Monday, October 30, 2017

all there is and ever was

hi sorry! definitely warned you all that this month was gonna be bananas, so here we are at the end of october - always my favourite month - and so much to cover, so little time. (also, all the interesting stuff is stuff i don't talk about because it's personal, just so you know. that's always the way, in case you're new here. but everything is such a fun unpredictable whirlwind right now, and that's all very fine with me)

first things first: did the wrestling last night, even though i've been progressively getting sick and it sucks. i wasn't gonna miss the big return of beloved glam-punk zombie princess jimmy jacobs, hell no.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

i used to scoff at people who bought signed 8x10s, but now i am become one and i'm oddly okay with it. (once you become a sucker for pretty glam boys in eyeliner, you never quite shake it.)

the other big draw for me was the return of wcw's infamous glacier, and boy oh boy was i ever excited:

the entire show was a lot of comedy and good fun, and exactly what i needed, even with impending sickness. plus, even though i went alone, everyone was very nice, i got some free beers and some phone numbers (hahahahaha ah), and ate some delicious lebanese food to end the night. and i made new chikara friends, too!:

(boar wanted a photo with me, it must be noted. i'm iffy on selfies because i always feel like i look like a weird potatoface but i don't hate this one? it's always a little confusing to me if/when i manage to pull off a makeup job properly.)

in the meantime, as per usual, there has been a lot of drinking, and also brunching:

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that same day of the blessed brunch above, emma and i made some amazing scores at the film wardrobe sale two weekends ago - she got the most perfect raccoon-fur hat and a lilac burberry raincoat for under $200(!), while i got a cute pendant necklace for $10 and a pair of grey leather wrist-length gloves lined with rabbit fur for only $20. if you know me at all, you know that i thrive on accessories (and bags, and coats), so it was a major score for me.

i still gotta stick with the fun stuff, though:

so as for the month of travel and partying and good times aplenty, i've mostly recovered. although i think there's something about the weather and the coming early darkness that's throwing me off a bit - i may be a child of the fall forever, but i forgot that the change of season (particularly in november) can make me melancholy and moody for literally no reason at all. i've been doing my best to shake it off, but so many factors come into play and sometimes i have to just muddle through it. blargh.

in the realm of the positives, though, my main birthday gift arrived a few weeks ago!!!:

yeah, uh, that is....very much a rammstein-branded winter parka.

the band has merched just about everything, and they happen to have winter coats, and i wanted one with the fire of a thousand suns, so i asked for the money to order one for my birthday (they do not come cheap and i still had to pay a bit out of pocket). fortunately - especially with the cost, though i get a discount because i'm in the fan club because ha ha of course i am - it turned out to be a super legit parka. it's pretty bulky, but that gives me enough room to wear a hoodie underneath, and it's fully lined and incredibly warm. plus it has a big hood, a tall collar, and deep pockets, all of which my other winter coat doesn't have. so the r+ parka is going to be my standby for the "fuck you, cold weather" days coming up. (it's worth noting that i walk to work/everywhere else, no matter what the weather, so it's important that i'm outfitted correctly)

also it doesn't hurt that it looks cool as hell, plus it's got the band logo blazed on the back and the patches are neat and all the buttons on it are stamped with "rammstein 1994" (they officially formed in 1994, first album came out in 1995). and i'm going to wear the fuck out of it when it's deathly cold outside. honestly, do you actually think i have any shame left at this point? because i don't.

that said, here's another song analysis because this is my blog and fuuuuuuuuck iiiiiiitttt

welcome to their undisputed goth rock anthem, "mein herz brennt" ("my heart burns").

see, rammstein have a solid track history of starting off their albums with total bangers. rosenrot has "benzin", herzeleid has "wollt ihr das bett in flammen sehen?", liebe ist für alle da has "rammlied" (and you have to crank the fuck outta "rammlied"), and so on - but it's their 2001 album mutter that kicks off with "mein herz brennt", and it's a very fitting opening to the album that arguably had the job to keep their momentum going (their previous album, 1997's sehnsucht, had got them buzz, so their follow-up album had to deliver, especially since it'd been a four-year wait).

