Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Review: Retox + Sissters

Whoa! Is it that long ago that my friend and his crew camped at my house? Time flies for sure!

Two weeks ago, Retox were in a pickle. Two of the shows on their European tour had fallen through and they were stuck in Germany for three days with one show in Berlin smack in the middle. Needless to say, when they asked me for assistance with finding accommodation, I offered my living room without hesitation. Justin Pearson, singer of the group, noteworthy member of The Locust and All Leather, and co-owner of the amazing Three One G record label, and I go back a long way. Back to 1997 to be precise, when The Locust (only called Locust then) and friends Jenny Piccolo were in a similar position, that time in the north of Sweden though. I resided in Umeå, a small northern Swedish town with a vibrant music scene, and we quickly made friends. A few visits this way and that and I can honestly say that today I call JP one of my absolutely closest friends. I've begged him many times to plan in extra time in Berlin but his tour schedules are always tight. So while the falling through of two shows was a disaster for this touring band, I was actually excited to be able to spend a few days in a row in Berlin together. Usually, our hang-out time is taking place in his hometown San Diego or at punk rock venues around Europe.

The first day the boys arrived, three went down with stomach troubles. Whether it was food poisoning (their version) or a stomach bug (my guess) is irrelevant, it boiled down to an absolutely exhausted group of Americans. Let's just say we nursed them back to life. A few good meals, some hot baths and by Friday night, the night of the show, their cheeks were getting a little rosier already. Show time!

Lovelite was not as packed as I thought it would maybe be when we arrived. Sissters had already started playing but we were lucky to catch most of their set. What an amazing band! They've come a mighty long way from when I fist saw them support Screaming Females at Bang Bang Club last year. While they still play some form of post-punk, it's all gone pretty avant-garde and abstract arty. I really loved this gig and am proud to have this group in Berlin.

When Retox came on, I was seriously worried about what this might turn into. They have a reputation for pushing their limits as it is and with the tummy issues, I anticipated puke and collaps on stage. Luckily, no such thing happened. They did look ill but somehow, that worked well with their punk attitude. Of all the bands that Justin Pearson has played in, and Michael Crain of The Festival Of Dead Deer fame for that matter, this is the least arty and most traditionally punk project to date. And I am guessing that's where their success stems from: it's also the most accessible yet. I like quirky, weird and arty. But I'm not going to turn my nose up at some good old punk rock.

The show went down well but the crowd was a little lifeless with no dancing or any interaction really taking place. I think Retox gave a great show, especially all things considered, and I did thoroughly enjoy their energetic in-yo-face set. But the other element to a good night, the crowd, was missing a little, which was a shame.

Apart from being a friend of Justin's, I am also a great admirer of his work, even before I knew him personally. I've blogged about Swing Kids before and Struggle were part of my youth. I love how he always manages to reinvent himself, yet stays true to himself. Few people I know personally have influenced music and fashion around me in that way. But his main asset is choosing the right people to be creative with, people like Michael Crain. People who are creative and not afraid to offend, yet decent and lovable.

Of course we didn't head anywhere to party, we went home and took it easy and the next day, we took a walk around town, had some burritos, cooked some spaghetti. It was a good show but given that they were on a low, given that people in Italy had literally gone beserk at their gigs, it was the most they could muster to an audience that was reserved.

I hope to see them perform again in a more vibrant setting. I love these guys!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Foals aftershow party

Not a gig strictly speaking but this looks fun anyway. Chez Jacki sent us this information:



Official Foals Aftershow Party


Doors 11pm

Jacki also has 2x2 Guestlist spots for you! Email Jacki: jacki ät

Monday, 28 November 2011

Quick Review: Rachid Haroun

From what I gather the lovely Festsaal bookers were fairly surprised to find out that one of their bouncers was also a percussionist in an Algerian wedding band. Inspired by his tales of weddings and north African music, they decided to bill his band as part of the recently held Since the Devil Is Gone I Mostly Feel Lonely folk festival at Monarch. I struck lucky and was invited to come along.

