Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Season's Break!

Guys and girls and dear readers (I know you're out there!), forgive me, but I'm taking a break over the holidays over there in the Swiss alps, snowboarding in Winter Wonderland, taking long walks in the freezing cold and the deafening silence, reflecting on a busy 2007 and purging my ears and soul from the dirty rock and rolling rack, so that I'll be all fresh and open for the new year. What do I want for Christmas? More comments and input from you guys (hey, you can do it anonymously!) and a new Rickenbacker guitar. There's Room to come, ladies and gentlemen. In the meantime, listen to the Sad Little Stars, they are worth the while! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Beatles, Balkans and Other Stars and Jams

Ah, shucks, now the Paul McCartney tribute show at Joes Pub is sold out - no place for us tonite at the Loser's Lounge! Was looking forward to see and hear Joe, Mike and Julian as Paulies. I'll leave you with the very original flyer they came up with for this show and welcome comments by anybody who saw the gig!

The Jam are coming to town, at least as close as it can get to the real thing: Bass player Bruce Foxton and Drummer Rick Buckler teamed up with two mates who replace Weller, and judging from stuff on MySpace, they sound pretty convincing. Now, Blender had the good sense to bring em to the States! I got my tickets for their show at Blender Gramercy on February 9th already. So dont tell me I didnt tell you to get yours early, there's more than enough loyal Brits in this city to sell this show out quickly!

Last week, Import-Export came to town with their crazy Balkan gypsy beats and made the night to day. I guess they say Switzerland is too rich of options for real full-blooded musicians, but these guys have pure rhythm flowing through their veins. Their love for playing is infectious and got crowds in Brooklyn, Manhattan and even Staten Islands dancing and up late. Before we checked them out at NuBlu, we paid visit to the ever amazing Sad Little Stars, who played a short, highly energetic set at the Annex. I will put a song from their new excellent record on the blog soon. Moreover, Room will play their first comeback show with the Stars will in late February - we'll keep you posted!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kerry's A Hit! Quentin smiles onstage!

Poland just qualified for the European Soccer Championship, so no wonder there was a brawl between some triumphant drunks and the doormen in front of Greenpoint club Europa when we got there. We seeked shelter at the bar near the stage where everybody gathered to witness a phenomenally beautiful and inspiring show by Kerry Kennedy and her new band. After merely two rehearsals, these guys sound like a veteran outfit, bridging folk and alternative rock in a nicely understated new way, building fitting layers around Kerry's soft but intense voice. There's just six or seven songs yet, but after years of waiting, a long player seems not out of reach anymore. Lets hope and see what Santa Claus brings... Melomane brought two more guests along, according to Quentin "the german Nick Cave (Klaus Keller?) and his partner, who played hauntingly melodies of melancholy and pain. Then Melomane dished up their abundant bouquet of musical gems, in great playing mood and lots of msiles all around. Not so much the "rosy lounge pop" anymore that TimeOut makes the 'manes to be, but first class Blue Oyster Cult style savoir faire, aye! Somehow, everybody ended up partying way to late into the night, where ever they were, with thanks to Mariana Davenport and Pierre the big de G.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Import-Export bring Balkan Beats to New York!

Swiss-Balkan Collaboration sweeps New York

News from the Fa front: Import-Export create a crazy maelstrom of Gypsy music, mixed with Electronica. Their freestyle Balkan jazz blurs the line between eastern European Folk and modern music. Serving their beats with pure enthusiasm for gypsy tunes, they incite audiences everywhere to raving dances.

“We sweep over the Balkan carpet, and also underneath it,” says Accordion player Goran Kovacevic. He is joined by New York based “CD manipulator” Fa Ventilato and Patrick Kessler (Double Bass). The veteran Swiss-Italian drummer Carlo Lorenzi completes the combo. Special star guest with this unique Swiss “import” is the Bulgarian trumpet player Sachko Wladigeroff: A fiendish on the brass, a “rumpelstilt” who plays flugelhorn and trumpet at the same time, and “most possibly could also play with his ears.”

28.11.2007 live @ MEHANATA BULGARIAN BAR, 9pm
29.11.2007 live @ ZEBULON. nyc-williamsburg, 12pm
02.12.2007 live @ NUBLU. nyc-brooklyn

Learn more about the wide Import-Export musical network:

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Walk Down Memory Lane... Paul Fox R.I.P

The Ruts with Henry Rollins perform Shine On Me

Another punk legend has left the building: Paul Fox, true guitar hero with ur-punks The Ruts, succumbed to cancer on October 21st. While most people have never heard of the London band, those who have rank at least three of their songs among their most favorites: "Babylon's Bruning", "Shine On Me" and the pre-Clash Dub "Jah Wars," which effectively introduced Reagge to New Wave, a feat is mostly attributed to The Clash or Police. Nah, it was Fox with his mates, fronted by Malcolm Owen who died on a Heroin overdose in 1980. The band continued for an album as Ruts DC, then most members went on to play in differenty rather obscure projects.

Following Fox's diagnose, the band reformed for a research benefit gig and were joined by Henry Rollins for some powerful renditions of the Ruts hits (as can see above, despite a bit of a questionable solo... but check out other Ruts stuff on You tube to hear Fox's great playing). The London times called him "on of the most important guitarist of the punk generation".

So where are they now, the first wave punk generation? Well, The Damned, The Advert's TV Smith and the U.K. Subs all joined The Ruts at their May benefit gig. TV Smith has a great new album and a funny book about his low budget European travels. The album seems to indicate a split in his friendship with the Tote Hosen - he does not mention them at all anymore. Anybody know more about that?

