“Black Dog In Her” – show reviews from punk to s/m…

“Black Dog In Her” – show reviews from punk to s/m

“Shame on the girl
She’s got a big black dog in her
And while tough kids sing about tough kids
She just skins the world” (Suede)

To start the day with a smile: Listen to Max Tundra’s Remix of Franz Ferdinand’s “Do you want to” as first thing in the morning. If you haven’t heard it yet: He mixes Van Halen’s “Jump” synthline into it. I love him for doing so. It’s on his myspace site.

I’m going to dj three times this weekend and I’m really excited about each of those nights.

#01 Tonight it’s all about electronic music: I’m djing with Stefan Wagner, from minimal to electrish, from schranzique to technoid. (@ LOFT nürnberg, 10-4 – a location I’ve never been to before. It was a jazz club for a long time but now AFAIK has a new owner.)

#02 Saturday: Radio Z Fest! This is one of the two annual benefit parties for our great independent radio station. The cool thing this time is that it is at different locations in the same street: Lorenzerstraße. A tiny soup restaurant, a bar, a huge artspace, etc. And at the K4. That’s where ELECTRONICAT will play and where Seppo and I will spin the best mixed-genre set EVER! People won’t even leave the dancefloor for getting drinks. 😉

#03 Monday. No, this is not a Halloween party but finally another edition of our rare but beautiful GO BANG! nights. This time we invited JASON FORREST aka DONNA SUMMER and two ZÜNDFUNK DJs: Ralf Summer and Selectah Red. Plus us, the SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM dj team. And Wally who does the deco promised me one skull made of mirror ball reflector thingies. (@ the big room at the k4)

Looking back to last week: SHOKEI, WIVES and WRITTEN FROM NEGATIVE were great. I put up some pictures at www.evemassacre.de

SHOKEI were not only a visual and acoustic pleasure but also an attack on the audience’s noses as they rubbed themselves with Franzbranntwein, some really strong smelling medical herbs+alcohol essence. Certain ignorant people said it still smelled better than the tangerine scented spray that I had rediscovered when cleaning up at home. Tsk.

WIVES surprisingly had a split response: Me and some others loved their show, other’s said it was like some bad school band practising. I liked their rawness and how they managed to work free noise parts into straight stripped-down fuck-y’all-punk-songs. Rough and brutal and fun.

After them it took me a couple of songs to get into WRITTEN FROM NEGATIVE cause they sounded a bit tame compared to the WIVES. They play really good hipswing postpunk, Q And Not U / !!! / Supersystem style but with a portion of what you could call ’emorock’ if ’emo’ wasn’t that stigmatised. My problem was that this night I longed for something more aggressive and challenging, something that drives any other thought out of my mind. Lightning Bolt would have been perfect.

On the next day we drove to a TURBOSTAAT show in Würzburg. It was so unbelievably punk that when the first band was still playing there already was a guy who puked on the stairs on other people at the entry. Yuck. TURBOSTAAT were great and intense. Nothing more, nothing less. They have this haunting melancholy washing all over their music, maybe comparable to Blumfeld shows back in the days of their first album. I was drunk again. Seppo drove. It was good to see Kerstin (congrats on finding a job! or is it jobs?). We played silly bandname games on our way back to Nürnberg. I love motorways at night. They make me feel out of time and isolated. In a good way.

Talking bout feeling isolated in a good way: When I drove to Austria three weeks ago I first was a bit excited about driving on my own but it turned out to be a really relaxing experience. The long drives spent listening to music and audio books always had been one of my favourite parts of touring. With my old band we often hardly talked for hours but just let thoughts flow and enjoyed calming down. On Friday in Steyr I played with two bands that both sadly didn’t meet my taste. N.O.M. from Russia put on a theatrical russian avantgarde show that reminded me of socialist realism art: heroic, somehow testosterone dripping, all about power!power!power! while I’m more of a pow!pow!pow! person. There was nothing in their show that I could connect to. There are some kinds of bands and music that actually seem to shout: “This is not for you! You are not part of this!” The other band that played in Steyr was Zimbabwe from Lithuania. An all girl group that played eastern europe rock with ska influences. Not my taste either but this doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun. The people at the venue were really nice and I really had a good time. It’s an amazing venue for such a small town. The other night I played at Ladyfest Vienna at the EKH. Again the people who put it up were really nice and I met some old acquaintances. That night there were some acts I really enjoyed, and the overall vibe of the crowd was great. It was a mixed crowd but you hardly ever have so many women and openly queer people enjoying themselves at regular shows.

