Put Put Put
February 26, 2015 2:48 PM   Subscribe

"Wladimir (Put Put Putin)" is the surprise winner of this year's Protestsongcontest.

The contest, organised by Rabenhof Theater in Vienna, Austria showcases Austrian songs about environmental, social and political issues.

"Wladimir" is at turns silly (the "put put" refers to the sound a chicken makes), tasteless and gory. It shows a worrying lack of commitment for a protest song. To Rammelhof, Merkel, Obama and Putin are all examples of the same despicable trend: the anaemic society longing to submit to strong leadership. Currently its Youtube counter shows 464.418 hits - a lot of them out of the Ukraine.

The band "Rammelhof" (they fell in love with the name of a real village with 168 inhabitants in Lower Austria - presumably because "Rammel" means "booger") was only founded last December and has eight songs in its repertoire. They have threatened to produce more protest songs after this success.

Check out the performances of the other participants - the quality is mixed but you can get some idea of what's good and what isn't by looking at the chart near the end of the article; it shows you the results of the jury votes.

Super close runner up"Wiener Blond" is definitely worth a look. Here's the video of their song "Kaana Waas Warum" ("Nobody Knows Why" - a song about the aimlessness of the current young generation in a tanking economy)
posted by Omnomnom (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Obama, Merkel, and Putin are a pretty heterogeneous group. Weird to put them on the same footing as far as dictator/democracy goes. Fun song though.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:33 PM on February 26, 2015

The band "Rammelhof" was forced to change its name from "Hasselhof".
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:13 PM on February 26, 2015

Beat back the Huhn.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:21 PM on February 26, 2015

I was there, and it was a lot of fun. The Rabenhof Theater is tiny and was standing room only for the event. I was a little worried when the show opened with a couple of songs from the Viennese Workers ' Choir -- While they were clearly talented, the idea that the contest might be ageing socialists and unionists singing songs from the 30s to each other did worry me.

"In Oasch Geh" was an about-face, as should be clear from the title, which means approximately "Up your ass", and that set up the music as being all over the place. "Aufruf" was an interpretation of a poem by Richard Zach, an Austrian antifascist and socialist from the 30s and 40s who smuggled poems out of, and died in, Brandenburg-Görden Prison. "Revolte" went yet another way, being a song about love on the barricades.

Just like the songs, the voting was all over the place. The public voting was largely done by radio listeners -- this was the first year that the song contest was televised -- so doesn't generally take into account whether the act had an interesting stage show.

Should Rammelhof have won? They were rightly criticised for picking an easy target and for not bringing any of their criticism home. In comparison, Fight Rap Camp, who won in 2014 and played during the intermission, had a lot to say about how refugees and immigrants are treated by the system here in Austria, which makes sense, as the members of the band were all involved with Refugee Camp Vienna, as well as the protests against §114, which is a recent law ostensibly meant to limit human trafficking, but has been used instead against people providing assistance to undocumented immigrants.

Should Rammelhof have won? Ultimately, I feel like their win came down to their song being fun and feel-good: Attacking a target that no one is going to stand up for, using a stage performance that ran on World War 2 and Cold War stereotypes, while appealing to the political sensibilities of their audience by slipping in that Merkel and Obama are no better. Or, more succinctly, from a tweet before the show, "The Protest Song Contest is an event where the audience high fives each other and gets off on how edgy they're being."
posted by frimble at 10:44 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

As an addendum, I met two members of Fight Rap Camp the next day, in completely unrelated circumstances, and couldn't manage much more than gushing, "I saw you guys play last night. You were awesome."
posted by frimble at 11:07 PM on February 26, 2015

Frimble, I'm seriously cracking up at "Foahscheine in Oasch eine, als Vorteilscard".

I think Rammelhof are kinda immature, in their interview as well, and criticisms are spot on. But it is a catchy song.
None of the ones I heard were particularly good in terms of pointed criticism. It seemed more of a general grousing around.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:48 AM on February 27, 2015

Yeah, if I'd felt that one from this year had stood out in terms of its critique, I'd have highlighted that, rather than saying, "Remember that band from last year, weren't they just awesome?"

Also, there was a lot of joking after the first song, that one song in, and we've really said "Oasch" as many times as is reasonable in one show.

While I may be critical, the PSC was worth fighting my way through Opernball street closures to get across town to see.
posted by frimble at 1:13 AM on February 27, 2015

If someone were to release an Akinyele parody called 'Putin in Your Mouth,' I bet I would totally love that shit.
posted by box at 12:14 PM on February 27, 2015

Ok... does anyone want to explain why the main link now leads to
This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:40 PM on February 27, 2015

Still works for me! Weird.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:25 AM on February 28, 2015

« Older I will NOT be doing a Wes Anderson video essay   |   Something in the folks he treats, attracts bad... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments