"It is wonderful to be able experience art without understanding how it was meant or what makes it good." (Kim Boekbinder said that during an interview I did with her) I might not have the biggest knowledge about music but I have a great passion for it. Passion is what counts.
I live in Berlin, Germany (born, raised and still resident) and this is my personal blog about music and other things that cross my way. Things I love to be exact. And even though I am German and my English is still not perfect, this blog is in English.
So, I saw Jimmy Eat World's singer and guitarist Jim Adkins live the other day. He played his first acoustic show in Europe. I have never been much of a fan of his band, they never really got me (and I haven't listened to them in quite some time), but this concert was simply amazing. Honestly, all I remembered was their sound from 2001, “The Middle” and such. I didn't like that. I thought I would take a few photos and then leave the second to first row for his fans. How wrong I was. He just got me right away with his warm voice and the lyrics. Yes, the lyrics. I was really surprised how touching they were and how my eyes would fill up with tears.
The first lines he sang were “I made it/ And now there’s no turning back” from the song “Cut” of their album “Invented” (2010). Almost like he still needed some encouragement for his acoustic show in Berlin, even though it wasn’t the first time as he explained during the show. There were many fans in this small venue who would sing along every (Jimmy Eat World) song. The crowd was so very excited. That was so beautiful to see.
He also played some covers - of Daniel Johnston, Magnetic Fields and, to make everyone laugh a little, Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In The World)”. But one of my most favourite songs of this set was “I Choose Love”. A song he wrote during a session in Arizona with some others musicians. There they would meet up then split in bands, write, arrange and record three songs in a day. And this song was the result of his band, the Bitch Lovers.
Before Adkins actually went on stage, he and his “support act” Walter Schreifels played a song together: Evelyn Brother’s “Give Me A Sweetheart”. It’s a sentimental country song and ended up being just fabulous with those two singing it. Well, to call Schreifels a support act is actually ridiculous. It was an evening with both and Schreifels just happened to be first on stage. He was the reason I went to the concert and probably wasn’t the only one who went there for him - in the end he played two encores.
The first one was my favourite song of his: ”An Open Letter To The Scene” from the same-titled album from 2010. It is an already touching song when you just hear through your speakers but when Walter sang it live, it sort of reached a emotional level. It’s about the loss of a friend and when he sang it, you could just feel it and see in his face. Through out the concert there was almost always a little smirk on his face, during this song it was gone. I felt the sadness about the loss.
That would have been a terrible if that was the feeling one would carry into another set of a different musician, so luckily he played a second encore. Almost like a “cheer up, life goes on” reminder, he chose Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”. Thank you, Walter. Also, thank you for making me laugh so much. He is one of the most funniest people I have ever seen, and so spontaneous*. Even the corniest** and most cliché’d joke about Berliners is still funny when he talks about it***. Also amazing: He played a full set before the two encores with his solo, Rival School, I think Quicksand (or another of his many bands, I forgot it), some totally new songs (yeah) and a cover of "DNA" by his favourite German band, called Beatsteaks. I thought it was a good mixture of talking, interacting with the audience and music. I loved it!
Have a good week,
*I absolutely have not seen any papers with any notes about Berlin-anecdotes.
**Is that the right word??
***Trust me, I am born in Berlin. I have heard so, so many of them and most are so true.
Just a few weeks ago, I heard the first single of British artist Fable. She worked together with Danny Griffiths and Darius Keeler of my most beloved band Archive. She has a stunning voice. In combination with dark lyrics and Archives soundscapes, they create something she calls herself “progressive electro rock”.
Yesterday she released the second single, “Stranger In My Head”, from her upcoming EP “Parasite” (13. October) - another very intense song, the words of the chorus “stab me before I change” and the synths keep echoing in my brain even when the song is already over. In parts the melody is disturbing and hypnotic.I love it. And even more members of the Archive collective played in this track: Pollard Berrier on guitar and Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard on drums.
