Dienstag, 30. April 2024

He Could Be Bigger Than The Beatles


April is going to end and I think Pete Wylie should be featured at this little place. Why? There is no other reason because he accompanied me during the last decades and made fantastic records under his own name or as Wah!, Wah Heat! or The Mighty Wah! 

Montag, 29. April 2024

Monday's Long Song


In 1969 Chicago Transit Authority released their self titled debut album. Of course, As a ten year old kid I was much too young for music like this but a couple of years later an older friend introduced me to this. Their sound was very different to everything else I heard in these days and couldn't grasp this music. Not hard-rock or blues or classic but with a monumental brass section. Most of their songs lived on the arrangements of classic band line-up and wind movements. Chicago made a few long songs in their career but a cover version of Steve Winwood's I'm A Man could be their trademark.

Chicago - I'm A Man

Sonntag, 28. April 2024

New Songs On Sunday


Dublin's most popular post-punk band Fontaines D.C. announced a new album later this year. With this album they finished their long-time collaboration with producer Dan Carey and it seems that they chosen a new road in their sound. Starburster. With nervous strings and subtle piano sprinkles, this song initially suggests a restrained sound like on Grian Chatten's solo album, but then transitions into an almost rapping vocal with crashing hip-hop drums. It is a good song and the more I listen to it the more I like it.

We don't have to worry about Dan Carey because he has already found other artists he can produce. His latest project is Friedberg, an Austrian-English band based in London that takes its name from the birthplace of singer Anna Wappel. Friedberg stands for a dark, rocking drive that meets intuitive melodies and a mystical vocal style. Post-punk and alternative rock borrowings merge with sensitive pop to create a sound that is both familiar and quirky at the same time. An interesting new discovery that could be worth following

Freitag, 26. April 2024

Leopard Skin


Until the early 80s, all I knew about Cologne was that they had a good football team and several carnival bands. That changed abruptly when German bands started singing in their native language. The Cologne band BAP rose to fame in the wake of this scene. I saw them back then in a small club in Stuttgart and thought they were pretty decent for a local band playing mainstream. At that time, the peace movement was very popular. Wolfgang Niedecken, the founder of BAP, emerged as the political conscience of an entire generation that demonstrated against the stationing of Pershings in Germany and the phasing out of nuclear energy. I could identify with many of their ideas and goals at the time, but at the same time my ambivalent relationship with Cologne developed. The reason for this was that people from Cologne have an inflated sense of self-worth and fundamentally reject everything that doesn't come from Cologne or consider it inferior. I have always found it difficult to come to terms with this attitude. But back to the music. Many of BAP's songs have long since become popular favourites. Most of them aren't even that bad, but the bottom line is that they are often banal. In 1995, Niedecken, who considers himself an avowed fan of Bob Dylan, released an album on which he performs Dylan songs in Cologne dialect. And I recently listened to this record again and thought that every artist can probably produce a highlight once in their life. All the cover versions are superbly performed and arranged, but the way Dylan's lyrics have been translated into German is sensational. They were not translated word for word, but the poetry of the songs was brought out - even if it is often difficult for me as a South German to understand. All in all, My Back Pages, Jokerman and Absolutely Sweet Marie in these versions are classics that I always return to

Mittwoch, 24. April 2024

American Gypsy Punk


Last week our friend SWC named Gogol Bordello on his latest competition. That is enough to give them again a place at this little place in the net. Formed by Eugene Hütz in 1999 in NYC as a punk-rock band and inspired by Romani and Ukrainian music mixed with punk and dub and adding traditional instruments like accordion and violin to their sound. I saw them live almost 40 years ago in a small venue around my place and was excited of their presence. Eastern gypsy sound meet punk and it was a pleasure to see them. They had so much power in their sound and could compared to Les Negretes Vertes or Nyah Fearties. It is music I didn't listen to for a long time but still fascinated of these elementary sound.

Dienstag, 23. April 2024

It All Comes Down To This


Almost one year ago A Certain Ratio, one of the first and finest post-punk bands from Manchester, released their 1982. Now they are back with another new album, an album that is simply inspiring. Based on their traditional sounds they show that they arrived with their kind of music in today. They have always been difficult to categorise musically, the post-punkers from Greater Manchester. A Certain Ratio remain true to this claim to this day, but have deepened and refined it over the decades rather than honing it, as is the case with many bands of the same age. This album is a shimmering panopticon of styles and sounds that does not deny its basic DNA, consisting of funk and Factory sound. What A Certain Ratio deliver is always completely independent, stylistically confident, diverse without sacrificing funk and fantastic bass lines. In some moments they are reminiscent of Echo and the Bunnymen, while in others their metronome-like drumming is reminiscent of Can. It is also an album you could listen from the start to the end in one row. And this is one of the greatest compliments I can give to any artist. 

Montag, 22. April 2024

Monday's Long Song


Last week another compilation for Shelter Me was released via Paisley Dark Records. Shelter Me is a collective set up to use music to raise funds to tackle homelessness in the UK. It is another collaboration of more or less well known electronic artist presenting their newest kind of releases. I think any project supporting homeless people in these days should be welcome and if it is only that we remember them.

Dienstag, 16. April 2024

A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield


Last year in autumn Cologne's WDR Big Band and the WDR Funkhausorchestra made a tribute concert in honor to the music of Curtis Mayfield. He was one of the leading figures in the civil rights movement who also conveyed a great social message with his music. Many of his songs are monuments to the soul and funk of the seventies. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of orchestral sound, but this concert is a highlight of musical quality. All the musicians involved are in a class of their own and a sound experience in itself. Treat yourself to an hour and enjoy well-known songs in an extraordinary guise.

