"It makes no difference that the corner presents i…

“It makes no difference that the corner presents itself to me at this moment as a long walk on the open road: at the end of it I shall discover that the earth is round: corners have many shapes.” (J.M. Coetzee)

Yesterday it kind of struck me that I’m surrounded by people who realise the most brilliant and the silliest ideas without hesitation nor bothering much about the work. It’s one of those everyday things that you don’t think about and then suddenly in a calm moment you realise how special it is.

Fanzines are one of those things. You put an immense amount of time and effort into it without knowing if anybody will ever read it. And it doesn’t matter cause it’s about the joy of expressing things and putting something together with likeminded people. I really missed writing and releasing one, and I’m glad Tobi kicked our asses so that one year after the dead of YOT we released #01 of QUITO, a new copy-zine that concentrates on music from the fringes, but also leaves space for anything else in arts, politics, comics, d.i.y. culture, literature our fellow conspirers want to dedicate their writings and drawings to. The first edition for example has articles on travelling to Tallin, Bizz Circuits, Intifada Offspring, and I wrote about Araki’s ‘Doom Generation’ movie. Of course there are also lots of reviews, in this edition we wrote about Gregg Anderson, Arthur Russell, Decider, Wives, Sickboy, BulBul, dDamage, Electronicat, Matt Elliott, Le Charmant Rouge, Loscil, Why? and more. It’s written in german and you can order it from X-Mist and some other places I can’t think of at the moment. And it will be up as .pdf file on www.quitozine.net soon.

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X-Mist also distributes PLUGZINE, a great project that has the subject ‘ex.tensions’ and was made by Herr Mueller, who also made the artwork for my album. There are articles on Annie Sprinkle, biotechnology, and much more. I contributed an article about bootlegs / mash ups as an extension of original music. Some of the texts are in english, some in german. The zine has truly great artwork – collages as well as comic drawings and even stencils – that’s printed on different materials and parts can be folded out. As the subject suggests it is open or unfinished. For example you can download extensions like a video Martin and friends have made for DÄLEK as well as the whole zine as pdf from www.plugzine.net
 
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For Wally, the woman with whom I organised the MEOW party it was clear from the moment we picked the name that we would turn the location into cat’s paradise. So we had scratching posts and cat food cans with pretzel sticks and other yummy feline sweets like these:
chocolate ‘cat’s tongues’

and liquorice ‘cat’s paws’.

Some kitten slides and video loops topped the theme off. It was a nice night though I was totally nervous about playing live, and Wally had to seriously kick my ass to make me do it. 3 Vodka Red Bull and too many cigarettes helped too. Playing was good then, freeing, intense. I hate the moment before starting and I hate the moment after a show. Maybe because playing itself is such a intimate thing and the intenseness of playing and singing totally overpowers the awareness of the audience’s presence. The moment after the show when people applaud and all – it’s like a bad comedown for me, I sometimes feel like hiding, while of course at the same time I enjoy to realize that people had liked my music. And on that night if people didn’t like it they are pretty good liars. DJing was fun too because people were really in the mood for dancing. It wasn’t a hell lot of people, maybe 60something but sure enough to have a good time. I love those moments when you share euphory about a song that touches you with other people.

* _ *

The MITSCHNITT night was great too: Tobi und Holger had had the idea for a mixtape night with 6 DJs playing a one hour set each, and they really managed to lend more than twenty tape decks from friends so guests could record those sets live on 60min tapes. When I got to the Cafe Regina, whose owner they had convinced to host that night, there were already more people standing outside as fitted inside. It was great cause people didn’t leave but it turned into a street party. Robert had cared for the tech side of this night and from behind the dj desk it really looked like a weird scientist’s lab, hundreds of cable connections, and I still wonder how long it took to properly cue all those recordings levels. I played the last our and had decided to dedicate my set to cover versions and rip offs. As some friends didn’t get it live I re-mixed it at home and put an mp3 of it online:

“Mitschnitt mix – eve massacre”
(60 minutes, 192kbps quality, so it’s rather big: 80 mb / rightclick and ‘save as’ to download it)

Here’s the tracklist:

ANDREAS DORAU: Lass uns brennen
It’s a nice rip off of Brian Eno’s “Baby’s On Fire”. I like Dorau for his ability to make sugarcoated trash listenable and for his absurd humor.

AC/3P: Who Made Who
I bet AC/DC is one of the most covered bands ever and AC/3P dedicated a whole electro album to it. There are at least three okayish covers and a nice flash video on it.

DSICO: Trick Me (Kelis)
DSICO THAT NO-TALENT HACK was one of the earliest mash up artists and has made some nice cover versions too, this being one of those. Some others are downloadable from his website, I recommend the “Some Like It Hot” one!