I had the opportunity to send her some questions yesterday and here they are already. Let’s learn more about this young talent!
How did you start making music? In an interview you said “anything musical is either genetic or self-taught” - whose genes and what does /he/she or they think about your music today?
I think it’s forever evolving, I’ve sung a lot of different genres of music in the past, worked with producers and co-writers and taken inspiration from so many places, but I feel what I am writing now with Darius and Danny is a true reflection of my current state of mind.
How did you meet Danny and Darius? Did you know about Archive before?
I first met Danny in a pub in Brighton, it’s a small industry over here, he’s a friend of my managers. I’d listened to Archive before and found their music to have a uniqueness many bands from the UK don’t have, we got chatting and after a few writing session we had an EP finished - we’re in the process of finishing the full album at the moment.
When did you start working together and why?
We started working together just over a year ago, Archive are known for having a variety of vocalists featuring on their records, but to collaborate on an album with such an established band was a real honour. They’re so lovely to work with and I think its been refreshing for all of us to step out of our comfort zone and do something a bit crazy.
How big was their musical influence on the music when you wrote and recorded the music?
The songs definitely have Archive’s DNA running through them but with a touch of the theatrics, all three of us will bring a few ideas to a writing session that we’ve been working on and then we build the track together. Darius has such a good ear for arrangements, the soundscapes that Danny creates are other-worldly and I’m responsible for the lyrics and melody.
“Stranger in my head” just needs very little words but still has a lot of power and is very intense and hypnotic. Is less sometimes more?
With “Stranger in my Head” I think less was more, we wanted to let it breath, let the synth give a feeling of space and let the melody carry the song, the lyrics have a lot of personal meaning for me. “
What inspires you for your songs?
I write from my experience of living in this civilisation (the human zoo), I like to confront ideas people avoid in conversation, like the conflicting aspects and the complexity of the human mind and how our awareness effects how we perceive our reality.
You compare humans with parasites – that’s a pretty dark view of us at an age of only 19. Where does that view come from?
Not all humans, we are all individuals but as a whole I believe we’ve grown too comfortable with treating the Earth like it’s an endless pot from which we loot our endless needs and wants, not like the living organism it actually is. Most mammals reach an equilibrium with their environment but we have been hijacked by a mind programme. It is a dark view and of course ignorance is bliss, but it’s ignorance that has detached us from our own planet, our species is doomed if we don’t wake up from our material dream.
How is the music scene in Brighton?
Thriving at the moment, there are some exciting bands coming out of here, the same goes for dance and electronic music, it’s great to be a part of it.
Thank you for your time, Fable.
Here is a trailer for the upcoming EP “Parasite” (release due 13. October):
Have a good week,
As I said early this week: my inbox provided some gems. This band is well suited for a Friday night. Mirror Talk are a four piece band from L.A. who sent me their track “1977”. It’s electro pop with heavy new wave influences. The song made me think of a scene in one of my favourite movies of all time called “My Beautiful Laundrette” from 1985. At one point the main characters Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Omar (Gordon Warnecke) would be in a dark club dancing (and, well, selling drugs but that’s not the thing I thought about) and this song “1997” would just perfectly fit into this scene and in a dark 80’s dance club with a bit of a modern twist of course. Listening to it, I see girls with big hair and short black dress dancing to it.
But if your look closer at the bands line up, it’s no surprise they sound “a bit” 80’s. Three out of four play a synthesiser and a second instrument: Steven Lopez plays some Guitar, Sean Krell Bass Guitar and Dave Lewis Percussion next to their synths. Just singer Court Alexander doesn’t add even more electronic sounds.
"1997" is the first single and title track of Mirror Talks second EP which they recorded with Tony Hoffer (Depeche Mode, Beck, Air, M83 etc etc.).
Have a listen and get properly pumped up for the weekend:
Have a good weekend and keep sending me your music - now also possible on https://fluence.io/Heilewelt,
Have a good week and keep sending me your music - now also possible on https://fluence.io/Heilewelt,