“Apeman” – at least animals are worse off

“I think I’m so educated and I’m so civilised cos I’m a strict vegetarian
But compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees I am an apeman.
And with the overpopulation and inflation and starvation and the crazy politicians
I don’t feel safe in this world no more
don’t want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore”
The Kinks

Yesterday, feeling sick with the worst abdominal cramps and diarrhoea ever, I was staying home, crouched in front of my tv and among other crap I saw a ‘documentary’ about dogs in China that made me cringe. It was outstanding in its mixture of being involuntarily funny and racist and speciecist. First the film team desperately looked for markets or shops that sell dog meat and you could tell by one endlessly reappearing picture how happy they were when they finally found one dead dog at one food stand. Then they contrasted this evil/uncivilized/traditional part of China with the happyhappy colourful modern China in which the people finally know it better and keep dogs as pets. The example for that being freaky sentimental dog owners who dye their poodles’ fur. I’m not sure if the racism or the specicism in that documentary was worse. Really ridiculous Really ridiculous yet it made me remember times when this would have caused an outcry of criticisim in next day’s papers. We are so numb.

* _ *

There’s a little piece you might like to read in the Ted Leo news (wish he would change that into an RSS blog thing) about hating “People who think that there’s some sort of hypocrisy in “a beef-flavored soy patty”.

* _ *

This one isn’t new, it’s from 2003 but I stumbled upon it again and it’s worth being recommended if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s a documentary (narrator: Joaquin Phoenix, music: Moby). “EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity’s absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called “non-human providers.”
You can watch it streamed here.

* _ *

I’m not writing very much at the moment cause I’m still a bit tangled up in bad moods and feel disgustingly fragile. I manage to keep things up and going but it’s taking far more power than usually. Will get better but becoming sick is no big help. I’ll better stay home and lick my invisible wounds for a while. My mp3 ep is out now on www.starvingbuthappy.com but I can’t concentrate on writing about it for you here. Tomorrow I will.

Oh, and maybe I will dj as support for GET HUSTLE next Sunday in Würzburg. XYEAHX asked but it’s not safe yet.

Ach, and please: no matter how much I like you or how much I respect your work, be it as promoter or artist, I won’t have those stupid oversized advertisement comments. It’s like elbow-pushing other people’s nice little ads from the page and crashing profile-layouts just to get your thing promoted.
And there I was thinking I’d never complain about anything myspace-related.

PS.: Hooray for Ray Davies releasing a new album. I hope it’s not crap but am prepared for the worst.

PS PS.: “Starbucks is less evil than Universal Music.” Kim Gordon
What do you make of that?

New song up at Myspace & BOOM over nbg & a secret disclosed!

“Down With You Syndrome”, a brand new EVE MASSACRE song is finally up in my myspace player! No clue why but it seems as if I only can have three songs in that silly player thing now. Hope you enjoy it!

Boom over Nuremberg!
Tomorrow we’ll shake you and ourselves all night long. I’m sooo looking forward to it!
People in smokings will get a free drink!
People who bring me birthday presents will get a free smile!

When I was at the SCREAM CLUB show in Munich the secret behind one of the sure shot dancefloor hits of SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM was disclosed to me: SCREAM CLUB did the vocals to the SIDABITBALL song ‘Smalltown Girls’, a Gameboy-Trash-Rave jewel that filled the dancefloor whenever CKID played it. I love that song and it’s even cooler if you hear it live so I recommend not missing SCREAM CLUB when they will play at the K4 on the 18th of october!
The song is still available as a free mp3 from SIDABITBALL’s website. Shhhhhh – here’s the link:

And this is the scariest stuff I’ve read about in quite a while. Pain that leaves no traces, that you can’t prove, the effects of which you can’t measure. The ‘creativity’ of scientific progress never fails to surprise me. (Hier ein deutschsprachiger Artikel drüber.)

