Freitag, 31. Januar 2014

The Foreign Correspondent - Stories About German Rock Music # 17

Konstantin Wecker is a musician, singer-songwriter, composer, actor and author. Born in Munich shortly after World War II and started to play instruments before he was ten years old. He became well known in Germany by his political activities in the early 70s peace movement. In this time he wrote his ballad Willy a deduction with the 68s generation and the topical states in Bavaria. This song got me shiver when I first listen to it. And still the hairs on my arms will stand up by listening to this song again. This song is a cult-classical for those people in my age who done some political activities.

Later he was hardly addicted to the hip Munich in-crowd and also to Cocain. Getting rid of it he started a collaboration with famous German jazz musicians like Wolfgang Dauner and Charlie Mariano.

Because this song is sung in the Bavarian dialect which also many Germans can not understand completely, I have tried to translate the text basically.

Willy my God , now that I see you lying there , so far away behind the glass , just two lives far away, I think that it has to come this way. I think you have it done by design , Willy .

It started all 68, do you remember: we are all two run there for freedom and peace, with big eyes and we have called: people stop staring , come down and get in line with us! And you were already up just a bit more than we are, getting a little wilder and a little more honest.

We want to show it to everyone, Willy, and you said at that time: freedom, Wecker, freedom is not being afraid of nothing and no one. But we're honest, we already had a sinking feeling, because those opportunists who are just run there, because things just because of the Sunday afternoon-revolutionaries: You hit your girlfiend if she looks another guy during you get angry about the middle-class morality. The same ones that are now completely silent , because otherwise they have to fear reprisals. And you've already said at the time: I cannot stand this for a long time because there is too much fashion in it. When the whole crowd already exchanged their Porsche against a small car, something is wrong in the great revolution. Because run along without thinking can not be good - not even for a good cause .

Yesterday they killed Willy and today he is buried .

Then you started with drinking and I believe that you have also given up a little bit. I understand you, if you consider consider what has become of the great fighters. Today they already think yes with 17 on their old-age rent. Nevertheles , Willy, you have to fight until you drop, even if the whole world was open to the ass, or just because .

And at some point you start to look for the real people. Those who do not always say 'yes sir '. Back in the pubs around the Viktualienmarkt in Munich and at railway station corner. They are real Willy, but I warn you: they are already real ut they are beaten and downtrodden . And who is getting beaten and kicked, Willy, he sometimes strike back. But you said that you have no fear and nobody does anything to you. You silly dog - now you see that nobody does anything .

Damn, Willy! If we had been yesterday  on the moon or on the Amazon River in a dugout or alone on a hilltop, three steps away from the sky, everywhere not just in this unfortunate pub.

I have said in the morning, come let us go out , the weather is so clear and the mountains seem so close. Let's just make a day of blue. Like the time in school. You were a little drunk in the morning and in the evening you had once again need to show what kind of guy you are .

In the beginning it was quite cozy. We warmed up the old stories again, who has time flirting with the teacher's wife. It was so beautiful and sentimental until this idiot came to our table. With his simple-minded face, small, spongy and brown. And then he asked us if we were in the army. Well, we have found quite amusing. And that he is so happy now everything is okay and stop off in the socialist government. And the youth is always reasonable, and in Bavaria they always know where to go .

Willy , I just knew you were not long standing that and then he started to sing a song of Horst Wessel and the other at the pub have hummed softly. And your head is swollen and suddenly you're jumped up and you shouted: Shut Up, fascist !

It was quiet - it has crackled . The air was like a wall - to hold . At this time we could have been gone, Willy. But no, I can not even understand you had to stay. And then it went to the other table started: Just go to Russia you communist. Of course, there has to spin it when it's that time again . But anyway, let's go I said. Who harms already The old idiot harms no one . Nothing you said. All harm us. The old and the young idiots. And then a young one cuts off his glass on the next table, quietly stood up and approached you. Willy, you stupid dog. I have you packed your jacket and wanted to pull you out but you've torn off and called you  freedom , that is, have no fear of anything or anyone. You are on to him and then he struck.

Willy . we would but only somewhere this early morning. I still need you very much. We all need someone such as you have been .

Yesterday it they have slain the Willy and today he is buried .

This is a stripped version of this song. Just the singer and his piano but it shows us how intensive it is.

Mittwoch, 29. Januar 2014

"In The End It Took Me A Dictionary To Find Out The Meaning Of 'Unrequited' ..."

One of the few German followers on my blog, Dirk from Sexyloser, posted a contribution (seldom enough but when then with high quality) that made me smile and my thoughts drifted back into the my very younger days. It depends to the nature of menkind all negative experiences they were made to fade out and to store in the very back corner of the brain. It is like a hidden chamber you normally don't want to enter. But sometimes like in this case you get your key and open this chamber.

While reading Dirks post I also had to think back to the time when I came to the puberty. It was the time in which one wanted (you know what I mean) and still had no plan to get it. Of course there were some guys they knew how to get it but it was impossible to copy them. Either they were better in sports or they looked much smarter (that's exactly what The Jam described in David Watts). Anyway, you had to go your own way and check out what makes you unique.

Okay, now back to my story: It was at the time when I started my education. Beside the real education in the company we had to visit for the theoretical education twice a week the trade school. One of my deficiencies at that time was, that I mostly have come too late to appointments. As usual I came also too late to the first teaching hour in trade school. There was only one free seat in the first row. So I sat down and I introduced me to the girl beside me. As far as I can remember her name was Doris. She was a pretty girl with shoulder-length brown hair and blue-green eyes. In the course of the next weeks we have made friends and have also arranged to meet several times. In the times before mobile phones and computers we sent us some letters and of course I made some tapes for her. Although she gave me with her smile some hope but it happened nothing more than some shy kisses. If I forced my intentions I always get stopped and don't know why. I got no explanation from her to my questions. I got the explanation a few days later when I saw her holding hands with another guy. That's a lesson I learned: don't have too much expectations into your aims. Of course I changed the seat in trade school.

I also didn't see her again after finishing my education. And I also don't know what happened to the tapes I made for her (and others). Presumably they were already thrown in the garbage but if not I would like to know if these persons will still listen to it.

Billy Bragg made a song in which he chanted exactly about these experiences.

Billy Bragg - Walk Away Renee

She said it was just a figment of speech

And I said, "You mean figure?"

And she said, "No, figment"

Because she could never imagine it happening
But it did.

When we first met I played the shy boy

And when she spoke to me for the first time

My nose began to bleed
She guessed the rest

The next day we went on a bus ride to the ferry

And when nobody came to collect our fares

Well, I knew then this was something special
I couldn't stop thinking about her
And every time I switched on the radio
There was somebody else singing a song about the two of us

It was just like being on a fast ride at the funfair

The sort you wanna get off because it?s scary

And then as soon as you?re off
You wanna get straight back on again

But our love is strange

And you have to take the crunchy with the smooth I s'pose

She began going out with Mr Potato Head
It was when I saw her in the car park
With his coat around her shoulders that I realized
I went home and thought about the two of them together
Until the bath water went cold around me

I thought about her eyes and the curve of her breasts

And about the point where their bodies met

I confronted her about it.
I said, "I?m the most illegible bachelor in town."
And she said, "Yea, that's why I can never understand
Any of those silly letters you send me."

And then one day it happened

She cut 'er hair and I stopped lovin' 'er

Dienstag, 28. Januar 2014

Pete Seeger 1919 - 2014

Yesterday Pete Seeger died at the age of 94. Not that I was a great fan of his music or folk music at all I felt a little sad about the news. I connect his songs with the times of the protest and peace movements. Not that his well known songs are very political I paid respect to his political statements. He has been a member of a Communist Party and was blacklisted during the McCarthy era so that his song could not be played over the radio stations. He had to play in clubs and churches instead. He was also in the American Civil Right movement in the 60s. One of his finest songs is for sure Where have all the flowers gone that was recorded by many artists in many languages. I don't have any record from Pete Seeger so here is a version by the great Marlene Dietrich.


Marlene Dietrich - Sag mir wo die Blumen sind

Twanging Tuesday # 13

The Devil's Daughters are Mysti Moon and Lisa Mortensen, two damsels that are not in distress. The two provide devilish harmonies over their brand of red-hot, americana rockabilly. I don't know more about the band as the fact that they were located in Arizona. I found this video last weekend and I thought it would fit perfect to this series.


Montag, 27. Januar 2014

Kiss With A Fist

This song came by shuffle on my mobile phone a few days ago. I think I posted it a few month ago but it is worth to do it again. Florence + the Machine was founded by Florence Welsh in 2007. They combine influences of Indie, Folk, Rock and a little bit of Soul in a superb sound. The songs are carried by the voice of Florence. I like this song for its stomping rhythm, the straight guitars and the way it was sung. Hope you enjoy it as well and have a good week.

