Sunday 28 April 2013

Preview - the week ahead (29th Apr - 5th May)

This week brings some very cool shows to town. As usual, check our calendar below to find some more stuff we did not mention here. See you around, you'll definitely meet us on several occasions1

Tin Trails, Young Hare and BDYBLDNG at Marie Atnoinette: Tin Trails are a new project from Jason of Polite Sleeper. It’s a beautiful mix of folky singer songwriter tunes and minimalistic electronic beats. Support are Young Hare who play fluffy beach pop and whom we also mentioned here a couple of times plus their bff’s and Berlin locals Bdybldng.

MyFest 2013 in Kreuzberg: If you really want to bear this annoying thing of a street fest, there are some bands that are more or less wort the effort... I mean who doesn’t want to see (former?) straight edge veterans Strife playing on the Trinkteufel stage? Have a look on their program site. Besides the cool Bad Brians, the secret “surprise act” on the Core-Tex stage is supposed to be Samiam, at least they say so on their own facebook page.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Heimathafen: Read C*’s review and trust her when she says that you have to have seen the man Spencer once in your life. So head on over to Neukölln’s poshest venue.

Zombie Zombie and Turzi Électronique Expérience at HAU: In the vein of retro electro bands like Gatekeeper, Umberto and comparable, the French drums and synth duo Zombie Zombie fits in quite well. Being named after an early 80s computer game, they are mostly well-known for their reinterpretation of classic John Carpenter songs. And these are fantastic.

Parenthetical Girls and Kishi Bashi at HAU1: I love Parenthetical Girls. They play theatrical indie pop, although that description does in no way do them just. They are an amazing live band and this is a great chance to see them in an equally amazing location.
Sun ArawDeep Magic and Falko Teichmann at West Germany: Experimental and dubby, Sun Araw produce amazing sound installations and provide a perfect chilling out soundtrack. Some of my favourite mixtape songs are by Sun Araw (try Ma Holo!!). Don’t miss!

Boduf Songs and Jessica Baliff at Schokoladen: Boduf Songs are good. Very intense singer songwriter music on Kranky records, so they are at least a bit on the experimental side. Their newest record sounds a little Mt Eerie influenced and let’s be honest, that’s not a bad thing at all. Jessica Baliff has also put out a number of records on Kranky and plays post-rock influenced singer songwriter/slowcore music. This is definitely a nice combination of bands and a good way to spend a Friday evening.

Touch People and Debmaster at bei Ruth: Do you remember Beep Beep? They were a band on Saddle Creek records with members of the Faint, playing nervous indie rock, not unlike the Blood Brothers for example. Now one of their former members, Darren Keen, moved on from “Rock” and started playing weird dancy electronic music under several names, one of them being the currently active Touch People. Now he sounds a bit like a mixture of Battles, Black Dice and Dan Deacon. Debmaster is a single Frenchman currently residing in Berlin. He also plays experimental and dancy electronic music. To sum it up: weird, experimental, electronic, danceable, nice!

Saturday 27 April 2013

Review: Kid Congo Powers

Your reviewer found himself in a car with legendary guitarist Kid Congo Powers in Austin a few months back during SXSW, and was able to ask a few of those questions about his time with The Cramps and The Gun Club that you never to get ask… The dapper and genial Mr Powers, now approaching his mid-fifties, is a link to one of the last ages of rock and roll mythology, with both Lux Interior and Jeffrey Lee Pierce having left this earth. And tonight’s show at White Trash embraced that mythology, and celebrated the songs of that era, whilst moving forward with a modern take on classic garage and its gonzo subject matter.

Coming through to Berlin with his band the Pink Monkey Birds on the occasion of his actual birthday, it seemed fitting that he revisited songs from his youth. Of the three Gun Glub numbers introduced as ‘songs that Jeffrey taught me’, ‘Jack On Fire’ had a stunning ferocity that was the highlight of the set, with ‘She’s Like Heroin to Me’ getting this crowd singing and dancing and a finale of ‘For The Love of Ivy’ on the verge of falling apart in its intensity.

