Blitzen Trapper are easy-going guys. You just ask them if they want to play a little acoustic performance for a videoblog they have never heard of, and ten minutes later you are in the middle of doing it, with flying cartons of milk and clapping spoons around you ('s Adam Stephens joining them on both songs). Spontaneity seems to describe their music as well. Since 2003 they have recorded three albums and released them without a label. In 2007, however, the famous Seattle-label Sub Pop became interested in the six guys from Portland, Oregon and their experimental folk music with a range from melodic campfire singalongs to noisy southern rock. Thus, officially their DIY-days are gone since they have signed to Sub Pop. But they probably won’t lose their unpretentious spirit, and that’s exactly what makes Blitzen Trapper songs so surprising. They rarely work like normal pop songs, because there are so many little details in it you maybe won’t notice upon first listen, like those softly wailing slide guitars. So it’s only fair that the Rolling Stone magazine voted Blitzen Trapper’s song “Wild Mountain Nation” #98 of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.
Arena is a cultural center and music venue in the industrialized district of Erdberg. Its beginnings hark back to 1976, when some thousand demonstrators gathered around the former St. Marx Auslandsschlachthof to save it from demolition and subsequent commercial use. While they were not able to save the huge building complex, the vast social movement did succeed in reaching the foundation of an autonomous cultural center on the smaller area of the former slaughterhouses, which represents today’s Arena. Presently Arena has integrated a wide musical spectrum to its programme for various crowds and commercial use. Yet Arena’s dictum “Love Music, Hate Fascism!” is more than a relict of old days as it is still the venue with the most punk concerts in town.