Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Home for the Holidays - Have a Warm Room!

Thanx to those of you who came to our Christmas show at Bar on A on Thursday. We think it was our nicest show ever, and hey, for once we werent even loud. Quite louder than the ever so subtle Pete Fitzpatrick who can play Techno music on a banjo and Rod Stewart in seven seconds. Moss Empire are our new MySpace Friends. And now Im off to Switzerland...yippie...and Portugal with Frank the author and the T. again!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Not So New Model Army at North 6

Wednesday after Midnite might not be the best time to play a live show in Williamsburg, the kids gotta get to their lattes in the morning, but does Justin Sullivan care if there are 20 or 200? With his current line-up he looks again like a british pop star from the eighties, but the furor of early NMA gigs is gone. Sullivan, an accomplished guitarero, leaves most of the guitar duties to a grim looking hardrocker and his keyboard hippie, who looked extemly tired and had to steady himself with one hand on the rim of the keyboard through most of the gig. Nothing against such types in the studio, they are usually pretty good producers, but on the stage, especially next to the eye rolling growling Sullivan, you gotta get the moves on. The set wasn't very impressive, almost nothing from Thunder and Consolation or No Rest, but a lot of the doom stuff, for example "Here comes the War," and that's kinda scary to sing along these days in America.

Shaw'Nuff Even Better Than the Real Thing

I was never a big fan of Arthur Lee and Love, but maybe I missed something...Shaw'Nuff certainly wet my appetite with their furious and passionate show at Magnetic Fields last Friday. The band sounds just amazing and makes these songs come really alive. If someone still needs proof that rockmusic is not just for teenagers, go see Shaw'Nuff, led by the fantastic Mike Fornatale, who recently toured Europe with the Monks, the ultimate 60s Garage/Psychedelic/Beat that released one album, then lived in obscurity for fourty years, till Mark E. Smith of the Fall proclaimed them to be one of his main influences... Mike helped them Monks out on Keyboards and Vocals, but that guy can play anything, in case you need a band/producer/musical director. And he never looked younger than pictured here, next to M.E.S.!

Friday, December 01, 2006

A German Goes His Way in America

This is definite proof that Germans can be very funny. It is originally from German TV NDR and maybe the funniest polit spoof i've ever seen on the internet! Chrischn the Banjo Bongers sent it to me. Stop the Garageband Podcast Player below right before you play the vid. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Room For Free X Mas Show

Room will play one last show this year, a free Christmas show (that means we are a little less loud than normally) at BoA, Bar on A, 11th Street and Avenue A in Manhattan on Thursday, December 14th. Opening will be the amazing one man show Donkey Tail Spin. Come bring Santa and Santine, Nuts and Nectarine, Carols and Carolines and open ears for a bunch of new songs by Room, who also celebrates the first anniversary of its existence as a live band (see archives, December 2005).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Travel Europe in the Heads of Morex Optimo!

Morex Optimo put up a nice series of thoughts and pictures of their European Tour with Room. Altough they limited the pictures down to mostly Morex members, you still get an impression of what diverse things we got to see and places we got to play in Switzerland and Germany. There are more pics of the tour out there, somewhere online, i forgot where. Kerry or Bernd, maybe you remember and can post the link? Thanks for the nice work, Morex Optimo! Oh, and one more new rumor: Kristofer and Heather, together with Pierre from Melomane will be flying to Paris, France, for a one-song-performance of the Who's "My generation" for some art project by Swiss artist Christoph Draeger. They also plan to record some more and head back to Europe next year, with a possible residency in Berlin. Our advice: Check out Hamburg and its "Alte Schule" while there!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Big Band Botanica Boast Brilliance

If you are as good as the musicians in Botanica, it's not about styles and different categories of music. There some good in all of the genres. The art is to master it all and then pluck the finest parts, a bit of punk here, a little gypsy there, chanson now, political manifesto then: the full mix is Botanica. In the posh setting of Joe's Pub the man in white, Paul Wallfisch, and his gang were aided by a most competent string duo, extending the Botanica soundscope in an orchestral way. It is not really rock music anymore, but an adventurous trip through haunting harmonies and daring melodies.