Florence + the Machine - Kiss With a Fist

Sonntag, 26. Januar 2014

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

I started this Sunday as usual with a good coffee and toast with jam and checking out the newest posts on my blogroll. Over at the fantastic Bagging Area Swiss Adam couldn't decide which clip he should favor by Small Faces 'All or Nothing'. I would chose the live one because it shows what the Small Faces are famous for - mod inspired rhythm and blues (what was called beat music these days) and the fantastic voice of Steve Marriot. As I watched the live video I thought I've seen it before. And yes, I found it. This clip was a part of a 12 minute live appearance from the Small Faces. Here's the full version:

It was taken from a variety show on German TV called Beat Club. With this broadcasting the German television has walked on absolute new territory at his time , while they rock and pop bands from Great Britain and Overseas have introduced. Most of them played live and it was a monthly highlight when it was broadcast. I remember how we had to fight to watch it, because it was it was broadcast on Saturday at tea time when my parents wanted to relax and I wanted to watch all these bands. Everyone of them shook their heads telling us what kind of shitty music this is and how strange the artists look and dress. And I knew from my friends that they had to fight the same way.

And here is a song the I always listen with great joy:

Have a relaxed Sunday!

Samstag, 25. Januar 2014

40 Records In 40 Years (25/40 - 1998)

In 1998 was one year which had a basic incision in my life. As I have already indicated in the last post of this series, a final decision has liked. Me and Kerstin decided to go separate ways.We didn't made it easy to decide but I didn't want to move away from my native country to follow my wife to hers. She got more and more homesick to her family and the way of living. It isn't that Cologne was more attractive but she missed the Rhenish way of life so much. It was decisive also that our daughter should be sent to school and we both agreed that it better to make a cut right now than to deliver it on the back of our children. I remember when we sat together for evenings talking about all our options, drinking and having tears in each other eyes. And finally we have separated in friendship and love to allow it to everybody to start a new happy and contented life. The hardest thing was to explain it to the kids because in their age they cannot understand the reasons for separating. Although I have mourned about the loss of the children of the deepest heart, we both had to tell them about a new nice world in which they will live in future. So we packed the things together and moved them to their parents house in spring. I started to sell the house and found me a nice apartment in my hometown and contacted people I haven't seen for long years. Suddenly I recognized that I was back in my older life as a free man with less responsibility, however, also more desire in the life.

In this time I spent a lot of time listening to my old records and looking for the new ones that was released this year.
  • Air - Moon Safari: Superb record made in France
  • The Notwist - Shrink: German arty new rock music
  • Massive Attack - Mezzanine: Another fantastic record
  • Tortoise - TNT: Even their second record is great
  • Two Lone Swordsmen - Stay Down: First time I recognized the great Andrew Weatherall
  • Madonna - Ray Of Light: Maybe her last good record
  • Boards Of Canada - Music Has The Right To Children: New great sounds from Scotland 
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Carry On: A compilation of great songs and voices
  • Robbie Williams - I've Been Expecting You: Perfect pop - nothing more or less
A few well known songs that I listen to this year:

Here are some movies that are worth to remember:

  • Saving Private Ryan: Steven Spielberg shows us the real World War II
  • Life Is Beautiful: It is hard to explain a KZ as a playground to your son
  • American History X: Shocking that this could happen in the United States
  • The Big Lebowski: One of my favorite movies. No one is cooler than The Dude
  • The Celebration: Wonderful Drama about lifelong lies
  • Run Lola Run: Every Story has three sides. Fantastic!
  • The Truman Show: Are we real or are we in a show?

Somethings that happened in the world:

More massacres in Algeria // Suharto resigns after 32 years as President of Indonesia // India and Pakistan testing nuclear weapons // The second Congo war begins - 3.900.000 people are killed until it ends in 2003 // Hugo Chavez is elected as President of Venezuela // Pol Pot dies in Cambodia // Marc Dutroux a Belgian child abuser and child murder escapes from prison // The era Kohl ends in Germany after 16 year; Gerhard Schröder is elected to the new chancellor // France is the new FIFA World Cup champion // Kaiserslautern becomes as the first promoted team this years champion in the German Bundesliga

"Make my nipples hard, let's go"! This input sentence of Danielle Brisebois directly with the entrance in the CD describes what happens while hearing this CD: Creeps! And if we are honest: When did we have the last time creeps while hearing music?? That's what I thought when I first listened to this record. Gregg Alexander was the leading figure behind The New Radicals. Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too is one of these records walking on the narrow burr between perfect pop music and pure kitsch. What it makes it worth to listen are his screaming song, the crashing guitars, these catchy, almost in a kitschy way mainstream to seeming ones. This album contains cool good mood wrecks directly beside soulful ballads of this decade. I think it was the right record at the right time this year. After all I have to say that this record is a very underrated diamond in this genre.

