Donnerstag, 27. Februar 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten # 8


Jeff Buckley is another artist that died too young. The bare facts are as well known as still staggering: Jeff Buckley drowned on 29 May 1997 at the age of 30 years immediately prior to the completion of his second album spirited singing in Mississippi in the waves of an oncoming ship. The question must, of course, still hot, if he even alive in 2000 would be a valued and famous artists, or whether only the myth of his death helped him to the veneration still received everywhere it is. We do not know, and Buckley will never know the answer. His music lives from his tender voice and his vocal range about several octaves and his ability of improvisation. When I listen to his songs I recognize vocal artists like Morrissey, Robert Plant and sometimes Freddy Mercury. He released with Grace only one studio album but his influence to bands like Radiohead, Coldplay and Muse is immense.

Jeff Buckley - Farewell Angelina
Jeff Buckley - Grace (Acoustic)
Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
Jeff Buckley - The Way Young Lovers Do (Live)

Mittwoch, 26. Februar 2014

Jailbreak


Today's song showed up these days on my mobile phone and I couldn't get it out of my head since then. It is a version of a classical tune from Thin Lizzy from their 1976 album with the same title. I love the version by the Dropkick Murphys because of it's power. This song is still played by the Dropkicks in their concerts. I would like to present the original as well but I can't find it on my hard drive. Still a song you can't destroy.

Dropkick Murphys - Jailbreak

Dienstag, 25. Februar 2014

Twanging Tuesday # 17



It's amazing what you can find when you search the internet for some rockabilly stuff. Even in countries that might not be the first ones when you think about music there are bands that was really worth to listen. Another band from Budapest, Hungary, plays an awesome rockabilly beat. All elements that made this kind of music famous are mixed together into the sound of today. You ought to see the video.


Montag, 24. Februar 2014

Captain Sensual


Let's start another working week with a song from Groove Armada another fantastic electronic duo from London. Formed in the early 90s they made a respectable output since now. I love to listen to their mixes dance, hip hop, downbeat and dub. Especially the funky bass guitar on this record.

Captain Sensual (remix)

Sonntag, 23. Februar 2014

Running Waters



It's a sunny Sunday morning and the temperature is rising day by day. I think we can leave that so called winter behind and it's a good idea to start the day with a optimistic tune by Martin Stephenson and the Daintees. Running Waters was released in 1986 on his superb debut Boat to Bolivia.

Enjoy and have a good week

Running Waters

Samstag, 22. Februar 2014

40 Records in 40 Years (29/40 - 2002)


2002 - the first year after 9-11 and life goes on as nothing really happened. What remains for us do otherwise than continue living our lives and not make us crazy from the daily news of the war against terrorism? But since the attack on the WTC, a lot has changed. Before the attack traveling was relaxed, we have since been at the airport more and more controlled. I've been to many places before and at none time I had to worry about my life. I remember when I was on Corsica in the late 80s sitting in a bar I heard a bomb exploding a few streets away and I don't give much attention on it. This year we spent our holidays in Bali - a wonderful island and still worth to visit. Fantastic beaches, tropical hills, great reefs for snorkeling and impressive tea plants. We arrived in Kuta and started a self organized round trip. All in all a wonderful vacation and a trip we still remember. When we came back home we heard the news about a bombing attack at Kuta beach where a lot of people died. The bomb exploded right at a bar we used to have our drinks. We were just lucky that the attack has not happened a few weeks earlier. Since I'm on vacation attentive and pay attention to things that I have not previously registered. Not that I am afraid but I know that things can happen to me - anytime, anywhere.

All right - let's have a look at this years records:
  • Tocotronic - Tocotronic: Another great record from this Hamburg band
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf: Heavy guitars and great songs
  • Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head: On the same level as before
  • Red Hot Chilly Peppers - By the Way: Great - according to masses
  • The Libertines - Up the Bracket: Sensational debut
  • The Streets - Original Pirate Material: Fantastic and very very special
  • Billy Bragg and the Blokes - England, Half English: Another great record by our beloved socialist
  • Groove Armada - AnotherLateNight: Great stuff on it
  • The Ravonettes - Whip it on: Just an EP but what a record
  • Spoon - Kill the Moonlight: Another record that gets better the more you listen to it
  • Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man in Babylon: Perfect fusion of dub and latin












And as always - a look at this years movies:
  • The Pianist: A masterpiece by Roman Polanski
  • About Schmidt: Great story and a wonderful Jack Nicholson
  • Frida: Biopic about a great painter
  • About a Boy: Just a nice story
  • The Bourne Identity: Fascinating
  • The Transporter: The best one in this series
  • The Ring: Remake of a Japanese horror movie
  • 8 Mile: Eminem shows us the life in trailer parks
  • City of God: Fantastic movie of Brazilians dark side
And just a few words about what happened in the world this year:

