Sunday 31 March 2013

Preview - the week ahead (1st Apr - 7th Apr)

At last a preview that's not late again. There are some nice shows going on this week. Hope you all got your tickets for RFTC ready and definitely check out Divorce if you don't already have.

Rocket from the Crypt at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Easily gig of the week and as far as I know it’s sold out by now. Officially reunited in 2012 after breaking up in 2005 they do the same as their follow up band Hot Snakes and pay Festsaal Kreuzberg an eagerly awaited visit.

Divorce and Ex-Best-Friends at West Germany: Another nice show at West Germany, Divorce from Glasgow play mean noisy music. They make me think of no-wave and noise bands like DNA, Aids Wolf or Arab on Radar - loud, nervous and edgy. This has got to be good live! Ex-Best-Friends from Berlin will be the support band, they play something like bass driven and noisy post punk.

Knifefight at Bar Kino Zukunft (the bar above Tiefgrund): Knifefight are a folk-punk project from people that are mostly known for their activities in other bands. Their mission is no less than wanting "to build a link between traditional songwriting, punk energy and topics originated in love, death, freedom and radical politics." Let's see if they're successful with that.

Alien TV and Burn/it/Out at Bei Ruth: Two punk acts playing bei Ruth. Burn/It//Out are from Landau and play in your face hardcore punk, while Alien TV from Berlin take a more pop punky approach.

Die Nerven at Naherholung Sternchen: Die Nerven play nerdy and melodic indie punk and they more or less take the same line as bands like their label mates Messer. They get featured a lot nowadays and I honestly loved their Lana del Rey cover. Hope they still play that one live.

Our blog colleagues Blitz Gigs celebrate their 3rd birthday with a live show at Antje Oeklesund. Big Eater and Mez Medaillion are playing and there'll be DJing and dancing afterwards. We wish Blitz Gigs all the best and a happy birthday!

Tuesday 26 March 2013

last minute show at bei Ruth: Papaye, Seal of Quality and Joey Fourr

Knochenbox is in some trouble and unfortunately can't do shows anymore at the moment. So this nice show with Papaye, Seal of Quality and Joey Fourr got moved last minute to the freshly renovated bei Ruth (former bei Roy). You'll find the facebook event for more infos here and see a video of Papaye below. If you're into melodic mathy indie rock, somewhere between Deerhoof and Cap'n' Jazz, check them out.

Preview - the week ahead (25th Mar - 31st Mar)

Okay, we've never been that late, sorry... There's also not that much going on this week but have a look for yourselves.

The Kurws, 29.90, Målgrupp and Back at Sea at XB-Liebig: An interesting muesli of music at XB-Liebig. I’m actually mentioning this because the Kurws are awesome! I saw them live at bei Roy last year and they play a totally intriguing mix of noisy punk and jazzy music, think of something like the Flying Luttenbachers. There’s also a Vokü and the entry will be donation based.

Adam Green & Binki Shapiro at Lido: On his own, for me, Adam Green has never lived up to the hype. However, since teaming up with Binki Shapiro, this has become a quintessential Sunday morning soundtrack. Borrowing from Lee Hazelwood and Serge Gainsbourg, the songs are well-crafted pop pearls that let you stare out the window while forgetting time such a concept as time exists. Beautiful.

Dead Prez at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Political old school hip hop at it's best. 

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds and Fredovitch & His One Man Band at White Trash Fast Food: A garage rock extravaganza of the special kind.

Mnmtns, Axes and Withers at Tiefgrund: Three bands and three different styles of hardcore. Whether you’re into post, doom or chaotic hardcore, there’s something in here for you. Mnmnts and Withers are both on Berlin’s Adagio830 records, so you may know what to expect.

Toyotas, Overpower and Whack&Wasted at Kastanienkeller: A nice evening of different punk styles plus a dancy after show party. Sounds right for Saturday.