The Biggies? Firstly, the Fall never ceased to be around (and vital). Certain Fall offspring, like The Blue Orchids, are rumored to be back, too. Mick Jones of the Clash just released a new record with Tony James of Generation X, the project is called "Carbon/". Paul Simonon landed a huge hit at Damon Albarn's side with The Good, the Bad and the Queen". Paul Weller is working on his new found love for punkrock, while his former mates have reformed as "...from the Jam". Despite Weller's absence, they are enjoying quite some success and are currently recording. The remaining Sex Pistols just finished a couple of live gigs in England to make some money, since they forgot to cash in in the Eighties, claims Johnny Rotten, scuseme Lydon. No new record there, though.

The Police reunited and nobody was impressed (that might change with an new album, but nobody is talking about that). Wire reformed and just released the third "Read and Burn" EP, but we are honestly more impressed with Colin Newman's other project "Git-Head". The Buzzcocks were the first to reunite, needed a couple of years to find back to true form, their lastest three CDs testifying to that. And then there's the strange and bewildering case of the Stranglers and Hugh Cornwell, both regularly putting out new records, at times just as good as the old times, but they somehow always miss the public spotlight and we still feel they'd be better of getting Hugh back into the fold. The Undertones reformed. Sham 69 reformed with and without Jimmy Pursey. They all reformed. They are all on MySpace.

One reunion I was truly hoping for, never happened so far: One hit wonder The Vapors, whose two long players I still count among my most valued possessions. Plus, I'd go to see Hüsker Dü again. And that weirdo from behind Liverpool, of course, Julian Cope. If he would only ever come to the States! Man, that's were your wife's from, drude!

Fox is joining a growingly illustre Club of Dead Punk Rockers: Almost all of the Ramones died. Joe Strummer died, Ian Curtis, Sid Vicious, Ian Dury, Nikki Sudden, Epic Soundtracks, all dead, all gone. Johnny Thunders, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Stiv Bator, Wendy O'Williams, R.I.P, Rob Heaton, Pete De Freitas, Grant McLennan, we can still hear you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Mozzer, The Buzz and the Shock

Mr. Morrissey in the spotlight, Richard Burton in the back.

Uho - We are back after a short mishap with the template and glad to have not lost this little archive of shows and music in New York. Because there are great ones, still. Recently, Morrissey, last of the international playboys, held a series of triumphant shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom and easily entered my all time favorite top ten live shows, climbing as high as the top five. Highlights and a bawling 40 year old cynic writer in tears included fantastic renditions of Smiths classics like "Stop Me" and "Girlfriend in a Coma", but also powerful new songs from his two latest records like "You Have Killed Me" and "First of the Gang to Die". The man is so sophisticated in the best of senses, charming, yet distant, and, by God, sexy. Or, as my friend the bassman said, probably the only person he'd consider changing his orientation for. That good.

So much for the Mozzer, now to the buzz: We are glad to report that C. Gibbs is back from a most successfull tour with Lucinda Black Bear projects, playing sold out shows in Zurich and leaving merch and an excellent video for You Got it Blue all over Europe. Meanwhile back home,The Snow with long time C. Gibbs collaborator Pierre de Gaillande have started to take larger stages and developed into an experience somewhere between languid jazz and pop ballads - come see the less known but more impressive Hilarys of New York, with one l less than the senator, but decidely much more talent for singing. Good news also comes from Kinetic, who find their name more and more mentioned in the press, with their shows mentioned in Time Out now. We also checked out Overlord at the Delancey recently, and were impressed. Somebody should finally go and sign them and send the band on tour. They've got the songs, trust me. And on this note, one last buzz: The Palace in St. Gall, Switzerland has become the favorite stop on European tours for many a promising US band. Check out their MySpace Siteand look at the names they had playing there and what people say about this island of indie in Eastern CH. Then go and ask Jeffrey Lewis about St. Gallen after his show on November at the Crown Point Festival on the Lower East Side!

Below, you find my current list of top ten live shows ever. I excluded small and intimate shows, although they usually are my favorite and move me most - for example Television Personalitites in 1991 at Maxwells in Hoboken or Chris Bailey of the Saints at Ziegel Au Lac in Zurich ages ago. Here the more commercial ones. I'd be interested to learn of your favorite shows ever!

1. Paul Weller - London, Royal Albert Hall, 1992
2. Pet Shop Boys - New York, Hammerstein Ballroom, 2000
3. Morrissey - New York, Hammerstein Ballroom, 2007
4. Pyschedelic Furs - Outside Woodstock, Open Air, 1999
5. The Church - New York, Irving Plaza, 2006
6. The Finn Brothers - New York, Central Park Summer Stage, 2005
7. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - New York, Irving Plaza, 2002
8. Madonna - New York, Madison Square Garden, 2005
9. The Cure - Konstanz, Rock am See, 1991
10. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Drahtschmiede Zürich, 1985

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day? Alright, Alright!

Ok, it's blog action day today... The UN and Google and some NGOs for the protection of the environment want us to talk about climate change, so here we go: when I was a kid we spent days in the full sun without skin protection and barely got a tan. These days, playing soccer for an hour in the sun, you're burnt. I recommend George and Dick join us some Sunday here at Rodney Park for a game and experience the phenomenon themselves. They might even be able to stop traffic on the BQE to retrieve the ball.

