uberlin

Peaches at Lost Lectures Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Peaches at Lost Lectures Berlin

You must know by now that we LOVE Peaches. Well, we were lucky enough to catch her, and a bunch of other inspirational speakers, at the inaugural Lost Lectures in Berlin. Pretty soon, the Lost Blog will post videos from the event in Stadtbad Wedding, including talks about 3D printing, community gardening platforms, open government, the theory that free will is an evolutionary construct and some pretty radical art, as well as the personal and affirming speech that led up to Ms. Nisker’s trip across the audience’s outstretched arms. Until then, enjoy watching the queen of electro-shock walking across hands and singing opera at the same time :)

Like this? Then you might like our review of Peaches Does Herself or our amazing photos from Peaches’ Free Pussy Riot protest.

Tweet ThisfacebookDeliciousDiggRedditStumbleUpon

Another Year in Berlin: überlin’s Highlights of 2012

by James and Zoe

Wow, what a year! It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Berlin two years – because it feels like we’ve lived here forever, yet sometimes it’s like we’ve just stepped off the plane. That’s the enduring freshness of love, I guess. Too sappy? Then maybe we’ll just skip to our highlights of 2012: our favourite moments and places, most awesome blog posts, and all the other (furry) little things that made the year our best yet.

überlin's highlights of 2012: January

The Loxx Miniature Railway version of Berlin is probably the city’s best-kept secret, or at least it was until our photos ended up on the front page of The Guardian website. Small world(!) – on our second visit to the mini-Berlin on top of Alexa mall, we ran into Dave from the blog Andberlin – who also named Loxx as one of his highlights of the year. This is the perfect place to go on a rainy winter’s day.

überlin's highlights of 2012: February

To celebrate Zoë’s birthday we went to Stockholm and Copenhagen and while we were there, visited the most beautiful and inspiring place we’ve ever been. Looking back at our post about the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, I feel like my words fail to live up to Zo’s stunning photos, and even those can’t capture the breathtaking beauty of the museum and its coastal environment. We thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Scandinavia, but the Louisiana was the hands-down highlight.

überlin's highlights of 2012: March

The first of our articles to appear on The Guardian, 5 Apps Berlin Really Needs, was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the buzzy, bubbly startup capital of Europe. Our iProtest app concept gamified civil disobedience, while Angry Berliners turned German bureaucracy into an addictive platform game. Our Buskamatic app aside, March was a great month for music – Modeselektor released the iconic video for their “Berlin” anthem, and we discovered Big Stu’s comedy rap tributes to Hühnerhaus and Kottbusser Tor.

überlin's highlights of 2012: April

Our personal highlight of the year has to be getting our hands on this little ball of cute. In fact, Olive is probably many readers’ main reason for visiting the blog – we might be better off training her to work a camera and a laptop and leaving her to it! The unofficial überlin mascot, Big Ö is recognised way more frequently than we are, and has turned up in the unlikeliest of places – including an Instagram tutorial video and a conversation with a Bully-obsessed stranger at my cousin’s wedding (“you own Olive the dog?!!!”). Apart from welcoming our fuzzy daughter to the fold, we also ate the meal of the year (with matched cocktails!) at Rollin Restaurant.

überlin's highlights of 2012: May

If our May pick was a movie it would be the überlin prequel, Escape from Newcastle. While our home toon stands for everything we hate (or is that the other way around?), we still have a soft spot for the football-loving Stella-downing lads and lasses we grew up with – something we hope came across in our “origin story”, From Geordie Shore to Germany. Back in Berlin, visiting friends introduced us to the Ramones Museum, the only such institute devoted to the Detroit proto-punks in the whole world, the personal collection of a Berliner who must be their greatest fan.

überlin's highlights of 2012: June

It might seem obvious, but our What I Know about Germans post is like David Hasslehoff’s “Looking For Freedom”: ubiquitous, infectious, and every German loves it ;) . Credit for our “greatest hit” actually goes to writer Liv Hambrett, for her keen observations about her adopted countrymen, and illustrator Mischief Champion who’s busy bringing them to life for WIKAG – the book! Photo op of the month (year?) had to be Berlin Gay Pride 2012 – so many queers! So many colours!

überlin's highlights of 2012: July

It seems like a long time since Zoë spent a boiling Berlin Fashion Week maximising her time in the air-conditioned tent, and occasionally popping outside to photograph slebs like Fashionbloggerin Miggy. Lucky for us, she braved the heat long enough to get these impressions of Berlin Fashion Week SS13.

überlin's highlights of 2012: August

While Peaches was never exactly a reason for moving to Berlin, we’ve never been able to think about the city without picturing her merkin. Since we arrived, we’ve been lucky enough to see her twice: “doing herself” live on stage and orchestrating a protest/video shoot in support of Pussy Riot. We weren’t the only starstruck fans following this freak parade into Mauerpark, and it was impressive to see Ms Nisker whipping up a storm to publicise an important – and still ongoing – cause. Less colourful, but no less eye-opening, was guest blogger Russell Dornan’s look behind the closed doors of Berlin’s Natural History Museum.

