Kleenex- Nice

Published Categorised as Music No Comments on Kleenex- Nice

So next up, Nice by Kleenex. (Who later had to rename them­selves Lili­put after pres­sure from the tissue company). Infec­tious early 80s Swiss post-punk.

Switzer­land is a very strange place. It’s rich, socially conser­vat­ive in many ways, obsessed with regu­lat­ing everything (and you need a permit to do anything), yet they had a huge heroin prob­lem in the 80s in Zürich, to the extent that they just herded people into a park to shoot up out of every­one else’s way, and there are actu­ally quite a lot of weird concep­tu­al artists around. The moun­tains are so tall in the German-speak­ing half that people on differ­ent sides of the moun­tain speak such radic­ally differ­ent dialects it’s prac­tic­ally a differ­ent language. I can usually follow people from the Austri­an border or Zürich, but I’m lost listen­ing to people from Graubünden.

I’m a regu­lar in the canton of Saint Gallen (I often teach summer work­shops in Feldkirch or Dorn­birn just over the border in Austria). This often means passing through Appen­zell, a fairly unre­mark­able small town in East­ern Switzer­land which only gave women the vote in local elec­tions in 1991. 1991. It’s also a place where rules are rules. We open for lunch between 11.30 and 1.30. A respect­able person would not eat lunch after that, so I don’t know what you are doing in my restaur­ant want­ing to eat at 1.45. No, you may not have pota­toes instead, the menu specifies rice.

Here’s a great inter­view with Marlene from the band. And a more recent one from She Shreds.

Here are the lyrics, and my trans­la­tion. I usually inter­pret them as deal­ing with conform­ity, mater­i­al­ism and social expect­a­tions of how women should behave. Nice neat little pet poodles who do as they’re told.

Oh sie sind so hübsch Oh they’re so pretty
Oh sie sind so nett Oh they’re so nice
Rosar­ot das mögen sie Pinky pink, that’s what they like
Hell­blau das tragen sie Pale blue, that’s what they wear
Die klein­en weis­sen Pudel The little white poodle
Oh, so naiv im Rudel So naive in the pack (I don’t think Rudel has quite such a strong asso­ci­ation with carnivores/​fierceness in German as pack does in English- you can have a Rudel of deer. You’d want Meute for savage­ness)

Sie brauchen dich nicht They don’t need you
Sie können alles kaufen They can buy everything
Rosar­ot das mögen sie
Hell­blau das tragen sie
Die klein­en schwar­zen Pudel The little black poodle
Oh, so naiv im Rudel

Sie denken was du denkst They think what you think
Sie sagen was du sagst They say what you say
Sie können alles kaufen They can buy everything
Sie können nicht träu­men They can’t dream
Rosar­ot das mögen sie
Hell­blau das tragen sie

Oh sie sind so hübsch
Oh sie sind so nett
Rosar­ot das mögen sie
Hell­blau das tragen sie
Die klein­en schwar­zen Pudel
Oh, so naiv im Rudel
Sie müssen nicht denken They don’t have to think
Sie sind so gleich They’re the same

Here’s an inter­view of them being extremely Swiss. Yes, this is German.


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