Anyway. I know I been lazy posting lately, but that's just cause I've seen tons of shows with my sedulous buddies Martin and Marco from Rorschach, Switzerland, restlessly on the lookout for good concerts - we found plenty of promising names, but few highlights. Here's their list of New York Highlights:

1. Midnight Soccer against Morex Optimo in Greenpoint's McCurren Park (5:3 for Painhead)
2. Union Pool
3. Roast Beef Sandwiches
4. The Draft at the Knitting Factory
5. Arcade Fire on Randalls Island (incl. the Rock Sluts)
6. Queens of the Stone Age at WaMu Madison Square Garden
7. Animal Collective at Webster Hall (and on my wall)
8. Who the fuck is Biffy Clyro?
9. USA - Switzerland in Rodney Park (18:11 for USA)
10. Personality, Character, Style

There's some stuff that didn't make the list, too: The Klaxons, for example, did not impress my friends, as did the Black Angels who do a horrid ripoff of the Doors, mixed with, huh, Spacemen 3. There were some rather forgettable East village bands we saw and a great Falcon show we missed. They shot tons of photos which they promised to send - i will post some when i get them. For now I leave you with a shot of the Draft, the best concert we've seen this week. Martin and Marco were great guests, always uplifting and in the mood for every new adventure. They are officially proclaimed NNF - Not Non-Fillers!

Friday, October 05, 2007

British Girl Charm

God, I wish I had been writing songs when I was 19 instead of hanging out in dull bars not knowing what to do with my life. Kate Nash seems to know what to do with hers and appears happy to share it with us.

The Luna Lounge was enjoyably crowded on September 24 and they even managed to get the sound somewhat right. Even tough I couldn't hear the violin during the first song, but you can't ask for too much. Kate Nash was playing for free after not getting an US work visa like a few other British artists before her. She didn't seem to mind at all and impressed with her down-to-earth attitude despite her huge success in the UK. She was cute and charming and a bit shy and the three members of the band all visibly enjoyed playing with her.

Here is her performance of the 'Skeleton Song' including a very cute introduction:

More pics in my photodiary.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

'Capo My Heart' and other Bear Songs

Lucinda Black Bear CD release party at Joe's Pub on September 18:

Hear them perform 'Kites' live, the sound was really nice!

More pics including pianist Anton Sword guest performing in my photodiary.

Buy that CD! It's a great piece of work! Let's hope Time Out New York is right with saying 'the striking, melancholy tunes on LBB’s new disc, ‘Capo My Heart’ and Other Bear Songs, could push him over the top'. And if interested, listen to this Joe's Pub interview with Christian Gibbs about Lucinda Black Bear.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Girl Power Rock'n'Roll

Turns out Rock'n'Roll can be for me but burlesque shows not really. At least when 'The Shalitas' performed at the 'Supreme Trading' September 15 and there was a burlesque support show I was not sure why I should watch this. My boyfriend didn't know either, so we left outside and came back for the music show.

And luckily, that was worth it. The performance of The Shalitas was very entertaining and I really liked the matching outfits. Go girls!

More pics, also of the end of the burlesque can be found in my photo diary.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Diversity Achievement Award For Melomane!

Saturday night, the growing music phenomenon Melomane crowned a busy year with a splendid show at Joe's Pub for which this website awards them the DAAM for, the Diversity Achievement Award in Music. During their stint as entertainment combo in Holiday resorts in the South of France this summer, this band must have discovered some kind of holy grail for songs: New arrangements brought out qualities in old gems like "Northern Birds" that made them shine in clothes of a different genre, revealing layers and sexy hooks, new blood and verve. No strings this time, but exquisite horns, notably by the second Swiss to join the band, artist Eveline Feldman. Seemingly effortless, the band slid from Pop to Folk, from World to Rock, from Ballad to Battle song with sweetly alert stage presence. And then the new songs, boy! Absolute highlight was the Thin Lizzy style guitar duell between Pierre and Q., flawless.

But really, did you ever doubt they had it in them? This band has all the chops needed in their wonderfully charismatic mix: Britpop escapist Quentin Jennings, the ultimate American urban country girl Daria Klotz on bass, the poetic flow and prolific wit of french-californian Pierre de Galliande's songs, all backed by his trusted buddy Kenny Savelson from the days of US postpunk legends Morning Glories. And there's the ever growing variety of guest musicians and world spanning side projects, just to mention here C. Gibbs with Melomane cellist Frank Heer, who will be touring Europe this October. Come wish C. Gibbs luck this Tuesday night at Joe's Pub again, where they are celebrating the Lucinda Black Bear record release party. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Diversity Achievement Award in Music 2007 goes to the New York band Melomane, true professionals, true believers in music and fully committed to good taste.

Since you've seen tons of Melopix from shows already, I include the great pretty old (2002?) shot they sent to Joe's Pub.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feelies, Dream Syndicate & Sham 69 in one Night?

Glenn Mercer promoting his solo debut Wheels in Motion.

Not really the super groups, but better: We hear the Mercury Lounge is closing, but while it's still open, there's sweet surprises such as last night's show of two of the biggest 'Coulda Been Bigger'-Stars: Glenn Mercer and his buddies from the Feelies (sauf Bill million) and Steve Wynn, former head of the Dream Syndicate, both in splendid form and the famously grand sound of Mercury Lounge. What a musical pleasure, and the thing really started rolling when they went wild on guitars. Lots of older faces in the audience, but merely a head that wasn't noddin to the riddim, consumed by the stream.

Steve Wynn with band, including the most amazing female drummer

But not enough of old men on guitars. I thought it was a sham when Club Midway announced they booked Sham 69, but alas, shortly after midnight they took the stage at New Yorks truest punk rock club and dished out all the old hits: If the Kids Are United, Hey Little Rich Boy, Borstal Breakout, Hersham Boys and what have you. They, that is to say, did not include Jimmy Pursey, who left the band in 2006, but has his own Sham 69. After last night's show we think, the lineup with Whitewood and Dave Parsons, who wrote all them songs, are the real thing, also with the hilariously self-effacing Tim V on vocals. There could have been a bigger crowd for this punk rock legend, considering all the attention punk gets in the media and from the hipsters again. Dudes, you really missed this one.

