Thursday, 29 December 2011

Kinder wann? — Kids when?

„Ich will nicht irgendwo angekommen sein, bevor mein Kind auf der Welt ist, ich will es mitnehmen.“
Patrick Bauer
in „Jetzt ein Baby?“ (Neon, Januar-Ausgabe 2012)

‘I do not want to have arrived somewhere before my child is born, I want to take it with me.’
Patrick Bauer
in ‘A Baby Now?’ (Neon, January edition 2012)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Reviews of Opera Comique

A thorough, negative one — and a superficial, positive one.
From the author, Nagle Jackson, and from the audience (some 900 people in total watched the 9 performances), we got excellent feedback. And we loved performing it.

Let’s start with the good one, from Wort:

Bizet's battle for high art brought to life

The BGT gave a visually stunning performance of Nagle Jackson's Opera Comique at the Abbaye de Neumünster on Wednesday.

As part of a second run, following a successful staging in Mersch last month, the multi-cultural cast easily settled into their new surroundings.

And though they had every reason to be nervous, given that the work's playwright had made a special trip from Paris to watch the performance, it did not show.

The play struck off with a strong opener from Phoebe Smith, playing the buxom and occasionally principled usher. Her strong presence and perfect comic timing ensured the audience was primed for the many laughs which awaited in the script. And, as the play unfolded, we were not disappointed. Jackson's script, penned more than 20 years ago after reading a biography on Bizet, is packed with double-entendres, gags and farce, which still draw the laughs.

The beauty of the script also lies in its timelessness. The BGT performance and, in particular Joachim Cour's knitted-browed interpretation of Bizet, brought out the composer's frustrations with popular music over authentic and original music, echoing a common complaint by contemporary artists.

The point was not overly laboured by the BGT cast, however, and the raunchy shenanigans they portrayed onstage gave rise to enough laughs to ensure audiences did not feel they were being given a lesson in high art appreciation.

Lindsay Wegleitner's Viviane de la Corniche was a mesmerising sight, both for her stunning bustle dress and her chrysalis-like transformation from silent wall flower to verbose man-eater. Watching her declare her undying love and flitting from one man to another, she gave a believable performance of a rebellious teenage coming to terms with her own attractiveness.

On the subject of costumes, Viviane's dress was not the only creation to wow audiences. Costume designer Deborah Cocking pulled off a coup with her four lovingly recreated dresses, described in detail in the programme along with handy language and contextual references, crucial even for a native English speaker like me.

Finally, mention must be given for Karl Pierce's set. Despite Bizet's advice in the script to “Abandon all hope when people start talking about the architecture during the second act”, credit for the set is perfectly merited. The simple but beautifully decorated corridor leading to the Opera Comique boxes, painted with faux marble effect, accompanied by exquisite panel mouldings added another touch of authenticity to what was a visually impressive performance.

The other one, from 352 Luxmag:

Reviewer, Graham Cleverley, likes the pacing and the leads but feels the play itself was a poor choice of inspiration

‘Backstage’ is the word that comes to mind, but it doesn’t exactly describe the story of Nagle Jackson’s Opéra Comique, the BGT production at the Abbaye de Neumünster this week, in which the action takes place in a lounge behind the boxes at the eponymous Opéra Comique theatre in Paris, thus representing the much rarer category of ‘’front of house’ stories.

The location is therefore Paris, the time the rambunctious world première of Bizet’s Carmen, which needs no introduction, the ambiance the haut-bourgeois world of the early Third Republic. All of this is zeroed in on splendidly both by Karl Pierce’s perfect ‘any-day-now-and-we’ll-have-Art-Deco’ and Deborah Cocking’s meticulous costumes, about which a little later.

In this setting we meet two families, a wifeless Paul Vigneron and his son Hector, and an apparently settled married couple, the de la Corniches with their daughter Viviane, who have planned to meet accidentally in order to pair off the children. We also meet the composer himself, anxious that the audience might, with their lack of taste, actually like his work, with a friend, another composer, Ernest Guiraud (at least one assumes so, though the programme said ‘Giraud’). In a subplot a café singer, hardly ambiguously if bilingually, known as La Tartine, arrives seeking to seduce yet another composer, Charles Gounod, into writing an opera for her. And finally we have Odile, more or less the narrator and the dragon that guards the entrance to the boxes,

Quite obviously we are not just in Paris but in the world of the theatre boulevardier; adultery and other immoralities will be breaking out very soon. Unfortunately in so doing on this performance it seems that maybe the theatre boulevardier should be left to the French.

Comedy needs surprise to be funny (as, inversely, Hitchcock pointed out that suspense depended on knowing what is going to happen, and not wanting it to, not in not knowing). And here, once you’ve read the programme, what are you sure is going to happen? Adultery is going to happen. La Tartine is going to have her way with Gounod, which leaves no-one for Vigneron to be adulterous with except Mme and Mlle de la Corniche: that it transpires with both of them is hardly a surprise given the situation.

M. de la Corniche has no outlet for any such impulse, but no apparent impulse in the first place. Odile is out of the question, partly because smart servants don’t get involved. And of course, the intelligent servant will fatten her wallet from her superiors in the time-honoured manner of such servants throughout the history of the theatre. With the scene set and the characters introduced, the piece takes on a rather clockwork feel.

In terms of performance rather than content, Phoebe Smith as Odile adds another success to Thoroughly Modern Millie, Showstoppers and Calamity Jane, this time without singing but with an accent last heard of from Mrs Slocombe (and not dissimilar tastes in opera). She gave her jokes plenty of time to ferment, signalled them sufficiently without hamming, and varied pitch and pace. Essentially it was a faultless performance.

Moreover she looked like she had just walked out from behind the bar in the Manet painting – but wasn’t (genuine question) the bustle somewhat in advance of reality compared to the other women’s?

Also impressive was familiar BGT figure Ariane Spicq as La Tartine, in particular because she injected a genuinely French fillip into the characterisation without losing intelligibility. Joachim Cour as Bizet, Patrick Schomaker as Guiraud, and Pierre-Yves Lanneau-Saint-Leger as Gounod (again familiar from recent BGT productions) also presented us with a little more esprit gaulois in their satirical depictions of the composers, especially Bizet’s disdain for the audience, Gounod’s readiness for sin despite devoting himself at the time to church music.. Unfortunately Pierre-Yves suffered somewhat from becoming unintelligible when excited, and satirising Gounod’s conscience demanded a rather more rarefied audience than was at hand.

Which leaves the families, among whom Bjarn Clasen was his usual reliable self as M. Vigneron. Unusually, Stephen Anderson was not as reliable as usual as M. de la Corniche: for once his Americanism was a handicap, but he did also have a very weak part. 1875 was nearly the height of the duelling tradition in France, especially among the aspirants to minor nobility. Confronted with the adultery of his wife with Vigneron, an 1870s de la Corniche (or de la Anything) would have said ‘you will hear from my seconds…' not ‘you will hear from my attorneys…’ In fact it might have been funnier too, adding a Don Quixote touch to the way de la Corniche was played.

June Lowery playing Mme de la Corniche had a considerable part well speckled with wordplay and jokes, but while you could hear everyone of them, on the whole they passed by without leaving much of a ripple, lacking pointing and being produced with little variation in dynamics, pace or pitch – unusually for her.

Of the two children, Robin Edds as Hector has least to do, except appear stupid and obsessed with women’s’ clothes – or, rather, imaginarily removing them, so that he falls into a awkward staring pose every time a woman appears in view. He managed the awkward poses well, but the joke wears thin. Lindsay Wegleitner as Viviane has two running jokes, one her readiness to fall into bed, or any handy equivalent, with anyone old enough and the other an inability to stop laughing, paralleling her mother’s inability to stop crying for something like half an act, for no reason readily apparent to the audience. Mind you she laughs well.

Generally speaking all the running jokes that substitute for characterisation keep running after they have had their lap of honour, which is the fault of the play. Other jokes in the script fail to register with the audience, which is the fault of the players, and eventually of the director. Otherwise though the direction is successful, in that movement is logical, properly paced, and serves well to keep the focus shifting with the changes from one subplot to another.

