Friday, May 27, 2005

Fine Songs And A Wedding

Happy Wedding in New Orleans
Originally uploaded by romangame.
Best Wishes and Congratulations to JC and Rachelle, belatedly - they got married in New Orleans in early May and judging by the photos, it must have been a grand fete! Write to JC to ask for the link to their photo album.

Meanwhile, Mr. Antony Fine, sandwiched here between Dorit Chrysler, JC and the bride with her family, is ready to take the stage on his own and presents a bunch of new songs at the Lucky Cat (Grand Street, Williamsburg) on Tuesday, June 30th at Joe McGinty's Piano Karaoke. Antony will be joined for two songs by our favorite vamp Kerry Kennedy. Also Guitar Trickster Master Erik Paparozzi will lend Antony a hand or two.

Supremex Optimo Shine at Lit

Yuri: Barre Chords, Bass Guitar
Originally uploaded by romangame.
It seems like I'm using a lot of superlatives for this band, lately, but if a band makes so much progress in such a short time they just deserve it. Morex Optimo are not only rehearsing hard, getting tighter and wittier, they can also take criticism and use it constructively: In their new songs they have dropped a lot of their intellectual mannerism and go straight to the core of cutting edge punk. Congrats, guys, I'm looking forward to tour Europe with you in August!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Privateman Makes Public Headlines

The Curated Jukebox
Originally uploaded by romangame.
Old friend Frank Privateman (Middle) is keeping himself busy over there in Zurich. The author and musician found time to launch the project "The Curated Jukebox" - a monthly installation of a famous artists/bands 100 favorite songs. The inauguration happened last week at Helsinki, and I'm proud to present you with the first posting from our swiss correspondents, infamous T'nT, who want to greet NYC this way. Let's see what the Ts wrote:

"It was getting late, at least for Zurich... The most elected scenesters from "kreis foif" were gathering at the prestigious Helsinki club. Tom Rist, the owner and long-time staple of downtown Zurich nightlife (on the right in the pic), collaborated with upcoming underground writer and musician Frank Heer and seasoned artist Adrian Elsener (left side) on the long-awaited rock n'roll "Lou Reed juke box". Frank finally unveiled the musical mystery machine. It was a big moment! He was accompanied by loud clapping and sighs of acknowledgment. Because yes, indeed, these ARE songs personally selected by Lou (at least so claims his manager...). Immediately the music lovers streamed to press the somewhat complicated juke box keys and were overcome by slight bewilderment since nobody seemed to recognize even 25% of the songs or artists... Good old Lou!Unfortunately we had to leave before hearing any of our selections (juke boxes work in an unpredictable shuffle mode), but at least we had a chance to watch the American Master Lou Reed documentary on simultaneous screens four times in a loop!"

Obviously, Lou himself is quite impressed with the project: It is mentoned on the front page of Mr. Reeds official website. Don't forget to check out Bingo Palace, the Privateman cherished collaboration with music druid Fa Ventilato. But more about Fa later.

New Style, New Sound... Now Found

HQ: Models Love Rockstars
Originally uploaded by romangame.
For those who still didnt get it, heres the proof: Charles Strummer Springsteen baring his soul. HeadQuarters are not just a mod revivalist band. They rock, they punk, they have the energy of two or three average New York bands on stage. Sometimes, Luna Lounge still gets to see some amazing live acts. Check out their Website for new improved tracks!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Watts Up With New Album And Poetry

My old friend from the UK, John Watts sent me the following update. John, unpredictable as always, doesn't say if he's coming to New York soon, but usually, if you hear from him, he appears a couple of weeks later... Here's what he writes:

"We're getting much closer to a time when we can reap the benefits of all the work that's been going on over the last few months. We are putting the final touches to the album audio, the CD artwork and the manuscript of the poetry book. Both the John Watts 16-track CD album and the poetry anthology will be entitled "Real Life Is Good Enough".
As mentioned in an earlier communication there will be a chance for fans to download large amounts of material for free. We've just put up live video footage of my solo performance from the tour last year.
Obviously, I am focussing for the indefinite future on my solo career. This year I am aiming to do as much touring as possible both completely solo and with a band to introduce my new record to you and as many other people as possible! During the course of the shows I will include some of my favourite songs that I've written over the last 25 years, but also I will in some cases be doing specialised shows that include my poetry and other spoken word material."