Of course I know nothing about Algerian music and there is no way for me to judge what's good and what's not. But let me tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I do like north African and Arab folk music when I hear it and the voice of Rachid Haroun was mesmerizing. At the same time, I was reminded a little of traditional groups I had witnessed on my many travels to India. The instruments, the arrangement of the group and the clothing they wore were of course authentic Algerian, yet I thought about how traditional folk music is kind of similar around the globe. And that is sweet somehow.

The audience was mixed: some people of Algerian descent, some people who had come by invitation of the DJ and some curious others who wanted to witness what they could usually never be part of. Many were dancing, traditionally, and the band played for hours, literally. The atmosphere was so fun yet relaxed, it made me want to be part of a culture which appreciates music in this way.

Of course I will not start going to lots of north African music events and I will not start taking the kind of Volkshochschule classes that bored middle-aged housewives attend in order to spice up their lives. But I did enjoy the experience and my mind has been broaden just that little bit further. Grab those opportunities when they arise!

Review: Nisennenmondai + Chris Corsano/Clayton Thomas + Oneohtrix Point Never

I'm glad I bought my ticket for this in advance. Not that the show was anywhere near sold out but I just haven't been in concert mood all day. So if it wasn't for the already bought ticket I'd probably have stayed at home... and missed a really good concert.

We arrived when Oneohtrix Point Never were already playing. I listened to their stuff before and found it okay but I wasn't sure if this could work live for me. And it also did not really. We saved a neat seat on the balcony with perfect view to the stage, but there wasn't that much to see besides artsy visuals and two guys on their laptops. Musically this was like drony experimental sample stuff. I found it way to random to be interesting.

Next up were Chris Corsano and Clayton Thomas. I already saw Corsano twice - once solo, just him on the drumkit  and once collaborating with Dennis Tyfus. He was good both times so I was sure he'd be good this time. Tonight he played together with Clayton Thomas on double bass and it was just plain awesome and definitely made my evening. They complemented one another so good and this was by far the best of the Corsano gigs I saw. He is probably one of the best (experimental) drummers around and you should definitely check him out if you have the chance and want to see what else you can do on a drum kit than just hit it with two sticks... Seriously, it's awesome just to watch him play but it's not only technically fascinating but also musically insanely good!

Final band of the evening were Nisennenmondai. They're an instrumental trio from Tokyo and play something like a mixture between Post Punk and Krautrock. Think of ESG and Neu! mixed together in an ascending and repetitive way. They were fun to watch, especially the drummer who was awesome! I really liked their more reduced songs but I was a bit overstrained with their like epic rock outbursts. But altogether I had fun and they did really good (plus they left the stage without playing an encore... I don't like encores... most of the times at least).

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Preview: the week ahead (28th Nov - 4th Dec)

Ok, mellow week over, *whoa*!!, crazy week ahead. Spot us around town almost every night this week, if we can keep up with ourselves that is.

Bandrekorder ’59, Appendicks and Nonhorse at Sucked Orange Galerie: An evening of "audiovisual noise, movements, accidents, improvisations and dialogs" and probably a good start in the week. I only know Nonhorse from New York, he does some very interesting drony tape manipulation stuff. Check out the gallery's blog to get some more info on the other artists.
Loney Dear at Privat Club: C* saw this maker of beautiful pop pearls at a Scandinavian themed evening at Frannz a couple of years ago and fell in love with the music of this ordinary man who composes incredible tunes. If you like your music poppy, and maybe a tad romantic, this is recommended and the venue more appropriate than last time. 

TomutonttuHelmÉl-G and Heatsick at West Germany: West Germany has some really good experimental stuff this night! If you know Kemialliset Ystävät or Birds of Delay, check this out, Tomutonttu, Helm and Heatsick are side projects of the mentioned acts.
The Babies and Fenster at Marie-Antoinette: What happens when you mix Vivian Girls with Woods? According to Pitchfork, exactly that: "an exact combination of Vivian Girls' ramshackle garage-pop and Woods' lo-fi campfire classic rock." Yum. C* will be dancing with all of you on Tuesday.

Hush Hush and Dystrakzion (Eine Welt aus Hack: Thee Ausstellung) at West-Germany: This is going to be something different. It's an exhibition but it's also not. And it's also a concert and there's going to be a performance. Oh and a movie. Probably check out the facebook event page for further details. And be sure to finally check out Distraction/Dystrakzion, they're amazing live (as I mentioned several times before)! Part Two of the Eine Welt aus Hack Ausstellung will be the day after, different program, different bands, but definitely also worth a visit.
The Kills at Columbiahalle: I've pre- and reviewed this rock duo often enough. You should know the gist by now. Say hi to me, C*, when you see me at C-Halle on Wednesday!

The Death Set at Comet Club: Australians turned Americans doing electro punk the way it should be: super fun. This is going to be a party of mayhem, also because of The Death Set's fanatical fans that seem to follow them. If you like Team Robespierre etc then don't miss this. Cannot wait!!
Iceage at Levee: Hip HC for those that like a bit of art in their noise. C* was well excited about their previously scheduled show that then had to be cancelled. Now they finally make it to Berlin but C* is already going to see Death Set at Comet (long set plan). Oh well, can't have it all. But this is going to be amazing. Btw, read an interesting short piece about the band, incl. video, on this blog.
Bass Drum of Death at Monarch: Wait, did I, C* just moan about missing Iceage. Ha! Not only that, but I'm also missing Bass Drum of Death. AAhhh, this town is too much sometimes. Anyway, these rockers do that rock thing in a garagy rock kind of way. Go if you want to rock out.

High Places at HAU2: Electronic outfit on Thrill Jockey, pretty pop but darkish at times, too.
John Maus and Gary War at Berghain: C*'s gig of the week. Charismatic one-man-show John Maus at this biggest venue in Berlin to date, supported by trash-one-man-show Gary War. What a bill, what a night ahead. Saturday night is alright indeed!

R. Stevie Moore at Marie-Antoinette: The world's most productive man's second appearance in Berlin this year and it should be another fine one. If you didn't get a ticket to Hot Snakes on time, then this is your alternative show tonight.
Hot Snakes at Festsaal Kreuzberg: hope you got your tickets ready, the mighty Hot Snakes, probably one of the best post-hardcore/punk bands ever, reunite and I'm exxxxxxcited to say the least! I hate the kids and you should, too!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Competition closed

Wow, the people of Berlin are super lazy when it comes to competitions. And there was me wondering why I keep winning those Zitty competitions; it's because I seem to be the only one entering them. So anyway, not enough people entered my Sonic Youth competition to make up three winners. You guys lose. Therefore, I will randomly nominate people to get the prize. 

First, the correct answers were:
1) Teenage Riot
2) Bull In The Heather
3) Female Mechanic Now On Duty
4) Washing Machine

And the winners are:
1) Rob (for at least trying)
2) Amande (for loving my soups)
3) Simon (for inviting me over to Monarch the other night)

There. No more competitions for you!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Preview: the week ahead (21th - 27th Nov)

c* has been busy looking after a bunch of sweetest Americans, j.'s been busy looking after a German. Visitor babysitting over, we wonder where this week went so far and why it's already Sunday and the preview isn't out there yet. Well, this has been a crazy week and we're almost glad the upcoming one is fairly mellow before next week hits us again with full force. Busy times. But all good. A couple of reviews coming soon, in the meantime, get your calendars out:

Group Inerane and Steffen Basho-Junghans at Festsaal Kreuzberg: If you're familiar with musicians like Omar Souleyman and similar, you probably already know Group Inerane. They're from Niger/Africa and play a highly interesting mix of music between electric guitars and african rhythms. Check out the video below to get the idea.

Terrible Feelings and Diät at Cortina Bob: Terrible Feelings play wavy 80s punk strongly reminding me of a rougher version of the Organ. Diät from Berlin are supporting them, they fit in really well here, think of pissed early Joy Division/Warsaw stuff.

Damo Suzuki and Sound Carriers at Marie Antoinette: Yes, it's Damo Suzuki again, the former singer of Can.
Sissters and Crack at Monster Ronson's: Sissters had everyone in awe supporting Retox past Friday. Here is another chance to catch them. Remember: best band in Berlin. F'real.

the Antlers at Magnet: the Antlers from New York play nice indie pop. That's somehow a rather meaningless description, but they're good at what they do. I'm not that familiar with their latest record, but I listened endlessly to their Hospice album.

