Monday 31 March 2014

Preview: the week ahead (31st Mar to 6 Apr)

Summertime! Oh wait, it's not. But it sure looks it peaking out the window. And we came back from the Broken Bells gig without jackets on last night. So there! A lame-ish preview this week but, you know, there is still enough going to to keep us busy.


  • Cults at Lido: I like duos, it’s been documented before. This one is interesting as Cults really did start out as lovers but while they are no longer a couple, their artistic relationship has survived. They essentially present pop music, like it or leave it. What I find interesting and intriguing about Cults is the various influences they incorporate into their sound and maybe the twee element of singer Madeline Follin’s voice. It’s not spinning on my turntable but I reckon it’s going to be a nice gig to hang out at with your mate on a mid-week evening.


  • *U*N*S + The Antikaroshi at Schokoladen: Thirsty and Miserable celebrate their fifth birthday and invited a muesli of punkish bands to celebrate with them for two nights in a row. First day features some wave-punk tunes from *U*N*S and some more post-punk stuff by The Antikaroshi.


  • Mette Rasmussen & Stine Janvin Motland & Chris Corsano at Sowieso Neukölln: Chris Corsano, whom we mentioned here several times before, is a highly prolific and active experimental drummer and percussionist. He collaborated with loads of notable artists and bands, from Björk to Thurston Moore, Sunburned Hand of the Man and Kim Gordon. He’s a regular Berlin guest and delighted us with his performances in various settings and locations. This time he plays together with Mette Rasmussen and Stine Janvin Motland at Sowieso Neukölln, a rather small and cozy location and another nice chance to see Corsano again.
  • Auxes + Gorgonoisid + Buman at Schokoladen: Second part of the 5 years of Thirsty and Miserable fest. Auxes play Schokoladen again, they seem to really like it there! Comprised of members of Milemarker, they still share some aspects of their sound and energy with that band and play and very direct and forward take on noisy punk rock. Supporting them will be Gorgonoisid who play something more in the vein of sludge and noise and Buman who probably are more your thing if you’re into SST-style punk.


  • Skiing + Classic Muscle at Marie-Antoinette: Record release party for this first split release by local indie label Späti Palace. C*’s gig of the week, hands down. Both bands rock and deserve your attention for actually being good local bands. Meet us there!


  • Kurt Vile + Pall Jenkins at HAU1: I have recently been having a total Black Heart Procession. They have been one of my favourites from day 1 and have been with me through thick and thin. But recently, I have really been rediscovering their first record all over again. So imagine my happiness to read that Pall Jenkins, forming member of Black Heart Procession, is going to play on one bill with Kurt Vile of all people. Kurt Vile’s latest record was a 2013 highlight for many - nicely crafted. This is definitely gig of the year material, oh baby. Heart.

  • Dial + Trouble at Altes Finanzamt: This is something very interesting by Sam Hillmer, saxophone player for Zs and one of the people being responsible for the "You Are Here Aka The Maze" festival that took place at West Germany a while ago. There will be a one-day art exhibition and some live music. For more detailled info on what to expect have a look at the facebook event page.

Monday 24 March 2014

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

Sorry for being late yet again. Hopefully you figured out a Tuxedomoon show would be worth attending without us having to tell you so...

  • Tuxdomoon at K17: Art rock survivors Tuxedomoon first started playing in 1977 and have gone through a wide swathe of experimental and musical styles since then. Their second awesome and upbeat single, No Tears, is a post-punk classic that’s recently been revived by the youth of today. But it would be extremely unwise to expect a whole evening of that kind of thing. These days you’re more likely to hear violins with guitars, strange and distinctive noises from the post-punk 80s, oblique references to art and culture and literature, plus a bit of performance artiness. Some of it might make you want to move, other bits will make you want to stroke your beard contemplatively. It’s going to be a fine and interesting night.
  • Wye Oak at Privatclub: Interesting folk-popsters at Private Club, Kreuzberg. Having not seen them live before it’s hard to judge but other reviewers say that this talented duo make a lot more noise than one might expect from two folks. Judging by their album, Civilian, this is certainly a possibility as it is far more interesting compositionally than your average “dream-pop”; they’ve been compared to fellow Baltimore band, Beach House, before as well as Neil Young and Yo La Tengo. They’ve also supported the Dirty Projectors who, although pretty different musically, have a similar vibe. During most recent gigs, Wye Oak have apparently been getting way more synth and bass in on their act, and there’s a new synth-poppy direction for the new album, Shriek, due out late April. Even if you don’t get to the gig – maybe you’re going to see Joan As A Policewoman instead – make sure you listen to the last album, Civilian, during a mellow Sunday evening just as the sun’s going down. 

