Herbie Hancock: Watermellon Man

I love, love, love how Herbie Hancock tells the story of how he composed Watermellon Man.

Kishi Bashi

Wow. Kishi Bashi. I hadn’t seen the ads, instead discovering him through Paste Magazine. All that attention to detail, craftsmanship and polish. Animal Collective meets Andrew Bird and classical Japanese music.

They are hosting a video-based riddle contest for idioms like

  • wearing _ _ _ _ h _ _ _ _  _ _  your  _ _ _ _ _ _”
  • “x” _ _ _ _ _ the  _  _ _ _
  • _ _ _ ‘ s knees
  • _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ driver

You’ll find the gap-fill here and the video here:

Some answers and associations:

to be framed, It’s all Greek to me, paint it black, the elephant in the room, be the spitting image, back seat driver, ride shotgun, eye candy, free ticket, it costs an arm and a leg, give me a hand, buy a lemon, throw someone a bone, he’s got your number, bite the bullet, (the) truth is written all over his face, (it’s the) bee’s knees, bird’s eye view, hell in a basket, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, break a leg, birds of a feather flock together, kill two birds with one stone, X marks the spot, kick the bucket,  a penny for your thoughts, piece of cake, icing on the cake, have your cake and eat it too, (have) a bone to chew, when pigs fly, key to my heart, once in a blue moon…

To use in class, here are many of the idioms on cards:

Concert on KEXP:

Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud

We sang my mother-in-law’s favorite song at her funeral: Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud, with a text by Paul Gerhardt (1656) and music by August Harder (1813). Her heaven is full of birds and flowers. Who needs angels when you have nightingales? RIP dear Heidi.

Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud

1. Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud
in dieser lieben Sommerzeit
an deines Gottes Gaben;
schau an der schönen Gärten Zier
und siehe, wie sie mir und dir
sich ausgeschmücket haben,
sich ausgeschmücket haben.

2. Die Bäume stehen voller Laub,
das Erdreich decket seinen Staub
mit einem grünen Kleide;
Narzissus und die Tulipan,
die ziehen sich viel schöner an
als Salomonis Seide,
als Salomonis Seide.

3. Die Lerche schwingt sich in die Luft,
das Täublein fliegt aus seiner Kluft
und macht sich in die Wälder;
die hochbegabte Nachtigall
ergötzt und füllt mit ihrem Schall
Berg, Hügel, Tal und Felder,
Berg, Hügel, Tal und Felder.

8. Ich selber kann und mag nicht ruhn,
des großen Gottes großes Tun
erweckt mir alle Sinnen;
ich singe mit, wenn alles singt,
und lasse, was dem Höchsten klingt,
aus meinem Herzen rinnen,
aus meinem Herzen rinnen.

Also on a new recording: Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Alte deutsche Lieder. Rundfunk-Jugendchor Wernigerode, Dirigent: Peter Habermann

Chuck Brown in Funk Heaven

He’s up there now, the creator of gogo, making them dance up in heaven. Bustin’ Loose was the best thing on the dancefloor when I was 17. But man, did his sound age well. This sound is home. So DC. “You can’t leave cause your heart is there. It’s a family affair.” So now he and Eva Cassidy are reunited. RIP, Chuck!

Shearwater: Golden Archipelago

Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater started out as a natural scientist and has reworked his travels into a very interesting concept album (and media package) on remote islands. He says he first thought he should become a scientist. “But I kept noticing that the questions that most interested me are things you can’t really investigate with science, like why the fragments of an older, wilder world I’d glimpsed seemed so full of a strange meaning and energy that’s completely foreign to the technolopolis where we mostly live now, or why islands seem to have such a great hold on our imaginations, whether we’re talking about Lost or Homer.” One album review (link) compares Shearwater with Brian Ferry. Most of the tracks are quietly intense, but from time to time they produce interesting loud dissonances that keep things from getting too melancholy. Pretentious or great? Shearwater is in Munich on 2 March.


Album trailer:

Official video:

Question: Inspired by a fault?

Django Reinhardt was born 100 years ago yesterday. He lost the use of the third and fourth finger on his left hand when the family caravan caught fire, and as a result developed his own unique style of guitar playing.

Seriously inspirational, that is. Can you remember any other artists in any genre who became who they were because of some physical or mental disability? I can think of two artists who were visually impaired, and created iconic works of art as a consequence: Alberto Giacometti, with his strange and lovely “drippy” sculptures, and the great El Greco, the Spanish Renaissance painter whose paintings appear modern because of the way he stretches his figures. (PS: See corrective note in the comments!) Can you add any of your own?

a fault:

  1. the fact of being responsible for a bad or unpleasant situation
    It’s not my fault!
  2. a feature of something that makes it less good
    There’s a fault in the system.

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Björk: Unravel

This quiet week there’s hardly anyone spending time online visiting this blog, so I’m just going to post some stuff connected to my choice of album of the decade (drumroll:) Björk’s Vespertine.

While you are away
My heart comes undone
Slowly unravels
In a ball of yarn
The devil collects it
With a grin
Our love
In a ball of yarn

He’ll never return it

So when you come back
We’ll have to make new love

album of the decade 🙂 englisch lernen mit liedern