Nisennenmondai + Oneohtrix Point Never + Chris Corsano with Clayton Thomas at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Worthy end of the week! Starting with awesome Chris Corsano on drums and Clayton Thomas on double bass this alone would be reason enough to go to Festsaal Kreuzberg this night. I'm serious, I already saw Corsano twice in Berlin and he surely is one of the best experimental drummers around these days. Oneohtrix Point Never from New York play really interesting synthi ambient drone music. Finally, Nisennenmondai from Tokyo play last. They're an instrumental trio and play a raw but dancy mix of post punk/no wave music. This is going to be so good!

Thursday, 17 November 2011


There are a few bands that have helped me become who I am, simply through records they've released or gigs they have played. I know "just a band" and all that, but truth is, when you're young and aimless, the right music at the right time can give you direction or mess with you head. I absolutely remember the first time I listened to KARP and I have consecutive memories that involve their records. So the fact they are being honoured in this documentary and the fact they're just so f**king cool, makes this c* girl one happy one.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Competition: Sonic Youth Soup

Baby it's getting cold out there and there is nothing like a big pot of soup, shared with nice people, to warm your belly and heart. Because I feel generous I may just cook that soup for you. What you need to do is this:

Over the past few weeks I have been hiding Sonic Youth lyrics in our blog posts. Find them and tell me the song titles.
Because I feel generous, I will draw not one, not two, but three lucky winners. And I will give you a couple of hints, too: there are four and they are hard to miss because I made them stand out. The winning three will be invited to have dinner with J. and I and a lot of yummy soup at a date that we can all agree on. Yum!!

Competition closing date is 10pm this coming Sunday.

oh Sunday may come!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Preview: the week ahead (14th - 20th Nov)

Whoa!!? How are we going to make it to all these gigs this week??? There is simply too much greatness playing this town and we are live music nerds and feel like we have to see it all. The choices are just too great and it's too hard to make up our minds. Help!!

For Mondays like this I dislike Berlin...
Pinback at Lido: Pinback are like an indie rock super group but somehow in a good way. Pinback members also play(ed) in awesome bands like Three Mile Pilot, Systems Officer and many more. They're also from San Diego, so there are some reasons why they somehow sound a bit like the Black Heart Procession. If you don't already know Pinback but are into Black Heart Procession/Three Mile Pilot like music, you have to see this!
Embryo at Madame Claude: Embryo are one of German Krautrock's most well known band's. They exist  since 1969 and are still around somehow. If you are into krautrocky music and somehow can resist to go to Marie Antoinette this is probably a must see.
Silver Apples, Sightings and Dustin Wong and Decimus at Marie Antoinette: Silver Apples originally was a psychedelic electronic duo from New York. They released two seriously awesome records in 1968 and 1969, then split up, somehow reunited in the mid 90s. Now it's only Simeon playing a solo version of the Silver Apples, but chances are good this is still amazing... See c*'s november highlights for her take on Sightings.

Cara Beth Satalino and Royal Chord at Madame Claude: If you missed the lady last Sunday, here is your second chance to see Ms Satalino perform. She is playing on a double bill with Royal Chord..
Cheveu and Gelbart at West-Germany: You will enjoy Cheveu. The electro-punk trio from Paris appeal to Japanther fans and others who like their music anarchistic. Support from experimental electro project, which will make this a perfect night out in our favourite living room.
Chokebore at Marie Antoinette: Chokebore are back in Berlin again. If you missed their last gig at Festsaal Kreuzberg, here's your next chance.

Rachid Haroun at Monarch: How often do you get to see Algerien folk music? All the time, really? Well, for us this is a rare opportunity to enjoy some of this. Rachid Haroun plays at Monarch as part of an ongoing folk festival, Since The Devil Is Gone I Mostly Feel Lonely, that is very interesting, worth your attention and features a considerable amount of music from Africa. Go support and broaden your horizon!
Arto Lindsay at HBC: Well-known for being the guitarist of the early New York No Wave pioneers D.N.A. and for playing in bands like the Lounge Lizards and Ambitious Lovers, Arto Lindsay nowadays plays solo shows consisting of experimental guitar noises and almost catchy soft voiced songs. And he's still awesome.

