uberlin

Metal Montag: Architects and Stray From The Path

by Guest Blogger

More metal mayhem from Mike T West.

Oh me, oh my – it has been bloody ages since we had a Metal Montag! We thought it was about time we dusted off the air guitar and warmed-up our invisible oranges. What better opportunity to get back into the pit than with one of our favourite Britports Architects?

The Brighton quad returned earlier in the month with their huge sounding sixth album Lost Forever // Lost Together, which is excellent and also makes us feel dead old. SIXTH ALBUM?! Recorded in Sweden with producer Henrik Udd (who also helps Bring Me The Horizon sound just as crushing), LF//LT is the sound of what living on the south coast of England would do any sane person.

Check it out…

Joining Architects are the best rap metal band since Crazy Town, Stray From The Path, along with Aussie metalcore underagers Northlane and English hardcore mob, More Than Life. If you survive the above then you are clearly made of steel. Super steel.

Please note the event has moved from Lido to C-Club and starts when the pit boss says so.

BLEGH!

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Greenville Music Festival 2014

by James Glazebrook

BRO_4335_1400px

As far as we’re concerned, it’s never too early to plan for festival season, especially when the line-ups are as awesome as this year’s Greenville Music Festival. What they call “one of the most diverse festivals in Germany”, we’ve called a “musical mixed bag”, and we have another descriptor to add: Deutschland’s dopest (literally) festival.

Greenville 2014 is headlined by Snoop Dogg AKA Snoop Lion, and we’re probably the only people to hope he’s still in full-on dread mode. We’ll also be throwing our blunts in the sky for Method Man & Redman and Odd Future’s walking whitey Tyler, The Creator. Other highlights are sure to be überlin favourite Hurts, my main beard rival MC Fitti, killer live acts The Hives, Turbowolf and Maximo Park and hardcore legends Cro-Mags and Sick Of It All. Um, and the Presidents of the United States of America?

Check out Greenville’s well-rounded line-up below, and give it a listen on their Spotify playlist. For more details visit the Greenville Music Festival website, and keep it locked to überlin for the chance to win a pair of tickets. Put your lighters up!

Greenville_Webfyler_quer

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The Epic Expat Care Package

by Zoë Noble

When my mam told me that I would be getting a care package in the mail “with a few bits and bobs”, I could never have imagined the scale and hilarity of the package that would arrive on our doorstep. Read on for some megalols – I promise you that none of this is made up!
expat care package

1. Scarf  – This would have been useful if winter hadn’t weirdly decided to fuck off, but at least I know it will come in handy next year when it’s payback time.

2. Coffee – Anyone who knows James knows he has coffee running through his veins. My parents try to keep him in constant supply, bless.

3. Nail varnish remover – Last time I was over in the UK my mam introduced me to these little babies. You basically whack your fingers inside the little pot and, voilà! Nail varnish gone in seconds! I declared it to be the best invention since sliced bread and knowing my mam, she will have bought a huge supply for all my coming birthdays and Christmases.

4. Haircut suggestion – My mam has written “Zoe – new hair cut?” next to this model with a bob. I listened to this advice, and it worked out nicely, so well done Ma. ☺

5. Style magazine from the Sunday papers – In the UK, Sunday is the day for eating the biggest roast dinner imaginable and reading the biggest newspapers imaginable in front of a log fire/flatscreen TV. In Berlin we don’t have a TV and German newspapers hurt our brains so this is a nice little mindless distraction.

6. Waterproof mattress cover – Don’t worry, James isn’t wetting the bed (anymore). This is for a furry grey Fledermaus named Olive. Thankfully, she’s now worked out how to hold her tablespoon-sized bladder for longer than five minutes so we won’t be needing this, phew.

7. After Eights – As well as keeping us in constant supply of coffee my parents also send us a steady stream of chocolate. I wonder if, when I’m 40, I will still be sent Easter eggs in the mail? Fingers crossed.

8. Victoria sponge cake – A few years ago, I mentioned in passing that I liked a bit of Vicky’s sponge and ever since then my mam has always bought one for us to take home when we visited. Now she’s taken it to the next level and actually SHIPPED US A VICTORIA SPONGE!

9. Makeup bag – She also likes to send me little pressies she spots on her shopping trips. Who am I to put a stop to this??

10. Gravy – Germany, I love you – but you don’t seem to do gravy well. If anyone out there knows where I can buy gravy that you can stand a spoon up in, let me know.

