American Apparel Rummage Sale

by Zoë Noble

So we rocked up to the Arena in Treptow on Sunday hoping for a hallful of cheap crap – the weekly fleamarket – and instead found… um… an American Apparel rummage sale! It’s been a while since I popped into an AmApp, so the t-shirt prints of porn stars were new to me, and a clever way of bringing the brand’s reputation for exploitation to technicolour life. Needless to say, we bought some stuff (me, leather jeggings; Zo, a towel with a cock on it), and took some pictures. These pictures.

Music Montag: Ellen Allien & Apparat

by James Glazebrook

An oldie but a goodie. Nearly as old, in fact, as our love affair with Berlin. Released a couple of months after our first visit to the German capital, this represents the best music then (ever?) produced in the city. A collaboration between the original Berlinette Ellen Allien and local boy Apparat, “Do Not Break” has never left my (virtual) record box, proving particularly handy at Pamflet’s legendary London parties. Its heavy rotation continues this Saturday, as we celebrate a year in Berlin and all the great stuff that brought us to the city in the first place.

Saturday 19th November, 10pm – ?
The Black Lodge, Sanderstrasse 6, Neukölln, 12047 Berlin
More details here

Berlin Burger Tour, Stop 3: Room 77

by James Glazebrook

Damn, we’re popular! Berlin Burger Tour seems to be growing EXPONENTIALLY (I’m no mathematician).

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.

Anyway, enough from me. Let’s see what our mahoosive judging panel had to say:Berlin Burger Tour: Room 77

“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”


Photo courtesy of Nicole is the New Black

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!

Music Montag: Billie Ray Martin

by James Glazebrook

Billie Ray Martin
Too much man-ass.

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.

Überstyle: Mauerpark

by Zoë Noble

What I’m Wearing: Winter Walkers

by Zoë Noble

Winter is fast approaching here in Berlin and in the last few months my main priority has been to find a pair of boots that will survive the bloody thing! Last year I ruined two pairs of shoes which just weren’t up to the extreme conditions (-15 anyone?) so I was determined to find a boot that could withstand it all and not look like something my granddad would have worn. Well chaps I think I’ve found them. This pair from Dr. Martens laughs in the face of winter with a sole that is, in their words, “oil and fat-resistant, tough and offers good abrasion and slip resistance”. Yes, yes and oh hell yes! And to combat those winter blues, I’ll be walking through brown slush in petrol-like multi-coloured patent babies that make me smile when I look at them. Come on winter – I’m ready for you!

Boots: Dr. Martens | Coat: COS | Jeans: Just Female | Jumper: Topshop

Bis Auf’s Messer: Hardcore Record Store

by James Glazebrook

Serendipity. Today is Record Store Day in Berlin, and a little over a week ago some visiting friends from the UK helped us uncover the city’s best record store: Bis Auf’s Messer. Kevin Cousins waxes (sorry!) lyrical about Friedrichshain’s home of hardcore.

“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.

Liz and Kev's buys courtesy of Liz Wood

Liz and Kev's buys courtesy of Liz Wood

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
10243 Berlin

Liz and Kev's buys courtesy of Liz Wood

Liz and Kev's buys courtesy of Liz Wood