But the main fault I suspect lies in choosing the play in the first place.

But, as I said, we had fun. And so had (the vast majority of) the audiences.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Half A Genius

I’m half a genius
Or a half genius
Not sure
Maybe I’m no genius
At all
‘Cause it’s one of these
That on Earth is
If you’re not unquestionably
A genius
You’re not a genius
At all
Except of course those
About whom people discuss
Whether they are genius
Or just plain mad
But I’m not mad
So maybe I’m just plain

© Bjørn Clasen

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


This summer, one of my Slovenian friends, Maruška, who is such brilliant photographer that she should make a living of it, took some portrait photographs for my website.

Here is part of the result, as well as her description.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Meine Kandidatur für die Wahl zum FC-Verwaltungsrat

Liebe FC-Mitglieder

Die Mitgliederversammlung steht kurz bevor, und darunter auch die Wahl zum Verwaltungsrat. Ich habe beschlossen, für diesen zu kandidieren und brauche daher bis Sonntag 50 Unterschriften, die meine Kandidatur unterstützen.

Wer mich dabei helfen will, kann mich kontaktieren (fc [at] Ich werde Ihnen dann einen Bogen zuschicken, wo Sie (und natürlich gerne auch andere Mitglieder in Ihrem Umfeld) sich mit Name, Mitgliedsnummer und Unterschrift eintragen können. Ausgefüllt können Sie den Bogen dann scannen und per E-Mail an mich zurückschicken (Original unbedingt aufbewahren; den brauche ich später) oder eventuell am 30. persönlich an mir abgeben.

Unterschreiben kann jede(r), die/der bei der Mitgliederversammlung Stimmrecht hat (auch wenn Sie nicht kommen bzw. mich nicht wählen), d.h. am 13. November 2011 mindestens 18 Jahre alt ist. Dabei ist es wichtig, dass Sie nicht nur Ihren Namen, sondern auch Ihre FC-Mitgliedsnummer angeben!

Ein Bisschen über mich:
Ich bin ein lebendiger Beweis für „einmal FC, immer FC!“. Die Geschichte ist zu lang um hier zu erklären, aber sagen wir mal, dass obwohl ich Däne bin und in Luxemburg aufgewachsen bin, steht die Bundesliga für mich über die Champions League, der FC, selbst in den Jahren in Liga Zwei, über jeden anderen Verein, national wie international. Dass 50.000 Zuschauer aufstehen und das FC-Lied 10 Minuten vor Schluss am letzten Spieltag in der letzten Abstiegssaison singen sagt für mich eigentlich alles. Ich war dabei. Und habe ironischerweise an diesem traurigen Tag mein Herz endgültig an den FC verloren. Seitdem fahre ich so oft, es meine Zeit und mein Geld es überhaupt erlauben, ins RheinEnergieStadion, zu Auswärtsspielen oder einfach nur nach Kölle. Könnte ich nach Kölle ziehen, würde ich es tun.

Ein Lebenslauf schicke ich gerne auf Anfrage. Online gibt es einen hier. Dazu können Sie auch gerne meine Firmenseite besuchen.

Einige Punkte wozu ich stehe:

— Der FC ist laut mehreren Untersuchungen einer der allerbesten Vereine Deutschlands im Bereich Fan-Service und Branding. Diese Position müssen wir auch in Zukunft halten und erweitern. Ich bin für eine Fortsetzung und einen Ausbau des Dialogs zwischen dem Verein, seine Mitglieder und seine Fans. Denn unsere Herzen schlagen alle für den FC.

— Profi-Fußball ist auch Geschäft. Darum heisst es Profi-Fußball. Der FC muss sich realistische sportliche und daher auch wirtschaftliche Ziele setzen. Diese müssten auch ambitiös sein, wobei man beachten soll, dass man laufen können muss, bevor man versucht zu sprinten. Stabilität ist das Schlüsselwort; so kommt der FC wieder voran, Schritt für Schritt. Dabei muss der FC nie einen Scheich-Spielzeug werden. Lieber eine Dauermitgliedschaft in der Bundesliga, mit kleinem Geld und mäßigen Ergebnissen (und dann in 2020 Meister werden) als eine durch „einfaches“ Geld gekaufte Spitzenposition, oder dieses ewige Zig-Zag zwischen den Ligen weil man zu früh zu hoch strebt.
— Auch hier gilt die Transparenz: Der Verein muss um seine Ziele offen sein, und darüber ehrlich bleiben wenn und warum etwas weniger gut läuft.
— Konkret könnte man überlegen, eine lebenslange FC-Mitgliedschaft anzubieten, zum Preis von z.B. 20 Jahre Mitgliedschaft. Die Rentabilität muss natürlich erst überprüft werden.

Übrigens habe ich die FC-Hymne in mehreren Sprachen übersetzt. Demnächst im Geißbock-Echo zu lesen!

Für Fragen bin ich natürlich offen. Schreiben Sie mir einfach.
Ich bedanke mich bei Ihnen sehr herzlich für jede Unterstützung und für Ihr Vertrauen!
Mit FCreundlichen Grüßen
Bjørn Clasen

Hilarious ad

Humour involving stereotyping mostly works — probably because it confirms people’s little prejudices, so they can relate to it. Apparently, Norwegians have slightly different stereotypes of their close and less close neighbours, as this ad shows.

Upper row from left to right: Norway, Sweden, Denmark (what!?! WE are the ones who drink??!!?), Finland, Czech Republic.

Middle row: Poland (love this one!!), Estonia, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria.

Lower row: Hungary, France, Italy, Spain, Slovakia.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Cute pandas vs ugly slugs

‘[B]ecause pandas are so “cute” governments are spending a lot of money per individual to keep them going as opposed to spending that money on far less charismatic creatures, like sea slugs, Nembortha megalocera, for example, whose tentacles contain highly evolved nerve endings and synapses where chemical transmitters and signal transduction are comparable at many levels to the workings of the human brain, with its hundred billion nerve cells. Is being “cute” the criterion for conservation resource allocations? This is just one type of problem in reconciling the human condition with the condition of the planet’s biodiversity.’
Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison
in ‘God’s Own Country: The New Zealand Factor’

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Emil Aarestrup

Aarestrups digte er noget af det smukkeste, der nogensinde er skabt på dansk.
Her et — yderst beskedent — udvalg. Begyndende med mit yndlingsdigt.

“Til En Veninde”

Der er en Trolddom paa din Læbe,
Der er en Afgrund i dit Blik,
Der er i Lyden af din Stemme
En Drøms ætheriske Musik.

Der er en Klarhed paa din Pande,
Der er et Mørke i dit Haar,
Der er en Strøm af Blomsteraande
Omkring dig, hvor du staaer og gaaer.

Der er en Skat af evig Viisdom
I Smilehullet paa din Kind,
Der er en Brønd, en Sundhedskilde
For alle Hjerter, i dit Sind.

Der er en Verden i dit Indre,
En sværmerisk, chaotisk Vaar —
Som jeg umulig kan forglemme,
Som jeg tilbeder og forstaaer.


Der var en Tid, jeg troede ei paa Gud,
Og havde intet Haab om Evighed;
Tilintetgjørelsens uhyre Ro
Var mine mørke Tankers Ideal.
Men siden jeg har følt en Lidenskab
Som den, jeg nu besjæles af:
Har jeg begyndt at troe, der er en Gud,
Og har det Haab, der er en Evighed.

fjerde og sidste strofe af “Fortvivlelse”

Jeg vælter mig i mine Flammer
Og har det — saavidt — ganske godt:
Jeg har endnu min gamle Latter,
Min Djævlefrækhed, og min Spot.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Interessante bydemåder

Dansk har masser af sjovtlydende eller i deres betydning groteske bydemåder at …øh …byde på. Her et beskedent udvalg.


Friday, 26 August 2011

Fra dengang, det hed “edb”

Sjov læsning fra 1988 om almindelig omgang med Piccolinen, såfremt Partneren er tændt.

