Monthly Archives: December 2008

Christmas Schmalz

I’m not advocating that you illegally download the Motown Christmas album from this blog of Christmas albums. Actually I’m not sure if I recommend the album at all.

And I really hope I never have to hear Bangbros – Last Christmas (Wannabe Pulsedriver Remix).

The only worthwhile album on that blog, oddly enough, is A Charlie Brown Christmas from the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

We have it on vinyl. I’m serious.

Alle Tragen Diese Karierten Burberry Pullis

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Last week me & Wulf went to see the Goldenen Zitronen play at the Kultur Bunker in Mülheim, where unfortunately it was too dark to take photos with my phone-cam. But one floor down they had an exhibition of anarchist and protest posters, so I’m posting pics of those instead.

The poster below is protesting against a population census.

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The Goldenen Zitronen were dope by the way. They’re a punk band from Hamburg – their best songs are sparely composed with lyrics about how it’s easier to enter Europe as a sneaker than as a person (Ectomorph thought the sneaker song sounded like an updated DAF). On their merch table they had a poster saying ‘Schwabinggrad Ballet’. (Schwabing is a la-di-da upperclass area in Munich)

After the show me & Wulf got lahmacun with parsley, radish and pickled chillies from the Turkish street in Mülheim. Über-geil!

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Excerpt of lyrics: Die Goldenen Zitronen – Mila.

What I don’t really do often, is to get lost.
I always try to travel paths that are known to me.
At least, in the countryside it was like that.
What’s it called again, that crap shop?
It can’t be possible, that they didn’t pick me up. Shit.
Everybody’s wearing these plaid Burberry sweaters that you can get from H&M. Shit shop.
You can memorise the number for the directory service yourself, you wankers.
I’m really terrified of situations where I’m assessed.
Jens said he only has 13 summers left.
Next stop: the train stops.
Don’t throw any German shepherds out the window.
Again, there’s nothing in the air.
Apart from fear.
This is true: somebody I know named his book “I Can’t Take it Anymore”.
I am Papi the dummest crocodile.
I believe I was in the same street last week, with the same questions.
I don’t dare to call any of you guys.
A topped-up prepaid card doesn’t entail an invited circle of friends.
The lights are blinding my eyes. A spark singed my knee.
Mila. Mila. You psycho. Please.
C’mon, you know what to do when you’re wobbling. No? Mila!
You’re the queen of the stone age.
I’m an idiot in pantaloons.
Tomorrow I’m going to the best Media Market store of all time.
Because that’s what they said. On TV.
Men would destroy telephone booths, but they seem to be blind in their magenta eyes.

Ich Bin Keine Maschine

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Just posting a few photos from my workmate Niklas’ band Locas in Love at a show in the Altes Pfandhaus in the Südstadt a couple of weeks ago.

The most enjoyable songs for me were ‘Maschine’ (I pretty much like any song with lyrics that confirm or deny being a robot or a machine), and their Julee Cruise – Falling cover version with dramatic ride cymbal flourishes. They also did a cover version of Aphrodite’s Child who are pretty rad.

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Cute, aren’t they?

I couldn’t understand most of the patter between songs but it seemed to be stuff about looking for houses in the countryside and banging your head on the ceiling.

If you are based in NYC you can see them play in January at Cake Shop and Union Hall.

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Top Game

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Pictured: Erik recording Babu’s set for RBMA Radio in the Brewery Studios.

A week or two ago I interviewed Babu, a Filipino-American producer and turntablist best known for his work with Dilated Peoples and the Beat Junkies, who was in town to promote his new album Duck Season Vol 3.

The Beat Junkies released some bangin hip hop mixtapes back in the day that me and my friend Emi-chan loved, informed by an understanding of the breakbeat that stretches into hemispheres and rhythm structures from Clyde Stubblefield and David Matthews to Iranian rare grooves. Along with other crate diggers like Cut Chemist and Egon, they’re like some kind of west coast hip hop intelligentsia.

I’ve always found that crew to be impeccably polite and engaging, but with his buddha-like good looks and stoic expression, Babu has always seemed a bit less approachable than the others. And since I hardly possess nerd-level knowledge of rare funk and soul 45s, I asked my workmate Davide (who used to be editor of Juice) to contribute a few questions for my notebook.

Davide’s questions were pretty much the same as the ones I had scribbled down already: general, open-ended queries about how Babu put together the line up of guest features on the album, and how he saw the state of turntablism nowadays.

On-mic Babu turned out to be as classy and professional an interview subject as you could hope for. He spoke about the challenges of being a producer: how if MCs are working with someone like Dre they’ll automatically bring their top game, but the rest of the time you have to challenge them to step to the plate. (You can hear the recording of the interview soon on RBMA Radio.)

Interviewing renowned crate diggers might not be as hard as I thought – OK, it’s not like we talked about the rarest platters from Sao Paulo’s Galerias, but still, Babu didn’t have to be challenged to give thoughtful, entertaining answers. When you have an album to promote, it’s all part of the game, but it was a pleasure all the same.

Meta-Musto

Three of my favourite scribes contribute columns to New York’s Village Voice newspaper. One of them, Michael Musto, recently wrote a blog post about the passing of Paul Weyrich, in which he posts an outtake of a story he wrote some 14 years ago. He quips: “You can tell how old the story is by my incessant use of the phrase “information highway,” for which I apologize.”

Also, his post about a YMCA member getting his kit off is an amusing titbit. I am now fascinated about the readership demographics of Playgirl.