The Euro notes and coins are available // Civil war in Angola // US army starts invasion in Afghanistan // Queen mother dies at the age of 101 // Pim Fortuyn a dutch politician an Prime Minister candidate is assassinated in Hilversum, Netherlands // Brazil wins the FIFA Football World Cup 2:0 against Germany


My attention was on this band by their song "Pilot", an initially inconspicuous and somewhat remarkable piece of music. Restrained instruments, backed by a rhythm shun, like a ballade, yet different. Then was come an insinuating and gentle rough voice accompanied the chorus of wonderful string instruments - I was spellbound. I knew I needed more of The Notwist. What was then presented me with Neon Golden, surpassed any of my expectations.
"In contrast," is probably the perfect description for this album. Unconventional advised the boys of The Notwist on an inclined sound drum. Strange, remarkable beats almost adorn every song - you realize that every song was produced and arranged with unusual concentration and care. ... Different ... and then - awesome. Wonderful, indispensable ...
"Neon Golden" has a variety of variety, "Pick up the Phone", "One with the Freaks" and "Consequence" belong to the most often mentioned diamonds this treasure chest are also considered out tip, if you look at but the best to will lift the end, you can hear the album but it was only at home - consistently and appropriately titled "One Step Inside Does not Mean You Do not Understand", a verse text, quiet gliding music - and you already knows: this album should be listened to from start until the end in a row. Then meet a gem like "Pilot", the diversity and innovativeness of The Notwist here comes to its best advantage, because the song from the beginning, chorus through to the end its variety of pages shows - as all the time in "Neon Golden ".

The Notwist - One Step Inside Doesn't Mean You Understand
The Notwist - Pilot
The Notwist - Pick Up the Phone
The Notwist - One With the Freaks
The Notwist - Consequence

Freitag, 21. Februar 2014

The Foreign Correspondent - Stories About German Rock Music # 19


A few days ago George from the inspiring Jim McLean's rabbit has objected that I hadn't done too much heavy metal. It's true and therefor I decided to feature on this series today Germany's best selling hard rock / heavy metal band ever: Scorpions.

Since its inception in 1965 they have played in the meantime 3000-5000 Concerts worldwide. In Germany they are an institution for this kind of musical genre. I think they hit the nerve of the time with this kind of music. Based on heavy guitars from Michael and Rudolf Schenker and added with the voice of Klaus Meine they created their very own style. Lot's of bands tried to do it their way but didn't reached their level. In 1973 Michael Schenker left the Scorpions to join to the British hard rock band UFO that was also a very very good band and their story should be told once a day on this blog. Not only their powerful songs made them famous. They also made some good ballads and have coined the term power ballad. In their earlier times they were well known for their record covers. Some of them was banned because of too offensive images.



Even if you don't be close to this kind of music the Scorpions should be respected for what they did in the last 40 years.

Scorpions - No One Like You
Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
Scorpions - Still Loving You
Scorpions - The Zoo

Donnerstag, 20. Februar 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten # 7


One of my heroes of the punk and new wave scene in the late 1970s was the unforgettable Ian Dury.

Ian Dury was always a total outsider. As he was a handicapped child(he contracted polio at the age of 7) of a university teacher and a bus driver he staged himself as a poet of the gutter. He accosted and spat and was like the mocking court jester and cynical berserk. So Ian Dury became a model for many punks. His music, a blend of pub rock, Music Hall, Comedy, Jazz, Funk and Reggae met the late 70s, early 80s the spirit of the times. Ian Dury was a great poet and entertainer and he worked until his death, also a successful actor, writer and painter.
When Ian Dury jamming in the summer of 1978 at his home in north London district of Hampstead along with Chaz Jankel, the two met on an incisive, funky riff. Chaz Jankel of the Blockheads played on his Fender Rhodes keyboard into a frenzy and Ian Dury machined drums and improvised slant rhymes in rough Cockney working-class slang to:

Hit me with your rhythm stick. I don't take arithmetic. Hit me with your rhythm stick. It's nice to be a lunatic

The next day the demo version of "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" and Ian Dury and his Blockheads already emerged were pretty sure that they would order a hit. In January 1979, the single climbed to # 1 on the UK charts, relegating the "YMCA" by the Village People. Ian Dury and his band, the Blockheads sold over a million singles. "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" had a lot to offer: There was this loud radio, a compelling disco beat, a shot of comedy and a freak show with free jazz insert. And there was this aggressive rockabilly singer with the lard hairstyle, a metal rail on the left leg and a hoarse voice Cockney, who rarely met a sound. Here the forefather of punk movement seemed at work. As "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" 1979 Charts stormed, Ian Dury was already 36 years old, breaking the unwritten law: "Who is not a pop star to 30, which also is no more".

From Wed Eder 80s commercial success evaded and the albums were rare. Ian Dury was traded as a discontinued model. The British pop ruled by Stock, Aitken, Waterman and its widescreen productions. New Romanticism and the androgynous appearances as Boy George ruled the charts and the new music television. Ian Dury's aggressive energy work, however, almost entirely, to the stage. And his acerbic jokes, as well as his tender ballads of the 80 were in the middle no longer in demand. In the second half of the 80 Ian Dury reinvented itself and became a painter, actor and author. He appeared in musicals in London's West End and appeared in numerous movies and television films. In supporting roles, he has starred in Roman Polanski's "Pirates" and in Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover".

1996 was found in Ian Dury cancer. He knew it would only remain to him three or four years, and he worked tirelessly. Made films. Wrote books and plays. Took care of his family, regulated the estate and played until shortly before his death despite severe pain 90 minute live shows with the Blockheads. And he committed himself to UNICEF as an ambassador for polio victims and visited Vaccine Clinics in Zambia and Sri Lanka. In 1997, he was accompanied by a 23-year-old singer, who was pretty broken and confused and had just left the boy band Take That: Robbie Williams. A huge fan and admirer of Ian Dury. Robbie Williams was even able to memorize entire songs. The two hit it off splendidly on this UNICEF tour. When Ian Dury on 27 March 2000 had lost the battle against cancer, Robbie Williams sang at the grave Ian Dury & The Blockheads song "You're The Why".

Rest In Peace, Ian

Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Wake Up And Make Love With Me
Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Billaricey Dickie
Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll
Ian Dury and the Blockheads - What A Waste
Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Reason To Be Cheerful Pt. III

Mittwoch, 19. Februar 2014

Kralle Krawinkel RIP


The "Heart of Trio" is dead: the former guitarist of the band, Kralle (means claw) Krawinkel, died on Sunday. First announced a named after the ex-bandmate Stephan Remmler fan site of death, which was confirmed later by music manager George Glueck against the news agency dpa. Glueck referred to the widow of the musician. Krawinkel was 66 years old. Krawinkel had founded Trio together with Remmler and Peter Behrens in 1979. In Trio Krawinkel was responsible for the musical direction. "Stephan is a header, I am the heart and Peter? Peter is the asshole!" is an oft-quoted statement from him. In memory are also reduced its unique guitar solos, which he ever so moved on the stage in the length that the other two band members began to play table tennis. In 1986, the band parted. Krawinkel then tried unsuccessfully to start a solo career, but his album "Kralle" was a flop in 1993. Krawinkel withdrew temporarily returned to Spain, where he ran his own recording studio and walked to his hobbies Western Riding and olive breed. In 1998 he received an entry in the "Guinness Book of World Records" as he rode on a horse from Seville to Hamburg, and thus made the world's longest horse trek.



May I Present You Some Progressive Rock ?


A few days ago a song of Be-Bop Deluxe was played on my phone by a random and I was surprised how good and fresh it sounds after nearly 40 years. This is what Wikipedia tells us about them:

Be-Bop Deluxe were an English progressive rock band who achieved critical acclaim but less commercial success during the late 1970s.  The band
Be-Bop Deluxe were an English progressive rock band who achieved critical acclaim and moderate commercial success during the mid to late 1970s. The band's sound emerged as a mixture of glam rock, prog rock  and straightforward rock and roll. Science Fiction imagery was common in Bill Nelson's lyrics, along with the more traditional themes of love and the human condition (albeit often hidden beneath Nelson's quirky lyrical and musical metaphors).
Be Bop Deluxe were an undervalued wrongly rock band of the 70s, which was never granted to the deserved success. Head of the band was the creative Bill Nelson, who composed most of the material of the band and also was an exceptionally virtuoso guitarist. "Live! In The Airage" was the penultimate album by the band that this was recorded on the 1977 spring tour of the UK and the well was still as now an excellent live album when it first appeared in 1977 and is (the vinyl LP was settled at the time an EP, on which the last three tracks on the CD were included).
Originally, the band had recorded a few gigs to it to bring out only one or two songs on the next studio album. However, since the concerts were so good, the band decided to release a live album. And in fact, this is a CD that has no length, all the tracks are great and after approx. 53 minutes running time, one wishes that the band had released even the rest of the concerts. I got this live recording in the late 1970s and was fascinated by this guitar and keyboard sound often accented with polyphonic singing.
Be-Bop Deluxe - Live In The Air Age

