Archive for May, 2008

verdamp lang her

May 30, 2008

as i mentioned in the preceeding post i have been inspired to post other music then what i planned a while ago. the following is inspired by the fact that they just put out not one, but two new records – obviously der likedeeler took this as a good occassion to present the whole discography – wow.

bap – the old german rock band. they celebrated not too long ago their 30 years of existence. they were the first band / artists i was a real fan of – you know, wanting to know everything about them, collecting press clippings and all that. yes, i was very young. i knew their songs by heart and in a way they have been rather influental for me in showing that musicians can very actively participate in society: the lyrics were and are always very outspoken, they were and still are involved in social movements, especially against war and against facism and intolerance in its many forms. their attitude towards social responsability as successfull musicians still shapes my attitude towards artists that shrug their shoulders and just say “well, i’m only a musician”. an attitude that makes me rather impatient – i’m sure i will elaborate on this a little bit more in the future. but then it should anyway come as no surprise that music and society (music and politics) is a topic i am very interested in – and yes, to a degree bap are also responsible for that.

after this introduction it will come as no surprise that wolfgang niedecken, the frontman and singer (and only remaining original member today) started with singing bob dylan songs he translated into german – more precise in kölsch, the local dialect of the city of cologne. so the first record was a more acoustic affair – but then came “major” heuser as guitarist / songwriter onboard and bap evolved into a rock band. obviously bob dylan was still an influence, but now more lyrically. musically the influences of the rolling stones and bruce springsteen come to mind. this happened in the late 70s, early 80s – where they also started to be successfull, rising high in the german speaking countries, making great records and being known for their excellent live shows – they usually played well over 2 hours and just had the pressure of an excellent rockband. and they enjoyed a devoted following: usually the whole crowd knew the lyrics (which are not that easy, most of the time) – yep, i’ve seen some amazing shows in the mid/late 80s.

but in the late 80s, early 90s i kind of “lost touch” with their output: to a degree the records were less exciting – still having some great songs on it, but as a whole i did find them not that, hm, convincing anymore. others have felt the same at the time and put it down to bap becoming “more mainstream”. i do not agree – for me it was less a matter of being mainstream as something i observed also with other artists in the late eighties: suddenly there were all these new technologies available for making music sound even juicier and fatter (synthesizers, the first samplers, new studio technology) – and if you were able (i.e. if you had the money) you were of course trying out these new possibilities. i think this is one of the main resons that at this time there were so many overproduced records around – which in the case of a band like genesis was actually interesting, since they were always also about production values. but in the case of bands like bap, where the music lived to a big degree from being direct and to a degree raw, these new forms of producing and recording produced some rather, hm, tacky results. but then let’s not forget that it was also the flavour of the time, i.e. the hip aesthetic for these years… another reason for loosing somewhat sight of bap was that i was just young, not very young anymore, and a lot of exciting things happened – musically as well as on any other level: the cold war was over, the wall came down, history was happening and we were right in the middle of it: the world was our oyster. so who needed some old rockers asking critical questions and suddenly coming accross as grumpy? we wanted new things, new music, new flavours: forward was the way.

i certainly wasn’t alone with that attitude: the 1990s have been (in europe, at least) not a very good time for classic rock. and to a degree i think that also reflected back to the groups concerned: in the case of bap, i found that the lyrics of this period tend to be less interesting: they have a tendency to be grumpy and seem to somehow struggle with the problem of relevance, getting more complicated – well, they were always literature, after all wolfgang niedecken is a brilliant lyricists, but suddenly the lightness is missing – the flow was gone. so it was also not surprising for me that in the nineties there have been solo-projects, wolfgang niedecken concentrated more on painting again (something he shared with frank tovey a.k.a fad gadget, who had the opinion that also the times we live in demand/favour different artistic expressions), and also seeing quite some changes in the line-up of the band.

i personally picked up the thread again somewhere around the year 2000 – yes, the nineties might have started like there will be no need for grumpy old rockers anymore – but then suddenly asylant’s homes burned and the so called social climate slowly got grittier – the oyster clamped shut…

and bap got back to the roots: playing good rock with a lot of punch. and i also found that the lyrics had an easyness again – still being sharp and explicit, but also allowing for some mild irony where appropriate – maybe one can classify it as a newfound easyness through maturity. yeah, i heard by chance some stuff from their record songx and thought: wow, they are back with a vengeance and sound very fresh again! enjoying themselves again and also enjoying to kick some butt again.

fast forward to 2008: they just published two new records, both called pandora, once plugged and once unplugged – with an only partially overlapping tracklist. and yes, the record shot from 0 to 1 in the german charts – and yes, i find both really good. recommended!

so – this text got a little bit longer then planned (and i still haven’t said everything, huh), but i think it is time to give you some music now. a lot of music, actually. i ripped for you from an old tape a concert from 1986, given on a special evening: the last rockpalast show. rockpalast was a tv show, well, the only tv show at the time that showed live concerts from a wide variety of bands. a show that has been distributed internationally and was a must for everybody into music. the quality is real good – after all it is a radio rip. the crowd is very hot and bap in a good mood (hey, they played 5 encores). i still have to smile thinking of poor big country that had to play afterwards…

two things for me stood out re-listening to this old recording: bap always also wrote really good slow numbers. and i still don’t get why they covered money for nothing by the dire straits. it’s still one of the crappiest songs of dire straits – and i still hate the lyrics… yeah, a mistery…

so here you get bap live at rockplalast, grugahalle essen, on march 15th 1986 – there are 3 files for the concert, 5 files for the encores and an interview (which is also translated in english). and yes, it’s a huge file.

for the setlist and additional information you can go here (anyway an amazing site). for more information on rockpalast (it wasn’t as over as one thought back then) you can go here.

and the official site of the band bap you’ll find here. and now enjoy!

did you miss me…

May 29, 2008

…when i was away? did you hang my picture on your nose?

yes, it has been a while. my absence has been due to some private stuff (let’s just say that i listened to way too much portishead) and because i have been in the wild – but also (although named martial) very tender – west.

in the meantime there have been a couple of comments – thank you very much! if you would like to discuss the history of electro, you might go here. then i have a lot of new music – i will just have to think how to integrate this into my plans for this blog (well, which change anyway all the time – we will see). and yes, there are still a couple of requests open – you have not been forgotten. some new / old music i came across (again – meaning i found the vinyls) is actually from the above mentioned wild west. two records i re-listened to lately and have been hit by their excellence are jaques brel‘s “brel” and léo ferré‘s “la solitude”. very strong stuff, and especially in the case of léo ferré lyrics that just hit you – but then i do not have to post them – for this stefan from paris is a highly reliable source. so you can get jaques brel here and léo ferré here.

then i would also like to point to margot’s coven – you might have already seen the link wheel of the year on the side bar. i highly recommend a visit – there is some strange music to be dicovered – well, and any music blog posting kimmo pohjonnen must be a quality blog, right?

then i would also like to point you over to urbanology: my request has been fullfilled, and you all can now grab a recording of the great otis redding – a recording of his famous monterey festival concert. great stuff. thank you, urbanology!

so – to finish this little “hey, i’m back”-post here some live otis redding from monterey, i’ve been loving you too long – it somehow fits between portishead and the bitter-sweet of the great french singers and the general mood of the weeks past… and well, it is otis redding, man!

request: arno

May 9, 2008

yes, i know, there are quite some requests pending – i’ll get to them all, don’t you worry… first request fullfilled is arno. so it’s back to belgium, this time sexually more…hm, ambiguous – definitly queer, i would say.

j’aime les femmes, j’aime les garçons
et comme j’ai déjà dit, j’aime les zizi’s

putain putain c’est vachement bien
nous sommes quand même tous des europeens

tc matic – putain putain

so i have been actually asked for a re-up of the live recording from 1990 – done. get it at the original post.