  • The Warlocks at Bassy: If you like the Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Black Angels, Spacemen 3 and yeah, etcetera etcetera etcetera, you should definitely catch these guys. They’ve been around for about the same amount of time of many of the above and come from the same school of garage-rocking-psych. They tend to jam out a little more than the likes of BJM – in fact, they’re probably closer to the Black Angels. If you like psych rockers that move between garage and psychedelic melt downs, you’re pretty much guaranteed a fuzzed out, smog-infested, guitar-lashed good time at the perfect-size-for-this-band-venue, Bassy, on Wednesday night.

  • Staer + Batalj + Horacio Pollard at bei Ruth: This package seems like the perfect way to turn your dull Wednesday evening into an intense noise rock experience. We previewed all of these bands before but we never get enough of Batalj, who are again playing with a newish line-up. Staer are also no uncommon visitors to Berlin, they also played bei Ruth before and if you are remotely into Skingraft records influenced noise rock, you should absolutely not miss this. Horacio Pollard plays music that’s a tad more on the experimental side, ranging from harsh noise to more ambient sounds.
  • Capsula at Urban Spree: Capsula play music that’s heavily influenced by 70s psychedelic rock but without sounding only “retro”. They combine garage sounds with modern noisy rock elements, creating something that sounds like a mix between Sonic Youth and the White Stripes. This will be their first Berlin show ever!

  • Angel Olsen + Allie at HAU: Angel Olsen is coming to Berlin to present her second record Burn Your Fire For No Witness. She’s a versatile artist and sometimes sounds like a very fragile and intimate folk singer while other songs have a quirky indie rock touch. Her newest record was released on Jagjaguwar and fits perfectly in their eccentric rooster of striking melodic and lo-fi tunes.
  • Michael Gira at Kantine am Berghain: Swans singer Michael Gira stops by and plays an acoustic show. While this naturally doesn’t sound as noisy as Swans do, it’s still intense and profound.

Monday 17 March 2014

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

Ow, are we going to party this week! But we are taking it quiet on the weekend. We have our priorities just right. Just look at this:

  • The Monochrome Set at Monarch: The British group that inspired some of the last decade or two’s biggest acts – including The Smiths and Franz Ferdinand - but who were themselves left on the sidelines to become a “cult band” play Berlin’s Monarch this week. Nice setting for a group that play perfect indie pop, as it is known these days, with camp, sardonic lyrics (no wonder Morrissey liked ‘em so much) and were the best of British art school pop in their day; they formed in 1978. Although it’s always good to be suspicious of older bands who reform and go on tour, this lot have been getting great reviews for their live gigs, as they play a mix of old favourites and new. If you haven’t heard of them but you’re sick of all the bands that sound like other bands from the 80s – and oh lord, there are just sooo many – and you want to see some originals, then this should be well worth checking out, especially in such an intimate space.

  • Cheveu ‎ and Classic Muscle ‎ at West Germany: To C*s sadness, this clashes with The Shrine’s concert. But if she hadn’t bought her ticket already, this is 100 % where she would spend Tuesday night. French weirdo punk and Berlin’s classic post-punk trio at one concert? Classic Muscle will blow your mind but Cheveu are worth your attention, too. Cannot miss this really.
  • King Khan & The Shrines at Lido: Ticket bought, dancing shoes ready, mind set to soul maharadsha madness. Tuesday is crazy dance party night. Read C*’s previous reviews (One and Two).

