Mashups and Remixes

 

This is not necessarily a confession, simply something about me. I love mash up remixes. I love remixes of almost every kind – in Japan they have this amazing trend of releasing

albums of songs in a different genre, like pop songs done in regge, or jazz, or done like music box music. The downside to these is that they are usually sung by Japanese people so if it is an English song it will be butchered with terrible pronunciation. (I could only find Japanese examples, but find them here and here). A good example of Western remixes like that is Richard Cheese, who turns heavy rock music into jazz. Though his Bohemian Rhapsody is also pretty enjoyable.

When I was in 6th form, a friend of mine introduced me to Radio Soulwax, a group who make hour long tracks of tracks mashed together. I think the first one of theirs that I fell in love with was the Genie in a Bottle mixed with The Stokes (I can’t find it on Youtube but it’s pretty awesome.) The way they put music together is just amazing… One of the first long tracks I had of theirs is here on Soundcloud for you to listen to. This was pretty much the soundtrack of my 6th form life. If you like them, have a little search in Soundcloud and you can find many, many more.

I hadn’t really thought much about mashup music until recently, when the bfnd put on some amazing mixes. These happen to be The Kleptones. In general, all their tracks there (free to download) are amazing but I highly recommend Night at the Hip Hopera which is Queen tracks mashed up with rap music. When I spoke about this with my parents, they were outraged that people would do such a thing. But it really is amazing.

Along the same lines, is Arkham, who have made a track of Disney songs mashed with rap, called Walt Disnizzle. It’s quite a bit more heavy (sweary and political in places) but actually I listen to this more often than I do the Kleptones.

If you’ve got this far into this post and are thinking “omg this is amazing, I want more!!!” then I am doing some digging around Soundcloud for more amazing mixes. This playlist (which seems to be updated with new tracks every day) has some real gems.

I know this is a lot different to stuff I usually post – if there is anyone out there who loves this kind of stuff please share your favourite mashups and remixes!!

 

An Open Letter to German Snacks

Dear German Snacks,

First I’d like to start by saying how much I admire you. You bring flavours to the table that I would never have thought of. From pineapple yogurt, to balsamic crisps – or even peanut flavour crisps – to so many Ritter Sport flavours Pocky is leaning over to peek at what you’re going to come up with next.

But here’s the thing – do you really have to all come in massive packets? Crisps are ONLY sold in massive bags and one Ritter Sport chocolate bar has something between 500 and 600 calories!

So, with this in mind, this is what happens every single time -

Me – hmm… I’d like a small snackage of crisps/chocolate. I will buy one and then eat just a little of it.

German Snacks, have you ever actually succeeded in eating just a small portion of a bigger packet?! Have you?! Ritter Sport says that 25g of chocolate is one serving. It would take all the will power in the world to stop at just one quarter of a bar.

When I first stepped into Germany the thing I noticed first was all the moobs that are here. German food isn’t very healthy. I know this. You know this. The average German bloke doesn’t care about things like how much salt he’s taking in. Unlike in many other countries, calorie lists and salt/carb/fat quantities are not clearly labelled on German food stuffs.

So here’s what I propose – how about you make SMALLER packets of things? You’ll be helping not only me but also all the poor people who eat a whole packet of crisps in one sitting (after kidding themselves by closing the packet and putting it in the cupboard, only to take it out again and eat the rest 10 mins later) or people who have no idea that that knusper flake Ritter they just scoffed has around 600 calories.

If you could do this, you would be super awesome.

Love and kisses,

Charlotte

Photos From Home


Here are a few photos that I took at home on my phone…

First there’s a new Screme Egg from Cadbury! It was green inside!

Some nice ice tea from Giraffe back home. I LOVE this restaurant. It reminds me of Urban Kitchen in Frankfurt.

Tescos have this new system where you scan your shopping as you put it into the trolley. Opens up so many opportunities to steal stuff, I think…

I bought Super Scribblenauts to play on my 3DS. I typed in “mask” and got this… ;)

My last taste of England before coming back to Frankfurt.

You know life sucks when this is your week’s alarms.

Hopefully I’ll be up and writing proper posts again at the weekend!

MIA Again…

I’m sorry for not posting for a while again. Sadly, I lost my uncle the week before last and I was in England for the funeral these past few days.

