Hot Sugar (aka Nick Koenig)‘s music is not as sweet as his name although there is some fruity feeling coming out of it. It seems that my English is too poor to express what I feel like when I listen to it because it is a full experience where the five senses are summoned.
In a 2015 interview with NPR, he described associative music as “try[ing] to capture sounds the same way a photographer would capture an image: If something looks poetic, I’ll record it”
So much beauty to see, to hear, to touch (synesthesia involved.) So many colors, explosions of joy, of sadness, of vulnerability, of power; it’s insanely well composed and authentic. I could not choose one song. Sit down or and just listen to the whole albums God’s Hand (2015) & The Melody of Dust (2017).
Here are a few comments I found under his youtube videos :
“this makes me feel a deep unsettling happiness like falling forever into a purple ocean”
“this makes me think of what kind of music stars would make and a warm night on a beach with a lover”
“this makes me cry. why though?”
“painting with watercolours to this right now feels like the droplets of pigment are absorbing a little bit of this musical masterpiece”
“I’m dreaming ? Or this album is 2 good for this world ?”
“This just changed my life… again.”
You see, the internet can be a happy, genuine, benevolent, lovely place when, in a middle of nowhere, something really beautiful and powerful pops out. Thank you Hot Sugar for your contribution to make the world a better place.
Please, give me another cup of Hot Sugar.
No matter how mainstream it became.
A few weeks ago, my sister (she is 13 years old) and I were surfing the net together when a picture of Kurt Cobain came up. “Hey isnt’it Nirvana? Soooo mainstream!!” she said. I looked at her, speechless. I have to say the word “mainstream” in her mouth sounded really pejorative. My heart just broke. “Why are you saying that? -Well, this band is everywhere: t-shirt, bags, pins… Everybody knows it.”
Wait a minute.
I explained to her that before becoming this hudge industry, Nirvana was a band. It means these three guys made music, and a pretty good one. “All these people that got something with this famous smiley or a picture of the band, do you think they know their music? I asked. -Not sure, I guess not. But we know the visual, she said.”
That was my fear. Seeing Nirvana becoming a brand, a logo, does not bother me that much because it means they are famous and I genuinely believe they deserve to be listened over and over. Sadly, it appears that one can have one without the other.
Being 26, I was too young to live the exciting time when Nirvana exploded. Although I spent my teenage years, like most of my generation, listening to Kurt Cobain in my room, singing with him, crying with him. That is why I wish we would learn to appreciate again how honest and passionate they were, before putting a pin on a jacket. We must not forget that in a way, this fame and craziness killed Kurt, because he could not handle it, and for that he deserves to be heard.
Kurt by Steve Gullick
Next time I see my sister, I am going to give her a CD (yes a CD, probably the old one I customised back in the days) and will ask her to forget about the mainstream spirit that goes along in order to focus on the music.
Kurt by Mark Seliger
If you are interested in pop culture, pop music, fame, success, bad choices, cult of appearance and so on, you might read the excellent article about “The Slow and Bitter End of Lady Gaga’s Career” by Kat George. Well written and well analyzed, it explains a lot about Gaga’s perdition in term of “music career”. Please keep in mind that she is currently focusing on her love life and emotional blooming with Beau Taylor Kinney. I secretly hope it is going to end badly, giving her the ressource to create (and be good) again.
Time for a smart cinema review with “A Movie About Luciferian Philosophy”. “Lucy” is certainly not what I would call a “good movie”. After all it is a Besson movie, give him a break, it is knowingly made to entertain the audience, with a superficial reflexion about humanity, moral values (Morgan Freeman hello!) and some actions scenes. That is what we like -or dislike- about it. However, it was fun to read another kind of point of view, far from the “good” or “bad” kind of review.
“Shamanic-pop band from a place called l’Endroit”
These two people are awesome and you have to check their music band called Oiseaux Terribles. A project full of ideas ; a state of mind ; visionary & sincerity in a precious ivory glass.
Spread the word.
All pictures by Oiseaux Terribles & Cliff Chan
These talented men we love, genius of their time, born with musical intelligence and innate artistic sense. Sensibility, Pain, Passion. Some people understand men and life oh so very well. Too much beauty and power, it is almost hurting.
A young and délicat Serge Gainsbourg by Roger Kasparian, taken in the sixties. So beautiful, both the man and the pictures.
Jacques Brel, a poet and wise prophet. Love him for real, forever. He deserves that.
Best. interview. ever. Amen.
Finally, the American singer/actor/etc… Tom Waits by photographer Anton Corbijn. Long live Tom and his craziness.