Friday 22 March 2013

Teen songs

Whether you are going to join us for the one and only Teen on Sunday or not is your choice of course. But we strongly believe that everybody needs some teenage kicks every now and so often. Here is what our competition winners felt were the songs that represented them most when they were teenagers. What an eclectic mix - I like!

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Quick Review: Oneida + B/B/S

We already wrote reviews for both of these great bands (see here, here and here), so I'm not going to beat around the bush. This was a great show.

Admittedly, the fact that a Magnolia Electric Co. song was playing when I entered Comet Club on the same day I learned about Jason Molina's death, was dragging me down a bit. 

B/B/S started playing pretty soon after I arrived and their heavy and haunting drone noise wasn't exactly uplifting either. Nonetheless they played a good show. It sounded different than the last one I saw when they supported Evangelista, but it did in a good way. The live drumming really keeps their music and performance interesting and suspenseful and it's fascinating how everything they do on stage merges together into a consistent flow of ambient music. I keep listening to their record quite often in the last time, if you want to check it out you can stream it entirely on their label's homepage here.

Next on were Oneida, a band that I find as great as they are hard to describe. Their output is very manifold and reaches from experimental drone noise records to some others that sound more like a no-wave noise band. They did an amazing job on getting everybody in a happy dancing mood and they apparently also had lots of fun doing so. They were very joking and funny and handled the fact, that playing a show on a snowy Monday might suck for some bands, quite nicely by just pretending it was Friday night. Also they claimed to be Oneida, performing a live documentary on a band called Oneida. So when they got everybody sufficiently confused, they played an amazing live set. Musically it varied from some songs that were very guitar oriented and almost "rock" to others that sounded like a psychedelic noise version of Suicide. They mixed Krautrock elements and sounds with post-punk and noise rock parts and somehow managed to make this all a very danceable mix. Their songs tend to be quite long and repetitive and have an indisputable meditative quality that managed to catch everybody's attention and made me forget my bad mood and the snowy weather outside altogether.

I'm really glad to have watched them again, Oneida are an amazing band that just keeps surprising me in a very positive way the more I listen to them.

Monday 18 March 2013

well, fuck.

This is really terribly sad, Jason Molina passed away on Saturday. Hope he rests in peace.

Sunday 17 March 2013

Competition: Teen

Not only have I told you before how much Teen is my latest band crush, I have also been lucky to score tickets for you gals and guys to enjoy. 

What we want to know is: Which song described you best or inspired you most when you were a teenager? Mail your entries and your full name to by 5 pm Friday, 22 March 2013, ideally with a phone number we can contact you on.

Three winners get two tickets each, so you can take a loved one or a stranger you want to impress or whoever else takes your fancy.

Enter plentiful - this might turn out to be gig of the month or year even. Of course, friends of The Craze can enter, too but we choose the winners strictly by songs entered, as we always do. It's our way to guarantee a non-biased draw. 

See you Sunday, yeah yeah!

Saturday 16 March 2013

Preview: the week ahead (18th - 21st Mar)

Spring cannot be far off, right? Right?! Keep the spirit up with some top notch entertainment this coming week. It's all we've got on offer.

Low Culture and Sick Horse at Wowsville: Low Culture play catchy punk tunes. If you liked some of their members former band Marked Men, you’ll like this one. Support are Sick Horse from Berlin. The show takes place at Wowsville, usually they’re a bar and record shop but they throw neat punk and rock shows now and then.
Oneida and B/B/S at Comet Club: We’ve been so looking forward to this one! Oneida are currently celebrating their 15th band birthday and are finally back in Berlin again, after their last show at Puschenfest 2011 (read our review here). They rightly were on our top of the year lists back then and we’re pretty sure they’ll be again this year. B/B/S, Aidan Baker’s newest Berlin based band project, will do a worthy support - read our review from one of their first gigs here. I guess it’s safe to call this our gig of the week.


LCMDF at Comet Club: If you missed these Finnish Berlin-based pop sensations a couple of months back, here is another chance for you. Go party!

