“Life makes you nervous” – LONDON BOOTED and somet…

“Life makes you nervous” – LONDON BOOTED and something like an AGAINST ME! review

“I know that my life makes you nervous
But I tell you that I can’t live in service” (The Clash)

In 2004 there suddenly was this disrespectful idea of mashing up THE CLASH’s classic album ‘London Calling’. Some of the (in my eyes) most interesting remixers and bootleggers took part and it was downloadable for free (but people were asked to donate some charity money).
Now it is being released on vinyl. Double vinyl. It’s nice to be part of this, thanks to the guys of PRANKMONKEY Records!
My track is a mash up of Clash (rudie can’t fail) with Madonna (power of goodbye) and Jurassic 5 (unified rebelution).

You can listen to a stream of the whole record on this part of the website.
Here are some links to where you can buy it:
ROUGH TRADE
HMV UK
GROOVE DIS USA
Sadly I’m not sure yet where you will be able to get it in Germany.

* _ *

I listened to the new AGAINST ME! album twice now. I really enjoy them live although from year to year they seem to appeal to a more careless violent crowd. This recording is rough and punk, really good, but somehow it’s so testosterone fueled that I get a feeling of… well, it gives me a feeling of ‘losing touch’ (that song, “losing touch”, is such a classic rock stomper that I already can imagine the guys standing in a STATUS QUO rocking all over the world pose in 20 years). It’s that feeling from years ago when there always was a 98% male crowd at punk and hardcore shows, and nobody seemed to find something wrong with that. It was normal to be the ‘different’ person, it was normal to always feel a bit like a stranger. (I’ll even tell you a secret: It took me quite a while to comprehend that it wasn’t my fault. ;))
— That reminds me: I talked bout that subject with a friend a couple of weeks ago. He told me about a Jessica Hopper article that had impressed him and I have found a link to it, you can read it >here. —
Maybe I could connect more to this album if it had a tad more (self) irony… I don’t know. I don’t blame them for this at all. It’s their way of making music, and they make it good. They also are one of the most down to earth bands whilst getting really big. They have my respect. It’s just that I wish I would feel more like one of the people they try to reach with their songs. It’s good emotional punk rock. It’s only not the kind of album that I often will play as a whole. Still there are some songs I really really like. Last album’s “Cliche Guevara” is this album’s “Problems”. Can’t help singing along (and wondering if I haven’t heard that melody somewhere else before).

* _ *

It feels awesome to be home tonight, type this and sip some amaretto (it tastes even better if you drink it hot). Friday and Saturday nights at home make me feel like I have twice as much time to relax than when I stay home weekdays.
Hope there’s some nice movie on TV later, then this evening is perfect. 🙂

“It makes no difference that the corner presents i…

“It makes no difference that the corner presents itself to me at this moment as a long walk on the open road: at the end of it I shall discover that the earth is round: corners have many shapes.” (J.M. Coetzee)

Yesterday it kind of struck me that I’m surrounded by people who realise the most brilliant and the silliest ideas without hesitation nor bothering much about the work. It’s one of those everyday things that you don’t think about and then suddenly in a calm moment you realise how special it is.

Fanzines are one of those things. You put an immense amount of time and effort into it without knowing if anybody will ever read it. And it doesn’t matter cause it’s about the joy of expressing things and putting something together with likeminded people. I really missed writing and releasing one, and I’m glad Tobi kicked our asses so that one year after the dead of YOT we released #01 of QUITO, a new copy-zine that concentrates on music from the fringes, but also leaves space for anything else in arts, politics, comics, d.i.y. culture, literature our fellow conspirers want to dedicate their writings and drawings to. The first edition for example has articles on travelling to Tallin, Bizz Circuits, Intifada Offspring, and I wrote about Araki’s ‘Doom Generation’ movie. Of course there are also lots of reviews, in this edition we wrote about Gregg Anderson, Arthur Russell, Decider, Wives, Sickboy, BulBul, dDamage, Electronicat, Matt Elliott, Le Charmant Rouge, Loscil, Why? and more. It’s written in german and you can order it from X-Mist and some other places I can’t think of at the moment. And it will be up as .pdf file on www.quitozine.net soon.

