Bad Religion live in Stuttgart

Seit ich als Teenager anfing, mich für Musik zu begeistern, fürchtete ich Aussagen von Bands im Sinne von “auf dem neuen Album klingen wir erwachsener”. Denn das war stets das Signal für einen (teilweise starken) Qualitätsabfall. Mehr noch, ich wollte (und konnte) mir gar nicht richtig vorstellen, dass die ganzen guten Bands, die es gab, mal erwachsen bzw. einfach alt werden würden.

Obgleich der Punk tot war, reiften Bad Religion im Laufe der Zeit, mal besser, mal schlechter. Insgesamt schaffte es die Band jedenfalls von der 80er-Kult-Combo zu 90er-Stars zu werden und danach – trotz einiger schwächerer Alben – authentisch zu bleiben. Den Vorwurf, immer wieder das gleiche Lied zu schreiben, bekam die Gruppe schon früh in ihrer Karriere zu hören. Das war ihr freilich egal.

Der Reife-, sprich Alterungsprozess war am Montag Abend auch im Publikum zu sehen. Im ausverkauften Longhorn tummelten sich eher ältere Semester und nur ganz vereinzelt gefärbte Haare und Irokesenschnitte. Bestand etwa die Gefahr der Altersmilde? Das unangekündigte, eher unharmonische Vorprogramm (The Rattlesnakes) verzögerte den Auftritt der Hauptband, doch als es kurz nach 21 Uhr schließlich mit “Crisis Time” losging, sprang die Stimmung ruckartig von abwartend relaxed auf begeistert tobend um. Und damit nicht genug. Bei “Stranger Than Fiction” zeigte sich, dass die Alben aus den 90er-Jahren offenbar zu den beliebtesten gehörten. Neben erwartbaren Klassikern wurden immer wieder großartiger Überraschungen eingestreut, meine persönlichen Highlights waren dabei “Skyscraper” (!), “Dearly Beloved” und “Against the Grain”. Gut, letzteres war vielleicht auch deshalb herausragend, weil es eine klitzekleine Verschnaufpause bot. Denn Sauerstoff war schon bald Mangelware in der Halle. Wie sollte es auch anders sein, wenn die komplette Menge von der Bühne bis zum Mischpult bei “21st Century (Digital Boy)” in Bewegung war? Die während des Auftritts konsumierten Getränke wurden umgehend in Schweiß verwandelt. Nicht hygienisch, aber großartig!

Greg Graffin verstand es, die insgesamt eher knappen Ansagen herrlich lakonisch rüberzubringen. Beispielsweise hätte die Band schon immer über soziale Ungleichheiten gesungen, wobei sie am Anfang in den untersten 10 Prozent gewesen seien und nun eben – Augenzwinkern – in den obersten. “Sinister Rouge” war toll, “Generator” sowieso. “Punk Rock Song” läutete den Zugabenblock ein, der mit “American Jesus” (“see him on the Autobahn”) bestens beschlossen wurde. Ziemlich genau 90 Minuten lang dauerte das Dauerfeuer aus flotten Punksongs – und für arg viel mehr hätte die Kondition (oder zumindest der Sauerstoff) vermutlich auch kaum gereicht. Fest stand auf alle Fälle, dass Bad Religion auch anno 2016 frei von Ermüdungserscheinungen das machen, was sie am besten können: drei Akkorde in musikalische Begeisterung und akustische Energie verwandeln.

Bad Religion live in Stuttgart - pic by Jutze

  1. Crisis Time
  2. Supersonic
  3. Prove It
  4. Can’t Stop It
  5. Stranger Than Fiction
  6. I Want to Conquer the World
  7. Only Rain
  8. New America
  9. Skyscraper
  10. Modern Man
  11. Turn on the Light
  12. Anesthesia
  13. Flat Earth Society
  14. Against the Grain
  15. God Song
  16. 21st Century (Digital Boy)
  17. Fuck You
  18. Dearly Beloved
  19. Suffer
  20. Recipe for Hate
  21. Come Join Us
  22. Fuck Armageddon… This Is Hell
  23. Los Angeles Is Burning
  24. Do What You Want
  25. Overture
  26. Sinister Rouge
  27. Generator
  28. You
  29. Sorrow
  30. Punk Rock Song
  31. Infected
  32. American Jesus

Jutze 52 #2 – Black Skirt Girl

This is a jolly punk rock song, nothing more, nothing less. The video contains further trivia (no black skirts, though – sorry).

