Archive for the 'sound of berlin' Category

Tonight – Mount Kimbie

Looking forward to this at Gretchen, here’s something to whet the appetite:

That is most definitely it :-(

Well, you know how I said the other day that as much as I had stated I would never return to Astra for a concert, I would give it one last chance so I could check out MF Doom? Well, that’s it – I am never, ever going to that shitty assed shit-hole ever again.

Let me give you a run-down of what happened.

Firstly, as per bloody usual in Germany – no event time listings were given – therefore you have to first do the research to find out when everyone is playing. Why no times are given as to when an act is playing is beyond me – it’s just another bloody pain in the ass that you have to put up with in this country – remember – life is not made to be easy here. Anyway, I had done the research and we planned to arrive at Astra at around 11.00pm so we could catch Antipop Consortium who I also really like, but we didn’t go any earlier because none of us were interested in the other acts at all.

Got there and it was quite a full-house (which disappointed me a bit really – I was hoping there would be far fewer people due to the weather and whatnot). Checked out Antipop Consortium who rocked the place pretty much but the crowd was already getting mega pushy.

What the hell is it with Germans? If you are walking along the street a lot of them don’t wanna get out of your way. If you are at a concert they don’t want to share the floor space (what they consider to be their space). This makes for a very aggressive crowd because everyone standing around watching the artist, or waiting for the artist to appear as it were, does not want to move for anyone and seems to have a ridiculous sense that their spot is theirs and not to be shared. Very selfish, very pushy, very aggressive and quite frankly, just plain weird.

Even the most aggressive of US, UK or Australian crowds at a concert are nowhere near as bad – and I have been to a bunch of concerts in my life. Hell – I was even at a Slayer concert once upon a time in LA where the crowd collapsed in on itself because there were just sooo many people – but even then everyone treated each other as a fellow fan – but more importantly than that – a fellow human being – and that is where we have a problem in Germany. Germans don’t seem to treat each other with the same level of respect that they themselves would expect. The whole do unto others thing was seemingly never taught during childhood. Maybe this disassociation towards fellow human beings was displayed to even a greater audience during WWII, anyway – that’s just a theory. Maybe they’re just scared.

So at 12.30pm MF Doom was meant to play and I was (regardless of the pushiness of the place) right at the front waiting, and waiting, and waiting…whilst listening to a German hip-hop DJ on the wheels of steel. It wasn’t that he sucked, it was just that I didn’t want to hear some semi-ok DJ playing tunes I didn’t particularly like or want to listen to. Well, at some point after all the pushiness, over seemingly nothing, had got to me to a point where I could no longer handle it, I left the front of the crowd and resigned myself towards the back where I waited with a few friends for MF Doom to show up. By this point it was 1.00am. We had another beer and waited until around 1.45am at which point I just couldn’t be jacked anymore – my time is worth more to me than being dicked around by some asshole promoter or artist and I bailed. There were, in typical German fashion, zero announcements given that he would be late – basically no communication whatsoever (communication is not one of this EU member’s strong-points). God – it is just so freaking typical of this place it drives me mad – I’m sure it wouldn’t if I was buried deep in the same ignorance as the locals here,  but no such luxury for me. If someone is running late, then people who payed for a ticket need to be made aware of this, 30euros for this shit was a joke. Not too mention they’re one-way tickets so you have to stay at the place and wait for the artist if you want to see them, as soon as you leave you cannot get back in 🙁

So never, ever again – no matter what – will I ever pay a single cent to Astra, and I will be telling anyone that wants to listen (even those that don’t) about what a piece of shit place this really is. Talk about a crap organized school disco – because that is exactly what it is – albeit with a shitty sound system not quite capable for the size of the place. Wake up Berliners, there are better ways than this – it has been proven the world over.

So up yours Astra!!