Dienstag, 18. Februar 2014

Twanging Tuesday # 16


Get Rhythm is a classical track written by Johnny Cash and covered by Ry Cooder on his record with the same name in 1987. Mr. Cooder ist one of my favorite guitar players of all time. He is at home in almost all styles of music and that might be the reason why he was often booked in the seventies and eighties as a session musician. It is a very good album that might be featured this weeks.

Ry Cooder - Get Rhythm

Montag, 17. Februar 2014

Car Headlights


Ed Kuepper, former member of The Saints and leader of the following band Laughing Clowns, released his first record under his own name in 1985 called Electrical Storm. This record wasn't high recommended - maybe hat's why because too high expectations from his time by The Saints were asked. For me it's a typical record from the Australian guitarist who played all of the string instruments with a little help from the also underrated pianist Louis Tillet.

Enjoy and have a good week

Ed Kuepper - Car Headlight

Sonntag, 16. Februar 2014

I Heard Love Is Blind


Another lazy Sunday and nothing to do than hang around. Since we will not plan special I probably bring my laptop up to date, and store some data on my external hard drive. My mobile phone makes trouble as well and I will probably come not fail to reset the device to factory defaults. With this setting, all data and apps stored on the phone lost. So I'll know what I will do the next hours. By the way the weather is like in spring and I think of all you people in Great Britain who can't get rid of heavy rain and storms.

Have a good time, friends

Amy Winehouse - I heard love is blind

Samstag, 15. Februar 2014

40 Records In 40 Years (28/40 - 2001)



2001 was the year that changed everything in our whole life. If we thought that everything's easy and don't bother us we were interrupted by the attack to the Twin Towers in NYC in September 2001. Nothing was before since than. George W. Bush declared the war on terrorism and all the secret services started to collect informations where ever they could get. As John Orwell told us in his novel we got our Big Brother throughout the years. And the last we knew from Mr. Snowden was that we were close to Orwells thoughts about controlling us all. Like NSA and all the secret services in the whole world will do. We ought to krype our messages and think what we probably think about every word we say or post in the Internet, we have to think about what we talk when we call our friends via mobile phones and so on. But do we feel more safe than before or are the services taken more part of our life than they ought to? I don't really know but this is what I think right now when I look back to 2001. Surely there was a lot of more things in this year that I might remember very well without setting 9/11 in the middle of it.

I still remember when I got the news of this horrible crash into the WTC. It was at the time when I used to finish work and I took a last click on the news. I read about a plane got crashed into the building and thought that this must be a joke and couldn't be true. Later this evening we went to friends to invite them to our wedding (yes there was one thing this year without the shadow of 9/11 on it) - one of those things that was brighter than this terrorism attack. We visited several friends and at all their places the TV was running. I think we saw this pictures 100 times this evening and so they were burned inside our brains. We have refused to marry ecclesiastically and to celebrate a party instead of this with our narrow friends and the family. In our neighborhood there was a villa that was pursued a bar and we rented this location for a whole Friday night. All of them made us an unforgettable night.

As usual - some records that are worth to remember
  • The Strokes - This is it: The return of Indie Rock with a sensational debut album
  • Jan Delay - Searching for the Jan Soul Rebels: Fantastic reggae with German lyrics
  • Kings of Convenience - Quiet is the New Loud: Beautiful Indie folk pop from Norway
  • Spiritualized - Let it Come Down: Another great record from them
  • Fun Lovin Criminals - Loco: Eclectic mixture of hip hop, rock, blues and a little bit of jazz
  • Manic Street Preachers - Know Your Enemy: Very good songs from the Welsh alternative band
  • India.Arie - Acoustic Soul: Perfect combination of hip hop and R&B
  • Diana Krall - The Look of Love: As good as her album before
  • Robbie Williams - Swing When You're Winning: Great songs never die
Here some songs that are typical for this year:








  • Monster's Ball: Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton in a great drama
  • Memento: Crazy idea to tell a story from the end
  • The Lord of the Rings: I didn't like the novels and don't like the movies (but it was a chart buster)
  • Amélie: Wonderful movie about a good person (only could made in France)
  • Enemy at the Gates: Fantastic story about two snipers in Stalingrad
  • Blow: Based on a real story Johnny Depp tells us about smuggling  drugs
  • From Hell: Johnny Depp (again) try to tell his version of Jack the Ripper
  • Black Hawk Down: First good movie about a useless war
I renounce this time out to mention something else that has happened in the world.