Sham 69, the Parson line-up: As authentic as it gets

Helsinki Zurich in a Halcion Daze

The place is always packed when Dorit Chrysler, the Austrian-American undebated Queen of New Yorks Lower East Side plays Helsinki in Zurich, Switzerland, and it seems she always has an ace up her sleeve, this time bringing Bingo Palace veterans Fa Ventilato and Privateman into the spotlight while herself donning an electric guitar, just like in the old days of Halcion, when Chad Swahnbergs guitars roared over Dorit's accusing voice, while Jeffrey Whitte and Fa laid the solid fundament. There are not many traces of Halcion on the internet, to read a pretty accurate review of how their shows were, click here. Fa has since abandoned drumming and has made himself a name as Fuckintosh and will be on tour soon with the balkan-electro bastard Import-Export. Tami was there ban the historic moment on picture - Thanx!

They Still Do That, up in the Catskills!

I never cared much about Labor Day Weekend, to be honest, cause news happens when news falls, so I am working round the clock and never get out of the city much anyway. But this time, we got such a nice invitation from Anton and Yael to hang out at the fantastic lodge in the Catskills, play Croquet, relax Victorian style, swim and strumm on acoustic guitars, which, as you must know, has been strictly prohibited in New York City. But as you can see, they still do it up there in the Catskills, especially if there's A Toby To Ride.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Rorschach Testing, the Waters are Fine!

Wow, I haven't been here for some time, guys. Seems blogs are more something for the winter, yknow, put another blog on the fire and tell us a story... There's quite a few to tell from the trip to old Europe where the lakes are blue, the sails shine in the sun, the forests welcome the hiker with cool green shadow. Enuff. The international Supergroup of Rorschach SG chanced upon each other and discussed the record they didnt make in '82 and split with vague plans of beaming down to planet Bodensee in a near future and music is always possible and life just a little bit less hectic.

Mind you, there's riot. A voice to wake the Swiss up from the pacifying harmonizer that mother nature has lulled them into is Göldin, on his third full length CD "Fantasy is Fucked", again aided by trusty Bit-Tuner and his infallible ear. The Eastern Swiss poet rapper Göldin is rough, is mean, is british-understated in swiss german. His stories tell of everday swiss life, political divides, binges, crazy ideas and little joys like the upcoming local soccer game, furnished with an eternally bittersweet melancholy. Brooklyn rapper Sensational adds some of his flavor. Check out "Up in smoke" on Goeldins MySpace.

Meanwhile, one of my early idols, Stephan Eicher released a new record, Eldorado, which shows him at his very best, at ease with himself and the world, tender, authentic, and, especially in the title track, mighty - no one touches the king of Swiss pop, not any Adis or Baschis. For those mean bastards of you who always put an 'S' in front of his last name, listen to "I cry at commercials" - one of the first truly great fusions of Indie and Jazz. Chapeau, M. Eicher!

Respect also to Die Aeronauten whom we went to see on a float in Basel. Despite a rainy day, hundreds of people showed up at the shores of the river Rhine and danced the rain away to the vivid sounds of these old friends, who rolled out a series of hits with fat, big band sound. Go figure, Green Day.

What else? greetings to all the lovely people we met over the three weeks, good luck to all the new kids on the block, and especially to their parents, it doesnt always have to be rock'n'roll, does it? A nice sunset on a mountain top. Picking rasperries in a garden and eating plum pie. Shoving the ball over the wall into the right upper corner of the goal. Enuff again.

Back in New York, the heat seems on the way back to hell, but just to make sure, we'll all go to musical camp at Anton Fine's summerhouse in the Catskills, guitars and all. Most people seem to have been lying low during August. Went to Chico's for welcome drinks, he said he's retiring - well'see! Anyway, it was hear what was going in musically in the meantime: Melomane, according to Pierre, were in the south of friends, excuse me, France, and recorded five new tracks besides playing holiday resorts and enjoying good food. Heather and Jay's new project Peng! has banged out three songs already, says Alfred. Watch out, Europe! Overlordis playing Monkeytown on reservation only next Wednesday, come sing the Gospel according to George. Oh and yeah, Damien photographed David Beckham and therefore started a blog about the Superleague, you find it here. Bongers the bass man meanwhile played with Maroon 5 (ask him about it!) and met Beckham backstage at the Box. He was impressed, he says. More soon. Off to the Catskills now! I leave you with a picture of my beautiful hometown of Rorschach, ach.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Swiss National Day at the Beach in Queens: Wed Aug 1st

The 1st of August is Swiss National Day and this year, we Swissies in NY celebrate it on the Water Taxi Beach in Queens! There are going to be Livebands, DJs and Beach Games, it's all for free and you are invited. There are Watertaxis leaving at 34th Street and 1st Avenue free of charge (That's worth the trip already.) Spectacular views of the Skyline with the UN headquarters right across the river.

Jan, Mike and me are going to play some Mani Matter chansons. Mani Matter was a unique storyteller and songwriter, who died on the way to a show in 1974. Kind of our Hank Williams or George Brassens. Then again, he was a politician and a lawyer. Kids in Switzerland still know all the words to the songs. I hope I will. We
are playing at 7.15 pm. Maybe Kerry will join us and we'll play some more. Catcha start at 6pm, Chin Chin will blow you away at 8pm.

