The last news I had heard about Placebo were…

The last news I had heard about Placebo were that Brian Molko spent some time in Thailand as a regular DJ for The Met Bar in Bangkok, *yawn* but now we finally got some more ‘scandalous’ news: The video clip for “Protége-Moi”, a french version of “Protect Me From What I Want”, with better lyrics, has almost been banned from french television for showing too pornographic content. Here you can read something about the video, and here you can look at almost all scenes as pictures.

The video was made by Gaspard Noé, known for his controversial movie ‘Irreversible’, and I think it’s a stylish counterpole to all the pimp&hoe videos you usually get on music tv.

Although lyrically it is rather gloomy and although it also shows a party orgy scene the clip has none of the negative undertones of decadence that we get for example in that Robbie Williams clip.

Aesthetically it’s closer to the vintage soft-focus lense style clip of Air’s “Cherry Blossomed Girl”, which – to be honest – I didn’t like because of its bland storyline: “…a young girl begins making porno flicks to become famous, but then regrets her decision. So she ends up downing a bottle of pills, and stumbling around in the dark where she becomes victimized by her own decisions. Finally, after meeting Air her life turns around” – the “poor” girl wrecks her life but gets saved by the guys, I don’t know – maybe if there had been a trace of irony…

In the ‘Protège-moi” clip you get less of a story, basically you just follow a girl (wearing not much more than a walkman) who walks around in an apartment full of people involved in sex – a masturbating woman, a woman giving head to a guy, lesbian and gay guys making out, etc. The focus is on a strong female protagonist (here I would line it up with a way of empowering female sex Madame Ciccone got famous for), but not in any way degrading men instead.

I would characterize the point of view we get as ‘innocent’ like ‘immoral’ – in a way like a child is somehow pre-moral cause its not yet socially trained to be, and not consciously non-moral. This childlike innocence in my eyes is suggested by the protagonist wearing her hair in pigtails, wearing some white hood thing and of course by the first second of the clip where you just see some balloons, like at a child’s birthday party. These hints of innocence add to the casualness of sex in this clip, like it’d not be about showing sex but more about showing absorption in lust, no matter which sex or sexual preference.

I’m not sure what’s wrong but somehow the combinat…

I’m not sure what’s wrong but somehow the combination Firefox browser / Blogger / Haloscan for comments doesn’t work very good since yesterday, while with the IE browser everything works fine, so unless someone can help me with that problem it looks like I have to go back to that security mess of a browser for posting in this blog. 🙁

First I’d like to again recommend another blog: ww…

First I’d like to again recommend another blog: www.searchanddelete.com

They added a new writer, DJ Scenius he calls himself, and he writes really cool brainy pieces on pop music, and at the moment there’s also a four-track-mp3-e.p. of him online.

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Music and Religion – a combination that usually makes me run and hide, but there are exceptions. What, for example, would a Will Oldham howl be without the tortured suffering cause he’s awaiting the punishment for his sins in the afterworld? But would that stop him from sinning? Never! 😉

There are two new albums that I’d like to recommend and both have there own way of taking up a lose end of the ugly ball of wool that religion is and they weave it into their very own context: Black Eyes’ ‘Cough’ and The Hidden Cameras’ ‘Mississauga Goddam’.

Black Eyes have sadly split up but delivered a really great second album named ‘Cough’ to console us. Their music is based on the same dub roots as that of so many bands of the Washington DC posthardcore scene around Dischord records. Black Eyes dare a more experimental approach than most, hecticly drawing in influences from jazz to klezmer, but always keeping the focus on rhythm driven post punk. No matter how chaotic a part may seem, they never leave you without something to hold on to, be it a melody or a rhythmic pattern, or a screamed line – somehow this music never really lets go. Two drummers and two vocalists add to the very special sound that makes Black Eyes a band I will miss. The two singers often sing parallel, but not the same words, it’s like a weirdly knotted talk that mirrors the music on a language level.

In their lyrics a multitude of subjects appear, e.g. the angry desperation about the cruel God of the old testament, or the war waging USA – “as oil drums carry our nation’s blood, blackened by too much summer fun and offshore spills, the time to chill has passed because soon we will feel the effects of our warring globe warming up to suicide”, discontent with a queer scene that only seems to be about fashion -“kissing clones disowns, disowns your personality // kissing clones is fake substitute authenticity // kissing clones is volunatary ghettoization”, or wrapping up the love for a androgynous / gendercrossing scene in the song of songs (biblical poems about love and sex) -“kiss me with your mouth your love sweeter than wine // honey and milk are under your tongue /…/ looking at the girls with boys’ hands // and the boys with girls’ hips // I never wanted to go home”. It’s great how they have a really poetic way of using language, their lyrics are so full of meanings to discover – or rather not to ‘dis-cover’ but to add something by whatever the music sets free in you.

Here’s a link to a song: “False Positive” mp3

A couple of days ago I had a phone call of a very enthusiastic booker. Now that’s nothing new that bookers are enthusiastic about whichever crappy band they try to make you put up a show for – excuse me for getting a bit acidic but lately I also had some phone calls of that kind by bookers who refuse to understand that you are not interested in their band even though ‘it sounds exactly like band x and paper x wrote such a great review about them’, oh my: some of those people really remind me of a bad doormat insurance agent cliche – but back to this guy: it was actually someone who gave me the feeling that he was really personally excited about this band, The Hidden Cameras, and so I gave them a listen.

