Monday 31 October 2011

And the winner is..

The winner of our happy happy competition is


Message us via our facebook group. If you don't have access to facebook, let us know a way of contacting you. Enjoy Bye Roy!!

Sunday 30 October 2011

Preview: the week ahead (31th Oct - 6th Nov)

Really? November is here already? Before you'll know it we'll have to do our end of year review. Until then, we try and cramp in as many gigs as possible:

Yuck at Magnet Club: This band is haunting me. They played in LA when I was there. But it was sold out. Then they played in Europe a while back but I couldn't make it. Maybe it's a third time lucky for me or maybe I have given up by now. However, this shouldn't deter you! Yuck play post punk indie rock of the rather mellow variety but at times loud. Nice.
Svarte Greiner and Alexander Rishaug at NK: Svarte Greiner plays dark and doomy experimental music. Think of a David Lynch movie with eerie soundscapes and noises. Alexander Rishaug's music fits quite well in here. This is probably like the best soundtrack for Halloween day.

Washed Out at Lido: 80s sounding indie synth pop. The man knows a good tune and he will entertain the dance-willing crowds on Wednesday. You may just meet the craze girl there. Or I might go for curry instead. But this is noteworthy!

Dum Dum Girls at Festsaal: See our review from last time and the month's preview for information. I'm excited about this one!

ByeRoy!: this is the second to last event at bei Roy for this year before they have to close for a winter break until next spring. There are plenty of bands playing, Pascal Fühlbrügge (former Kollossale Jugend guitar player), Echokrank (with Brezel Göring from Stereo Total), P.U.F.F.  and Shield your Eyes, just to name a few. Also local heroes Diät are playing their first ever show this night. After the live music you should stay for the after show party and go nuts!

de Brassers and pr0n at bei Roy: if you are into post punk and dark coldwave stuff you should check out de Brassers from Belgium and visit bei Roy's last concert for this year!

Cara Beth Satalino at Silverfuture: Singer and guitarist from Witches with her solo singer songwriter project.
Veronica Falls at Roter Salon: Anticipated show by this female fronted British indie pop group. A very nice way to spend our Sunday afternoon. Yum!!

Sunday 23 October 2011

Preview: the week ahead (24th - 30th Oct)

Naturally, it's been a special week for us here at the craze. We're one year old! If you haven't heard about our competition yet, check it out! Closing date is not until Wednesday. Time f'r turning four leaf clover
In other news: a fine week ahead indeed. But Civil Civic and Digger Barnes on the same night? Ouch! I will do a crazy attempt of watching both, at least in part. Wild, I know.

Holy Ghost! at Museum für Kommunikation: NYC based indie dance music may not be for everyone. But this is a special show at the amazing Museum für Kommunikation (it's brilliant, believe me) and with the participation of the audience. To find out how you can influence the show, go to Noisey.

Dylan Ettinger and Moon Wheel at Madame Claude: This gig is a positive surprise in our gig calendar this week. We didn't really notice it until fairly recently and I am now excited about this one! Mellow folk and world influenced tunes from Moon Wheel (definitely an artist to watch out for; I'm hooked on their SoundCloud tunes) and ambient electronica with psychedelic vocals from Dylan Ettinger, a mix between Jean-Michel Jarre and Sun Araw though I think it can get pretty loud and wild live. I'd say gig of the week if it wasn't for crazy Wednesday.

Digger Barnes with Pencil Quincy, Mary Ocher and Touchy Mob bei Roy: It doesn't get better than this event, really. Digger Barnes and Pencil Quincy will perform their unbelievable spectacle of sound and vision that has mesmerised us before (still one of the most read posts on the craze!). Don't miss this! It will probably be the best show you have ever seen in your life. High quality support from the talented Mary Ocher and the productive Touchy Mob will make this the number one event this autumn. Really.
Civil Civic and Camera at Marie-Antoinette: You have no idea how long I, c*, have been waiting for this gig. This will better live up to its promises or else! I am a fan of this instrumental post-punk duo and I have been supporting their album and deservedly so: one of the best albums of the year. I know they like a good show, so this will be amazing. Support comes from Berlin based outfit Camera. Come out and dance!