So, when are ye coming to the Apple, John?

Nikko and the Universe of Sound

Nikko - Feel the Music
Originally uploaded by romangame.
The shock of learning of Nikkos tragic loss of his right eye in Berlin sits deep and made me pull out his records and listen to the songs again and again. It made me realize that Nikko's most beautiful universe, his most honed skills are still intact: The world of sounds and harmonies, his voice, his ability to play any instrument. Turn up the music, lean back and close your eyes! Nikko, I hope you get the bastard in court and will be able to focus on the future - I am looking forward to hear more of your beautiful tunes and maybe read texts from your pen?
P.S.: Yo, labels, it is definitely time to put out the Nikkos Greatest Hits! Check out his Website and drop him a line. You wouldnt wanna be the label who missed the chance to pick up the German Coldplay.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

All Saints Day In Hoboken, New Jersey

30 years on stage and at least thirty pounds lighter then when he started out: Chris Bailey, pope of Australian punk rockers The Saints has slimmed down and sped up. In the roughly 50th incarnation of the Saints, the band plays solid rock, including Hits like "I'm Stranded" and "Know your product", plus some new, not very memorable punkers. No ballads, only a wonderful "Just like Fire Would" survived. As guitar player, Bailey somehow managed to convince Marty Willson-Piper of (oh my God) The Church to join him. The lads seemed to have an excellent time and beat the hell out of their guitars. The energy didnt transpire fully to the audience, though, and sometimes, i have to admit, they drifted off into meaningless Americana Rock. Still Bailey's voice is strong, clear and has a renewed meanness to it. I dare anyone say something against MWPs guitar playing anyway. According to Marty, the new Church album is going to come out in September, a tour of the US should follow in October and November. He is really busy, being in two bands at the same time, but says that in his heart, he lives in NYC. Don't we all, no Tami?
On the way back to New York, I discovered in amazment that it is really true: Every male person in Hoboken wears an office shirt not tucked in his (khaki) pants. Had to get out of there as fast as possible, which was easier than I thought. More than glad to go home and watch Star Wars Episode III. Those characters been around as long as The Saints, now, and Bailey looks better than Darth Vader. Bit like an uncle of Gary Oldham in Coppolas Dracula...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Blogged Out this Week

Sorry some may have noticed, I have had problems with my blog this week. It crashed and I lost all my sidebar information, including all the links to bands I've reviewed in the last half year... It's gonna take me some time to get that list back together, but it will be back - new and better.

I also forgot to tell you about the upcoming BOTANICA show at CBGBs on Saturday, 21st of May at 9pm. Go see them before they become so famous that you have to pay 30 bucks to see em at Irving Plaza. In Europe, the guys are already on some of the most prestigious rock shows on television...

There are lots of other cool shows coming up too, including the beloved Morex Optimo, Jamay and a promising collaboration of Anthony Fine with Kerry Kennedy, who reportedly left the Blue Sparks...or maybe they are just on a creative break. Who knows. Ask Christian. Then again, don't.

I have a busy musical weekend ahead of me and have to rush to the path train now to see the immortal Saints at Maxwell's in Hoboken. Yes, that's right, I'm going to New Jersey. For the first time in, like, five years. More soon!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Of British Sea Power and Swedish Free Jazz

Lots of European, then again, this weekend. It started out with the Austrian Angel Dorit Chrysler on Friday at the Issue Project Room, the last real indie resort in the East Village. I was most taken by Dorit's Vocals and some of the great sounding samples she uses. Larry Seven, the Minister of audiology opened the show with an, erm, instrument. Amazing. The nightshift was manned by a crazy drummer and two swedes on guitar and sax, letting lose quite a swarm of bees that i can imagine listening to as background music after r a silent horror movie. Live, I had enuff after ten minutes.
Saturday brought us a nice long walk in Central Park, a fine Italian dinner and British Sea Power at the Bowery Ballroom. While they have a bunch of quite good songs and some great moments, they are no Blur or Libertines.
Unfortunately, Andy Rourke of Smiths fame who was supposed to spin records after the HeadQuarters set at Don Hills, forgot or lost is passport and never made it. The bands schedule therefore was delayed and I missed HQs show. Can anyone let me know how it was? I heard they handed out free cds with two of their new tracks. You can also find the two songs on their website now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"You Can Have the Money, Pal!"

