Agony Shorthand

Monday, March 28, 2005

I dig the Danes. My one evening in Copenhagen a few years ago taught me that the Danes savor fine food, celebrate with abandon the 11:30pm June sun, cultivate incredibly attractive women to the nth and generally live life to the hilt. I'm down with the Danes. I'm not so down with their pseudo-psych early 70s rock bands, however, at least not those pimped by Julian Cope on this "Danskrocksampler" he threw together a while back. The only one I'd heard before is the only one that gets it boiling, and that's SAVAGE ROSE -- a bombastic, Tull-like heavy rock/groove band with a cackling Medusa of a lead singer named Anisette. Their "Ride My Mountain" and "A Trial In Our Native Town" megarock jamz are big, loud and lighter-friendly, but still hew to a sort of bold, flowery psychedelia that makes the whole thing palatable. Beyond the 'Rose -- eh. I don't know. It's hard not to want to root for a band named BURNIN' RED IVANHOE, but you want to talk Jethro Tull, man -- whew. I just can't take it. Cope compares them to CAN and the VELVET UNDERGROUND. Some people will say anything to get a laugh! Others like POVL DISSING and ALRUNE ROD just don't even compare to their German brothers to the South in the hard-driving 70s minimalism sweepstakes, though a riff here or there will poke through the cliche rockisms or jazzisms to show that at least the right influences were present, be they musical or chemical. Let's not try & create a magical scene where there was only a collection of barely-decent retreads, though. This is an annoying 21st-Century music-jerk tendency -- elevating the very few remaining unheard bands of the 60s/70s to preposterous, undeserved heights simply because you got there first. Some call it "Ugly Things syndrome". With all due respect to the person who kindly & painstakingly burned this for me, I'm going to stick with my pepper kippers, pickled beetroot and skipper labskaus when I need a palate-pleasing taste of the old country.