Anniversary Post: Early Day Miners’ East Berlin at Night

Placer Found - Early Day MinersEarly Day Miners are not a sadcore band. They aren’t even close. So why am I featuring them? Well, their first album, Placer Found, is a wonderful example of sadcore. It isn’t that the music itself is sad. But if you are at home with little to do, and it is drizzling outside, this album is the soundtrack of your day. That’s especially true of today’s song, “East Berlin at Night.”

Early Day Miners are also known as a Shoegazing band. That’s another ill defined term. But you get the idea. And that’s well on display in this song. “East Berlin at Night” never mentions Berlin or Germany. I can take the song in one of two ways. I can see it in a political light. There’s that Life Magazine cover with the sailor kissing the nurse the day that Japan surrendered. Somehow, to me, the defeat of Germany (two weeks later) always brings to mind Time Square at night. And the resolution of things in Europe was a mess. So New York and East Germany are very much linked.

But I tend to think that the song is more personal. Watching the snow pile up outside in New York makes the singer feel cut off, just as East Berlin was as a result of World War II. Not that it matters. It is, like most sadcore, more evocative than concrete. And what it evokes in me is not depression but a mild melancholy — the feeling that something is not quite right in the universe, or at least my little corner of it. It isn’t a bad feeling. But it does seem somewhat silly when the sun comes out. It’s definitely music for rain days and late nights.

24 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Early Day Miners’ East Berlin at Night

  1. Since the sun is beaming directly into my eyes when I tried to listen to this, you are not wrong. Why does everyone insist on having windows in their offices?

    • I think natural light is better for the eyes. Also, you don’t want to live in “The Machine Stops,” do you?

        • When I moved to Minnesota after a while in Southern California, I regularly underguessed people’s ages by about five years. Sun is the worst, and being cooped up indoors for six months keeps one’s face from looking like an old leather boot by the time you’re 50.

          In America, you should be in the Pacific Northwest. Cloudy, drizzly, and liberal (in the cities.) But I think you really belong somewhere like Denmark or Sweden. Cloudy, drizzly, feminist, traditionally liberal . . . although liberal values are under assault there and need all the political help they can get!

          So, there you are. All you have to do is learn one of the weirdest languages in the world (the Danish word for condom is “svangerskabsforebyggendemiddel”) and learn to eat strange fish.

          Additional plus: in Sweden, people go so out of their way to avoid conversation with strangers, that if one person gets on an elevator, others will take the stairs. I think this is the greatest social convention ever invented by the human species. I’d readily submit to alien overlords conquering Earth if they mandated this rule by laser death-ray.

        • Good point. Portland was pretty good. Seattle too. You might think about that. San Diego isn’t much better than where you are now.

          • San Diego is home. That makes it perfect.

            But I have been to Portland and Seattle. Portland was rainy however it apparently is sunny and bright during the summer. Seattle has never been rainy when I was there. Always warm, sunny and spring like. Yuck.

            So I am going to move to a bunker in Montana where I can create a biosphere 3.

            • Portland is perfect for me: 9 months of drizzle and 3 months of beautiful summer. I’m a rainy day kind of person, but after 9 months, I always enjoyed the summers.

              I liked Montana when I visited, but it is so bizarre: these vast areas where no one lives dotted with what are, by California standards, really small towns.

              Will there be chickens in your biosphere?

              • Only if you are there to take care of them.

                I haven’t been somewhere it rains long enough to get tired of it.

                • When I moved to Portland, I was so excited because I loved the rain. But by mid-winter, I was deeply depressed. It was relentless. At the same time, a friend of mine from Olympia couldn’t believe how nice the weather was. But by my second year, I was used to it.

                  • I suppose-I do have that issue with depression I have told you about. And I don’t really like to walk around in rain since I wear spectacles.

                    I suppose I should move and see but all of those books……

                    • Was that number you mentioned accurate?

                      I recommend umbrellas for the rain!

                    • Not any more, I got rid about five hundred books when preparing my move. I tend to keep my Lackey, Butcher, Pratchett, other completed sets fiction wise. Non-fiction is kept at all times from the hardbacks and paperbacks. So at the moment what is on my Goodreads is 1,000+ but I have not actually finished uploading to Goodreads.

                      I am not used to using umbrellas-I have one I got from England I love that is the Union Jack.

                    • I’ve sold all my books a couple of times. Yet I find myself again with many hundreds. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been getting more on the Kindle. It’s very nice. I like that I don’t have to bookmark it. It knows where I am. On the other hand, I’m very tactile and I love the feel of books.

                    • I bought most of my textbooks because it is so much easier to do a search to flip through things.

                      I could not get rid of my non-fiction or my Lackey since it has taken me a very long time to get all eleventy billion of hers together.

                    • Yes, well, there are some things we just can’t get rid of. Although I do try to remember that I can always replace these books. And some of my favorites really could use replacement. But that would defeat the purpose. Although I do wonder: why do I have a dozen copies of Dr Faustus?! Well, actually I know: because I once had an idea that I might be able to get a group of like minded people to produce it with a small cast. But really! And the truth is, when I see a copy in the bookstore, my natural impulse is to grab it. Ugh!

                    • I have replaced a few books after reading them so many times they fell apart. One great thing point in electronic books favor.
                      But at the same time, you just enjoy feeling the book in your hand. We are a tactile species after all.

                    • Oh, I’ve destroyed a couple of different translations of DQ and at least one of Faust. But it’s easy to do with thick books.

                    • Add in that book publishers purposely make their books poorly so you have to keep buying copies…ugh.

                    • It depends upon the publisher. Last time I checked, Penguin still did a good job. B&N does a terrible job on their own books. But DQ really should always be published as two books. It is, after all, two books. In pocketbook form, it’s hopeless.

    • True. But only in a technical sense. You could take a flight out of or into West Berlin. East Berlin has always been a symbol of being trapped because the wall was put up to keep people in. So in a geographical sense, West Berlin was isolated, but in a more universal (and certainly in a metaphorical) sense, it was not.

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