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Archive for July, 2008

While MLB teams resume their play after the Allstar break their Japanese counterparts still have a few days to go before they play their version of the Midsummer Classic. And on both sides of the Pacific it seems that two teams are giving it their best shot at the championship in a long time. The Chicago Cubs lead their division although they lost yesterday to the Houston Astros. In Japan the Hanshin Tigers (阪神タイガース)are on a mission it seems. Their record reads 55 wins, 27 losses, 1 draw which not only is the best record in Japanese baseball (The Pacific League leaders Seibu Lions stand at 47-38-1), but it also gives them an 11.5 games lead over their archrivals, the Yomiuri Giants. The Tigers haven’t won a championship in the Japan Series since 1985 and that was their only title. Last year they lost in the first round of the Central League Climax Series to the Chunichi Dragons who would go on to win the championship. (more…)

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I wonder who recommended this band to me. Somehow I am not quite sure, but uit must have been a friend a few years ago while we were sitting at the plaza in front of the Dom, Cologne’s huge cathedral. I found the first record “Time & Withering” (2004) at our local recordstore, a 4-track monster that drags itself on for almost 40 minutes. Usually I would have backed off from music like this, but there must have been something (of which I really don’t know what it is) which kept me listening to the record quite a lot. Guess what, I even bought their second album “The Ties That Bind” (2006). Six songs this time, and maybe it’s just me but I felt this one was slightly easier to listen to. Still very thick and slow, but yet a little lighter, at least what I thought. (more…)

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Well, you have to give credit to the Americans for at least one thing: they know how to put up a great show and celebrate things. Although for European ears the ever present glorification of their home country might sound a little odd, but nonetheless they know how to great an atmosphere where everybody who is watching the event feels at least a little touched.
So I tuned in for the annual MLB Allstar Game last night which was scheduled to start at 2 am MET in the morning. Little did I know they were honouring quite a few people before the first pitch. (more…)

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I guess that’s what you call “to chill out” at a show. Yesterday saw yet another wonderful BBQ at the Kulturbunker in Cologne-Mülheim. The 50 Food Combo did this before and it’s always a very nice and tasty experience. Some people showed up, they had tables and chairs on the rooftop and everybody was in a good mood. The food was great, although I only dug into the grilled veggie stuff. Oh, and there was a show taking place as well.
I can’t remember the name of the first band, from what I heard they were German and played what I would consider to be old school screamo. You have to be considerate with how you label musicn nowadays so everybody understands what you are talking about, right? Had I said “screamo” everybody below the age of 25 would have thought this meant those horrible chartbands who play this crappy metal stuff with screaming vocals, hard and loud guitars and face paint all over the place. (more…)

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I guess everyone experienced something like this at least once. There is this band everybody is talking about and all your friends encourage you to buy the record this band has put out recently. You then go and get it, you like it, but somehow it just doesn’t stick with you. You bury it somewhere deep in you collection and after some time you start to forget about it. The band gets bigger, but because of the first impression you had of that band, you don’t really bother to even listen in to their new records. The band plays shows every now and then in your hometown, but you don’t bother to show up there because of the first impression you had years ago. And then, after years of ignorance you finally see the light because you gave their latest record a chance. (more…)

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Oh what a day. When I received the news (German) on Thursday I was stunned. The objection of VfL Leverkusen, last season’s Verbandsliga Mittelrhein champion who were denied a spot in the newly established NRW-Oberliga because certain requirements haven’t been met (stadium too small, financial basis unstable, etc.), was rejected by a court and this means Fortuna Cologne will take the spot reserved for the Verbandsliga Mittelrhein champion as runner up to Leverkusen. (more…)

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There are some records that stick with you throughout time and you always like to listen to them every once in a while. Most of the time you recall the memories you made while listening to the music, sometimes you use it as a means to get rid off your frustration or simply for a change of moods. As I am writing this a person who has become a very good friend of mine will return to her homeland in just a few hours and when I get back home from all the farewell ceremonies I think I will once more put up Black Train Jack‘s records which always put a smile on my face every single time I listened to them. (more…)

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