by Zoë Noble
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We thought White Trash Fast Food was busy – until more than 30 of us descended on poor Room 77 to sample its generous selection of meaty treats. As it’s in our Kiez and stocks Newcastle Brown Ale, this comfy little hangout is familiar to us – every time I try another of its 19 burgers, and attempt to ignore the sub-Tom Waits “street musician” who is ALWAYS THERE.
Room 77 offers “warm beer, cold women”, burgers covered in everything from peanut butter to fried eggs to guacamole to hot sauce… just don’t ask for a veggie option! Judging by the results of our survey, people seemed pretty happy with their massive burgers/tacos (for our vegetarian), with the only real reservation being the service. The staff may have messed up a couple of orders and been a bit snippy at times, but hey, this is Berlin – and I think the place did amazingly well to cope with this many people on a random Wednesday.
“They totally botched an order and made no effort to fix it. They lose points for customer service, but this is Berlin, rat bastards”
“Peanut butter on a burger = heaven. Soggy, messy… I’m glad no one was watching. Big and very satisfying. Service was great, considering our great size!”
“Loooved it! Cool music (not the street musician though…)”
“Yep, they actually tell you not to bother to order veggie burgers. That’s a first in Berlin! But then, the nachos were pretty good! And hot too! (sorry for the stain…)”
“Spiciness was good for being in Germany… wussies! Sauce for the fries was a bit weak, but Tabasco is a plus. All in all good experience, but a tad bit pricey for the product, especially in Berlin where you can get such decently-priced fast food”
Berlin Burger Crawl is an open group. To find out what’s going on, follow the hashtag #berlinburgertour on Twitter. If you want to get involved, tweet at @uberlinblog, leave us a comment below, or drop us an email. We’re going to have to book tables at some of the more popular/restauranty places, so do let us know if you plan to come!
That’s my only criticism of the artful new video from “queen of electronic soul” Billie Ray Martin. High concept, high drama, with washed-out colours and abstract cinematography, “Anatomy Of A Plastic Girl” tells the tale of
a young wannabe actress in L.A. who reflects on her facial surgery that has left her scarred and punctured with holes inside and out
…but, thankfully, not all that graphically.
Equally inventive is Martin’s new album, Hollywood Under the Knife, a co-production with Norwegian musician Robert Solheim – together, The Opiates. Wrapped in Wolfgang Tillmans imagery, it contains intricate character sketches of nine different misfits, each given voice by the singer’s pristine, powerful vocals. It might sound odd and off-putting, but some hack’s description of The Opiates as “the electronic Carpenters” is pretty dead-on.
Ignore Martin’s past as frontwoman for S’Xpress, The Grid etc. and treat this not so much as a new chapter, as a whole new storybook. Turn the page…
This article originally appeared on Bang Bang Berlin.
Boots: Dr. Martens | Coat: COS | Jeans: Just Female | Jumper: Topshop
“Bis Auf’s Messer” stands for, roughly translated, “fight to the bloody end”, a reference to the owners’ tenacity in the face of opposition to their starting yet another record shop in the city. This alone places the store at top of my list for “Most Metal Shop Names”, however, a brief visit to Bis Auf’s Messer pushes this excellent centre for all things “alternative” towards the top of my list of favourite record stores: period.
Bis Auf’s Messer primarily stocks vinyl, lovely, meaty great stacks of it, divided into suitably obscure categories including “noise”, “garage rock”, “grind”, and, most abundantly, “hardcore”. Indeed, this is a business very much true to the tenets and values of punk rock: placing releases by established acts alongside records by miniscule bands on no-name labels with photocopied artwork. My girlfriend Liz loves music of this elusive genre, and she was impressed to find so many hardcore releases in one place, with many discs that are absent from our normal London haunts.
Great finds during my visit included a !!! record at half price, a huge selection of Dischord releases (I bought the Faraquet album, which I’ve never seen outside the label’s website before), a Minutemen t-shirt, a Husker Du outtakes collection, and a small but great selection of jazz reissues. As if that wasn’t enough to induce a nerd meltdown, two versions of Mastodon’s Blood Mountain – on single “custom-coloured” and double deluxe, because I know you care – had my glasses steaming up. Liz bought a copy of snotty, legendary, and increasingly scarce hardcore magazine, Maximum Rock n’Roll, worth reading for its hilarious letters pages where disgruntled punkers vent their rage against “The Man”, Simon Cowell and pretty much every other aspect of their maligned existence, including each other.
What also pleases is that a clear sense of community and warmth is apparent: the shop supports local musicians and stocks a wide range of fanzines, while the owner we met was friendly, enthusiastic and approachable. He was happy to chat to Liz and answer questions, make recommendations, and so on. You don’t get this in HMV. Overall, a great treat for the vinyl aficionado and casual browser alike. Check out the excellent webstore, too.
Bis Auf’s Messer
Marchlewski Strasse 107