Chills wouldnt stop running down my spine when the Stones dished out Brown Sugar yesterday at the Lincoln Center. The Rolling Stones, man. I never thought I would get to see them live, and for free at that. They even played a new song called "Oh No, Not You Again" which stood equal between the classics. They mostly said nothing during the press conference afterwards and Keith wins the prize for best answer when they were asked, if they were in it for the money or the music. "You can have the money, pal," Keef said.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Secret Hit Aired in the Lower East Side

Oh, hell yeah, this is a hit! Not that their other songs would not be good, but This Transient Lifes "It's alright" is outstanding and has now passed the live test: It is just as vibrant and full of powerful melancholy as on the recording. This is one of these songs you hear once and then cant get it out of yer head forever. Brett and Martin delivered it just perfectly on Friday night at the Sidewalk Cafe. This is a spooky place to play, but the guys easily won the audience, among them singer Chris Pan, over with their great blend of Pop and Rock, adding a bit of Punk here and there. Now, I can't wait to hear the recording again. Hurry up, Brett, give us this track!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

New York, You Have A New Star!

Cheers, Jaymay - Here's to you!
Originally uploaded by romangame.
You never know what to expect in this city, but to hear such thing of beauty on a simple Monday evening is rare even here. Thanks to the superior scouting skills of the lovely Kerry Kennedy, we got to hear Jaymay and her band at the Living Room. Yes, it's just a girl playing guitar (or piano), but this does not get boring, not for a single second. Her voice is a great original mix of Suzanne Vega (timbre) and Lou Reed (phrasing), her tunes are strong, lively and engaging - and her backing band is a pleasure to listen to and a lesson in well-disciplined decency. If these people don't get a bloody good record deal soon, I don't know who does. Jaymay plays every Monday in May at 9pm at the Living Room. Seize the chance - it's free now, soon you'll be paying $80 or more to see her at the Beacon or MSG.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Macrogiants and Microstars

Dorit Tames the Theremin
Originally uploaded by romangame.
Quite an illustrious group of people came together at Dorit Chrysler's show at the Austrian Cultural Forum on Friday night. Special guest Gibby Haines added some loops, and the austrian theremin fairy launched into her very own and original sound universe. Unfortunately, Dorit didn't make use of her angelic voice this time around, but the artist says that her singing days are far from over. In the audience, two of her former band members from the Halcion years were spotted. Rumors of a reunion could not be confirmed, though.

Saturday belonged to music muse Tanja, who NYC will lose to Zurich this week. How could they let her get away! Anyway, HeadQuarters were in splendid form with excellent sound at Arlene's Grocery, a successful show for their number one fan. The band has almost finished the recording for their new album and is shopping them now, with most promising leads. Later, Melomane played a semi-acoustic set at the Living Room, for which Nico from German band Veranda Music opened with four charming songs.

Then, we have another Macrogiant vs. Microstar coming up this week in NYC: Can you believe that there is a revival for Swedish band Europe and "The Final Countdown"? I mean, doesnt final mean final anymore? Well, they are playing at B.B. King's Blues Club, which I don't really mind. But in the light of Motorhead playing the same place a mere three days later we have to ask what drugs B.B's booker must be on. Here's what their website reveals under "additional information": "1986, Europe released The Final Countdown which became a Top Ten hit. "The Final Countdown" and "Carrie" became Top Ten hits as well". Aha. Wanna know what the same site says under "additional information" about Motorhead? STANDING ROOM ONLY, is all. That should be a clue as to where it rocks.