Heaven/Rush

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I’m waiting for the night to fall
I know that it will save us all
When everything’s dark
Keeps us from the stark reality
I’m waiting for the night to fall
When everything is bearable
And there in the still
All that you feel
Is tranquility

“Waiting for the Night to Fall” Depeche Mode

When I come up
When I rush
I rush for you

“Rush” Depeche Mode

 

Last night, I made it to my first ever Depeche Mode concert. I’ve been floating in a bubble of happiness and ecstasy (the natural kind of course) ever since.

Black Celebration

It was a party, I danced, screamed and sang for two hours straight. It was amazing, mind-blowing and a total rush! The only regret I have: Why the hell didn’t I do this sooner?

5

I met these two nice men at the concert and the guy on the right borrowed my phone and shot some pictures for me, including sneaking a picture of me onto my phone. I appreciate it, but can’t give credit, so this grainy dark selfie will have to suffice. Hope you had a blast guys.

11

 

The videos below capture the atmosphere much more eloquently than I can right now.

Embedded via youtube.

Welcome to My World

(video by Peter Nordentoft)

Personal Jesus

(video by Muldeberg)

Behind the Wheel

(video also by Muldeberg)

 

Personal Jesus

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Flash Fiction: Random Song Title

This week, Chuck’s challenge was to pick a random song from where ever and write a story named after that song. I’ve got to admit that I cheated though. Because when I read the challenge, I knew exactly which song to use and what to write.

The song I’ve picked is called Silverflame and is by a now-defunct band called Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, who were HUGE in Denmark 15-18 years ago. The song was a massive hit, and a few years back inspiration struck when I heard it on the radio again. This week’s Flash Fiction is a teaser of what that song inspired.

I’ve embedded a live version of the song, taken from a reunion tour Dizzy Mizz Lizzy had a few years back.

 

Silverflame

By Trine Toft Schmidt

Sorrow ran, ran as fast as she’d never done before, weaved in and out of the crowds gathered at stalls, out side taverns and shops.

“Sorry.” She groaned at a man, who squawked indignantly when she stomped his foot, but continued her frantic escape down a side street, narrowed by stalls of vegetables. She kept a shoulder against the free wall and took the next right, her legs on fire, her feet numb from slapping the cobblestones hard.

The streets were increasingly empty, and at a left turn she risked a glance over her shoulder. No one seemed to follow her and she slowed down by a fraction, zig-zagged through the maze of the old town, until she exited an alley in front of a tall black stone wall. Brat had led her past here when they’d first entered the city, had told her about it too. The graveyard. Massive gates rose toward the sky in front of her and relief surged through her. They would never look for her here.

She darted across the street and pushed the gates enough apart for her to squeeze through. It clicked shut behind her, and exquisite silence settled over her as she crumbled to her knees, clutching the cool iron. With her eyes on the street she waited until her heart had slowed to a fast gallop, before she released the gates, pushed up from the damp ground and turned to survey the graveyard.

It was empty.  Lush green grass dotted by small white circles and bisected by a narrow white path, gathered around a somber semi-circle of raised gray stone platforms, licked by sooty smoky swirls. Pyre-stones. For a second the memory of crackling fire and the smell of charred flesh buckled her knees. She shook her head, dislocating the unwanted memory.

Behind the pyre-stones a mammoth black stone dragon rose out of the ground, widespread wings so large that the tips touched the walls on either side. Brat had told her about him as well, he was the dragon of death. In the flat open landscape he was the only hiding place. With a last look to the street, she ran into his shadowy safety and skirted his  stone body until she could duck under a wing and out behind him.

She slid to a rocking stop and her heart stopped dead in her chest. A few feet behind the wing the ground dropped away into nothing, leaving her teetering on a narrow ledge. Terrified, she sank to her knees and crawled along the extended wing, pebbles and rocks biting into the skin of her hands and knees. In front of her the hind legs of the dragon loomed tall.

The massive hind legs formed a cave under the dragon and she pushed herself into it, scrabbling so far in, that the light grew dusk-like and the air changed. The sound of her heart and breaths echoed back from the walls of stone muscle and claws. Below her the sea was like a whisper of a thousand voices, but she felt safe. Here they would never find her.

She settled against the cold stone, pulling her knees against her chest and buried her head against them. Coming to the city had been a mistake. No matter what Ferinea had said. She didn’t belong here. These people, fighting over every scrap of power and prestige were not her people.

Tears, frozen inside her by a long winter alone in the mountains, finally spilled down her cheeks, washing dirt and grit from her knees.

She wanted to be home on the prairie, she wanted to run the empty expanses, sprinting after the pack, howling against the moon with them, she wanted to hear Ferinea scream and shout cautions after her, wanted the small simple hut, wanted her old homespun woolen dresses, wanted the comfort of her scratchy old sleeping skins. She wanted it all back.