Overlord Let Us Eat Cake

Attention you Julian Cope fans and neo-psychedelic freaks, here come overlord with their new CD "Ticker Symbols". This might not be the music that saves the world, as one track suggests, but it sure is a fine bunch of great pop tunes with lyrics that show George Pasles as gifted and sensitive poet. The CD release party was on Saturday at the Cake shop - very appropriate, since the Cover of the CD depicts a lonely man atop of a wedding cake. They cut an exact replica of it and offered the pieces to the rather big crowd. It just doesn't wash down well with beer. Go to overlord's MySpace page to listen to four tracks and order a copy of Ticker Symbols.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It Has To Be John Watts!

Oh, yes, he's back - the man has proven his longevity ages ago, anyway. Just have a look at his discography and you'll learn about his productivity. But this newest coup stuns even us old Watts fans. You'll remember, John was in NYC in spring to promote his brand new double CD and book "Real Life Is Good Enough" (see sidebar below). He played a show at Detour and we enjoyed a few interesting days in the city. He calls me up a few weeks later with a new project: He wanted to travel through Europe and film the people he meets, hear their stories and then write a song about them. Would I be able to arrange a meeting between him and my brother in Zurich? They met and hit it off on May 14th, incidentally my bro's birthday. Well, a short six months later John is on tour already again, played Helsinki in Zurich and presented Adrian with his song - Brothers. Something to be proud of. The CD is a masterpiece, Johns voice and acoustic guitar in the foreground, a great and decent band (with Johns long time collaborator Ian Porter on bass) and gems of songs. We might even go as far as to declare this album one of John's best. 10 stars for the album, 10 points for the person who can decipher Johns greeting on the cover...

John Watts and Brother A. in Zurich

You Tube, We Room

This video is from our show at The Creek and the Cave in Long Island City, where we met Anthony Navarro of NYC Highlights, a cool New York video production company.Anthony specializes in shooting live bands, and the first one is a freebie - so if you are a band and want a live video, check him out on NYC Highlights and drop Anthony a line about your next show. The Creek and the Cave is a really nice club/bar/restaurant that is more than worth the trip to LIC. Full Tank introduced their sixth great Tank Girl, artist and trombone virtuoso Eveline Fehlmann, debuted Simone's Song and were good company. Room was mofo loud, but hey, you try stopping the French once they get going!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Punk Rock Halloween As Never Before Seen

Sham 69: United the Kids for Halloween

It really can't get any more punk rock than this year's Halloween party at Rockstar Bar in Williamsburg was! The charming pub on Kent Ave. and South 5th Street hosted about 20 bands with big names, among them Roxy Music, Slaughter and the Dogs, Sham 69, Rudimentary Peni, Black Flag, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Velvet Underground, AC/DC and ZZ Top. Cover charge was one dollar, and the musicians had to pay that, too, ha! I of course took advantage of the occasion and generously paid the entrance fee for at least five girls, all in great Halloween costumes. On the tiny stage were a couple of amps, somewhere stood a lonely PA. All the bands used the same backline, played three songs and then had about two minutes to clear the stage for the next great act in Rock'n'Roll. Boy, was I glad this Ziggy was not David Bowie, this Jimmy Pursey was female, this Lou Reed had no attitude: These bands were better and certainly fresher than the originals. The audience thanked the bands with wild pogoing, the kind of which the world hasn't seen since '77. Among the highlights: The utterly convincing HeadQuarters as Ziggy and the Spiders and the one true punk queen of Williamsburg, Alana Amram, who not only organized the party, but who also played in an all female Sham 69 and had the whole packed room shouting "If the Kids Are United..." And, for an exuberant night, we were.

Ziggy and the Spiders in the HeadQuarters at Rockstar Bar

Friday, November 03, 2006

Long Island City Calling - The Cave

We are invited to play The Cave in Longs Island City with our favourite Girl Punks Full Tank. The Tanksters have been practicing tirelessly and as their latest in-store show at Rocks in Your Head proved, they are getting close to the beats of Ur punx like Kleenex or Liliput and at times there is - oha - a whiff of the Fall.

Room in the meantime has been spreading ideas and sounds and even written a few new songs, including one about 42 midgets fighting an african lion (the lion won) and our anthem Room, the Song (Pt. 1). Even Jean-Cosme made it back from Miami in time for the show, so you get to see all five corners of the Room.

