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The Peak of Listening - Wolfmans Guide to Music

From this sacred place, on top of the highest mountain on his secret island, the Wolfman often sits listening to the sounds of the world around him. Due to his sharp lupine senses, he is able to pinpoint and focus on just the sounds that pleases and teases his soul and his vivid imagination. He listens to the sounds of nature and he listens to the sounds of culture - He listens to the music of the world.

What he likes does not always accord to the more traditional human conventions, of distinguishing between music and noise, between nice and ugly, between right or wrong - his only criteria is the impact it makes on his body and his mind, the fellings and thoughts it evokes.

The Wolfman likes to listen to the sound of the wind and the sea, but he likes the sounds of the cities and the machines as well - but what he likes most is music. Ever so often he climbs the Peak of Listening and tunes in on some of his favourite music.

And being, despite his appearance, a nice and warmhearted being, he would like to share with you, the secrets and pleasures of his musical taste. But this is no musical encyclopedia, merely a hairy finger pointing out some possible directions, for the curious to start searching.

An absolute favorite is the the large oevre of music created by the most enigmatic group of musical artist in the whole world - THE RESIDENTS. To The Wolfman there's no one above the mysterious Eyeball Four. They are so much more than just a band. And surely the late great SNAKEFINGER, must be mentioned here as well. His work with The Eyeballed Ones, as well as his own, deserves listening.
And of course your Wolfie is in the great brotherhood of The Residents-appreciators known as THE SMELLY TONGUES.

One poet and songwriter that is most dear to The Wolfman is DANIEL JOHNSTON - this is one of those few songwriters who, metaphorically speaking, writes his lyrics with his heartblood. It might not always be nice to listen to - its uneasy listening, sure - but it's so heartwrenchingly honest. This is the music for the walkman when in The Dark Forest.

Great lyrics, more sophisticated but still often very straight from the heart, is also a trademark of VIOLENT FEMMES, a fine band mixing folkmusic and songwriter traditions, with the energy of rock and punk, adding some blues and a little jazz and avant garde in a most delicious cocktail, served with a overweight of acoustic instruments. Many of the same words could easily apply to BARENAKED LADIES, a very  sympatic Canadian band that finely balances the lighthearted and humorous with the serious and personal. Not a difficult listening band, but a band with a lot more depth and finesse than what they generally gets credited for.

When in the mood for the weird and wacky - and The Wolfman is often like that! - there's not many bands more satisfying than those far out brothers WEEN, or maybe the long gone BONZO DOG BAND, the also much missed RENALDO AND THE LOAF, the guitar & banjo madman EUGENE CHADBOURNE, the lovely chamber-folk ensemble ONLY A MOTHER or, if he's more in the mood for the light and whimsical, those masters of twisted pop THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

If intelligent humor, satire and a sharp but twisted scrutiny of the world of today - spanning everything from contemporary suburban life, to international politics, religion and science - is the thing you're searching for, the Wolfman highly recommends: NEGATIVLANDMusic is only one part of what these highly media-aware artists and pranksters work with - radio, audiocollage, narrative pieces, performance and the media of media itself are all their laboratory and their playground.

When in the mood for love... oh yes, The Wolfman is a true romantic - what can be better than LEONARD COHEN - well, on a lighthearted day, maybe the surrealistic lovesongs of DOGBOWL or the straightforward naivety of HALF JAPANESE (for brokenhearted days it's Daniel Johnston once again).

And when The Inner Wolf really wanna get in heat, no music is better than ROCKBITCH!  They even got a red hot female wolf in their show!  But be warned! - its XXX-rated stuff and not for the ones who hold with moral indignation.

Dark moods and even rage is not uncommon to The Wolfman either - and he knows a lot of bands and artists that goes well with that. JOY DIVISION, DEAD KENNEDYS, EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN and NICK CAVE to name a few. TOM WAITS might fit in here too, as he would fit into many of the categories here.

Appreciation of refinement and aesthetic sophistication are not things one would normally attribute to wolves, but despite that The Wolfman is an admirer of  contemporary artists like LAURIE ANDERSON and BRIAN ENO as well as KRAFTWERK, THE FLAMING LIPS and many others. Artist  that create their pieces with extreme perfectionism and an uncompromising commitment to their own highly personal aesthetic ideals and visions, and to whom experimentation is a leading princip in their work. One of the greatest, and strangest, visionarys of  this century undoubtedly was the composer HARRY PARTCH , an oftmentioned inspirator for many of the contemporary experimenting artists, and of course, another Wolfman recommendation.

These are only some of the artist The Wolfman likes, there are so many more, and he is still discovering new ones. This page will (hopefully) be updated regularly, when he find the best places in the virtuality to read more about them. Or listen to them ... a lot of interesting music luckily is available in the virtuality, streaming through the Virtuality like oceanic currents of sounds and words. Go to THE ANCHORAGE to find the Wolfmans favorites.