Monday, December 14th, 2009


Ich stand wo rum in einer Küche bei einer Party, im Wohnzimmer lauter Amerikaner, die amerikanische Geräusche machen und sich gegenseitig Pingpongbälle in Bierbecher schmeissen, oder die Becher durch die Gegend schnippten, umdrehten, ich tu natürlich nur, als wüsste ich nicht ganz genau die Regeln, alles sinnleere ritualisierte religiöse Unterfütterung des Trinkens, das die collegealten Amerikaner offenbar sich sonst nicht trauen, sondern eine Anleitung brauchen sie, Exkulpation vorweg, oder sie haben eben Angst vor den Ausländern, die hier in der Küche sich versammeln, den Kopfmenschen, den Wissenschaftlern, und ich sage zu den Leutchen, die sich da in der Küche versammelt haben, dass mich die Situation an Jona Lewie erinnert, und ernte leere Blicke und Schulterzucken, und sofort ist da wieder dieses Gefühl, nicht dazu zu gehören, ohne genau zu wissen, wozu eigentlich, ein Freak, dabei will man ja eigentlich nie dazugehören, nirgends, Groucho Marx sagts, wies ist, und dass er den Schnurrbart nur angemalt hat, hab ich ungelogen erst nach Jahren kapiert, allerdings Jahren, in denen ich nix von den Marxbrothers gesehen habe, fairerweise dazu. Dabei sind die doch die Freaks hier alle in meinem Alter oder knapp drunter, und die kennen dieses Lied nicht, ich weiss selber schon wieder nicht mehr, obs gut ist, ist mir auch egal, weil ich automatisch zurück katapultiert werde in eine Zeit, in der es nämlich wirklich egal war, ob etwas gut war, also: ob andere das gut finden, oder ob ein Geschmacksstandardler da seinen Stempel draufgehauten hat, aber keiner kennt das Ding, oder will es zugeben, und dann ist der Moment vorbei und einer von uns geht aus der Kopfküche, Pingpongbälle ins Bier schmeissen und Klarheit und Trennung gehen zum Teufel und alles ist wieder Brei und Fleisch.

Nice try, Freundchen, aber das wird so nichts, kauft Dir keiner ab, du bist doch selber zu hungrig nach dem Stempel, der Hand auf dem Unterarm, dem freundlichen Blick, den Lippen, Du verkaufst doch Deine eigene Seele dafür, dass jemand sie mal ein bisschen baumeln lässt, am ausgestreckten, wohlgeformten Arm. Und was redest du hier eigentlich schon wieder daher, guck dir das Video mal an, letzte Strophe, Lewie kommt nämlich raus aus der Küche, die bunten Mädels hüpfen doch nicht ohne Grund. Die Gelbe ist Kirsty MacColl, Slut on Junk im Fairytale of New York, das passt hier, Faust aufs Auge, das kann man hören in der Partyküche und ein bisschen heulen dabei wie immer, obwohl schade, weil die Orange sieht man besser bei der Strophe, dieses Hinguckenmüssen und jetzt auch noch das übers Hinguckenmüssen Redenmüssen, wer hält das aus. Von einem Boot totgefahren wurde MacColl, weil sie ihren Sohn retten wollte vor dem Boot und auch gerettet hat, aber selber wurde sie deshalb kaputtgefahren, ohne das scumbagmaggot Scheissinternet hätte ich das jetzt nicht erfahren, hätte auch nicht sein müssen, wollte ich nicht im Hirn haben, und was heisst es eigentlich, dass ich über den erfundenen New Yorker Weihnachtsbums heule, aber über die totgefahrene Mutter heule ich nicht, da ziehe ich nur einen ekelhaften Betroffenheitsflunsch, das will ich nämlich auch nicht wissen was das heisst, zumindest jetzt nicht. Obwohl Wissen ja eigentlich immer besser ist als Nichtwissen, ja leg mr a Mark ind Dasch, weiss doch jeder, ist so in der Küche, bis dass die letzte Strophe kommt, aber die kommt nicht und nicht, und nicht und nochmal nicht.

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Tim Burton – Sweeney Todd (2)

st-movie-poster.jpg There is a hole in the world like a great black pit, and the vermin of the world inhabit it. Not entirely taken with the beginning of the venture – the opening credits looked less than good, and Todd’s song to his knives seemed drawn out and overacted to the verge of embarrassment – but from judge’s failed shave on in I enjoyed every last drop of it. And of dripping there is aplenty, of course.

cowboys zombies.jpg I recently remembered that a Leningrad Cowboys album was lying abondoned in some basement in Germany, and was happy to find that the songs I remembered so fondly still sound great. I was even happier when I learned that the Cowboys had just released a new album, but subsequently disappointed to find it badly cliched and uninspired. Where the earlier stuff is tightroping the quirk above a sea of ethnic cliche, this collection is right down in the deepest, darkest abyss of hardrock hubris. Why, oh why?

cowboys many.jpg I fondly remember the songs from my first Cowboys record, We Cum From Brooklyn, such wonderful playful sounds and humour. I was happy to find that much of this best of collection is taken off that older album. Together with the new album this unfortunately also confirms my suspicion that the Cowboys have lost their mojo.

peterlicht.jpg I am not sure how this album will go over for somebody who does not understand the lyrics, as to me much of the appeal of Licht’s music rests in the relationship between the clash of childish naivete and intellectualism in his words and the innocent music he chooses to sing them to. I am also not sure how the lyrics would work on their own, I suspect they’d be shallow novelty poetry, but the combination is just delicious. If you know German, or intend to learn it, give this a spin.

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

James Mangold – Walk the Line (2)

cash.jpg This should by rights have been an awesome movie, with awesome music and an intriguing story, and it didn’t quite fail at achieving it, but it didn’t quite make it, either. Phoenix and Witherspoon were doing an amazing job, especially with the music, but several aspects of the script left me wanting more. We don’t really understand why any of the people do what they do, especially so for the negative influences, his father and his first wife. We get hardly a glimpse of why they act the way they do, and I didn’t really connect to Cash’s reactions to them, either. And the predictable story arc of success – gutter – redemption and it’s edifying connotations may have been unavoidable in a Cash biopic, but still disappointed me in its simplicity. The music made up for much of that, though, and the cinematography and design helped a lot, too.

Find this at Amazon.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Sparks – Hello, Young Lovers (2)

sparks-helloyounglovers.jpg If you liked the quirky humour of the lyrics of Sparks last album, Lil’ Beethoven, and the bombast of their musical arrangements, you’ll probably also love their newest bundle, though you might not find enough songs markedly distinct from the previous work for comfort, that the spirit behind something like “As I sit Down to Play the Organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral” is indistinguishable from that coming up with “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall”, and might even claim that this is but an exercise in preparing something according to tried recipe, and thus not as delighful as Lil’ Beethoven was. And maybe I’d agree, but it’s still a damn good album. And that Cathedral song rocks. Or pipes, or whatever. Halleluja, I got faith.

ComedianHarmonists.jpg With a subject as intriguing as the history of the beloved vocalist combo, and their struggle with the rising Third Reich, and a freebie soundtrack treasurechest, it is hard to see how a movie could fail even as much as this one does. A stale and wooden script, endless repetitions of one single song (Veronica, der Lenz ist da) instead of a representative collection of the Harmonists’ work, and a simplistic notion both of human character and historic processes make this a less than splendid experience – especially when compared to Aimee and Jaguar, which is a entirely different league on a fairly similar subject.

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Oliver Stone – The Doors (2)

When I get tired while watching one of Oliver Stone’s docudramas, is it because my attention span has been lamentably brought down from what would be a decent standard, or because Stone tends to overload his movies with too much information about his ever intriguing subjects? In this case, the effect was exacerbated by Stone wanting to show Morrison’s death as a sudden event and an abrupt ending, rather than a conclusion, which means that – unless you knew when he died, in which case the occasional chapter-like caption indicating the time of the action would give you a hint – you’d be well into the third hour until you felt the end approaching. By that time it had become my friend, indeed. Kilmer’s acting, however, the amazing script, and, of course, the soundtrack all make this a wonderful treat. The cliche notion of the artist as a messianic figure, burning brightly so the audience doesn’t have to, yet gets to enjoy the warmth vicariously I didn’t care too much about, but Stone doesn’t push it too hard, and Morrison’s particular blaze drowns the light of reasoned argument in his great balls of fire anyway. Oops, wrong band.

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Kenna – New Sacred Cow (4)

Talk of this album constitutes almost an entire chapter of Galdwell’s Blink. Apparently, many distinguished figures in the music industry heard Kenna’s music and were deeply impressed, but when focus group testing was done, the audience was unimpressed, and radio stations were very reluctant to play Kenna’s stuff. Gladwell uses this as an illustration of the fact that focus group testings aren’t as meaningful as the judgments of experts and can be very misleading, but I beg to differ. Maybe the fact that one of those impressed experts was a member of U2, those toe curling dogooders, should have tipped me off – I am absolutely with the focus group on this one. This is lifeless, uninpsired music and doesn’t speak to me at all. Maybe an entirely different argument could be made from this – about how too much expertise can drive you into the obscurity of private passions no non-expert can understand or appreciate. Or maybe U2 is just full of shit. I like that theory.