Movie Time: “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye” at Arsenal (Potsdamer Platz): Although not necessarily live music related, this might be of interest to some of you. Arsenal (the institute for movie and video art) is showing this 2011 documentary film about Genesis P-Orridge (from Psychic TV and formerly Throbbing Gristle) and her wife Lady Jaye. It’s a rather intimate take on their life together, their art and music and their “Pandrogyne” project, in which they both underwent plastic surgery to look and become more alike. Have a look on this website to get some more information about the movie and keep in mind that Psychic TV will be playing at Festsaal Kreuzberg on the 20th of March!

The Men and Delta Love at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Another band climbing the ladder of venue size and playing Festsaal Kreuzberg after their last show took place at West Germany. If you missed the West Germany gig, here’s your next chance and if you were there, I guess we won’t have to give you further reasons to also attend this one. 

Modern Pets record release show with Diät and Eastie Roys at Kastanienkeller: Nice punk package and definitely a fully packed Kastanienkeller this Friday. From melodic 77s punk to cold wave punk, you’ll find something fitting your needs in here.

Primitive Rites and Derbe Lebowski at Bei Ruth: Hardcore from Sweden with members of Sista Sekunden meets Powerviolence from Berlin. Sounds like an adequate way to end your weekend plus this will be the first show at Bei Roy for this year. They underwent some structural changes and obviously chose a new name, even more reasons to check this show out.
Teen at Comet Club: C*’s personal gig of the week, heck, of the month. I have been anticipating this gig for months, having gotten so addicted to Teen’s 2012 album “In Limbo”. The new album is due soon and I, for one, cannot wait. Read my love message to Teen to get even more excited. Also, we are going to do a ticket give-away extravanganza for this gig soon - so keep coming back to The Craze, win some tix and let’s all party party together on Sunday.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Teen love

For all my feminist musings, I must admit with shame that most of my favourite bands consist of men. Finally, my latest obsession is a female one. Teen are women. Not angry little girls, not the token female in a band of blokes, not electro clash punks and not folk elves. They are grown-up women making music that has got me oh-so-hooked. I listen to this album every single day and that's been going for a few months now. Currently, the band are at SXSW and I am virtually following their every step (shouting at my screen "please please may I be in your band"). I absolutely cannot wait for their Berlin show next week Sunday at Comet Club. Join me for some really good music and dancing. See you there!

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Quick Review: The Sea & Cake

Earlier this year, Chicago postrockers Tortoise played a free show at Berlin's Stadtbad Oderberger Straße. Maybe it's good that I missed this Vans-sponsored concert because I didn't like the concept of concerts supported by big life-style companies. Or I'm still jealous that I saw the posters way too late. Anyway, The Sea & Cake, the other Chicago band were on a regular tour and I had the chance to see them two weeks ago at HAU 2.

Entering the foyer makes me realize how old I am and the band is. Named after a missheard Gastr Del Sol song, The Sea & Cake was formed in 1993 in Chicago, Illinois and was, next to Tortoise, one of the formative acts of the mid 90s Chicago postrock scene. The waiting audience was a funny looking bunch of 30++ and I guess most of them have seen the band before, maybe on their last Berlin performance 2007 at Lido.

Without an opening act, they started a, what I later call, perfect evening. Maybe a bit too adult, but totally balanced, professional and intoxicating. On this tour, their bass player was replaced by another Chicago postrock posterboy, Douglas McCombs of Tortoise, Brokeback, and For Carnation fame. But the nicest part was that none of them stole the show, even though everyone could. They are a band and not a leader with some back-up musicians. The symbiosis of all 4 musicians together was an unlikely adventure to watch.

The sold-out HAU was given down-to-earth looseness and a well-adapted set, with mostly songs of their just recently released new album Runner, mixed up by a couple of tracks of the band's older albums. The fact that their whole live sound is more indie rock than I expected is not a bad thing at all, because it pushed everyone in the audience to a more dancy participation, also their playfulness and energetic appearance. Although I've missed some of their jazzy or world music influences from time to time. Ah nonsense, it was just great.

