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Category: Music Life

Bummeln Down Bergmannstrasse

Dear Phantom Reader, Do you live in a big city? If you do, is it a big city full of tourists? If it is, I’m sure you know something about virtual streets in trendy neighborhoods. Virtual streets aren’t seemingly touristy places like, say, Brandenburg Gate, Hackescher Markt or Check Point Charlie, if we’re talking about Berlin. But they’re made for tourists just the same. Hey, they say. Isn’t life great here? Wasn’t your guidebook right on the nose? I live about a ten minute walk from one of these streets: Bergmannstrasse. For most locals in Bergamannkiez, Bergmannstrasse starts and ends…

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Some German Tunes

This morning, nur aus Spaß (just for fun), I thought I’d share some of the German tunes that are on the various Spotify playlists I listen to every day when I working/writing. So here goes. Annett Louisan was all the rage in the early noughts, but I could never warm up to her voice, which sounds a little girlish and muppet-like at the same time. But I stumbled across this song a few months ago and loved it. The translation of the title of the song is “The Most Beautiful Paths Are Made Of Wood” and, to be honest, I…

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For The Love Of Clothes

When a friend recently dug up this picture she took of me the second year I lived in Berlin, my first thought was, OMG, that jacket! I inherited it from my aunt and it was the softest faux suede. I wore that jacket long after the elbows were worn out and it was too small for me because I love, love, loved it. I also thought, Oh yeah, that’s back when I preferred to wear muddy Earth tones. Rebeccah dear, what’s up with that belt? Why oh why did mom jeans ever come back into fashion? They look terrible on…

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A Blast From The Past

I’ve never really been one for nostalgia. For the most part, the past is the past and now is now. My life so far has been split up into uneven chunks, strange islands that are often only connected by a rope bridge and I sometimes have a hard time relating to the person I was when I lived on those other islands. I know people who have stayed in the same town or neighborhood, who have had the same favorite book since they were 17, whose taste in music had already set and gelled and hardened by 21. And this…

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A Few Songs To Celebrate 20 Years

Yes folks, come April I will have lived in Berlin for 20 years. 20 years! It really seems surreal. I never planned to settle down here. I always thought one to two years Berlin, then back to the US for my MFA in creative writing. But then I applied to two programs and didn’t get in and a few years became more than a few years, then many years. The reasons to stay grew and the reasons to go back became less and less. Berlin was such an insanely cheap city for so long, a city for the lost, for…

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Richard Brautigan Used To Prop Open My Window

Dear Phantom Reader, As I know you are also an avid reader, I’m sure this story is familiar to you: You hear a tip somewhere from someone about a book that sounds interesting so you pick up a copy of said book only to later toss it on the pile of other such similar books that you will read one day–or not. I do this all the time. Mostly I order these books I hear about on podcasts or read about in articles or see mentioned by a writer whose work I admire from used bookstores in the US. Since…

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A Few Things I’m Listening To These Days

I don’t know if it’s dreary January Berlin (where, oh where, has the little sun gone, oh where, oh where can it be?) or just my general state of mind, but I’ve been listening to a lot of kind of lowkey stuff these days. Here are a couple of my favs for your listening pleasure. Love Jarvis Cocker’s voice and Chilly Gonzales has been a go-to for a while now. I was actually supposed to perform this Patricia Barber tune, but I went to Cali instead when the performance was taking place (an accident, but not such an unfortunate one,…

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5 Goals For 2019

Dear Phantom Reader, So a new year is upon us. What are your plans and New Year’s resolutions? As for me, I thought up five goals for this year last night through a fog of congestion from the nasty cold I’ve been fighting since the end of December. Here goes: Rebeccah M. Dean’s 5 Goals For 2019 Goal 1: Complain more Tis true. There’s not enough complaining in the world and I plan to do my part to remedy this dire lack in the year to come. I will complain when lines are too long. When lines are short, I…

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A Little More Success, A Little Less Failure

Dear Phantom Reader, Hard time finding words. Working often ten hour days for past two months writing EFL lessons for school in Vietnam. Good in some ways because had hole in my bank account so deep I could have struck oil if lucky, but almost never lucky. Poor me! (Did win pair of show chickens at 4-H raffle in 3rd grade. RIP, Everett and Helen. Best. Win. Ever.) Bad and other ways because leaves far too little time for creative writing and miss it so. Read through stories and worlds are so far away, flaws screaming out but no real…

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