“And in the midst of all the action” – YELLOW PRES…

“And in the midst of all the action” – YELLOW PRESS, JUNIOR SENIOR, DJing tonight

“And in the midst of all the action
Maybe only there found satisfaction…
Chasing sea-foam dreams around another dirty old town
Parallel run streams…” (Ted Leo)

Another show I went to was YELLOW PRESS playing with PLANE IS ON FIRE at O27 in Fürth. I was late cause I finished the flyers for our mini-festival with WIVES SHOKEI WRITTEN FROM NEGATIVE (2oth october at k4, nürnberg) on that evening …

… but I still heard the last couple of songs of the opening band: PLANE IS ON FIRE. I understood why my friends were sitting in a corner looking bored as hell. Their band name seems to be conceptual. PLANE IS ON FIRE sounds as if it was created with theEmo Band Name Generator. Reminds me of a whole bunch of other band names, for example Burning Airlines, Boy Sets Fire, Planes Mistaken For Stars,… I think you get it. I like rip off bands only if they turn ripping off into a creative thing so that the new sum, like a good collage, is bigger than the parts. In their case it sadly isn’t. The last time I had watched them was a couple of years ago when we had them supporting GOGOGO AIRHEART and back then they tried a bit too hard to sound like your average melodic emo band. Now they try to sound like your average cowbell postpunk band. As if we hadn’t already enough Killers and Maximo Parks (who at least had one decent song with “Graffiti”) and Arctic Monkeys. They are not bad in how they play but it’s so uninspired and I hate it if bands do that to music I basically like. It wears a whole genre off. You don’t even have to go back in history like saying “We already had The Vapors, so we don’t need The Kaiser Chiefs”. No, it works even if you restrict complaints to today’s bands, for example “We have INTERPOL, what makes you think we need the EDITORS?” The last band I really enjoyed from that sector is CLOR but I’m already so tired of that whole sound that even their really nice debut album wasn’t sweeping me off my feet.

A brillant example for a nice way of ripping off other bands’ music is the new JUNIOR SENIOR album ‘Hey Hey My My Yo Yo’. It’s pure amusement. It’s pure pop like JACKSON 5 “I Want You Back” era, like B52’s “Love Shack” era. It’s as un-original as you can be without getting legal problems. It shamelessly steals from dozens of other songs, lyrics, parts of melodies, samples. That creates an aura of familiarity that makes you feel like you could instantly sing with each tune. I understand everybody who hates this record cause it’s really almost too joyful. It’s cool that they still have that queer / straight thing going on that was so charming about songs like “Chicks And Dicks” on their first album. If you are with me in believing that handclaps are an essential part of good party music: JUNIOR SENIOR even have a song called “We Are The Handclaps”. Guest stars are the B52-Ladies and Kathleen LE TIGRE Hannah and their high pitched vocals are what really reminds of the JACKONS 5. Great pseudo-naive pop dance music. If the mainstream pop world was fair they would instantly smash the thrones of all those COLDPLAYs and 50 CENTs.

Apropos handclaps, there are two songs I like at the moment, “Heavy Metal” and “The Skin Of Your Yellow Country Teeth”, by CLAP YOUR HANDS AND SAY YEAH. If the whining vocals of David Byrne of Talking Heads or Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano get on your nerves then don’t bother listening. Also avoid them if you hate Arcade Fire. These are simple but charmingly sloppy weird folky indiepunk tunes and you can find on their self-titled and self-released debut album.

Back to a band that has at least – if I counted correctly – 1 handclap in their video (it’s on their myspace site: THE YELLOW PRESS. Of course the crowd wasn’t as heated as when THE YELLOW PRESS played TRAINSPOTTING but as soon as they started playing when you looked at the audience you could see smiles rising and growing into the wide grins of people who really enjoy themselves. Should I spare you reviewing them a second time? Noooooo! They and Jamie Lidell were the most intense live acts I’ve seen in a while so they deserve me getting repetitive. 🙂

Let me see, what haven’t I told you yet? That they have a great drummer who knows exactly when to play little rhythmic whirlwinds and when to keep things simple and straight? That I wonder if he has more than one headband with him or if he uses the same every night? Had I told you that their synth player has a rather distinguished smile when he produces those cool sounds, like a british-looking version of Star Trek’s Scotty thinking “okay, hell can break lose, I’m at the controls”? Have I told you that they have one of those rare cool highly dynamic guitar players who leaves space for the others in one moment, and riffs people down in the next? Or let me express it different: He knows when to shake ass and when to kick ass. Though he seriously should clip the ends of his strings – he almost pricked out my contact lenses at the Schweinfurt show. Oh, and have I told you that Steven, singer and player of a bass with a really cool distorted sound, got me stunned when he used his great sandpaper voice to count to five in German after Fuchs of DIEE SOCS didn’t stop yelling “eins, zwei, drei, vier” and “hopp etz!” all the time? Okay, I’m getting silly here. Now you know what you missed and for the more visually focussed among you: Tobi has taken some pictures at their show in Munich and put them online on his website. And he surely will kill me when I link to one of those here 🙂

Now I’m off to a dj night that’s dedicated to a species that’s threatened by extinction: the mixtape. I decided to dedicate my hour to cover versions.

6 DJs, each plays a 60 minutes set, and there are 25 tape decks connected for the guests to tape their favourite mixes. Local artists designed very special tape covers you can buy on that night. The DJs are:
Oguzhan Celik (ZC Northern Soulnight, Reggae Hit The Town)
Flo Seyberth (Boozoo Bayou)
Eve Massacre (Sophisticated Boom Boom, Go Bang! , Nurotic Soundsystem)
Johannes Paluka (Paluka82, The Electric Dog)
Hartmut Konopka (Maos Rache, Dub Universe)
Holger Watzka (DJ Tao, Lead With the Bass)

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