Burial Hex, The Church of Synth and Mueran Humanos at King Kong Klub: When was the last time you attended a gig at King Kong Klub? Exactly! Well, this week, they've got a beauty of an event and you'd be daft to miss it. Burial Hex = masters of dark ambient, industrially influenced music that will give you the chills. It's funny to think that there is such a thing as a split LP between Burial Hex and Zola Jesus. While the latter has become more and more commerical, the former has intensified the weirdness and amazingness of their music. Worthy support, too, but I am running out of space here. If you like your music arty, you should head to King Kong this Thursday. Period.

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on:
Dure Mère, Monopeople, Duo Bellanger Ziemniak and Une Distraction bei Roy / Trashfest 4 at Raum 20: This is going to be a bit special! Neighbouring Neukölln locations bei Roy and Raum 20 do a collaboration this night. It's going to be one entry fee for both concerts and locations (they're door to door so you can easily switch between the rooms) and you will be able to see a shitload of great music here. The original bei Roy line up features Dure Mère and Duo Bellanger Ziemniak, both french groups playing jazzy tunes somehow. Also Monopeople will play, they play Lightning Bolt style bass and drums noise rock. Une Distraction already got featured here, you definitely shouldn't miss them, they're awesome to say the least!
Trashfest also features a nice bunch of bands, check out the facebook event page for the whole line up. It's mostly trashy, crazy and rocky, they've got bands like Destruction Unit, the Mokkers and Krach der Roboter playing.

Why? at hbc: Anticon protègés Why? are playing Berlin and that is pretty exciting in its own right, even though it's "only" a "Semi Acoustic Piano Show Pt.1". I admit that I struggle to describe Why? but how about quoting Wikipedia here: Indie rock, Alternative hip hop, Jangle pop, Folk rock. This is going to be amazing and you will need a pretty good excuse to miss this. 

The Moustache and The Hans at Madame Claude: Berlin based artists doing what they know to do best: being quirky and fun. A local heroes event at Madame Claude.
Peter Kernel at Schokoladen: I don't know why but I think the name doesn't sound enticing. But don't be fooled! This is not a solo singer-songwriter but post-punk pop at its finest, played by a group. And with a big portion of fun. I truly recommend this to you highly.

Nite Jewel at Monarch: Slightly theatrical singing to wave music. Those nostalgic for the 80s or those missing "the old" Zola Jesus should find their passion here. The lady knows what she's doing and she's doing it well.
Mutter at Festsaal: The popular group from Berlin is back at Festsaal and I expect it will be packed. c* is not a fan, J. likes 'em. It's a love or hate kind of band but I guess the band appeals to Einstürzende Neubauten fans for sure.

Review: Ben Butler & Mousepad, Flamingo Creatures and Hering und seine Sieben Sachen

Flamingo Creates' equipment
Serves me right for leaving it too long. I have learned my lesson I hope. You should always do reviews right after the gig, max a day later, don't leave it for weeks because it won't get easier. While my mind is on the ground

So OK, ages ago J. and I went to see Ben Butler & Mousepad bei Roy. And I was excited as a little kid. I just love that band.

The opening bands both did a "knobs and buttons and various instrumentalisation, playing on the floor" kind of thing in an experimental kind of way. Especially Flamingo Creatures were really good at that.

However, once you see Ben Butler & Mousepad, chances are you forget about an experimental ambient opening act. Because BB & M come full force at you. Their dancable fun music will have the room dancing and their sweet persona will make everyone want to be their best friend. Ok, some took that one too far by getting very drunk and trying to storm the makeshift stage. Nevermind though. Despite the audience being a tad too rowdy, I enjoyed my favourite Glaswegian dance band as much as I was anticipating I would do. They really know how to entertain a room full of dance-hungry people.

It's not the best I have seen them perform, they are dependent on the interaction with the adience. But it was sweet to see all these die-hard fans who had shown up and how the audience just went for it. And you cannot go wrong with the songs of BB & M. This was a good night indeed. I hope they return to their former hometown of Berlin soon!