#2 Black Skirt Girl

I saw you at the basement show
On a Saturday night two months ago
And now I’m surprised to meet you again
In this record shop I visit every now and then
And I think I should warn you
‘Cause the record you hold in your beautiful hands is crap

Then suddenly you look up at me
Saying this one sucks, pointing at the CD
And you say you’re surprised to see me again
In this record shop in which your romance with rock once began
And you give me a smile, yeah
And I give you a smile in return and I say “Rock on!”

(words and music by Johannes Schult 2015 Creative Commons by-nc 4.0)

Jutze 52 #46 – NaNoWriMo Lament 2

This song is the second song about NaNoWriMo. For those who aren’t familiar with the idea: the goal is to write a novel consisting of at least 50,000 words in 30 days (that is, in November). It’s utter madness. You learn a lot about your work ethics. You learn how it feels to suck. You bond with strangers who have also accepted the challenge. And you get emails with pep talk from folks like John Green, Dave Eggers, and Lemony Snicket.

I wrote this song on acoustic guitar, combining an old lyrical idea with my present NaNoWriMo situation. Thankfully, my word count has exceeded 9010 by now. I did take a screenshot from 9010, though, in case I’ll find time to make a video. While figuring out the beat I realized that I could turn the whole thing into a punk song. I programmed the drums only to find that I had miscalculated the tempo. By now I’m used to it, but at first it sounded terribly fast to me. There’s one bass track (programmed), two guitar tracks, and three vocal tracks.

Update six days later: video!

#46 NaNoWriMo Lament 2

This ain’t the song I wrote in Bremen
This ain’t the song I wrote in Mannheim
This song won’t explain the brain to laymen
This ain’t the song that will blow your mind
But come December I will save the world again
Turn water into wine and enemies into friends
But right now my word count is still at 9010

This ain’t the song I wrote in Cambridge
This ain’t the song that I wrote in the bathroom
This ain’t the song that is going to make me rich
This ain’t the song that makes your heart go boom
But come December I will save the world again
Turn water into wine and enemies into friends
But right now my word count is still at 9010

(words and music by Johannes Schult)

On the Ending of John Green’s young adult novel “Paper Towns”

Some time ago I made a song/video about me not having the novel “Paper Towns”. It actually won me a copy of the book signed by its author John Green. That made me very happy! I started reading it last week. That was a mistake, because only a few pages into the story I was hooked. But I had to work. And to eat. And to sleep. Still, I finished it before the weekend and wanted to write couple of things about it ever since.

  1. The book is good! John Green writes for young adults, so technically I’m not a member of the target group. And I must say that his first two books (“Looking for Alaska” and “An Abundance of Katherines”) were very enjoyable, but not, like, a must-buy for each and everyone. But this time around, well, “Paper Towns” is still not a must-buy; but I totally recommend it to anyone looking for, well, a young adult novel that is original in its conception, excellent in its execution, and very enjoyable in its language. Here’s just a couple of (not necessarily representative) quotes to give you an idea:
    • Nothing is as boring as other people’s dreams. (p. 86)
    • Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start. (p. 183)
    • As much as life can suck, it always beats the alternative. (p. 287)

    Anyway, let me reiterate: it’s a good book. Buy it. Read it.

  2. This part contains major spoilers, so read on at our own risk. I enjoyed reading the book and was sad to see it end. The last few pages managed to give the plot a satisfying conclusion. Almost. I was left wondering, how it actually ended. Do they get together? Or is the last scene more of an afterthought that’s to vanish as soon as the sun comes up again? Ultimately, I can live with this ambiguity. I can live with it, because I figured that I can’t relate to Q. I mean, he’s the narrator and I like him more than some other of the other characters. Still, when he finally finds Margo, he comes up with his idea about the vessel and about the future. And I find it not very convincing. Sure, a big lesson at the end wouldn’t have the suited the story. Neither would have an overly romantic happy ending. I just wanted to remark that I preferred the little chunks of wisdom throughout the book. The ending was quite charming, but it didn’t add anything to what I got out of the story. But then again, I’m not the target audience and I still recommend you read “Paper Towns”.

Today’s music recommendation goes out to everybody who enjoys the mainstream kind of melodic punk rock. “The Days that Follow…” by Multiball (Vampster-Review) is a strong album that could totally be in the charts. The vocals are rather clean and melodic, the music itself rather powerful than catchy. It’s not the most original album; yet it sound rather fresh compared to many successful pop punk albums out there.