We know it's LIC, but it's really easy to get there. Really. And it's only three bucks to get in. And you get a beautiful view of Manhattan at Night when you're outside smoking.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Melomane Take Russia... and Brad Back

After a few months long break lounge blizzards Melomane took the stage at Tonic again last Friday and turned the show into a celebration of good pop music. Coming back from a successful trip to Russia, where their new CD glaciers just has been released, they seemed to have gained new confidence in the strength of their music, and their lyrics. It was a unique pleasure to see Brad back on stage, duetting on trumpet with Pierre. Despite Franks absence - by now replaced by two strings, a violinist and a cello player, it was a bit like five years ago. And that again, was to the day of the show, when Rebecca and Quentin got married. Now I'm getting carried away, but believe me, you would have loved it.

Biker Girls Turn Into Full Tank

Well, so we met these girls at this party on the roof in Dumbo and when it was about time to grab a cab and head to Union Pool for a night cap, it turns out the hot chicks rode their bikes to Dumbo. Telling by their energy level, they most likely took the BQE back to the Wburg. Anyway, the next day, we walk into East River Bar and the very same girls turned into Full Tank, the Eurotrash Girlpunk band you can't miss! They played a show at Siberia on Thursday that I couldn't make, but next time they rock the hood, I'm there.

I never told you bout the Snow in September...

You have never seen hotter Snow than this, nor heard. The duo of Pierre de Gaillande and Hilary Downes is sweet, yet witty, superbly harmonious with a high entertainment value. Here, they are playing Club Midway. Ask for their Demo CD when you go to their shows, its got hints of T.V. Personalities and early Camper van Beethoven. From what we hear, Snow has already expanded into a full five piece band.

Friday, October 06, 2006

There Is Room at Midway at Midnite!

Oh, yes, we also thought this looks like a heavy rock bill and were considering to change our name to Doom for this night, when we checked out the other bands on MySpace...turns out, Mirrortest are kinda Coldplayish, in a fresh way and Death Mask remind us of Portishead. Go to www.clubmidway.com to learn more about them and listen to some tracks. That said, of course, we are heavy rock. Looking forward to it, and to seeing you!

Club Midway is located at 25 Avenue B and easily one of the coolest places in the East Village these days. And Martial just reminded me to tell ya all again that it's Friiiidaaay, so you hopefully get to sleep in Saturday!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Let there be... Room CD Release Party

Thanx for coming to Club Midway! Those who missed it get another chance TOMORROW FRIDAY evening.

After last night's show at Club Midway we just can't get enough and look very much forward to CELEBRATE OUR CD RELEASE PARTY at our favorite local EAST RIVER BAR on South 6th Street between Bedford and Berry. The fun will be tripled by the unique FULL TANK, kind of our musical sisters, who know how to make a noise since four years already. Tomorrow night will mark their debut show with fabled SIMONE, the fastest learner of guitar in Williamsburg ever. ROOM and FULL TANK will sandwich the spacesuit wearing antarctic researchers from VOSTOK who come highly recommended by MAREK, owner of ERB.
Showtimes: 9.15 Full Tank, 10.15 Vostok, 11.15 Room

Friday, September 15, 2006

Its getting serious: We have the honor to play after one of New Yorks best guitar players and songwriters, Mr. Christian Gibbs and his unique gang at CLUB MIDWAY, 25 Ave B in Manhattan. The evening promises to be a very exquisite night, with the sweetest duo in Brooklyn, The Snow, opening the evening and the grand Hightower Smith following. We hope you have some room for us by the time we roll around.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The True Big Stars call themselves Sad Little Stars

For six bucks, it cant get any better: The Sad Little Stars - nowadays a five piece - played a show at Union Pool that was pure gold. Their new songs seem to be even stronger than their great debut record, punchy and crunchy, not as balladesque, but entertaining as hell and with some of the best lyrics in rock ever. Seriously, listen to "Thats what they call Punk", a furious jazz ballad that singer Max delivers like Vic Godard and Paul Weller always wished they could. The front duo alone has an entertainment value of one hundred percent, but their backing band is so into the music (which you just gotta be if you get to play on songs this great) that its just fun to watch and listen in amazement. Hey, even Bongers said this was his new favorite band.

Roman Game and Restroom at Galapagos

Sorry for the super short notice: We are back from Europe but still deeply inspired by it. Thatäs why we (Bernd, Jan, Roman) are playing an acoustic set at the 2nd Berlin Blind Date TONIGHT at 9pm at Galapagos on North 6th Street in Williamsburg. The event is organized by the great Jim Avignon and aims to prove that German is not so bad, after all. Jim will also perform and paint live, there will be all kinds of art installations and performances by cutting edge berlin artists (after all its german american day next saturday). Jan and me will also sing three songs in our native tongues... Hope you can make it!

