“Celebrate the irony” – Stop.Spot! Festival, Daniel Higgs tonight

” Let’s dance to Joy Division and celebrate the irony,
Everything is going wrong but we’re so happy.”
The Wombats

I had a nice last weekend. Elektronisch Rocken was fun, I danced more than on the last twenty parties I had been to and was still a bit hungover when I got on the train to Linz on the next afternoon. I listened to the last Harry Potter audiobook for hours while letting my eyes rest on the landscape flashing by outside. It feels so good to drift off into some other dimension for a while like this.
For the misanthrope in me it was nice to find a new stereotype of human beings to hate: the intellectual looking ca. 50 years old woman solving Sudoku games with a passion and sometimes looking around herself with an half hippie / half dumb christian holier-than-thou look of ‘I tolerate everything in this world.’ Thanks, I don’t want to be tolerated. Had one of those in my compartment in both directions.
In Linz I walked to the venue. It wasn’t too far and I felt like seeing at least a little bit of the town. The OK turned out to be a huge arts centre and the Stop.Spot festival took place on the second floor. There were two rooms with installations and two show rooms and a spacious bar room with the dj desk I was to enter late in the night and a chill room. It was good to hang out with the Linz posse again, Andi and Judith (thanks for giving me such a nice accomodation), Washer and Doris and Cherry Sunkist, and of course Anatol, whom I’ve known the longest of them all but sadly didn’t have much time to talk to as he was one of the promoters and was pretty busy. I didn’t watch all the acts, that would have been too much.

Sadly I wasn’t able to watch Daniel Higgs of Lungfish fame as the room was so crowded and hot when he played that I couldn’t even get in far enough to see him. Tonight he’ll play at the K4 and I’m pretty excited about it.

The first act I watched was a project with Washer called Guy Bored. It was improvised noisy electronics with harsh broken beats and cool Korg synth action. There was a part that had a sample of a kid’s voice reciting from ‘The Society Of Spectacle‘, that was a cool idea too. (BTW if you feel like reading it and think buying it would be against the idea of Situationism or whatever, you can read it online here.)
Guy Bored was the only act I took pictures of as later I was too lazy. Here you go:

Then I watched Allroh who first really caught my breath with a noisy guitar attack and her intense vocals. Imagine a mixture of Marnie Stern and Get Hustle impersonated in a Sissy ‘Carrie’ Spacek presence that keeps you in a tension as if at any moment a bucket of blood could crash down. Sadly a few songs later it drifted towards what reminded me of esoteric folk. But she is definitely an exceptional musician.

“Elfen-Lidell”, “Pixie-Lidell” is what someone used to describe Midaircondo and it hit the nail with their first song: Two elf-like young girls sitting on chairs, samplers on their lap and beatboxing and singing and giggling and sampling their voices backwards and cut up and into weird delays. An awesome first track that had enough self-distancing irony to keep me from putting them into some artsycutesy drawer. The following songs sadly didn’t keep that up. They have my respect for doing what they do rather perfectly (despite the visuals) and for integrating so many instruments and devices, from saxophon to laptop, from melodica to sampler … well, maybe there were some parts that were too triphop/lounge jazzy for my taste (listen to “Sorry” on their profile to get what I mean). If they had kept that self-ironic feel up it might have been great.

The last band I watched was Shit And Shine, a project of Craig Clouse (Todd, Hammerhead (AmRep)): their concept is playing one riff and one beat with several drummers (in this case three drummers, including Valina’s and Bulbul’s) in a mindblasting loudness and intensity for 35 minutes or until someone turns the electricity off. Well, it was intense. I liked it for ten or fifteen minutes. Then I was too exhausted.
It was pretty hot everywhere and the air was close and sticky and it was late and I was tired when I started my dj and live set parallel to there show. I was glad that some people started dancing and then even more and that woke me up for sure. We kept it going till half past five in the morning.

Crossreading my review I’m afraid it sounds a bit too negative. I guess sometimes it’s just easier to depict the points you don’t like about something. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing those acts and must say I found each of them pretty inspiring. They hit a spot. Each of them.

What also got stuck on my mind: I read an article in the KAPUzine about taking over an advertising pillar by building a huge wooden wall around it and putting up posters of open culture events on it. The press was informed and invited. I don’t know though what the results were. It has reminded me of how pathetically unresistant we let it happen in Nuremberg that non-profit promoters (who don’t have the money to pay huge sums to Stadtreklame or CBF) have no place left to advertise for their shows, parties and other events in public. One step more on the way to disencourage people from doing things themselves, from being an active part of their culture.

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