Montag, 15. April 2024

Monday's Long Song


Another release by Martin Jenkins aka Pye Corner Audio and another spooky electronic excursion into his space. A steady beat is the floor for some improvisation with synths. Not the worst way to start into another week.

Sonntag, 14. April 2024

These Immortal Souls


Sometimes it takes re-issues to remember a band that I listened ages ago. This happened when I got the news that the albums by Australian post-punk band These Immortal Souls was released a few days ago. Formed in 1987 in London from the ruins of Crime And The City Solution, an another underrated band by Rowland S. Howard they brought us back an almost impossible combination of blues and punk. I remember their first album was on heavy rotation in the gothic scene back then. And I have to admit that that I liked their music in these days but wasn't a huge fan of them. But listening to the albums decades later I can got aware that they were more than a post-punk epigone.  Howard is croaking the lyrics Cave-stylish but his guitar is sharper than many others and their influences are massive. On These Immortal Souls it sounds like the Doors had a session with Bowie. Not the music for every day but ace from time to time.

These Immortal Souls - Marry Me (Lie! Lie!)

These Immortal Souls - These Immortal Souls

These Immortal Souls - Blood And Sand`She Said

These Immortal Souls - The King Of Kalifornia

Donnerstag, 11. April 2024

Fly Like An Eagle


Steve Miller, a West-Coast blues guitarist from San Francisco released his ninth album Fly Like An Eagle back in 1976 and was one of those albums older friends of mine raved about almost 50 years ago. I remember when I was the first time in a hippie pub in my home town for one of my first pints this album was the soundtrack for more than one hour. I have to admit that I didn't knew the artist and his combination of country blues and psychedelic sounds fascinated and impressed me. This album was one of my first bought long players and I grabbed out a few days ago and the music is still fascinating to me and not only for sentimental moods. Steve Miller was one of these artists late hippies and not born punks could agree. Of course he stole some riffs from British bands like Free from All Right Now on Rocking Me but this doesn't really matter because it sounded like a song by himself.

Montag, 8. April 2024

Monday's Long Song


In 2010 The Orb released Metallic Spheres, a collaboration with Pink Floyd's guitarist David Gilmour born during a charity session. There is only one song on each side and a superb fusion of ambient and old style psychedelic guitar. It was an album that is played in many chilled out bars when I was in Asia these days. Last year a remix of this album was released and shows the beauty of this collaboration once again. For me a perfect start into the week.

The Orb & David Gilmour - Round Side: Seamless Solar Spheres Of Affection (Round Side)

Sonntag, 7. April 2024



VfB Stuttgart supporters have not exactly been spoilt in recent years. Several relegations to the second division were well deserved - as was the immediate promotion to the Bundesliga. Otherwise, our capacity for suffering was tested as we regularly found ourselves in the lowest regions of the table. At the end of last season, we escaped another relegation by the skin of our teeth. It is all the more astonishing that we are now level on points with Bayern Munich and will almost certainly play internationally next season. Many people realised that this team has potential, but the fact that it can translate its strengths into winning games amazes me almost every weekend. We will see where this journey will take us. 

Another newcomer released a new single last week. Uche Yara is a 21-year-old musician and producer from Austria with Nigerian roots who currently lives in Berlin. Her music sounds like a psychedelic trip accompanied by Far Eastern folklore, guitar solos and a dark, pounding beat. Uche Yara impressively demonstrates her vocal range here. And now we also know that she can rap. An impressive pop song and one should follow the further development of this artist.

Donnerstag, 4. April 2024

Piano Man


In the late 70s, when everything was centred around punk and new wave, a friend offered me a ticket for a concert whose musician I didn't know and of whom I hadn't heard a song until then. As admission was relatively cheap and I had nothing better to do, I went with him. Until then I was more than suspicious of a singer/songwriter, but after this concert I had a completely different view. Billy Joel completely won me over in those two hours. Outstanding songs with intelligent lyrics, perfectly arranged and performed with such intensity are something I have rarely experienced before or since. And I'm surprised that I didn't give him and his songs, which have accompanied me for decades, a place in this little corner of the internet sooner.

Dienstag, 2. April 2024

Shine A Light


This is not you might think. Not the song by The Rolling Stones from their album Exile on Main Street. It is from a new album Adam introduced us last week by 100 Poems, a band from Dublin by DJ Mike Wilson. Everything's Balearic When You Believe is a tripped out excursion in electronic, house, psyche, prog, dub and Balearic blissed out beats. Seldom heard such coherent mixes of different styles since a long time. Balearic beats meat Westcoast sound meets guitar solos, meets horns. A mixture that is far above many things I listened to during the last months. Maybe it is not everyone's cup of tea but for me one of those albums that makes the difference to other peoples stuff

Montag, 1. April 2024

Monday's Long Song


It is April and a quarter of the year is behind us. I was thinking about a song for this month and my first thought was April Sky but decided that I should go for another song because many others would post this song by JAMJ. So I came back to a song from 1969 by a band I listened very often in my young men's days. Deep Purple released this song on their third album and marked a shift away from their progressive roots to hard rock. This song is also an example how Jon Lord tried to combine rock music with classic music. April is a three-part classic rock suite starting with an organ and Blackmore on an acoustic guitar to give over the command in the second section to a chamber orchestra and finishing with hard rock. An example how good this collaboration could work.

Deep Purple - April