I don’t really want to talk about it, but in all this I remembered the posts I wrote when my student died. It’s quite a nice view into the way Japanese people deal with death so I’m posting the links here. They are to my old blog, over on Ameba. Since it’s a Japanese site, it doesn’t understand caps.

A Sad Day

Update

Aftermath

I’ll be posting as normal again in a few days.

Jenny’s Cupcakes

 

Something I’m noticing a lot here in Frankfurt is that small businesses like Coy and Dan’s, the awesome bubble tea place I blogged about a while back, just don’t stick around for very long. The boyf was very upset that his favourite cake shop We Love Cupcakes had also closed down recently. To cheer him up, we went out looking for some other good cupcakes in town.

 

In Bornheim sits Jenny’s Cupcakes, and the window display says that they’ve been there for 3 whole years now. A moody teenager served us, but she replied to my German in German so she was ok by me. The boyf had a red velvet cupcake…

 

And I had a PB&J one. On the whole, they weren’t as yummy as the We Love Cupcakes ones by a long, long shot. A little dry and a tad on the small side, but they tasted pretty good. There was such a wide range that we both changed our orders about 3 times while we waited in the queue.

The shop seemed to be very busy – there was a family next to us who bought 4 boxes full of cakes for a party. The shop was very pretty and the concept was nice but the goods weren’t as good as those from shops that have closed recently. Makes me wonder how some shops can stay open and some stay empty until they have to give up.

It’s still worth a visit, and there are two locations to try Jenny’s cupcakes -

Fahrgasse 82, 60311 Frankfurt

Berger Straße 154, 60385 Frankfurt

Thoughts on Living Abroad

 

The other day, we were looking in a photo gallery/shop when I came across the photo above. It is of Meoto Iwa in Mie, where I used to live in Japan. Known as the “wedded rocks”, this popular destination was a short moped ride for me and I’d often go there to walk by the sea and collect my thoughts. In the summer I’d dip my feet in the water as it was the nearest beach to me.

I saw it and wanted to cry. I’ve not missed Japan in a long time, but just this sudden scene of a familiar place made me feel lost where I am right now.

On the whole, I love life here in Frankfurt. It is an awesome city to live in, I have loads of lovely friends and now with added boyfriend, things are going well.

But, of course, there are always hiccups.

Last week, I took over @WeAreFFM twitter feed, which has a different curator every week and posts lots of cool stuff about Frankfurt. It’s listed as an English and German feed so when I replied asking when the English was going to happen, they asked me to take it over for a week.

I was really excited. I spent a week beforehand planning out a different theme for each day and finding things to talk about. It started on the Sunday and I tweeted a few times while I was out and about, but it didn’t take long before negative comments started rolling in. “Why are you tweeting in English?” came first. Then, when I listed 4 or 5 different blogs about Frankfurt, I was accused by a few people of being spammy. I felt the need to stand up for myself and replied to each negative comment, but of course, this never works with “haters”.

Throughout the whole week, I’d say 2/3 of people were perfectly nice. However, many Frankfurt locals were just downright rude and wouldn’t accept that I was doing things a little differently to how they wanted it.

It got me thinking into whether this is actually a reflection on life in general – there are really separated groups here; the locals, the bankers, the teachers/au pairs, and the stragglers like myself, who work for a company here but don’t fit into the banking world. There are times when these groups mix – for example, at events such as Cafe Crawl, or by joining a language exchange group (known here as “round table” events).

But if you are a person who wants to break the mould and get out there then I think it’s pretty hard. Frankfurt is a place where few call home but many live, more of an international city than a German city and has an amazing mix of people from all over the world. And yet, we just stick to what we know here and socialise (if, at all) only with the people we see right in front of us, for the most part.

Though it comes with the job of being on a popular Twitter feed that there are going to be negative people. But I really thought that it would be a nice way to break out of the bubble and get under the skin of local culture. And I’m quite upset that Frankfurt wasn’t more welcoming towards me in return.

Nevertheless, I did make some great friends through the experience, and I have a hope to continue to speak with them and maybe spark up friendships for real there. I also have a few groups that invited me to join so maybe I can blog a little more about them at some point too. And at the end of the day, what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger, right?!

Souper!

 

I love soup. I miss having lots of different kinds of Heinz soup available to me here. The only cans of soup in Rewe are pretty expensive, so I rarely have them.

