[Abby’s Road] It’s not your Oma’s Bavaria

abbybeingcool

Well. My journey in the south will soon be over. It’s officially official: in a couple short months my better half, our cat and I will be packing up and heading north. Berlin, we’re coming at you. I must admit that while I adore Munich, I am looking forward to a change of scenery and a more, well, ‘multi-culti’ atmosphere. As this decision was being made I realized that aside from going on about the gigs I’ve hit, I never really talked all that much about the local music scene here as I see it. Maybe I should while I’m still a citizen of this great city. So. Munich.

On the surface, as with many big-ticket tourist destinations, Bavaria, specifically Munich, is a region/city steeped in tradition. Pre-war, post-war, lederhosen and beer, the preconceived notions of an international community based on history’s timeline are about as real as the glossy travel brochures have them appear to be. There is a revered beauty and charm connected to the region that cannot be denied. That said, while many young people visit Oktoberfest annually in full-blown tracht and regalia, Munich is about as rich with progressive musicians and art as a city comes.

There really is no physical nucleus to the “scene” in Munich…one I’ve encountered, anyway. It is really just one giant amalgam of local venues + musicians/fans sprinkled about the city. It’s all pleasantly accessible. And, if you can believe it, it’s pretty radio-centric as well. With online access and specialized streaming tools it had (shamefully) been years since I dialed into an actual station; since my college radio days in the early-90s I guess. It was on holiday visiting my Bavarian in-laws some 5 years ago when I heard a song on the car stereo I assumed was some long-lost Sarah Records gem I missed somehow. Confused, I settled and checked the tracklist from the show and was floored to find that it was Wild Nothing hailing from the VA/Washington, DC area WHERE I WAS LIVING AT THE TIME. Appreciate the irony: I had to come to Munich to hear someone from my backyard. On the radio. Right.

It’s mothership being the Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), PULS Radio successfully caters to younger listeners and those who wish to hear a mindful mix of music running against the mainstream and a good dose of homegrown artists as well. Via their website one can become connected to a veritable cornucopia of music, pop-culture interviews, videos and events with a fingertip. The end of November brings the annual PULS Festival, the biggest indoor radio festival in Europe. Hosted in the classical music soundstages of the BR, it is an international evening of progressive and new live music. This year’s line-up included but was not limited to NYC’s Haerts, Copenhagen’s Reptile Youth and Munich’s own Aloa Input. The best of show this year happened to be a rap artist (!) from Augsburg. I give you Blindspot.

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Quick Update!

Hey friends,

In case you hadn’t noticed, Knox Road has been lacking new posts lately. Don’t worry, it’s not a trend that will continue much longer. However, we have had some busy lives lately which has kept us from really digging our ears into new music. We will be back atcha shortly, with our […]

“The Cure: In Orange”

The-Cure-in-Orange

The-Cure-in-Orange

I first caught a glimpse of a dewigged Robert Smith on a spotty VHS copy of “The Cure: In Orange,” a videotape a friend popped into his VCR and told me, then in 1998 when I first started playing the bass guitar, “man, look at Simon, you need to learn how to play like that.” To see Simon Gallup at that point in the Cure’s history, during the heyday of their reign over the goth-pop worshiping masses in the mid-80s, was a moment I will never forget.  Strumming his bass during a smoke-hazed set that included some of my personal favorite Cure songs, such as  “Push” and “A Forest,” kept me glued to the screen in awe of the grandiose setting, and equally magnificent performance. For me, at that very moment, Simon Gallup playing his bass and wearing all black was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

Continue reading “The Cure: In Orange”