If anyone should ask about the soundtrack of my life, the answer would come rather easy. Since I discovered Stereolab in the mid-nineties only few days have passed without listening to them. Sounds weird, but let me explain: Stereolab has a magic ability, something like a super power. If I listen too much to one band, I get bored and need a listening-break. Not so with Stereolab. During their 19 year period of work they have filled about a foot of shelf space with discs, everything from hypnotic strumming guitars to experimental electronics. Within this broad bandwidth there is one constant: Laetita Sadier. The singer and texter is the cherry on the cake of the worlds greatest band. Her voice strides through lengths of different forms of beauty, her texts are intelligent and poetic. Besides Stereolab Laetitia had her own project: Monade. Similar direction, less complex, a bit rougher and more emotional. Another great band. Stereolab and Monade are no more, Laetitia recorded a solo album and goes on stage on her own. For example in Stuttgart at Schocken, a renown venue for the local alternative scene.
I don’t know if it’s the thunderstorms lurking in dark clouds on the horizon or just the fact that the week has just begun. Only 30 people are gathered at the venue when Laetita Sadier enters the sparsly decorated stage. A fender guitar amp, a microphone, one of those mulitfunctional electronic wonderboxes you can step upon, a setlist, a bottle of water and Laetita with her guitar. A Gibson SG, held the other way around. Stereolab made the stage look like a cramped music instrument dealership, Laetita travels lightly.
She starts. And she starts to fight. With her first song (Fluid Sands). The song “does not want to be played tonight”, she explains after some futile attempts to get the right chords out of her guitar, which is just the side-dish to her magnificent voice. She plays songs of her new album and from Monade (Thank you for playing Wash and dance, your “angry” and my favorite song). The absence of other musicians which populate her albums bestows a different character upon her songs. Sometimes I miss something, other times things surface which enchant me entirely. Like her calm and serene charm. The boys in the audience fall into a deep trance, each of them utterly in love. If I would be one of them, I’d do the same. Laetitia could sing all night long for me. Time has left all meaning behind. But after two encores she leaves the stage, sells her discs, talks to the audience and leaves.
I must be a weirdo: My personal “superstar” attracts only 30 people. But isn’t that wonderfull, on the other hand? Who can get so close to his or her idol?
Go and buy her album „The Trip“!
Thank you Laetitia for making my world sound better. I hope you’ll come back soon to mysterious Stuttgart with more songs. I’ll be there.
Fotos: Martin Zentner (the artist who listened to Stereolab while inventing me, therefore giving me the middle name „Laetitia“ as a homage to a great musician)