(Klik på et billede for at se det større.)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

FC Cologne, We Stand By You

The FC Cologne anthem in English — ©2011 Bjørn Clasen
Translated from the ‘kölsch’ version — Melody: ‘The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond’

Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh and London Town
Everywhere, you’ll find FC supporters
In Sydney, New York, Brighton, Cardiff and in Cork
Everywhere, there are FC supporters

Yesterday and today, whether joy or sometimes pain
It’s the feeling that makes FC Kölle
Forward or back, each new game brings us new luck
That’s the feeling that makes FC Kölle

We swear to you on our honour and pride
FC Cologne, we stand by you
And we’ll go with you on each rollercoaster ride
We will always support FC Kölle

The old and the young, the poor and the rich
Together we are strong, FC Kölle
Through thick and through thin, through the fire, everywhere
Together we stand, FC Kölle

We swear to you on our honour and pride
FC Cologne, we stand by you
And we’ll go with you on each rollercoaster ride
We will always support FC Kölle

We swear to you on our honour and pride
FC Cologne, we stand by you
And we’ll go with you on each rollercoaster ride
We will always support FC Kölle

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Vi Er Med Dig, FC Kölle

1. FC Kölns fanhymne på dansk — ©2011 Bjørn Clasen
Oversat fra den “kölsche” udgave — Melodi: ‘The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond’

Odense, København, Aalborg, Århus, Aabenraa
Overalt er der fans af FC Kölle
I Tórshavn og Nuuk, på Bornholm og i Hobro
Overalt er der fans af FC Kölle

I går og i dag, om det går frem eller tilbag’
Er det følelsen af FC Kölle
Om op eller ned, lykkebringer er vor ged
Det er følelsen af FC Kölle

Stolthed og ære, det sværger vi på
Vi er med dig, FC Kölle
Og vi følger dig gennem ild hvis det ska’ vær’
Vi vil altid vær’ dig tro, FC Kölle

Gammel som ung, og fattig som rig
Sammen er vi stærkest, FC Kölle
Hvor end det går hen, gennem tykt og gennem tyndt
Er det sammen vi er bedst, FC Kölle

Stolthed og ære, det sværger vi på
Vi er med dig, FC Kölle
Og vi følger dig gennem ild hvis det ska’ vær’
Vi vil altid vær’ dig tro, FC Kölle

Stolthed og ære, det sværger vi på
Vi er med dig, FC Kölle
Og vi følger dig gennem ild hvis det ska’ vær’
Vi vil altid vær’ dig tro, FC Kölle

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Dans Toute Éternité, FC Kölle

L’hymne de FC Cologne en français — ©2011 Bjørn Clasen
Traduit de la version «kölsch» — Mélodie: ‘The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond’

Saint-Étienne, Nice et Cannes, à Paris, Caen et Lyon
Supporteurs du FC, y en a partout
Genève et Bruxelles, et à l’île de Réunion
On en trouve qui supportent FC Kölle

La joie et les larmes, au passé comme au futur
L’émotion est en toi, FC Kölle
Des hauts et des bas, chaque défi est une chance
C’est bien ça, l’émotion FC Kölle

Nous te jurons sur l’honneur d’être fidèle
De te soutenir, FC Kölle
Et nous y tenons, même de traverser le feu
Dans toute éternité, FC Kölle

Jeunes ou âgés, les pauvres comme les riches
Unis, nous sommes forts, FC Kölle
Obstacles et défis, peu importe où tu nous mènes
Nous tenons tous ensemble, FC Kölle

Nous te jurons sur l'honneur d'être fidèle
De te soutenir, FC Kölle
Et nous y tenons, même de traverser le feu
Dans toute éternité, FC Kölle

Nous te jurons sur l'honneur d'être fidèle
De te soutenir, FC Kölle
Et nous y tenons, même de traverser le feu
Dans toute éternité, FC Kölle

Monday, 22 August 2011

Sprogblomster fra korrekturlæsning

Ku’ jeg lige få dén en gang til?
Fagsprog kan være totalt uforståeligt for os almindelige jordiske. Fx nævner en særberetning fra 1998, at »EFSR og SPD for M1 blev endelig vedtaget i sommeren 1994 og EFSR og SPD for M2 i december 1994. Efterfølgende måtte man konkretisere EFSR gennem vedtagelsen af OP, globaltilskud og bestemte projekter.« Konkretiseres? Ja, det er lige ordet!

På den anden side kan forfatteren også undervurdere læserens intellekt. Hvor mange mon hopper på følgende fodnote: (4) Se fodnote 4.«? De, der gør, kommer i hvert fald aldrig videre med teksten i den pågældende beslutning.

Det sker meget tit, at det kompakte sprog i retsakter åbner mulighed for komiske misforståelser. I en retsakt om veterinærlægemidler omtales »æglæggende fugle, malkedyr eller honningbier«; jeg har ellers lært, at både køer og geder føder levende unger, men der er muligvis hér tale om genetisk ændrede arter.

Den seksuelle frigørelse må siges at være slået igennem, når en institution »i sin personalepolitik [går] ind for lige muligheder for kvinder og mænd i alle stillinger

Til gengæld tyder følgende på diskrimination af det ellers såkaldt stærke køn: »Tekniske specifikationer og detaljerede tegninger for Hybrid III, der svarer til de vigtigste mål på en amerikansk mandsperson, som repræsenterer 50 %-fraktilen, samt specifikationerne for dens justering med henblik på denne prøve, beror hos De Forenede Nationers generalsekretær og kan på anmodning besigtiges på sekretariatet for Den Økonomiske Kommission for Europa, Palais des Nations, Genève, Schweiz.«

I ekstreme tilfælde lader det endda til, at retsakter paradoksalt nok opfordrer til ulovligheder. En retsakt bærer således titlen »Direktiv om anvendelse af udlejningskøretøjer uden fører til godstransport ad landevej«. Ikke overraskende, at spøgelsesbilister er så frygtet.

Etikken kan synes noget mangelfuld i følgende titel: »Sammenlignende vurdering af de i dag anvendte socialpolitiske løsninger og de forskellige aktørers rolle med hensyn til udviklingen i socialudstødelsesformer og -processer i Europa«.

Endnu mere forargeligt lyder det, når der indkaldes forslag til »Initiativet »Vold i skolen««! Mon det er princippet om omvendt psykologi, der her søges taget i brug?

Ind imellem er der problemer med de græske bogstaver. Således er den græsksprogede af de 11 overskrifter på en oversigt over udvælgelsesprøver angivet som »ÄÉÁÃÙÍÓÌÏÉ«. Jeg troede ellers, de også havde konsonanter på græsk.

at bekæfte = at tilsmudse højlydt
at fremslægge = at slække på noget på forhånd. Fx at fremslægge yderligere beviser = at slække på bevisbyrden på forhånd
fuldtud = fænomenet, når alkoholikeres næser bliver rødsprængte
gæld-ende = når hele ens gæld er betalt
hoveproduktion = skomageri, fx til heste
myndiged = ged fra Myndien (græsk region)
at råspørge = at spørge meget kontant. Bruges fx i forbindelse med afhøring af kriminelle
tegnebøge = bøgetræ-art, specielt velegnet til fremstilling af blyanter
tråffes = konjunktiv præsens af træffes (gammel form)
underskuttet = når man endnu ikke har skuttet sig nok til at have fået varmen

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Danish Dynamite

EM-triumfen i 1992 er naturligvis det største, dansk fodbold har præsteret. Men jeg har samlet nogle andre højdepunkter fra nyere tid.

(I øvrigt har Dansk Boldspil-Union en glimrende søgebase på alle landskampe)

»En fullllldstænnndig vanvittig vinkel å' skyde fra, den dér!«

Fra dengang Laudrup kunne styre russerne (»han er altså ikk' mere end 20 år«), Lerby havde lov til at spille uden benskinner, og fodboldkommentatorer ― som her Svend Gehrs ― lød alvorlige. Det meste af tiden.

