An bronach mhor

King of Pain – dirty little notes header image 1

In Dublin

July 28th, 2014 · Uncategorized

In Dublin, in summer, tracksuited men still sit in cafes and stare at the French and Polish waitresses, wishing they would sleep with them.

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Berlin

July 6th, 2014 · all hail the king, words

“Berlin is large and cruel, madness sprouts from the asphalt, it lurks in nooks and crannies, it waits for you behind this, behind that corner. It glows in the eyes of your seatmate on the tram, it is the motor that powers the tram, the machines, the elevators, the vacuum cleaners, it rules administration and housing offices; it steers the automobiles to run you over; it whirrs in the electrical wires so that their high tension hits you, it moves the revolving door, it shovels you into the bar dancing to the jazz band. It sits at the roulette table and conducts the game and ruins you. Up! Run away into the madhouse!”

- Joseph Roth

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Rivers

July 1st, 2014 · words

by Czeslaw Milosz

‘“So lasting they are, the rivers!” Only think. Sources somewhere in the mountains pulsate and springs seep from a rock, join in a stream, in the current of a river, and the river flows through centuries, millennia. Tribes, nations pass, and the river is still there, and yet it is not, for water does not stay the same, only the place and the name persist, as a metaphor for a permanent form and changing matter. The same rivers flowed in Europe when none of today’s countries existed and no languages known to us were spoken. It is in the names of rivers that traces of lost tribes survive. They lived, though, so long ago that nothing is certain and scholars make guesses which to other scholars seem unfounded. It is not even known how many of these names come from before the Indo-European invasion, which is estimated to have taken place two thousand to three thousand years B. C. Our civilization poisoned river waters, and their contamination acquires a powerful emotional meaning. As the course of a river is a symbol of time, we are inclined to think of a poisoned time. And yet the sources continue to gush and we believe time will be purified one day. I am a worshipper of flowing and would like to entrust my sins to the waters, let them be carried to the sea.’

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On the train to Belfast

June 19th, 2014 · all hail the king, words

Sometimes I think foreign visitors don’t take Ireland and its people serious, with all their trad sessions and leprechauns and failed banks and ghost estates sitting there at the fringe of Europe. Ireland never picked a fight with the whole world like the Germans did, but some of the people here cared enough about their country and its imaginary borders and imaginary religions that they killed each other with bombs and snipers and hunger strikes and shotguns again and again. And the walls they built in Belfast were as effective as the one in Berlin.

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Starving in the belly of the whale, animated

June 1st, 2014 · Music, all hail the king, webstuff

Here’s a fantastic animated version of Tom Waits’ ‘Starving In The Belly Of The Whale’ by Gal Shkedi. Happy Sunday oder so.

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Spotted by Locals Android Competition!

May 28th, 2014 · collabs, webstuff

The good guys over at Spotted by Locals, the brilliant city guides with insider tips
by locals in 56 cities worldwide for which I write about Berlin, have asked me to give away five of their city apps for Android and I happily comply. Here’s how you can enter:

  • Just leave a comment with your preferred city underneath this post. First come first served!

Disclaimer: you’ll need to purchase the app first and Spotted by Locals will refund you the full prize.

Good luck!

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It’s Just a Little Grain Of Rice Under My Bed / My War Gone By, I Miss It So (metal excerpt)

May 14th, 2014 · Uncategorized

I’ve been trying to write about my time as active metal musician for ages, but have not found the right approach yet. Here’s a try/excerpt/whatever.

It’s 5 am. All lights off. It’s raining. Nothing has changed. The room seems dusty. I can’t sleep. I sleep. I dream.

Driving the Boulevard Peripherique in the dark, the motorway below and the lights above going clack clack clack. The sanity of the road, the car filled with instruments, amplifiers, dirty socks, empty beer bottles and the stinking and snoring of four horny men outside of time and reality. The joy of shouting obscenities at the top of my lungs at all the people standing in front of me and still they enjoy it. Snorting speed at the toilet of a massive concert hall right next to a disused steelworks where Simply Red played the day before and now I’m about to go on stage. The fascination of sweat, rhythm, aggression, all thrown into fifteen thirty sixty minutes on the wobbly stage of an alternative punk club, with two sixteen-year-olds and the sound engineer watchingus, the band that drove 200 kilometers to get there. The amazement of hearing a thousand people shout the name of the same band before you even start to play. The road the road the road. Too much and too little.

I don’t regret the time when you thought just of me. I don’t regret the time you drove me crazy.

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February 4th, 1912

April 29th, 2014 · all hail the king, words

Franz Reichelt, a strange man with an impressive Emperor Franz-Joseph-moustache, jumps from the Eiffel Tower wearing a self-made parachute that looks like a too-large leather duvet cover. The parachute does not open. After his death, spectators will measure the depth of the hole made by his impact: 15 centimetres.

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A Letter from Winter

April 24th, 2014 · all hail the king, words

Dear xxxx,

Every time I undertake a journey, shortly before I depart to the airport, the train station or the local bus depot, there’s this moment of dread. I suddenly want to abandon everything, sit down and wait until the scheduled departure time of my flight, train or bus has passed, sending the vehicle off into the void without me, freeing me of the responsibility of travel.

Maybe it was this dread that made me stay in Berlin. It would have been easy to join you: just throw enough shirts and shaving gel for a few days in a bag and hop into your Volvo. And we would have been on our way to your parents in Tours in France and their smelly ash-covered cheese and their castles swarming with busloads of Chinese tourists. We would have left the concrete-and-brick island of Berlin and have your car take us through the flat and empty fields of Brandenburg and under the whirls of the wind turbines near Magdeburg. Then on through the dark heart of Germany on to the band of light on the Rhine that is Cologne, the surface of the Autobahn going vrashoom vrashoom vrashoom beneath our feet and the floor pan. From Cologne via that old Imperial city of Aachen or Aix-la-Chapelle or Aken we’d enter Belgium at dusk, the eerie orange band of the Autobahn lights pushing us past Liege and Mons towards the border of France, and maybe there would be frost on the ground in the Picardy, like a shroud for the old battlefields near Cambrai and the Somme. At dawn we would pass Compiegne, where Hitler once danced, and with the light of the winter sun we would rush along the grey band of the Boulevard Peripherique in Paris, catching a red-eyed glimpse of the Eiffel Tower as we avoid crashing into motor scooters and angry Parisians in Japanese cars. And after that it would just be two hours more, straight down to the Loire, where English knights once set fire to peasant farms, not knowing they would fight a hundred years.

But I decided to stay, and you’re gone now. I wish you godspeed.

Best,

Marcel

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Why I Hate Spring

April 6th, 2014 · all hail the king, words

Spring is like someone stroking your hair saying there there, it’s all going to end well in sunlight and with bumblebees. But it’s not, the world is going to the dogs and everyone is going to die, sooner or later.

It comes with my chosen profession that I have a preference for spending my days indoors, staring at computer screens and book pages. And after every winter, when it suddenly gets lighter and warmer I raise my head from the screen and look out of my window, and there they are: the spring idiots. Sitting on benches and walls, their faces turned to the sun with their eyes closed, like man-sized lizards who have just spent six months in a cabin in the Arctic with no sunlight at all. But they did not, and winter in Central Europe was too short and it’s getting too warm too soon and the premier minister of Iceland is talking about the benefits of global warming. The lizard spring idiots on the wall with their tucked up skinny jeans and their moccachinos are looking after girls in short dresses and somehow believe that humanity is still part of the cycle of nature with spring awakening and everything. I look at my screen again. I’ve always been an autumn person, I guess.

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