samedi 19 septembre 2015

RAINY CITY SOUNDTRACK

Today in the mood of telling my life. Again...



  I never found a job where I could use my "scientific" skills despite all what the nice Sanofi/Novartis/Bayer/whatever propaganda shows us. You know I'm talking about the commercials exposing us those smiling happy people from several multicultural backgrounds wearing white coats or blue ties, all living peacefully in the best of the worlds and all aiming to give Mankind a brigther future. They represent a living nightmare for me, the physical expression of the inhumane capitalist system we're trapped in. As I grew older, all my ideals are facing reality, and somehow I'm starting to bow before the system like everyone before me did.

 But what I always refused, even when I was just a kid who had no idea what anarchy and capitalism really meant, was to be like the lame white trash piece of shit I grew up with. They even hadn't the opportunity to live the slave life of their fathers and to work 45 years in the same factory and to drink cheap wine in order to forget their shitty lives. I had to live within the French Republic most of my life, and you all know french economy is not really that strong anymore. The future for us kids of the old damned streets meant unemployment and misery despite the "Equality of chances" motto every government tell us every fucking day. Lies, lies just fucking lies...

  The only thing that hold some of its promises was school. Since I was 13 I dreamt to leave my shitty country and to get a better life abroad. I never did it. All I did was to go at the university, to learn tons of shit you couldn't even care less about biochemistry, cell receptors, DNA structure and so on. In order to do so I moved from my hometown to the "next big city" when I was 17. The first year there I lived in a project and I was too young to have a day job according to the french law, so I walked a lot in the streets and started to really  understand what the punks said back in the days. This world was insane. Capitalism was insane. I was trapped and had no hope to be more than a consuming slave, this was supposed to be the meaning of my life, just like yours.

  This week I left the day job I had since I opened this shitty blog. I had no choice but to go back to this fucking city I hated so much. Nothing has changed, except people seem even more inhumane in 2015 with their connected devices and their PC hipsterish attitude. Quite naturally I wanted to share with the whole world the records that remember me the most the harsh days I had ages ago. To be more precise, I've listened to some of them only years later but they reflect how I felt back when I left home (this is the main reason why you won't find here any Adolescents, Anti-Flag or Exploited records I listened to death just a few months earlier).


13. Alvin és a mókusok - Jézusnak volt-e szakálla? (1995)


 I already talked about most of the records in this list elsewhere on this blog, and this one makes no exception. To be honest Alvin és a mókusok is one of the bands I respect the most on this damned planet and I heard most of their stuff. But it all started by chance. The French late 90s-mid 00s "culture mafia" encouraged youngsters like me  to consider hip-hop and especially "french rap" as the music of our generation. French rap dealt mostly about smoking weed, lives of barely criminal losers with various african/muslim backgrounds and cops hate. Greeeeeaaaaaaaaat...When I was 17 I was already totally fed up with this bullshit, so I searched more acceptable stuff (and ideas!) in the East. The first band I found was this one and I immediately loved them. Musically speaking Alvin was something really new to me, and the quite lo-fi quality helped me to get even more into their stuff. I didn't understand a word of hungarish, but that didn't bothered me at all, the music spoke for itself. Today like yesterday I still found this record so fucking cool, I can't explain it with better words.


12. Def Leppard - Hysteria (1987)


  This album is a little bit special for me since it remembers my childhood as well as this annus horribilis. In fact I'm pretty sure this has some freudian explanation, like the will to go back to some mental placenta in a depressing time. I knew the days where hair metal ruled the world, I can't help !







11. Smashing Pumkins - Siamese dreams (1993)


  Before I was into punk and into more extreme stuff what bothered me was grunge. Grunge was a word who meant nothing as there never was a grunge wave in France. We had a lot of shitty pop rock with french lyrics but nearly none of them could be considered as grunge or whatever-else-could-had-been-close-enough-to-be-relevant. They were all dicks. The only true marking grunge event was Nirvana playing at "Nulle Part Ailleurs" back in '94. The television rock experts liked to tell the country that real rock was dead back then, but as I was one of those who dreamt of a movement more than of a fashion I started to look for grunge bands, and was disappointed most of the time because I generally found alt-rock in disguise without any impressive sound. Pearl Jam ? Not my thing. Soundgarden ? Not bad, but not so great. Grunge seemed to be just a marketing brand before I found the perfect grunge album with the fuzzy drab guitar sound I always loved. Adolescent music right, but one of the best of this kind.



10. Debil - Die Ärzte (1984)


  I made me only one true friend at the end of my first year in the rainy city and guess what he wasn't even French. He gave me this record after he heard me "sing" some lines from 'Meine Freunde' (on '13') with really bad german grammatics. He thought it could be useful for me to start with "the starter" and that I could finally have a true physical german record to listen to over and over. I started to learn german again with those guys. I discovered deutschpunk with them.  And until today I've never regretted both, so if you ever read this FG, thanks a lot !




09.Aus-Rotten - The System works for them (1994)


  I said about 10.000 times that american punk rock is not really that great and that it has been over-hyped since the Internet came to our houses. But in another hand half of the records that changed my life come from the USA. This one belongs to this category because it's officially the one that made me fall into anarcho-punk. Raw, definitely angry and bitter, the first time I heard the opening song was one of those musical kicks in the ass you remember all your life. Filled with the good old anarchist rethoric I somehow searched for most of my youth, you can't go wrong with this classic.



