Radio überlin vol. 2

by James Glazebrook


Boom! Welcome to volume 2 of Radio überlin. This time we get to know my better half, the seldom-heard-from Zoë, as she explains when she first fell in love with Berlin, how moving here changed her life, and what inspires (and annoys) her about the city. We also answer a listener’s question about finding work and accommodation as a dual citizen of the UK and Germany, and play the very first round of BerlIN/BerlOUT *cue airhorn*. All that, plus music from Emika, Erlend Øye and Phonique, Jahcoozi, Peaches, Ellen Allien & Apparat and… Cabaret! Tune into Berlin Radio International every Thursday evening from 8:30pm to hear more.

BRI – Radio überlin EP 2 – 12/03/2015 by Berlinri on Mixcloud

Berlin Crushes

by James Glazebrook

Berliners may be a lot of things, but no one really thinks of them as sexy. They aren’t as suave as Parisians, as charming as *ahem!* the Brits, and their typical demeanour is about as far from Latin flair as it’s possible to get. Having said that, we just can’t help but feel an unwavering attraction to this city’s inhabitants, one that emanates from our groinal regions. The natives, and especially the people that moved here, have grown accustomed to lost weekends, lost inhibitions and a healthy disregard for the prudishness that keeps the rest of Northern European in its metaphorical chastity belt. Allow us to take our key, slip it into the lock, and liberate our steamiest Berlin crushes.


Marlene Dietrich
The Schöneberg sexpot was bisexual back before everyone and their mum was. That means both us überliners can fantasise about putting the blue in the Blue Angel, conducting A Foreign Affair, and being the flaming torch burning up between her lips.

Daniel Brühl
Barcelona-born Brühl gives his sometime home a much-needed injection of Spanish spice. When nibbling on chorizo at his Kreuzberg tapas bar, we’ve caught ourselves daydreaming about sinking our teeth into a sausage more substantial. His penis.

If power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, then who could be hotter than the world’s most powerful woman? As breast feeding courts controversy, she has Europe clutched to her ample bosom, threatening to withdraw the nip-nip when our thirsty continental cousins desire it the most. The big tease. Angela Merkel

What can we say about the Mistress of Merkins that she hasn’t said already? Go on love, fuck the pain away.

The Hoff
He’s been looking for freedom, and – if you sneak a glimpse at his stonewashed jeans – he’s been looking so long. The symbolic saviour of Cold War Berlin still has us entranced, swimming in his aqua blue eyes. Just as our predecessors longed to escape the grey concrete of the DDR, we want to break out and run slow motion through the knee-height shrubbery of his chest hair, down to the shoreline of his swelling love. Now where did we leave our red bathing suits?

David HasselhoffAlec Empire
Our hearts have been fire-bombed, and Empire lit the fuse. The rarely-shirted, skinny-pantsed prince of digital hardcore has been confusing us sexually since our formative years. And his refusal to age even remotely means that, somewhere deep in our nethers, a teenage riot is always raging.

Nastassja Kinski
In Cat People. Seriously.

Dominic Monaghan
Although overlooked in our Lord of the Rings fan fiction, we’ve still got eyes for little Merry Brandybuck. Born in Berlin, Monaghan grew up in Stockport, England – which is where he picked up that sexy Northern accent 😉 – before pulling on those irresistible fuzzy feet and becoming one-half of everyone’s second-favourite Hobbit coupling. Let’s roll up some Halfling’s Leaf and just see what happens…

Hey, where you running to baby? Those collars and cuffs match, firecrotch? Wanna show me what you got in those parachute pants? Hey baby! ….Baby?

Iggy and Dave
These two come as a couple, just like they used to when they lived here. Pop and Bowie certainly made sweet music together in their Schöneberg apartment, and rumour has it that their knob-twiddling didn’t stop at the mixing desk. Just imagine being rubbed up and down Iggy’s washboard stomach, then hung out to dry on the rail-thin White Duke.

David Bowie and Iggy Pop

Win guestlist to Peaches, Ellen Allien and more at SchwuZ!

by James Glazebrook

Peaches by Alexa Vachon

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we’re running any open competitions]

OUTRAGEOUS LINEUP ALERT! This Friday, Peaches is joined by Ellen Allien, Aerea Negrot and many more awesome artists at SchwuZ. This utter treat of a club night is the 100th edition of London Calling vs. Expatriarch Generations, with a special performance by Ziur AKA Mika Risiko of CRIME fame.

Peaches hand picked Risiko for this showcase as part of the Expatriarch Generations project, which hooks up emerging artists with established acts for personal mentoring, support and career advice. Each month, Berlin Community Radio airs a conversation between the two, like this fascinating discussion between Sasha Perrera (Jahcoozi) and Bella Cuts. We can’t wait to hear the Peaches edition! Or see her live!! Scroll down to win!!!


Just leave us a comment below with the answer to this easy question:

(apart from Peaches and Ellen Allien) Who is the fiercest female ever to make music in Berlin?

You have until midnight on Thursday 2nd October to enter. GOOD LUCK!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
3. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner.
4. Remember to include your full (real) name and email address, so we can contact you if you win.
6. We will notify the winner via email on Friday 3rd October.

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.

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!

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!

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

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.”