CSD 2012

Christopher Street Day in Berlin.
Welcome to Berlin...
It all started in the late 60’s when a few pissed off people finally said “no more” as the police stormed into the local gay bar, New York City’s Stonewall Inn, for their weekly shake down.

Some said that the patrons were mourning the death of Judy Garland and just started to fight back in anger when the police came in. Of course no one really knows what was so different about this night, but the gay men in that bar weren’t having any of it, not any more. 

They pushed back when the police came in, and eventually they trapped several police officers IN the bar itself as the patrons left, and locked the doors. That will show you what a few pissed off drag queens can do.
More and more people filed into the streets of Greenwich Village that night in an angry and violent mood. The police had lost all control. 

The next evening another, even bigger crowd gathered in the streets and sparred with an even larger police force, but once again, the police lost control of the situation.  A few days later, once again more people filled the streets and generally let it be known that the archaic rules placed on American gays and lesbians was no longer to be countenanced. 
After seeing this general outpouring of anger, gay community leaders began to get together and form groups to do something with their new found power.  

These events are commonly referred to as the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in America. Just like the other groups of people in America who insisted on their civil rights, gays were ready to stand up and proclaim that the American Constitution guarantees equal rights for ALL men. Ask any gay person living in New York at that time and
they will tell you that they were AT those riots. It is a common joke
that EVERYONE was at Stonewall. 
A year later a memorial parade was planned. As the Stonewall Inn (owned by the mafia and by this time closed down) had been on Christopher street, they decided to start the parade at that location and call it the Christopher Street Liberation Day. This was the first American Gay Pride Parade, and is the namesake for the Berlin Pride Parade, as well as some others throughout Europe. 

Which brings us to today. I’m quite certain that the parade attended by hundreds of thousands of people (gay and straight) yesterday was quite a bit different than that first parade in the Village. For one thing it is all quite commercial, the next is the “let it all hang out” attitude which can be a bit shocking to first timers. 

But in general it is good, safe fun and an enjoyable time with some of the best mobile sound systems to be had. This year’s route took it past a cute little park at the corner of Dorotheenstraße and Neustädtiche Kirchstraße. What a PERFECT place for the trucks to stop and have an impromptu dance session. Wonderful!

Enjoy some pics
Squeeze
Need to rest...
Dance it UP!
WHAT is that round thingie?
There she is... Miss America
Next year I plan to check out the Transgenialer which is the alternative Gay Pride held in Kreuzberg. They say it is less commercial. Perhaps that is where I belong, even though I must admit that I LOVE dancing behind the BIG trucks with their chest thumping beats.

Some would say that in these times when gay people are getting more and more rights, do we really still need gay pride? I say yes. It is a time for us to take to the streets and show the world who we are and that we are proud of it. All of my CSD pics can be found here

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Musical Monday – I Need You Now

Being transplanted into Deutschland has changed me musically. I’m a rocker by nature who is saddened by no “classic” rock station. Alongside rock I enjoy both pop and country… of the two only pop is available to me in Germany. No longer can I simply dabble in a little bit of country by spinning my radio dial. Nope, here in Berlin there is only one “country music” radio show, and that plays on Thursday night. If I want country, I have to go to Internet Radio or to my own CD collection.

No more. In the past weeks I’ve been hearing a lovely country power ballad on Berlin’s pop stations!! Imagine my surprise when I hear these lyrics coming out of my radio, “It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk and I need you now. Said I wouldn’t call but I lost all control and I need you now”. OH YEAH! The Drunken Booty Call! ONLY country music would pay tribute to drunk dialing your ex.

Today I did a lyrics search and found out that it is performed by Lady Antebellum, a trio of two men and one lady with what I’m guessing is an as of yet untapped voice. As far as soft-pop-leaning country ballads go, this one is right up there. It has all of the elements. No, this isn’t your mommy’s crossover country hit. Shania Twain never stepped into this territory. It feels like late Dixie Chicks, trying to walk the fine line between country and pop… keeping both markets open for the selling.

As for the group, I like it. The sound is a mite bit overproduced, but I think they need that to get the feel of the country and the pop in there. In fact I bet there are several different versions laid down to track, one is VERY country, the other is VERY pop. This one is a hybrid of the two.

The singing… yeah, I like her voice. When Hillary Scott sings “and I NEEEEED you now” you believe it, you FEEL that NEED. Not like you would feel it from Billie Holiday or K.D. Lang, but her voice makes you feel it in a way which has been lost for some time in country. Reba McEntire has it, maybe this little lady can make a career for herself along those lines.

Locks of Love over the river SeineI find the song writing stellar. The point of writing a song is to get people to relate to it. Who hasn’t been there? Maybe not all of us have gone so far as to do the drunk dialing, but after a few drinks, feeling all alone… um, yeah. All I can say is that I’ve been there. I’ve been on the receiving end of some horrific drunk dialing sessions.

Come on… I’m not alone here am I?
Drunken booty calls? Getting that drunk ex on the phone in the middle of the night? Is that only me?

