Sunday 7 November 2010

Preview: the week ahead (8th-14th Nov)

It's another choc full week ahead. And there is something for everyone in there. Whatever takes your fancy, this week has got it covered.

Monday: Austin Lucas is coming back to Berlin, this time to Lovelite. The last time I saw him at now defunct Lokal, I never wanted him to stop singing. His country-infused guitar tunes and voice are mesmerising and stick out in the vast landscape that is the singer-songwriter world. Strongly recommended.

Tuesday: When word first spread that people from Refused were forming another band, the online community got very excited. Until they heard AC4 that was. It's not arty. It's not clever. It sounds nothing like Refused. Instead AC4 play fun old school punk rock and HC and display a sense of humour at that. You are bound to enjoy yourself with these four friends at Cortina Bob.
You will find a strong contrast to the old school HC party that is AC4, if you venture a few metres to Festsaal Kreuzberg where Zola Jesus, Xiu Xiu and Former Ghosts are performing. All three play music to dream to, in very diverse ways. Zola Jesus, a lady from Los Angeles, uses an electronic back drop to display her amazing voice against. Xiu Xiu, a Kill Rock Stars protegée, are a two-piece who use the voice as an instrument in its own right to make their experimental pop music stick out. Their performance is highly anticipated and I for one can't wait. Former Ghosts are the least known of the three American bands visiting Festsaal Kreuzberg tonight but they are likely to please the audience when they play their slightly dark, electronic pop music for fans of The Notwist and Casiotone For The Painfully Alone.
And, if that wasn't enough, there is another gig on Tuesday, this time at Bang Bang Club: I Like Trains categorise their music as "melodramatic popular song" on MySpace. And that tells you all. In best British tradition, you get pop with melodramtic singing and instrumental passages that make any indie kid sway. It's not new but well done.

On Thursday you're likely to meet me at Marie-Antoinette: Gary War is back in town and brings along Lazer Crystal. Gary War supported Child Abuse at West Germany last time and Child Abuse were slacking off promoters across Europe and their performance was mediocre. All of this made Gary War look very good. And he is. Gary War creates music that is danceable (think 80s keyboards), relaxed and the man likes a performance. But it's Lazer Crystal I'm getting in a frenzy about. Everything about their music screams DANCE and GO WILD - think Devo on 45. The combination of the two bands promises a dance night.
Alternatively, you could head over to Bang Bang Club and check out local French people Ania Et Le Programmeur who play dark noisy dance music.

Friday: Use Your Fucking Headphones are a German band very much inspired by British pop, and fairly good at that. Indie pop kids will get their medicine at this one at Bang Bang Club.
If you are feeling more arty and chilled out, there is a vernissage at Café CK, which includes a live set by Saigon Lovers, a band made of three Swedish Berlin residents who put their heart into electronic music. Event page on Facebook.

It's another triple on Sunday: Rachel Grimes used to play in Rachel's (on Quarterstick) and has now started her solo career as a pianist with releasing her first record. In essence, this is classical piano music that will form pictures in your head: a running stream, walking through the woods, looking along a desert plain. Canadian Eric Chenaux is the other one on the bill and plays guitar folk like my parents did in the 70s. Both acts are not for the restless but those that look at life in wonder. at hbc.
It's a rockier affair at Bang Bang Club tonight: Screaming Females are indie rock music of the shake along variety, for fans of Sleater Kinney and Team Dresh.
Now if those weren't the options to end your week with, Yussuf Jerusalem may be your choice. A French indie band with a classic line-up whose sound reminds me of some of the current bands coming out of LA's The Smell but also of 70s rock à la The Doors. at West Germany.

To round this up, here is an Austin Lucas video, which should lead you to Lovelite tomorrow.

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