Snailhouse at Schokoladen: Folky-bluesy singer-songwriter stuff, of the beardy variety. Schokoladen should be the perfect venue for this. Remember the early starting time!
Xeno and Oaklander and Martial Canterel at King Kong Club: Check out Xeno and Oaklander if you like dark Cold Wave synthi stuff. They sound like a mixture of Chromatics/Desire and early the Cure.

Retox and Sissters at Lovelite: Bloody hell, c* is so excited about this one! Did you go crazy for San Diego HC in the 90s, bought anything from Gravity or Three One G records that you could get your hands on? Do you did punk rock that is innovative and rips off your pants with its force? Yes? Let's go insane this Friday night when Justin Pearson (The Locust, Some Girls, Swing Kids) and friends showcase their new project on Ipecac records at Lovelite. Local favourites Sissters are lucky girls and get to support this. 

Siskiyou and Carter Tanton at Schokoladen: The Canadian post rock group is returning on a European tour and will mesmerise their audience with their a progessiv yet pop sound, including saws and the likes. Sweet. C* will attempt to go to this before heading over to West Germany later on.
Josiah Wolf & Liz Wolf at Berghain: Why? did a little thing at hbc a while back and now Josiah Wolf of Why? is playing with Liz Wolf, formerly Liz Hodson, at Berghain, performing their folky and psychedelic duet. Expect greatness.
Nurses and Gardens & Villa at West Germany: Nurses = Psych dance pop, in the vein of Pocahaunted, Coco Rosie or Metronomy, and très en vogue. Gardens & Villa = an indie pop affair that is very pleasant and sweet. C* will most likely be seen swaying and dancing to these two acts on Saturday.
Ryan Francesconi at Monarch: Portland's singer-songwriter genius Mr Francesconi is going to play as part of the afore-mentioned folk festival and unless you are already at one of the other three above events, you should make sure to check him out. He ain't your regular s-s, there is a whole lot of influences going on that will make this a special performance indeed.

JEFF the Brotherhood and Jean Paul Moustache at White Trash: JEFF are coming back to Berlin, oh yes! Their gig at West Germany earlier this year will definitely make c*'s top ten list of gigs this year. To have this pleasure twice in a year... According to White Trash's website, this is going to take place in the restaurant, which surprised me. Let's see how that is going to pan out. We'll dance wherever of course. We're fans.
The Sandwitches at Monarch: C*'s heart is bleeding because The Sandwitches and JEFF The Brotherhood are playing on the same night. Who comes up with these ideas? Anyway, The Sandwitches play girl group guitar pop and that very well. One group to look out for; this talented outfit will make heads turn in due course. I am sure of it!

Review: Geoff Farina and Chris Brokaw

I was sort of looking forward to this one because I really like Geoff Farina. I saw him solo twice before and have these concerts in good memory, so I was excited to see what he does together with Chris Brokaw.

We arrived somehow early at Madame Claude and hung out a while until the door to the concert room got opened. The room filled quickly, we reserved some good spots in the front and waited for the first guy to start playing. Which he eventually did. I'm not going to say much about him, I didn't like at all what he did. I didn't find him funny (which he sort of tried very hard to be) and musically this was just lame indie folk acoustic guitar strumming with annoying lyrics to me. Normally I would have left and waited until he finished but I didn't want to lose my premium spot at the front, so I had to sit it out...

When he finally finished playing Geoff Farina and Chris Brokaw set up. They started by playing some songs together from an album on which they covered old American folk songs together. Then Geoff Farina played some of his own songs alone. After that Chris Brokaw took over and played some songs alone (including a great Evan Dando cover of My Idea, which somehow was better than the last time I saw Evan Dando in person playing) and finally they played another bunch of songs together, often taking turns singing. Overall, especially the songs they played together were very country blues like, which I liked sometimes but which was also too much guitar tootling for me. I had hoped to hear some older Geoff Farina songs but unfortunately he didn't play any. However I was pretty positively surprised by Chris Brokaw's solo stuff which I didn't knew before. So I'd say this was well worth a Madame Claude visit. Now I'll just go to sleep listening to 'The Bed is in the Ocean'...

