Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Die Ärzte" twice

Today I heard “Junge”, one of the latest songs of “Die Ärzte” twice. I didn’t mind it, though, it’s a good song. The video only runs (funnily) censored on the German stations, though. Personally, I’m not completely sure whether it’s really that ‘Dawn of the Dead’-esque or whether it’s another stunt by the band. (Ever since a porn star played the head of the censor’s office in the video clip to “Bitte, Bitte”, I’m prepared to consider everything a possibility.)

Now, I don’t even know if the band is widely known outside Germany. Only singing in German isn’t necessary a clue to not being known in other countries - Ramstein prove you can sing in German and be popular with people in the United States (and elsewhere).

I started to like the band rather late - compared to my classmates who really liked it between 13 and 18, or so -, but today I like them for being uncomfortable for German society.

Born from the punk generation in Berlin, “Die Ärzte” never sung the usual ‘everything’s wonderful in life’ pop songs. Their songs were about ‘abnormal’ sexuality, about society’s dark sides, about the stupid things happening in Germany. They sung against Nazis (for example in “Schrei nach Liebe”), about the favourite German island of the snobs (“Westerland”, one of my all-time favourites). I also like this text - although I don’t know the title of the song:

Es ist nicht deine Schuld,

daß die Welt ist wie sie ist,

es ist nur deine Schuld,

wenn sie so bleibt.

(Translation: It’s not your fault the world is like it is, it’s only your fault if it stays like this.)

Their songs quite often are surprisingly truthful... After all, the text above is absolutely right. What happened before we were old enough to change something, is not our fault. But leaving it as bad as it is, that’s our fault.

“Junge” deals with the sentences most teenagers hear from their parents at one point of their adolescence: “Must you wear such dreadful clothes.” “Can’t you be a bit more like the son of our neighbour who’s always nice and learning and successful.” “Why don’t you do something with your life.” And so on. I’m sure, all of us have heard those sentences (or at least similar ones) during adolescence. The music is as good as always (I like it a lot - it’s the right mixture of hard beats) and the video clip is ... surely artful in a not very common way.

Although the censored parts (done quite funnily with characters from kid’s cartoons and so on) suggest a lot of violence and the whole video obviously is a homage to “Dawn of the Dead” (or maybe “Shaun of the Dead”, but that’s another story entirely). Actually, the video suggests a lot more cruel details by pasting them over with bright-coloured pictures (on a monochrome background, as the video is in black and white) than it would probably show uncensored.

Anyway, I like the band a lot and hope they continue making ‘inappropriate’ and ‘uncomfortable’ songs.

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