12-Oct-2005 (Wed)
Wherein photos are taken and the wacky upsidedownland of Socialism is marveled at.

Photos are up of the Stromkern + Battery Cage, Madad belly dance, and Stendal Blast shows.

A funny thing about the Stendal Blast show: admission was free. This is because, despite the fact that the show was being promoted by the German Consulate, even they weren't able to talk the United States into issuing work visas. So instead, the band came on tourist visas. This is legal if they don't charge any money.

In other words, the German Government rented out the DNA Lounge just to let a band play for a couple dozen people, because they consider it part of the function of government to promote the arts.

Can you even imagine the U.S. Government doing something like that? What if your little industrial band could get an NEA grant to pay for your European tour? With free admission to every show?

Those wacky Socialists. What will they think of next.

(And the band wasn't even any good!)

11 Responses:

  1. On the Stendal Blast show, the guitarist at least was very good... and the sound was very good, much better than, say, the Stromkern show in that it wasn't muddy no matter where I was on the floor.
    YMMV for what you're paying attention to and listening for.

    • jwz says:

      The singer sounded like a thousand other identical bands, and the keyboard was definitely not plugged in. So I'm glad you thought the guitarist was good, since he was the only one doing anything.

  2. benediktus says:

    ...so, this is why they diminished budget for
    culture/arts here. due to that, they begun
    to scrimp professor- and lectureships at the
    university of arts, where i up to now work.

    maybe just say "thanks", america.
    ¡venceremos!

  3. twiin says:

    The German and Swiss governments are great for promoting their talent. A lot of Neubauten's early promotion and tours were paid for by the German government.

    • gths says:

      The Austrians (natch) do that too; I went to a Farmers Manual performance a few years back in Melbourne (not the most enthralling show, but interesting in a masochistic way) and apparently their government picked up the tab.

      • wfaulk says:
        Austria
        near and related to Germany and Switzerland

        Australia
        where Melbourne is

        Did you misspell "Australia" or did you hear an Austrian band (with an English name) and happen to be in a similarly spelld country at the time?

        • netsharc says:

          A quick Googling results in this page, which says the band was founded in Vienna, and we should all know Vienna is in Austria.

          I assume the government paid because e.g. the flight would've been expensive.

  4. g_na says:

    Don't forget that German musicians are also covered by the state welfare programs, such as socialized medicine and unemployment insurance.

    • harvie says:

      Because dying sick people who can't work because of illness are such an asset to society, amirite?

      • badc0ffee says:

        Those who get better might be... but you're right, dying sick people with no chance of recovery should be forced to live in low rent areas with the rest of the destitute people, creating slums, and possibly turn to crime so we can cover ALL of their day-to-day costs if they end up in jail!

    • wsxyz says:

      I'm afraid that's wrong.
      Germany does not have socialized medicine. There is no single payer.

      Germany does have (almost) universal health insurance coverage which is achieved by a little something called "krankenversicherungspflicht" -- That's "mandatory health insurance", in much the same way mandatory auto liability insurance is common in the US. Health insurance is required by law in Germany and most people are not insured by the goverment.

      Here's how it works; There are three options:

      1 You are umemployed and have no coverage through a family member: You are insured by the government through the Allgemeineortskrankenkasse - Basically your local branch of the Medicaid office.
      2 You are employed but earn less than #{BIG_EUROS}: You choose from one of many, many non-profit Krankenkassen for which you qualify (due to company worked for, type of work, location, etc. etc.) based on their reputation for service and their premiums. The premiums charged are constrained by the government to be a maximum of some percentage of your income, depending on how much you make. The Krankenkassen are by no means all the same and it pays to shop around. You may change your Krankenkasse once per year. Your insurance coverage includes your family. This option is similar to an American HMO, minus the worries about quarterly earnings.
      3 You earn greater than or equal to #{BIG_EUROS}. You may join a Krankenkasse if you wish, or switch to Privatversicherung. This is health insurance from a private, for-profit insurance company. They may charge you what they wish as a premium. You get top-notch service, head-of-the-line treatment at the doctor's office, and private hospital rooms. The downside is that family members cost extra, and premiums rise as you age, just like health insurance in the USA. Also, once you go private you can't go back to the other options unless you become a pauper. The upside is the great service and it is usually cheaper than a Krankenkasse if you happen to be young, single, and rich.

      There are some uninsured people in Germany - these are generally people who switched to private insurance, only to lose their big incomes and are left unable to pay the premiums. Their insurance is cancelled, but they can't get non-private insurance because they still have assets and probably some income. If their downward spiral continues they will eventually qualify for government insurance right about the same time they qualify for government subsidized housing, unemployment insurance, welfare and the rest.