Friday, May 26, 2006
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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
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!
The Anti Death of Entertaining Rock: Jim Avignon
Fashionable Deconstruction: Room
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!
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.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Man, I haven't been writing for almost three weeks and apologize for that - this is no way to treat my dear blog readership, I know. Been terribly busy, you see, but i still managed to see a couple of amazing bands in the last few days, and I'll be telling you about them soon here. For now I just wanted to let you know that our friends Melomane who are touring behind their great new CD GLACIERS have invited us to play with them tomorrow, THURSDAY MAY 11th at SPUTNIK Bar in Brooklyn and it would be great to see you there! We have a couple of new songs and are honored to have the great Heather Wagner of Morex Optimo on drums for a couple of tracks! Our beloved Jeano Jan is in Europe unfortunately, but he says he'll be there in spirit. Opening is Juliette Lazareth and her Factory. Oh, and Room finally got out own MySpace Place, its here and you can listen to four of our demo tracks for the upcoming CD "Room...for Development".
Here's what they write on the Sputnik Website
05/11/2006 - THURSDAY: LIVE MADNESS
JULIETTE LAZARETH AND HER FACTORY - A GIRL TRAPPED IN AN APOCALYPTIC SPACESHIP SINGING THE BLUES IN FRONT OF A VIDEO PROJECTOR
MELOMANE - A SWEET POLITICAL STANCE FEATURING SONGS ABOUT POLAR BEARS, GHOSTS AND ITALIAN LOTHARIOS.
ROOM - AMBIENT ROCK DROPS OF METALLIC BALLADS OF FORMIDABLE MELLOW MINDEDNESS
DRINK SPECIALS: BUY ONE GET ONE WELL DRINK and $2 BUD LITE PINTS 5 to 9pm