FSK’s music ambivalently critiques the Americanization of their native Germany. Like Wim Wenders’s 70s films, they celebrate American pop culture’s growing worldwide hegemony even as they criticize and undermine it: on their album In Dixieland the last line of “Yankee Go Home” pleads, “And take me with you.” FSK is short for Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle, which is German for free-willed self-control. The band connects the dots between central European folk forms and North American roots music, illustrating the evolution from Bavarian yodels to Jimmie Rodgers’s yodeling country-and-western laments to contemporary rock and roll. A lot of thought goes into their transatlantic folk music, but it’s pretty accessible stuff–catchy, visceral, and often deliriously funny. They lace their polkas, schottisches, blues, and two-steps with raucous brass and distorted electric guitars and play them at breakneck speed, while their lyrics show their appreciation for free-jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock or the movies of expatriate Czech director Milos Forman. Train spotters should take note that David Lowery, once a member of the similarly eclectic Camper Van Beethoven, has taken a break from his band Cracker to tour with FSK; he produced their new album The Sound of Music and plays guitar with them onstage. Peat Moss and Moonshine Willy open. Sunday, 10 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 489-3160.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Regula Franz.