But she never would.

“Oh Feri.” She sobbed and shuddered. “I want to die.” She whispered it, smeared the words against her wet skin, and felt the stone weighing down her heart lift slightly.

“I want to die!” She said it out loud, heard the words roll back toward her from the darkness. The ledge. It was right out there, waiting for her. One single step, and she would be free of the voices, and the people, and the city, and she would be back with Ferinea. She pushed away from the dragon and crawled back toward the sliver of light from the cave mouth.

Looking over the edge, she imagined Ferinea was down there, in the endless roiling sea, waiting with her soft warm embrace. Sorrow smiled and put her hand to the dragon’s tail that spilled over the edge like a guide. Below, it’s spiked tip curled around a small withered tree. She stepped closer, her toes hugging the edge.

“What a waste.” A voice, around her, inside her, thundered. Shock pushed her forward and reflex curled her hand around a spine, clinging to it until her forward momentum stopped. Shaking hard, she pushed herself back up and looked around for the man.

There was no one. The ledge was empty beside her, but the voice still vibrated within and around her.

“So is this.” She answered it, spread her arms against the dragon, meaning the city behind it. “There is nothing for me here.” She paused. “Besides, I only expedite the inevitable. When they catch me, they will kill me.”

“Pah.” The voice dismissed her concerns off-handedly. “Of course they will not. You are Two, they are outraged and angry, but also jealous and wanton, and no matter what, they will not kill you.

“But how do you know? They call me an abomination, a disgrace, a..”

“Silver is meant to burn forever.” The dark voice laughed at her, mocked the legend.

“You don’t know.”

“I know many things, I’ve guarded this city for years beyond count.” The voice paused, hummed thoughtfully.“I know your name, you know.”

“The whole city know my name. I am Sorrow. It is not a hard thing to figure out.”

“No, little one. I know your true name.”

The air caught in her throat, the ground dropped away below her and the world spun out of control.

“Silverflame”

Anticipatory Depeche Mode Madness

YEAH! I am totally psyched! I am going to my first ever Depeche Mode concert in November and I am all  jittery with expectations (and just a tiny little nugget of dread since a Depeche Mode concert means A LOT of people. I don’t do A LOT of people very well.) So in celebration of that little fact, I’ll just embed a few video’s of songs I hope to hear, and happily dream away my time until November rolls around.

 

Should Be Higher

Amazing song from Delta Machine. goosebumps!

 

Waiting For The Night To Fall

This song is absolutely magic and every time I hear it I am assaulted by emotions and physical reactions. I don’t know what I’ll do if this is not played at the concert. I might refuse to go home.

 

Behind The Wheel

Slot this in your car stereo of choice, turn up the volume to as loud as you can possibly bear it and just drive.

 

In Your Room

This song, amongst a handful of others, is a writing failsafe for me. If I can’t concentrate, if words are sluggish or impossible to dig out of my brain, I put this on repeat on the iPod and immerse myself in it and whatever story I am writing.

 

Halo

Love! In fact they could play the whole Violator album and I’d be pretty darn happy.

Delta Machine

So the new Depeche Mode album Delta Machine (I am talking about the Deluxe Version) has been out for a couple of weeks and it has been on heavy rotation on the Iphone. The final verdict is not in yet, I am still getting used to the songs, but  this is the first impression on the songs.

Generally the electronics are less playful and experimental than on Sounds of the Universe which is OK. Got an overall 80’ies feel to it.

Welcome To My World: an unexpected* instant hit. I was sold before the intro was over. Deep slow beats and minimal keyboard interference start off the song, but slowly builds up speed and complexity.

Angel: Like the melody, not quite sure about  the vocals yet, even though Dave’s vocals are deep and gritty, which I normally like.

Heaven: I have had a few words to say on Heaven here. Like it well enough, probably a bit better than I did when I wrote that post.

Secret To the End: I am interested, especially the chorus has potential, but could have used a little more.. Umph.

My Little Universe: Boring. Long vapid intro. Subdued vocals. There’s a build up to a chorus that’s almost interesting, but then it fades into more toned down Gahan. Not a song that I will seek out.

Slow:  Interesting riffs. Not sold on it yet.

Broken: Love the vocals on this. Electronics are simple harmonies. Like the chorus a lot. Slow song, but not really a contender for the ballad slot.

The Child Inside: Not impressed. Martin Gore does the vocals on this, and since I prefer Gahan this is not going to be a favorite. It is too slow and it sounds like they’ve turned down the volume on the vocals, giving the electronics the upper hand, which just seems weird to me.

Soft Touch/Raw Nerve: 80’ies keyboard, again those toned down vocals, but this time from Gahan, and his voice is at the deep levels that I love. Still on the fence though.

