“C’est chic” – Funny Games, mp3 release, Daughters

“Aaah – freakout.
Le freak. C’est chic.”
Exciting news for all my fellow chaos-noise-shizzle-rock-casio-grindcore-lovers: There will not only be ROLO TOMASSI and CUTTING PINK WITH KNIVES be playing in Nürnberg (10th of August), and not only THE LOCUST on the 30th of August, noooo, and not only GET HUSTLE in September (please don’t miss them just cause you haven’t heard of them – it’s a brainmeltingly excellent noise band on Justin Pearson’s 3.1.G label), oooooh, and not only will MENEGUAR play one day before my birthday, noooo – now we also have invited the mighty DAUGHTERS to Nürnberg again. While their debut album was really good, their ‘Hell Songs’ album is plain awesome. Technical brilliance meets experimental spontaneity, Chaoscore that reminds of The Locust meets sick and sleazy noise core à la Jesus Lizard. I will be deaf after all those shows but it will have been worth it. I really don’t want my blog to turn into a commercial space but I love those bands and am so damn happy that we’ll get them all to play here.

Tomorrow it’s party time again: MELTING POP at the K4! With verrry special deco and with yummy summer cocktails and of course the bestestest music in town cause any of the 10 dj teams will doubtlessly play a set of their greatest hits. Here’s the flyer once more, artwork is once more by www.ilikeyourbadbreathdaddy.de
Melting Pop Poster

Phew, and I’ve only just recovered from last Saturday’s WE ARE SICK OF MUSIC AND WE HATE EACH OTHER which was … I don’t know… mindshaking. Thanks to my dear fellow dj Paluka and to everybody who danced their asses off. It was awesome. I was a bit drunk and in my memory parts of the night are just a vague blaze of loud beat goodness, dancing bodies and thinking about nothing than what tune to play next. I’m sure they meant no harm but those half-naked gogo boys on stage seemed a bit much, didn’t they? But then I guess we were to blame ourselves cause we played so many straight-in-your-face acid and nu rave tracks or wot u call it that I wouldn’t have been surprised if people had pulled out rave whistles. The set really could have been a bit more diverse but at least we also had some Akufen, some Bonde Do Role, some Wiley, and my favourite track of The Bug. That night sure blew all the worries and heartbreaks away for a couple of hours, so: Mission accomplished. One of my favourite moments was: when I was playing a couple of punky guitar tunes at the end of the night one guy screamed his guts out while he was dancing. I loved it.

* _ *

Good news: STARVING BUT HAPPY will be revived. Maybe some of you who have followed the netlabel scene remember STARVING BUT HAPPY’s nice indietronica compilations and other stuff. Now, after a long break René (CKID, germany) and Nicolas (FINISH YOUR MEAL, belgium) start all over again, and among other artists they asked me if I wanted to do a release. I instantly accepted and I wish them success as I really like their attitude. I’ll keep you updated.

* _ *

I don’t like it when male djs use girls’ tits and asses on their flyers to attract people. I don’t even need a heavyweight term like ‘sexism’ to back up my dislike. I’m tired of explaining so it has to be enough that those kind of flyers simply feel lame. In 2007 an exciting party in a small club should work without the plump use of female body parts to attract guests. It seems like that opinion isn’t as prevalent as I had thought because I’ve been called a “freak” when I asked some local dj please not to post his tits flyers in my comments. Well, I guess at least that makes me chic.

* _ *

Last night I zapped through a few TV channels before I went to bed and I ended up watching FUNNY GAMES (by M. Haneke, the guy who also made the PIANO PLAYER movie after E. Jelinek’s novel). I missed the first minutes so I didn’t know what I was about to watch. I like that. It wipes your mind from any prepossession and has become a rare pleasure in these days of ‘Making Of’ obsession. I first associated Clockwork Orange and weird austrian movies with J. Hader. I felt slightly uncomfortable, didn’t like any of the characters but somehow couldn’t stop watching. I won’t say more as even if knowing the main plot doesn’t necessarily spoil watching it yourself but I think it’s more … erm … ‘fun’ to watch it without knowing too much before. It didn’t disturb me as much as IRREVERSIBLE or BREAKING THE WAVES but it was the first movie in a while that left me a bit scared, unsatisfied, unsettled. It is one of those movies that doesn’t actually show much physical violence but still is more cruel than most splatter movies I’ve seen. I think what’s so scary about it is:
– that the violence happens without any reason whatsoever (and in that it even goes beyond B.E. Ellis’ ‘Below Zero’ or ‘American Psycho’)
– the v-effect of you being directly adressed from time to time
– and that it doesn’t really let you stick with any of the characters as point of identification. You can’t hide in any of them. You are you, the voyeur that just keeps watching and doesn’t step in.