but then i am a terribly nice guy, and looking incredibly good and all that, so here you get a bonus: more arno live – an even earlier one: arno live at the hot point festival, switzerland in 1988. taped from radio and then ripped as two mp3 files @224 – it is the full concert without encore – and yes, the last song he played that evening was putain putain… get it here.

and enjoy!

sister double happiness

May 7, 2008

so we take things down a notch – still rock, still gay, but a lot more bluesy (not only musically). i came across it again lately and somehow it seems to fit. what makes the music special is certainly the voice of gary floyd, a big bear with an unique voice – and then his lyrics. gary floyd is still known for his time with the punk band the dicks (their version of holiday in cambodia is on the alternative tentacles 100 – tribute to the dead kennedys sampler – where we also find the disposable heroes of hiphoprisy and les thugs). for more information about the dicks, the context they were in and a recording of their reunion show in 2005 i recommend you visit kamikaze connitpions.

with sister double happiness things are not punk anymore – more something like classic rock with quite some blues – if you would like to have a listen you can either go to their myspace site or get their record heart and mind here. enjoy!

gary floyd then moved on to more, hm, country / acoustic music, which suits his voicevery well, too. you can listen to some of his songs on his myspace page. and yes, he does art, too. well drop him a line and be nice – he states being nice, too.

gary floyd – big red me

gay sex, drugs & filthy rock

May 7, 2008

imagine la muerte were gay and writing novels. novels full of testosterone, running high on adrenaline. well, they did not write any gay novels (to my knowledge), but james robert baker did. they are more rock then metallica ever will be and butcher then the lot of gangstas in hip hop. hard, fast, very sexy, very funny and also very angry his work is for me a milestone. beside being a breathless read, finally i read about some faggots that were no more mister nice guys. yeah, time to show the middlefinger.

in connection with the work of james robert baker i always have to think of a story A once told me from a gender seminar at university: the invited researcher seemingly did quite extensive research about school-children and reading. turns out that the cliché of girls reading a lot more then boys is true. but digging a little bit deeper, she found out that it has less to do with the reading in itself (being uncool or so), but that there are no books that interest boys: less horses, more action would be needed, basically.

allright, i’m getting a little bit unfair here now, but if you are tired of the big bulk of gay lit describing coming outs and/or try to explore the gay emotional workings (with a dash of sassy-ness, of course), then get your hands on some james robert baker. it is just so refreshingly unapologetic. or said differently: this is my boy’s literature. of course his work has met with a lot of criticism – calling it trash or pulp, supposedly advocating drug use and violence, blablabla. basically the same arguments we heard all over again the first time queer as folk came out (which is now hailed by the same people as groundbreaking…huh?) or when dennis cooper or bret easton ellis got big.

and well, if you’re not gay but can appreciate literature that is like really good, filthy rock, then you can go for boy wonder or fuel-injected dreams, which have been proven more successful with a wider audience. i guess because there is less gay sex in it – on the other hand we gays have to get through quite a bit of straight sex in many cultural products (betty blue, anybody?) – so it might be just fair you get your share of graphic man to man action… but then his books are more then just sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – they finally voiced a feeling of having had enough, enough deaths, enough hatred, enough of the bigots. and although they are driven by anger, they are for me also in their own way very romantic – like a film noir is romantic, maybe. but then i might have a rather twisted sense of romance…

so i hope i have sparked your interest – then it is time to head over to james robert baker’s website – there you will get some more information of what it is all about as well as an overview of his life and his work. as a special you can even download one of his works, right wing (a political parody) – the least typical of his writings, but then it has a special history, too.

not only rock…

May 5, 2008

is about cock – hip hop keeps on talking about it endlessly, too. time to show it.


May 5, 2008

since on KKK (see last post) there is actually a song called wild fucker (and he is truly singing “i’m a wild fucker”: the man has guts, well, i guess balls would be more appropriate) and before you all forget that you’re on a queer blog i thought it time for some art.


an alli figger vo dere welt…….

…….lönd oi figge!

