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Music Montag: Nina Hagen, Naughty and Nice

by James Glazebrook

"Nina relajada" by inthesitymad, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Nina relajada” by inthesitymad, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

We’ve said it before: Nina Hagen is the queen. So we’re going to give her the spotlight on this Christmas edition of Music Montag, for a couple of naughty and nice renditions of Weihnachten-themed songs.

First up, enjoy her doing what she does best, getting sacrilegious (ish) over the top of some bonkers acid techno. Then, watch the post-punk icon get visibly outside of her comfort zone, and still nailing it, singing a traditional hymn with an orchestra for French TV. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Naughty: “X- Christmas”

Nice: “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night)

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Music Montag: Erlend Øye

by James Glazebrook

Erlend Øye from https://www.facebook.com/ErlendOyeOfficial

We’ve slept on Erlend Øye‘s new album since it was released, but now seems the right time to celebrate Legao. Oddly released just after the end of summer, Øye’s second solo release is totally sun-baked, despite being recorded in ReykjavĂ­k with an Icelandic reggae group (which, apparently, is a thing).

So pour some honey in your Ingwertee, and bask in the humid, holiday romance vibes of “Garota”, filmed in Seoul. And for bonus open-air Øye, check out The Whitest Boy Alive’s white boy dancing in D E N A’s “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools”, which is also guaranteed to cure those winter blues.

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Music Montag: J Mascis

by James Glazebrook

"j mascis 3" by Allison Harger, under Creative Commons (CC BY-ND 2.0)

“j mascis 3″ by Allison Harger, under Creative Commons (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Of all the indie icons currently spending at least part of their time in Berlin, J Mascis has to be our personal favourite. As the creative nucleus of 90s alt rockers Dinosaur Jr, he was responsible for slacker anthems such as “Feel the Pain”, accompanied by this hilarious Spike Jonze video:

But more, much more than this, Mascis has spent the years between Dinosaur Jr records by expanding his repertoire – recording doom metal with Upsidedown Cross, stoner with Witch, and chilled out and heartfelt solo material. Like this year’s Tied to a Star, which yielded another LOL-tastic video, which you can watch over on Funny or Die’s YouTube channel.

Join us in celebrating Mascis’ return to Berlin, by picking up tickets to next week’s show at Lido. Welcome back, Space Angel!

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Music Montag: 19th Moon

by James Glazebrook

Nothing beats the rush of finding an exciting new artist to listen to, but sometimes that high is all-too-brief. Such was the case with 19th Moon, the US-born, Nigeria-bred and Berlin-based singer-songwriter we discovered on a recent edition of Expatriarch Radio.

We’ve already burned through the five tracks on her SoundCloud, which combine the moody introspection of The xx with the acoustic soul of India Arie and the avant-pop of Zola Jesus. At the time of writing, we’ve literally just missed a solo show by 19th Moon, so we’re going to keep an eye on her upcoming events for more. We suggest you do the same ;)

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Music Montag: CREATURES

by James Glazebrook

CREATURES

I’m a fan of loaded, tragically romantic lyrics in my music. One of my favourite lines begins Elbow’s stunning “Newborn”: “I’ll be the corpse in your bathtub / Useless.” And another appears in the title track of CREATURES‘ new EP, New Campaigns: “I want promises running like trackmarks down my arm.” Damn. We’ve featured the Berlin-based two-piece on ĂŒberlin before, but their new release (out now on Wait What? Records and Motor Entertainment!) seems to be plumbing new depths of despair. In a good way.

If that sounds good to you, check out New Campaigns on iTunes, Amazon or Spotify. And if it’s a tad too emo for you (you weirdo), then maybe you’d prefer the swelling, lush sound of “Supposedly”, the lead single from the same EP. Beautiful.

CREATURES play live at the Schokoladen’s Lofi Lounge this Wednesday, 19th November – full details here.

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Music Montag: Kool Thing

by James Glazebrook

Kool Thing by Claudia Kent

Kool Thing by Claudia Kent

You might already know Kool Thing, as the people behind this awesome cover of Bowie’s “Station to Station”, or simply as one of the best bands in Berlin today. The duo, sometime collaborators with aMinus’ Valentin Plessy, share with the Sonic Youth song of the same name a certain defiant attitude and a penchant for guitar noise, wedded to haunting synth lines and pulsing electronic beats. They’ve sent us their new track, which hints at a darker direction for their sophomore album, expected to be released early next year. We give you ”I See You (I Am You)”.

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Music Montag: The Brian Jonestown Massacre

by James Glazebrook

Dig! Movie poster

What is it about Berlin that attracts international indie icons? Apart from Iggy and Bowie, the city’s also been home to Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, Walter Schreifels of Quicksand and Rival Schools, J Mascis (sometimes) and, um, the bloke from Travis. Anton Newcombe, the ringleader of the confrontational and chaotic The Brian Jonestown Massacre, has also sought refuge here for the past few years, as a self-described ”artist/horticulturalist/babysitter”. For today’s Music Montag, we’re screening the whole of Dig!, the Sundance Grand Prix-winning documentary about the love-hate relationship between the Massacre and their (former?) pals, the Dandy Warhols. As with many great docos, it straddles the line between fact and fiction, but it’s a sensational watch nonetheless.

Dig! from Retazovvorks on Vimeo.

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Music Montag: Earthship

by James Glazebrook

Earthship

“FOR FANS OF CROWBAR, MASTODON, ENTOMBED, DOWN”. Say no more, Pelagic Records!

Berlin’s Earthship have been cranking out “riffs taller than the mountains, backed by lyrics deeper than the sea” since 2010. Formed by Jan Oberg, a former drummer for The Ocean, the sludge rockers have had a revolving door lineup typical of Pelagic’s flagship project, with Jan’s wife replacing a bassist who “literally” disappeared(?), and Ocean founder Robin Staps leaving as his own band grew in popularity. Out now, third album Withered is a marked evolution in Earthship’s sound, a heady blend of stoner, doom and old school Swedish death metal they like to call “prog n’ roll”. Listen on Bandcamp, and check out the loopy lupine video for “Serpent Cult” below. Howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwl.

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Music Montag: Jim Hickey, “Just to Find”

by James Glazebrook

One of ĂŒberlin’s favourite Berlin-based musicians has just released a new video! “Just to Find” by Jim Hickey continues the artist’s practice of piecing together short films from family home movies (check out “Burning Forest” here). We think the shaky, largely unpeopled scenes reflect the jaded sentimentality of the track’s lyrics, and the lo-fi nature of its production. But we’ll let Jim explain:

“Just to Find” was recorded live at LowSwing Studios straight to a vintage 16 track tape machine that I spent months bringing back to life. It was the first session the machine had been used for in decades! We did two takes of the track and were sure we had it but we put down one more because we knew we wouldn’t be able to edit it at all. The track didn’t even see a computer until after it was mixed. We kept the second take and that was it.

“Just to Find” comes from Jim Hickey’s as-yet-untitled forthcoming EP, which we’re really looking forward to. Rumour has it that he’s been recording with Phia too! For now… enjoy:

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Music Montag: Billie Ray Martin and Aerea Negrot

by James Glazebrook

Billie Ray Martin and Aerea Negrot

Two of our favourite divas together on one track! “Off The Rails” unites legendary house singer Billie Ray Martin with AĂ©rea Negrot, one of Hercules and Love Affair’s rotating cast of characters, on an old-school, dance-around-the-handbags club track. If you like this, you should buy it on BRM’s Bandcamp, and also check out this great Electronic Beats conversation between the two singers.

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