Inevitably, the Kid lacks JLP’s anguish howl of a voice, with lively interpretations of ‘I’m Cramped’, ‘Green Fuz’ and “Lose Your Mind’ complementing his own new material more. With each of these song introduced with a snappy one liner and references to cult figures like Susan Tyrell, songs like “What if the Killer was Phyllis Diller?” motor along without the pace dropping thanks to the superbly tight musicianship of Kiki, Ron and Jesse. A song about “Floor Length Hair” echoed The Fall’s own take on 60s gonzo riffs and and the driving instrumental ‘Double Trouble’ had a groove that brought the basement club alive.

Ultimately, in an age of endless and unsatisfying reunions of classic groups, this was a nostalgia free show, as Powers continues to write songs and play them with an engaging zeal, keeping those old songs as fresh as the new ones, the audience for which will therefore hopefully never decline.

Friday 26 April 2013

Review: Psychic Ills

Oh man, I'm lagging behind. Psychic Ills' Berlin show is already more than a week ago. It seems like the upcoming summer gets us away from our computers. And it all started when Psychic Ills played at Bassy, I remember that because I was just wearing a shirt this Tuesday night on my bike and screaming at too many drunken tourist standing on the bicyle lane. Berlin summer, everyone loves you.

When I first read Brooklyn's Psychic Ills are playing a Europe tour I was really pleased because their 2011 record Hazed Dream on Sacred Bones Records was one of my favorites this year. A super cool blend of psychedelic-, kraut- and spacerock not unlikely labelmates Moon Duo. Very laid back, infectious and poppy at once. I played it over and over.

I can't really remember when I was the last time at Bassy's Cowboy Club. It must be years ago. To be honest I do not fancy that part of Prenzlauer Berg anymore. It's only a couple of steps away from where I grew up, but nothing there reminds me of my childhood. Anyway, shortly after my arrival, opening act Delta Love entered the stage. Seems like they are becoming everyone's support. Like some weeks ago The Men's at Festsaal Kreuzberg. Delta Love is a duo and plays a lo-fi combination of garage and blues. From the beginning on they had a lot of sound problems and were really annoyed. And at one point I was more distracted by this gorgeous Robert Redford movie poster opposite the stage. Sorry.

In the meantime the Bassy filled up and when Psychic Ills started the club was packed. Hot and no air to breathe. Maybe they set this appart, because it worked just fine with the colorful light show. With the first guitar tone everyone moved slowly and it felt like a wave. In some way very hypnotic. Originally as a trio they invited two extra musicians on tour to fill up the sound. So with 2 guitars, a organ, a bass and drums they mostly played songs of their new record One Track Mind. For me, trademark of Psychic Hills' sound is always this reverb soaked solo guitar and kinda bored vocals and we got a lot of this. From time to time they stretched their songs to one big and massive lava stream. Groovy (!) and electrifying.

Over an hour and an encore later the band and the audience seemed very happy. And I was urging for air to find this side of Schönhauser Allee way too crowded, but this time I wasn't mad. We shared a super nice show together and that binds.

Quick Review: Wolf Eyes

Unfortunately I arrived a bit late to this show, so I can't really say anything about Sand Circles, as I just catched a glimpse of his performance. Pretty quickly after that, Miles was up to play. A single guy playing music that drifted between ambient drone parts and danceable but still dark beat oriented electronic music. I really liked the more noisy parts of his set and although his music is not something I would usually listen to, he managed to keep everything interesting enough for me to stick around.

When Wolf Eyes finally started to play, Festsaal Kreuzberg filled up to a decent amount of people, although it seemed far from being sold out. So much the better, it was easy for me to get a comfortable place with a good view. 

Wolf Eyes played as a trio with processed vocals, guitar and several other instruments, that besides of a clarinet and some other wind instrument I could only suspect to be some sort of crazy synthesizers. Their set-up was rather minimalistic but I was instantly impressed by how dense their sound and music was. Mostly driven by only the hint of a bass drum beat, they played a very dark and almost doomy noise set that reminded me more of an odd mixture of bands like Excepter and Sunn O))), than of the harsh noise of many older Wolf Eyes records. The nasty vocals did their part to create a dismal atmosphere of industrial and heavy sounds. While Miles played a continuous set, Wolf Eyes played seperate songs and although I expected this to be much more unaccessible and crazy, I had the feeling that they stuck to certain fix song structures. Nonetheless their show was very consistent and intense, I was really amazed at how deep their minimalistic set up sounded. I had not expected something this ambient and -let's call it- creepy, but I have absolutely nothing to complain about as this turned out great nonetheless.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Quick review: The National

The National are releasing a new album and chose the Michelberger Hotel as their showcase venue. We were invited and obliged.

The Michelberger Hotel in Friedrichshain was new turf to me. Oddly, I don't frequent hotels and their bars in Berlin. However, I was very positively suprised. Their hotel bar is nothing like other dull hotel bars. It's one big art installation all by itself, with a very funky bar and staff to show for. And cupcakes, chocolate and peanut butter flavour. I was sold. Most likely, I will come here again.

Having anticipated spring, the stage had been built into the enclosed courtyard of the hotel. Unfortunately, this was at a time when spring was not even on the horizon. My bf's pleas to dress nicely for the occasion when in vein, when were having our coats on, freezing. Lucky for us, we then managed to secure a spot in the bar from which the stage was visible, saving our feet from frostbite.

The National played the new material, as is customary for album release showcases, then added some hits near the end, for the fans, you know. You may have guessed that The National are not entirely my cup of tea. It's very middle of the road American indie rock, though well-crafted. I don't own their records, nor have I ever paid to see them play. Having said that, they provide to me a distinct familiarity when their songs are played on the radio when I drive my car. I get this funny feeling you get when you drive home to your parents - somewhere between cringe, nostalgia and anticipation. And that was pretty much the feeling I had that evening watching the band play in this beautiful setting, with wonderful projections on the walls of the hotel.

Fans of The National loved every second of it - you could see it on their faces. They danced (and kept warm) and gave their heroes admiring smiles. There were Berlin's editorial starlets as well as competition winning fans, the band's music machineray representatives and journalists. It was a grand setting with an eclectic and exstatic audience. The National truly got celebrated for their album release.

My favourite moments of the night: the afore-mentioned cupcakes and a keyboard-stroke-trombone player who manged to play both instruments at the same time. Good fun all around.

PS: See a bunch of videos from the gig in J.'s blog post.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Review: PTTRNS + Slow Steve

Was the booking agent insane when he chose Bei Ruth as the record release party venue for PTTRNS? Quite possibly.

When we entered the sold out and packed-to-the-rim ex-Roy, my partner's first words were "They are clearly too popular for this venue". A quick personal check for guest list credentials at the bottom of the stairs had warned us of a chocker full venue, but we actually never made it past the first 5 metres of the concert room. We were literally stuck by the entrance for the entire evening - it was that packed.

Just when you start feeling sorry for us, think again. Because if you have been to bei Ruth, you know that the stage is right by the entrance. We had a first-class view and we were lucky to be fed pineapples by the band, who were passing the juicy chunks around as a gift to their audience. So, to recap: right in front of the stage, pineapple chunks, great atmosphere. Alright!

Musically, Pttrns' new songs don't stray a million miles from the previous album, but the boys have definitely chosen the path of dance music. It is even more rhythm driven than before, the melodies are very catchy, and the overall sound is a lot more commercial now. This may explain why they have already received a lot of attention and press for the new longplayer. 

Although the new sound does not move me personally as much as the first record, I do think the buzz surrounding PTTRNS is deserved. I have always maintained that would the band be based in somewhere like New York, LA, or London, they would probably be stars by now. Talented, likeable and knowledgable on a good dance tune, they fit right in with current indie music in the anglo-saxon world. And the new record is obviously well-written.

What I did miss a little was the dynamic on stage. I used to love when they would swap instruments mid-song, as well as the epic drumming sessions at the end of every other song. Though there were still some elements of this on this occasion, the band has overall become more static, each individual having found his place and predominant instrument. Musically, this probably makes a lot of sense - performance-wise it is not quite as much fun.

Another great show by our favourite German dance troupe. They just never disappoint.

PS: Unfortunately, we missed most of Slow Steve. The Fenster affiliated one-man-project made his performance debut and I was convinced. Though I only saw three songs, I thought they were well-crafted, catchy tunes. With time, he will most likely have a performance concept around this and I reckon he can go far. Catch him at one of his upcoming shows. 

Sunday 21 April 2013

Preview - the week ahead (22nd - 28th Apr)

Hope you all survived the rather busy weekend. Unfortunately there's no time to relax, because this week again has some amazing shows to offer. Have a look at our calendar for some more stuff that didn't make our preview and see you around.