I seldom listened to a record that combines so many influences from the last 40 years in music to a very own sound. It's like you have a grab bag of music in front of you. Open this fund has the magical Welsh band Super Furry Animals. And they take all of the best. Of course they have studied the mid Beatles work and the Beach Boys as well. You can hear also Jeff Lynne and his Electric Light Orchestra in a song and in the next one sounds like a Barry White inspired song. You might call this retro but the retro case still not snaps, plus the band sounds ultimately to their own. It is opulent instrumented with big melodies and pomp.

Super Furry Animals - Alternate Road to Vulcan Street
Super Furry Animals - Juxtaposed With U
Super Furry Animals - Run! Christian, Run!
Super Furry Animals - No Sympathy

Freitag, 14. Februar 2014

The Foreign Correspondent - Stories About German Rock Music # 18


Let me take you back 20 years ago to German rock music. The Hamburg school is a loose music movement which originated in the end of the 1980s and reached her commercial high point middle him of 1990s. She went back to traditions of the new German wave and connected them with elements of Indie rock, punk, Grunge and pop. It was and is with it an important part of the German youth culture and brought a new self-image for the use of the German in the pop music with itself. In the beginning purely from Hamburg based bands like Cpt. Kirk &., Kolossale Jugend, Blumfeld , Die Goldenen Zitronen or Huah! carried, the Hamburg school is not simply a „storage tank of similarly sounding music“. It's distinguishes herself above all by German-speaking lyrics to which often a high intellectual claim is portioned out and which are connected extensively with society criticism, left political setting and postal-modern theories. In the middle of the 1990s became in particular of three bands very successful: Blumfeld, Die Sterne and Tocotronic. By the success of the Hamburg school also attained a lot of German-speaking guitar bands a higher fame whose attempts were not necessarily to be compared in music and text to the Hamburg school. However, with the establishment of a national, German-speaking indie-pop scene and the concept „Hamburg school“ became less important bit by bit. But this will be a story to be told another time.

So let me introduce some band from the 'Hamburg School' that made German ears listen to some new sounds:

Huah - In einem 3000 Seelen Dorf (In a 3000 souls village)
Cpt. Kirk &. - Selber Schuld (It's your own fault)
Kolossale Jugend (Colossal Youth) - Bessere Zeiten (Better times)
Die Goldenen Zitronen (The Golden Lemons) - Für immer Punk (Punk forever)
Die Goldenen Zitronen (The Golden Lemons) - Das bisschen Totschlag (This a little manslaughter)
Blumfeld - Ghettowelt
Blumfeld - Ich-Maschine


And if I talk about the so called 'Hamburg School' this story would not be complete without any word about Bernd Begemann from Bad Salzuflen who was still a member of the scene. He did a lot of good things all over the years and I was glad to see him live last year in a very very small bar in Stuttgart.






Donnerstag, 13. Februar 2014

What Happened To Pub Rock # 8


What would be this series when I doesn't lose any word about Graham Parker? Absolutely nothing. I cannot find better words than was written down in Wikipedia:

Despite only moderate commercial success, Parker's energetic performances - along with the wittily class-conscious spirit of his debut album Howlin' Wind - preceded the arrival of punk rock and new wave music. In addition, his quirky-blue-collar image is often believed to be a major influence on the public persona of many British musicians, most notably Elvis CostelloPaul Weller and Joe JacksonThe band's first album, Howlin' Wind, was released to acclaim in April 1976 and was rapidly followed by the stylistically similar Heat Treatment. A mixture of rock, ballads, and reggae-influenced numbers, these albums reflected Parker's early influences (MotownThe Rolling StonesBob DylanVan Morrison) and contained the songs which formed the core of Parker's live shows – "Black Honey", "Soul Shoes", "Lady Doctor", "Fool's Gold", and his early signature tune "Hey Lord, Don't Ask Me Questions", which hit the Top 40 in the UK.

Howlin' Wind was on heavy rotation in this time and it marks what pub rock was and what it made famous: The time between classical and boring rock music and the time of new music what was called punk rock/new wave. I loved Graham Parkers deep and soulful voice that fits to most of them songs he wrote. Even it was a classical ballad or a reggae tune - he did it all well.

