Wednesday 31 August 2011


What has this little woman just found out?! JEFF The Brotherhood are returning to Berlin on 20th November, playing at White Trash Fast Food. This is going to be one amazing gig and it makes me wish it was winter already! Wait, did I just write that?

If my boys grow up to be this charming and cool, I'll be proud as pie.

swing baby swing

Not many events have influenced me, musically and as a person, the way this performance by Swing Kids at the Ieper Fest 1996 has.

Again, it's unlikely that you can spot the craze girl in the audience, I'm just a short one, but I was there. Oh yes, I was there.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Saturday 27 August 2011

back in my day

a) try and count the amount of females in the room.
b) try and spot the craze girl

Ok, so i don't know the answer to the first one, but let me tell you: we weren't many.

The answer to the second question is that I was indeed attending this gig and maybe if I watched it all in slow motion I would spot myself, knowing that I was at the back to the left (viewed from stage). It was the night I got to meet my friend Dennis, and we became friends after this and have maintained contact to this day. If it wasn't for Dennis and I meeting on this night I wouldn't even know many people who are my closest friends. It's good to be nostalgic every now and so often, reflecting on our background and how things came about. It helps appreciate where we've got to.

Friday 26 August 2011

Preview: the week ahead (29th Aug - 4th Sep)

Another quietish week, but boy, those events that are going on are unmissable. And so international, with bands from all over the planet performing in Berlin this week.
And what to do about Thursday? Why do these things happen in this town all the time?!

My Disco and Pttrns at Lovelite: If you know us, then you know that we are big Pttrns fans. In my opinion, and I am not exaggerating, Pttrns are one of the best, if not the best, live band around. Just believe us when we say that you will never forget a Pttrns gig. And typically, we disco party until late into the night. While we're on the subject, this is actually a My Disco gig in the first place. This post-punk three-piece from Australia should get everyone moving, too. But I'll be honest, I'm going to this for Pttrns.
Shonen Knife and Gelbart at Marie-Antoinette: It's a tough choice tonight. Shonen Knife, female Japanese punk group par excellence, sometimes noisy, sometimes pop, with a knack for Ramones covers, are finally hitting Germany and I have really been looking forward to this forever. Support comes from Israeli solo artist Gelbart. What to do?! Anyway, here is Kurt Cobain talking to Shonen Knife back in the day - this should make your day really:

The Hidden Cameras and Chinawoman at Heimathafen Neukölln: Yum! Canadian indie-pop with folk influences. The Hidden Cameras should be on anyone's radar who likes a strumming guitar sound, a beautiful pop melody and an edge to music. Another must-go-to event this week!

Father Murphy, Strange Forces and Chinook Wind at Raum 20: If you are interested in broadening your mind, you should head to Raum 20 on Sunday, where you will be able to enjoy some unusual and experimental sounds from three very different groups, who all try to mix different genres of music, e.g. psychedelica, traditional sounds, such as religious chanting and Afro beat and electronica. A very interesting evening that has caught our attention and interest.
Sic Alps and Delta Love at West Germany: Sic Alps at West Germany? Sounds like a match made in heaven. Lo-fi indie rock on Drag City, the way we knew it in the early 90s, paired with a venue at which the stage is built of beer crates. I fear that this may be a packed show and I for one will show up early because I wouldn't want to miss this for the world. Those of you that enjoyed Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall or Wavves when they rocked Berlin should go to this, too and hang out with us. Speaking of Ty Segall, here is Sic Alps and the man Ty in a collaboration:

Thursday 25 August 2011


I am actually a little disappointed with how autumn is panning out so far. There are not that many gigs and events that are getting me excited at this point. However, one day in the calendar sticks out and I am having a very hard time deciding which of these amazing performers to devote my attention to.

Monday, Sep 19, 2011:
at West Germany with
at nbi or
at C-Halle.