the song is essentially a creepy bedtime story, a warning to children about ghosts and black fairies that come to steal your tears at night, with the narrator being one of those demons ("ich hab euch etwas mitgebracht / hab es aus meiner Brust gerissen"). but there's a real bit of artistry to the way the song's composed, and it affirmed what a lot of rock critics started calling rammstein's cabaret sensibilities. mutter elevated their sound past the industrial metal/late-90's eurotrash of their previous two albums, putting a new dimension on what they're capable of as a band (they'd evolve even further on their next album, reise, reise, but that one would be another three years in coming) - and it really started with "mein herz brennt", the first track out of the gate.

it opens with samples of strings and rising synth, and the vocals at first sound like they're being filtered through some long distance, starting with "nun liebe Kinder gebt fein acht" ("now dear children, be careful...") before the vocals fully cut in a few lines later along with the drums, and the song really begins. and geez, i can't think of many other songs where everything melds together so perfectly to make something that's so completely the sum of its parts.

care of keyboardist flake, the synth just soars through every bridge and chorus, plus oli's got a really neat chunky bass line underpinning the verses if you listen hard enough. the guitars are there, but they're enhancing rather than overpowering the melody - it's really the synth and the samples that carry it. also till lindemann, the singer, has this great ability to make words sound like they're being torn out of his throat (it's probably even easier when it's german), and the way he screams "mein herz brennt!!" in each chorus just gets me right in the emotions.

speaking of, there's also an official piano version with isolated vocals that kills me every goddamn time (i'll swear up and down that putting "mein herz brennt" solely into piano & vocals makes it one of their best ballads - the track itself appears on the raritäten 1994-2012 album):

(i'm sorry till looks like a living nightmare here, but that's how it goes - it's a real reminder that he's said he doesn't think of himself as a singer, he's more of an entertainer) additionally, the above version makes it easier to focus on till's vocals and the way he can manipulate his voice (the rolling r's are so epic) - our meister can go from a purr to a roar in seconds. i've never heard anything like it. i trained as a vocalist for a couple of years, and i can honestly say that what he has is a god-given talent. it's not something you could ever learn.

you can hear the live rendition here, from the paris show recordings:

there was a time when i watched it on the dvd, and i don't know what it was - might have been pms, might have been life stress - but i just burst into tears. it was something about the rising guitars and the synth (the crescendo starts at 4:11 in the above) and the sight of till raising the flaring heart, eyes closed, his other hand over his actual heart, that just tore me up inside to the point where i started crying from sheer emotion. and it happened when i saw it live for myself, too - my buddy actually looked over at me in concern because i had my hand over my mouth, trying to hold back the sobs. i don't know what it is. i really don't.

maybe you can see for yourself - here's the current live set rendition (this video's from the 2016 festival tour, but they were performing it the same way this year):

yeah, so, he's gone from raising the heart before it explodes to simply having it explode right on his chest. always pushing the boundaries, our meister.

but even now, i listen to the song, and everything just comes together so well - the pounding drums, the guitars, the synth lines, the bass, the vocals, everything. i've always ranked "mein herz brennt" in my top five rammstein songs, though i'm not entirely sure it ever became a smash hit as a single; the fact of that matter is that mutter ended up being rife with some of what would become rammstein's biggest hits - "sonne" and "feuer frei!" chief among them (with "links 2-3-4" and "ich will" bringing up the rear). "mein herz brennt" may have simply become lost in the shuffle. but it's enduring as hell, one of their gothiest (and, in my opinion, most accessible) rock songs to date, and the best way to kick off what ended up becoming their most successful album.

okay, that's all for now. you know who to call if you need german industrial metal recommendations.

[ music | the kills, "doing it to death" ]