The New Radicals - Someday We'll Know
The New Radicals - Crying Like a Church on Monday
The New Radicals - You Get What You Give
The New Radicals - Mother We Just Can't Get Enough

Freitag, 24. Januar 2014

The Foreign Correspondent - Stories About German Rock Music # 16

The last week I have a contribution in this series posted which has concerned psychedelic music in the farthest sense. Today I am back on earth again with a musician that I love all over the years. He started with an album full of reggae track and explicit political lyrics to turn a few years later into the funk and soul scene. Jan Delay is a German singer, songwriter and producer whose stylistic range includes mainly hip hop, reggae, dub and funk. He started with a band called Absolute Beginner. I first recognized him with his first record by his own name in 2001. His record Searching for the Jan soul rebels was tribute to Dexy's Midnight Runners first record with a similar title. When I have heard the album the first time I was simply overpowered, because I would not have thought that a German musician can have such a feeling for reggae and dub. Not only that he created his own style in music he wrote some lyrics that impressed me as well. I could agree to this left-wing influenced statements until now.

Jan Delay - Irgenwo, Irgenwie, Irgenwann
Jan Delay - Ich möchte nicht, dass ihr meine Lieder singt
Jan Delay - Vergifted

After this record it was very quiet about him, although he played several big open air festivals in Germany throughout the years. He came back with a totally different style. Also singing through his nose the way Bob Dylan used to do it his whole life he returned with a new sound. Changing from reggae and dub into funk and soul. With his record Mercedes Dance he entered the charts again and it was a high recommended record in this kind of music. But if you would ask me, which kind of Jan Delay I like most you would get the answer: I like more his reggae style than  his funky style.

Enjoy and have a good weekend where ever you are.

Donnerstag, 23. Januar 2014


Tool is a famous American rock band who started with classical heavy metal and turned later into so called alternative metal. Influenced by The Melvins and King Crimson they found their corner in playing their music. They are also well known for their videos and I have to admit that they are awesome. It is late in the evening but I am enjoying their powerful sound and the bass on their records so much.

What Happened To Pub Rock # 7

If we talk about pub rock and I have recently written about Nick Lowe, the name Dave Edmunds cannot be remained unmentioned. Dave Edmunds is a Welsh guitarist, singer and producer. Although he was named with pub rock and New Wave his natural leaning has always been leaning to 50s style an rock and roll. He's became known in the late 60s with his band Love Sculpture as he scored a hit by a cover from Khachaturian's Sabre Dance as a high speed-crazed rock number. He was always torn backwards and I know him as a type that was born 30 years too late. His next project was to make an album that would have a Phil Spector-sound. Subtle as a Flying Mallet could be a record that was produced by Phil Spector. Most of the instruments were played by Dave Edmunds and it is still a superb record. After this record he became linked with the pub rock movement in the early 1970s, producing Brinsley Schwarz, Ducks Deluxe and The Flamin' Groovies. One of his trademarks was using a stripped down, grittier sound mostly reduced to a leading guitar. In this time he started his collaboration with Nick Lowe and their band Rockpile. Until the 1980s they couldn't act as a band because they signed to different companies. Also the line-up on their solo records were nearly the same over the years. Dave Edmunds had several hits through the 1980s covering songs from Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and Nick Lowe. In the 1980s he produced acts carrying his musical influences into today like King Kurt and The Stray Cats.

Dave Edmunds - Born To Be With You
Dave Edmunds - Crawling From The Wreckage
Dave Edmunds - Get Out Of Denver
Dave Edmunds - Trouble Boys

Mittwoch, 22. Januar 2014

I Was A Teenage Armchair Honved Fan

It is a long time gone since I posted something by Half Man Half Biscuit. Back in the D.H.H.S. is still a very good record and I listened to it again in the past days. This song is from a compilation of rarities by them.

Half Man Half Biscuit - I Was A Teenage Armchair Honved Fan

Dienstag, 21. Januar 2014

Twanging Tuesday # 12

What would this series be without any post by The Cramps? I think that it isn't necessary to introduce them. I love their raw and mean mixture of Rock and Roll, Rockabilly and 50s Garage Rock. I had the pleasure to see them live 20 years ago promoting their record Flame Job. Never seen a more intensive show so far.

The Cramps - Tear It Up

Montag, 20. Januar 2014

Show Me Love

Another week in the office ahead and when I look into my calender there are already six meetings fixed for this week. If these meeting will run normally my superiors will give me enough work to do so that I will become dull. Anyway, here is a song from the late 70s from one of my favorite soul musicians and in my opinion not the worst way to start this week.

Have a good week.

Curtis Mayfield - Show Me Love

Sonntag, 19. Januar 2014

A Search For Soul

Today I will be lazy or as the kids today say I am chillin. Made myself a good cup of tea and listen to some music. In my collection I found an old record by The Crusaders. Didn't listen to it for ages and forgot how good they were at these times. That pure funk and soul hits my nerves. It was long time ago when I heard a saxophone like this.

The Crusaders - A Search For Soul

Samstag, 18. Januar 2014

40 Records In 40 Years (24/40 - 1997)

Another unspectacular year in my life. Working in my job, watching the kids grow up and living my life as I was used to. Went to Italy camping again like last year and it seemed to be perfect. But what would life be if it no surprises would hold ready? Nothing! To my surprise Kerstin got homesick. More and more we discussed about changing our life an move to her hometown. I could not understand why she's got that feeling. She found a lot of friends at the place we lived, she had a good job and was satisfied with it but there must be something I could not understand. So we agreed that a decision must be fallen, until our daughter is sent to school next year. It is strange, but I can exactly remember where I have been when I got the news of moving events. We visited my parents in law and had breakfast when my sister in law came in and told us that Diana, Princess of Wales, died in an car accident in Paris. No one could believe it and we switched on the TV. Breaking news on every channel told us that it is true. Not that I am a fan of the Royals but her death has moved me. For me she was a person which was unhappy in her engagement. And at the time she got rid of all the stuff and found a new love she died. There is nothing more to say and the best good by was sung by Elton John.

This was a good year for records. Here a some that impressed me:
  • Daft Punk - Homework: Perfect club music
  • Prefab Sprout - Andromeda Heights: One more great record from them
  • Robert Wyatt - Shleep: The old man returns with a very good album
  • Radiohead - OK Computer: Fantastic songs made this record worth listen to
  • Paul Weller - Heavy Soul: Not his best but a very good album
  • Dwight Yoakam - Under The Covers: Well known songs transfered into new country music
  • Rammstein - Sehnsucht: Horrible lyrics but a real powerful sound
  • Buena Vista Social Club: German people discover Latin sound by a Wim Wenders movie
  • Bob Dylan - Time Out Of Mind: He returned into my view with this record
  • The Verve - Urban Hymns: Timeless songs
  • Led Zeppelin - The BBC Sessions: Their old songs stripped to the bones - awesome
  • Erykah Badu - Live: Just a great voice
  • Pat Metheney Group - Imaginary Day: His first approach to modern music
And also some songs that are worth to be played again:

Seems like I went often to cinema this year:
  • Titanic: No chance to ignore this movie
  • The Full Monty: Fantastic. This could happen this way
  • Men In Black: Simply funny entertainment
  • As Good As It Gets: Jack Nicholson at his best
  • L.A. Confidential: A perfect tribute to this genre
  • Good Will Hunting: A real good drama with fantastic actors
  • Con Air: I could watch this movie every time
  • Face/Off: One of the best thrillers ever
  • The Game: It is a good game
  • Seven Years In Tibet: Fantastic pictures based on a true story
A few things that happened in 1997:

Finally divorce becomes legal in the Republic of Ireland // Bill Clinton bans federal funding for any research of human cloning // The Comet Hale-Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth // 39 Heaven's Gate cultists commit mass suicide at their compound in San Diego // Labour Party return to power after 18 years and Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister // The Star Alliance is formed between Air Canada, SAS, Lufthansa, Thai International Airlines and United Airlines // The great flood begins in southern Poland // Steve Jobs returns to Apple Computer Inc. // Massacres in Algeria all over the year // Princess Diana dies in an car accident in Paris // Mother Teresa dies // The Kyoto protocol is adopted by the United Nations committee and nearly nothing happened since this time.

The third record by Spiritualized is a masterpiece - no doubt. I found a review of this record by Jason Ankeny on allmusic. And there is nothing more to say. I love their music and I still play them often. I don't know much more bands that come and fetch me to other spheres. 

