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  • Folk and antifolk! Dufus & Amy Rude were in Berlin.

    11. Jul. 2008, 15:26

    Thu 10 Jul – Dufus

    Folk/Antifolk-time in the neat “Schokoladen”! Basically I just went there to see Dufus one more time... but the supporting act Amy Rude was a pleasant surprise. She and her band played Country Folk with a bit of a sad flavour. All of her songs were very catchy and had an inviting sound, and there wasn't a single one of them that I disliked. Really soothing, goodnight-kissing feelgood stuff.

    Spending time watching her band was quite funny, though. While the bassist constantly looked like he had to carry the weight of the entire world (maybe even the whole universe) on his shoulders, the drummer did the most glorious gurning (probably even without ever noticing it) and pulled hilarious grimaces throughout the whole show. So thought the guy who sat somewhat in front of me... and shot photos of him the whole time. *lol*

    When their set was over, I began to feel a little sorry for Amy, though. Even though the audience seemed to be a lot into her music during the performance, there were just three people checking her out when she sold her CDs and goodies. And those three were me, the friend I went with to the show... and some random guy. It was quite depressing to see that happen, really. :-/ Especially when it was so undeserved.

    But anyway, Dufus were a lot of fun. Even though only the singer Seth appeared on stage... or maybe because of that. He was just backed by his acoustic guitar, but he had the energy and enthusiasm for about 10 people, if not even more. I mean... he rocked his guitar so hard that no less than three (!) strings broke over the course of the evening. *lol*

    I have to say though, that I was a tad disappointed that he didn't play more songs that I was familiar with (and which I really wanted to hear), but I can't say that mattered all that much because the new material was quite good as well. I find it really astounding how he manges to write highly complex songs which have many twists and multiple refrains but always remains accessible and very listenable. It was fun throughout... and so seemed to think the audience. But that was also because Seth was pulling it into the performance all the time and there was a lot of interaction. He made it sing parts of Fire (with hilarious instructions like “You are the firemen. But you're not just simply firemen, you're also perverts!”) and even had something of a song roulette. He asked for picking a number between 1 and 65, than checked his papers and sang a song from that list. *lol*

    In the end he even gave two encores and just had to stop because time went out... and when he went to the CDs 'n goodies-table afterwards, he didn't suffer from the same problem that Amy did. Quite the contrary, actually. I wasn't there the whole time, but from what it seemed he could sell most of what he got.

    Ah well, I still don't get why the band still remains a little obscure and never got the recognition like... well, The Moldy Peaches, Jeffrey Lewis and what else there is. But well... Maybe some day... Some time...
  • New additions to my vinyl-collection

    2. Jan. 2008, 13:10

    Even though I probably better shouldn't have done it, I invested some of my Christmas-money in a couple of LPs instead of putting it aside for moving to another flat and everything that is potentially connected to it. But what the heck, everybody needs some impractical luxury every once in a while in his life, n'est-ce pas?

    Anyway, I added the following things to my record-collection:

    Thomas Dolby - The Flat Earth

    I was quite surprised even finding that one at all, since I never stumbled over his albums in a second hand-shop before. And it only was 4€! Whee! Well, I may not like it as much as his debut The Golden Age Of Wireless, but it's still a very good record with excellent pop songs and a warm atmosphere. Anyone who thinks that synthpop equals cold and flat sounding music should check this out. He (or she) might be proved wrong here.

    The Tubes - The Tubes & What Do You Want From Live

    I had even some more luck and some Tubes-albums which weren't The Completion Backward Principle. Even more important: records from a period in which the band was still good. Listening to their debut is actually a bit of a sad experience. Here are some guys with a lot of potential, ideas and humor... and yet they never find much commercial success. At least not until they literally sold out. Anyway, this is a really enjoyable American take on glam rock, added with clever satire and a healthy dose of insanity. The final sentence in the lyrics of What Do You Want From Life? has to be one of the coolest punchlines ever, and why White Punks On Dope never became one of the big classic rock anthems is a bit of a mystery to me. I'm pretty sure that Richard O'Brien was a big fan of them. And if these early records had sold some more than just a few copies, then they would have been harbingers for even better things to come. But instead they teamed up with David Frickin Foster and began to record those unlistenable hairmetal-albums. Oh well.

