Friday Factory Tune: Autobahn

By April 23, 2010General

The Washington Post Sunday Magazine last weekend published a tribute to the 9:30 Club on its 30th anniversary, recalling the rock club’s early years at its original location, 930 F Street, NW, back when the area was on the fringes of seediness. Now it’s upscale and touristy.

This recollection by former owner Dodi DiSanto brought back memories.

It was a great period of music before the corporate record companies moved in and it got mainstream. The Einstuerzende Neubauten show was pretty infamous. I had to rent all this crazy construction equipment as part of the rider, like a jumping jack tamper. They were in there with Skilsaws against flanks of steel, sparks flying into the faces of people at the front of the stage.

Ha! Your correspondent was at that show. At the time, it seemed pretty silly, but you know, in retrospect, it seems…pretty silly. This video captures their basic shtick.

We excuse this indulgence by noting that Einstuerzende Neubauten — it means “collapsing new construction” — was one of the progenitors of industrial music. Industry…manufacturing, see? (Seems just like a loud knock-off of Dada to us.) Like so many other German products, the genre was exported to the United States. Without them, why, no Nine Inch Nails.

The well-done tribute blog, Seele Brennt, has plenty more, including this full live concert from Rockpalast, 1990. Lead guitarist Blixa Bargeld went on to play for years with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, one of rock’s great bands.

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