VM-kvalifikation i København, 5/6-85: Danmark-Sovjet 4:2 ― 1. halvleg

2. halvleg

Kortere sammendrag af begge halvlege, for de travle

»¡Estamos en México!«

VM-kvalifikation i Oslo, 16/10-85: Norge-Danmark 1:5 ― sammendrag

Antihelt Arnesen

Fra dengang enkelte hold stadig spillede fodbold i stedet for på resultattaktik (forklaring i det andet klips begyndelse), liberoer ikke var mere specialister end at de turde gå med frem, og enkelte spillere stadig viste sportsånd. Selv når det var for sent.

VM i Querétaro, 13/6-86: Danmark-Vesttyskland 2:0 ― sammendrag med langsomme gengivelser

Sammendrag med kommentarer før og efter

Uden kommentarer

OL-/ungdomslandsholdet kan også. Desværre rakte det ikke til kvalifikation pga. en slem skrivebordsfejl i Dansk Boldspil-Union.

OL-kvalifikation i Aalborg, 10/6-87: Danmark-Rumænien 8:0 ― Danmarks mål uden kommentarer

Syv mål af syv forskellige spillere

Nogle år senere blev Danmark europamester. Det tog noget længere tid, før grækerne præsterede det samme...

VM-kvalifikation i København, 17/5-89: Danmark-Grækenland 7:1 ― Danmarks mål

»Dinamarca estaba jugando su mejor partido internacional desde que ganar el campeonato europeo seis años antes...«

Piter Muler, Braian Laudrup, Ebe Sán y Tómas Élbe...

VM i Saint-Denis, 28/6-98: Nigeria-Danmark 1:4 ― Danmarks mål med kommentar på spansk

»Og der' mål. Der' kasse. Simpelthen.«

En mindre betydende, men ikke mindre flot og i øvrigt historisk sejr, som jeg faktisk havde glemt, over verdens bedst betalte spillere ― fra en tid med nærmest intetsigende kommentarer.

Træningskamp i København, 17/8-5: Danmark-England 4:1 ― Danmarks mål

»Ja'm det jo dejligt!«
»Ja, det tæller altsammen, jo!«

Endnu et bevis på, at held kommer, når man søger det. Selv fulgte jeg kampen på en portugisisk kafe i portugiserkvarteret, jeg bor i. Fadostemning. Fantastisk.

VM-kvalifikation i Lisboa, 10/9-8: Portugal-Danmark 2:3 ― de sidste 10 minutter uden klip

Indsatsen, resultatet og sejren i Portugal mindede mig om en kamp mod Belgien, som jeg derfor vil runde af med, selvom den kronologisk ligger allerførst...

EM i Strasbourg, 19/6-84: Danmark-Belgien 3:2 ― målene, med engelsk kommentar

We are red, we are white
We're still Danish Dynamite!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

From the Mexico Trip archive — Previously Unreleased

I could tell about all I the things I haven’t found time to blog.

About Andres, the Plazuela Bastida market clothes seller. Who liked my worn-out green jeans and asked me for a price. Of course I gave them to him, along with a bunch of T-shirts, a small towel and a pair of shoes, which I all had thought of leaving in the hotel anyway. In return, I got his address and a photo of him and his beautiful 3-year old daughter. Father of five, forty years old. Andres of Oaxaca.

About the book fair, local style. A poster with a reading grasshopper. A simple entrance portal. Stalls with stacks and shelves of books. Cubes for storage and for meeting rooms and relaxation, in straightforward red, yellow, blue and green. Paul Auster and Siri Somethingnordicsounding doing readings at the theatre, for the wannabeseens. Frankfurt go home. Why make it elaborate when you can make it simple. 28th Oaxaca Book Fair.

About the coffee place, called Xiguila, in the lovely neighbourhood Jalatlaco. Not just the organic coffee shop I thought it was but the best eatery I experienced in Oaxaca. Last meal there, best place. Xiguila in Jalatlaco.

About Dionisio, the artist, just next door to the coffee place. Sitting around his sand painting of skulls, a candle in each corner, and surrounded by skulls painted on the wall. Drinking mezcal and beer and eating typical Day Of The Dead food and drinking more mezcal and more beer. And admiring his art, the diversity of his artistic talent. Dionisio Martínez, artist, Jalatlaco.

About Etla. The parades of people in amazingly elaborate costumes, political or otherwise satirical statements, those clad in hundreds of mirrors, dancing on the plaza in front of San Agustín Etla’s church, then parading and dancing in people's gardens. All night. Dancing. Celebrating death. Etla, outside Oaxaca.

About folk metal. A genre mixing heavy metal with, well, folk. Got to know it from my roommate at the Reality Tour. Found out i already knew a group — Closterkeller singing in Polish ― playing that sort of thing, just didn’t know it was called like that. Dalriada, Eluveitie, Arkona. Folk metal.

About icebreaking. ‘Write up your best or worst or most hilarious travel experience in no more than 20 words, and then the others have to guess who wrote it’. And this, before anyone knew each other at the travel writers’ boot camp. My contribution, only one I could fit into twenty words:
18 bears catching salmon, grabbing into the water, waiting for them to jump, or stealing other bears’ catch. Katmai, Alaska.
Most thought the drinking stories or the Asia ones were me. It did break the ice.

About Monte Albán. A pre-Hispanic city. Its pyramids, its sacred places, its enormous squares, its ball games, its museum and souvenir shop. Finally a decent selection of postcards, and Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera as paper dolls. Best of all, an answer to the question why the steps on the pyramids are so high when the inhabitants were so small ― explanation: Because the summit of the pyramids as a religious place had to demand an effort to reach. Whereas we, in our civilisation, try to think practical. I buy that. Monte Albán, and the lesser Mitla, archeological sites outside Oaxaca.

About weaving. Teotitlán del Valle, weavers’ village. A visit to José Buenaventura, weaver using natural dyes for all of his carpets and other works, except for purple and turquoise, which you cannot get from plants or insects like the other colours. Weavers’ village, Teotitlán outside Oaxaca.

New word: casanueces = nutcracker

Quote: ‘Del rayo te escaparás, pero de la raya no.’
(Recopilación de Elodia Miranda Santiago)

©2008/2011 Bjørn Clasen

Friday, 19 August 2011

Eins meiner Lieblingslogos

Das Logo der Kölner Zoo ist einfach genial. Beim ersten Blick einfach ein Elefant. Dann entdeckt man zwei weitere Tiere, die die Silhouette des Elefanten ausmachen — zusammen mit dem Wahrzeichen der Stadt Köln schlechthin, er Kölner Dom.

So einfach geht das. Genial. Einfach genial.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Gensyn med “Er DU Tintinolog?”

Nettet er ny nyttigt. Jeg har nu opdateret en milepæl fra min fortid — som er god reklame for, hvad jeg kunne (og stadig kan)…

Bogen kan i øvrigt stadig fås hos fx Faraos Cigarer i København. Og jeg signerer den gerne ved lejlighed.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

What shall… we use… to fill… the empty… spaces…

That’s what Pink Floyd sang three decades ago on legendary ‘The Wall’.

Three years ago, I attended a statistics trade fair in Lisbon. One stand remained like this:

…kinda ironic when you see the name above. Looks like they really do need to populate Minnesota. Or maybe the representatives were so amazed by the Portuguese weather as opposed to cold Minnesota that they simply found better things to do, out in town.

Another stand, just as unfull, maybe remained like that for almost the opposite reason. Luxembourg is rich, at least in official GNP terms. So why bother manning a stand to study income? I mean, they know how to generate one. Or they didn’t particularly need to increase it, what with being rich and all.

Enough fair. Fair enough.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Huskedigt II

se Huskedigt I

Uden Titel
af Bjørn Clasen

Nina, min ven i Laos’, to kroer
Penge på gulvet. Kaffe
Bacardi 2 Go
Slem hangover igen
Kopieres, smøres ud

Pia bryder isen
En minutafgørelse i reklamationsparlamentet
Need war, Peter?
Wild cow!