* _ *

X-Mist also distributes PLUGZINE, a great project that has the subject ‘ex.tensions’ and was made by Herr Mueller, who also made the artwork for my album. There are articles on Annie Sprinkle, biotechnology, and much more. I contributed an article about bootlegs / mash ups as an extension of original music. Some of the texts are in english, some in german. The zine has truly great artwork – collages as well as comic drawings and even stencils – that’s printed on different materials and parts can be folded out. As the subject suggests it is open or unfinished. For example you can download extensions like a video Martin and friends have made for DÄLEK as well as the whole zine as pdf from www.plugzine.net
 
* _ *

For Wally, the woman with whom I organised the MEOW party it was clear from the moment we picked the name that we would turn the location into cat’s paradise. So we had scratching posts and cat food cans with pretzel sticks and other yummy feline sweets like these:
chocolate ‘cat’s tongues’

and liquorice ‘cat’s paws’.

Some kitten slides and video loops topped the theme off. It was a nice night though I was totally nervous about playing live, and Wally had to seriously kick my ass to make me do it. 3 Vodka Red Bull and too many cigarettes helped too. Playing was good then, freeing, intense. I hate the moment before starting and I hate the moment after a show. Maybe because playing itself is such a intimate thing and the intenseness of playing and singing totally overpowers the awareness of the audience’s presence. The moment after the show when people applaud and all – it’s like a bad comedown for me, I sometimes feel like hiding, while of course at the same time I enjoy to realize that people had liked my music. And on that night if people didn’t like it they are pretty good liars. DJing was fun too because people were really in the mood for dancing. It wasn’t a hell lot of people, maybe 60something but sure enough to have a good time. I love those moments when you share euphory about a song that touches you with other people.

* _ *

The MITSCHNITT night was great too: Tobi und Holger had had the idea for a mixtape night with 6 DJs playing a one hour set each, and they really managed to lend more than twenty tape decks from friends so guests could record those sets live on 60min tapes. When I got to the Cafe Regina, whose owner they had convinced to host that night, there were already more people standing outside as fitted inside. It was great cause people didn’t leave but it turned into a street party. Robert had cared for the tech side of this night and from behind the dj desk it really looked like a weird scientist’s lab, hundreds of cable connections, and I still wonder how long it took to properly cue all those recordings levels. I played the last our and had decided to dedicate my set to cover versions and rip offs. As some friends didn’t get it live I re-mixed it at home and put an mp3 of it online:

“Mitschnitt mix – eve massacre”
(60 minutes, 192kbps quality, so it’s rather big: 80 mb / rightclick and ‘save as’ to download it)

Here’s the tracklist:

ANDREAS DORAU: Lass uns brennen
It’s a nice rip off of Brian Eno’s “Baby’s On Fire”. I like Dorau for his ability to make sugarcoated trash listenable and for his absurd humor.

AC/3P: Who Made Who
I bet AC/DC is one of the most covered bands ever and AC/3P dedicated a whole electro album to it. There are at least three okayish covers and a nice flash video on it.

DSICO: Trick Me (Kelis)
DSICO THAT NO-TALENT HACK was one of the earliest mash up artists and has made some nice cover versions too, this being one of those. Some others are downloadable from his website, I recommend the “Some Like It Hot” one!

THE AVENGING DISCO GODFATHERS OF SOUL: Lullaby (The Cure)
They are one of those next-step-of-screamo bands that I wish I had had the chance to have seen live. Their albums, though above average, aren’t really that great but it’s as if you could hear their potential crackling from between the songs. This cover version is from the RELEASE THE BATS 7″ trilogy “The Shameless Kiss Of Vanity”, a Cure tribute. Coloured vinyl, limited edition of 525 records, coloured vinyl – you get the clue. 😉

GLASS CANDY: Iko (Cajun Traditional / James Crawford)
I’ve always had this love/hate relationship with this band. One day I find them awesome, the next Ida No’s voice simply gets on my nerves, but I guess the love won cause I own so many records and 7″s by them… well, this is a truly great cover version in my eyes: it frees the tune from its original structure and transforms it into a typical GLASS CANDY song, and still you get this feeling of familiarity that’s so nice about listening to cover versions.

MYSTERY JETS / FUTUREHEADS: Hounds Of Love (Kate Bush)
It’s cool if bands ‘remix/replay’ (don’t know how else to call it) other bands cause it’s so different from a dj’s or producer’s electronic remix. The FUTUREHEADS once did a great ‘remix/replay’ of THE STREETS’ “Fit But You Know It”, that used parts of the original song and mixed it with a FUTUREHEAD style stop&go cover version of the song. So it seems only appropriate that now they get the very same treatment by another band, the MYSTERY JETS, only that here we get even one level more because it’s no original FUTUREHEADS song they abuse but the cover of “Hounds Of Love”. I love what they do to the acapella and how they infiltrate the track with their slightly hippiesque rhythm obsession, that reminded me a bit of old Q And Not U.

