Achtung!! Kraftwerk and the Wayward Music Lover

kraftwerk-autobahn-3I’m not sure if it’s the season or what, but new music isn’t really hitting my ear like I’d want it to.  Nothing new has been tickling my fancy.  The new Boards of Canada will be coming out next week and I’m very much anticipating its arrival on my front stoop.  I also ordered Thieves Like Us’ Berlin, Alex, which seems like it should’ve been here a week ago.  Oh well, those crazy cats at Captured Tracks are just up to some more crazy shenanigans I suppose.  And within the next month or two there will be a new album from White Hills AND Medicine.  Not to mention that new Black Sabbath record I’ve been hearing so much about…

but for now, it’s been pretty quiet.

I feel like I have to make an excuse for not posting any new music bits as that’s sort of my thing.  That’s what I do.  That’s why I started this spot in the first place.  But when there’s nothing to report, well there’s nothing to report.  I have gone back and revisited a couple records that I wrote off earlier in the year.  Back in 2012 Mac Demarco put out his album 2.  macdemarco2-Cover_300dpiAt first listen I didn’t know what to think.  Listening to it seemed harmless enough.  Sort of soft rock-ish meets lo fi.  But as I got further into the record I began getting a queasy feeling, like I was in the midst of a pleasant snuff film.  I thought of the clown from It, you know, “We all float down here.”  Harmless enough looking until it smiled and you saw those teeth.  Then the balloon filled with blood pops in your face.  Anyways, I quickly put Mac Demarco aside, even despite great reviews and Captured Tracks pushing the guy like he was the second coming of, well, someone worth arriving twice I suppose.  But then earlier this year I heard Alex Calder’s Time and loved it.  It too had a queasiness to it, but it was more of a Deerhunter queasiness.  It was stoned musings from a drunken Canuck.  Lo fi, but never low quality.  The “recorded in a living room”  vibe only added to the mystique of the rather obliqueness of the songs.  Well since I dug Calder so much I thought I’d revisit his Makeout Videotape pal Mac Demarco.  You know what?  I like 2 now.  It still retains that weird, slightly uncomfortable vibe, but a little of that isn’t a bad thing(unless you’re feeling it walking down a darkened street at 2am in nothing more than your underwear and handmade Austrian clogs).  The more I listened to it the more it revealed a strong pop side.  Songs like “Freaking Out The Neighborhood”, “Ode To Viceroy” and “Robson Girl” remind me of a mildly insane George Harrison that went off his meds and was locked in a studio for the weekend with nothing more than Canadian beer and a carton of smokes.  The song “Cooking Up Something Good” still sorta freaks me out.  What is dad cooking up in the basement that’s so damn good?  And chewing Nicorette gum at midnight doesn’t seem healthy to me.  Anyways, it seems Captured Tracks has yet another one on the roster that I find I can’t resist.  Bastards.

Well, that’s all I have for now.  I’m sure in a week(or less), this constipated music moment will pass with a massive plop and we’ll be ready to roll yet again.  In fact, ever heard of Brilliant Colors?  You will, oh yes you will.  Until then, to get my German mojo flowing, I’ll just keep listening to Autobahn on repeat until I start singing the German National Anthem and lederhosen appear on me as if some Prussian miracle is occuring.


11 Replies to “Achtung!! Kraftwerk and the Wayward Music Lover”

  1. Is there an Autobahn cover version coming maybe?

    My analogue of your Boards of Canada: I’m waiting restlessly for Fuck Buttons. This drought is odd, eh? There’s probably perfectly good awesome new music nearby, but where?


    1. I should check under the bed. That’s usually where everything goes.

      Oh, and I know Franz Ferdinand is usually panned for, something, but I’m quite smitten with them. Have been since 2004. They have a new album coming out in August. One more reason to look forward to the hot, humid Midwest summer.


      1. Good luck! There was nothing in my glove compartment either. Still, it’s a good time to look backwards, with maybe a little attitude of, “Yeah, well, it’s new to me.” I’m going with the two John’s (They Might Be Giants).


  2. I’ve overdosed on electronic music (newer stuff) and Kraftwerk is so calming in comparison. It’s probably time to put the Vicks Vaporub away and turn the strobe light off in here and give in to a weird urge to draw cartoons of Cambodia Highball in lederhosen while I listen to this.


    1. I think that sounds like a fantastic idea. Do share what you come up with; but I’d keep the Vaporub in the mix…just for the hell of it.

      I like electronic music. Love some of it, even. But so much out there is so cold and repetitive. There’s nary a heartbeat to be found amongst the bleeps, blips, and square-waves. Luckily I have Thom Yorke to steer me in the right direction. I’m still enamored with Atoms For Peace. But when I feel lost in this big musical world, Kraftwerk’s Autobahn always cheers me up and makes me want to write a symphony on a 40 year old IBM.

      Is the strobe light for inspiration?


      1. While playing with the flashlight app on my phone, I realized that it doubles as a strobe light.
        All I have to do is close the blinds and the party never stops when I’m at my desk!


  3. I was going to do some Kraftwerk this week too – I’m reading a very, very academic book about them that Mrs 1537 gave me, but they’re a lot more fun to listen to. I find them really funny, but I’m not sure if that’s just me.


    1. No, I definitely find them funny. Trans Europe Express cracks me up every time.

      An academic book about Kraftwerk. That sounds really interesting. Both them and NEU! are fascinating bands and their music was something of an anomaly. Like Miles Davis, they took repetition and turned it into something cathartic.

      I think I need to listen to Tour De France now.


      1. Good I’m glad its not just me. I’ve got a very, very good BBC radio documentary about Kraftwerk somewhere (narrated by Jarvis Cocker from Pulp) which is brilliant, but 50megs, so too big to email unfortunately.


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