Stew on this, courtesy of Kultur Shock

Val Kultur Shock

The only thing predictable about Kultur Shock is their unpredictability – whether that’s the maniacal, whiplash-inducing changes in their impossibly uncategorizable songs or the fact that the normally (overly) responsible band member is a week late getting you his contribution to your blog. Doesn’t matter – predictability is boring. And Kultur Shock is anything BUT boring.


I guess world music is hip and gypsy-influenced music is the new Tom Jones – the way to melt someone’s underpants, or get them to throw them onstage.  I missed Kultur Shock’s recent Seattle record release show thanks to a throbbing headache and an enduring hatred of Belltown on weekends, so I’m not sure if anyone tossed their tidy whities or trampy thongs (or, more probably, their SNL sketch-worthy Euro briefs/banana hammocks/budgie-smugglers) onto the Crocodile’s semi-recently renovated non-grunge-y platform. Doesn’t matter – this is not your grandmother’s gypsy music.  And I’m pretty sure we’re all grateful that her underpants didn’t make it to the stage…


In all seriousness (can I get away with that phrase?!?!) I fucking love this band as much as I find it 100% impossible to impart their brilliance through the use of mere words. It’s like attempting to explain the ecstatic poetry of Rumi to a bunch of Tea Baggers – er, Partiers. (I think the tea baggers would get it…)


Rude, crude, smarter than you, melodic, soul-searching, revolutionary, displaced, socio-political, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, (in)sane, brilliant. Incendiary – if you take that word to mean igniting thought and feeling.


America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, right?  Nothing is braver than escaping oppressive regimes to come here and create music that tickles your cranium while it moves you to the core of your physical self. You NEED Kultur Shock, who have delivered their most direct and body/mind-bending missive yet in the form of “Ministry Of Kultur.”


Guitarist Val Kiossovski (former bar manager at the Croc – back when it ruled – and current co-proprietor of Lower Queen Anne’s Solo) decided to kick down a recipe not for the perfect cocktail or dish, but for perfect music. I’ll let you interpret.  In the meantime, I highly suggest you get acquainted with his band.


Like every good stew, the main body of it is the most important- it’s gotta rock and groove well, too. Cannot be too meatheady, but can’t be super dreadlocky, either. It’s gotta be just right and have raw texture, so you can taste the drummer’s sweat.


Then you add quite a bit of raw songwriting talent, along with big incontrollable pipes. Imagine it being the chunk of meat or tofu, whatever you taste is. Gotta give it time, simmer it on low fire, let the fat melt.

Then thicken the plot. Put the glue on. Put raunchy four and six strings, mix it to a point where you have no idea when one ends and the other starts, be sure they groove, wail, scream, riff, go million miles an hour, stop and go and generally- drive you nuts.


Then you add the stuff that makes it all spicy and tasty and different than any stew you’ve had. Put brass and or bow, or oboe for that matter, just put something to make the taste buds exclaim and freak out.

Whatever you do, find that secret ingredient that will make it like noone else’s dish.


And remember- the purpose of it all is for YOU to celebrate and love it.


Never worry what any famous chef is saying or the fact that you can’t go “commercial”- who cares, life is too short to imprison the art of cooking into dollar signs.


Now- share with your friends the gorgeous meal and as more people wanna taste it- keep cooking away!

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