EELS: Get Ur Freak On (Missy Elliott)
Let’s hear Mark Everett himself about this: “Just because it’s a hit doesn’t have to mean it’s not a great song — it’s so spooky and exciting. We did our best to rock it and make it our own.”
And they did indeed.

ACUMEN: Birds Fly Whisper To A Scream (Icicle Works)
Released on the ‘Newer Wave’ compilation this simply is one of those nice kitschy pop dance tunes that make me smile.

DAPHNE & CELESTE: School’s Out (Alice Cooper)
Have I just mentioned ‘kitschy pop’? 🙂

JUNIOR SENIOR feat. KATHLEEN HANNAH: Dance Chance Romance
Yes, definitely. Kitschy pop.

HELEN LOVE: Cardiff City Superstars (The Banana Splits)
I’ve never heard the original “Tralala” song but only a live cover version by the DICKIES, so that in my ears it will stay a DICKIES cover. HELEN LOVE’s bubblegum Ramones punk is simply widegrinning fun and I love her vocals. You should also check out her great “Debbie and Joey” single.

THE BLOOD BROTHERS: Under Pressure (Queen feat. David Bowie)
This is the best cover version made in the last couple of years, especially as it uses such an overplayed tune (yo, thanks, Vanilla). It has pop: It has noise. It is sweet. It is aggressive. It has a smart structure. Perfect.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: Istanbul (Not Constantinopel) (The Four Lads)
They had to be on this mix cause I only lately rediscovered my love for their “Ana Ng” song through MOCHIPET’s combat version.

WILLIS: Word Up (Cameo)
Another case of making an overplayed tune listenable again. It’s taken from the ‘Rewind 4’ compilation that also has that great jazzy blues version of “7 Nation Army” on it.

THE COOLTRANE QUARTET: Should I Stay Or Should I Go (The Clash)
This is closer to the NOUVELLE VAGUE lounge jazz approach but still nice.

AFGHAN WHIGS: True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Duan Dee)
Greg Dulli is one of those few singers who sound like they have sinus problems whose voices got me addicted for years. By the way, I’m always surprised that there are so many people who like post”Gentlemen” AFGHAN WHIGS. You’re so misled! “Gentlemen” was the climax but the later records are unacceptable.

JANE BIRKIN & BRIAN MOLKO: Smile
Yes, Brian Molko is the other sinus problem singer I love.

LAST TOWN CHORUS: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Culture Club)
I think I first heard of LAST TOWN CHORUS from the “Copy, Right?” blog and it was a nice surprise to see that they have put this cover and one of Bowie’s “Modern Love” online on their website. Megan Hickey has a really cool crooner voice.

IRON & WINE: Such Great Heights (The Postal Service)
A folky whispery cover that I’ve already played as last song in the morning hours after a sweaty dance night, it fits so well. I’m glad I didn’t buy the first version of the POSTAL SERVICE album but the second one, the double LP with all those beautiful cover versions on adequately beautiful dark red clear vinyl. No, I’m no collector nerd… noooo.. but who could resist those candy coloured 7″s! *steals away to order the 12x coloured vinyl surprise 7″ series on GLS*

ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS: Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
For his Edgar Allan Poe inspired album ‘The Raven’ LOU REED invited ANTONY to re-interprete “Perfect Day” and it’s a beautifully haunted castrato-voiced version.

I’m not sure how long I will be able to keep this mix online as it’s a rather big file and I don’t have endless bandwidth. So better hurry up.

* _ *

It’s all about that kind of things, of which parents would have said “they don’t pay off” or that they are self-exploitative. To find forms of expression, to work on something with friends – it’s that kind of things that makes life bearable and soothes the restlessness and emptiness that we sense underneath. Big words, uh?

“When you get so down that you can’t get up And yo…

“When you get so down that you can’t get up
And you want so much but you’re all out of luck
When you’re so downhearted and misunderstood
Just over & over & over you could

Hold on tight to your dream
Hold on tight to your dream
When you see your ship go sailing
When you feel your heart is breaking
Hold on tight to your dream.” (ELO)

Today’s list of things that could make me sad:

1.) People who act as if any kind of (socio-)political interest is oh so last century.