11. Face wash – I didn’t ask for any face wash but I guess Berlin can have quite the ageing effect on you, with its weekend long raves and burger-Döner diet. Maybe my mam is trying to tell me something?

12. Makeup sponges – Again, didn’t ask for these, but I think you can see there is a bit of a theme going on. Just because I’ve moved to Berlin it doesn’t mean I should let my beauty regimen slip.

13. Socks – James gets through socks like they were made out of cobwebs so receiving a constant supply from family members can only be a good thing.

14. Underpants – See above. Try not to imagine pants made of cobwebs.

15. Olive – Good thing that box had airholes!

16. His and hers slippers – My parents are always buying things to keep us warm: slippers, dressing gowns, socks, scarfs, blankets. Maybe they know that we would never spend our money on practical things so they have to try and keep us alive somehow.

17. Bathmat – My mam explained that this is made from the softest material ever so she wanted to share the joy.

18. Quality Street – See number 7.

Can you top this?? What’s the most ridiculously epic care package you’ve ever received?

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Dirty South

by James Glazebrook

bootless along wall

There’s no denying the awesome power of the German Frühstück (zum Bespiel) but, as far as we’re concerned, no one does brunch like the Americans. That’s why we headed to Dirty South in Friedrichshain, a restaurant and bar opened by the Philadelphians behind Cupcake Berlin. A down-home diner with a punk twist, Dirty South serves up comfort food for homesick expats and Yankophiles like us.

Zoë opted for poached eggs served with a scrummy biscuit and real(!) bacon, while I went with an epic breakfast burrito – a heavenly heart attack in a wrap! They were out of Brewdog, so I washed everything down with a lovely bottle of HOLYSHIT, from Berlin brewery Schoppe Bräu. If you miss American food, and friendly American service – or if you just want a cool place to hang out and fill your faces – then Dirty South is the place!

photos on wall

flyers on wall

bottle of beer on table

brunch and breakfast burrito

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überstyle: Goldie Lookin’ Shoes

by Zoë Noble

Berlin Streetstyle Fraenkelufer Woman

20140303-05-u

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Stereotypes: The Different Expats You’ll Meet in Berlin

by Guest Blogger

So you’re new here. You’re walking around with your pint-sized Lonely Planet and you’re feeling Berlinspired. You want to move here and Berlintegrate.

Well, first you gotta hold up, put your thing down, flip it and kindly reverse it. Because before you move, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. You should know what kind of people you’re getting yourself into. And no matter how much you think you’re going to fully integrate yourself into the fabric of Berlin society, one fact remains: you will always be an expat. You’re going to end up getting to know the expat world a lot better than the German one.

So after you’re done visiting the Reichstag, eating currywurst and wandering around Lidl looking for Angela Merkel, here’s a little list of the kinds of expats you may end up meeting.

The One Who Actually Moved Here for His Career

“Are you a unicorn?!” is the first thing you want to ask this expat, who’s so rich they’re wiping their ass with real Euros, and the Euro hasn’t even collapsed yet! While the rest of your friends are living below Hartz IV, this expat is riding high, eating 16 Euro salads at the SoHo House, buying Acne jeans and taking weekend trips to Paris. After all, their apartment is 300 Euros and they’re making 1700 a month. The downside? They’re always working on some insane project at work and never sleeping. Zaha Hadid’s personal assistant yells at them every day. You comfort yourself in knowing they aren’t really absorbing the “Berlin vibe” but you’re actually jealous because you don’t know what in the actual fuck you are doing in this city and they kind of… do.

Career

The One Obsessed with Full Immersion

Good luck ever hanging out with this expat! Full immersion friends have a hard time answering your calls because they’re just so, you know…immersed. Some of them won’t even speak English because their language instructor told them not to. Advice: just wait. Full-immersion is a phase that happens during the beginning of almost every jaunt across the pond. Eventually, they’ll get frustrated and overwhelmed and want to gab about the latest Modern Family episode with someone who understands irony and sarcasm.

The Photoblogger

Oh…my god. Can this expat please document my life? Clearly I need to read-up on things like white balance and exposure because my photos look like they were taken by an early 90′s webcam. These people are living a more charmed, aesthetically-beautiful existence than you and I.

