Category: Opinion

Living too late (the death of Mark E. Smith)

The artists who defined my youth all die at a frightening pace. It almost feels like routine. Soon my youth will be erased. Soon I will look at the musical landscape and feel nothing. No joy, no hate, no melancholy, no nausea. Losing my youth also means losing originality, chaos, excitement and unpredictability. What’s the…


You want it darker? (the end of 2017)

Towards the end of 2016 I was in shock. Not about Brexit, Trump’s election or right- and left-wing cultural wars that dominated the news cycle. Not even about the failure to systematically report on the one real problem facing humanity; climate change. No, Leonard Cohen’s death in November 2016 made a bad year truly horrible….


This one goes out to the one I love to hate

I’m not starting a political blog, but with the days of contemplation approaching, I dare you to think about the following: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” (Isaac…


Rock ‘n roll suicide II

You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it (Bowie, Rock ‘n Roll suicide) Far more musicians die from natural causes. Far more musicians die from heart attacks and cancer. Far more musicians die from substance abuse. Even knowing that, there is an almost natural bond between suicide and artistry. It is because…


We’re a happy family

Sitting here in Queens Eating refried beans We’re in all the magazines Gulpin’ down thorazines In April 2001 Joey Ramone died from Lymphoma, not even 50 years old. Five years earlier The Ramones had stopped playing together, but even though that formally ended one of the most influential (punk) rock families, Dee Dee Ramone couldn’t…


Kraftwerk = love

They misguided us all. Me and so many other people, we all thought Kraftwerk stood for nerdy, cold and mathematic music. We never truly appreciated the romantic appeal of highway, trains, computers and other pieces of technology. They fooled us at concerts, at least the ones in this millennium; 99% of the audience consisted of…


Punk ended with Spiral Scratch

  Punk ended on the 29th of January 1977. On that day Buzzcocks released their Spiral Scratch EP. Singer Howard Devoto left the band more or less at the same time, stating that punk rock had already become restrictive and stereotyped. Why did Punk end with Spiral Scratch? Because it was the first punk record…


Black metal guitar player wearing a New Order shirt

Sentimentalism is the defining characteristic of age. As I arrive for a Deafheaven concert I cannot help wandering back to my teenage years. Cultural groups had much sharper boundaries and it was so much easier to see who belonged to which group. Punks wore leather jackets with nihilistic slogans. They had spiky hair in all…


Girly Music

As you grow older your lens gets softer. You gradually begin to appreciate the unimaginable. As a teenager I hated bands like U2 and Simple Minds for their extreme pathos and their appeal to girls. Now I know and accept both bands created some pretty fine music. I even have no problem anymore admitting ‘Don’t…


Magical Mysteries

Life is a collection of wonderful stories. Without stories there wouldn’t be much more than soulless matter. It’s the glue that connects us. One of my favourite musical stories is the one about the night Charlie Parker performed for Igor Stravinsky. The story has many magical layers. The most obvious one is that both men,…


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