Alarm! Strand — undergrund!
Åbn fløjteparaden!
Alpha 101
Forsigtig hedning roser fjernsynet
Danmark, gå og gø

Meine FC-Wunschelf

Meine FC-Wunschelf

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

‘Opera Comique’ — a comedy in English

BGT English Language Theatre

a comedy in English

by Nagle Jackson
Kulturhaus Mersch
Wednesday 5th October to Saturday 8th October at 20.00
Tickets €15.00 (€8.00 reduction)

Following the great success of “JANE EYRE” in 2010, the BGT is pleased to return to Mersch with “OPERA COMIQUE”, a hilarious comedy set at the premiere of Bizet’s “Carmen” in 1875.

A group of wealthy Parisians is visiting the Opera… but not for the show. Monsieur and Madame Corniche want their daughter, Viviane, to marry Hector Vigneron. But Viviane falls in love with Hector’s father …who is having an affair with her mother. Meanwhile “La Tartine” is trying to seduce the great composer Gounod. And amid all this, Bizet is in despair at the poor reception of his new work. “Carmen” may be a tale of passion, sex and betrayal …but it’s nothing compared to what is happening in the audience!

Actors: Phoebe Smith, Bjørn Clasen, Steven Anderson, June Lowery, Lindsay Wegleitner, Joachim Cour, Pierre-Yves Lanneau Saint- Leger, Ariane Spicq, Robin Edds and Patrick Schomaker

Design: Karl Pierce
Producer: June Lowery
Director: Tony Kingston

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Advanzia MasterCard: Verwirrung Total

Sehr geehrter Kundendienst

Ich habe gerade telefonisch einen SecureCode angefragt und per E-Mail dann auch sofort erhalten. Ich wollte sie dann aktivieren, damit sie nicht abläuft:

auf der Seite klicke ich auf "hier registrieren"

ich komme dann zur Seite, wo ich dann auf "Jetzt anmelden" klicke

um auf NOCH eine Seite zu landen, nämlich, wo ich dann zum dritten Mal einen Registrierungs-/Anmeldungsknopf klicken muss, diesmal mit dem Namen "Registrieren"

wenn ich das tue, kommt allerdings dieselbe Seite,, wieder. Also eine Ewigkeitslücke.

Noch ‘was: In Ihrem E-Mail ist als Ihre Adresse angegeben. Wenn man an diese schreibt, heisst es im Adressenfeld allerdings “Bitte nicht antworten”.

Es ist sehr verwirrend, und ich habe jetzt eine Stunde gebraucht, ohne meinen Internetkauf überhaupt ausführen zu können. Da frage ich mich zweierlei:

1) Wozu habe ich überhaupt eine Kreditkarte, wenn es so umständlich/unverständlich ist, sie zu benutzen

2) Wie kann ich Ihnen als Kommunikationsexperte helfen, Ihren Kundendienst zu verbessern, damit Ihre Kunden auch bleiben, und Ihnen weiterempfehlen?

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Bjørn Clasen
Career, Creativity & Communication Coach
Clasen Coaching & Consulting

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Brief an Nena

Hallo Nena

Aus Liebe zu deiner Musik, und da wir wissen, wie du Kinder liebst, möchten wir dieses Tolle Foto mit dir teilen.

Seit nunmehr fünf Jahren ist es für uns Tradition mindestens einmal im Jahr zu ein Nena-Konzert zu fahren, am liebsten Open Air. Dabei wohnen wir in unterschiedlichen Ecken außerhalb Deutschlands und machen uns immer die Mühe, eine Stadt zu finden, wozu wir alle recht einfach reisen können ...und wo du auch auftretest. “Wir” sind übrigens Steen aus Jütland in Dänemark, sein Sohn Kristoffer aus Kopenhagen und Bruder bzw. Onkel Bjørn, der in Luxemburg wohnt.

Da Steen schon als Teenie großer Nena-Fan war ist auch Bjørn mit dieser Musik aufgewachsen, und die Begeisterung ist jetzt in der nächsten Generation weitergeführt, indem Kristoffer als heutiger Teenie lieber Nena hört (obwohl er nur wenig Deutsch spricht) als all dem, was seine Gleichaltrigen sonst hören.

Wenn immer es möglich ist sind auch Steens Frau Merian und deren vier kleinen Töchter Mynte (4 Jahre), Merle & Nælde (beide 2) und Cirkel (6 Monate) bei den Konzerten dabei. Da das in diesem Jahr in Bad Segeberg nicht der Fall war, hat Papi aber Nena-Mützen und Nena-T-shirts für alle besorgt. Auf dem Foto sind es von links nach rechts Merle, Mynte, Cirkel und Nælde. Vielleicht schaffen wir es ja im Sommer noch einmal zu ein Konzert zu fahren, alle gemeinsam, damit der Nachwuchs auch Live ihre Begeisterung zeigen kann.

Die allerliebsten Grüße
Familie Clasen

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Ståles nye klub — lidt om 1. FC Kölns spillere

Frits Adler fra har skrevet en artikel om 1. FC Köln — en udmærket minianalyse af nogle af holdets førstevalg blandt spillerne. Bortset fra, at de polske landsholdsspillere Adam Matuschyk og Sławomir Peszko end ikke er nævnt, var der et par smuttere, som jeg fik Adler til at rette.

Adler skrev oprindelig, at klubben skal forstærke sig på målmandspladsen. Men faktisk er Kölns Michael Rensing ifølge kicker forårets bedste målmand i Bundesligaen, og den bedste spiller i det hele taget, der ikke spiller for mestrene fra Dortmund. Desuden ejer 1. FC Köln stortalentet Michael Kessler. I denne sæson var han udlejet til FC St. Pauli og vil sikkert igen blive lejet ud til en anden klub, idet han fortjener spilletid.

Af profiler kan også nævnes den portugisiske tidligere stjerne Petit; en af Bundesligaens allerbedste forsvarsspillere, brasilianeren Geromel; og ikke mindst Milivoje Novakovič, som blev nummer tre på ligaens topscorerliste i år. Måske ikke verdensstjerner, men helt klart profiler. Adler skrev dog, at der ikke er mange profiler ud over Podolski, hvorfor jeg ikke ville klandre ham for dèn.

Endvidere hed det, at »Flere af de største tyske landsholdsspillere — herunder også flere danske — har spillet for Gedebukkene, der er klubbens kælenavn.« Sætningen var vist ikke helt korrekt (tyske landsholdsspillere, herunder danske…) — men derudover har store navne som Klaus Fischer og Rainer Bonhof og ikke-tyskere som fx Tony Woodcock og Toni Polster, for nu at nævne nogle ganske få, også spillet for Gedebukkene. Adler valgte helt at tage dette ud i anden udgave af sin artikel.

Sidst men ikke mindst glemte jeg at gøre ham opmærksom på, at Brečko bestemt ikke erpublikumsyndling. Personligt har jeg altid syntes rigtig godt om Brečko — jeg har endda hans træningstrøje fra for et par år siden — men han er den spiller, der oftest kritiseres, når jeg taler med andre 1. FC Köln-fans. Så generelt er han ikke så populær. Publikumskæledæggerne er Geromel og naturligvis Podolski og nu også Rensing.

Men rart, at der findes journalister, der tager konstruktiv kritik til sig. Og retter op. Tak til Frits Adler.

Jeg tænker i øvrigt på at kontakte Ståle Solbakken, hvis nu coachen har brug for en personlig coach. Han får i hvert fald sin sag for i Köln, både inden for klubbens mure og med omgivelserne i mediebyen. Jeg glæder mig virkelig til at se, hvad der kommer ud af det. Forhåbentlig først og fremmest stabilitet, og på lidt længere sigt étcifrede placeringer i slutstillingen.

Mer stonn zo dir, FC Kölle!!

Bjørn Clasen

Monday, 23 May 2011

Un faux chemin vers le mauvais but

« Le rêve d’indépendance financière est toujours très répandu dans les pays industrialisés. Voilà pourquoi nous nous échinons toute la journée et passons le plus clair de notre temps à travailler, alors que la plupart d’entre nous n’arriveront jamais à être vraiment « libres ». L’argent et le prestige occupent les deux plus hautes marches de notre système personnel de valeurs, avant même la famille et les amis. C’est d’autant plus étonnant que l’échelle de valeurs des économistes du bonheur est exactement l’inverse. Selon cette évaluation, il n’y a rien qui rende plus heureux que les relations interpersonnelles, c’est-à-dire les échanges avec sa famille, son ou sa partenaire, ses enfants et ses amis. En deuxième position vient le sentiment d’être utile ; puis, selon les circonstances, arrivent la santé et la liberté. Si l’on se fie donc à cette échelle de valeurs, on peut dire que la plupart des gens des pays riches se trompent en accordant autant d’importance à l’argent : ils ne font que prendre de mauvaises décisions. Ils cherchent à atteindre une sécurité qu’ils n’auront sans doute jamais. Ils sacrifient leur liberté et leur autonomie pour un salaire toujours plus élevé. Et ils achètent des choses dont ils n’ont pas besoin pour impressionner des gens qu’ils n’aiment pas avec de l’argent qu’ils n’ont pas. »

Richard David Precht
Dans l’essai « Vanuatu — les îles de la félicité. Qu’est-ce qu’une vie heureuse ? »

Monday, 18 April 2011

The European Union is not attractive

‘The European Union has somehow lost its sex appeal. There is no clear direction, and that is a problem […]. The current President, Barroso, is a bureaucrat; nobody knows the others in the European Union top.’

Jacek Kochanowicz, professor at the University of Warsaw
in Berlingske Tidende, 6 April 2011: ‘Let forkølelse i Polen’ by Michael Kuttner
(quotation translated from Danish to English by Bjørn Clasen)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Little-known bands, Part VII:

Mango Mache

Beloved 'Mama of soul', born around 79 in the poor outskirts of Forquanesian (ERO) as Bisou Mukelele Machéba. After a troubled childhood and youth, during which she lived on the street most of the time, she started to become the symbol for those struggling for their existence in the unfavoured neighborhoods of Forquanesian, by singing with different soul folk groups in cafés and clubs from a mature age.

As this suburban music style became popular with a wider audience both geographically and in terms of society class, she was considered a pioneer, and her amazing and powerful voice soon echoed from radios all over Central Alouang.

Without ever having aimed for it, she suddenly began earning even very good money. Donating a major part of it to the groups of people sharing her background, Mango Mache has never left her roots behind. While frequenting parts of the intellectuals' higher layers, she still lives in a suburb of Forquanesian.

In recent years, Mango Mache has not only given concerts but also recorded with a wide range of musicians known from other genres.


Fusion project from Forquanesian (ERO), combining most everything from jazz and funk via classical elements to pop and new wave, and consisting of sometimes up to 30 musicians and singers.

As forerunners for this kind of musical collective, where the values are peace, love and no drugs, Muzicq gained enormous popularity in Alouang and beyond already with their first release, their self-titled EP from 32. Especially the songs Zabou Et La Détente [Zabou And Relaxation] and Danse Vers La Lumière [Dance Towards The Light] got a whole lot of airplay and were both included in new, more profesionally recorded versions on the full album Écoute [Listen], released the year after.

Currently Muzicq are working on a new album sung in Savanese, incorporating musicians playing traditional instruments as well as tribe singers from Southwestern Alouang.

The Porridgeheads

Speedrock band formed in Westwimpton (LTL). With what one music critic called 'melodic noise', this band of wild youngsters gained cult status.

Though The Porridgeheads released no less than five regular studio albums in just three years, its lineup changed constantly ― the band has been everything from a quartet to a septet, with keyboarder and occasional singer Mark Boling and bass player Rich(ard) Coolman being the only ones featuring on all albums.

The debut Green Porridge was released in May 32 and was followed by White Porridge only four(!) months later. May 33 saw the release of Pink Porridge, a surprising experiment with strong psychedelic influences, just as courageously remixed on Pink Pudding, released two months later.

The changing band members' obvious alcohol and drug abuse ― on a couple of recordings, assumed rhythm guitar player Sandy Sawker is credited with doing nothing but 'providing and utilising dope' ― laid The Porridgeheads still for a while before they suddenly re-emerged on what became their biggest success: Red Porridge, which hit the stores in June 34 and was followed up by the Xmas release of a highly-praised live album, Served With Sugar.

Whether the success or the drugs was the main factor will remain subject for discussion, but the band completely flopped musically and commercially on the March 35 release Black Porridge. Trying to compensate for the cult rockers' fading status, their record company released a B side collection titled Pooridge, which sarcastically did not do the trick, and The Porridgeheads officially dissolved in August the same year, although in reality it had happened months before. One last breath was the Xmas release of Headful Of Porridge, a 'best of' compilation.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Little-known bands, Part VI:

Jesus Barnet

Singer-songwriter from South Bollonam (COC), mainly known for his political lyrics questioning modern society. His 28 debut A White Scream In A Dark Room was highly praised by indie reviewers but did not sell particularly well, as Barnet refused to distribute it via a big company when offered to. Barnet is known for working concentrated, and following his debut he was very studio-productive even though he spent a lot of time on the road.

In 29, he released Oh Sewage, followed by Cement Lawn (30) and Jesus Barnet Plays Live (31). The fans then had to wait three years before he sent out what he himself described as his ultimate achievement, the double album This Minute's Mantra. Controversially, Barnet insisted on using fragile newsprint as paper for the CD booklet in order to show how perishable today's music is.

Défense d’afficher

This rock quartet from Rhauvain (ARN) of course took its name from the numerous wall signs saying 'post no bills'. What started out as an unambitious leisure project ― the band members themselves not really believing it when an agent came backstage after a gig at a high school, offering a record deal ― would turn out to be a surprising turn in the four blokes' lives.

The debut album ended up simply being called L'album (released 30), following disputes on the title between band members and record company people. Apart from the name, Défense d'afficher saw the recording as a one-time experience and did still not take it too seriously. L'album did not sell particularly well either, and so much bigger was their surprise when they were offered a deal for three more albums.

This time, there were no disagreements on the name; the 32 release was called Ça devient sérieux [It's Getting Serious]. One can nearly hear the nervousness lurking just beneath the surface compared to the unimpressed straight-forwardness of the first album, and commercially it did more or less similarly.

The band now decided to take a break, though with the aim of fulfilling the remainder of the record deal and then get on with their lives. During his 34 summer vacation, the drummer had a stroke of creativity and wrote a song called De Toute Façon [translates as something like 'Anyway']. It was a simple, nearly banal earcatcher of a rock song, and he persuaded the other band members to record it as a single in order to kick off Défense d'afficher's return to the studio.

Released for the Xmas sales, De Toute Façon surprisingly became a radio hit overnight, only to become the bestselling Arn single ever!

The sudden boost of encouragement caused by this unexpected success resulted in a fast but efficient recording of the quartet's most mature and harmonic album, carrying the same title as the smash hit and released in 35. The band having only put together six other songs of their own, De Toute Façon contains no less than three cover versions.

Pink Dawn

Funky rock trio from Käpumman: Selma Öyring (lead vox and guitar), Aske Olsson (guitar) and Severin-Otto Yrkman (keyboards and percussion).

Implementing its own style, mixing funk, acid jazz and sometimes ethno elements into a rock base, Pink Dawn was among the first bands from the independent scene to be put on the more commercial record shops' shelves as well. The debut album Pink Dawn from 23 thus sold well in both 'camps', and the band, supplied by a bass player and a drummer, became a hit at mainly rock festivals but also at alternative jazz events.

The 25 single Good Day Mr Faraway landed a surprising success because of its B side Fool Me, which was not even featured on the album that followed, titled Vulgar. After touring most of the world for 1½ years, band members were exhausted and eventually split up. While Öyring took on a never very successful solo career, Olsson quit the music business to concentrate on his family and take on a 'civil' job. Yrkman became a producer and guest musician, mainly in the independent part of the house scene.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Little-known bands, Part V:

Archery Contest

Rock band from Birliont (KRA) fronted by the bespectacled intellectual Maurice D'Entracte. The songs were in English, which might be part of the reason why Archery Contest never became superstars in their own country. However, the remarkable concept album And How Do I Water The Flowers?, released in 29, harvested critics' acclaim even in faraway corners of the world. It quotes large parts of the kloish philosopher Nikolaj Salgod's work Hvis Livet Er En Vase [If Live Is A Vase].