Buke and Gase and Zs at Kantine am Berghain: Buke and Gase is a duo from New York playing self built instruments and a variety of music that is somewhere between groovy noise rock and math rock. Zs are a perfect addition to this, I saw them live almost exactly two years ago (review here) and since then, I kept that show in good memory. They change their line-up rather often and right now they’re playing with the Liturgy drummer. Sounds good, doesn’t it?!

Maserati, Günther Schickert and Thisquietarmy at BiNuu: Maserati and Günther Schickert played Berlin together two years ago, and although we weren’t really convinced of that show (review here) this could be of interest for some of you. Maserati released a new record since then and changed some things and sounds, so if you’re into krautrocky electronica post rock, give them a try. Thisquietarmy is a regular acquaintance of Aidan Baker, so if drony ambient guitar noise is your thing, here you go.

Buck Gooter + TeOnAnAcAtL XXI at bei Ruth: Buck Gooter are a “Primal Industrial Blues, nihilist Punk, minimalist Noise-Rock duo”, that sounds a bit odd but sort of describes their style pretty good. They are weird and noisy and they seem to be able to put on an energetic live show. TeOnAnAcAtL XXI is an ambient free jazz project, playing their first public show ever in this constellation. Sounds like an interesting mix of bands and music styles.

Jenny Hval at Grüner Salon: Dark, theatralic and opulent indie music. It reminds me of artists like PJ Harvey or Soap and Skin.

Wolf Eyes, Miles and Sand Circles at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Wolf Eyes are back on the map, playing live shows and recently having released a new record. They describe their newest album as a sort of a homecoming because founding member Aron Dilloway is sort of back in the band (or just on the record?). If you want to see and hear “rock” music in a traditional way getting destroyed, there’s no way around this evening of experimental noise music.

Sex Jams and Mile Me Deaf at Schokoladen: A Thursday of Austrian bands at Schokoladen. Sex Jam play fuzzy and melodic indie pop punk. Mile Me Deaf sound a bit more like a mixture of brit-pop and indie-pop. So if you’re into fluffy melodies and poppy tunes, this is for you.

Heatsick, Sightings and Ill Winds at NK: Sightings get often compared to bands like Suicide, Liars or Black Dice. They are heavily influenced of 80s no wave and form their influences to a harsh and mean stream of noisy music. Heatsick is also amazing, he plays weird and experimental music between beat-oriented electronica and Krautrock influences. So if you liked Wolf Eyes the day before this is like the perfect follow up gig.

Catholic Spray and the Gondors at bei Ruth: Psychedelic lo-fi garage punk action at bei Ruth. Catholic Spray sound a bit like Wavves or No Age, so if that’s your thing, give them a try. The Gondors from Berlin fit quite well to that, they sound a bit more poppy, like a lo-fi version of Belle and Sebastian, although that’s kind of a bold comparison.

Friday 19 April 2013

Quick review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

I absolutely know how ridiculous it is to review this now. But once I have saved a draft I feel the obligation to finish it. 

We got lucky and were invited to the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album promo show at Admiralspalast and, needless to say, we did not say no. Why would we? 

The evening began with the showing for a short documentary that had been made about the making of the album. Not only was the documentary really well made and truly let you feel the atmosphere of the recording process, it was also a very nice touch to obscure the stage and show the film before the gig as it rose tension and put people at ease all at once. We reclined in our seats, watched the magic on screen and were excited for what Mr. Cave would have to offer.

With him were the Bad Seeds, naturally, plus a classical string section and a small children's choir. In all, there were 15 people on stage at times. They went straight into it and although there was some talking and crowd interaction here and there, the group did not need lengthy breaks as you sometimes get with those that have been in the business for a long time. No, they played one song after the other and all I can say about that was that it was magic. The new songs are fantastic yet again, the old ones mesmerise us over and again, the performance was sterling, the childrens choir worked real well. It was all very artistic but not at all prentious. A feast for all senses if I may sound like a spa advert here for a second.

There is nothing that has not been said about Mr. Cave already and all of it is true. He is one of the few musical geniuses of current times, he is so sexy you want to eat him, and he has a persona that intrigues you over and again. To see him perform in such a relatively intimate atmosphere is a treasure I will keep for a long time to come.