Friday, 11 November 2011

Review: Float Riverer

Sometimes you simply heap too much food on your plate. You want it all and you want it now. That was me the past few weeks and it all came crashing down on me the evening Float Riverer played.

Events at Monarch have started extremely early lately, we're talking 9pm sharp or earlier on occasion. So there was me at the door well early, wondering why there weren't many people at Monarch yet. It turned out Float Riverer had played in Stuttgart the night before and had arrived late in Berlin that afternoon. I was to wait for a while before the gig would start. Too little time to head back home, so I hung around. And while I was watching the hustle and bustle on Kottbusser Tor from the window, I drifted into sleep. I am not kidding you, I fell asleep and was rudely woken by the tuning of the guitars onstage. 

Wow, going from sleeping straight into a loud lo-fi rock gig. Way to go girl! To my surprise, I was wide awake instantly and taking in what was going on on- and offstage. The audience was smallish but into the band, with friends of the band dancing elaborately to get the mood going. The band, consisting of a drummer and a guitar player, displayed a cool sense of humour and came across real nice. 

Musically however, while I was enjoying the concert, my expectations weren't met. I was expecting more garage rock and less lo-fi indie rock, if that makes sense. The band was very loud but energy was lacking for me at times. They played "Night on the Void" last; clearly their hit song, which the audience appreciated the most, singing along and dancing. They could do with a couple of more hits in this vein.

I enjoyed Float Riverer, I really did. The sweet persona, the lo-fi set-up, the humour, the songs. But maybe I was hoping for more sweat, grime and energy. Overall, an enjoyable night out at one of our favourite bars.

Having barely made it through the evening until now, being as tired as one of my cats at 2pm in the afternoon, I quickly made my way home after the concert. There was another band to follow, which had been moved over from West Germany, but there was no way I could muster the wait.

PS: I had left my phone at home, thus no pictures. Nevermind, eh. To make up for it, I'm giving you the video to "Night on the Void" again, because it's addictive as hell.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Quick Review: Veronica Falls

I was invited to see British twee pop outfit Veronica Falls on Sunday night at Roter Salon and of course I accepted. I like Roter Salon, I like a nice live music set on a Sunday night and although I am not a that much of a twee person, I have my exceptions.

And what can I say? Veronica Falls were solid and pleased with new songs and Scottish accents. And the audience was full of real fans, knowing the lyrics and dancing freely. It was all rather sweet, especially if you considered that this was their first Berlin gig.

We hung out afterwards and had a real nice time. A sweet evening indeed.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Review: Civil Civic + Camera

There was me telling you how I will not leave reviews for long after the gig in future. And here is me writing a review two weeks past the show date. What happened? Basically, I've been avoiding this review because it's hard to write reviews that are not entirely positive, especially when you are writing about one of your favourite bands.

I was ever so excited to see Civil Civic in concert. Literally months of anticipated led up the night. On our way to Marie-Antoinette early, we wanted to attempt the near impossible and see two shows in one night - one in Friedrichshain, one in Neukölln. We're ambitious like that but chips and burgers came between setting a personal best for gig attendance and being slackers.

Marie-Antoinette was filled nicely at the relatively early hour that we arrived. It looked like people were looking forward to seeing local outfit Camera play. It's always nice to see local bands getting the audience's support and indeed Camera received appreciation and cheers. Now, they weren't all my thing, so I won't go in to that too much, but they are basically a post rock outfit with repetitive melodies and long songs that build sound scapes. 

Civil Civic are one of the best contemporary bands, hands down, and their album, released this month, is a gem not to be missed. I listen to this album at least 3 times a week, often more. I can't grow sick of it. If you are not familiar with Civil Civic, let me tell you that on paper, it sounds odd, in reality the concept works remarkably. They use a drum machine and play bass lines and guitar riffs over this and stay entirely instrumental at that. No vocals. It's extremely dancable but at the same time rocking and experimental at times. Just go get the album. You won't regret it and you'll thank me for nagging you.