Pop band from Wimpton (WEV) whose first single She Is Earth, She Is Sky, She Is Ice, She Is Soul went straight to number 1 on the Miseira charts. This ballad of the classic kind is now followed by the more dynamic (but still classic) 40 Ways, released with Bushbone's self-titled debut album.

The Inches

Quartet from Buenos Caire (MÕE) with a style bringing together poprock, hardrock and the occasional touch of electrojazz. The four blokes aged between 20 and 23 formed at the conservatory of São Vicente and got almost immediate attention from not only local but also international agents.

The debut single 1000 released in the spring of 35 rocketed into the hit lists in most of Miseira and the album that followed, titled One Thousand, is one of the 50 most sold albums this year. It will be interesting to follow the band's development and success in the future.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Little-known bands, Part IV:

Fette Farben

Indie-rock band from Ralbjerg (RAL). Despite its name, which makes fun of the Baring language, the band is known for serious lyrics about society's outsiders, melancholic state of life, and mostly unhappy love. Fette Farben has become a well-known name in the gig world of most of the Nexboean-speaking parts of Nexdomtaso, yet remains without a record contract. That is why the band released the self-financed 8-track album Schwarz in 5000 copies in November 34, together with the promotional single Nete Fra Nordbyen.

The Ground

Quartet from Mock Quisbee (LAR) whose slow, at times almost silent indiepop-style songs were often based on social questions. The best known example is the cult classic Anonymous Android (from the third album Waiver) whose lyrics about alienation in a materialistic society are reputed to be the most-quoted on Larnese wall graffittis.

The Ground was formed in 23 by university dropout Phileas Noice (vox and bass) and two of his former university mates, Peter Hamilton (guitar) and Rüdiger Althmann (keyboards), the latter being an exchange student from Innstadt (BAL). Norbert Wick, originally from Overwind (LAR), soon joined on drums. The debut album Fragments Of Outer Life was released in October 23 and highly praised by indie critics but never sold very well. Gone Jigging from March 25 didn't do much better but gave the band enough material to tour for nearly two years, mostly to universities and underground clubs around the Chanalian Islands.

Waiver, partly recorded during the tour, was not finalised and released until December 30. An everything but streamlined ragbag of rough recordings on one side and more polished arrangements than on the former albums on the other side, this 23-song double album became the band's biggest commercial success, not least because of Anonymous Android. One reason for the long production time of the album was that Althmann tragically died in an accident in January 28. The keyboards and synths were taken over first by by Eastwimpton music conservatory graduate Michael Sothburn and later by a childhood friend of Wick's, Mickey Winder.

The Ground's last album ― and only the fourth in 12 years ― entitled Tales Of Metropolitan Wisdom was released in June 35.

Posh Hippies

Rock band from Fredericaville (VMI), formed and lead by singer, guitarist and keyboarder Julian Evermore (real name Julian Madison, born 10 in Fredericaville as the son of a mostly unemployed blacksmith and a committed mother who earned a living for her alcoholic husband and seven children by hard work of different kinds).

Julian had always been fond of music and got his first guitar from a junkyard at the age of 8. A 16-year old cousin gave Julian guitar lessons in return for carrying light drugs for him. A highly creative mind, Julian seemed to never notice that he was marginalised both by teachers and pupils at school. He set up theatre plays but was eventually thrown out of secondary school because he caused a scandal in front of parents as a play he had written and directed turned out to be lewd.

After a few years of taking on occasional jobs to help his mother, he got in touch with a Fredericaville pub owner, formed a 5-piece band almost overnight, and gave a gig of crazy and mostly improvised songs. This was in early spring 32. The producer Mick Farnell from the growing Be At Ease label happened to be in the pub that night. Rumours say he was drunk but he did sign a contract with the band... that in fact had no name. Evermore came up with 'Posh Hippies', inspired by an ad in which the words 'hush puppies' were used.

Only two months later, the weird but joyfully melodical poprock album In A World Of Green was released. It became one of that year's biggest commercial successes but Evermore and his everchanging band members never got a lot of money out of it, as Farnell took the biggest share, especially from the revenues on other continents. For example, the only single Hayadoo became a summer plague in parts of Nexdomtaso, and the concerts that Farnell arranged for the band to give at festivals there turned out to be a bad deal financially for the Posh Hippies.

After one such concert, the band split, or rather Julian Evermore sent the others back to Fredericaville, leaving two concert commitments unfulfilled. His current whereabouts are not known.

Friday, 11 March 2011

For et tæt nordisk samarbejde

»Frimandsætter, ranke, høje,
Sol og Blæst i Haar,
Kraft i Haand og Lys i Øje,
fylker Nordens Gaard«

Kaj Munk
“Saml Dig, Nord!” — Nationaltidende 10. juli 1938

Little-known bands, Part III:

Curfew At Five

Electronica duo from Eastwimpton (LAR) ― Sammy (Samuel) Jockbird on vox and synths and Pete Barnett on synths. The debut album They Came From East, released in 32, already sold well on the emerging electronica scene. But it was the smash hit Piece Of Mind (yes, 'Piece', not 'Peace') from the 34 album bearing the same title that wrote Curfew At Five into the history books. That song remains a dancehall favourite.

Selfish Shellfish

Tractor or rather trawler rockabilly band from Fesøyer (RAL). Nearly a fixed ingredient on festival posters in Ralbjerg and Eigaland with their outrageous energy on stage and ability to get a crowd rocking and rolling. At the same time, Selfish Shellfish manages to release an album nearly every year, the first three or four being heavily helped financially by Fesøyer's patriotic cultural foundation, despite the fact that only few of the septet's songs are in the Fesøyer language.

Sérieux s'abstenir

Rock group from Qoullux (QLX) ― Jean-Vincent Carteboulière (percussion), Hugues Chabrel (keyboard), Jonatan Hurgues (lead guitar), Yvon Lemaire (bass) and Fernand Valavat (vox and rhythm guitar). The name Sérieux s'abstenir [Serious People Should Refrain] is a joke on the words 'Curieux s'abstenir' [Curious People Should Refrain], which often appear at the end of real estate adverts in order not to get calls from persons who are just curious.

However, the band's biggest hits are mainly more serious and often subtly romantic ballads, such as Peintures de Marilène [Paintings Of Marilène], Rendez-vous hi-fi, Anges de classe [Classy Angels], Soudain, la vie... [Suddenly Life Will...], Roses or Une entité fragile [A Fragile Entity] ― but many will remember the rocker with the parodic lyrics Sarah, je bande [Sarah, I Have An Erection] too.

The band split in 30 after thirteen years and ten albums (not including a live and a greatest hits) but reformed in September 35 to give a concert in Qoullux' Auditorium. The concert was reported sold out an hour after presales started. This success combined with the announcement that a DVD containing the concert and a documentary on the band will be released for Xmas has started speculations whether Sérieux s'abstenir will go on tour again and maybe even record a new album.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Når inspirationen lever

»Jeg er stolt og meget glad for at “Kald det kærlighed” stadig er så livskraftig, som den er.
Jeg vil ydmygt sige tusind tak til inspirationen: Hun åndede på mig den nat i 1985, hvor sangen kom til sig selv. Før blækket var tørt var “Kald det kærlighed” kravlet ned af køkkenbordet og ud af kattelemmen i bagdøren. Først langt senere opdagede jeg, at den var forsvundet ud i natten for at leve sit helt eget liv i Danmark.«

Lars Lilholt
KODA Nyt 2008

Little-known bands, Part II:

Quite Polite

Ska rock band from Lack Quisbee (LTL). Originally known as Cream On The Floor, under which name the band released one (self-titled) album in 29, Quite Polite has somewhat revived the ska wave that peaked twenty years before. The breakthrough album Madam, released in 31, featured the provocative hit single (Fuck You) Madam as well as the instrumental town festival plague Ska It Up.

