In interviewing famed German chanteuse Ute Lemper for this week’s Bohemian column, I had to ask about her first group, the Panama Drive Band, pointing out to her that Wikipedia describes them as a “punk music group.”
In the continuing adventures of not trusting Wikipedia, Ute clarifies:
“It was not a punk band. It was just a jazz-rock band. I was never a punk person. The music of punk is not interesting to me, it’s horrible.”
Ha! So… what did the band sound like?
“It was a jazz-rock band when I was a teenager. We did good music, like Joan Armatrading, Chick Corea, the Brecker Brothers and all that. So it was good stuff.”
I love Ute Lemper for the 1988 recording Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill, the cassette of which came in a used Volkswagen bus I bought when I was 16. I played that thing over and over and over for an entire summertime. (The car also came with Master of Puppets; the two tapes complimented each other well, actually.) She knows her Weill and Brecht intimately, and interprets their music like no other.
Ute Lemper sings Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins this weekend with the Santa Rosa Symphony, and if you can get there at all, you won’t regret it. Short of funds? If you get there on Saturday afternoon for the Discovery Rehearsal at 2pm, it’s only $10, and you’ll get to see Lemper and the orchestra working out the kinks before opening night. Cool!