The days of Berlin being a city of hygiene-challenged semi-squatters looking for an abandoned building to turn into a bonfire and/or circus expired this decade: there’s no more Eimer to spend an evening of industrial metal and gasoline fumes at; I recently spotted a Rolls Royce down the street from its old, now torn down, location and marveled that a half-decade ago odds are it would have been torched with a crowd of crusties dancing around its carcass in ritualistic ecstasy.
Good times! Nowadays, when the kids in Berlin want to pleasure themselves, they turn to such revolutionary actors as Smirnoff and Vice Magazine. We’ve come a long way, baby. “Up against the wall, motherfuckers!” has morphed into “Which ad agency can we get to sponsor this?”
Not that one should complain: if corporations now dictate the limits of oppositional culture, at least we can be sure comfortable knowing that the EXBERLINER Trabi is probably safe from being torched – at least until May 1. Besides, those cranky, old post-punks, Anarchists and barricade broachers are still around: in fact, they’re been proudly mainstreamed, which explains Einstürzende Neubauten’s BLIXA BARGELD is taking a break from hawking pliers to give a reading of Nick Cave’s recent novel. How much city government money went into getting this to happen? It makes vodka company sponsorship look rather radical.
Dancerock was invented to reject politics while regaling in its trappings, and this weekend is filled with the sort of ersatz glamour and shiny baubles used to distract us from the drudgery of our lives – at least to the extent that the sparkle isn’t obscured by volcanic ash. One of the early reclaimers of the Italodisco that would fasten the genre’s foundation was DOMINIQUE KEEGAN, whose brief run with the small and relatively unpretentious Plant Bar in Manhattan’s East Village was used as a launch for his band THE GLASS, which, after an initial lumping in with the long-defunct New Brooklyn Rock scene of the turn-of-the-century has just sort of quietly kept on keeping on.
Other acts on what was supposed to be a rather substantial Coop night have been ashed out of coming, so caveat emptor: is it possible it possible to sue a volcano? I guess if that were the case, the Church of Scientology would have already done so. Or at least offered sponsorship.