Nate Wagner

Nate Wagner

Comments

to paraphrase one of the impeccably-constituted avatars commenting above, "if a [song]writer is good enough, their work shouldn't need a thick, sloppy coating of sanctimonious quasi-spiritual claptrap to explain its importance."
and yet, sadly, a few fools managed to slip into their replies :P
having both played and frequently attended Trans-Pecos, i would be gobsmacked if you could fit any more than ~250 in the live room (fire code is probably officially well below that). but i don't have any concrete numbers. and to concur with u further – spreading out a single night's draw across a month of Mondays or w/e is a fatuous suggestion. 4x the labor & 4x the wait for a single night's earnings at an appropriately-sized venue. and while it's a cute thing to do a lil residency like that if you are local to the town like the other act being referred to, nobody on tour could swing it to begin with. let's not gaslight bands for doing what they need to to get paid. the power quite clearly lies elsewhere in the industry. (not?) surprised this guy, "attorney by day" per his twitter bio, is preoccupied shaming small bands.
dirtbag *liberals* maybe. i've honestly long thought of them as the Bill Maher of corny pyro-metal. like, they have a song or two criticizing oil and empire that are fairly cogent and convincing. but leftists? not hardly. and certainly not in the German context.
Yeah, musicians appropriating Nazi/fascist aesthetics to provoke while still maintaining independence (or professing to) from those ideologies is a tale as old as time (or as old as punk, at least. decades older than Laibach, certainly). Critiques of it, critiques of just how effective a pushback against actual fascism, are just as old. Perhaps the issue is that, by your own admission, your exposure to the fan culture of Rammstein is limited to those who are already predisposed to reject fascism. Academics, liberals (the latter category perhaps being wholly unequipped to referee questions of fascism, if contemporary German and American politics are any indication) – an "echo chamber" if you will. I grew up in and around German circles that have been passive about xenophobia, fascism, rightwing violence since (at least) Rostock and Mölln, if not more actively part of the problem. Rammstein resonates with them, because for every passing gesture to Brecht (who, and i want to believe the irony cannot possibly be lost on you, would eviscerate Rammstein) there's ten reasons to see them as an avatar for authoritarianism. This has been an issue of very public debate internationally with Rammstein since at least Columbine, and they gleefully feed off of it. It's cynical at the very least. So too, I find, is the fan who sees "no problem" with the trivialization of fascism, its commodification and aestheticization and downplaying, perhaps because they do not see where this kind of message reaches and what it can empower. Glad you can enjoy it responsibly though, honestly!
hahaha yeah that's a cogent comp. Rage also comes to mind for this era of GZ's music (although Rage really is much more self-serious), particularly in pieces where they use overdriven/atonal organ parts in a way that reminds me a lot of Morello's guitarwork. their more recent work has some of that euro-indie maturity to it, but a lot of the snarl and dissonance of the mid-90s stuff.
counterpoint: Rammstein have always traded in fascist aesthetics, while perhaps not to endorse fascism (which would be a bit unfair to claim), then at least to profit off an association with it. their music enables and empowers fascism, no matter the charitable readings the band (and fans like you) might put together to salvage things. they are generally provocative and unreflective where other Germans tackling these subjects, are thought-provoking and critical. i don't want (to borrow/butcher a German idiom) to shear all Rammstein's listeners over a single comb here, but Rammstein fans in my experience tend to lean a whole lot more in the direction of nationalism than in the direction of "never again." perhaps these fash-happy fans merely see what they want to see, but Rammstein know they would be shooting themselves and their career in the foot to draw lines.
if you want politically-engaged German music without all the decrepit, fashy edgelording rigamarole and corny pyro, might I suggest Die goldenen Zitronen? the music is actually clever and has some real depth to it, too. this one's from 1994, but they're still at it (newest LP dropped in February) . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01Hxq-PFOlc
ok, now on my second day of listening, i recant the idea this could ever match the legendary Days. it's too glossy, too hi-fi to really do it for me. but some great songwriting nonetheless. will have to learn to love it on its own terms.
incidentally how i fell in love with Real Estate – playin' catch (the baseball variety) in the summer with Days on the ol' earbuds. last summer of high school... time has flown. i think this could be their best album yet, just ahead of Days. *could* because Days is such a perfect and iconic surf/dream pop album and it would be hasty to crown the new record king so soon after its release.
finally, someone trolled FJM where it hurts. blessed be your actually quite awful cover, Aaron Gibson.
i spent way too much time as a kid tryna play leads on Secret & Whisper's Teenage Fantasy LP. gotta go with the solo on "Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)."
"We like to see someone that’s really carving their own lane that really only, like, fucks with the dope shit. You know what I mean?” they realize they've just unwittingly precluded themselves from ever collaborating with Justin Vernon in any capacity, right? right???
good stuff! excited to see this dude on the 'Gum!
on the bright side, looks like i have a real shot at Shut Up, Dude this week after a solid 6 months of "no Stereogum for Lent"
i mean, i read the piece. a tweak here, a tweak there, and it's about a Taylor Swift or Missy Elliott song.
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