Tuesday 18 October 2011

happy, happy

the way we party
Hey you people of the world of the craze. Guess what?! This Saturday, we are going to be 1 year old, and growing fast. We are proud parents and growing children at the same time. We are exstatic about how the first year has gone from nothingness to amazingness. 

To mark the occasion, we are giving you, dear readers and dancers, the chance to win one set of two precious tickets to the highly anticipated end of year party at bei Roy on 4th November. Everybody who leaves us happy birthday comments on any blog post from Saturday will be entered into the draw. Closing date / time is 10pm on Wednesday. Winners will be drawn at random and announced on Monday.

Yay yay, let the fun begin.

Sunday 16 October 2011

c*s november highlights

Autumn is knocking on our doors, soon Everybody's talking 'bout the stormy weather. And I've got my mind set on some top events coming up this coming month. Oh yes baby, I'll be polishing those dancing shoes.

(Click on the band names for video links)

Dum Dum Girls - The girls really convinced us last time round. Pop music the way pop music should be and of which I cannot get enough!

Iceage - Rhythmic punk rock noise and not one to miss if you like to rock out, the way we do. This gig is actually a triple bill with Strange Forces and Sun Worship. Oh yes.

U.S. Girls - Experimental one-girl project from which I was buzzing days after the gig last time. I cannot wait to be mesmerised by this lady once again.

Sightings - Noise the way noise should be: rhythmic and loud. I need my fix and these boys will give it to me.

Retox - Speaking of noise. New project by Justin Pearson (Locust, Some Girls, etc) and friends and just as clever as all his previous endeavours. Cannot wait.

JEFF The Brotherhood - Rock'n'Roll. I'm a fan and you know that by now. Read the previous review and join my club.

The Kills - Their biggest venue in Berlin to date this time round but I just love thee and I will go anyway, with a heavy heart. Great songs and great performers and that's still what a good band is about. Previous review for your info.

Review: Edie Sedgwick + Sissters

I entered Schokoladen while Sissters were soundchecking and almost ready to begin. Good timing I'd say...  I've seen Sissters already several times now, so no big surprises here. They were good as usual. I'd still say they're one of the best Berlin bands around at the moment. The only bummer was the by then still relatively reserved Schokoladen crowd. Probably that's one of the downsides of having to start concerts early but it got better later on.

Edie Sedgwick were on next, now with completely new backing band than when I saw him/them the last time and leaving Justin Moyer (who also played in El Guapo and Antelope) as the only fix member. I was a bit worried because I pre-listened their newest record on the Dischord homepage and didn't like it that much. So I hoped they would at least play some old songs.

Well they played only one, but the new songs worked surprisingly well for me live! They're a lot more poppy and accessible than the older stuff. I always thought the reduced sound and style of the older Edie Sedgwick stuff (and also of Antelope, if you don't know them you should definitely check them out, they're awesome!) is what makes them so good. The newer stuff however sounds a lot broader and more playful. There are 70's references and organs, there is background singing and all that. But it's still highly danceable music and so it also was live. The band was good, the songs were tight, it was fun to watch. No complaints here, I really liked it!

Saturday 15 October 2011

Review: Architecture in Helsinki

A little while ago, the lovely ladies at Julie Tippex asked me to contribute to their fanzine, which was going to be all about dancing. I was asked to list and write about bands, which are good at dancing and do individual dance routines. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to write my piece and frankly, I didn't feel inspired at the time. 
Then, I went to see Architecture In Helsinki  and I hadn't seen such great dancing in a while, and suddenly it was all very clear to me. Sorry ladies, a little late, but my top dancing bands are:
1) Architecture In Helsinki
2) CSS
3) Le Tigre

This band is really amazing at stage performing. Each of the six members dances indivually but also together, jumping around, interacting with their audience. It's so much fun to watch. I bet they all practise their amazing dance moves in front of a mirror. And the predominantly young audience? Goes insane! I haven't heard that much screaming since going to see New Kids On The Block in 1990. And the entire (!) room was dancing, except for one guy standing still in the middle. He must have had some willpower! That was really something.

Musically, AIH are very late 80s alternative quirky pop, somewhere between B52s and Squeeze, but with a dance beat. Featuring three keyboards, two guitars, a bass and a drum set, the sound is varied but somehow also always similar, that dancy pop with an edge. I absolutely love some of their songs but overall, it's maybe just that little too dancy poppy for me. But you know, it works. It's a concept well thought out and fun. And you can tell that the band enjoys playing their songs, smiling all the way, and improvising if something doesn't go to plan (yes, that included a sung guitar solo!).

For an indie band AIH are remarkably professional - they know their crowd and they know how to please it. The show ended with a well anticipated rendition of one of the greatest songs ever, Heart It Races, as the final encore.

I've had an ohrwurm of Contact High ever since the gig and, entirely unrelated it seems, the concert somehow made me want to see this afterwards: Beetlejuice Banana Boat scene

Friday 14 October 2011

Preview: the week ahead (17th - 23rd Oct)

In our minds, we are still in this week, we are still so excited about tomorrow. But we must look to the future and give you the preview for the week ahead. And yes, October is slowing down a bit. But don't let that fool you - there are some seriously classy events still to happen during the second half of this month. Check it out.

High Wolf, Blue Stork and Indias Indios at Loophole: High Wolf do that very experimental psychedelic kind of thing with neverending sound doodling songs that put people into a trance. This will appeal to those that hang out at Madame Claude on Mondays. They are also known for a pretty far out live performance, masks and projections and whatnot. You're in for something special.

Divorce and Stignoise at Schokoladen: A British extravaganza! Divorce do amazing arty noise, like a mix between Mae Shi, Erase Errata and Lightning Bolt (I know, I'm going crazy on the comparisons here) and I am well up for this. Stignoise, also known as Stig Noise Sound System, play more arty noise, but this time a little bit more experimental (trumpets and things, really). This is the gig of the week for me. And btw, the same bill is playing the Old Blue Last, Vice's pub, in London a few days previously, so the humourous hip persons among you, come along and let's go wild.
Real Estate at Magnet: (show starts 9pm sharp!) Sweet indie pop that kind of sounds like a slowed down Belle & Sebastian, with a surf twang. OK, I'm not rocking on the comparisons today. But they fit quite nicely with all that mellow indie pop coming from across the pond these days. I like it. And I will probably go. Because this is sweet.

Of Montreal and Uffie at Gretchen: But Oh, Thursday is a tough one for sure. All three gigs are very tempting and the choice is tough. Of Montreal are an amazing theatrical performance of a gig - you'll get costumes, performance and good music for your money and you won't leave disappointed. We went last year and we danced and smiled. And it's a chance to check out Gretchen, which we haven't done yet. Highly recommended event. :)

Schnaak and Jean Louis at bei Roy: Schnaak's website reads: "After several excursions through Europe, USA and Africa Berlin-duo SchnAAk has lived up and loves weird hip-hop beats, parallel comic-art universes and stylish African rhythms, though still working deep down in a factory of cosmic noise." and I have no better way of explaining their incredible weirdness. I'm excited about this one!! More incredible weirdness comes for experimental outfit Jean Louis. Be there, be prepared. 

The Blood Arm at Magnet: OK, so this is an odd one for us to feature, admittedly. The Blood Arm are a 60s rock influenced indie group that is hard to categorise but definitely have a pretty commercial sound to them. But I just like a good performance and frontguy Nathaniel Fregoso really knows how to put on a show, oh yes. If you like your Jagger and you like your Svenonious and those other charismatic frontmen, chances are that you'll like this. 

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Quick Review: Batalj + Catholic Spray

Wow that was a surprise! I wasn't at all familiar with Batalj beforehand but I knew this is going to be good from the moment they started playing. Batalj is a three piece synth/guitar/drums band with members from Sweden and Australia currently residing in Berlin. They play a fast and chaotic mix of hardcore/grindcore/screamo (are you even still allowed to use that term?)/whatever strongly reminding me of bands like the Locust and An Albatross. What was so impressive about them was the ease with which they performed. Moments of chaotic noise alternated with almost dancy parts with dirty bass synth sounds and stunning drums. Hands down this was one of the best bands I saw live this year and they're probably one of the best bands in Berlin right now. No complaints at all, the sound at bei Roy was amazing and the band was awesome to say the least.