  • L//NES and Maybecyborgs at bei Ruth: La Moustache is presenting another nice show, this time at bei Ruth. L//NES from Manchester play heavy riot girl inspired post-punk/post-hardcore. Think of a fresh and highly energetic version of Sleater Kinney. Maybecyborgs from Berlin are a cool mixture of experimental and lo-fi music that lies somewhere between no-wave and new-wave. This is going to be fun to watch, especially if you’re in a dancy mood!
  • Austin Lucas, Emily Barker, and PJ Bond at Cassiopeia: Austin Lucas is a firm favourite of C*’s and so much more than your average singer-songwriter. This is going to be an evening of wonderful folk interaction. Highly recommended, as always. 
  • The Men at White Trash: Brooklyn, NY-based guitar group who can be found on one of the best psych-rock and just generally-rock labels around at the moment, Sacred Bones (look out for any of their acts as they come through Berlin). Loud, brash and sweaty, frantic punk rock, noise punk, breakneck garage punk: The Men have been described as all of the above. So yeah, basically punk-ish. Their fearsome live shows have been described as explosive, frenetic, fizzing with vitality and true to the spirit of punk. If you’re into groups like The Replacements, the Buzzcocks or even Mark E Smith and Minor Threat, get your moshing shoes on and get down to White Trash (while keeping your fingers crossed that their muddy sound system does these guys justice).

Tuesday 11 March 2014

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

The latest preview ever. But do not fear, with a new Craze member in tow and a sluggish start to the week, we are still here to serve. Hope you have not missed out on Low Roar because we missed to tell you about it.
Also: the Mountain Witch competition ends tomorrow - in case you feel like a free rock gig this week.
  • Darkside at  Astra: This gig is apparently sold out. But Berlinians often know ways to get their ways, don't they? So we feature it anyway - and give you a little review of their last gig while we are at it. Our new Craze member, Cathrin, was there and reports. The project headed by funky young DJ-guy Nico Jaar and his guitar playing partner-in-musical-crime, Dave Harrrington, play Astra Wednesday night. The very hard to please reviewers at Pitchfork call Jaar “a Chilean-born, Brown-educated electronic wunderkind” and give the pair’s new album a 9 out of 10.
"Last time in Berlin, the duo played a sold-out Berghain and their muted, sophisticated disco-with-guitar hooks saw the crowd shuffling their feet enthusiastically. Some would even say they were dancing. Admittedly it did feel a little odd, a little bit too “disco” at times despite Jaar being influenced by everything from kraut rockers Can to Ethiopian jazz – as though the pair should have playing all night, as though there should have been room on the dance floor and probably a few more glow sticks (kidding, there were none). 
But there were also sublime moments where you loose yourself in a hypnotic rhythm that was more dance floor than driving psych-rock. So despite the mild disappointment, that’s why it may well be worth your while to go and see these guys again – mainly in the hopes that they’re as experimental and interesting as their genre-blending albums suggest, rather than simply crowd pleasing."  
  • Mountain Witch at SO36: Proto-Metal straight from the 70s. If you are into Black Sabbath and doomy dark rock with a hint of psychedelic influences, this is the right show for you. We also still have a competition running for this show, be quick!
  • Sun Worship and Flamingo Creatures at Bei Ruth: Bei Ruth is celebrating their season opening earlier than expected with a tape release show of the new record of Berlin based Sun Worship. If you’re into recent ‘black metal’ bands like Liturgy, Wolves in the Throneroom and similar, this dark and gloomy wall of noise will be right up your alley. Also playing are Flamingo Creatures, another project of two Datashock members who play free form synth and violin based experimental music. We’re very excited that bei Ruth is opening again, they already announced some nice stuff going on in the near future.
  • Toy at Comet Club: C*’s love for Toy knows no limits. Best band coming out of Britain at the moment and amazing live. Be there and rock out with C*. Here is an old number but the new album is fantastic, too. You cannot go wrong with Toy.