    Klaus Schulze - X

    Actually not one of the Schluze-albums I was looking for (which were Cyborg and Mirage, btw), but a copy of X in an excellent condition is just as fine. The tracks on here rarely achieve the tense ambience of the albums mentioned above and sometimes drift off into boring noodling to sit there for a while, doing nothing. The dramatic strings on Ludwig II. Von Bayern are awesome, though... and there's something hypnotic about Frank Herbert that I really like. Well, maybe it gets to me as a whole some time... when I'm in the mood for double albums with each side clocking at 30 minutes. (GASP!)

    LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver

    I finally felt for buying at least ONE of my favorite 2007-albums. Cleverly constructed dance-music with cool hooks and highly quotable lyrics, that's how I like it. And if I was George Starostin, I'd even add an enthusiastic “emotional resonant!” to it. To be honest, I was a bit indifferent to the debut some years ago, but this is one of the kind which I can play over and over again without getting tired of it. And then there's the selection of the soundeffects! Cowbells! Glockenspiel! Yay! Furthermore, I'd like to declare anyone who sits still during Us v Them as officially dead. Oh, and the pressing is also very good. Even though my speakers are bit tinny, the vinyl discs sound quite and clear. Mhm, I should finally go and get myself some good boxes. Well, next Christmas, then.
  • And on to the next 50.000...

    12. Dez. 2007, 23:46

    Whoops! Seems like I broke The Wall Of 50.000 Plays after all. (and if I hadn't reset my status about 1 and 1/2 year ago, it would have been 75.000something by now)

    Anyway, the track in question apparently is Seeland by Neu!. Hm. Nice. Could think of a worse track to be honored with this number.
  • Two quickies: Saul Williams & Battles

    5. Nov. 2007, 17:49

    A mere few weeks after that "In Rainbows"-stunt by Radiohead, there's another "digital only"-album around the corner. And again you may choose whether you want to pay for it or not. It's "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust" (ha-ha) by Saul Williams, produced by Trent Reznor (which is, to speak the truth, the only reason why I actually came to learn of it). Even though I've never heard of Saul before and Hip Hop is not my most favorite genre in music (although I don't have anything against it, either), I paid the 5$ for it, because I thought some support wouldn't do any harm... and just to demonstrate that such a distribution can work even when you're not Radiohead. ;)

    And... well... it's pretty decent. It shares somewhat the sound of the recent NIN-album "Year Zero"... which leaves you with the revelation that the YZ-sounds make a lot more sense in a Hip Hop- than in a rock-context... and with the outcome that "NiggyTardust" is a far, far better work. It does start to tumble a bit in the second half, though... and it feels like Saul and Trent put all the best material at the beginning of the tracklist (like the charming cover version of „Sunday, Bloody Sunday“). But all in all it's really not bad, and I could have spend my 5$ (or since I'm a European: 3,50€) for worse things. Even when I'm probably not going to listen to it all that much.


    There's another album doing its frequent spins in my winamp... and it's [album]Mirrored[/album], the full-length debut by Battles. On first glance it's a bit hard to even describe their sound... but when you try to imagine guys like Squarepusher or Aphex Twin as rock artists, then you're pretty close to the idea. After all, this band isn't signed on Warp for nothing.

    Anyway, it's a very addictive record... and Atlas has pretty good chances to make it to my personal „best songs of the year“-list. Happy aliens singing along to quirky guitar noises! How can anybody not like that? Sadly, the album is running a bit out of steam in the later tracks (Bad Trails even comes close to being tedious), but I don't want to take too hard on it. It's just too nice to hear something really fresh every once in a while.

    A very pleasant album. Hope the band is going to stick around for a while.