Monday, August 14, 2006

ROOM say Goodbye NYC and Hello Europe!

Room Now, Seriously!

Come and join ROOM and Morex Optimo. Some kind of a test and also a goodbye for a while: Morex Optimo and Room will play a grand show at Sin-e on Manhattans LES (Attorney Street, btw. Houston and Stanton), before taking off for a two-week European tour. Can't wait to get out of the heat and into cool Swiss lakes. But more about all of that tomorrow. Here's whats expecting you Tuesday night at Sin-e: "Room" is a European Rock Combo in New York, consisting of two Swiss, one Austrian, one French and one German, embracing the english-american roots of rock music and spicing it up with punky elements of comedy and sharp commentary on pop and the world. Their friends from New Yorks secret indie sensation "Morex Optimo", join in the "Au Revoir Show" at the renown music club "Sin-e" on Attorney Street, between Houston and Stanton Streets. Admission: $8, support bands start at 8pm, Room at 10pm.

The Church Shine At Irving Plaza

The Church at Irving Plaza

The greatest band in the universe came to New York and played at Irving Plaza - in front of a seated crowd and acoustic guitars instead of the jingly jangly Rickenbacker and the timeless Fender Strat. It took some getting used to, but a newly inspired, fresh and funny Steve Kilbey made up for everything, singing his best I ever saw him - which is about 15 times by now. With Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper somewhat restricted on solely acoustic guitars, The Church's singer and bass player took the opportunity to really come through with his amazing voice and intonation, displaying an ability to captivate the whole audience, while entertaining and obviously enjoying the center stage position. This picture shows in what kind of shining light Kilbey appeared this last Thursday night! And i'll go next time they are here. I just hope it wont be in a seated environment. Check out the Church's new stuido LP "Univited like the Clouds."

Morex Optimo Optimated and Back!

Morex Optimo Version 2.0 Rocks!
These guys are truly ready to go show off in Europe: After months of producing and weeks of incessant rehearsing, Morex Optimo proved last Saturday that they are not just back on track, but rocking more lively, with more soul and great lines by new members Kerry Kennedy on guitar and vocals and Jay Braun on bass. Learn more about the european tour with Room on this blog!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Need for the Mission of Burma

Guitar As Mighty as a Sword: Mission of BurmaThe Truth about Mission of Burmas Fling with Morex Optimo!
A real concert night out at Greenpoint's Warsaw last Friday with American Ueberpunk legends Mission of Burma. Heather kinda insisted we're all coming, so the whole gang showed up although they asked for 20 bucks at the door, which usually disqualifies a show from an entry in this blog. Mission of Burma deserve an exception for two good reasons: They are real and they played for more than two hours, plus it was only getting better the longer they went. Initial sound problems didnt matter so much anymore and you could see how many bands are inspired by them guys, first of all Morex Optimo. What amazed me most: Guitar player Roger Miller chooses to play behind his amp, which is placed in front of him, front left. he is shielded from the drums by a glass paravent and uses no monitors whatsoever. no. no headphones either. Wierd, but dude, they rock and a lot of other old guys should take Mission of Burma for an example of how you reunite in style. Chapeau!
Mission of Burma at Warsaw in Greepoint, BrooklynUp close and personal for over two rocking hours: Reunited Mission of Burma, The real deal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Impressions from the "Who Needs The Hamptons?"-Party at East River Bar in Williamsburg

The Snow on the Fourth of July!

All glitter and white, but deep and rootsy, too: the debut show for The Snow, the great Hil and Pierre, of Melomane fame at East River Bar, Williamsburg. Beautiful, tender folkpop with charming harmonies / the right start for the "Who needs the Hamptons" party given by Room. Hear music by The Snow at their siteand become their friends.

A Dash of Morex Optimo

Kristofer and Heather hinted at what Morex Optimo were working on in the studio these last months. Word has it that the record is out soon and will feature just about everything from Fruitflies to Gutterpunk. Read more about it soon on the Morex Website.

Botanica Unplugged but Unleashed

No guitar and no drums, the gentlemanly piano man Paul Wallfisch and bass wonderboy Bongers of euro-touring-bigtime-breaking Botanica showed their immense sense of rhythm and sound while bringing out the beauty of Paul's songs by giving them space. Mr. Wallfischs stage persona fitted the great crowd and the atmosphere at East River very well! Read more about Botanicas new LP at their website.

