Friday, October 24, 2014
I assume most of us will ask: Tin Machine - who's that? First of all a rock band playing good guitar-oriented alternative pop. It's also the band with which David Bowie wanted to step back from his stardom, go back to his roots and play as a normal member in the confines of a 'normal' rock band with gigs in samll clubs. Formed in 1989 the combo lasted for three albums, the first album got a lot of media attention due to Bowie's participation and the song Under the God did become a minor MTV hit. It all didn't last long, Bowie successfully continued his career under his own name and Tin Machine (considering the views their clips get at YouTube) have become forgotten.
Last Sunday I woke up late and had to hurry my breakfast to get on my way to reach my bus to work. Still drowsy I climbed down our stairway and I already heard some loud voices outside in the narrow alley we live in. Just as I opened the door to step out I almost tripped over a blood soaked man laying there his head leaned against the neighboring house door. I turned my head to look up the alley and found myself staring into a camera. Further upwards was a group of maybe 20-30 zombies watching the scene! I had to force myself through the crwod, I really had no time to take this all in. Later I found out that this was film project for our local theater (Einhörn), the initiator a former colleague of mine.
I can recommend the book "Our Band Could be Your Life. Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991" by Michael Azerrad. It depicts an essential part of what I loved of the music of the time and nearly all the bands described have some importance for me. The bands that are still essential to my life are Pere Ubu, The Residents - and the Swans! (I'd count Sonic Youth, too, but they don't exist anymore). I saw Swans twice live in concert in the 80s, and since their reunion nearly every year, next concert is next week on November 1st. Swans live are a menacing and catharthic experience and one you'll hardly ever forget, and probably the loudest you'll ever get to hear. Swans are the only band I ever had been frightened of, especially when seeing them the first time in the 80s. Even today they appear to me like a motley crue of outlaws, and their sound has evolved from the congenial simplicity of their early work to a more complex but even more all-consuming music. A nice story (taken from the book mentioned above) is that the Swans had invited a very early Sonic Youth to support them on their US tour. For some reason, however, Sonic Youth played after the Swans, and although their sound must have already been as sensational as we love it today, the audience had no more interest in hearing them after having been exhausted and drained by the Swans. I hear that their recent work has been much more commercially successful and that their two concerts in Berlin a few days ago were hopelessly sold out. So maybe now after nearly 35 years they're not so rarely heard anymore.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The Residents - Hello Skinny von orchardmusic
The Residents are another one of the bands that I have been a fan of for most of my life. My enthusiasm was awoken in the late 70s by their album The Third Reich'N'Roll which consists of two long 'compositions', each one side of an LP long, and is a congenial parody of rock music up to that time. I perceived the Residents whose four members have managed to remain anonymous to this day to be creative amateurs who reinvent playing music on their own terms and sound as strange and unusual than hardly any other band. Around 1980 they announced they'd never perform live again (after a few singular concerts), but then went on a supposedly one-time world tour which I didn't miss. Since then I've seen them 5 times in concert (last time 2008 in New York). Their concerts - the band always in some kind of disguise - are great entertaining events of musical theater. There would be a lot to tell about them, and in time I'll write more, since they certainly will appear as regulars on my list.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
A high-powered attorney duct tapes her adulterous husband to the toilet ... right before their home is invaded by burglars.
A black romantic comedy that is saved by the two stars as the leading couple.
Maltin**: "Oddball black comedy starts on a promising note but doesn't end that way, though the cast is game."