Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
A Bavarian folk-rock group following in the tradition of Attwenger, Haindling and Hubert von Goisern Und Die Alpinkatzen. Their name is perhaps best translated as Miserable Curs, though the German deliberately inverts the normal word order and is also deliberately provocative, deriving from Hund, meaning dog, and Buam, meaning boys. Michael Schmölzl went to a country wedding '91 at which folk musicians were performing; he asked them whether their music was written down, which they found amusing, and shortly afterwards he went to see Attwenger and things began to make more sense. Bavaria's folk culture is diverse, boasting Ländler, marches, half-waltzes and Schrammel appropriated from Austria, comic songs, part-singing and yodelling vocal styles (two excellent archival volumes on Trikont capture both rural and urban styles found in Bavaria and Munich from the 1910s-40s); but most Germans are acquainted only with the televisual face of Bavarian commercial folk of the lowest order. In '93 Schmölzl (guitar/ vocals/ accordion) fell in with Baron Edinger (drums) and the Chamerneger (bass), at this point taking the nickname Streitbichi Michi after his town of Streitbichi (Streit registers immediately as argument or row in German). Still sounding like a rock group, they met Haglmo Sigi (button accordion/ vocals) early '94, along the way coining the name Hundsbuam Miserablige; in March they appeared at the First Oadischwoaz Zsammakemmats at the Schoss in Munich and began gathering momentum. That autumn the bassist left, replaced by Da Diftler (bass/tuba); all names are nicknames based on various Bavarian traditions, Fleischhauer Harri (brass) for example got the Fleischhauer part of his name because he came from a butcher's shop. Their debut album was the highly articulate and often witty Hundsbuam Miserablige on Lawine '96; 'Mit da Sansn' ('With The Scythe') used the scythe in a way worthy of John Cage or the Grim Reaper. As a declaration of intent, the opening track 'Hoizhakka Pogo' ('Woodchopper's Pogo') came across like the Bavarian bastard son of folk raised on punk and noise: rarely had an act arrived with such an impressive debut, confirmed by their live version of 'Warst Ned Aufixting' on It's Only Kraut ... But I Like It '96 from the Tanz&FolkFest Rudolstadt. Their second album Hui '97 on Lawine confirmed their promise, with bizarre lyrics ('Mei Liab'/ 'My Love' dwelt on murdering a girl's family in order to win her) and magnificent call-and-response nonsense ('Hoibe 3'/ 'Half Past Two') meshing with folk-dance forms and screeching guitar noise. Hundsbuam Miserablige assert a Bavarian identity in the face of Northern German snootiness the way Los Lobos rubbed Mexican-American culture in the WASP face of California.