Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Preview additions

Just two little additions to this weeks preview:

Flamingo Creatures + Preshivers + Manta + Unknown Acts + DJs at Base Ment (Spreewaldplatz 8) on Thursday: Flamingo Creatures are Ruth and Ronnie from Datashock playing experimental electroacoustic music. You may also know them as part of their other band Schrein. The other bands also range from electroacoustic to more electronic variations of experimental music, so if that's your thing you should give these bands a listen! (FB event here)

And the complete line-up for the Drum Night at bei Ruth taking place on Sunday is now available. Besides Greg Fox from Guardian Alien/ex-Liturgy there are three more drum artists performing: Good God (the solo project of Colin Hacklander) doing a mix of solo drums and electronics, Bastian Hagedorn from Ben Butler and Mousepad/Sun Worship and the above mentioned Schrein will do a "Free improvisation on broken cymbals, cheap percussion-objects and bended drums. Exploration of patterns, sounds and jokes" and A.e. Widow (who played in a bunch of Berlin based bands, three of them mentioned here) is presenting "tom oriented drumming, sometime with effects, over some loops, repetitive, kind of tribal/primal..."fake african music" maybe...". I'm really looking forward to this one!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Quick Review: Retox + Zeus! + Batalj

Although this show took place quite a while ago, I don't want it to go unmentioned. It was an interesting line-up with three strong bands in a hothouse environment. West-Germany was pretty packed and I'm sure this was a sweaty experience for everyone involved.

Batalj, as you should know by now one of our favorite Berlin based bands, were the first to play. We mentioned and reviewed them more than once on this blog, so I'm not going into detail. They're back to the "old" line-up, featuring V on synthesizer and vocals and they still play a fast and chaotic mix of hardcore/grindcore/screamo with some groovy and almost dancy parts thrown in there once in a while. Their sound is obviously very influenced by bands like The Locust and An Albatross but they don't sound like cheap rip-offs at all. I saw them a couple of times throughout the last two years and they've never been anything other than fantastic and this show was no exception.

Next up were Zeus! from Italy. They are on Three One G records, Justin Pearson's very own label and are a bass and drums duo, a band concept that I like a lot. I never listened to them before, so I was rather surprised by how thick and full they sounded. They combined frantic yet groovy drumming with a distorted and effect-processed bass that didn't really sound like a single bass anymore and crazy vocals that reminded me very strongly of the Blood Brothers. Their music was a combination of heavy experimental and fiddly math-rock and in your face hardcore. I found it quite interesting in the beginning but some songs definitely were to "metal" for me. Also by the time Zeus! were playing, West-Germany definitely turned into an airless sweaty sauna and I had no other choice than to get air on the balcony again.

thanks Joel for the photo
thanks Gary for the photo
Final band of the evening was Retox with the already mentioned Justin Pearson on vocals. Although their music is not totally different to the stuff he was doing before (especially Swing Kids and Some Girls), they still sounded somewhat different and I had not expected them to be so straight forward and rocky live. After Batalj's technical grindcore attack and Zeus!' math-rock weirdness, this was much more easily accessible. I wouldn't call it catchy, but it had a definite punk-rock influence and some people in the front audience rows even managed to sing along to some songs. Unfortunately the sound was a bit muddy and during the first couple of songs I didn't hear much besides the snare drum. It got a bit better after that and although I wouldn't say this was show of the year material, I enjoyed their show. At least until I couldn't bare the tropical West-Germany climate anymore...

Sunday, 28 July 2013

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

Berlin is weird sometimes. Last week was concert-wise not totally exciting, but probably that was for the best since it was way too hot to be stuffed in a dark and sweaty room anyway. This week however brings us so many good shows that it will be difficult to decide where to go. But that's the way we like it.

The Soft Moon + Merchandise + Diät at Lido: Now taking place at Lido instead of Festsaal Kreuzberg, this line-up is still totally exciting. The Soft Moon already played Berlin several times and you also should be familiar with Diät by now. Both play 80s cold wave influenced music, sometimes a bit more post punk related, sometimes a bit more raw. Merchandise are also highly 80s influenced and complete the line up pretty well. This will definitely be fun!

Moon Duo + Suuns + Generationals at Lido: Puschenfest day one and what a nice mix. Also moved to the slightly larger Lido, this is a less packed line-up than some of the earlier Puschenfests but that doesn't mean that it's less interesting. Moon Duo play psychedelic Krautrock influenced and danceable music. Suuns, who already played at the 2011 Puschenfest do something not totally different but sound a bit more garage influenced. and Generationals play fluffy and melodic guitar indie pop.