Kerry Kennedy and Roman Game on the Beach

All too rarely we hear the beautiful voice of Kerry Kennedy, here with Roman performing the swiss folk ballad "Beaches Apart". The former Blue Spark Kennedy has not only been playing as multiinsturmentalist with various bands, including Overlord and NV, on keyboards, guitar, vox and bass, but has also set up her own studio where she is working on her first eagerly awaited solo album.

Reduced Room Ride the East River Bar Again

Let's hear it for Room in the Words of one of Williamsburgs true punk rockers, Full Tank's Halona: "Play with full tank and other punks, goddammit. i'm gonna get hoppin' mad if you don't make a show together happen, roman, you know it's true! ...you made my night tonight. happy b-day again, jan, you youth you!" Thanks - We'll be playing together there in September, promised. If you want to be a friend of Room, visit them at their Room.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Celebrate the Fourth on the Third:
ROOM live at East Rvier Bar

Be one step ahead of everybody else and celebrate this years 4th of July one day early at East River Bar in Williamsburg, the place to be this summer. Again, theres Room for everyone, especially our guests, the mysterious Dylar with one of their ultra rare pop experiments and The Snow, a duo which should be just as famous as the White Stripes, but just doesn't have the time. The show starts at 9pm, East River Bar is on South 6th Street btw. Bedford and Berry. FREE.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Honeymoon, Bernd! There's Room to Come!

Relax, Bernd - There's Room to Come
The first Room CD ever is recorded, mixed and mastered... ready to be judged and ripped by you. Jan is working on the cover, which should be worth your money already there. Tobias Klutke took 87 pictures for 20 dollars and a whiskey, which is probably the best price a band ever got from the famous star shooter. Same with the sound wizard of brooklyn, england, QJ, who completed the near impossible task of getting one full long player out of one single Room session in three hours. Listen to the rough mixes at Room's My Space Site.

HeadQuarters in the Spotlight at Annex

HeadQuarters in the Spotlight at Annex
We've all heard HeadQuarters, sure, but this last show for quite a while at Annex is worth an extra mention. Never before have the guys rocked out so wildly and vividly, animating crazy dancing and cheering: Here, just before singer Charles Wallace is leaving for a solo stint in Europe, HeadQuarters finally found their home in NYC, in style of course: They are, after all, still the most british American band in the world. Check out news from Charles on www.hqmusic.net.

Walking Hellos Wont Tour With Aerosmith! Kapow for Liechtenstein!

Walking Hellos!
New New York indie sensation The Walking Hellos celebrated their CD release at Galapagos with a wild mix of sexy rock and the seemingly totally unsexy world of, say, dishwashers and vacum cleaners. Hm, maybe I should rephrase this. The all girl band rocked and rolled, alright, but without really looking the part. Intriguing, but not quite the band that Aerosmith would wanna share their tour bus with, you know? Some people are born to rock, other choose to. These girls, on first glance, don't look like they are going to rock in the next three decades. But oha. As Ringo said: There's more in here than meets the eye. The glistening charisma of Heather Wagner on drums of course helps in more than one way, here.
Kapow! Do the 66!
It's early summer and the Byrds come alive...it was like that in 76, in 86 and 96... dude, psychedelic seems to get a rebirth with every other mushroom growing in my garden. Kapow! excell with their harmonies and get points for not showing of, but delivering. Sometimes though, they tried just a tiny little bit too hard to fly.

Soccer World Cup Stops Blogger from Updating!

Music blogger Roman E.* (39) has been known for updating his music blog with the punctuality and precision of a swiss watch, so subscribers were starting to panic when he started missing out on his New York music scene write ups. Thousands of visitors stared at the same last post for three full weeks. Ad revenues tumbled. Bands complained. The music industry wondered: Is blogging out? E.* could not be reached for any comment. But fear not: I was in the Nicaraguan jungle (pictured here in front of the National Palace in Managua, the place the Sandinistas stormed to initiate their revolution). Coming back over Washington and the Coporatocracy in freezing cold air conditioned rooms, I just couldnt take the urban nyc jungle for three days, having caught a mean cold in the World Bank. Anyway. Read more about my trip to Nicaragua next week on The Swiss American Blog.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Mickey Finn on Williamsburg Roof

No, nobody in this band is called Mickey nor Finn and if you wanna find out, you best ask Brett, the charming guitar player readers of this blog know from his earlier project This Transient Life. Not so transient seems this line-up, fronted by earthy singer Damien Pearce, who howled into the cool Williamsburg night like a tall, sane Iggy. The next band reminded us very much of the Strokes and Interpol, which was kinda stange, given that those bands in turn remind us of Joy Division and The Fall, faintly. Anyway. Mickey Finn is cool. Buy the guys a drink, but watch your glass!