Catholic Spray followed next, they had a bit of a difficult stand after what just happened minutes before. They played something completely different, which I found was a good thing as I like combining bands of different genres to play together. They do like a surfy garage punk mix with trebly guitars and muffled bass. I didn't really like what they played, as it all sounded too similar and boring to me. But I'm also not really into that sort of music and I was still strongly captivated from Batalj's performance...

Sunday 9 October 2011


my current online radio favourites. this says something about me, us, this blog. 

Preview: the week ahead (10th - 16th Oct)

A little intro does no harm. So we have a jammed packed week ahead. And we like it. Dance with us to Edie Sedgwick like you know no tomorrow!

Mimas at Schokoladen: Danish post-rock trio that will appeal to all indie kids really. Clever and pop and with many influences. Schokoladen = early show!
Catholic Spray and BATALJ at bei Roy: BATALJ = chaos and noise that makes our hearts beat faster. We love. Catholic Spray = surfy punk à la Wavves, etc but with a bit more noise and chaos. We love, too. Oh, this is going to be so sweet! What a start to the week.
House Of Wolves and Hanna & Kerttu at Madame Claude: When I search the internet for House of Wolves, I get a lot of My Chemical Romance hits. Oh brother. Needless to say, this one-man singer-songwriter project is in no way linked to the former enterprise. Au contraire! House Of Wolves from Los Angeles plays dreamy pop with an array of instruments. Reminds me of Prince ballads coupled with Beirut instrumentals, but more conventional than you may think. I know sounds weird in writing but not in music, trust me.

Architecture in Helsinki at Lido: Unconventional pop. c* is a fan albeit not yet convinced by the new material. But I'm there and dancing. Watch me.
Fenster and Aurora Kiss at Knochenbox: Fenster = Berlin based quirky pop trio. Aurora Kiss = Berlin based one-man Australian show, electronically. You need to bring your sense of humour for this one.

Planningtorock and Love Inks at Berghain (Panorama Bar): Experimental music, at times drone and at times minimalist and then again full force. Big business but still worth your attention. Though expensive and probably packed.

Abwärts and Electroboys at SO36: Germany's punk heroes from the 1980s, who have given us hits and hits and a quirky image. Your chance to see their legacy live.

Edie Sedgwick and Sissters at Schokoladen: Gig of the week, hands down. Synth punk with fun, fun, fun and a nice film star theme. Oh yes!! Support comes from local stars Sissters. Saturday night is alright!

Skeleton$ and Lucky Dragons at HAU2: Skeleton$ really did it for us last time. We came with few expectations and left with big happy faces. Read our review from last time. Lucky Dragons are a worthy support, creating experimental sounds of all sorts.
Melvins at Volksbühne: Another night, another legacy. Is there another band on the planet that knows how to rock the way Melvins do? Most likely not. Ow!
Conquering Animal Sound at Monarch: Ambient sounds with female vocals. Will appeal to Portishead or Björk fans and is a nice relaxed way to end your weekend.

Double Death

Finally, Bass Drum of Death have been announced for Berlin and, just my luck, it's on the same night as The Death Set. Aaaaahh, this town is killing me!!

Review: Moon Duo + Male Bonding

I like a surprise, most of the time. And this was a night of surprises! Surprise number one: the gig started at 8:40pm. I'm not kidding you. Second surprise at the time but not in hindsight: Male Bonding played before Moon Duo. (Yes, I know, doh, but beforehand I honestly thought Male Bonding were going to be on last). The third surprise comes later on.

We got to Festsaal at 9pm and were able to catch a few songs of the opening band, a trio from Italy with the name of Edible Woman (I know). They were way too crossover funk for me and I was glad when their set had ended. If you like it funky and crossover and Italian, this is for you. It wasn't for me.

