The Martin Rev setup
Synth-punk-rock-performance-art-legends SUICIDE played Copenhagen this Friday.
Performing at the Danish National Gallery (courtesy of glorious Art Freq) I was there with my camera and have uploaded a few lucky shots.
The sound was a bit murky from where I was standing, but definitely LOUD and I'll agree that musically this was perhaps not one of the duo's peak performances, but I had the pleasant memory of seeing them play at the Roskilde Festival in 2003 in a much larger room (tent actually) which improved the aural experience a great deal.
As a nostalgia, and sort of "lifetime achievement-" event it was unsurpassed.
Suicide belong to the few who have created something unique in music, and one of the VERY few (only?) acts who have created electronic music with the same raw edge and driving rhythm you find in rock. You sometimes get the feeling that all electronic musicians wants to be the next Mozart, and never the next Chuck Berry... but not so for Messrs. Vega & Rev - they came to caress behinds with the army boot sole. On top of that, there is something very joyful about two gentlemen aged seventy plus still being creative, menacing and crazy. Martin Rev must be the scariest looking septuagenarian not in a holding facility.
As usual, Alan Vega got slagged (by the reviewers) for, well... being Alan Vega.
These days the criticism directed at him is not about his screaming into the microphone (people do that all the time to pass their art-school exams) or for swinging a motorcycle chain on stage (teenage girls do that all the time in schoolyards to mark their territories), no - he was:
"messing up his lyrics and needed help with his sheets of text..."
You've got to hand it to Vega: Forty years ago he pissed off even the Pope of Beat: Allen Ginsberg, by playing in a band called Suicide (too offensive a name for the author of HOWL...), ten years later Suicide alienated the punk generation by using synths instead of guitars (this coming from a group of people who hated guitar solos...) and now reviewers, who were just being born when the duo's first album came out, can be provoked, soured, disappointed, because he,
FORGOT HIS LINES...
In my recollection of the punk scene, you were lucky if the announced bands turned up and were capable of entering the stage (and didn't begin demolishing it) so it's just tooooo baaaaad these condescending concert consumers couldn't have Alan Vega returned to the store where he was bought and replaced with a fresh copy.
In my view: A primo night, it's good to see trail blazing pioneers get the credit they deserve, even if you wondered if they wouldn't have been more comfortable playing in an abandoned XXX-movie theater instead of a state-sponsored art museum.
Walking home alone in the streets of Copenhagen after the show was the perfect way for me to celebrate it. The magic in your head. The ringing in your ears. Descending from the high (no, I gave up drugs years ago... I was high on LIFE man!)
Too bad it didn't snow.
(it always snowed back in the eighties, even during summer...and by "snow" I mean those tiny frozen water thingies floating in air)
Sturmgeschütz III, Ausf F8
A companion photo to the one shown last week.
A very beat-up StuG, either waiting for repairs or maybe "cannibalized" for useful parts by the unit's workshop company and then left for later transport to one of the refurbishing plants far behind the front lines or back in Germany. If this was not possible, the panzer would be blown up to avoid any future use by the enemy.