a) This comment by toxicfur. Thank you.
b) The title of this section, quoting a musician talking between pieces during a blues/zydeco concert I heard on the radio, in the dialect of his home region of Rheingau (west of Frankfurt). I can't reproduce what's funny about this even in standard German, let alone English, and what could be less funny than the explanation of a joke? So, just for the sake of completeness: "The a isn't right anyway and the e isn't right either". I suspect this is also the sort of joke that isn't funny if it isn't in a dialect, even if it could be told in the standard language.
c) A radio show on Finnish humour, featuring among others M. A. Numminen. I once saw him, lucky me, when he was here in town for a combined concert and reading of his novel "Tango on intohimoni" ("Tango is my passion", though I don't know if there's an English translation, in German the book is called "Tango ist meine Leidenschaft"). He must have decided he can't sing, usually he squeaks, really. Or squeals. I like the pieces in which he puts philosophical or linguistic texts to music, such as in his Tractatus Suite. Imagine a tune that wouldn't be out of place in a German beer tent, and the band singing along at the top of their lungs and with a cheerfully thick Finnish accent "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen." Or a tune reminiscent of a Lutheran choral, though accompanied by accordeon and cello, and Swedish lyrics that say: "When we form the sentence 'What is?', we notice that the subject is the answer to the question."*
d) deserves a section of its own. See below.
(Und da stehen sie wieder in Zweierreihen an der) Pommesbude (und warten auf das, was ihnen gebührt)
How's that for an elaborate song title? Two weeks ago S called and asked whether I'd like to come over for dinner with pJ at S's place. After dinner we listened to a rather odd mix of music, progressing from Schubert's Winterreise to ...songs... well, let's call them songs, by Helge Schneider (English, German wikipedia page).
I still must have a Schneider cassette somewhere around here that I received as a present in the early nineties. Didn't seem my cup of tea at the time, in fact it left me rather confused. Schneider has a sort of stop -and-go humour; most of the time he's just improvising something, anything; whenever you sense he just might be heading towards a punchline, he would suddenly change directions, or do nothing at all. Very bizarre. At the time I wondered if I should be angry at myself for sitting there wasting time, listening to somebody slinging crap at me, or if I just didn't get it. After all, Schneider is not an idiot who should never have been allowed onto the stage, but has a reputation as a really decent jazz musician. I guess it was the same kind of befuddlement that kept audiences coming back, asking for more.
Today, I must confess, I find the anarchic anti-joke routine does get old. Still, what I heard on that evening at S's cracked me up like nothing else in a year or so. Being together with other people probably helped.
The section title is from a Schneider song that I liked better than his usual stuff. I guess it appeals to my old-fashioned taste by including things like a beginning, a middle and an end, also lyrics and playing rather than torturing a piano. I tried to find the CD at the library or the lyrics online, but to no avail. In the song, pompous language and music (allusions to Neue Musik, contemporary "serious" music; Zimmermann, Henze, that sort of thing), produced with the passion and melodrama of a cabaret chanteuse, clash loudly with a totally pointless story. "(Look at them standing in double lines again in front of the) French fries booth (and waiting to be given what is their due)". (NOTE: I have a feeling I failed completely in trying to produce acceptable English here, but I can't see what went wrong.)
Last night it started to snow again. During the day most of the snow melted, but now, at night once more, the world outside is turning white again. The wind has picked up, too, and there is a lot of clanging and howling noises. This usually means that I won't sleep well, so who can blame the cup of coffee I'm drinking right now, in the middle of the night.
Poll: favourite prophet; because I stumbled over this wikipedia entry. What a way to go.
This is it for today; tune in again at [unspecified time soon, honest] for "Thomas Pynchon and the Helmet of Horror"!
*Did I get that correctly? "Om vi gestaltar satsen Vad är? märker vi att subjektet då är svaret på frågan."
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