“It’s electrifying” – Goodbye Nova, The Locust and more

“Wenn nicht, bist du draußen”
Sending out some love to the NOVA mailorder & store which is closing down. I hate to see them go. A cool selection of records, fair prices, spreading zines, writing zines like ‘It’s not just boys’ fun‘, releasing records by bands like Envy, XBXRX or Kaospilot, playing in bands like Yage, booking tours for bands like Get Hustle, Japanther and Meneguar – it’s exactly that kind of mixed action that keeps things exciting and alive, you know.. people who are active in more than one way and thus know different views of the scene. I really fail to understand why there is not enough support for this. It makes me sick to think that people spend enough money on music to keep things like the whole promotion industry alive but not enough for a dedicated mailorder like NOVA for whom ‘business’ has more stress on ‘getting busy for things you like’ than on ‘selling’.
I wish you the best for the future, guys!
It’s so sad to see you go.
To everyone out there: Instead of buying the next brainnumbing shooter like Bioshock or spending your money on the next Warner Bros movie DVD please – PLEASE! – go and buy some records from indie labels! Nova has a 15% closing down sale going on!

I’ve just got the Architecture in Helsinki “heart it races” Trizzy’s Rusty Tin Remix 12″ from there, a track I’ve been in love with since weeks, downtempo Diplo-style sweetness with a hint of M.I.A.’s ‘galang’. And the Benga ‘Crunked up’ 12″ which is seriously good too, and that heartshaped LoveLife record that reminds me of the beautiful noisy dark Scratch Acid stuff from a hundred years ago, ach, and some more. Nova and X-Mist are the two mailorders in Germany that really matter to me. Both have their roots in punk/hardcore stuff but have a much broader choice of music by now. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have gotten to know a lot of music from small labels. Sure today the internet helps to find obscure music to fall in love with too but those mailorders are still the nicest way to get great music from small labels all over the world.

* _ *

“I got chills. They’re multiplyin’. And I’m losin’ control.
‘Cause the power you’re supplyin’, it’s electrifyin’!”
J. Travolta + O. Newton-John

The Locust were here. It was wonderful. Of course it was. If only for seeing them dancing to trashy music like that song from the Grease soundtrack. No, seriously: they played a great show and seem to be really nice guys. Still one of my favourite bands ever. Only thing bout the show: Maybe I’m discodeaf but I felt like it could have been a tad louder. Or maybe that’s just cause I feel like with a band like them the sound should be physically attacking me. Everyone else I’ve talked to said it was loud enough so I better shut up and get some hearing aid. Oh, and I loved the backdrop too, it added nicely to that anonymizer costume thing. The little I saw of the Aux Raus show wasn’t too bad either but maybe a bit too straight (in an Atari Teenage Riot way) for my taste. I missed most of their set due to that silly smoking ban.

Patrick of Photonation took pictures of the show and allows me to put some of them up here for you:

The much I love the band those two days added to a bit of a burn out of mine. I love everything I’m doing but sometimes the amount of small things you have to think of to keep things running smoothly rises so high that it accumulates to a constant feeling of being sure that you’ve forgotten about something and that stresses me out. I need a certain level of that condition to be happy, I couldn’t live without it but sometimes it’s strained too far. Last week turned into one of those. There were no posters for the Get Hustle and Daughters show, so I made some, press and flyers for Sophisticated Boom Boom were overdue, Jessie who does most of the catering cooking had no time but luckily I found Tom of The Electric Dog being so nice to help out, I had a couple of things to check back with our soundguy which best has to happen when he’s around for doing the sound for a show (he only does this as an extra job as we can’t pay enough to keep him and his family alive, so he doesn’t have too much time for our stuff), also: I want to finish my damn cd as I’ve already set the time for the cd release party (5th october at the k4), checking dates for show that we plan to do which is a pain in the ass this autumn as it seems every band keeps shifting their tour dates around madly, and dozens of other small things like bringing the garbage away, trying to bring down someone who was a  bit too rude to someone else, checking if the tickets are prepared, if the tables are clean, if the technic storage is locked, if the fliers made it from the copy machien to the cutter and downstairs to be spread, if.. if… if… it’s an endless check list and you have to stop at some point, else you go mad. or you get tinnitus which I’ve got pretty badly again since a couple of days. Am I complaining too much? Sorry, I’ll stop it. It’s just that writing stuff down in this blog has such a nice digestive effect on me.