2.) That I didn’t drive to Munich on Sunday to watch another JAMIE LIDELL show.

3.) That X-MIST, one of my favourite mail orders in Germany is in danger of having to shut its doors. And it’s not only my fave because Armin and Ute released my old band’s album. X-Mist is one of those typical “remember where you heard it first” radars that got me acquainted with some truly outstanding records before anyone else cared about them but which got big later. And it’s more than a mailorder. It is the acidic voice of the indiepunk scene in Germany. It is almost brutally consistent in following its taste and ideals. Please don’t stop!
www.x-mist.de

4.) That CONSPIRACY mailorder suddenly sells records of BLUTHARSCH, DEATH IN JUNE and others who flirt with Nazi aesthetics and symbolism. In my eyes DOUGLAS P is less about right wing thought than about a Nazi fetish but his mistake is that he rather keeps that to him and never clearly distanced himself from Neo Nazi ideas. That’s enough reason for me to not want to be associated with DEATH IN JUNE and the likes. I’m not sad about the mailorder but CONSPIRACY also is a booking agency that cares for some really interesting acts and I won’t book any CONSPIRACY bands as long as they help distributing such albums. Do you think that’s too exaggerated and over p.c.?

5.) That my cat puked on an ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Best Of CD I borrowed from my sister. Please spare me jokes about my cat’s musical taste. 😉

6.) That a guy of a punk band I really have respected until now is accused of having raped an underage girl. Another little crack in the glittering snow dome as which I always try to view at least parts of this world.

7.) My cold feet. Winter is coming too fast and I’ve just realized that I don’t own any warm pair of socks without holes. I hate having to wear two socks that don’t belong to each other. And I hate shopping.

8.) Not being able to put up shows for people I really like. Even if I’m not totally into those people’s music I feel bad and a little guilty for not helping them with a show, be it just for the selfish fun of meeting them again and spending some time talking. That applies to Omar Rodriguez and Paul Drake, or to Oli of The Very Job Agency, or to Fuse And and Fluid To Gas, and some more. 🙁

Today’s list of what makes me happy:

1.) I’m off to celebrate Seppo Defect‘s birthday now! 🙂

2.) The nice nostalgia I felt when copy/paste-ing the list of bands into the musikverein profile I made for myspace today. So many happy memories. And it makes me feel a bit small to know this is only a part of the shows Musikverein has organized.

http://www.myspace.com/musikverein

3.) To have friends who don’t hesitate to realise their ideas, no matter if brilliant or plain silly. I’ll give some examples tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will also post an mp3 of the mix I played at the Mitschnitt Night.

“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.

MITSCHNITT
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)

“Out of chaos comes order” – B-Day & TRAINSPOTTING…

“Out of chaos comes order” – B-Day & TRAINSPOTTING FESTIVAL

“out of chaos comes order out of chaos comes order out of chaos comes order… fake niggas run for the border! lalalaaaa…” (S.Williams)

Pheeew, another year older and this actually is the first birthday on which I’m really flirting with ‘feeling old’. I put GUN CLUB on my record player instead of JASON FORREST in my cd player. Waking up with sticky mascara traces round my eyes cause I had been too lazy to clean my face last night didn’t help. Neither did scuffling through my flat answering phone calls and making lazy efforts to clean my kitchen so that when I finally sat down to sip my cup of earl grey it had gotten cold. Yuck. Time for the birthday cake and cheering up now! Thanks for the birthday wishes! 🙂
Oh, grant me one last complaint: Aren’t you supposed to first feel grown up before you feel old? Get rid of spots before you get wrinkles? Yes, and being able to enjoy the pleasures of being grown up, like getting a well-regulated way of life, feeling confident and self-assured and experienced, or – dare I say it? – even: starting to learn from your mistakes? Feel safe and secure about your future for once? “Out of chaos comes order” – as if! I fear I have to go on in those immature ways that sometimes make me feel as if I managed to trick life to grant me some Peter Pan sphere of neverending excitement. I’m happy that I haven’t lost that excitement, or my curiosity and enthusiasm – as long as I have that I’ll gladly pay with a bit of anxiety and with constantly living on the edge of being broke. 🙂

– – – sloppy interlude – – –

DIANE: You’re not getting any younger, Mark. The world is changing, music is changing, even drugs are changing. You can’t stay in here all day dreaming about heroin and Ziggy Pop.