FUCKERS of the world……………………………………get FUCKED!

from “gfiggt” GRR10

request: la muerte

May 5, 2008

yes, it is time to fullfill a couple of reuqests. let’s start with la muerte – somehow they do fit here – well, read what i wrote back in the days about them here. and yes, i re-upped death race 2000 – but i am also able to give you kkk, kustom kar kompetition by la muerte. this comes from the robotmonster over at sfrp: thanks a lot! and now: get it here, play it loud and enjoy!

real gods: the young gods

May 5, 2008

envoyé! translated on the inner sleeve of the 12″ as “fuck off and die”

allright – the video has aged and was low budget at the time already – but the music let my jaw drop. the first record of a band which then coninued to amaze and delight me for now over 20 years.

name dropped as an influence from many fellow musicians, even some big names, the young gods share the fate of many bands introducing something new into rock: they stayed unique. it is in my eyes no coincidence that franz treichler stated in a couple of interviews that he is less influenced by a certain style of music an artist plays, but by the attitude of the musicians towards their art.

there were quite some bands in the 1980s trying new ways out to be rock bands withoput being rock bands – i am thinking of d.a.f., front 242, and wiseblood. all these bands worked with new technology, had unusal set-ups, were musically, well, rather on the harder side and have for me rather unique ways of dealing with – masculinity. far fetched? not necessarly, i believe. rock always had to do something with cock, with young angry and supposedly potent men. whereas wiseblood took this masculinity and just turned the screw not only once, but several times to get to a kind of nightmarish vision of hypermasculinty, d.a.f. explicitly worked with hypermasculinity differently: being very controversial for their use of the german language, seen as fascistic, it has been less remarked upon the explicit use of homoeroticism. the same is true of front 242: maybe less explicit, but having seen them performing a song like headhunter live i just think it is as well a very homosexual homoeroticism – coupled (as in the case with d.a.f, and of course that other band that made real big waves at the time: laibach) with a disrespectful play with ideologies, more precise: their signifiers. and they have stayed unique and in a certain way out of reach – even for themselves. gabi delgado (one half of d.a.f.) stated in an interview that it is interesting that other bands copied their very slogan-like use of the german language, but never copied the homoerticism. and the disrespect towards ideology just does not account to too much these days – what with the cold war (hey, that is not that long ago – even if it feels like) very much over and ideologies as seemingly so last century (but with me wondering if a record like the the‘s mind bomb could be made today). so the music these bands made was unique through their picking up their times perfectly – because of a unique ideological and musical context. and also because they were early adopters of new technologies and trying to enlargen a format (rock) through the use of these technologies.

and where are the young gods in this picture? standing a little bit apart: ideology was never such a topic – and they did not play masculinity in a certain way they just…used it by converting it. they made cock-rock without the cock. we all know thanks to jimmy sommerville that the guitar is the cock of rock – the young gods use a lot of guitars, very hard guitars – but coming out of a sampler. and through the use of this technology they actually managed to get rid of all the connotations of the guitar, of all this baggage and just had: the sound. the young gods were never about posing in the sense of a classic rock act: the “posing”, the live staging of their music as well as the fully designed visual appearance of their records follows one goal: maximum impact of the music. that is why it is important to have a sampler instead of a guitar: no ego, just sound. and seeing them live is just that: maximum impact through sound. yep, for me its that easy – and that is why a lot of people copied their aesthetic, their sound – but it would have been more interesting to learn from their attitude towards music.

so – enough of my musings. there will be anyway more about them in following posts – after all they belong to a small group of my personal musical gods and godesses. so it is time for some music. and we go all the way back to the early years, to a live recording from 1987 – the time of their first LP. yep, it is a bootleg recording, taped from radio. it includes the main show and two encores and you can get it here.

if you would like to explore their early records, head over to robert poland – he has the first record up (in the cd version, so you get also the two 12″s envoyé and did you miss me). and say thank you!

and now enjoy the young gods live and be assured: some more about these gods is coming….