“Defect” – what a fine fine day

“Straight as an arrow
Defect, defect
Not straight, not so straight
Reject, reject
Towards anti-social
Dull dull, so dull”

Cinnamon tea and an aching shoulder is what I woke up to. Nothing exciting in the mail box and UPS bringing nothing but posters. Crossreading the news. Sure I’m glad they stopped the terror attack from happening. Still there’s a bad aftertaste as it will be used as another reason to narrow my freedom and right to privacy. Yes, I’m aware that I used passive in the last sentence. Getting all sentimental after reading three personal blogs from people but not sending a single word of compassion to the writers. Is it the blog culture that teaches us to turn away, to stay voyeur instead of communicating? I’ll write it in my blog though I’m sure you won’t read it: I feel with you, it made me sad that you’re in pain, I hope you will feel better some day. Feeling sad yet I’m feeling so numb that today I’m not even excited about playing live on Saturday. Finding out that the cat secretly jumps onto the sink and drinks from my toothbrush cup while he denies drinking from the water I always put next to his food. Hm. Writing a letter. That’s been long overdue. Practicising. I hate that I keep forgetting the lyrics to my own songs. As if they didn’t mean anything to me. Lots of work at the computer. Still unfinished. Still postponing too many things. A tiny flicker of panic in the back of my head but not enough to bring an exclamation mark into this day. Thinking of an overseas friend who’s celebrating his birthday today and wondering how many kilometres New York actually is away. Google maps denies me the answer. Shopping. Cooking. Where has my day gone?

“Ban marriage” – of locusts, burns and elektronisch superrockens

“You don’t want you stitches sewn cause then you’ll have the big unknown.”
The Paper Chase

Friday I got up after four hours of sleep to make breakfast for The Locust and of course they got up much later than they had said they wanted to have breakfast. My usual morning grumpiness was sustained by being hungover and my kitchen is too small for many people anyway so I used the time to do some work at the computer while they had breakfast. Justin even did the washing up which is nice. It’s one of those things that show a little respect. Other bands leave you with cigarette stubbs on freshly laid floor. Later I took him to a pharmacy cause he had an ear infection. This guy is some serious sicknesses and accidents collector, the poor puppy. Then we drove to the K4, not without stopping by a health food store. I learned that Tartex has vegan Ravioli. It still was time for a stroll around town and I chatted a bit with Jeroen and helped him find a internet place and then everyone met at the van with pictures of dulcimer players and weird sausage postcards. Then I drove Justin and Gabe to the physiotherapist and the rest took off to a laundry Dominik had showed them. At the Reha place they had chilling background muzak on and I suddenly felt every missing minute of sleep. Could have dozed away instantly. Then I drove them to the laundry and when they asked for a nearby place for vegan food I phoned the guys at the K4 as some friends of ours had their wedding reception there and had a huge vegan buffet and I thought it was worth asking if maybe there was enough to feed the band too. Some of them gave their ‘okay’ but later it proved wrong and we had the guys waiting for the food in vain. I felt sorry for that but couldn’t help it. So we said goodbye and I went to that marriage reception and I had the stupidest accident ever: they had some balloon thing going on for which you write your adress on a postcard and knot it to a balloon and then everybody let’s their balloon fly and whoever finds one of the balloons is supposed to send them back. Well, they also put sparklers at the end of the balloon’s cord and people lit them before they let the balloon go. Some of them were too heavy and one of those came down and the sparkler got caught in my hair and slipped under my t-shirt und I got a bad burning on my right shoulder blade. Actually I think it was luck that the thing hit me as I was standing next to a friend who had carried her baby on her back and I wouldn’t want to know how bad those burns would be for such a little kid. Dominik cured me western style with pouring 73% rum over the wound for disinfection and that almost made me scream out. I stuck around for some food and chats but left after I had heard the first speech cause it just made me sick.

Here’s a picture, take it as when we were kids and compaired our scraped knees:

“We aren’t fools to fall in love but let ‘coupledom’ die: Ban marriage!”
Hidden Cameras

I really really like the guys who married on that day but I admit that I am totally anti-marriage. If just for the romantic reason that I don’t think love should be institutionalised. Of course also because I hate the traditionalist conservative heteronormative family politics behind it and the fact that the state tries to force you into it with the financial advantages you get if you’re married. Isn’t that institutionalised discrimation somehow? To see people give in to that while still claiming to be ‘different’ or ‘special’ is so damn hypocritical.
Being ‘different’ is overrated anyway. To celebrate and cultivate and snob-i-vate ‘being different’ most of the times is the luxury of middle class white boys who never have experienced exclusion for reasons beyond their choice. Woof! But that’s a different subject. Guess I’m in rant mood, sorry.