Shame on me that I missed their last year’s 7″ hit “Ban Marriage”, a little ditty against marriage (especially in a queer context, cause there’s no reason to come out of the closet to get yourself into another prison), but at least now I got their album ‘Mississauga Goddam’. The Hidden Cameras (Rough Trade Rec.) manage to get an ear-to-ear-smile on my face from the very first song on. Their music reminds of folkier Beach Boys tunes, and also of songs like Cat Stevens’ “I’m gonna get me a gun”, or 50s bubblegum music, classically armed with drum machine, acoustic and electric guitars, glockenspiel, bass, guiro, tambourine, church bells, jaw harp, and organ.

Joel Gibb, singer and founder of this musical art collective, labelled his brainchild “gay church music” and indeed he sings about gay sex using church metaphors, just like a carnivalisation of the so-called ‘holy’; for example in “Music is my boyfriend” you get him singing lines like “I washed his dirty underwear, he made me toast // Music filled my mug with Vaseline, I gave him a choke // We could be happy, we could be free // If we don’t make out or fall in love /…/ I found music and he found me: // a balding head-banging pre-teen // so he seduced me in a dream: // I kissed his ugly gangly greens // he swallowed my pee”. Still you shouldn’t think that The Hidden Cameras are just great for this little ‘choc’ effect – their beautiful folk pop works on it’s own, but they also add great live shows, preferrably at special locations, and with dancers and costumes, sometimes with videos or whatever comes to their minds.

Sadly I don’t have a link to a brandnew mp3, but there’s lots of downloadable songs at their website: www.musicismyboyfriend.com

Somewhere I read The Hidden Cameras took their name from Foucault’s writing on the panopticum, an idea for a perfect prison (that never was built) by Jeremy Bentham in the 19th century: a building like a star with the warden in its centre, the warden thus being able to look into any prison cell at any time, while the prisoners don’t know if they are being watched or not – it’s supposed to work by giving the prisoners the feeling of being watched all the time, like a little child with a christian education is brought to behave by thinking Mr. Omnipresent Know-It-All God sees every sin. Foucault – correct me if I get it wrong or simplify it too much – takes the idea of the panopticum and transfers it to the structure of the western liberal societies: we discipline ourselves because we could be watched all the time, that’s why we only need a minimum of supervision. Big Brother of course also is a voluntary version of this idea, with less stress on the ‘educational’, people in there rather concentrate on 24/7 entertaining self-promotion. Papers had it this week that Big Brother 6 on German RTL2 tries to reach Truman Show qualities: it will be a small town located in an amusement park and the inhabitants will work and live there ‘forever’ – no time limit. I won’t go into this now, I already wrote far too much today..

I finally made a small website for SOPHISTICATED B…

I finally made a small website for SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM, the DJ team I’m part of, there’s not much on it yet, but if you’d like to have a look: www.sophisticatedboomboom.de

There’s a blog there too in which I will try to regularly post some links to bootleg mix / remix favourites of mine.

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Last night we had BALZAC playing a japanese horrorpunk outfit, pretty much sounding like the MISFITS. The show was fun, although musically it was a bit dull for my taste, but I would also say that about MISFITS today. The evening was visually great – those horrorpunk kids did great painting jobs on themselves, jet black khol and blood red lipstick in their faces that would have made KISS look natural and healthy, boys you couldn’t tell from girls, and painted wounds and fakebloodstained bandages around arms or legs. I put some pictures up here.

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It’s really great what bands will come to Germany this autumn, it’s really fun to book shows at the moment, although the greatest combination we had planned won’t work out: glitchpop darlings DAT POLITICS (i like costumed bands) with the chaoscore villains DAUGHTERS (both still will play our venue, but not on the same night). Instead we’ll have the Alternative Tentacles Wavepunks PHANTOM LIMBS play with the Daughters, which also seems to guarantee a crazy night. Another great though improvised show will be CAN’s DAMO SUZUKI playing in / with a band of our choice, it’s his idea of touring atm. And not to get bored in August a friend of mine and me created a new dancefloor: NUROTIC SOUNDSYSTEM where we’ll only play glitchpop, breakcore and the likes.

Shows around here I’m looking forward to in July are SPERMBIRDS tomorrow night at the Kunstverein and CE’CILE on Sat. 31 at the K4. In Würzburg one of german’s greatest old school emo hardcore bands YAGE will play one of their final shows at the Cafe Cairo on the 24th, with FUCK U IS MY NAME.

Of course best show of all will be our POP! HARBOR open air with THE OLIVER TWIST, THE SECONDS and GENETIKS. 😉

So these are my recommendations for listening:

THE OLIVER TWIST

from Cologne play this kind of discofied postpunk that might remind you of LES SAVY FAV or THE ROBOCOP KRAUS, hymnic and hysteric. Their singer also plays in VON SPAR. This song has a nice mini-cover-part of a DURAN DURAN song.

“Manipulate the Image and twist Fiction and Reality into a Schizophrenic Time Slip” mp3

THE SECONDS from New York play thrilling no wave – furious, sassy and with razorsharp guitarlines, but with a certain snotty but straight punkrockfeel to it. Brian also plays in YEAH YEAH YEAHs and ZACH also plays in EX-MODELS.

“Right Way” mp3

“Say Hey” mp3

GENETIKS from Nürnberg play dark and intense wavepunk in the vein of DAF or EA80.

“News” mp3 snippet

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