Tuesday, May 25, 2010

He's not in the garden. I've looked. (thoughts on Blixa Bargeld)

Photo courtesy of Ali Kebenek. Thanks, Ali Kebenek

BLIXA Bargeld. In the '80s he was young and skinny and had weird hair, and did strange and interesting things with his band, and as guiarist and sometime second-string singer for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Now he is older and podgier and has weird hair and does adverts for German DIY store Hornbach - rather like Paul Weller uttering the phrase "Don't just do it, B&Q it" between Emmerdale and Coronation Street. But yet, still cool. Oh yes, and he's named after a felt tip pen. Fab.

I was first introduced to the wonder of Blixa via the video for The Weeping Song. In itself a rather fab song - "This is The Weeping Song, a song in which to weep..." - Blixa's performance in the video was magnificently overblown. As was his hair. I can't embed the vid here, but here's a link, and below is a live version for those who can't be arsed to cut n paste. It's not as entertaining as the vid, though.

It's a song in which to weep, you know

So, from there, the natural progression was to investigate the works of Einsturzende Neubauten, which on the whole tend towards slightly noisy and scary industrial Krautrock, but also feature some quieter, intriguing and nearly tender moments, such as Sabrina, Blume - recorded in German, English, French and Japanese, each with a different singer - and The Garden, below. All together now, plink, plink, plink...

"You may think that's his narcissism... I'm sure that's his sadness"

Blixa's not just a musician though, you know. He's far more interesting than that. He provided the Mummy's growl in the film The Mummy (and The Mummy Returns, I presume) after a gruelling audition process, and he lives part of the time in Beijing. I think Piney Gir has a song about that, actually...

 Don't spit your gum out on the sidewalk, Blixa, or there will be consequences!

Blixa Bargeld. Crazy name, crazy guy. Gotta love him!