RENTON: It’s Iggy Pop.

DIANE: Whatever. I mean, the guy’s dead anyway.

RENTON: Iggy Pop is not dead. He toured last year.

(Trainspotting, 1996)

– – – sloppy interlude emerging as even sloppier transition – – –

Next stop: TRAINSPOTTING festival. It’s a super nice annual 2 days festival at the Stattbahnhof in Schweinfurt that is organised mainly by Zistl and Andi of MCCARTHY BLACKLIST who sadly played their final show there. This year they also had lots of bands who cancelled (I think 6 or 7) but it was a nice line up anyway. We arrived on Saturday in the afternoon when ENDSTAND were playing. They don’t really reach me, too average an approach to hardcore. So we rather enjoyed some café au laits and chatted. For me TRAINSPOTTING, like every other enjoyable festival, is as much about hanging out with friends as it is about the bands. That’s why a perfect festival line up always has to have at least 3 or 4 band I’m not really interested in. SHOKEI, who played next, where none of those. They are an awesome noise punk / posthardcore threepiece that added a great portion of humour since I had last watched them live. It fits them well as did the satin leggings, and the “kids are united” cover version made me laugh out loud. SHOKEI are so energetic and fast, with lots of breaks, only sparse shouting vocals, and a hint of melody every now and then. Lovely!
After that I missed a couple of bands while talking and drinking outside. And eating of course: there was great vegan food!
A.M. THAWN was the next band I watched. I had last seen them live in November when we played together in Bochum. Since then they were joined by a new guitar player and exchange instruments every now and then. They are the best Q AND NOT U since Q AND NOT U aren’t Q AND NOT U anymore. Or think of a mixture of !!! and FUGAZI. They are a great liveband to dance to. Hard to find more words about them. They definitely are not simply a rip off, not at all. Go watch them yourselves if you get the chance!
The next band I tried to watch were IRA but didn’t like their music at all. Metalgrungehippiehardcore? I don’t know. So we waited outside for YELLOW PRESS to start playing and that was a duly great final band for TRAINSPOTTING. Two of them played in the middle of the audience and people went wild, the usual weird dance moves I love about the Würzburg/Schweinfurt crowd were even more over the top than usual, and someone threw flyer confetti and YELLOW PRESS played a hell of a show – cheerful postpunk at its best, I’m in love! 🙂 I hear the most catching traces of bands like JAWBOX or even AGAINST ME in parts of their music if you’re in need of a comparison. I saw them for the second time and each time I was rather tired and exhausted before they started playing and they kicked me awake within a fracture of a second. I’m really curious about their album on Day After, I hadn’t had the time to give it a listen yet.
After their show we quickly drove back to Nuernberg cause there the BUCOVINA CLUB partied at K4 but when we arrived it was far too crowded and too hot to be much fun for us latecomers. I’m still surprised that this Balkan / Gypsy music mixed with electronica still works for so many people. It’s really fun but I wouldn’t have expected it to keep the masses dancing for more than a year. DJ SHANTEL definitely found his magic in that music, he’s a true master of ceremony.

“Suspicious Minds”: Booking Rant And NUROTIC SS EL…

“Suspicious Minds”: Booking Rant And NUROTIC SS ELEKTRONISCH ROCKEN – SICKBOY

“We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds” (M. James)

There are bookers I really like having to deal with, some of them really became friends over the years, and
if you tour abroad or if you’re a bigger band of course it totally makes sense to have a booking agency. Still I really like having to deal with bands and artists directly, without any interstation. I’m convinced that too many bands in Germany employ booking agencies too soon in their ‘career’. I sometimes wonder if it’s the same in other countries.

[Oh, and to that kind of small bands: How dedicated are you if you don’t love making music enough to take some time and effort to book a tour in your own country yourselves? I believe that if you start a band this is a totally healthy experience and usually bands who did so also are the ones who stay well grounded when they happen to become famous later on. If you think you have to switch that extra cost thing on (and today most of the “agencies” that book totally unknown bands DO charge money, at least a percentage, for their work), so if you use agencies at that point: Why not rather think of it as a travel bureau and pay it from your own pockets? Would seem fair to me. Why should a promoter pay those extra costs for your convenience?]

Back on track: I love to be in direct contact with bands to work things out and it often helps to keep things simple. I also love putting up shows without the safety net of a contract but based on trust. In many years of doing so I hardly ever made a bad experience, neither when I was touring myself, nor when I put up shows for other bands.