Of course one could discuss if the moral is too blatant but I don’t think so. The moral is quite obvious (fictitous violence not being really separable from real violence etc.) but FUNNY GAMES shows it in that special pseudo-naive way that’s so typical for quite a few austrian movies, and if you look twice you’ll see a second face, just like in one of those holo-pictures that, viewed from different angles, give you different pictures, and that second view is a glimpse at the deep absurdidity of everything. I recommend it, watch it. Maybe not when you’re home alone at night but watch it.
Oh, and better do so before the US remake is out next year.

“London Calling” – so what’s up, then?

“London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard,you boys and girls”
The Clash
I’ll be in London from 17th to 20th of August and if you have any ideas how I best spend my time there, please drop me a line! I’m pretty excited about this as I haven’t been to the UK for aaages. Hope to meet some of you people who I’ve only known from the internet so far.

What takes me there? The GYBO birthday bash! It will take place on the 18th. On a boat. Hell yeah. It’s organised by the wonderful Holestar and by Mike Cartel, the heart of Bastard. It has a pretty cool line up:

Cartel Communique
Poj Masta
Pirate Soundsystem
and eve massacre.

There will be BBQ in the afternoon and open decks (in both meanings of the word). So get over there and better RSVP as the space is limited.

* _ +

First though I’m looking forward to tonight’s WE ARE SICK OF MUSIC AND WE HATE EACH OTHER party at the K4. PALUKA82 and me will do our best to keep you dancing all bloody night long.

Entry is free because we thought it would be nice to have a free party after the CITY OF SUBCULTURE street action that takes place from 3PM to 10PM at the Kornmarkt in Nürnberg.
This year the slogan “Nothing has to stay as it is” sounds a bit doomy to me as the future of Musikverein – the concert group I’m part of – is shaky. The K4, the building in which we set up our shows, will be restructured and gets a new administration from the city council next April. I’m not against changes but as long as we have zero information about our future in there it all seems a bit scary. I really hope people will keep on cherishing the d.i.y. culture we stand for. There’s not so many places left in which people get the chance to be an active part of their culture, not just a consumer.

Sometimes when I think back, the past seems so unreal: When I was young (ouch, sorry for that) the K4 was called KOMM and was self-ruled and open all the time and was so full of life. What’s now the Cinecitta was another huge cultural centre: the LGA. (One of the best shows I’ve ever seen was there: Shudder To Think.) Somewhere between both was the Hemdendienst. To think that the Zentralcafé (and sometimes the Festsaal) at the K4 is all that’s left of this in the city centre is just sad. Back then you had theatre and hardcorepunk show and cinema and political groups and parties and jazz concerts and readings next to each other and I ‘accidentally’ saw a lot of things that I’ve never would have chosen to attend but which turned out to be fun or interesting.
Things like the CITY OF SUBCULTURE street action today brings that back to my mind cause you get a chance to see the broad variety of what’s going on in the niche culture parts of your town. African women who do a fashion show to explain what their clothes, 1000 djs, bands like THE AUDIENCE, also things like a diy bike repair station or impro theatre and so much more, Radio Z airing live from there. I sometimes think that if you haven’t grown up experiencing that all these things have the same background then it’s hard to see what they have in common and maybe also how precious and fragile they are. I sure don’t like all of that stuff, for example I’ve never been a big fan of theatre, but I’m fucking glad that each and everyone of those groups exists cause it shows that this kind of alternative culture in which everybody can take part is alive and kicking.

Well, enough talking – you know where to move your asses and glasses in masses tonight! WE ARE SICK OF MUSIC AND WE HATE EACH OTHER party is go!

“Do anything” – Basso & Kult

“You are invited by anyone to do anything
You are invited for all time”
Dismemberment Plan

We have received the cutest invitation from Frauke for Basso in Berlin (8th of September, mark your calendars: Tobi and I will spin some records under our Nurotic Soundsystem moniker and I will play live, and Zimmer and Selfintoxicated will play some tunes too.)
I hope to see all my silly friends who left Nürnberg for Berlin! And hopefully some people more than that.