A tough one for sure. As things stand, I will support the females and the wonderful folks at West Germany and sweat to some ladies rocking out with guitars. But who knows really where I'll end up on the night.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Quick review: Crocodiles

I was so very unsure of whether this was going to work. Crocodiles at Festsaal? Sounds like a gamble. But what do you know? It did work just fine. This was thanks to a fairly young audience willing to dance and support the band. But primarily, that band has gone from a lo-fi two-piece to a professional five-piece band, which knows how to perform. And they don't need amazing lighting or projections or curtains. Rock'n'Roll and an attitude is all it takes.

The odd thing was: all the while I was watching the gig I was thinking "I shouldn't like this" and all the while I was loving it. The music doesn't seem that special when you theoretically analyse it. It's a mix of a lot of "have heard before". The stage show isn't out of the ordinary. But Crocodiles just get it right. It all works perfectly in synch - the music with the attitude and performance - and you can't help but enjoy it. 

I'm glad they seem to have taken a liking to Berlin, having played here twice this year, as well as a couple of DJ gigs. Because they somehow match Berlin and Berlin appreciates them. They are a good band, the way good bands should be: no gimmicks.

If you like to see pictures of Crocodiles and read a little more about them, check out my review of their gig at West Germany.

Sunday 21 August 2011

Preview: the week ahead (22nd-28th August)

Sorry just a quick and short preview this time. As it seems, C*'s internet connection still isn't working and I'm not in town, so please check the calendar for further concert info. There's some more cool stuff going on that's worth a visit. If we missed anything really important please drop us a comment!

Blonde Redhead at Lido: I never saw Blonde Redhead live but I love quite a few of their records. So I think I should probably go there. If you don't know them already you have until Wednesday to go to a recordstore of your choice and get a copy of Misery is a Butterfly or La Mia Vita Violenta.

Auxes and Oiro at Schokoladen: This is quite a funny mix but I like when bands play together which don't actually sound the same. Sure it's both punk in one way or another, but Auxes' edgy noise rock doesn't really sound like Oiro's Deutschpunk. Give Auxes a try, chances are good that they'll throw in some Challenger songs. I never really listened to the latest Oiro records, but their early output is good.

If you're up to see something experimental you have two choices (in reality you'll probably have a lot more but well...). Go to Staalplaat's last part of the Staaltape Fest and watch Joke Lanz and Ute Waldhausen. Alternatively go to bei Roy and see Olgar, Alan Gleeson , Nikolas Wiese and Heidrun Schramm.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Preview: the week ahead (15th-21st August)

Kind of a slow week again with noch that much going on. Nonetheless there are some gems, so check out what's going on. Any additions? Just leave us a comment!

eXperimontag at Madame Claude: Madame Claude's weekly experimental event features some pretty interesting stuff this week. Mat Pogo and Ignaz Schick are doing a collaboration as well as Erin Sexton and Seiji Morimoto. DJ Placido, Sec_ and Ondula are also playing. Musically this probably will be mostly electro-acoustic experimental noise stuff. I saw Mat Pogo and Seiji Morimoto some time ago, they're both worth a visit at Madame Claude!

Off!, Fucked Up and Nothing at SO36: Off! is like this hardcore super group, consisting of members of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Hot Snakes... they play fast and pissed punkrock. Fucked Up play something comparable, I think they're getting quite big at the moment so you'll probably heard (of) them before and don't need further introduction.

DJ Marcelle and Kraapola at Bei Roy: In case you missed DJ Marcelle the last time she played at bei Roy, here you go! She plays a highly danceable mix of dubstep, breakcore, world music, experimental stuff and everything else you can dance to. She's mixing it all live, go see her, it's awesome!
Seiji Morimoto, Kakawaka and Man Karton at Staaplaat Record Store: This is Staaltape Fest part 3 of 4. Expect some interesting and unconventional experimental stuff in nice record store atmosphere!

