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Old 06-22-2021, 09:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Baltic Sea Smells of Crude Oil – Mucha na Dziko's Rough Guide to Polish Music

As some of you may or may not know, I live in Poland (well, I've always lived in Poland). And though certainly I do not identify, and do not want to be associated with most of the cultural, social, political aspects of this country, there's one thing that poles really knew how to do back in the day. And that was making music.

Especially the New Wave genre (is that an east-european thing to be good at that?).

Polish rock, pop, blues, jazz scenes are, as far as I know, very niche or non-existent outside our frontiers. Which I find quite unforgivable ("oh God, why do you deprive all the good people of this earth the magic of bands like Maanam, Breakout or Lech Janerka?!"), if you ask me. So I thought I might shed some light on all of this amazing music, that is being overlooked by most music fans, solely because it had the misfortune of being made in this god forsaken country.

Every post will focus on a certain band, artist, album or song, with no particular chronological order (I might start with something from the 60s, then something from the 80s, something more modern, 50s, etc), though I will try to keep consecutive posts to be around the same artists (one day an overall overview, the next day their greatest album, the next one my favourite song, etc).
Sometimes if I'll feel like it, I might write something more in the likes of an essay about a particular era of polish music, or a particular genre, etc, but most of the posts will surely focus on bands or songs themselves. So if you're looking for a thorough analysis of history, genres, political and social context, you'll have to wait at least a couple of weeks until I get tired of writing about bands and get more into the context of it all. Keep in mind that – for now – this is supposed to be more of a showcase of the artists, and not a compendium of knowledge about Poland (though I will get. into socio-political context when needed to understand a song).

Starting off tomorrow, or after tomorrow I'll try to post something every day, though there'll certainly be exceptions from that.




Thread sneak peak – Kult "Poland"

But to give you guys a snippet of what will be happening around here, here's a song, that gave name to this thread. It's aptly named "Poland" (earlier versions were called "I live in Poland").

The song is coming from one of the most popular polish bands from the 80s (and still has a cult following) – Kult (polish for "cult"). The lead singer of Kult, Kazik Staszewski, will be one of the most heavily showcased artists in this thread, as he had had multiple bands, all of which were highly influential and popular here since the 80s, up until now.

The band was known mostly for it's unusual core lineup, which consisted of drums, bass, guitar and 2 saxophones, a trumpet and a trombone, as well as for Kazik's often provocative and politicaly engaged lyrics.

It was written in 1987, for "Posłuchaj, to do ciebie" ("Listen, it's for you") , the band's first album. But was not featured on any album until the 1989 live "Tan" (short for "dance"), and the 1992 reedition of the first album. The reason for this was that the communist party ruling Poland at the time was not happy with the song's message and did not greenlight the release.

The lyrics showcase our national sport, which is to grumble all the time and loathe everything about our country.
The lyrical ego is talking about the ugliness of towns, countrysides, buildings and people around him, and how that affects the mentality of the people living in Poland.
Ending each verse with the chorus that proudly (or tragically, you never know) shouts "Poland! I live in Poland! I live in Poland! I'm living right here!"

Anyway, here it is (I'll translate the lyrics below):



Before you read the lyrics: Sopot is a seaside town, the most popular place to go on summer vacation, and Kutno is some town somewhere in Poland, which I've never heard anyone talking about, besides Kazik in this song. "Milk shop" was an expression used to describe 24/7 liquor stores.

Lyrics:

Morning daybreak, morning daybreak shining
When I'm strolling through Sopot's embankment
On a beach all dirty-yellow in colour
The Baltic Sea smells of crude oil

Morning pavements
When I walk, I don't talk to anyone
How is it on a Sunday morning around here?
After the Saturday parties the pavements are covered in puke

Poland
I live in Poland
I live in Poland
I live right here
here
here
here
here

Afternoon concerts
Are full of brain-deads working security service
They're looking around, because their hands are itching
They love to hit and beat more and more every day

The evening adventures begin again
When I walk up the stoned stairs
Plenty of drunken bums are trying to provoke me
We'll meet at the church the next day anyway

Poland
I live in Poland
I live in Poland
I live right here
here
here
here
here

Night milk shops
I walk up and look what's happening in front
The rabble is putting fist up to a guy's face
They demand a death sentence for him

And then the morning trains again
I just stand there and look at all the freaks in uniforms
Have you ever been at the Kutno railway station at night?
It's so ugly and dirty there that your eyes crack

Poland
I live in Poland
I live in Poland
I live right here
here
here
here
here

Night milk shops
I walk up and look what's happening in front
The rabble is putting fist up to a guy face
They demand a death sentence for him

And then the morning trains again
I just stand there and look at all the freaks in uniforms
Have you ever been at one of our railway stations at night?
It's so ugly and dirty there that your eyes crack

Last edited by Mucha na Dziko; 06-22-2021 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Kult –*band overview

KULT

As I've stated in the previous post, I'd rather try to keep content about bands/artists in consecutive posts, so as I ended going a sneak peak of a Kult song, let's dive deep into the music of Kult.

Kult is band formed in 1982 in Warsaw, the capital of Poland (and my hometown), following the disbandment of two other bands led by Kazik Staszewski – Poland and Novelty Poland (which are pretty ****ty names for a band, if you ask me).

For the first couple of years after formation, the band was purely a live band, with no album released up until 1987. They played extensively in music clubs like Remont (polish for refit) and Stodoła (the barn), two of the most acclaimed music venues at the time in Warsaw (they still exist and operate).

Kult's music could be described as punk/new wave/alternative rock in sound, and "anti-system" in character, as most lyrics of songs written under the communist rule, were criticising the state's and party's apparatus, the Catholic Church (which in Poland is a very prominent political figure) and since the democratic transition (1989-1992) the Catholic Church, the corporational/capitalist system and the problems arising in newly formed democracies.

Kult released 13 studio albums up until now, not all of which are particularly good, though the albums "Posłuchaj, to do ciebie" (Listen, it's for you) 1987, "Kaseta" (The Casette) 1989, "Muj Wydafca" (Mi Publeesher) 1994 are truly a delight to listen to.

Here's some examples. Stacked by albums:



Posłuchaj, to do ciebie



The lyrics of "Do Ani" ("To Anna"), center around a man, who's loved one went away, and he's just sitting in his apartment, strolling through corridors in the building he lives in, and just waiting, waiting and waiting for days and days for her to show up, or someone to show up who'd tell him what's happening with her. The last verse ends on a tragic note of the lyrical ego saying he's dying to see her, while he's standing on the edge of the window (to jump).


This one has more interesting images

I saw how they rip carcasses with their teeth
I saw them threatening each other with rifles
I saw them then exange handshakes with smiles on their faces
I saw them sitting on the throne in a crown
I saw them walking all over each other with boots
I saw them running each other over with tanks

Hey, don't you know?
You ain't got no power over the world
Hey don't you know?
You ain't got no power over the world


The next verses repeat the first one, but in a different order.



Arahja

"Arahja" is a song from Kult's third album, titled "Spokojnie" ("calm down"), and is one of their two or three most popular and instantly recognisable songs.

I'm not much of a fan of this particular album, but "Arahja" itself is such a powerhouse of a song, that it always gives me chills when listening to it.



The lyrics are just perfect, using a metaphor of a house divided in half, and the person living there divided in half as well, actually tells the story of the absurd and unequal fight between the left and right political sides in Poland.
Here's a translation:

My home, divided by a wall
Stairs divided by a wall
There's a bathroom on the left
And the kitchen on the right
My home, divided by a wall
Stairs divided in half
There's the bathroom on the left
And on the right...

My body divided by a wall
Ten fingers on the left
Ten fingers on the right
An equal part of my head divided between the sides

My street divided in half
The right side is shining with neon light
The left side is completely blacked out
I'm hiding behind a curtain and watching both sides

The left side never wakes up
And the right side never goes to sleep
The left side never wakes up
But the right side is constantly watching




Muj Wydafca

This is my favourite Kult album (probably because two off my favourite songs by them are on this one).
The first song being "Piosenka Młodych Wioślarzy" ("The song of young oarsmen"), which is a reimagining of a song of the same title from the album "Posłuchaj, to do ciebie". This version is a big improvement on the original.