* _ *

Most of the time I’m pretty happy with all the neverending pieces of work that make up my job and work off one after the other. Sometimes though, the fact that it is indeed a neverending stream of ‘to dos’ makes it feel like Sisyphus work. All the small things suddenly gang together into something too monstrously big to cope with. Instead of running that wheel till I’m a nervous wreck – which is what I’ve done for too many years, I haven’t been on a real holiday for ages – by now I’ve learned to take a little break in such situations. So last Monday I left everything behind and drove to Munich to visit Kerstin and Tobi and the Kafe Kult and see Steffi, ach – it was the best thing I could have done. At the Kult Josef moaned a bit about how bands and the scene are NAGATUTB which made me think of my last blog entry and “to tell the truth”: I’m really not sick of it all. The No Age and Mika Miko show at the Kafe Kult proved that to me once more. It was one of those perfect scenario nights. Sparkling. Grinning. Dancing. Sweat. Friends. I think my favourite cool is being cool by being through being cool.

“To tell the truth” – I’m not sick of it all

“They tell you to tell the truth
That’s a lie in itself”
Sick Of It All

Last Saturday I went to a show with Converge and Sick Of It All. It was sponsored by some Skateshop. They had stacked up 50 cubic meters of snow for snowboarding during the day. While the starving children in Africa were sweating and the polar ice caps shrinked another meter in a second from the shock etc. blah blah.
When I went to the tram I took another way as usual. I went through a small path that leads along the backyards of a couple of shops and a pub. I had used that path a lot in the summers when I was 15 – 18 years old because in front of that pub there always sat some men who whistled at and commented dirtily on every female being that went down the street. (That was what Fugazi’s “why can’t I walk down a street free of suggestion” always captured for me.) Those guys always had the sunshades so far down that you couldn’t see their eyes and I guess they didn’t see your face but just your body. I guess that made them feel free to talk as if you weren’t there. I remember how one day I stopped and shouted at them to shut the fuck up and stop it. Of course I was ridiculed and told they had they right to look at whatever they wanted to and to say whatever they wanted to but it still felt strangely empowering that I had at least said something.
Well, I don’t know why but last Saturday I took that path for the first time after many years and right now… well, I just realise that this has been a far too long introduction for the little incident that took place: 6 or 7 bats attacked me. No, actually they didn’t attack me at all, it just seemed no one else ever walks there at night and they felt disturbed and flew wild and angry circles around me. It made me smile cause they came so close and I knew they wouldn’t hit me.
Anyway. This little incident for sure was more exciting than the Converge show. I only saw the four last songs and they played rather energetically or at least I think so but I can’t really ‘feel’ music like theirs in such big venues. I didn’t meet the old friend that had helped me to get in for free which I had really looked forward to but I met another friend with whom I got lost in a conversation and we ended up talking about totally bourgeois stuff like cosmetic products that smell like fruit and about growing vegetables in gardens instead of watching Sick Of It All. When we got no more beer at the bar we left and I walked home which took me almost an hour and made me feel all quiet inside.
Sunday was filled to the brim with doing laundry and writing press infos. Both usually are not my favorite kinds of work but if you can sit in the garden and sip on a brandnew cocktail (campari / pineapple juice / strawberry limes) it’s kind of okay.

The new Liars album is really really good. It’s like they threw part of their abstractness overboard, not enough to lose their weirdness credibility but enough to carefully weigh the word ‘pop’ in your hands while talking about them. And enough to remind of the Augustus-Pablo-reverbness Clinic brought into rock. And of the noisy haunted way of implying melodies that TV On The Radio have in common with Sonic Youth.

“No More Problems” – F&D cover, No Age + Mika Miko, Versus

“No more problems, problems with anything.” Against Me!

I forgot to post the cover of the Feedback & Disaster compilation which is a shame cause it looks good. It’s by an austrian artist called Ben Ross. Here you go:

Has anyone else problems with listening to my song on the compilation, “Fuel”, that I put up in my myspace player? Cause for me it works fine.

* _ *

“I got 99 problems but the bitch(ing) ain’t one” Jay-Z

Last night’s show, No Age and Mika Miko, was great.

The only thing that brought me down a bit was the pretty exclusive circle of people that attended the show. Thirtysomething. And I’m not talking age. I really would have expected more people. Don’t know what’s wrong, have people gone back to just going to shows of bands they’ve read about in mags like Intro or Spex? Or to bands in which at least one friend of them plays? Or don’t they come because the band descriptions or posters look too ‘different’, or ‘arty’ and not like your average comfortable safe WYSIWYG hc/punk band? How boring! I don’t know. I just wish there would have been a few more people yesterday cause it would have been even more fun. For the bands and for the crowd. Or that it would have been in a smaller venue. But there’s no nice small one in Nürnberg at the moment.