Here's a picture of the amazing view from the Water Taxi Beach. For more go to The Water Taxi Beach Website.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer in da City and Sirens Calling

We heard the call of the Sirens on Saturday and descended on Coney Island just like all the fellow hipsters, but soon discovered that the sound has not improved from earlier years and quite a few bands seemed to have problems adjusting to the weird conditions, with music blaring from the stands and MCs alluring customers thru cheap blasters. So we opted for the healing power of salt water on the near beach, took a swim and then a ride on the still impressing Wonder Wheel. Wandering around we almost bumped into David Johansen and he flashed his Mick Jagger smile at my girl. Back to the music: We Are Scientists were good, powerful nerd punk. Cursive was a strange version of the Cure with bad sound. The highly praised M.I.A totally disappointed. The New York Dolls did a good job, nothing dead exciting, but they got the stadium sound down and seemed to enjoy their second coming. Btw,now, that everybody says Coney Island will be developed, it's certainly a good idea to go down there and see for yourself that there is indeed some stuff that could be nicely developped. Urban planning doesn't necessarily have to be bad. But I'm digressing. Saw Falcon with The Great Northern and The Comas yesterday at the Mercury Lounge and honestly, that was more interesting music than the whole Siren Festival. We just hope them village voice bookers haven't lost the touch - and that the Siren festival is still around come July 2008.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Full Tank on The Moon!

It's Friday and hot in Williamsburg, so take a cool RnR trip to the Luna Lounge to see the all female Full Tank. Rock n Roll is full of drama anyway, but even more so if the whole band consists of a bunch of fabulous women who all hold their own sway... I guess what I'm trying to say is: Every outing of the Tank can bring new surprises, be there four, five or six of them pwrr grrls. We'll dearly miss Eveline tonite, though, and strongly hold on to the belief that things will and people can change. Horns!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bastille Day with Gainsbourg and Kennedy

Almost missed this: Today is Bastille Day and quite a few friends of ours are honoring the French in them with a tribute to Serge Gainsbourg - it's the Loser's Lounge at Joe’s Pub! Kerry Kennedy will make her LL debut as part of this fantastic Bastille Day show. She’ll be singing “Soixante-Neuf Anne Erotique” with the fabulous Pierre de Gaillande. The rest of the killer line-up: Michael Cerveris, Ed Rogers & Amanda Thorpe (Bedsit Poets), Pierre De Gaillande (Melomane), Kerry Kennedy, Sean Altman & Sue K, Patti Rothberg, Boshra Alsaanti (Looker), Nick Danger, Joanna Choy, Lianne Smith (7 PM only), Joe Hurley, Stan Harrison, Mike Fornatale, Flaming Fire, Adira Amram (9:30 PM only). The Kustard Kings: Joe McGinty, David Terhune, Julian Maile, Jeremy Chatzky, Eddie Zweiback, Konrad Meissner And: Connie Petruk & Katia Floreska (backing vocals) With: Claudia Chopek (violin) and Eleanor Norton (cello). Joe's Pub is at 425 Lafayette Street, just below Astor Place.

There are two shows, one at 7 pm, the second (most probably sold out) at 9.30pm. They are $25, but worth it...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Heatwave! Coney Island! Room Acoustic!

Yes - it's broken! As I write this, I see dark clouds coming up and a cool wind picking up, cool enough to finally blog again. It was just too damn hot. And to jump into the pool in Williamsburg means McCurrin Park in Greenpoint where you have Built to Spill and Sonic Youth and whatnot. Or take the train to Coney Island on the 21st of July and cruise through the attractions and bands such as the New York Dolls...all for free, mhm.

But first, come down to Bar on A again next Wednesday. We have two more shows before we take a summer break. The first one is acoustic at Bar on A, featuring on three guitars Beautiful Burnt, Jaunty Jan and Roaming Rome. Bar on A is at the south eastern corner of Avenue A and 11th Street in the East Village. The show is free and Michael is bar tending.
Starters at 9pm.

The second on, on July 27th at East River Bar is electric and features also our trusted rhythm section Marvelous Martial and Jingle Jangle Jean-Cosme. That night, the Blissful Martin Bisi and the crafty Hot Iron Swallos with rock you, too. Hope to see you here, there and everywhere.

Friday, July 06, 2007

My Good Old Camera

How lucky is Roman that I have a good old digital camera.
Here's Anton Sword:

Here are the Headquarters:

And as a little extra, Manu Chao at Prospect Park:

Monday, July 02, 2007

No I-phone, no Treo, but Television live

Without waiting in line, I got my own little iphone story, too. My treo broke down the day the iphone came out - and I have always told people how much I wanted an iphone, as soon as it was available - sometimes even in the presence of my treo. Now I suspect my 650 just told me to go eff myself and stopped working. Maybe its just sulking. Anyway, why is that of any importance to you? - You don't get to see pictures of Anton Sword's Record Release Party, no pictures of Diako Diakoff's booty moving show at Grasslands amazing futuristic 80's retro party, not a single shot of Charles and the HeadQuarters at their furious Annex show and you will even miss the beautiful photo I took of Pierre and Hillary at the snow show at the Living Room on Saturday. I got one little consolation goody for you, though, an excerpt of Television's great last show at Summer Stage in Central Park. Now about that iphone, is it any good, Pete?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

HeadQuarters With New EP at the Annex

King Charles of HeadQuarters is back in town and somehow he manages to bring a new EP, "O and O" with him. And, of course, a very special show at the Annex tonite. Head Quarters has been one of the most consistent, tightest and passionate outfits in the New York scene for years and it's about time they you hipsters give the credits - they've been doing the '68 thing long before most of the Williamsburg males got any facial hair at all. So come and watch them go apeshit at the Annex, they sounded great there in the past and promise to break into another a whole other sphere now.
Charles says we should get there early "cuz 1. they usually have drink specials or an open bar at this place early. 2. Be sure to catch the whole set cuz we are doing a bunch of new material. 3. You get in for $5 until 11pm. They'll have EP's on sale for the first time, so bring some extra bucks for that too! The private after-after party will be announced at the show for attendees...