The second one is my single favourite Kult song. It's titled "Lewe Lewe Loff" (which to my knowledge doesn't mean anything). I just love the deeply echoed and reverbed guitar, the horn solo section, and Kazik's vocal performance, which is extremely melodic (as for his standards).



The lyrics are beautiful as well:

I want to tell you
How much I value you
I want to tell you
How much I admire you
I want to tell you
Beware of these roads (you're taking)
But I have no courage to do so

It's 4am, and I'm writing down
What came up to my mind
And even though the wind blows high
I'd like to hum right to your ear

Lewe lewe loff loff loff loff
Lewe lewe loff loff loff loff

You've got what I'd like to have
If only I'd be a bit younger
And I just want to warn you
Don't try to force open wide open doors

You've got this stupid kind of wisdom
Everyone should learn from you
I just wanted to tell you that
This train won't go, unless you're on board

Lewe lewe loff loff loff loff
Lewe lewe loff loff loff loff

I just woke up from this dream
I dreamed I left all my belongings on some railway station
Some unknown angst woke me up
And that's why I'm sitting now and writing this down

But there are no words that could explain
What a person fells on a dark autumn night
And that's why I'm ending this letter now
November 1993


Though, you know, it all sounds much better and more poetic in polish.

Another great song comes from their fourth studio album "Kaseta". It's titled "Po co wam wolność" (What do you need freedom for?). It's for sure one of my favourites as well.



This year's First Secretary's speech

Freedom
What do you need freedom for?
You all have your television sets
Freedom
What do you need freedom for?
You can watch the Eurovision at home
Freedom
What do you need freedom for?
You've got plenty of money
Freedom
What do you need freedom for?
You're gonna have even more

Let's all march arm to arm
In the direction of the new world's sun
We will build together a new bridge
In the name of our great leader

What do you need freedom for?
You have all the SF movies to watch
What do you need freedom for?
We'll let you have a demonstration from time to time
What do you need freedom for?
All the shop windows seem full
What do you need freedom for?
You've got your bread and games

Let's all march arm to arm
In the direction of the sun
You'll all die one day
In the name of our great leader

Can you hear, can you hear
What's happening since all these years?
How much noise this ****ty world makes
God, what a ****ty world
Divided with borders
You can't meet the people you love
You can only exchange letters
You can feel them only through the post stamps
Only because they live in a different country

Everybody in this world is a greedy drunk
Everybody only wants money and corporate stuff
A bunch of gulls is rolling over this world
And the greediest ones want to rule the galaxy
God what a ****ty world
God what a ****ty world

And that was the speech of our great leader

Other albums worth notice are the two named "Tata Kazika" and "Tata 2", released in 1993 and 1996. The title means "Kazik's dad", and the tracks on these two records are songs written by Kazik's father in the 50s and 60s, and only interpreted by Kult.
Some of Kult's best known "cult" songs come from these two albums, especially:



and



notice the beautiful anthem-like piano in "Celina".





That's it for today with Kult's overview, I'll get into Kazik's solo carrier and his second band KNŻ some other time. Tomorrow's or after tomorrow's post will be about my favourite 60s/70s band, the blues oriented Breakout led by the late great Tadeusz Nalepa.

Last edited by Mucha na Dziko; 07-14-2021 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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BREAKOUT

Classic rock and blues fans unite! Here's a perfect band for you:


Breakout was formed in 1968 in Rzeszów, and disbanded in 1982, after it's leader, singer and lead guitarist, Tadeusz Nalepa, started his solo career.

The band went through several personel changes over the years, with Nalepa being the only member to stay through all of the band's incarnations. It was the first polish band to play the blues, with Nalepa being often called the Godfather of Polish Blues Guitar. Not only that, Breakout was the first band to play music reminiscent of psychedelia, art rock, blues rock, hard rock. All of Breakout's repertoire was written by Tadeusz Nalepa, with lyrics from a befriended poet/proessional lyricist Bogdan Loebl, who was a member of the band (only as lyricist).

They went to record 8 studio albums, and two albums as a backing band for Mira Kubasińska (Nalepa's wife), who also sang lead vocals on four of Breakout's studio efforts.

The band was notable for it's dual guitar interplay, Nalepa's intense, technical guitar skill and deep, emotional voice, as well as for their unique sound, as for polish standards at the time (they recorded their first album after touring extensively in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg and bringing lots of musical equipment not available in Poland at the time).

Though all of Breakout's albums contain masterful songs and hidden gems, I want to focus on three albums, which I think are the best out of their catalogue, those being the debut album "Na Drugim Brzegu Tęczy" (On the other shore of the rainbow), their most acclaimed album "Blues" (I guess you know what that means), and my personal favourite "Kamienie" (Stones/Rocks). Though at the end I will post some links to songs from other albums, as well as from Mira Kubasińska's solo efforts.


Na Drugim Brzegu Tęczy


They recorded their debut album in 1969, after touring the Benelux countries, as I've mentioned before. Though the album is heavy on the blues, it gives no context to what would be happening later, as many songs include elements of progressive rock and psychedelia, it has melodies often borrowed from polish folk music and are arranged with flutes, organs, a saxophone, apart from bass, guitar and drums.

Mira Kubasińska is the one singing all of the songs, with Nalepa joining her for harmonies.
I'll post some songs, so you can get a gist of what the album sounds like:

"We've already said all we could to each other"



"I'd follow you anywhere"


I love the lyrics to this one

I'd follow you even up to heaven
But it's so high, oh it's so high
How am I supposed to not be afraid?

I'd follow you even to the depths of hell
But it's so hot, oh it's so hot
I'd surely get burned

I'd follow you even to the crossroads
But it's so far away, oh so far away
It's to far for my feet

I'd follow you even to the end of the world
But I don't feel like it, oh I don't feel like it
I don't feel like constantly running after a boy


damn, I love this stuff...
Keep in mind it sounds much better and much more poetic in polish, and I'm not much of a translator.


"Don't hide – I already know everything"


"If only you'd love me"


There are better sound quality versions on YouTube for this last one, but I figured I might link this one, as then you can see Breakout running, playing and having fun.

I've only linked some of the songs from the album, but the entire thing is truly a delight, that I recommend to any late 60s fan.

BLUES


Breakout's third album, "Blues", released in 1971 is considered their greatest accomplishment (I'd argue in favour of 1974' "Kamienie"). As the album title suggests, it's all pure blues in it's many forms. The songs are tight, true to the form, pure, simple (yet sophisticated) and Nalepa proves himself to be one of the greatest blues songwriters of all time.

Nalepa took over the lead singer duties from Mira Kubasińska, and the band decided to use much less session players on the record, with the band consisting only of bass, drums, two guitars and a harmonica. All lyrics are written by Bogdan Loebl, with no help from other lyricists (as was the case on the previous two albums).

Breakout's best known song is featured here, as well as some of my favourites. So let's jump to some song (and lyrics) examples, and then at the end I'll break down more thoroughly two songs (the great "Kiedy Byłem Małym Chłopcem"(When I was a little boy) and my personal favourite "Usta me Ogrzej" (Warm my Lips).


"Poverty Came Knocking on my Door"


Where are you shadow?
Where are you shadow of mine?
Poverty came knocking on my door
And you're all I have left in the world
Poverty came knocking on my door
And you're all I have left in the world

Hey shadow of mine, maybe you know
Why did she leave me all alone?
After all I have all she needs
I do have all she needs
It's just that I'm poor right now
But maybe you know
Why did she leave me all alone?

Where are you shadow?
Where are you shadow of mine?
I've had a friend once
But poverty came knocking on my door
Yeah, she came right to my door
And now you're the only thing I have left in this world



"What had happened to the flowers?"


Why did they wither today?
Oh why did the lowers wither today?
What had happened to them?
After all it's only you that went away

The sun came up like any other day
So why did the flowers wither today?

Why is the bird silent?
Why doesn't he sing his song?
Did you take his song with you?
Did you steal the flowers' scent?