Anyway, I loved both bands. No Age played their cool destructive combination of noisy soundscapes and damaged garage punk, one of them accidentally drinking alcohol free beer (haha ;)). Looouuud guitar. Then Mika Miko rocked new life and enthusiasm into a kind of postpunky punk. It’s been quite a while that I have seen a band being so simply totally into what they are doing. I loved the saxophone, and of course the red phone one of the girls used as microphone. My favourite moment was when No Age went on stage with them and everything went up into a euphoric punk mess. Nice. And totally nice people too. I feel like driving to Munich on Monday to see them again, especially as Kafe Kult is the perfect place to see those bands and I have forgotten to buy a No Age bandana.

“Problem? The problem is you.” Sex Pistols

This morning I was a bit hungovergrumpyquiet from the disgusting Jägermeister I had to drink to celebrate Manfred’s birthday at midnight and while the bands crowded for breakfast in my far too tiny kitchen I commenced working off the neverending flood of emails that make Musikverein so much fun. That’s what I basically kept doing the whole day and now my back hurts and I’m tired and empty.

I find it scary that a breakdown of a nuclear power plant, like Krümmel, doesn’t scare me anymore. I remember when I was a kid books like G. Pausewang’s ‘The Cloud’ or movies like ‘When The Wind Blows’ frightened me to the bone. I don’t even remember when I lost the ability to be scared of such abstract things.

The five song album ‘Deep Red’ by Versus is awesome. I only had it on a tape from a friend when it came out and lost it but some of the songs came back to my mind again and again over the years. Last week or so I finally bought it and I could instantly sing along to almost all songs again and it doesn’t sound dated at all. Indiepop with a noisy edge at it’s finest.

Pitchfork has a stream of a new Les Savy Fav song up. They sound a bit like Les Savy Fav but also a lot like Arcade Fire and the likes. Wether that’s a good or a bad thing I can’t decide yet. I sure didn’t expect them to sound the same as they used to sound if they ever were to release something again but this sounds a bit tame…. but it’s catchy… hmmmm…. It’s weird that today they seem to have gathered much more ‘indie fame’ than when they used to release stuff and come over here on tour twice a year… but they sure are one of the most intense live bands I’ve ever seen.

Sorry for lost comments

I’ve switched from blogger to wordpress and lost all the comments, so please feel free to post them again. Everything else seems to work. WordPress seems faster and less google-istic, that’s why I made the change.

“When the rain begins to fall” – rain, new release…

“When the rain begins to fall” – rain, new release, rain, ted leo, rain, g-hot, rain, …

“And when the rain begins to fall I’ll be the sunshine in your life

You know that we can have it all and everything will be allright.”
Jermain Jackson & Pia Zadora

I made a song called “Fuel (done with dichotomies, fun with dichotomies)” for the Feedback & Disaster project initiated by Doris Disaster. Now it has been released on a compilation called “Too Much, Too Fast, Too True, Too Slow” on True Call Records. Among others it has songs by Washer from Austria and Zimmer from Berlin whom we have invited to rock Nürnberg with their fizzy cut up techno beats on September the 1st (with Elektronisch Rocken and Näd Mika).
I put my track from this compilation up in my myspace player. If you think “enough with all those free mp3s! let’s spend some money!” I would appreciate you to buy the compilation. I’ve got a few copies, so you can drop me an email and get it directly from me: eve@evemassacre.de
Or you get it from Hausmusik, Soul Seduction, Warszawa, and many more. Actually even from amazon.de and well-sorted record stores.

Here’s an info on what the compilation is about:
“TOO MUCH TOO FAST TOO TRUE TOO SLOW The topic of F&D no3 is exaggeration as artistic strategy and means of expression. Themes are expressed in extreme ways to set the focus on them, political and social problems we have to face every day are displayed in exaggerated ways in order to regain public interest. Artists are asked to blur the border between truth and lie, finally they are allowed to tell stories beyond credibility. Samples can be changed from real sounds into mistakeable noises or neurotic repetitions. The participants are invited to trick their audience or at least to let them believe they are tricked. Exaggeration as a strategy against blunting, radicalness as a policy to attract attention. Technically, exaggeration means the possibility of using forms of artistic creation common audio-formats don’t allow. Extreme noises next to almost noiseless audio-pieces, endless repetition follows crazed audio-collages and kitsch pop songs.”

* _ *

It’s raining rain. Hallelujah. It’s nice if you wake up far too early and rain is hammering down on your window pane and you snuggle up and sleep another hour or two. It’s still okay if you get up, sip your first cup of tea and look drowsily out of the window. At noon though it would be nice, please, if it could stop and if it got at least a little brighter than this:

This greyness everywhere keeps me constantly tired and last week had so many things that brought me down. Helplessness is the worse feeling of all. I’m glad I have spared one of the happier days lately and can write about it now.

