Jens Balzer, Autorenporträt

Jens Balzer

Barbara Dietl

Four years ago now, in the text on Jens Balzer, I asked myself whether it was clever to invite a music critic to one's own festival, and consoled myself with the prospect of a - in the worst case - well-readable slating in a newspaper. Well, it didn't come to that then and also not the year before last, when the author unfortunately had to cancel due to illness, and also not last year, because it simply wasn't possible. All the nicer that there was already last year the offer from the author Jens Balzer for a new attempt and this offer is still valid - no repetition out of a sense of duty. Rather a sign of the pop cultural importance of festivals like Immergut.

Pop was and remains the main topic of Jens Balzer, who is an author and columnist for various newspapers such as "Die Zeit" and on the radio, and is in charge of the "Popsalon" at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. In his latest book, "High Energy," Jens Balzer describes and analyzes the eighties, a pop-cultural decade that unfortunately too often appears only as an accessory to radio slogans ("The best music from..." - well, mostly rather not) and in nostalgic transfiguration. As a music fan, it is again very pleasant that musical developments of the decade have been rediscovered, taken up and further developed for some years now, and thus also exciting bands and artists for the Immergut cosmos have emerged. Pop culture as a natural companion of social developments is described in the book "High Energy. Die Achtziger - Das pulsierende Jahrzehnt" (The Eighties - The Pulsating Decade), which Jens Balzer draws through the topics. The book is the logical continuation of Balzer's book about the seventies and its content is also somewhat related to the analysis of "Pop and Populism" in the last book. Pop culture and the good guys? The mixture in the eighties between progressiveness and restorative despondency is brought into view and nonchalantly linked to phenomena we all know. Super Mario, Walkman, Fluxkompensator as cues that Jens Balzer uses to analyze, link and evaluate pop cultural and social developments in his usual pointed and eloquent manner.

Welcome to the club - whether reading or debating club. The view behind the cliché images of blow-dried hairdos, porn moustaches and shoulder pads is then also the bracket to the now. Certainly no "history repeats itself", but not to be neglected. With his topics, the "pop cardinal" Jens Balzer fits into both club forms. Discourse can also be entertaining - in the cozy Birch Grove. To health!

The project was supported by the German Literature Fund within the framework of "Neustart Kultur" of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

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