Quiz fun & science sensations

Obscure facts about famed novelists like Roald Dahl and F. Scott Fitzgerald, hilarious legal regulations in different countries and astonishing murder statistics. “Neon Unnützes Quizzen. Mord & Totschlag” is a wittily crafted card game. Created by Jan Lichte and Sebastian Schwamm, the pocket-sized publication consisting of 99 multiple choice questions is part of arsEdition’s “Neon Unnützes Quizzen” series which includes a broad range of topics from celebrity gossip to body & mind and football.

Neon Unnützes Quizzen. Mord & Totschlag
By Jan Lichte & Sebastian Schwamm
Published by arsEdition (www.arsedition.de)

Science grabs the spotlight when Hubert Filser tackles topics like weather phenomena and other amazing developments. The science journalist’s books appeal to the masses – and they receive great reviews too. Having reached a large readership with “Das erste Mal” in 2011, the writer from Ingolstadt now presents “AHA! Hubert Filsers großes Buch der Alltagsfragen”. How can we avoid traffic jams? Which are the slowest animals on the planet? How did “Silent Night” become a global smash hit? And is it true that we are using only a mere 10 per cent of our brain? These and many more questions – The sound of a bonfire! The best coffee in the world! Ice cream world records! – are examined and answered in the shrewd author’s utterly compelling book.

AHA! Hubert Filsers großes Buch der Alltagsfragen
By Hubert Filser
Published by Droemer (www.droemer-knaur.de)

Pop & politics

Jens Balzer’s pop investigation navigates between a controversial 45-minute gig of The Strokes in Berlin in 2002 and a “very poor” Beyonce concert in the same city seven years later. Balzer tries to gather indices beyond the surface to underline substantial developments in the global music industry. He examines the lavish shows of Rammstein and Helene Fischer, one of the driving forces of the European schlager genre to find out whether this could be a path to economic survival for the struggling business. As artists of nearly all styles and directions are shifting fewer copies than 15 years ago, Balzer takes a look at the rise and decline of male heroism in pop and the significance of dramatically undervalued artists like Joanna Newsom. He does not poke fun at contested superstars like Justin Bieber but concentrates on the bigger picture and the impact personalities like the Canadian singer have on fans all over the world.

Pop. Ein Panorama der Gegenwart
By Jens Balzer
Published by Rowohlt (www.rowohlt.de)

Trying to react appropriately to a slowdown of the economy in a feeble business climate while you are confronted with a smear campaign masterminded by an influential rival. At the upcoming election, you will most likely be dealt a crippling blow as your party leader is entangled in another corruption scandal. Life can be tough when you’re in politics. Maybe this is the reason why some of our lawmakers come up with extraordinarily creative argumentations in interviews and speeches. Others just focus on attacking their opponents with unsurpassed rhetoric brutality. Klaus Oppitz has now presented a collection of some of the most remarkable statements by MPs, ministers and presidents. “Lösungen sind nicht die Antwort” features Sarah Palin’s strategy concerning the United States’ “North Korean allies” and late Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky’s passion for “smelly factories”. Ex-Styrian Governor Franz Voves calls his council “idiots”, and a former federal labour minister introduces his wife – and his girlfriend.

Lösungen sind nicht die Antwort
By Klaus Oppitz
Published by Residenz Verlag (www.residenzverlag.at)

The cash carousel

Clubs are aiming at global growth while usurious fees are shaking the transfer market. There is compelling evidence of groundbreaking changes in the football business. “Fieberwahn. Wie der Fußball seine Basis verkauft” goes beyond the usual attack on those in charge.

Christoph Ruf has interviewed lower league club bosses and supporters to outline how German football could avoid becoming increasingly dependent on subscription television cash and pre-season tours all over Asia. Assailed by concerns about the latest developments in the sport, the author of “Kurvenrebellen” provides a careful, even-tempered analysis. He describes how supporters’ celebrations in the streets of Jena, Saxony, Thuringia, have been blasted as hooligan rampage by some journalists who probably were not even there that day.

“Fieberwahn. Wie der Fußball seine Basis verkauft” also portrays small but popular clubs like St. Pauli, SC Freiburg and Dynamo Dresden, a club with a fanbase infiltrated with disturbers but also reasonable supporters who have contributed a lot to the recent upturn.

Fieberwahn. Wie der Fußball seine Basis verkauft
By Christoph Ruf
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

Keep on crooning

Gerold Rudle is determined to continue singing.

The Austrian Kabarett artist had his baptism of fire as a singer in 2011. “Taktgefühl” was a music show featuring pianist Markus Marageter

Reviews were mixed as some fans were irritated by the programme’s serious content – but Rudle is unequivocal about the singing part. “I’ll keep doing it. I’m not sure yet about the direction, but singing will remain a core element of my oeuvre,” he told the Wiener Zeitung.