Blogger

The One Who’s Always Out

You get approximately 15 Facebook invites from this expat every day. They can’t hang out tonight because they’re listening to an Afro Klesmer band, attending the launch of a new gay magazine, having a midnight pillow-fight at Brandenburger Tor and then playing Wii Sports with 15 of your other friends. You should go, but it’s -5 and there’s a new episode of Parks and Recreation you want to download and you’re generally too lazy to do anything in the winter.

The One Who’s a DJ

Basically the same as above, except the invites are for concerts at Berghain and there’s no question they’re snorting mountains of coke. Also: this Portlandia clip.

The Compulsive Liar

Once this expat infiltrated a gang of Neo-Nazis then convinced them he was Roma and the Nazis were all “whaaaaaaa?” but now they’re cool with it and they’re actually BFFs. This dude also wants to take you to this brand new club set in Hitler’s actual bunker which wasn’t destroyed (that was a FAKE bunker) and it’s got everything: fake trash bimbos, women dressed as bonobos, lesbians with heavy flows. This dude is FUN.

Compulsive Liar

The Self-Loathing American

DRONES! Nestle is force-feeding toxins to babies! Israel is a racist tumor that must be cut off! Coca-Cola is forcibly sterilizing African women! Walmart will enslave us all! Okay, so they’re probably right about that last part, but everything else this expat says makes a mockery of the liberal causes they try so hard to champion. They haven’t lived in the States for ten years but still believe they can speak authoritatively about how backwards and narrow-minded everyone who lives there is. They’ll never go back because they’ve reached the unshakable conclusion that living in Europe is morally superior. I actually don’t mind these people at all, because some of them are really knowledgeable. But it’s like, really? You’re NEVER going to go back? You don’t miss Hulu and Whole Foods even a LITTLE bit?

The Artiste

I don’t want to be mean. I would much rather live in a city with struggling artists than one with hella bankers. But, like, let’s be honest. You’re not making that much art. You’re mostly working at a cafe. When you’re not doing that, you’re partying and doing the odd graphic design project. I like you, as long as you don’t pretend you’re hot shit.

Artist

Steven Blum is a freelance writer and editor in Berlin. In the past, he’s written some things for The Stranger, Blackbook Magazine, Haaretz, Tablet Magazine, USAToday.com and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBlum.

Illustrations by Jason Gautier.

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Music Montag: EDEKA Supergeil (feat. Friedrich Liechtenstein)

by James Glazebrook

Ich find’ es supergeil! Thanks to Natalie for the heads-up :)  Now I’m off to run a bath of milk and cereal and smoke a Wurst cigar.

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Berlin Rants: Shopping, Shhshing and Sticking to the Rules

by Guest Blogger

When it comes to Berlin, we’re enthusiastic to a fault. In fact, we’re often reminded that, if we keep banging on about how amazing the place is, a tidal wave of expats will flood in here – and give us plenty of reasons to complain. Thank God, then, for Rachel Hutchinson, a Brit who’s been in Berlin for four and a half years, and is balancing out our positivity with some stark commentary on the realities of living here. Introducing: Berlin Rants.

trolley crop

The Supermarket.

Coming from England, I never envisioned not being able to buy everything you want under one roof.

A 24-hour Tesco around the corner can give you the false impression that fully stocked shelves are available 24/7 everywhere.

In Berlin I found out that sadly this is not true.

It was hard to find a chicken. Yes, a chicken! I had to buy three tiny chickens instead. So, we each had our own mini chicken, or Poussin, whatever you call them, on our plate. Novel – as a one off! But, how hard can it be to get a whole chicken?

Sometimes Berlin supermarkets will run out of eggs or milk. You know, just the essentials.

Don’t expect to be able to buy mincemeat on a Saturday evening.

Don’t expect there to buy both baked beans and rocket in the same supermarket.

Certainly don’t expect to buy beef.

Actually forget everything you already know about supermarkets. It no longer applies.

Prepare yourself for having to visit at least two supermarkets to get everything you need. Prepare yourself not to be able to pay on credit card. Prepare yourself not to be able to do your shopping on a Sunday.

Prepare for long queues. Prepare for just one checkout being open. Prepare yourself for unhelpful shop assistants who deliberately don’t move out of your way.

Forget 3-for-2s, 2-for-1s or any other offer. Forget shelf re-stockers. If we run out, we run out.

And forget fresh spinach.

tramline

Interfering.

I was cycling to work one summer morning and my bike wheel got caught in the tramlines by Alexanderplatz. I fell off my bike and cut my leg.

Blood started pouring down my leg. Not in a dramatic way, but enough for it to hurt. So I get up and brush the gravel off my leg, wipe the blood, and pick my bike up.

An old man starts walking towards me. I think he’s going to ask me if I’m ok or if I needed some help.

No. He comes over and starts speaking to me in German, and tells me that I should be wearing better shoes to cycle!

I am wearing a pair of Havianas (flip flops), which I wear most of the summer, and always cycle with. And I hadn’t fallen off my bike because my shoes were not suitable enough; I had blatantly fallen off because my bike wheel was caught in the tramline. He saw what happened.

I couldn’t believe it. My leg was bleeding, and this old man had come over just to rub my nose in it and to preach about my wrong behaviour. Typical German.

They seem to love to interfere or nosily point things out to you. Maybe they actually think they are being helpful. But most of the time I wish they just wouldn’t interfere.

Like the woman who stopped me on the bike to tell me my lights were not working. I stopped, pulled my earphones out to hear what she was saying, and then got my earphone cable caught in the bike wheel, so my bike ended up falling over.

Thanks! That was helpful. And I knew the bloody light wasn’t working anyway!

But the worst time was when one woman thought it was OK to tap me on the shoulder while I was cycling, just for joining the bike lane, because she didn’t see me. She tapped my shoulder! To tell me I was in the wrong.

How dare she touch me! I was outraged, but I held my tongue because I didn’t want to really lose my temper.

Drinks 2

Pedantic.

The rules are the rules are the rules are the rules.

Yes. If you are German, this is so.

Dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s, everything has to be just so.

You cannot deviate from the rules, or the unthinkable will happen. What the unthinkable is, I still don’t know.

I once went to the Berlin Festival at Tempelhof with a friend from London. She had just had clear braces fitted, and so could only drink clear drinks for a while.

She went to the bar, she wanted a vodka tonic. However, the menu said just gin and tonic, or vodka and lemonade.

She asked for a vodka and tonic. The bar woman said this was not possible. They just sold gin and tonic, vodka and lemonade. Both were 6€.

My friend said this was stupid, how could she not have a vodka and tonic. What was the difference, they were both the same price.

But the woman held strong. No. It was just gin and tonic, or vodka and lemonade. That was what was on the menu, that was what was available. So my friend got a gin and tonic, and came back to where I was sat.

“It’s no joke about the Germans being sticklers for the rules!” she said, and told me what had happened at the bar.

I laughed. “Welcome to Germany!”

Shhhh

Shhhhhh.

I’ve been shhhhhsh’d on the bus.

I’ve been shhhhhhsh’d in a café.

I’ve been shhhhhhhsh’d in the office.

Ok, I admit it, I can be pretty loud, but I’ve even been shhhhhhhsh’d at a gig!

The Germans just love their quiet. Even at a concert they prefer it when everyone stands around silently appreciating the music, rather than dancing and having fun.

We were shhhhhhhhhsh’d at an electronic concert. I couldn’t believe it! It is not a library, it’s a place where people go to dance, party and let their hair down. How could someone really think it was ok to shhhhh us?

So we were deliberately loud after that. Petty, but childishly satisfying.

But for the rest of the gig I kind of wanted to shake people and shout at them, “Why aren’t you dancing?” dance goddamnit, this is Digitalism.

All words and images courtesy of Rachel Hutchinson. Read more of Rachel’s rants at 28rantslater.blogspot.de.

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überstyle: Black Beauty

by Zoë Noble

berlin street style torsstrasse

berlin street style torsstrasse

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Music Montag: aMinus

by James Glazebrook

aMinus by Aaron Schmiedel

photo by Aaron Schmiedel

Running a tattoo studio must be a piece of piss! Because somehow, Valentin Plessy, the co-founder of the AKA gallery, tattoo, piercing and body-modification atelier, has enough free time on his hands to produce crisp, cheeky electro-pop under the alias aMinus. Plessy recently released his second solo album, Options, a hot mess of synth pop, eighties house, RNB and 8 bit sounds, through Berlin label Mad Dog & Love. Here’s our pick of the new tracks, lead single “Don’t Mind Me Now” featuring Magritte Jaco, which puts us in mind of Gallic romantics Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia and captures the quintessentially Berlin pastime of the rooftop barney-turned-orgy. Bittersweet and brilliant.

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