Should Be Higher:  This song is amazing. It pulls me in, creates a bubble around me. It’s got potential favorite written all over it.   The chorus… WOW! Dave’s doing something new with his vocals. Love, love love it.  The beat makes it hard to sit still.

Alone: again deep tones, which are my favorites, classic Depeche Mode. So much classic, that it feels a little familiar. Its like listening to a song, and not quite being able to tag it to a certain album.

Soothe My Soul: Fast rhythms, love the background electronics and the speed.

Goodbye: Like it very much. The steel guitar riffs, the electronics, Dave.

Happens All The Time: Like it, but it doesn’t stick out much.

Long Time Lie, Always and All That’s Mine: Need to listen to it more.

 

Very few songs are instant hits with me. I need time to reflect and disappear into the songs. They need to time to create a mood and … I don’t know how to explain it. Lets just say that I am a slow listener. Welcome To My World is perfect though.

Clarity or a semblance thereof.

I’ve been struggling with my writing for the past few days. Both my detail obsessiveness and general insecurities went into an attack frenzy and my writing felt wooden and wrong.

I recognize the symptoms. It is the my-story-suck-and-is-better-left-alone crisis that prop up every now and again whenever I am trying to write longer fiction. It is the point where my story nags itself to death. Sometimes I let it to make it easier on myself. Struggling with a story isn’t half as fun as it is to play with new exciting ideas. But I am determined not to let it happen this time. I like my idea, it is good and relevant and I need to write this story.

So to get the nagging cow off my back I decided to play around with the structure of my story, I added another voice and another POV, but it didn’t help, it just offered the detail-police in my head more fodder. I turned to my new favorite procrastination hide-out. Twitter. And I think I’ve discovered what my problem is, courtesy of @joe_hill answering a reader’s question about where to start a new story. Joe Hill told the reader to get the idea up front. Its not a new thing to me, but at right that moment it was just what I needed to hear. Start where the story gets good. (read his whole reply here)

I never know where to start my stories. My head is flooding with ideas, facts, locations, people and back story. So I flounder and write a lot of words that may be relevant to to the story, but might be better parsed out in small bits over the course of the tale.

So, with Joe Hill’s words in my head I sat down with my story and gave it a good hard look. And I have chugged a good 12.000 words. Which scares me witless actually, because I am a child of NaNoWriMo and the word count is alpha omega. But at the same time I feel released from a heavy burden. I suppose mental clutter causes as much stress as physical clutter in the attic does.

 ~~~~

Another way to shut up unwanted inner-voices is via music and today’s clarity also came thanks to this amazing number, which for the past two hours has been playing non-stop from my headphones.

Hearing Damage by Thom Yorke.  Video is rubbish, but the music is amazing.

First Singles and how different they can be.

 

So ironically my first post is going to be about music, even though my not yet clearly formulated mission statement is to write about reading and writing.

Depeche Mode can do very little wrong in my book. I absolutely love most of their music (Most, I said most, there are terrible lapses that makes me curl my toes and cringe) And since DM announced last year, that an album and a tour was imminent, I’ve been crawling the walls to get my hands on new Depeche Mode material.

So Friday morning before I went to work I snug into Itunes and bought the new single Heaven from their upcoming album Delta Machine. I played it repeatedly all day. And I admit I am not convinced. I feel a little … well I guess surprise is the best word.

It is slow, melodic, guitar and piano dominated. Dave Gahan is almost subdued in his vocals. I don’t really know what to make of it.

Around four years ago I felt somewhat the same when the first single from Sounds of the Universe hit the shelves. But for completely different reasons. Wrong was fast paced and had a bad-ass attitude and Dave Gahan sounded very rough and angry. I couldn’t really recognize the style from my back catalog of DM and I was on the fence about it.

So these two singles cannot be any further from each other, not in style, in rhythm, in tempo, in subject and still my hesitation is almost the same, though since I am more drawn to rock than to slow, melodic, it only took me a few plays of Wrong to make me sing along.

Heaven has this very dominating Hi-hat cha-ching and old fashioned simple keyboard rhythms. It is so far from Wrong with its heavy elements of rock, that I am now even less sure of what to expect from the new album. Introspective, slow-tempoed musings?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I am just a little bit worried. I cross my fingers for more electronics, more deep dark voiced Gahan vocals. And then I comfort myself with the fact that it is never the singles I fall in love with. More often than not it is the songs that the radio stations never play that make my skin tingle and my head all light and dreamy.

I’ve embedded the video’s of Wrong and Heaven for your listening convenience.

Heaven by Depeche Mode.

Reservations aside, I do like the Martin Gore – Dave Gahan harmonies and there is something amazingly alluring to the feedback like sound toward the end of the song. If you ask me in a few months I probably love this song to bits. Fickle mind I tell you!

 

Wrong by Depeche Mode

It is not a song I seek out again and again, but when it passes by on the shuffle mode I like it a lot.