One of the bands I liked were FIRST FATAL KISS. They come from Vienna. They have this 80s Underground feel, think of Malaria or Au Pairs. Okay, maybe a bit more stumbling but not any single moment in an insecure way. They manage to get across the fun they have with what they play. Weird and funny and charming. It’s a somehow stripped down sound with only vocals, drums, distorted bass, keyboard and sometimes violin.

The other act I found really impressive were JET MOON & SAL TOMCAT, a couple that originally comes from Australia but now locates themselves in London’s Queer Mutiny scene. They put on a performance between political activism and gender crossing SM games.
They appeared on stage dressed in gender-neutral black block outfit: black trousers, black hoodies, black masks. Jet Moon did all the talking, about being political activist, standing up for queer rights and her speech soon mixed with s/m action as she tore off Sal’s hoodie tied her hands behind her back and slapped her hard a couple of times. That had a certain shock value cause I don’t watch someone beating someone else everyday but the whole scene had what I like about S/M: it kind of shows that lust and trust don’t just rhyme by accident. You have to trust each other, you have to know how far you can go without causing real pain. It’s like an unspoken contract that creates a sphere of safety. It’s kind of strange that this kind of mutual care is sometimes harder to find in the realms of what most people see as ‘normal’ sex as opposed to kinky stuff like S/M. I only once had sex where we really tried to explore how far we could go with pain with it still resulting in pleasure. It was great. On the other hand I remember a couple of times (especially when I was pretty young and insecure and didn’t really dare to stop the other person) having sex and being hurt by guys without them even realising nor caring that they hurt me.
What I don’t like about S/M sex is the overdone goth styling that it often is associated with and the role playing. Although I enjoyed watching the domination/submission game Jet Moon & Sal Tomcat put on. They also turned to some crossdressing, Jet got all vamped up as drag queen, or rather: as faux queen. One of the final scenes of the show was Sal dressed as business man sucking off a dildo that Jet had strapped on wearing her pink underwear / superhigh heel / peroxide blonde whig faux queen styling. The whole show was a rather sexy play with the dissolution of fixed gender roles mixed with a critique of capitalism.
And now it’s awfully late and I better stop writing.

“Sick of deep fried arteries” – Play! Night, Long …

“Sick of deep fried arteries” – Play! Night, Long Fin Killie and my ashtmatic cat

“Sick of headcase racist jibes
Sick of deep fried arteries.”
(Long Fin Killie)

I had been ebay-abstinent for ages but yesterday I bid on LONG FIN KILLIE’s awesome ‘Valentino’ album and I will kill anybody who bids against me. I’ve also bid for a strass bracelet but you can’t write as much about bling as about one of the most neglected indiebands of the 90s. I had bought my original cd on one of their shows.. I think at least… well, 9 years ago? Not sure. I’m bad in remembering dates. According to the quality of the tape I’ve made for my walkman back then and to which I’m listening a lot over the last weeks it must be at least 9 years. Sadly whomever I lent the cd some years ago didn’t return it to me. LONG FIN KILLIE were definitely one of the most breathtaking live bands I’ve ever seen. They were technically brilliant (which was helpful as their music was rather complex and I hate it if bands try complex music but can’t play it. Yes, that’s directed at you, my dear 90% of chaoscore bands!). LONG FIN KILLIE’s songwriting was awesome. They had beautiful haunting melodies over some of the most rhythmically diverse song skeletons of that time, and they had great lyrics, insistently executed by Luke Sutherland, sometimes whispered, sometimes sung with his sexy crooner voice. He also seemed to play any instrument and switched from violin to guitar to sax, whatever. I love how the bittersweetness of the music contrasts with Sutherland’s biting lyrics that often were directed against homophobia and racism. Somehow comparable to Morrissey, yet he had found his own way to sway between bitter cynism and beautiful poetry. Luke Sutherland also writes books but I haven’t read any yet (though my rediscovered love for LONG FIN KILLIE made me order one of his novels now). After LONG FIN KILLIE split he formed other bands, (first BOWS, then MUSIC A.M. with a guy of TO ROCOCO ROT), but their music carried too much boring triphop influences to keep me interested. He also plays violin for MOGWAI. My favourite LONG FIN KILLIE album definitely is VALENTINO, although AMELIA isn’t really any worse. VALENTINO is the angrier one. If the world was just everyone would own albums like this instead of The Beatles or other boring canonised pop.

* _ *

At the PLAY! night in Erlangen, where I dj’ed two days ago with Tobi and Stefan of the Sophisticated Boom Boom crew, there sadly were too few people to fill the two rooms and the area inbetween. Instead there was too much advertising for LEE jeans. Posters, video screenings and jellybeans with their logo would already have been too much for my taste but what I really hated was that the stamp people received on their skin at the entry was also the LEE logo. That was over the top. I understand the nice aspect of keeping financial risks for a party low but I personally would chose to not organise the night if the ads were so dominant.

