Friday, September 12, 2008


Gott in Himmel, this is embarrassing.

Alright, let's get this over with. In 1999, I was a sophomore in college. After an "80's Night" at my frat house (or co-ed literary society, if you prefer) one of my siblings sent me an IM to say that I had reminded him of Nena, with my bandana-around-the-forehead look. Embarrassingly, I had to look up Nena on the Napster. "Oh yeah! I remember who she is; she sings the Luftballons song!"

And that's where it started, but it's not nearly the end.

Back in the glory days of Napster, I downloaded any damned thing that crossed my mind. Not content with both the German and English versions of 99 Luftballons, I downloaded every Nena song I could find, including this one:

Okay, whatever, no big deal; everyone has some weakness for 80's music and mine manifested itself prominently in German pop. So what?

So Napster listed Nur Getraumt under another artist as well: Blumchen.

If you know where this story is going, you should probably be ashamed of yourself, too. I don't know if this helps my case, but I don't actually speak German.

Fuck it:

In the near decade that I've known and loved Blumchen, I've never found anyone who shows anything but pure disgust when they catch me listening. And they really have had to catch me! I learned quickly (from my roommates in college) that this was something to hide; something no one would understand. For a while I reveled in that and held up my Blumchen-love as an example of my free spirit and disdain for convention. There was a time when you could tell I was getting ready for a party because I had dragged my boombox into the bathroom to rock out while I applied my super-hot make-up. I'd yell along (phonetically) with the oh-so-catchy choruses. How was I to resist this "fantasy techno," "happy hardcore" or "hyper-pixie-techno-pop" (my phrase)?

Over the years, I have developed a well-deserved shame in regards to this habit. I still listen; don't get me wrong, only Blumchen or Garrison Keillor can get me to clean the kitchen. But I quickly turn down the volume if I here a key in the lock or footsteps in the hall. I value my relationship with my roommate too much to let him hear this mess.

To be honest, the chagrin has gotten worse since I started this post. In all the years I'd been listening, I'd never seen a video of this woman, let alone seen her (twice!) dancing on a damned beach.

Yeah... actually? Can we forget I said anything?


BECK said...

how was your day?
i liked your blog
you are fantastic!!!

really nice blog
fabulous fantastic
take care
see you

Jez said...

You know, that whole Nena album was a fucking 80s masterpiece. I ,myself, had a thing for the German band, Spliff. They had that goofy synth-rock thing going on as well, only no women in the band, except for their first, The Spliff Radio Show, which is just a mishmash of all kinds of 80s music styles wrapped up in a concept album about the music biz.

But I digress. "Nuer Getraumpt" was my favorite song off that album. I have a Nena maxi-single (that's a "record" for you young folk who were deprived of record players during your formative years) with 99 Luftballoons on the front and Nuer Getraumpt on the back. I think my sister has the entire album.

I agree with Beck. "You are fantastic!"