Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

Image result for anton newcombe

works in progress, sounds a bit like an album… left loads of extra tracks for 10′ singles and stuff.

1. alive 2. monochrome wound 3. mount pleasant 4. bindle 5. please never die 6. french monday afternoon 7. die neve welt 8. talkin bout the weather 9. right on

recorded here at Cobra in Berlin, Anton Alfred Newcombe 2017

Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

It was love at first drum. You can’t mention Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” without mentioning the hypnotic infectious drumbeat that kicks off the title cut with a bang. The lyrics are some of Iggy’s best. “I’m worth a million in prizes” is one of the greatest lines in rock. When the third verse comes in, the listener knows all the words and what they don’t…they’ll make up. Lust For Life is often considered the best post-Stooges Iggy Pop album, it is the 40th anniversary of Iggy’s explosive solo album.

Iggy’s first three solo releases all came out in the same year – 1977. Lust For Life came out on the heels of Iggy’s first post-Stooges release, The Idiot. The album was a collaborative effort with David Bowie (who had previously mixed The Stooges last album, Raw Power) and was heavily influenced by German culture, as both musicians were living in Berlin at the time. The band went on tour and shortly after, they jumped into the studio to write and record. On tour, they’d been playing The Idiot and old Stooges cuts but during sound checks, the band started experimenting with ideas.

Recording for Lust for Life started in April and ended in June, with the album hitting the shelves on 9th September 1977. Not even half a year had passed since the release of The Idiot and there was a new rock n’ roll record from Iggy. During this time, Iggy had also made a third album, Kill City, a demo he recorded in 1975 but most labels were hesitant, due to Pop’s reputation at the time. After the success of Lust For Life, the smaller label Bomp! Records jumped at the chance to put it out in November of 1977.

While The Idiot sounds more atmospheric and experimental for Iggy, Lust for Life sees him return to straightforward rock’n’roll. In the studio, Bowie would sit at a piano and name famous rock songs and say, “Okay now we’re going to rewrite [insert song]” and knock it out while Iggy would record it. While Bowie co-wrote many of the tracks, it’s Iggy’s lyrical wit and musicality that truly shines, along with an excellent lean and mean backing band provided by brothers Tony and Hunt Sales for the rhythm section, Carlos Alomar and Ricky Gardiner on guitars and Bowie on keyboard and backing vocals.

The infectious riff on the title cut, ‘Lust for Life’ was inspired by the Morse code opening to the American Forces Network News in Berlin while David and Iggy were waiting for 70s buddy cop series Starsky and Hutch to start. Whereas the song’s lyrics heavily reference all the stripteases, drugs, and hypnotizing chickens that make up Beat novelist William S Burroughs’ book, The Ticket That Exploded.

Iggy has always been a less-is-more kind of songwriter, so when it came to his lyrics, he took direction from the kid’s show host, Soupy Sales, who instructed kids to write fan letters that were 25 words or less. Bowie was so impressed by the expediency of Iggy’s improvisational lyrics that he ad-libbed most of the lyrics on his Heroes album.

In the 1980s, Iggy was financially struggling and facing the same demons of his early career.
At this time, Bowie famously covered the song they co-wrote together from The Idiot, ‘China Girl’ for his album, Let’s Dance. However, it’s lesser known that Bowie also covered two songs from Lust For Life, ‘Neighborhood Threat’ and ‘Tonight’ on his album Tonight, which helped Iggy get back on his feet financially and get clean.

‘The Passenger’ is loosely based on a Jim Morrison poem from his collection called “The Lords/Notes on Visions” and while many Berliners may like to imagine Iggy riding along on their enviable public transit system, the song is actually written from his perspective of riding shotgun in David Bowie’s car, since Iggy was without a car or license at the time. The title also takes its name from Michelangelo Antonioni’s movie The Passenger starring Jack Nicholson, which Pop had spotted on a billboard in LA before decamping to Berlin.

With the success of The Idiot, RCA had given the newly popular Pop a rather large advance to make his follow-up. As Iggy recounted to biographer Joe Ambrose in his book, Gimme Danger: The Story of Iggy Pop:

David and I had determined that we would record that album very quickly, which we wrote, recorded, and mixed in eight days, and because we had done it so quickly, we had a lot of money left over from the advance, which we split.”

Iggy Pop Celebrates 40 Years Of ‘Lust For Life’ With Vinyl Reissue

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It is difficult to mention only one thing we love about this young songwriter. Her vocals are something smooth but incredibly authentic while her sound blends pop, country, and the sound of New York effortlessly. The artist who currently resides in Berlin has this to say about the track:  “This song has been messing with me from the start. I was at home in Höllviken looking after my parents house and I did an all-nighter. I hammered on my dads classical guitar and drank wine and wrote it in solitude . . . Then I re-wrote the melody, the lyrics, the middle eight, changed the structure, asked a friend to help me out. And in the studio we tried out so many ideas, changed sounds, arrangements, vocal takes. It’s a real bastard. But I love it. It’s another bitter sweet story of mine.” We are excited to see what is next for this hugely talented artist.


Kiss Of Gasoline by Emma Elisabeth from the EP “We Gotta Talk”


Slow Steve

Inspired by ’70s science fiction films and the work of Jules Verne, the debut album from French musician Remi Letournelle, formerly of the band Fenster, feels like the vintage soundtrack to an unmade film. Delicately layered psychedelic pop soundscapes, and vintage analog instruments create otherworldly settings, while the lyrics tell interwoven stories about exploring land, sea and sky.

Morr Music is releasing Slow Steve’s Adventures, the debut album by Ex-Fenster member Rémi Letournelle. Following a 7″ split single on Berlin DIY label Späti Palace and Steps, a six-track EP released on Morr Music last year, Adventures is the first LP of the French man. His bubbling vintage synths (together with an impressive variety of instruments) will take you on a strange trip through imagined galaxies and secret deep-sea worlds. Call it weird, but this is amateur pop in all its glory, and the most natural outlet for Slow Steve. Think of Ariel Pink,

Most of the record is sung in Gallic-inflected English, but there are enough Francophone tracks to satisfy any French pop fan (“Josephine Riviere I,” allegedly tells the story of his niece’s travel into outer space and is a supremely pleasant way to test any non-native French speaker’s language proficiency).


GURR – ” In My Head “

Posted: October 18, 2016 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,


Gurr, the Berlin-based duo of Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee, were looking for a new way to describe the music on their first full-length LP, In My Head, so they held a contest on social media. The band has a devoted fanbase—nicknamed GurrScouts—who, according to Casablanca and Lee, have been incredibly supportive of the band over the past four years.

Fans of Bratmobile, the Raincoats and Sleater-Kinney will find plenty to love in Gurr. And for a band only now releasing their first full-length, they have received the kind of attention that bands with much longer discographies would envy: An early single “Metropole” was included on the soundtrack for the film Desire Will Set You Free, directed by Yony Leyser (which also featured cameos by Berlin legends Nina Hagen, Peaches, and Einstürzende Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld). They have toured with the Coathangers, Bleached, Jimmy Eat World, and Best Coast, with whom they share a left-coast surf-rock vibe.

The day we met, they had just returned from the Reeperbahn festival (where they were named one of the Top Ten New Bands by Musik Express). They’ve also received plenty of attention in the United States: American feminist magazine Bitch noticed their first EP  “We’re going to SXSW,” says Casablanca. “We are so happy to go to this country that inspired us so much.

“Some artists just want to release an album,” says Lee. “They use all their money, they never play live, then look for a label, then look for shows.” But Gurr flipped that trajectory on its head. They recorded a bunch of demos on cassette, then sent them out to venues. Soon after, they both went to college in the United States: Casablanca to the University of California Santa Cruz; Lee to the University of Pennsylvania. “We got to see all this music we loved firsthand,” Lee says.


They followed their first EP with, in Lee’s words, “excessive touring”—six months—and the used the money to fund the their first LP, which was recorded at Kosmic World at Berlin’s Funkhaus, a recording complex housed in the former headquarters of GDR radio. The studio engineer used all analog equipment and strictly recorded to tape, with no digital effects


The band also pays close attention to their lyrics, including lyric sheets and entertaining anecdotes with both their physical and digital releases (that’s how fans know that Velvet was inspired by a trip to Nico’s grave just outside of Berlin; “The Tragedy of S.T.” is an ode to a hungover morning spent looking up Shania Twain’s Wikipedia page; and “Super Tired” recalls an evening involving vomit, a French dude, and the Berlin Ringbahn.) With that in mind, we asked them to annotate a few of the songs off their new album.

Casablanca: It was finished really close to the end of the album. And I was staying in [Laura’s] living room. And I heard this riff, and we weren’t sure if it was going to be on the album.

Lee: This riff was just a recording on my phone. When our label heard it, it was so light and sunny and they were like, ‘This is our feel-good summer song!’ And Andreya wrote the darkest lyrics to it—it’s actually really sad.

Casablanca: A lot of crazy things happened here with refugees—a lot of violence against people who were just seeking a new home. In my Masters’ studies, I had this project where I wanted to talk about my own ignorance about these things, because I’m always reading about it and talking about it with my friends, but never really taking action. I’m so into pop culture and reading about what’s going on on Jezebel. But there’s this line, Moby Dick isn’t white anymore. It’s self-reflective: I should care about what’s going on in front of my own house.


OVER 30 BANDS, ART EXIBIT, HIPPIE CORNER MARKET & BEERGARDEN ,SOUND OF LIBERATION UG in partnership with GREYZONE CONCERTS is proud to present the fifth edition of DESERTFEST BERLIN: the ultimate heavyrock-psycho-doom festival!!! 3 days of rock mayhem with 30+ performing acts on two stages, visual arts and hippie market…. the full package nested in the beating cultural heart of Berlin: F-Hain/X-Berg, in the famous ASTRA KULTURHAUS.

Line-up announcements for the 2016’s edition start on September 10th 2015! Early birds are already sold-out, but normal tickets are available. Be quick, we have the feelling this year is gonna be massive! Let’s celebrate our fifth anniversary with all of you guys!

Nicely located  in between Friedrichshain and the famous “X Berg” (Kreuzberg meaning Cross Hill) borough of Berlin: the counterculture epicenter of Germany’s capitol, ASTRA Kulturhaus is a very well known venue, which runs almost daily productions. The place is big and host 3 show-areas : a big Hall, a Foyer and a “club/bar” room.
All 3 spots have that 70’s touch with old fashionned crystal-like chandeliers, retro furnitures and wallpapers… it’s cosy, dark and warm: exactly the feeling you want to get entwined into the vibe of psych, heavy rock and doom music.
Also, we plan for you a beergarden in the yard located in the back of the venue: we’re certain you’ll enjoy taking a break in the first sun rays of spring, seated on benches to sip a beer or a coffee and to bite a bit !

Lou Reed Live Set of the album “Berlin” 

Lou Reed’s controversial concept album Berlin – his third solo outing after the break up of The Velvet Underground – first saw the light of day in 1973 and was almost universally denounced. Rock bible Rolling Stone declared it a career-finishing ”disaster” that was so bad it merited perpetrating ”physical vengeance” on its creator before signing off with ”Goodbye, Lou”. Hardly surprising, then, that Lou Reed should have stepped away from the work and ignored for so long, only returning to it in 2006 to resurrect it in a 30-date tour that has already spawned a DVD (directed by Julian Schnabel) and now this live recording, taken from two nights in mid-December that year at St Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York.

Critical appreciation of Berlin has been building since its damned and doomed debut, and in this super-charged performance, complete with 30-piece band and 12-strong choir, it’s easy to hear and appreciate why. As a concept, the piece still suffers from its own flawed ambition. Whatever else it is, Berlin is not a rock opera, or any sort of opera, for that matter. Yes, there’s a narrative – two drug-addled lovers take a lethal walk on the German capital’s wild side – but the structure supporting it is so loose and the songs so arbitrarily connected that calling it an opera is nothing more than a fanciful affectation.

But there are magnificent moments contained within that bare comparison with the best of Reed’s solo work. Equally, there are some excruciating moments, too, not least an horrendously awful take on The Bed.

While it lacks the clinical studio intensity of the original, this live performance carves its own muscular drama and dark poetry out of Reed’s dystopian lyrics and coruscating music, the latter helped by the return of original collaborator Steve Hunter on electric guitar. Reed himself remains his timeless self: dour, po-faced, emotionally underplayed and vocally colourless but acutely acerbic and astringent.

Three other songs – Candy Says, in a duet with Antony ‘And The Johnsons’ Hegarty; Rock Minuet from Reed’s 2000 long-player Ecstasy; and Sweet Jane from the Velvet’s fourth album, Loaded – are offered as encores, cleverly if a little too subtly attempting to re-thread Berlin back into a wider context.

42 years ago “Berlin” by Lou Reed is released on  14th October 1973,  Berlin may be a great album, it’s just not an easy one to listen to. It’s intensely dark in its lyrical content, charting the doomed relationship of Caroline and Jim following them through drug addiction, domestic violence and suicide. Not the cheeriest of subjects for a concept album.  First released in 1973, it was a commercial failure but became a cult classic. Berlin came hot on the heels of Lou Reed’s glam rock masterpiece Transformer. Anyone expecting a commercial follow-up was non-plussed to say the least.

The album is a tragic Rock Opera about a doomed couple, Jim and Caroline, and addresses themes of drug use, prostitution,depression, domestic violence, and suicide.

“The Kids” tells of Caroline having her children taken from her by the authorities, and features the sounds of children crying for their mother. The UK group The Waterboys takes its name from a line in this song

Musically, Berlin differs greatly from the bulk of Reed’s work, due to the use of heavy orchestral arrangements, horns, and top session musicians. Instrumentally, Reed himself only contributes acoustic guitar.

As with Reed’s previous two studio albums, Berlin re-drafts several songs that had been written and recorded previously. The title track first appeared on Reeds Solo Debut album, only here it is simplified, the key changed, and re-arranged for solo piano. “Oh, Jim” makes use of the Velvet Underground outtake “Oh, Gin”.

Lou Reed has never been the most melodious of singers, but his gravelly, nasal, mumble-y singing suits the subject matter perfectly. His voice sounds like he has been there, done that, and adds an air of jaded, cynical depression to the tracks. Who else could carry off lyrics like, ‘Caroline says as she gets up off the floor/You can hit me all you want to, but I don’t love you anymore/ Caroline says while biting her lip/ Life is meant to be more than this, and this is a bum trip’?

“Caroline Says (II)” is a rewrite of “Stephanie Says” from the album VU. The Velvet Underground had also recorded an alternate demo of “Sad Song”, which had much milder lyrics in its original form. “Men of Good Fortune” had also been played by the Velvets as early as 1966; an archival CD featuring live performances of the band playing at Andy Warhols Factory provides the evidence of the song’s age. The CD featuring the early performance of “Men of Good Fortune” is not for sale and can only be heard at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

’The Bed’’ sounds like a love song, but is instead about Caroline’s suicide. The words are filled with regret and the soft acoustic sounds help you picture her drifting into unconsciousness.

Berlin is definitely a challenge, and is about as far away from pop, or dinner party music as you can get. But thanks to Ezrin’s production it has a rich, lush sound with the string and horn sections, and backing choir (and occasional cracking guitar solo), showcased best on ‘’Sad Song’’.

Caroline Says II” has been covered by several artists: the Soft Boys, Human Drama, Suede and Siouxsie Sioux in 1993, Mercury Rev and Antony and the Johnsons. Marc Almond also covered the song with his band Marc and the Mambas on the 1982 album Untitled.

On July 7th, 1980, the original members of Led Zeppelin performed together for the final time at Eissporthalle in Berlin, Germany.

The concert was the last scheduled stop on a 14-date European tour in support of the group’s most recent (and ultimately final) studio album, 1979′s In Through the Out Door. Trouble had been circling the band in previous years, with John Bonham and Jimmy Page both struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.

Two weeks before the Berlin show, on June 27th in Nuremburg, Germany, Led Zeppelin were forced to stop their show after just three songs when John Bonham was rushed to the hospital after suffering what was reported as food poisoning but rumored to be the result of a blackout.

Berlin 7.7.80

A North American tour, which, like the European jaunt, was to see the band trimming some of the excess soloing and pageantry of previous expeditions, was scheduled to begin in October. But on Sept. 24th, after reportedly drinking 40 measures of vodka during a 12-hour period on a rehearsal day, Bonham went to bed at Page’s house and was found dead the following morning.

A few months later, on Dec. 4th, 1980, the group issued a statement declaring they would be breaking up as a result of Bonham’s passing. The surviving members have reunited only a few times since then, including short sets at Live Aid in 1985 and the 40th anniversary concert for Atlantic Records in 1988. Most recently, they performed a full-scale show on Dec. 10th, 2007, in London that was captured on the Celebration Day concert film that was released in 2012.

Although the photo above is taken from a show a few days prior, you can see photographs, the complete set list, ticket stubs and other memorabilia from Led Zeppein’s final show at their official website.

Berlin 7.7.80



Bella Union are thrilled to announce the late summer release of The Dew Lasts An Hour, the brilliant, long-awaited debut album from Berlin-based multi-nationals BALLET SCHOOL.

From ambient intro ‘Slowdream’ to the slow R&B jam of new single ‘Lux’, from the swooning dream-pop of ‘Pale Saint’ and ‘Heliconia’ to the ecstatic hooks of ‘Heartbeat Overdrive’ and ‘Ghost’, the album is a fresh, vibrant take on the lush, emoting tropes of Eighties pop and rock, but sounds resolutely 21st century, its diverse influences placing the trio at the forefront of pop’s new alternative.

“We’re not a synth band, we’re a guitar band, but one that’s trying to push the boundaries of the traditional set up,” declares Rosie Blair, whose beautiful, octave-stretching vocals spearhead Michel Jun Collet’s luminous guitar figures and Louis McGuire’s inventive drums. “We write pop songs. I never thought pop music was a lower form of art. We actively try to play with the model of mainstream pop against what indie is supposed to be and find our own new form. And though I love laptop pop, it’s vital that people witness our energy, that punk lust, when we play live.”

Ballet School began in early 2011 when Blair spotted Collet in Berlin’s U-Bahn underground, “playing amazingly delicate, arcane, beautiful guitar. We bonded over Cocteau Twins and immediately knew we had to be in a band together.” When the pair subsequently met McGuire in one of Kreuzberg’s artist-run spaces, witnessing the talented young drummer playing an electronic kit and simultaneously triggering bass lines, the trinity was complete.

Last year’s Boys Again EP included the pop-euphoric pair ‘Heartbeat Overdrive’ and ‘Ghost’, which appear on the album in re-recorded versions, likewise the dynamic ‘Yaoi’ with it’s early-Eighties Cure/Banshees guitar chime, alongside an alternative take on ‘Crush’ and seven brand new tracks. The album title may refer to the transience and fragility of youth, but Ballet School’s sublime debut is going to live on for a very long time.

The Dew Lasts An Hour will be released 8th September on Bella Union in UK and US.