Graham Parker - Don't Ask Me Questions
Graham Parker - Not If It Pleases Me
Graham Parker - White Honey
Graham Parker - Gypsy Blood
Graham Parker - Back To School Days

Mittwoch, 12. Februar 2014

Afro-Left


Let us take a step beck in the early 90s when electronic music became more and more famous in Great Britain. Leftfield was formed by former members/session musicians of band like Brand New Heavies and A Guy Called Adam. Their first release in 1995 hit me massive and made me look to the electronic side of music. It is still a music that's worth to listen to. If I name them as pioneers of electronic music I think I can't be wrong.

Leftfield - Afro Left (Afro Ride)

Dienstag, 11. Februar 2014

Twanging Tuesday # 15


Todays track come from another Memphis bound musician - Johnny Burnett. Grown up with Elvis he wanted to start a career as boxing professional but gave it up after his first fight and a broken nose. Together with his brother he formed a band that became later The Rock and Roll Trio. He will not be forgotten with Only Sixteen that got him in the top-ten of the charts and was covered by many artists along the years. His son Rocky Burnett had also success in the early 80s with his top-ten hit Tired of Toeing the Line. 

Johnny Burnett - Tear It Up

And as a bonus a rare performance in American TV:


Montag, 10. Februar 2014

Shadow Captain


Let's start the week with a trip back to the times of love and peace. The music of this time was laid out either on long guitar passages or on songs with miraculous harmonies. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was the band who made it perfect. Also after decades it still is breathtaking to hear them singing. Yesterday I took me the time to listen  to them again after long years and I think it is not the worst way to start into another working week.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Shadow Captain

Sonntag, 9. Februar 2014

Get Behind The Mule


One of the artists that has accompanied me during the years is Tom Waits. I grabbed out his fantastic record Mule Variations on this lazy Sunday morning and one more time I was astonished how many good song are on this record. Most of them carried on a sparing bluesy rhythm with reserved guitar inserts. Just the perfect music to start into this Sunday.

Enjoy and have a good time.

Tom Waits - Get behind the mule

Samstag, 8. Februar 2014

40 Records In 40 Years (27/40 - 2000)


Welcome to the new millennium and to a new employer. As I have already indicated last week I have got difficulties with my directors. To cut a long story short: he put the blame on me because he lost his face in front of all other employees. Because I would not longer stand any other chicaneries in the future I have already applied last year for a new job. With some connections I built up the last years I got a very good job in our capital Stuttgart. It was hard to leave the company and all my co-workers behind after 23 years. But I have also been glad about the new challenge. The first weeks were hard because it was all new and totally different. I used to work in a familiar bank and now I came to a bank that tried to work as a really big bank. Anyway, I did my best to get my position in this bank.

Christiane and I have grown together more and more and we decided to take a longer time out and go traveling to India for 5 weeks. We spent a lot of evenings to plan our vacation. I haven't been there before so it was a great surprise how it will be. I heard about the poorness, dirt and crowded places but I wanted it to see by myself. In fact that this is a very big country we decided to travel 'only' through the southern part of India, Kerala. And we wanted to travel by ourself - not with any guided and fully arranged tour. So we fixed the places we wanted to see not knowing how to get there. We traveled by bus, train and sometimes by a taxi and it worked easily. We have seen a beautiful and for Indian relations a rich country. Kerala produces the most of home vegetables in India and their number of illiterates is less than 20% because this region was civilized by Portugal. Impressed of a lot pictures and places we have seen we spent a week to relax on Goa, a place where the hippies went to in the late 60s. A few of them were still there but most of them toothless and stoned. When you sat at the beach at sundown you could hear sounds that my ears didn't knew before. So I was introduced to the Goa sound.

Not much records this year but it might be my fault because I listened much to old school jazz, funk and soul music this year:
  • Radiohead - Kid A: More electronic sounds with influences of Krautrock and Jazz now on it now
  • Phoenix - United: This summers record comes from France 
  • Coldplay - Parachutes: This record is the reason why I listen to them still
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven: Canadian instrumental post rock - fantastic
  • Steely Dan - Two Against Nature: They are back on the same high level
  • Underworld - Everything, Everything: Just dancefloor but awesome
  • Santana - Supernatural: His last good work
This are some songs from 2000 I remember very well:









Of course we went to the cinema this year again:
  • The Perfect Storm: Fantastic novel and a congenial movie as well
  • Gladiator: A good period movie
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Martial art at it's best
  • Billy Elliot: Great movie about a boy going his way
  • Oh Brother, Where Art Though: The Coen brothers going to Homer's Odyssey 
  • The Beach: I've been there
  • High Fidelity: What are your top 5?
  • Almost Famous: Movie about the Rock and Roll Circus
  • Snatch: Crazy story with an excellent Brad Pitt and Vinnie Jones
Let's take a little look what happened in the rest of the world:
Pope John Paul II apologizes for wrongdoings by members of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the ages // Vladimir Putin is elected President of Russia // Civil war in Sierra Leone, Africa starts // The Tate Modern Gallery opens in London // At the Roskilde Festival 9 people die and 26 are injured on a set while Pearl Jam performs // France defeats Italy 2:1 after extra time in the final of the European Championship // The Russian submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea, all 118 members on board die // Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visits Temple Mount and Palestinian riots erupt 

Calexico's third record Hot Rail was a great step forward in their career. Sure they played that sound before but now they added horns and violins in their sound. As I was a kid I used to watch a lot of western movies and I loved when the gunman hit the saloon and saw a Mariachi band playing. Dressed up in their suits and big sombreros the played their Mexican instrumental songs and mostly added with a trombone. These pictures comes to my sense when I listen to Calexico. Named by a town in California they play a kind of desert rock (often called Americana but I don't like this classification) with a lot of influence by the Mariachi sound. It is one of these records I have chosen when I had to drive a long distance. There are less records that are so relaxed and cool as this one. The songs slowly develop from easy, almost monotonous rhythms and quiet melodies. Partially these are rather sound collages than songs. Every movement solidifies, the thoughts become pleasantly sluggish. Only the Mariachi inserts rouse the listener over and over again briefly to let feel him, however, immediately that he has mounted again only of one fates Morgana. I know a similar mood from "Siesta" by Miles Davis.

Calexico - Crystal Frontier
Calexico - Drenched
Calexico - Dia De Los Muertos

Donnerstag, 6. Februar 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten # 6


I just finished the crime novel by Christopher Brookmyre called The Sacred Art of Stealing. It is located in Glasgow and it is about a bank robbery and a very cool plan to get out with the whole money. One of the best places in the book is as the bank robbers went into the bank. Dressed up as clowns. They organised a performance before the bank while they play Madness with One Step Beyond playing and move in the typical Madness walk towards the entrance. When they enter the bank they play on their ghetto blaster The Sensational Alex Harvey Band's Faith Healer. Don't want to tell you more about a novel that is worth to be read.

While I've read the book I often remembered to one of the greatest Scottish artist of all time: Alex Harvey. So I grabbed out my old records and played them a several times throughout the last weeks. And I have not regretted it at all. It surprised me once again that his music sounds so timeless and also up to date. Torn between what they called glam rock, art rock or maybe hard rock he and his band found a place that is just reserved for them. He also worked for his younger brother Les Harvey and his band Stone The Crows with Maggie Bell on vocals - but this another story to be told sometimes.

I love this band for their winking humor in their songs. Never heard before or later singing someone of gangbang or the overexciting version of the Tom Jones hit Delilah. But not only their arrangements impressed me. It was also the guitar of Zal Cleminson that fits to most of them songs. Alex Harvey died quietly exactly 32 years ago.

RIP Alex

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Delilah
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Faith Healer
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Midnight Moses
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Vambo Marble Eye

Mittwoch, 5. Februar 2014

Mambo Sun


Back in the glory times of glam rock when we where pretty as sun. Marc Bolan and T.Rex ruled the scene. It is more 40 years ago when I first heard this song. I still love it and T. Rex. It might be sentimental to look back to the days when I was young and pretty but this was the times they told me the how to to feel about pop music.


Dienstag, 4. Februar 2014

Twanging Tuesday # 14


If you search the Internet you will find a lot of rockabilly bands from all over the world. This one is from Budapest, Hungary. The Silver Shrines formed in 2004 as a three-piece band with a modern psychobilly and punk rock outfit. Over the years they released a few records following the psychobilly path with punkabilly roots. I think that this kind of music featured as a video as well.

Enjoy and have a good week people.


Montag, 3. Februar 2014

Lowdown


Few days ago I played Pink Flag by Wire again. Nearly forgot how good this record was/is. Wire are classified as pure punk or past-punk and had their very own style. Their influence in post-punk, alternative rock and hardcore was immense. Still worth to listen to.

Wire - Lowdown

Sonntag, 2. Februar 2014

Darkside


I started my day by checking out what the other blogers did the recent days. And Drew posted a song that was worth to listen. And I think it is the perfect song for a mellow sunday. So take yourself  28 minutes to get lost in music. While I searched my files for some Electronica and Ambient I found a track by Darkside a collaboration of electronic musicians Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington. This song is from their first album and I got it as a free download from the bands homepage.

