Monday, March 23, 2009

The Navel of Switzerland in New York

Here's a bit of Swiss culture you don't want to miss if you like Sonic Youth, Queens of the Stone Age or The Young Gods (whom they all supported): Navel from Basel is coming to town with their unique punk folk, tonight at the Annex on the Lower East Side at 9pm, Wednesday at Vanishing Point in Williamsburg. As you can see in the NME quote on the poster, modest, they are not. Energetic, driven and punching, yes. The band just comes from SXSW in Austin - probably the first Swiss band ever to play that festival. Come hear their music and stories from the South and the East. Who knows, maybe Pete Doherty is in town, too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lucinda Black Bear & Botanica Team Up

A packed and enthusiastic audience witnessed some of New York's finest rock music Saturday evening when Christian Gibbs and Paul Wallfisch got the best out of their bands Lucinda Black Bear and Botanica. Gibbs sounded richer than ever and included some fine new songs which the band are currently recording, before Christian is touring Switzerland again in May. Paul joined Lucinda for one track on piano, the delicate keys of Quentin Jennings were heard on two others, Anton Fine guested on one piece. After the almost traditional little starting problems with his equipment, Wallfisch and Botanica took the audience on a increasingly intensive trip through the darker soundscapes of rock, a wild play between the hauntingly beautiful morricone-guitars of John Andrews and Pauls mighty voice. How strange to watch the show not with one, but two ex-Botanica bass players: Dana Schechter and Christian Bongers enjoyed observing their mates!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives In All Its Glory

There are fabled super studios somewhere in Sweden, legendary places with the best gear in the world, all hand made quality work from neutral European countries, where million sellers as Abba, Roxette and the ghastly songwriter trio Stock Aitken Waterman's the big Sweden sound, and nobody does with such ease. Latest example: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, a band that's been around for some 15 years and has seen and done about everything by now. The six Swedes at the Bowery Ballroom dish out all kinds of styles, ideas, genres, soli: There's a bit of Oasis, a dose of Hüsker Dü, a cover of Nick Drake, all the while being a spinal tapish mix between 70's Stones and the Sir Douglas Quintet. Even the strong swedish vodka singer Lundberg must have enjoyed were no challenge to the band's seemingly effortless precision. A pleasure to enjoy the show with Kenny from Kreisor who's also a fan and knows what to say during shows and when to shut up!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Room/The We Ours: A Cold Night Turned Hot

Room live again, Fontana's NYC, Photos by Tobias Klutke

Despite a freezing cold Tuesday night, a friendly 70 people showed up to see the first live show of Room without Jan (who sends his regards from Berlin and was there in spirit), but with the gracious help of Quentin Jennings, who is also working on the new record by Roman and Room, an EP that should come out with the Easter bunny. The audience seemed to appreciate the new, redecorated and more orderly room and their new songs about jobs. Someone said Room sounded like the Buzzcocks, another compared it to the Jam, the third heard the Cure shining through. All very well with me. Denise shot these videos, Leane shot more footage, the combined edited version here soon.

Antons band - Kristofer on guitar and back voc, Jessica on bass and voc and Kristin covering their backs have grown into a tight combo. There are smiles onstage and a general feeling of everybody being at ease is transported to the audience, the melodies abducting us into a land of soothing, sunny weekend afternoons.

Fontana's has a nice sound system, friendly people working, the live area downstairs is a great space for a crowd of about 100+ people - Room as well as The We Ours will be back there soon!

Anton and the We Ours live at Fontanas