Woods + Emperor X at Berghain Kantine: I can’t help it but Woods always manage to make small come backs for me. Having loved their first two records, there have been phases in their band history where I didn’t care too much about them but every time they manage to sneak back into my playlists and I find myself at the record store, buying their newest record... Emperor X play experimental and interesting music, that's not easy to describe. It's poppy but at the same time noisy, sometimes it's beat driven and sometimes it's the opposite. Really nice package and definitely a must see!

Bohren & der Club of Gore and Julia Holter at Heimathafen: Puschenfest day two and finally, I get to see Bohren again! I'm sure you're all familiar with the music they play, it's slow (if that word is even adequate for how slow they are) and doomy jazz music. Their music is dense and dismal and the atmosphere they create during their live sets is always somewhere between depressingly dark and hilarious and funny. They're one of the most humorous bands I've ever seen and this contrast of playing serious music but not taking themselves too seriously made both Bohren shows that I saw in the past great experiences. I'm so looking forward to this - gig of the week for me! Support will be the late announced Julia Holter, she played some well attended shows during her last Berlin visit and I'm sure many people were excited when they heard the news!

Autre Ne Veut at Escobar Sun Deck (Badeschiff): Autre Ne Veut plays an interesting version of electro pop music. Think of it as a mixture between the Knife and M83, interesting beats and high pitched vocals with weird song structures. Also very interesting location, the Escobar Sun Deck is a rather small open air location near the Badeschiff, so a nice view and fresh air are guaranteed.

Drum Night with Greg Fox and others at bei Ruth: This sounds good although there aren't that many information out yet. Greg Fox, the drummer for Guardian Alien who used to play in Liturgy will play a solo drum show at bei Ruth this Sunday. Some more Berlin based drum artists will be joining the line-up and will be announced soon. Expect an experimental drum-based evening between "meditation explosion style"and free jazz, or probably something completely different...

Lee Fields & The Expressions at Lido: Although we normally don't feature music like this very often, Lee Fields is worth mentioning. He is a soul and R'n'B artist who's been around making music since the late 60's, he still plays groovy and catchy music that manages to not sound cheesy.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

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

We're sure you've all heard about the terrible news concerning Festsaal Kreuzberg until now and we really hope they manage to get over this somehow. Otherwise this is a really slow week and the Berlin Atonal festival taking place at Kraftwerk is probably its highlight.

Thee Oh Sees, Die! Die! Die!, and Zentralheizung Of Death Des Todes at Lido.: Due to the fire at Festsaal Kreuzberg this show will take place at another venue, we'll update the calendar and this post when there are any news Lido. Besides that, all these bands have been to Berlin more than once and have also been on this blog before. If you're into loud psych-garage punk tunes, this is the show to be at, no doubt about it!

Ten Volt Shock and Display at Schokoladen: Ten Volt Shock play very cool and dry rhythmic noise rock with a hint of post punk. They've been around like forever and they're still fun to watch. Display from Berlin just finished their first recordings, they play something between post-hardcore and melodic punkrock.

Thursday - Wednesday (next week): Berlin Atonal Festival: After a 23 year pause, Berlin Atonal returns and brings you "6 days of world-class musical events and large scale audio-visual installations as well as streetfood and a full catalogue of seminars, lectures, master-classes and screenings". Our highlight is the Glenn Branca Ensemble gig on Thursday. Check out the festivals website for the whole concert timetable and all the day program events and installations.

Fire at Festsaal Kreuzberg

Well that's really shitty news... there was a huge fire on Saturday evening at Festsaal Kreuzberg. Luckily nobody got injured. It's still not clear what caused the fire or how severe the damages are. Hopefully Festsaal will be able to open again sometime very soon!

Here is a small article online on Tagesspiegel and here's another one from Morgenpost, I guess there will be more info available soon.

According to this article and a statement that Festsaal Kreuzberg shared on Facebook the fire was so severe that the building couldn't be saved. So Berlin just lost one of it's best live music venues. That sucks big time... 

Monday, 15 July 2013

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

Summer hole strikes again. There's not thaaat much going on during the next week(s), but as usual there are still some gems hidden.

Big Harp at Monarch: Big Harp are on Saddle Creek records and they definitely fit on that record label. If you're into singer-songwriter music with an indie-pop and some folk influence, this is for you.

Elvis Costello at Tempodrom: I wish I could go here but right now it's out of my price league for a casual live show visit. Elvis Costello plays music since quite a long time and even though he is not the youngest anymore, his music still sounds fresh and poppy.
The Dropout Patrol at Ä: If you don't already know them and somehow are into "slow-core" and melancholic indie music, check out Berlin's The Dropout Patrol playing at Ä (a Neukölln Bar) this Wednesday.