Due to quarrels within the band, causing members to quit only to join again, the follow-up album Superhero Social Counsellor was not released until 35. Surprisingly, it shows a matured and more guitar-dominated rock style.


Techno pop trio from Zwe (BUC): Rüdiger Fischfanger (vox and synths), Helmut Schönbrunn (synths and the occasional orchestral instrument) and Max Heber (synth percussions).

Landed a big dancefloor hit in 33 with Hantadorf Blues from the album Solange Vorrat Reicht, which for many redefined the techno scene. The band name is an abbreviation of 'und dergleichen', meaning 'and similar'.

Vic Moon

Self-proclaimed and self-ironising pop god born in Blona (ROJ) as Viktor Kesal but fled to Käpumman with his family when he was six. Originally part of the band Midday Dream, which had a lonely hit with So Lonely, So Slow back in 18, He plays such diverse instruments as guitar, synthesizer, harmonica, or harp, but it is mainly his voice that deserves critial acclaim.

Vic Moon's first albums all have titles as if they were compilations and are thus easily mixed up: Best Of Vic Moon (debut, 19), The Very Best Of Vic Moon (21), All The Best Of Vic Moon (24), Vic Moon's Greatest Hits (27), Vic Moon's Greatest (29), Vic Moon's Best Live (30)... before he suddenly chose the completely different title Blue Sky (32)... maybe because that same year his real best of album ironically entitled Greatest Tits was released.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Kun knapheden mangler

»Måske er det simpelt hen sådan her, livet ville være, hvis ikke døden fandtes. Hvis afslutningen på alting ikke konstant lå på lur i hver eneste handling og hviskede til én, at tiden er begrænset. Og at man derfor pinedød må nyde det, mens Jorden nærmer sig. Herinde i Second Life er der ikke knaphed på noget som helst. Ud over lige den ene ting, der giver det hele mening: knapheden selv.»

Nils Thorsen
fra artiklen “Sidste kapitel: Panik før lukketid” (Politiken 20/8-7)

Little-known bands, Part I:

File Not Found

'Old computer'-style electro trio consisting of the Baringers Heiko Tüsch and Günter Warnich and the Käp Anders Ölgren, all on synths and programming.

Already the self-titled 22 debut album featured two Top 50 singles: File Not Found and Digital Woman. The latter became a classic in electro music, and its beats and sounds have inspired or been used in many a song of the genre since. The second album was released in early 23 and bore the title 10 as this is the binary equivalent of '2'. It sold well too, critics saying this was mainly due to the success of the debut.

Before the band even started its tour to promote 10, Ölgren quit, officially due to family matters. After the tour, the band ironically moved its base and home studio from Baringers Stadt to Coast City, resulting in the entirely self-produced 25 release Numeric Boy featuring the moderately successful single Diamond Star. The inspiration of the new surroundings were obvious, yet the duo did not seem to have a real grip on their style. A fourth album kept being delayed, and meanwhile ― just before Xmas 27 ― a smaller local record company released Pixels, a compilation of File Not Found's favourite tracks according to themselves, as well as previously unreleased rare tracks and a few B sides.

The material for the 'real' album was never finished, and Tüsch and Warnich increasingly spent their time as DJs and in Tüsch's case also as a producer. It was not until 31 that the album Binary Breath came out. It contained none of the material recorded for the intended fourth album; instead Tüsch had profited from the contacts he had acquired as a producer, and the sound on Binary Breath was new and fresh. It became File Not Found's comeback as electro gurus, a.o. featuring the #2 single Microphonic, Part II.

Mildred & The Mildreds

Acid electro heavy metal quintet from Gollsea (WEV) consisting of four men and a woman... whose name is not Mildred but Jane Sowyer, and who is not the lead singer but the bass player.

The other band members are Phil(eas) McOak (lead vox and guitar), Virgil Spinton (vox and guitar), James Millick (synths) and Simon John (vox and percussions).

The first album Tempted By Pain, released in November 30, did not find a large public, being too trashily violent for even many heavy metal fans' taste. February 33 saw the release of the much more commercial Horrorscope, a.o. featuring a cover version of an old Strit Ut B-side, Come To Heaven. It became the best selling hardrock release of 33, and a follow-up is due later this year.

You Noisy Bastards

DJ duo — Chris Jenkinson and Bern Lovelord — formed in 28 under the name Jenbern. At the time Jenkinson was 16 and Lovelord 15, both attending Bullyhead Boarding School in the Larnese countryside.

Especially Jenkinson was expected to graduate with high marks and move on to law school. He did get high marks but he never even applied for law school. So widely known was the reputation of the two DJs, and so high was the self-confidence of Lovelord that he dropped out of Bullyhead before his final year, after having convinced Jenkinson to skip further studies and attempt a career as professional DJs, scratchers, samplers and eventually even music composers.

It is unclear when the name You Noisy Bastards came up — but at least there are no recordings under the old name. The duo released three self-produced and self-financed mini albums within 15 months in 31 and 32 before signing the highest debut record deal. Jenkinson and Lovelord insisted that their albums would also be released on vinyl, something extraordinary in those years.

The debut, ironically called Bullyhead was a commercial disappointment, and the record company wanted to buy the duo out of the second album in the contract. Again, it was Lovelord's amazing self-confidence and energy that talked the company into letting You Noisy Bastards use the studio for just three weeks, without paying producers etc., and release the second album after all.

The result was a far more dancehall style album of just 36 minutes. 6-Colour Heaven was soon to become a mega hit with DJs in most of the world.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

hewlett-packard goes international

I just installed an hp scanner. A pretty long procedure. But the best is this message that showed up. It contains no less than four different languages, on one and the same screen! The window has a Danish frame with German instruction texts, and the ‘front’ message’s title and buttons are in English, with the essential written in Dutch.

Just to add even a little more spice, I live in Luxembourg and only had the choice of registering my scanner in French.

What really worries me though, is that those are exactly the six languages I speak on a decent conversation level. Is hp affiliated with the CIA or something? I just wanted to install a scanner…

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A kinda wish list I guess

A not-too-expensive but reliable scanner

Jane Eyre photo book

A Victorian suit, maybe from Gentleman’s Emporium

tv•2: Showtime (CD)

Bret Easton Ellis: ‘Imperial Bedrooms’ and ‘Under Nul’ (books, in Danish)

Concert ticket for tv•2

Palle Schmidt: ‘Den Nye Generation — Dansk Møbeldesign 1990-2005’

A thingy that can record directly from cassette tapes to MP3 (something like this)

An iPhone, preferrably with at least 64 MB

A massage ‘subscription’

Harmonica lessons (for example Harmonica Academy, JP Allen, Harmonica or Lars Ringgaard: Lær At Spille Mundharpe)

Tickets to 1. FC Köln’s games (home and away) always welcome

Friday, 7 January 2011

En 8-årig om Afrika


I afrika ligger landene: Madagaskar, Tunesien, Algeriet, Marokko, Libyrien, Ægypten, Mongritanien, Mali, Niger, Tchad, Soud, Ethiopien, Somal, og mange flere. Der gror: kaffe, kakao, tobak, majs, ris, oliven, bananer, rosiner, kokosnødder, citroner, og meget andet. Uden om det ligger søer, have, floder, o.s.v., de hedder: Alanterhavet, Middelhavet, Det Røde Hav, Indiske Hav, og andre. Det grænser til Saudi Arabien og ligger tæt på Europa og Asien, f.eks. Spanien ligger meget tæt på Marokko. Jeg kender kun to hoved-stader, det er: Alger og Tunis, Alger ligger i Algeriet og Tunis ligger i Tunesien.

skrevet af BJØRN CLASEN.«

den 11. februar 1981


‘[T]here is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures,
and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.’

Charlotte Brontë
in ‘Jane Eyre’ (chapter 22)