Spiritualized - Come Together
Spiritualized - Stay With Me
Spiritualized - Broken Heart
Spiritualized - Cool Waves
Spiritualized - Cop Shoot Cop

Freitag, 17. Januar 2014

The Foreign Correspondent - Stories About German Rock Music # 15

Let us look back at 1973/74. To the times when most of the guys had long hairs and the girls wore ultra skirts they ended Millimeters under their bottoms. At this time the hipsters listened to glam rock or some kind of arty rock like Styx and others still stuck in the late 1960 listening to them heroes like Led Zeppelin or Frank Zappa. In this sphere Edgar Froese and Klaus Schulz have started to do handicraft in a new sound not knowing that this would be one basic of the so called Krautrock. They experimented to integrate unusual instruments like flute, bird's voices and organ into her very own sound. At this time you could buy the first generation of synthesizers. That was the beginning of a real new sound created by Tangerine Dream. Most of the people I knew at this time could start nothing with this kind of music. For most of them ears was the competitions to difficult to understand or the songs much too long. Friends that enjoyed this kind of music these days have smoked pot. And I saw a few years later the same ones smoking pot to the sound of Bob Marley. Most of them get rid of it but a few one died a couple of years later on that fucking heroine. In their early days Tangerine Dream was more successful in Great Britain than in Germany. Also under the influence of John Peel who named their album Atem (breath) as the best record of the year 1973. In fact of this Richard Branson signed them for his Virgin label and they released Phedra which reached the top 20 in the British charts. In the following years the made soundtracks for some movies, experimented with classic music and collaborated with Terry Riley. Their influence to the next generation of musicians and remix projects is immense. I can't give a better compliment to them as saying: Their Music is still not suitable for all ears.

Tangerine Dream - Atem
Tangerine Dream - Circulation Of Events
Tangerine Dream - Phaedra

Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten # 5

During the last weeks I have heard the music of Gil Scott-Heron over and over again. I remember when I got in contact for the first time with this kind of music. It was in the late 1970s when was a young guy. Some older friends made it possible that I could get into a club where a lot of American soldiers used to hang around. Because also many coloured soldiers hung around there, their music has also run. So I was introduced what they called soul music. They played the long live version from James Browns 'Sex Machine', a lot of The Temptations and Gil Scott-Heron as well. This kind of music opened my ears to another kind of music that most of my friends used to listen to. First I was impressed about the rhythm and the whole sound of songs like 'The Bottle' and later I understand the lyrics of him. He had something to say and was always a politic person who spoke about the things his compatriots moved. Over the years he was still a possibility to grab out one of his records when I didn't know what to play. It was a long time quietly around him and all the more it has surprised me that he has published a record a few years ago again above all that it was at the height of the time and has left his successors a legacy in which they can compete.

Gil Scott-Heron - Me and the Devil
Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron - Ain't No Such Thing As Superman
Gil Scott-Heron - I'll Take Care Of You
Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Johnson - Your Daddy Loves You
Gil Scott-Heron - New York Is Killing Me

Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014


Got a link from my brother to the new single by Neneh Cherry. Seems like she made a new record after almost 20 years. Listened to Soundcloud and think it's worth to post it right now. A phenomenal remix with looped and hypnotic percussions added with some organs and snare drums. Looking forward to her upcoming record.


ByThe Time I Get To Phoenix

Last Saturday night I was in the mood for some soul music and grabbed out of my records Hot Buttered Soul by Isaac Hayes. I didn't listen to this record for a long long time and was astonished how fresh and new this record is. You can dive into Mr. Hayes' baritone voice and his music. According to my opinion By the time I get to Phoenix is one of the first soul songs that turned away from classical songwriting. Isaac Hayes introduces us to this song with eight minutes speaking to built up slowly a climax of horns, organs, strings and vocals. With this album his Scientology activities may be forgiven.

Isaac Hayes - By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Dienstag, 14. Januar 2014

Twanging Tuesday # 11

Also Germans are able to play a good twanging guitar. The Johnny Trouble Band is a local band from my hometown. They started their career as street musicians playing in the main street of our capital Stuttgart. I saw them a few years ago when I left my office to spent half an hour to have some lunch to go. I got me an Asian meal and sat down on a step watching them play. They played with such devotion to their Johnny Cash inspired music that I forgot to go back to my job. I donated some money and talked to them being surprised that we live in the same town. During the last years they got a kind of local heroes playing concerts and on private parties as well.


Johnny Trouble Band - Prison Bound

Montag, 13. Januar 2014

Sharing The Night Together

Let's start the week with an old song from Arthur Alexander. He wrote a lot of songs and many of them were covered by famous bands like the early Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner and Dusty Springfield. But it is still worth to listen to the originals. Sharing the night together was a top hit by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Enjoy and have a good week.

Arthur Alexander - Sharing The Night Together

Sonntag, 12. Januar 2014

40 Records In 40 Years (23/40 - 1996)

If I consider within the scope of this series what was this year importantly for me and how I have felt than I have to say that it was a good year. I spent a lot of time together with my kids watching them growing up and teaching them how to walk. Now they were old enough that we could take small conversations (as good as they are able to). Showing them the world outside our house and the beauty of our country satisfied me so much that most other things got back into second row. Although we only one small budget had we have resolved to drive ourselves with the children on vacation. Our destination was the Italian Adriatic. We stayed there in that so called eurocamp where you can rent a big tent including a fridge and three-leg couches. All you have to bring with was your sleeping utensils. On the whole camping place strict rules have been valid. So for example to be very quiet during the early afternoon and something like that. Not that this is the way to spent my holidays it was perfect for the kids. I remember the laughing eyes of my daughter when she took her first steps into the sea. Before we started our vacation me and my mates took the chance to watch a German game during the UEFA European Championship in England. We grabbed the chance for a cheap flight and a ticket to watch the first German game in Old Trafford against the Czech Republic. It was so much fun to watch football in an English stadium. I know that it might hurt you guys but I have to say a few words to the semi-final between England and Germany. England got a damn good team these days with the fantastic Paul Gascoigne (remember his great goal against Netherland), Alan Shearer, Paul Ince, Steve McManaman and Gareth Southgate. It was a very good game and for me these teams should play the final. But like many times Germany had a little more luck at the penalties.

Some records that I remember that was released in 1996:
  • Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die: Even if only because of 'Djeld' a perfect composition of dub, krautrock and understated guitars
  • Tocotronic - Wir kommen um uns zu beschweren: German guitar music and the start of the so called Hamburg school
  • Fugees - The Score: A record many people could agree to
  • Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive: Nothing special but good pop music
  • Everything But The Girl - Walking Wounded: Two great voices with good songs
  • Belle And Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister: Because I love most of the ting they did.
Some songs they perform duties this year:

If we had time to go to the movie we watched this:
  • The English Patient: Great drama with fantastic pictures
  • Fargo: Sensational crime movie by the Coen brothers
  • The People vs. Larry Flint: Fantastic biopic about about the Hustler
  • Michael Collins: Liam Neeson plays the Irish revolutionary leader very well
  • From Dusk Till Dawn: Robert Rodriguez shows us Mexican vampires
  • White Squall: Nothing more than a great movie
  • Before and After: Another superb drama with Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson
  • Mars Attacks: Weired movie about aliens finally killed by music
  • Brassed Off: Superb movie about what's important in life.
Some things that happened in the world this year:

Jacques Chirac announces the so called definitive end to Frensh nuclear testing // Chess computer 'Deep Blue' defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov for the first time // Dictator Robert Mugabe is reelected as the President of Zimbabwe // IRA bombs again especially in Manchester // Germany wins the UEFA Euro 1996 in England against the Czech Republic by the first and last sudden death goal // Dolly the Sheep is the first mammal which is cloned from an adult cell.

Kruder & Dorfmeister were an Austrian DJ- and producer team well known for their remixes of pop, Trip-Hop and drum and bass songs. Their style reaches from Downtempo and Dub to Electronica and Trip-Hop. For me it was another step into a new musical era - and I never missed it. I grew up with that classic Rock and Roll and followed other music as you might know when you followed my little series. Their music gave me the kicks to search more music like this. It is one of those records I can listen to from start to the end and it always gets me down when I came home from work after a busy day. Most of the songs are timeless and after all I have to admit: It is a classic in this genre.

Kruder & Dorfmeister - Herbalizer - A Mother
Kruder & Dorfmeister - Static Sound System - Revolutionary Pilot
Kruder & Dorfmeister - Kruder & Dorfmeister - High Noon
Kruder & Dorfmeister - Sapien - Que Dolor

Freitag, 10. Januar 2014

The Foreign Correspondent - Stories About German Rock Music # 14

During the last weeks I have presented bands which are forgotten or and obscure or which never succeeded the way they should have earned. Today I will introduce maybe the most popular German punk band today - Die Toten Hosen (or The  Dead Pants/DTH). Most of the members hung around with the punk scene at the famous Ratinger Hof in Dusseldorf - a well known place for punks in the late 1970s. They founded the band in 1982 as succession group of a local band called ZK what means nothing less than sickening. These young kids who just could serve their instruments played a weired mixture of punk, rockabilly and German schlager. I remember one of their concerts in the late 1970s in Stuttgart when they played in  a little club called mousetrap. It was in the first floor on the left side. We stood in a row to get into the club and a lot of men have passed embarrassed us, because on the right side was a brothel. The concert was so amazing although there were just 100 visitors there. But this kids did a very good job. At this time it was possible to have a drink with the band and talking about music, football and everything else. ZK released only one regular record and vanished after a live recording.