However, I may have found my place to go to when I need a soup fix! While stomping round Frankfurt shopping, we came across the shop Souper - a studenty-feel small soup restaurant.

With quite a few hearty options on the menu, I was pretty glad that the girl working there could talk me through the options in great English. They also had Fritz Cola there too – the sign of any good hipster establishment!

If the chairs outside are all taken, have a seat nextdoor at The Place To Be, which is owned by the same people.

Find Souper at Weißadlergasse 3, Frankfurt.

Autumn Update

I’ve been a little MIA this week and I’m sorry for that. It’s been pretty busy – I took over a Frankfurt Twitter account for the week (more on that later) and have been generally busy and so I’ve not had time to “touch the computer” (as they say in Japan).

A few months ago, I bought an old bike at the flea market. It was a beautiful purple Indian bike, but its breaks were pretty dead and the tires were dead within a month or so. I got a little bit of money from the parental units for my birthday so I decided to splash out and buy myself a proper, new bike.

I wanted to lovely Dutch bike, but the boyfriend talked me round to a Jopo – a Finnish bike that is made for anyone and everyone to ride. With me being so damned short, I would need a 26 inch wheel bike at most and this is a lovely 24 inch. It’s a dream to ride – so smooth and easy. The only problem is that as it is, it has no gears and no normal break – you have to break by peddling backwards. I took one on a test drive and was so scared of not having a proper break. Luckily, German law says that you need a hand break and so the man installed one for me. As it happens, I use the handbreak only 1/3 of the time and have become used to the the back pedal break, but it’s just that it feels scary not to have something there to hold onto to break.

I’m really chuffed with my new bike, and the whole day was just a gorgeous Autumn day so we went for a ride down the river (again, more on that later) and I hope that we can have more weather like that soon because it rained ALL DAY today. It was horrible biking home from the boyf’s in the rain. Please, Mr Weatherman…

10 Things

 

While going through my favourite blog list, I came across this lovely post from Going with the flow on 10 things she’d say to her 16 year old self. Though it looks to be part of a bigger thing, I’d like to just touch upon this too. So, here are 10 things I’d say to myself if I could go back in time 10 years.

1. Don’t take your good grades for granted. You have to earn them – you can’t just expect them to come to you.

2. Enjoy your stage school classes while they last.

3. The pink fluffy snow boots are ok but let’s try to limit the use of your navy velvet cloak, ok? Tescos is not a catwalk.

4. Look at makeup. Try to learn some stuff about it.

5. Pay more attention to your sisters. They’ll be young women before you know it.

6. Sometimes you just can’t fix people. So just leave them be.

7. For the love of God stop eating all the time. I’m still working off those cornish pasties 10 years on.

8. The boys you’re chasing aren’t worth your time.

9. Stop trying to be like other people and focus on developing your own personality.

10. Everything you learn now, every hardship you go through, will all be worth it when you go to uni. So hang in there.

 

Two Things to do in Cologne

 

For my birthday on Wednesday I wanted to do something I’d wanted to do for a long time – go to Cologne. Just an hour away on the ICE train, and only 40 euros return (sans DM card!) it’s so easy to do!

When going to Cologne, you can’t really go through the day without visiting the cathedral. As soon as you leave the station it’s BAM in your face.

 

If you want the thighs of Wonder Woman, you may want to climb the tower in the cathedral too. I usually hate things like this but it wasn’t so bad at all. Half way up there is a belfry which is pretty cool.

 

The only thing is that it’s not for people who don’t like tight spaces – there are VERY tight spaces all the way up and all the way down. But just take your time, look at all the graffiti and then enjoy the view at the top :)

 

The second is pretty morbid but I think it’s something everyone you should – visit EL – DE Haus. It was a prison for the Gestapo but now it is an amazing museum documenting the history of the nazis in Cologne.

 

It’s full of little bits that bring the whole history to life for you. Like this voting slip from an election. It contains stories and information not just about the Jewish population of Cologne at the time, but also things like the forced sterilisation and euthanasia of people just because they had poor sight, we gay or were “gypsies”.

Down in the basement are the rooms where the prisoners were kept, tortured and killed. Their screams could often be heard from the street next door.

In the basement there is English everywhere, but upstairs there is none, so make sure to buy an audio guide if you decide to make a visit.

We had a full day in Cologne but there are many more things we want to do there so I imagine we’ll be finding ourselves there again pretty soon!