I have to say this year really sucked for that matter because we had lots of rather short term cancellations from artists and their agencies. BLOOD BROTHERS was cancelled / postponed earlier this year, in February because of “change of management”, people kept asking us about when it actually would be happening for months until we finally got a new date. In April MOVING UNITS cancelled their tour two or three days before they were supposed to play at our place and I’m still waiting for the announced ‘official statement’ from their agency. Of course I’m not really waiting but give a damn about bands who don’t even mind informing people about why they have to cancel or at least send an excuse via their agency.

April also saw the ommission of the SUBTLE show because DAX PIERSON had been badly injured in a car accident earlier that year. (I wish him all the best deep from my heart! He is still in the process of recovering, and there have been lots of benefit events to help him pay the medical costs. If you want to keep informed and / or send some wishes or even can afford to send some money go to his website: www.daxpierson.com).

DANCE DISASTER MOVEMENT cancelled their tour, also pretty short term and without a proper reason (I don’t really remember, I think it was something along the lines of them being afraid they wouldn’t make enough money on the tour which is an okay reason not to tour but it’s no good reason to cancel a tour that already has been promoted with posters and in city magazines).

TRUST cancelled in September because they made not enough money so they had to abort their tour as long as they had enough to fly home to Argentina. The biggest disappointment this year because of the plain thoughtlessness seeming to be the main reason: SICKBOY cancelled via his booking agent one day before the show because he hadn’t been aware before that the train ride here would take him so long. In that case it also sucked because friends of ours, BASSSTART, already had had a party planned for the same day and they play similar music (breakcore, the more complex kinds of hiphop, idm, etc.) but as we didn’t find another possible date we still put up NUROTIC SOUNDSYSTEM as a frame party for SICKBOY’s live show.

Can you agencies and bands and solo artists please think twice about as many eventualities that constitute touring as possible BEFORE the promoters start putting work into your shows? Organising a show takes time and work, layouting posters and flyers and having them printed or copied and spreading those all over the city does too. We are the ones who have to deal with the disappointed faces at the door, we might lose regular guests who maybe won’t come again if our shows are cancelled too often. And we are disappointed ourselves. We do shows because we really really like your music. We are not some commercial promoters who are happy as long as they make money. I don’t want to start making contracts with threats of penalties in case of show cancellations with each and every band that we invite. I like to trust you as you can trust us in caring for your visit as good as we can – promoting the show, providing a good p.a., yummy food and nice sleeping places, whenever possible in our own private homes.

I’m glad that our NUROTIC SOUNDSYSTEM vs ELEKTRONISCH ROCKEN night at O27 in Fürth became a great party anyway. I was a little bit scared that people would turn around and leave when they hear of SICKBOY’s cancellation but most of them stayed. When people didn’t start dancing at the beginning of the night we thought we’d better try and build the mood up slowly with some straight electronic and discopunk tracks before heading on to the breakcore madness but inspite of JOOL’s amazing mixing skills people didn’t go further than tapping their feet and nodding their heads. What really broke the ice was a really heavy round of raggacore, from THE BUG’s ‘run the place red’ to one of SHITMAT’s ‘babylon’ tracks. After that it felt like we could play anything and people danced and had fun. Thanks to Bodo and O27 for having us!
Usually I’m no big fan of people asking for songs to be played but two people on that night asked seperately for DROP THE LIME which really was a nice surprise! A) because I’m in love with his ‘This Means Forever’ album (and not only because of the cute vocals that somehow remind me of the meowing way GUY PICCIOTTO of FUGAZI sings), and B) because I wouldn’t have thought that there are breakcore fans in this town we don’t know! 😉
Hope you guys also show up when we have JASON FORREST playing at K4 on 31st October!

“I like panda / Bye bye Panda” – PANTHERS minus TR…

“I like panda / Bye bye Panda” – PANTHERS minus TRUST minus DAS OATH

“I like panda
Bye bye panda” (Deerhoof)

On 6th September PANTHERS played at K4. DAS OATH, the chaos core unit with CHARLES BRONSON members and Jeroen of COALITION Records had cancelled because one of them had to go back from tour earlier ‘because he had to work’. TRUST, an argentinian all grrl hardcore band had cancelled only a couple of days before because of financial problems with their tour. We had tried to find another band to play with PANTHERS but it was a bit too short notice. (A little rant about artists cancelling their shows will follow soon.)
With only one band playing we had a relaxed evening. The band were nice guys. Urte cooked a great dinner. I was unable to descry who of them had played in ORCHID until they pointed it out to me and said they even had stayed at my house when they had played in Nürnberg back in those chaos-was-them days. Once more I feel superficial for my bad memory concerning names and faces. I’m sorry. Give me a fraction of a conversation that was going on between us and I’ll remember you.