A little intermezzo first: G-Hot and Boss A are getting sued for the song “Keine Toleranz” that calls for violence and zero tolerance against gay people. (And they got kicked out by Aggro Berlin. Fear for their image or sale numbers? Is it more okay to rap about raping women to death than about killing gays? Double standards, tsk.) The lyrics of “Keine Toleranz” go something like “What happened? Why are they accepted now, there were days when they got bisected with an axe”, “in my opinion they don’t deserve to live”, “I take 10 machine guns to the CSD and fight for the straight guys”. A female rapper from Berlin turned them in now and the Landeskriminalamt Berlin says her lawsuit might be successful. I’m all against censorship but it makes me sick to see mainstream hiphop spread hate lyrics like that. It’s not exactly like those hiphop kids are so far beyond homophobia that you could say it’s harmless joking, especially as there’s zero irony in that song. I’ve read about a survey for Germany by Maneo in which 24.000 gay people took part: 35% of them have experienced physical homophobic violence within the last 12 months (from those who were younger than 18 even 63%). 90% don’t call the police. In more than 60% of those cases it was groups of offenders and not just a single person. Don’t be surprised if you see me explode the next time someone uses “faggot” as casual cussword.

Hm. Actually I had wanted to write about something to cheer me up. On the 14th of June Ted Leo & The Pharmacists and The Flesh played in Nürnberg. Even a couple of days later that show got me smiling stupidly happy. First nice surprise was in the afternoon, when I hurried out of the Zentralcafé straight into the arms of James Canty. I hadn’t known that he plays with Ted Leo again and it is always a pleasure to meet him. Some people make you feel like friends even if you have met and talked just a few times. Why I was in a hurry? I tried to get to the tattoo shop before it closed. It’s been quite a few years since I had my last tattoo so I was a bit excited. The tattooer first said he hadn’t time before october or november but then looked through every little corner of his calendar and found me a date on the 1st of August. Yeah! Unicorns ahoy! 🙂
After that it was one of those nights at the K4 that I love… on which it’s not just like watching a show and then leave again… no, those nights on which you meet many people you like – even Kerstin und Tobi were there, back from their Africa trip – and when you slip from one conversation into another and time passes almost too smoothly and quickly. The show was brillant. Once more I was suprised how many Ted Leo songs I know almost by heart. That music is so catchy and charismatic and I think you really have to see them live to get what is so special about them. It’s like you get the most cheerful music – full of mod and soul nostalgia and at the same time fresher than any of the indie bands of the day – delivered with a presence of political attitude that is more than just the lyrics. And what makes it differ from most other political music: It’s positive. It fills with hope and energy instead of fueling hate against whatever ‘enemy’. I’m going into raptures again, uh? Okay, I’ll stop and rather send you to the photo section at www.evemassacre.org to see some snaps or to www.eartrumpet.net to see some proper pictures of the Munich show. The Flesh played too but I only watched a song or two as I went for dinner while they played. It was better then when I’ve seen them two years ago but somehow a bit too sterile and hip for my taste, but like I said: I’ve only watched one song.

Another show I haven’t written about yet was Owen and The City On Film. I missed the latter but Owen was great. Beautiful squiggled storytelling songwriter songs. I really like his voice and it was cool that people were totally quiet when he played. After the show, before we went to my place where they stayed overnight, we sat in the K4 garden to finish our drinks we chatted a little, or rather the guys talked some nerdy musicians ‘i know thisandthat artist personally and know about that detail about thisandthat artists’ record deal etc.’ music talk and their girlfriends listened and waited. Sometimes it’s better to just listen to the music.

Last weekend was so la la too. I had slept very bad on Thursday night and was tired as hell when we started putting up the stuff for the Nurotic Soundsystem night with Maga Bo. It was nice to celebrate Tobi’s birthday but somehow djing didn’t roll good for me that night. Don’t know why. Didn’t feel right. There weren’t very much people showing up but at least when Maga Bo started his set the dancefloor was crowded for a while. I liked lots of the afro and brazil stuff he played. He seemed a very nice person too but sadly I wasn’t fit enough for conversation AND djing on that night.
On Saturday it was like I had already expected: DJing after hardcore shows doesn’t work. No one stayed and danced which is sad cause people missed out on one of the best guitar music sets I’ve ever played, I swear! It was a nice relaxed evening nevertheless.

Yesterday I’ve let my poor cat out again despite all that bird flu no go zone crap. It drove him mad stay inside the house for a week and what’s worse: it drove me mad to get his accusatory looks and meows all the time. He’s too old to kill a bird and get infected anyway. At least I hope so.

Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like beards? Lately there seems to be a little beard renaissance and it feels wrong. I don’t know what I dislike more: the way beards tell my gendercrushing side “hey, see, I’m 100% totally manlymanlymale!”, or if my fashionista sense feels offended by its hippie “it’s just natural, let it all grow” aspect, or if I don’t like how it hides men’s faces, or the hygienic aspect – see, there’s many reasons why not to have beards.

* _ *

Tonight it would be nice if you came to see Mika Miko and No Age play at the K4. You won’t regret it.

If you feel like staying home and reading and browsing I have some recommendations for you:
Max Tundra‘s blog about hating leggings.
Agent Lovelette‘s blog, the most charming prose poetic mp3 blogging around.
From BoingBoing: TorrentfreaksAnti Digital Right Management’ T-Shirt Contest Winners
Justin Pearson‘s biographical blog, now with pictures. (BTW Ocrilim cancelled his european dates with The Locust, now Aux Raus will be the tour support)

Or you could simply go and calculate how much coffee, tea, coke or red bull it would take to kill you.

“It has to hurt.” – nights of partying and more …

“It has to hurt.” – nights of partying and more

“It has to hurt. We stay in motion.”
Bernadette La Hengst

The week from 18th to 24th was seriously action-packed. On Monday the best punk orchestra of the world had another wild and dancy appearance at the K4: The World/Inferno Friendship Society. I can’t remember how often I’ve seen them by now but they always brought on a hell of a show. I miss the fire-eating that made everything a bit more dramatic, especially as with people like them you knever knew if the place would burn down or not. But still – which other band makes people stay at a venue till 3 in the morning on a Monday night? I picked them up that night and was seriously hungover when I made them breakfast in the morning. I drove back with them to the venue cause they had left their stuff their and received yet another ticket on my car. I hate it. I can’t see how the city wants a place like the K4 to work but doesn’t give us any free parking space. We have no ‘official’ place for the band vans, not even for the brewery or soundguys to unload stuff. It’s a miracle that everytime it works out somehow.
Anyway, the band drove off to spend an afternoon with the Robocops at some swimming pond, I drove off to Mannheim for a dj gig. The drive added to my wrecked condition and I was awfully tired when I arrived. The venue was the Nationaltheater, were they had a huge foyer space, a glass building. Thanks to Caro again for organising it all to run so smoothly. And for the rum. First MONOCHROME played and it wasn’t my kind of thing. I had seen them ages ago with HOT WATER MUSIC and liked them back then but it’s a totally different band now. I had missed them when they played on TRAINSPOTTING festival but had already heard they changed. The huge sterile stage of course and the MIA (the german MIA) moves of the new female singer added to the impression but they really sound like one of those average emo rock/pop bands from Germany that crave for a INTRO title story.

Apropos TRAINSPOTTING FESTIVAL: They have a nice line up again this year. I think not all bands are 100% confirmed but it looks like this:

Friday, 7.9.07
life at these speeds
just went black
polite sleeper
danse macabre
omega massif

Saturday, 8.9.07
brutal knights
attack of the mad axeman
gun mob
mt. logan

It sure is one of the best hardcore/punk/grind festivals around. Great atmosphere, no bollo-macho shit, lots of people from everywhere but small enough to keep it communicative. I’m reaaally looking forward to it.

Back to Mannheim: After MONOCHROME I started playing some tunes but soon saw there wouldn’t be that many people. I was glad when somebody started dancing and kept them dancing till, I think, 3 o’clock or something. I love djing. That’s what that week really showed me as I had three dj nights in one week and didn’t get tired of it at all. That “lost in music” feeling when you swim in a constant brainstorming mode what to play next and how good it feels if the tunes you like work for the people on the dancefloor is priceless. I hope this Friday at NUROTIC SOUNDSYSTEM with MAGA BO at the K4 (and ssssssh – it’s Tobi’s birthday!) and Saturday at the DESI: (there I’ll be the aftershow dj for the first ‘Not Just Boys’ Fun’ hardcore show: COMMANDER CONTROL and MY FIRST FAILURE, to hardcore bands with female singers will play.
The Mannheim night ended drunk and happy and with some friendly chatting that makes me come back with more time at hand, and I stayed at a cool hotel room. Truly cool: It was so good to sleep in a low-temperature room as my attic flat always heats up to really uncomfortable temperatures in summer.

Friday, 22nd of June, I drove to Leipzig for the AMPLIFY! night. On the road I listened to TED LEO on repeat and fell especially in love with “La Costa Brava” cause it recalls wonderful moments on tour in Spain with my old band, and cause lines that go something like “forget the fright and remember for what you want to brave” are so good. Simple and good. And the three vocal lines at the end of the song are plain beautiful.

