The Paper Chaser
John Congleton closes his eyes while singing. It might be difficult to focus on playing a song, on immersing into one’s inner world in the setting of a toilet or a tiny backstage room and for sure, Congleton doesn’t feel comfortable with the idea of going out in the streets for filming the videos. For him and The Paper Chase it does not seem as it is the fun that drives them to make music. Congleton once said writing songs is an outlet for his frequent panic attacks, a way to deal with emotions like fear, anger, love and frustration. Paper Chase lyrics are – corresponding to their noisy music – indeed often aggressive, using metaphors like ghosts, death and fire and make listening to their records or live shows an intense, even voyeuristic experience, providing insight into a troubled mind. The Texas-born John Congleton has not only been writing and recording with The Paper Chase for more than ten years, he is also a sought-after producer, having worked with the likes of Modest Mouse, The Roots or Antony And The Johnsons as well as R. Kelly or Marilyn Manson.
When it comes to subculture and underground music Vienna was simply not on the map until as long as the 1980s. There were hardly any places to play and attend concerts and for sure nothing that could be described as a music club. In December 1986 the former Bundesliga football player Othmar Bajlicz did nothing more than fusing his two passions – football and independent music – into a small venue for live music, regular DJ’s and broadcasts of international football games, the Chelsea. In its beginnings the club was situated in a basement of a former hairdresser’s in Vienna’s eighth district but soon got in troubles because of numerous and ongoing complaints by neighbours and abutting owners. In 1993 live shows at the Chelsea were restricted to Sunday afternoons before the club was forced to close in 1994. Less than a year later the Chelsea reopened at the busy Gürtel road and is now part of a vibrant nightlife area with pubs and live music venues abreast between Thaliastraße and Josefstädter Straße. After more than 20 years of existence the Chelsea live shows during the week are reliably worth a visit while the weekend-parties attract mainly teenagers. And – of course – it is still the place for watching international football games.