I’m still running around with a preposterous perma-smile due to last week’s events.
However, I must move on
Obviously, I love being overseas and hanging out with the Tall One, however, a girl’s gotta have some real gurl time. It just gets a lil dude-ified here from time to time. Luckily, on this team, there are some great ladies who all like to cut loose here and there. One of them, Jasmin, organized a lovely evening for just the gurlz.
Lots of these ladies have little ones to take care of (along with the other very tall ones), and it was so exciting to see all the mamas get dressed up for a night with NO VOLLEYBALL. Meeting at Grill Royal, one of the more glamorous dinner spots in the city, we tucked into wine,girl talk, and….art appreciation.
Oh Berlin, this would be the art in one of your best restaurants.
More recently, our friend Alex has come for a European holiday, so we had the pleasure of hosting him for a couple of days. Beyond the usual sightseeing/volleyball match going stuff, we also convinced him to come to a show.
So…we grabbed döner kebabs, took the train to Columbiahalle, and saw…Gotye!
Yeah, I feel you all wanting to make fun of this. Don’t even try to act like some part of you doesn’t dig that song. Plus, I really do like a lot of his other tracks. Nevertheless, we were each a bit unsure as to what sort of show we might be get. His “sound” is not what I would call “pop”, but would it be a pop audience?
He puts on an incredibly dynamic show. With custom animations for each song your eye is constantly drawn to the creative (and at times creepy) videos, and then you realize Mr. De Backer has raced back to his kit to give you a hair raising drum solo. He runs around the stage playing a dizzying array of instruments, including some that seem to have been repurposed items from Toys”R”Us. I think we were all impressed.
If you’re interested in the many sounds Gotye uses in his music, I found this tidbit in a BBC interview. Upon clarifying that his sampling is not done for melodies or riffs, but for unique sounds, he used this example.
“Take, for example, the spooky tremolo that crops up between the verses of Somebody That I Used To Know.
“People think it’s a synthesizer but it’s actually from a classical guitar record…I created the vibrato manually by touching my fingers on the turntable as I was recording it into the computer. Then I chopped it up into 20 or 30 notes, and laid them out across the keyboard…After that, I came up with the melody and played it back, using a few of those notes, to become that part in that song.”
I dunno, I think these lil gems are kinda cool.
Columbiahalle sits right about on the old border of the American and Soviet sectors. After the show, we got to talking with a couple who had some cold war history of their own. One of them was an eleven year old boy growing up on the West when the wall fell. When he heard people were starting to tear down the wall, he ran down with his friends to be one of the first to step over the border, and witness the wall’s destruction. The other half of this couple was a five year old girl growing up on the East side when the wall fell. While she has no memory of the wall, she did make some oblique references to her father’s possible Stasi occupation and his continuing struggle to accept what happened to his country. This couple was funny and open and fascinating, and another part of what makes living here so darn cool sometimes.