“Captain Rudle” is the title of Rudle’s new programme and it can be ruled out that the experienced comedian may suffer shipwreck. Rudle, who will hit the stage at Kabarett Niedermair in Vienna on 9th May, 31st August and the 1st of September, has not only canvassed support on stage. Throughout the years, the staunch supporter of football club SK Rapid appeared in various television series and late night shows such as the ORF’s “Was gibt es Neues?”

Rudle is married to actress Monica Weinzettl and banter between the comedians is not just flowing at home but also on stage. The couple is looking on a string of joint programmes including “Paaranoia”, “Wir müssen reden” and “Kalte Platte”.

“Monica will surely claim that our shows are a joint effort but in fact she’s the driving force. Monica is in charge of at last 80 per cent,” Rudle aid.



From print to performance

His hugely entertaining columns capture the essence of 21st century life. But Guido Tartarotti keeps expanding his unconventional reflections to the stage as further dates of his latest programme have been confirmed.

For many years, Tartarotti has been writing essays but also theatre reviews for Viennese newspaper Kurier. The journalist, who previously focused on concert critics, decided to give it a go on stage a few years ago. In the meantime, he is at eye level with his idols as his shows keep drawing the crowds in Vienna and on the countryside.

“Selbstbetrug für Fortgeschrittene” is his fifth solo programme. Tartarotti will hit the stage at Theater am Alsergrund on 26th April and 1st of June.

Rudi Schöller and Gebrüder Moped are also performing at Theater am Alsergrund. Schöller plays servant Vormärz in national broadcaster ORF’s late night show “Wir sind Kaiser”. “Vormärz spricht” is scheduled for 24th April, 9th June and 28th September. “Keine Angst” will be performed by Gebrüder Moped, a popular satirical comedy duo, on 25th April.

>> http://www.kabarett-wien.at

Booted out in the cup, Admira on the doorstep

Admira want to avoid any further dalliances as the Bundesliga reaches its decisive stage.

The Lower Austrian outfit once more proved all critics wrong who expected them to being forced fighting against relegation this season. But with six matches still to play, Ernst Baumeister’s team sit comfortably in fifth place.

Admira – who lost 2-6 against Austrian soccer powerhouse Red Bull Salzburg – face Rapid away from home on Sunday (kickoff: 4.30pm). The Green-Whites suffered a bitter 2-3 extra time cup defeat in Graz against Sturm Graz, the league champs of 2011, last night. The defeat comes just days after a glorious 4-0 victory over city rivals FK Austria.

Rapid look back on four league wins in a row but Admira is one of the few Bundesliga competitors who have managed to cause trouble in nearly all of their recent encounters. Rapid produced a performance of embarrassing poverty in February when they were beaten 0-1 due to a late own goal by Mario Pavelic. Only a few days ago, news have emerged that the Rapid right-back will quite certainly join Croatian club HNK Rijeka.

Rapid bosses have meanwhile set their sights on Sturm Graz star Marvin Potzmann and SV Mattersburg goal machine Smail Prevljak. Andreas Kuen is expected to jump ship after just 12 mostly short appearances so far this season while rock-solid defender Lucas Galvao might exit for the German Bundesliga.

The Bundesliga after 30 of 36 rounds:

Red Bull Salzburg, 68 points
Sturm Graz, 60
SK Rapid, 52
LASK, 51
Admira, 46
FK Austria, 39
Mattersburg, 38
Altach, 34
WAC, 20
St. Pölten, 10

>> http://www.skrapid.at

>> http://www.flyeralarmadmira.at

Astounding architecture

An ocean of talent is celebrated in “Vollkommene Räume”, a book paying tribute to impeccable architecture in some of the world’s most fascinating cities.

Bursting with curiosity, Karen Michels describes the construction of chapels and libraries in Paris, Munich, Florence and Istanbul among other cities. The author of books like “5 Minuten für die Kunst” and “Martin Luther. Die Lektionen der Straße” also informs about the historical background. Texts by Kurt Tucholsky, Leon Battista Alberti and Marguerite Yourcenar turn this book into a thoroughly enjoyable read.

“Vollkommene Räume” follows critically acclaimed Corso releases such as “Russland. Menschen und Orte in einem fast unbekannten Land” and “Wien, Küss die Hand, Moderne”, a collection of essays about specific characteristics of Vienna by novelist Thomas Glavinic, journalist Sybille Hamann and others.

While Glavinic deals with the vibrant Naschmarkt and its concoction of culinary excellence and nightlife, Hamann takes a closer look at Vienna’s history of social housing. Television entertainer Dirk Stermann and Nobel Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek have also contributed texts while Eva Menasse is in charge of the foreword and an interview with her father, former footballer Hans Menasse.

Vollkommene Räume. Orte der Harmonie und ihre Geschichten
By Karen Michels
Published by Corso (www.verlagshausroemerweg.de)

Between romance and reality

“He was ahead of his time,” said sculptor Josef Kopf about Anton Romako whose meticulous paintings have lost nothing of their fascination, as a new exhibit confirms.

The Leopold Museum’s “Beginn der Moderne” (The Beginning of Modernism) provides inspiring new insights into the work of the artist who was born in Atzgersdorf near Vienna in 1832.

Romako studied in Vienna and Munich before moving to Rome “to make lots of money”. He resided in the capital of Italy for 20 years before returning to Vienna where he continued creating paintings which are still hardly to categorise as terms like hyperrealism, surrealism and early modernism seem to apply.

The exhibition does not just feature the most relevant parts of Romako’s oeuvre but also informs about the many personal setbacks Romako had to endure throughout his life.

>> http://www.leopoldmuseum.org

Dusseldorf & democracy

Dusseldorf is famed for its vibrant nightlife, picturesque old town squares and fantastic outdoor activity opportunities at
inhabitants’ doorstep. “Düsseldorf. Portait einer Stadt” reveals how an air-traffic controller, a wine tavern manager and a hockey pro feel about living in the North-Rhine Westphalia metropolis. Dusseldorf is often also considered as a striking example for worrying developments on the real estate market as indifferent elites with boundless possibilities are dominating the scene for decades – and housing fees keep rising. Stefan Keller, the author of this 35-chapter book, enables residents to express their feelings about this increasingly coveted city trip destination. The personalities he interviewed describe their everyday life with all its strains but also outstanding moments. “Düsseldorf. Portait einer Stadt” is just another piece in the impressive literary puzzle Keller has worked on in recent years. The former economy journalist has created theatre scripts but also a string of crime novels and nonfiction.

Düsseldorf. Portait einer Stadt
By Stefan Keller
Published by Gmeiner (www.gmeiner-verlag.de)

Where is the link between parliamentary seating arrangements and politicians’ public image? Does it matter if a minister channels his expensive obsession into a wardrobe of posh suits despite a recent decline in approval numbers? Philip Manow, a political scientist, analysed occurrences in politics and how it all is covered by the media to find out whether honest graft still matters in legislative procedures. Is there a way out for an MP after finding himself at the centre of another corruption scandal? Does the obligation to vote in accordance with party policy destroy democracy? In his book “Die zentralen Nebensächlichkeiten der Demokratie”, Manow refuses to answer the questions he poses but creates a complex – and exhaustive – portrait of politics in the 21st century.

Die zentralen Nebensächlichkeiten der Demokratie. Von Applausminuten, Föhnfrisuren und Zehnpunkteplänen
By Philip Manow
Published by Rowohlt Polaris (www.rowohlt.de)

Teaching & travelling

Heated discussions during the break and nonsensical phrases in essays – “Wunderland Korrekturrand” is packed with dozens of amusing anecdotes collected by Werner Vogel and Klaus Kumersberger who have worked as teachers in Vienna and Lower Austria for many years. They have witnessed Martin Luther becoming Lothar Matthäus in classroom dialogues while essays on the environment or the oeuvre of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe can bear the most absurd theories. “Wunderland Korrekturrand” has been released by Holzbaum, a Viennese publishing enterprise which recently also presented a young stage entertainer’s book and “Unnützes WienWissen”, a series of fun fact collections. “Der allerletzte Tag der Menschheit (Jetzt ist wirklich Schluss)” has been penned by Hosea Ratschiller who received the Austrian Kabarett Prize in 2016. The Vienna pub quiz knowledge books dish up information concerning the Austrian capital’s cafes, monuments and celebrities.

Wunderland Korrekturrand. Die witzigsten Sprachpannen aus 50 Jahren Unterricht
By Klaus Kumersberger & Werner Vogel
Published by Holzbaum (www.holzbaumverlag.at)

An increasing number of measures against immigration, terror attacks, budget cutbacks and the Brexit – times are tough in Europe these days, it seems. But, as a new book, shows, it is not all doom and gloom around here. “Das kleinste Klo steht in Bordeaux. Erkundungen über den vielleicht verrücktesten Kontinent der Welt” lets Europe appear as an ocean of obscurities. Christian Koch and Axel Krohn write about comfort cows in Norway, booze problems in Iceland and a cathedral made of trash in Spain. Packed with bizarre facts garnered all over the continent, their 320-page publication is anything but a conventional travel guide.

Das kleinste Klo steht in Bordeaux
By Christian Koch & Axel Krohn
Published by Heyne (www.heyne.de)