You've just gotten off the
plane. For some inexplicable reason, you're in Berlin, on your way to the
Feiertag Gashof (that's Holiday Inn, for you non- German types). Edgy from
the flight, you drop your bags in the room, change into your slickest sportcoat,
polish up the wing tips, and swing on down to the lounge.
The lounge is dark
and smoky. Very smoky. You grab a table near the back, underneath a grimy
house light. A greasy- faced man in a bright sport jacket approaches the
front of the stage from behind the curtain. The only word you can make
out is "Notwist."
The band begins. Initially,
their music sounds like free- form noise with a cool jazz feel. The minimalist
sound relaxes you. You call for the waiter ("Oh, oberkellner!") and request
a martini. The Notwist sounds like Tortoise, maybe. Or the Sea And Cake.
Der postenrocken. The music is slowly pulling you in.
blast in, burying that cool jazz feel under a wave of mutilation. The Notwist
sounds like Sonic Youth, maybe. Or Husker Du. Mmm, der noisenrocken. The
sounds and samples melt into your subconscious. The guitar riffs are repetitive,
but cool and dreamy. You tap your feet and strum the rim of your glass.
The hipness becomes you.
The music changes gears
again-- strange horns and trumpets blare out and fade back into a sampled
beat. A pale woman with Teutonic features approaches and whispers something
in your ear. It sounds like part of the song. The music is minimal, and
rarely changes in beat, but it takes you to new heights. It makes you feel
charmed and elated. Or maybe it's the martini. Could even be the German
girl. Or maybe, as you suspect, it's just the Notwist.
And in an instant, it's
over. The noise has subsided. You're pulling your car into its designated
parking place. Where did the last forty minutes go? Why are there cigarettes
smouldering in my ashtray? How did I get back to Chicago? Where's that
German girl? You hit the repeat button...