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You can tell a person by the books in his shelf. True, but the same goes for his collection of records. So have a peek into my musical archives 'to learn the man through his records'.
My musical taste was shaped in the late seventies and early eighties. It was the time slot in which punk, new wave and 'Neue Welle' injected the katatonical music scene (disco, symphonic rock, glitter rock: barfffff!) with an outburst of creativity, energy and passion.
As a result my musical taste can be described as being 'far from middle of the road'. The key words are: avant garde, electronical and industrial. Although this doesn't imply that I don't appreciate the more 'traditional' singer-songwriter. Check out for yourself below!
I still listen a lot to music originating from this period and definitely not only for reasons of nostalgia. Contemporary popular music - mainly music made to make money - bores the hell out of me.
My musical gallery has two sections:
* Section 1 is on my all time favourites (including some personal remarks, suggestions for reading and listening and an occasional URL);
* Section 2 is a condensed listing of my other favorite bands and artists.
You can jump directly to one of the bands from Section 1 here:
* Frank Zappa
* The Residents
* Cabaret Voltaire
* Joy Division / New Order
* Comsat Angels
* Peter Hammill
or just jump to Section 2:
* take me to Section 2
|Personal remarks||Needs no further introduction (even my dad is familiar with FZ: his lower jaw nearly fell to the ground as he watched a 1972 documentary wherein FZ operates an industrial vacuum cleaner to suck the titties of one of his girl friends. A hallmark indeed...).|
|Seen performing||Seen FZ in 1983 at the Schüttorf Open Air Festival in Germany, on tour with Ray White ("... the assistant enema bandit") and guitar wizard Steve Vai ("... on guitar and light blue hair"). It was extremely hot that day (30+ degrees Celsius). When FZ came on stage late in the afternoon some girls were titty-dipping in a nearby pond. FZ as he set his band in motion: "Hey you girls at Swine Lake! You let the tits hang out and we'll start the music". To quote FZ: "The modern day composer refuses to die". So: keep up the good work up there, Frank. Dream up some guitar notes that will really irritate all those porky, winged creatures.|
|Suggested listening||(or: the burden to choose from over 50 official albums). Well, to check whether you are in sync with FZ's humor, try 'Joe's Garage Act I,II,III' or 'Sheik Y'rbouti'. If you are 'very much into the sixties', try 'Absolutely Free'. If you think jazz doesn't smell too funny, try 'Uncle meat' or 'The Grand Wazoo'.
* 'The Real Frank Zappa Book'(FZ , cowriter Peter Occhiogrosso; ISBN)
* 'The negative dialectics of poodle play' (Ben Watson; ISNB )
* 'The Frank Zappa Book' (XXX Gray)
|Links||St. Alphonzo's PanCake Breakfast|
|Personal remarks||A mysterious pop combo from right around San Francisco, emerging from the murky depths in 1972 with their classic single 'Santa Dog'. Persistent adepts of the 'theory of obscurity' they have kept their names and identities hidden since then. Rather tricky when performing life on stage, but they have used a vast array of disguises, including their hallmark: eyeballed heads and white tuxedo suits. Their electronical music is weird / haunting / mesmorizing. The lyrics are often dada-istic and humorous.|
|Seen performing||Seen them in 1982 in Utrecht, Holland when they toured Europe wwith their Mole Show. As far as I know, the Residents were one of the first bands (maybe even the very first) to use a sampling machine on a world tour (Emulator).|
|Suggested listening||For the uninitiated: 'Commercial Album' containing 40 songs of exactly one minute (yes, I've checked), an album in 'near pop styling'. If you like that one, then move on to their first two albums ('Meet The Residents','Not Available'). For the really weird stuff, try 'Third Reich and Roll' or 'Duck Stab/Buster&Glen'.
Also check out the achievements of the Residents in the multimedial arts: up till now they have released three multimedia CD-ROMS ('Freak Show', 'The Gingerbread Man' and 'Bad Day at the Motorway')
|Suggested reading||'Meet the Residents'|
|Links||The oficial unofficial Residents site. Nearly every piece of information on the Residents that you might ever want to find out about is here (well, except their real identities, ofcourse).|
|Personal remarks||Sheffieldian pioneers of electronical music and cut-up techniques in the late seventies and early eighties. One of the most remarkable achievements of the Cabs is that they have managed to 'keep in touch' with the recent developments in electronial music (dance, house) without loosing that typical Cabs-sound.|
|Suggested listening||Early works: 'Mix up', 'Red Mecca'. More recent works: 'Western Reworks',...|
|Suggested reading||Sorry, don't know of any books on the Cabs.|
|Personal remarks||Just feeling okay? Even in a cheerful mood? What? - feeling 'on top of the world'? Fine for you and in the mean time - please keep away from any Joy Divison record.
Joy Divison=Ian Curtis. New Order (=Joy Division-Ian Curtis): in the early stages a band desparately struggling to shake of the ghost of Ian Curtis, later on a band finally having succeeded in creating their own musical identity and idiom and in the process - i'm sorry to say - having lost me completely.
|Seen performing||Nope (no way of catching up on this one, is there)|
|Suggested listening||Just check out all three official releases of Joy Division: 'Unknown Pleasures', 'Closer' and 'Still'. There are some excellent compilation albums, including single releases. As for New Order: check out ...|
|Suggested reading||Read 'Looking from a distance' by the widowe of Ian Curtis. An honest and down-to-earth description of her years with Ian. No false sentiments there.|
|Links||Joy Division Shadowplay|
|Personal remarks||One of the best songwriters of the last decade. Every single song of the Moz renders a quote.|
|Seen performing||Not yet|
|Suggested listening||All of them.|
Lyrics of most Smiths songs
Lyrics of most Morrissey songs
|Seen performing||No (a pity ...)|
|Suggested listening||'Waiting For A Miracle' and 'Fiction' will give you a good idea of what CA were capable of musically. 'Sleep No More' for a starter might be a bit too gloomy.|
|Suggested reading||None that I know of|
The Sleep No More website
Lyrics of quite a few Comsat Angels songs
|Personal remarks||The first PH album i've listened to was 'Sitting Targets'. Being into 'industrial and electronical' music at the time my mind was just not focused on such 'poppy' music. Later on i got to hear 'A Black Box' (Mmm. Maybe he's not so 'poppy' after all) and was dragged along by some of my fellow students to his 1984 concert in Carré. Witnessing such a charismatic performer XXX. Since then i have systematically explored his oeuvre.
A good piece of advice to uninitiated listeners: i've experienced that PH's music - and lyrics (!) - needs a focusing of mind and attention. Very definitely not 'easy-listening' music.
* Carré Amsterdam (1984). Must have been one of his finest performances. After doing some three to four songs solo (on guitar and piano) he was gradually joined by other members of his band (XXX). The apotheosis of the concert was the rendition of the full 25 minutes of 'Flight' (PH: "Sorry, but no encores after this one").
* Agora Vrijhof (Enschede, 1988). Solo performance
* Tivoli Utrecht (1996)
|Suggested reading||PH has published the lyrics of his songs ... XXX|
|Links||SofaSound: official PH-site|