Now, what I didn't realise before this show, was the dependency by such a band on the sound they were getting out of the PA. How would I? I know little about these things. Apart from a mixing desk work shop at AZ Aachen, I have no experience or knowledge of sound set ups or outputs. However, I do know when the sound is bad or inappropriate for the music that's being played. I simply spend too much time in venues, listening to live music. I'm not fussy but I know what's wrong. And I guess you figured it out by now: I wasn't happy with the sound Civil Civic were getting that night. It turns out, if you rely that heavily on a good drum machine sound and if the bass needs to be dominant and the guitar needs to be perfect, a venue with the kind of set up that Marie-Anoinette has won't cut it. Civil Civic didn't sound like Civil Civic. Civil Civic weren't powerful. Civil Civic gave their all, being as wonderful as they are, but they just couldn't deliver the goods that we were promised from the record.
The crowd wasn't getting into it. The power was lacking. Our built up excitment was being deflated with a big pop from the moment the show started.

And I can't help but believe that this was not Civil Civic's, or actually anybody's, fault. Maybe Marie-Antoinette was simply the wrong venue for this group. I like Marie-Antoinette, the size, the atmosphere, and usually the sound. But this just didn't work. The cute boys in Civil Civic are still my favourites and I still listen to the album every week and I cannot wait until they return and we all get a second chance!

We left early, disheartened, and hurried to make our way to bei Roy to catch Digger Barnes doing his magic, but as mentioned before, we got distracted by a craving for the Burgermeister and ended up arrving at bei Roy the minute Digger played his very last chord. Oh well. Better luck next time.

Overall, the night was exciting and fun in its own way, but it wasn't the night we were looking forward to.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Preview: the week ahead (7th - 13th Nov)

The past week has been draining for us here at the craze. C* has been looking after a sick child and J. has been tending to nasty business in relation to Roy. Let's hope the coming week will be less about others pulling our hair out and more about relaxing with friends at one of the following events. If you want I'll be the one. Take you out and have some fun.

Dosh and Juffage at Marie-Antoinette: Dosh is a one-man-project on anticon that reminds me a little of Battles and other mainly instrumental projects that build sound scapes in various ways, staying dancable but interesting. If all goes well, this should turn into one interesting night.

Blood Orange and Cant at Magnet Club: Influenced by minimalist popular music from the 80s, maybe Prince or even Grandmaster Flash, Blood Orange is just one person who plays such super sticky pop, you gotta be in the mood for that. But then it's brave and fun and you're sure to be ahead of your time. Cant is on Warp and does electronic pop music that's dancable. I appreciate this night is not for everyone but kinda fun. I felt like featuring it.

Float Riverer at Monarch: This is craze girl stuff, big style. Garage rock à la Thee Oh Sees et al, played by British people, of whom one looks like Peter Tork in his best days. I think this will rock your socks off. Let's all go crazy at Monarch on Thursday! I know I will want to.

Balmorhea at hbc: Instrumental piano music that sounds strongly like film music. You should make sure you are seated for this, with a drink in hand and a loved on in tow, and soak it in.
Chris Brokaw & Geoff Farina and Anton Barbeau at Mme Claude: Singer-songwriter Geoff Farina of Karate fame is currently touring the US and Europe as a duo with fellow singer-songwriter Chris Brokaw (who used to play drums for G.G. Allin and Codeine... not kidding!). Together they are magic. This gig is a welcome start into the weekend.

The Drift and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma at Schokoladen: More good, mellow, instrumental music, this time jazzy and from The Drift. It seems to be instrumental week or something. Support comes from known experimental musician Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, who will probably appeal to the same crowd as U.S. Girls. Given the fact that Schokoladen concerts start at 7 these days and Madame Claude never starts before 10, you could just attend both gigs, if you really needed your dose of experimental music and you needed it large.
U.S. Girls, Slim Twig and Alexis Gideon at Mme Claude: The lady returns and will make this lady happy. Her Madame Claude performance last time was epic and I am sure she won't disappoint this time round either. Worthy support, too. Oh yum!
I had such a hard time choosing which video by U.S. Girls to feature. I'm just under her spell.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

de Brassers concert now at Cortina Bob

the de Brassers and pr0n show we announced in the preview now takes place at Cortina Bob! Also playing are Hysterese and The High Society. Spread the word!

Here are the Facebook pages for some further info and links: