If you’re looking for something to spice up your CD/MP3 collection and you’re a wee bit bored now with Keane, Coldplay and Embrace then I recommend you take a look across the channel to Germany. Since the early 90’s there’s been a stream of quality rock n’ roll and pop coming out of the likes of DÃ¼sseldorf and Berlin and not all of it in native German.
My Kraut Pop Guide consists of a growing list of album (and the occasional live) reviews. Right here.
I also have the occasional podcast with some brief tasters. They are listed below. Alternatively you can put this RSS feed into your favourite podcast software.
Here’s the obligatory patronising FAQ that treats you like a 5-year old:
Q. Isn’t Kraut a rather derogatory term to be using about our German cousins?
A. Sort of. I’m gonna squirm my way out of this one I know but in my experience the word Kraut has, for the younger German generation, lost much of the baggage it once carried. I would still be very careful about using the term with elderly Germans but these days sausage-side you’re more than likely to pick up a copy of anything from Bild to the FAZ and find some funky dude using the term in some self-deprecatory post-ironic way to describe the German people . . . which admittedly is usually exactly the point at which a particular phrase becomes too smart for its own good and disappears into oblivion or Radio 1.
Update 4/4/07: For the opinion of a German, please see Christiane’s post here.
Q. Your so-called guide omits Guildo Horn’s first ever single recorded as a 6-yr old child with the Oberhausen school for girls (Guildo was assumed to be a girl until he was 9 years old) and furthermore you have nothing by Wolfgang Petry.
A. It’s my guide so like it or lump it and I’m sorry but Wolfgang isn’t getting a look in. I’ll try and add more when I get the time.
Q. Hmmm. Doesn’t that just mean you’ll pick popular and rock-type music to review?
A. Mostly popular but I’m open to anything. Feel free to recommend anything to me (or indeed why not e-Mail me some legally-acquired, ripped-at-high-bit-rate-preferably-WAV-format tracks?) the only criteria is that it’s of German origin (English or German lyrics) and isn’t Wolfgang Petry. And remember “A Critic is a bunch of biases held loosely together by a sense of taste.” Witney Balliet.
Q. I don’t speak German. Will you translate the songs for me?
A. I’m no great scholar of German either but I will be translating the lyrics at some point. I started doing this but realised within 5 minutes that it’s a real black art and incredibly difficult. Check back soon never (it’s way too much work).