Lady Antebellum lyrics “Need You Now”

Picture perfect memories scattered all around the floor
Reachin’ for the phone ’cause I can’t fight it anymore
And I wonder if I ever cross your mind
For me it happens all the time

It’s a quarter after one, I’m all alone and I need you now
Said I wouldn’t call but I lost all control and I need you now
And I don’t know how I can do without
I just need you now

Another shot of whiskey can’t stop looking at the door
Wishing you’d come sweeping in the way you did before
And I wonder if I ever cross your mind
For me it happens all the time

It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk and I need you now
Said I wouldn’t call but I lost all control and I need you now
And I don’t know how I can do without
I just need you now

Guess I’d rather hurt than feel nothin’ at all
It’s a quarter after one I’m all alone and I need you now
And I said I wouldn’t call but I’m a little drunk and I need you now
And I don’t know how I can do without
I just need you now
I just need you now (wait)
Ooo, baby, I need you now

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Music Monday – Eurovision 2010 – Germany

Prepare for an “Ohrwurm“.
I’ve warned you.

We’ve been hearing a catchy little tune on the radio these past weeks. Driving with Sweet No yesterday this cute little ditty came on and suddenly it got cranked up a bit to better hearing level. No said that she liked the tune and wanted to hear the words. I told her it was about unconditional love, then the next phrase out of the singer’s mouth, “…I even painted my toenails for you…” Yup, unconditional love.

Today I heard it again on morning radio and decided to research it a bit. Turns out it is the German entry in the Eurovision Song Contest! LOVE IT!
Goofball… I think Germany has a winner here.

Cutesy and a mite bit goofy. The singer is Lena Meyer-Landrut, better known as just “Lena”. 19 years old and her singles are going platinum in Germany. Not bad.

The song is “Satellite” by Lena Meyer Landrut
See it bigger.
29 May, 2010 She’s a winner. OK OK, so maybe she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell seeing as how she’s competing for Germany and we just don’t have the political backing to win. But it is fun to think about it!

Satellite by Lena
I went everywhere for you
I even did my hair for you
I bought new underwear, they’re blue
And I wore ‘em just the other day

Love, you know I’ll fight for you
I left on the porch light for you
Whether you are sweet or cruel
I’m gonna love you either way

Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love
Like a satellite, I’m in an orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can’t go a minute without your love

Love, I got it bad for you
I saved the best I have for you
You sometimes make me sad and blue
Wouldn’t have it any other way

Love, my aim is straight and true
Cupid’s arrow is just for you
I even painted my toe nails for you
I did it just the other day

Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I’m in an orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can’t go a minute without your love
Oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love

Where you go, I’ll follow
You set the pace, we’ll take it fast and slow
I’ll follow in your way,
You got me, you got me
A force more powerful than gravity
It’s physics, there’s no escape

Love, my aim is straight and true
Cupid’s arrow is just for you
I even painted my toe nails for you
I did it just the other day

Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I’m in orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can’t go a minute without your
Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love
Love, love, love, love, love

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What I miss from America… the music

One thing I miss the most about America is the fabulous music. I understand completely that it is a cultural thing. The Germans simply aren’t into blues/jazz/rock/country music the same way the Americans are… this music came up and out of the “bottom” of America, thus it is deeply steeped into our souls.

The radio stations here play the popular music for Europe. We won’t go into it, but let’s just say that there are some songs which really grate on my nerves, yet they are much-loved anthems here in Germany. You guessed it, they get almost constant radio play here… dammit.

Today I got a hankerin’ (yeah, how many people can pull that off) for classic rock and roll. I’m not thinking Chuck Berry here… but the stuff that was popular on rock stations in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

?Have I ever said how much I LOVE the Internet? Yes ladies and gentlemen, INTERNET RADIO SAVED MY SANITY TODAY. Take a look at a partial list of music I’ve heard in the last few hours.

Rush, “Tom Sawyer”
Van Halen, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”
The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman”
Pink Floyd, “Wish You Were Here”
Blind Faith, “Can’t Find My Way Back Home”
Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Don’t Ask Me No Questions”
Doobie Brothers, “China Grove”
ZZ Top, “Pearl Necklace”
Gary Wright, “Dream Weaver”
The Eagles, “Already Gone”
Supertramp, “Goodbye Stranger”

Speaking of sucky radio. Several of my Clear Channel Radio buddies lost their jobs today. It’s all about money, honey. Their radio shows will be filled in by someone who is not local, who pipes this to about 200 stations, and who is certainly not paid enough. More info about the nationwide firings here.

I leave you with a link which explains why the music industry in America sucks right now. Unfortunately it doesn’t tell us how to fix it.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-856606244008931882

A bit of Chinese culture… Chinese Rap…

I have shamelessly stolen this from Betsy, who in turn shamelessly stole parts of information from Language Log. Sometimes it is good to steal… OK, so maybe it isn’t. But if you’re going to steal anyway, you should at least linky to those you steal from, don’t you think?

The video below is being described as Chinese rap music. Going to Language Log you will get to see the text (in Chinese and English) of the song. This, I find incredibly cool.
I doubt we would see lyrics like this in an English rap song:
“Squat when you’re tired of standing,
sit when you’re tired from squatting
Lie down when you’re tired of sitting,
lie prone when you’re tired from lying down
Sleep when you’re tired of lying prone,
nap when you’re unable to sleep”

Please, at least listen to the first thirty seconds.

OK, now please forgive me…
But am I the only one that had a bit of a flashback to the Swedish Chef?