What happened to… Bill Pritchard?

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Have you ever heard of the British singer-songwriter Bill Pritchard? No? Neither did I, until I recently came across his name through an obscure 80s playlist on YouTube. The list was rather mediocre, one or the other ear-worm amongst them, but nothing special. The very last song was Bill Pritchard’s ‘Invisible State’. “Wow”, I said to myself, “let’s find out more about this guy”! Read More →

Uchronical Visions

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European Steampunk outfit Victor Sierra just have released their third full-length album with the title Go for the Strange. For this reason I am re-publishing this interview which I did with Commander Bob Eisenstein two years ago (originally published on Polish webzine AlterNation). Find out how this interesting personality would describe the music they make, how he discovered Steampunk and what this idea means to him. Read More →

This Charming Man

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Now that was an awesome weekend in Ljubljana! I met some old friends, drank coffee with my favourite professor from whom I have learned many many interesting things about anthropology of popular music and culture during my studies back then, and attended two amazing concerts. On Friday there was a concert by the highly acclaimed post-punk revival band The Soft Moon and the day after – finally! – I saw the legendary Morrissey live.

Many tried to understand Morrissey, the perhaps most enigmatic personality of our time. Humanoid, yet a specimen on its own, Steven Patrick Morrissey managed to polarise throughout his musical career, since he gained fame as the front-man of The Smiths (1982-87). After several fights with band colleague Johnny Marr The Smiths disbanded in 1987, but Morrissey came immediately back, starting a solo career only eight months after the split-up.

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Hotel Bellevue

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I have had an affinity to climb around construction sites and in empty houses since my childhood years – anything that was forbidden. Something I still like to do. There are already a lot of urban explorers who present their “findings” on their web pages. Recently I have stumbled upon some really nice abandoned places which I wish to show you here.

In summer I spent some time in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. I had lived there for four and a half years and it is still the place I would call “home”. I know the city quite well and this time I wanted to see something I never came across before. And then I heard about an abandoned hotel very close to the city centre: the Hotel Bellevue. Read More →

Goodbye, Viva Zwei

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I don’t know why, but the last night I dreamed about Viva Zwei. 13 years ago the era of the TV-channel faced its closure. With its focus on alternative music and idiosyncratic concepts, Viva Zwei was unique for German – and, supposedly, even international – television. This is a lament to a time, when people with an extraordinary musical taste had the possibility to switch on the TV and find new good music.

January 3rd 2002: I switched on Viva Zwei and became very sad. The reason for that was that only video clips were on display. At the bottom of the screen was a ticker which said that Viva Zwei should be replaced by the new channel Viva Plus within a few days. I have to admit that I – like many other fans of Viva Zwei – still had the hope that Viva Plus would be similar to its antecessor.  Read More →

Stories Around Music

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Founded in 2013, it didn’t take the Argentinian duo Vólkova a long time to become part of the peak in alternative electronic music. Also in Europe they gained foot easily, proven by a successful tour in 2014. In 2015 the duo will have concerts all around Europe again. On the ridge between minimal wave, industrial and electroclash Vólkova are critically acclaimed throughout the continent – which they very well deserve!

Vólkova are Paula Lazzarino (vocals and lyrics) and Cesar Canali (music). During a nice little talk Paula and Cesar revealed some facts of their band’s history, why they have a connection to Slovenia and how they like it in Europe. Read More →

Dead End Culture

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‘Hipster’ has become the ultimate sensibility in popular culture in the first decade of the 2000’s. Searching for a real definition of what a ‘hipster’ is, I soon hit the borders of the Internet. It seems that no subculture before had so many haters as the hipster culture. Why is it that even documentaries by the serious German television channels Arte and ZDF criticize it as a ‘dead end culture’?

Simon Reynolds is a well-known music journalist. Some years ago he published the book Retromania. Pop-Culture’s Addiction to its Own Past, dealing with the retro/nostalgia/vintage syndrome of our time. Douglas Haddow, also journalist, wrote the influential article Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization. Let us hear what the experts have to say about the hipster-phenomenon. Read More →

Extraterrestial Experiences

alienParanormal phenomena connected with extraterrestrial life-forms are spreading for more than a century now. The first writers of science fiction in the late 19th century, like Jules Verne and Herbert George Wells, triggered a wave of memeplexes dealing with life ‘out there’. Memes about aliens manifested themselves strongly in popular culture, “our culture is now full of stories about outer space, spaceships, UFOs, and sinister aliens” [1: 177].

But where do these stories come from and why do we need them? In the field of memetics – the science dealing with cultural entities named “memes” – there allegedly is an explanation. Let us explore this together with CG Jung and Susan Blackmore. Read More →

Skryabin / Скрябін

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A week ago I have been to L’viv, Ukraine, to visit my dear friends, who I did not see for a long time then. When I saw people gathering on the Shevchenko square lighting candles, I thought it had something to do with the war in the east of the country. Only later I found out that the legendary musician Andriy Kuzmenko, founding member and front-man of the band Skryabin, had died on February 2nd in a car accident in Dnipropetrovs’k. Wanting to contribute to the condolences I am going to introduce you to one of the best musical groups of Eastern Europe. Read More →

A Musical Review of 2014

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Almost exactly two years ago this page went online. To be honest, I didn’t know in which direction this whole thing would go, but shortly after it turned out that there IS an interest in what I am writing about. My readership is growing steadily and many musicians are writing to me to introduce and discuss their music. I want to thank you very much for your attention! 🙂

While Central Europe is covered with snow these days I fled the cold and am sitting now at a sunny beach in Bodrum, Turkey. Before enjoying the dolce vita too much I am compiling a musical review of 2014 for you.

For alternative/dark music 2014 was another great year.  Instead of the usual 10 songs I will present you 11 (because I couldn’t decide), which were released in 2014 – in no particular order. Read More →