Monday, December 20, 2010

Small Beast Finds Itself Lost In Sound

Lost in Sound Mike (right) and Carl.
One Year After in the dark
The highlights at last Mondays Small Beast at the Delancey were many, but foremost the long awaited return to stage of Mike Lawson and his Lost In Sound Project. His short set took the listeners on an all encompassing trip through the depths and heights of guitar rock and ambient beats. Can't wait to see him back soon with more, and next time, Carl, turn up that bass!

Anton Sword Solo in Red

The One Year After band opened up the evening with a very classy mix of jazzy, yet dark and mysterious sounds, getting the night into a good gear. Anton Sword paraded birthday child Dana solo and did it in style and with passion. The new songs rock. Dave and I enjoyed our duo set, the combination of sax and acoustic guitar mostly worked, even if my playing at times was a little, erm, fragile. Mike joined us on "Macabre Danse".

Roman Game, with Dave in the shadows

Tony G closed out the night with a tasty short set of interesting beats and sounds. Thank for coming out on this snowy cold night - especially to Gina and Caroline, all the way from Amsterdam!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

This Small Beast Is For Dana!

Our last show this year is the 96th installment of The Small Beast at the Delancey, and it's a very special birthday show for Dana Austin who will be celebrating her big 4-0 this coming Monday, December 13th. I'm very excited with the line-up for this show, don't miss Karen Geyer and her One Year Band, she's only in town for a couple of weeks! Also, Mike, who is behind Lost in Sound, hasn't been playing live for ages - we've heard a rehearsal, and it sounds magnificent. As usual, 2 for 1 drinks, and the show is free... can't get much better for a Monday, no?

Small Beast #96 at the Delancey


The One Year Band started when German-Swiss artist/musician Karen Geyer crossed the Atlantic with her double bass in summer 2008 for a yearlong artist residency, during which she planned to bring together a band for one year. „My intention was to getting to know musicians, getting to know each other through playing the instruments, America and Europe, pure improvisation.“ It worked, and every time Karen visits New York again, the One Year Band is one year older. Now in it’s third installment, the band consists of Karen on double bass, the unique, Indian-American guitar player Kunal Prakash (Maury and Moosh Moosh), the Japanese trumpet player Eiju Kawasaki (Walkfunk), also tap dancer extraordinaire, Cindy Lou Gooden (Very Fresh) on electric bass, and drummer Nick Ray (Viva l American Death Ray Music, Golden Triangles). According to Karen, the pieces are based on mental states. “Is That All I Can Do” and “Makes Me Nervous” are losely structured through rules. “We know the changing mood of each piece but the improvisational parts give us freedom, so that every concert is unique and every “song” is a new experience, also for the musicians. You never know what will happen.”


“Interesting, musically subtle, tasteful, original, witty
music...infectiously rhythmic and impossibly memorable. “

One day when he was a child in New York City, Anton put his ear against a speaker in a dark apartment on the Upper West Side and went into a trance. He had a long dream. When he woke up twenty years later, his heart was permanently broken, but in a good way. Trying to make a movie out of the turbulence in his mind, he found himself writing songs at the piano instead, blending melancholy romance, psychedelic art-prog, soul, and sing-in-the-shower 70s pop.


Roman Game is a songwriter and storyteller from Switzerland, who moved to New York 15 years ago. Worshipping at the church of Rock'n'Roll, he creates punk ballads about unusual and outrageous professions with a touch of jazz. Roman Games perform an intimate live show that will remind you of why you love live rock and roll. The prolific songwriter has been influenced by British bands such as the Jam and the Clash and, of course, John Lennon was his favorite Beatle. For this special Beast show, Roman teams up with Saxophone artist Dave Spinley, presenting the songs as a duo, giving the stories room to breathe.

Very, very good. Nice mix of styles, no testosterone metal crap. I hope they go far!" -Captain Sensible, The Damned
"Fantastic songs...I really enjoy listening to their music!" - Karl Wallinger, World Party


Imagine driving through the desert with Nick Cave on acid and Massive Attack blasting from the stereo, the golden sunlight fading into the black abyss of night, twangy echo guitars rising like shiny stars and pulsating beats carrying you through the trip. Six years after his last show with the intriguing In Cat State, the uniquely talented, Mike Lawson presents his new music to a live audience for the first time, exclusively at the Small Beast.


Tony Grund is an American musician, a singer-songwriter, who plays keyboards in the successful electronic band Echostream. While Echostream is working on new music, Tony spins and plays with music that will get you dancing into Tuesday morning.
“Echostream is undoubtedly distinct, but the big name influences are definitely there: Just imagine Nine Inch Nails, Björk, Radiohead and Miho Hatori had a child, the product would be something like this post-goth phenomenon.” –

168 Delancey Street (between Clinton and Attorney), F train to Delancey Stop
Call 212-254-9920 for information.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Three Hours and Plenty of Wishes with TVP

Soundcheck for The Roman Games at Palace

It is the day after thanxgiving, and I have many thanks to give indeed. Had an intense and most gratifying trip in Europe, saw the shores of Portugal, an admirable collection of animated short movies at the Cinanima Festival in Espinhp and, oh, Miramare!

Frank on monster bass

Back in Switzerland after two nights of rehearsal, The Roman Games version 5.1. with
Charles Wallace on guitar, Frank Heer on bass and Jan Haux on drums were ready to take stage before the Television Personalities at Palace in St. Gallen. After soundcheck, we had dinner at Baratela and shortly met Dan Treacy and his band, Texas Bob, Mike and Arnau, they were looking forward to the show and Daniel explained to his mates that St. Gallen is the rock city of Switzerland. There you go.

Charles Wallace, authentic rocker

We played a reasonably tight 40 minute set and enjoyed ourselves, although we all felt we were better the night before at rehearsal... it was just amazing to walk in to Vinnie's little cellar in Zurich's red light district, plug in, and rock away with these great musicians, who had the ten songs down in no time, plus brought them to life like never before.

Straight from Berlin, Jan Haux
Thanks, guys, foremost to Michi Gallusser for the sound, also to Dani Stieger for photography and video. To Marcel and Damian from Palace for making it happen and Hampi Schlumpf for the Times!

Pics by Dani Stieger

They got rewarded by Television Personalities with a performance of well over three hours which is termed by the local media already as "legendary". The Palace Newsletter writes: "What made the concert stand out was that it worked far from any product logic. Maybe that's exactly why it turned out a piece of art."

Daniel Treacy playing Wü's '62 Hoefner guitar

Through the often bombastic sound, there shimmered a few gems, long echo trips to hell were followed by shining little highlights, nobody ever knew where Dan would turn to next, all were lost in sound or the crowd of familiar faces, in the hands of Mr. Treacy. They managed to blow out Franks solid little bass amp, but it was almost worth it. Or as they say over there: Certain losses have to be accepted. We had a nice talk after the mammoth show with Texas Bob, who is always everywhere and always amicable. Mike and Arnau are most modest and friendly and very level-headed. The band arrived Friday afternoon and had to catch a train back to the airport at 7am... We said goodbye at 5.30...

The view from behind the drums

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Supporting Television Personalities!

...And don't the kids just love it! I remember their first LP, the black and white cover with the cut-outs and the two-minute pop gems, one more original than the rest, the fine cast of characters... Geoffrey Ingram, Dorian Grey, Pauline Lewis, Syd Barrett... IT made me want to play guitar, too, and write songs just like Dan Treacy... We called our band after a song by TVP, The Perfumed Garden. We covered Silly Girl and If I Could Write Poetry. We bought the black floppy hat. We wore Paisely Shirts. Then the 90s came and then the 00s... and now TVP are back and The Roman Games are opening for the tomrrow, Friday, November 19th at Palace in St. Gallen, Switzerland... a young boy's dream come true 25 years later. Honored to play with a cast of great friends and musicians: 'Former' Frank Heer on bass, Charles 'HeadQuarters' Wallace on guitar and bvox, Jan 'Room' Haux on drums and percussion. Looking very much forward to playing and meeting a lot of friends from back in the days!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Doing the Jam at the Monster Mash

It was Monster Mash number 5 this year on Sunday night and we got our act together and played The Jam, with Heather "Rick" Wagner on drums, Jesko "Bruce" Stahl on bass and me doin Paulie, Start!, That's Entertainment and Down in the Tube, of course.

Minor Threat, who played before us, were a though act to follow and definite winner of the battle of bands. The Only Ones featured one of the best guitar players i've seen in a long time, Ana B. The Clash were supercute young boys who did an honorable job. Gary Glitter's vocals were lost in sound.

A highlight were the white Bad Brains, who made no attempt at hiding their white skin and did without long afro wigs, instead chose to play in boring white men business suits...but then proceeded to rock the house as if they were the real thing. Kudos to Alana 'Suzie Q" Amram, who not only played in three of the bands but also held the whole evening together despite repeated ugly cat fights and pizza throwing contests.

Just what you expect from a Halloween party. Search monster "Monster Mash" on this blog to hear from earlier years of this best NYC Halloween party. We can't wait for the next one and are aiming to be the Stranglers. All together now: No More Heroes Anymore!

Pics by Thilo Hoffmann

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Lucinda Black Bear Album Out: Knives

Uh...should have told you about this some time ago: There is a new Lucinda Black Bear album out, the long-anticipated follow-up to 2006's "Capo My Heart", and it was worth every day of waiting: 11 Songs, intricate melodies, catchy lines and a voice that embraces, seduces and tempts you, while keeping you safe and sound. Get your mind off of politics and the drab of everyday living and take an hour long walk in the sound universe of Christian Gibbs - still in pain, but definitely seeing the light. They are rocking the 92YTribeca downtown, at 200 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013, Telephone: 212.601.1000, this Friday. Here's what Christian says about the new album and the upcoming show: "It sounds epic. Babies were born. People got engaged. There were mild flirtations with musical theater. All life's changes for a spell delayed but enhanced the completion of this record. Now it is here to be celebrated and we invite you to take part in this evening of catharsis and reverie. Our drummer Kristin Mueller unfortunately is on tour in Europe and we will miss her. Our friend and co-conspirator Russell Simins from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion will guest on drums."
Tickets are few so buy them now below. Go to itunes and buy the record on Nov. 2nd or buy it at the show. Listen to the exclusive preview song "Percival" on the podcast in the right sidebar on this blog!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Hey Friends of Room and Space and Pioneering!
It's been a while and a long hot summer...
Don't you feel like the time is right for a dose of unfiltered Punk Rock?
This Wednesday should be your night, then!

Come see New York's freshest and tightest, Steve Albini produced outfit The Pioneers of Seduction.
Maybe you've had a the pleasure of seeing Max and Rachel as The Sad Little Stars, my favorite NY band in the early 2000s. Their new project with drummer Ian is a whole different pair of shoes, and what a blast to your energy levels! They start at ten, and you better be there!

Room in the meantime has said goodbye to mean noise and hello to meaning. This will be one of the last shows with the Burnt Finger on guitar, before he becomes a professor in the Netherlands. This show, though, is dedicated to George Walter Q, the wildest new addition in the Room family. And to Josephine, and Violet, as always.
Bring your friends and cameras, we'll make it worth the while.

Sept. 29th

105 Eldridge Street
New York NY
Phone: 212-334-6740

Hope to see you,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Roman Games at the Knitting Factory this Saturday!

Give it to Leane to get me to play one of the places heroes like Dan Treacy, Robyn Hitchcock or Mark E. Smith performed at... and on a Saturday night! Ok, so the KF is in Brooklyn now, but if you're spooked about that, you don't belong here anyway. I'll be sharing the bill with the amazing Alana Amram, who has been a guest on this blog since it's inception. Also, Kerry Kennedy and the Ghostwise band will play something like a pre-comeback show that promises to feature not just new material but also a quite happy, sassy KK...ask Dave about that, and his favorite books, too.
Under the old The Roman Games moniker I get to play with truly excellent musicians - Kristin Mueller on drums, Christian Bongers on bass, Burnt Finger on guitar and Dave Spinley on Sax.
More info and tickets here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ROOM live Tomorrow Thursday May 13th

I know we've played out quite a bit lately, but come see the last ROOM show before we redecorate! This Thrusday, May 13th, will be our last show till fall, since some of us go to Europe for the summer and many new songs need to be rehearsed.

Fat Baby is at 112 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side. We play in the basement. There will be giveaways and singalongs, quizzes and riddles. Music and stories, too. And yes, Quentin is back, newly inspired by the UK. We play at 11PM, $5, our favorite hour of the day.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Thursday at Zebulon: Room and One Year After

We've had so much fun playing the Small Beast acoustic, so we readily accepted the invitation from Karen Geyer and her One Year After project, to open for them this Thursday at the famous and friendly french place Zebulon in Williamsburg. We start at 9pm, One Year after will take the stage at 10pm. The show is free, so come on down to the river. We will be missing Quentin for this show, but Bernd and Dave promised to cover for him... Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free ROOM at the Small Beast This Monday!

Room, the band, is honored to play Paul Wallfisch's eclectic music night "The Small Beast" at the Delancey Lounge, 168 Delancey Street. The setting at the Small Beast calls for rather quiet music, so we rearranged and toned down some of our songs for your listening pleasure. There's NO COVER and special 2 for 1 drinks... so come on out and bring your friends! It starts at 8.30, we are on at 10.30pm, but come early and check out these other great artists:

Elisa Flynn's songs, full of wit and off-kilter, hypnotic rhythms, on topics including love gone wrong in the 1800's, dead birds that are reborn, and the Donner Party, and are delivered in a low-fi, old school punk manner using just her big voice and a hopped-up guitar attached to a pile of effects pedals. Her first solo EP, Dimestore Mary, was called “an addicting collection of music, both raw and rigid in its execution” by Elisa played previously with The Happy Ending, Jargon Society, Freak Baby, and the Bunny Brains (well, hasn't everyone been in the Bunny Brains at one time or another?) Her first full length album called "Songs about Birds and Ghosts" was recorded at Emandee Studio by Mark Ospovat, and is now out on her own Cat in a Dress Records.

...pulls from her favorite influences– Peggy Lee, Cole Porter, and Serge Gainsbourg to name a few. In any performance, Erin and Her Cello will light up your night and leave you laughing out loud. (That’s right—laughing out loud.)
“…the standout of the night is clearly Erin and her Cello – an NYC babe with a spunky personality and crystal clear voice who can rock a cello like it’s a Stratocaster guitar.
“Hall is using her experiences and distinctive sense of humor to create a type of performance art that almost defies description.”- Anna Bengel,
Here's her first video:

9:45 DAVID NAGLER (+ surprise guests...) a low-fi pop maestro who moonlights as a purveyor of beats with Nova Social and has played with Chris Mills, John Wesley Harding & The English UK, Jon Langford's Skull Orchard, DC Watts, Chris Lee, The Inner Banks, The Ne'er Do Evers, Camphor, Peacock's Arcade, Mascott, Longshoremen and others...

10:30 THE ROOM
A rare New York appearance from the Swiss-American pop craftsman and bon-vivant Roman Game and his international soul gang, Room, rounds out a most eclectic night of music at the Small Beast! "Very, very good. Nice mix of styles, no testosterone metal crap. I hope they go far!"
Captain Sensible, The Damned

"...Paul Wallfisch ist und bleibt einer der brillantesten Songschreiber unsere Tage..."~Eclipsed Magazine 3/'1

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The City of Oblivion: Anton Sword in the light

Rocking out in the light: Anton Sword

The Anton Sword Trio will take on the Small Beast again on Monday night, so it’s high time to tell you about the City of Oblivion, the new CD and easily his best work so far, aided by the creative craftsmanship of his band, the We Ours. Let’s take it track by track, and then you come out Monday and enjoy the songs live.

Jar of Gin: A mellow opener, setting the mood: Get out of the basement and step into the light. Sword did himself the favor and moved from the basement to one of the nicest roofs in Williamsburg, his album does the same for his music. It tenderly sparkles and shines and reflects all the love Anton puts into it.

City of Oblivion: I like the voice on this, reminds me of Marc Bolan with just a little bit more melancholy. Great dark noises towards the end. A fitting title track that somehow represents the mood for the whole album: The lonely fighter has found his inner strength to face the demons. Great backing vocals, and look who it is: the unique Kerry Kennedy making a guest appearance.

Like Your Mind: Powerful tune, a melody that sticks in your head and should be picked up for a TV spot for computers, smart phones, or broadcasters, anything. Again, very T-Rexy, easily the radio hit, too, so you should probably make this into a video.

The Lawn: Great intro and an interesting composition. Don’t like the sexy imagery – swan and lawn and magic wand…huh? Would like this more as an instrumental with just the late beach boys-y chorus “the lawn…”

Contaminated: Interesting production, somehow the synth brings out the contamination…the infection. The singing is great on this, the build up towards the end fascinatingly crazy.

Listening: Nice ballad, great atmosphere, story and music go well together.

Sandwich: Love the powerful wall of guitars and droning echoes and sounds, sonically very impressive, with nicely understated singing in the verses.

Anybody (The Glove): Another one for the radio, waiting for the big break through, which is beautifully accomplished by the great guitar duel halfway through the song.

Nowhere: Funky outdoor soft porn music from the 70’s or the 80’s. I can see them shagging in the cornfield, until our singer enters through the back room and spoils it by lamenting loneliness and the tragic loss of dreams…again.

Gone: A great song, which sounds amazing even through the speakers of my computer. I don’t get the lyrics, though, no idea what will be gone, but I like the melody and structure.

The Astronomer’s Lullaby: Beautiful harmonies, bowiesque, romantic, psychedelic glam – all of Anton’s best ingredients. Best vocal performance, in my opinion. The voice is placed very close to the ears, like it should be in a true lullaby.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Room: La Salle ou La Piece?

Thanks to a very international crowd, the evening with Room and the Epicures at Fat Baby became a nicely diverse mix of music, philosophy, stories and friendships. Even the soundman was amazed at how good it sounded - especially considering Burnt is using that little silvery lunch box you see on the floor in the photos as his only amp. Pic by Tobias Klutke - thanx!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Room at Fat Baby: The Winning Flyer

"No contest, flyer one wins," wrote Anton Sword, one of the over 30 people who took part in our flyer contest. He was right in the end, but for a long time, flyer 3, the one with the fire was leading. The ladies made the difference: Only two voted for 3, all the others agreed on 1.

So Anton and all the nice people who voted for flyer 1 will get a free drink, if they come to the show... The band, by the way, was split: 3 for 1, 3 for 3. But you know, in the end it's all for one, one for...

And as the flyer dictates, we'll do our best to play some colorful light music with orange overtones. Thank you all for voting, we are looking forward to seeing a lot of you on Thursday! And stay for the Epicures, listen to some of their smart compositions here.

What other people you might know said about ROOM:

"Very, very good. Nice mix of styles, no testosterone metal crap. I hope they go far!"
Captain Sensible, The Damned

"Fantastic songs...I really enjoy listening to their music!"
Karl Wallinger, World Party

"Room? I love their atmoshperes, the eeriness, the arpeggiated motions... I'm glad I'm Room's friend!"
Ed Ball, Television Personalities

We'll start on time at 10PM. Fat Baby is at 112 Rivington, close to the corner of Essex Street. Oh, and we played our first show for kids last Saturday, so now we know how to behave...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ROOM Flyer Contest!

We have this show coming up at 10PM on April 1st at Fat Baby, no joke what with April's Fools Day and all. But we can't decide on which flyer we should use. Help us make up our minds and tell us which one you like best. It will also tell us what kind of musical mood you want us to be in. please Comment below...

A free drink for those who pick the right flyer and come to the show Thursday in a week... We'll start on time at 10PM. Fat Baby is at 112 Rivington, close to the corner of Essex Street.

The Epicures are friends of Martial's and are quite an experience. We like the Clash and the Beatles. They like the Smashing Pumpkins and David Bowie. So Stay a little longer if you can. Remember Your Room loves you.

a) roomfatbabyposter

b) ruinroom

c) fireroom

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bear Fighting With Bare Hands

Fought the Bear with their bare hands: Lucinda Black Bear
I know... C. Gibbs again, but sorry, the man is just rising to incredible musical heights with his band Lucinda Black Bear as witnessed Friday night at the Knitting Factory, now in Williamsburg, two blocks from Union Pool (take a walk with street view here. And anyway, there's more. The songs mix the legacy of the Byrds with the Beatles and then come back to haunt you with a powerful orchestral punk - with cello, violin, acoustic guitar and bass. And not only C. Gibbs is a great showman, drummer Kristin Müller is such an entertaining performer, her antics alone are worth the money. Plus: Have you ever seen a cello player standing, holding his instrument like a guitar god over his head before launching into the finish? - That's Chad Hammer for you. Mike, thanx!

And all the girls went wow: Botanica

Fired up by the set of their forerunner, Botanica played their last stateside show before heading to Europe, where a quite extensive tour with Nikko Weidemann follows (Switzerland: Go see them in Winterthur, Basel, Berne, St. Gall and Lucerne!). Most impressive was not Dresden Dolls drummer Brian Viglione who even took of his shirt off to top Kristin Mueller's show, but despite trying hard, did not succeed. No, it was the songs with Dana Schechter of Bee And Flower fame who, for once without the bass, belted out to songs with a contagious energy. And a supreme Paul Wallfisch with absolutely no sound problems. Do we need to mention that, of course, John Andrews' guitar playing was impeccable?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

There's Room in the New Decade - Live!

Life is Grand and then it's cruel, minds change and then they are set, feelings fly and then they die, but there is always the music, that dome of warmth, that cathedral of sound, that welcoming ROOM. So we hope you come down to Fat Baby at 112 Rivington Street btw. Essex and Ludlow on the Lower East Side and revel with us in tunes and harmonies. The more, the merrier - bring your friends, wealth managers, agents, parachute testers and fish cutters. Don't worry, the music will not be as heady as these words, it's only Rock'n'Roll...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Early Spring With Kerry Kennedy - Rise, Ghostwise!

It's here. In my arms. Kerry Kennedy's album. There's no graphic artwork yet, but the work of art is revealed when I put the CD in the stereo: A stunning, sophisticated, mature, yet fresh long player, an aural pleasure from start to finish, with each song embedded into a unique sound, fitting Kerry's distinct voice that at times seems to almost caress you. The songs are yearning, soulful tunes, mixing folk with pop, think Portishead crossed with Morricone or PJ Harvey sleeping with the Carter Family.
Live at Small Beast, Kennedy was in the best of moods, obviously proud of the record and her great band, that now features Paul Wallfisch on keys and Heather Wagner on drums. The Ghostwise band with Nathan Halpern and Jason Binnick on guitar and bass, sounded warm and full of energy. The set included most of the album, with "More from the Mountain", "Son of Sons" and "As You Are" standing out, but don't let me be the judge, you gotta get that record as soon as its out!

Mr. Paul Wallfisch in good spirits, celebrating one year of free weekly "Small Beast" events at the Delancey. More about his new amazing record with Botanica on this blog soon!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Welcome 2010 With Enormous Painhead

There's a small town at the Eastern end of Switzerland with a big name - Rorschach. And it's testing, let me tell you. Each year the little town's very own cult band Painhead invites friends' bands to play a show with them - two nights in a row. All you gotta do to get in is bring a can of beer for the band, and that alone guarantees a full house. Check out the series of cool classic punk groups that are putting the sound to the eastern swiss valleys: Enjoy Violet & The Pony's raw energy on "Shall I" or the gothic anthem "Spinning Room" by Herr Bitteror watch the fun punk rock party of Sullen Crook. Made me feel proud of my hometown, but also old... Anyway, The Roman Games played on Saturday. I had the honor to make music with rhine valley drum legend Carlo Lorenzi and the bass wonder Sandro Heule who both learned the whole set in one afternoon's session. And the guy who made the most mistakes on stage, of course, turned out to be me. Still, it was a lot of fun and one can't say it often enough: Painhead is Rorschach's first true supergroup.