Of course I got lost as soon as I drove into Leipzig and got redirected through the city (my mobile bill will suck this month…) and of course I was too late for the discussion on women in hiphop but just in time to get to know my wonderful hosts (thanks for everything!) Uli and Astrid before BIG ZIS started playing. I’m usually no friend of non-english/non-french dialect hiphop but this swiss lady had such a great flow and has those tiny high-pitched sounds in her rapping that I also like about Lady Sov and I instantly loved it.

After that BERNADETTE LA HENGST played and sadly it was the first time that I didn’t enjoy the whole length of her set. She seemed to play rather long and had a guy whose name I forgot up on stage with her for a couple of songs. Wasn’t my kind of humor, pseudo-absurd lyrics with a critical undertone embedded in music that sounded a bit too Schlager and the show felt a bit staged. I still love her voice though and it’s awesome how she fills a whole stage on her own with her energy. She also made one of my all time favourite cover versions: a gender-twisting “A Boy Named Sue” cover.

After that it was RYHTHM KING & HER FRIENDS‘ turn. I hadn’t seen them in years and was really curious about how they would have changed. They have livedrums now, have more of a band show going on and that fits them well.

As you see there were video screenings too and I really liked the two short film sequences: one with a simple loop of a woman uncomfortably stretching the straps of her bra. I wondered if all women in the audience were feeling like me when it was on: I felt my bra. I mean: Usually you’re so used to it that you forget about it but being made aware of it it sure felt a bit burdensome and I didn’t put it on on the next day. Oh my, does this sound like late Seventies ‘burn your bra’ hippie crap..? Might sound dated but it still feels fresh.

What was a bit too much was the repeated screening of the word “freedom”. It’s too big a word. It’s too overused a word. Musically they are far more energetic than when I last saw them but I have to say: Apart from two or three catchy songs it doesn’t really do enough for me to rid them off the LE TIGRE rip off prejudice.

Oops – time to leave. More later.

“Warmed up corpse” – The Locust, The Blood Brother…

“Warmed up corpse” – The Locust, The Blood Brothers, the me me me

“Making you feel just like a warmed up corpse.”

The Locust

That’s the view from the kitchen of massacre mansion. I sure will miss it when I move, even if it’s just one floor down.

I have just watched a new video of THE LOCUST. It’s for “AOTKPTA” of the ‘New Erections’ album. It’s downloadable as .mov, here’s the link.. It’s a sci-fi dystopia that vaguely reminded me of a FAINT clip… I can’t put my finger on the song title right now. The one with the “drones work hard before they die” lyrics. Not really because it looks similar but simply cause there aren’t so many dystopian video clips, I guess. This LOCUST video picks up the album artwork and is aesthetically reminiscent of old school sci-fi like the black/white FLASH GORDON series or METROPOLIS, and the thing that sucks them in looks like one of THE TRIPODS while the bands’ appearance reminds a bit of TRON for the suits and the paleness of the faces. It would be awesome if they made clips for the whole album resulting in a dark antipode to DAFT PUNK’s ‘Interstellar 5555’.

I’m not sure if I’ve already mentioned that I love the new album. I bet I have. I liked ‘Safety Second Bodies Last’ a lot cause it seemed to set up a scene change for the band but somehow the quiet/loud contrast sounded like they could do it with a bit more tension if they try. ‘New Erections’ does that and it also is much darker and more aggressive than ‘Plague Soundscapes’. The earlier LOCUST stuff with its playful synthgrind and the vocal domination of high-pitched Pearson screams has always seemed gender-free for me. The disindividualsing insect costumes of course added to that impression. Now growling, clearly male vocals and the doomier heavyness of parts of the new album make them sound a bit more on the masculine side. It fits them well so far.

I don’t know why I sometimes think music in gender. And I don’t mean sex as there also are male artists whose music sounds more feminine than I like it to be and the other way around. It’s not about lyrics and it’s not about how the artist looks. It’s between the lines of all of that. I guess it’s just a random and totally subjective thing but talking about aggressive music I find that the more ‘masculine’ it gets, the less accessible it is for me, although I’m not a very ‘feminine’ person at all. For example I instantly liked lots of the PATTON stuff, DAUGHTERS, IN/HUMANITY and GUYANA PUNCH LINE, DAS OATH, SONG OF ZARATHUSTRA, CUTTING PINK WITH KNIVES to name but a few. With many of the most allegedly ‘brutal sounding’ bands… it’s like there’s a fence between me and that music. Or a window pane. I don’t warm up with music that is aggressive or complex just for the sake of being totally extreme but has nothing to express. Or rather: if the only thing it expresses is ‘hey, man, look at me, i’m like tooootally extreme”. I think from now on I’ll call it ‘Fisherman’s Friend Core’. (In Germany FF have the slogan: “If they are too strong, you’re not strong enough.”) If there’s no content backing that up it mostly isn’t extreme at all. I might like some of it but it doesn’t really touch me. I want that kind of music to rip my heart out. At a good live show there are those moments when you stand in the midst of a total noise attack of music that contains and compresses all the shit in the world and suddenly you feel totally calm and at peace for a moment. Like cleansed off all the bad things in the world and lost in that sound. Like you can breathe free for a moment. I think one of the first shows that gave me such a moment was NEUROSIS back in … oh my, I don’t remember when. And of course MINISTRY. Later also SONG OF ZARATHUSTRA.. oh, and definitely when SOME GIRLS played “Deathface” live. Ach, anyway: I can’t wait for THE LOCUST show we put on end of August and it’s great that they bring OCRILIM with them because I loved ORTHRELM live and I doubt OCRILIM will be any less intense.

