Thursday, July 27, 2006

Another Papa Greg debacle.

Here's another overwritten music review I wrote for my friend Chris' blog.

Some dork is going to yell at me for getting everything wrong, but I don’t care, goddamit. I am Papa Greg and I am alive and there’s nothing you Nibelungs can do to stop me.

So, my review: Neu! That’s the band, exclamation point and all. And their first album is called Neu! So, Neu! by Neu!

But first, Neu! The band.

In the late sixties Dusseldorf hatched Kraftwerk, a band run by two anal retentive jerks with a well documented history of treating other band members like shit. (And somewhere some Kraftwerk dork is probably spitting muesli through his nose all over his biking shorts. Hey, man. Read the book.)

In 1971, two Kraftwerkers got fed up, and splintered off and proceeded to rock the fuck out under the name Neu! No more Teutonic Stockhausen malarkey for Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger. These guys wanted to jam it on the one like James Brown.

“Neu!” the album is the sound of what happen when speed freaks from German find a locked groove and do it to death. Proceeding to the tracks:


This song is ONLY ONE GODDAMN CHORD FOR TEN MINUTES over a obsessive 4/4 pulse. But this chord, this chord is special. This chord is fwacka-fwacka-fwacka'd up and down like taffy. And not the cheap shitty grocery store taffy, but the good kind you buy from little shrunken apple Port-o-gee men down at the Shore. Only you're not an apple-cheeked New England tyke in Madras boardshorts, you are a haggard German speed freak in a beige linen suit, with pale blue saucer eyes and a TottenKopf bone structure.

Anyway, this is a funky stone cold jam, with the emphasis on Cold. Cold as chrome. Cold as the Bavarian wind rushing in to the crumpled frame of the old Citreon you just abandoned wrapped around a birch, but you are so spun you've decided to walk to Dusseldorf, which is 35 KM away. That doesn't matter though, because Hallogallo is karoming through your frying skull, giving you the counterpoint to face down the asphalt until you reach the outer city ring.

Cold as Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”. But funkier.

I have a list somewhere, a list of ten women I would want to watch wiggle and jive to Hallogallo. The first would be a girl I saw dance at a party once in college. She wiggled and shimmied to a song I can’t remember, a willowy girl with brown arms and a beatific face. Her face is important here, because it was so simple and beautiful. Her features were like typography, dark and even. Jesus, A la recherche du temps perdu anyone?

Anyway, you will dance like a spring on jello. The crippled will walk and the unsighted see. The lamb will lay down with the lion and your lumbago will be transformed into a rhumba.

After the pulse of Hallogallo things switch over into more ambient domains. “Sonderangebot”, “Weissensee", “Im Glück" glide by, parading different textures, occasionally getting tense then releasing into quiet pulses.

Then everything gets all fucking crazy again. “Negativland” drifts on a rumble of ambient noise, Dinner plates, crowd noises, metal scrapes that expand into a proto-death metal guitar, something Kerry King might do in the middle of a Slayer track. The 4/4 from “Hallogallo” comes, only this time, you’re not in a disco, you’re in garbage truck.

The whole ends with the perverse “Lieber Honig” (translates into something like “Honey Darling”). A voice that sounds like it belongs to the guy you found fully clothed in tub in the upstairs bathroom, hours after you thought everyone left the party. This guy, he singing a song, to somebody who’s not there and his eyes are fluttering. Other than a radio in the other room, the rest of the house is quiet. The album crashes. So do you.

Buy it.

Stay Golden. I’m proud of you all.

Papa Greg

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Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Papa Greg. You've inspired some downloading. :)

5:07 AM  
Blogger Greg Mills said...

Um, stick to Hallogallo. It's some beautiful music. The rest of it can be... difficult.

10:14 AM  

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