Tag Archives: Germany

“Somebody That I Used to Know” is the Most Unlikely Pop Hit Ever

11 Mar

If you asked for an unlikely pop hit, I would probably suggest something slow, acoustic, with weird instruments, and not from an American artist. Yet, “Somebody That I Used to Know” appears to have broken all the rules and propelled Australian-Belgian singer Gotye to international stardom.

Gotye enjoyed a devoted following in Australia, but had not achieved any substantial international acclaim for his acoustic, thoughtful songs. Then, inspiration struck him in the middle of the night in his parents’ barn. He quickly penned the lyrics and laid down the track “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

After finding a female vocalist to enhance the story, the 21-year-old New Zealander Kimbra in this case, Gotye released the song as a single from his upcoming album, Making Mirrors. It took off.

At present, the song has topped the charts in fifteen countries around the world. It sits atop the American iTunes charts and lies at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Australia has been very kind to the song. It has been at #1 for 8 weeks there (2nd best all-time) and has been certified as 8X platinum. That’s nothing on Poland, though. In the Northern European country, “Somebody That I Used to Love” has been at #1 for an all-time high of 18 weeks. It’s the all-time most popular song there.

Gotye’s ballad has also topped the charts in Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland among other places.

It’s also been a hit song on social media. The music video has more than 106 million views on YouTube and a cover version by Walk Off the Earth has more than 66 million views.

There’s also an incredibly popular a capella version of the song by Pentatonix.

Must be good to be Gotye these days.

Gandhi Loved a Man Named Hermann Kallenbach

31 Mar

According to a new book, Mahatma Gandhi loved a German bodybuilder named Hermann Kallenbach. Though Gandhi slept in the same bed with naked women, including his naked great-niece, he rarely engaged in any sort of sexual activity with them. He left his wife in 1908 for Kallenbach.

In one letter, Gandhi told Kallenbach about “how completely you have taken ­possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance. Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom.”

They were forced apart in 1914, but as late as 1933 Gandhi wrote Kallenbach about how much he cared for him.

Knut the Polar Bear Dead at 4

20 Mar

One of the most famous animals in the world has died suddenly at the age of 4. Abandoned by his mother, Knut was raised by the zookeepers at the Berlin Zoo and helped double attendance in a few short years. Between 600 and 700 people were watching his compound when the bear suddenly had a spasm and died.

“It was a completely normal day: He was with the female bears before, who had just been shut away,” bear keeper Heiner Kloes said. “Then, Knut strolled around the enclosure, went into the water, had a short spasm and died.”

After first appearing in 2007, Knut led to a series of merchandise including plush toys, movies and lots more. Some estimate that Knut merchandise helps bring in hundreds of thousands of euros annually. His fans assembled outside his enclosure to mourn the death. Zoo officials will conduct a post-mortem on Monday.

Knut the Polar Bear