Music Montag: Bon Iver

by James Glazebrook

Bon Iver
Tomorrow, Bon Iver play Berlin.

I’ve loved Bon Iver ever since Justin Vernon holed up in a cabin in remote Wisconsin to record the breakup of a relationship and his band, and came in from the cold clutching For Emma, Forever Ago. A lot has happened since then for the non-folkie’s favourite folk act, not least the release of the eponymous follow-up earlier this year. Bon Iver was both praised and derided for sounding like Peter Gabriel, which came as no surprise to anyone who picked up the split single on which Gabriel and Bon Iver covered each other’s tracks, back in 2010.

So here is: one of my favourite artists covering (probably) my all-time favourite artist. Click here to listen to Bon Iver cover “Come Talk to Me” on simfy.

For the completists among you, Stereogum have curated this collection of covers performed  by Bon Iver, including songs originally by Bob Dylan, Björk…and Dolly Parton! Wonder what they have in store for us tomorrow night?

Happy Halloween!

by Zoë Noble

Chicks on Speed: Cultural Workshop Now!

by James Glazebrook

We’re no art critics, and even if we were, we might not know what to make of Chicks on Speed’s recent retrospective at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien. So rather than try and make sense of the multi-national, multidisciplinary collective’s fusion of fashion, electroclash, DIY ethics, performance art and frequent nakedness… here are some pretty pictures. The exhibition is finished now, but you can see more of what you missed at Kunstraum Kreuzberg’s Facebook page – this art space, in a huge old hospital building, is well worth a visit, no matter what’s showing.

Music Montag: Halloween Monster Mash Up

by James Glazebrook


All Hallow’s Eve is still a week away, but we started celebrations early at the Halloween edition of Feeling Gloomy Berlin. DJing at Feeling Goolish gave me a chance to dust off my most diabolical dancefloor-fillers for a set full of questionable choices like playing Slayer’s borderline Nazi-sympathetic “Angel of Blood”. In Berlin. In makeup that, in a certain light, looked like I had a swastika on my forehead. My defence? I was playing the DJ Ayres “Fuck Off Nazi Punks” remix… obviously.

Anyway, below is a home recording of said set. See if you can guess which tracks I left out to spare the sanity of the crowd, and which ones I decided to play anyway ;).

As a bonus for everyone with access to Spotify (sorry again Germany!), here is a playlist to get you in the mood as you apply the grease paint and fake blood for whatever Monster Bash you are going to this weekend: Warm Up The Dead.

PS: can you guess who I was dressed as?


by Zoë Noble

Berlin Burger Tour, Stop 2: White Trash Fast Food

by James Glazebrook

Having sampled and scored Berlin Burger International in Neukölln, this week the Berlin Burger Tour rolled into White Trash Fast Food. If you’ve never been, then shame on you – call yourself a travelling hipster expat twat?! Here’s how I described it to The Style King:

A riot of food, booze and rock n’ roll, this expat hangout is more adult playground than mere restaurant. Lined with gaudy Oriental decorations, the walls of White Trash Fast Food house a tattoo shop, smoking cinema, stage for live music and The Diamond Lounge, home of go-go dancers and DJs like Berlin-based electro shocker Peaches. Wash down the King Elvis Supreme Burger with super strong cocktails or a “bucket o’ beer” and (if you can still stand) rock the night away.

The connoisseurs among you should also note that, right now, the usual roster of entertainingly-named burgers (Marquis de Fuck burger with Fuck You Fries, anyone?) is joined by an octopus burger. The following photo and analysis comes courtesy of @superglaze: “Tender and tasty, but it could have done with a tartar sauce or something similar to bring the flavour out a bit more.”

White Trash Octopus Burger

We überliners were busy either being, or tending to the, ill, so we won’t bore you with our opinions about White Trash. Here instead are the scores and comments from our “judging panel”, and courtesy of Digital Cosmonaut, a couple of photos of them having fun without us ???? :
White Trash Fast Food scores

“The chili sauce on the meat patty was AWESOME. But to be honest I waited so long for the burger that anything would have tasted amazing – 45 minutes or so I think it was. Too long. So I didn’t tip. The waitress was not happy.”

“tasty food, big portion, big price”

“The place was cool, liked the atmopshere and obviously the great company. Food was alright and a bit expensive..”

“Burger International was better.”

“fries lukewarm, lower half of bread soggy and crumbling appart due to meat juice, Burger itself was good, meat was very good. i suggest adding a “service” category – service was dead slow, the waitress was crap, took over 30 minutes for drinks to come, took at least an hour for food to arrive.”

“Paying a cover for a restaurant? Pah!”

For the price I would have expected more.

“The burger was thick and meaty, well cooked on the outside, pink on the inside and a nice slab of melted cheese on top. I got extra mayo without a problem when I asked. The bun was too crumbly. It fell apart while I was trying to eat the burger and I ended up having to use a *gasp* knife and fork.”

Berlin Burger Tour at White Trash Fast Food

Next stop: ROOM 77! More details here.

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!

Pergamon – Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis

by James Glazebrook

Pergamon – Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis was a no-brainer for this history graduate/tech nerd/fan of the Pergamonmuseum itself. The 360º, 3D panorama of the ancient city that is recreated inside the museum is going to be Museuminsel’s hot ticket for the next year (it runs until 30th September 2012). In fact, I only made it inside on my second attempt, having turned up on a Thursday lunchtime to find a 100-long queue outside – and I don’t queue. Having booked online, I returned for the first available time slot (9-9.30am) the next day, wondering: is this going to be worth the price (€8.50 for holders of a Jahreskarte Plus; €13 full price) and the hassle?

Pergamon panorama 1

Image courtesy of Asisi.

Well, Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis (PAM??) is certainly impressive. The 25m tall structure fills most of the sizeable courtyard in front of the Pergamon, meaning that the entrance to the museum now looks like an industrial storage facility. PAM is accessed by some six flights of steel stairs (I hope they have some disabled access worked out!), which will have visitors questioning if they’ve accidentally taken the workers’ entrance, until they come out onto the platform that overlooks the 100m wraparound screen.

Upon inspection (marvelling?), the view is spectacular. Even if we were allowed to take photos they would fail to do justice to the level of detail presented by what looks like an enormous hyperreal painting, given depth by subtle 3D. Besides, the sound design is equally awesome: the cacophony of crickets during the cycle’s “nighttime”, the buzz of the metropolis during “day” – elements of which are emphasised to cleverly draw viewers’ attention to, say, the marketplace, or the choir on the steps up to the palace. This effect is only marred by the plinks and strums of ever-present “background” music.

Pergamon Panorama 2

Image courtest of Asisi.

So PAM works as spectacle – but does it teach us anything? Beyond what the city, its situation in the surrounding landscape and its inhabitants (probably) looked like… no. It left this history geek wondering: What are these people doing? What is happening at the time? In the world around them? Essentially: what am I looking at? The talented creators at Asisi would no doubt argue that that is what the Pergamon museum is for, to provide the detail that people like Zoë and myself love (see some of her macro photos here). In fact, the below preview video, half-inched from ikono.tv, shows this relationship well – zooming in from a section of the panorama to the fragments on display inside  the Pergamonmuseum.

So Pergamon – Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis is context. The problem is, it’s pitched – and priced – as a standalone attraction. Admission to the Panorama costs as much as to the actual Pergamon itself – more for holders of a Jahreskarte Plus, which allows free access to all Berlin State Museums and their special exhibitions, except this one. And it took me about 20 minutes to digest PAM, whereas I have lost entire days inside the Pergamonmuseum, and still have things left to see. Not to belittle the Panorama, but given that it is really an introduction to the main attraction, a simulation of the real deal, it should be priced accordingly.

Pergamon – Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis is worth checking out, but it’s worth avoiding the crowds, booking online and paying the extra €5 to get a ticket that also includes entry to the museum. Then you’ll get the broad-brush overview, and still get to explore the real delights that the Pergamonmuseum has to offer.

Pergamon – Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis – Trailer 2 from ikono tv on Vimeo.