“Oh, precautions, yes precautions
But if you’re playing with a gun, you could kill someone
And in the dark it’s hard to know a friend
But I’m not angry, I won’t be forever angry”
Ted Leo

Soooo …. I went home early from the marriage but didn’t sleep very good as the branding was on the shoulder I usually sleep on and it hurt. On Saturday morning and noon I got a few phone calls about K4 related problems and already felt that I was in a totally fragile condition. I hate it when I feel that weak. Tinnitus set in and I wasn’t in any mood to talk to anybody but close friends. The ideal condition to promote a party for which we had invited a couple of live guests: Elektronisch Superrocken. Jool & Paluka had djed in Stuttgart the night before and had hardly slept at all, so I think Tobi was the only one of us who was really in shape. Keys were missing, a cable of the PA was broken, and I didn’t have the power to organise anything or talk to people, so I first headed upstairs to clean the Locust mess in the backstage (there were some really creative phallified food things) so Näd Mika & Cameltoe and Washer and Zimmer could use it later. I copied some deco stuff with Daniel and then the dinner that Anna had cooked for us was ready and that was excellent. With the first piece of hot lasagne I realised that I hadn’t eaten warm food for three days or longer. It felt so good. Really felt like warming me up from the inside. Then somebody mentioned it already was 10 pm so I went upstairs and put a record on and suddenly Andi was done with fixing the lights and the first guests came in and almost instantly there were people dancing and I felt like armageddon cause I had forgotten my headphones and djing without headphones sucks, especially with electronic music but somehow it worked but I was glad when Tobi joined me. One girl asked for Crystal Castles which was great but I didn’t have them with me as I thought we’d only spin rather straight non-noisy music. Stupid me. As much as I hate boring requests I love it if people request unusual stuff that fits my taste. The rest of the night was a blurr. We had far more guests than we had expected, not only inside but also outside on the street smoking. Most of them moved whenever a car passed but one guy didn’t and the driver got out and smacked him and the cops came and Tobi and me talked to the cops. They were surprisingly friendly. We didn’t just worry bout the “drunks vs cars” problem but also bout the age of some of the people who were there. Of course our guys at the entry and the bar did their best to monitor the age situation, and they had to cope with some seriously offending responses, but you never know if there’s still some too young folk inside and it gets damned expensive for us if we let that happen. Usually the mutual trust method works fine but on that night there were simply too many people and too many idiots among the nice people. Burning posters on the street and shouting down the bar staff and sitting down on the mixing console and I don’t know what else. It didn’t get out of control but with my nerves being less steel than electric eel I experienced the night as an endless blurr of dancing madness, watchfulness, cheering people, complaining people, too many people, and an endless series of almost-catastrophes and a constant level of pain as countless people touched my brand wound when talking to me. I think it was five when I gave up and drove home. I wasn’t even drunk. I think it was the first time that I was the first one to stop djing but I simply had no ideas and no feeling for it anymore. I know it doesn’t sound like it but it still was a great night, I must say. Outstanding. A thousand thanks to Tobi and Jool and Paluka and Dominik and Melinda for cleaning up the mess!

Yesterday we discussed how to handle future parties and we agreed none of us wants to do all that work for brainless scum that just wants to test their limits. Those guys fit better into some large-capacity-disco-dumpster where they have bouncers to police idiots like them. We’d rather have no parties than ending up like that. I seriously hope our next one, Sophisticated Boom Boom on the 22nd of September, will go back to the usual atmosphere of mutual respect that makes everybody feel welcome, no matter if guest or if bar staff. We want to party together, not against each other. How does that sound?



PS.: Next weekend Tobi and me will dj in Berlin, 8th of September at the Basso. It would be nice to see some familiar faces! As half of Nuremberg has already moved to that silly big city it should be no problem, shouldn’t it?