Monday 8 August 2011

A treat, this Wednesday

We have just been invited to 

The VIDEOKILLS Explorer Series: Invisible City Symphonies #5 Berlin

at Marie-Antoinette this Wednesday, an event at which silent films and videos are screened while live bands perform. It sounds amazing. See you there?

Sunday 7 August 2011

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

It's official Comet Club week for us here at the craze. You hardly ever see us at either Magnet or Comet but somehow, this week, there seems to be a gig worth attending at Comet almost every night. And I have to say: I like the size and set up of Comet Club. It's not as bad as its reputation. But there is other stuff going on, too. Let's hope the sunshine plays along on Saturday...

Crystal Stilts at Comet Club: OK, for a second I was unsure whether I should feature this at all after my disappointing experience with Crystal Stilts at Festsaal earlier this spring. However, they write ingenius songs and I have seem them at their best and was convinced. This smaller venue will suit them well and I reckon this will be worth attending. I cannot find a support name for this one so I'd be on time if I was you...
Sebadoh at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Of course, if you have got a chance to see Sebadoh, then I would do that instead! As much as I like Crystal Stilts, they're no competition for Sebadoh, indie veterans of my youth. Yum!

Ringo Deathstarr and Puro Instinct at Comet Club: I have recently rediscovered one of my favourite bands of the 90s: Lush. And Ringo Deathstarr remind me of Lush and all those fuzzy 90s indie groups. At the same time they, and Puro Instinct, will appeal to lovers of Wavves, Best Coast and other current West Coast lo-fi indie music. I'm not sure whether Ringo Deathstarr deserve the hype they're receiving at the moment (especially since they've been around for quite some time) but this will be a sweet gig to go to on a Tuesday night.

HORSE the band at Comet Club: It's a metal noise fest at Comet on Wednesday. You have to like your metal for this one but at the same time, this is very clever with a lot of unexpected experimental sounds in the mix. It's a bit as if you mixed math core with metal core. Not sure what I'm talking about? Check them out and be amazed or laugh or both, whichever way you are inclined.

Tennis at Comet Club: I got a positive surprise from this pop sensation last time at the same venue. And it was packed. So if you like your pop, be early for this one or, even better, get a ticket in advance.

I am Oak and Rue Royale at Schokoladen: J. pointed me in the direction of this concert. The man knows me too well! Indeed, this is the right thing for the craze girl. Beautiful folk music from the Netherlands, in the vein of Songs:Ohia, Austin Lucas et al - I'm sold. Rue Royale are Birmingham / Chicago based and do folky singer-songwriter girl-boy stuff. Nice. See you at 7pm on Thursday!

The World/Inferno Friendship Society at Schokoladen: This is taking place outside in the yard and could easily turn into one of the funnest parties this year! The Society knows how to entertain a crowd and they are particularly good in unusual and quirky environments. This is a must-go event. And like any events at Schokoladen, this starts at 7pm. Be early and don't miss this.

Saturday 6 August 2011

Review: Puschenfest feat. Suuns, Chad VanGaalen, Polvo, Oneida

Puschenfest's day one on Thursday had not had anything of interest to offer for me but I was looking forward to day two on Friday for some time, glad to finally have a chance to see Chad VanGaalen and Oneida live and spend a nice evening with some people.

I arrived while Suuns were already playing, so I made my way quickly in the already super hot Festsaal Kreuzberg. I wasn't in the mood for what they did at all so I only watched about two songs and left to get some air and meet some people outside.

Chad VanGaalen was up next and like I mentioned I was SO looking forward to finally see him! I especially like his Infiniheart and Soft Airplane records, so I was hoping to see some songs from these live. He played with a full backing band which I didn't really expect before and I think I might have liked it better without a full rockband outfit. They mostly played songs from their/his newest record. Some of them were really good but some of them were just to plain indie rock for me. I love the two mentioned records because they sound very fragile and the guitar rock band backup didn't really do that for me. But they also weren't bad so I wasn't really disappointed.

