Saturday, July 29, 2006

Good Thieves of Burning Cars Encirle Poisened Rivers, Minds and Hearts.


First day of Berlin Festival is OVER!

I'm pretty wrecked after it, in a good way. This was my only festival this summer and it was a good time. i set off this morning with my bag packed full of festival necessities: sun lotion, full batteries in my camera and rice cakes. Arriving early at the festival grounds we heard the rock'n'roll Humanzi getting it on at the main stage. They were the first band of the day, and playing to less than 10 people. ha ha! The er, less than huge crowd didn't stop them from ripping it up though, they were one of my favourite bands of the day.

shaun mulrooney, humanzi

The first time i saw them was when they played a special set for the Voices From A Room programme. (This bit of tv on RTE 1 is a gem: live performances taking place in a small church in beautiful Co. Kerry.) The night Humanzi play they are introduced by the inimitable John Kelly like this: "Sometimes I despair about young people. Alot of them want to sit in their bedrooms and strum acoustic guitars - don't even think about plugging them in. But every so often you get your faith restored. Here's a noisy bunch: HUMANZI."

They are indeed noisy. Their lyrical content is quite bleak, the second last song of their set with a song about the apocalypse, for example. I wouldn't really recommend** watching that archived show, the band were a million times deadlier today. Deadly = Dub speak for REALLY F-ING GOOD! Lead singer Shaun Mulrooney is looking a damn sight healthier for one, and also quite easy on the eyes, maybe its the haircut or the tight jeans, the slimmer waist or perhaps less booze and fags, more band practise. ?? Well done anyway Shaun. Swoon, thud. Their next gig is on a night called Kill All Hippies in 333 Club. If you're in London on August 8th, i definitely recommend going to see them.

My 2nd favourites of the day were Hot Club de Paris!
YAY! THIS! BAND! IS! AMAZINGLY! FUN! AND! GREAT! Inside, on the Moshi Moshi stage, they beckoned the crowd closer to the stage and opened their set by standing together all three in a row, hands clasped behind their backs, eyes to the heavens, thus serenading us with a little song about themselves. They were so delightfully happy and cheeky - its hard not to fall in deep smit with a band doing sweet harmonies, beatboxing, singing witty lyrics and rocking out all at the same time. Do check out the live dates listed on their myspace page. Their live show is NOT TO BE MISSED!!!!!!!!! It was a nice moment when their bass player snapped a string, the bass player from Kubichek (who was in the crowd enjoying the show) ran off and got his to hand up onstage for a lend. Nice.

The festival setting was slightly surreal as part of the grounds, around the corner from the main stage, were sectioned into a sort of petting zoo. In between bands, we visited the pigs, goats, deer, hamsters and peacock. Amazing!


Klaxons. They have the best t-shirts. They have done a cover of a dodgy old 90's dance tuuuuuune, the one that goes like, "it's all over, it's all over, it's all over, it's all over nowwwwww." Grace, "It's Over Now". I coulnd't believe my ears. These boys...hitting all those high notes. Before the band began, several rowdy members of the crowd were doing their own vocal rendition of the "Atlantis to Interzone" keyboard bits: "WAAAAAAIIIIIIII, OH OH OH". This made the Klaxons laugh. So did the answer "YOU!" when they asked, "who was the best band of the day?". One of the guitarists took over the mic for the last song and jumped in the crowd. He has bright green converse. The other wore a bright pink cardi. Theres alot going on with this band. They're singing obscure/mushy lyrics to their indie-rave-what-have-you,
while looking surly and wearing their grannies fleurescent cardigans. They were totally out of tune for "Gravity's Rainbow" which was kind of funny and disconcerting, they were all singing together out of tune like one key higher or something. The keyboardist had programmed one of his keys to play the word "WICKEDDDD" whenever he pressed it. THEY ARE SO GREAT.


Sorry i'm such a girl and have decorated this post with nothing but sweaty boys.

Humanzi, Kill All Hippies Gig Flyer - pass it on
Hot Club de Paris
Berlin Festival
Other Voices, RTE
Moshi Moshi Records
Nice bedtime story

**I would however recommend watching this. Amy and Torque from Stars shine a light on why Canada's music scene has been blossoming in recent years, plus nice live performance bits and more talking. Other artist's performances you can check out there are Duke Special, Bell X1, Jose Gonzalez, Jape, Rufus Wainright, Mark Lanegan, The Thrills....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Nice Day For Your Shop To Get Busy

i love the news today.




GET STUCK IN here or here. this track is really reminiscent of "You Got Me". Pang.



My Latest Novel!

My Latest Novel

Shout Out Louds!
the Raveonnettes!
Echo and the Bunnymen!
Hot Club de Paris!


GERRY RYAN PLAYED THE PIPETTES ON THE BIGGEST NATIONAL RADIO STATION IN IRELAND, PROBLY THIS MORNING! I WAS HAVING A CUP OF TEA AND I SAID TO MYSELF "THAT SOUNDS LIKE..NO IT CANT BE..VIOLINS?...PULL SHAPES!!!!!!!"...I NEARLY SPLUTTERED MY TEA ALL OVER MY LAPTOP. GERRY SAID, "doesn't that sound like something Phil Spector would have come up with in the 1960's (he soundeded very pleased with himself here) Very fresh and lively! Now, lets talk about expensive alcahol....."


beck said,
"it's all stickers...
It's really pretty amazing.
The artwork is laid out in stickers,
it's modular, the cover is blank
and you get a sheet of stickers
and you make your own cover."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Do You Feel My Heart Beating?

Last night at West Germany there were some bands! It's probably one of my favourite venues in Berlin. Probably because it's run by two of the loveliest expatriots in Berlin, with the fanciest irish accents, Paul and Fitz. Probably because its homed in a dilapidated doctor's office - of which the ceiling (or lack thereof) is probably my favourite feature.

Cupcake lived up their name and were quite yummy. They took up the whole stage and then some with two sets of drums, electric and bass guitar, singer on keyboards and a girl sitting quaintly on a chair just offstage finger-pickin' on an acoustic guitar. The sound was really good, though it was a shame we didnt really get to hear the acoustic guitar at all, except this one time before the rest of the band kicked in. They performed a batch of really hot treats..about halfway through their set as I was texting a friend about them, in that moment I was getting some interesting flavours: there was a satistying and crunchy Sonic Youth centre with some extra added Bloc Party nuggets plus a sprinkling of Hole. Their music makes you want to dance and i think their songs would have had us all in a stomp if it hadnt been so damn hot and perhaps if there'd been just a few more people there. Included in the set was a song inspired by "the band who sings that song 'close your eyes..give me your hand, darlin'...'". A ripple went through the crowd of people turning to their neighbour, scratching their heads and asking "Who sang that song again?". Funny. Their set was quite short, i guess because they were on first. I hope i'll get to see them again somewhen somewhere around beautiful Berlin.


On the way up there we noticed that the stairwell has been newly painted a rather disgusting pastel puke green colour. Unfortunately the West Germany management is asking that the walls remain untarnished, probably the best warning sign ever, though. i'm not sure which is worse - the ugly graffiti tags or the new paint not anti graffiti, but the previous mess of tagging was pointless and boring..

When he's not going on mad jaunts in the tour bus with Erase Errata et al, Fitz djs. At the moment he's djing once a month in Paloma bar. He has a deadly record collection: "never leave the house without it" he said, brandishing some Thin Lizzy vinyl, though last night was more French 60s pop. It's tiny and amazing in there. Up the 2nd set of stairs over from West Germany as you go towards Kaisers.

i never knew that Tiffany was doing a cover!

Tommy James and the Shondells, "I Think We're Alone Now"

children behave, indeed.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oh, Kelly

I've loved Cut Copy for a long time. Signed up for the newsletter and everything. They make this music that makes you sad and want to dance at the same time. kind of like Interpol? Not musically, but the way you feel..

Cut Copy, "Going Nowhere".

i discovered the Presets somehow this week. i can't get this song out of my head. it's amazing...and has clapping.

Today i stumbled upon this. I'm in love.

"Kelly" by Van She

not sure but i think they are, all of them, australian and on the same label. ha ha! thats not how i discovered them though. anyway. im happy.

i just had my first split-from-the-band-due-to-creative-differences experience. it was a good time.

if you go here you can download some crazy shit.

Monday, July 17, 2006

We'll Travel To Infinity

This weekend beautiful Berlin was taken over by MAD RAVERS.

On Saturday the Love Parade was on. I went there with my friend who once upon a time had scribbled in her highschool yearbook that one of her lifelong goals was to make it to Love Parade. 10 years later, she was there! Me, i just wanted to gawk. We walked down Strasse der 17 Juni in a throng of badly dressed people who were dancing to techno. It was funny. People were partying on the top of lamp posts and sometimes getting a little bit too friendly when the crowds were packed tightly..There were floats on each side of the street with loads more badly dressed dancing people and djs. Some of the songs i heard recalled my days (nights) of dancing to house music in the sweaty back dancefloor of an awful club, the Garden. Im glad those days are over. People used to think i was always on drugs cos I danced so much, but i wasnt, i just love dancing...oh, maybe i dance funny. i dunno.

WHICH IS WHY SATURDAY NIGHT WAS SO GREAT. i saw The Horrors, The Klaxons and WhoMadeWho at Rio. This was rave music at its best..We were all raving mad! It was a dance to the death. The party started at 11pm, but the night truly began when The Horrors took to the stage. From the first rip of Josh Horror's guitar and snarl from Faris Horror, it was a relentless onslaught. Out of control..Their set was sexual, dark and that way that fear can feel good. Screeching "Jack the Ripper" at us, the dirty london gutters were practically spewing from their mouths. Faris was wont to stalk off the stage and menace the crowd, threatening on the mic from beneath his mop of shiny black hair. Josh is a livewire onstage, his eyes gleam minute he's absorbed in ripping it up on his guitar, the next he's in the crowd screaming in someone's face.
The Horrors 011 Whoever it was will probably have nightmares for a week.

If you want nightmares for a week fucking long time, watch the video for "Sheena is a Parasite".

...NOT for the faint of heart...thats basically what happened on the dancefloor, especially to me. But yeh, minus the slimy entrails part.

the Klaxons were certainly able to keep up the momentum. Each of them attacked their instruments intensely. That dancefloor certainly got a thrashing..I highly recommend visiting their space cos you can download "Atlantis to Interzone" AND "Gravity's Rainbow" and then you can go to BIG STEREO and get a nice remix of the latter by Van She and then be a very fucking happy person indeed.

Didn't realise how much of WhoMadeWho's music i already knew! How ace. They seemed surprised how much everyone enjoyed their set. They kept up with the rave theme slightly with their BANGIN version of Benny Benassi's "Satisfaction", innit. You can hear it here. TUUUUUUUUUUNE!

As an antidote to the horror feature, this video has been giving me the utmost joy lately.

When are the Cribs coming to Berlin???!!!

ps- i should say something like, Yay, Vice! for hooking me up with an invite + throwing a bloody good party for everyone in celebration of Vice Germany's 1 year anniversary. Free beer all night, really all CHERRY BEER really all night..swoon..a great crowd and an effing great line up. Check their photo blog for when they post up photographs from the night, there were several Vice photographers on patrol that night. I certainly hope I do not make any incriminating appearances.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I Warned You, You Didn't Believe Me

Just a few minutes ago Beth Ditto bumped her glorious bum right into me. I wont forget the sight of her on the dancefloor: she's really tiny and there was a gang of ecstatic dancing boys jumping all around her in a circle. Twas a sight to behold.Yeh, The Gossip played a gig tonight in Berghain, a truly Berlin venue somewhere in the middle of nowhere. i don't really know how i actually managed to get there. After roaming around on my bicycle feeling totally lost (in my own neighbourhood!) and exchanging several texts messages with my cohort i finally wandered down a dark alley and followed lights and laughter and there it was. While waiting in the queue its hard not to observe the framed notice which proclaims "Absolutely No Picture Taking!" in several languages. Sure enough, i had to check my camera in, which was such a disappointment as the setting was unbelievably photogenic, you could spend months in there taking unbelieveable shots. Berghain is really an amazing place. Like some kind of huge abandoned nightmare factory, it's certainly an appropriate setting for a seriously spooky Japanese psychological thriller. Eeeeeeeeeek. Well, except for all the sweaty people dancing madly to Kate Bush. (The pre-gig dj, Kate Boss was really good.)

Dark and eerie inside, you feel cornered even though you're standing in such a massive space. There is a feeling that something strange and unworldly has been unleashed and is coming to get you. The concrete structure seems endless with stairs climbing up all the walls and rooms leading onto rooms. It seems so empty, though many things catch your eye: glass panes in the walls, a glass bar counter filled with broken beer bottles, ultraviolet lit toilets, the shadow of a hook dangling from the ceiling cast menacingly on the wall. This building also houses Panorama Bar which i haven't been to yet, so there's even more to it that i haven't seen...

Like their gig in Magnet nearly a month ago, tonight was a total sweatfest. Boys were stripping off and throwing their garments at Beth as she had no towel onstage. It was a good time. She was in good form, like last time, cussing and lasciviously chatting up the crowd. She looked absolutely amazing. They played a similar set, though with more "slow jams" as requested by Beth, including their sweet cover of Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody" (it's on the space). They almost played Nelly Furtado's "Maneater" (...which is listed as no.3 in a top ten on Brace's space) and saved "Standing in the Way of Control" til last again. By the end of the show the crowd was a heaving mass of sinously shimmying boys and girls.

Their music gets right into you and shakes up your insides and unearths alot of deeply rooted feelings. It's her voice, its the dirty basslines and thumping drums - Hannah slammed right through her skins + had to tape her snare all back together.

Beth really knows how to work the crowd, without obviously doing so. Enticing and inviting you with her wiley charms and urgent pleas to join in, clap, dance, sing, bump and grind with her on the danceflo'.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Your Eyes Are Big When They're So Close

I like going to see Maximo Park live. The first time I went, last November, it was a gig that changed the way I listened to their album. I urgently searched out the songs which I hadn't been paying proper attention to and these have since become firmer favourites than the ones that drew my attention to the band initially. Le sigh. Around this time was a turning point in my life, I'd decided to really stay in Berlin and set myself up here despite unemployment, homelessness and a serious bike accident. I was making new friends and planning projects...for me the night of this gig was an evening of promise.

Second time around, June 22nd last at the Maria it was a warm-up to the Melt Festival, with the Pipettes opening up and Whitest Boy Alive playing next door in Josef. Paul took to the stage in a stamping fury. His energy is contagious and the crowd gave in completely and joined in. And I was right in the midddle of it! Woo hoo. It was a great feeling being in that crowd, and I didn't even mind the fine array of bruises I left with. Though I didn't get to speak to anybody who'd been performing that night, the backstage bit was nice, there was beer and food and nice people. I nicked some Pipettes set lists and some posters that said "Be Cool Smoke Outside". We were nearly ejected by a burly German bouncer (we didn't have red backstage bracelet tags as Paul had just waved us in) Thanks to Drea for her reasonable logic triumphing over his testosterone tantrum!

The photograph of Paul was taken by my sister this weekend when she saw them play in a special MTV tent at Oxegen Festival. Wonderfully, she had wandered in to the tent not knowing who was about to play and then the boys took to the stage and played a cute mini set of just 3 songs. Its online to watch here.

Theres a gig tonight that will be a nice change from all these "big" gigs i've been turning up at lately. Noussommesloups (We Are Wolves) are playing in White Trash tonight with support from Duchess Says . Tix: 8 euros, doors at 9.