But I rememeber you only took one old dress with you
And some old, torn shoes

Now I'm all alone
All alone in this big city of mine
All the dead people are in a hurry somewhere
All the dead birds are screaming something

There's so many paths, so many roads
And the rain already washed away your footsteps


"Colour up my dreams"


I don't envy the boat it's sails, when the wind blows
Because it rushes it away through the seas
And I don't envy the birds' wings and fishes' fins
Because the only thing in this world that I want

Are colourful dreams
Please, colour up my dreams

I'd like to live in a dreamt colourful town
In a colourful garden pick up lilac flowers
To give them to a girl, who can make any song
Have all the colours and tones in the world

I'd like to dream, I'd like to be able to dream
Colourful dreams, please colour up my dreams

As gif it wasn't enough of it during the day
There's so much dark, pale and evil in my dreams
Please, let me at least have a colourful dream
Let my nights be brighter than my days

Give them to me, give them to me now
Those colourful dreams, please colour up my dreams


There are no weak tracks on this album, and to be honest I don't think I've ever heard a blues album this strong from start to finish.
Anyway, here's the two outstanding songs from the record:

"Warm My Lips"


Now this one is a real delight. The walking bass, though sometimes seems a bit off or wrongly played is to my ears pure perfection, especially as a sort of call and response with Nalepa's voice that captures some deep sadness and angst with such a gentle manner, you sometimes even feel almost relieved by it. What's happening, seriously. The guitar work is outstanding.

Look, the night comes
It drifts from the skies in a tapestry of dark
Into your house, onto the path
On which I'm waiting or you
Please don't force me to wait for you
In the cold of the night

Look, the night already came
It covers the window panes
Take the night and wrap it around your face
No one will recognise you in the shawl of darkness
Just repeal the doors gently
And let me come inside
Don't keep me waiting
In the dark of the night

Beauty. One of my favourite songs of all time. Just the mood of it seems so weird, angst driven, yet gentle and meditative at the same time. No idea how they could invent this ****.


"When I was a little boy"


This song is something that I think literally everyone in this country sucks with the milk of their mother when they're born.
Sadly it's so ubiquitous it had become a bit cringy to put it up in the streets. What a shame.
It's an amazing composition, very bluesy, very jam like, yet with a very concrete structure, especially in the lyrics department. The lyrics are divided into three parts, every part is describing a stage in the life of a growing child, and what the child believes at the time is the "right way to live". With the last verse being the child growing up and finally figuring out his own "life philosophy", as opposed to the earlier stages, when it was his father who was preaching him wisdom.

Well, here it is:

When I was
When I was just a little boy
My father put me
My father put me on his lap and said:

The most important thing is what you feel
Always listen to the voice of your heart, son

When I was
When I was a bit older
My father took me
My father took me aside and said:

Never listen to your heart, son
Money is the only important thing in life

The wind blows
The wind blows away all the weak trees
The wind blows
But the wind only caresses the trees that are strong

The most important thing is to be strong
Because the wind only caresses the thick trees


To me, Nalepa's vocal performance here is astounding, and his guitar work is literally the wind that blows and blows everything away.



KAMIENIE


"Kamienie" is Breakout's 5th album, released in 1974. The band had a completely different core lineup at the time, with Nalepa being the only original member.

No session musicians were used during the recording, which took place at a warehouse turned to a recording studio. Only four people play on the album, the instrument being two guitars, a bass and drums (with Nalepa occasionally adding harmonica parts).

The band took a bit of a different approach to recording this album, as the whole thing are jams really (though based on material written by Nalepa and Loebl). The album was bashed upon it's release, with critics saying it sounds amateurish, the production is bad, etc, etc. I don't get what the critics smoked at the time, but it certainly wasn't anything good, as this album is a masterpiece from start to finish.
Then again what can you do, when you're the successor of two of the most acclaimed albums by a band. You can't really blame people for thrashing "Let it Be", when they were just recently exposed to "Abbey Road" and "The White Album.

Nalepa himself said he was very saddened by the response to the album, as he believes that some of his greatest compositions are featured here. And, well, I couldn't agree more.

The only song to receive constant praise (and that received praise at the time as well) is "Modlitwa" ("A prayer"), which is no surprise, as it's one of the greatest songs ever written, period. But I'll get into that one later on.

Anyway, let the music speak for itself:

"Outside My Window"


Right outside my window
Days and nights pass
A long, grey procession
Went next to my window again
Just like any other day

A long, grey procession
As you took away the dark, the light
All the laughter and all the tears

Right outside my window
Days and nights pass
A long, grey procession
Went next to my window again
Just like any other day

A long and grey procession
As you took away the white, the gentleness
You took all the joys and sadness' of life

You took away the smoothness of walls in my house
The smoothness of your arms and your hair
The smoothness of your legs
You stole from my house, what was our sun in the night
And the river of fire in the cold



"It's tenderness, that I bring you"


"This song's for you"


Ok, let's get to the

A PRAYER


Damn this song. It's rare to hear such a powerful and emotional song. But this song accomplishes to immerse you in it's feel, mood, and genius every single time. It's one of those songs that give you chills no matter how many times you'll spin it in a row. The lyrics are mesmerising. They are from the perspective of a man, who has nothing left in his life, who had lost his love and the only thing he can think of of doing is to call out to God, to give him just one more chance at life.

It has 2 parts really, the one with vocals, and the powerful beatle-like hard rock part. The ease with which they pass from one to the other is astonishing and Nalepa's voice is as powerful as ever (if it's not his peak performance).

Oh Lord, please listen to my song
It's to you that I'm raising my voice today
You are everywhere, you are everything
But please, don't be a burden to me

It's to you that I shout out with this song, lord
I've heard there's nothing you can't make come true
So I beg to you, give me just one more chance
Please, just this last time

It would be just a wave of your hand
It would be a just one simple thought
And my life will begin again
So I pray for this Devine gesture

I raise this song to you, oh Lord
Can't you hear the begging in my voice?
Please, let me start anew
Give me my life once again

I won't waste a moment this time
Because I know the bitterness of days lost
So I beg you, let me start again
Give me just this last chance

But if you can't give it to me
Then at least allow me to experience this love again
The one that already died in me and her
Please, allow me to live through it again

It's to you that I shout, oh Lord
To you I raise my voice
You can be bread, birds, you can be the sun
So don't be a burden to me


Wow guys, bravo


That's it for the Breakout breakdown for today. I hope you enjoyed the music. The next time around I guess I'll dive more into one of the 80s New Wave bands, like Maanam or Republika, haven't decided yet. Anyway, stay tuned.

And to end the post, here's some examples of Breakout songs that aren't from the albums mentioned above, but I think are really worth notice:

"The Goodbye Blues"


"Take away the sadness"

This is a song from an album, where Mira Kubasińska came back to take over the vocal duties.

"Childhood River"


"To whom are you going to?"

This is a song from Mira Kubasińska's solo album, with music by Nalepa and Breakout as a backing band. Amazing song, btw

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Old 07-01-2021, 05:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey there

In the previous post I said I'll be taking on the workshop either Maanam or Republika, two of the most acclaimed new wave Polish bands. But I changed my mind. This one will be about a fellow New Waver nevertheless, though it will be someone far less popular, but also far more sophisticated and eclectic.

The artist in question is:


LECH JANERKA


Lech Janerka, born 1953 in Wrocław (Breslau, if there are any germans among you), over the span of his career (that is still going up to this day), proved himself to be now of the weirdest, most eclectic, self-conscious and important musicians around.


A bit of history
A bass player and vocalist, his first concert and music making experiences were with his wife – Bożena, a cello player.

He then formed the post-punk band Klaus Mitffoch in 1979. They went on to release only one studio album, but, oh boy, what an album that is. Even now, Klaus Mitffoch's debut album is considered a masterpiece, and often tops the polls for greatest polish albums of all-time (though to be honest I'm not sure many people actually;;y listened through the entire thing).

The band disbanded soon after and Janerka went back to making music with his wife, and in 1986 the album "Historia Podwodna" ("An Underwater Story") signed only "Lech Janerka" was released.
He hasn't been since as popular as he was in the 80s, but he still has a cult following, and many of his songs and compositions are ubiquitous in the cultural mentality of polish people (even if they don't know the artist himself – the way that "We Will Rock You" or "House of the Rising Sun" work, you might not know who the performer his, but there ain't no person in the world who don't know the tune).

He was always considered an original artist, unlike any other, some sort of outsider to the pop/rock/blues world, but at the same time someone who surpasses everybody else (at least ccording to musicians).
And it's true – Janerka's style is uncopyable, and his musical prowess and ideas are something to often be jealous of.
He's arguably also one of the best (if not the best) lyricist in the entire polish phonography catalogue.



z
By the way, Janerka is one of the three bass players that inspired me to take up the instrument. I always wanted to have the melodic chops of McCartney, the technical chops of Claypool and the style/mood of Janerka.

His vocal tone, style and range reminds me of John Lennon in many ways, and if it won't be clear why based on the examples I'll give first then check out the song that will be nearly at the end (it's a Beatle-impression made by Janerka).


Lech Janerka is so insanely good, I'll shut up from now, and let the music speak for itself. Every here and there I'll translate the lyrics (if they're good, which usually they are). The songs will be divided only by the distinction between Janerka's band's sole album or Janerka'as solo career.

Keep in mind Janerka's text are quite untranslatable, so what the English translation will be, is just the word to word transcription, so it will sound quite weird (but it's just. that I don't have the chops to translate this thing in a poetic manner [maybe the will?]).


Klaus Mitffoch

I can guarantee you, that this debut album will be one of thee weirdest things you've ever heard. it's just perfect.

About the Head


The head knows how to join
The skies with the neck
The sky flows into the neck
Through the head

That's why the head usually feels
like Not belonging to anyone
And that's the reason why things are
... what they are

The head says "I like when I talk"
I like to cudgel my brains on stuff
And I like to like
I like to fool myself and fool all the others
About cutting myself of from them, so I won't bore them

A head, when it sees a flag, it says "A Flag"
And the colour of our flag is complicated
The upper colour is the colour white
The bottom colour is the colour red

The upper colour is the colour white
The bottom colour is the colour red
And the colour of our flag is sophisticated
The upper colour is the colour white
The bottom colour is the colour red




Klus Mitroh


We own the days, we own the nights
We've got our dreams, we've got our paths
Just Like You
We wish we knew
The latest version
of the truth
But this lucrative swain
Still follows us
We wish everyone something
Bad
Is in our eyes

Quickly, hide
Here comes the crowd
Unless some of you want to make some fun of them
There's so many hands, and such a handful of brains
It's damn easy, not to say anything about fascism
There's so many hands, and such a handful of brains
don't give me this bull**** about how it's all happening for me

Oh no, please no
Oh, no, no, please no
No, please, just not this
(etc)

And when you finally hit your head on the bottom floor
Everybody awaits the day
When the days will grow bleak and pale
And you'll have to pay in blood
And when the streets will be fool of blood,
don't give me this bull**** about how it's all happening for me




"Strzeż się Tych Miejsc"
Now, this is one of Janerka's bests, I've just discovered this concert, and I found it surprisingly good (though still, the album version is far superior). Still, I thought it might be better for you (I there are any readers) to actually see Lech Janerka move, sing, play bass (look at his hands in the second half of the song!!), etc, to get a better sense of who, how, where, when and why he was.


Oh, the polish phrase "Strzeż się" means in English something between "beware" and "be afraid of" and "stay put about something (I guess), so I'll be using them interchangeably:

Of all the dark passages
And all the hours that seem too late
Of all the nooks, staircases and liifts
O the Filthhy streets, that smell of dark

Beware, all these places
Beware these places
Beware!

It ain't allowed to laugh out loud around here
Or have any of these expensive clothes
Beware!
Beware!

Here all the crooks and thieves
Keep their oceans
Death hwhispers them the future
And every night, oh very night
She makes the fool of them

Beware of such places


"Jezu, Jak Się Cieszę"


The polish "wake up" and "get up" can be read as the same thing, but their meanings can also differ within certain contexts. So I'll be using just one, but keep in mind, they're both there.

Geez, how happy I am
Of all these little resurrections
When once again my pocket's full
My thinking's kinda more sharp
And I can boldly imagine a new plan

And what a joy/beauty it is!
Oh how immodest it is

But when it fades
(Just like everything else)
This one day euphoria ends and I have to

Wake up
and Work
and Have

But I can't really do all that
I don't really feel like it

Oh geez, how I like
I bet no one in the world can like
as much and in the way I like
Oh I like to hide myself
And I like to overuse/abuse
And I'm constantly looking for chsances
So I've got them all

And it's beautiful again
It's quite immodest to be true

But when it all passes/fades
Just like everything else

You ave to
wake up and work
And have



Ok, enough wit this album,

if someone
isn't convinced yet,
he probably won't,
if someone is, he can
look it up himself
from here,
now, let us pass
to Janerka's solo career:



"All Men of Intelligence want to work for the Intelligence Agency"


This is the beatle-impression


The Intelligence
The intelligence is schooling it's agents
How to take joy in your charms
And that if you'd be to take off someone's bra
Without using your hands, oh what a smart way
It's a mistake!

Oh, what a fault
Yes, such a fault,
It's a fault against everyone
Because to not use your hands
When taking somebody's bra off
Is a crime


"Constitutions"


This one is from his first solo effort.

There's all these happy constitutions
Theey all have but one goal
It's to abolish the revolution
But. we don't give a damn

Yeah, that's right
We have it up our butts
Oh, yeah, that's right

There's all these groundbreaking resolutions
But they all tell a crooked taie
No one will ever even read that ****
But you know what?
We don't give a damn



"Without My Supper"


Just listen to that cello.
The hell is she doing on that thing?


And he's bass? Oh, boy, this ain't real!

There on the video's thumbnail, it's Janerka when he's 50 or something, but the song was released about 10 years prior, I think

The day had past, I'm almost asleep
When. just beside me I hear sex
How am I supposed to get up ion the morning
When I'd still eat something before the night
But you're constantly to tie me up

God dammit!
I can't take it anymore!

I refuse to go to sleep without my supper
Without my supper!


"This game ain't for little girls"


In polish, the words "to be sleeping", "dreaming", "fall asleep", can in certain use of synonyms sound very similar to each other (in conjugaison & decliination). And this song is using all these meanings – (and different ones) – in different parts of the lyrics.

This game ain't for little girls, you know
You should go home, they might be fighting around here
They might br firing arms around here
The war will fade, when the sleep will come back to us
But as for now, just please, go to sleep, sleep, please

Don't think badly/wrongly/falsely of no thing
Don't think badly/wrongly/falsely of no thing
Don't think badly/wrongly/falsely of no thing
And please, just go to sleep

I will buy you
Anything you'd ask
It could even be ice creams
Just please fall asleep

And dream






Just listen to Janerka's bass in all of these songs! How much better does it get?



Here's some other Janerka's solo songs, for a goodnight's sleep:

"The epidemic of epilepsy"


"It's not a little waltz"


"Paragway" / "Sleep, sweet angel of mine" / Without my Supper" LIVE




And with this jolly performance, I wish you a good night, my fellow MB readers
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Originally Posted by Marie Monday View Post
This thread reads like the synopsis of a tv series, in a good way

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Old 07-13-2021, 05:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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REPUBLIKA
PART I



Similarly to Klaus Mitffoch, Republika had a musical mastermind of it's own – writing all the songs and pulling all the strings – Grzegorz Ciechowski. After Republika disbanded Ciechowski started his solo career, that was at least as popular as Republika in it's glory days, if not more. So, this post is going to be about both Republika, and Ciechowski's solo efforts (released under the pseudonym "Obywatel GC" [Citizen GC]).

Formed in 1981, Republika was a New Wave/Art Rock formation, with it's music being characterised by compositional complexity, Ciechowski's extremely characteristic vocals, and the often used western concert flute (Ciechowski being the bands flautist).

They had a very distinctive visual style, that is just as associated with the band as it's music. The picture above is a quite good representation of it: the colours being only black and whites, all arranged in stripes, flags sometimes, etc. All their album covers featured similar style, and when playing live, the band would recreate these visuals on stage.

They disbanded in 1986, during the recording of their third album. The rest of the band was unhappy with Ciechowski's leadership and a big argument arose, because of which they never finished the album, and the songs went to be released on Obywatel GC's debut record.

During the communist days in Poland, the most popular musical festival was held annually at the city of Opole. In 1990 (a year after the "first free elections"), during the Opole Festival the organisers thought of doing a sort of summary/recapitulation of the greatest polish music from the 80s, and asked Ciechowski and the other members of the band to play a gig. And so the band reconciled and afterwards actually went on to record four more albums, before definitively ending the career after Ciechowski's death in 2002.

Now, to the songs:

Republika 1981 – 1986


"Kombinat"




"Biała Flaga"

"The White Flag'
This is probably Republika's best known song:

Where are they?
Where are all my friends -ends-ends-ends-ends-ends

They ran out
Though there were always more than a few -oo-oo-oo-oo-oo

They've hid
In various obscure institutions -utions-utions-utions-utions-utions

Swallowed up
By galloping prostitutions -utions-utions-utions-utions-utions

Where are my friends
Militants from those past years
There were always more than a few
Now I'm alone

Who is that gentleman
Who speaks so culturally
Oh how he tries to sit and stand nicely
Gasp what a tone, what a bow
What depth in every topic
And what intelligent beliefs -efs-efs-efs-efs-efs
Where are my friends
Militants from those past years
There were always more than a few
Now I'm alone

Here they are everyone is here
My friends from many fronts
What a parade what a beautiful stride
Marching shoulder to shoulder straight ahead
And in slippers, in suits
With pajamas under their arms
With foundations, taxes and with white flags
There goes a whole crowd of them, a whole crowd of them
Crowd of them crowd of them
Crowd of them crowd of them
Crowd of them...
Where are they
Where are they
They ran out
They ran out
Where are they
They ran out
Try to find a better piano solo. The hell's he doing.
It's like he's playing microtones on that piano

"Śmierć w Bikini"

"Death in Bikini"
The lyrics are literally untranslatable
(at least by me, so I won't attempt it

They're great, btw)


"Na Barykadach Walka Trwa"

"There's still fighting going on on the barricades"


It's like when you listen to these lyrics, you're either like "dafuq's he talkin about" or "oh, damn, that makes sense", or the mix of both

And to my personal favourite from this era:

"Moja Krew"

"My Blood'
There will be a separate post about this song.

Now that I think of it, it's a shame that Janerka and Ciechowski have never collaborated with each other. The style is so similar, yet coming from another point o view (thus being complementive to each other).


OBYWATEL GC



Now, this era of Ciechowski's career was best known for Obywatel GC's second album titled 'Tak! Tak!" (Yes! Yes!).

This 1988 album contained two of the most popular and substantial songs:

[as to the lyrics: I'm trying to make sense of all of this:
Ciechowski is a master lyricist. When it comes to the lyrics, few can match him in his linguistical prowess in songwriting. My translations will always fall flat on the poetic meaning / language awareness of the original thing.
1. Having fun/playing a game/Please Yourself/having a ball are homonyms in Polish (there are other synonyms for each of these words however)



Nie Pytaj Mnie o Polskę
"Don't you dare to ask me about Poland"


It ain't a carnival
But I want to dance nevertheless
And I will, I shall
I'll dance her until the daybreak

It's not a game
But I'm still having a ball
Oh the sleepless nights
The dreamy days

She ain't a lover
But I still do sleep with her
Even though they laugh,
Even though they'll make fun of me

She's always so tired
Oh god, she's so drunk
That's why you shouldn't ask me why

Don't ask me why

Don't ask me why
I'm still with her
Don't ask me why
I ain't with another girl
Don't ask me why
I still believe that
There's just no other place
That would suit me

Don't ask me what
Do I still see in her
Don't ask me why don't
I keep it for another one
Don't ask me why
That I do still crave to fall asleep with her
And wake up inside/right there

Oh, These filthy trainstations
That's when I really meet her
It's among those crowds that
silently curse

Or that drunk hobo that is mumbling
That "as long as we're alive
– she'll be living too"

Don't ask me why
I fancy her
Don't ask me what
Is it that I see in her
(...)


and



Tak! Tak!
"Yes, yes It's me..."

Finally I'll tell you my mind
Right in your face
I'm ashamed that the world
Is still carrying you on it's back

You know what?
About it all,
To it all
I have all the answers
I always have a witty response
Oh, you can't escape
(You cover your face?)
To not get hit
you're doing a milion funny faces

Just wait
I will give you hell
You mimic it all
Everything that i do
I have enough of you already
Those empty eyes
Just wait a bit
I'll smash the mirror
- yes yes Yes yes -
there in the mirror
It's unfortunately me
Yes yes - in the flesh
Yes yes - there in the mirror
It's unfortunately me
Yes yes -
in the flesh
Just now
When no one hears
(Do not worry - you're alone in the house)
You fill up the bathtub with warm water
and Proclaim in the mirror
That you want to change the world
I know
- you strive for more
a litlle bit but
tell me How many days
did you spend in front of the mirror?

****, seriously, about these two songs:
When was the last time you've heard something as good as this?


That's it's for today: a briefing of Republlika's first run, and a Sneak Peak for Obywatell GC's solo career (his two greatest hits).



kisses

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Old 07-25-2021, 11:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi guys, sorry I haven't been posting for a long time, but I'm having a pretty rough time in my life right now. One might say that it's even the worst.
Anyway, I thought that sharing these beautiful, talented artists is a way as good as any to get my mind off of all the bad things that are happening.

Let's get to it:



OBYWATEL GC
Part II

Obywatel GC (Grzegorz Ciechowski) released a number of albums between Republika breaking up and Republika getting back together, but really I've always been a fan of only one of them, that being his second studio album titled "Tak! Tak!" (Yes! Yes!).
Considering it's hard to recommend something you don't really like, or you're not that familiar with, I'll post only examples from the aforementioned record.



In the previous post I've linked two songs from this album, that also happen to be the two hit singles from it, and also Ciechowski's two biggest hits overall.

But the record does not end there, haha:


The Hangman's Song



A Telegram To a Producer


I love how Ciechowski waits until the chorus to start singing. His voice has so much power when it comes in. And the girls voice is really soothing, nice and so flirting for some reason. Top notch acting and composition right here.

Please change me, producer
Oh, how I wish to be one of your stars
And to hear, when I'm walking down the street
"Hey, I've seen that face before"

I can change the colour of my eyes and my skin
I can be a nun, but also a femme fatale
Imagine new clothes and haircuts for me
I'll show you just what I'm worth

My father tells me I'm delusional
"Who'll ever respond to you child?
Don't you know, that the country we live in
Is a forgotten land?"

But I know that you're somewhere out there
Just like there's God up above
But I can meet God, when I'll go to heaven
And I can meet with you right here

Produce me!
Take my life in your hands!
Model my head, like you see fit
I'm sending you a picture of me
No! I'll send you two

I'm sure you'd like to know
Whether I can cry and laugh at your command
So I'm sending you these two photos of me
One with me laughing, on the second one I cry

Please hurry
After all my time will pass
But I'll send you in formalin
My beautiful smile

Produce me!
Take my life in your hands!
Model my head, like you see fit
I'm sending you a picture of me
No! I'll send you two

Oh, please hook me up with Greta Garbo
No! I want an appointment with Marilyn Monroe!
My suitcase is already packed and ready
I'm just waiting for the signal


We'll All End up in Heaven



Dead Words



And best for last:

A Trip To The Countries Where It's Warm




REPUBLIKA 1990-2001


As I've mentioned before, Republika got together again after being asked for a reunion concert at the Opole festival in 1990 (also, btw the first year after the first free election in Poland since 1939 or whenever the last elections before the war were).

Republika's original bass player wanted to record the new album with the band, but was not on board with touring afterwards, so he was kicked out of the band definitively. As a result, Republika's first new album, titled simply 1991 features no bass at all. Some time after this release they've found a new bassist.

The first 2-3 albums they recorded together were mostly re-recordings of their classic songs, hits, etc, or acoustic versions, symphonic or whatever. Nothing there to really look for. But in 1993 they finally recorded an album full of new material. The album's title is "The Seventh Seal", and it's fine. But in no way foreshadowed what was to come.

In 1998, after one more album of "doing something else", Republika released the record "Masakra" (The Massacre). Its as hailed as the band going back to their art rock/new wave roots, and to be honest, it might be the best album they've ever recorded.

Sure, there are some better songs on previous albums, but this one is to my ears really the "something else" they tried to achieve on "The Seventh Seal" and "The Dream Republic".

Here's the cover art:

I guess they really came back to their roots (black & white )

There's three songs that really stand out from this record:

When Leaving


I guess this is it – you're leaving
Here's all your books, all your records
Really you can take whatever you want
I'd rather you take me with you

I'm lighter than all these photos
That now you'll be cutting me out of
I won't say a word
I'm dead anyways

Please take me with you when leaving
Please take me with you when leaving

I'm sure you'd find me a place in your new life
Oh, just there on a shelf, or on that window sill
You'd only have to dust me off once in a month

Just please take me with you when you'll be leaving


Guardian of Sleep


Just notice how the guitar work in the chorus is literally singing the same line as Ciechowski's vocals. Just slower. funny thing is that when I was a kid I was quite sure that's actually another voice and not a guitar.

At ten past two
The moon had licked your ear
He was so fast
I couldn't catch his tongue

At five past four
It was the sun
That had made a haunt
In your hair
So it's rays can lay down

And I'm watching after you
I repel all these suspicious crooks
That come here at the break of day
To watch you sleep

I ain't surprised
It quite understandable, but
They might wake you up
And I can let them because

Right above your head
Right above your head
I can see all my dreams float gently

Just after midnight
A moth came by
She won't bother you anymore
Not ever again

You've got greetings
From all the nearby stars
It's the Milky Way
That is amazed by your breasts

Right above your head
Right above your head
I can see all my dreams float gently



Mammon


This might be the biggest hit from the album. When you'll hear the opening piano riff, the catchy melody, and the quite funny (when in polish) lyrics, I guess you'll know why.

I've already written a song today, it's all fine and well,
but I'm only in it for the money
Not a word about love, cruelty or politics
Not a word about anything else, no hidden meanings

Oh, first there's you, then nothing for a long time
Today I'm only in it for the money

How many times have I heard that someone's in love, I never believed them
Because how can you believe when someone is being paid to confess?
This song is the real deal because I'm singing knowing that
I'm not feeling anything, I'm only in it for the money

Oh, first there's you, then nothing for a long time
Today I'm only in it for the money

This song is written for the money
This song is sung for the money
This song is recorded only for the money
This song is released, so I can get some money

I'm not treating you like a fool, I. assume you're listening to the words
And that you know, that I'm. truly writing this for the money
Just like no prostitute kisses you in your lips
I'm letting go of all of my beautiful verses

This song is written for the money
This song is sung for the money
This song is recorded only for the money
This song is released, so I can get some money



That's it for today. And for the next couple of days at least. I need to get my **** together and try to make my life have meaning again.

Bye :*


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Old 08-09-2021, 07:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey, I'm back, and I thought maybe it's time for something more modern.
So strap your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, because we're going for a ride!


ŁĄKI ŁAN


Łąki Łan is a band formed in the early 2000s in Warsaw, by a couple of friends from high school. The last addition to the squad was Włodzimierz Dembowski, who became the bands lyricist and lead vocalist.

They consist of a vocalist, a guitar player, two keys/synth players, a drummer (also a singer), and a bass player/secondary vocalist/synth player. So all of the weird electronic stuff they make on the albums, are easily transposed to a live environment, as it's all being played by humans (nothing is programmed, not even the drum beats, which often sound like they've been quantised or made in Ableton or something, but they're not – the dude is really a machine when it comes to drumming).

All of the band's members have stage nicknames, that are all based on nature or animal kingdom. Like Dembowski is known as Paprodziad (which is a non-existent word in polish, but it's created out of two words that mean "fern/bush" and "grandpa/old dude"), the drummer is called Mega Motyl (Mega Butterfly), the guitarist is Bonk (which means "Gadfly", bu. it's written with a typo), and my favourite one – the bass player/secondary vocalist – Zając Cokictokloc (which is one o the most absurd things, I've ever heard: Zając means "a hare", and "cokictokloc" is a combination of words, that when read on paper don't mean anything, but when you read it outloud, you realise it basically means "One poo every bounce").
They also always dress up as various bugs and plants for their live shows.

The English wikipedia translates the band's name as "Meadow's field", but it just doesn't sound right to me. You see: Łąka means Meadow is polish, that's true. But "Łan" is a unit of surface o a meadow/field. So much closer would be "An Acre of a Meadow" or something (though "łan" does not equal "acre", it's much smaller).
(You read it as "Wonkie One" btw)

The band is notorious for it's pro-environmental, ecological message and actions.
Their music could be described as a melange of funk, rock, rap and electronic dance music. They themselves call the genre they're playing "Łąki Funk" (so..."funk from the meadows", or rather "funk made by the meadow").
They're best known for extremely energetic concerts (some might say they're better live than on record) and Paprodziad's enigmatic/nonsensical/avantgarde lyrics. I myself saw them live about 5 or 6 times, and I love them with all my heart.

Paprodziad's lyrics are so absurdly written, and relying on
onomatopoeias, neologism, and overall weird choices of words, that even polish people have a hard time understanding them, and often don't even realise the guy is singing in polish.
So I won't even try to translate this stuff...well, maybe with a couple of verses here and there, so you can understand the ****edupness of them.
No matter though whether someone understands what is it that e's talking about, Paprodziad's lyrics are a true showcase of what the polish language is capable of. I mean, the way he sounds when singing, sounds to me like someone mixed Portuguese with Czech or something. It's just...well, wow, I don't know wha else to say.

One of the coolest things the band does, is a five days music and arts festival located in the town of Kazimierz Dolny, aptly named Kazimiernikejszyn (just like "caliornication", but with Kazimierz instead of California, and the "cation" suffix written phonetically).
Kazimierz itself is an amazing town: it has about 2000 people living there, but the whole thing looks like an idyllic medieval remnant, with an old monastery, some castle ruins and really sweet architecture. Also it's placed on the banks of the river Visula, which also flows through Warsaw, and Cracovia, and Gdańsk. So that's some serious ****.
Most of the concerts are being held just outside of Kazimierz, in an abandoned quarry, but there's also concerts at the city marketplace, and all of Kazimierz has some actions and animations to attend. The whole town turns into one, big, chilled out festival.
Paprodziad has a second band, formed in Kazimierz Dolny, called "Dziady Kazimierskie" ("Grandpas from Kazimierz"). And they made a song about how great Kazimierz Dolny really is:

Keep in mind, this is not Łąki Łan (there's really no connection in musical direction between these two bands), but I wanted to link this song, to give a gist of what the Kazimiernikejszyn festival feels like:



And now, without further ado, let's get to Łąki Łan themselves:

Łąki Łan released one debut EP, and four studio albums. I've never heard the EP, so I'll be focusing solely on the first three studio albums (because I utterly dislike the new one).



ŁĄKIŁANDA

This LP, released in 2009, is the studio debut album of the band, and pretty much immediately made Łąki Łan the rising stars of polish music scene. All tracks are strong on this one (apart from the obligatory EDM/ambient stuff, they put on every record for some reason – but then again, it's just like, my opinion, man). Let me show you some of my favourites:


Big Baton


The łakifunk is strong with this one.
This is the first track by these guys that I've ever heard (I was about 9 or 10) and just immediately fell in love with the band. I mean, apart from the funky groove, the lyrics seemed so mesmerisingly absurd, it was impossible not be sold right away. I'll try to give you a gist of what he's saying (keep in mind, the song is basically the singer talking about different band members playing this song):

What squeaks in the grass, pets the leaves,
[untranslatable gibberish], rustling leaves cleans of silence
Cool Gadfly drumsticking and doing [onomatopoeias symbolising hitting the high-hat and cymbals/laughing]
Not a small foot of The Mega Butterfly doing just bum! bam! bum bum!

Yeah, ok, I'm giving up, we're still in the first verse here. In the chorus he's using the similarly sounding words from English and polish ("who you wanna be" and "chujem wanna be?", and "chuj" is a very vulgar way of calling a dick. So basically he's asking "who do you want to be? Do you want to be a dick?"), it reads as follows:

You who dislike the herbs
Who you wanna be?
Chujem wanna be?
You, who dislike the weeds
Bang, bang! bang, bang!



Here's another song from the album, and it's the first one they recorded together (besides that ep from 2004 or something):

Galeon


This one is pretty much about a Galleon named Funk, that is leaving the port and heading towards open seas of music.




This one's here more of a straight up blues, but with that sweet Łąki Łan twist

Wygon


Also, the lyrics are much more straightforward, so here's the translation:

I ain't that curious about the world
About those enormous, beautiful towns
They won't be able to tell me much more
Than this fern growing by the road

I ain't curious of the people
Who studied for a hundred years or more
I'll be happy with the first guy in the line
I'll be happy with whoever comes

I ain't curious of all your books
Go on, make fun of me
Without reading them, I know quite much
I know what's it like to live, man

I sat here, under this tree
I'm all alone and serene
Oh God, oh my joy,
How could I ever thank you

Run yourself to the sheep-run
Run yourself to the sheep-run
(...)



Here's one in English (their English lyrics are often full of grammar/stylistic mistakes, but I feel like it's not because they don't know how to English, but just that they don't care, it's just there to fit the rhythm):

Love

Well, that's a sudden change of mood...

Ok, enough with this album, check out the rest if you're sold. Let's get to Łąki Łan's most successful album to date, that being their second LP, released in 2012:



ARMANDA

There were at least 4 hit songs on this one (two of which are sung by the bass player).
Let's get to them:

Lovelock


This must be my favourite Łąki Łan song. The guitar riff is pure beauty, the thing is just so energetic, and he lyrics are as pro-ecological and absurd as hit gets. Eco Disco at it's best.

The lyrics were written by Paprodziad after he learned of a British scientist and scholar James Lovelock, who had made a theory about how the Earth is truly just one big organism, and not a big rock in space being inhabited by many different organism.
Oh and in polish, the word "core" (like, the "core of a planet") can be synonymous with the word "testicles" (just one "testicle" actually).

Łan łąki, one home, one hope, one goal,
One ship, one wish, one way, one show,
One body, one dance, one karma, one chance,
One pulse, one spot, one destiny, one God!

That what is hard to grasp
And unspeakable in speech
Becomes fairly obvious
On a cellular level

Unconscious of the consciousness,
so far away and yet so close
All you've gotta do is listen to the Ecosystem
And vibe to our Eco Disco


She's just one for us all
And we're all for her
Luckily not yet do all the individuals
Have it all up their asses

What you give
Will come back to you
3, 2, 1, go
Fill the world everyday with positive mindshapes

My name is James, James
James Lovelock
Hot as the core
Volatile as the clouds
My name is James, James
James Lovelock
So you better move, you better dance
You better rock that abdomen

Anna, Hanna, John, Josef,
we're riding on the same cart
We're all moving the same way,
we're a system of interconnected vessels

Oh, don't you see, that's exactly the point
You and me are but one
One body, one goal, one priceless business
Let's work with love (not envy), with empathy (not egoism)

It's time everybody understood
Got it under their domes, into their pates
We are all but one
Big organism!

My name is James, James
James Lovelock
Hot as the core
Volatile as the clouds
My name is James, James
James Lovelock
So you better move, you better dance
You better rock that abdomen

Łan łąki, one home, one hope, one goal,
One ship, one wish, one way, one show,
One body, one dance, one dream, one chance,
One deep, hot romance, one superficial trance,
One pulse, one spot, one move, one shot.
Oh my God! One Mother is all We've got!



This is their biggest hit to date (by that I mean the song that arouses most emotions during live shows):

Jamming

^ that's a live rendition


^ that's the album version

The live and studio versions differ quite a lot, especially in the intro sections. It's quite understandable, as the song originated as jams during concerts, and finally after a couple of years they recorded it for their second album.

Also, this is one of he songs sung by the bass player.


And this is the second one:

Łan for Me


One of my favourites too. Especially when I was in high school. I'd put this song (and the next one) on any party/social gathering playlist (I was always the one bringing a speaker). The other one was:

Łan Pała


The title of the song is read in polish as "One Power", though it doesn't actually mean much (the two words used are "Łan", which I already explained, and "Pała", which means anything that is long and stiff – so it might be a stick, a staff, a rod, a dick, but also you can call someone dumb this way, or if someone does something stupid, etc – but also, there's the verb "pałać", which means "to burn" or "to glow", and "pała" is this verb conjugated in the third person of present simple...so the title basically says "the glowing field" or something).


Ok, one more song from this album, and let's get on to their 2017 release.

Pleń


Just another fine example of the łąkifunk.




SYNTONIA

This particular record was the first and only I've actually bought in the music store myself. I loved it when it came out, and I still love init to this day, though now – sadly – I believe it was the beginning of the decline of Łąki Łan's artistic values. They turned much more to the pop and electronic side of their music, and began to leave the real łąkifunk days behind them (which resulted tree years later with their last album, which was one of the biggest musical disappointments in my life). But you know, their popularity grows, so I guess it's just me.

Nevertheless this album is a real joy, and especially one of the songs "Pola Ar" still stands as one of their bests. Here's a live version of

Pola Ar


Just before you star to wonder: yes, we have here in Poland a festival called Woodstock. It's a festival organised by a charity organisation called "Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy" ("The Great Orchestra of Christmas Help"). It works this way, that there's one day during the year (usually around Christmas),w hen plenty of volunteers walk the streets and ask for some change, then the money they collect is being given to hospitals, orphanages, or any other such institutions. The money that is left, after buying equipment is being used to organise this big summer festival (every year there are 100-300 thousand attendees), as a way of saying "thank you" to all the people who helped the cause.

But back to the song:
It's a jolly nice thing, especially lyrics wise. You see, as I've mentioned before "Łąka" means "meadow". The songs title is "Pola Ar", which sounds like it was a girl's name (Polly) and her surname (Ar). But actually, "Ar" means "acre", and "Pole" means "a field", so the title means "An acre of a field".

And keep in mind this is a love song, so it's actually a Meadow confessing it's love for a Field.

Also, the English "yeah!", when read in polish sounds like the verb "to eat" conjugated in the third person of singular. So it basically means "he's eating".

Here's my try at translating Paprodziad's lyrics:

This charm of yours, your scent, your inluence
Your spell, your aura's heat
Like always, here, there and everywhere, with all my strength
I love you Pola Ar

There's one way, one way I know, one road I can take
So, damn, who cares, I go down it knees deep
This fate of mine that works out without pretending
Without the tears, the grief, pain, anger, grievances, and fights
Ar!

I love, oh I love you Pola Ar
You're my mainstay, my banner, my fanfare
I love you so, and I believe in us
With every cell I have, with every faith that there is

Oooh, Pola Ar

You and me: two stars, one world
Just one power, one emotional charism
One invigorating vastness of loving waves
I love you Pola Ar

There's one way, one way I know, one road I can take
So, damn, who cares, I go down it knees deep
This fate of mine that works out without pretending
Without the tears, the grief, pain, anger, grievances, and fights
Ar!

I love you, I love you so Pola Ar
You're my compass, my karma, my radar
I love you so Pola Ar
And I believe in us with every cell I've got, and with all the faith in the world

He's from the field, he's eating stuff from the field
He's from the field, he's eating stuff from the field
He's from the field, he's eating stuff from the field
He's from the field, he's eating stuff from the field




Another cool song from the album is

Rozanielacz Dusz


"Rozanielacz" is a neologism, that could mean something in the likes of "the thing that makes you feel heavenly", as "Anioł" means "angel", and if you add the prefix "roz-" then the word means "the process of making someone/something feel/be something", and the suffix "-acz", then you know that this something is an object (that can be used to do something). "Dusza", on the other hand, is the polish word for "soul". So the whole thing is "the thing/machine that makes you feel heavenly".


Bombaj


This song is also one of their most beloved ones in the live environment. The song's lyrics are notorious for intentionally misquoting a song by some ****ty rapper or something. The original lyrics were "Power! Energy! Amphetamines!", while here Paprodziad changes it for a much more positive affirmation of life, that being: "Power! Energy! Endorphins!".

Also, this particular live performance is being held just beneath the Palace of Culture (that big, tall building in the back, in the wide shots). Which is the most famous building in Warsaw, and is placed right in the center of the entire city. It's also infamous for having been built by the communist party in the 50s, and because of that polish conservatives and fascists want it to get demolished, so it won't "disgust and pain the polish patriotic eyes". It's one of the dumbest **** I've ever heard to be honest. Like, would you take town the London Tower, just because it was built by some nefarious people? Or would you demolish the White House, because it has been built by slavers? Come on people...



Anyway, this is
the end
of today's Łąki Łan breakdown.
The albums have some more hidden gems in them, so if you liked what I've linked here, be sure to check them out.

Goodbye for today, and remember we're all just one organism


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Old 08-10-2021, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey, by the way, feel free to discuss; or comment on the bands, or songs

It's not TV
...right ?


Does someone find this interesting?
Did you know of any of these bands before?
Does someone want me to keep writing this (or can I spend all this time some other way)?
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Old 08-11-2021, 05:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 08-25-2021, 06:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, anyway:


As I've mentioned in the first post, Kazik Staszewski (whom you may remember from the post about Kult) was going to be one o the most heavily showcased artist around here. So, without further a due, let's get to the second band Kazik co-founded:


KAZIK NA ŻYWO

Founded in 1991, KNŻ (as the band is usually called) played mostly a synthesis between rap and metal. They are often referred to as the polish version of Rage Against The Machine (though I wouldn't go that far in comparisons: they are just playing the same genre really, but, you know, as a polish proverb goes "in the fishless sea, even a crayfish can seem a fish").

The band had a line-up op vocals, two guitars, bass, drums and synths. As far as I know Kazik was the only member to stay through all of the bands incarnations.

At first, they were supposed to be Kazik's solo backing band (hence the name – Kazik na Żywo – which means in polish "Kazik Live"), but that soon changed and KNŻ became a full-fledged band.

Just as it was the case with any band led by Kazik, KNŻ was known for it’s anti-establishment lyrics (just this time around it was aimed at the people who were creating the newly formed Polish state in the early 90s).

During their original run, they released three studio albums (each one of them very good) and one live album.

If you're less into standard rock or rapcore, then just skip right ahead to the last album in this post.
If not, then let's go:

Na żywo, ale w studio


The first album was credited to "Kazik", as it was still supposed to be Kazik's backing band. Many of the songs featured here were previously released on Kazik's solo albums or Kult albums. But there are a couple of originals.
The album's title means "Live, but in the studio".

Let's get to the songs:

Artyści


This song has one of the most well-known Kazik lyrics, those being:

All artists are prostitutes
In the vapours of improved cigarettes
In the vapours of vodka

The ones of lesser quality are cheaper
And the better ones are more expensive


I don't know how to translate this correctly, but in Polish he sings this twice – the first time around "the better ones and the worse ones" he means the joints and vodka, but the second time around here actually means the artists.



100 000 000


This one is by most thought to be aimed at Lech Wałęsa, the first polish president after the communist rule, Peace Nobel Price winner in 1983. Before his presidential campaign he said that everybody should receive 100 million zloties from the state (keep in mind, there was a roaming inflation going on at the time. The 100M is more like 10 thousand zloties today, which makes about 3 thousand american dollars), in order to start anew after the economic system change. People understood it as a campaign promise ("I'll give everybody 100M!"), and so after he was elected there was a lot of hate going on about not keeping that promise.

The song's lyrics are from the perspective of a factory worker (Wałęsa himself was a factory worker during the 80s, up until he became the leader of Solidarność), who is seeing the prices go up and down in shops and stores, and his frustration is growing, up to the point where in the chorus he's screaming "Wałęsa! Give me my hundred millions!".

I honestly think the song its not aimed at Wałęsa (well, at him too, but not in the way most people think – it's just that it's a dumb thing to promise, right?), but rather at all the dumbasses who actually thought that the 100M thing was gonna happen.

On the album a few songs later, they make a reprise, this time called:


300 000 000


Also, the name Wałęsa is change here to Waldemar, which is referring to Waldemar Pawlak, who was the prime minister for a moment in the 90s.



Celina


If you remember this one was featured on the Kult album "Tata Kazika" (Kazik's Dad). This time around a bit faster and harder.


Overall, this is the weakest KNŻ album out of the three. So let's get to the better ones:

Porozumienie ponad podziałami


Their second studio album was released in 1995, and this time around it was already credited to "Kazik Live" as a band, and not well, "Kazik and the Band". This LP contains some off their best known songs and is a good take-up run for what was to come with the last album.
My favourite (or second favourite) KNŻ song is on it, that being the second track:

Nie zrobimy wam nic złego


Damn.
The lyrics are quite pictorial:

We won't do you no harm, just hand him over to us
It don't matter much, whether he's dead or alive

I went to the south part of the borough
The part where you can still walk safely during the day
All around the rabble was was screaming and shouting

What will happen if they won't convert, and reflection, reason won't come soon?

But you know, some people take joy in this stuff
Because the truth is white, but black is the power
And it's for the best, when the crowds just work, devour and sleep
And procreate sometimes
Then they don't have time to think a single thought
They just calmly watch and listen
What do the crooks and criminals tell them in their show

This show has more and more viewers every day
But when you look at it from another point of view

The rabble likes most to see
When you piss on the corpses and you tear apart your peers with teeth

Who votes for this? Who votes for that?
What is this song even all about?
What is this nice little poem about
Nobody can remember
Hey! If you'd look from my point of view:
Who had broken his vows?
It ain't polite to whisper:

I
Am
A Liar!

We won't do you no harm, just hand him over to us
It don't matter much, whether he's dead or alive

The police never ventures to the north side of town
After all nobody wants to put his hands into burning coal
There's a poster on the street:
A nude babe with a machine gun in her hands
Is shooting up Arabs
That's what I call a symbol of a nation
The American nation, if I'm allowed to say so
After all we all have to watch out not to insult anybody

Every minority has it's own rights
And so on, and so forth, that's a hell of a game

Armies clashing in the name of God
Just remember one thing son:
**** military service



Another great one is

Stałem się sprawcą zgonu mego taty z powodu mej dumy z brata


Yeah, the title is long af. It's basically saying "I became the reason my father died, because I was so proud of my brother".
The song is in the genre of "funny songs" rather than serious. The lyrics talk about a young boy from a traditionalist family. His brother is (according to their parents) basically a bum, because he smokes joints and plays the guitar. Their father kicks him out of their house. But the narrator is extremely proud of his brother because he's amazing at playing guitar and has lots of friends and a girlfriend. The father makes the narrator go to university and all, in order for him to become a lawyer or a doctor. But then after a while the narrator tells his parents that he's had enough of this, and that actually all he wants to do in life is play the saxophone – which results in his father having a heart attack.



Tata Dilera


"A dealer's father"
The song is from the perspective of a father who is in court testifying, because his son is accused of dealing drugs.
It's sort of a social commentary. In the 90s amphetamine was the biggest thing in Poland. Actually Poland became a sort of storage/go-to place for the European amphetamine market.
The funny part is that if you look closely to the lyrics, it's actually the father who is the dealer.
This was actually my favourite song when I was about 12 or 13.


Dziewczyny

"Girls"
This one is from the perspective of a guy who meets a girl, and starts hanging out with her, even though all his friends tell him she ain't no good.
I really like the Black Sabbath-ish riff in this one.


To the next album:

Las Maquinas De La Muerte


After a four year break from recording, KNŻ released this beauty in 1999. For sure their best one, as there's the most sonic experimentation. Finally Kazik Na Żywo came close to Kazik's work in Kult.
Just listen:

W Południe

The song is about a polish folklore creature called Lady Midday. Who was thought to kill farmers at noon, when they were in the fields.
The whole song is from the perspective of a farmer who is meditating about the fact that one day he will have to meet the creature, and that she will be the end of him.
He's talking about how was his farm life, about the women he met, about how will he divide his land between his sons, and then he gets to the part where he just keeps repeating the phrase: "And then I'll just follow Lady Midday".

Pure beauty.
This was one of the songs that made me actually interested in music. This haunting melody being countered by the dark (but new-wavish) backing track really spoke to my early-teens mind.



Prawda

"Prawda" means "The Truth"
I'll try to translate the meaning, the words themselves are untranslatable in the phrasing needed to make it poetic (in any meaning of the word)

The first one cries
The other one laughs
The first one steals
What the other one sows
We don't all bet our hopes on the same horse

The first one cries
The other one laughs
The slavery of a human being is just about that
He has to have more than he needs

Neither can you weight it, nor measure it
Neither can you weight it, nor measure it
Neither can you weight it, nor measure it
Neither can you weight it, nor measure it

But I want, I want, I crave
But I want, I want, I crave
But I want, I want, I crave
To finally know the truth

It doesn't matter whether you
Want more, or you want less
Your treasure lies right there
Next to your heart
So don't cry when you'll get left out of the loop
So don't cry when you'll get left out of the loop
Remember that the last will be first

Oh, I want, I want, I crave
Oh, I want, I want, I crave
Oh, I want, I want, I crave
To finally know the truth




Now, I think I'll just let them play, listen to this stuff:

Andrzej Gołota




The title track



Łysy Jedzie do Moskwy

Another protest song



Too bad that after this one they didn't release an album for over 15 years. They really had it going somewhere here.

Anyway, that's it for today, go away now
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