Donaufestival Krems, 2008
Everybody despised Melvin. Among the staff of a Thriftway grocery store in the state of Washington he was the most-hated clerk and came to doubtful fame after Buzz “King Buzzo” Osborne – who also worked there as a clerk – and his bandmates considered him to be ridiculous enough to have their band Melvins named after him. The story of the Melvins is a story of frazzling music genres and listening habits by regularly including the unexpected in their songs. Although sometimes classified as a metal- or hardcore punk band they often have far too less beats per minute to fit in these categories. Instead their two drumsets create a mantra-like, pounding intensity supported by agitating guitars and bass and the sometimes very melodic singing of all four band members. In their 25-year-long history the often-changing four piece band around Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover has left a huge mark in the alternative music scene. They heavily influenced countless bands and even have Nike SB Dunk shoes named and designed by them. “The Melvins are strange people”, said a musician from a band we recently filmed with an admiring grin. Strange enough to pull out the national anthem of the United States in an acappella version for us. “We know the perfect song for this”, Buzz smirked before they started.
Donaufestival is a festival for advanced pop music, theatre, film and performances in the Lower Austrian town Krems. The festival significantly changed its artistic orientation in 2005, when the “new” Donaufestival started with Tomas Zierhofer-Kin as artistic director. Since then it takes place annually on two or three weekends in spring, presenting and celebrating the most relevant popcultural movements. 2008’s motto is “Angst. Obsession. Beauty.”, which gives space to noisy avant-garde-pop acts like Liars, The Go-Team and Health as well as to numerous queer artists like The Hidden Cameras, Scott Matthew and Xiu Xiu. Contrary to all those common summer festivals music is only a part of the Donaufestival, as there are performances, film screenings and exclusive commissioned works shown on several locations all over Krems. Apart from the Donaufestival, Krems is rather known as a destination for tourists than for its popcultural scene. It is situated right by the river Danube and in the because of its beautiful landscape very popular Wachau region. Krems is particularly famous for its vine-yards located picturesquely on the hills ascending from the Danube (the town even has its own viniculture college) and the Old Town with its narrow cobblestone lanes. The city of Krems dates back more than 1000 years as first settlements of Germans and Slavs were documented in 995. Apart from tourism Krems is known as a place for trade fairs and industry, has a University specialising only in post-graduate-studies and is home of the biggest penal institution in Austria. With almost 30.000 inhabitants Krems is the fifth biggest town in Lower Austria, which is the province around Vienna.