Have a listen. Good solid German rock music. You hardly notice you are listening to it. It’s special by not trying too hard to be special. It’s unique by not trying too hard to be unique. It’s supernormal.
And that is exactly what I find sensational about Turbostaat. Nothing special—nothing here tries to capture an audience’s attention with added layers. No effort is required to love it. The uniqueness is that you cant sense it being unique. It sounds and feels as expected or as we have ideally come to know it from good German rock music. Even the videos are non-disturbing as we have come to know them from garage bands. Not bad. Not really well produced either. Done. No need to wait for perfection to set it.
Musicians story to pass on without the need to hear a single tone of their music:
Ankündigung eines neuen Albums von Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
I trust it’s when you come across something unexpected, that catches your interest long enough for you to have had an experience. Even though it may be long forgotten right after.
An unexpected time or location may suffice to create such an experience. I stumbled upon Macklemore’s announcement for the new album on Medium, while I would have expected an interview on Pitchfork rather.
I didn’t recall who Macklemore was at first, the black letters caught my attention and the clean cut typography. Perhaps some interesting make up of single malt content… Isn’t it astonishing how Medium content differs in texture and fabric even though Medium forces its contributors into using a genius generic template?
Macklemore, whose Can’t Hold Us and Thrift Shop, I soon remembered. Pep rally videos as Arcade Fire had one and Gwen Stefani with Hollaback Girl.
Now here’s Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with their very own cluetrain manifesto for musicians and their industry, a one pager for the web and a story worth telling.
I would have liked Aladdin Sane, if not for the peer pressure at the cafeteria of Munich American High. Fellow students would repeat the song text or they had spaghetti and tomato sauce all over them. Harry Stolov and his fellows claimed control over the school.
I would have liked Harry and his gang —a can of coke hit the back of my head the next day to remind me. Earlier, I neglected to join the high-brows in their smoker’s barrack at Gymnasium Starnberg.
David Bowie just had to wait until I had a crush on the girl of who proved to become a most reliable lifetime friend. The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust stayed with us for more than a decade. What also stayed with me, was a growing regret, for letting the art taste of my socialist friends grow on me.
Other than for Young Americans, Bowie was never the chameleon the media had named him
With crossing the atlantic, he had to try something new. With first-rate sessionmen, Bowie comes up with a set of songs that approximate the sound of Philly soul and disco for Young Americans. Full-blown-blue-eyed soul that came as a shock.
Audience and media had something worth sharing and for lack of unique definition, the myth of change, metamorphosis, and that of the chameleon spread.
The Beatles had long demonstrated change of significance: transformation with their release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and every other release —most noticeably Let It Be and the White Album. They continuously created new meaning to their Beatles brand. Fab Four democratised Popmusik and showed the world that everyone can make music, as someone reminded us at Lemmy Kilmister’s funeral.
Lemmy’s funeral was live-streamed on YouTube and indicated significant change.
That of bringing death1 back to were it belongs. In our midst. Supernormal. Socio-political best practice of general social relevance.
David Bowie was one, who like no other hurried to keep up with trends, tendencies he chummed up to. Something you can’t say of Lemmy Eilmister, the frontman of Motörhead. He never had to dress up for a performance.
Bowie didn’t transform, he changed clothes before performing. No change from Outside on to Blackstar. He chummed up to Mick Jagger in a Video and Steve Strange from Visage in another, he even chummed up to his nearing death in video dramas for Blackstar.
Bowie teached virtuosity, stage setting, drama, complexity. There was great beauty in early, beats driven by hand-clap-rythmns, his beautiful voice on Outside and Blackstar. Most enduring and perhaps most useful are the remakes on PinUps such as Friday on my mind by the Easybeats. All the young dudes.
Trials and tribulations to suit feuilleton and audience, themselves chumming up to tendencies and falling for the stimulation of novelty. To match this, conspiracy theories are circulated about planet X and the moons of Nibiru.
Find an elegant condolence by Sara Benincasa on Medium. It portraits Bowie more fitting as the parton saint of the freaks, the fags, the dykes, the queers, the weirdos of all stripes, and that most dangerous creature of all: the artist. Not to forget the CNN anchor women.
When reporting of Bowie’s death, two of them let their audience know, that they were accompanied by Bowie through the phases of their lives —even though none of them had orange hair or was a strawberry blonde.
1Fanta is one of the few world wide successful product brands by the Coca Cola empire created in Germany. Coca Cola’S branch invented Fanta in Germany, during World War II. A reaction to the feedstocks embargo imposed by the enemy.
The adverts script sucks as much as its execution, but the soundtrack has many listeners and is to the liking of the majority of the German public.
The song’s original is by South African singer songwriter Howard Carpendale. Its category is ‘Schlager’ which is the German version of a pop song dumbed down.
A print ad for Paco Rabanne comes to mind by Ogilvy & Mather.
“And you steal all the covers. What time did you leave?”
“Six-thirty. You looked like a toppled Greek statue lying there. Only some tourist had swiped your fig leaf. I was tempted to wake you up.”
“I miss you already.”
“You’re going to miss something else. Have you looked in the bathroom yet?”
“I took your bottle of Paco Rabanne cologne.”
“What on earth are you going to do with it…give it to a secret lover you’ve got stashed away in San Francisco?”
“I’m going to take some and rub it on my body when I go to bed tonight. And then I’m going to remember every little thing about you…and last night.”
“Do you know what your voice is doing to me?
“You aren’t the only one with imagination. I’ve got to go; they’re calling my flight. I’ll be back Tuesday. Can I bring you anything?”
“My Paco Rabanne. And a fig leaf.”
Hipster music virtuoso Sufjan Stevens has taken much out of the complexity of his early work, which made everyone buy a banjo and increased sales of the forgotten instrument. The new songs remind me of the way Elliott Smith used to sing. Not the singing exactly but how it is dramatised.
Well, my siblings and I were raised like tenants, to be honest. There was a total absence of intimacy in my family, though there was still a great deal of camaraderie among the kids. Things were set up almost like a business, and it had to be managed that way because we were really poor, and there were a lot of mouths to feed. My dad and stepmom never had real, consistent careers. They were just always making ends meet. There were rules and regulations and chores, but very little time for casual enjoyment of each other’s company. I don’t know if that sort of ideological approach to parenting was intentional, but it’s a little ironic that my closest fatherly companion is Lowell, a man who has no blood relation.