THE AVENGING DISCO GODFATHERS OF SOUL: Lullaby (The Cure)
They are one of those next-step-of-screamo bands that I wish I had had the chance to have seen live. Their albums, though above average, aren’t really that great but it’s as if you could hear their potential crackling from between the songs. This cover version is from the RELEASE THE BATS 7″ trilogy “The Shameless Kiss Of Vanity”, a Cure tribute. Coloured vinyl, limited edition of 525 records, coloured vinyl – you get the clue. ;)

GLASS CANDY: Iko (Cajun Traditional / James Crawford)
I’ve always had this love/hate relationship with this band. One day I find them awesome, the next Ida No’s voice simply gets on my nerves, but I guess the love won cause I own so many records and 7″s by them… well, this is a truly great cover version in my eyes: it frees the tune from its original structure and transforms it into a typical GLASS CANDY song, and still you get this feeling of familiarity that’s so nice about listening to cover versions.

MYSTERY JETS / FUTUREHEADS: Hounds Of Love (Kate Bush)
It’s cool if bands ‘remix/replay’ (don’t know how else to call it) other bands cause it’s so different from a dj’s or producer’s electronic remix. The FUTUREHEADS once did a great ‘remix/replay’ of THE STREETS’ “Fit But You Know It”, that used parts of the original song and mixed it with a FUTUREHEAD style stop&go cover version of the song. So it seems only appropriate that now they get the very same treatment by another band, the MYSTERY JETS, only that here we get even one level more because it’s no original FUTUREHEADS song they abuse but the cover of “Hounds Of Love”. I love what they do to the acapella and how they infiltrate the track with their slightly hippiesque rhythm obsession, that reminded me a bit of old Q And Not U.

EELS: Get Ur Freak On (Missy Elliott)
Let’s hear Mark Everett himself about this: “Just because it’s a hit doesn’t have to mean it’s not a great song — it’s so spooky and exciting. We did our best to rock it and make it our own.”
And they did indeed.

ACUMEN: Birds Fly Whisper To A Scream (Icicle Works)
Released on the ‘Newer Wave’ compilation this simply is one of those nice kitschy pop dance tunes that make me smile.

DAPHNE & CELESTE: School’s Out (Alice Cooper)
Have I just mentioned ‘kitschy pop’? :)

JUNIOR SENIOR feat. KATHLEEN HANNAH: Dance Chance Romance
Yes, definitely. Kitschy pop.

HELEN LOVE: Cardiff City Superstars (The Banana Splits)
I’ve never heard the original “Tralala” song but only a live cover version by the DICKIES, so that in my ears it will stay a DICKIES cover. HELEN LOVE’s bubblegum Ramones punk is simply widegrinning fun and I love her vocals. You should also check out her great “Debbie and Joey” single.

THE BLOOD BROTHERS: Under Pressure (Queen feat. David Bowie)
This is the best cover version made in the last couple of years, especially as it uses such an overplayed tune (yo, thanks, Vanilla). It has pop: It has noise. It is sweet. It is aggressive. It has a smart structure. Perfect.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: Istanbul (Not Constantinopel) (The Four Lads)
They had to be on this mix cause I only lately rediscovered my love for their “Ana Ng” song through MOCHIPET’s combat version.

WILLIS: Word Up (Cameo)
Another case of making an overplayed tune listenable again. It’s taken from the ‘Rewind 4’ compilation that also has that great jazzy blues version of “7 Nation Army” on it.

THE COOLTRANE QUARTET: Should I Stay Or Should I Go (The Clash)
This is closer to the NOUVELLE VAGUE lounge jazz approach but still nice.

AFGHAN WHIGS: True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Duan Dee)
Greg Dulli is one of those few singers who sound like they have sinus problems whose voices got me addicted for years. By the way, I’m always surprised that there are so many people who like post”Gentlemen” AFGHAN WHIGS. You’re so misled! “Gentlemen” was the climax but the later records are unacceptable.

JANE BIRKIN & BRIAN MOLKO: Smile
Yes, Brian Molko is the other sinus problem singer I love.

LAST TOWN CHORUS: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Culture Club)
I think I first heard of LAST TOWN CHORUS from the “Copy, Right?” blog and it was a nice surprise to see that they have put this cover and one of Bowie’s “Modern Love” online on their website. Megan Hickey has a really cool crooner voice.

IRON & WINE: Such Great Heights (The Postal Service)
A folky whispery cover that I’ve already played as last song in the morning hours after a sweaty dance night, it fits so well. I’m glad I didn’t buy the first version of the POSTAL SERVICE album but the second one, the double LP with all those beautiful cover versions on adequately beautiful dark red clear vinyl. No, I’m no collector nerd… noooo.. but who could resist those candy coloured 7″s! *steals away to order the 12x coloured vinyl surprise 7″ series on GLS*

ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS: Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
For his Edgar Allan Poe inspired album ‘The Raven’ LOU REED invited ANTONY to re-interprete “Perfect Day” and it’s a beautifully haunted castrato-voiced version.

I’m not sure how long I will be able to keep this mix online as it’s a rather big file and I don’t have endless bandwidth. So better hurry up.

* _ *

It’s all about that kind of things, of which parents would have said “they don’t pay off” or that they are self-exploitative. To find forms of expression, to work on something with friends – it’s that kind of things that makes life bearable and soothes the restlessness and emptiness that we sense underneath. Big words, uh?

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