We left HAU's concert venue after 2 encores by the 3 main members and took our bikes back home, freakishly smiling like everyone else.   

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Quick review: Tea Time

I had worked 11 days straight at the Berlinale and feared that, due to lack of organisational time on my part, this could turn out a desaster. I needn't be worried. All the Craze crew worked together to create a wonderful afternoon. We had such a great time. Great cakes, good music, nice folks, nice art. Expect repeat occurences.

Wavvey saviour

Ok, this week's mood is set. Wavves have released their new video and, oh boy, I love everything about it. Nathan Williams, hurry on up to Berlin!

Sunday 10 March 2013

Preview - the week ahead (11th Mar - 17th Mar)

You remember last week when I wrote something about the weather? Well for obvious reasons I feel the urge to do it again... Nonetheless, this week has some really nice shows to offer. Lots of them are rather small shows in rather small venues. Shows like that and the musical variety they offer are some of the reasons why Berlin's live music scene is that great. Now if only the weather... yeah well...

King Rocko Schamoni at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Probably best known as a member of die Goldenen Zitronen but also as a writer, theater director and actor and also as a member of Studio Braun, Rocko Schamoni just released a solo record and is now on tour presenting it with a variety of guest musicians. If you liked the last records of his band, you’ll also like this! Think of a quirky mash of punk and electro pop combined with clever and witty lyrics.

Yo La Tengo at Volksbühne: Yo La Tengo are one of these bands that you can’t possibly not like. They’ve been around for nearly 30 years now and have released a decent amount of records on their own and collaborated with amazing musicians and artists. Them playing at Volksbühne almost makes this a must-see show!

Lee Noble and Duchamp at Loophole: Lee Noble from LA plays dreamy and drony experimental lo-fi tunes. He sounds not unlike Grouper with male vocals. I like!

U.V. POP at Mme Claude: Another 80s band that has been around for quite some time and “reunited” after a hiatus to now play shows again. Sometimes they sound like a lo-fi and darker version of Fad Gadget and sometimes like a new wave influenced indie rock band, I guess at Mme Claude you could expect something less ‘rock’ and something more experimental.

Holy, Citizens Patrol and The Shining at Tiefgrund: An illustrious gathering of bands playing music from powerviolence to 80s influenced hardcore punk. Tiefgrund may be the nicest location for these sorts of shows, so if you’re in the mood for some heavy tunes there’s no reason to miss this. The show starts at 9pm on time!

Carlos Bica and Kalle Kalima at Altes Finanzamt: Altes Finanzamt always has neat small experimental shows. Most of the time it’s musically somwhere in the free-jazz/Echtzeitmusik/Neue Musik range and this one is no exception to that. Portuguese double bass player Carlos Bica teams up with Kalle Kalima, a guitar player from Finland. They’ll be performing as a duo that night.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Robin's draws

Our in-house illustrator Robin has updated her website and I it's addictive. Check it out!

Monday 4 March 2013

Review: Fabulous Diamonds

Fabulous Diamonds' show at Monarch is already more than two weeks old and I absolutely forgot to tell you about it. But before I tell you all about it, I have to go back in time - in fact a couple of years back.

Ages ago, I spent some months in Melbourne and fell completely in love with this gorgeous city. Not only their Aussie laid-backness, more this strange resemblance to Berlin. I drunk in their vital and versatile music scene and have been addicted ever since. Seeing Mt. Eerie in a small gallery venue in Brunswick with a strolling cat will be always in my mind, but that's a totally different story.

Back in Berlin, I swore to myself never to miss an Australian band here. I probably did, but also saw countless performances from bands like Grey Daturas, My Disco, Total Control, Lakes and Pikelet and, let's not forget, Grand Salvo to name only a few. When I read Melbourne duo Fabulous Diamonds are coming over to Europe and planing to play Berlin I was instantly psyched. I'm a big fan since I saw them opening for PVT back then and their albums are all the time on my record player (and the first two album covers are the most intriguing ones I've ever seen).