CHIKINKI were not bad but I wish they had spent one or two more years on a small label and played small shows. They sound like they have potential but they haven’t really found their style yet. It’s sad that bands who get all that attention too soon won’t be there for long. Big labels don’t care about supporting the development of a band’s creative potential. There are no long-term considerations any more. It’s enough if a band sells one or two seasons. I hate it if that happens to bands I like. Or rather: if bands I like let this happen. Cute and stupid like lemmings.

I really like those CHIKINKI songs where the music is a bit sparse and dry. Live there were too many songs flooded with an organ layer that destroyed the drive somehow. Their singer’s looks and posing reminded me of Adam Green, so it somehow was no surprise that he complimented Stefan on his Moldy Peaches Shirt later that night. Maybe the problem was that they played a ‘show’ while I prefer bands that really get carried away with their music. When CHIKINKI kicked mic & cymbal stands at the end of the show it seemed strangely out of place cause there wasn’t the breathless ecstasy that usually leads people to that. Oh, I’m sooo looking forward to the WIVES & SHOKEI & WRITTEN FROM NEGATIVE show this Thursday!

Richard Davis played in the other room and he was much better than I had expected from the one song I had heard before. He has a minimalistic approach to techno and has a nice presence and his vocals add dreamy wave melodies. HELLFIRE CLUB played a nice mixture of indie tunes and we were in charge for the electronic music in the other room. Gladly I was drunk because there were some really annoying people. Tobi opened with a Prince tune and there was instantly one guy complaining ‘people don’t like this, can’t you play something different’. For the first couple of tunes it was as if they didn’t even listen. One guy asked for Goa, another one asked if we had a tape player because he had such a cool mixtape… arrgh! After 20 minutes it finally worked, people danced and the first guys came up asking for the name of tunes we played cause they liked them.

I was really surprised that the audience on the whole night was so totally different from the crowd in Nürnberg. Erlangen is a university town and that cliche really kicked in on that night. Less taste more filling.
Still it was a fun night until we drove home. Then I realised that my weird exhilaration on that night wasn’t only to blame on alcohol but that I still hadn’t overcome Friday’s little breakdown. Isn’t overestimation of one’s own capabilities the sweetest sin? So there I was, breakdown #2. Tobi is such a sweetheart – he drove and consoled me and all. Mucho thankyous.

Sunday was one of those non-existent days. I hardly worked on anything but even that felt like everything was too much. Especially everything that involved thinking. I hardly slept last night. I felt like OD’ed on green tea although I hadn’t drank anything with coffein. Arrgh! Those lamenting blogs suck. Hope my mood will change soon.

Another worry that’s on my mind: my cat started coughing more often than usually. From what I know that kind of coughing when cats try to choke up those hairballs is normal. The kind of coughing I’m talking about seems the same. He ducks on the floor and stretches his neck as if he would choke something up but he does this as reaction on getting excited by something. And he does it far too often. Rest of the time he seems okay, eats regularly, roams the streets, cleans his fur, does all the things cats do. From what I found out yet it could be an asthmatic thing. I’m not sure if I should visit a vet with him. Poor little old tiger. Any experienced cat persons around?

“Feel the Chaos Around Me” – Lists & Loss of Contr…

“Feel the Chaos Around Me” – Lists & Loss of Control.

“I feel the chaos around me
A thing I don’t try to deny
I’d better learn to accept that
There are things in my life that I can’t control” (Phoenix)

I start with the less personal stuff: I’ll dj with two friends, Tobi and Stefan, at the PLAY party tonight (E-Werk Erlangen, there’s two floors, with CHIKINKI and RICHARD DAVIS live and HELLFIRE as dj team for the other room). I’ve already started picking some songs this afternoon and cause lists are such a nice things here’s a list of some electronic / discopunk tunes I really enjoy at the moment:

I’ve made a new 6:30 mix, “Amoeba Lost Control”, you can download from here.

It includes:
Ada: Arriba Amoeba
Ellen Alien: Alles sehn (Märtini Brös RMX)

and vocal cuts of:
Cobra Killer & The Holon: Heavy Rotation
Fannypack: Nunu
Blackeyed Peas: Shut Up
Missy Elliott: Lose Control
The Faint: The Conductor
Shannon: Let The Music Play
+ some speech synthesized Joy Division “She’s Lost Control” lines

Shy Child: The Noise Won’t Stop
Shy Child: Sunshine
If you like filthy rhythm obsessed shouty postpunk like Q And Not U or Supersystem or !!! or Dance Disaster Movement check them out: www.shychild.com. Awesome. Can’t believe I haven’t heard of them before. I think I first heard of them from the excellent 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog.

Oh and if you like that style but with a bit more electronic pop you should check LO-FI-FNK.
Distortion.
Handclaps.
Melodies.
What else could you ask for?
Lo-Fi-Fnk: Unighted
Lo-Fi-Fnk: Change Channel

Annie: Wedding (Lindstrøm RMX)
Original Annie songs are far too sugarcoated for me but there’s some great remixes (Patrick Wolf or Y£$ did two outstanding ones. Mr. Wolf carries her into some dark desperate folkiness that reminds me of Kate Bush).

The Highway Stars: Fucky Funky Music
There’s still far too few cool grrl vocals on good electro tunes. This is Kathleen ‘Le Tigre’ Hannah style. Nice. I want more of this.

Franz Ferdinand: Do You Want To (Erol Alkan RMX)
Just when I thought he gets a bit predictable in a one-trick-pony way he makes this nice remix of FF. Understatement de luxe. Of course you get a heavy distortion bassline and of course he keeps it simple and rocking but it’s dead cool to remix this song as an instrumental. Hey, Mr. Alkan, still having that Highway Stars song on my mind: Give us some dancefloor killers with cool female voices! I’m tired of those soundalike indieboys vocals. I’m waiting for remixes of The Noisettes and The Long Blondes and Les Georges Leningrad!

Dsico That No-Talent Hack: Morning City Stirs (though I wish he would put some more production into his vocals. some effects, some .. i don’t know.. it’s not the way he sings, but the sound of the voice doesn’t really fit 100%).

Lee Combs & David Phillips vs Bauhaus (- untitled)
A GYBO friend got me acquainted with this tune and it’s cool in a straight piercing electro sense. Although I’m a Bauhaus fan it took me ages to remember from which Bauhaus song that sample is. It’s “Kick In The Eyes” and I wish what make them pick lines like that for sampling: “And he spoke of pastures green / I was never told why”. Not exactly the most memorable quote.

Some more:
Martinez: Shadowboxing (Trentemöller RMX)
Benjamin Theves: Texas (Sebastian RMX)
Sharon Phillips: Want 2 Need 2 (Trentemöller RMX)
Bettie Botox: Can Can
DJ Koze: Brutalgar Square
Luka & Lazo: Chaplo
Ruede Hagelstein: Eclectic People
Supersystem: Miracle (The Rapture RMX)
Tiefschwarz: Warning Siren (Cass and Tom Mangan RMX)
Chromeo: Need Girl (Bloc Party RMX)

(… and sssssh! I really like that Timo Maas feat. Brian Molko song, “Pictures”. Dark disco sexiness. And I when I say ‘disco’ I mean disco!)

* _ *

“Don’t touch me cause I’m close to the edge
I’m trying not to lose my head”
(Grandmaster Flash & The Furious five)

I wasn’t able to play Ladyfest Mannheim cause I had to pay my physical toll for a couple of weeks that had been more stressful than I had realised. I hate myself for letting it get so far. Seems like I don’t know how to pull the breaks in time. I’m always enthusiastic about this and that and end up getting involved in a lot of things, maybe too many things. I enjoy multitasking. I enjoy doing working on something with people I like. I enjoy being able to think of lots of things at the same time without neglecting details. Usually it’s satisfying and fun. Sometimes it gets too much. Then for a couple of days I’m reduced to plain functioning. Maybe I even work more effective on such days. Without any emotions. Numb. Like some kind of mechanical device. Like a little machine on the edge of breaking. I’m always kind of suprised that people around me don’t realise that cause I feel as if I as a person disappear. Maybe I’ve polished that shiny “don’t worry, everything’s okay” surface to perfection over the years.
Most of the times I simply manage to snap back to ‘normal’ after a while. Makes me feel disappointed and relieved at the same time. Sometimes it doesn’t work. For example yesterday. I had seen those warning signs flashing, a little tinnitus here, a little insomnia there. I mistook them for that infamous light at the end of the tunnel.
Well, to cut it short: I woke up with a bad headache and had to puke several times and couldn’t but crawl back into bed for half of the day so I missed Ladyfest Mannheim which is sad cause the line up looked quite interesting and I really wish I had met the people whom I only had mail contact with yet. I had enjoyed myself at Ladyfest Vienna last week (hope I’ll finally get around sharing some memories about that tomorrow) so I was really looking forward to this Ladyfest too. Well, today I’m feeling better but still a bit weak. I hate losing control. I hate feeling weak. Guess I’ll get badly drunk tonight.

* _ *

From the playlist to a to do list. I always live with the impression that I’m constantly telling people ‘no, I can’t do this or that’. It’s absurd cause I’m always busy but I often forget how many different things I’m actually involved in. Thanks for reminding me of that, Seppo! 😉
So I started this To Do list. First it made me feel really good cause there’s so many great things involved that are worth the work. Then it made me feel like I totally lost my mind cause it’s far too much. Those headcrashes are no big surprise then.

– Ponder if I’ve forgotten anything to plan for BUCOVINA CLUB party at our very own K4 tonight. Of course I have: I didn’t get in touch with the guy who you usually does the Vodka booth. I didn’t tell the bar team to prepare a cash box with change and a stamp for the entry. But I will have to stop by anyway to copy some flyers.

– Make a new version of our copied programme (I postponed that for days now cause I’m so tired of writing band infos after just having finished the infos for the 20 bands that play at ENDZEIT festival). Make flyers for our next Sophisticated Boom Boom party. Make flyers for a Ladyfest Benefit Party on 5th November.

– Paint my flat and throw some things away. I deferred that so many times that I really feel uncomfortable with it. There’s some ugly stains on the walls and the door frames that I don’t want to see anymore.
Well, erase those plans, I won’t have time to do that this year. But at least I have to clean up a bit and wash some sheets cause next Thursday, 20th october the wonderful WIVES will play at K4 with the not less wonderful WRITTEN FROM NEGATIVE and SHOKEI, and WIVES will stay at my place.
I want to keep that and the next day really free of other things cause KERSTIN comes to Nürnberg and there’s a TURBOSTAAT show in Würzburg (21st October @ Cairo) I don’t want to miss.

– Organise a backline for ELECTRONICAT (he plays at the annual benefit party for our independent radio station: Radio Z). This is not THAT hard but I have to get in touch with at least three different people to make them bring the stuff to K4 in time. I’m really looking forward to that show but I really don’t like it if people don’t bring their own backline.

– Make some video loop stuff for GO BANG! party on Halloween, with JASON FORREST and guest djs from ZÜNDFUNK. Ha, as if I had any clue how to edit film material! I have some super basic knowledge about how to cut film stuff but don’t even know how to save it in a reasonable file size. Last time I ended up playing the loops on my computer for 4 or 6 hours and record that with my video player. I love to pick the material myself cause I have a very clear idea of what I want as background for this party. A hint of drag/trash/kitsch and sexyness but not restricted to a male hetero perspective. Last time I used loops from Araki’s ‘Nowhere’. That was perfect but I don’t have any clue yet what to use this time. Wish Pierre et Gilles had teamed up with Artaud for some film project.

– And then there’s the two big events that are omnipresent in my mind for this autumn / winter, cause there’s a really endless list of things to do and remember about those:

ENDZEIT Festival (a 2 days d.i.y. festival with 2 stages & 1 dancefloor) which I’m really looking forward to cause there’s such a fun line up this year and I’m really curious about the bands that I’ll get a chance to see for the first time, like DROPS OF BEACH, KIDS EXPLODE, GHOST ROCKETS (with people of ANTI-CONTROL and GÖTZ GEORGE), DATURAH, THE FALCON FIVE (members of MCCARTHY BLACKLIST and SHOKEI).

LADYFEST NÜRNBERG (3 days, lots of workshops, films, discussions, exhibitions, at least 2 stages with bands and djs) also takes lots of thoughts and time. And I love how so many different people organise this together and keep coming up with great ideas. Especially Urte and Wally have my deepest respect for all the work they have already put into this!

– Making music. I have this new project with René (some might know him as ‘Ckid’ or ‘Casioheart’). It’s a breakcore glitchpop disco violence thing and we’ll play at ENDZEIT festival. And René is in Japan now. But at least we already have a name: LOST IN THE SUPERMAKI.

– Writing. I missed it. It calms me down. Putting things into written words seems to manifest them somehow. It’s like those things get more real. I’m not only talking about this blog here but also the next edition of our QUITO zine is due to be written.

I rather stop here and won’t go into all the small things that keep my pulse going steadily high, like keeping track of booking and dates at K4, problems with people who work there and sometimes even with the city council’s plans for that building. What about slowing down a bit and promising myself to make those list of what I actually do more often so I realise how much I do? Getting organised? Ach, scratch that! Again:

“I feel the chaos around me
A thing I don’t try to deny
I’d better learn to accept that
There are things in my life that I can’t control” (Phoenix)