Because this whole evening was running an hour early, not too many people had showed up yet when Male Bonding took the stage. However, they played for the most part of an hour and by the end, Festsaal was sufficiently filled. I like Male Bonding. They play that very straight forward indie punk, like Dinosaur Jr and bands like that, that is simply enjoyable. In addition, they have a sweet stage presence, like the kind of guys you want to hang out with afterwards. We danced and smiled, and we laughed at two guys who were taking the band's name very literal indeed, taking their shirts off and going crazy in front of (and on) the stage. They were a little creepy but made for a good additional show. Overall a very good set that included all the hits, but they could have played just a few songs less. It was a very long set, given there was another band to come, and really, most of their songs sound kind of similar when played live. Still, fun!

Now for my third suprise of the evening. I knew some older stuff by Moon Duo and it was a little stoner spacy for me. So I was planning on staying for a few songs and then calling it an early night. Ha, no way! I was so wrong. The new material is a lot more accessible and dancable. Imagine a modern-day joy division, spiced up with some really nice organ playing, a drum computer and psyechedelic guitar solos. And that two-piece girl/boy energy. The duo was rocking out on stage, which was flooded by video projections and lights that really enhanced the atmosphere. I am seldomly impressed by projections but was really loving these, only to find out afterwards that they were done by a good friend. (Another surprise for you there). The whole set was incredible and I found myself dancing until the very end and yearning for much more. Moon Duo got me addicted and would have continued through the night if it was up to me. When I got in my car I couldn't turn on the radio as I ordinarily would have done; I was still buzzing too much from the concert. 

I have a new favourite band*, yes I do!

 *(jointly with Health that is)

Here is a video of theirs that gives me goosebumps still this morning.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Quick review: Eleanor Friedberger

Picture a lady that looks like a mix between Patti Smith and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Imagine a guitar sound that sounds distinctly American singer-songwriter but then imagine the voice to sound as if Chrissie Hynde had joined The Housemartins. And you got it.

Eleanor Friedberger is better known as one half of the Fiery Furnaces but is touring with solo material at the moment. Her songwriting is sophisticated and her lyrics are original. She managed to encapture the entire room and played for over an hour when people still wouldn't let her leave the stage. There was no dancing or such things, people were simply listening and taking in her presence. 

A very nice early evening at the charming Monarch.

Friday 7 October 2011

Architectual digest

Architecture in Helsinki next week, yeah yay!

One of my favourite songs of absolutely all time:

And just because, a new number for you, too.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

BATALJ next week. Oh yes!!

bei Roy is hosting this event next week and the promoter has managed to secure BATALJ at the last minute. i'm so excited and i just can't hide it!

And btw: we'll be disco dancing afterwards to some seriously good djanes. Yeah that's right.

Sunday 2 October 2011


just in case you ever need to contact us and you find there is no contact email on the blog (correct), go to our facebook group, where you will find both of us and from where you can contact us. :)

Saturday 1 October 2011

Preview: the week ahead (3rd Oct - 9th Oct)

Hey, are you all enjoying the weather the way we are doing? Yes? Good. The evenings are getting darker though and we spend those out on the town, where else. Here's what's catching our attention:

Rae Spoon at Silver Future: Singer-songwriter country folk tunes, reminds me strongly of early Mary Lou Lord stuff or maybe Lois. I saw him several times now and it was always great, so be sure to not miss this.

Eleanor Friedberger at Monarch: more singer-songwriter tunes, but this time by an American lady who also makes up 50% of The Fiery Furnaces. Her songs remind me a little of ballads sang by Chrissie Hynde. Yum.

Night Birds and Apostrophe at bei Roy: Night Birds = spazzy punk rock à la Shitty Limits. C* loves this kind of thing and may just spend Wednesday night dancing away in Neukölln.

Flamingo Creatures, Hering und seine sieben Sachen and Ben Butler & Mousepad at bei Roy: Ben Butler, yay!!! Since these ex-Berlinians have moved back to Scotland, I am so missing my regular Ben Butler & Mousepad fix. I'm well excited about this one. Oh yeah, and there is Flamingo Creatures (two Datashock members with their solo experimental ambient noise project, so to speak) and Hering und seine sieben Sachen (something quite comparable to Flamingo Creatures), too. We will celebrate our start to the weekend at bei Roy, yeah.

