Thursday, August 10, 2006

Adventures in Indie Rock: Issue 5

Stockholm Vice

Another bullet flew past Jose’s head, but he didn’t even flinch.

He had had been shot at too many times to lose his cool now.

Crouched against the filthy tenement hallway he calmly re-loaded his pistol, gave it a kiss for good luck and returned fire. He was one of the best shots in the department and sure enough one of the bullets found its target and Jose heard a body slump onto the ground. Getting up he rounded the corner and saw Paco Jones laying dead, a bullet hole in his temple. Jose laughed in a gentle sort of way.

“Serves you right Paco,” he said to the dead man. He reached into Jones’s pocket, removed his wallet and slipped it into the side of his trench coat. He kicked the corpse once for good measure.

“You don’t fuck with Jose Gonzalez,” he said walking out, middle finger extended in the air.


Jose was known throughout the city for three things: An unwavering allegiance to law and order, a fiery hot tempter with an itchy trigger finger to match and of course his dreamlike melodies and masterful guitar strumming.

This evening Jose was finally one step from catching up with the elusive criminal mastermind known as ‘The King’. Paco Jones had been one of his top henchmen and now he was dead. It was the break Jose had been waiting for.

He swung the door of his coup open and hopped in.

“Dispatch,” he said into the police radio, “This is Detective Gonzalez, badge number 5445423. Put me through to Captain DeBusse.” A moment later the captain came one the line. He was angry.

“Dammit Gonzalez! Where have you been?” the voice blared through the speaker.

“I got Jones,” Jose said.”

The voice on the radio paused. “Did he give it up?”

“He said a few things before he went for his gun,” Jose said taking Paco’s wallet out of his pocket and flipping through it.

“Jesus Christ Gonzalez, you need to stop shooting people!”

Jose just smiled. “Jones was nothing,” he said, “but I think we are closer than ever.”

“What did he tell you?” the Captain was getting impatient.

“Behind the scenes they grow their schemes. Hiding intentions, revealing only fractions.”

The voice exploded out the radio. “Godammit Gonzalez! How many times have I told you to not speak to me lyrically!”

Jose didn’t even hear him. In the wallet was a business card. ‘Glambek-Boe Imports. Dock 42, Suite 19’. This was it. The final piece of the puzzle. It all made sense now: The drugs flooding the streets, the crime wave, the influx of electronic elements into traditionally staid folk music.

“Captain I gotta go,” Jose said starting the car.

"What the hell are you talking about? Go where?”

"I know who the King is and where he is.”

“Where? Tell me. You’ll need backup! Don’t go in alone. I repeat do not go in alone!”

Jose sneered. “No backup Captain. This is between me and him.”

He turned off the radio over the vocal objections of Debusse. Next stop: The docks


The docks were deserted, except for a cluster of Volkswagens parked near dock 42. Gonzalez parked out of sight and then made his way in silence and shadows to the window of suite 19. Peering in he obsevered a number of men milling about.

In one part of the office was a stack of synthesizers and tons of discarded old vinyl. In the other half were giant piles of cocaine being cut by small children in lederhosen. But it was the center of the room that drew Jose’s attention. A group of broad shouldered henchmen were standing around a man Jose knew all to well: ‘The King’. He seemed to be talking fast, relating some asinine story perhaps. He was pole thin and tall, his hair the color of strawberries. To the untrained eye you would think him a quiet reserved type.

You would be dead wrong.

Jose made up his mind immediately.Bursting through the door he opened fire, and with his usual accuracy felled all the henchmen with disabling shots to the knees. The King stood alone.

“We meet at last King,” Jose said aiming his pistol at the man. “Or should I just call you Erland.”

Erland Oye looked very annoyed. “Jesus,”he said, “what is your problem?”

“I hate drugs and I hate crime,” Jose almost spat at Oye. “And I really hate people taking the music I love and added unnecessary effects. You are the problem, and I am the solution.”

“Ugh,” Erland said putting his hands to his hips. “Spare me. Your threats are as clichéd as the whispery vocals on your last album.”

“Either way this ends here, once and for all.” Jose said cocking his gun.

But all in a flash he felt the gun fly from his hands and a hand grab him from behind. Just before he lost consciousness he saw the flash of a man with a beak and heard faintly dancy music from afar. That is when it all went black.

When he awoke he was in a hospital bed, Debusse standing by the side.

“What happened?” Jose asked. “Where is Oye?”

“He got away,” Debusse said. “You may have gotten through his first line of defense, but you didn’t take into account his most dangerous assassins.” Debusse handed him a note. “We found this at the scene.

” Jose’s eyes scanned the paper. Everything was written in duplicate, as if one hand had written over the other.

JG – do not think that you can defeat us. We are powerful. We are smart. We are very popular for no discernable reason. You are warned.


Jose crumbled the paper in his hand. “Now its personal.”