There were 40 or 50 people showing up for the PANTHERS show. Could have been more but they all were into having a good time so it was okay. I hate it when a band gets that folded arms / safety distance / petrified kind of crowd which sometimes happens in Nürnberg, especially if the show is on Sundays, Mondays or Tuesdays.
What a LED ZEPPELIN t-shirt predicted in the afternoon came true at night: PANTHERS played a r.o.c.k. show with a nice noise r.o.c.k. flavour, only sounding a tad too grunge to totally meet my taste. Still I enjoyed the show very much. They are such an energetic hard rocking love spreading bunch on stage. I also liked how they don’t look like your usual wide stance stoner rock “i’m-sooo-male-of-the-species!” when they rock. There are no handclaps and hipswings in today’s hard rock heaven. We need more Panthers.
Only thing I don’t like is them being on VICE records. It would be nice if someone of you US Americans could share an opinion on VICE magazine over there. The German version only just had been launched and its strained anti-political-correctness wanna-be provocative approach is pathetic. I hardly ever read a mag that was so totally written from a white middle class hetero male point of view. Like a written pendant to Jackass but at least in Jackass those guys are only out to hurt themselves most of the time. VICE in Germany fits almost scaringly well to the german battle rap with its nationalist, homophobic and sexist exaggerations. I really hope it will not find a place in the punk scene. Why I asked for an US American view? Cause I think that political correctness went much further in the USA than it ever did here. If it’s pushed to a prudery and censorship level I understand agitating against it. In Germany it doesn’t really make sense cause you have tit&bum mags openly displayed in shops, you have phone sex lines dominating the TV ads from 10 p.m. on through the whole night, etc. VICE doesn’t make sense here and I’d like to know if it makes sense in the USA or if it also has this sad core of white middle class hetero boys being scared of the other parts of this worlds’ population.
Oh, and back to the PANTHERS: Knowing that members of ORCHID (having been a smart band whose (socio-)political background I never questioned) play in PANTHERS made me blindly trust their attitude too and it was kind of a surprise to see them releasing their stuff in and thereby supporting that VICE context.
There are pictures of their show on
www.evemassacre.de.
http://www.myspace.com/panthers

“Unfinished Sympathy” – a BLOOD BROTHERS review/ra…

“Unfinished Sympathy” – a BLOOD BROTHERS review/rant

“Like a soul without a mind
And a body without a heart
And I’m missing every part” (Tina Turner)

There’s almost too many great live shows and parties going on here and there’s so much music that feels so fresh and intense and makes me so happy at the moment, it’s awesome.
That’s why I’m totally burned out today and stay at home although it’s Saturday night and Egoexpress is playing, and there’s a lot of nice parties, and a friend celebrates her birthday – have a nice one, Plappi!
Before I shove my lazy body over to watch ‘Anatomy’ on TV I thought I’d share some impressions with you but I will post it as extra blogs, as I already know that some reviews will be a bit longish. I’ll write about Blood Brothers, Panthers, Nurotic Soundsystem plus Elektronisch Rocken minus Sickboy, Yellow Press, Trainspotting Festival, Sophisticated Boom Boom Party, Washer + Jamie Lidell.

BLOOD BROTHERS played at K4 on august 30 with WHITE CIRCLE CRIME CLUB. I missed almost all of WCCC because there were too many people for our 2oo people venue and I spend some time panicking about having to send away 50 or 100 people and with some other promoter stuff. I’m sorry for all those who didn’t get in, especially those who came from other cities but it wouldn’t have been financially feasable to have them play our 600 people room. The band walks the troubled waters between insisting on keeping the door price low but still working with big agencies (which always means ‘money’). The costs for our bigger room would have been too high, even counting those people who didn’t get into the smaller room. I totally appreciate that BLOOD BROTHERS care about keeping ticket prices low and still have smaller things going, like the NEON BLONDE side project and a little t-shirt label, but the bigger things get the more complicated it is to keep all parts of a trade fair.
The 1 1/2 songs I heard of WHITE CIRCLE CRIME CLUB rocked. They seem to have a solid classic noise rock approach to music and they convey that rather energetically.
When BLOOD BROTHERS began to play I went to the first row and simply enjoyed the show in the midst of friends. And it was a ‘show’. They are no band to interact and communicate with the audience but more of the ‘lost in music’ type and cynic poser type which I totally enjoyed. It was all about rhythm obsession (their drummer is a.w.e.s.o.m.e.), sassy dancing, angry biting vocals, about breaksy noise vs little pop tunes. The two singer thing also works a fine treat live.
They kind of took me back to AT THE DRIVE-IN, only with bitterness and cynism where ATD-I had that touching ‘desperation vs hope’ thing going. The only traces of heartfelt emotions in the BLOOD BROTHERS’ music are the little melodies they interweave. ATD-I were one of the first ‘huge’ bands at their time to combine great aggressive music with androgynous moves and with looks you rather found in a disco or soul or any other dance music scene while the punk / hardcore scene was about staying ‘true’ and ‘tough’. I never understood why ‘being true’ should exclude fashion. I never understood why it’s only criticised as ‘fashion’ when it has feminine traits, like painted fingernails, dyed hair, clothes that are too tight etc. (Of course those traits aren’t even called ‘femine’ but ‘gay’ which is understandable as it still is a boys’ scene.) And hey, what’s so bad about dressing up and trying to look cute for each other? Of course – when it turns into beauty standards you have to fulfill to be accepted, then something went wrong. But that actually is a pretty old ‘wrong’ in hardcore/punk. A lot of guys in that scene had always been about wearing the right band button / identity badge at the right place or else you were out! out! out! I’m glad that it all became a bit more of a playful stylish scene since sassy hardcore bands have influenced the kids. Another nice side effect is that this kind of bands brought much more girls out to shows. I wish there it also had brought more girls onto stage. There are still far too few girls in aggressice music. As if they / we weren’t capable of creativelyexpressing anger. Get your beautiful asses up on the stages of this world, ladies, instead of only shaking it to the boys’ tunes!
Ach, now my Saturday night movie starts and I’ve only just written about one band I’ve seen… have to continue later!
There’s some pictures of the BLOOD BROTHERS’ show on www.evemassacre.de in the photo section.

I feel so thankful for the wonderful night at the …

I feel so thankful for the wonderful night at the Ars Electronica in Linz! Loved the shows, loved the people – it was great! I was invited to play at a night with RIOTKATZN and ZIMMER, and to spin some tunes with my friend Tobi as NUROTIC SOUNDSYSTEM. The drive there was already nice cause we avoided the autobahn and stuck to the smaller roads along the huge river Donau. Beautiful landscape. I almost gave up my plans for a holiday spent on writing and recording on a tiny castle at some scottish coast for a yacht holiday with friends on the Donau. If someone feels like sending money to support these plans, simply ask for my paypal account! 😉

The Cafe Strom is at the river and we sat outside for a while where you have a nice view view (Look in my website’s photo section, Tobi took some nice pictures.) and had a nice time talking with the lovely people who organized and played or did visuals that night. How cool is it to have your names on a huge ticker on a building?!
Tobi made a little .avi with my digicam, you can watch it or download it from here.

Oh, and we got great food: spits with soy chunks, champignons, onions, fennel, etc. with an awesome lemon chutney served on banana leafs. The night started late, at 23:30 on a Sunday night, so I was really surprised that a lot of people showed up. RIOTKATZN started and they are a really cool multimedia spectacle: a mixture of theatre, glitchpopnoise inspired laptop music and awesome visuals. The visuals very cool throughout the whole night. I played and first was a bit excited cause I rather play on the floor between people than on a big stage but it was fun because of the really positive crowd. After me ZIMMER played and he surprised with a really good stompy breaksy cut up dance set (while we had we expected him to play something like the soft indietronica he plays as HENRY OK). Then Tobi and me started our dj set and it was fun, even though at some point it was quite empty but after a while people came back inside and danced euphorically to anything we played. And I mean a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. The usual suspects: The Bug, Kid606, End, Sickboy, Drop The Lime, Hrvatski, Zea but also Madonna’s “Get into the groove”, a Slayer breakcore piece by Player, Agent Lovelette’s “Lil’ bit damaged” and “Hombre” rmx, Poj Masta’s “scorpio” and a lot more. We really had a great time, thanks to everybody involved. 🙂