08. Defiance - No future no hope (1995)


  A few months after Aus-Rotten's masterpiece I discovered another of those american punk rock albums I still consider today really enjoyable. Even more pessimistic but with way more melodies this 90s East Coast gem put the things on simple terms : like the Sex Pistols said there is no future for us, and we have to keep in mind that in the capitalist game we also have no hope for better times. Punk rock ruined my life ? Pretty much.







07. Midnight Oil - Redneck Wonderland (1998)


  During my last year in what we call "lycée" and the rest of the world calls "high school" I started to listen to more agressive bands than the classic rock ones we all know by heart (Cranberries, Oasis, Blur, U2, blablabla). But the record that I listened the most before leaving my hometown was probably this one. The music isn't as complex as their earlier stuff and has somehow a 90s punk rock flavour on some songs, but it's still diverse and well-built. The lyrics are among the most politically aware I've heard (ecology guys, real ecology... plus some forgettable anti-white angst) and Garett's voice is sick as fuck. When it came out, they all talked about that Marilyn Manson dork, but this is way darker than any satanic crap. In the train to Rainy City I took only a few records from the lycée, but I took this one.




06. Normahl - Blumen im Müll (1991)


  For 90s brats like me german punk started with Terrorgruppe or Wizo songs we downloaded as mp3 or bought at the local punk shop near Kaufhaus. But even beginners had to face one day or another the older bands, and my favourite one during those days was Normahl. They managed to fuse the old hard rock sound à la Guns'n'Roses with classical deutschpunk elements. On this record some songs aren't really good, because they sound too volksmusik that's true, but others are fucking killer like 'Drecksau' or 'Keine Ueberdosis Deutschland' and are definitely a must hear for every deutschpunk fan. Using a close formula, I started to listen to death some months later das Untergangskommando, one of the best punk band from Germany, but Normahl will forever be linked with my first days in the rainy city.


05. R.E.M - Automatic for the people (1992)


  I listened from times to times to R.E.M. but this band was never a huge influence for me, just like Björk. Anyway those "old" crytpic, folky and depressed songs resume quite well the general atmosphere of my flat. Sad, grey and resigned... Hopefully I've never been that much into such pop songs, otherwise you would read hisptermusik not richtermusk...







04. AC/DC - Back in black (1981)



  In my early teens AC/DC was my favourite band, so quite naturally I took with me to the rainy city what's one of their best records. Those who grew up with this band know that somewhere there's always a little bit of AC/DC left in our lives.








03. The Offspring- The Offspring (1990)


  Of course back in '98 even the french pop radio played Offspring songs, but not the best ones that's for sure. Once I knew they were pretty fly for whites guys, a friend gave me some of their songs. 'Black ball' and 'Tehran' convinced me that this band used to be pretty good at being a real punk band in their early days and just as I left my hometown, I started to listen a lot to this record, way more than at the lycée. As I rowed the streets alone I started to understand what the early Offspring expressed. After this one came the older 80s hardcore bands from California, but this record is definitely my favourite among all.




02. Sonic Youth - Day dream nation (1988)


  In my late teens I found most of the people stupid (me included sometimes...) and that got me on my nerves. It was then pretty obvious I didn't wanted to listen to dumb music, like the one french radios promoted. Teenage pop-rejection, that's the only way guys. Inevitably I crossed Sonic Youth's path some day and their "no wave" concept sounded somewhat interesting. Back in those days I enjoyed a lot modern art and happened to visit some galleries filled with snobbish and rubbish people. It was funny, from times to times entertaining, but it seemed those arty autists missed most of the time their encounter with the outside world reality.  I always felt the same with Sonic Youth. They were intelligent and had a real artistic approach of rock music for sure, but in the end they were just old white snob new yorkers who happened to play in a band and to know Andy Warhol and Kurt Cobain. Sonic Youth was maybe the smartest band I ever listened to but it was the last one of the kind. Today ? I listen to dumb music with lyrics as "Fuck you all. Fuck off", and I'm totally fine with it.


01. Nirvana - Outsecticide I (1994)


  Which band embodies more than Nirvana teenage angst ? Of course it isn't original at all to talk about them, but I have to face the truth, Nirvana was the perfect soundtrack for uncomfortbale days like the ones I lived. Some days I hate this band...but fact is they still belong to the "great" bands of my early life. As a kid I wore the flanel shirts like Kurt Cobain did, as a teen I had some long hair just like he did and I learned a lot about rock music while listening to Nirvana. I always had the feeling that grunge could have been something much bigger if Cobain didn't blew himself, and we wouldn't had to bear 15 long years of hip-hop supremacy. In those depressing times I faced songs written by someone who had summed up the whole rock history and couldn't face anymore his own neurosis. Fascinating but frustrating. On this unofficial bootleg stands everything I liked with Nirvana. Especially this almost pop touch along with this heavy punk attitude à la Melvins (if I knew who the Melvins were back then, I would have been a huge fan of them I guess) you could find in the underrated Nirvana songs. As a child 'In Utero' had a significative impact on me and ten years later the songs on this compilation had the same effect.



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