Ok – I know I said I wouldn’t

But seriously, what can I do? MF Doom is playing on Friday night and guess where he’s playing – oh yes, that’s right – the place I vowed never to go to again – Astra. So that kinda sucks and I had a pretty tough decision to make – to go and see him or not. But what to do – I have never seen this guy play before and he is definitely one of the more intelligent rappers out there…… I bit the bullet and bought a couple of tickets.

Now let’s see if Ina will cave in the same as I have 😉

Haven’t posted for a bit….

And there is a good reason why that is the case – my faithful Mac has finally completed the job of committing suicide and will fire up no more. Real shame, we’d been through some good times 😉 More the shame is that I have to come up with a few grand now to replace the thing….wasn’t planning on doing that just yet – so you know – ain’t got that kinda spare cash lying around 🙁

Anyway, that’s it for Mac Pros – I will give up the massive desktop beast for a more svelte iMac. The only reason I ever went with a Pro was because everything else just wasn’t powerful enough to run Logic in a semi Pro environment. iMac Well, times have changed, and the new iMacs are blazingly fast, compact and the best part – way cheaper. I have already decided on the model, a 3.4Ghz i7 beast. The iMac “Core i7” 3.4 27-Inch Aluminum (Mid-2011) model is powered by a Quad Core 3.4 GHz Intel “Core i7” I7-2600 (Sandy Bridge) processor with a dedicated 256k level 2 cache for each core and an 8 MB shared level 3 cache. In lieu of a system bus, it has a “Direct Media Interface” (DMI) that “connects between the processor and chipset” at 5 GT/s. So that should do the job. I’ll install an SSD in it for the system, so after that it should be more wired than a kamikaze on speed and certainly stomp all over my current machine…….it’s just a case of money, money, money

Anyway, last week on Wednesday night Ina, myself and a few friends went to see the Caribou concert which put the final nail in the coffin for Astra. Neither Ina nor I will ever go back there again, regardless of who is playing. I mean, I really enjoy Caribou’s music, but Astra has such a shitty sound system that you could pretty much have the same experience at home through your Hi Fi (ok – admittedly mine can go relatively LOUD). The thing about the place is not just the fact that the sound is pretty bad, but that it is being used for concerts more and more often and the place is basically just a big School Hall. So that means that everyone standing around are all questing to stand in the same spot to get the best view of whoever is performing, because the floor is flat – not tiered….so pretty pushy.

I think a lot of electronic/semi-electronic acts tend to be a little boring to watch anyway – not all, but certainly a lot. It’s like they don’t understand that people are coming for more than just listening to the music itself. Part of the fun of watching a concert is the energy and vibe that the act themselves provide. For example, we saw !!! at the Metro in Sydney and the front man (as well as the band) brought so much energy to the stage that it naturally made the show more fun to watch. Caribou just kinda stood there behind his gear (which was most likely not fully functioning, rather he was probably just playing back the track out of Live or something and adding extra effects/whatever. Kinda boring. Zero stage presence – combine that with a shitty sound and a shitty venue and you soon start asking yourself why you bought tickets in the first place. Oh well, as I said, never again. I think some artists are just better to see either live playing in a club or heard in a club being spun by a DJ. Anyway, check out Odessa below….

But that’s really it for the moment, went to a couple of friend’s 30ths on Saturday but I really wasn’t feeling too up for partying. I’m kinda always tired from work these days and need the weekends to recuperate rather than draining the batteries further. So hanging out with a bunch of Germans which is kinda tiring as well (because my brain has to work overtime to understand and communicate with everyone) is not really something I can handle for too long these days. Admittedly, if I got better with my German it would be less work and less tiring – but frankly I just can’t be bothered – I’m not quite sure what you can read into that – but there you go. So I went home relatively early and crashed.

Got a friends birthday tonight, so I’ll swing by on her and see what’s up. Other than that I don’t think I have any plans – which is just the way I like it. I am at the end of my energy today and feeling very tired. Just found out on Monday it’s Pfingsten so we have a long weekend…..yay!!!