Thursday, April 26, 2007

What's in that box?

This Tuesday night I saw the first ever show of Wakey!Wakey! with a full band! And what a band: bass, cello, viola and violin, drums, second keyboard plus a guest accordionist and guitar player. It all comes down to solid pop with the extra of subtle lyrics and Mike Grubbs definitely is a talented singer with a great voice. One could feel that the band had been rehearsing hard and the place was jammed-packed with people who were really excited to hear this premier. Check out the movie of 'Messy Girl':

I am so waiting for his first single to come out! Who cares about sleazy Gavin with the hat? Mike is so much hotter!

The second performer at the cross-pollination event at Pianos was Casey Shea with his band. At the guitar was the universally known Jeff Jacobson, Casey's good old pal from 'The Undisputed Heavyweights'. The setup was the classic Beatles formation and Casey's music reminds a little of that era too, but with a slight 80s touch and a big smile on the face. And boy, he can pull off wearing long hair and a moustache! Watch and listen for yourselves:

The highlight of the night was of course the actual 'cross-pollination': the two performers shared the stage for three songs and it all culminated in a cover version of 'Dick in a Box', originally performed by Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg. Lucky me that I was recording it, it was hilarious:

There are lots of pictures of that night in my photodiary if you are hungry for more.

Oh, and after the show, just around the corner from the Pianos, we spotted Chloe Sevigny. Poor girl, obviously she didn't know where the real shit was going down. Maybe someone should tell her about next week: cross-pollination again on Tuesday night, this time with Here lies Pa and Jay Mankind. But boys, as much as I love you, it's going to be tough to follow up on that show!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Burnt Rome, Coal and the mysterious Jack Jackson

Yes, the rumors are true: Bar on A is currently soundproofing the place and making it into the perfect spot for acoustic alternative music in NYC. So most of the shows this week are cancelled, except our very special European Folk Country Pop evening.

So come down to Bar on A, 11th Street at 170 Avenue A, around 9pm to see and hear JACK JACKSON play some good ol' Country Blues he picked up all over the planet. Renditions of songs from Leadbelly, Skip James, Big Bill Broonzy... and some originals written during time travelling trips in the 30's. Verify here

Then, the Swiss country sensation COAL is going to play one of his last shows before returning to the old continent. How has New York City inspired his songwriting? Go to his MySpace page to check out this guy's amazing talent and impeccable taste. Live and intimate at 9. 45pm.

Then, at 10.45pm watch Rome burn with 2/5 of ROOM, namely Bernd and Roman as BURNT ROME. They are taking their raunchy songs and stage antics down for one night to reveal the pure bone of five of their songs and one surprising cover. If you sing along, you win a CD. If you bring a friend, we'll buy you a drink. As usual: Room is here.

Palace showcases majestic Pere Ubu and C. Gibbs

Pere Ubu in St. Gall: Passionate people.
There's not much news, since they're all so damn busy over there in Europe going on vacations, but when the news coming it's good: We get word that the show by Pere Ubu in St. Gall was full of wonders and boasted an exceptionally good humored David Thomas with passionate, accomplished musicians. You can see more pix at the Entercontainer, where you also find pictures of Christian Gibbs show with our favorite privateer Frank Heer at the same Palace that within half a year has managed to make the once sleepy St. Gall a household name for good music all over Europe. Christian and Frank have meanwhile arrived in Berlin, where they met up with Nikko Weidemann on Wurlitzer - this, dear readers, must have sounded about as good as it gets these days. Any chance somebody took a video there, Tami? So as we look forward to a lot of em Europeans coming over this summer to help us celebrate the Romangame Birthday Bash at East River Bar on the 13th of June, we are equally happy to hear of amazing shows over there - send us fotos and vids, yo?
C.Gibbs with Frank Heer at the Palace, St. Gall

Thursday, April 12, 2007

East River Bar Hosts MOREX OPTIMO 3.0 and SUNSHINE CLUB (with a bit of ROOM, of course)

They're back and different: Version 3.0 of Morex Optimo sports Jan (of Room) on drums and Pierre (of Melomane) on bass and backing vocals, with bowiesque Kristofer leading the band, and the unique Kerry Kennedy adding her trademarrk guitar and vocal flavor. This is the first show of this line-up that will tour Europe this summer, so catch em while you can. While both Pierre and Jan don't play the instruments they play in their other bands you can look forward to seeing them showing off their skills: Pierre started out as bass player in C. Gibbs' "Morning Glories" and Jan used to travel to New Jersey to practice his rolling pumping mastery.

Second up will be Sunshine Club, formerly known as Mickey Finn with the charismatic Damian on lead vocals and our favorite guitarero Brett Hammond. The guys just celebrated the release of their debut CD with a sold out show at Mercury Lounge. Talking about the Merc: Supposedly not only Sin-e and Tonic are closing, but also the grand old Mercury, were we've seen acts such as Midnight Oil, Lloyd Cole, the Mekons, the Strokes, to name just a few.

Last up, as always, Room. Bring your cameras, something is bound to happen. Jean-Cosme is practicing his first jumps, Martial wants to sing, Bernd wants revenge for Romans bite last time and Jan just comes back from Tokio and will tell you all about him turning japanese.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stooges, Blonde Redhead, Klaxons and a lot of Paint

Tobi came thru: Here's Iggy at the Stooges show at United Palace. More fotos if you click on the pic below.
Dinosaurs  Rock: The Stooges in New York

Hope you digested your Easter eggs and bunnies well and lets stay trim for spring! The biggest easter party we hear of was at United Palace, the new big it thing on 175 street where Iggy and the Stooges were as good as everybody hoped they would be. Least, thats what we're told by one of the Tank girls (She actually says it was even better than that, but you know how girls are about Iggy) - Tobi promised to deliver in terms of photos, but we're still waiting. He has a good excuse though: He had to paint his new apartment instead of uploading Iggy. Were waiting for the house warming party.
Others say Easter was something to sit out and wait for Tuesday, when the Klaxons hit town, the new Britsih hope of reviving Rave. Course it was sold out, but Denise and Fannie got in and, well, raved. Verdict: Young and really bloody good, although Sami of the Valets had the better haircut back in 88.
Next, we want to remind you not to miss the awakening of Blonde Redhead as the new alternative supergroup. The trio, whose unforgettable performance at the Siren festival in Coney Island in 2004 is ranking among the eternal top ten live shows, played for free tonite at the Apple Store in SoHo. I go there late, I admit, and was only admitted downstairs, where i could hear but not see. The new songs are very much in the vein of 'Misery is a Butterfly", if a tad more Björky on one hand, more minimalistic-electronic on the other. Then again, different to judge, if youre surrounded by ipods, macs, powershots and hear it all witha technerdy reverb instead of in open space.
One look at the bouncers and i could tell that my 'hey, i used to play soccer with these guys ten years ago'-line would not work. It's true, though. They play this nice northern italian Roberto Bettega style, no fouls, but still ambitious. Was kinda hard to tell the twins apart, though, if they were on different teams. The record is out soon, hope we can put a track on the blog soon, before you hear it on every car commercial. Great to have em back, and for those of you who have no idea who Blonde Redhead are, take the above youtube vid as an introduction:

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Big Night Out

Last Saturday was a big night: lots of bands worth seeing at the Luna Lounge. I went there early to check out Haley Bonar because I was longing to hear a good female performer again for a change. And she didn't let me down. Her voice reminds me ofMazzy Star, one of my favorite bands. Her music also has this dreamy quality but is a little jazzier and less depressive.

After a dinner at the Black Betty across the street, which was good, but once again American oversized, we made it back to the Luna Lounge for the last song of resident band Falcon. The follow-up band Motel Creeps was entertaining. The singer has a good stage presence and a pleasant voice. The sound reminded me of The Cure and Depeche Mode, but unfortunately, it all sounded a bit the same to me after a while.

Melomane has the exact opposite effect on me; the longer I hear their music the more interesting it gets. Even though always carried by distinct melodies, the music behind it is so diverse, there is always a new aspect to discover. And the poetic lyrics are like small riddles to solve.

Unfortunately the sound in the Luna Lounge was not mixed very well, at least in the beginning of the show. But it got much better over time. I took a movie of the song 'Open Invitation':

On my youtube account you also find a movie of Quentin singing 'Nobody' with Pierre on the bass and Daria at the keyboard for a change. This performance and Quentin's new demo tracks on the blog's podcast should convince everybody that he should front his own band ASAP!

You can find more pictures of that night in my photodiary for April.

Timeless Enjoyment

I guess I should also apologize for very lame blogging. My excuse is not as materialistic as Roman's. I haven't really been bogged down by too much work, at least not more than usual. But my mother is visiting! You will understand that I cannot hang out in shady bars all night long right now.

But I did drag her down to the "Bar on A' last Tuesday to hear Christian Gibbs and Philip Sterk play. I figured that would be the kind of music that my mother could possibly bear. I don't know if I underestimated her or Christian Gibbs' music, anyway, she liked it so much, she bought a CD. Looks like this music is timeless.

The two one-hour sets featured songs from The Pinkermen Set as well as the hot new songs of Ludinda Black Bear. I know it is probably confusing, but I have a new favorite song yet again and filmed it. Check out 'Capo My Heart':

Friday, April 06, 2007

Zero Minutes To Brooklyn

Well, I ventured into the city to see our beloved Sad Little Stars and later the unimitable C. Gibbs this week, and that's certainly very enjoyable, but on the way home, the great new prophecy board at the 1st Avenue L-Train stop seriously letting us down, announcing not one, but two trains in zero minutes, while we waited for half an hour. The really good news therefor comes from the quiet gardens of Brooklyn: Quentin Jennings lay two beautiful easter eggs for us, "Angel" and "Carousel" which you probably hear right now coming out of the computer speakers, if you listen to the podcast on the right. They are, of course, "just demos" and Q. will probably give me shit for putting them out there, but it's just a great mix of CCR and Ray Davies, with a Dylan and the Beatles peeking round the corner. Can you see the easter bunnies dancing? In any case, go see Q. with Melomane at the Luna Lounge tomorrow night. Be there early to see former Blue Sparks singer Phil with his new band "Ahoi" and then our favorite bird catchers, Falcon, before submitting to the charm of the kings and queens of chamber pop, Melomane.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hype of the States here, Tours of Europe there

Full Steam: Hype of the States at Luna Lounge, Brooklyn

Excuse the lame blogging of last week, we've all been bogged down by too much work, so we make enough dough to buy tickets for Coachella... just joking - we wanna go on tour in Europe, like everybody else this year, it seems: Old continent, get ready for Botanica, C. Gibbs, Morex Optimo, Melomane, Overlord and maybe Full Tank, whose show at Trash this Wednesday must have been quite a spectacle. Sounds like a pretty good representation of the bands on this blog, and rest assured, rightly so. We hope they all come through your town and strongly recommend you go see them! And you, bands, make sure you contact Palace in St. Gallen, Switzerland, to see if they might have a slot for you - the Palace in the beautiful city above Lake Constance is not only the nicest but also one of the most innovative clubs over there, as quite a few Brooklyn bands that have played there can testify. Just ask Jeffrey Lewis, for example.

But back to New York, where we traded the concert stage for a week of readings by german language authors. Bernd met his old friend Catalin Dorian Florescu while I got to meet on of my teenage heroes, Matthias Zschokke. Florescu is what we call a Fabulierer in German, a man who tries to enhance reality by writing, as he put it himself. Zschokke investigates reality under the lense and often leads it ad absurdum.

Ready for a bit of saucy rock after the little intellectual excursion? Hype of the States have that for you, as they proved Saturday night at Luna Lounge. You can tell the band is still relatively new, but that also makes it fresh, daring and entertaining, with great keyboard hooks and largely thanx to singer Jezrael who knows how to put on a show without falling into rock star poses or clownerie. Their sound was powerful and tight at Luna, with Kristina on a kristal clear, if a little loud bass and solid drumming by Sandelicious. Nice crunchy guitar sounds by Austin. Oh, and we hear rumors of a possible cat fight... Seems Jezrael is not that especially fond of the riot grrls in Full Tank... Then again, they like to talk rough. We recommend a direct show off in a concert setting, let the audience be the judge of who's better. We're offering to host at East River, if yer up for it, ladies.