Sea and sky twenty years later

I feel like a castaway but I’m not afraid
You and me and a couple of dusty volumes
I wanna be your Messiah but there’s no way
I feel the tide roll in around us

You be the sea and I’ll be the sky
I want you with me now don’t wonder why
You be the sea and I’ll be the sky
Endeavor with me now don’t wonder why

This love’s like a labyrinth but I’m not afraid
You and me and a strong sense of forever
Like the old Swiss Family Robinson let’s drift away
If we go down at least we’ll drown together
(I can’t forget you)

You be the sea and I’ll be the sky
I want you with me now don’t wonder why
You be the sea and I’ll be the sky
Endeavor with me now don’t wonder why

It’s a little like this
It’s a little like being afraid
It’s a little like yesterday
Though I don’t mean to invade

Clouds rolled in front of your face
Your tears became the rain
I heard wonderful thunder
As you murmured
As you murmured my name
(Take me far away,
Teach my soul to feel that way
You take me far away
It’s wonderful, wonderful)

Roll away
Roll away with me
You be the sea and I’ll be the sky

It was only a few decades ago, but sometimes it seems like yesterday. When their music comes up on shuffle, I’m twenty something years old with big dreams and little experience. The band I went to hear on Friday nights at Sudsy Malone’s in Cincinnati were first acquaintances and then friends. Well, friends of friends at least.

Over the Rhine still exist as Karin Bergquist (vocals, guitar and other instruments, I think) and Linford Detweiler (bass and piano and pretty much any instrument he set his mind to playing) and various musicians complementing them for tours and recording and whatnot.

Back in the proverbial day, the band was a quartet with Karin, Linford, as well as Ric Hordinski (guitars) and Brian Kelley (drums). I enjoyed quite a few local bands when I lived near the banks of the Ohio River, but Over the Rhine I liked the most.

This song perfectly describes the male-female dichotomy. Mother Earth…Father Sky.

Something about these beautiful autumn days made me think about their music. ‘It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play‘. Taught them to play, indeed.

when you’re not supposed to be a football fan

Grigoris Makos making good use of his time while injured

Was in a conversation recently with a few American friends, and as I’m also one (an American) I found myself getting hot and bothered about some ridiculous assumption these two friends of mine were making about being a Yankee abroad.

Their contention was that being a football fan while living in Europe is an affect. A transparent attempt to fit in with the locals, but one that makes me look like I’m pretending. This of course disregards the 70s and the renaissance of soccer at both the professional level and among kids in the Land of the Brave/Home of the Free. But for the sake of argument, let’s say I have no business following football.

I didn’t grow up in a rough and tumble inner-city neighbourhood of Manchester or Marseilles. My father and his father haven’t  supported a club since time immemorial. I’ve written about it on this miscellaneous blog before, but my family were into baseball. That’s what I was raised watching.

Cincinnati Red Stockings

When I was in music school in Cincinnati, I knew a South African who became a passionate Cincinnati Reds fan. He was obsessed. Although he hadn’t grown up watching it, he had learned the terminology and understood some of the incomprehensible rules that baffle most outsiders.

And unlike his fellow exchange students, who went to school in a faraway land and clinged to the others of their tribe who were similarly so displaced, this guy really got to know the natives. He was welcomed into the fold in a way that few outsiders ever would be.

Did I consider this guy and his experiences when I moved to Germany? Not consciously. Not in a way that I would’ve verbalised. However, I did want to get to know the culture from within.

 

I do want to distinguish myself from the typical ex-pat. Who wouldn’t? Many people live in a foreign country as if they’re doing time in prison. They have satellite television, so they can live in a little bubble that reminds them of home. They have contact with the locals, but on their terms when they feel like it.

It’s a beautiful thing.

So I thought I’d share with you, my loyal readers, my match report and assessment of my team’s season up until now. Is it inappropriate for me to become increasingly more and more obsessed with this football team? Probably.

We lived in Munich when I was a small child, and the neighbourhood where we went to church was down south of the city on a hill above the Tierpark. When I moved to Bavaria in 2001, it was strangely like I was finally coming home.

When you ride the Trambahn down to Church of the Ascension in Munich-Harlaching, you go right by the 1860 Munich training grounds. As they say amongst the fans of my club, ‘Einmal Löwe immer Löwe‘ (once a Lion, always a Lion). The mascot of both the city and the traditional football team is the lion, and you see lions all over the paraphernalia of the club.

Ok, enough build up. Here’s my piece at The Munich Eye:

1860 Munich victorious in Upper Bavarian Derby.

how to sell to Texans

no basement in the Alamo

No idea how true this story is, but I think it introduces what I want to talk about perfectly. There’s a national supermarket chain in the US called Kroger, and they’re based in Cincinnati. At least they were when I still lived in America, and as much as somethings have changed, I can’t fathom Kroger moving their headquarters.

Purportedly, they desperately wanted to compete with a Texas-based ice cream brand, so Kroger came out with its own brand called Texas Gold. It had nothing to do with the Lone Star State. It was a blatant marketing ploy and it worked. Some people in Texas broke away from their brand loyalty and bought this creation.

It wasn’t bad ice cream, but it wasn’t that good either. It’s advantage? People in other parts of the country didn’t mind eating Texas Gold, and more importantly, people in Texas reached for it merely because of the name.

So, when I get back home to Munich, I’ll add my favourite photos of Texas Shaped Stuff and Texas-Centred Advertising. I’m sure you’ll love it.