Episode 243

    Anna, Roderich, Clara and Ulf sit together on the occasion of their traditional advent drinking. The conversation has just left the topic of “end of the world and general disenchantment with life”. They turn to pop music.

    Ulf: Was 2022 a good pop year?

    Roderick: Pop has become so irrelevant, right?

    Clara: but also years.

    Ulf: Then stop music year – my goodness! Was it a good music year?

    Clara: Kate Bush had a hit. In this respect, a good year of music for me.

    Roderick: Yes, but with an ancient song. Which only goes to show how bad things are for pop when the big pop moment of the year is that a lot of youngsters watching series make the ol’ thing a hit.

    Clara: Tell that to the youngsters!

    Anna: And tell Kendrick Lamar that Kate Bush was the biggest pop moment of the year.

    Roderick: So I only listen to very good or very bad music. Everything else doesn’t interest me.

    Ulf: What does this mean?

    Roderick: I don’t listen to anything mediocre anymore. I listen to good music because it’s good. Bad ones, because they say something about failure and inadequacy, that also has a shine. But mediocrity is always a waste of time.

    Anna: Well, sometime yesterday you heard Maxïmo Park. If that’s not mediocre, then what is?

    Roderick: huh Maxïmo Park is not mediocre after all!

    Ulf: Well, my biggest pop moment of the year was Little Simz’s new record.

    Clara: You said the other day that the Bob Dylan concert was your absolute highlight of the year.

    Ulf: Bob Dylan is different.

    Anna: That’s right – something other than music.

    Roderick: Bob Dylan is the perfect musician for me. He makes either very good or very bad music, but never mediocre.

    Ulf: Hm, but “Street Legal” for example is mediocre.

    Roderick: This is a record that only has very good or very bad songs on it. As a result, it cannot be mediocre.

    Anna: Can we please stop talking about Bob Dylan and go back to music?

    Clara: The huge topic in Germany this year was the empty or half-empty concerts.

    Roderick: It must be such a horror playing in a small band these days: all day you have to do this horrible social media nonsense and then in the evenings you play in some empty club.

    Anna: Yes, but hasn’t it always been part of making art that you can’t assume that you’ll have total success?

    Roderick: Of course, today only this ultra-safe thing works.

    Ulf: Exactly. On the other hand, there were full arena concerts this year. Rammstein, Billie Eilish, Rolling Stones, Coldplay…

    Anna: All bratwurst events. Those aren’t concerts.

    Clara: I have a question: When did it actually start that at these huge event concerts – with Coldplay, with the Foo Fighters – at a certain point children from the audience are brought onto the stage, who then play a piece of keyboard or play the drums? I find this to be completely inartistic horror. This is the Disneyization of pop music.

    Ulf: Bob Dylan doesn’t bring kids on stage.

    Roderick: hehe.

    Ulf: I think that, like everything else, is due to social media. It’s been done since these bands know it looks great on Instagram.

    Anna: Or did Springsteen start it?

    Roderick: Never!

    Ulf: He’s coming on a big tour again next year.

    Anna: Bratwurst tour.

    Roderick: For me, this is already the highlight of the pop year 2023.

    Anna: Let’s get back to the fucking world situation, okay?