© Robin Eisenberg

Monday 15 April 2013

Preview - the week ahead (15th - 21st Apr)

Not only is it the week the craze girl turns one year older, it is the week that spring is finally deciding to descend upon Berlin. Be ready, be out about town, be at one of these (or at one of the numerous others in our calendar):

John Parish at Privatclub: Being a record producer and a musician by himself, John Parish made a name in different fields of music. He plays at Privatclub with his solo project and presents his beautiful indie singer songwriter songs.

Lana Del Rey at Tempodrom: Say what you will, Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die was one of the best pop records of 2012. I wish I could see if her live shows live up to the hype, but I just don’t have 50 bucks to spend for one show when I can attend like 5 other for that sum. Nonetheless I bet this is going to be entertaining.

All We Are and Alex Highton at Schokoladen: Two bands from Liverpool playing music from epic indie pop to acoustic singer songwriter stuff. If you like folky music with nice melodies, this would be your place to be.

Abwärts and Elektroboys at SO36: The almost legendary German punk band Abwärts is certainly worth a visit to SO36 this weekend. Expect some new wave punk music with clever lyrics. Watch a video from their SO36 show three years ago below to get a nice impression.

Nü Sensae and Ruins Of Krüger at West Germany: This Saturday is crazy and it definitely sucks to make your choice between so many great options. Nü Sensae would be one of them. Pissed and intense punk music from Vancouver, somewhere between White Lung and Hot Snakes. Support will be local no wave upstarts Ruins of Krüger.

Psychic TV at Festsaal Kreuzberg: Psychic TV is the “rock band” Genesis P-Orridge formed after Throbbing Gristle. Still, this is no generic band but rather one that was always open to experiments and influences from many other art and music fields, so that the term “rock band” doesn’t do them justice at all. It’s especially exciting to see them live, as Genesis announced a couple of years ago to not tour and play in any of her bands anymore.

PTTRNS and Slow Steve at bei Ruth: Another highlight of the week, PTTRNS present their new record Body Pressure with a show at Bei Ruth. Read our last review here to get an adequate impression. Their newest record sounds less disco-punk but more delicate and electronic and you can still stream it here in it's entirety. Support will be Slow Steve, the analog synth solo project from a Fenster member and another reason not to miss this show.

Musikalische Lesung: Slime - Deutschland muss sterben: History lesson at Monarch. If you ever listened to Deutschpunk you certainly know who Slime is. This lecture is going to deal with Slime's history and legacy.

Samiam at Bi Nuu: Well it's a Samiam show, what else do you need to know? They're one of the pioneer bands for what later on got called melodic hardcore and they've been around for longer than most band's even exist.

Tuesday 9 April 2013


This little girl's favourite band is coming to town and I am going just about crazy just thinking about it. HEALTH - 5 June - Berghain - see me go insane. Read about their Berlin Festival performance and my Ode To Health to get excited with me. I also recommend following them on Facebook as they make me laugh out loud at my screen very regularly.

Monday 8 April 2013

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

Boy oh Boy, was that sunshine J. and I experienced on Maybach Ufer yesterday? You know, it may have been, it just may. Speaking of May - May is going to be insane for live music in Berlin. For now though, our sweet selection for this April week.

Austin Lucas and Glossary at Bassy Cowboy Club: You can search The Craze and find a few of my love proclamations for Mr. Lucas on there. Think of a sane Daniel Johnston maybe. I love Austin Lucas’ voice but more than anything I love how he can connect with people. Bassy Cowboy = good setting for this man. 
Haight Ashbury at White Trash: This little gem almost went unnoticed. You probably think of hippies, weed and San Francisco in the 60s when you hear the name Haight Ashbury. And you would not be all wrong. Musically steering between 70 rock and 90s female fronted indie groups like Elastica or Lush, there is also a distinct 60s vibe in there. Sweet rock pop.


Balmorhea at Grüner Salon: Beautiful soundscapes of piano, guitars, violins. Sounds very cineatic and postrock like with the addition of a little folky melody here and there. Like the perfect soundtrack to a sad western.


Michael Feuerstack aka Snailhouse and Stefan Prange at Schokoladen: Another nice singer/songwriter show at Schokoladen. Cozy location and great bands included. Snailhouse are well known for their greatness as an acoustic guitar singer/songwriter band, so a solo show by their main member is definitely also worth a visit.
Konono No. 1 and Sinkane at Festsaal: We have featured Konono No. 1 before on The Craze - African instrumentation infused dance music that is rather special. A not-to-be missed experience for those who like to have an open mind and also like a good jig. Sinkane are not to be missed either, giving this double bill another edge. 