Rae Spoon at Fab Lab: If you couldn't find the time on Monday, here's your second chance.

Male Bonding and Moon Duo at Festsaal Kreuzberg: One of my most played songs on lastfm is by Male Bonding (Year's not long). A hit. Male Bonding are indie rock with a punk drum beat, a bit Dinosaur Jr if you know what I mean. Very good fun and a must for any fan of the genre. Moon Duo on the other hand do a darkish thing with drum machine, not unlike The Kills. In fact, this will really appeal fans of The Kills.

Review: Purling Hiss

I was super looking forward to this one, maybe a little too much. The songs I'd heard of Purling Hiss up to that point reminded me of a mix between Ty Segall and JEFF The Brotherhood. Hello beautiful! And I do love Monarch as a bar and as a venue or just as a living room.

We headed to Monarch fairly early and that was actually a good move. We didn't have to wait long before the band started. Just as a word of advice to you, you know. Monarch tends to start earlier than say West Germany or White Trash Fast Food. Be earlyish at Monarch. The room was nicely filled, albeit not packed. And the attendees of tonight's show were of surprisingly varied musical background: indie kids, elderly rockers, you name it. Interesting.
Purling Hiss, the Philadelphian trio surrounding mastermind Mike Polizze, are a rock outfit but have been known to add unconventional elements to their rock, hence my above comparison with groups like Ty Segall. If you listen to their singles online, you get just that: rock, with a relatively poppy beat and some breaks you weren't expecting.

Ha, none of that live. From the moment they entered the stage, they just rocked out hard. It was basically a classic rock show, including the guitar posing, long locks waving, ageing rockers at front of audience headbanging. And Purling Hiss were so very good at that, which turned into a conflict for me. I appreciated how good they were and how much they were putting into it, but unfortunately, I'm not a classic rock enough person. So those songs I knew, the more commercial ones I guess, that I had heard online, were just my thing and I really loved those. But the rest was like: wow, these guys are really good but they just don't really play my kind of music. 

Nevertheless, I had a brilliant time. That's partly because of Monarch as a venue, too. One entire wall consists of windows that face Kottbusser Tor and the stage is built in front of the wall that stands at an angle to those windows. Ok, that's kind of hard to explain without a floorplan. But the point is that passing people can look up from outside and see the band perform. And that's exactly what happened. Purling Hiss were rocking out and passer-bys, the police, homeless people were standing outside, looking up and smiling at the performance. So I was watching the band but I was also watching the non-paying audience outside and marvelled at how much fun they were getting out of this. It was just altoghether a relaxed and fun affair with rock music as the theme.

We didn't stay for the encord but joined the onlookers outside for a minute before we headed home, where we got early and content. A nice evening, yes.

If you want to find out more about Purling Hiss, there are really sweet pieces on them and some listening samples on Daytrotter and on Altered Zones.

Quick Review: Tephra

Admittedly, Tephra isn't exactly my cup of tea. Some of their songs really catch my attention but others don't at all. I like my noise, I like my rock but Tephra do a lot of that prolonged rocking à la Isis et al. I drift off. But Tephra are good people and old acquaintances of mine, so I followed their kind invitation and popped by Cassiopeia on a Friday night.

Tephra typically have a pretty solid fan base and I expected Cassiopeia to be packed. But it was lightly filled, technically enough to get an atmosphere going but not in the sense that anyone would have to sweat. I needn't worry about that anyway, not one single person danced, or moved at all for that matter. That was odd. I used to go to a lot of HC shows and I don't think I ever so an audience that still. 

Tephra rocked hard, their incredible drummer (he really is) giving everything. It was surreal how you had these four people onstage going wild and this static audience staring at them. Kinda funny. And especially so when the merch stall was extremely busy afterwards, with some folks buying one of every T-shirt designs. Mind you, they do know style, those guys in Tephra.

I think overall, and I may be a little out of line here, but I think overall Tephra is a "boys will be boys" kind of thing. I like noise, but I like it less in your face and more jazzy, if you know what I mean. But I did really enjoy myself and we all had a drink afterwards and went home happy.