Gibbs and his Heer Conquer Switzerland

Here's what Christian Gibbs reports from Swinging Europe. Looks like he made quite a few new friends over there! and Christian, we definitely want one of those rare tour CDs! C. Gibbs is playing live with his new project Lucinda Black Bear at Petes Candy Store this Saturday at 11pm!

"Our mini-European tour went swimmingly. Switzerland was incredible. Sausages and Chocolate were eaten, my eyes were burned with tear gas, I saw a street fight, heard "These Boots are Made for Walking" sung in a Swiss accent, sold all my T-shirts and nearly all our cd's, made many new friends and hope to return to that clean and splendid town soon. The drives were especially long from city to city (2 hrs max). Frank (a.k.a. Privateman) was nothing less than stellar in his ability to rock the cello, mini Korg, piano, and snare. Not to mention his fine agile maneuvering of our tour vehicle, the Hatchback Renault (see tour photos here).
By the way, we have a Tour Only CD with some new songs on it. It features mostly sparse acoustic guitar and cello. There are 3 left but will make more if enough people want them. After the many long drives we were exhausted and had to store up on provisions for the next day's journey. These included Grether's Pastilles, breaded Cauliflower, asparagus wrapped in Horse Bacon, and many other fine Swiss delicacies not including the Wurst Case Salad...Nonsequitor: A word of advice- -dont venture out in Bern at 7:30 am on a Sunday locked out of your hotel room thinking you will find a nice warm cafe to ease your insomnia..the Bears are nice though ( again pictures here). Zurich trully kicked Swiss ass, the crowds were great. The Haffenbuffet at Rorsarch was a decent enough show with a great view of the lake. Thedrive to Austria (2 hrs ) was well worth it for the food alone. While in Dornbirn we hung out with real live pigs and drank in the beautiful countryside of the nearby village...then off to the Swiss alps. I couldn't help thinking of James Bond everywehere I went. Frank may have been slightly annoyed at my James Bond inquiries as well as my "Brokeback Alps" jokes, but he didn't show it. Solothurn kicked Butt Baroque style as we did a completely acoustic set at The Kreuz. I there encountered the only slightly mean Swiss person in my life when the next morning I attempted to make myself one of those little coffees they are so fond of during "complimentary breakfast hour". I was harshly reprimanded in German. However, the hostess quickly redeemed herself and was assuaged by my eventual fully caffeinated demeanor.
After a fond farewell from Frank and Adrian I found myself on a train to Paris from Zurich...There was no food for the long journey but I survived on Grether's Blackcurrant Pastilles and made it safely to the 19th district where my friends Kit and Gaelle reside....I had a difficult time getting out of the train station as every sign indicated "Sortie" and I was damn well sure I wasn't getting stuck on a train to some town named Sortie. After stumbling on a few hooker's doors on accident at 1:00 a.m. trying to find the 5th floor I eventually made it to shelter and was treated to a late night snack of baquette, stinky cheese ,and salmon. The next day we ventured off to Rue de Rivoli on bicycle to the art squat and I was introduced to a multi-national burgeoning creative force. We saw a great band "Nervous Cabaret" . The next night was a party/show on the Seine with this Italian gypsy band of which the violinist Malomiento accompanied me at my show along with Barry, a french Canadian flamenco guitarist. It was the first show ever that I traveled to on bicycle and in Paris no less. I got a flat tire and while Kit was getting a patch kit (n.p.i.) this art kid from Berlin decided to have a half hour photo shoot with my stickered and battered guitar case. A beautiful day it was, and after lunching at Cafe Pompidou we went to the museum across the square and saw the Hans Bellmer exhibit....this also after a brief gander at Notre Dame and a bicycle stroll near The Louve. Our show itself was great and the lovely French folks endured my bad-broken english as I was now speaking a dialect "Swarzenegger-an" in nature due to my abandonement of superfluous determiners and past tense conjucations to better communicate with my French, Swiss and Italian brethen. It was a good tour and I even came back with some play money, a bottle of French perfume and a big 2lb. bar of chocolate for my lady....C."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Alles War Da Da Da in Berlin