UMLAUT is hosting their 4th “Festival für Gegenwärtige Musik” in Berlin. The festival takes part on two days and in two different locations, Friday at Ballhaus Ost and Saturday at Ausland. They have a pretty interesting line-up featuring musicians that present music from free-jazz to experimental sound collages. Have a look on their festival website for further information.


A Hawk & A Hacksaw at Haus Ungarn (ex HBC): There is folk and there is folk, if you know what I mean, as in, there is the bluesy guitar kind that is rather modern and there is the traditional kind. AH&AH tend towards the latter, with a fiddle and an accordeon but they give it the modern twist and they do it like nobody else does it. Confused? Go see for yourself! C* is a fan and so is anybody who listens to Beirut.


Tocotronic at Columbiahalle: After presenting their newest record to a selected audience at Lido back in January, they now return to Berlin and play a slightly larger venue. By now you probably have decided whether you like the new album or still miss the tracksuit times.

Saturday 6 April 2013

the National live in Berlin videos

Check this blog post from BrooklynVegan for some of the latest the National news. For all of you (sadly including me) who couldn't make it to their free show in Berlin on Thursday, they have three videos of new songs from the upcoming record on there. See them in the original post or below here.

Also you'll have another chance of seeing the National live in Berlin this year, they play a show on the 4th of November at Max-Schmeling-Halle.

Thursday 4 April 2013

What's in store for 2013 pt. 2

Well, May is dominating this "What's in store" a bit, but that was to be expected. Spring & Autumn = European touring times. Get saving:

PTTRNS + Slow Steve - Our favourite rhythm dance poster boys are back with a new album. They play with new Julie Tippex protegé Slow Steve. Dance away!
Wolf Eyes - Noise. Loud. Oh so loud. Have your ears blown. Sounds kind of like a distorted Eye Hate God. Now if that doesn't get your mouth watering, what does?

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - One of my absolutely favourite rock'n'roll bands with the hottest front woman ever. Darn those big venues but cannot miss this for the world.
Death Grips - A treat for J. - read his review of the last concert.
Widowspeak - Nothing like a really good pop record. Fleetwood Mac inspired for sure but also some nice 60s surf and psych in there. Softly spoken and rocking all at once. A nice afternoon kinda record and a promising show!
Melvins - These guys rock so hard and yet remind you of your youthful grunge days. No more intro needed for these brutal rock veterans.
Mac DeMarco + Sean Nicholas Savage - The man DeMarco is back. The hype is justified - the guy knows to throw a good party. Support from fellow newbie Sean Nicholas Savage. A must if you want to talk to talk.
Mikal Cronin - # 1 collaborator of Ty Segall, Mr. Cronin does a very similar thing as Mr. Segall and should appeal to you if you like your Segall and your Wavves.
Mount Eerie + Mountains - A lot of mountain action going on that night. I could tell that story again how I fell asleep once... I won't bore you with that one again. Just go and be mesmerised.
Woods - One of J. and my favourites hits town again. J. went before and wrote a review for your perusal.
Charanjit Singh plays "Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat" / A Guy Called Gerald "Live in Analogue" - Now if this isn't special!! Mr. Singh is a musician from Mumbai, India, who originally performed as a Bollywood session musician in the 1960s to 1980s. However, he is best known for his 1982 release "Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat", an album originally intended as a fusion of electronic disco music with Indian classical ragas but music journalists reference it as one the first acid house records. At the age of 72, Charanjit is touring Europe and Berlin is lucky enough to be on the list of dates. Get your ticket now!
DIIV - Again again! I loved their show at Monarch and am hooked to their album, so this is on my To Do list for sure.
Charlie Parr - After having to cancel his show last year, the wonderful Mr. Parr is now making up for the loss. His voice is unique and will warm you and stay with your for a long time. Wonderful indeed.
Swans - No words needed. Amazingness on a stick.
Shellac - Also no words needed. Geniuses on a tick.
Dirty Beaches + Teenitus Festival im Exil - The one and only Eine Welt Aus Hack booking agency is responsible for the Teenitus Festival in Erfurt, which has made us Berliners very jealous in the past. Having mercy with us, EWAH is hosting a Teenitus In Exile Festival at Kottbusser Tor with a killer line-up. Dirty Beaches make me happy over and again, so I mention them first, but there is so much goodness in this line-up - just check it out in our calendar at the bottom of this page.

