c/o Wesleyan

German Studies Chair Leo A. Lensing may be off campus on sabbatical, moving throughout Austria and Germany for archival research, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped listening to music. Lensing, who is researching Austrian writer, photographer and physiologist Theodor Beer, amongst other figures, teaches German and film courses such as “From Caligari To Hitler: Weimar Cinema In Context” and “Viennese Modernism,” and will be teaching “Newest German Cinema” next semester.

What he emailed is an eclectic mix of tracks that nonetheless remains exciting: everyone from Wesleyan alumni Himanshu Suri ’07 and Victor Vasquez ’06 of Das Racist to country singer Randy Travis is represented. Only one song has ties to a German film, but this playlist is nonetheless cinematic in its scope and energy.

Das Racist, “Rapping 2 U”

Muddy Waters, “Champagne & Reefer”

“Okay, these first two may have been influenced by a young relative of mine who recently helped me set up my iPhone, but I was already on to Das Racist.”

Travis Tritt, “Bible Belt”

“I like the idea of religion whipping people into shape.”

Champion Jack Dupree, “ When I’m Drinkin’”

“When I’m drinkin’.”

Randy Travis, “Rise and Shine”

“White gospel, but still gospel.”

Linda Ronstadt, “Desperado”

“I have all her albums, and I’m thinking about her again.”

Gladys Night and the Pips, “Midnight Train to Georgia”

Tanya Tucker, “Delta Dawn”

“I like songs about the South unless they include the promise that it will rise again if you save your Confederate money.”

Johnny Rivers, “Memphis, Tennessee”

“This version was big when I was a teenager, and Wim Wenders uses the even bigger original by Chuck Berry to great effect in one of my favorite films I don’t show in “New German Cinema:” ‘Alice in the Cities.’”

Janis Joplin, “Mercedes Benz

“Because I will never own one and because the lyrics are brilliant.”

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