Anyway. The day before The Locust arrived Robin (tour manager and a great photographer and a real charming person) dropped me a line cause Justin had hurt his back and they were looking for painkillers and a proper massage. Sounds like nothing big but is no fun if you a) got no medical assurance and b) move from city to city in a foreign country each day. So I spend Wednesday evening phoning and mailing a couple of friends if they know of cheap and unbureaucratic ways to help and a hundred phone calls later it looked good for them. That’s one of the things I love about Nürnberg. For almost any kind of problem some friend has a friend who has a friend who can help you out. Thanks again to everybody involved!

I also went on cleaning out my Mom’s apartment as I made half of the band stay there. As long as I can think back she was no friend of bric-a-brac. She was a rather rational person and to her that was just stuff that catches dust and makes a flat harder to clean. In the last ten or fifteen years of her life though – after my father died and she finally started living – she started keeping and putting up a lot of those little things. Some of them handmade from her choir or sports group people, some of them souvenirs from friends but I know that each of those things actually meant something to her if she put it up. Packing those away really tightened my throat. It made me think of how – when she got older – she finally sometimes allowed herself to let go and sometimes got all childish in a very sweet and loveable way. It’s been more than half a year now that she’s dead and while I had thought I’ve found my way of dealing with it and that I’m done with the real pain I must say at the moment the sadness is coming back and hits me harder than I’ve expected it. It’s good to use her flat as place for bands to stay though as it fills it with life.

Anyway. The show was great, I loved how some of the people up front looked blown away. Almost of the end of the set I was called outside as there were two masseurs waiting. That was weird because I had already arranged for a physiotherapist to see after the hurt guys on the next day. Turned out that those two masseur ladies were from an agency that sends its ‘body angels’ out to club nights and shows to give the guests shoulder and neck massages. Didn’t sound like properly trained masseurs though, so they wouldn’t help for the band and we agreed that it wasn’t the kind of audience that would use their offer. After the show Dominik was so nice to care about the money stuff too so I only had to care about a few little things and got time to chat and smoke and drink outside. It turned out The Locust guys wanted to go party with Aux Raus somewhere as it was their last night together. Simon, with whom the Aux Raus guys stayed, luckily knew which venues were open a bit longer so after making sure there was nothing left I had to do we headed for the Karaoke Bar which was the closest place. It also was the lamest place but the guys brought quite some fun into it. They cheered noisily for the people who sang, maybe a bit too noisily for the staff’s taste because when Jeroen and one of the Aux Raus guys started singing they turned the backing music down to hard-to-hear-at-all and the same happened when later Bobby and another Aux Raus guy tried to sing “Beat It”.

That sucked so we left before I couldn’t even finish the coke that I had ordered to get a little less drunk. Next we walked to the Stars&Stairs, another place at which I hadn’t been yet cause I didn’t like their cheap sex-sells-ads and -image. We walked along the old city wall, Frauentormauer, and passing a few of those red light windows in which prostitutes present themselves seemed to impress some of the guys. Made me think once more how weird it is that prostitution is illegal in the land of the free. No matter what your opinion about prostitution is, as it exists anyway I’m glad that in Germany being a prostitute is offically accepted as a job so they can get a proper health insurance etc. It’s a shit job anyway.

Stars&Stairs. I can’t stand clubs with bouncers but I bit my lip and it turned out to be a youngsters-getting-pissed-really-hard-to-greatest-trash-hits-sort-of-music place. I tried to drink it pretty and the dancing of both bands’ guys was quite funny but I started to get tired. Just when Quirin was so kind to buy me Cuba Libre they decided to leave so I just was able to take a sip and we walked back to the van. Goodbyes to the Aux Rauses, Jeroen driving us home, showing them their beds and the magicinterwebconnexion that understandably is some kind of umbilical cord for most bands and then I almost instantly fell asleep when I fell into my bed. I think it was almost five a.m.
This is getting too long, I’ll post the second part later.

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