Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's A Hit!

Remember the Cohen movie "O, Brother Were Art Thou", when Clooney and the gang sang them beautiful tunes? Imagine that kind of folk sound with the biggest hits of the Eighties - Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Madonna, but also Wire, The Clash and Billy Idol: You've got the Greatest Hits, New York's new secret. Their first show ever at Bar on A was a rousing success, we enjoyed it immensely and promise to learn a lot of new tracks for the next show. The evening was opened by Anton Sword who set a somber tone with the ballads first, then turned into optimistic pop. Reduced Room - Burnt Finger is in Italy - now seem to be able to hold the volume under control and presented a nice bunch of new songs, amongst them Architect, which you can hear below, thanx to Anita, whom you hear talking to Pierre in the beginning. Ich liebe den Raum, Mann!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pierre's Performance Party Picks

Just one of more then twenty performances on Taaffe Place last Saturday: Quentin Jennings with C. Gibbs and Gerald Menke bringing the folk to the folks. As Pierre writes, there were "new heights of entertainment reached, including Powerpoint, avant-garde shadow puppetry, many many wonderful songs in many languages, songs by beautiful couples, original poetry, raccoons, trumpetry, cello-accompanied stories about Mars, and live Graduate thespian action". A true sense of a large scene coming together, enjoying each others art rather than criticizing or just being among the spectators. You know I like it like that. Am I a hippy now or just getting old? For a sense of beloning, go to Anitas Photopage and check out Love and Hate NYC Blog. Pierre and Denise videotaped most of it, so we hope to see some of the hilarious performances - such as Heather's power point performance of how to perform, the Swiss choclate dance or Frau Bauers first ever public appearance on stage - on YouTube pretty soon! Plus, Pierre already promised a next one!

Vote for Heather to perform in Jay Leno's Late show!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Come hear Sword, Room and The Greatest Hits

Three weeks already into the new year already and not a single Room show? Impossible, since we want to play a show every month this year and then release a live album entitled "Year Around." Blahblah. But come and see Anton Sword and Red Room at Bar on A this Thursday night - it will be all the more memorable, since you get to see The Greatest Hits debut.

Red Room are what we are when the Burnt Finger isn't with us. It's also a reference to Kubricks "The Shining" and shine we hope we will, while wishing Burnt all the best in U-rope. Tip the bartender and try to be nice. We start around nine, I guess. It's free, so no guarantee.

The Greatest Hits are a new fully acoustic combo, meaning they do not need any plugs or use any electrical power nor amplification, still they tackle defty New Wave songs, icluding faves by Depeche Mode or Madonna. Come singalong with members of NYC's Botanica, Melomane, Room and The Roman Games.

Anton Sword is best known for his work with British crooner JC. But he also writes anthems of existential struggle, entombed narcissism, doomed romanticism and ironic paradox (No I didn't have to type this, i cut and paste it. I use these words, xcept ironic.) Check him out at his MySpace page. Some have said his tunes suggest Radiohead's Thom Yorke, David Bowie and Brian Eno singing around Burt Bacharach's piano in an upper west side Manhattan apartment, with Portishead drifting in from across the alley.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

They Fought the Bear With Their Bare Hands

Them being the unstoppable song writing machine Christian Gibbs and his newest outfit, Lucinda Black Bear, the bear being the audience, us at the Brooklyn Lyceum, a big space great for quiet music. Lucinda BB, nothing to do with Lucinda Williams did an amazing job and wrestled that 70-people bear to absolute motionless silence and open mothed stunning. Here's a short clip, as usual with bad sound, hiho. Gimme time, once I lay my hands on the iphone. oho.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Are Friends Eclectic? Summer in December. A travelogue

Dorit Chrysler and Roman Game with Electric Friends
Friends of good music, I have to tell you, the people over there behind the seven mountains with the seven midgets have their ears wide open and the hearts in the right place. First proof: Dorit Chrysler’s great shows in Switzerland, where she managed to entertain the packed crowd at Helsinki Club in Zurich for two and a half hours easily, playing a powerful set that prompted ex-pat Charles Wallace of HeadQuarters to use the term 'adult contemporary' in a highly positive context for the first time. Charles himself is getting ready to hit European stages with a solo set, too. He denies that the side project is called Filiale. The next day saw Dorit at St. Gallen's newest and best club ever, the former cinema Palace. The new cultural center of Switzerlands most underestimated city is lead by a group of energized and organized people with good taste and the right attitude - playing Gary Numan’s "Are Friends Electric?" there with Dorit was a first highlight of my trip, as was meeting so many fantastic old friends.
Frank arriving from Africa
We then traded the usual magic of Winter Wonderland with summer in December, thanx to global warming and an invitation to Portugal for Frank the Author’s big birthday. The Former Franks and Brother A. were the only ones to test the waters at the most south-western end of Europe, the Algarve. Are any of you New Yorkers out there playing Tennis? I picked that up in Portugal again and challenge each and every one of you – call it the Roman Games! Looking forward to seeing all those pix – especially them group photos, Tobi! Not much more time for live music, except for self made Christmas Carols and an earful of Admiral James T., again at the more than sold out Helsinki, with whose boss Tom we checked out the Palace Hotel Bar in Lissabon, where the CIA and the KGB used to share cigars and cognac. (And for those of you who get confused now: No, not Helsinki, capital of Finland and there is a Palace in St. Gallen and one in Lisboa.) Sorry, Painhead that I couldn't make it to your show…I flew back the next morning. Adrian – can’t wait to see your next exhibition. Tombo – good hearing you’re still rocking. Here’s to hoping we will see the Trapscope Universal Sound Orchestra featuring M. E. Smart and the Sad Wolfman, with a little help from the Stahlberger section.
Sad wolfman on the right track
Thanks for the postcard from Zagreb, Michi – I like the little guy! If you happen to come through the far East of Switzerland, check out, and drop by when Sister Jayn is spinning records. Seems like there are a lot of good things going on, over there. NY, we’ll have to make quite an effort – Happy New Year with great ideas and the power to make them happen. Kristofer and Heather of Morex optimo and Pierre of Melomane an the Snow are starting the culture connection as the new incarnation of the Who in Paris this month. Oh, and there’s Room to come. And have I told you about the Greatest Hits? But more about that later.
The End of Europe