May 10th, 2004


Holger Czukay Live !

Thanks to R's sharp eye, I (along with nessus) saw Holger Czukay at the Paradise tonight. Czukay was a member of the hugely influential German rock group Can, and went onto collaborate with other folks such as Brian Eno and David Sylvian, making the sampling of non-Western music and shortwave radio safe for pop. He is now a spry 66 years old, and shows no sign of slowing down.

It was just him up on stage, performing a mix of his work from the past 20 years, mixing, tweaking, tuning his radios, and playing guitar and French horn. It was worth it just to be up close and look at the expressions as he played with this toys. There was a break where he asked a woman about her answering machine messages, and went on a digression about how they can be used as spy detectors; at the end he also talked about how he came to record a cut-and-splice version of the Communist Chinese anthem “The East Is Red.” What especially got a big laugh was when he asked Jaki Leibzeit, the drummer, to come up with a rhythm before actually hearing the song - “First we record, then we listen to it !” It's amazing that it works as well as it goes, given that.

After the show, I asked him to autograph a CD, and told him I hope I'm just as much fun as he is when I'm his age !

If you live near Cleveland or points west, there's still time to see him !

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