Planned as a Sunday matinee show, Nisa Venerosa and Jarrod Zlatic started late without an opening act with a tiring sound check / intro. But wait, maybe I should tell you before what kind of music they play. Hmm, it's not as simple as it's supposed to be. Well, Nisa plays drums and sings while Jarrod plays vintage keyboards, synthesizers and tons of effects, which accumulates into a psychedelic, krauty and sometimes very dubby pop sketch not unlike Peaking Lights, but in a way totally different.

When they finally found their sound this past Sunday the audience fell into an immediate bliss which wasn't very difficult with the repetitive drums, out-of-space keys and delayed vocals even though she sang just a lot of Ohs and Ahs. I really enjoyed their longer jams which unfortunately broke up mostly too abruptly. Nevertheless a super tripped and far-out band and the perfect way to spent a cold Sunday evening and another highlight on my imaginary Melbourne-Berlin list.  

Sunday 3 March 2013

Preview - the week ahead (4th Mar - 10th Mar)

Without wanting to write about the weather getting better, I just have to point out how good it feels that the weather is actually getting better. We tried to pick out a few shows worth visiting for the upcoming week. Furthermore, a quick look at our calendar reveals so much awesome stuff coming up in the next weeks that it's slowly beginning to feel like winter is finally over. Of course it's also just really great that the weather...

Publicist at Urban Spree: Although we seldomly feature electronic house music here, Publicist might be worth a closer look. He used to play in bands like Trans Am and Weird War and his live shows are not the typical ‘guy behind macbook’ style but much more fun to watch and to get dancy to. Check out this video to get an impression:

This too is somewhat different to the kind of events you’d probably expect from a live music blog, but nonetheless: Morus 14 is showing a monthly silent movie with live music accompaniment, this Wednesday they show Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari from Robert Wiene. A movie that’s really worth watching, see their website for more info.

Frida Hyvönen at Monarch: Nice and rare chance to see Fridy Hyvönen in such a small and cozy venue like Monarch. She is presenting her newest record and you can sign up for a free guest-list to the show on this facebook event page.

P.U.F.F. and Diät at West-Germany: For the start of their shared tour, P.U.F.F. and Diät play at West-Germany. Both bands are from Berlin, we already mentioned them here and there, so if you’re into snotty NDW Deutschpunk and wavy post-punk influenced music, this is your gig to be at.

Messer and Trümmer at Comet Club: Spex is celebrating their Monsters of Spex tour with a package of Messer, Trümmer and a Zucker DJ Set. We already mentioned Messer a couple of times. Trümmer sound a bit different and combine kind of heavy rock parts with mellow indie melodies. We missed them when they supported Dinosaur Jr. last week so I have no idea if they're any good live. 

Jozef van Wissem at Haus Ungarn (ex-hbc): This sounds pretty interesting. Jozef van Wissem composes minimalistic tunes on a lute. He is probably best known for his more experimental collaborations with movie director Jim Jarmush but he also recorded with bands like United Bible Studies. Watch the video below for a nice mix of unsettling video and very experimental drone noise music.

Motorama an Ej Bekot at about:blank: Visit about:blank on Friday for an evening of fluffy indie tunes from Motorama and some more quirky and experimental indie tunes from Ej Bekot, whom you definitely should give a try. They have quite a unique way of combining unconventional song structures with catchy melodies.

Woodpidgeon at Privatclub: If you like singer songwriter indie music, give Woodpidgeon a listen. They sound like a mixture of Sufjan Stevens and Belle and Sebastian, which makes their music not really something completely special or individual, but at the same time also not really bad.

Friday 1 March 2013

Shellac at Berghain

Woah, I just found out that Shellac are playing at Berghain on May 29th. I think there's no Berlin venue that could be more appropriate for this and I bet it's going to sound amazing.

There are lots of videos of their last Berlin show at Maria am Ostbahnhof in 2008, have a look: