Friday, October 31, 2008

Take The Halloween Highway!

If you don't know yet where to go on Halloween this year, I recommend this Punk Music Festival, organized by the imperturbable Alana Amram. It's been a lot of fun the last two years. All the cool imposter bands play only three to four songs and dress up as the famous originals. And it's only a dollar, dressed up or not. Now, that's the right spirit, driving on the left side of slow down the Halloween highway...Don Pedro's at 90 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206.

Monday, October 27, 2008

C. Gibbs Finally Back in Switzerland

This is the new video of C. Gibbs with the band he will be touring Switzerland with the next two weeks. On Cello, Keys and Bass we have the unique Frank Heer, on drums the female incarnation of Ringo Star's better brother, Kristin Mueller.

Rarely are tours of Rockbands truly anticipated in Switzerland. Musicians just pass thru, and folks go and see them, since they have enuff money in their pockets over there. Either the stars come for a show or two, on their way through Europe to Asia (expensive tickkets). Or they live there for a while as singer-songwriter-model daters for a while because the country is simply so amazing (buy the guy a beer). Not so Mr Christian Gibbs. Over the course of a couple of well-received small, but excellent managed and executed tours, C. Gibbs has built himself a strong and ardent following in Switzerland. The upcoming 15 gig tour through every corner of the country, which starts tomorrow in Basel, might just help him to take Europe like Crowded House did in '90 or Pink Floyd in '69. Switzerland, this is probably the last time zou see this guy for little money and up close, dont miss your chance - we hear some of the shows are almost sold out already,

For all of you in Switzerland who speak german and haven't heard about c. Gibbs, here's Frank's short update for newcomers:

Und nun noch etwas Rock-Trivia für Neuaufsteiger: C. GIBBS erprobte bei Foetus, Modern English und Cpt. Sensible das Bühnen-Handwerk, bei den Morning Glories brüllte er sich den Bourbon aus der Seele und mit Lucinda Black Bear entdeckte er die wohlorchestrierte Langsamkeit. Auf seiner aktuellen Tournee bedient sich der New Yorker aus seinem tiefen Repertoir von Songs am Randes des Abgrunds.

Show dates:
29.10. Kuppel, Basel
30.10. Gare de Lyon, Wil
31.10. Dampfschiff, Brugg
01.11. Café Kairo, Bern
03.11. Helsinki Klub, Zürich*
05.11. LeBourg, Lausanne
06.11. TapTab, Schaffhausen
07.11. Mariaberg, Rorschach
08.11. Café Kairo, Bern
09.11. Club Stereo, Nürnberg, D
10.11. Centre Fries, Fribourg
13.11. Chrämerhuus, Langenthal
14.11. Helsinki Klub, Zürich*
15.11. Gaswerk, Winterthur

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy 50th Birthday, Phil Daniels!

Daniels and his partner on Strictly Come Dancing

You have a week left to send your best wishes to Mr. Phil Daniels. You might not remember him, but he played Jimmy in the Who's movie "Quadrophenia", gave his signature Cockney slang to Blur's hit "Parklife" and was just recently kicked from a British celebrities dancing TV show. But that's not why Daniels is high on our list of icons of British culture. In 1980 (can you believe that's almost 30 years ago?) Phil Daniels + the Cross released an Album called "To King Cross Main Line & Suburban" which is pure gold. If you can get your hands on a copy, we guarantee your satisfaction.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wire Just A Bit Too Wired

In blue: Lewis, Newman and Spigel, in black and white: Robert Gray (formerly Gotobed) at Irving Plaza
Some of you may like the crunching pulsing Wire of the late Eighties, I prefer the first three albums. Of course, I respect a band's right to move on and not look back, developing its own brand. But why, when you have hits like "Outdoor Miner", "Marooned" or "I am the Fly" at hand, not show us who actually the heroes of New Wave are, just here and there? Okay, I'm a nostalgic sucker and yeah, Wire gave us "The 15th" (famous here because of the Fischerspooner cover version), "Lowdown" and "12XU" in a one minute hi-speed version, but where are the glorious harmonies and choruses of the early compositions? Their new record "Object 47" has some interesting new material, but with an indistinct booming bass and harsh guitars, a lot of it was lost on the audience. Colin Newman and Graham Lewis, formerly famous for not giving a toss, at times seemed to try just a little too hard, instead of facing the music with a wink and a smile. I'll go again, of course. I should have known better?
And with a nod to Enkel 154: Made it to Wire, as you can see, but missed one of these rare Residents shows. From what I heard it must have been great. Are you reporting about the Bunny Boy, too?

No More From The Jam, All the More Feelies

The Feelies at Bowery Ballroom
So Bruce and Rock & Co. cancelled on me and my fellow New Yorkers - From the Jam for no obvious reasons cancelled most of their U.S. tour, just to announce gigs in Vienna, Austria, a few days later. Hm. Didn't they say they want to have a new record out by the new year, anyway? Maybe Paul Weller has some songs he can spare?
Enough already, now for one of the greatest reunions ever: The Feelies played two well packed shows at the Bowery Ballroom in the original line-up, Bill Million rejoining the gang for the first time in 15 years. And boy, were they good! My friends and I saw them decades ago in Zurich and were blown away, but honestly, i think this was even better. Glenn Mercer is by now one of the best and most precise guitar players i have ever seen, Million is the glue that bindes the band together. Looks like only the two drummers ever smile - the strings work and sing like a manic machine, strumming and pumping ahead, spinning melancholy and melody. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo in the front lines with an open mouth. A frenetic audience, but where were you Brooklyn hipsters? These are the masters you could learn so much from!