HeadQuarters HomepageHeadQuarters MySpace

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Fine Art of the Sword: CD Release this Thurs!

His weapons of choice are his voice and his keyboards, which he used in recent years to help out on different projects in NYC, most notably his extremly sophisticated collaboration with British Obercrooner JC as JC & Anphibius. But now, Anton Sword comes out of hiding and releases his solo record "A Sentimental Education (see more in the CD reviews column to the right). He promises free give-aways and a short showcase for the record release party this Thursday at 9pm at Bar on A, 11th Street and Avenue A. It's your only chance to see him now, before he travels and tours Europe again... Ever elusive and on the move, just like his etheral songs.

KK Stands for Kreative Knack...

...or, of course, Kerry Kennedy, who showcased some new songs for the first time at Bar on A last Thursday, and oh what diamonds. Accompained by Mike Fornatale Kerry played two of her new songs, which easily stood next to two excellent covers. We've had rumors of Kerry's upcoming solo album for two years on this blog now, and believe me, we've been pushing as hard as possible... but if the rest of the material is as good as these quiet, almost vulnerable songs, it is definitely worth the wait. Plus, I've seen the CD cover (great - think Patti Smith or P.J. Harvey), so there's movement. Next time you see KK, tell her to hurry up, fame won't wait around the corner forever!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sorry for the late notice: We have a very nice acoustic bill at Bar on A for you tonight, Thursday, starting at 9pm. The talented KERRY KENNEDY (Ex-Blue Sparks, Overlord, Morex Optimo) is going to reveal some of her new songs, with a little help from MIKE FORNATALE (Shaw 'Nuff, Monks, Mooney Suzuki,...).
After Kerry, the ROOMINATORS will take the stage. As the name suggests, they consist of members of Room (Jan, Roman, possibly Jean-Cosme) with the help of the fine Mr. ANTON SWORD (JC & Anpihibius, collaborations with half of NYCs music scene) on piano, adding special flavor to the downstripped acoustic songs. Bar on A is at the corner of 11th Street and Avenue A in Manhattan. The show is free, the people friendly.
Let me also thank to the many of you who came to my birthday bash last week - there were more than 40 people on stage and more than forty songs presented! I enjoyed it so much! Leane and Denise shot great video of at least one song of everybody who played. I will cut the footage and post it on YouTube. Let me know if you want a copy of the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hipster Invasion on Roosevelt Island

Katie Eastburn from 'Young People'

The other night I met a hipster in a bar downtown. He was in Manhattan that night, but of course he lives in Williamsburg. He told me some interesting things about being a hipster. First thing apparently is that a hipster doesn't think of himself as a hipster. But this particular hipster does, and that makes him a super-hipster in my mind. Anyway, when he learned that I live on Roosevelt Island he told me that there was going to be a big hipster BBQ party on that island the very next Sunday! So on that day I packed a bag with some sunscreen and my camera and strolled down to the southern tip of the island. And indeed, there were tons of hipsters down there, having a great hippie style party with a huge line-up of musicians playing acoustic sets. I didn't know anybody and because I had a hang-over once again I didn't have the energy to talk to anybody. Still, I had a great time just listening to music, sunbathing and taking a couple of pictures and videos. Here is one of the 'Aa aka BIG A little a':

This is a annual event called 'Todd P's springtime unamplified acoustic BBQ'. So I think next year we should all prepare BBQ food, put a lot of drinks in a cooler box, pack our instruments and go down there to party along. Oh, and check out Todd P's page , he organizes a lot of shows in Brooklyn and it all sounds like pretty sweet stuff to me.

One more movie on my youtube account and more pics in my photodiary...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Proposal

Last night at 12:14 am Roman proposed marriage to his girlfriend of 15 years Denise! Everybody had expected a big bash for Roman's 40th birthday party at the East River Bar, but that there would also be a proposal was a big surprise. After already dozens of performances in Roman's honor, his band Room started playing 'Room - the song' with modified lyrics and Jan impersonating the lead singer. Then suddenly Roman himself got on stage and this happened:

And just so you know, she said 'yes'! We are all excited to hear when the big wedding party is going to be. And I think I speak on everbody's behalf saying that this is the most wonderful thing, especially because they are both so wonderful people and may their love prevail for ever.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Daria's Rock Night

How many bands does Christian Gibbs have? Apparently at least one more than I thought until I looked up the band The Droves that was sharing the bill with Melomane last Thursday night at Hank's Saloon. As it turned out, this is the band in which Christian can be his true self, a rocker:

Hank's Saloon is a great dive bar in Brooklyn and it was packed with friends of the bands and a couple of very special regulars. And it sports a beautiful American flag behind the stage, I wish Melomane had played 'The Ballot is The Bullet'!

