Opening the gig for Grinderman at Falconer Theater, Copenhagen last week was a young lady, with the hair slicked back, wearing a short silk blouse, black stiletto heels and all red lipstick. Starting the set with a tranquil guitar intro, she wasn’t to be taken seriously by the skeptical male audience but as the devastating guitar work gradually grew in intensity, complemented by the haunting and beautifully soaring vocals of hers, she drew delighted cheers from the crowd. No wonder why Nick Cave chose London upstart Anna Calvi for his European tour as her music is romantic, mysterious and dark, fitting perfectly in with Grinderman’s universe. Definitely one to watch!
Some guy put up a gallery of his record collection on Flickr – lots of rad stuff.
Beethoven was by nature a volatile person with strong changes of mood. He was easy (too easy many thought) to fury and had a depressive side that grew stronger throughout life. It was reinforced by his increasing deafness which obviously was a huge blow for him as he was famous for being an improvisational, virtuoso pianist and composer. In his despair at being about to lose his hearing, he wrote his testament already as 31-year-old. He just did not know whether he could survive the disease or whether he could bear to live with it.
Beyond the depressive and aggressive side, Beethoven had an almost manic, energetic side. He also had a softer side. A side that often caused the man to fall hopelessly in love. He found all moods in himself – darkness, anger, fear, joy, and through his music he found a genuine way to describe his innermost feelings, how we are and live as humans alternating between light and shadow in our lives with joy and vitality at one end of the spectrum and sorrow and death at the other, and expressed it clearly in his solemn and touching sonata, the “Pathetique Sonata”.
Let’s hope Twilight Saga celebrity Kristen Stewart doesn’t mess up “The Runaways” movie, which is to premiere this weekend.
It happens that I read old magazines during times of boredom, but also to find things that I might have missed due to lack of interest and time. Today I found a great article in the September 2009 issue of i-D, which I wasn’t too enthusiastic about when reviewing it back then, but the interview of Jennifer Herrema surely remedies the disappointment and makes the issue worth the money.
Head to chakanawe.wordpress.com for the interview and more outakes.
Whether you’re searching for a book to replace some missing links in your musical and visual education or a retrospect of the musical riches of the 1970s, “Cult Rock Posters” is a great choice. From the gritty sound and fuck you attitude of punk, or the quirky vocals and synthesized rhythms of new wave to the catchy melodies and glittery of glam, a rock history of this decade of great change has been put together, drawing upon interviews with artists and a collection of over 150 rare posters.
Right now, I’m having a femmes of rock moment which inspired me to do this post about women who prefer the comfort of a cold beer to that of a warm man, and whose first love is for ROCK ‘N’ ROLL. Don’t get me wrong. I prefer girl bands with talent and style over feminist bands, with the come-and-get-it flaunt, who are only worthy of a second thought because of their looks.
Almost any old rock girlfriends/groupies had style but I’d take Girlschool, one of the punkiest and fiercest bands to blow up in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s new wave of British heavy metal. Girlschool was the real thing. Those girls were stylish and forceful, but without the pose. And they could rock harder than most men.
Suzi Quatro, another acceptable face of femme rock who formed the Pleasure Seekers, proved that it was possible for a small woman to play bass and sing rocking skin tight leather clothes and be the wild one that all guys wish their tidy girlfriends would be.
We have lost a true musical genius today with the reported death of Rowland S. Howard, former member of Australian post-punk bands Young Charlatans, These Immortal Souls, and The Boys Next Door who later became The Birthday Party, among others, and debuted as a solo artist with the release of the album “Teenage Snuff Film” in 1999. His second solo album, “Pop Crimes”, was released this year to wide acclaim. He was famous for writing the iconic hit “Shivers” and for his distinctive guitar sound, which seemed able to bury the dead you could not bury yourselves, and inspired a generation to come. Howard passed away this morning, aged 50. You will be missed.
Imagine that you are driving at full speed through a barren and dusty landscape, completely isolated from all the everyday complexities, having the mind cleared of everything called time and space. Behind lies a world of indifference and ahead lies the indefinable and frightening which you nonetheless have an urge to face. This is the mood that I personally associate with Sonic Youth’s music. It helps me vent my frustration.
The ugliness, the anger and the suffering, which we all bear, are not surpressed but lifted to something beautiful, a symbol of man’s versatility. Dark sides of life are not glorified, but recognized as the basic existential conditions that contribute to our individual human formation. This philosophical angle to mankind and the world characterizes the post-punk genre and is reflected in the music of Sonic Youth.
With “Teen Age Riot” Sonic Youth managed to mix noise and harmony to a raw track boasting the most catchy melody in their entire discography. The track stretches to nearly seven minutes, but to me it always seems to be over too soon. Happy listening!