by actual ghosts.

However, I am not everyone, and everyone is crazy about haunted attractions right now. Not just in real life but in movies as well.

So, here’s a pick of a few haunted attraction-horror movies as well as a few movies about those weird scare events that are not restricted to a house and are therefore even worse but still seem to find willing and paying participants.

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Kindergarten ‘Iphigenia’ Re-Issue is a whole lotta 90s

1993, when I was seven years old, Thomas Dietze (vocals & guitar)l, Mike Hynes (bass) and Joe Schneider (drums) decided to be in a band together. Just as I had left mine, they created their Kindergarten. For the 25th anniversary of the debut album, Honey Puller Records puts out a re-issue which will be my 1st issue, since I never heard it before. The band, like other curiosities such as Polaris, was a nearly mythical phenomenon that bewitched only the coolest of cool people for a single album and a few summers to then disappear*.

The re-issue will release on February 21st, just in time to get your Valentine a beautifully shoddy grunge album with an old man in a horrible blazer on the cover. So, what do we know about the band? They are band number five (5) named Kindergarten on Discogs. They are impossible to google (there you are again, my music blog-nemesis, the awful-to-research-bandname!). Other than that: Thomas Dietzel might still be making music but I am kinda sure all the Myke Hynes’ and Joe Schneiders I found online are not the original band members.

So, what about “Iphigenia”? Apart from having the name that the first cat had that ever lived in my home, it’s a pretty great album. It’s loud, noisy even, with the kind of clanky, angry drums that mark the early and mid 90s. Thomas Dietzel sounds just a little like Kurt Cobain but not enough to make it annoying. There’s enough of atonal scream-singing (now and then even some female backing vocals) coupled with  a beautiful punk rock guitar, the bass the only thing that doesn’t run away but rather turns around to grab your hand and tag you along this ride. It’s hella fun. It’s super loud, it sounds like a sticky floor in a dingy club and it has just the right amount of chaos. It’s also the kind of grunge album that you really love if you love grunge but also really don’t if you don’t.

*Polaris, unbeknownst to me, when I wrote this, recently announced a US-tour in combination with some “Adventures of Pete & Pete”-nostalgia, so if you are from the US, I envy you so much that I want to punch a hole in the wall.

Susanne Sundfor “When the Lord” Soundtrack for “Self Portrait”

Susanne Sundfor’s new single “When the lord” is the title track for the documentary from and about Lene Marie Fossen, which tells the life of the Norwegian photographer who died in October last year with 33, after a long struggle and/or life with anorexia.

 

I never heard about Lene Marie Fossen before today. She is a self-taught photographer who was “discovered” by Morten Krogvold who also interviewed her in a TedX Talk back in 2017. From her portfolio, she seems to have focussed on mostly black & white photography, many portraits of victims of refugees in Greece (which I am unsure about, there’s always something off with white Europeans and Americans taking pictures of poor people (in distress) but let’s leave it at that) and a 2017 project where she took pictures of herself in an abandoned hospital which are very moving and quite different from her other portraits (in a dreamlike way).

The song is quite lovely, very nordic, with Sundfor starting with sadness and then growing into something more hopeful in the chorus. It’s hard though, to hear the song (and see the documentary) as really hopeful, since they are eulogies.

From the music video alone I know that I would struggle to watch the documentary. Seeing Fossen’s mother wiping away a tear of joy or sadness at an opening for Fossen’s art and seeing Fossen how she portrayed and saw herself coupled with her weakest moments would break my heart.

 

I feel better leaving a link to a website that helps people with eating disorders, just in case, you want to inform yourself properly.

Anais Mitchell ‘Hadestown’ – a love story, a legend, a cautionary tale, a musical

There are few storytellers in music just as immersive as Anais Mitchell. She has a way with melodies that throw me deep into all the feels and into her stories and worlds, so much so, that for a very long time I was completely stuck to her phenomenal album “Young Man in America”.

Now, I finally (FINALLY) took the time to listen to “Hadestown” which Mitchell originally* wrote as a musical, then recorded with some music friends as a sort of concept album and which since then has become an actual musical with the whole shebang and it is EVERYTHING!

*Which is a very common story for musicals which are very often a Russian doll of their source material.

 

(I will continue to post the musical performances because as much as I love these older renditions, the musical cast is absolutely phenomenal, especially “Hermes”- I have to look up Devon Sproule, though, she is great. 

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