You know, the best thing about New Year's Eve is not the good food, the shimmering fireworks or even the party hats, oh no, the real bonus is the fact that, unlike X-Mas, apart, perhaps, from the Abba song, there is no tradition for seasonal hits. In other words Wham didn't write a New Years-single.
Looking back on 2009, what kept me busy, apart from changing my hair colour regularly? Concerts mainly. I performed all around the country, at festivals and in clubs, and as a musician I really can't complain about concert activity and won't. Thanks to those of you who showed up. As always I also went to a lot of concerts, and thanks to those acts I went to see. I managed to record a few songs too that were premiered at concerts but I really would like to do more in 2010 as I have ideas for a number of songs just waiting to be recorded. So my wish for next year remains: more hours pr. night!
Of course our club, Klub Golem, kept me busy too, at times very busy, in fact, but we had a splendid year with good concerts and lots of guests. I put together four songs worth of live videos from my concert at Golem's three years anniversary and they can be found in the Video Section on this site or on YouTube. Thanks to the audience - you were a great crowd. I suspect 2010 will be another busy Golem year and I hope all of you will show up in great numbers next year as well.
A lot of thank yous so far, which is all very nice, but being a Dane of course I have to moan about the Copenhagen Climate Summit. I don't give a fuck who's to blame, but gathering together all the so-called leaders of the world and acheving nothing just isn't truly impressive. It makes you wonder why we need leaders anyway, but trying to grasp the big climate picture, the question that remains is of course: what costume shall the poor girl wear to all new year's parties? Something not too warm, it would seem.
The past few weeks have been quite busy; I've worked on new music, still am, and played a couple of summer festivals as well as celebrating the three years anniversary of our own club - Klub Golem - with a concert. I'm presently working mastering on recordings of that particular show and I hope to put some of the music online sometime, possibly even do a few concert videos since the gig was also recorded on video. And of course returning to Nakkefestival again was quite a blast. Even if the weather was more than a fair bit windy lots of people turned up for the concert which rounded off the festival and everybody really went crazy. I can now say that I've had two young guys, in sailor costumes, one on the back of the other, both insanely drunk, take stage during my show to suddenly play along. More than once there were more people, and guards, on stage than we musicians, but everybody was having a good time, so I'm not complaining.
I would like to complain, though. After all, that's what blogs are generally all about, it would seem. And I would like to complain about the sad state of my so-called home country. Shakespeare was right about many things, including the rotten state of affairs here in Denmark. Many of you have probably seen the news, police officers dragging Iraqi refugees out of the Brorson Church in Copenhagen to send them back to an uncertain future in their home country which we Danes took part in wrecking only a few years ago, presumably searching for weapons of mass destruction. Police officers beating up demonstrants, many of them young people who did not resort to violence but who were attacked nonetheless. Politicians confronted with this violence caught on camera, reassuring everybody that unfortunately this action was a necessity, so I guess the conclusion is pretty obvious - you need to beat up people and attack churches to run this country. Well, I just hope there is a Hell. Everybody knows the war is over, everybody knows the good guys lost.
What we really need is a new punk rebellion or a new hippie dream. A new generation that's had enough of it all, a generation that refuses to be offered reality shows but demands to craft their own reality. Am I only dreaming? Oh yes, but that's how it all begins - and my dream will be your nightmare, sucker. Angry young kids, unite!
I went to a funeral last week. A guy who used to be a regular at our goth club had killed himself. Just a few months ago we buried one of our bartenders - this is becoming a bad habit, even for a goth club. It is indeed always sad when these things happen and it also adds a serious tone to what we do. You party together, you share moments of escape, liberation or even dreams under the laser beams where the music is loud, but you also go to each other's funerals where death and the organ get the final word.
Returning from a birthday party in Copenhagen earlier this night, an old friend and fellow musician told me his mother had just died from cancer recently, and naturally we spent the two hours on the train talking about the nature of death and loss. After all, faced with death you are forced to ponder those truly big questions most people spend a life-time trying to steer clear of. And when you come to think of it maybe that answers one of those questions, the one concerned with why there is death, but you want more, don't you? You want to know what really happens. How it all ends. Or do you?
Death is the big mystery, the great unknown. It is a realm where doubt is king. And hope is queen. Some believe in Paradise, some in Hell while others will claim reincarnation is the only truth. And there are those who feel convinced that death is quite simply the end. After death there is nothing. You may find the idea cruel, but do not despair. Even if death is indeed the end of all, the final nothing, you shall laugh in its face the moment you go, because when you die you add your past to nothing, you add your history, your shadow. And death will laugh back at you, because when you go, my friend, you become the story of nothing.
Last week turned out to be a busy venture. I went to the funeral of a guy I'd known for a number of years and who had been found dead from heart failure recently, just 49 years old. An original punk he was also instrumental to introducing roleplaying games and live roleplaying in Denmark back in the early eighties. He later went on to sell comics, science fiction books, and games from a store - the kind of store where you'd just drop by for a few minutes but ended up staying an hour or two, reading Moebius comics, talking to people about Lovecraft or watching kids bring in their confused parents, desperately trying to tell them exactly what kind of Dungeons & Dragons compendium they wanted for X-Mas. In recent years my friend helped us with Klub Golem, joining in as bartender or driving instruments for concerts, and so on. Right after the funeral I went to the small birthday party of another friend of mine, and there's some symbolism in that, kids. Something about life and death and other clich�s.
The next day I went to the release party for Martin Hall's latest album, a fine release well worth a listen. The party was staged at the historical apartment of the infamous Marquis Marcel De Sade who became a legend in Denmark back in the sixties when he made up his role of Marquis, fooling the Danish aristocracy for years. His impressive apartment looked like something out of a documentary about decadence in the 1920s. In this home I played an old piano that used to belong to the Oehlenschl�ger family - Adam Oehlenschl�ger wrote the Danish national anthem, Der er et yndigt land. The piano was terrbily out of tune. There's a nice element of symbolism in that too, kids.
The following day I went to another birthday party, this time in Vangede, home to Danish poet Dan Tur�ll, now deceased. I stayed up too late and got up early, visiting friends in Copenhagen. We ended up watching old Dan Tur�ll footage on dvd most of the night, and quite a character he was, Dan T. We don't get many Danes like that. Maybe a couple for each generation, not more.
Next day I met up with fellow musician Kid Kishore who's into mixing Indian music with cut-up breakbeats, techno, dubstep, and beyond. I'm currently working on a song which is a cover of famous Danish pop band Shubidua, a song they did back in the late seventies about Denmark. The original features ironic lyrics about the way Denmark is always portrayed as this cosy little fairy tale country, so I thought it would be nice to rewrite the lyrics to address the current state of affairs in this country which has turned increasingly racist and intolerant over the last few years. I really wanted to involve Kishore not only because he's one of those guys with brown skin and black hair but because what he does with music adds to both traditional Indian music as well as the Danish techno scene, and the point of course is people shouldn't be so scared of what's new or different. To get to his little studio we had to climb down some stairs under a locked gate - yes, kids, there's that old friend symbolism again. Something about underground culture.
Copyright: Ras Bolding 2009