There are obviously a lot of songs that you listen to throughout your whole life. The question is what sticks to your mind? What do you actually hang on to? And what do you really remember several years down the line. I hate facebook chain mails and I hate how Buzzfeed et al tend to accumulate lists and sell them as journalism. What I liked about this particular idea though is that taking your time to think about this lays out a map of who you are. So this list is quite a personal one but I’m sure everyone out there can relate to some parts. Maybe you’ll even start thinking about your own list. 10 songs is not an awful lot but it narrows down the possibilities and forces you to make decisions. It’s like going back to the Beatles who only had 4-tracks to record some of the best pop music written. I’m not saying this is the grand list of pop, but it’s mine. It’s a big part of the soundtrack to my life so far.
1. Spider Murphy Gang – Schickeria
My love for Bayern Munich is no secret to most of my friends. But this song has nothing to do with the fanclub but with one of my earliest music memories. I can recall sitting on my dads leather chair as a small kid, singing along and miming playing the guitar to this. ‘Schickeria’ is the opening song of the bands 1981 album ‘Dolce Vita’, an album that spent 91(!) weeks in the German charts. It’s not the biggest hit, that was reserved for ‘Skandal im Sperrbezirk’, a song about a callgirl in Munich. It was the first record I owned, after my parents handed me down the album on tape. It was a worn out, nicotine yellow and when I revisited the song recently, I have to admit, it’s not a song written for a young kid. I didn’t understand it back then, when Günther Sigl sang about people doing cocaine now rather than smoking weed. It’s a perfect time-capsule for the start of the 1980s, when hippies made way to the yuppi generation. When people became more concerned about their own wealth and well being than taking the streets against war or equal rights. And unfortunately we still see and feel the remainders of that time today, I would argue.
1. Modern Life is War – Fever Hunting (Deathwish/Indigo)
The thing about reunions: most of them suck. Maybe my views are over romantic, but there are a lot of zombielike bands out there with lifeless merch, touring like undead and new songs that are absolutely brain damaging. They used to be good once, but decided to come back for the wrong reasons (also called: money). With that mindset, I was very concerned about the resurrection of the hardcore scene darlings from MODERN LIFE IS WAR, but I was proofed wrong (at least till now).
The new record “Fever Hunting” is no “My love. My Way.”, but more than a solid HC-album. With its pissed off vocals, melodic guitars and hymns like “chasing my tail”, “media cunt” and “currency” MLIW made a mid-tempo wrecking ball without big experiments. But the reason this record made it into my top 5 is another one: it is a promise. A promise for show with passion and energy… bury under a pile of sweaty sing-along people and I`ll be happy.
1. Grey Reverend – A Hero’s Lie (Motion Audio/Rough Trade)
The story of discovering the music of L.D. Brown aka Grey Reverend is a bit dull, I have to admit: I stumbled across the cover thinking “well, that’s a great photo” and just gave it a listen. And it completely blew me away. This summer I was sitting at a beach in Portugal with “A Hero’s Lie” on my headphones simply gazing at the sea and for a moment I was at peace with the world (being me, that didn’t last long, mind you). Although it’s nothing groundbreaking, it simply is a hauntingly beautiful record. In a few years a lot of people will probably look back on “A Hero’s Lie” as a masterpiece no one took notice of. Remember folks, you read it here first.
Listen to: “Belafonte” Continue reading Front Page: Best of 2013 Part II→
So 2013 is drawing an end. The sheer flood of releases is ebbing away and as per usual, people are compiling lists of their favorites throughout the year. For me it has been a very exciting year. The blog has grown over the first year of its existence. So happy birthday little baby. But it’s not only my baby anymore. I have the pleasure of welcoming two writers aboard who will help me publishing more stuff and will give you an additional angle to my boring self-loathing. So say hello to Matthias (who’s first review was already posted here some time ago) and Daniel (you’ll read some things from him in the near future!). I am very thankful for all the people who took their time reading the articles, sharing them or getting in touch through their bands, labels or promoters. We cherish you all! Continue reading Front Page: Best of 2013 Part I→
I’m sure everyone knows these really bad looking posters advertising some big time event in your town. Mostly they are sponsored by big brands, speak about sensational stuff that actually just bores you to death. Even worse are the looks of these ads.
A recent example here in Berlin is a concert called “Die neuen Deutschpoeten” or “the new German poets”. It is sponsored by public broadcaster Radio Fritz – for the younger audience. So when a radio announces a show like that, especially a mainstream format radio, it raises some eyebrows. And the line-up is indeed catering for a mainstream audience. Fair enough, that’s their job right? To attract a lot of listeners and get fans to fill a venue. Continue reading Talking Pop: Die neuen Deutschpoeten – A different view on the “new Germans”→
I read a few interesting articles recently that had nothing to do with music really, but made me think. The first article, published by the online version of UK broadsheet the Guardian, was talking about the once promising footballer Kieron Dyer. His career never really took off due to his injury prone body. Despite him only playing just over 300 games during his 17 year-long professional career, he managed to become a lavishly paid player. Author Barney Ronay argues that Dyer was actually a child of the new Premier League, that brought vast amounts of cash to English football clubs. Therefore it wasn’t his fault for being paid that much money, even though he was probably not worth it, but the systems fault. Interesting thought. Continue reading Front Page – The Class of the 2000s→
Sometimes it’s amazing how life turns out. You can be the luckiest person for one day and the next, you find yourself in an aweful mess. But while we all have our personal ups & downs we tend to forget the broader questions and challanges life poses upon us. This might go a little far and philosophical for some of you, but it seems to be a reocurring topic I’ve been discussing with one of my friends over the last few years: What the hell are we doing? Continue reading Front Page – Who we are and where we want to be→