ZK - Conrad
ZK - Immer wieder besetzt & Fussball und Alk

Campino, von Holst and A. Meurer founded later DTH. They released several singles on various labels and I got me the single Bommerlunder (ice-coled Bommerlunder - a German schnapps). It was delivered with a small bottle of real Bommerlunder and for that I signed the first and last time ever in a fan club. Still got the member number DTH0074. They released their first full record called Opelgang in 1983 which was much based on the punk background. All the members of the band are self-thought musicians and for that they developed her own unmistakeable sound over the last 30 years. What was also important for me that the band, especially Campino, had a political activities. They support different social and political organizations without being a member of any political party. I remember very well when they played in Frankfurt on a benefit concert against ultra right wing racism when they played their song Sascha about a stupid nazi who doesn't realize that foreigners are still a part of our life. What also impressed me much that they were so close to their hometown Dusseldorf and their local football team. They donated about 100.000 Euro to sign a striker and they sponsored Fortuna Düsseldorf over several years when they had financial difficulties.

After all - it is a band I grew up for long long years, have seen them more than ten times over all the years and I will miss when they will be gone one day.

Sascha - An upright German
Sasha him is jobless
what he makes without work bare
he cuts off to himself the hair
and pees on a Jew's grave
Zigenuerschnitzel this well tastes
on Sintis he has a fury
he eats so with pleasure Cevapcici
He never liked Croatians

Sasha him is a German
and be German this is difficult
and as in German as Sasha
if Abdul becomes never more

He knows even the alphabet
knows where the leader's bunker stands
No this man this is no idiot
Sasha is a German Rep
He is politically informed
and if every stranger knows this interferes
and his loyal sheepdog
now does not bark without reason

Since Sasha him is a German
and be German this is difficult
and as in German as Sasha
if one is not alongside

Now he leaves the sow only out
and goes to the asylum-seeker's house
there he smashes a disc
since every black is a pig
then he lights the booth
every acts just what he is able to do
with the subject "German thoroughness"
there he completely knows

Yes Sasha him is a German
and be German this is difficult
who is as in German as Sasha
otherwise, he is nothing more

A good 50 years ago
if it has already tried one
the thing missed
Sasha has not got it...

Ten Little Jägermeister: A counting out rhyme of people you lose on your way

Donnerstag, 9. Januar 2014

What Happened To Pub Rock # 6

As I wrote on this series punk and new wave music had it roots in bands that used to play live pubs. One of those bands were Brinsley Schwarz named by their guitar player. Other members were Bob Andrews on keybords, Billy Rankin on drums an the magnificent Nick Lowe on bass and vocals. On their first records they played a kind of The Band inspired country with a little bluesy and pscychedelic touch. They got a bigger fanbase about playing a laid back country rock in later times. In the mid 1970s they played the backing band on Frankie Millers debut and started a collaboration with Dave Edmunds who produced their last records The New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz which is the best one for me. After this record the band split and the members started solo careers or were found in other bands or as session musicians in the following years. Maybe their biggest legacy was one song written by Nick Lowe and made famous years later by Elvis Costello: What's so funny but peace love and understanding.

Brinsley Schwarz - Ballad of a has been beauty queen
Brinsley Schwarz - What's so funny about peace, love and understanding
Brinsley Schwarz - The look that's in your eye tonight

Although Brinsley Schwarz was named by their guitarist the mastermind of the band was Nick Lowe. He wrote the most songs - especially the ballads and his distinctive voice. He and Ian Gomm (who joined the original set up from the second record) started solo careers - but really successful was just Nick Lowe. According to my opinion he is the connecting piece to the new fresh upcoming music. He signed to the STIFF-label and his single So it goes was the first release of the label. In the following years he made some great records with very good ballads, songs with perfect hooks and he transported the power of Rock 'n' Roll into the upcoming punk and new wave era. The story of his collaboration with Dave Edmunds should be told another time.

Nick Lowe - I love the sound of breaking glass
Nick Lowe - Nutted by reality
Nick Lowe - Heart of the city