I have to add that the NSK people seem to be some of the coolest people I've ever been around, even if it was just as an audience member in an intimate little hyper-intellectualized show. I'd like to get to know them properly, but, unfortunately they're over there in Slovenia most of the time and I haven't really done anything which merits me being anymore than a groupy. They are a functioning art collective, after all. Maybe this site counts, in terms of doing something creative that would allow me to sort of meet them on something other than the level of fawning outsider fan with no talent....
Edited to protect the innocent...
Hey, just got back from the Seattle show. What an interesting and sad time.
Technically wonderful, but depressing as hell.
Started out with a reading of an address to the people of the United States by Peter Mlakar, which basically said that Laibach was on the side of the Left, that the United States can't be forgiven for what it's done in re-electing Bush, that we're heading for a civil war, but that the cankerous sore of our society will be punctured and drained and at the other side of the blackness will be the absolute, purified, ready to manifest itself in the world to a greater extent than before.
There were special "United we Fall" T-Shirts, printed with a presidential seal and bearing a "Laibach Divided States tour 2004" logo, specially printed in a red version and a blue version, so that if you're a fascist you buy the red, if you're not you buy the blue. I bought the blue.
As for the performance, I think that the interaction between Laibach and the audience was extreme. Granted, they didn't go out and actually talk to people but, especially with Ivan, I believe is his name, there was a constant searching out of the crowd, checking our vibes, and altering the songs in order to make certain points.
Certain songs were altered in the emphasize so that the message which was trying to get through would be pretty obvious. Not a lot of ambiguity, not as much as is in the recorded versions. The emotion bled through really clearly.
I think they were pissed off that there were so many Nazis there who just didn't get it and who liked it because it sounded mean and German.
The singer was checking us out sometimes, like in the "Spiel ist Aus" song, to see just who would be the dumb fucks who would actually give a fascist salute in it. And who wouldn't.
There was a lot of bitterness to the crowd over that, deserved, I would say, since we had a bunch of racist skins, including a whole section towards the left of the stage which saluted and cheered on the parts of songs which seemed to suggest violence and murder towards immigrants.
Of course that's not what the songs mean, but they don't know that. Instead they let their true colors show.
Yeah, and Life is Light was extremely bitter, sort of daring us to actually cheer it on instead of see it as a fucking ironic slam against utopian movements promising everything.
Geburt Einer Nation wasn't done enthusiasticaly at all, and I think the reason was they didn't want to encourage the Nazis.
Sympathy For the Devil. went well. I actually pumped my fist up in an Anarchist salute after it, but I think that given the presence of assholes it might have been taken as a fascist thing. If it was taken at all.
We Are Time referenced Bush as the Anti-Christ, which was a point that Peter Mlakar made at the beginning.
Barbarians....part of the "Now you will pay" song, was changed to link the idea of Laibach fans as Barbarians who could do something good, which was a point that Peter Mlakar touched on as well at the beginning in saying something like "as descendents of Barbarians...." but then it came back to the point.
I could tell that they didn't like to do certain songs.
God is God was the first one that the skinheads liked, since it was sort of metalish. But it had a political slant, too, which was of course lost on them.
Mars on the Drina was good, but who understood that it was simulating sounds of gun fire in a city?
The girls were good, but they weren't in constant movement and a lot of it was choreography and not actual drumming.
Everyone seemed eager to get the hell off the stage, especially the drummer to the left of the stage who had been doing her thing in front of the saluting crowd all night.
I think I may have inadvertantly had a brief conversation with one of the drummers before the show...one of them may have been manning the merchandise stand in a hat...I said something about Laibach after she had put in a good word for Bonfire Madigan and she giggled about "Well of course you know more about Laibach!", which was funny.
Or maybe not, maybe I'm imagining things.
It was a terrible situation, I feel. Sadness permeated it.
Bonfire Madigan was good and courageous. Isn't easy to be up there all alone on stage with your instrument like that, but she performed well.
If the front man was pissed off and cynical about us wait until he gets to San Francisco. Those people have to be some of the biggest hypocrites on earth (no offense) and I'm sure that false lefty-ness isn't going to be a vibe which will go over well with them.
Yeah, Bonfire Madigan dedicated a song to all the people who love ultra-gay drag queen transexuals, and very few people clapped (she asked us to do that)...she's from San Francisco. That stuff goes over big there. The rest of the country just sorts of marvels at how certain non-straight people can be so full of themselves. Especially since there's, um, a war on which is killing many people. Maybe that's more important at the moment than trans liberation, don't you think?
There was something else....oh yeah, I think that the whole playing both sides of the fence thing...hmm...I can't read minds but they seemed really fed up with us, the front man especially...maybe if more people actually knew what the German language lyrics meant they'd be more sympathetic.
Remembered what I was going to say...yeah, in We Are Time, the whole "From Marx and back to Plato" thing now makes perfect sense.
It has to do with the sort of philosophy that Mlakar is putting out, which is a kind of modified Platonism, so...they've gone from Marx back to Plato in their conception of society and the universe.