Can you believe that it’s been two months since I last wrote a dedicated Hauptharmonie post? What the hell is wrong with me? It’s not like they aren’t doing anything — since dropping their (very good, if jazzy Britpop shoegazer disco idols are your thing) album, they’ve done TIF and a bunch of regular shows and then just had themselves a great set at JAM this past weekend:
The Peach Stage, for when you deserve roughly the third best!
I have no idea why the title of their album is listed as “Mein Kampf” on that image, but … look, they just aren’t as sensitive about these things in Japan, all right? “Kopf” and “Kampf” maybe look similar? I dunno.
Hauptharmonie is one of the most unique musical projects I’ve ever come across. Self-described as idols that exist outside of this Warring Idols Period, with a sound that knows no era, they can be music for everybody and almost nobody all at the same time; I’ve described their sound as “music for music lovers.”
Accordingly, I’m completely and totally in love with them. They’re the soundtrack to chain-smoking your way through a bad divorce in your office building’s basement gin joint. I want them to bring their faux-demure-barefoot-angry-flapper selves to this country to play the New Orleans Jazz Fest and blow people’s minds.
A while back, Phillter translated into Japanese a request letter that I could send to idol managers; there’s this here website, and you’re covered on it, and I’d really like to write a review of your next release, so would you please consider sending a press copy of it? Most don’t reply, but some do, and Hauptharmonie’s reply was absolutely gracious and generous. For enabling the acquisition and because Hauptharmonie is impossibly cool, Phillter wondered if he could contribute to this review, and to that I say sure.
If you don’t like crunchy, dirty-ass blues, we probably can’t be friends no matter how full a swerve toward triumphant brass and “oh yeah we’re idols” the song takes. Also, my friends, I’m dying to know what the lyrics are HINT HINT.
When Hauptharmonie eventually plays the New Orleans Jazz Fest, I want them to lead with this, then bust out “Kidnapper Blues” and fill the rest of their set with the most random assortment of tunes possible.
I was recently having an offline conversation with someone who asked me who “my” idols are; like, yeah, I have this site and I promote pretty much everything that comes my way, even if it’s obvious that I’m personally not that enthused about it, but who am I really in the bag for?
At this very moment, nobody’s exciting me more than Hauptharmonie, and they just gave two great reasons why.
I actually am human, and therefore occasionally susceptible to human things like illness, and I am feeling quite unpleasant these last several days. So thank you so much, Hauptharmonie, for injecting this little ball of energy into my morning.
Japanese circle pits are weird.
When your entire head and face and chest want to explode, sometimes the only solution is to skank it up!
And you know what, shame the hell on me for adopting the kind of narrow musical view that’s supposed to be anathema ’round these parts. If you can make jazz rock that hard (that is, make jazz interesting for the first time in 50 years OH SICK BURN BRO), and be just that balls-out go-for-it, damn it, I appreciate you.
Hauptharmonie‘s about-to-drop album thingy is actually a two-parter. Here’s “Kidnapper Blues” (sure, why not) from the Abenddaemmerung half: Continue reading →