Rock am Ring 2015

It has been rather quiet on the travel front here on Irresponsible Cactus after my last two trips to London and Bruges. But summer is finally here, and with summer come awesome festivals like Rock am Ring! This German music festival was held from June 5th till June 7th on an airfield by Mendig. Three days of sunshine, music, and very little sleep.

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Resonance: Nostalgia

Welcome to my new bi-weekly feature on Irresponsible Cactus. Every post will introduce a playlist around a certain theme. Last time I kicked the feature off with my picks for a Pensive Mood. For this episode of Resonance, I’m sharing my songs invoking Nostalgia.
Sometimes songs can work like a time-machine – they are like little anchors in certain moments of your life, and by listening you retain that feeling you had years ago. For this edition of Resonance I’ve compiled a list of songs that bring me back to my time in high-school, and most notably around 2002-2006. Although all of these songs are personal to me, they were all embedded in the musical conscience of that time. Do you know any (or maybe all) of these songs?

The tracklist:

  1. Crushcrushcrush by Paramore – Oh how I loved Paramore in my high school days. They were the perfect combination of cheerfulness, freshness and a dash of attitude. Crushcrushcrush was the first song I ever heard by them
  2. Boys and Girls by Good Charlotte – The lyrics are rather stupid and just a tad sexist, but the tune is just so damn catchy. Almost everyone can sing along with the chorus
  3. Chop Suey by System of a Down – The 2000s were the time metal, and especially nu-metal gained commercial success. Bands like System of a Down, Korn, Slipknot and Linkin Park were prominently featured on TV channels like MTV (hard to imagine now, right?). Chop Suey is one of those crazy yet brilliant songs that got me into heavier music
  4. Freak on a Leash by Korn – Just like System, Korn somehow struck a chord with the general populace. Freak on a Leash is probably their most famous song ever
  5. Numb by Linkin Park – It’s almost impossible to miss Linkin Park in the 2000-2005 time period. Meteora and Hybrid Theory were both a gigantic success, and Chester cooing how he’s becoming so numb never gets old
  6. Everybody’s Fool by Evanescence – Written at the high point of Evanescence, Everybody’s Fool judges the life-styles of the then iconic pop-stars. Nothing brings me back to ten years ago like those high notes and guitar riffs
  7. Before I Forget by Slipknot – Somehow Slipknot slipped into mainstream music with this song. Sure, everyone still thought these masked guys were a bit freaky, but freaky sells
  8. American Idiot by Green Day – Converse shoes, flying neckties and black eyeliner. Honestly, it’s not going to become more 2000s than that

What are your top nostalgic songs?


Resonance: Pensive Mood

Welcome to my new bi-weekly feature on Irresponsible Cactus. Every post will introduce one featured song and a further playlist around a certain theme. I’m kicking the feature off with the theme Pensive Mood.
When I’m feeling pensive, I like music that isn’t too loud, but also isn’t too emotional. It calls for songs with clear yet catching melodies, intricate instrumentals, and abstract lyrics. For this playlist I’m going with unexpected songs. Bands like Opeth and Bring Me the Horizon are often characterised by their loudness, but here I’m picking their more thoughtful and softer songs.

The tracklist:

  1. To Rid the Disease by Opeth – Such a beautiful song. It has one of the best guitar and piano instrumental parts I’ve ever heard
  2. Quutamo  by Apocalyptica – Maybe a bit upbeat for this playlist, but that melody is just perfect
  3. Avalon by Midgar – Midgar is such an underrated band that deserves to be a lot more popular than they are. It’s so easy to daydream to the tunes of Avalon
  4. And the Snakes Start to Sing by Bring Me The Horizon – The entire Sempiternal album has an amazing laid-back quality that reminds me of Thirty Seconds to Mars. On itself And the Snakes Start to Sing isn’t very strong, but it works great in this playlist
  5. Four Rusted Horses by Marilyn Manson – As always, the lyrics are dark and bleak, but the kinda funky clean guitars make this song unique for Marilyn Manson
  6. Biblical by Biffy Clyro – Biffy Clyro excels in technical music combined with amazing and refreshing lyrics. Biblical’s catch-phrase “I gave you magical, you gave me wonderful” will stay in your head for the next few hours
  7. Planets by Adema – Adema has had a tumultuous past, releasing four albums with three different vocalists. Planets is the title track of their third album with Luke Carracioli, who is one of my favourites. His soft voice with the reverb guitar playing the main melody is amazing. And that bridge!
  8. Running Up That Hill by Placebo (Kate Bush cover) – Placebo isn’t to everyone’s taste, but their rendition of Running Up That Hill is the perfect closer to this list

What would your perfect playlist for a pensive mood be? If you’d like to share yours, use the Mr Linky below.