This song, 'Happiness at the Trade Fair', sings the praises of the Düsseldorf Conference Center. The reference is to a meeting in Hall B3 in which Herr Sakamoto whips out his 'finest software', if you know what I mean.
A Syrian refugee living in Germany did an AMA recently, and the result was fascinating. He's a young man who ran a successful Internet cafe and left because of threatened conscription. He's gotten asylum and has been in Germany 9 months, learning German.
I've pasted a few of the exchanges I found the most interesting. Reformatted them hastily, since I find reddit's format a bit hard to follow.
First, my favorite exchange of all:
thegingerduck: How did you learn English? Did you learn while in Syria?
StraightOuttaSyria: Movies, TV-shows, books, music, youtube, internet in general.
thegingerduck: Are you doing the same for german?
StraightOuttaSyria: Yup, the radio and tv are always on, discovered some great German bands and singers, can't read books now but will asap.
OgGorrilaKing: It's Rammstein isn't it? You've been listening to Rammstein.
StraightOuttaSyria: I've been listening to them even before coming to Germany :D
Arntown: Yeah, and for advanced learning try Herbert Grönemeyer. If you can understand him, you're better than 50% of the Germans :D
Asked what the biggest culture shocks were:
- Public drinking
- Relationships ( female - male )
- General acceptance for LGBT
- Sex-Ed in school? Good luck with that
- Shared Showers
What does he think of Western airstrikes against ISIS? "It's awesome, like really it's the best thing that happened since the start of the revolution and civil war in Syria."
What it's like to live in ISIS-run areas:
They have very strict rules you need to follow, but generally they try to keep the population under their control "comfortable", because they wouldn't be able to fight an inside war and expand their "Caliphate" too, actually, the regions under ISIS control are the regions with the most access to water and electricity in Syria.
so yeah, so many rules, very strict rules, but if you follow you'll live ok.
Another question has to do with the image of Europe:
There are rumors about refugees being fed obvious lies about the welfare system in Germany: Things like getting top notch housing, a car and a well paid job upon arrival. What do you think of it?
Answer: SO MUCH LIES. they all think of Europe as a paradise on Earth, these lies are fed very much through the smugglers who try to convince you to go to Europe, as I suggested in another comment, I think the Europe should build a website putting every decision and news related to the refugees in it so they can get an authentic source of news and know who it is in Europe.
Good Syrian dishes:
In the years to come I expect we will see Syrian restaurants and take-aways appear in the EU. What are good / unique dishes we can look forward to? Any good vegetarian dishes?
Answer: Look for "Fatte" "فتة", it's great
On how the EU should manage the crisis:
What are your thoughts About how the EU should manage the refugee crisis? Glad you made it welcome to germany.
StraightOuttaSyria: Obviously I'm happy many people can get a chance for a better life. But the way it happens now is wrong, mass numbers will hurt the people before the host countries, and eventually will lead to more troubles. There are many way they can help the people and get everything under control, as I've said couple of times, get them legal status in Turkey, then sort the people who need to get to Europe, and pick them from the camps. These are some of the simplest ways.
And on ISIS infiltrators:
Do you believe that ISIS terrorists are disguising themselves as refugees to get into Europe and the US?
StraightOuttaSyria: It's a quite big possibility, but hopefully the authorities run a good background check before granting anyone asylum.
redditor401: No offence to you, but judging by the way you got in, I don't think that's really happening, lol.
This is a song about a birch tree which decides it needs a change of scenery (Tapetenwechsel, literally change of wallpaper) and starts wandering around.
The video makes me feel as if I have electrodes all over my body and am undergoing some sort of psychological test. For that matter, so does the music.
They found a live video for Heino's contribution. Your TV license fees at work!
The BBC has a short piece on Faust, who were supposed to be the German Beatles but turned into something more rich and strange:
However, a second stroke of fortune befell them when Richard Branson, young head of the fledgling Virgin Record label, decided he wanted a piece of the Krautrock action,signed up Faustand brought them to the UK. He released an album of their outtakes, The Faust Tapes, for the price of a single, in 1973 – its low price and (to ‘70s British rock fans) difficult content made it one of the most bought but least listened-to cult rock albums of the year.
The few who did get Faust, however, were highly influential – BBC radio DJ John Peel, critics like NME’s Ian MacDonald, future band members like Bill Drummond, Ian McCulloch, Julian Cope and Jim Kerr, all of whom found in Faust post-punk ideas before punk had ever happened. They had seen nothing like them, or their neo-Dadaist live act, which involved sofas, a pinball machine, power tools, TV sets and walls of tin cans.
Faust, however, hated English food, English studios and Branson himself – though today, an older and wiser Péron believes they behaved unreasonably towards him. Inevitably, Virgin dropped Faust. They disappeared in the 1980s altogether – one of their members, Rudolf Sosna (described by Péron as the “true genius” of the band) sadly died. However, in the 1990s, they re-emerged, finding appreciation and understanding from rock audiences schooled in Faust’s successors, such as the 80s German group Einstürzende Neubauten. Faust’s onstage arsenal was as bizarrely formidable as ever, including angle grinders and even a cement mixer.
First, Carl Douglas' evergreen 1974 hit 'Kung Fu Fighting':
And now, the near-simultaneous and deeply regrettable German ripoff 'Kung Fu Leute', from the hapless 'Kandy', who looks like he was dragged in off the street to read lyrics from a card:
Given Germany's role as self-appointed Sole Remaining Keeper of the Flame of Intellectual Property™, I can only hope Carl Douglas was handsomely compensated for the traumatic defunkification of his song. (Right?).
But wait! Deutschland redeems itself 30 years later when the German outfit the Mardi Gras Brass Band returns to the original English lyrics and turns KFF into a tuba-driven slow jam:
And now comes Erdmöbel with their own song about someone who remembers his lover by her 'kung fu fighting' ringtone. The video features two people with pure Nordic blood pretty faces kissing:
But lest we forsake or fake the funk, let us conclude this musical journey with Cee Lo Green insanely buttshaking but way too short cover:
Every time I whip out my favorite collection of German mainstream pop music, Schlager für Millionen, I can't help noticing that many of the songs have melodies which are directly copied, note for note, from American or British pop songs or traditional ballads. The brazen theft is never noted on the album info, and I'd imagine that the vast majority of German fans aren't aware they're listening to musical copies. Given that the German rights-enforcement agency is blocking thousands of Youtube videos in an attempt to ensure (what they consider) proper payment for artists, I'd also be interested to know whether the German Schlager stars at least licensed and paid for the music they used that was still under copyright when they stole the tune.
Just a few examples. First, Udo Lindenberg's 1983 hit Sonderzug nach Pankow:
which is a copy of the Glenn Miller Orchestra's Chattanooga Choo Choo. To be fair, Lindenberg never tried to conceal this fact, and his song itself is about trains. But still, he copied the music note-for-note from Glenn Miller.
And now the 'hymn' of the Cologne football team, FC Köln, being sung by thousands of fans.
How many know it's a note-for-note copy of this traditional Scottish ballad?
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Christan Schorn, who reminded me of one of the most shameless thefts, Bert and Cindy's transformation of Black Sabbath's scorching 'Paranoid'...
into this abomination:
Double derivativeness points for the German text drawing from Conan Doyle's 'Hound of the Baskervilles'.