überlin's highlights of 2012: September

You Know You’re a Berliner When… you pose for a photo pretending the TV Tower is your penis, which then becomes a lightning rod for critics of hipsters, expats and archisexts (I made this one up). Having regular “Berlinergasms” was just one of 11 sure-fire signs that you’ve become a Berliner, along with dancing in a U-Bahn station and witnessing at least one daily act of crazy. Zoë saw more craziness at London Fashion Week SS13 – here is just a taste.

überlin's highlights of 2012: October

October was a month of light and dark. The gloomy nights provided the perfect backdrop for the Festival of Lights and (we think) our animated GIFs were the perfect demonstration of the event’s kaleidoscopic displays. Far less joyful was Berlin Crawling: 10 Halloween Horror Films, a list of creepshows shot here in the Haupstadt, ranging from the slick (the neo-Giallo short Yellow) to the just plain sick (corpse love story Nekromantik).

überlin's highlights of 2012: November

We’re so glad Phia agreed to be the first subject in our series of Berlin portraits. We’d heard the Australian singer/songwriter/thumb-pianist at an intimate concert in a fellow musician’s house, and loved her stories and songs about her granddad, a Berliner, and what it meant to live in his hometown. We spent a beautiful, crisp day discovering her Berlin, and sharing our love for the creative, open city we now call home. Oh, and we celebrated two years of überlin/living in Berlin!

überlin's highlights of 2012: December

As we entered our third winter in Berlin, we thought we should share the survival skills we’ve picked up with expats who’ve recently arrived from warmer climes. With the help of Josh Bauman’s awesome caricatures of us (and Olive!), our more-or-less practical tips about How to Survive a Berlin Winter helped to restore calm among the panicky sun-botherers freaking out at the first sight of snow. I wonder if anyone’s quit their job or grown a beard on our advice? And giving away €250 of Berlin-themed swag was a great way to end another awesome year of überlin.

Join us in 2013 for more Berlin love and LOLs. Happy New Year!

Tweet ThisfacebookDeliciousDiggRedditStumbleUpon

FREE PUSSY RIOT! Peaches takes Prenzlauer Berg!

by James Glazebrook

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 1

Zoë just had an interesting Skype conversation with her mum about Pussy Riot, without either of them mentioning the actual name of the band! Of course it’s a good thing that the cause is gaining mainstream attention, and I’m sure people like Madonna and Pete Townsend mean well… but it was really thrilling to see a fellow feminist, and no-doubt influence on the Riot girls, take to the Berlin streets for some D.I.Y flashmob rabble-rousing.

This afternoon, Peaches filmed a video for her own Free Pussy Riot protest song, and invited fans to don masks and neon colours, and march down Oderberger Strasse into Mauerpark. Cue chants of “WE ARE ALL PUSSY RIOT!”, bemused tourists, and an appearance by the Polizei. But not before Peaches laid an egg. FREE PUSSY RIOT!

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 2

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 3

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 4

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 5

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 6

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 7

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 8

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 9

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 10

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 11

Peaches Free Pussy Riot 12

Read more about Free Pussy Riot, and find out how you can help, at change.org.

Tweet ThisfacebookDeliciousDiggRedditStumbleUpon

Worte und Musik

by James Glazebrook

Phew! We’ve finished German classes! Not that we know the language now – far from it. We’ve just finished our eight weeks of 4 x 3 hour lessons (plus homework) and decided to take a breather. While we are relieved (we have our little lives back!) we’re a bit worried that, as shut-ins, we won’t practice and will forget what little Deutsch we managed to learn. That’s why I came up with the idea of combining our love of music with our eagerness to improve our language skills: by listening to songs with German lyrics. Here’s our taster course.

David Bowie – Helden

Obvious choice, but potentially helpful. Knowing the English version forwards and backwards helps make connections, especially with this sync of the original video with the German language recording. Chock full of useful personal pronouns like “ich” and “du” and practical words like “Tag” (“day”), “Zeiten” (“times”), “Mauer” (“wall”; very useful here in Berlin). Although I’m not sure I’ll ever have to tell someone that I wish they could swim as dolphins can swim.

Peaches – Keine Melodien

This version of Berlin band Jeans Team’s “Keine Melodien” by the city’s resident electroshocker is like punk rock Sesame Street. You need to learn numbers right? Well, listen to this earworm just once and you’ll never forget “eins, zwei, drei, vier”. I’ve had a quick search and it doesn’t look like Peaches has done a German version of “now I know my ABCs next time won’t you sing along with me”. Schade.

Nena – 99 Luftballons

Apart from getting into double-digit numbers (“ninety nine” = “neunundneunzig”), Germany’s most famous pop song is of limited use. With good reason, no one really remembers badly-translated English lyrics like “everyone’s a Captain Kirk, with orders to identify”, so hearing the original won’t spark flashes of comprehension. Still, required listening when you’re preparing to board the Hi Flyer, the Die Welt-sponsored Heliumballon that hovers over Berlin.