Good news from Berlin! Mr. Privateman reports that all exile New Yorkers over in the German capital are well and still into good Rock music: Nikko, Dana (of Bee and Flower), Larry (plays with Swiss star Stephan Eicher), Anthony (of JC & Anphibius fame), Moses (the original Transporterraum... and of course Botanica, who get the deserved recognition in Europe, while the States still hold out. Frank, there for an interview with Neue Deutsche Welle star Stephan Remmler of Minimal Popband "Trio" forgot (again, some might say) to bring his camera to the show, he sends one of his ole blue eyes and Steph Remmler, who says Salut und Ahoi.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rock the Jazzbar Vol. II (Flee the Jazzbar says Room drummer)

Pharmacy & Gardens live at Detour
With that much talent, you can't expect everything to go right, but the 5x5 songwriter night at Detour went by about as smoothly as possible. Kristofer of Morex Optimo opened the evening as his alter ego Pharmacy and Gardens, with delicate songs and revealed his new project, "Songs my father would write if he was a songwriter". One fan compared the music - quite rightfully, I'd say - to the great Smog. There are three new Morex Optimo songs in the making, and rumor has it it's gonna be by far their best work yet.

Female Blue Sparks Reunite at Detour
A great moment for me was the female Blue Spark Reunion during Alanas set. It's no secret anymore that Alana can do country like almost nobody else in NYC, but the highlight came when, for the first time since the break up of the prematurely demised Blue Sparks, the voices of Alana Amram and Kerry Kennedy were heard together live again. Alana invited Kerry to join her for a song and, alas, the magic was there immediately.

Jim and the Painted Muse
With tons of wit and charm, artist Jim Avignon brought Euro Tech Pop to the venerable Jazzbar and reunited E- and U-music with painting. Jim, of course, belongs into bigger venues, cause everybody knows that sur le songs d'Avignon, on y danse. Not in the mood for dance was Room drummer Martial who fled the place five minutes before the show. He has not been heard from since and Room are desperately looking for him - post any sightings of him on this blog! The versatile Jan switched from guitar to drums and they got admirably through their set. The lamp had its revenge on Roman and shot out a burst of flames and electricity, when she was teased for being deceased by the singer.

Monday, May 15, 2006

5x5 Songwriter Series at Detour this Tuesday

Room Peacefully
Tomorrow, we rock the Jazzbar again: DETOUR on 13th Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan is the place for the 5x5 songwriter series in Mikes Mixed Bag, or in other terms: 5 acts play 5 (well, maybe six) songs, and we have quite an illustrous team of youngsters playing with us: Behind Pharmacy and Gardens is the great Kristofer from Morex Optimo solo, Alana Amram performs with her sister Adira and the two amazing girls sing impeccable country music. Jim Avignon is a pretty famous German painter/artist/musicians who performs with mic and Minidisc only and he will have you dance! Pee Air is the singer of Melomane, whom, by now, you should know. Guaranteed no boredom, although Room promised to be as subdued as possible, in order to not destroy any lamps or hurt the audience. Still, we recommend you sit not in the first row, unless you wanna be made part of the spectacle. The most beautiful hair contest is still outstanding!
Jim Avignon at Galapagos
The Anti Death of Entertaining Rock: Jim Avignon
Room Live at Detour
Fashionable Deconstruction: Room

Something in Construction at Union Pool...

Well, they actually finished construction of the nicest and most real live space in Williamsburg some months ago, and by now it is the hotspot of the area, impressively proven last Saturday night when, when the British label "Something in Construction" presented their three newly signed NYC bands Silent League, Kid Casanova and Other Passengers. Silent League (the eight piece band in the pic) struck us as the most original of the three acts, kinda Folk-Rock'n'Roll with academic attitude and lotsa charisma, while Kid Casanova (pictured up front from bass player to lead guit.) presented a delectable version of Franz Ferdinands and Other Passengers (the guys with the visuals) rode the Joy Division/Interpol train. All in all, a very enjoyable mix and a friendly crowd. Recommended!

Sputnik...Far Out Man!

Thanx to the nice crowd at Sputnik and to the lovely Melomane for enduring so much Room on Thursday. While Melomane shone in beautiful excercises of harmonies and rhymes, Room trashed their instruments, clothes, songs and some of the equipment. Apologies that they didnt mean to were accepted later.