Darkside - Golden Arrow

Samstag, 1. Februar 2014

40 Records In 40 Years (26/40 - 1999)


Last week I told that me and Kerstin made the decision to go separate ways. Now I asked myself what to do with your new life? Should I creep away in my flat and live a life of sorrow or should I go out looking for another woman? I am not really sure what I thought I should at this time but I remember that I started to contact my older mates and friends more and more. I also started playing football again. The last thing I wanted to start was a new relationship again. But sometimes the life  plays a trick to you and you cannot fulfil your intentions. This trick came to me with Christiane which I met in my local pub at the end of last year. I knew her for a long time because she has been in a relationship with my brother's class mate. The more we talked about nearly everything we recognized that we thought about most of the themes the same way. It was also great that we had the same kind of strange humor, liked the same movies and what was important - the  same music. That's what I didn't knew from my former wife - she was in that fucking Cologne stuff not paying any listen to The Smiths or something like that. And at last thus we have become a couple. To find out whether we also can spend longer time together we booked a vacation to Southern Italy. And at least it worked. We had a real fine time in this small club spending a pretty nice time together. I remember one evening when we watched the UEFA Champions League final together. It might sound strange for a German but I supported Manchester United this evening. The reason is that I don't like that snooty team filled up with so called stars. So Mario Basler made a pretty goal and it looked like they are going to win another time. I ordered me another beer to stand the last five minutes as Teddy Sheringham tied in the injury time. And Ole Gunnar Solksjaer made it perfect to minutes later. We both were happy about this result and had a wonderful evening. But there was one more thing that impressed me more this year. We are able to watch a solar eclipse in our hometown. Presumably I will never get this experience again when the moon pushes before the sun and it becomes pitch-dark on midday. Totally silence on our market place and so a good feeling to have. It was also the year I quit my job because I got in trouble with my bosses. But this will be a story maybe told next time.

Here are some records I used to play this year ...
  • Blumfeld - Old Nobody: German Indie Pop at it's best
  • Blur - 13: Very good record including Tender
  • Terry Callier - Lifetime: A brilliant album by a legend
  • The Beta Band - The 3 Eps: Underrated at this time
  • Built To Spill - Keep it Like a Secret: Arty high school rock
  • Tom Waits - Mule Variations: He's back with a superb late work
  • Michael Franks - Barefoot on the Beach: It's jazz and a little funk but fine songs
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication: More direct than before and listen to the bass
  • Diana Krall - When I Look in Your Eyes: A lot of great ballads and versions on it
  • Underworld - Beaucoup Fish: Fantastic record made for dancefloor
  • Fun Lovin' Criminals - Mimosa: They were cool as hell at this time
... and some songs you will surely remember:









The movies we went in this was:
  • The Matrix: Bewildering story but style-pedagogic camera settings
  • Notting Hill: The romance of the year
  • American Beauty: Kevin Spacey at his best
  • The Green Mile: Just a wonderful movie
  • The Blair Witch Project: You don't need millions of dollars to make a great movie
  • Arlington Road: Are your neighbors terrorists? 
  • Fight Club: Bored men try to get their fulfillment in boxing matches
  • Sleepy Hollow: Excellent pictures and a mystery story makes a fantastic movie
And some remarkable things that happened in 1999:

The Euro is established - no way back // Bill Clinton is acquitted in impeachment proceedings in the US Senate // Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan is charged with treason in Ankara, Turkey // Former Warsaw Pact members Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic join NATO // A fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel kills 39 people, closing the tunnel for nearly 3 years // For the first time the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 10.000 mark // The Kosovo War drags on // Manchester United defeat Bayern Munich 2:1 in the injury time of the UEFA Champions League Final in Barcelona (thank you Mr. Solskjaer) // Napster debuts on Internet and millions starting downloading tracks .



I picked out this record by Jim O'Rourke as the one that I connect with this year. Jim O'Rourke is an American musician, composer and director influenced with jazz and classical music. He collaborated at this time with Sonic Youth playing bass. Why I love this record? Because them compositions, arrangements and songs on it. This was one of the less records I listened from the first to the last song in a row. Never a dull moment on it. Even if he plays long and quiet songs. You think nothing will happen and suddenly some pearls begin to creep into your ears. And also the cover version of Burt Bacharach's Something's Big is worth to listen. Eureka is simply a masterpiece and very underrated.

Jim O'Rourke - Women of the World
Jim O'Rourke - Something Big
Jim O'Rourke - Ghost Ship in a Storm
Jim O'Rourke - Eureka