Friday, May 30, 2008

And now for something completely different...

Rammstein in Concert
February 24, 2005
Milan, Italy
(Image from Wikipedia)

Psst . . . Claire Berlinski likes Rammstein's Till Lindemann:
Most compelling is vocalist Lindemann, a massive former swimming champion from the town of Schwerin. He commands a sinister, low bass rarely utilized in contemporary pop music. His voice is untrained but electrifying. His rolled Rs are familiar. The members of the band grew up under the Deutsche Demokratische Republik's cheerless tutelage -- "We were not even allowed to say Hitler's name," keyboardist Lorenz told me -- but somehow Lindemann managed to aquaint himself with that orator's distinctive style nonetheless. He ripples with muscles. He is a man, not a boy, with a voice so powerful and erotic that even women who understand Rammstein's lyrics -- or perhaps especially women who understand those lyrics -- find themselves mesmerized by that voice, by its beauty and masculinity. The first time I heard him sing, the hair on the back of my head stood straight up. (Claire Berlinski, Menace in Europe, page 190)
She adds that such a powerful and erotic "experience is disturbing, to say the least" for a good Jewish girl who knows better than to find that sort of German 'oratory' attractive. But there it is.

You can read more of Berlinski's reflections on Rammstein in a 2005 article, "Rammstein's Rage," published in Azure (Spring 2005, No. 20). Apparently, I've previously read that article somewhere, for I recall her words about running into Lindemann backstage at a concert in December 2004 and commenting that he appeared "bloated and unwell" with "deep circles under his eyes."

So . . . I'd heard of Rammstein, but prior to this 'Age of You Tube,' I'd never had an opportunity to listen, and for the neophyte like me, Berlinski explains how:
Next, let's listen to Rammstein. Much of it can be downloaded from the Internet. Initiates should begin with the song "Reise, Reise," played at top volume. Push your subwoofers to the limit. That is the way it is meant to be appreciated. (Claire Berlinski, Menace in Europe, page 188)
Well, I like a deep base, but I wasn't about to push any subwoofers to the limit at three in the morning when my family is sound asleep. Tillemann's bass-vocal power, however, comes through anyway, its effect deepened by his physical presence, as you can see, and hear, for yourself in the relentlessly aggressive "Reise, Reise."

Or if romantic Wanderungen are more to your taste, there's this muscular version of "Ohne Dich."

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At 1:55 AM, Blogger John B said...

You're right, Ms. Berlinski is sharing quite a bit of herself with her description.

I was particularly amused by, "Lorenz is the runt, the only member of Rammstein who isn’t huge and handsome."

I imagine him reading the article with a crestfallen expression.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I felt sorry for Lorenz, who probably shrank even more in a quasi-Lorentz-contraction at the speed of her snap judgement.

(But from the Ohne Dich video, I have to admit that she's right.)

Jeffery Hodges

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