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Austrian Music, Music

Musik am Freitag

We are trying out a new feature here: Every Friday, you will find a clip with music from one of the German-speaking cultures. Our goal is to find alternative, off-the-mainstream groups that give you an inside into what’s happening in the arena of music.

We’ll begin with an Austrian band called “Laokoongruppe,” a formation that explodes the boundaries between pop, free-jazz, classical music, and Austrian folklore. Hard to define, they have made a splash and continue to fascinate audiences.

As the following clip shows, street performances are an important part of their art:

You can hear some more of their music on soundcloud, especially the famed “Walzerkönig [king of waltz]”, which is described as follows:

Laokoongruppe sings passionately about his magnificent country and it’s wonderful people, good music, idyllic politics, national security, good deeds, buttered bread, mountains, lakes, cowboy hats and hiking boots. A heavy atmosphere of resigned contentedness and purposeful aimlessness winds its way throughout the album directing the listener into irresistible swaying of trancelike rapture. Walzerkönig, that is a masterpiece of German-language pop music with clearly local colouring: is to be heard in Hamburg, Berlin and Zurich, but can come in this form however only from Austria.

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About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.

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