* _ *

“When my eyes are full of feeling
I forget my personality”
Luscious Jackson

I was a bit quiet lately, first because there was too much going on and I didn’t really find the time to write, then cause I felt a bit empty. Somehow I had stumbled into one of those moods… sometimes it feels like things are passing faster than I’m able to digest and then it takes me some time to get back to produce anything, a good conversation, music, text. As banally as it might sound cleaning the backstage after the BLOOD BROTHERS show while listening to LUSCIOUS JACKSON’s ‘Natural Ingredients’ album four times in a row was really relaxing and helped catching up with myself again. Yes, I listened to it four times. I only had that one CD with me cause the tray of the other CD I had brought – TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS’ ‘Shake The Sheets’ – was empty. I had given it to the soundguy and now it is still stuck in the PA cd player godknowswhere. The only thing that consoles me over the loss is the missionary hope that somewhere at some really really bad shows the soundguy will at least play some good music before and between the bands. Guess it’s a sign for me to go buy the vinyl now. It’s always just half a pleasure to get promo cds as it makes you feel like buying the vinyl would be a luxury as you already have the album. ‘Natural Ingredients’ by the way is one of those timeless albums I rediscover at least once a year. It’s like meeting a distant friend you had almost forgotten about but whom you instantly feel familiar with again.

Anyway.. I had a couple of great nights and will go chronologically backwards telling you about it. The ELEKTRONISCH ROCKEN night last Friday was great. I really had planned on going home a bit earlier than usually but it didn’t work as PALUKA82 and JOOL and MARTIN HIP slammed such a banger of a dj set. I think I’ve never heard them play such a in-your-face-set before. “Higher State Of Consciousness”, uh? The decoration was awesome too – hundreds of acid smilies all over the place, even yellow smilie balloons. The stuff nightmares are made from. 😉

Two days before that we’ve had THE BLOOD BROTHERS and KAMIKATZE and DIE! DIE! DIE! playing. It was a nightliner tour so they arrived in the morning and Melinda and me prepared a yummy breakfast buffet in the Zentralcafé. We hadn’t a nightliner band in a while so I had totally forgotten about the mother instinct sleepy yawny musicians toddling their way to the feeding site can stir even in someone like me. Oh, and while I’m in that emotional mood: There were so many people of the Musikverein involved in that show, like coming over in their spare time to carry PA stuff, get food, hanging posters for the next shows, get change from the bank, help the band load in, chat a little, wash towels, etc. – … How can you express how much you appreciate this community without sounding like an overemotional cliche?

Back to the show: KAMIKATZE played first. It was straight and rude hardcore punk from Sweden and part of the audience stood back a bit not knowing how to deal with that. Not hip enough for the hipsters, not complex enough for the artsters. The sudden appearance of an emo circle pit didn’t help easing their confusion but gave me a big smile. After already having sold 150 tickets in advance we didn’t really worry about getting the 300 people turn out we needed to finance the show in our bigger room. As the evening proceeded though we had to realise we’ll only have 285 guests. At least it was the tour record and a good day. DIE! DIE! DIE! played next and I was a bit disappointed. Their cd on S.A.F. Records is a rough little jewel of a noise punk record but the live they sounded like just another indie band. A good indie band but lacking the edges that make the record stand out. I didn’t see all of THE BLOOD BROTHERS show but what I saw was good and played with more guts and charm than the show I had seen earlier that year in Munich. After the show there was chatting and drinking until late and even then I wasn’t tired when I got home so I watched BLADE until the sun set.

There are more pictures of the show in the www.evemassacre.org photo section. Sebastian W. took most of them with my crappy digicam and I secretly think it sucks that even with such a poor device you instantly see that he’s a photographer and I’m a snapshooter. More tales tomorrow.