Phoebe Kreutz at Schokoladen: If you missed Phoebe Kreutz on the recent Down by the River festival, here's another chance to see her. Humorous singer songwriter music that's probably most entertaining when you see her live.

Schokoladen Hoffest: Schokoladen is celebrating it's yearly Hoffest on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Visit their website for more info and the complete line-up, there are some cool bands playing! Don't miss Emperor X (on Sunday), Antihairball (on Saturday) and Jeans Team (on Friday) plus many more!

Dark Times, Urbanoia and Mülltüte at bei Ruth: Noisy punk evening at bei Ruth. Dark Times and Urbanoia both are from Norway, Mülltüte are from Berlin. This sounds like it could be fun live!

Eyehategod at Magnet: Sludge/Doom Metal legends Eyehategod exist since 1988 and in that time they have influenced many other bands of the genre. Think of music somewhere between Black Sabbath and the Melvins.

Halasan Bazar and The Felines at Wowsville: Halsan Balzar play psychedelic influenced experimental pop with fluffy melodies and will be joined this night by The Felines, who play lo-fi garage punk rock. A mixture that fits quite well to Wowsville.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Preview - the week ahead (8th - 14th July)

A short, late and hot preview for you today. We are still tired from the amazing noise offering at West Germany this past Saturday and we are enjoying the sun. Can you blame us?

Christina Wheeler at Shift (address in calendar): The FB invite says “Expect dramatic electronic songs with vocals, processed mbira, autoharp and Q-chord, rhythms, some faster, some slower, along with instrumental downtempo/ambients interludes in between.” and if that is not interesting, then what is? From LA via New York, now residing in Berlin, Christina Wheeler has collaborated with a bunch of people you can only dream meeting. This is a special show for you.

Jagwa Music at Urban Spree: This is pretty cool! Jagwa Music from Tanzania play experimental and dancy music that combines a punk diy attitude with influences of electronic music and african rhythms. For fans of Konono No.1 and the like, this is a must see!

Lecture: Erik Satie and the Invention of Ambience (A Very Interesting History of Very Boring Music) + Ray Mann (live) at Tischendorf: This sounds interesting! A lecture about Erik Satie and his role in the history of ambient music and mood songs. Followed by a live performance of Ray Mann. Check out the facebook event for more info and details.

Sic Alps at West Germany: Garage rockers Sic Alps are calling it a day and what better place to choose than West Germany? Might as well have it hot and sweaty! C*'s gig of the week, handsdown.

The Hidden Cameras at Berghain Kantine: Another band I haven’t heard of in years but that I used to really like! They play fluffy and quirky indie pop with an obvious hint to queer and gay content. I bet you have never heard a song about pissing at each other that’s SO beautiful and touching!

Sand Circles, Lust for Youth, Tar...Feathers, and Quiltland at bei Ruth: A last minute announcement but nonetheless worth noticing! Bei Ruth is hosting a nice mix of bands and music. Sand Cirlces are on Not Not Fun records and play minimalistic electro music that’s very 80s influenced but at the same time sounds quite contemporary. Lust for Youth don’t sound that different, they have a nice 80s gothic touch. So do Tar...Feathers in a way, they sound like a weird and experimental version of the Cure with a drum computer and I loved their first record back then. Quiltland also fit in quite well here, yet they sound a bit more ambient.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Late quick review: Rocket From The Crypt

The last time I saw RFTC play was in 1996 at Hulsfred festival in Sweden. That's a long time ago. Had they grown old? Was this going to be a money making scheme with no fun? Or was it going to be gig of the year?

Fun. That's what it was. Rocket From The Crypt are one of those rare entertainers that will leave you no choice but to have the time of your life for two hours. 

Old. These guys will never grow truly old. With a sense of humour like this and the urge to rock out hard, growing old is not really an option.

Passion. Maybe not the first thing I imagined this gig to be, but passionate is actually the word that describes this best. The crowd's passion for their favourite band (people had travelled from all over Europe for this!), the band's passion for their lifestyle and good entertainment and the overall atmosphere in hot Festsaal that night. 

Great night, great dance, great laughter, great sing-along. Rocket From The Crypt - the one and only truly.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Competition: Retox, Zeus!, Batalj

(poster by VSVS)

We haven't been shy promoting this show, as we are pretty excited to see all three bands live this Saturday! So to share our excitement, we teamed up with Eine Welt aus Hack again and give out two guest list spots to one lucky person. All you have to do to win is write an e-mail till the end of Friday to and tell us your favorite band (or musician) with an X in their name!

Here are the details for the gig again:

Sat, Jul 6th: Retox, Zeus!, Batalj at West-Germany. Doors 9pm, start 9.30pm. Also here's the Facebook event for the show.