Next band to play were Polvo and they weren't my cup of tea at all. I knew some of their stuff before and I had expected something totally different. I watched two songs and wasn't in the mood for any more boring Schweinerock, so I went outside again to wait for Oneida...

And waiting for Oneida was so worth it! They started playing with two drummers and played a great mix between ecstatic and highly danceable krautrock and repetitive psychedelic noiserock or something like that... They were so good and played everyone still left in the room in a sort of dancy trance. They seemingly had lots of fun and played like forever. I left sweaty, happy and tired. If you somehow get a chance to see Oneida live, don't hesitate to go see them. They totally made my Puschenfest!

Friday 5 August 2011

Review: Algernon Cadwallader + 1994!

No big surprises that night but also no disappointments.
I think this was actually my first of the now early starting Schokoladen shows, so I arrived on time at 8pm and wondered why there were so few people in the room. However it was already quite hot in the room.

Schokoladen filled quickly and it didn't take 1994! long to start playing. I didn't know them before and to be honest they weren't my cup of tea. They played fast noisy punk with just guitar and drums. At first I heard nothing but drums, then the sound got a bit better but I didn't want to watch the whole set, so I hung out in the back room.

When Algernon Cadwallader started, the room was pretty packed and thus really really hot. I'm not that fond of sold out Schokoladen shows so I searched a place in the back with a little space to stand and breathe. Algernon Cadwallader played a solid set of their mixture of mathy and poppy punk which sounds not unlike Cap'n Jazz and comparable bands. They're fun to watch and good live, plus they're very likeable and congenial guys. Somehow I liked them better the last time they played in Berlin but this wasn't a bad concert after all.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Review: Electrelane + Vivian Girls

How many times have I been excited about an upcoming gig, have been awaiting the night with the greatest anticipation, have told everyone about it, just to be disappointed in the end? Many times. Why does it still happen? Why do I still shriek with joy when certain gigs are announced? Because every now and again there comes along one that actually lives up to its promises. Last night was such a night.

Electrelane and Vivian Girls on one night is a combination this craze girl cannot miss for the world. I had just been ill with mumps for 8 days and, let's be honest, I wasn't the fittest yet. But given I was no longer contagious, I ingored any pain or exhaustion I might have felt and made my way to Festsaal on this one of very few summer nights this year. The gig started pretty punctional and I arrived just in time for Vivian Girls.

Now I have seen Vivian Girls before, naturally, and I have to say that they were very impressive when they played West Germany two years ago. There is something raw about this all-girl trio that just suited the environment of West Germany perfectly. Granted, they were a lot tighter last night. And I love the new material, which plays more with harmonies. But it was hard to really get the crowd at Festsaal moving. Vivian Girls were giving it their all, a lot of press had showed up just for these ladies, but as good as they were, the energy didn't transpire. I enjoyed watching them but I am glad I got to see them at West Germany, too. 

I was not prepared for how Electrelane was going to transform Festsaal! Sold out Festsaal was so hot people actually started taking off their tops. The venue can be magic when sold out and when the balconies are filled up as well as the lower level. The energy was electric. When Electrelane played the first song the crowd instantly went along, dancing and paying due respect to the ladies on stage. I think people in Berlin are generally good at showing appreciation to the artist on stage but yesterday, I was amazed at how the entire audience clapped and shouted. And deservedly so. 

Electrelane's four year absence from stage were not apparent by any stretch. Musically, they were super tight and the performance was most professional and at the same time energetic and awe-inspiring. While they played all their hits they also bridged these with less catchy songs which would sometimes end in soundscapes that sent people into trance. I think everyone there felt "OMG, I'm so happy I'm here". And when Electrelane covered Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy", the room was on fire and I was melting, literally.

What a gig! It was one of those that you wonder if they can ever be repeated or whether it will never be the same again. I hope Electrelane will return many times and make everyone happy like this.

PS: Unfortunately, because Festsaal was so packed and it was so hot, I couldn't take any meaningful pictures. Sorry.