Civil Civic + Slow Steve - My love for Civil Civic is well documented. No vocals, rhythm and rock, danceable. I love their record so much. The Slow Steve supporting again.
Come + Bleached - Noise pioneers and probably something you should go see if you like noise and care about what you tell the grandchildren one day. Most likely, it will also kick your butt.
Sin Fang + Pascal Pinion - Hailing from Iceland, both artists steer between folk and dream pop. For the dreamers among us.
The Babies - Vivian Girl turned surf punk - this is the perfect summer soundtrack and a June gig seems appropriate and in order. Meet me there!
Austra - Lots of good new albums coming out this May, Austra's being one of them. Read one of my reviews showing my love for Austra. Don't miss this!
David Grubbs - If you like Sonic Youth but you also like singer songwriter material, you are probably a David Grubbs fan already. If not, get on it fast. Mr. Grubbs is like a comfort blanket to me - he has always been around, he has consistently made good intelligent music and he knows the right people to collaborate with.

Comadre - I like a good HC band though few of them actually manage to convince me these days. Comadre are the exception. This group is so good! Unfortunately for them, they are playing the same night, and thus in competition with...
Retox + Zeus! + BATALJ - Wavey brutal HC with Three One G background, Italian newbie duo on Three One G, and Berlin's finest noise creators. This is going to be hot!
Devendra Banhart - The man is finally back with a new record, performing this at Heimathafen. Serious excitement on my part here.

Quick Review: Divorce

Wow, this was an unexpected blast! When I listened to Divorce before I thought they were quite nice. Their live performance at West Germany yesterday however kind of blew me away.

Unfortunately we arrived relatively late and missed Schwund, the first band that played instead of the earlier announced Ex-Best-Friends, completely. 

Divorce were already on stage and started to play, so we made our way closer to have a look. I was instantly convinced that this was going to be great. The sound was really good and they sounded somehow different to what I expected. When I first listened to some of their songs, I thought of other no-wave noise rock bands like Aids Wolf or Arab on Radar and I guess they get often compared to bands like that. But Divorce sounded less edgy and hectic and way more heavy live, which I really liked and which made them somewhat special. They had a very thick and upfront sound and their singer changed from fierce shrieking to more spoken word passages. I was totally amazed by their guitarist, she sort of carried the whole thing musically by playing heavy but at the same time very rhythmical and melodic guitar lines. Add a mean and distorted fuzzy bass and driving straight drums to the mix and you sort of get the idea. They did not just create a wall of noise but managed to always keep interesting structures and rhythms in their songs. Everything sounded perfectly together and they just played a very coherent and consistent set of amazing in-your-face noise rock that left me happy and glad to have made it to the show after all.

I seriously hope this wasn't my last Divorce.

By the way, you can stream and buy their entire debut full-length record on their bandcamp page, give it a listen!

The National tonight and for free

The National are playing tonight. In Berlin. For free. They posted this message on their facebook not an hour ago:

We're in Berlin tonight and will be playing some new songs. If you're free at 9:00 pm, we have a few tickets to giveaway. Email to enter and we'll let you know if you've won tickets by 5:00 pm Berlin time.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

stream two new Beak> songs

Not strictly live music related, but we featured this band here so many times (reviews here and here) that I figured it was worth mentioning: 

Beak> contribute a limited to song 10" to this years Record Store Day. Although I'm not that fond of the concept of this 'event', these two songs, including a Pink Floyd cover, are certainly way too good to just not listen to them.
You can stream the whole 10" here and good luck getting hold of one of the limited 1000 vinyl copies...

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Good news for people who love good news (and Wolf Eyes)

After a six years period of not playing in Germany, Modest Mouse will return and play at Postbahnhof on the 3rd of July! You can already get your tickets for this one and I guess there's a high probability of the show being sold out somewhen soon. The good times are killing us!

On another note you can now stream Wolf Eyes' newest record "No Answer: Lower Floors" for free on this Pitchfork website to prepare to seeing them live this month on April 25th at Festsaal Kreuzberg. Expect some rather harsh and industrial noise music and a pretty intense live show.

The Facebook event for this show with Sand Circles and Miles can be found here.