1. We alternated between Radio Salzburg and Hitradio O3 (broadcasting out of Vienna) during the multi-day scenic drive from the former to the latter. O3 features mostly international (i.e. American) top 40 pop hits and German language songs done in the same style, whereas Radio Salzburg has more of a local, Austrian feel.
2. At one point, David Hasselhoff appeared in a pre-taped segment to recommend a song, urging listeners to pay attention to it's powerful, emotional lyrics. I am not making this up. It's hard to believe this was an isolated incident either, i.e. we can conclude that an endorsement from David Hasselhoff is meaningful in the contemporary Austrian music scene. Speaking of stuff I couldn't possibly make up:
This was on display in a downtown Vienna subway station.
3. It didn't take long for "Rock Me Amadeus" to come on the radio while I was in the car. Falco is back in a big way, although in reality he probably left really left (much like Tupac Shakur in American culture, his post-death career has probably outshone the career he had while living, and he has the multiple greatest hits/live/rarities collections to prove it). The latest is the Falco 60 compilation, released earlier this year to commemorate what would have been his 60th birthday. There's also Falco: The Musical, with posters all over Vienna (even in the hipster neighborhoods) reminding you to buy tickets for 2018.
4. Speaking of Amadeus, Salzburg is more or less a big Mozart shrine. You have the Mozarteum (an academy of Mozart studies). There's the Mozart museum housed in the former Mozart family residence (which we toured). There's Mozart's birthplace (which we started at from outside). You can attend Mozart concerts staged several times per week in churches, castles, and concert halls. However, the displays in the Mozart museum reminded me of how miserable he was living in Salzburg, trying to eke out a living in the Salzburg court before finally bailing and heading to Vienna for considerably greater fame and fortune (the latter of which he squandered of course). But technically Salzburg is his hometown and these days they're thrilled to claim him as such, even if he wasn't properly appreciated there while he was alive (a narrative that remains true of many young talents who flame out early even today).
5. While music shopping in Vienna, I managed to keep my "Fennesz streak" alive (I think I've bought a Fennesz CD each time I've been in Vienna, which is all of three times, but I'll still call it a streak) by getting the Ozmotic/Fennesz collab from the always wonderful Substance store. I also picked up La Dusseldorff's "Viva" at Scout Records, my second favourite music shop in the city. They're so old school they don't even have a web page, just an unofficial Facebook fan page. Is "Viva" better than any of the three NEU! albums? I think it's close.
New to me on this trip was Moses Records, which has a collection of used CD's that would have seemed quaint and esoteric even in the late 90's at the peak of the used (and new) CD industry. I was repeatedly flabbergasted seeing CD's that I never knew existed or hadn't seen anywhere in years. For example:
Did you know that you could buy the final (pre-comeback) studio album from Saskatchewan's The Northern Pikes for two euros in Vienna? Did you know that Senser recorded an album with Arthur Baker in 1998? (bonus points for even remembering who they are). Moses records was a fascinating trip back in time. It's mostly a store for rock and jazz vinyl, but there are plenty of deals to be had on CD as well. Such as:
This was a Germany-only release. I haven't a clue what the connection is to Alf, but before you laugh, check out the tracklist. I didn't buy this, but that's about as good of a commercial 1990 compilation as you'll find.
5. The best thing happening in Austria while we were there was the Heart of Noise Festival, which we didn't attend but oh man, if it wouldn't have required a complete redesign of our route and significant flight rescheduling, I would have loved to be there for even one day. Gas. Fennesz. Monolake. Psychic TV. Samuel Kerridge. William Basinski.
How disappointing ...