The lady of the night, however, was definitely Daria Grace, who works at this bar and acted as a host and sound master and of course the coolest bassist in town. She can also sing and play the bass at the same time, a task that I was told requires very special skills. Check it out in this video:

There is one more video of Melomane on my youtube account in which I captured the double-guitar-solo of Quentin and Pierre and as usual, more pics can be found in my photodiary.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Snow is Back

After a little time off, the band 'The Snow' is now back, hopefully for good! It was the first time I got to hear this sensitive pop-folk band. The setting was very intimate at Mo Pitkin's downstairs spot very late on a Thursday night but everybody who was there was listening eagerly. Pierre and Hilary were singing in complete harmony, accompanied by cautious and exact drums and the delicate sound of a clarinet. Check it out for yourselves, I definetely want to hear them again:

Friday, June 01, 2007

40 Years of Roman Game - Join the Open Mic Night! Wednesday, June 13th

I must have lost some time somewhere along the way, or somebody must have made a calculating error, but it really looks like I am turning 40. Finally, those days of youth are over and I can start to become an adult! Come and help me celebrate, give me advice such as the number of your lawyer and your plastic surgeon or the address of a nice senior citizen's home:

We will host an open mic night at
92 South 6th Street, btw. Berry and Whythe Avenues
in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

If you are a MUSICIAN or feel like it, I'd be honored if you play a song or three for me.

There is a stage all set with guitar, keyboards and bass, amps and instruments, microphones and a PA. You can bring your own instruments, if you like or play the Tuba or the Theremin or invented your instrument yourself. It doesn't need to be a song either - any kind of presentation is welcome, no censorship. If you ever been to one of Pierre's legendary Arty Parties, you know the deal. Can we cram 40 songs into one night, one for each year?

Let me know if you intend to play and what would be your preferred time, so that we can organize some kind of schedule.

East River Bar is a beautiful old tavern with a pool table, ping pong table and foosball kicker. We start off around eight with a little food in the garden.

Looking very much forward to it and i promise I won't perform, but listen! And for those who think I dont really make a good indian:


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Full Blast Full Tank Punk Rock

The Bar's called Trash, so what do you expect? Full blast Dirty Pretty Things from the stereo, the fat stench of sausages and fries wafting through the spot, and in the backroom spilled beer. Then the six pretty girls from Full Tank take the stage, all in black and somehow make it all feel very authentic and entertaining the way a rock show should be: Stone age punk rock with witty lyrics and and a dose of cynical grrl power easily make up for the lack in musical training. On the contrary, the dilettante approach is disarmingly charming. And you try to keep six power women together! Easy stage banter, too - Halona: "Thank you all for coming, even if you didn't come to see us". Lyuba: "But you did." Yeah, and we'll come again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Swiss Troubadours

The news is, the 'Bar on A' is fully sound-proofed now. So when Bernd, Roman and Mike performed there last Thursday night, no neighbour complained, what a relief! They first played a set of songs by popular Swiss singer-songwriter Mani Matter who died tragically in a car crash in 1972. Every Swiss kid knows his songs, so all the Swissies were singing along in the cozy bar. Here is a video of the performance of 'I han es Zuendhoelzli azuendt', a song about how lighting a match for your cigarette could cause a world war and finally the extinction of mankind:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Frank Welcomed by Fakintosh, C. Gibbs and Dorit

Frank couldn't have picked a much nicer weekend to arrive back in New York than this last one, but let me tell you about the events in pictures rather than tons of words. After a welcome dinner at Blog headquarters, we were looking forward to the Art Market at the Feather Factory's Growing Studio. While we still didn't get to hear Fuckintosh perform live, there was a chance to see and hear his entire catalogue. Taiwan showed most interest in buying him and got the price. There were other interesting pieces to see, but unfortunately not enough buyers. Next time maybe, invite everybody to bring and sell their art or stuff - that way a lot of artists get to network and show off their talents.

Sunday showcased a totally different Christian Gibbs than the one we saw Wednesday at the same spot: Luna Lounge hosted Gibbs's quiet chamber pop orchestra Lucinda Black Bear, who's new LP is a smash. Sunday, they let the guitars wail and bass and drums bang away in a furious and highly inspiring set as The Droves. It left us so hungry for more meaty sounds, we had to go to Fette Sau for some excellent beef barbecue, after hearing the tunes of great old New York instiution Big Lazy, who are just the best when it comes to the mix of Ennio Morricone and Neil Young twang guitars.

The weekend was rounded off for Frank, who showed no signs of jet lag, by a vaudevillean crowd of artists at Rose and crowned by the performance of Dorit Chrysler who we've recommended so many times, it is really your fault if you haven't seen her yet. And you won't get another chance soon: While many NY bands are on the way of conquering Europe (Hi, Morex Optimo, howzit going? Yo, Botanica, getting enough fresh air in that tour bus?), Chrysler has Australia all to herself for the next few months...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Now for something completely different...

It doesn't always have to be loud rock music, right? Thursday night after 9pm at Bar on A (Ave. A at the corner of 11th Street), Bernd and Roman are going to take you back to the songs of the greatest Swiss balladeer ever, Mani Matter. Then, the unique Mike Fornatale (known from The Monks and Sho' Nuff, as well as stellar performances with the Loser's Lounge) will join the two to plunder hits from Pop history, from Bowie to Depeche Mode. Also, expect to her the lament of the Cambodian Midget Fighting League, learn how to deflect an asteroid and how to use your mind as a corn field. And it's all for free - it would be great to see you!

Blinddate Europe

The Germans were ruling at the 'Blinddate Europe' party at the Galapagos last Wednesday, but the Austrians left a big mark: the lineup was 'neonagin' aka Jim Avignon, Dorit Chrysler and Felix Kubin. Finally hearing some really good electronic music in New York, it felt a little like being back home!

Somehow only a German brain can think of a performance like that: 'neonagin' took us on a journey through Europe telling a story for each country, emphasizing it all with unique visualization.