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

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

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

* _ *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Real cool time tonight” – recap pt xsss

“Can I come over tonight?
I say we will have a real cool time tonight”

Life sometimes moves too fast for my writing skills to capture. I’ll shorten the recap of my London trip drastically now to keep up.
On the first night in London I’ve been to 93 Feet East which is a really cool and fair priced venue and it even has a nice patio so you don’t have to go outside on the street to smoke. Some friends of mine, the marvellous Pirate Soundsystem, were djing and Eskibeat, Ruff Sqwad, Wiley and Tinchy Stryder were on in the other room. And Peaches Geldof, the daughter of Bob, who seems to be and who looks like an english version of Paris Hilton was djing too. Or what she calls ‘djing’.
All the grime people were fun to watch. Great beats, lots of good MCs, good atmosphere, I liked it a lot. I think in some moments there were 20 of them on stage. What struck me is that it’s a far more male dominated scene than I had expected it to be. Of course I was aware that there are hardly any active grime ladies but to me the quirkiness of grime beats and the fun undertone of some of the samples or synths and the british rapping somehow got me perceiving it as a less hierarchic and testosterone-laden kind of music than for example parts of US hiphop are. Seeing those guys fo’ real, lots of them dressed up in suits, somehow reminded me of the mutation of the Northern Soul scene that you get here in Germany. Scenes in which things like honor and credibility still seem to have meaning in a somehow obsolete way that makes me smile.
The Pirates’ set was very cool too – lots of bounce music (my fellow Nurotic Soundsystem DJ Tobi says that music is called ‘bassline’ but how boring a name for such a fun uptempo cut up swirly kind of music is that? Nerd talk, I know. Sorry. Sinden, Switch or some Buraka Som Sistema are musical examples. Lovely stuff.). It was nice to finally hear them doing their thing live and they function so well together that it’s a pleasure to watch. Just like – what a transition, uh?! – Nuremberg’s finest: Johannes and Jool of Elektronisch Rocken. Time for a commercial break:

Tonight! At the K4! Elektronisch Superrocken! Come on!
I have the pleasure to dj at a party with a brillant line up:
Elektronisch Rocken
Nurotic Soundsystem
and their wonderful electronic live guests:
Näd Mika, Washer and Zimmer!

elektronisch superrocken flyer

Back to London: on Saturday the GYBO boat party was on and I finally met all those g33ks I’ve only known from the internet so far. I wasn’t disappointed. On the contrary. It was the nicest bunch of people I’ve met in quite a while. It’s amazing that people from such different backgrounds get along so fine without a real ‘scene’ thing that glues them together. Here’s to some people and stories that got stuck on my mind: Colin ‘Electric Cowboy’ who has some great new electrobollocksmixes on his site and Tim Bearcup who does a nice podcast, Radio Clash, both of whom welcomed me with a little queer chitchat; Robb who did me the great favor and got me one of those limited colored vinyl 7″s of Crystal Castles; Colin ‘Ctel’ who is father of a very ill little kid and whose blog really gets me into a lack of words to express how much respect I’ve got for him and his wife for how they handle their situation, Grant McSleazy, Mike Cartel, Hearingdouble, BushNo10, Miss Frenchie, ach, damnit… it’s no use dropping all those names. It was great to meet you all. Some really cool sets were played, especially later that night and I drank too much and had eaten nothing but some Dorritos all day as the BBQ was non-veggie, and the fresh tattoo started aching a bit and I was plain exhausted so from a certain point on I was unable to do anything but get a painted moustache from Julie, sit down and listen to the djs and watch the dancers. At the end we hurried to catch the last Dockland Railway train and bus and the walk to Julie’s place seemed endless. I slept pretty well that night but woke up with a head that felt three times as big as usual. Caught a cold from all that standing on deck to smoke in the rain and wind that blew over the Thames so I stayed in and read Murakami’s ‘Sputnik Sweetheart’ which is good. One of the topics it deals with is isolation and it made me remember my favorite Buechner quote. I think it was from ‘Danton’s Death’ and goes something like “knowing each other? we’d have to break open our skullcap and drag each other’s thoughts out of the brains”.