I pilfered these videos from Graham Harman‘s blog. Graham is right, this is the best totalitarian pop song to emerge from an evil dictatorship.
I love both versions, but this second one opens up a Soviet sized nostalgia zone in my head. Even though I’ve never heard this song before, it contains all of the elements that I remember from my Communist childhood. The marching/military tempo, the upbeat/downbeat choral arrangements, it’s all there. All the notes this songs hits are familiar and mysterious at the same time.
It’s as if this material exists in a deep well somewhere in my soul; the building blocks jumbled up and suppressed deep within, only to occasionally manifest when I stumble on a YouTube memory. The best totalitarian pop song is already inside of me, aching to make itself known.
Dan Wieken‘s metal band, Blood Folke (pictured above), played at the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis last night. Their epic folky doom-laden sound was the perfect antidote to the madness known as St. Patrick’s day.
The Night (pictured below) opened. I feel bad for opening bands I draw. The drawings I make of them tend be my warm ups… and result in a couple of awkward images.
The La Mano Second Annual Report: Several local artists & cartoonists joined forces with a few great local bands. The result was pretty great and a lot of fun. My favorite part of the evening was the performance by Arctic Universe. It was a minimalist performance. In the darkness of the concert space, among shimmering cold-approaching-absolute-zero wave industrial synth-pop, a three-walled structure was erected, slowly methodically, deliberately… a flawed and flimsy shelter to protect against the immeasureable immensity of an unfeeling arctic universe. I kept imagining the performance as if it was drawn by Yuichi Yokoyama… it seemed strangely appropriate, in the best posible way.
The event also saw the debut of a new book from my publishing ‘label’ Uncivilized Books: The Petrified Catalogue by Dan Wieken. The book is now available for sale on the UB site. I think it turned out pretty great (if I do say so myself) mostly due to Dan’s amazing, macabre and hyper detailed drawings. Check it out. I will do a more detailed write-up about it in my next post.
Every other Saturday, at a small bar named Dusty’s, in Northeast Minneapolis, Bill Patten and his posse perform a variety of songs. His musical tastes are eclectic, but impeccable. Watch especially for the Dick Dale meets Ennio Moricone mashup which frequently ends the night. No matter what mood I’m in when I get there, I always leave with a big smile on my face.
Every now and then I like to imagine a counterfactual pop-music history. In the 50s & 60s, instead of plonking on guitars, aspiring pop musicians stocked up on wires, transistors & vacuum tubes. The basements and garages of their parents suburban homes became audio research laboratories exploring the musical potential of electricity, electro-magnetism and other still undiscovered forces of nature. In that world Ursula Bogner would have been a star.