Lady Gaga – Scheiße

“I don’t speak German but I can if you like”. This song from Gaga’s new album is shocking (not in the way she hopes), but it’s a good guide to the mangled AngloDeutsch that Berlin’s international community speaks. Plus its scatological celebration of freedom is like the Disney version of the crazy shit (LITERALLY) that goes down in the city’s underground dark rooms: “I’ll take you out tonight / Do whatever you like / Scheiße-scheiße be mine, Scheiße be mine”. And, seeing as our German teacher didn’t agree that the first thing you need to learn in a foreign language is the swear words, this’ll have to do for now.

Ellen Allien – Sehnsucht

We grown-up emos need words like “longing”, and it doesn’t take Google Translate to tell you that’s what this song is about.

Peter Gabriel – Schock den Affen

The phrase “(don’t) shock the monkey” could only ever be of use in a zoo, and even then it pretty much goes without saying. Regardless, there’s something infectious about Gabriel’s love of words, English or otherwise, that we find inspiring. This was a labour of love, as Gabriel originally struggled to find a label willing to release an album’s worth of German versions of his songs. And like one of the few YouTube comments not whining about his accent says, “Peter is a genius in any language.”

Tweet ThisfacebookDeliciousDiggRedditStumbleUpon

Peaches Does Herself

by James Glazebrook

We didn’t think we’d be able to post about “Peaches Does Herself”, as it was so amazing that Zoë couldn’t take her eyes off the stage long enough to focus her camera, and I was left with no words to describe what I’d witnessed. Luckily, our friends at Good Hard Working People saw the show last year and gave it a great write-up, republished below – which means we can get on with describing the wrongest moments of a performance that reached new levels of wrong. Scroll down for our panty droppin’ show stoppers…

…the fully staged, choreographed and art-directed show “Peaches Does Herself”, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first album (“Teaches by Peaches”) by Canadian-born, Berlin-based electronic music artist and DJ Peaches.

Peaches does Herself

Peaches sings in the operating table (the green lights functioned as musical instruments played by performers)

The show tells a comprehensive story of a woman going through a sex change and looking for love – all through the use of various songs by Peaches and very effectively staged with great attention to detail, well-designed costumes and sets and choreographed and performed by talented dancers and actors with humor and sass. It became obvious that this was a production by gifted and hard-working people. Of course, I can’t ignore the fact that the themes of many songs and the show might be upsetting to some (although apparently not to Peaches’ parents who came on stage in the end and even hollered lyrics into the mic, which was such an endearing moment) – and that there is quite extensive nudity.

Watch an official behind-the-scenes video for “Peaches Does Herself”:

Here is a NSFW clip of a scene that features the nude and quite stunning Hermaphrodite (or transsexual) – who seemed to be both a perfect-looking man and a perfect-looking woman and a talented ballet dancer. The clip also features Peaches in her not-so perfect looking Hermaphrodite outfit and another gender-bending performer.

Show Stopper: The Wrongest Moments of “Peaches Does Herself”

The young guys sat next to us left in the intermission and didn’t come back, giving their tickets to a couple of girls less fazed by the onstage debauchery. What were they expecting? Anyone with a passing acquaintance with Peaches knows that she is a liberated bi woman with a singularly sexual focus, and merkins to match. Surely everyone’s heard “Fuck the Pain Away”?! But even I have to admit that prior knowledge of Peaches and her fellow performers doesn’t prepare you for seeing them act out her fantasies in the flesh. Here are the moments that made our jaws (and nearly our panties) drop:

Peaches, complete with huge fake tits and dick, serenading transexual Danni Daniels on a park bench. Twee staging and a pretty violin version of “I Feel Cream” set the scene for some cute chase-me chase-me antics with a six-foot-odd ballerina with a ballbag. Some friends were in White Trash last year when Peaches turned up with a stark-bollock-naked Danni in tow – that must have been even more surreal.

Fake tits and dick explosion. A heartbroken Peaches performs some offstage self-mutilation and returns with her post-op parts exploding into red confetti. A spectacular sight, but every man in the audience was fixated on the mangled gore of the scarily accurate chopped-up cock. *crosses legs*

Sandy Kane, the Naked Cowgirl. Like Times Square’s Naked Cowboy, only female, ancient, Jewish and X-rated. Somehow she managed to further filthify songs like “Mommy Complex” with plenty of swearing, dick jokes and old-lady-boob tricks. You can see an interview with a thankfully fully-clothed Sandy here, but you’ll have to take our word that watching her light matches in her nipples wasn’t half as bad as seeing her tuck the matchbox under her breast for later.

Psychotic stage invaders. I thought the crowd was a little restrained, until I realised that all the crazy was distilled into these two “characters”. The first time they rushed the stage, rubbing their crotches with manic faces that are still burned into my retinas, I thought they were part of the act. But the second time, when they were dragged out of the doors screaming “BULLSHIT!” it was clear that they were mental fans, and easily the most fucked up thing we saw all night.

Phew! After all that filth, I bet you could do with a video of a guy making stuff out of balloons. Enjoy!

Tweet ThisfacebookDeliciousDiggRedditStumbleUpon