Then Dorit Chrysler, the Austrian theremist, gave a magical performance enchanting everybody in the room:

And last but not least, Felix Kubin from Hamburg rocked the house with his one-of-a-kind experimental electronic music. Here is a video and please just ignore the conversation in the audience in the beginning of it. Those Americans just never know when to shut up and dance:

You can find more pictures from that night in my photodiary and more movies on my youtube account.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Comeback of the Piano

Seems like finally Elton John and Billy Joel get some serious competition. We've told you about Wakey! Wakey! on this blog, now, hailing from the same scene, comes Luke Wesley. His music is beautiful piano pop with twisted lyrics and hooks, real nice and not peanuts and Pabst at all. Often reminding me of the great underrated british group Love and Money. He is playing with a full band at the Annex on June 3rd at 10pm and hopes to see yer all there.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Power Trio Unites in Berlin

I am a little late with this, but the almost historical meeting of C. Gibbs and Private Frank with Nikko Weidemann deserves more than a mention here. Coming through Berlin on their European tour in April Gibbs and Heer hooked up for some tunes with Nikko, who back in the late Nineties led the excellent "Passion Fruit", the closest thing NYC ever had to New Zealand's Crowded House. Frank writes from Switzerland: "It was wonderful to play with Nikko, a highlight of an already great tour. People love the Gibbsieman over here. His new CD is truly amazing!" Frank will ride into town himself next Friday and we hope Christian and him sit down for a New York performance of their Euro set. Soon thereafter, this blog will throw two great parties, on June 9th for Tami's 30th Birthday Bash and then on the 13th, when we'll host an open mic night for my 4-0. But more about that soon, for now, we're including Tam's great flyer.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No Trash Whatsoever

While Roman enjoyed Swiss music in New York last Friday, I showed a Swiss resident the real New York: I went out to Williamsburg with my visiting friend to see Morex Optimo play. She was not so sure that a place called 'Trash Bar' would be the place to hear good music, but luckily got convinced otherwise:

First played a Detroit band called Freer and they were impressive. The singer is a dark-haired Chris Martin in looks as well as in sound. He seems to be pouring his heart into the singing and keyboard playing, crawling on the floor to emphasize the pain he is going through. The bass player sports some catchy bass lines and obviously loves his Marilyn Monroe T-Shirt (Hey, where did you get that???). The inconspicuous guitarist plays squealing solos like back in the early Nineties and the drummer certainly knows how to work the breakbeats. All together a great Pop experience and we all bought a CD, which is great too; some songs are maybe a tiny bit too corny for me, but I would definitely get anti-social with those boys the next time they come play in New York, no matter how ordinary men they are. Watch their performance in the video I made and decide if you would join in:

Finally Morex Optimo was on and this band is definitely ready to bring that sophisticated rock to Europe. The band was tight and the sound in the Trash place was actually really good:

Kristofer was wearing his famous shredded suit and sang like a little god. Pierre posed as the French bon vivant in his white shirt with rolled up sleeves and proved that he masters the bass in addition to all the other instruments. Jan led the band band through all the complicated changes of tempi and well, I guess the drummer is always the cutest in a band if you ever get to see him. Kerry wore the hottest high-heels in town and also played and sang like a goddess. We decided that she is a music warrior, because she had actually played another show with the band Overlord the very same night! I hope my treat to a dinner the following night gave them all the energy back that they had released during that gig.

Check my photo diary for more pics from both shows.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Young Gods, Old Acquaintances and a Lot of Beautiful Avenue B Memories

Norbert Möslang at the Swiss Institute in New York

Sometimes this city is all it promises. A spring weekend which combines art, sports, entertainment, good food, great stories and amazing live music, shared with people we like. Sounds cheesy, but it wasn't. It started out Thursday with the second night of the Music Festival at the Swiss Institute curated by Georg Gatsas, whom I wrote about for Tagblatt here.
After an early soccer game which Fa and me lost to the Mexicans, we ventured to Broom and Broadway to see Norbert Möslang with his light-triggered soundscapes, which went really well with smoking out the window of the SI and talking to Young Gods singer Franz Treichler, who took digital nightshots of yellow cabs. Next up were Dalek, who transformed the gallery into a rhythm drenched and smoky thieves den. At least thats what it musta looked have like to the cops who came busting the place, shining the flashlight into the innocent art crowd at the SI. They took director Gianni Jetzer with them for good measure, but it took gianni about a block to charm his way out of the handcuffs and back into the safe haven of the art institute.

The Queen of the Theremin at the Box: D.C.

But not enough action for the night. We went over to the Box on Christie's where the Queen of the Theremin was announced by the creative new vaudevilleans around Serge Becker. And, alas, we guessed right the QoT turned out to be the one we'd have voted for, the one and only Dorit Chrysler. Let me also say that the Box has the best club music at the moment in NYC.

The Young Gods acoustic show at the SI.

Back to work on Friday first, but with another big night looming, where it all would come together again: The Young Gods from Geneva, swiss prime musical export, with New York experience, bringing it all home at the Swiss Institute with an acoustic show that effortlessly went from Folk to Industrial, from Doors to Cure, from Eighties to 2007. And as if that wasn't enough we all went to Dorits place where the truly biggest New York private party in years convened the hip young European art crowd with Möslang, the Young Gods, NY alternative stars like Larry Seven, Foetus, Joe McGinty and probably another 25 bands you will soon hear about on this blog. Biggest thanx and kudos go out to Dorit and Jesper, the perfect hosts, Franz and Norbert for being real and to Fa for being the last to go home.
You will understand that the next two days were dedicated solely to soccer and good food, love and understanding. As shwon examplary by Anitas dinner party for Morex Optimo and selected members of Room, where Pierre again proved to be a unique storyteller (more about my nightmare soon) and Bernd showed us the simple beauty of scientific argumentation. Too bad we missed Morex Optimo at the Trash Bar on Saturday, but Im sure Anita is gonna tell you all about that here soon!