Thursday 6 March 2014

Competition: Mountain Witch + Travelin Jack at SO36

Anyone fancy a proto-metal blast from the 70s? Thanks to SO36, we're able to give away a guest list spot +1 for their Mountain Witch show next Thursday (13th)!

Mountain Witch play doomy old school metal, highly influenced by Black Sabbath and the like. If you are into heavy dark rock with a hint of psychedelic influences, this will definitely throw you back a couple of decades.

All you have to do to win is send us an e-mail to win@thecraze.ce until next Wednesday (12th) at 6pm and tell us your favorite early metal band.

Oh and here's the Facebook event for more info and links.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Competition: Low Roar + Bled White at Urban Spree

If you're looking for something to do next Monday, look no further: We're giving away a guest list spot +1 for the Low Roar + Bled White show at Urban Spree!

Low Roar plays music that consists of cinematic, melancholic and ghostly soundscapes. It's beautiful and warm electro-pop with roots in singer songwriter spheres that perfectly fits a Monday night in the Urban Spree surroundings.

All you have to do to win is send us an e-mail to until Sunday (9th) and tell us why you should be on the list that night.

Here's the facebook event for more info.

Sunday 2 March 2014

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

G’day people. March. That’s all I’m saying. Yeah!

  • Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and William Tyler at Volksbühne: Also known under various different but also similar names, “A Silver Mt. Zion” is another post-rock band (in the widest sense) from people also involved in Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Their style is a little more straight forward and their songs are not strictly instrumental but feature often political lyrics. On this tour, they’re presenting their newest record Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything and what venue could be more adequate for this than our beloved Volksbühne?

  • Bonnie “Prince” Billy at Apostel Paulus Kirche: This man needs no introduction. Eccentric folk musician Will Oldham has been around for quite some time. He has released numerous records, stylistically varying from straight country folk to dark and melancholic singer songwriter stuff or rather catchy upbeat tunes. He definitely wrote some of my favorite songs ever and the fact that this is his first show in Germany since SIX years definitely makes for a must see! * Tuesday is sold out now but there is an additional show on Wednesday, for which tickets are still available. *

  • Stephen Steinbrink and Emperor X at Monarch: A cosy singer-songwriter night at a cosy bar. Sounds relaxed.

  • Laser Poodle, Form A Log and Mirror Talk at Mindpirates: A cool night of weird and experimental electro music. Laser Poodle is an Amsterdam/Antwerp-based duo and plays beat-based freeform music, heavily relying on analog sounds that will make you dance! Mirror Talk is a band of Berlin’s Dominik Noé, he plays electro pop that sounds very 80s synthpop influenced. Form A Log sound more like Laser Poodle again but with a more quirky and abstract side.
  • Neneh Cherry at Berghain: You can take a pause from creating music. Or, as Neneh Cherry did it, you can take decades. Miss Cherry has in the past managed the jump from independent to mainstream. Her new album, however - a collaboration with many artists, one of them Fourtet - is highly sophisticated but will most likely not impress the mainstream. We are glad she is back and embrace this performance at this month’s Certain People night.

  • Grails and Lilacs & Champagne at Comet Club: Grails from Portland is another band featuring the great Emil Amos, whom you may know for his solo act Holy Sons or as the drummer for OM. They play instrumental and psychedelic music that is both deep and intense. Check them out!
  • Islands at Roter Salon: After sadly breaking up with their former and awesome band the Unicorns, two of their members went on to start a new band called Islands. They still play great and weird indie-pop and are well worth a trip to Roter Salon on a Friday night.
  • Young Hare and Sicker Man at about/blank: Frankfurt’s Young Hare played in Berlin every once in a while, so chances are good you’ve already seen or heard of them. They recently struck a record deal with Altin Village & Mine Records, also home of bands like PTTRNS, Urban Homes and many more. Young Hare play dreamy and tropical pop and it would be no understatement to say that they’re totally loveable.

  • Messer at Cassiopeia: Widely hyped and heavily featured in about every music magazine in the last time, Messer are still on the go and touring seemingly non-stop. So if you missed them last year (however that may be possible) or just want to see them another time, here’s your next chance!