Ohrwurm of the week 38/2017

Atreyu – Blow

Man, what a band! Hailing from Orange County in the U.S. they bring back memories of sensational times. Of times where I went to a small hardcore club not far from my village super close to the Czech border where Barcode, Born From Pain, Ignite and many more played including our cool band Intoxica (hoping to get some pictures and more on that, but we were basically covering Slipknot, Korn and other similar bands and later made our own songs).

Brings back memories and one can say there first album was very ’emo’, being a teenager then the song ‘Ain’t Love Grand‘ even prompted me to write a piece that I handed in for a school project. I was happy, I was sad, I was a rebel and also super conform and nice guy. I was a good student and my long tinted black dreadlocks, my trench coat, white camo pants could have invoked a possibility of becoming a school shooter (which thankfully doesn’t happen for mainly logical reasons in Germany) but my smiley face/nature, friendliness and good marks in school said something different. I was a strange person. It was a great time. It was 15 years ago.

Atreyu was there and took me through all these emotions. From a dark weirdly romantic first album ‘Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses‘ to what later became known as Metalcore, leg swinging Punk or straight up Rock. The above song is just perfectly energetic, bro-like and starts with a cow-bell and has enough of that in it. It’s positive, it pumps me up and makes me smile and think of carefree times.

From the name alone they also remind me of the VHS I got together with Batman and Batman Returns of the movie version of The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (I believe it was the second movie though, with the really good child actor with mesmerising eyes that sadly took his life). I believe I rewinded and replayed the end credits songs (from the first movie as I couldn’t find or remember the song I was addicted to) so many times that the VHS started to act weird…

With recent musician suicides we all know, it is good to sometimes look at the bright side and have a little fun. Not saying that dark and depressing music doesn’t have a place – it absolutely has. I rock out like this like it’s the 80’s and just get pumped up. Even after a day that was exhausting and were I felt tired. There is some super cool local music in China, but the mainstream likes super depressing, super boring love songs and these fill up the computers in every KTV. I wish there was some Atreyu…

Anyhoozle to divert from this. Since this song makes me think of my youth in all the best ways, there was a movie I saw yesterday that brought up similar joy: Spider-Man: Homecoming

I liked this movie as much as Wonder Woman if I can compare the two. The movie reminded me of the good times I had watching the truly marvellous Spider-Man: The Animated Series and even earlier the show I loved the most next to X-Men when sleeping over at my grandma’s Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. It’s basically an extended episode of the animated series coming to life mixed with the modern Marvel universe.

From the beginning that remixes the original Spider-Man theme unmistakably to the intro scene that captures exactly the feeling of opening a comic book, getting a quick introduction to the universe and what happened so far to straight up jumping into an adventure for the main character named and drawn out on the cover. What a fuzzy feeling and that was really well done.

It’s a young and fun movie and the lightest Spidey movie so far. If I would have to rate the movies I’d say this one is in the top 3 and it’s kind of hard to decide if I place it on number 2 or 3 while number 1 is Spider-Man 2 and the other two Homecoming and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (I know that this is super controversial, but I really, really enjoyed this one, it has legit problems but that movie is nowhere near as bad as people want you to believe, it is actually outstanding in parts).

The very best thing about the new movie is, what my better half pointed out, is that even though being a Disney owned production and a lot of superhero movies forcing a morale onto you like old He-Man cartoons, this one is surprisingly free from it, even when it comes to rising up against bullies. Super smart! Super good!

The bad is, that the CGI in places feels off, lanky, with no weight or too sped up o you can’t follow. Also was that MJ? Not that I dislike the actress or character portrayed, I actually really liked that, but want this to be a unique character. Also please let this guy not be Flash Thompson or ever become a version of Venom, not that I dislike the character or the actor, this was great, but this should never ever become a version of the comic book equivalent anti-hero and undoubtedly it was a great choice to have this actor portray a modern take of a bully.

Now completely engulfed in nostalgia I have to divert one more time before I call it a day and mention this amazing video about the music of the new Doom game. I loved Doom and Quake 3 (never played the 2 that came before that) and the music and everything and thinking about this games makes me think back (as the same dread locked weird Burnilein) to a LAN party organised by my Russian friend to spend 48 hours with no sleep, loads of caffeinated drinks, beer, lugged around heavy big computers and monitors and Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 (I sucked at the former, was pretty good at the latter). Good times too.

The video is exciting and super interesting in many ways. I think musicians will get the most out of it, but even me with an interest in music and the ability to scream and a heart for games this was amazing. My better half found it interesting too. Mick Gordon is a genius when it comes to music and he is well spoken. Give that video a shot, assume it is you favourite podcast on a topic you are mildly interested in and enjoy enormously.

Have a fantastic week and stay positive my friends!

 

Ohrwurm of the week 37/2017

Architects – Doomsday

This hit harder than Floyd Mayweather! Architects: possibly my favourite UK metalcore outfit. At first they almost where completely foreign to me with their Math Metal like sounds on their first album. More and more I grew attached to this sound and now I am loving it. With lyrics that are nihilistic, atheist, strongly political and massively pissed off they are one of the most accessible bands from the genre out there. I know, because my girlfriend likes them. Honestly: Sam Carter is one of the most outstanding screaming voices in hard music and basically paved the way for this sort of scream singing, that others might just know from, ahem, Linkin Park… Don’t be a Naysayer, this dude is up there with the previously mentioned Cattle Decapitation singer in terms of creativity and skill.

It’s also worth nothing that this brilliant video reminds me of the fantastic The Fountain (critics rating it at 5/10 on average – I counter with ‘blegh’ – they know nothing.

Anyway, this music is music that lets energy pulse through my body, clench my fist and holds an ugly old mirror of the world in front of my face and makes me want to change things. It’s incredible. It hits hard and inspires change and spits the truth out. I feel sad for everyone who doesn’t get this kind of raw emotion that transcends in this unique, aggressive and melodic way. Such a unique and complex sound.

The legendary ‘blegh‘ is missing in this song, but not necessary and the spirit of their guitarist Tom (may he rest in peace!) lives on in some lines in the lyrics. Fuck cancer! Pissed off, inspiring a change. This is my Nirvana – give them a shot!

The customer (or consumer sometimes, as a lot of stuff is free) is always right!

Nope!

I have been a customer and wrong at the same time. I consume a lot of media, a lot of free stuff too and you won’t hear me complain about the free stuff a lot apart from banter or if I really care. It happens to the best of us.

Just recently for some reason I thought I bought Dragon Age: Origins on a sale, it was downloaded and ready to play. Being at home for 3 weeks plus, it was time for me to fire it up, but no, error codes everywhere. So I did the thing, that I thought might fix it, deleted the game and as I was about to download it again, it prompted me to pay again, bummer!

So I chatted to the super friendly and helpful Microsoft support. Seriously, they are friendly and great and I can tell they do their best. Even some of the standard but make-you-feel-good replies are fun ‘Love your gamertag!’ – maybe they really do :-). Turns out, somehow this game downloaded, but no transaction went through and I haven’t payed for it. So I left it at that and apologized for my mistake (I could have checked that in due time) and moved on to other games.

I haven’t spend a dime and somehow lost out on a good deal, but whatever. Life goes on. I could have checked.

Now on to why I am writing this. This video:

Zei Wei presented by Mamahuhu and a lot of awesome people involved.

It made me cry. It made me think and hit a nerve. It also made me sad that somehow (most of the time for male-male friendships) we find it so hard to say ‘I love you’ and for a reason that is not depicted here either and I understand that might be misunderstood anyway (so that might be just me). It does however happen in one of my favorite comedies of all time: Superbad. There we have crude humour and penis jokes and all kinds of below the belt fun, but the movie hits all the marks when it comes to friendship too and the love we have for the same sex and how that should be articulated and how it does that one time in the movie.

I am going in the wrong direction though. So this movie has been produced by a brilliant team of friends, who I know a couple of and they are fantastic human beings. Obviously they put time, effort and thought into this little short.

The acting comes off as natural for the most part and so does the dialogue, but what is completely spot on, is that feeling, that feeling of having to let go, of being left alone here or wherever else.

So these amazing people put this video out for free. For everyone to enjoy. The consumers out of the sudden are free to voice whatever they think and we all know the ‘opinions are like assholes saying’, so out they come and shit on this. I mean it is the internet. It is Reddit and Youtube, but wow, this made me sad and mad = smad!

This short hit me, because it describes an all too familiar feeling and tugs on my heartstrings here and I am sure for a lot of other people too. It’s a short that possibly describes best (without having known that I want to describe that before) to friends and family how hard it can be to live here in Shanghai sometimes – the possibly worst part that affects us (or maybe just me) on a deeply personal level.

Maybe people don’t like to feel that way or maybe people on the internet like to belittle other people (I am sure they do), so someone for example said: ‘this is not China or Shanghai specific thing, this is part of growing up and happens for everyone’. No, it doesn’t and your voice on the internet doesn’t speak for everyone. I have lived in different cities and personally this descibes 98% of what it feels like to be left here or go away and leave friends, as I have done both.

I dread the day, I will inevitably leave Shanghai and hope it is far away but also hope it has only a few of these hard goodbyes in the meantime.

There are people you stay in contact with in life with just a good wish on your birthday or you are the one that leaves one for them and that is fine. Some of who we lose contact with or stay in contact or keep being close friends with – with or without contact inbetween and all of this is just fine and part of life.

What I don’t like is shitting on content. Especially shitting on free content. Shitting on service when it’s provided in a friendly manner and with a good heart.

Here some people put some sweat, blood and tears in video and get shit on by salty people. If you don’t have anything nice to say for free content, then by all means, feel free to keep your opinion where it comes from: your behind.

I don’t say: no one should be able to critique something that is provided for free nor help them to get better, that can all be said in a fine tone and can be led with ‘I find/In my opinion/I liked this, but would have liked/loved to’ and so on – you get it. if you are are decent human. But boy, was I smad.

So this was personal, as I know some people behind this and even more so because it is free.

Now let’s look at a game – Destiny – is a great example. I get it that people where made having paid 120 US-Dollars or maybe more and wanting to love this output and having doubts in part 2 (that seems to have improved on all the major problems), that releases on PS4 and Xbox One today, but you can chose to not pay for the second instalment or look or ask around and form an opinion before paying and wasting time and money on a product. Vote with your wallet and feel free to voice your opinion.

I have seen and spend money on things I ended up not enjoying too much, but it made me smarter. Still I am trying to find something positive to justify the time and money spent to myself. Sometimes it hurt, the wallet or my feelings, but I see it most of the time as my mistake first, then try to see if it is in my power (or should be or worth the hassle or justified) to speak up and try to make it better, most of the time it is not worth it nor will other people learn or have a better experience, so why bother?). If you can change a situation and something is clearly bullshit or someone is bullshitting or scamming you or other people then check if that is true and you are not wrong then speak up and depending on the severity one can still be decent in voicing the then important opinion. I think that is much healthier than being a salty asshat on the internet for ages.

Of course this is me ranting and I am fragile when it comes to rude critisim of my work in this blog for example hence me not posting, that I posted on reddit anymore, I gave that more (and of course too much) weight compared to positive reactions, as it is less common for people to go out of their way to show appreciation. There is not enough Burnilein’s out there that have nice things to say and too many salty asshats. And I change the world with that, my world, starting with me. It’s written in ink on my skin. I make it a habit to appreciate and thank nice people, friends and even companies. With reviews and a message or a simple ‘thank you’ to the face or even the ‘I love you’ which I am not afraid to say, because I am aware of my sexuality and don’t care much what others think of that part of me.

Don’t be an asshat! Be nice and know that you are not always right. Working in customer service, the real nice people get the best service – I make sure of that, because that is what I wanted for me. No one I treat like an asshat, but there are people behind every product. Stop shitting on free stuff. Try to enjoy it. Try to see the good that is being done for your enjoyment. I do and I try.

Be the voice of the voiceless and use the energy to thwart bullshit instead or for some nice words, but hey, they don’t cost as much energy, they are basically free.